The Worst Day Yet For Donald Trump- Manafort and Cohen Guilty.

Licking lips like a lizard, Michael Cohen turns on Trump completely. Manafort guilty on 8 counts! Great day for US.

When America saw that Paul Manafort was found guilty yesterday, many of us shouted for literal joy. One lone holdout juror refused to vote to find him guilty on all eighteen counts, so ten of them ended up being a mistrial. He’ll have to go to court again on those.

On eight counts, however, he was guilty then and there. It’s enough to make sure he goes to prison.

“I won’t be this happy on Christmas, unless they find some other, even bigger, Trump crony to throw in the can,” said one of our senior contributors on the subject.

Manafort is said to have held out and went to trial believing he would get a pardon from Trump, who refused to deny he was considering it, even though bipartisan condemnation would surely follow.

Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio tells the story loud and clear, though. This “president” is not at all above subverting the judicial system to reward those who commit crimes he likes. Manafort may get his pardon- but even if he did, he would have to rot in jail until he finishes his other cases. He’s going to do years under any circumstances.

There can be no doubt. After two years of brazen lies, insults, and claims that all we say is fake news, finally. The slobs who watch Fox News can willfully deny no longer, and neither can their Republican masters.

They can gripe, they can whine, they can get ready to start obstructing again after we take back all power from the Republicans and never give any of it back to them. They had better adjust to that reality quick, for their own sakes.

Because Robert Mueller- whose public approval rating has jumped 11 points in the last 24 hours- absolutely blasted Trump yesterday.

Big as a deal as the Manafort conviction was- on any other day, I can’t even imagine another topic taking precedence- it was actually overshadowed by the court appearance and subsequent plea deal taken by Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney.

Cohen’s admission that he paid hush money to Stormy Daniels at Trump’s behest makes Trump the uncharged conspirator in a major felony case.

To understate the case all but absurdly, it’s a big deal. For the first time since he got elected, talk of his impending impeachment may not be far from reality-although if it is, the Republicans should be the ones to do it. We don’t want to split the country like they did with Bill Clinton. They can clean up their own mess, while we raise awareness about their incapacity to do it.

At any rate, Trump has been caught with his pants down, both with Stormy and with former Playboy centerfold Karen MacDougal. He paid her off too.

The question now on everybody’s mind is what comes next.

For all the talk about Robert Mueller and his investigation getting ready to wrap up this fall, we really have no idea. Mueller’s team has been completely immune to the sort of leaks that haunt the White House. There is no person in Mueller’s life analogous to Omarosa Manigault.

Justice Department policy regarding the indictment of a sitting president in the past suggests Mueller won’t charge him directly. But there’s never been a president this crooked before either, so we really don’t know. It is our opinion that at this point, the possibility should not be ruled out.

Indictment or no, the damage this will do to our unpleasant 45th president is almost impossible to overstate.

Between Cohen and Manafort, it’s been the hardest day for Trump since the day of him boasting about other sex offenses he committed on the “Grab ’em” tape recorded by Access Hollywood. It was a one-two punch of epic proportions. Trump is reeling.

What direction the finishing blow comes from is going to depend on Robert Mueller’s report and what’s in it. By this point, it seems likely that it won’t be anything good for Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, Trump himself is said to be calm for the moment, which to this Millennial Democrats contributor seems like the effects of shock. It is said that in the White House, they are bracing for a storm- a storm Trump himself has perceived he is caught out in.

Democrats are likewise preparing for the storm. Our leaders have drafted a wide-ranging contingency plan that will go into immediate effect should Trump try and fire Mueller. It will also happen if he takes any other steps to kill the Russia investigation, like firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein or pardoning key witnesses.

“How did we get here?” Trump woefully wondered on Fox News earlier this evening.

You ran for president, Donald. That’s how.

It’s been a tangled path, but one thing is certain. He’s got only himself to blame.

Tragedy on the Border- Immigrant Kids Torn From Parents by ICE.

ICE Rips Children Out Of Hands Of Parents.

The United States government, under the leadership of the Republican Party, has been systematically taking immigrant children away from their parents at the Mexican border.

The New York Times reported last month that more than 700 children have been separated from adults who claim to be their parents since October. More than 100 of those children were under the age of four.

This is unprecedented. In modern times, in America, this has not been done before. Children as young as 53-week old infants have literally been ripped out of the hands of their parents by uniformed American law enforcement.

Illegal immigrants are being detained by authorities on misdemeanor charges. While these parents do time, their kids are sent thousands of miles away. Another travesty is that this often happens people are not even trying to cross the border illegally. They’ve just come to alert the officials that they have arrived. Seeking asylum is not illegal. 

And yet, hundreds of families have been subjected to this newest brutal tactic on the part of the ICE. This is not a bad dream! They really, truly are attempting to deter asylum-seeking immigrants by forcibly separating immigrant parents and children.

Chief of Staff John Kelly spoke on the matter, saying “The children will be taken good care of. They’ll be put into foster care, or whatever.”

“Or Whatever”? What sort of a human being are you, sir? What sort of an American? This is not what our country is about.

North Dakota Democrat Heidi Heitkamp recently said it best.

“What you’re doing to children when you take them away from their parents is the most trauma impactful thing you can do to a child. So let’s be good people and good Americans as it relates to how we treat children.”

The American Civil Liberties Union’s Border Litigation Project says it has obtained 30,000 pages of records documenting abuse and neglect of unaccompanied immigrant children by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

It has brought a national class-action lawsuit in their defense, and thank God someone has. But what is going on in this country, when we’ve got to beg the government, not to let our law enforcement officers steal babies from their parents??

Not a day goes by anymore when Americans don’t find ourselves assailed from some new direction. Shame and indignation have become part of our daily routine. But not like this. This is new.

The cruelty and stupidity of our 45th president have already become legend, especially as regards our Southern neighbors. During Hurricane Harvey last summer, he ordered Border Patrol checkpoints to stay open, even as the storm approached. He pardoned Joe Arpaio the same day.

By now, everyone knows. He really is the kind of person who would split up families as a deterrent, same as the Nazis did. And this current Congress, controlled as it is by other corrupt and complicit Republicans, will never stop him. So we have to help raise awareness. People have to know what they are doing before we can make them stop.

It is the recommendation of every single Millennial Democrat that people call their representatives. Tell the people in power how revolted you are. Tell them that this is not the country you were raised in and that you don’t intend to let it go any longer.

If we all ask the question at once, they will have to answer to us.

A Betrayal of Justice- No Pardon For Assange

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is reportedly being considered for a pardon by President Donald Trump.

On April 20, 2017, CNN revealed that US authorities have prepared charges and will seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for intelligence leaks dating all the way back to 2010. There’s a grocery list of charges, but the big one is espionage, for which he could receive the death penalty.

There’s a lot of evidence against him. In 2015 Google notified representatives of Wikileaks that they had handed over all their emails and metadata to the United States government. These notifications included a list of the charges that originated the warrant to Google, as well as that the secret grand jury intends to use them against WikiLeaks and likely Assange too.

Obviously, the very idea of a presidential pardon being granted to anyone who committed a series of crimes this serious, is being taken seriously in intelligence quarters, where it has caused a great deal of concern. This seems logical, since Trump has proven time and again that whether or not somebody likes him is the fundamental principle by which he evaluates their worth.

For example, Joe Arpaio was one of Trump’s campaign buddies, and he helped Trump get in. So when he got in trouble, Trump gave his buddy a pardon, in an offhand and cavalier manner that gives us every indication that he might do the same thing again.

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that it is very possible Assange may be pardoned as well, and for the same reason. In this case that would be unbelievably dangerous. Joe Arpaio is a deeply unpleasant man, but for all his flaws, he is not a spy or a traitor. Assange is a criminal of an entirely different order, the very worst kind. Dante reserved the lowest level of hell for traitors.

Trump has repeatedly offered praise for WikiLeaks, which recently requested a seat at the daily White House press briefings. He held up Assange as a source of higher value than our own intelligence community‘s efforts, when he cited his attempts to question their conclusion that Russia sought to influence last year’s presidential election.
What moral are people supposed to draw from that? Why on Earth would you believe Julian Assange before the intelligence community?”, asked Robert Deitz, a former senior counselor to the director of the CIA, and currently a professor at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government.

The initiative behind the Assange pardon concept comes from another man who has come under scrutiny for his ties to Russia, Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif). On Sean Hannity’s radio show Monday afternoon, Rohrabacher said he wanted to brief Trump about the contents of a meeting he recently had with Assange regarding the hacking of our election. The California congressman said that meeting was in the process of being set up.

Assange has been a criminal and a digital terrorist worldwide, of course, and for many years. He also is a suspected rapist who’s probably got plenty of STD’s.  Undoubtedly he has burned many. But it’s America who has been burned by him the worst.
Wikileaks, under his direction, has attempted to cut the throat of American intelligence time and time again. He has disrupted the functioning of our country in every way he’s been able to think up. He was involved in helping Edward Snowden, he leaked Chelsea Manning’s documents, he leaked the DNC emails last summer that led to the rioting of Bernie Sanders supporters and the resignation of Debbie Wasserman- Schultz– an event that is said to have astounded the Russians with glee. In short, he is an enemy.
Assange claims to be neutral, both in general and in regard to our 2016 election, but every single leak ever released by his outlet was designed to hurt Hillary Clinton and no one else. They would like us to believe in the absurd idea that is because no data was ever sent to WikiLeaks, about the Sanders, Trump, Stein, or Johnson’s campaign.
He recently “gave excuse after excuse” for refusing to publish a trove of documents related to corruption within the Russian government, according to chat logs obtained by Foreign Policy. That is little wonder. Assange has paid off for the Russians many times.
He was a member of the Chaos Computer Club, a European collective infamous for stealing secrets from governments and selling them to the KGB for drugs and money. Around this same time, in the 1980’s, Vladimir Putin was a young(and according to his old boss, extremely mediocre) lieutenant in the KGB. It is likely these two have known each other for a while.
Wikileaks, underneath the strategic command of Julian Assange, is an important part of a consistent and growing sequence of aggressive Russian attempts to rebuild at the expense of NATO and the United States. His involvement in Brexit, and in the French elections between Macron and Le Pen last year parallel his efforts in our election. He has also been active in attempting to undermine and hamstring Angela Merkel in Germany’s election this month. He is a willing and active participant in the worldwide far-right conspiracy being headed by Putin.
 Lawfare’s Nicholas Weaver calls this whole process the weaponization of Wikileaks.
“Wikileaks doesn’t seem to care that they are being used as a weapon by unknown parties, instead calling themselves a ‘library of mass education’. But the rest of us should,” Weaver writes.

The evidence so far suggests it’s a weapon that Putin has used to great effect.

Moving forward, Democrats will learn from the crimes perpetrated against us, and become stronger because of them. But it’s going to be important to keep our eyes out for the vipers that have struck at our heel in the past. There is none more venomous or wicked than Julian Assange, the man that our President may reward with a pardon, for subverting our entire democracy. By raising our voices and making this known, we can make sure it never happens.

 

Hate Crimes and Hurricanes- Labor Day and The Trump Effect

On Sunday, Donald Trump gave America its Labor Day present early, by way of reassuring us as to what a sane and balanced man we have running our country.

Hurricane Harvey was wonderful, Trump said, in the following statement regarding the survivors of the storm he’d met at the disaster relief center he visited.

They were just happy,” Trump said, referencing the disaster in a speech that included a bizarre list of phrases. “We saw a lot of happiness. It’s been really nice. It’s been a wonderful thing. It’s been beautiful.”

What does one say in response? People have lost everything. Harvey wasn’t beautiful at all. It was a particularly vicious hurricane, one that killed many people and ruined all they had. This was not supposed to be fun. It was not intended as an opportunity for Donald, captain of Gondor, to show his quality. It’s a life changing cataclysm. There are decades of recovery ahead for the city. What Trump mistook for happiness, is people’s relief at still being alive.

There is a large question as to whether Trump knows what is real and what isn’t. He’s been on a roll since he began, but since the Charlottesville mayhem things have really grown extreme. He downsized the Historically Black Colleges and Universities conference, he pardoned Joe Arpaio, and he even ordered that ICE checkpoints be kept open during the evacuation process of Houston.

All of this is starting to take a very serious toll. It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that Trump’s tendency to condescend toward and abuse people of color is one of the things prompting the extreme and careless manner of the nuclear testing being done by North Korea. And domestically, the harm can hardly be calculated.

At a time like this, when racial relations in America are already abysmal, and violence has been breaking out like a smallpox outbreak, it seems reasonable to expect of a good President, that they be doing what they can to calm things down. But the occupant of our highest office seems bent on doing just the opposite.

Trump’s decision to end DACA, an Obama-era program allowing undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children to stay here, is the latest in a succession of blows to this country’s social cohesion. Several states have already threatened to sue. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was established in 2012 to protect young immigrants who came to America as children without legal status.

About 800,000 people have signed up for the program, and remain free from the fear of deportation only by its leave.

Supporters and critics of the program alike say that leaving such people in uncertainty is an inhuman thing to do.

“It’s a cruel hand that extends the American dream and then steals it away. #DACA #DREAMers,” wrote Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., in the first of three tweets on the topic. Democrats have been universal in their condemnation of the president’s conduct. We remain the party of freedom and decency.

The problems with Trump’s attacks on people of color seems to grow bigger every day. Since Donald Trump won the election, news outlets and social media accounts have been overflowing with reports of swastikas at schools, racist taunts, and various other hate-fueled attacks. Slate.com catalogued 1064 such incidents of his kind to take place since last January.

More recently, an investigation by BuzzFeed found examples from dozens of school districts nationwide of students using Trump’s own words to bully their classmates.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has repeatedly criticized the president for “the Trump effect“, which it has called a virus in our country. It has catalogued 1064 such incidents since Trump took office last November. Most Americans have heard of Heather Heyer by now. Sadly, she is far from being the only casualty.

Members of the Ku Klux Klan were arrested for stabbing three people in Anaheim, California.

Student Richard Collins III was killed by a white supremacist days before his graduation from the venerable HBCU Bowie State University. A man named Sean Urbanski walked up to him as he waited for an Uber with friends, and allegedly yelled, “Step left, step left if you know what’s best for you!” As this directive was not complied with, Urbanski stabbed Collins in the chest.

Larger scale assaults have been planned as well. The Crusaders are a terrorist group formed by residents of a town called Liberal, Kansas, three men named Curtis Allen, Gavin Wright, and Patrick Stein. These men thought of themselves as patriots resisting a Muslim takeover of the United States. And they knew where there were some Muslims down the road, who could use a good stiff resisting.

So they laid out a plan to load up two cargo vans full of ammonium nitrate, and blow to high heaven an apartment complex inhabited primarily by Somalian refugees in their town, people who came to work at the local meatpacking plant. This plot was only foiled, because Allen got busted for beating his wife and the police found guns and the plans when they came to arrest him for that.

Edward Gibbon famously wrote that history is little more than the register of crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind, and in some ways he was right. There’s a lot of crap like this on every page. Still, it remains the only light we have to guide the future by. We have been down these roads before, and we know it isn’t where we want to be.

Labor Day is representative of a dream of a unified world, people working side by side with people, to make the world a better place for all those who live in it. Starting with the hundred people killed in the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, many have died, fighting to secure the rights that Americans now enjoy. We pay homage to their sacrifice on Labor Day. Let us honor the fallen ones by treating each other with kindness. It’s a small thing to ask, and a big thing to give.

 

Acknowledge Black College! Trump Downsizes HCBU Conference

In particularly disgusting and cavalier fashion, the White House released a statement hinting that the administration will be looking to downsize Trump’s meeting with the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HCBUs). It gets harder for Americans to stomach by the day. People are starving for normal and strong.

Donald Trump and historically black colleges are not a match made in heaven. Many higher education experts have long found Trump’s interest in them troubling. “I would rather have Trump do nothing with HBCUs -not even know they exist,” University of Pennsylvania professor Marybeth Gasman told The Washington Post in May.“ He will see them as a handout. He doesn’t understand that he was given a leg up by his rich father. He doesn’t see that other people need help from programs because of past discrimination and inequity.”

A bit over a month into his presidency, Trump signed an executive order, signed to boost federal funds for HCBUs. However, the placatory legislature these schools were promised never materialized. And it left many worried.

This threatened attack on their funding has strained an already uneasy relationship between Trump and black communities in general. His slimy equivocation following last month’s bloodthirsty attack in Charlottesville, and his reputation for getting involved in blatantly racist crap like “birtherism”, These fears are widely believed to be justified. A recent poll concluded that most of us realize the obvious, e.g. Donald Trump doesn’t care about black people.

The black community are not the only ones with Trump troubles. The Hispanic community is still reeling from the slap in the face Trump gave them with the Arpaio pardon. In spite of this, our neighbor to the South, Mexico, has offered to help us in these desperate times of post Hurricane Harvey recovery. They came to our aid when Hurricane Katrina pummeled the Gulf Coast 12 years ago, and they were a big help. Although they likely won’t, the Trump administration should accept their help again.

Instead of treating our allies and neighbors like they haven’t any worth or value, let us work with them, and offer them thanks and gratitude! Maybe that can be some sort of a starting point, later on down the road when Trump is gone. One can only hope.

All of us need to heal. Racial discord has broken more hearts this year then it has since the 70’s.

Think of all these regular people, our countrymen and our neighbors! Ordinary folks, like us, trying to get by and get along with all this crap raining down on them. They have every reason to be bitter. Instead, they offered help to the guy handing out all this insult and abuse.  It’s a heartbreaking scenario by any standard, to a thinking person with a conscience. That leaves Trump out on both counts.

Even Trump’s own staff has had enough of him. John Kelly keeps him locked in the Oval Office, like a madman in the attic. The family shame. Keith Schiller, the retired NYC detective who has been his closest hatchetman for decades, made it known yesterday he’ll be returning to private life soon. He’s been reduced to sneaking phone calls out to the ousted Steve Bannon– when Kelly’s not around, that is.

While the Pentagon is managing the disaster that is our 45th President, Democrats have been busy. We have got many a plan in the works. It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that anyone wanting to help the cause, can start by simply Googling the hashtag, #RiseAndOrganize. We are loaded up for bear in 2018. And an amazing amount of money has been raised for the struggles to come. The new Democratic senator Kamala Harris raised more than $100,000 on Monday night this week.

.Harris’s political action committee is paying the consulting firm that built and managed Bernie Sanders’s small-dollar juggernaut, Now that we’re putting real effort into promoting our ideas to raise funds in this way, we will handily defeat him. Our platform is practical and realizable. Bernie’s platform would have bankrupted the country 10 times over. As his wife’s did to Burlington College in Vermont.

Across the nation, we are now fielding candidates in districts we were previously not contesting, and with every cause. We have all the momentum in the world. We have steadfastly provided a sane and decent alternative to the pandemonium created by this White House. We could not be more proud, of the heroes of the Democratic Party currently serving in our Senate.

We have certainly received assistance from the boasting and foolishness of Trump. But ultimately, we have done this for ourselves. The contrast between our quiet competence and their circus appears in the starkest possible relief. Every one of our guys has done their duty with the utmost professionalism. They saved Obamacare. They have stymied Trump’s worst efforts at every turn.

While the walls close in around Donald Trump, and the handwriting on them begins darkly scrawling of treason, we are getting ready. Everything that is humanly possible is being done to see to it that we clean this thing up. Before 2020, and after.

 

 

Keeps Him In Dark, Feeds Him Sh*t- Kelly Treats Trump Like Mushroom

Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone said earlier this week that the new Chief of Staff, John Kelly is “Treating Donald Trump like a mushroom. Keeping him in the dark, and feeding him sh*t.” This is true. Although the president does not seem to much like his new diet, the Pentagon has been making sure he sticks to it.

Not many people are happy with Donald Trump. Earlier this week, when North Korea fired a missile over Japan, he burst into his tough talk rhetoric, taking to Twitter with the message that “talking is not the answer” to the nuclear missile development of North Korea and the stress-filled standoff that comes with it.

However, Trump’s defense chief James Mattis was quick to contradict him. This has been happening to Trump a lot lately. He’s been increasingly isolated in a White House once filled with friends. People used to stop by the Oval Office, just to hang out. Now, they’ve got to have an official appointment, approved by Kelly.

Meanwhile, Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have partnered and pooled resources to investigate Paul Manafort and examine his financial ongoings, several people familiar with the matter told Politico.

 Since the US president is unable to pardon state crimes, this collaboration is probably an effort to pressure Manafort to cooperate in the broader Russia investigation under Mueller. Schneiderman can charge Manafort with a variety of state crimes, even if Trump did try and pardon him to spare him from questioning. He can hem him up directly. Many have felt that Manafort was the most direct key to all this. His house was raided last month, by the FBI.

Trump’s unusual pardon of former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, issued before his federal case was even finished, has sparked a debate over whether the president could end Mueller’s Russia probe with a clean slate of preemptive pardons. The answer is probably yes- but only on the federal level. State prosecutors would then have the option to try the cases in their own courtrooms.

Given the circumstances, this is much more likely than usual. State prosecutors usually defer to federal ones, but given the likelihood of Trump attempting a ,mass-pardon of everyone involved, there’s a very good chance that in this case they will do just the opposite.

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that America needs to see justice done, before we’ll see closure on this. Closure here is big, because until we get it, we won’t have our faith in our government restored. Mueller is fighting to remind everybody that America’s been great all along. We never needed the help of Donald Trump.

We never needed Donald Trump’s brand name all over stuff we already had. We accepted him, and made room for him, even though it was widely known that he was New York’s most obnoxious celebrity– which ranked him high among the populace of Earth in general. But we never needed him. We never asked him to come along and start making us great. Trump can hardly spell great; in fact, even the very typing of his slogan has become too oppressive a burden for him. He sent out a self-pitying tweet this morning, informing us all that all he wants to do, is MAGA! As in Israeli martial arts?

Trump is mired so deeply in his own person, that he isn’t stopping at all to consider how much harm he is doing the country. We have been divided right to the bone by his election. Particularly since the Charlottesville incident, there has been unrest and violence nationwide. It has been a blow to our stability that we haven’t felt the like of since Vietnam. And regardless of who they blame it on, everyone is feeling the pinch. Even his own supporters, usually loyal as a pack of dogs, used words like “Outrageous”, “Let Down,”, and “Disappointed’, when speaking to a focus group in Pittsburgh Tuesday night. According to a recent Fox News poll, 56% of voters in general feel that he’s tearing the country apart.

 

Like the recent disaster that was Hurricane Harvey, the real challenge- that of cleanup and recovery- has not even had a chance to begin yet. We’re still not quite through with even the first semester of this infant presidency. The way things are going now, it’s not looking good for him. Even Mitch McConnell privately speculated recently as to whether or not Trump could save his job.

He’s still in power for now, though, and until Mueller finishes, he has the capacity to do a lot of damage with it. The best hope we have for maintaining order in the meantime is John Kelly, but Trump is already unhappy with him. Although the circus our executive branch has resembled since January has at least now been restricted to rings, Trump feels that he is being managed, by an old fuddy-duddy who his old loyalists do not much like. They derisively call the old gentleman “Kelly the church lady”, considering him strict and morally superior.

“He’s having a very hard time,” one friend who spoke with Trump this week said of the president. “He doesn’t like how Kelly’s handling him.”

The President of the United States of America, has been reduced to sneaking phone calls to Steve Bannon– when Kelly’s not around. How did it come to this?

 

Pardons, Bans, and Health Care Sabotage- More than a Tweeting

As Joseph Arpaio’s federal case headed toward trial this past spring, President Trump wanted to act to help him. The former sheriff had been a close ally in the zany world of Trump’s racism political buddies, ever since the birtherism days. So he asked his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, to drop the criminal case against Arpaio. Sessions, however, was not enthusiastic. He told the president that would be “inappropriate”, according to three people with knowledge of the conversation, which is a very polite euphemism for “starting a political hurricane“.

In spite of the foolishness of Trump, who is lounging happily at Camp David this evening, at a nice safe distance from the actual hurricane, John Kelly has kept right along running the show. He was spared the task of removing one of the final holdouts from the Bannon wing of the new administration, Sebastian Gorka, whose resignation came Friday night amid several chaotic announcements from the White House.

A presidential directive banning transgender recruits became more than a tweeting earlier this week also, but it was the announcement that Texan immigration checkpoints would stay open, even in the face of the coming Hurricane Harvey, that caused the most disgust and outrage. This move, breaking decades of precedent and astounding many with its callousness and lack of forethought, is one of the most alarming signs yet of the president’s inablility to understand consequences.

However, a ray of hope appeared in the form of the recent comments of James Mattis to American troops stationed abroad. “Our country right now, it’s got problems we don’t have in the military,” Mattis said. “You just hold the line until our country gets back to understanding and respecting each other and showing it.”

This is the latest in a growing trend. What little decency there is in the Trump administration, is coming from the Pentagon.  All that comes from the White House itself is one continuous mess. Trump’s disorganization has made it impossible for him to get anything positive done. The other branches of government have blocked his worst ideas. Our judicial system has held firm, and saved us time and again. Congressional Democrats have stood firm in a bloc and refused steadfastly to go along with whatever it is the Republicans are offering. Their agenda doesn’t exist, outside the sabotaging of Obamacare. Their efforts have failed so many times, and their president is going to seed in so many ways, that it’s hard to predict what comes next for them.

It has long been a maxim of human life that it is easier to destroy than create. And Donald Trump has at every turn demonstrated to the world that his capacity for pettiness knows no bounds. Against the wishes of even other Republicans, Trump has threatened repeatedly to cut off the cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers that allow the the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, to keep functioning.

Under this life-saving legislation, the federal government reimburses insurance companies for the discounts on copays and deductibles they’re required by law to give to low-income customers, which is the only way that 23 million Americans can continue to keep breathing.

Trump has always scoffed at social programs.  This was clearly evidenced by the savage shame that was his new budget plan. He has called them “bailouts,” and held forth at bitter length about the supposed evils of them during the drama of the multiple failed attempts by Senate Republicans to repeal and replace the public health care law that has long eluded their capture.

Trump is wavering on continuing to make good on these payments to insurers, even though the Congressional Budget Office just released an analysis concluding that ending the payments will increase the national deficit by $194 billion, over the next 10 years. For another several weeks, President Trump will be deciding whether the payments will continue long-term, or be cut off altogether. No one should assume it will go the right way. He doubled down in his comments on the Charlottesville murder. He made his tweet regarding transgender soldiers an official order. He pardoned Arpaio, although the rest of the GOP begged him not to.

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that there is nothing on the agenda right now more important than saving the Affordable Care Act. For us regular folks, all we can do is remain watchful and make our voices heard. Trump absolutely may sabotage the ACA by withholding these payments, just because he’s bitter at the way things are going. More evidence regarding secret meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin came out this week, and leaks came out of Mitch McConnell privately speculating that he doubts whether Trump can still save his presidency. Doubtful indeed, but just the same, don’t expect him to go quietly.

 

 

 

Disaster Atop Disaster-Hurricane Trump, President Harvey.

Donald Trump will be at the presidential vacationing resort Camp David this evening as Hurricane Harvey is gaining steam.  It is expected to strike the coast of Texas, which has ordered an evacuation,sometime Friday evening. It has officially magnified into a Category 4 storm and is bringing with it tremendous winds of up to 130 mph, a massive storm surge, brutal flooding- and perhaps the first real test of Donald Trump as a president capable of handling a serious crisis. Millennial Democrats regretfully informs you that instead of preparing for this disaster, the president started a political hurricane by officially pardoning Joe Arpaio.

George Bush’s mishandling of the Hurricane Katrina crisis was one of the things held most strongly against him as a president. In Karl Rove’s book, Courage and Consequence, he opines that the Bush administration mishandled Katrina in a number of different ways. He flew over the scene in Air Force One, without bothering to land and speak to the people. A photograph was taken that indicated an aloof and indifferent response. Aloof, at least, is not the style of this president, but his job performance thus far, indicates a disaster atop a disaster. He is not ready for this, and he is not taking it seriously. He doesn’t even plan on visiting Texas, until early next week.

Earlier this week, Mashable’s Senior Editor for Science and Special Projects Andrew Freedman dubbed the storm “the meteorological equivalent of a White Walker from Game of Thrones.” The storm was thought to have lost potency earlier this week. Over the past two days, however, it has risen from the dead, born again, stronger and harder. What is dead can never die. Hurricane Harvey is coming, and those in its path have had little time to prepare.

Hurricanes usually come with only one of two terrifying characteristics. Either heavy, persistent rainfall or strong, violent winds and storm surge. Harvey could have both, because unique wind patterns may prevent the storm from moving quickly out of the region. It has been hovering over the Yucatan Peninsula for much of the week. None of this has proved of much concern to the president, however. He was busy announcing an official order banning transgender recruits from the military. Until Thursday evening he was still tweeting unhappily about fake news, which advisers have begged him not to do, at least until the hurricane passes.

One can only pray, for the Texans in the path of this disaster of a hurricane. The Trump White House has not done much to prepare. The top position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which monitors storms, is one of the hundreds of jobs in the Trump administration to remain unfilled, now nearly 8 months into his tenure. They do have some hope, however. While Trump may not be competent, his predecessor was. Officials left over from the Obama administration are the ones in charge of governing the evacuations, preparations, and relief efforts needed to cope with this storm.

“Federal civilian employees with decades of experience are currently serving as acting in those positions,” a FEMA spokesperson reported today. They are holdovers from Barack Obama’s presidency, David Grant, and Kathleen Fox. Democrats both, who we are very proud of, and lucky to have. Trump can’t even manage the trouble going on over Confederate statues, let alone a hurricane.

 

 

 

Toxic Trump- Hell Comes To Phoenix

On Tuesday, against the wishes of mayor Greg Stanton, Donald Trump arrived in Arizona. He stopped by the border town of Yuma, hoping to re-energize momentum for his long-cherished dream of a border wall. Later the president heads to Phoenix on Tuesday to preach national unity at a campaign-style rally,. He hopes to stir the enthusiasm of core supporters losing hope, and with understandable cause. In the wake of his abysmal handling of the Charlottesville tragedy that claimed the life of Heather Heyer, many have had their faith in his crisis-riddled presidency shaken.

With word on the street having been that Trump was planning to make a spectacle of pardoning former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who willfully disobeyed a court order to stop selectively persecuting people of Hispanic origin using his power and was found guilty last month of criminal contempt case, the big focus today on Trump’s lack of respect for ethnic groups other that his own has been the Hispanic community.

Last summer, Trump came under fire for suggesting the judge in his Trump University fraud case recuse himself for being Hispanic, an event that should not be forgotten as he lords it around Arizona today.

Shortly after, he was under fire again, this time for having patronizingly called Gregory Cheadle, who is a black Republican, “My African-American”  at a California campaign rally. At the time, Cheadle said he was not offended by Trump’s comment.

Cheadle recalled that event last week, as he heard the now-President Trump praise “the good people on both sides” of the lethal melee in Charlottesville that claimed the life of victim Heather Heyer. He couldn’t help remembering that possessive word, “my” .

His backing for the president is on “life support,” he said.

Cheadle is not the only one. Many of his fellow Republican supporters in the African-American community are also displaying unease.  Take Shermichael Singleton, for example. Mr. Singleton was fired from his job as a senior adviser for the Department of Housing and Urban Development in February, after writings of his being critical of Trump turned up. Even then, he still remained in the camp of the president. Those days, however, seem to be gone.

“It’s difficult to continue to have hope for President Trump,” Mr. Singleton said. “It’s difficult to focus on complex policy issues when you have a country that is falling apart.”

“These people,” he said, “were waving Nazi flags.”

 

 

About a dozen interviews with black conservatives like Mr. Singleton, pointed to a moral dilemma, for any group of people other than white men: How can we defend the Republican Party against accusations of racism, when its highest ranking member is a president who has done all he can to encourage the Nazis?

Even other Republicans have expressed their concerns.  Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said Monday that “I do believe he messed up in his comments on Tuesday (8/15/17) when it sounded like a moral ambiguity, when we need extreme moral clarity,” Ryan added.

And relations between Trump and Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, have disintegrated to the point that they have not spoken to each other in weeks. Mr. McConnell has privately expressed uncertainty that Mr. Trump will be able to salvage his administration at all.

What was once an uneasy arrangement of political bedfellows has degraded into a feud, of mutual resentment and at times outright hostility- a state of affairs that equally applies to the state of things this evening in Phoenix.

As Trump began his speech, many thousands of citizens assembled outside, to protest his unwanted presence.

The speech itself was a mess. Trump has never been much for staying on topic, and tonight was no exception. Several minutes were given to an unhappy rant about fake news. He bizarrely spoke of living in nicer apartments than the “elites”. He defended the remarks he made last Tuesday regarding Charlottesville. He made some valid points about immigration, and summarized them by complimenting our current policy.

Anger was displayed on the health care issue. He bemoaned the fact that he’d been asked by his handlers not to mention “any names” but ranted about the “senator who didn’t vote to repeal Obamacare(R-AZ John McCain) and took several swipes at Jeff Flake, Arizona’s other Republican senator. He attacked the Democrats for a while, but that’s a good thing. A reproach from Trump will be worth its weight in gold in years to come. We stood firm in a bloc to save the Affordable Care Act and the millions of lives it watches over. #RiseAndOrganize.

He made the strange claim that “No other president has ever accomplished this much, during the first seven months.” His misery on the subject of Confederate monuments was palpable. He unleashed his rage against NAFTA, saying he was “pretty sure we couldn’t reach a deal”. He loudly boasted of having withdrawn from the Paris accord.

Throughout the speech, Trump seemed more than anything to be seeking applause. He took very long pauses, waiting for it, time and time again. The room was mostly silent. Parts of the speech were obviously scripted and were read that way. He wanted to bring others on stage with him, in the style of the pro wrestling events he was doing ten years ago.

He gave a shout out to several of his cronies in the Senate, as well as John Kelly, who many have lauded as the last hope of this White House. Finally, he recited off a few variations on Ronald Reagan’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, with forced enthusiasm, and it was over. He seemed tired, and old. His audience looked bored, and at times amused. The whole thing was a lot of great big talk.

Trump’s big talk has an unfortunate way of running into stubborn realities.

On Monday night we were all emphatically assured that the United States was going to win the war in Afghanistan, thanks to Trump’s orders for a troop surge. But earlier Tuesday afternoon, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson immediately played down the idea that the U.S. military would walk away from Afghanistan- where it has been for sixteen years- with a victory. Victory is not the modus operandi of the Trump administration.

At the end of it, the day felt like a waste. Nothing of importance was done or said at all. And as the rally ended, things began to get violent. Pepper spray has been fired, rocks and water bottles have been thrown, barricades are being broken, and police in riot gear have just arrived. Vote blue next year, if you’re tired of this.