Trump’s Horrible, Terrible, No-Good Very Bad Week- From Cohen to Kim.

Donald Trump's Bad Week.

Donald Trump has just gotten through with a week that many are calling the worst of his entire presidency. The highly anticipated Congressional testimony of former Trump fixer and recently disbarred attorney Michael Cohen raised a litany of allegations against his former boss this week, including new information relating to the Russiagate scandal. The hearings were dramatic in the extreme, and Cohen ended up implicating both the president and his inner circle in potential crimes on multiple accounts. This combined with the debacle that was the second Kim Jong-Un summit, and you’ve got the makings of a real disaster seven days.

Trump’s defense, as it always is, is to deny everything and shower slander upon his current enemy. Cohen is a liar, he says, and should not be believed. They parrot this line at Fox News, and his base does the same in day-to-day life, so who to believe? Politico’s Jack Schafer pointed out that Donald Trump has told more than 8,000 lies since becoming president. As for his former attorney, the disgraced Cohen, there is no doubt that he is also in every way a liar. No doubt about it. Remember that video clip of him arrogantly shrugging and saying, “Prove it!” in reference to the lies of his boss? I have always found it hard to find pity in my heart for him, although compassion is something one human owes another regardless of the circumstances. He confessed to lying to Congress and is prison-bound for it.

But the thing to remember is that for all Cohen’s faults, he never would have gotten in such trouble as this on his own. He was ordered down this path by an extremely corrupt wannabe mobster of a man. Everything he did, every lie he told, was all on the behalf of Donald Trump. I watched that testimony, and it had every look of being genuine. When he called his former boss a “conman”, you could tell he meant it. Like a man unburdening his soul, come what may. We wish Mr. Cohen our best in restoring decency into his life. For once in his existence, he has done the right thing without equivocating. He’ll be called upon again to tell and retell his story.

House Democrats plan to use Cohen’s testimony as an obvious reason to summon key witnesses and pursue investigative avenues that we Democrats could never get the crooked Republicans to look at. One of those same crooked Republicans, Representative Matthew Gaetz, threatened Cohen over Twitter. That is likely to trigger an investigation of him, too. We can count on a steady flow of public hearings involving those closest to the president as time goes on.

Trump’s adult children Donald Jr and Ivanka, and Trump Organization executive Allen Weisselberg are certain to be coming up behind.

During it all, Trump was down in Hanoi meeting with Kim Jong-Un of North Korea in an all-but impromptu sideshow designed to deflect attention from the Russiagate scandal. While there, he disgraced the nation again with his poor negotiation skills and bluster. His attempt to shock the world by getting up and storming out of the deal just made us look bad. In that regard, it was reminiscent of everything else he does. He doesn’t seem to understand any better now than he did three years ago during the first months of the primaries. He’s not in a Manhattan real estate negotiation anymore. This kind of childish tactic might work on a construction company you’re trying to stiff. But its hardly going to get Kim to surrender his nukes! The very idea!

Kim knows perfectly well his nukes got him his seat at the table of the big boys. He is not giving up those nukes any more than Putin or Xi is. Trump and everyone else has to accept that. We all live under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust. Personally, I’m more concerned about Putin’s hypersonic missiles that could wipe out the Pentagon in under five minutes. Trump had not a word to say about that. They’re all doing this now on the right. They’ve got this lousy excuses for everything of “Oh, he just needs it for his base”. Those people and their sickening equivocation are like toxins to America. Michael Cohen at least is done making excuses. Now it’s time for Trump to be held accountable too.

As these words were being written, Trump went off the rails on Robert Mueller at the Conservative Political Action Conference, in the longest rant of his presidency. He attacked Democrats as socialists, johnny-come-lately that he is. He’s still patting Bernie Sanders on the head and encouraging him, all the while bringing us closer and closer to a society in which we lose our freedoms.

Going forward, it’s important that we keep the pressure on Trump, while also taking care to let people know the many differences between liberal or social democracy and the horrible disaster that is socialism. The onus of blame for this should properly be placed on libertarian and Republican support of the far left.

“Nothing is more extreme than the Democrats’ plan to completely take over American energy and completely destroy America’s economy through their new $100 trillion Green New Deal,” Trump said, describing the extreme Ocasio-Cortez plan to tackle climate change as a “high school term paper written by a poor student.”

We can agree on that, at least.

Making Tyranny Great Again-Trump Spends Week Assaulting Democracy.

Trump is a threat to our democracy.

Ever since the first few weeks that Trump took office, in which he created worldwide pandemonium by announcing via Twitter that citizens of seven countries were banned from traveling into the United States, America has seen itself disgraced by the conduct of its 45th president time and again.

Things have reached the point where it’s becoming normal. The bar of expectations set by our citizens for our leaders is having to be lowered by the day, and that is very dangerous to our democracy.

Most recently, it’s been his decision to start stripping people who criticize him of their security clearances, starting with former CIA director James Brennan.

Axios recently tweeted that Trump has become enamored with the unchecked powers of the presidency. “What he enjoys most about this job is finding things he has absolute power over,” said one source who’s worked closely with Trump.

Sources recently told Mike Allen that Trump  “got a kick out of pardons, that he could pardon anybody he wants and people would come to him to court him and beg him.”

60 former CIA officials have signed a letter responding to the removal of Brennan’s security clearance, pointing out that “The country will be weakened if there is a political litmus test applied before seasoned experts are allowed to share their views.”

Of course it will, but that is not what Trump cares about.

Trump’s attack on John Brennan is meant to distract us from his crimes, starting with the fact that he and his crew are almost certain to be proved guilty of agreeing to conspire with a shady Kremlin plot to help Trump win the 2016 presidential election.

Even at this minute, he is aiding and abetting Putin’s attack on the election by denying it was happening. He’s still doing it.

Meanwhile, his old campaign manager Paul Manafort’s trial drags on, because the jury is still deliberating. Why? There is enough evidence against that guy to throw him in the can for a million years.

The jurors must be at least as aware of it as we are, which is what makes it fishy that they’re still in there arguing with each other about it. T.S. Ellis, the judge, who has been threatened himself, says they’re scared. Who can blame them?

All the while, Trump is talking about how sad it is that a guy who stabbed America like Manafort did is on trial at all.

Not very democratic of him, but that’s the kind of guy he is.

The bottom line is that democracy is an impediment to Donald Trump. He does not find it useful, so he holds it in contempt. To him, the natural order of things involves debauched old white guys on top of every power structure, shouting orders and bossing everybody around.

Democracy has been in the process of rejecting this worldview for more than a hundred years. So why respect it? It’s an albatross around his neck.

If he can manage to whip up a sort of spit-polished authoritarianism, some form of rule that would retain a veneer of democracy while skewing the contest to ensure its result, that would be ideal for Trump, and also for his right-wing nationalist buddies all throughout the world.
Trump wants Erik Prince to build him his own private army. he was talking about building him a private spy network a few months ago. They want to privatize the war in Afghanistan.
He’s been talking up his dictator buddies, like Putin and Kim and Maduro, right from the start. As long ago as 1989, he was making public statements deploring the “lack of control” the Soviet Union had over its people. He wants to do whatever he wants to do, and he can’t  completely disregard the rights of others because he lives in a democracy.
How then to get rid of it?
In the clouded and foggy mind of Trump, these notions are not well conceived. They are murky impressions at best, addled further by the dementia Omarosa says he’s got. But other authoritarian leaders, like Putin, understand them very well and would like nothing better than to see them take place here.
America is the center of the current, liberal world order that has given us everything since the conclusion of World War Two, a struggle over these same ideas that nearly finished us. In order for that to change, America must abandon its values. That is why Trump, a man who values nothing he can’t stain his T-shirt with, was so favorable a candidate for other despots to support.
Going forward, we have got to come together strongly to affirm that we will not give up our values for anyone or anything. That is what the Resistance is for. Preservation of all we have in America depends on our success.

North Korean Nukes- 45th Boasts Of Imaginary Deal.

#NeverTrump

As North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the United States President Donald Trump prepare to meet, the world is feeling the tension. It is not clear that either of the two fully understands what is at stake.

Trump went around last month tweeting that North Korea had agreed to denuclearization. “Meeting went very smoothly and a good relationship was formed…Denuclearization will be a great thing for World, but also for North Korea!”

“We should all root for a diplomatic solution to the decades’ long North Korean conflict,” Chuck Schumer said April 18 on the Senate floor. “That’s why the United States should pursue a diplomatic opening, including through direct diplomacy with Pyongyang. But thus far we’ve not seen any indication that North Korea is willing to take concrete measures towards denuclearization.”

Nor will we, in the opinion of this Millennial Democrats contributor.

The only place that smooth meeting happened was in Trump’s mind. North Korea agreed to no such thing. They talked about it. That’s all. A conversation is a long way from a signed agreement.

For decades, the international community has tried to stop North Korea’s nuclear weapon and missile development. It has failed. The thought of Trump pulling it off is absurd.

Kim is never giving up his nukes. He will nuke himself before he gives up his nukes. He nuked his own backyard and ruined the mountain above the facility where he makes his nukes, rather than stop testing.

Nuclear weapons are the one sure insurance plan that a small power can have against a great one. The world was watching when George W. Bush kicked down the door of Saddam Hussein’s palace.

Kim knows we’ll do the same to him anytime we get a chance. He’ll never let that happen.

In related news, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew home from North Korea yesterday with three U.S. citizens who had been detained there. We welcome them home and are grateful for their safety; Kim snatched them under dubious circumstances and gave them back like bargaining chips.

To the unpleasant occupant of the Oval Office, who has been going around boasting that he’s cut the big deal of a lifetime, that must pass for a denuclearization agreement.

“People never thought you were going to have a situation where we’re having serious and positive communications with North Korea. And we are,” Donald Trump told reporters yesterday morning.

On the contrary, this has been tried again and again. We have engaged in on-and-off nuclear negotiations with North Korea since the end of the Cold War. They failed to prevent Pyongyang from developing nuclear weapons. We have not established diplomatic relations, and a peace treaty ending the Korean War has not been signed.

We did have a serious, positive denuclearization deal with Iran, though. Trump scuttled it earlier this month. So much for bargaining skill.

Kim gave those people back because it put on a good show. His goal here is to get us to relieve the sanctions that are crippling his economy again for a while. His father did the same to Bill Clinton and to George W. Bush after him. It is not the brilliance of Trump diplomacy that has suddenly brought them to the table.

This reticent and peculiar country has promised disarmament more than once, only to backtrack on its commitments. It has duped multiple U.S. presidential administrations, each of which has passed the North Korea problem onto the next.

That pattern is likely being repeated.

Going forward, the usual task of raising awareness will fall on us, since conservative talk radio is already gloating and spinning this up as a Trump win. Regardless of his boasting, Trump did not accomplish anything here. He’s spinning his wheels like every single other American president has done.

The difference is that during the tenure of past presidents, North Korea did not have the hydrogen bomb. Those presidents were not maniacs, hanging around on Twitter deriding the size of the North Korean leader’s buttons and calling him Little Rocket Man.

It’s a complex situation, and a lot of different things might happen, but at least one thing is for sure. If anything good does happen here, it won’t be the fault of Donald Trump.

Bannon Calls Trump Treasonous- President Sick With Rage.

Trump is unhappy.
Donald Trump is rumored to be in a New Year’s fury. Anger at his legal team for offering shifting timelines about when the Russia investigation would end seems to have gotten the best of him. And his divorce with Steve Bannon is said to have placed him near a state of apoplexy.

Many predicted that we were in for an interesting afternoon. We were not to be disappointed.

According to two sources familiar with the President’s mindset, the anger has continued.

It is said to have begun worsening around afternoon Wednesday. At the time, Trump was helping to draft his blistering break-up letter to former chief strategist Steve Bannon.

His recent interviews with author Michael Wolff delivered a brutal flaying of Trump, and his family.

Bannon’s characterization of Ivanka Trump as dumb as a brick is said to have enraged the president in particular. But what can you do? Divorce is always hard on the kids.

All of this has followed the criticism and ridicule his taunting tweet Tuesday evening directed at North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has brought him. My button’s bigger than your button. Has it really come to this?

The rest of the White House was said to have been caught badly off guard by the whole situation, as was everyone else. It renewed worry worldwide about whether the President fully comprehends the risks he’s taking in adversarially provoking an insane dictator with childish taunts.

After Trump’s North Korea broadside, aides inside the White House reached out to some of Trump’s allies seen as having influence over the President to talk to him about his tweets and the risks they carry. Millennial Democrats would like to wish these aides the best of luck.

In the meantime, we found out today that in April, Kim Jong Un ordered the launch of a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile that failed shortly after launch and ended up hitting the city of Tokchon, roughly two hours from the capital.

Since it’s North Korea, it’s hard to get much information, but it is probable that casualties were taken. Another key integer not reported was that the missile fell on an urban area.

They’ve been firing off missiles over Japan.

All it’s going to take is one stupid miscalculation and millions could die overnight, wiped out forever in one single blundering instant. But Trump does not seem to understand that and continues to risk nuclear war by pointlessly antagonizing Kim.

His recent out-of-the-blue decision to recognize Jerusalem is another potentially explosive example of this. Trump appeared to slur his words during the speech.

It is for this reason that yet another precedent has been broken by this president.

For the first time in history, members of the Congress have had to be briefed on the mental health of their president, and asked to keep it in mind when crafting laws.

In America, it’s an old lawmaker’s trick, proposing some ridiculously extreme or idealistic notion that could never possibly get passed, by way of making some point or another. But this trick is no longer safe to use. If some random crazy bill were ever to make it to Trump’s desk, it might actually get passed. This president is different.

Politico reported Wednesday that more than a dozen lawmakers last month met with a Yale University psychiatry professor for two days to discuss President Trump’s fitness for office, raising questions once again about the 25th Amendment, by which an unfit President can be voted out of the job by a majority of Cabinet members and the Vice President.

Dr. Bandy X. Lee reportedly met with the group of lawmakers on Dec. 5 and Dec. 6 and warned them the president is “going to unravel.”

Trump will sign anything. He will do anything. He is desperate to avoid boredom. Whims and caprice are all that govern his decision-making process. He has proven time and again that he will lash out at random when he’s angry. And right now he is very angry indeed.

He’s realizing now that his lawyers have been sugarcoating some very unpleasant truths, one of which was summed up by Steve Bannon quite succinctly.

Bannon referred to Donald Trump, Jr’s June 2016 meeting with a group of Russians as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic”. No doubt.

Breitbart News was a cornerstone of Trump’s alt-right base. and propaganda machine. When Trump fired him, it sent all of them a message loud and clear. I don’t need you anymore.

Trump also sent Bannon a cease-and-desist order today from making speeches about his time in the Trump machine, which is laughable.

Trump’s presidency is the biggest failure in modern American politics. It’s a lumbering, out of control golem that has risen to consume its makers. One way or the other, this thing has got to end. When even the likes of Steve Bannon come to realize it, it’s clear most of America is now on the same page. People are waking up.

The reality of the situation dictates that anyone with a sound and stable mind use it, to concentrate on finding a way of bringing this nightmare to an end.

But, yeah. Hillary’s emails.

A New Year’s Resolution for Democrats- Taking Back Our Country.

Now back to work.

I find myself physically shaking my head as I think about 2017.

What can we say about it that has not been said before? Obscenities? Pleas to God? Somehow, words run dry.

Since the 20th of last year, we have been beset on all sides, as if a dam had burst its floodgates. Back then, I felt like a croaking soothsayer in a Shakespeare play, shouting into the wind.

Above all, defeat was stifling. It left us with little to do except sit around in groups and think tanks, trying to figure out where it all had gone so wrong. And by March, many brave warriors from the election cycle were sick of the whole debacle. Extended trench warfare is a terrible thing psychologically.

We lost people here and there in trickles. It was hard to see them go, but it was awesome to watch a hardcore form until only the most dedicated remained. We cleaned up the Groups and we started to tighten bonds. Our foxholes we dug deep, and our trenches we shored up well. We slowly built the infrastructure we will need to build this movement. And now, we’re seeing those people trickling back.

It was around April or May that the anti- Democrat cyber-invasions started on Facebook. When you get fifty, sixty new members requests a day, in a Facebook Group that’s got six hundred members, it makes you start to wonder. And when you see the same thing happening to every single group in your whole network, you know for sure. We’ve passed the point of thinking it might just be paranoia.

It was clever how they did it. They noted that Americans tend to lose interest in politics a few months after a big election and expected our groups to be sitting ducks for sleeper cells. They were organized and they were motivated. It showed up pretty clearly that for the opposition, there’s no such thing as an offseason. So we took no days off either.

I can hear the fireworks of the New Year crackling and booming in the distance, and I wonder what this particular new year is going to bring with it.

I hear the explosions and I think of Kim Jong Un in North Korea, triggering seismic shifts on his own land as a Fourth of July gift to the world.

One thing only is certain. We have got to make serious headway in cleaning this mess up, and we have to do it this year. Last week Doug Jones of Alabama was officially certified as the victor of the Senatorial race he fought against Republican Roy Moore. He will be sworn in officially on the third of January.

The victory of Jones has given us Democrats a plausible path to taking control of the Senate again next November. It did not exist before then. That combined with #TheBlueWave that started building this November when we won in Virginia and New Jersey has given us a very real momentum. Our job as activists is to help that momentum grow in every way we can.

The key now is to find new ways to tie ourselves together. The stronger our bonds are, the firmer our solidarity. People stay true to their convictions when they can still draw strength from those who share them. It’s when they cut us off and make us feel small, that people start to shake loose from the coalition. But we’re not going to let that happen. We’ve got a no-man-left-behind policy, and we are not accepting any casualties.

The clock has turned, and we have entered 2018. Very soon now, we will be coming out of the trenches, and rushing to the battlefield with everything we’ve got.

This is bigger than America. It’s bigger than Russia, and it’s bigger than Trump and Putin. This is a world war between ideologies. It’s the age-old struggle between authoritarianism and democracy and must be fought anew in every generation.

As we go forward into the New Year, we have got to assume it’s going to get worse before it gets better. A lot worse. The first obstacle is going to be fending off more than four hundred primary challenges from the so-called Justice Democrats, people who ought to be our natural allies, at a time when every dollar is needed to take the Congress back from the Republicans.

It’s unbelievable and it doesn’t make sense unless you assume their intent is to hurt loyal Democrats as badly as they can. But nevertheless, that is our situation. We must make the best of it.

Our plan is simple. We intend to take back our own ideas from the radicals who have usurped them. We will meet our opposition on every battlefield we can find.

This will be a historic year for the Democratic Party, no matter what. This will go down in the books as the year we rallied, came together, and cleaned up our country’s backyard.

The path ahead is finally clear. We will simply make a New Year’s resolution. We will keep the faith and work as we have never worked before. Next week, the whole circus starts up again in earnest.

This is likely to be a midterm year like no other in history. It’s going to be a mess, and it will take every bit of us all to get it done, but it is possible. Momentum and midterm tradition both favour us. Happy New Year, fellow Democrats. We’ve survived the first year of Donald Trump. We’ve earned it.

Make Peace or Perish- The Only Way Forward in the Nuclear Age.

North Korea caused an earthquake today, while conducting its sixth and most powerful nuclear test. Their statement claimed it was caused by the testing of an advanced hydrogen bomb for a long-range missile.

The announcement from Pyongyang came a few hours after international seismic agencies detected a man-made earthquake near the test site in the North. Japanese and South Korean officials said it was around 10 times more powerful than the tremor picked up after its last nuclear test a year ago. According to Kim Jong-un, the test was a “perfect success.”

North Korea has often tried to catch us off guard by conducting major weapons tests around American holidays, which is why we’ve received this nice treat for Labor Day. Mr. Kim called his country’s first ICBM test, conducted on July 4, a “gift package for the Yankees”.

America is considering halting trade with any country doing business with North Korea, and this at least seems reasonable. Economic sanctions are the one civilized strategy available. However, this gives rise to another disturbing aspect of this particular mess. Putin has been lobbying the North Koreans too, attempting to angle his own toehold of influence into the mind of the panicked and isolated Kim.

This comes at an all-time low point in historical relations between Moscow and Washington. On Thursday, Trump’s administration announced it would shut down Russian diplomatic missions in US cities, seemingly in response to an order from the Kremlin expelling 755 American diplomats toward the end of July. YouTube videos were taken of the Russian embassy in San Francisco earlier this week, before it was vacated. Clouds of black smoke rose from it for hours. The fire department was denied entrance. It is believed they were burning documents.

Becoming a player in this North Korean missile crisis would likely suit Putin very well. Both Moscow and Beijing seek to keep the United States at bay to protect their own interests in the area, and the arrogance and youth of Kim makes his susceptibility to flattery very likely. Putin has proven himself able to manipulate disjointed dictators before, using this trick. “Russia believes that the policy of putting pressure on Pyongyang to stop its nuclear missile program is misguided and futile,” Putin said in an article released by the Kremlin. That’s the kind of talk Kim likes to hear.

James Person, an expert on Korea at the Wilson Center, is of the opinion that by giving the North Koreans our recognition somehow, we can still defuse this- before it’s too late.”The important thing is, the US has to recognize that only it has the ability to give Pyongyang what it wants,”Person said, but he failed to state exactly what that is. No one really knows.

United States Defense Secretary Jim Mattis threatened a “massive military response” to any attack on the United States or its allies, following this news. There’s no doubt he means it, should the North Koreans actually strike first somewhere, but other than that it’s all really just talk at this point. North Korean possession of nuclear technology is a fait accompli, for better or worse. The Pentagon will be busy planning.

These are very scary times, and no mistake. The hydrogen bomb is vastly more powerful than the atomic bombs used against Japan at the end of World War Two. How powerful are they? Think of it like this- They use atom bombs, just as a trigger. The explosion is comparable to ten million tons of TNT.

Trump doesn’t seem to get that his bombast and threats aren’t helping. Every time he starts in with his nonsense, Kim dares him to actually do something with another and even worse experiment. It’s a vicious cycle that may very well cause a tragedy. Furthermore, he refuses to take responsibility for any of it, preferring instead to point the finger at South Korea.

“South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!” Trump tweeted.

He also warned South Korea it would have to pay, for using the US missile defence system (Thaad). And on the eve of the nuclear test, he was reported by the Washington Post to have been on the point of withdrawing from a five year old free trade agreement with Seoul.

Jon Wolfsthal, a former special assistant to Barack Obama on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, said that “Reassuring South Korea is a top priority”, and that“The Trump administration is failing this test. Threats about the Thaad bill and now the trade agreement are very damaging.” By alienating Washington from Seoul with that kind of talk, Trump is playing right into Kim’s hands.

The only real solution we have is to come to the table with the newest member of the nuclear community. A clean and surgical first strike doesn’t even happen in the movies. Unless we are willing to accept the death of many millions, worldwide heartbreak for mankind, and bringing our species one step closer to the brink of a nuclear omnicide, a first strike is out. What else is there but to try and find room to coexist?

Going forward, it is clear that as usual, or biggest obstacle is Donald Trump. He has made what is already a very bad situation far worse. He thinks he’s sounding like George Bush. He doesn’t understand that fire and fury is not the way to go here.  It’s time to calm down, and start working together. We’ve been through this before. We lived through it when Russia got the bomb, and again when China did. The only way forward was to accept one another as equals, and move on with our lives.

The fact it took nuclear weapons to bring that about is pretty sad, but that is no longer the issue. We’ve got to find a way. The only option is to adapt to the changing situation, using the only true weapon we have ever had, with which to resist the power of darkness. Love. We must now place all our hopes and all our faith, in love. Love of the world, love of each other, love of ourselves. For the love of all that’s holy, we have got to make a genuine peace or perish. It’s that, or the end.

 

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