The GOP fears Nazi and racist candidates running as Republicans

There is an idiom, allegedly with biblical origins, that most people have heard and clearly understand to mean that one’s “actions dictate the consequences.” After marveling at their base’s racial animus targeting an African American man the majority of the population chose as their President twice, there are reports that Republicans are freaking out over a rash of white supremacists and Nazis running for public office under the GOP banner. Members of the Republican Party should not even feign outrage over the Republican Nazi ascendancy because the party’s standard bearer considers white supremacists and avowed Nazi fascists “very fine people;” the kind of people Trump warned the opposition to “just be careful” of criticizing or incurring their wrath for not worshipping the fascist in the Oval Office.

Republicans are only opposed to white supremacists and Nazis running for office as Republicans because they fear an electoral backlash – not because they have a problem with racists, Nazis, or fascists. After all, Party members are solidly behind, and desperate to protect, the chief Nazi, fascist and white supremacist they allow to stay in the White House; a place he shouldn’t be allowed to visit, much less occupy.

In fact, the only reason the dirty Nazis and racists feel emboldened to publicly promote their hate is because, as they are wont to claim, “this is Trump’s America now.” It is a favorite call before, during, and after attacks on people of color, immigrants, and people adhering to the wrong religion whether it is Judaism, Islam, or Catholicism.

Over at Vox, Jane Coaston penned a fairly comprehensive piece describing the GOP’s self-professed white supremacists in “at least five state and national races across the country.” No doubt there is some validity in claiming the GOP is dealing with what it considers “an uncomfortable problem,” but it is a problem of their own making; they are “reaping what they’ve sown” and it began long before Trump’s poorly attended inauguration.

Actually, it is more accurate to say that Republicans are reaping what their tacit approval has sown over the past ten years. Trump is part of the “uncomfortable problem” state and national Republicans are harvesting whether they like it or not. If the official GOP response to white supremacists and racial animus in their base was zero tolerance and robust condemnation during President Obama’s tenure in a place he belonged, it is likely the group unabashedly making their presence felt now would still be hiding under sheets – where Republicans like to keep them.

They certainly liked it when their nasty base openly displayed purely racist animus towards President Barack Obama as evidenced by their silent, but implicit approval. The filthy hypocrites have no right criticizing the self-described white supremacists, anti-Semites, and “card carrying Nazis” now after allowing them to rage and hate with impunity for eight long years; and that does not include the past two years they sat idly by and allowed dastardly Don to express his racism and adoration of white supremacists, Nazis, and fascists.

For a sample of what Republicans fostered over the past ten years only to fear the consequences in an election year, North Carolina Republicans are suffering a white supremacist pig, Russell Walker, who is running for the state House of Representatives. According to his personal website, replete with regular use of the n-word, Walker claims that “god is a white supremacist and racist” and that “the jews (sic) are NOT semitic they are satanic as they all descend from Satan.”

Another Republican who embraces “Trump’s America” and openly touts his disbelief that the Holocaust occurred, is Illinois candidate for a congressional seat in the House, Arthur Jones. Jones brags about being a proud member of the American Nazi Party. Illinois’ Republican Party is beside its collective self over a candidate it labeled “morally reprehensible” and a “complete nutcase.” It is curious, indeed, that the state Republican Party cannot bring itself to support a “morally reprehensible, complete nutcase” in a midterm race for Congress, but the “nutcase” in the White House has the Party’s unconditional approval and support.

In Virginia, the chair of the state’s Republican Party apparently “had to resign” over allowing a “pro-Confederate, alt-right candidate,” Corey Stewart, to win the state’s Republican primary. In addition, Republicans are gnashing their teeth in Wisconsin because they ignored the seriously nasty racist, Paul Nehlen, Nehlen is running to fill Paul Ryan’s seat in the House of Representatives. It is similar in the Blue state of California where the state GOP is disavowing a flagrant Nazi who argues vehemently that the concept of diversity is just a nasty Jewish plot.

It is true that the racists supporting Trump have always existed, and some were very proud to express their white supremacy and racist bona fides among their friends and under the radar. Now, however, they are emboldened by Trump who regards them as “very fine people” to the point that they are wearing their hate and racial animus as a badge of honor; and as a reason to vote for them in November. That Republicans are either criticizing their candidacies or disavowing them as “not good Republicans” is beyond stunning; especially after implicitly cultivating their hate throughout President Barack Obama’s tenure, and then supporting the racist in the White House.

Trump, like the Nazis and white supremacists presenting an “uncomfortable problem” for the GOP, was a beneficiary of the Republican implied approval of the racists throughout President Obama’s two terms in the White House. The only reason Republicans are being vocal about racists, card-carrying Nazis, and white supremacists now is because they fear the electoral consequences of Nazis running as Republicans. They certainly were not concerned during Barack Obama’s Presidency and they have not shown to be the least bit “uncomfortable” with their Nazi standard-bearer’s racism.

It is unclear if any of the racists, white supremacists and Nazis will win in November, or if their candidacies will be a detriment to other Republican candidates; one certainly hopes that is the case. However, this is Trump’s America now and racists, Nazis and white supremacists have been officially deemed “very fine people” by the head racist. That White House approval has given the green light to racists and Nazis across the nation to wear their hate and racial animus with pride because like Trump, they are what he considers “really good Republicans.”

 

Trump is doing more to divide the Western Alliance than the Kremlin

Loyalty is a trait Trump demands from everyone whether they are in his family, his criminal enterprise, American citizens, or leaders of America’s allies and trading partners. Of course, in Trump’s tiny narcissistic mind, loyalty entails abject obedience and perpetual praise for the aspiring dictator no matter the issue. Anyone falling short of what Trump considers loyalty soon finds themself on the receiving end of his typically vindictive nature and that includes leaders of sovereign nations Americans have called allies and partners for decades, if not generations.

As one might expect, NATO members are rightfully concerned that Trump’s upcoming visit will be a repeat of the G7 debacle just a month ago. Like that economic “summit,” Trump will depart from meeting with America’s allies and rush into the waiting arms of a tyrannical dictator – his favorite ruler Vladimir Putin. Putin would love nothing more than to learn directly from Trump that he succeeded  in alienating NATO members and weakening the “Western Alliance.” It is abominable that instead of displaying any loyalty to America’s historical allies, Trump has done little else but provoke our friends in an effort to please a hostile foreign leader.

Trump is desperate to please and display loyalty to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin for what appears to be purely pecuniary reasons. Subsequently, since even before his poorly attended inauguration, dirty Don has “pleased” Putin beyond the dirty Ruskie’s wildest dream. Putin’s long sought-after dream is fracturing the Western Alliance made up of the European Union and members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); it is the only way Putin can assert Russian authority over Europe to match the former Soviet Union’s sphere of influence. Trump has given every indication that one of his primary foreign policy goals includes helping Putin realize his dream with divisive attacks and comments targeting America’s allies; all under the guise of making America great by being disloyal to its friends, and all because they fail to obey Trump’s outrageous demands or praise him like a messiah.

Trump has attacked NATO members for not spending enough on their militaries, started a trade war with the bloc by levying punitive tariffs, abandoned international deals on climate change and Iran’s nuclear program, and refused to sign the typically-uncontroversial G-7 statement last month. He’s also publicly condemned a sovereign nation’s leader and close ally, Angela Merkel, because she refuses to enact Trump-like barbaric immigration policies. In addition, he has  reportedly pushed French President Emmanuel Macron to do Putin’s bidding and weaken “the Alliance” by asking the French leader, “Why don’t you leave the European Union?”

It is likely that because Russia handed out financial incentives to the right-wing malcontent behind the so-called “Brexit” movement, Trump decided to contribute to fracturing the Western Alliance by levying punitive tariffs against America’s allies and trading partners; anything to aid Putin break apart the only thing preventing him from annexing all of Europe. Remember, Putin only invaded and confiscated Crimea from Ukraine because it is not a NATO member-nation.

It is noteworthy that abandoning any one of the international deals with America’s democratic allies had nothing to do with how much NATO member nations spend on their own military. But those acts are contributing to Putin’s longstanding goal of ripping apart the so-called “Western Alliance.” It is why a renowned political analyst and Russian exile working at the Hudson Institute,  Andrei Piontkovsky said:

Putting these events together creates a moment of truth. All NATO countries are worried about it [Trump’s belligerence toward the EU]. For the Eastern members, this is a matter of life and death. Trump is doing more to divide the West and weaken NATO than the Kremlin itself. Trump is the ideal U.S. president for Putin.”

Mr. Piontkovsky’s statement could not possibly be more accurate and it goes beyond Trump’s claim that he is only going after NATO members because “they owe us money.” That excuse may work on Trump’s dirt-dumb acolytes, but any half-wit understands NATO members do not owe, or have to pay, America as a condition of NATO membership.  It is  likely that those same Trump supporters are unaware that there is only one instance of NATO members invoking Article 5 to defend a member who was attacked. The “common defense” clause commits all members to protect each other and generally sets a spirit of solidarity within the Alliance, not the price of membership.

After a criminal gang hijacked passenger aircraft and flew them into American buildings, the Alliance’s members committed, and followed through, to protect America by joining its never-ending war in Afghanistan. It is noteworthy that those NATO countries never called on America to pay for  receiving “protection;” it is what real loyalty and commitment looks like and is something Trump will never acknowledge or understand.

It is bad enough that Trump has no loyalty to his own country and that he has made ending whatever “spirit of solidarity” as Americans this country may have once enjoyed. But that is the price Americans have to pay for electing an aspiring dictator whose idea of loyalty is abject obedience. No matter how badly Trump rips America apart, it does not represent an existential threat to this nation’s most valuable allies and trading partners. His hostility and punitive actions against the European Union and NATO countries, however, if successful, will give Vladimir Putin exactly what he expected when he put his puppet in the White House – a willing servant devoted to dismantling the only thing preventing Russian expansion in Europe.

 

Trump’s warning to the Left was a signal to his acolytes

Politics are messy in the best of times, and opposition politics, whether during elections or not, can be extremely messy – even in “civilized” societies like America used to be. In nations with tyrannical dictators, messy generally means violent and it can be life threatening to oppose the ruling party. Now, based on the threats and predictions of violence by white supremacists, evangelical extremists and now their messiah Donald Trump, opposition politics in America are leaning towards violence.

During a segment on Fox News when Trump was queried about his plan to bring the nation together, especially in light of opposition to his inhumane immigration policy, he sent a not-so-veiled threat to the opposition that they should fear his rabid supporters in the white supremacy and evangelical movements. Trump said:

I think some of the things that are said are terrible. And you know, it’s our people are so incredible — do you know, there’s probably never been a base in the history of politics in this country like my base. I hope the other side realizes that they better just take it easy. They better just take it easy because some of the language used, some of the words used, even some of the radical ideas I really think they are very bad for the country. I think they are actually very dangerous for the country.”

Obviously, Trump’s idea of bringing the nation together is threatening the opposition to either shut up and embrace his tyranny or face the wrath of his disgusting base. Trump’s remark was certainly a warning and a threat to the “opposition,” but it was also a very clear message to “his” base.

It is almost certain that Trump’s “threat” was as much a signal to “his base” to prepare for action against “the opposition” as it was a warning to said “opposition.” Of course this isn’t Trump first foray into inciting his racist and evangelical base to violence and it likely is not going to be the last.

Some Americans may recall that Trump sent another “not-so-subtle” message to his base shortly after one of his Nazi supporters drove a car into a crowd of protestors in Charlottesville Virginia killing Heather Heyer for “opposing” Trump’s revolting Nazi adherents.

The reason his “base” did not  lash out at or abandon him after he was eventually pressured to decry the violence in Charlottesville was because his first public statement signaled his steadfast support for the racists when he said they were “very fine people.” It is no coincidence that he sent the same signal when he said, “our people are so incredible” that the “other side better just take it easy.” It was a direct threat from the Oval Office that “saying things,” “using language, and words,” or promoting “ideas” that Trump doesn’t like are “very dangerous”’ and will incite “his base” to action.

If Americans and the world have learned anything since even before Trump’s poorly attended inauguration, it is that no matter the situation or who is involved, Trump’s first response is making threats – except against his most favored tyrant Vlad Putin. And just as religious extremists and racists follow a perceived messiah, Trump’s devotees are ready and willing to execute his threats in the worst possible way – bloodshed.

It is noteworthy that Trump did not create his incredible “base;”  he simply took advantage of his “birther” handiwork and then tapped into the same people as “his base.”  That base has longed for  bloodshed against the “opposition” since 2008 because it overwhelmingly elected an African American man to be their President. That thirst for civil war, or the so-called second revolution, only increased exponentially throughout President Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House. Trump did not have to do much more than embrace, and then incite, the racists and evangelical extremists during his particularly nasty campaign rallies.

Decent Americans should not underestimate the threat of violence from Trump’s “base.” Since the presidential campaign onward there have been honest-to-dog warnings that opposing Trump, or his policies, was courting danger in the form of violence. One member of Trump’s inner circle, Roger Stone, warned just a few months ago, and for the second time, that “blood will flow in the streets of America with an insurrection like you have never seen if President Trump is impeached.”

Stone specifically noted that any politician who joined the effort or called for removing Trump from the White House “would be endangering their own life.” Media Matters reported that Trump told conspiracy theorist Alex Jones that “he ‘really liked’ [Roger] Stone’s comment” negating any absurd claim that Trump’s “warning” was referring to his base as an electoral “threat.” He was sending a clear message to his supporters who have already threatened incredible bloodshed against the “opposition” if they think their messiah is in danger; it is precisely why Trump called the opposition “very dangerous for the country.”

There is nothing abnormal about Trump issuing threats against anyone he considers “the opposition,” it is just what bullies do as a matter of course. However, it is beyond the pale that the leader of the Executive Branch of government is issuing warnings against the opposition that “they just better take it easy” with their “words and ideas” or face the wrath of “his incredible base.

Unlike the dictators Trump wants to emulate, he is restrained from unleashing the military on “the opposition” for some extrajudicial justice; at least thus far. He has, in fact, promoted the idea that “due process” does not comport with his style of “governance.” So instead he will rely on his “incredible base” to do his dirty work against other Americans who dare to exercise their Constitutional right of free speech and condemn the dirty fascist in the White House.  As noted above, this is not the first time Trump sent his “base” a message regarding their craving for violence and bloodshed against other Americans. All because they refuse to submit to the corrupt and barbaric savage in the White House or the dictates of his racist and theocratic sycophants.

Churches are fuming over being taxed by Republicans and Trump

There is no reason whatsoever to celebrate America these days; the concept of good news has all but vanished. In fact, it is highly likely that a fair number of Americans are mourning the demise of their nation as it existed for 239 years and see nothing but the relentless advance of corporate fascism and a bloodless theocratic coup d’état on the near horizon; many observers, including this author, believe the theocrats have taken over already. These are seriously bad days for America as a nation, and devastating for any citizen that embraced a secular democracy with liberties and freedom for all Americans regardless of race, religious affliction, or gender.

There was a bit of news recently that, although not necessarily good, is certainly worth celebrating if for no other reason than the religious right is up in arms over what they regard as an attack on their religious freedom. In addition, even more reason to marvel is that the attack came at the hands of Congressional Republicans and the religious right’s messianic hero Dumb Don Trump. This particular attack entails a little known “reform” in Trump’s highly touted GOP tax legislation that includes a first ever tax on churches and other non-profits. It is a brief “good time” moment in what is now a horrifically hideous country run by a fascist pig with theocrats and white supremacists supporting his regime.

To remark that the various church leaders are dumbfounded and irate over being taxed would be a monumental understatement. Literally hundreds of church leaders are struggling to comprehend why Republicans would dare treat them like every other American and business, and why their Republican facilitators stabbed them in the back in secret. Actually, since the GOP tax reform legislation was conceived and crafted in secret by the Heritage Foundation, and Republicans voted en masse to enrich the wealthy and corporations without even perusing that legislation, few in Congress were aware of the tax on “the church.”

However, this “tax outrage” is not the kind of tax regular people bemoan; it is a minor tax on the various freebies church and some non-profit organization’s employees receive. Still, the concept of religious organizations being required to contribute anything in the way of “a tax” has infuriated church leaders who vehemently insist that their tax exemption is “sacrosanct,” and non-negotiable.

Subsequently, over 600 churches, thus far, signed a petition demanding that Republicans repeal the tax immediately; because regardless what Jeff Sessions says about the Christian bible command to obey the government, the faithful say they are “exempt” from that particular bible passage like they are exempt from contributing anything of value to America.

The gist of the “hidden tax atrocity” simply requires “churches, hospitals, and other historically tax-exempt organizations to begin paying a 21 percent tax on some types of fringe benefits they provide their employees.”

As a seasonal tax professional and former minister, this author is well-acquainted with the ridiculous number of “tax-free benefits” church employees, especially members of the clergy, receive because they are “blessed” to live in a country that gives churches tens of billions annually as “theocratic welfare.”

The new tax will seem like more “secular persecution” to churches and their employees who are accustomed to special treatment due to their “deeply held faith.” Expecting them to pay taxes like their bible commands is an abomination, and is perceived as the secular government punishing them. It is irrelevant that the “persecution” came at the hands of Republicans and Trump; Trump’s evangelicals, in particular, are beyond incensed. They are not satisfied that the same tax bill “persecuting” them with a small tax also grants them the unconstitutional and unconditional freedom to campaign from the pulpit with the Trump government’s blessings.

That perceived persecution has incited over 600 churches, and some other greedy groups, to sign a petition demanding the Republicans’ tax be repealed.  The churches claim they “don’t need the hassle” of taxes or interacting with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or their silly tax forms. The vice president of government relations at the National Association of Evangelicals, an umbrella group of evangelical organizations, Galen Carey said:

There’s going to be huge headaches. The cost of compliance, especially for churches that have small staffs or maybe volunteer accountants and bookkeepers — we don’t need this kind of hassle.”

It is an affront to decency that Carey has the temerity to complain about “the cost” of obeying his evangelical bible’s command to pay taxes. It is a particularly egregious remark since churches receive tens-of-billions of free taxpayer dollars annually due to being exempt from taxation. Moreover, since Bush’s “faith-based initiatives,” they receive billions of taxpayer dollars in direct payments from the federal government because “faith.”

The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) is joining evangelicals in complaining that their group may face a tax bill this year because of the Republican tax reform that Trump celebrated signing. The senior tax policy counsel for the group, Steven Woolf, predicted the faithful would force Congress and the Treasury to “stop the outrage.” Woolf said:

“A lot of people are just finding out about it and the more people find out about it, the more pressure there will be on Treasury and Congress to either delay implementation or consider changing this.”  

At least one Republican lawmaker is now promising to rescind the tax he just celebrated voting for because god – or some related nonsense. As previously mentioned, many groups are beyond outraged that they are expected to adhere to Jeff Sessions’ favorite scripture, Romans 13, that commands abject obedience to the government. The churches are particularly aggrieved because Republicans failed to get clearance from the religious right before passing tax reform that Trump signed. According to the crybaby chairperson of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, some malcontent named Mike Batts:

What we’re talking about is an income tax on the church. It’s absurd. The whole idea of tax exemption for nonprofit organizations that are doing charitable, religious and educational work is for them not to be on the same playing field when it comes to taxes, in order to incentivize the good work they do to make our society better.”

If Batts wasn’t an entitled religious cretin, he would understand that millions of Americans in jobs that “make our society better,” such as law enforcement, healthcare, education, disaster relief and the military pay taxes on all their earnings and employee benefits; and they don’t complain that they don’t understand how to do taxes.

Many of the 600 and counting churches demanding the tax’s abolition say  they are confused over how exactly the tax is supposed to work – because they have been exempt unlike the rest of the population. Churches want to know how they are supposed to calculate the value of “freebies” they include as compensation for their employees. Some openly wonder if the garages provided as part of clergy residences are now taxable, or if they can still “double dip” and avoid paying their fair share of tax.

It is worth reiterating ad nauseam that religious organizations (churches et al) already receive at least $82.5 billion annually from taxpayers, and that 2013 amount did not include the billions in faith-based initiative funding from taxpayers. In a fair country with a secular Constitution, churches would not be tax exempt; it is probably why the immutable word of god and Jesus in the Christian’s holy bible commands the religion’s adherents to pay taxes.

Although this is not a major story among the daily revelations that America is lurching towards an evangelical theocracy with a corrupt fascist incrementally decimating everything decent about America, it is worth enjoying for a minute. Of course the “faithful” will force Republicans to abolish the tax, and they will continue using Republicans to take complete control of all facets of the government. They will succeed, in large part, due to a curious fear among Americans, the media and Democrats of “offending” the faithful by resisting their bloodless coup d’état.

It is little consolation, but for people devoted to America as a secular representative democracy, they now have an “event” to look back on fondly and they had better enjoy it. It is the last time the religious will ever be “inconvenienced” by the government because it is likely there will never be a law passed without the express consent of the religious right theocrats running America.

Trump and Sessions should be in prison according to their bible

It is almost certain, at least to this author, that there are no greater hypocrites and liars in America than Republicans claiming Christianity as the one overriding force informing their actions and their lives. It was no surprise to learn upon returning from a wilderness hiatus that a man who regularly touts his Christian bona fides had no qualms gleefully announcing the Trump administration’s intent to continue ripping children from their families according to his decision to use the Christian bible to justify violating the number one rule of the “family values” cult – breaking families apart.

First, it was a prime example of Republican hypocrisy for an administration representing the evangelical Party of “family values” to take pleasure in separating families as a deterrent in Trump’s campaign to make America whiter. That is the overriding goal of the xenophobes, white supremacists, and nationalists propping up the corrupt dictator in the Oval Office.

It was also telling that part and parcel of J. Beauregard Sessions’ recent claims centering around the idea that mostly Brown women facing abuse have no right to appeal to America for sanctuary, and a little humanity. It reveals that Sessions is as true a representation of a patriarchal Christian male as most people will ever see in public during their lifetime. An abused woman seeking asylum to avoid being tortured by a man is obviously an atrocity to Sessions; it is a mindset likely based on the biblical commandment that women must subject themselves to whatever “a man” forces on them.

Now, as no small number of pundits, including Christians,  have noted; there is nothing whatsoever in the Christian bible supporting “ripping families” apart, or throwing thousands of young children, including infants, into concentration camps. There are Old Testament passages where the Israelites’ god ordered his people to rip women’s stomachs open and kill the fetuses, but there is nothing authorizing tearing what are surely Christian families apart because they are not white and speak a language other than English.

However, as Beauregard Sessions did rightly claim, his Christian bible does indeed command the religion’s adherents to obey the government authorities and submit to the law of the land; but it is noteworthy that the law of the land does not advocate or support the malice being displayed by Trump’s administration towards immigrants. Furthermore, the Constitution does not support using the Christian Bible to justify any law or any government action, much less the barbarism of separating children from their parents. Parents, by the way, who are only being charged with a misdemeanor for “improper entry” and may face up to six months in jail – apparently even if they are adhering to the law in seeking asylum as political or abused refugees.

Setting aside Beauregard Session’s savagery and inherent Republican brutality for a minute, it was bad enough that he cited his Christian bible as justification for abusing children, but his use of that particular scripture about obeying the law of the land was beyond hypocritical.

It is true that the bible passage Sessions cited does command Christians to obey the government authorities and adhere faithfully to the laws of the land, but if Sessions was not a raging evangelical hypocrite he would have already turned himself in to federal law enforcement authorities for immediate prosecution. He did, in fact, deliberately, and with malice aforethought, commit perjury under a “so help me god” oath before the United States Senate – at least twice.

Sessions made a big deal about everyone having to abide by the law in responding to other Christians’ condemning the Trump callousness against families and children. Sessions said:

“Many of the criticisms raised in recent days are not fair or logical and some are contrary to law. Persons who violate the law of our nation are subject to prosecution. I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the law of the government because god has ordained them for the purpose of order.”

Over the weekend, that Trump administration devotion to “law and order” was parroted, sans scriptural justification, by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during an appearance in New Orleans. Ms. Nielsen told the National Sheriffs’ Association:

Illegal actions have and must have consequences. No more free passes, no more get out of jail free cards.”

Of course there is no god ordaining any government leaders of any nation, but the idea that Sessions insists that “persons who violate the law of our nation are subject to prosecution” is patently hypocritical.

Sessions, and at least four other Trump cabinet nominees violated 18 U.S. Code § 1621 during their Senate confirmation hearings by committing perjury under a “so help me god” oath. And it is noteworthy that four of those nominees are self-confessed devout Christians who, like their criminal leader Trump, violate Number Nine of the BIG Ten Commandments regularly and with impunity.

If Sessions assertion about prosecuting federal law violations was sincere, Trump would be facing prosecution for violating the Emoluments Clause, the Constitution’s “take care” clause, the U.S. Code’s anti-nepotism law and for violating his own “so help me god” oath to support and defend the Constitution during his poorly-attended inauguration. It is highly likely that Trump has violated myriad other laws that, according to evangelical malcontents Sessions and Trump’s press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, make him “subject to prosecution to the fullest extent of the nation’s laws.”

Of course the lying Attorney General Sessions is never going to consider subjecting the lyin’ kings Trump and ‘preacher’ Pence, or any of Trump’s filthy lying Cabinet membersto prosecution to the fullest extent of the nation’s laws;” they are white Republicans and claim Christianity as their reason for living.

It was curious there was such an outrage over Sessions using his Christian bible as justification for tearing children from their mothers arms, and in one reported case from the infant’s mother’s breast. Religious right acolytes, and many Republicans, have used their Christian bible to justify slavery, racism, rape, starving the poor, pedophilia, persecuting the LGBTQ community, and subjecting women to the will of other religious Republicans.

No-one in their right mind should be surprised Sessions used his bible to justify tearing non-white immigrant families apart any more than they should be offended at the typically inherent evangelical Republican cruelty. Sadly, it is exactly the kind of cruelty documented in the Christian bible and at the rate Republicans are crusading to make the Christian bible the law of the land, Americans should be terrified if they weren’t so laser focused on Trump’s latest “tweets” or how often he goes golfing.

Image: Evan Vucci/Associated Press

U.N. blasts Trump for abusing families, children and the poor

No doubt there are very few foreigners who have a favorable opinion of the criminal occupying the Oval Office, and it is fairly safe to say entire nations see Trump as a global detriment. It is difficult to imagine how foreign peoples and nations regard the danger he poses to the people in America. However, the global family of nations, the United Nations, just released a rash of seriously harsh criticism specifically  targeting Trump for his human rights abuses against the poor, families and children; specifically immigrant children. It is a sad state of affairs for America, and if Republicans who claim to exist for “the family” had a modicum of conscience or morality, they would crawl under the nearest rock in shame or throw the bum in the Oval out of office. But since they lack any sense of conscience, or an ounce of  humanity, they likely disregard global criticism against their disgusting “feed the rich” agenda or their disgusting standard bearer Trump.

The latest United Nations round of condemnations against America for human rights abuses is not the first, and no doubt there will be many more with Trump and Republicans, including their “family values” religious right cohort, running the government and no small number of states.  In the recent past the United Nation Council on Human Rights has lambasted America for criminalizing povertyhomelessness, and peaceful protests,  failing to provide clean waterattacking the media, and doing nothing to halt law enforcement abuses based on racial animus. The latest condemnations, yes, there are two separate instances, specifically target Trump over his blatant disregard for the welfare of children, families and his tax reform favoring the filthy rich and corporations at the expense of the poor.

One of the U.N.’s condemnations was fully expected after the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty said he was “appalled at the conditions” Americans were living in; especially in the richest nation on the planet. He said at the time that,  “There is a human right for people to live decently, and that means the government has an obligation to provide people with the essentials of life.” That comment came after the U.N.’s tour of America’s rural South where said “he had never seen sewage problems like it in the developed world.”  That was in December, 2017. Now Philip Aston, who visited slums around the globe is laying the blame at Trump’s feet with particular attention to his hateful agenda and devotion to the filthy rich and corporations. Mr. Aston said,

The policies pursued over the past year seem deliberately designed to remove basic protections from the poorest, punish those who are not in employment and make even basic health care into a privilege to be earned, rather than a right of citizenship. The government should think harder about how to help those in need rather than punishing the poor.”

Aston also was not spare in his condemnation of Trump’s tax reform that he rightly noted was created specifically to provide “financial windfalls to the rich and large corporations, and lead to even more inequality and poverty.”

The second U.N. condemnation against Trump was included in a press briefingcriticizing Egypt and America’s human rights violations. The United Nations had nothing good to say about Trump’s abuse of immigrant children or his apparent glee at tearing immigrant families apart.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ravina Shamdasani, wrote that the global Human Rights watchdog is:

Deeply concerned that the zero tolerance policy recently put in place along the US southern border has led to people being subjected to criminal prosecution and having their children – including extremely young children – taken away from them as a result.

The practice of separating families amounts to arbitrary and unlawful interference in family life, and is a serious violation of the rights of the child. While the rights of children are generally held in high regard in the US, it is the only country in the world not to have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. We encourage it to accede to the Convention and to fully respect the rights of all children.”

The use of immigration detention and family separation as a deterrent runs counter to human rights standards and principles. The child’s best interest should always come first, including over migration management objectives or other administrative concerns. It is therefore of great concern that in the US migration control appears to have been prioritised over the effective care and protection of migrant children.

Children should never be detained for reasons related to their own or their parents’ migration status. Detention is never in the best interests of the child and always constitutes a child rights violation.”(author bold)

What Ms. Shamdasani did not mention was that Trump recently claimed openly that immigrant children, “including extremely young children,” have no rights because “they are not innocent;” they are future criminals. And Trump made those comments the same day his beloved Border Patrol was accused of sexually and physically abusingchild detainees. To make matters worse, last week Trump “quietly” cut legal aid for migrant children separated from their parents and families. That includes families and children legally living in the United States that are being torn apart by deportation proceedings with no legal representation.

Trump has no regard whatsoever for children despite his claim that he was driven to launch a rash of missiles at an abandoned Russian airfield in Syria “because of the children.” Trump does not care about children, whether they are American citizens, documented immigrants, or refugees seeking relief from abuses in the countries they fled. It is an abomination that many of those fleeing human rights abuses, including very young children, are facing abuses in America because there is an abusive tyrant in the White House; something the United Nations Human Rights Commission condemned harshly.

Americans who aren’t humiliated by yet another condemnation by the global human rights watchdog are either vicious Trump supporters or inhumane Republicans; the only people supporting human rights abuses by government fiat under direction from that barbaric racist Trump.

Only dictators claim they are above the law

If there is one obvious prevailing trait of America’s government with a corrupt celebrity at its head, it is that nearly all leaders of the various federal agencies and departments are religiously opposed to fulfilling the duties of the agencies they lead. This is true of every department in Trump’s industry- and evangelical-heavy administration, including the criminal running the Executive Branch of government.

Like the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has no interest in protecting the environment, or the head of the Education Department has no interest in supporting public education, the head of the Executive Branch, dirty Don Trump, has no interest in “executing the laws” of the United States; the primary duty of the Executive Branch. In fact, as with everything Trump, he has gone far beyond just not executing the laws of the land, he claims that he is exempt from the laws and is not afraid to make it public knowledge.

During the 2016 presidential election, Trump claimed he could “shoot somebody in the face” and still maintain the support of his racist and religious acolytes. Some people likely believed Trump was boasting about his popularity among his zealot supporters, but based on his actions since even before his poorly attended inauguration, and a recently revealed White House “memo”  to the Special Prosecutor Robert S. Mueller, Trump was informing the American people that the nation’s laws simply do not apply to him. It has been an ongoing theme of Trump’s criminal tenure in the Oval Office and now his White House legal team all but claimed Trump decides what justice entails.

Whether it is violating campaign finance laws, flouting the U.S. Code prohibiting hiring family members, taking bribes from foreign governmentsobstructing justiceprofitingoff his position as White House resident, or colluding with foreign spies against the interests of the United States; Trump has shown that he regards laws as applicable to his alleged enemies, but not himself or members of his criminal enterprise.

It is worth noting that Trump’s criminal syndicate now includes the preponderance of the Republican Party that refuses to provide oversight or control the organized crime syndicate occupying the White House. That includes no small number of Republican senators and House representatives who violated 18 U.S. Code § 4 by not immediately reporting what they knew from personal experience was Trump attempting to obstruct justice. They did confirm that Trump pressured them to end their investigation. Although obstructing justice is a crime, it is one that Trump claims does not apply to him because he is the head of the Executive Branch tasked by the U.S. Constitution with “executing the laws of the land.”

At this point it is probably true that a fair number of Americans have at least heard about a “confidential memo” sent by the White House legal team informing Robert S. Mueller III that because he is the head of the Executive Branch, Trump is exempt from obstruction of justice laws. This is, as no small number of legal experts and pundits alike have asserted, a damned “ludicrous” claim. Particularly because Richard M. Nixon and William Jefferson Clinton each faced removal from the White House for “obstruction of justice.”

It is worth noting that there is probably no government office with more opportunities to obstruct justice than the presidency and it is almost certainly why the United States Congress was given Constitutional authority to ensure that the Executive Branch abides by the laws of the land.

Sadly today, the Republicans running Congress not only refuse to do their due diligence and their jobs, such as providing the oversight to the White House, they are actively obstructing justice by covering for the criminals and worse – they have acted contrary to their “law and order” bona fides by viciously attacking the Justice Department and federal law enforcement agencies that are doing their jobs.

The gist of the White House “memo” to Mr. Mueller’s team is that because he is head of the Executive Branch, the one Branch solely responsible for executing the law of the land:  “Trump can’t obstruct justice because as president [head of the Executive Branch] he has authority to end an investigation of himself.”

Representative Ted Lieu summed up the consensus of legal experts aware of the insanity entailed in the memo saying:

The confidential memo from attorneys for @realDonaldTrump is, to use a legal term, ludicrous. Under their view, @POTUS could shoot a federal employee on 5th Ave and still not be able to be indicted, or even subpoenaed.”

The mindset revealed in the White House memo is more than a claim Trump is exempt from the law; it is a statement that he is the law because he can “end an investigation of himself.” It is tantamount to claiming he can unilaterally invalidate any law of the land if it is applied to him or his crime family. It is likely why the “memo” contained a stunning admission by a Trump lawyer, Jay Sekulow, that Trump did more than weigh in on his son’s mendacious letter about the so-called “Trump Tower meeting with Russian nationals. According Trump’s lawyer, Trump “dictated” the letter his son provided in response to an article in the New York Times denying any collusion with the Russians. Despite several official White House denials that Trump had no involvement in crafting the letter, the White House legal team wrote to Mr. Mueller:

“You have received all of the notes, communications and testimony indicating that the President [Trump] dictated a response to the New York Times article on behalf of his son, Donald Trump, Jr.”

This admission is important for no other reason than, as documented by CNN, Trump’s administration lied profusely that Trump had nothing whatsoever to do with “the letter.”  As David Corn noted over at Mother Jones; Donald Jr.’s account in closed-door testimony before the United States Congress was a dirty lie. And Mr. Corn remarked that “it’s a crime to lie to Congress.”

But that is not the case in Trump’s administration as evidenced by at least five of his Cabinet nominees lying under “so help my god” oath during their Senate confirmation hearings with complete impunity. Trump’s liar’s club includes aspiring preacher-pope Mike Pence. Remember, Pence blatantly lied that he only learned of Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia and Turkey several months after Congressional Democrats had sent him a letter informing him that Flynn had close ties to Russia and Turkey.

The whole point of this little screed is to reiterate that America is being run by an honest-to-dog criminal enterprise with no regard for the law; the law that in Trump’s corrupt mind cannot apply to him. It is likely that Trump has labored under that concept his entire life. Whether it was him or his rich daddy obstructing justice with payments (donations) to politicians to ignore dumb Donnie’s real estate malfeasance, or being on the receiving end of a $500 billion Chinese investment (bribe), Trump has ignored the law of the land that every other American is beholden to follow under pain of prosecution.

As noted above, Republicans in Congress are complicit in Trump’s criminal syndicate because they are willingly colluding with the “Don” to obstruct justice, as well as question the legitimacy of America’s federal law enforcement and undermine federal investigative agencies.

America cannot survive a United States Congress that appears more than willing to aid and abet a known criminal occupying the White House. And yes, Trump is a criminal who has already violated no small number of laws, including lying by swearing on a stack of two Christian bibles to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States … and preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So help me god.”

Trump’s flagrant disregard for the law, including openly asserting he is above the law, is a portent that America is perilously close to being run by an authoritarian dictator; a tragedy that would not be possible without the willing participation of the party of law and order – the GOP. In fact, Trump’s claim that he is immune from the law is the clearest sign yet that his goal is ruling as a dictatorial tyrant.

It’s Trump who shouldn’t be in America, not Black athletes

There was a time in America, for a significant couple of centuries, that anyone who wanted to come to America was allowed, no welcomed, to emigrate and stay. In fact that welcoming sentiment was enshrined on the Statue of Liberty and it signified what B-movie actor Ronald Reagan claimed was how the world’s people should view America; “as a shining city on a hill …  open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.”

That sentiment, like much of what actually used to make America exceptional among nations, has proven to be anathema to Donald Trump. It is why he has aligned himself with xenophobes, nativists, and Aryan acolytes. Since before Trump’s poorly attended inauguration, he singled out several non-Aryan groups that he implied are not welcomed in America. Now he has added another group to his list of “undesirables,” United States citizens who are also African American athletes. And it is remarkable that Trump believes those Black athletes should not be allowed in America simply because they celebrate America by exercising their constitutional right of free expression and freedom of speech; it is what Trump claims is an abominable display of anti-American sentiment.

Trump made his patently unAmerican remark about Black athletes after the National Football League obeyed Trump and announced it would “discipline” any player who dared exercise their constitutional right to kneel in protest during the singing of the National Anthem prior to the contest. Of course the NFL regularly “disciplines” its players for all manner of “infractions” such as wearing the wrong shoes, overly zealous celebrations, and using banned drugs; it is their game and they get to make the rules. But disciplining athletes for expressing their outrage over the mistreatment and shooting of unarmed African Americans is a signal to Trump that the the NFL owners will to do his bidding; it is an action they will live to regret. Obviously, protesting violence against African Americans does not impact an athletes performance, or display animosity towards America, its Veterans, or that  tri-colored piece of cloth; so the NFL’s actions are not founded on anything other than pacifying Trump.

Although Trump sort of praised the NFL for threatening its players with fines for exercising their First Amendment rights, he was irritated that “the League” allowed the players to “sit out” the National Anthem in the locker room instead of taking a knee as a form of protest. Remember, Trump did say the NFL should get the African American “sons-of-bitches” off the field if they wanted to act like an American citizen and exercise their constitutional rights, but his real sentiment came out when he said”

You have to stand proudly for the national anthem—or you shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.”

Trump’s “long-running quest to stop Black athletes from protesting peacefully” became a cause célèbre among his adherents because there are just enough racist Americanswho believe in Trump’s attempt to “compel patriotism” as he defines it. However, no small number of Americans have rightly noted that there is nothing as patriotic as those African American athletes exercising their First Amendment right to protest the patently unconstitutional practice of discrimination against Black Americans by some law enforcement officials.

It is true that this issue highlights that there are some people who shouldn’t be allowed in America, but the first people that come to mind are Donald J. Trump and his boot-licking little preacher Mike Pence; two Republicans condemning Black athletes for exercising their constitutional rights. Pence and Trump believe that protesting racial injustice is attacking America, Veterans, a nationalistic song and a flag. And speaking of the Constitution, Trump shouldn’t be allowed to be in America because he is opposed to the nation’s founding document to the point of calling it “bad for the American people and really bad for the country.” This is after he swore a “so help me god” oath on two bibles to uphold, defend, and support the document he holds in contempt; Trump shouldn’t be allowed to be in America, much less in the White House.

It is no great secret that Trump “holds democratic norms, culture, laws, and institutions in contempt,” or that he is doing everything in his power to become an honest-to-dog tyrannical dictator. And in no small measure, his dictatorial aspirations are borne of his fervent support from racists who are more than willing to support an authoritarian tyrant is he promises to fulfill their dream of crushing dissent and making America white.

No American should believe for any amount of Planck-time that Trump’s attempt to crush dissent is going to stop with African American athletes; and that is all his faux outrage about kneeling during the National Anthem entails – squashing dissent. Authoritarians cannot exist with any amount of dissent and Trump knows this well; he may be a moron but he has studied Adolf Hitler and revered no small number of modern-day tyrants.

He assailed peaceful protests against racism and fascism as an assault on America, and he even informed Great Britain’s Prime Minister that unless she promises to stop protests against him, he will not visit America’s closest ally. His perpetual assault on the free press is founded in squashing dissent and nothing else. There is no doubt that if the media were cheering his every word and deed, he would bestow honors on them. But they are reporting the truth and in Trump’s vile mind the truth is dissent against him and he is not going to tolerate it.

If anyone does not belong in America it is Donald Trump; not African American athletes exercising their First Amendment rights. Those athletes were protesting racial injustice and discrimination against other American citizens; precisely what many people naturally regard as “being good Americans.” Trump wouldn’t know what being a good American involves any more than the Sun will set in the East, and it more than disqualifies him from living in the White House; it disqualifies him from being in America.

Rex Tillerson warns military graduates of Trump’s “threat to democracy”

Since Trump’s poorly attended inauguration there have been precious few Republicans with the decency, or devotion to America, to condemn what they know is the clear and present danger of a lying fascist, and corrupt miscreant officially occupying the White House. There are a few theories regularly bandied about regarding why Republicans still support Trump when they know he is as corrupt as any Colombian drug kingpin or Mafia don, and all of them are plausible and likely contribute to why Republicans still support a crook.

With little opposition from Republicans, Trump has the entire GOP and conservative movement working in concert to demean and attack America’s federal law enforcement agencies and Department of Justice officials for doing their jobs. It is exactly what one expects from a criminal syndicate, which is what Trump has transformed Washington into with only a couple of resigning Republicans condemning the lying criminal and threat to democracy.

It would be refreshing if just one of the Republicans criticizing Trump was not making an exit from Washington politics, but any Republican condemnation is better than nothing at this point. In former Exxon Mobil CEO and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s case, his rebuke of Trump after being unceremoniously terminated via Tweet is not only welcomed, it is incredibly spot on. To Tillerson’s credit, he did call dumb Donnie a “fucking moron” while he was leading the State Department, but he should have expanded on the “fucking moron” theme while he was in office and called out Trump for being a dirty liar lacking any sense of ethics or integrity who is a threat to America.

While giving a commencement address last week at the Virginia Military Institute, Tillerson warned the graduating cadets that America’s democracy is being “threatened by a growing crisis of ethics and integrity.” Mr. Tillerson continued thus without ever mentioning Trump by name;

If our leaders seek to conceal the truth, or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom.”

Tillerson also warned that even the “small falsehoods and exaggerations” are problematic:

When we as people, a free people, go wobbly on the truth even on what may seem the most trivial matters, we go wobbly on America. If we do not as Americans confront the crisis of ethics and integrity in our society and among our leaders in both the public and private sector — and regrettably at times even the nonprofit sector (churches) — then American democracy as we know it is entering its twilight years.”

Tillerson ended his address with a warning, and sound advice, to the graduating cadets as they prepare to enter the world:

Carefully consider the values and the culture of the organizations in which you seek to work. Look for employers who set high standards for ethical conduct.”

There was more to Tillerson’s address than just defaming Trump for creating an unethical cesspool in Washington, but it too was a not-so-subtle poke at Trump’s alleged expertise on international trade as well as the fascist habit of inciting hatred and contempt from America’s allies and trading partners. In what was deemed a “notable defense” of free trade and economic growth, Tillerson said:

Every nation has a right to aspire to a better quality of life, and that free trade and economic growth are the means by which opportunity is created for all people.”

That comment was as direct a reference to Trump as possible without mentioning his filthy name. And it carried weight coming from a man who was on the inside of a corrupt administration with an intimate insight into the head criminal; the punk who backs out of international agreements and then imposes “billions of dollars in tariffs on rivals and allies alike, and uses ‘America First’ as the official government’s guiding principle.”

Tillerson may not be an official member of “the resistance,” but he did as well as can be expected for a Republican and former Trump insider. He warned that “citizens must demand that America’s future be fact-based, not based on wishful thinking, not hoped-for outcomes made in shallow promises, but with a clear eyed view of the facts as they are and guided by the truth that will set us free to seek solutions to our most daunting challenges.”

There can be little doubt that Tillerson’s speech was tailored to warn the graduating class of allowing this particularly corrupt administration to continue unimpeded. It is interesting that Tillerson had to “regrettably” mention that the “non-profit sector” is just as unethical and mendacious as Trump. He could only have been referring to extremist evangelical non-profits that support Trump solely because they share a seemingly innate ability to lie and cheat for personal profit, power, and self-deification.

It is a shame that Tillerson waited until after he was out of Trump’s inner circle to lay waste to all things Trump. It gives the illusion that his remarks are borne of sour grapes at being fired by tweet. However, with the dearth of Republicans willing to call a spade a spade, or Trump a dirty lying corrupt thug, Mr. Tillerson’s rebuke of Trump is noteworthy. And although it was not as blunt as calling him a “fucking moron,” it was a relatively accurate portrayal of a piece of white trash who is so incapable of decency that he wouldn’t recognize integrity if it hit him in his bloated orange face.

400-year-old trees cut down with blessings of Trump’s BLM

It is fair to claim that Republicans have done nothing positive for the American people over the past couple of decades at least; what can be termed “in the public interest” is of no use to Republicans. In fact, it is also a fair claim that Republicans have been relentless in taking away anything good about America no matter how popular or beneficial it is to the population, or how long it has been a crucial part of America.

With Trump in the White House, Republicans have been on a tear attacking anything of interest to the people, but it is not all down to dunce Don Trump. Republicans have crusaded, often in the shadows, to abolish decades-old programs created specifically for the people such as Social Security, workplace protections, social safety nets, financial regulations and anything remotely connected to FDR’s New Deal.

According to Republicans, and now Trump, there is nothing in or about America worth protecting or preserving any longer whether it is the New Deal, public land, or a 400 year old stand of trees on public, federally protected land, Nothing is sacred to Republicans or Trump if it involves the “public interest,” and a travesty in Oregon is a clarion call for action to preserve Americans’ land and their natural, national treasures.

Since Trump’s poorly attended inauguration, there has been a concerted effort to sate the land and natural resources lust of Utah Mormons and the Koch brothers who are funding the GOP’s “public land grab” for their vast lumber, mining, and fossil fuel industries’ profits. This raping and pillaging of the public’s land did not begin with Trump or his dirty Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke; it has been as important to the fossil fuel, mining, and lumber industries as the drive to wipe out the Environmental Protection Agency.  In fact, over that past few years, Republicans have enthusiastically embraced Mormon Cliven Bundy’s crusade to seize the public’s land and it is no coincidence that Trump went to Utah first to deliver precisely what the Utah Mormon’s have demanded for years – possession of federally protected public lands.

Before commenting on why there is a tiny minority of the population vehemently opposed to the concept of “public land,” and who is behind the highly-unpopular “land grab,” it is worth noting why this new policy of giving public land over to corporate interests is an atrocity.

Earlier in the month in Oregon, a private lumber company senselessly  wiped out a stand of 400-year-old trees on the public’s land. As noted by conservationists, some of the trees were old-growth cedars and Douglas firs and cannot be brought back anytime within the next two or three centuries. To make the matter that much more infuriating, the trees “were” home to an endangered species, the Northern Spotted Owl. And the denuding occurred without the public’s knowledge or input.

And just in case the public did discover what was about to transpire, Trump’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) allowed the private timber company, Lone Rock Resources, to build gates to keep the public and the media from even approaching the public’s land. Local residents were not amused and complained that the entire affair was done behind closed doors; likely because the outrage and protests would have been robust.

One outraged group on Facebook fairly summed up the entire process that is going to be occurring regularly in Trump’s America to sate Utah Mormons, Republicans, and the Koch brothers. The group rightly said:

Your public lands are being handed away behind closed doors without your say so, and regardless of protest.”

The regional director for a conservation group, Cascadia Wildlands, stated how outrageous of an insult, and serious assault on natural treasures, this action was:

It’s very rare to find old-growth forests like this, and it’s going to be cut down for a senseless road.”

The private lumber company needed a “senseless road” to easily access a few acres of plantation land it intends to  clear cut (denude}, so it “legally” wiped out a stand of “rare” old-growth trees with the blessings of Trump’s Interior Department. The issue isn’t only the blatant disregard for trees older than America, or wiping out the habitat of an endangered species of owl, or that Trump’s BLM under Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is keeping the public unawares that their lands, and their natural resources, are being decimated to profit a private enterprise. It is that it is being done on the public’s land and against the public’s wishes; all to profit a private company. And although that land won’t be “public ” much longer, no groups will be happier than Utah Mormons and the Koch brothers. And it is not just this author’s opinion either. And no, there is no author bias against Mormons; just their belief that the federal government cannot own and protect the public’s land.

Some Americans may recall that the main complaint of Mormon extremist Cliven Bundy of the infamous “Bundy Ranch Standoff” was what he called the abomination of “public land” under protection of the land’s owner, the federal government. That “standoff” incited Republicans to join the Mormon and Koch brothers crusade to force the federal government to cede its ownership of protected “public lands” to Republican controlled states to sell off to private interests.

Republican governors and members of Congress jumped at the opportunity to aid the Bundy Mormons’ demand that the federal government immediately cede ownership of all national forests and public lands to the states; going so far as anointing Bundy as a true American hero and patriot. Bundy’s bent about the federal government owning land was, and still is, a longstanding issue with Mormons. But Republicans joined the fight to aid the Koch brothers.

In fact, Republicans would likely write and pass legislation forcing the government to hand over its land directly to the Koch brothers, but that may raise suspicions among Americans that Utah Mormons and Republicans in Congress exist to enrich the Koch brothers. It is particularly true since several Utah Republicans have cultivated a reputation as honest-to-dog “public lands enemies.”

Where the Mormon’s believe their god-given destiny is taking all land in the West, the Kochs believe they are destined to take all of the nation’s natural resources; no matter whose land it is. As Christine Colbert confessed in an opinion piece for the Washington Post, Mormons believe religiously that their crusade to force the federal government to relinquish ownership of the public’s land is simply “an effort to ‘take back’ what they believe is rightfully theirs.” Based on the staggering amount of money the Kochs are investing in the Utah Republicans’ land grab agenda, they obviously believe the nation’s natural resources are “rightfully theirs.”

This land grab, and decimation of the public’s national treasures, is a highly unpopular proposal. To belabor the point, last year Zinke’s EPA solicited public comments hoping to find that most Americans were like Utah Mormons, but he discovered that 98 percent of respondents were not only favorable about keeping public land, monuments and national parks as they are now, they “favored” expanding them. Shortly after learning of the public’s favorable opinion about their federal land, Zinke went directly and recommended that Trump modify (read shrink) at least 10 National Parks and Monuments.

Now, if anyone is curious about which demographic makes up the 2 percent of the population opposed to public lands, parks and monuments, consider that Mormons in America make up 1.7 percent of the population. It is likely no stretch of the imagination that the remaining 3-tenths of one percent are in the mining, lumber and fossil fuel business. As noted by people keeping score, it is primarily the Mormons and Koch brothers driving the GOP’s land grab agenda and plans to sell off federal land, national parks and monuments to private enterprise.

Some Americans may think cutting down 400-year old “natural monuments” is no big deal, even if it was to profit a private timber company. But what happened in Oregon is already in the works across the nation and along its coastlines. There are big plans to begin mining highly-toxic uranium in Utah and the Grand Canyon, and besides despoiling Americans’ land, threatening their health and their national treasures, the plans will primarily benefit a Canadian uranium producer, Energy Fuels. It is unclear if Energy Fuels is following China’s and other foreign nations’ lead and bribing Trump for favors, but it is not out of the realm of possibility whatsoever.

Look, the public lands, national parks, monuments, and wilderness areas belong to all Americans; it is one of the things that really “made America great” because they benefit all the people. But what the people want is of no consequence to Trump, Republicans, Utah Mormons or the Koch brothers; especially if it is beneficial to all the people. In fact, it almost appears that Republicans are crusading to take the public’s land and hand it over to corporate ownership simply because the overwhelming majority of people have a highly-favorable opinion of their public land. But the truth is that there is big money for the Kochs, and religious satisfaction for the Mormons; neither will be sated until they have stolen the entirety of Americans’ lands to rape and pillage at their pleasure.