Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Clicks Keep Coming - Trump log #32

The clicks keep coming. When I starting pushing out these Trump logs every Tuesday, since the election in November, I assumed it would settle down at some point. This is not so. They keep coming and coming ... Everyday I just read my papers and my Facebook feed, then have to pick which one to include.

The US has initiated impeachment proceedings three times in the past: Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Nixon. We currently have more evidence and justification to impeach now than any of those. Also, the crimes that were possibly committed are higher ... certainly higher than lying about a blow job.

Trump log:
6/14/17 - Trump's Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, wants to prosecute providers of medical marijuana. Even though many states have made it legal, it is still a federal law. Most AGs ignore these type of situations. This is not normal. (Source: Washington Post)

6/15/17 - Special counsel Mueller is now investigating Trump in his connection to coordinated efforts between his campaign and the Kremlin into meddling with the 2016 election. (Source: Washington Post)

6/16/17 - Have you been excited as I have been about Cuba opening up?  This also can be added to the list of shit that Trump is ruining. (Source: New York Times)

6/17/18 - The President has a cabinet meeting televised and they each take turns jerking his chain. Thanks to Youtube, we have video of this high level circle jerk. (Source: Youtube --- see below)

6/18/17 - The new world order, the one with Trump as president, is one without America. (Source: New York Times)

6/19/17 - There has been a dramatic increase in the number of civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria since Trump has been president. (Source: New York Times)

6/20/17 - Experienced Republicans are not applying for jobs in the White House for fear that it would damage their long term career trajectory.  So our president with no government experience is and will be surrounded by not the best and brightest. (Source: Washington Post)

Prior Trump Logs:
Issue # 1 - posted November 15th, 2016
Issue # 2 - posted November 22nd, 2016
Issue # 3 - posted November 29th, 2016
Issue # 4 - posted December 6, 2016
Issue # 5 - posted December 12, 2016
Issue # 6 - posted December 19, 2016
Issue # 7 - posted December 26, 2016
Issue # 8 - posted January 3, 2017
Issue # 9 - posted January 10, 2017
Issue #10 - posted January 17, 2017
Issue #11 - posted January 24, 2017
Issue #12 - posted January 31, 2017
Issue #13 - posted February 7, 2017
Issue #14 - posted February 14, 2017
Issue #15 - posted February 21, 2017
Issue #16 - posted February 28, 2017
Issue #17 - posted March 7, 2017
Issue #18 - posted March 14, 2017
Issue #19 - posted March 21, 2017
Issue #20 - posted March 28, 2017
Issue #21 - posted April 5, 2017
Issue #22 - posted April 11, 2017
Issue #23 - posted April 18, 2017
Issue #24 - posted April 25, 2017
Issue #25 - posted May 2, 2017
Issue #26 - posted May 9, 2017
Issue #27 - posted May 16, 2017
Issue #28 - posted May 23, 2017
Issue #29 - posted May 30, 2017
Issue #30 - posted June 6, 2017
Issue #31 - posted June 13, 2017


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Republican Party is a Hate Group - Trump log #31

In the two years prior to the 2016 election, Donald Trump retweeted white supremacists approximately 75 times. Now that he is President, he has a white supremacist, Michael Bannon, as a top adviser. Why this doesn't disqualify him from being supported by any non-racist, I don't know. For me, if you retweet such crap once, you can chalk it up to an accident and claim you didn't know the source. But if you do this 75 time, lets face it, you are a white supremacist. Yes, I do go even further here ... if you support a white supremacist as US President, possibly the most powerful role on the planet, then yes, I think you are a white supremacist. If you support Trump, isn't it time you have face it and admitted it about yourself?

My wife tells me often that not all Republicans are bad. My response to her is usually the same, "if they weren't so bad, then they would have left this disgusting party by now." The GOP "health" plan is really a tax cut plan for the most wealth among us. It is an attack on the poor. Some elderly people will have an 800% increase in their premiums while the 1% wealthiest among us will get cuts in their taxes. Many poor people will die while the wealthiest of the wealthy will get a boost to their revenue which most of them won't even notice. Pretty disgusting! If that is not hate, then I don't know what you want to call it.

Republican hypocrisy is astounding. They cling to the flag and Constitution and yet, when it comes to following the Constitution, they seem to ignore it ... like when President Obama nominated Judge Garlard and they didn't even have hearings. Their most disgusting attack on democracy is their efforts to prevent blacks and the poor from voting. Whether it is gerrymandering districts, passing laws to prevent the poor from voting or outright attacks on the Voting Rights Act of 1965, they have made it clear ... they are the party, of not just the wealthy, but the party of the white and wealthy. Voting fraud isn't a problem, not even close. The Republican party is the problem!

The clicks keep coming ...

Trump Log:
6/7/17 - Director of National Intelligence, Daniel Coats, was asked by Trump to intervene in the FBI's investigation of Michael Flynn. This is interference at a much higher level than previously reported. (Source: Washington Post)

6/8/17 - Did you watch it? It was appointment watching for any political junkie. James Comey, ex-FBI director, testifies that President Trump obstructed justice. (Source: Washington Post)

6/9/17 - Trump's infrastructure plans are a joke. He had a press conference, but he had nothing real to sign, no law, no executive order. As we expect, it is a bunch of lies and handouts to the wealthy. (Source: New York Times)

6/10/17 - Trump, via Twitter, is calling Comey a liar. His lawyer is also calling him a liar. Lying in testimony to Congress is a series offense. If Trump believed this, then why wouldn't he be pressing charges?  The ball is in your court Mr. President! (Source: Slate)

6/11/17 - How did the Republicans become the only political party anywhere to deny climate change? It is simple, they have been bought by the Koch brothers and Trump is simply along for the ride. (Source: New Yorker)

6/12/17 - The Attorney Generals of DC and Maryland are suing President Trump in federal court over the abuse of the emoluments clause. (Source: Washington Post)

6/13/17 - Trump's FDA plans to delay the implementation of Michelle Obama's sugar-added labeling regulation, possibly indefinitely. (Source: Washington Post)

Prior Trump Logs:
Issue # 1 - posted November 15th, 2016
Issue # 2 - posted November 22nd, 2016
Issue # 3 - posted November 29th, 2016
Issue # 4 - posted December 6, 2016
Issue # 5 - posted December 12, 2016
Issue # 6 - posted December 19, 2016
Issue # 7 - posted December 26, 2016
Issue # 8 - posted January 3, 2017
Issue # 9 - posted January 10, 2017
Issue #10 - posted January 17, 2017
Issue #11 - posted January 24, 2017
Issue #12 - posted January 31, 2017
Issue #13 - posted February 7, 2017
Issue #14 - posted February 14, 2017
Issue #15 - posted February 21, 2017
Issue #16 - posted February 28, 2017
Issue #17 - posted March 7, 2017
Issue #18 - posted March 14, 2017
Issue #19 - posted March 21, 2017
Issue #20 - posted March 28, 2017
Issue #21 - posted April 5, 2017
Issue #22 - posted April 11, 2017
Issue #23 - posted April 18, 2017
Issue #24 - posted April 25, 2017
Issue #25 - posted May 2, 2017
Issue #26 - posted May 9, 2017
Issue #27 - posted May 16, 2017
Issue #28 - posted May 23, 2017
Issue #29 - posted May 30, 2017
Issue #30 - posted June 6, 2017

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Life Under an Autocrat - Trump #30

Life under an autocrat is exhausting. You cannot get away from him, almost every conversation is about him. If it doesn't start that way, it slowly becomes about him. You cannot get away from him. "Did you hear what he did today?" "Oh shit, what?" He is in the air we breathe, making us choke. Not sure how much more I can take!

Two countries on the planet didn't sign the Paris Agreement, Nicaragua and Syria. Nicaragua didn't sign it because the agreement wasn't strong enough. Syria didn't sign it because they are amidst a civil war and have other problems. As Trump pulls out of the agreement, it is clear that he does not see the world as a global collaborative, but as a group of separate entities fighting for resources. This is an idea that died in 1945. In the wake of World War II, we saw the error of our ways and came together as a planet. However imperfect, it has worked for the most part. Now we finally have the answer to the question that we've been asking Trump supporters for the last two year, "When was America great?" When America was alone.

Trump Log:
5/31/2017 - As part of the sanctions against Russia for their hacking during the 2016 election, President Obama ejected them from diplomatic compounds in New York City and the Maryland shore. Trump tells his buddies to come on back. (Source: Washington Post)

6/1/2017 - Trump has issued 17 ethics pledge waivers in a little over 100 days of being in office. Obama issued 17 in the eight years he was in office. (Source: Washington Post)

6/2/2017 - As expected, Trump announced that the US will withdraw from the Paris Agreement. (Source: New York Times)

6/3/2017 - Trump has ordered aides not to respond to Democrats requesting information in regards to White House oversight. (Source: Politico)

6/4/2017 - Hurricane season is fast approaching and still we have no director of FEMA or NOAA. (Source: Tampa Bay Times)

6/5/2017 - Trump's tweets after the London Bridge terrorist attack are a national embarrassment. (Source: New York Times)

6/6/2017 - Changes made by the Trump administration to the federal government's contraception mandate could leave hundreds of thousands of women without contraception. (Source: New York Times)

Prior Trump Logs:
Issue # 1 - posted November 15th, 2016
Issue # 2 - posted November 22nd, 2016
Issue # 3 - posted November 29th, 2016
Issue # 4 - posted December 6, 2016
Issue # 5 - posted December 12, 2016
Issue # 6 - posted December 19, 2016
Issue # 7 - posted December 26, 2016
Issue # 8 - posted January 3, 2017
Issue # 9 - posted January 10, 2017
Issue #10 - posted January 17, 2017
Issue #11 - posted January 24, 2017
Issue #12 - posted January 31, 2017
Issue #13 - posted February 7, 2017
Issue #14 - posted February 14, 2017
Issue #15 - posted February 21, 2017
Issue #16 - posted February 28, 2017
Issue #17 - posted March 7, 2017
Issue #18 - posted March 14, 2017
Issue #19 - posted March 21, 2017
Issue #20 - posted March 28, 2017
Issue #21 - posted April 5, 2017
Issue #22 - posted April 11, 2017
Issue #23 - posted April 18, 2017
Issue #24 - posted April 25, 2017
Issue #25 - posted May 2, 2017
Issue #26 - posted May 9, 2017
Issue #27 - posted May 16, 2017
Issue #28 - posted May 23, 2017
Issue #29 - posted May 30, 2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Of Unicorn Budgets and Rats Fleeing Sinking Ships - Trump Blog #29

The President's budget is a Republican douche bag wet dream. It contains huge tax cuts for the very rich while hurting everyone else and devastating the poor. Balanced budget? ... that will be delivered by unicorns with Bernie Madoff style accounting techniques and Jedi mind tricks. Not much that looks like reality in it. Luckily it will die quickly.

And now, his first international trip was a success ... mostly because he only embarrassed us a little bit. Well, maybe not a little bit, maybe less than we expected. The bar is low and getting lower. As if you didn't see this yet, here is a video of our leading pushing aside the prime minister of Montenegro to get to the front of a photo op.  No class!



5/24/17 - Trump's staff was woefully unprepared for this trip to the Middle East and the Vatican. (Source: Washington Post)

5/25/17 - The Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) report on the latest changes to Trumpcare are in. It is still awful. Now only 23 million Americans would lose their health care as opposed to 24 million from the older version.  The states it would badly affect the most, the red states (aka state that voted for Trump). (Source: Washington Post)

5/26/17 - Trump wants Germany to stop selling so many cars here in the US, even though the cars they sell here are manufactured here. (Source: Slate)

5/27/17 - Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, established a secret communications channel with the Russian ambassador in December to discuss the Syria civil war and other policy issues. The big question is, if that is all they were talking about, then why was the channel developed in secret? (Source: New York Times)

5/28/17 - Trump was chummy with Middle Easterners on his first trip abroad, but he was less successful with our oldest allies in Europe. So much so that German Chancellor Merkel stated that they could no longer rely on America anymore. (Source: Washington Post)

5/29/17 - The president wants us to believe two contradictory statements: (1) when a leak comes out of the White House, it isn't real and the report is "fake news," and (2) he is doing whatever can be done to stop the leaks (remember the ones that don't exist). (Source: Washington Post)

5/30/17 - Not only is Trump's administration understaffed, but it is getting thinner as major staffers resign. His communications director, Dubke, just resigned. Here come the rats fleeing the sinking ship. (Source: Washington Post)

Prior Trump Logs:
Issue # 1 - posted November 15th, 2016
Issue # 2 - posted November 22nd, 2016
Issue # 3 - posted November 29th, 2016
Issue # 4 - posted December 6, 2016
Issue # 5 - posted December 12, 2016
Issue # 6 - posted December 19, 2016
Issue # 7 - posted December 26, 2016
Issue # 8 - posted January 3, 2017
Issue # 9 - posted January 10, 2017
Issue #10 - posted January 17, 2017
Issue #11 - posted January 24, 2017
Issue #12 - posted January 31, 2017
Issue #13 - posted February 7, 2017
Issue #14 - posted February 14, 2017
Issue #15 - posted February 21, 2017
Issue #16 - posted February 28, 2017
Issue #17 - posted March 7, 2017
Issue #18 - posted March 14, 2017
Issue #19 - posted March 21, 2017
Issue #20 - posted March 28, 2017
Issue #21 - posted April 5, 2017
Issue #22 - posted April 11, 2017
Issue #23 - posted April 18, 2017
Issue #24 - posted April 25, 2017
Issue #25 - posted May 2, 2017
Issue #26 - posted May 9, 2017
Issue #27 - posted May 16, 2017
Issue #28 - posted May 23, 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Slow March Toward Impeachment: Trump Log #28

We do seem to be on a road to impeachment of our President. We must remember for a president to be removed from office, not only does he need to be found guilty by the House of Representative, but the Senate as well. We have had two presidents that have been impeached by the House, Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson, but both of them were acquitted by the Senate and finished their term as president. With both Houses of Congress being the same party as the president, the evidence against him will have to be overwhelming and it will have to be up to us, the people, to urge our representatives to remove him. It is hard to believe that this will happen until after the mid-terms, but we can dream. Can we not?

5/17/17 - In Comey's memos of his private meetings with the president, it was revealed that not only did the president ask him to drop the Flynn investigation but Trump asked him to consider putting journalists in jail. (Source: New York Times)

5/18/17 - Flynn told Trump's transition team, before the inauguration, that he was already under investigation by the FBI for secretly lobbying Turkey during the election. (Source: New York Times)

5/19/17 - We have had White Houses reeking with scandal in the past, but all of them have been fully staffed. Trump's administration isn't even close to fully staffed with some major high and mid-level positions unfilled.  Who wants to join an administration that is sinking?  (Source: New York Times)

5/20/17 - Trump is driving up insurance rates and blaming Obamacare. (Source: LA Times)

5/21/17 - Under Trump's budget, federal employees would get a very tiny raise, but would take a really big hit on their retirement programs. (Source: Washington Post)

5/22/17 - Trump's budget will devastate the poor. It will cut spending on the social safety net by $1 trillion over the next ten years including cuts to CHIP, Medicaid and food assistance. (Source: Washington Post)

5/23/17 - In March, Trump urged two intelligence directors to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. Both of them refused to comply. (Source: Washington Post)

Prior Trump Logs:
Issue # 1 - posted November 15th, 2016
Issue # 2 - posted November 22nd, 2016
Issue # 3 - posted November 29th, 2016
Issue # 4 - posted December 6, 2016
Issue # 5 - posted December 12, 2016
Issue # 6 - posted December 19, 2016
Issue # 7 - posted December 26, 2016
Issue # 8 - posted January 3, 2017
Issue # 9 - posted January 10, 2017
Issue #10 - posted January 17, 2017
Issue #11 - posted January 24, 2017
Issue #12 - posted January 31, 2017
Issue #13 - posted February 7, 2017
Issue #14 - posted February 14, 2017
Issue #15 - posted February 21, 2017
Issue #16 - posted February 28, 2017
Issue #17 - posted March 7, 2017
Issue #18 - posted March 14, 2017
Issue #19 - posted March 21, 2017
Issue #20 - posted March 28, 2017
Issue #21 - posted April 5, 2017
Issue #22 - posted April 11, 2017
Issue #23 - posted April 18, 2017
Issue #24 - posted April 25, 2017
Issue #25 - posted May 2, 2017
Issue #26 - posted May 9, 2017
Issue #27 - posted May 16, 2017

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The War on Science ... From the Left

I've considered myself a liberal most of my adult life. As soon as I knew the difference, I have leaned left. Most of the stuff I see going on with the right wing of American politics is difficult to take, stomach or comprehend. The right wing assault on science, in the forms of creationism or climate change denial, is particularly alarming. But I find this far more alarming when the assault on science comes from the left. The idea that the progressive left is the friend to science is a myth. Many of them are as anti-science as the conservatives and an argument could be made that they have been more effective in squashing science because they do it from within (as teachers, bloggers or journalists) as opposed from above (politicians and businessmen).

1) Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs) are safe. Here in Vermont genetically modified foods have to be labeled even though there is no proof that they are dangerous in any way. Labeling it is harmless and, I guess, people have a right to know what is in their food, but many people assume that it must be bad if it is labeled. My friends on the left often refer to it as "franken-food," yet genetically modifying food has been going on for thousands of years by selective breeding. The strawberries you buy in the supermarket look and taste nothing like wild strawberries. Now that we do such selective breeding in a laboratory by altering plants on a genetic level, it is scary to some. It is a common trope among my liberal friends that anything natural is safe and mad-made is not, but there is no science behind this. Because GMOs are still reasonable new, research continues. If you don't eat them because you think that they need more research that is fair. But to outright claim that they are dangerous is pure conjecture and not science, and sometimes it is just paranoia.

2) Vaccines don't cause autism and are overwhelmingly safe. In all, vaccines have brought seven major human diseases under some degree of control: smallpox, diphtheria, tetanus, yellow fever, whopping cough, polio and measles. They have saved millions of lives. In 1998 a study was published in Great Britain that claimed a link between autism and vaccinations. It involved only 12 children and not only contained falsified data but severe conflicts of interest. It has been discredited and its main author lost his license, but this idea is still around and endorsed by some very famous people, most of them on the left. In 2017 already, ten states have reported measles outbreaks with over 60 deaths. The majority of the people affected were unvaccinated. The measles vaccine is not 100% effective, so some vaccinated will die if they are surrounded by the unvaccinated. Even as the evidence of vaccine safety piles up, so does the number of non-vaccinated. According to a number of articles I have read in the Washington Post and Mother Jones, this belief isn't higher among liberals but has broad belief across the political spectrum. I find this hard to believe. This week alone, I have had seen three of my friends on Facebook post something stupid about vaccines. So perhaps it is just me. I've never see any such thing from anyone that I'd consider conservative. Creationism and global warming denying yes, but my conservative friends have vaccinated all their children.

There was once a time in this country where the American university was a bastion of free speech. This time is over. When places like Middlebury College (here in Vermont) or UC Berkley erupt in violence over speakers visiting, we have to start asking the question: Is the left any better than the right? We used to be the adults in the room!  You don't fight bad ideas by squashing speech. You fight bad ideas with good ideas. If there is bad science in Charles Murray's "The Bell Curve," you prove it with good science.

If you only listen to speech that you agree with, then you are just guilty of confirmation bias as an anti-vaxer or global warming denier that scours the Internet looking for articles that justifies their beliefs. Liberals are supposed to know better. Having an open mind means letting it all in (within reason), evaluating, culling ... embracing the good stuff and rejecting the bad ... repeat repeat repeat.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Loyalty Over Honesty - Trump Log #27

In the early days of Trump's presidency he met with James Comey, then head of the FBI, in a private dinner. He asked Comey if he had his loyalty. Comey responded that he had his "honesty." A few minutes went by and Trump asked the same question and Comey responded with the same answer. Eventually, he got Comey to pledge "honest loyalty." I am not sure what that is other than someone diplomatically saying that he agrees that they disagree. (Source: New York Times)

Every president must grapple with this to some extent. It is obvious that Trump is all in on loyalty and doesn't give two shits about honesty. He will reward loyalty. He will fire honesty. So expect more lies, more smoke screens and more covering of the president's ass.

Trump Log:
5/10/17 - The big news of the day was the firing of FBI director James Comey. No one believes for a minute the reason Trump gives for doing so.  FBI directors usually stay in their position for ten year stints and then leave quietly. Only once, before now, has a director left early. (Source: New York Times)

5/11/17 - Our president doesn't like the American press, but apparently the Russian press is okay. In his first meeting with a top Russian official, he allowed the Russian press into a closed door session, but not the American press. This happened shortly after he fired Comey who was investigating the Russian tampering of the election. (Source: New York Times)

5/12/17 - Trump threatens to cancel Whitehouse briefings because his staff isn't capable of telling the truth. No, this is a not an Onion story or any other satire publication. It is real. (Source: Washington Post)

5/13/17 - Trump publicly threatens Comey on Twitter. Not that we expect him to act presidential, but it would be nice at some point. (Source: PBS)

5/14/17 - For years China has denied Trump several score of trademarks. Trump changed his mind on China's Taiwan policy and his trademark were approved shortly there after. Is anyone ever going to call him on the emolument clause in the Constitution? (Source: New York Times)

5/15/17 - You want to manipulate the President, just pass him some fake news. That'll do it. (Source: Politico).

5/16/17 - During his meeting with Russian diplomats earlier this week, Trump leaks some pretty serious classified information to the Russians on a whim. This was information provided by a Middle Eastern ally in confidence. What he did is not illegal but it is certainly questionable. In the future, if our allies cannot trust our presidents with vital information, then why would they share any information with us. As Trump said on the campaign trail: "We can't have someone in the Oval Office who doesn't understand the word confidential or classified." (Source: Washington Post)

Prior Trump Logs:
Issue # 1 - posted November 15th, 2016
Issue # 2 - posted November 22nd, 2016
Issue # 3 - posted November 29th, 2016
Issue # 4 - posted December 6, 2016
Issue # 5 - posted December 12, 2016
Issue # 6 - posted December 19, 2016
Issue # 7 - posted December 26, 2016
Issue # 8 - posted January 3, 2017
Issue # 9 - posted January 10, 2017
Issue #10 - posted January 17, 2017
Issue #11 - posted January 24, 2017
Issue #12 - posted January 31, 2017
Issue #13 - posted February 7, 2017
Issue #14 - posted February 14, 2017
Issue #15 - posted February 21, 2017
Issue #16 - posted February 28, 2017
Issue #17 - posted March 7, 2017
Issue #18 - posted March 14, 2017
Issue #19 - posted March 21, 2017
Issue #20 - posted March 28, 2017
Issue #21 - posted April 5, 2017
Issue #22 - posted April 11, 2017
Issue #23 - posted April 18, 2017
Issue #24 - posted April 25, 2017
Issue #25 - posted May 2, 2017
Issue #26 - posted May 9, 2017