Monday, March 27, 2017

Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon are now the President

Ivanka's husband Jared has been given Presidential responsibility for Everything -- and he shares an office with Steve Bannon. This is Trump's great plan for carrying out his promise "I am the only one who can fix it." 

Donald is already tired of the work involved with being President. Jared and Steve will be running the country (into the ground) while the Psychopathic Liar/Narcissist plays golf every day. Donald will take credit for everything Jared and Steve do that he thinks is "good," and he will blame Jared for anything that doesn't turn out well (for Donald).  Steve Bannon will never be blamed for anything, because he has the brains and gives direction to his puppets Donald and Jared, so his Alt. right plans to upend the entire government can be carried out.   

The president of the United States has a very difficult job, and in recent weeks we've all been given to wonder whether President Donald Trump really wants to do it. Last week, Trump's first big legislative initiative ― the American Health Care Act ― foundered, partially due to the fact that the president abruptly stopped trying to facilitate negotiations with members of Congress. Over the latter half of Thursday, we went from House Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) extolling Trump's efforts, to Trump suddenly bailing on the effort and demanding a Friday resolution to the matter ― which all but guaranteed it wouldn't be resolved to anyone's satisfaction.

But over the weekend, the president's philosophy on running the country suddenly became more clear. Trump wants to get a lot of work done, he just wants his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to do it.

As the Washington Post's Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker reported on Sunday, Kushner has been tapped to run an entirely new office with the "sweeping authority to overhaul the federal bureaucracy and fulfill key campaign promises ― such as reforming care for veterans and fighting opioid addiction."

Okay, but let's cast our minds back to Jan. 9, when the same newspaper reported this:

Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President-elect Donald Trump and one of his closest confidants, will join the White House as a senior adviser to the president, Trump announced Monday, while a lawyer assisting the family said that Kushner's wife, Ivanka Trump, will not immediately take on a formal role.

Kushner, who will not take a salary, is expected to have a broad portfolio that includes government operations, trade deals and Middle East policy, according to a member of Trump's transition team. In a statement, the transition office said Kushner would work closely with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon to execute Trump's agenda.

Trump said he wanted to explore the possibilities for making what he has called "the ultimate deal," a peace pact between Israel and the Palestinians. He is deploying his son-in-law — and now senior adviser on the Middle East — Jared Kushner to the task.

So, if you're keeping track, Jared Kushner, who comes to Washington with no government experience, no policy experience, no diplomatic experience, and business experience limited to his family's real estate development firm, a brief stint as a newspaper publisher, and briefly bidding to acquire the Los Angeles Dodgers, will be working on trade, Middle East policy in general, an Israel-Palestine peace deal more specifically, reforming the Veterans Administration, and solving the opioid crisis.

Oh wait, that's not all! Apparently, this new office will also be responsible for "modernizing the technology and data infrastructure of every federal department and agency; remodeling workforce-training programs; and developing "transformative projects" under the banner of Trump's $1 trillion infrastructure plan, such as providing broadband internet service to every American."

We have certainly come a long way from "I alone can fix it."

How is Jared Kushner going to do all of these things? Simply "modernizing the technology and data infrastructure of every federal department and agency" is an enormous undertaking. In the United Kingdom, they had to create a whole new cabinet agency just to surmount that challenge. It would be great if Kushner would simply work on that one thing, or any one of these things. Instead, Kushner has now basically been saddled with several full-time jobs, in which he is responsible for fulfilling many, if not all, of his father-in-law's campaign promises.

Just imagine what Kushner's daily schedule is going to be like:

9:00-9:30: "Fox and Friends" debrief.

9:30-10:00: Provide broadband internet service to entire nation.

10:00-11:00: Stop working on providing broadband internet service to entire nation to focus on just providing it to entire government first.

11:00-11:30: Elevensies.

11:30-1:00: Working lunch to solve the intractable Israel-Palestine peace process that adults in government have been working on to no avail for decades.

1:00-1:30: What do you mean there are other places in the Middle East that need tending to? FFS, people, I can't possibly do everything!

1:30-2:00: Daily "I can't possibly do everything" meeting with POTUS. POTUS reminds Kushner that the AHCA went down because he was off in Aspen, skiing.

2:00-2:15: Cancel all skiing vacations for the foreseeable future.

2:15-2:30: Search for another samovar of coffee to push through the rest of the afternoon.

2:30-3:30: Develop one "transformative project for America under the banner of Trump's $1 billion infrastructure program."

3:30-3:45: Meeting with POTUS to discuss "transformative project." POTUS says there is still something missing.


4:15-4:30: Trump's name added to transformative project. POTUS signs off.

4:30-4:45: A brief wander through the White House. How did it come to this? Didn't life used to be so much simpler? I could have done anything. I really would have liked to own the Dodgers. Oh, man, the crack of bat, fists pounding on leather, the scents of an afternoon ballgame? Heaven is a patch of well-manicured grass, the cheers of the crowd, fathers in the upper decks teaching their freckle-faced kids how to score the game, and nothing but the expanse of a hazy Southern California afternoon ahead of you. That should have been me. That's what I was meant to do. How did I end up here? I only vaguely remember: My name, shouted in a certain dawn … a message … a summons … There must have been a moment, at the beginning, where I could have said – no. But somehow, I missed it.

4:45-6:00: Fix the VA system, the opioid crisis, streamline government, and maybe do some trade stuff?

6:00: Fifteen hours of weeping.

Oh, hey, I nearly forgot: For the time being, Kushner is going to be wrapped up in the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation into "ties between Trump associates and Russian officials or others linked to the Kremlin," so that's going to cut into a lot of these activities.

Now, the good news, if you're Kushner, is that this latest thing he'll be tapped to run may as well be called "the Office of Farming Out All This Work To Other People." The Washington Post describes this agency as one that will "harvest ideas from the business world and, potentially, [privatize] some government functions." (If you hate the VA hospital system now, just wait until it has a fiduciary responsibility to turn a profit for shareholders!)

Parker and Rucker report that this arrangement is "viewed internally as a SWAT team of strategic consultants" and is "designed to infuse fresh thinking into Washington," which is what I thought Trump was going to do himself.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Robert Reich: Telling Paul Ryan the way it really is

No, Paul, It Wasn't Because of "Growing Pains"

by Robert Reich | March 26, 2017

— from Robert Reich's Blog

House Speaker Paul Ryan, in his press conference following the demise of his bill to replace Obamacare, blamed Republicans who had failed to grasp that the GOP was now a "governing party."

"We were a 10-year opposition party, where being against things was easy to do," said Ryan. "You just had to be against it. Now, in three months' time, we tried to go to a governing party where we actually had to get 216 people to agree with each other on how we do things."

It was, he said, "the growing pains of government."


Apparently Ryan doesn't grasp that he put forward a terrible bill to begin with. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, it would have resulted in 24 million Americans losing health coverage over the next decade, hardly make a dent in the federal debt, and transfer over $600 billion to the wealthiest members of American society.

The so-called "Freedom Caucus" of House Republicans, who refused to go along with the bill, wanted it even worse. Essentially, their goal (and that of their fat-cat patrons) was to repeal the Affordable Care Act without replacing it at all.

Ryan is correct about one thing. Congress is in the hands of Republicans who for years have only said "no." They have become expert at stopping whatever a president wants to do but they don't have a clue how to initiate policy.

Most of the current Republican House members have not shared responsibility for governing the nation. They have never even passed a budget into law.

But their real problem isn't the "growing pains" of being out of power. In reality, the Republicans who now control the House – as well as the Senate – don't like government. They're temperamentally and ideologically oriented to opposing it, not leading it.

Their chronic incapacity to govern didn't reveal itself as long as a Democrat was in the White House. They let President Obama try to govern, and pretended that their opposition was based on a different philosophy governing.

Now that they have a Republican president, they can no longer hide. They have no philosophy of governing at all.

Sadly for them – and for the rest of the country, and the world – the person they supported in the election of 2016 and who is now president is an unhinged narcissistic child who tweets absurd lies and holds rallies to prop up his fragile ego.

His conflicts of financial interest are legion. His entire presidency is under a "gray cloud" of suspicion for colluding with Russian agents to win office.

Here's a man who's advised by his daughter, his son-in-law, and an oddball who once ran a white supremacist fake-news outlet.

His Cabinet is an assortment of billionaires, CEOs, veterans of Wall Street, and ideologues, none of whom has any idea about how to govern and most of whom don't believe in the laws their departments are in charge of implementing, anyway.

Meanwhile, he has downgraded or eviscerated groups of professionals responsible for giving presidents professional advice on foreign policy, foreign intelligence, economics, science, and domestic policy.

He gets most of what he learns from television.

So we have a congress with no capacity to govern, and a president who's incapable of governing.

Which leaves the most powerful nation in the world rudderless.

The country on whom much of the rest of the world relies for organizing and mobilizing responses to the major challenges facing humankind is leaderless.

It is of course possible that Republicans in congress will learn to take responsibility for governing. It is possible that Donald Trump will learn to lead. It is possible that pigs will learn to fly.

But such things seem doubtful. Instead, America and the rest of the world must hold our collective breath, hoping that the next elections – the midterms of 2018 and then the presidential election of 2020 – set things right. And hoping that in the meantime nothing irrevocably awful occurs.


Saturday, March 25, 2017

BEST article today: Gibberish is the White House's New Normal

Gibberish Is the White House's New Normal

by Todd Gitlin | March 25, 2017 - 5:38am

— from Moyers & Company

Once upon a time, there were presidents for whom English seemed their native language. Barack Obama most recently. He deliberated. At a press conference or in an interview — just about whenever he wasn't speaking from a text — his pauses were as common as other people's "uh's." He was not pausing because his vocabulary was impoverished. He was pausing to put words into sequence. He was putting phrases together with care, word by word, trying out words before uttering them, checking to feel out what they would sound like once uttered. It was important to him to words in order because he did not want to be misunderstood. That president valued precision, in no small part because he knew he lived in a world where every last presidential word was a speech act, a declaration with consequence, so that the very statement that the sky was blue, say, would be scoured for evidence that the president was declaring a policy on the nature of nature.

That was then. Now we have a president who, when he speaks, spatters the air with unfinished chunks, many of which do not qualify as sentences, and which do not follow from previous chunks. He does not release words into a stream of consciousness but into a heap. He heaps words on top of words, to overwhelm meaning with vague gestures. He does not think, he lurches.

Here are some examples from TIME's transcript of their cover story made out of their phone interview with the president of the United States. I have italicized the non sequiturs, incomplete propositions, indefinite pronouns and other obscurities that amount to verbal mud.

Scherer: So you don't feel like Comey's testimony in any way takes away from the credibility of the tweets you put out, even with the quotes?

Trump: No, I have, look. I have articles saying it happened. But you have to take a look at what they, they just went out at a news conference.

Scherer: Mitch McConnell has said he'd rather you stop tweeting, that he sees it as a distraction.

Trump: Mitch will speak for himself. Mitch is a wonderful man. Mitch should speak for himself.

Trump: Now the problem, the thing is, I'm not sure they are watching anything other than that, let's see members of Donald Trump transition team, possibly, oh this just came out.

Trump: I took a lot of heat when I said Brexit was going to pass. Don't forget, Obama said that UK will go to the back of the line, and I talked about Sweden, and may have been somewhat different, but the following day, two days later, they had a massive riot in Sweden, exactly what I was talking about, I was right about that.

Trump: And then TIME magazine, which treats me horribly, but obviously I sell, I assume this is going to be a cover too, have I set the record? I guess, right? Covers, nobody's had more covers.

Trump: But the real story here is, who released Gen. Flynn's name? Who released, who released my conversations with Australia, and who released my conversation with Mexico? To me, Michael, that's the story, these leakers, they are disgusting. These are horrible people.

Scherer: And apparently there is an investigation into that as well.

Trump: Well should be, because that's where the whole, who would think that you are speaking to the head of Mexico, the head of Australia, or Gen. Flynn, who was, they are not supposed to release that. That is the most confidential stuff. Classified. That's classified. You go to prison when you release stuff like that. And who would release that? The real story is, they have to work, intelligence has to work on finding out who are the leakers. Because you know what? When things get involved with North Korea and all the problems we have there, in the Middle East, I mean, that information cannot be leaked out, and it will be by this, this same, and these people were here in the Obama years, because he had plenty of leakers also.

Trump: I inherited a mess in the Middle East, and a mess with North Korea, I inherited a mess with jobs, despite the statistics, you know, my statistics are even better, but they are not the real statistics because you have millions of people that can't get a job, OK. And I inherited a mess on trade. I mean we have many, you can go up and down the ladder. But that's the story. Hey look, in the meantime, I guess, I can't be doing so badly, because I'm president, and you're not. You know. Say hello to everybody, OK?

So it goes.

Now, TIME's cover headline for this mishmash is pointed as well as clever: "Is Truth Dead?" — clever, at any rate, in the eyes of readers old enough to remember the 1966 prototype: "Is God Dead?" A still more pointed treatment is that of Ellie Shechet at the feminist website Jezebel — a redaction, or what be called reporting by subtraction. In the words of headline, "We Redacted Everything That's Not a Verifiably True Statement From Trump's Time Interview About Truth." Unsurprisingly, Jezebel ended up having to edit the transcript so that the passages blacked out were lengthier than the words left in.

But the problem is not just that Trump lies, or that he lies about having lied. The problem is not just that he distracts — for example, changing the subject from his entanglements with Russians to the leakers who leak stories about his entanglements with Russians. The problem is that he insinuates more than he argues. He disdains not only evidence but logic. He asserts by indirection. This is bubble-think. It makes a sort of sense only if you're trapped in the bubble with him.

What explains this? Is Donald Trump the heir of generations of avant-garde poetry?

Probably not. What's more likely is that he is deranged. It is a peculiar sort of derangement. It is the derangement of a man who is used to getting what he wants, and arranging his mental universe so as to convince himself that what he has gotten is what he wanted. His operating theory is that he makes things so because he is powerful. His power is such that he is not subject to laws of ordinary grammar.

These bursts of speech are like the announcements that shriek "TRUMP" from the walls of many of his hotels. They do not signify ownership. They signify…something. Whatever. They add up to a haze of indefinite implication. They constitute, in our contemporary discourse, a brand. They signify that Trump has something to do with this building. Something. If you're privy to the code, you know that there's a licensing arrangement. Trump has been paid to grant the use of his name. If you think it's a good thing to be associated with his name, then he has some water, some steaks, some vodka — even a "university" — to offer you.

Trump has moved the sign system of modern capitalism toward a whole new capitalist art form — the free-floating name that describes nothing. Trump has peeled language away from meaning.

He has brought to fruition the title of the 1984 Talking Heads album: Stop Making Sense. His regime is a nonstop exercise of "Let's Pretend."

His con game requires the bending of millions of knees. Americans are invited to willingly suspend disbelief, play dumb and collude in his cynicism. We agree not to notice the nonstop gibberish that spreads from the Oval Office outward. We agree to brag about our democracy when the president of the United States is responsible neither to logic, nor to evidence, nor to the American people, nor to the English language. We are expected to live in an alternative universe which is not only post-truth but altogether post-language and post-meaning. Any journalist, any talking head, any pundit, any commentator, any politician who pretends that Donald Trump makes sense has volunteered to go to work in the tailor shop where his invisible clothes are weaved.

ABOUT AUTHORTodd Gitlin is a professor of journalism and sociology and chair of the Ph.D. program in communications at Columbia University. He is the author of sixteen books, including several on journalism and politics. His next book is a novel, The Opposition. Follow him on Twitter: @toddgitlin.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Finally -- a Big Pharma remedy for us all (except Trump supporters): IMPEACHARA

You have GOT to watch this!  I want to rush out and buy tons of this drug!!!!  Pass it along to your friends. The whole world needs this medicine!!!!


Monday, March 13, 2017

Interesting: 10,000 year-old rock paintings in India depict possible extraterrestrials & UFOs

Short Video shows clear images of them at:

10,000-year-old rock paintings depicting possible extraterrestrials and UFOs found in India

Over the centuries, there have also been artistic depictions of what appear to be spacecrafts from the familiar "flying saucer" UFO shapes to winged craft that look more like modern fighter jets or the space shuttle - found in paintings, drawings and even prehistoric cave paintings and rock art...

By Daniel Barker | Read the full story


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Americans needed a common enemy to reunify -- Trump and the GOP imbecilic malice/madness has provided one

EXCERPT: This astonishing, heartwarming development of unity — which we're also witnessing throughout the republic, from mass protests to popular opinion polling to now-adamantly anti-GOP professional organizations — required less than three months of Republican "governance." Give the latter four more agonizing years and "movement conservatism," along with Trumpism, will be but a bad, unseated memory.

To re-unify, Americans needed a common enemy — and brother, have they ever run into one.

The GOP's miraculous blessing: wholesale opposition to it


by P.M. Carpenter | March 11, 2017 

Pretty much all of us knew that, once in control of the House, the Senate and the White House, Republicans would make a colossal hash of healthcare reform. Opposition, vilification and demagoguery are not only their political specialties, they've become the heart and soul of a party dedicated only to malice. And Republicans can't push positive reforms from that.

Nonetheless, mirabile dictu, a positive reform — a vastly positive development — is taking place; in fact it is sweeping the nation. Republicans' utter incompetence in even attempting healthcare reform is uniting Americans in an almost a 1941 kind of way. For some time we suspected a calamitous strike was coming from the imperious right, we just didn't know precisely how, when, or where. Republicans' surprisingly imbecilic attack of March 2017 has constituted its days of infamy, however, which shall linger in American memory (till at least 2018, one hopes).

A microcosm of the aforementioned positive, unifying development is that Paul Krugman and David Brooks are leaping, philosophically, ever closer together. Their columns this morning are essentially interchangeable.

One of them observes that "The Republican plan will fuel cynicism. It's being pushed through in an elitist, anti-democratic, middle of the night rush. It seems purposely designed to fail. The penalties for those who don't purchase insurance are so low they seem sure to guarantee Republican-caused death spirals in the weaker markets."

The other columnist observes that "There are real conservative policy experts, but the party doesn't want them, perhaps because their very competence makes them ideologically unreliable."

The first-quoted columnist adds: "If you are pro-market, you have to be pro-state. You can come up with innovative ways to deliver state services, like affordable health care, but you can't just leave people on their own."

I shan't make you look them up, to see which is which. The cynicism-observing pro-stater is … David Brooks. He's as disgusted with the GOP's refusal to listen to "ideologically unreliable … conservative policy experts" as Paul Krugman is. These two NYT columnists have been feuding philosophically for years, but congressional Republicans and what Brooks calls the "authoritarian thuggery" of Donald Trump have, at last, brought them together.

This astonishing, heartwarming development of unity — which we're also witnessing throughout the republic, from mass protests to popular opinion polling to now-adamantly anti-GOP professional organizations — required less than three months of Republican "governance." Give the latter four more agonizing years and "movement conservatism," along with Trumpism, will be but a bad, unseated memory.

To re-unify, Americans needed a common enemy — and brother, have they ever run into one.


Robert Reich: Trump's War on the Truth Tellers

Robert Reich's analysis, as always, is completely accurate.  My own opinion is in red type at the end)
Trump's War on the Truth Tellers
by Robert Reich | March 11, 2017

— from Robert Reich's Blog

A normal president and a normal White House respond to facts or arguments they disagree with other verifiable facts and arguments that make their case.

But Trump and his White House don't argue on the merits. They attack the credibility of the institutions that come up with inconvenient facts and arguments.

They even do it preemptively. Last Thursday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer warned the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office couldn't be trusted to come up with accurate numbers about the costs and coverage of the Republican's replacement for the Affordable Care Act.

"If you're looking at the CBO for accuracy, you're looking in the wrong place," he said.

Bear in mind the director of the CBO is a Republican economist and former George W. Bush administration official who was chosen for his position by the Republican Congress in 2015.

Attacking the credibility of an institution that delivers unwelcome data has a long-term cost: It undermines the capacity of that institution to function in the future.

For more than four decades the U.S. budget process has depended on the CBO's analyses and forecasts. Under both Republican and Democratic appointees, it's gained a reputation for honesty. The trumped-up attack will make it less able to do its work in the future.

This has been Trump's MO.

When as a candidate Trump didn't like the positive jobs numbers emanating from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, what did he do? He called the official unemployment rate "such a phony number," "one of the biggest hoaxes in American modern politics" and "the biggest joke there is."

It's possible to take issue with the ways the Bureau of Labor Statistics measures unemployment, but why undermine public trust in the Bureau itself?

Spicer has tried to wrap Trump's institutional attacks in populist garb: "I think [Trump] addressed that in his inaugural speech when he talked about shifting power outside of Washington D.C. back to the American people because for too long it's been about stats … and it's been about, what number are we looking at as opposed to what face are we looking at?"

Rubbish. By all means consider real people, real faces, real problems. But the only way we're going to understand the true dimensions of problems real people face is with data about them from sources the public trusts.

If the public stops believing those sources are reliable, where else can it look? Presumably, only Trump himself.

On a few notable occasions the intelligence agencies at times have been notoriously wrong but over the long haul they've been competent and professional – and a president and the American public need their assessments.  

So when Trump sends out disparaging tweets with "intelligence" in quotation marks and blames the intelligence agencies for the downfall of his first national security advisor, he's impairing the ability of these agencies to do their jobs in the future.

When he labels a member of the judiciary who stopped his original travel ban a "so-called judge," and attacks the appellate judges who uphold the stay as a judicial system "so political" it's not "able to read a statement and do what's right," Trump isn't just disputing their specific findings. He's calling into question the legitimacy of the judicial branch of government.

When the press disputes Trump's claims – that millions attended his inauguration, he won by a landslide, the election was marred by massive voter fraud, undocumented immigrants account for a disproportionate number of crimes – he doesn't respond with data to back up his assertions.

Instead he calls the press "the enemy of the American people," "dishonest," purveyors of "fake news," and "the opposition party," and he questions their motives (they "have their own agenda, and it's not your agenda, and it's not the country's agenda.")

When pollsters show Trump has a low approval rating, he doesn't say he expects the rating to improve. He attacks the pollsters, asserting "any negative polls are fake news."

When scientists come up with conclusion he disagrees with, he doesn't offer other sources of scientific data. He attacks science.

Trump thinks climate change is a hoax. His new head of the Environmental Protection Agency said last Wednesday that climate change isn't caused by human activity.

What does the Trump administration do? It tells EPA staffers to remove pages from the EPA's website concerning climate change, and threatens to review all the agency's data and publications, and cuts the budgets of all scientific research in government.

Trump and his administration aren't just telling big lies. They're also waging war on the institutions we depend on as sources of truth.

In so doing, they're undermining the basic building blocks of American democracy.

Shame on them.  This administration will go down in historical infamy.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Fwd: Words to the Wise from the book The Deep State

All of the following sentences in black type are taken from the book entitled The Deep State by Mike Lofgren (well worth reading for truth seekers):  

"The real fear of the GOP establishment was not that Trump was 'not a conservative,' as they claimed.  It was that he was unmasking precisely what they were desperate to keep hidden: that the Republican Party was no longer, if it ever had been, the principled defender of small-government conservatism and the Constitution, but merely a tax-avoidance lobby for the one percent pretending to be a mass party.  This was an agenda that the GOP tried for decades to make more acceptable to the non-rich by using coded language that spoke to their racial and cultural anxieties.  Trump's expletive-laden appeals to open hatred were the crudest possible caricature of the subliminal messaging the GOP had perfected. He was giving their whole game away."  

As time went on, they began to see Trump's value to achieving their agenda by taking advantage of the fears of the Tea Party types. "While Trump--a Vietnam-era draft avoider who appeared not even to know what the nuclear triad was--could hardly be considered a product of the national security sector of the Deep State, his demagogic skills and authoritarian demeanor placed him in a far better position than his rivals to exploit the national neurosis created by the war on terror."

At first, the GOP leaders were very worried about Trump upsetting their plans for the already-chosen pick of the establishment, Jeb Bush.  As the book says, they feared Trump's giving away their real agenda to continue big gains for the rich on the backs of the poor.  But they hadn't counted on the willingness of the ignorant racist-types in the low consciousness ranks of Republican voters to welcome the candidacy of a Trump and his outspoken blustery anti-"others" B.S. that sounded just like their own white-supremacy beliefs. "Finally," they thought, "we have a candidate who tells us what we want to hear. Barack Obama, that black bastard who sneaked his way into our White House, is a Muslim who was born in Kenya and is not even eligible to be the President of our white, Christian homeland." Without any proof of Trump's attacks against Obama -- even with actual factual proof in the form of Obama's birth certificate showing he had been born in Hawaii, plus the birth announcement that had appeared in the local papers on the day of his birth -- the Tea Party types were convinced that the lies Trump kept telling them were the truth. But so entrenched are they in racist hatred, even when Trump finally was forced to admit the truth that Obama was born in the U.S., the Tea Partiers still continue to rant and believe the lies. 

And now that they have the President they so enthusiastically voted for, they are still cheering him on in his ever-more-blatant lies on any subject that crosses his mind to blurt out in his daily tweets.  Never mind that their own eyes can tell them the exact opposite of what he is saying -- all they have to do is look (i.e., his claims that the crowds at his inauguration were larger than at Obama's -- and on and on with other such nonsensical balderdash that he spews out every day). The Trump supporters are living proof of the P.T. Barnum quote: You can fool some of the people ALL of the time.


Monday, March 06, 2017

Important to know: The Shadow Govt. vs. Trump

There is so much we don't know about the "deep state" shadow government. This article only scratches the surface, not even mentioning UFOs and all the govt. intrigue entailed in that long-covered-up story. On and on we the people go, trying to make heads or tails about what is really going on in the shadowy realms of our government. 

To those who are beginning to get curious about where the trail leads, the following essay gives us a good start toward discovering the truth.  I guess you could say Trump, by his paranoid erratic behavior, is performing a service to our world by being the catalyst, calling attention to and revealing the deep state and some of the secrets that have been kept hidden from us for so long, through so many Presidential administrations run by the "big boys."  Mike Lofgren's book, THE DEEP STATE: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government provides more detailed information for those who are interested in getting some real truth instead of the falsehoods we have been told for many decades.

The Deep State vs. President Trump

by Gary Olson | March 6, 2017,

Corporate media like CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and elements within the intelligence community are singing from the same hymnal in denouncing and demonizing President Trump and are not at all subtle in suggesting that only impeachment can "save democracy." Democratic Party leaders hope to parley this into retaking the White House.

To be sure, Trump is a neo-fascist demagogue and his actions should be resisted at every step. However, this is not what's motivating most of these critics. To understand why that's the case, I highly recommend Mike Lofgren's book, THE DEEP STATE: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government (NY: Penguin, 2016). Lofgren began his Capital Hill career as a traditional Republican, serving three decades as a high level staff analyst for the House and Senate Budget Committees. He wrote the book after become totally disillusioned. His analysis and revelations are those of a consummate insider and, were I teaching an introductory course in American Politics, this book would be my primary text.

What is the Deep State? It's a hybrid network of structures within which actual power resides. It includes the military-industrial complex, Wall Street, hordes of private contractors whose sole client is the government, national security agencies, select (not all) members of the State, Defense, CIA, Homeland Security, a few key members of the Congressional Defense and Intelligence Committees, and so on.

Except for a handful of Congresspersons, Deep State members have not been elected and are accountable to no one. They profoundly influence virtually every domestic and foreign matter of consequence. D.J. Hopkins, another close student of this phenomenon, notes that "the system served by the Deep State is not the United States of America, i.e., the country most Americans believe they live in; the system it serves is globalized Capitalism." And they do so regardless of which party is nominally in control. Lofgren takes pains to point out that the Deep State is not a coven of diabolical conspirators. It has evolved over several decades to become the antithesis of democracy.  (For more information, view President Eisenhower in his Farewell address to the nation, warning against what he called "the military-industrial complex" at: )

Why does the Deep State fear and despise Trump? First, his chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, is a fervent disciple of capitalist economic nationalism. Further, his America is the "shining city on a hill," but where the dwellers are Christian white people. Deep State types are convinced Trump's skewed priorities will undermine the dominant role played by the U.S. in the global capitalist system from which they derive their power, wealth, and ultra-lavish lifestyles. We are witnessing a no-holds-barred clash between two warring camps.

Second, both the Pentagon and their arms-dealer friends are salivating over a new Cold War with Russia and will do anything to sabotage enhancing peaceful understanding between Washington and Moscow. This explains their hysterical Kremlin-baiting of Trump. Likewise, Trump sent chills through the Deep State when he voiced doubts about NATO as an archaic relic of the past, expensive and dangerously misused outside of Europe.

Third, Trump's erratic behavior, penchant for confrontation and unwillingness to be a team player render him an unreliable caretaker of Deep State interests. They much preferred Hillary Clinton or even Jeb Bush. Trump was the "Frankenstein Populist" (Paul Street's term) who, shockingly, won the election. Now he threatens to unwittingly expose their "marionette theater" of contrived democracy. My sense is that if Trump does not satisfy the Deep State doubts about his trustworthiness, his days in office are numbered.

On the one hand, Trump's dramatic increase in defense spending may temporarily assuage the military contractors within the Deep State. On the other hand, this and other Trump policies will, ironically, severely exacerbate economic problems for many working class folks who voted for him last November. Their bitter awakening might well cause alienation and social disruption that no one in the upper circles of power wants to contemplate.

Finally, years ago, the bracing social critic and stand-up comedian George Carlin presciently described what's come to pass as we face the equally dangerous Deep State and Donald Trump. Carlin said, "It's a big club and you and I ain't in it. What do they want? More for themselves and less for everybody else. And they don't give a f--- about about you." Carlin believed that an aroused and politically savvy citizenry could ultimately prevail.  (See the so-much-missed George Carlin telling us truth at: )

Carlin was right, but this requires a popular movement that offers answers to the failed policies of the Democrats and Republicans. It's not impossible, but we should harbor no illusions about what we're up against.

ABOUT AUTHORGary Olson, Ph.D., is a member of Moravian College's political science department in Bethlehem, PA. His most recent book Empathy Imperiled: Capitalism, Culture, and the Brain.

Robert Reich: The Old Trump is Back. In Fact, He Never Left

The Old Trump is Back. In Fact, He Never Left
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by Robert Reich | March 6, 2017 - 7:14am

— from Robert Reich's Blog

It seems an eternity ago but it was only last Tuesday night when Donald Trump addressed a joint session of Congress and stuck to the teleprompter without going off the deep end – eliciting rapturous praise from the media.

"Donald Trump at his most presidential,"gushed NBC; "a recitation of hopes and dreams for the nation," oozed NPR; "the most presidential speech Mr. Trump has ever given — delivered at precisely the moment he needed to project sobriety, seriousness of purpose and self-discipline," raved the New York Times; "he did something tonight that you cannot take away from him. He became president of the United States," rhapsodized CNN's Van Jones.

The bar was so low that all Trump needed to do was not sound nuts and he was "presidential."

But that all ended Saturday morning when the old Trump – the "birther," the hatemonger, the thin-skinned paranoid, the liar, the reckless ranter, the vindictive narcissist, the whack-o conman – reemerged in a series of unprecedented and unverified accusations about his predecessor.

In truth, the old Trump was there all along, and he will always be there. He's unhinged and dangerous. The sooner congressional Republicans accept this, and take action to remove him – whether through impeachment or the 25th Amendment – the better for all of us.