The Party of Treason

Have you ever heard the philosophy that states “if someone tells you, and shows you who they are, believe them”? Trump has been telling us, yelling to us, and showing us that he’s a wannabe dictator who will use racism, hatred and fear mongering rhetoric and tactics to achieve power. He has expressed open admiration for other despots around the world.

(Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

There was never a good excuse for supporting Trump as a political leader, he proved himself right out of the gate to be the antithesis of true American values. The first red flag indicating he’s a dictatorial leader was when he disparaged an entire race of people by stating falsely that Mexicans coming over the border are rapists, drug dealers and murderers. He further implied that Mexico as a country was purposely sending “their worst” people to the U.S. The implication of course is that very few if any Mexican immigrants are good people. 

Same goes for Islam, he spent much of his Twitter time and public appearances spreading false information about Muslims, that thousands of them were cheering and celibrating 9/11, he pushed for a travel ban to and from Muslim countries, suggested we shut down the nations mosques or at least spy on them. 

He encouraged violence and intimidation against dissenters and the reporters. 

These are all things a dictator does without even mentioning the vulgar personality traits that would usually sink a candidate. But as Trump himself observed about his bizarre followers, he wouldn’t lose a single one even if he shot a person on 5th Avenue. He knows what kind of base is supporting him. 

He has since proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that not only would he lie, cheat and steal to get power, but he would also engage in a coup d’etat to keep it. Add traitor to the list of Trump’s undesirable traits. 

He spent the months leading up to the election grooming his willing base for a possible violent overthrow of the U.S. government by reinforcing certain key falsehoods. He demonized the press as a conspirator working with the Democrats, he has attacked the integrity of the election system by stating hundreds of times that it’s rigged against him. 

He thought he could rig the system himself by installing rabid loyalists, or at least people he thought were blindly loyal, in key positions to “legally” overturn any result that didn’t reelect him. 

He thought his appointees on the Supreme Court would overturn any undesired election results. He was wrong. 

He thought U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr would conjure up some fabricated evidence that would overturn the election. Wrong. 

When all else fails, lead an insurrection. 

What any would-be dictator needs to successfully overthrow their government is large grassroots support from the population, support from loyalists in key government segments, and support from the military. He has the support of some 75 million Americans as evident by the election results. He has the support of nearly all the Republicans in congress. 

He doesn’t have the courts, and he couldn’t get the military. Thank God. Because that’s how close we came to living in an Orwellian nightmare with Trump as president for life. 

In November 2020, after the election Trump took the highly unusual step of firing three high ranking Pentagon officials and replacing them with Trump loyalists. Apparently he thought that would give him the military. He was wrong.  

A rally was being organized for Jan 6, the day congress would officially confirm the electoral results making Joe Biden the next President of the United States. Trump promoted the rally, dubbed StopTheSteal, in public and on Twitter stating “massive amounts” of evidence will be presented to prove the election was stolen. In true dictatorial fashion however, no evidence was then, or ever been presented. 

On January 6, 2021 Trump addressed a crowd that he had been priming for months to believe the election was stolen. Like a mob boss, he encouraged them to march on the capitol and fight, carefully crafting his words to be sure he himself would never be implicated in what was likely to be treason. But everyone in the crowd, and indeed the watching world knew what he meant. 

Trump insinuated that he would march with them, an act a true revolutionary would have done but instead, being a coward he went back to the safety of the White House to watch the scene unfold on FoxNews. Insulated from prosecution while his foolish supporters get hunted down and arrested by the FBI. 

While the Capitol was under attack Steny Hoyer, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer were communicating from a bunker with Maryland Governor Larry Hogan begging for the deployment of his troops that he said was ready, willing and able to go with one exception; they needed permission from the Pentagon. The Pentagon was being held back by the White House. For nearly two hours Trump sat on the Maryland National Guard, presumably waiting to see if his mob could occupy the Capitol, presumably not concerned that Pelosi and Pence could end up swinging from a rope. 

And now, 6 months later the North Carolina Republican Party convention allowed Trump to give a speech where he continued his dangerous false narrative that he’s the rightful president, and Republicans in congress are blocking an investigation into the attack on the Capitol. 

Donald J. Trump is a traitor to the United States and frankly so is anyone who still supports him, after all this everyone should know better. Yet he currently has the support of the GOP. 

The Republican Party is now the Party of treason.

President Trump Sabotages America’s Institutions

Every U.S. president falls under the intense scrutiny of the media, a spotlight that magnifies every word and action, past and present. And now with social media like Twitter you get to know a guy pretty good. President Trump in his first term has proven for the most part to have two driving motivators; the economy and himself, the former is directly linked to the latter. He is pro-Trump and pro-business. This president cares about little else, he knows historically people vote according to their bank accounts.

It’s his obsession with power and big business that makes his so dangerous. President Trump has linked his self image of greatness to the economy above all other and he measures the economy by how rich the rich are getting. Balancing the economy with all the other concerns, like the environment to name just one, takes precision, and costs money.
Lots of money.

The apparent remedy to the burden of balance is to undermine or even destroy the institutions that keeps big business in check. The president is afforded the right to appoint the heads of these agencies and this president, along with conservative members of congress are installing people with the sole purpose of running these agencies into the ground.

Take for example:

The word protection in the name Environmental Protection Agency is a huge red flag for those who would make money from activities that dirty up our water and air. The EPA has been a thorn in the side of polluters since Richard Nixon created it 50 years ago.
Trump’s first pick for director, Scott Pruitt resigned in scandal and went on to become a coal promoter for Alliance Resource Partners, L.P, and a lobbyist for Sunrise Coal.
Enter Scott Wheeler, a climate science denier like his predecessor. Mr Wheeler worked as a coal lobbyist for Faegre Baker Daniels, a law firm who represents coal producer Murray Energy.
Trump has spent his entire first term deregulating the energy industry at the expense of our environment, being clean costs the fossil fuel industry a lot of money.
Here’s a list of terrifying rollbacks tracked by the Brookings Institution:

This agency has come to the scientific conclusion that climate change is happening and human activity is a significant factor, so naturally Trump would like to appoint a science denier to that post. Unfortunately for the president it’s not easy finding a qualified scientist to fit that bill, a Trump ally will just have to do. Jim Bridenstine was nominated in September 2017 to head the agency to heavy criticism for falling well below the scientific standards set by previous administrators, and for being a vocal critic of prevailing consensus on climate change. He was confirmed strictly by Republicans in a 50-49 vote in April, 2018.
However, it seems the plan backfired on the president and his allies in congress. One month after Bridenstine’s confirmation in May, 2018, he turned a 180 in a town hall speech at NASA headquarters as reported by The Atlantic he said, “I don’t deny that consensus that the climate is changing,” he said. “In fact, I fully believe and know that the climate is changing. I also know that we humans beings are contributing to it in a major way. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. We’re putting it into the atmosphere in volumes that we haven’t seen, and that greenhouse gas is warming the planet. That is absolutely happening, and we are responsible for it.”
That’s gotta hurt.

The Department of the Interior for those who don’t know manages about 75% of federal lands and natural resources. Trumps first appointment to position of Secretary of the Interior was Ryan Zinke, another one that ended on scandal leading the way for the current Secretary David Bernhardt. As one could guess, Bernhardt is a former lobbyist for Brownstein Hyett Farber Schreck, a lobbying firm with a client list including oil and gas energy and exploration companies, and notably the Independent Petroleum Association of America, as well as other mining interests. The Trump Administration is accelerating mining and oil drilling on public lands as well as uranium extraction and plundering forests.

Office of Air and Radiation
William Wehrum is an attorney and lobbyist for such polluters as Koch Industries and the American Petroleum Institute among others and served as assistant administrator for the EPA Office of Air and Radiation until he was forced to step down for ethics violations, mostly interacting with former clients to discuss government regulation related to their industry.
The new administrator Anne Idsal isn’t a lobbyist or a corporate attorney and is relatively unknown.

Taxpayer funded public schools are literally centuries old. But of course conservative forces in the United States would rather have a for profit system and what better way to undermine public education than to appoint to the Department of Education a vastly underqualified person who’s known not for education as much as for advocacy of private schools. Betsy DeVos, the current Secretary of Education is just such a person. DeVos has been an advocate of school vouchers, that essentially takes taxpayer money from public schools and funnels it to private schools, for decades. Upon landing in the Secretary position she has ambitiously worked toward the largest school voucher assault on public schools in U.S. history. Like many of Trump’s dubious nominees, the Senate vote to confirm was far from overwhelming and in this case Vice President Mike Pence had to break a 50 – 50 tie.

The first Postmaster General was appointed by Benjamin Franklin in 1775 and is one of the few agencies authorized by the U.S. Constitution. It’s the epitome of an American institution.
Although the USPS is a government agency it’s self sustaining and takes no taxpayer money to function. For a couple decades Republicans have strongly advocated the privatization of the agency, essentially dismantling it in favor of a for-profit system in spite of operating for over 200 years.
Trump’s pick for Postmaster General is just the man for the job. Louis Dejoy has exactly zero prior experience at the Post Office and in fact had invested in UPS (which he divested). Aside from having interests in competitors and sub-contractors like XPO, DeJoy’s main function seems to be hamstringing the effectiveness of mail delivery, he’s slowing the operation down. Normally one could conclude that kind of leadership is designed to sabotage not only the profitability but the public image of the agency, leading to the argument that it should be privatized. However in 2020 there is an added motive; it’s believed that because of the COVID-19 pandemic a certain segment of the population may vote by mail. That demographic is Democtrats who may be interested in reducing public exposure by avoiding the polls. Voter suppression is an added bonus in Republicans effort to destroy the U.S. Postal Service.

All this and the attempt to stack the U.S. Supreme Court with ultra right-wing conservative judges so incase any lawsuits concerning these changes make it that far will be struck down. Trump is far and away the most dangerous person to ever take residency in the White House and likewise, the true colors of the Republican Party are showing with their quiet complicity. Apparently to make America again is to set us back a century or so.

We’re There For The Oil, Folks


President Donald Trump. | Evan Vucci/AP Photo

In the latest reality TV episode of Trump Goes to Washington the President made a curious admission. On more than one occasion in the last few days President Trump has repeated in one context or another, “we’re there for the oil” when asked about troops in Syria.  At a press conference with Turkish president Erdoğan Trump declared “We’re keeping the oil, we have the oil, the oil is secure, we left troops behind only for the oil.”

The big irony of this president is that he tends to tell the truth rarely but when he does, he wasn’t supposed to. The fact that the U.S. is in the Middle East and Africa solely for the natural resources is the worst kept secret in Washington. Of course they keep up the facade that our troops are there to for a number of honorable reasons, for this they maintain a grab bag of deceptive go-to talking points. The first one is the term “national interests”, which is of course a euphemism for financial interests. Other misleading items in the bag include national security, American freedom, the Constitution, democracy (home or abroad), human rights, and fighting terrorism among others.

The Pentagon is doing it’s duty by pushing back on the presidents blunder by going out of it’s way to clarify the U.S. position that we’re actually there to fight ISIS. That’s only a partial truth. They want us to believe the fight against ISIS is a stand alone issue because…we just don’t like terrorism. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We fight terrorism in the region because they tend to disrupt our extraction of resources. We’re there for the oil, folks.

Even far right talking head and Trump cheerleader Laura Ingraham tried to rein in the president during an exchange on The Ingraham Angle, she sounded more like she was coaching him.

“Not taking the oil, they’re not taking the oil,” Ingraham said.

“Well, maybe we will. Maybe we won’t,” Trump said.

“They’re protecting the facility,” Ingraham said.

“I don’t know. Maybe we should take it, but we have the oil. Right now, the United States has the oil. So they say he left troops in Syria. No. I got rid of all of them other than we’re protecting the oil. We have the oil,” Trump said.

This president can’t take a hint. Much like targeting and destroying cultural sites, another thing Trump threatens to do, outwardly plundering resources with the military is a war crime. Trump doesn’t know enough about foreign policy or international law to even be involved; after three years as POTUS he’s still grossly unqualified to be president.

Bottom line, Trump mistakenly let the cat out of the bag. Our freedom and the integrity of the U.S. Constitution in no way hinges on our presence in the Middle East or Africa. We aren’t there for human rights, or to encourage democracy. Quite the opposite. It’s far more common for the U.S. to prop up and coddle dictators who will in exchange allow our oil companies carte blanche within the borders of their country.

“We’re keeping the oil, we have the oil, the oil is secure, we left troops behind only for the oil.” — A rare truth escapes the lips of President Trump.