Liberty? Who needs Liberty?

Last week 20 world leaders met to discuss a great many concerns at the G20 conference.  What became clear is that the USA, “..the land of the free..” is no longer free.  Oh, we may look free, but in reality we are not.  The question becomes, are we working to be free again or are we happy in chains that allow us to continue to pretend we are free?

Let’s start with some basic facts.

  1.  Russia attacked the USA with fake news, propaganda and cyber warfare to help the current president win.  This is a fact backed up by every USA intelligence agency.
  2. The current president has done everything in his power to color item one so that many people believe it is a false statement.
  3. People will tell you that there is no evidence that the Russian attack swayed votes.  Of course if you are pelted with misinformation made just for you (times 200 million), it would be pretty hard to state no one was swayed.  Many were swayed.
  4. People will tell you that there is no evidence that the Russian attack CHANGED votes.  This is a bit trickier, but there is no evidence because no one looked for it.  No one thought to look for evidence that Jeffery Dahmer was a killer till they did.  Don’t let people tell you it can’t be done.  I believe it was and while it was a large scale, difficult effort, it is hard to believe they didn’t succeed to some extent.  Do not discount social engineering.
  5. The Republican party believes heavily that the minorities and the poor shouldn’t vote.  They enact strict voter ID laws that adversely affect the poor.  They enact horrible laws meant to kick people off the voter rolls, so they cannot vote. (You should read up on Chris Kobach and his operation Crosscheck.)
  6. Many, if not all, GOP members of congress were funded by Russian Oligarchs.  The downside of Super-PACs and dark money is the money from foreign governments that buy your politicians.

Meanwhile, the illegitimate president will tell you there was not contact between his campaign and the ANY Russians.  Meanwhile, here is the list of people involved with the dishonest campaign who have neglected to mention their meetings with Russian officials or emissaries:

  • Michael Flynn
  • Jared Kushner
  • Jefferson Beauregard Sessions
  • Paul Manafort
  • Roger Stone
  • Carter Page
  • Michael Cohen
  • Donald Trump Jr.

Each of these people lied about meeting with key Russian officials before ultimately “remembering” that they did.  In Kushner’s case, he lied to the FBI about it and left it off his security forms.  There were at least 3 different meetings, so spare me the “forgetting” bullshit.  It looks willful from here. Both of those are felonies.

Sessions lied when questioned under oath before the senate.  Oh, and he had multiple meetings that that he forgot.  Really?  If you believe that, I have some magic beans to sell you.

Over the last 3 days Trump Jr. has announced in the press he attempted to commit “treason” or at minimum a reasonable facsimile, but its ok, because he didn’t really do it.  He just tried.  Don’t take my word for it that comes from a legal scholar.

I don’t want to bore you.  Let’s make sure we are on the same page so far.

  1. The Russians attacked your liberty
  2. The current president says “nah uh, they are our buddies”
  3. Every top key player in the campaign met with Russians and then lied about it.

Cool.  I don’t think I need to remind you the current illegitimate president will yell that the news media (unless they are praising him), but has never, ever said a bad word about the Russian President, who is accused of killing journalists and adversaries.  It has only happened more than 20 times, so it could just be a series of coincidences.  (see:  magic beans above)

Now the Russian President assures our stupid, illegitimate president, that “nope, Russia no hack”.  And that is good enough.  It is too bad that Charles Manson, Bernie Madoff, and Al Capone didn’t use that defense.  Seriously people, will you starve while your magic beans lose their sparkle?

But we are not done.  We are going to start a cooperative task force with Russia to work on Cyber Security.  Seriously?  We they attacked us and we want to give them the keys to the kingdom?  They have nukes, but they do not have an army that could beat the USA’s without ending the world.  But your government wants to let them beat us electronically.  And you still be believe there was no conspiracy with Russians to win the last election.

Don’t call it collusion.  It was a conspiracy.  A criminal conspiracy. Don’t fucking normalize it.

Now, I know you are saying this is too far-fetched. Our leaders wouldn’t do this.  Let’s hit some more facts.

  1. Donald Trump defrauded Americans though his Trump University, though there was no “admission of guilt”. Common sense says otherwise.
  2. Donald Trump has paid fines for using his casino for continued money laundering
  3. Donald Trump has been fined more than once for discriminatory business practices
  4. Donald Trump has said that it is not illegal if the president does it (in regards to EVERYTHING)
  5. Donald Trump has lied about his wealth
  6. Donald Trump is obsessed with wealth
  7. Donald Trump uses Russian government talking points from RT and Sputnik in his speaches
  8. The number of Trump owned properties sold to untraceable shell companies has gone from 4% in 2015 to approximately 70% since the election (and that’s not suspicious either)
  9. The head of the government Ethics office resigned because of the continued unethical actions in the current administration. (Before you trash him as an evil liberal, Mr. Shaub was originally put into office by George W. Bush)

Compounding this is the efforts the right wing media go to normalize this.  Let’s call it what it is, propaganda.  Breitbart, Fox News, The National Enquirer all take a grain of truth and add a bit of misinformation mixed with the omission of key facts to get you to believe what they want.  The current agenda is that the corrupt Trump family is saving America and that Russia is our great friend and ally.  And 30% of the country not only loves this, they beg for more.  It sickens me because it is not about politics.  It is about crime and loss of liberty.  We can argue about left vs. right. Guns and butter.  That is not what this is.

I could go on and on.  But take two facts with you

Suddenly it is important to give the federal government all your personal voting information (including your social security number) and we need to give the Russians more access to our cyber security technology, what little there.

Trump wants to be king and you may not care.  Personally, I want to be free and these are the continued steps of turning the USA into a Russian (or Turkish or Venezuelan or Cuban or North Korean or Syrian) style autocracy.  If that’s what you want, please move there.

Here’s what I see coming

  1.  Elections will no longer be free.  They really are going to be rigged, like Russia and Turkey
  2. The movement to make the USA a Christian country will continue to gather momentum (and if I have to explain why this is bad for democracy, let alone wrong, we’ve already lost)
  3. Education will be for the rich.
  4. Healthcare is a privilege for the wealthy – sick people should wallow in their poor life choices
  5. The NRA will make strides towards a civil war, continuing to target liberals and people of color
  6. Our government will essentially become a monarchy.

So if you think you have liberty think again.  It is going fast.

Follow the money

money

Welcome to our new banana republic where the government runs roughshod over the people, and many of the citizens are thankful they can be abused.  It seems so wrong, people gleefully surrendering their liberty, yet here we are.  There are so many moving pieces, so much that is wrong, that it becomes easy to feel numb, easy to start thinking this is the way it has to be.  Life does not have to be like this.  It is incumbent on all of us to understand what is really going on and daily remind those in government that this is not ok, we are not going to sit by silently while our country and liberty is destroyed.

There is one basic principle that that we need to understand; one core motivation that brings almost everything into focus.  It is not power or religion, though those are key enablers.  It is money.  This is all about money.  Everyone in this horrible power grab is doing so for the money. Well some are doing it for bigoted reasons, but that a topic for another day.

Let’s start with the horrible healthcare bill in the senate that is about to be jammed down the country’s throat.  There is nothing about this bill that improves healthcare.  Yes, it will probably lower premiums, but this is accomplished by lowering coverages and raising deductibles.  So for less, and in many cases basically no coverage, premiums decrease.  That is not for the public good.  Isn’t that what our government is supposed to do, support and increase the public good, even when difficult.

What this bill really does is move the funds used to defray healthcare costs for the less fortunate of society and move it to the top 1-5%.    The people that can least afford to lose their healthcare are funding a tax reduction for the people that need it the least.  And this is retroactive – the tax reduction for capital gains (the taxes on buying and selling stocks) is retroactive.  This rewards the wealthy for past transactions.  How is this related to healthcare again?

But wait, there is more.  Insurance executive pay (including bonuses) over $500,000 will be receiving a large tax cut as part of this.  Again, how is this related to healthcare or the common good? It is not.  It is about making the rich richer and the poor poorer.  This is key.

But our elected leaders don’t benefit in this, the money doesn’t go to them you say.  Whoops, our elected leaders are either funded by the people who want these laws or actually benefit themselves.  If you don’t know who the Koch Brothers or the Mercers are, it is time to learn.  The Koch brothers spend nearly $1 Billion (!) on national elections to make sure the government is filled with people who will follow their agenda.  Like lowering taxes for the wealthy and eliminating regulations.  Let’s be honest, Koch Industries makes A LOT of money ($100 billion in sales according to Forbes) and these brothers make plenty.  They just want more.

The Mercers on the other hand seem just plain wacko.  You can get a good idea of who they are here and here.  Here’s a few key take aways.  They are the reason Breitbart, Bannon and Conway are behind Trump.  They had thrown their weight behind Cruz, but he is so vile he failed.  They have a few key agenda items.  One religion.  The other is a pending $7 Billion (!) dispute with the IRS.  What’s a few billion if you can save 7?  Their money and their goals permeate many of the actions you see taking place.  Like a tax cut for the rich being called healthcare improvement.  He’ll save 100s of millions with if this legislation passes.

 

So stop and think.  Why do these GOP politicians want so many laws that hurt so many citizens?  They have been paid handsomely to enact this legislation.  Or in other cases, they are just greedy.  Take Tom Price, the HHS secretary.  He was submitting legislation that benefitted companies he owned stock in.  In some cases he was buying the stock at a reduced priced prior to submitting the legislation.  This is text book corruption.  Or if you choose, he was stealing from you, because the stock market is a zero sum game.

Let’s not forget the DeVos/Prince families.  They donate so much money, its not secret they set the agenda for many politicians.  Betsy DeVos, the incompetent Secretary of Education, made no bones about deserving her cabinet post based on her contributions.  So her money is everywhere.  Her agenda is to get the money that goes to public schools funneled to private and religious schools (who cares about the separation of church and state?).  Oh and she also has large stakes in student loan COLLECTION organizations.  She’s rolling back regulations on these types of firms so she can profit.  Money to the church, taken from the public schools.  Money from highly indebted students going to her and her cronies.  She makes money while the haves get richer and the have nots are oppressed.

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And then there is the would be Royal Trump Family.  Every action they take is designed to make money for them.  Every trip to one of Dishonest Donald’s property is a tax payer paid infomercial.  Oh and he’s getting paid for going.  That’s stealing from you and me.  And we as tax payers pay for renting space in his gaudy, golden tower so his family can be protected.

His daughter, how is as evil as her father, attends meetings with national leaders.  Then, amazingly, she gets business favors, copyrights, licenses and donations.  Her husband is just as bad.  He has a debt load that is off the charts.  It is hard to tell, because he keeps leaving his debts off the governmental forms he is forced to fill out.  These loans come from banks under scrutiny from the US government.  Well, mostly the previous administration.  If this scrutiny can be dropped, the money saved will far exceed the hundreds of millions in loans outstanding.

Which brings us back around to Dishonest Donald.  He wants to be the wealthiest of the wealthiest.  When he was on the Comedy Central Roast, the only topic off the table was his wealth.  He once sued a writer who said (and later proved) that the orange one was not a billionaire.  Being wealthy is all he cares about.  Every action he has taken is motivated by the need to enrich himself at our expense.

And if you haven’t read this article on what looks like Trump Organization money laundering, you should.  I didn’t elect a man who seems to enjoy funneling money to Iranian causes.  Why yes that is illegal.  You know he was fined for “continued money laundering” too, right?

Let’s look at his evil travel ban.  It is a Muslim ban, because he believes, wrongly, that all Muslims are evil terrorists.  But if that was the case, why aren’t Saudi Arabia and Egypt part of the ban?  It is because there are Trump properties there.  When Iran and Somalia suddenly need a Trump golf course, remember this.

Follow the money.  It is enabling greed, corruption and oppression.  It is the motivation for everything you are seeing.  I thought we were better than this, but a vocal minority in this country loves it.  I weep for our future.

 

 

 

The GOP Hates You

The GOP hates you.  Well, not if you are rich and white.  Not if you are a white woman that likes the fact old men want to control your health care.  But they hate pretty much the rest of us.

Women’s Healthcare

Somewhere along the line, the GOP decided that Planned Parenthood was the enemy.  Yes they facilitate and perform abortions, but making it illegal for PP to use federal funds for abortion was not enough.  They are intent on obliterating them because women should not have access to healthcare focused on their needs.  They want to make sure you can’t get birth control, cancer screenings and other key services focused on women’s needs.  Yep, they hate women who use Planned Parenthood. Why else would they work so hard to destroy this asset to women?

Death via Trump/Ryan care

Right now there is a huge debate going about the new health care initiative.  Let me boil it down simply.  The GOP (mostly Paul Ryan, but the leadership is behind him) need you to lose your health insurance.  That’s right you.  If you are older and have health issues, you know the population that needs health care, they are working hard to raise the rates beyond where you can afford them. They call this freedom of choice.  You can choose the health insurance you want, but if you can’t afford it, that’s your choice.  See what they did there?  The screwed you then made it your fault.

Then, one of two things happens – you lose your insurance and/or you die.  Period.  That is the goal.  Once you lose your insurance and die, there are fewer people buying insurance.  Those that do buy it are younger and healthier, lowering the risk.  As the risk reduces, so do premiums.  Paul Ryan thinks it’s a great plan to help you along to the grave so that insurance premiums can do down.  Yes, I’ve simplified this, but this is the core of what’s going on.  Insurance premiums go down, the rich get a tax break and the government saves money because they are not subsidizing the sick.  They want you to die. Period.  I’d call that hate, no matter how they spin it.

The air you breathe, the water you drink

Have you seen the water in Flint Michigan?  Yes, it is brown and full of lead.  It is dangerous and deadly.  Luckily the EPA, well mostly Dishonest Donald and Scott Pruitt, have decided that cleaning up the water supply anywhere in the US is a luxury we can’t afford.  They have cut the budget for the Great Lakes clean up drastically.  In fact, they are so ecstatic they have repealed a law so that the creeks and water supply in Kentucky can again be fouled with coal waste.  Yes, there might be 10-20 new jobs for people to dump the waste, but thousands if not millions of people will be exposed to tainted water.  Let them buy bottles right?

But why stop there?  Let’s ignore climate change and pollution.  Do you remember what NYC and LA looked like in the early 70s? I do.  Smog, smog, and more smog.  A lot like China now.  Luckily for us Trump and Pruitt think you deserve that again.  They must surely hate us if they want to poison our water and our air.  I think they believe it won’t be bad in their lifetime, so fuck your grandkids.  The rich will buy filtration.  Yes, they hate you.

Good Bye Civil Rights, Hello Corruption

It was very important to confirm Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III as Attorney General.  In fact 20 or so Democratic Senators voted for him.  (You should vote them out.)  Do you recall Mitch “call me turtle” McConnell telling Elizabeth Warren she could not read a letter from Coretta Scott King from 1986 about Beau’s rampant racism and civil rights violations?  I do.  From here on out, no one is to discuss what a racist Beau was in the past.

Instead, let’s focus on the racist views and actions of Beau today.  We are seeing a rise in hate crimes.  Brown people are being attacked and killed while being told to “go back to your country.”  Interesting.  All are legal residents and some are citizens.  You know what he has said?  Nothing.  Bob threats are made to Jewish centers every week.  What is being said?  Nothing.  Are you brown or Jewish?  Are you appalled at what’s happening?  He hates you.  Why else would he act this way.  By extension, so does every person that voted for him.  They all hate you.

Do you know what has being said?  That the DOJ will not support/pursue cases involving voters rights.  Since most voting rights cases involve those pesky brown people, it is a good thing.  If you value voting rights, they hate you too.

The DOJ will also not pursue the consent decrees with law enforcement agencies that were found to be guilty of excessive force.  Let’s pretend that never happened.  It is now wonderful for gung-ho cops to shoot first and ask questions later.  So what if few more undesirables get hurt or killed.  So what if brown people get profiled and hassled more.  They hate you.  They don’t care what you think.

But at least the DOJ will work towards the benefit of the country right?  Nope.  Doesn’t it seem odd that they fired all 46 US Attorneys nearly 2 months into the administration?  Doesn’t it seem odd that the one attorney they assured they would keep on was summarily fired as it came to light he was working on some corruption cases?  Oh and that his jurisdiction included Trump Tower? It’s a silly coincidence right?  You don’t care if corruption is taking place.  But if you do, like I do, they hate you.  This administration, supported by the entire GOP is about self-enrichment, not improving the country.  They hate you.  Don’t be naïve, even though they think you are.

Welcome Back Klu Klux Klan

Just this week, Representative Steve King of Iowa made several comments about how America is a white country and white culture.  I won’t repeat them, you can find a summary and analysis here.  It isn’t a secret that King would be more at home at KKK rally than at my Seder table, but the response from Washington is appalling in its silence.  Not one member of leadership has censured, rebuked or taken action on this disgusting behavior.  To make matters worse when King is questioned on it, he doubles down, affirming his position.

We shouldn’t be surprised that 1800 Pennsylvania Avenue is silent.  The white house wants  to “keep immigration levels, measured by population share, within historical norms.”  This is from a speech Trump gave in late 2016.  Make no mistake population share is about what immigration to the US.  None of those pesky brown people or Jews, let’s just keep the nice white Western Europeans.  Jews aren’t white.  Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, Dishonest Donald’s key advisors and policy makers, have not been shy about their feelings toward non-whites.  They hate them, believing other races and beliefs to be a cancer on white society.   Don’t be surprised, but if you aren’t white or actually care about the other people in our country, they hate you too.

The silence and tepid statements of “oh, we don’t like that” are dog whistles to the haters in the country.  The KKK and their ex Wizard David Duke applaud the White House often for their inaction and racist actions like the Muslim ban.

I could go on for days.  I haven’t even touched on Russia, the destruction of the public school system, the end of the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities and the 24/7 commercial for Mar-a-Lago, filling Dishonest Donald’s pockets.

The GOP wanted this.  The GOP support this.  Make no mistake, they hate you.  The sooner you die, the better this country will be for them.

Is this what you want?