What He Does, Not What He Says

Much has happened since I last wrote. In order to just cut through it, I am simply linking to this New York Magazine article

There is this, for a little chuckle, if you have managed to gain back your sense of humor.

The President gave his first speech to Congress. He did a bang-up job, according to the experts, because he managed to have a "better tone" and he "stuck to the teleprompter." Bravo for him!

I was listening to what he said. He got a weak concern for recent terrorism against Jewish Community Centers and Cemeteries, and also the horrendous racial attack that killed one Indian Immigrant and wounded another (plus, an American who came to their rescue). What he didn't say, was that there have also been Mosque's attacked, the most recent being burned to the ground, and that the attacker in Kansas City shot those men because he thought they were Muslims. He left Muslims off the speech, tonight. Big surprise, given he wants to try to claim they are the only ones who commit acts of terrorism, and therefore we need to agree with his ban. He also insinuated that illegal immigrants are violent criminals. We didn't hear about the tens of millions who live quiet, productive lives working here. Now, he is setting up a Victims of Illegal Immigrant Crime unit. Great. Just like the Nazis did with the Jews. His emphasis on making taxpayers pay for school vouchers, even to religious schools, is concerning. After all, our Sec. of Education continues to make missteps.

Now, let's look at what he IS DOING rather than what he is SAYING.

For a summary, I am linking to this New York Magazine article

He signed a withdrawal of EPA protections on streams. He wants to increase the military budget at the cost of the State Department budget, despite the fact that the one agreed conclusion of the Benghazi investigations was that the State Department is UNDERFUNDED. 

The deportation round-up is horrifying, and more so when you learn that the people will be held in private prisons. Yes, prisons that love inmates because they make a profit off of them. Our new Attorney General has overturned President Obama's order banning the use of private prisons for federal criminals.  The corruption potential here seems overwhelming.

Therefore, we must pay attention to what he does, rather than what he says.

Personally, I am just trying to keep up. I am trying to stay active. Our local Indivisible group held a powerful silent protest, just signs, as our Sen., Susan Collins left her radio interview at Maine Public Radio. There was also a town hall with Rep. Bruce Poliquin, which he did not bother to attend. It was dignified and recorded to provide to him

P. S., There is this, for a little chuckle, if you have managed to gain back your sense of humor.

Filling the Stolen Seat

There's a lot of attention on Trump's pick for SCOTUS, Neil Gorsuch. After all, he might get to occupy a stolen seat. The tidal wave of abuse against democracy by the Republicans, continues. As the NYT Editorial Board stated, in normal times, Gorsuch would be a standard conservative justice. However, the seat he is slated for belongs to Merrick Garland, or at least a justice put forth for nomination by President Obama. Garland was an ideal offering, since he is more centrist than other potential Obama nominees, which was conciliatory, since he would have filled conservative lion, Antonin Scalia's seat. But, no, Republicans decided to abort the practice held for over a hundred years and refused to even consider an Obama nominee.

This was Mitch McConnell's plan, this seat stealing. Now, he makes a false show of shock and disgust that democrats want the Senate to have to reach the typical standard, 60 votes, to approve the next justice. He scolds democrats for trying to block fast-tracking this nomination. I am in line with the argument David Leonhardt made in the NYT, today. "The presumption should be that Gorsuch does not deserve confirmation, because the process that led to his nomination was illegitimate."

You do feel yourself become numbed to the repetitive assaults of the way things are done in Washington, the bullying by one party who then accuses the other of being unfair. It's crazy-making. It's gaslighting. 

Topping this horror show off, Rex Tillerson (Putin's bff), is now Secretary of State. Tillerson often ignored State Department requests to do deals with legitimate leaders, instead befriending dictators and helping them get rich. Rachel Maddow has done some excellent work exposing this. When American soldiers were dying and being wounded helping Iraq become a self-sufficient nation, the State Department asked Tillerson to negotiate oil purchases with Baghdad. He said, "Meh," and proceeded to work with the Kurds. Let's hope his pension is divested from the deals that will be made while he holds office. 

Oh, and let's not forget that the European Council president has now put the U.S. on "threats to Europe" list. Just this evening, President Trump threatened Mexico, I guess he felt they had not already been insulted adequately. Finally, one of his aides is in trouble (more to come?).

Sometimes, all you can do i s try to find some humor in the ridiculousness. Jon Stewart provided some (with a serious bent) on Stephen Colbert's show last night.

Lastly, we can take some heart in the possibility that Betsy DeVos will not get the Sec. of Education position. One more Republican with a moral compass and some courage is needed. Also, there is this beautiful moment, captured in Chicago.

That's a wrap for me after a long day. 


Walls, Tariffs, Lies, and those Pesky Park Rangers

This page is a response to the desire to act, in whatever way possible. I had started a "Trump Tracker" on my FB page because I realized I was posting continuously and wanted to catalog these posts. Even that proved inefficient, so I am "outing" myself politically and putting it into blog form. This format will allow multiple links to be posted together.  Since I am playing catch-up, trying to get this blog page up and running, you can see other posts from this day on my "Trump Tracker" page on Facebook. It's public. 

Comments on this page are welcome. Please remain civil and respectful of differences. Let's be what we wish our President would be. 

One week since the Women's March and President Trump is creating the type of chaos that his Chief Strategist (and promoter of white supremacist ideology) Steve Bannon and he enjoy. They believe that if you create enough chaos, things crumble and then you can build institutions back up in the way you want. Forget what that might do to innocent people caught in their political game. 

So we hear that the taxpayers of the U.S. will be footing the bill for the border wall with Mexico. Those tariffs he will impose to "pay for the wall"? Those will be paid by U.S. consumers when companies tack the cost of that tax on their goods sold here. He really thinks we are that stupid. 

Perhaps the best, in a spirit sense, display of protest came form the Badlands National Park twitter feed. They  had been admonished not to post anything about climate change. So what did they do? You got it. The NASA scientists soon followed. Samples here and here.

Some ideas to #resist: Donate to ACLU, subscribe to NYT, LATimes, Washington Post, Boston Globe, or any other legitimate news source. For more conservative, but reputable sources try The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and the Dallas Morning News