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Deep State versus the Trump State: Will We Celebrate the 250th Anniversary of America?

New York Times Magazine, November 10, 2019, by Paul Sahre

The 250th anniversary of the birth of this country is only a few years away. At this point, preparations are slight but there is an awareness that the time to start planning is now. If back in 1776, you had asked the Founding Fathers about the United States of America one day celebrating its 250th birthday, they would have looked at you as if you were nuts. They knew the country was an experiment. They knew the country was a work in progress. They knew the country might not last. When it reached its fiftieth birthday on the same day as the deaths of the second and third presidents and co-Declaration writers John Adams and Thomas Jefferson truly it was a sign from Divine Providence that this country was blessed.

Now we live in a time when it is reasonable to ask if we will survive another few years…or if so in what form.  Back in July, I wrote a blog about the “formal” commencement of the third civil war in the United States (July 14, 2019 = April 12, 1861 II: The Third Civil War Is Engaged). Previously I had written a blog about an earlier proposed date for the “formal” launching of the war (America’s Third Civil War: Kava-Noes versus Kava-Yeses). Occasionally, I wrote updates on the state of the ongoing culture wars since then.

Recently the intensity of the conflict appears to have escalated. While some news outlets would employ the war metaphor from time to time, such usage was not typical or routine. The declaration of war against Congressional subpoenas was one major exception. Now there have has been two rather dramatic expressions of the war terminology.  The Sunday Magazine of The New York Times on November 10 (print edition) has an image of a White House defended by tanks. The caption below reads: “What happens when the White House responds to Congress’s impeaching the president by declaring war on Congress?” Inside the magazine was an image I did not see online. It depicts a battle being fought between the White House and the Capital replete with images of Civil War charging cavalry, World War I trenches, propeller planes and paratroops, and more tanks. To the right of the image is the phrase “Impeachment Wars.”

The second example is the December issue of The Atlantic. The cover has a hand partially in red and partially in blue. The text reads “How to Stop a Civil War.”

The related articles in these two publications focus mainly on the culture wars. How are the Democrats doing in the impeachment and what are the stakes for the Republicans given the demographic changes which the country has and is continuing to experience? I certainly do not mean to diminish the importance of the culture wars that are dividing the country. My periodic blogs about Columbus Day versus Indigenous Peoples’ Day address that topic. I will continue to do so in forthcoming blogs.

But there is a second war that is being overlooked. This is the one between the Deep State and the Trump State. The confrontation is related to the culture wars but it is not one.  It is not about abortion, immigration or the politically correct – hot button culture war issues. Instead it is about the Trump State versus the Deep State, between people who are loyal to the person who happens to be president versus people who are loyal to the Constitution. I daresay given this individual president something like it was inevitable once he was elected. How come he was elected is a separate issue. It is important to recognize that the issues raised in this war are relevant no matter which party claims the presidency.

The recent events in the impeachment hearings have made clear what should have been obvious but which has received minimal attention compared to the culture wars.  In the Trump State, Article II means he can do whatever he wants. In the Trump State, it means he cannot be investigated yet alone indicted for anything he does including murdering someone in broad daylight in front of security cameras and a live TV audience on Fox & Friends. In the Trump State, Congress has no oversight power unless the President grants it. Is this really what Trumpicans want? Is this really what conservatives want? Is the President really above the law immune to any Constitutional restraints?

What we are learning now is that Deep State refers to the career professionals who place loyalty to the country and the oath they took to the Constitution to serve it first.  These people have disobeyed the Presidential order not to comply with the Congressional subpoenas or invitations at great risk to themselves. These people have been viciously attacked. The seventh-grade smart-aleck dumb-aleck cannot control himself and launched an attack on one career professional even while she was testifying.  He continues to lash out as the next witness prepares to testify. Would Trumpicans have enjoyed it more if he had intimidated the career diplomat into crying? He has no sense of decency. Do they?

Meanwhile, the seventh-grade smart-aleck dumb-aleck has surrounded himself with people who are equally vicious. His Mean Girl Press Secretary has been especially nasty and belittling. Duped-by-Russia Hannity erupts in tirades night after night about the psychotic individuals who are attempting to bring down the duly-elected President. Little Donee Dimwit exclaims that his father was elected to drain the swamp of precisely these people, the career bureaucrats who dedicate their lives to serving their country. Only someone living in an alternate reality could claim that the professional career employees are the swamp and the cabinet created by Swampbuilder represent the people we need in the military and the State Department.

By contrast the people who have obeyed the command of this President not to testify have been his political appointees. Anonymous has informed us that Little Donee Waney has meetings with his political appointees only and in secure quarters without any career officials loyal to the Constitution present.

Last December I wrote a blog about this exact situation: MAD DOG BANISHED TO THE CORNFIELDS: TWILIGHT ZONE EPISODE BECOMES REAL. The episode was It’s a Good Life first televised in 1961. In that story there is a six year old, not 13 like our President, who has extraordinary powers. He makes life a living hell for those around him subject to his whims and fancies. I will cut to chase and quote one portion of the blog relevant to the impeachment hearings today.

In that episode, one person, who is not anonymous, has had enough. He erupts:

You monster you, you dirty little monster…. maybe some man in this room; some Republican with guts, somebody who is so sick to death of living in this kind of a place and willing to take a chance will sneak up behind you and lay something heavy across your skull and end this once and for all.
Somebody sneak up behind him. Somebody end this now….
Will somebody take a lamp or a bottle or something and end this.

The printed word cannot capture the intensity of the anguish of this emotionally wrought person who can no longer endure the reign of the child. Aunt Amy tentatively reaches for a fireplace poker but refrains. She is past her prime. No one has the courage to act. The child banishes him to the cornfield. The adults are horrified at what he had done but no one does anything,

Then Thomas Friedman said, “I believe that the only responsible choice for the Republican Party today is an intervention with the president that makes clear that if there is not a radical change in how he conducts himself — and I think that is unlikely — the party’s leadership will have no choice but to press for his resignation or join calls for his impeachment.” But Friedman’s words were as flat as his world and everyone at Fox just laughed. There are no Republicans left.

The Trump State consists of the Flying Monkeys who have taken an oath of loyalty to the Wicked Witch of the White House. These are the people with first-hand knowledge who have declined to participate in the impeachment hearings. These ae the people who could become profiles in courage and do what did not happen in that Twilight Zone episode. Any day any one of these people could chose to tell the truth:

Vice President who does not defend his own staff
Acting Chief of Staff
Secretary of State who does not defend his own staff
Attorney General
National Security Chief

but none of them will. Even his personal lawyer who said in the end he would be the hero has the opportunity to save the country and really be the hero. We are still waiting.

The one possible exception is the millionaire donor who simply wanted a cushy job and the opportunity to show off that the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES calls him directly. His memory keeps improving and he is likely to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth now that he has seen what has happened to Roger Stone and heard what the other witnesses have said. Will that be enough?

Perhaps the straw that breaks the camel’s back has been placed. Perhaps the verbal assault on the former Ambassador to the Ukraine was the insult that forces the Trumpicans to face the truth. Perhaps at last the seventh-grade smart-aleck dumb aleck has crossed the line such that even Trumpicans are disgusted and are willing to become Republicans. Perhaps now they see that

Without their support he’s nothing.
The evil remains within him.
Look how ugly he really is.
Look at him after Kentucky and Louisiana and don’t be afraid.

It is time. It is time for the party of Lincoln to take back its party from ugliness.  It is time for non-elite heterosexual white males who love their country and are in pain to catch on that they are being slicked, conned, hustled, flim-flammed, bamboozled and lied to by a staggeringly ignorant narcissist who just as easily would rip them off at his phony university for their desire to live the American Dream as he would for their vote. It is time to realize that our weeny President is submissive to alpha males who are our enemies while abandoning our allies and attacking patriots who are loyal to the Constitution. It is time for loyalty to the Constitution to trump loyalty to the president if we want to celebrate the 250th anniversary of this country as a constitutional republic. Now is the time for first-hand witnesses to rise to the occasion. Now is the time for Trumpicans to regain their decency. Don’t hold your breath.

HANNITY DEMANDS “FIRST-HAND KNOWLEDGE” WITNESSES BE CALLED

An enraged Duped-by-Russia Hannity practically blew a gasket after the first day of the impeachment hearings. He was so mad steam was shooting forth from his ears and every other opening in his body. He was absolutely furious about the hearings. All the testimony was hearsay. There was no testimony by anyone with first-hand knowledge of the extortion actions by the President. To rectify that shortcoming, he demanded that people with first-hand knowledge be called to testify. His list included the Vice President, the Acting Chief of Staff, the Secretary of State, the National Security chief, and the Attorney General. These are the people who met and spoke directly with the President. If the Democrats dared to call such people they would quickly expose the hoax of this witch hunt. The gauntlet has been thrown down. Do the Democrats have the courage and honesty to pick it up?

An enraged Duped-by-Russia Hannity practically blew a gasket after the first day of the impeachment hearings. He was so mad steam was shooting forth from his ears and every other opening in his body. He was absolutely furious about the hearings. Where was the testimony from the hearsay in-chief whistle-blower who had started all this brouhaha? It was vital that this individual be outed and forced to testify. Once this person had been exposed and a target put on this person’s back, the truth of this Deep State hoax and witch hunt would be exposed. The Ukraine witch hunt is just a continuation of the Russian witch hunt. Everything would be resolved if only the Democrats dared to call the hearsay whistle-blower to testify. The gauntlet has been thrown down. Do the Democrats have the courage and honesty to pick it up?

An enraged Duped-by-Russia Hannity practically blew a gasket after the first day of the impeachment hearings. He was so mad steam was shooting forth from his ears and every other opening in his body. He was absolutely furious about the hearings. Article II of the Constitution gives the President the power to do whatever he wants with impunity and immunity unless the President is a Democrat. If the President wants to extort the leader of another country for any reason whatsoever, he has the right to do so. Everything would be resolved if only the Democrats dared to admit the truth. That is the way the game is played. Get over it. Move on. The gauntlet has been thrown down. Do Democrats have the courage and honesty to pick it up?

An enraged Duped-by-Russia Hannity practically blew a gasket after the first day of the impeachment hearings. He was so mad steam was shooting forth from his ears and every other opening in his body. He was absolutely furious about the hearings. The real corruption scandal is not being investigated. The real scandal is the one by Sleepy Creepy Joe Biden and his son. The real scandal is by the Democrats. The real scandal is by the Ukrainians who interfered in the 2016 election and possess the acid-washed and sledgehammer-smashed server that Duped-by-Russia Hannity has been expounding about ad infinitum on his show. If you want to know the truth, subpoena John No-Wisdom. Show after show he has been presenting the truth about the Ukrainians. This calm voice of reason in his quiet low-key manner has been sharing the truth with the viewers while his Fake News MSNBC counterpart Chuck Rosenberg only appears to know what he is talking about. John No-Wisdom is the one with the answers. That is why the Extorter in-Chief cheers him on. Everything would be resolved if only the Democrats dared to admit the truth. The gauntlet has been thrown down. Do Democrats have the courage and honesty to pick it up?

My prediction before the hearings began, a fairly easy prediction I acknowledge, was that American would witness two different hearings.

As a result, there will be two televised hearings of the impeachment. One will be reported by the Fake News networks, newspapers, and websites and the other will be by the Bull-Trump counterparts. Since Trumpicans, like the mainland Chinese, only get their news from one source, the government propaganda network they will only see what Clueless Jim Jordan asks, Duped-by-Russia Hannity reports, and Little Donee Waney tweets. No One to Throw Under the Bus

It did not take long to demonstrate the accuracy of this prediction. See “Fox’s prime time stars are telling Trump that the impeachment hearings are a ‘disaster’ for Democrats” by Brian Stetler for a rundown of the Fox reporting of the hearings. Imagine what would happen if the Democratic presidential race were not in disarray and the Democratic candidate could respond. Maybe by next summer or fall!

In the meantime, there are larger lessons to be learned from the impeachment hearings so far. The impact on the American people will be based on America today, not the America of the last two times impeachment was in the news. Even though there are people alive today who as adults have experienced all three impeachments, the world in which they live has changed considerably.

Just focus on how people receive the news about the impeachments. Once upon a time, the communities of the country had independent and local newspapers. I have been to the local newspaper office in the city where I grew up. I delivered newspapers in the afternoon in my neighborhood in the city where I grew up. I remember the scenes of everyone reading the local paper from TV shows and movies. I remember reading the morning paper on the train ride to Manhattan along with everyone else on the train. I still do that when I take the train to the city. By contrast, everyone else is looking down at a device of some kind – a cell phone, a tablet, a lap top, or some combination of all three. Now that newspaper has been swallowed up into gigantic national powerhouse (After Its Merger, Gannett Will Be the Largest Newspaper Publisher in the U.S.).

Think of the movie Hidden Figures. Everyone is watching the scenes of the Mercury astronauts including John Glenn’s abortive flight. Not even the Superbowl attracts such attention today. Regular TV shows drew tens of millions of viewers then even without being the last episode of MASH. Those days are over. A blockbuster show may attract 20 million viewers and that does not even mean 20 million viewers simultaneously. Impeachment news unlike those Mercury flights will not be a shared experience. Instead the news will be diffused over a plethora of sources. Fox viewers will never know what really happened but the certainty of the Fox announcers helps ensure that no matter what happens, the base will never abandon its lord and savior, the chosen one, blessed be his name. The impeachment hearings provide a great opportunity to bring out the inner seventh-grade smart-aleck dumb-aleck in people like the President’s Press Secretary. The examples in the Stetler piece reveal how Fox is loving it.

To those talk show people who say we should have faith in the American people and let the process play out, I say consider the example of the mainland Chinese in the United States. These people are free of the restrictions and oppression in the homeland (although probably not quite the surveillance scrutiny if the act out of line). Here in the United States, they have access to CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the internet. Have they availed themselves of these options? Have they developed a better understanding of the Tiananmen Square Massacre? Or do they simply recite the Party line on Hong Kong?

The situation is no different for Trumpicans. As long as they think he is delivering on what they actually want they could not care less about all these shenanigans in the Beltway. As long as they are faithful to their lord and savior so will be the elected officials who represent them. Remember when OJ did get away with the murders he had committed? Who cares about the Ukrainians who died because they did not have the weapons they needed and that had been funded by the United States? Go OJ. Go!

Making Russia Great Again

"You the Man!" Trump honored to be in the presence of alpha-male Putin (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/Getty)

“We’re going to win. We’re going to win so much. We’re going to win at trade, we’re going to win at the border. We’re going to win so much, you’re going to be so sick and tired of winning, you’re going to come to me and go ‘Please, please, we can’t win anymore.’ You’ve heard this one. You’ll say ‘Please, Mr. President, we beg you sir, we don’t want to win anymore. It’s too much. It’s not fair to everybody else.’” Vladimir Putin said. “And I’m going to say ‘I’m sorry, but we’re going to keep winning, winning, winning, We’re going to make Russia  great again.”

Russia is on a roll. Despite limited economic resources, it is moving ahead to disrupt the Western Alliance and the United States. Where it can divide peoples, it does so. Where it can fill a void, it does so. Where it can reap the benefits from the America Alone policy, it does so.

Recently Putin’s Pence handed Russia a win. The sudden and abrupt withdrawal of the United States from Syria was an unexpected gift. Putin could not even take credit for it. He could not claim to have initiated the sequence of events that led to this victory. Out of nowhere, alpha male Erdogan in a phone call to the submissive child president of the United of the States suggested that it was time for America to go home and let Turkey take care of business. He readily agreed to the surprise of everyone who was an ally or enemy of the United States.

Let’s look at what this strategically brilliant, dare one say “perfect,” decision led to.

American allies know they cannot rely on America anymore

Roger Cohen: “Europeans now shrug when they don’t laugh. The consensus is that the United States has lost. There is nobody home.” (Trump’s Gut, and the Gutting of American Credibility, NYT 10/19/19, print).

Mowaffak al-Rubaie, former Iraqi national security advisor: “This guy is all emotional. It is unpredictable….For Americans, their friends are disposable. The Americans, you look for them and they look for the closest exit. You turn around and you don’t find them.” (“Policy Zigzags by Trump Put Mideast in Fog,” NYT 10/13/19, print).

Shimrit Meir, Israeli columnist: “If you are someone that is a rival on the other side ⸺ you’re Iranian, Russian, Turkish, ISIS, Hezbollah ⸺ you understand that this is a time for gain.” (“Policy Zigzags by Trump Put Mideast in Fog,” NYT 10/13/19, print).

Who is the reliable partner to whom countries should turn? Who is it who touts its stability and consistency over the years?  As America bombs its own military facilities before the Russians can occupy them, who is exulting? Besides the Russians there are others.

Now, let’s consider what Putin has done and gauge whether he has overplayed his hand. I am not referring to his ventures into Africa. Trumphole countries that do not want to be vassals of China cannot turn to the United States for assistance. This bigoted President has no interest in them not even to build a resort. He will accept no refugees from them since the United States is full up…and he does not want any immigrants either. The result is void for Putin to fill. And he gets to test the disinformation techniques he will use in the 2020 elections.

Instead, I am referring to the Ukraine. As I previously stated, What Do Seth Rich and the Ukraine Have in Common? Answer: Sean Hannity, Putin’s tried and true tactic to discombobulate America is to give people what they want so they can make a mess of it.

It worked with the Seth Rich story on Flying Monkey Sean Hannity.

It worked with the Steele Dossier for the Democrats. The disruption still has not ceased after the Mueller report. Secret testimony now disclosed is shedding more light on the activities within the Trump campaign and White House on what they did. Meanwhile Flying Monkey Bill Barred-for-Life is traveling the globe seeking to indict the Deep State in part as a result of the Steel Dossier.

It probably worked with some voters when exposed to social media telling them exactly what they wanted.

It worked with the Ukraine.

Did it work too well? Putin advanced on three fronts in the Ukraine. First, it was the Ukraine and not Russia which interfered in the 2016 election. That initiative commenced in 2016 though the manipulation of Paul Manafort. Recall the press conference where the two national leaders joked about whether the Russians had violated the United States. Now we know that not only did Putin say “no,” but he steered the gullible American President towards the “true violator” that even the American intelligence services had yet to discover: it was the Ukraine.

The second Putin ploy was that the Ukraine had the infamous server that the longtime-Democrat-and-Clinton-supporter now pretending to be a Republican sought. We are beginning to be able to see how much he really wanted to locate those 33,000 emails. Somehow all Duped-by-Russia Hannity’s tirades about how crooked Hillary had acid washed the server and destroyed the emails was ignored. They had not been scrubbed, they were in the Ukraine! What a perfect example of the child-mind at work. And this is the very stable genius who is steering the ship of state.

The third Putin ploy is that Joe Biden and son were involved in a corruption scandal just waiting to be exposed. Unearthing this scandal would make Ridiculous Ruddy, attack mutt, the hero as he once had been after 9/11. His discovery of the reality of what originated as a figment of Putin’s mind would validate Ridiculous Ruddy’s shallow life. Clearly Putin knows how to play the conspiracy-minded President.

In each instance, Putin was providing the exact false story that the mark would eagerly embrace. But the results in the Ukraine maneuver may not be to Putin’s liking. The would-be hero is now facing potential indictment. His assorted cast of lowlife associates may now be ready to spill the beans. Never-Trumper and Deep-State operative Sondland posing as an ambassador-buying Trump-donor may now be ready to tell the truth and expose the abuse of power, cover-up, and obstruction even more: Of course, it was a quid pro quo. Get real. Sondland thought he was purchasing a nice cushy job where he could enjoy the good life in Europe. Little did he know how the Trump State operates. He apparently wants no part of it. Would that Vice President Brown Nose reach a similar epiphany! (Will Mike Pence Become a Profile in Courage?  so Nancy Pelosi won’t become President?)

Impeachment was the consequence Putin did not factor into his Ukrainian subterfuge. True if the red wave had not been successful in the 2018 elections in drowning House Republican candidates, impeachment never would have happened. Unfortunately for Putin, the Democrats now are in charge in the House and Putin’s most valuable asset in the United States is now at risk. Even though Putin will not lose his Pence though Senate removal, it is quite possible that a majority of Senate will vote for removal. The American people will see that the President of the United States exploits the power of the presidency for personal gain, lies about, and orders people to obstruct justice. Fortunately for Putin, Trumpicans do not care what this President did or did not do as long as he remains in office fighting for them. Putin has played weak hand well exploiting the submissiveness of the simpleminded immature child President but he may have overreached with the Ukraine since the United States may still be governed by the Constitution.

Do Republican Senators Have the Civic Integrity of Paula Duncan?

Bubble Boy Ventures Out into the Real World (Getty Images)

Trumpican Paula Duncan was a juror in the Paul Manafort trial. As such one might have expected her to acquit Manafort on all charges. She would know that the trial was perpetrated by the Deep State witch hunt to remove her Lord and savior, the chosen one, blessed be his name from the presidency. Therefore one could expect with reasonable confidence that her loyalty to the president would trump her loyalty to the Constitution.

Such an assumption proved wrong. The exact opposite occurred.  She voted to convict on all charges. She voted guilty even on the chargers where one and only one other juror voted not guilty.  Reporters asked her about her votes after the trial concluded. Her reply demonstrated the primacy of her civic responsibility. It was not enough to not convict someone simply because of his ties to the president. Instead she examined the evidence, weighed its meaning and voted accordingly. That vote was GUILTY. GUILTY AS CHARGED, all 18 times.

Another exercise in evidence examination just occurred in a different venue (“The History Class Focuses on an Extraordinary Era: The Present,” Audra D. S. Burch, NYT October 24, 2019, print edition). In the Chalmette, Louisiana, high school, world history teacher Chris Dier, conducted classes on impeachment. He provided background material on the three previous impeachment-related American presidents before turning to the current example. The instructor recognized an opportunity to teach a real-time lesson in civics and political science. He devoted two 90-minutes class periods to the subject. He considered it a civics class at a time when many Americans are not familiar with civics.

His goal in the class was for the students acting as [better-behaved] Representatives and Senators to answer the same questions the American people are going to be asked during the impeachment process. In the two classes, the students would deal with the questions to be faced by both the House and the Senate: should the President of the United States of America be impeached and if so should he also be removed from issue? The question of should a President who is removed from office remain eligible to run again for the office, say in 2020, was not included. Since many of the students are 17 years old, their first presidential election may revolve around these issues.

The students followed a more rigorous approach than adult voters are likely to. They studied impeachment as developed by the Founding Fathers and the procedures used in the two houses.  The students then examined the Ukrainian evidence as provided by the teacher, evidence which is growing by the day and will grow more so by the time of the actual impeachment and vote to remove.

Initially the 21 students divided into 12 to impeach, 4 not to impeach, and 5 undecided. After another round of discussion by the students the vote shifted to 14 impeach and 7 not to impeach. The district was won by Trump with 65% of the vote. Presumably not all the students told their parents how they voted.

These two examples from two different venues, a courtroom and a classroom, provide the Democrats with a blueprint for conducting the actual impeachment hearings. Both the jurors and the students examined the evidence presented to them and then discussed it. One sees hear the importance of the prosecuting attorney and the teacher. It is essential for them to present sufficient evidence in a clear narrative format accessible to the deciders to reach a desired outcome. The Kavanaugh hearings won’t work. Apparently the Democrats have wisely chosen to let lawyers make the case rather than the politicians. That process worked in the Manafort case and in the classroom. Although the teacher did not take sides, he did present the relevant material (at least in a condensed manner) sufficient for the class to work He also did instruct the students to behave in a respectful manner, a far cry from the way Congress conducts itself.

One issue for the Democrats to address in the impeachment is to recognize that there are two audiences. I do not mean the House and the Senate. As we were reminded again and again during the Mueller investigation, the confrontation is a political one which will be fought in the public arena. One side did an extremely effective job in poisoning the jury pool while the other was lackluster to the point of nonexistence. The Mueller report and the Congressional appearance turned out to be the most anticlimactic events in American history. If the Democrats do not learn from the Mueller fiasco, they are doomed to the same unsatisfactory results.

While certain events in the impeachment will take place televised during the day, the battle also will be fought in the media and on the web during and after the televised hearings. We already have seen the scorched tactics that will be unleashed against anyone who dares to tell the truth under oath. The number of people who anticipated Vindman be characterized as a double agent loyal to the Ukraine is probably about the same who foresaw the purchase of Greenland and sharpiegate. Naturally the so-called whistleblower is not one, but a Deep State operative working for Biden. The firestorm will be fierce.

One strong possibility is the impeachment hearings and removal hearings may not have the stage alone. Last summer Duped-by-Russia Hannity repeatedly stated that any day, the Inspector General would release his report documenting the abuses of the Deep State in initiating the Mueller report in the first place. He could scarcely contain himself as he anticipated the indictments of all the people he had identified as being part of the witch hunt. So far that has not happened. It is only a matter of time before the report it is released and when it is it is likely to be during the hearings. Who will be best prepared to deal with that report when it happens?

In the meantime there is a second report or action to consider now. Bill Barred-for-Life has been tasked with indicting all the people Duped-by-Russia Hannity has identified as being part of the Deep State witch hunt. The integrity of the DOJ attorney is irrelevant. Look at how Barred-for-Life spun the Mueller report and quashed an investigation into the Ukrainian incident. Is there any doubt that he will attempt to indict the entire Deep State? According to Bull Trump station talk shows, all these conspirators are now quaking in fear and lawyering up for onslaught to come. They are sore afraid. The day of reckoning is soon upon when the true guilty parties of the fake Russian collusion inquiry are exposed. That exposure will then spill over into the fake Ukrainian impeachment. The impeachment and removal hearings will not have a monopoly on the news. The war will be fought on multiple fronts.

That war already is underway. By the time Rachel Maddow has completed one of her long extended essays, Duped-by-Russia Hannity will have excoriated corrupt Schiff and his Soviet-style secret hearings a dozen times. He will do so relentlessly and persistently every single day from now until the 2020 elections if necessary. He will use the exact same words and phrases to do so as he instructs his Trumpican audience in what to believe. That audience is the one Republican Representatives and Senators fear…unless they are retiring, are not worried about backlash or primary challenges, or have a conscience.

To answer the question then, “Do Republican Senators have the civic integrity of Paula Duncan?” the answer is “NO!. WHAT ARE YOU KIDDING ME! IS THAT A TRICK QUESTION?”  However, they are not all blithering idiots. They know that the President is guilty on all charges. What they may do then is attempt to thread the needle and adopt the Democratic strategy from the last impeachment: “Yes, he is guilty but his actions do no rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors warranting removal from office.” They may soothe their conscience and satisfy the Trumpican voters with that maneuver but it may not satisfy the President. After all how can he be compared to Lincoln and Washington if the House impeaches him, a majority of the Senate votes to remove him from office, and the other Senators think he is guilty as charged but the infraction was too small to justify expelling him. What infraction? The phone call was perfect. Absolutely perfect. Read the transcript!

The Wicked Witch of the White House: Is Nancy Pelosi Dorothy?

Thou art the man! All roads with you lead to Putin! (A picture is worth a thousand words and that is how along this blog is)

The Wicked Witch of the White House is a formidable foe. He has been a sleezeball virtually his entire chronological adult life. Year after year he won the coveted “Slimeball of the Year” trophy awarded by the New York City Real Estate and Construction community to the single most disreputable builder in the city.

His winning was no fluke. He is blessed with having no morals, no ethics, and no values save narcissism. He brings to the fight an inexhaustible energy. He throws an unlimited number of punches all below the belt.  Now our immature child president has brought his lack of integrity, competence, and intelligence to the national and international arenas. He is a full-time resident of an alternate reality functioning at a child level with supreme confidence that he can get enough people to believe he really is THE DONALD, the chosen one, and that only he can solve the problems (he has caused).

The Wicked Witch of the White House is not alone. Standing with him are the Flying Monkeys. These are the people who have sold their souls to their Lord and Savior assuming they had souls to sell. They have sworn an oath to take a bullet for him. They will obstruct any effort to obtain the truth. They willingly will be thrown under the bus once their usefulness ends. As always, loyalty is a one-way street.

The Flying Monkeys are well-known to the American public. They frequently appear on Fox if they do not already work there. They include:

Vice President Brown Nose
Bill Barred for Life
Jay Sunk-so-low
Duped-by-Russia Hannity
Nunes the Clown
Clueless Jim Jordan
Marked-down Meadows
Meeting-crasher Maculate Gaetz
All Angles Ingrham
The Grahm Cracker
Kelly Alternate-Reality Conway
The Huckabee Huckster
Ridiculous Rudy, Hero Attack mutt

and the list goes on and on.

The Wicked Witch of the White House and his Flying Monkeys are further aided by Trumpicans – the American people who attend his realities, ignore or disbelieve all charges against him, and cheer him on. His skill as a con artist is his ability to connect with them through his gut-instinct. He uses their pain to service his gain. The results have been spectacular.

Now the real world is closing in. Playtime is over. The Wicked Witch of the White House in the domestic and foreign arenas has to face adults. This is not scripted political professional wrestling where he can mock and insult people all he wants as the seventh-grade smart-aleck dumb-aleck he actually is. The doctored videos of him wreaking havoc against his foes will not help him in the real world of adults. North Korea, Iran, Turkey, and Russia all know he is a weeny limited to simpleminded tweets and sanctions.  The only ones who fear him now are our allies as they know they can no longer rely on the United States as long as Bonespur Boy is President. It’s not Turkey who is concerned, it is the Baltics who destroyed Yugoslavia, it is Israel who knows it faces Iran alone, and it is the Kurds who know even a private message to the President of the United States will be delivered to their enemy.

This is Nancy Pelosi’s moment. This is the moment that history will look to try to understand what the American people finally did when their immature child President attempted to function in the adult world and did not have the mental necessities to do so.

At this point for all practical purposes impeachment is a done deal.  As far as the Ukraine is concerned the public record itself is sufficient grounds to impeach. The hearings serve only to disclose how extensive the conspiracy and coverup were in the effort to use the American government to pursue personal political needs to get dirt on an opponent and then to hide the effort. The testimony of the people outside the power of the Wicked Witch of the White House or who defy it will simply provide the details for the articles of impeachment…not whether or not there will be any.

For those still under the sway of the Wicked Witch of the White House, their obstruction will only serve to add obstruction articles to the impeachment. Their actions will not prevent it. These people have been advised on several talking shows of their need to get lawyers for their own defense.

The number of people involved in the conspiracy raises the question of how Pelosi should proceed. The impeachment of the President is the end game but should it be the only game? As We the People were reminded again and again during the Mueller investigation, Department of Justice guidelines prohibit the indictment of a sitting president. Putting aside the issue of whether that is a Constitutional restriction or simply a matter of policy, that leaves exposed people who are not President.

My advice, for whatever it is worth, is to start with the unprotected non-Presidential people prior to the impeachment of President himself.  In particular, start with the Attorney General. At minimum that should force him to recuse himself. His removal from power will make it easier to pursue the other unprotected people through the federal attorneys. Bill Barred for Life would no longer be able to curtail the work of the Department of Justice the way he declined to pursue the whistleblower’s report in the first place. In fact, that decision could easily be the first article of indictment against him.

Following the indictment of Attorney General, Pelosi could proceed week by week to recommend indictments of the remaining members of the conspiracy and cover:

Vice President
Acting Chief of Staff
Secretary of State

and whoever else deserves it. Then would come the big one.

By that time, would even Republicans in the House of Representatives support impeachment? It’s possible. The 354-60 vote to rebuke the President on his Syria pullout including 129 Republicans shows that it is possible for even the majority of Republicans in the House to defy the Wicked Witch of the White House. It also identifies the 60 Flying Monkeys in the House. In other words, the brilliant strategy in Syria may create the context which the perfect Ukrainian phone call did not. Now Republicans in the House and Senate can free themselves from the power of the Wicked Witch of the White House and vote to impeach and remove him from office…maybe even in time to select another candidate for 2020. But that’s the subject of another blog or two.

Will Mike Pence Become a Profile in Courage?

Mike Pence Is No Captain Merik in Star Trek “Bread and Circuses" (William Smithers)

To become a profile in courage is not easy. First there needs to be a situation where there is a need for someone to be a profile in courage. Second, one of the people in that situation then needs to rise to the occasion. One cannot always know when such a situation will arise. Typically we think of military figures and athletes in all-or-nothing or do-or-die moment, but sometimes such opportunities sneak up on when you least expect it. Sometimes it is the result of your own action which got you into the mess in the first place.

Since everything you need to know about life you can learn from Star Trek, let us examine what another Mike Pence experienced. The show is “Bread and Circuses” which aired on March 15, 1968. In that show, Captain Merik and his crew from another spaceship are missing. The Starship Enterprise crew locates the crew on a planet governed by a 1960s version of the Roman Empire. It is a world where the Empire did not fall but continued to exist for another two millennia.

On the planet, Captain Merik sells his soul to the Roman Emperor, to Caesar and not to Christ. It is not an exact match to V.P. Mike selling his soul to his Lord and Savior, the chosen one, blessed be his name, but it is close enough.  Pence’s performance in the Cabinet meeting where he thanked God for enabling him to share the same space-time continuum as The Donald will forever define him. In its own way, it is even more pathetic than Captain Merik’s abject submission in the TV show.

 Be that as it may, both Mike and Merik have violated their oath. Merik has violated the Prime Directive by interfering in the planet and sharing knowledge of the existence of the Federation of Planets along with the awareness of a superior technology to that a 1960s country possessed. Vice President Brown Nose has been submissive in his behavior but whether he has crossed the line or not is another issue…until the current scandal

Now he faces a moment of truth. He was present during the violation of the Constitution and the cover-up. What will he do? He was part of it. Will he tell the truth? He has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution. He knows that people around him like the President of the United States, the Secretary of State, and the Attorney General have no intention of keeping that oath. When Pompeo decided to tell the truth about his presence during the Ukrainian telephone call, it was not because of his pangs of conscience for not telling truth before. It was because he realized that multiple people in the State Department were going to tell the truth. They were going to expose that he had not. So Pompeo does not qualify as a profile in country.

The less said about Bill Barred-for-Life the better.

What about Pence? What will he do? In the Star Trek episode, Merik redeems himself. In the moment of truth, Merik rescues Kirk and Co. enabling them to beam back to the Starship Enterprise and escape the clutches of the imperial order. He pays for that decision with his life. Sometimes being a profile in courage can be fatal. Just because you demonstrate the right stuff to go into the arena does not mean you will survive the ordeal and emerge a victor. In the TV show, Merik did not.

What about Pence? In the early months of this administration there was a lot of silly talk about the 25h Amendment. Somehow V.P Brown Nose was going to lead a cabinet coup against the mentally impaired immature child President and restore decency to the Oval Office. The idea that Pence would rise to the occasion was so absurd as to be completely laughable. None-the-less, adult human beings even with college educations, would discuss this option as if it were a real possibility.

This time the stakes are different. This time the impeachment drive is moving full speed ahead. This time people with integrity are eager to testify and tell the truth. This time each passing day reveals another facet of the violation and cover-up. Should he just stand on the sidelines, watch it happen, and be indicted? The DOJ rules do not apply to the positions of the other co-conspirators. Pompeo and Barr are not immune, they are not exempt, they are not above the law. Neither is the Vice President. He may even catch on to the fact that loyalty is a one-way street with this narcissistic President. You owe him loyalty, he owes you nothing.

What will Mike Pence do? He prides himself on his Christian values. Will he tell the truth? He prides himself on never dining alone with a woman who is not his wife. Will he tell the truth? He prides himself on his integrity. Will he tell the truth? He thinks he is part of God’s plan. Will he tell the truth?

No. Even his staff knows the truth does not register with him.

He will not rise to the occasion.

He will not be a profile in courage.

He never would have been picked for the position of Vice President if he was.

Playtime for The Donald Is Over: The Reality Star Meets the Real World

The Wicked Witch of the White House Threatens Whistleblower Toto (https://parade.com)

Playtime for The Donald is over. For much of his presidency up until now it has been fun. He got to be the center of attention. He got to demean and mock people. He got to be the center of attention. He got to help rich people get richer. He got to be the center of attention. He got to reverse almost everything Obama had championed. He got to be the center of attention. He got to promote his resorts, hotels, and businesses to people who wanted to buy his favor. He got to be the center of attention. He got to perform in professional political wrestling arenas before adoring crowds of worshipers. He got to the center of attention. He got to play golf and watch TV to his ego’s content. He got to be the center of attention. And he got to throw rolls of paper towels at people clamoring for his attention. He really did get to be the center of attention.

The real world moments were few and far between. Yes, he thought the Mueller report would expose his entire sleazy tawdry life from being a corrupt slime ball real-estate developer to being a corrupt slime ball president. But that turned out to be a nothingburger. Yes, he has not built the wall but he keeps trying and may be making progress even if it is at the expense of national security and in violation of the Constitution. Yes, he has not denuclearized North Korea and won the Noble Prize. Yes, he has not eliminated healthcare. Still over all, he has taken pride in having the greatest first two years of any American President and undoubtedly deserving of having his face alone carved on the biggest mountain he can find. After all, how can he be impeached with the economy being so great? The sad part is that is actually how his brain operates.

The real world functions differently. There are limits as to how long you can deceive it. Eventually even the Soviet Union was exposed as not being the wave of the future. The same applies to our immature child president attempting to pass for an adult and struggling to maintain the con as the real world presses in. Two recent events have exposed the immature child behind the curtain as not being The Donald. The first was with Iran and the second was with the Ukraine.

IRAN

Iran provided The Donald with a major opportunity to reverse Obama. He kept his campaign pledge to withdraw America from the nuclear treaty that prevented Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Now Iran was free to develop them since there was no treaty prohibiting them from doing so. Take that Obama!

While withdrawing from the nuclear arms treaty, he ramped up the sanctions. His goal was regime change without military intervention. The sanctions would make life so horrid and stressful that eventually the people would rise up and remove the government for us. After all sanctions had a proven record of regime change and behavior modification in Cuba, Russia, and North Korea, so why wouldn’t they work in Iran as well?

Naturally, as an immature child he lacked the mental necessities to think things throw. He was unable to recognize the possibility of consequences other than the collapse of the country. Another possibility was that Iran would lose patience with the efforts of European nations to circumvent the American sanctions and instead would take matters into their own hands. To no surprise to anyone who stopped to think about it, that is exactly what Iran did. It initiated a series of escalating attacks that culminated so far in the bombing of Saudi Arabian oil facilities. Each action provided the Iranians with the opportunity to gauge the mettle of The Donald. What would Bonespur Boy do in the real world when confronted with a direct assault on his manhood?

The Iranians were quick to expose the truth of The Donald. What did they learn from seizing ships, shooting down drones, and bombing oil fields? They learned that he is a warrior on Twitter and in professional political wrestling arenas but not on he field of battle. As Ali Bigdeli political analyst in Tehran put it: “He is not a lion, he is a rabbit.”

It may even be said that the Iranian officials boasted after the attacks about the leverage they had gained. Iran could give Little Donnee-Wanee the finger and pay no price in the global arena.

The world was watching. “If we were to believe everything Trump has said for the past three years, there would have been war with China, North Korea and Mexico,” said Joseph Fahim, an Egyptian film critic back in June. “The guy’s a joke, he’s not serious. We don’t know if these threats are something to believe in, or just another of his many stunts.”  Abdulkhleq Abdulla, political scientist United Arab Emirates said: “Trump, in his response to Iran, is even worse than Obama.”

The unfavorable comparison of The Donald to Obama for his lack of manhood is low blow indeed. Now everybody can see The Donald as a weeny. No matter how he is provoked he will not respond beyond sanctions and tweets. That is his limit. Iran knows it. North Korea knows it. China knows it. Russia knows it…not that it was ever worried about what its asset would do. Our allies know it too. Of course, thanks to transactional relationships on trade, The Donald has done such a superb job of alienating allies that he has created a world of America Alone. What ally would rely on the United States to come to its aid if under attack as long as Donald Trump is president?

IMPEACHMENT

The new question is how much longer will be President? Here we once again can see how quickly the scandal of the day moves on. Remember Greenland. Remember Alabama. Remember Corey Lewandowski. Remember Kellyanne Conway:

“Blah, blah blah. If you’re trying to silence me through the Hatch Act, it’s not going to work. Let me know when the jail sentence starts.”

Answer: it starts when there is a Democratic president and the rule of law returns to the White House.

The Ukraine is a whole new ball game. Ironically it was the Mueller report and the Mueller testimony in Congress that gave The Donald the green light to go forward in the Ukraine with its new administration. Now he would prove that Seth Rich really was behind the hacking, I mean that the Ukraine was. Now he would prove that the witch hunt really had been a hoax. Now he would prove that the wrong people had been targeted and that the real villains had gotten off scot free. Now he would prove that conspiracy theories exposed by Fox were true. Now he would have his revenge.

“You’re a bad man. You’re a very bad man.” The unleashed child in a Twilight Zone classic (CBS) See MAD DOG BANISHED TO THE CORNFIELDS: TWILIGHT ZONE EPISODE BECOMES REAL blog (12/25/18)

So far … and the story is still unfolding… things have not worked out as he had hoped. There turned out to be a whistleblower who deserves a medal unless Putin, Saudi OJ, or the 2nd Amendment boys get him first. There turned out to be an acting intelligence chief who has integrity. The now-resigned- Ukraine envoy probably has integrity too. There turns out to be more hidden phone call transcripts that will expose The Donald. More and more will be revealed as time goes by. The impeachment might even include obstruction charges!

The real world is not like Hollywood. For a child to pass for an adult is not easy. It is not like 13 year-old Tom Hanks becoming big. It is not like Jennifer Garner going from 13 to 30. It is not like teenage Lindsay Lohan becoming Jamie Lee Curtis. As the pressure mounts, the challenge to cope with the adult world will increase. Instead of being a comedy, we are watching a person go off the rails. As David Axelrod suggests, let Trump be Trump. Who knows what he will tweet next that only amplifies his political and legal jeopardy.

At this point, the issue of impeachment seems more of “when” and not “if.” What remains open is what will happen in the Republican Senate now that The Donald has been exposed as a combined Mafioso little-bunny-wunny Rabbit.

The story continues.

Will Mike Pence Become a Profile in Courage?
Will Sean Hannity Become a Profile in Courage?

 

Constitution Day, Corey Lewandowski, and Whistle Blowers: Do Checks and Balances Still Exist?

Not Senator Lewandowski

September 17 is the anniversary of the passage of the document that constitutes the very form of government under which We the People live today. Subsequent to its passage by the Constitutional Convention it was ratified by the states and it has been amended multiple times since. It is easy to overlook the fact that though we are a new political entity we are an ancient nation when it comes to being governed continuously by a constitution. England still does not have one as it is painfully dealing with now and other European countries have had multiple constitutions.

Despite all this, Constitution Day is not a national holiday. There have been some efforts to pay homage to it on this day but such attempts are few and fleeting. Obviously, it is a difficult time during the school year to teach the Constitution. The school year has just begun and it will be months before the class gets up to the 1787. As a result, the day generally passes unnoticed.

By chance, on September 17, I attended a board meeting of the social studies conference covering Westchester County where I live, Putnam County to the north, and Rockland County on the other side of the Hudson River. In the planning for the December conference, there were two civic presentations I want the Board to consider.

1. Mapping Early American Elections, 1788-1825 with the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University and a professor I know at a Lehman College in New York. I saw a presentation at the annual conference this summer of the Society for the History of the Early American Republic (SHEAR).

2. Voter Education, a fifth grade program offered by the Rockefeller Archive Center for the Tarrytown school district. I learned about the program at a planning session for the American Revolution 250th.

New York State also is getting into the civics promotion business with legislation passed by the Assembly and the Senate to create a Civic education fund. The fund is be jointly managed by the Commissioner of Education and the State Comptroller. Private contributions to the fund are welcomed. According to the bill not (yet) signed by Governor Cuomo:

Monies from the fund shall be expended only for community-based organizations, non-profits and other non-traditional organizations to implement civics education projects including, but not limited to, universities, museums, libraries, and cultural institutions. Such funds may also be expended for civic education projects including, but not limited to, mock trials, debate forums, voter registration activities, and projects that demonstrate an understanding of the connections between federal, state and local politics including issues that may impact the students’ community.

At this point, it is too early to tell how much funding there will be, how one obtains such funding, and whether it will really work or not. In any event, it demonstrates a commitment to civics.

BUT WAIT THERE IS MORE. Then that very same day there was Corey Lewandowski. It was altogether fitting and appropriate that on the anniversary of the passage of the Constitution, that Lewandowski would trash it. All the civic lessons taught in the schools pale in significance to the Constitutional lesson taught by Lewandowski live on national TV. Is there really anything a teacher can do to counter that display of how the Constitution fails to work in the real world?

Think back a few months ago, when checks and balances were all the rage. Remember how the 2018 elections were going to change Washington. Now the Democrats in the majority of the House of Representatives would be able to exercise oversight responsibility. The Democrats would be able to call people to testify. The Democrats would be able to subpoena people to testify when they refused to do. The Democrats would be able to turn to the Courts to enforce the subpoenas.

How has that worked out so far?

After nine months it is safe to say that the Democrats in the House of Representatives have no oversight function. There is no compliance. Even when someone does show up it quickly becomes a joke. For all practical purposes, regardless of the system of checks and balances enshrined in the Constitution, the House of Representatives is a nothingburger. It is easy to see why Nancy Pelosi would be upset with Jerry Nadler. At this rate of investigation hell will freeze over before anything is accomplished. Certainly we will be well into the campaign cycle at which point such inquiries will be rendered moot.

As Corey Lewandowski stated with great enthusiasm and determination, he has no obligation to speak the truth to the American People. He has no obligation to speak the truth to the press. He has no obligation to speak the truth to Congress or under subpoena if the President says not to do so. He considers these affirmations to be a winning ticket for election to the Senate. He recognizes that his word will be worthless in the Senate should he be elected to it. He recognizes that no one n the Senate has to tell him the truth either. This makes life a lot easier for him. Lewandowski will have no campaign promises because who would believe him? Therefore he will break no campaign promises because he has none to keep. And he will never break his word to another Senator because no Senator would be stupid enough to trust him in the first place.

BUT WAIT. THERE IS MORE. Statutory law has no meaning either for the would-be President for Life. Tax returns are to be submitted only if the President wants to comply. Regardless of what the legislation says, the President has the option to determine if the request is for a valid reason and then, and only then, to turn over his taxes. And that applies even if there is a Democratic President.

BUT WAIT. THERE IS MORE. Same with state law. Just as the President is above the federal law, so too he is above the state law. It is right there in Article II. It was hidden so no one noticed for lo these 222 years. In fact, the President cannot even be investigated for a crime while in office yet alone indicted for one. And that applies even if there is a Democratic President.

BUT WAIT. THERE IS MORE. Same for funding. The President is obligated to spend monies in accordance with rules laid down by Congress. If Congress allocates funding for Program X, the President cannot spend them for Program Y…unless he wants to. Forget about Article I and the power of the purse being relegated to Congress. It’s up to the President to decide how money should be spent. And that applies even if there is a Democratic President.

BUT WAIT. NOW THERE IS REALLY MORE!!!!! Same with whistleblowing. It does not matter what the procedures are. It does not matter how clear cut they may be. Just as with the legislation involving tax returns or the subpoenas issued by the House, there is an unwritten rule that trumps everything. No law, no rule, no statue has to be obeyed unless the President chooses to follow it. And that applies even if there is a Democratic President.

I had always intended to write a blog on September 17 about the Constitution…but not this blog. As previously written, one of the reasons nothing sticks is because before you can digest the current scandal it is on to the next one. Remember Greenland? That was years ago. How about Alabama? Wasn’t that months ago? Remember Corey! It is easy to understand why Republicans forced to pose as Trumpicans are throwing in the towel and abandoning ship. Do they really want to defend a President using the power of the Presidency to seek dirt from a foreign country to create his own Steele Dossier? Do they really want to see a President pull the plug on defending Eastern Europe from Russia in the hopes of one day being able to build the Moscow Trump Tower…or is there some other reason he is doing what is doing?

Right now as I am writing this post there still is much that is unknown. In any event, if you are interested in teaching the Constitution, then current events provides all the necessary ingredients. What is the meaning of Article I? What is the meaning of Article II? What is impeachment? Is the President above the law? Is the systems of checks and balances still relevant? Is it true that if he murdered someone on Fifth Avenue that not only wouldn’t he not lose support, but that Rudy Giuliani would defend him? FAKE NEWS!!! That should be enough for at least one 45-minute civics class!