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Sunday, December 1, 2019

Forget Trying to Prove What This President Did--What We Already Know About Donald J Trump


Trump Started Cooperating With The FBI In 1981

  • Inherited approximately 493 million dollars from his father
  • Declared bankruptcy at least 6 times
  • Had to pay back 25 million dollars because of illegalities with his self-named Trump University
  • Took money illegally--stole?--2 million dollars from a charity. For himself. And the charity was to help American military Veterans
  • Cheated on his first wife with the person who would become his second wife
  • Cheated on his second wife to get with the person who would become his third wife
  • A minimum of 25 separate women have publicly accused him of sexual assault
  • Asked the head of another, foreign nation to investigate a private American citizen. Oh, and that private American citizen just happened to be the son of his foremost political rival in the coming national election for his very job

All this we know. We already know it's all true. It's fact. Verifiable. It's history.  Provable and not debatable.

Yet this is the man people support as the head, the leader of our nation.

This is the man people in his political party defend---all so they can maintain power.

I submit to you, ladies and gentlemen, that is stunning.

That and Richard Nixon was a piker, by comparison.

Links:

Federal court approves $25 million Trump University settlement




Friday, November 29, 2019

Why "I Can't Support Trump"


One Mr. Jim Sathe, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, says it so well.(click on picture for easier viewing).


And then there's the extortion attempt he made with Ukraine.

And the utter smashing of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

Etc.


Monday, November 11, 2019

Happy Veterans Day: Let's Start REALLY Honoring Them


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So yes, first thing, absolutely, HAPPY VETERANS DAY. First and foremost.

But then, after that, let's start really, actually honoring them, as a nation.

Let's:
  • End the war in Afghanistan. This is our 18th year there. We are gaining nothing. It is our longest war in the history of the nation.
  • End perpetual war
  • End the empire
  • Bring more of our soldiers home from across the globe. 
  • Let's stop creating new wars to send them off to
Check this out:

The United States still maintains nearly 800 military bases in more than 70 countries and territories abroad—from giant “Little Americas” to small radar facilities. Britain, France and Russia, by contrast, have about 30 foreign bases combined.

It's insane.



Let's bring all we can, home.


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Conservative, Right Wing Republicans on this President


Herewith, I give you, as said above in the title, two Right Wing, very Conservative Republicans and what they have to say about this Republican Party President. First up, George Will.

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It's an excellent, I think even important column with lots of good to great information and points but, following here, I'll only post this one paragraph from the end:

In 13 months, all congressional Republicans who have not defended Congress by exercising “the constitutional rights of the place” should be defeated. If congressional Republicans continue their genuflections at Trump’s altar, the appropriate 2020 outcome will be a Republican thrashing so severe — losing the House, the Senate and the electoral votes of, say, Georgia, Arizona, North Carolina and even Texas — that even this party of slow-learning careerists might notice the hazards of tethering their careers to a downward-spiraling scofflaw.
Next up, as we go into the beginning of the public hearings from and in the House of Representatives on this President and possible impeachment this week, finally, keep this in mind, too.


And now, from very deeply Right Wing, Conservative, Republican Bill "I Usually Support All Republicans Blindly" Kristol:

Republican Should Challenge Trump in 2020


From earlier this year:

Manchester, N.H. — For the good of the country and the Republican party, Donald Trump has to be challenged from the right in 2020, Weekly Standard editor-at-large Bill Kristol told a friendly crowd of business executives and political insiders here Wednesday morning.

“I don’t know if a challenger would succeed. In my view, I think it’s important to have one just to force the debate,” Kristol said. “I think if Trump were to lose in 2020 it would allow for someone to step up and say, ‘Well, here’s a different way forward than just kind of trying to redo Trump over the next several years.’”

Kristol was the second prominent Never Trumper in as many months to appear at the Politics & Eggs event series, which puts political speakers in front of an audience of New England business leaders who tend to show up in charcoal suits, wearing name tags that flash impressive job titles. Senator Jeff Flake’s anti-Trump speech here at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics drew a standing ovation in April. Attacking Trump from the conservatarian right, Flake flirted with the idea of challenging Trump for the nomination in 2020. (Kristol, who rejects speculation that he might run himself, says he prefers to help find the right challenger, and thinks John Kasich is the most obvious and potentially formidable one.)

After that, let's please, please all keep in mind that it was this President, Donald J "The John" Trump who, this week, was penalized by a judge for--get this--taking 2 million dollars from a charity. And not just any charity, either. This was a charity for American Veterans.

The man given 493 million dollars from his father felt he needed to also take 2 million dollars from a charity for our Veterans.

To date, Republicans have expressed zero regret or remorse for this man.

Zero.

Finally today, I have to ask, in what bizarro world could or would it possibly be okay if a President of the United States were to ask the head of another, foreign nation to investigate any private U.S. citizen, let alone the son of one of his foremost political rivals in the coming national election?

Additional links:


FBI investigated how Trump's actions seemed to benefit Russia







Quote of the Day -- On this President and Privilege and Much More


Seriously.

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Sunday, November 3, 2019

Quote of the Day -- Timely Edition


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“Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought.
To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears.
To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool.
To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen.
To be led by a liar is to ask to be told lies.
To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery.”

― Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Talents


Reason to Celebrate, Kansas City!


Kansas City, nearly unbelievably to me, anyway, given the coverage of our shootings and killings, didn't make an ugly list recently.

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Herewith, some highlights--
  • Wichita, Kansas, 58. Stunningly tied here with MIAMI, FLORIDA.
  • Topeka, tied at the 50 spot with Columbus, OH.
  • Dallas 49. Houston, 47.
  • Tulsa at 30, tied with Fort Wayne, IN.
  • Oakland, CA at 27.
  • Atlanta, GA 23.
  • Peoria, IL 18.
  • Little Rock, AR, 17.
  • Chicago, 16.
  • Washington, DC at 10.
  • Memphis, 6.
  • New Orleans at 4.
  • Detroit at 3. Not the worst.

St. Louis, Missouri at the number one worst spot of deadliest cities in the nation.

Even little old Springfield is there at number 61.

But no Kansas City.

Yahoo.

One for a win.

I'll take it. We'll take it, for sure.


Kansas Makes Clear What Our Problem Is


There's an excellent, even important article on the Topeka Captiol-Journal website presently that points out the biggest problem in our states but in Washington, DC, too.

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Here's the situation taken from a Facebook friend's, Davis Hammet of Loud Light, page today.

After becoming Chair of the Kansas Senate Commerce Committee, Sen. Julia Lynn got a job working at Allied Global Services (AGS). Sen. Lynn endorsed and confirmed Brownback’s Commerce Secretary Soave who later was found to be steering government contracts to his friends. AGS got over $13 million in government contracts the last few years. As that scandal came to light, Sen. Lynn used her Chair position to block an investigation into those deals. When questioned about all this she said that she’s exempt from conflicts of interest... This story just made her resign from the corporate job, but she hasn't resigned from the Senate.

Money.

Money is our problem here in Kansas. And Missouri. And all across every state in the nation and, as I said above, especially in Washington, DC.

It's money that has made our health care system tied to profit instead of being universally available as all other Western, industrialized nations have. 

It's money that got us the outrageously priced higher education system we have now that also shuts people of modest or little means from being able to participate.

It's money that has our legislators writing that legislation and our laws for the already-wealthy and corporations, not for the people and nation.

For Kansas and across each state, here is what we need to do to fix this, taken from the same Facebook thread:

Lauren Smith-Sessions    It's time to address paying a livable wage to legislators so that we can elect good people that care about Kansas more than personal gain.

It's just not that complicated.

Pay our representatives at the state level enough to be there and do the work. Then, along with it, make any funds taken from any other person or company illegal.

Then, in Washington, in our Federal Government, we need to, first, overturn Citizens United. Then we need to end campaign contributions entirely. We have to think the unthinkable.

Other nations have done and do this. The UK is an excellent example. By making campaign contributions not just possible but legal, we have effectively legalized bribery. It's insane. It's not true, representational government. It's not "for the people."

Ironic, isn't it? We, the US, the "world's wealthiest nation", being crushed by money.

Link:

Friday, November 1, 2019

Quote of the Day -- Presidential Edition


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"This president will be in power for only a short time, but excusing his misbehavior will forever tarnish your name. To my Republican colleagues: step outside your media and social bubble. History will not look kindly on disingenuous, frivolous, and false defenses of this man."

--Justin Amash


Dealing With Republicans of Late


Impossible.

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Logic, facts, common sense, heck, even laws and the Constitution make no matter or difference to these people.

Maddening.


Sunday, October 27, 2019

Kansans! You Need to Watch This Video!


Yes sir, all voting age Kansans should watch this brief but informative video just put out by young Davis Hammet of the Loud Light organization.

I've posted here before who Mr. Hammet is and what good work he does. He came to Kansas from Florida, of all places, and has been doing fantastic work educating now fellow Kansans on their state government. This is just one more of his excellent videos.



Once you've watched it, you'll know more about your government, what it's doing and which way you maybe want to vote this Fall.

Link:

Loud Light



Saturday, October 26, 2019

What Do You Suppose It Will Take To Get KCPT To Recognize There Is a Hispanic Community Here?


Image result for kcpt kansas city week in review

Really, this puzzles me.

It took far too long to get KCPT to get one token black person reliably, week after week, on their weekly news programs, "Ruckus" and "Week In Review" and even now, they still get left off some weeks.

That was bad enough but the station still hasn't recognized or accepted or something there is a Hispanic Community in the metropolitan area.

Sure, we still get loads and loads o' white folk what with Right Wing, Republican Mike Shanin and his also Right Wing, Republican buddy Woody Cozad (don't get me started) but the shows are heavily, heavily weighted with bleached white people.

As I've said before, their commercials are all the time putting up minorities in them, asking people to send their money like so many Christian churches but what is it going to take to get a token Hispanice on both these shows each week?

They've recognized there is the Dos Mundos newspaper, having one of their staff on not long ago. You'd think they could--and would--maybe call them up once a week and ask if someone would show up for the program.

At least they let women---one, usually, each week, another token--on the program but once again, it's usually a white woman to round out that very varied group.

This week on Ruckus, they had 3 white people---ONE WOMAN!--and Terry Riley, a former City Council person.

And forget about "Week in Review" this week. The entire show was bleached white people. Every one of them.

Minorities??

Bah!

They don't live here in Kansas City!

Right, KCPT?

I would like to now take this time and place to formally challenge KCPT---a PBS station, after all--to please, for the love of God and fairness and decency and all that is good, to start having, reliably, one Hispanic, one member of the black community, one woman and one---ONLY ONE--white guy on these two programs each week, going forward, indefinitely.

Seriously.

It just doesn't seem like too much to ask.

They say they rely on our contributions in order to survive, exist.

How about including ALL of us?

KCPT?

Have you no shame whatever?

Fairness? Balance? Decency in journalism?

Any of that?


What They Must Have Been Thinking When They Voted Trump


Doonesbury Comic Strip for October 24, 1999


Saturday, October 19, 2019

A Brit Captures Our Very Republican Party President


I ran across this in the last week and could not agree with it or the author more.

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British Writer Pens The Best Description 

Of Trump I've Read


Someone on Quora asked “Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?” Nate White, an articulate and witty writer from England wrote the following response:
Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.

For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace – all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.
So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.

Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing – not once, ever.
I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility – for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.

But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is – his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.

Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.

And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults – he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.

There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface.

Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront.
Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.

And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist.

Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that.

He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat.

He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.

And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully.

That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead.

There are unspoken rules to this stuff – the Queensberry rules of basic decency – and he breaks them all. He punches downwards – which a gentleman should, would, could never do – and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless – and he kicks them when they are down.

So the fact that a significant minority – perhaps a third – of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think ‘Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’ is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:

• Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.
• You don’t need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.

This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss.

After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.

God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.

He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.

In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws – he would make a Trump.

And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:
‘My God… what… have… I… created?

If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set.


Saturday, October 5, 2019

Very Safe Predictions On This President


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One of three things are going to happen to this very orange Republican President Trump in the next year. Either
  1. He actually does get impeached, which is an admitted, if hopeful, long shot or
  2. He quits the job out of pressure and frustration because the evidence of all his misdeeds and illegalities are so strong against him and he just can't take it or, finally
  3. He gets voted out of office next November.
One of those 3 things will take place in the next year, mark my words. Whichever it is, the people win, the nation wins.

Stay tuned.


Quotes of the Day -- On This President


Today's New York Times is chock full of good, if not, in fact, out and out great and even possibly, very likely important articles on this Republican Party President, his current situation, his tweets and statements and moods and responses, mostly to criticism. He apparently thought once one becomes President, no one evaluates, read: criticizes, that person or his or her Presidency. Whatever.

Anyway, as I said, the paper is full of great articles, this being the first I'll briefly mention today.

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Is this Trump’s public suicide or his genius for survival?

This is the most scathing, but true, summation of this man, his Presidency and administration I've seen this week. A bit from the article:

We have hit uncharted political territory. An unstable president has lurched under the pressure of an impeachment inquiry into a form of madness that is either a very public suicide or some weird genius for survival. Trump is Robert De Niro, armed with a gun, in “Taxi Driver” gazing into the mirror repeating: “You talkin’ to me?”

We are. Nixon wanted his profanities deleted from transcripts. Trump has no such qualms. He trumpets his view of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry on Twitter: “BULLSHIT.” He will not be a one-term president! That’s weak, like Carter, like Bush One! He cannot be WEAK like them! He cannot lose! It’s all an attempted “coup”!...

...The White House, I hear, now operates like the 26th floor of Trump Tower during the campaign. There’s no structure or plan. There’s no war room or communications cell. People wander in and wander out, except they’re all lawyered up now, no doubt. They’re not even in crisis mode. Trump just goes out and shoots his mouth, as he has from Day 1. Like a good Mafia boss, he now has everyone complicit. They’re all in this together — Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and the rest. Since John Kelly escaped in January, Trump’s henchmen are all that’s left.

...Polls show a plurality of Americans now supporting impeachment and Trump’s approval rating sinking as low as 41 percent. He is vulnerable in several states he won in 2016, including Ohio. If he shrinks to his core unshakable support, he probably has no more than a third of the vote.

So what does he do? Double down! If there’s any guiding principle it seems to be: If Trump says often enough in broad daylight that he tried to get foreign powers to interfere in our election to his benefit, how can it be wrong? “China should start an investigation into the Bidens,” says Trump, as he leaves the White House to go to Florida.

The remark is met with justified outrage. This is abuse of power. This is abuse of foreign affairs authority. These are impeachable acts. But, guess what, everyone starts reporting and writing on what Biden and his son Hunter did or did not do in China. Trump is a mass-media magician. He got McLuhan — “the medium is the message” — without reading McLuhan.

The term self-impeachment is now doing the rounds. As with a self-immolation, it can be hard to watch Trump’s blathering at its current crazed pitch. Can this be anything but the long-awaited and very public self-destruction of a man unfit for office? It may well be, but I am not entirely convinced.

As always with Trump, the rational and the Cartesian bump up against his fiendish antennae for the mass hypnosis of our age. He has his finger on the pulse of the technological character of evolution — even though he knows nothing about it. Repeat something often enough, brazenly enough and aggressively enough to people dazed enough by the cacophony around them, and they will lose their bearings enough to believe anything, even that his conversation with Zelensky was “perfect.”

There is no down range for this president. He’s too disorganized. There is only the next minute. Let’s talk Trump and golf for a minute. He likes to say, “I’m a feel player.” He’s not a believer in going to the driving range. Drop it and hit it. Fire and forget. Just hit the effing thing! Well, fire-and-forget got him to the White House, so why would he stop believing in it, even now?

Because, if Trump could manage a glimpse over the towering heights of his ego, he might see that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has him in her sights. She knows he will grow madder and madder under the pressure of the impeachment inquiry. As that happens, those working-class white women and suburban housewives who voted for Trump in large numbers in 2016 may well desert him: Derangement is not really their thing. Can the 53 Republicans of the Senate be far behind?

Then there is this.


Californians don’t vote for Trump, and he’s showing them what he can do about it.

For the last few weeks, Mr. Trump has been deep into retaliation mode, occasionally for reasons of policy, more often out of pique. His decision last month to try to revoke California’s historic right to set its own fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards was largely a policy matter, part and parcel of his effort to roll back President Obama’s aggressive clean car rules. That effort would be rendered incomplete as long as California maintained the right to set its own higher standards, which govern a huge chunk of the car market now and would do so going forward unless somehow Mr. Trump, in plain violation of the original Clean Air Act, got rid of it.

First Trump
  • Tries to revoke California's right to set its own fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards that they've historically had so they can clean their admittedly dirty air then he
  • Accuses the state of failing to meet federal air quality standards and threatens to withhold billions in federal highway funds if California did not do more to clean its air.
The guy is nuts. Vindictive and crazy.

Links:

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Probably the Most Important Article on this Presidency We Can Read Today


The latest of just what we’re getting with and from this Republican Party President.

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“The president’s personal concerns have become priorities of departments that traditionally have operated with some degree of political independence from the White House — and their leaders are engaging their boss’s obsessions.”

“Barr and Pompeo are stuck in the fog machine. They seem captives of the president’s perverse worldview,” said Timothy Naftali, a historian and former director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. “Authoritarian regimes have this problem all the time . . . when all government activity is the product of the id of the leader. But in a republic, that’s unusual.”

Trump was sworn in as the 45th president with less governmental experience than any of his predecessors. His advisers tried to tutor him about the three branches of government and the constitutional balance of powers. The general ethos among Trump’s top aides then was to protect institutions and moderate some of the president’s swings — to resist rather than follow his impulses, as described by one former senior White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share a candid assessment.

Since then, Trump has become more emboldened to make decisions and has systematically dispensed with much of his early team, including former defense secretary Jim Mattis, former secretary of state Rex Tillerson, former White House chiefs of staff Reince Priebus and John F. Kelly, former White House counsel Donald McGahn, former national security adviser H.R. McMaster, former economic adviser Gary Cohn and others.

“I’m not sure there are many, if any, left who view as their responsibility trying to help educate, moderate, enlighten and persuade — or even advise in many cases,” the former senior official said. “There’s a new ethos: This is a presidency of one.”

“It’s Trump unleashed, unchained, unhinged,” this official added. “He continues to go further and further and further, and now I don’t think there’s anybody telling him, ‘No.’


That, all that, is dangerous. It's certainly no way to run a nation. Not a first world nation, anyway. A Banana Republic, maybe, not the United States of America.

Then, as though that’s not enough, there’s this that hit today, too.


This is what’s being examined:

House investigators are looking into an allegation that groups — including at least one foreign government — tried to ingratiate themselves to President Donald Trump by booking rooms at his hotels but never staying in them.

It’s a previously unreported part of a broader examination by the House Oversight Committee, included in the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, into whether Trump broke the law by accepting money from U.S. or foreign governments at his properties.

“Now we’re looking at near raw bribery,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), a House Oversight Committee member who chairs the subcommittee with jurisdiction over Trump’s hotel in Washington. “That was the risk from day one — foreign governments and others trying to seek favor because we know Trump pays attention to this.... It’s an obvious attempt to curry favor with him.”

The investigation began after the committee received information that two entities — a trade association and a foreign government — booked a large quantity of rooms but only used a fraction of them, according to a person familiar with the allegation but isn't authorized to speak for the committee.


Emoluments Clause of our Constitution, anyone?

Finally, this happened:

Trump Completely Loses His Mind At Press Conference With Finland's President


What a guy.

Thanks, Republicans!


Saturday, September 21, 2019

The Donald Is Getting In Way Over His Head


The stuff with this Republican Party President Trump is really starting to hit the fan, so to speak, this week.

For all the breaking of the Emoluments Clause and contacting and connecting with Russia and Russians all through the 2016 election campaign, what's been said to, if not even already shown to have taken place with this man and now the Ukraine, likely pushes things off any balance there supposedly was. I am referring, of course, to the following:

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And note, please, right off the bat. This is not from the Washington Post or The New York Times or any other supposed "Left Wing rag" or source but none other than Rupert Murdoch's own solidly Right Wing, very Republican-supporting Wall Street Journal. Just some of their points and reporting:

President Trump in a July phone call repeatedly pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden ’s son, according to people familiar with the matter, urging Volodymyr Zelensky about eight times to work with Rudy Giuliani on a probe that could hamper Mr. Trump’s potential 2020 opponent.

“He told him that he should work with [Mr. Giuliani] on Biden, and that people in Washington wanted to know” if his lawyer’s assertions that Mr. Biden acted improperly as vice president were true, one of the people said. Mr. Giuliani has suggested Mr. Biden’s pressure on Ukraine to fight corruption had to do with an investigation of a gas company for which his son was a director. A Ukrainian official this year said he had no evidence of wrongdoing by Mr. Biden or his son Hunter Biden.


But wait. It gets better. It's not just The Donald. Rudy jumped in this mess, too.

Mr. Giuliani in June and August met with top Ukrainian officials about the prospect of an investigation, he said in an interview. After the July call between the two presidents, the Ukrainian government said Mr. Trump had congratulated Mr. Zelensky on his recent election and expressed hope that his government would push ahead with investigations and corruption probes that had stymied relations between the two countries.

Mr. Trump only recently emerged from the nearly two-year investigation by Robert Mueller into whether his campaign sought help in the 2016 election from a different country: Russia. While Mr. Mueller said in his report this spring that he didn’t establish a conspiracy between Moscow and the Trump campaign, Mr. Trump’s efforts to seek Ukraine’s help in damaging a potential political opponent are certain to revive criticism that the president welcomes campaign help from foreign countries.

Mr. Trump on Friday defended his July call with Mr. Zelensky as “totally appropriate” but declined to say whether he had asked the Ukrainian leader to investigate Mr. Biden. At the same time, he reiterated his call for an investigation into Mr. Biden’s effort as vice president to oust Ukraine’s prosecutor general. “Somebody ought to look into that,” he told reporters.


In recent months, Mr. Giuliani has mounted an extensive effort to pressure Ukraine to do so. He said he met with an official from the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office in June in Paris, and met with Andriy Yermak, a top aide to Mr. Zelensky, in Madrid in August. Mr. Giuliani said in an interview this month that Mr. Yermak assured him the Ukrainian government would “get to the bottom” of the Biden matter.

That's not bad enough for this President. He apparently had to also add a monetary quid pro quo to this offer--and with our government's tax money, to boot. Your and my tax dollars, Mr. and Mrs. America.

The August meeting came weeks before the Trump administration began reviewing the status of $250 million in foreign aid to Ukraine, which the administration released earlier this month. Mr. Giuliani said he wasn’t aware of the issue with the funds to Ukraine at the time of the meeting.

And as usual and ever, this President isn't even bright enough to know when he's in over his head. Far over his head, as it turns out. Check this out, coming up.

Mr. Trump is to meet with Mr. Zelensky in person for the first time next week, at the United Nations General Assembly gathering in New York.

Whattya' bet The Donald now cancels that meeting? Wait for it.

What isn't to loathe of this man in the White House is to love, love, love--for sick humor.

Links:

Monday, September 16, 2019

Quote of the Day -- On America and Universal Health Care


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Quote today from one George D Morgan on Facebook.

He's so right.

"I spent 36 years in the insurance business. So I know a thing or two about the subject. The one thing everyone needs to understand is that insurance is an exclusionary product--though it includes good risks that the insurance companies want, it EXcludes bad risks they do not want.

Because of the exclusionary nature of insurance, health care is not, never has been, and never will be, a good candidate as an insurance product. This is because everyone needs health care.

Everyone---without exception.

So don't talk to me about Socialism or Capitalism or anything in between. We need to adopt a universal health care system because health care is universally needed--unlike what is provided by insurance.

It's really that simple."

And the rest of the Western, industrialized world does it. 

Somehow I think we could manage.


Sunday, September 15, 2019

The Singular Most Important Article Any Adult American Could Read Today


There is a fantastic, long, long overdue article in today's Sunday New York Times that says everything I and a lot of us have ever thought about present day America, our defense spending and our insane, inane perpetual, endless war.

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The Only Way to End ‘Endless War’



First, America has to give up its pursuit of global dominance

Dr. Stephen Wertheim

As I said, I think all Americans should read it, all of it, absolutely but herewith, I'll post just a few of the most important quotes and clips. I'll begin with a stunner from none other than Republican Party President Donald J "the John" Trump.

“Great nations do not fight endless wars.”

“We have got to put an end to endless war,” declared Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., during the Democratic presidential primary debate on Thursday. It was a surefire applause line: Many people consider “endless war” to be the central problem for American foreign policy.

But vowing to end America’s interminable military adventures doesn’t make it so. Four years ago, President Barack Obama denounced “the idea of endless war” even as he announced that ground troops would remain in Afghanistan. In his last year in office, the United States dropped an estimated 26,172 bombs on seven countries.

President Trump, despite criticizing Middle East wars, has intensified existing interventions and threatened to start new ones. He has abetted the Saudi-led war in Yemen, in defiance of Congress. He has put America perpetually on the brink with Iran. And he has lavished billions extra on a Pentagon that already outspends the world’s seven next largest militaries combined.

Dominance, assumed to ensure peace, in fact guarantees war.


In theory, armed supremacy could foster peace. Facing overwhelming force, who would dare to defy American wishes? That was the hope of Pentagon planners in 1992; they reacted to the collapse of America’s Cold War adversary not by pulling back but by pursuing even greater military pre-eminence. But the quarter-century that followed showed the opposite to prevail in practice. Freed from one big enemy, the United States found many smaller enemies: It has launched far more military interventions since the Cold War than during the “twilight struggle” itself. Of all its interventions since 1946, roughly 80 percent have taken place after 1991.

Why have interventions proliferated as challengers have shrunk? The basic cause is America’s infatuation with military force. Its political class imagines that force will advance any aim, limiting debate to what that aim should be. Continued gains by the Taliban, 18 years after the United States initially toppled it, suggest a different principle: The profligate deployment of force creates new and unnecessary objectives more than it realizes existing and worthy ones.

In the Middle East, endless war began when the United States first stationed troops permanently in the region after winning the Persian Gulf war in 1991. A circular logic took hold. The United States created its own dependence on allies that hosted and assisted American forces. It provoked states, terrorists and militias that opposed its presence. Among the results: The United States has bombed Iraq almost every year since 1991 and spent an estimated $6 trillion on post-9/11 wars....
Armed domination has become an end in itself. Which means Americans face a choice: Either they should openly espouse endless war, or they should chart a new course.

...the United States should pursue the safety and welfare of its people while respecting the rights and dignity of all. In the 21st century, finally rid of colonial empires and Cold War antagonism, America has the opportunity to practice responsible statecraft, directed toward the promotion of peace. Responsible statecraft will oppose the war-making of others, but it will make sure, first and foremost, that America is not fueling violence.
On its own initiative, the United States can proudly bring home many of its soldiers currently serving in 800 bases ringing the globe, leaving small forces to protect commercial sea lanes. It can reorient its military, prioritizing deterrence and defense over power projection. It can stop the obscenity that America sends more weapons into the world than does any other country. It can reserve armed intervention, and warlike sanctions, for purposes that are essential, legal and rare.

Shrinking the military’s footprint will deprive presidents of the temptation to answer every problem with a violent solution. It will enable genuine engagement in the world, making diplomacy more effective, not less. As the United States stops being a party to every conflict, it can start being a party to resolving conflicts...

Today a world with less American militarism is likely to have less militarism in general.

...there’s a reason no one can connect the dots from unceasing interventions to a system of law and order. After decades of unilateral actions, crowned by the aggressive invasion of Iraq, it is U.S. military power that threatens international law and order. Rules should strengthen through cooperation, not wither through imposition.

In truth, the largest obstacle to ending endless war is self-imposed. Long told that the United States is the world’s “indispensable nation,” the American people have been denied a choice and have almost stopped demanding one. A global superpower — waging endless war — is just “who we are.”

But it is for the people to decide who we are, guided by the best of what we have been. America “goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy,” Secretary of State John Quincy Adams said in 1821. “She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.”

Two centuries later, in the age of Trump, endless war has come home. Cease this folly, and America can begin to take responsibility in the world and reclaim its civic peace.


Benefits to the nation, to us all, if we were to do this?
  • First and foremost, it would save our military soldiers' lives..
  • As the article points out so clearly, it would reduce war and terror in the world.
  • Next, it would cut our spending, our obscene government spending
  • We could spend far more wisely on our infratstructure--schools, bridges, roads, HEALTHCARE. 
  • In short, we could support and invest in our people, in the nation. Imagine better roads, smarter healthcare, better schools, no poverty, fewer, in not zero Americans on the street, impoverished, sick, etc. 
  • Finally, on this short list, we could also SAVE MONEY.
Any of those, let alone all, are worthy and all are possible, honestly, if we only ended this insanity of perpetual war, the path we're on now.

We have been in Aghanistan EIGHTEEN YEARS. Does anyone really think we've improved things over there? Worse, does anyone think we will (improve things there)?

Finally, here today, for anyone who says we must keep up our "defense spending" because have a "war on terror", I quote the following:

"We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security."  --Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear - kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor - with the cry of grave national emergency."  --Douglas MacArthur

"We cannot simply suspend or restrict civil liberties until the War on Terror is over, because the War on Terror is unlikely ever to be truly over."  --Gerald Bard Tjoflat

"Terrorists can endanger some of us, but the war on terror endangers us all. How much more can the Constitution be diminished before it is completely replaced by arbitrary government power?"  --Paul Craig Roberts

And the best, most true quote on the "war on terrorism" nonsense comes, for me, from Gore Vidal:

“You can’t have a war on terrorism because that’s not an actual enemy, it’s an abstract. It’s like having a war on dandruff. That war will be eternal and pointless. It’s idiotic. That’s not a war, it’s a slogan. It’s a lie. It’s advertising, which is the only art form we ever invented in America. And we use it to sell soap, war and presidential candidates in the same fashion.”

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Saturday, September 14, 2019

Entertainment Overnight: Debut of a Stunner


Nearly as good as the music is the gorgeous, rich, black and white video.



Have a great weekend, y'all.


This Downtown Ballpark Idea Needs to Die


How many times is the Kansas City Star going to float this absurd, outrageously expensive, completely unnecessary idea that we need to somehow vacate our perfectly good, very usable ballpark for the Kansas City Royals and build a new one in the middle of our downtown?

For the love of God.

Let me quickly get to all the reasons is beyond not a good idea but a patently, thoroughly bad one.

--It would be outrageously expensive. It would cost hundreds of millions of dollars to do. Hundreds of millions.

--We already, obviously, have a very good, very state of the art, already-functioning ballpark, thanks very much.

--The parking for the new stadium, God forbid, downtown would be ridiculously difficult in and of itself.

--It would further complicate parking downtown.

--We just got finished, not that many years ago, paying for a renovation of the present ballpark to the tune of 250 million dollars. I don't even know if that is yet paid off. Paid or no, we just did this.

--Kansas City taxes are already high.

Kansas City sales tax tops in the nation



Even the Star rightly recognizes how high our taxes already are--


On the following list, we are the city with the 9th highest taxes of any other in the nation.


We penalize everyone.

Kansas City serves up nation’s 12th-highest taxes on diners


Heck, taxes are high if you even just visit here. We even penalize visitors.


--As bad as parking already is downtown, again, a new, downtown ballpark would sit empty most of the year.

--Downtown already works. What, exactly, at this high a price, are we fixing here or trying to fix?

--We would WALK AWAY from a totally, completely functioning, attractive, successful baseball stadium now. 

You would think every Right Winger, Republican and Libertarian, all, at least, would be screaming bloody murder about this. More taxes, in whatever form we call them? To build another baseball stadium? When we have a good one lots of us love already? That's easy to access? That's easy to park at? That's easy to exit from and get home? Seriously?

And then, get this. Dave Helling down at the Star pointed out this week in our local paper that the old bi-state tax still exists, at least on paper. It's still available. Not only could we pay for a new baseball stadium WE DON'T NEED, downtown, where it would be difficult to get to, difficult to park at, then difficult to leave, WHEN WE ALREADY HAVE A FANTASTIC MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL STADIUM, but---get this--WE COULD GET JOHNSON COUNTIANS AND KANSANS TO HELP US PAY FOR IT!!

YES!!

By all means, LET'S BUILD A NEW, UNNECESSARY, VERY EXPENSIVE NEW BALLPARK DOWNTOWN THAT SOLVES NOT ONE PROBLEM WE HAVE NOW!!

SURE!!

LET'S!!

Or...

maybe not.

Please. For the love of God, common sense and all that is good.

It's difficult we have to even say this.

These people that want a new ballpark downtown---

Do you suppose they haven't driven down Wornall lately? Heck, Ward Parkway? 63rd Street.

Could we please, please be fiscally and yes, environmentally responsible and not further even explore this bonehead idea?

Please, Kansas City Star?

I mean, we know you need readers but get out and report on fascinating, accomplished, accomplishing area citizens.

Let this absurd idea die.

This is beautiful. It works. Leave it alone.

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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Loving a Local Protest


This couple stands, regularly, on the corner of 63rd and Ward Parkway, as I found them Tuesday evening.


Anyone who knows me, anyone who reads here, anyone who watches and follows this President would know I stand with and behind them 100%. Fortunately, as I was there, they get plenty, plenty of supporting horn honks, at minimum.

God help us.

And thanks, Republicans!