Trump Truly Hates His Poorest Supporters in 13 Appalachian States

Although it is errantly attributed to renowned “showman” P.T. Barnum of circus fame, the quote, “There’s a sucker born every minute” is an apropos statement regarding Donald Trump’s staunchest supporters; particularly those in high poverty areas such as Appalachia. The meaning of the “suckers” quote can be better stated:

There is an abundance of stupid people ready and willing to become victims of a master fraudster, cheat and swindler like Donald Trump.”

And ever so true to their renown as the personification of stupid and gullible, Trump’s base believed the lying swindler and are now on the verge of being economically raped by their “god-sent” messiah.

There is no doubt among sane Americans that Trump fully intends to wreak havoc on all Americans not in the richest one percent of income earners, but he is beginning the assault by targeting the 95 percent of his Appalachian supporters who voted for what they foolishly believed was their champion sent from their idea of an economic god.

One of the programs Trump wants abolished immediately is a 52-year old economic recovery program, the Appalachian Regional Commission. ARC was created as part of Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” to aide the poorest people in 420 counties across 13 states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The program has been successful in helping one of the poorest regions in the nation of which Trump won 10 states with 95 percent voter support; that 95 percent of the voters are about to see just how little regard their “messiah” has for them and learn how easily they were conned by a genuine television fraudster. And, that doesn’t include the assault on healthcare and other social safety net cuts Trump and his savage Republican cohort in Congress have in store for “their base.”

Over its 52-year existence ARC has invested a measly $3.8 billion in “economic” aid primarily focused on infrastructure improvements like roads and bridges that benefited the coal industry more than the local populations. But since those improvements are reaching a conclusion, ARC has been shifting its focus to education and training former coal workers to find gainful employment in the 21st Century.

It is noteworthy that even if the dying coal industry were to suddenly experience a boom, American coal workers are still out of luck, and jobs, because of mechanization in the mining industry; a fact even the coal industry leaders confesses is the case. Those poorest Americans in the land reveled in the opportunity to be trained in healthier technology and renewable energy jobs they have found exceedingly helpful to avoid wallowing in a perpetual state of dire poverty; a state of existence Trump intends on maintaining regardless he is punishing his staunchest supporters.

As Nobel Laureate in economics Paul Krugman stated, “The only logical conclusion to be drawn from Trump’s proposals is that he despises the very voters who elected him.” And, Trump intends to demonstrate in action that deep-seated contempt for his “base” by sending them deeper into poverty with no hope for a better future. It is how Trump intends to make America great; but only for the richest one percent who will be the recipients of massive tax breaks funded with massive cuts to social programs.

As an example of how badly Trump detests the people who supported him, Paul Krugman cited just one of the states benefiting immensely from ARC, poverty-ridden West Virginia. West Virginia is one of the 13 states and 420 counties where 95 percent of the people voted for Trump. Krugman said just the assault on health care championed by Trump and Republicans will be “apocalyptic.” That apocalyptic devastation is in addition to Trump wiping out ARC. As Mr. Krugman noted, “Hundreds of thousands would lose health insurance; medical debt and untreated conditions would surge; and there would be an explosion in extreme poverty, including a lot of outright hunger.

An explosion in extreme poverty, like “a lot of outright hunger,” is a condition Republicans have hoped to see with every budget and policy proposal they’ve supported over the past decade. And like Trump, they’ve lied profusely that creating hunger and more poverty is a crucial element of enriching corporations and the wealthy to make America great again. It’s been an important part of their trickle down propaganda campaign since its introduction by Reagan.

Trump’s intent to completely wipe out the ARC didn’t go unnoticed by some Republicans elected by the same 95 percent of voters who voted for Trump. For example, the Republican governor from Kentucky, Matt Bevin registered his complaints to Trump regarding abolishing ARC. Bevin was joined by Representative Hal Rogers (R-KY) rumored to be a powerful presence on appropriations who labeled Trump’s wipeout of the ARC and EDA as “draconian, careless, and counterproductive.” Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), no friend of any domestic social program, told a television station that “We’re not going to allow any cuts to the Appalachian Regional Commission; they’re not going to happen.”

It is highly questionable if other Republicans in Congress with no electoral stake in the “Appalachian region” will be interested in saving ARC; particularly when cutting any and all federal domestic programs is their raison d’être. Remember, the Republicans would hardly support the GOP healthcare plan because it was not nearly harsh and draconian enough for their tastes. And, it is noteworthy that their “tastes” are completely in line with Trump’s because their primary goal, like Trump’s, is “deconstructing the administrative state.” A plan founded on wiping out all federal government programs and agencies. The Appalachian Regional Commission epitomizes the typical federal program the Trump and Republicans want eliminated.

It’s possible that Trump’s supporters are so gullible that they actually believed him when he pledged to “make America great” by “draining the swamp” and eliminate special interests from Washington. By now they are learning what any sane person understood Trump’s slogans to really meant throughout the campaign. When he said “drain the swamp” he meant wipe out social and domestic programs Republicans have regarded as just “so much waste” for decades.

It is too late for the idiots that voted for Trump because part and parcel of the “waste” he and the GOP want to eliminate are America’s poor and vulnerable citizens. Ironically, it is the poor and vulnerable that elected the source of their future demise by overwhelming numbers. It is glaringly apparent that in America there was an over abundance of “stupid voters ready and willing to become victims of a master swindler;” so they cheered wildly as they put Trump in the White House.

 

 

Journalists and Protestors Mourn the Death of the Constitution

It is getting to the point that any American who believes they have rights guaranteed under the United States Constitution had better come to grips with the tragic fact that Donald Trump’s election victory put their constitutionally protected personal freedoms at risk. It is beyond refute that as part of the conservative movement, Republicans have demonstrated time and again that they despise any part of the Constitution that ensures American citizens certain “unalienable rights,” and chief among those most hated by the party’s standard bearer Trump are a free press and the people’s right to peaceably protest.

No-one conscious should be surprised that Trump spent the entirety of the presidential campaign demeaning the press and peaceable protests; he idolizes and heaps praise on the worst and most authoritarian tyrants on the planet. It is hard to determine if Trump hates protestors more than journalists, but he has had little reservation calling for both protestors’ and journalists’ arrests and imprisonment for doing what American citizens believe is their Constitutional right; gather peaceably and do the job they’re paid to do. A bevy of Republican states have legislation pending to criminalize the former and journalists can expect a similar fate if Trump gets his way. This is the new America – Trump’s America – and the way Trump intends to make it great.

The reason these two rights are becoming extinct is because on two occasions within a week a journalist was attacked by a Republican politician and then rewarded with a seat in the House of Representatives, and a gang of foreign thugs attacked and injured peaceable protestors and were rewarded with no arrests. This is the new America – this is Trump’s America –  and it’s the kind of America Trump and his acolytes consider great.

The big story late in the week was a Republican House candidate physically assaulting a reporter for the Guardian without being arrested on the spot; because the county sheriff was a contributor to the bully’s candidacy. One can surmise that the sheriff also contributed to Trump’s campaign. And, like Trump, the Montana Republican lied through his teeth that a reporter attacked him first prompting a “self-defense” claim by the man who said he was “sick of this [journalist’s questions]” as he punched the reporter.

The incident was witnessed and reported on as a completely valid story by a team from Fox News who were “stunned” at the assault on a reporter. It may be one of the only times the GOP’s official party network was not reporting “fake news.” And in what is becoming a troubling trend,  like five of Trump’s lying cabinet appointees who committed perjury under oath before the Senate, Montana’s Republican voters rewarded the candidate with an election victory; likely to send a message to Trump to keep up the good work demonizing the media.

There was another bunch of “brutal attacks” last week, but this time it was peaceful protestors who were assaulted, punched, kicked, choked, and slammed to the ground by a foreign authoritarian’s henchmen; all while American police officers stood by observing American citizens being criminally assaulted by a gang of foreigners – some of them carrying firearms. This too is the new America, Trump’s America, and it’s what Trump meant when he promised to “make America great again;” even though for 238 years journalists and peaceful protestors were protected under the Constitution’s First Amendment.

The New York Times displayed and analyzed a multitude of videos and photographs of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security detail and Turkish police viciously attacking American citizens for exercising their constitutional right to protest. What the videos and images show are 24 agents of a foreign government who outnumbered protestors two to one leaving their official vehicles to charge into a group of American citizens and attack them; likely what they do as a matter of course in Turkey.

It is plain to see, as the NYT notes, the video and still images leave little doubt that the foreign head of state’s “security guards” attacked peaceful protestors in clear view of the police; not one of the foreigners was charged with a crime. And, there is no doubt the foreign thugs attacking Americans were “members of the [Turkish] president’s security detail and Turkish policeaccording to Turkey’s state-owned news wire, Anadolu Agency; the videos the NYT analyzed were provided by the Turkish news agency people who filmed the assaults.

The incident start when three men left their official vehicles and charged at the protesters. One man knocked two women protestors to the ground, and another man repeatedly punched Lucy Usoyan, a protester, as she lay on the ground. One of the attackers actually acknowledged that he participating in kicking one woman thrown to the ground because,  “I wasn’t paying attention. I thought it was a man. I would never kick a woman.” One of the attacker’s accomplices said that by joining three other men in kicking the woman on the ground, the attacker was just defending himself from female protester he said was a “terrorist.” Interestingly, one Republican has proposed legislation equating peaceable protestors to terrorists; a “slightly” watered-down bill is still in committee.

But regardless the Turkish men’s mendacious remarks and pathetically false excuses of combating terrorists, the man did kick an American woman exercising her constitutional right; his excuse that he “thought it was a man” doesn’t justify his actions no matter that the police and Turkey’s president watched as the thugs attacked American citizens.

One of the Turkish guards grabbed and choked 26 year old Ceren Borazan prior to throwing her on the ground. The foreign agent slammed the American citizen, a young woman, to the ground for exercising her Constitutional right to protest as he was saying “You are dead.” Ms. Borazan told New York Times that, “I felt so awful. As a woman, as an American. Right now I don’t even feel safe here.”

Another woman who was thrown to the ground and kicked repeatedly by several men sustained a concussion leading a doctor to authorize six weeks off from work to recover. The woman said  “I’m glad I’m alive.”

Although the State Department allegedly condemned the episode, and some American lawmakers have called for the foreign agents to be prosecuted, it is likely they will never experience even a minute in the American criminal justice system; this is the new America – this is Trump’s America – and it is what Trump meant when he pledged to make America great again. Great like Nazi Germany, Turkey, the Philippines, Egypt and Russia; all 21st Century nations where journalists and protestors have no Constitution go protect their “unalienable rights” as human beings.

Christian Extremists Blame Victims For Manchester Terror Attack

It is a natural trait of human beings to assign blame when there is a tragedy no matter if it is a natural or man-made disaster whether as part of the natural healing process or to make sense out of a tragic event that claimed lives. However, it is usually a good idea to place the blame where it belongs to either easily address the problem so it never occurs again if that’s possible, or to properly heal and move forward. Of course there is a contingent in America that can always find some way to blame victims of a disaster for being innocent victims, or blame another group that angered a vengeful deity.

After the horrid terror attack in Manchester England outside of a venue where American entertainer Ariana Grande was performing for her mostly young female fans, there was the typical finger-pointing at the Muslim religion. Obviously, these finger-pointing morons are bereft of the easily confirmed fact that, according to the Islamic holy book the Quran, the quickest way for an Islamic adherent to go straight to Muslim Hell is to take the life of an innocent. Even in a raging war, killing an innocent means the guilty Muslim will “never smell Heaven.” The Manchester terrorist attack is not supported by the Islamic religion. It was a vile criminal act and nothing more or less.

There is another group, American Christian extremists, who seemingly always find a way to blame the victims who were either killed or injured whenever there is a terror attack or even as a result of a natural disaster. These are typically the type of savage beast that blames a woman for being violently raped, and it is generally attributed to some form of ‘godly’ punishment inflicted on the victim for some slight against the Christian extremist’s god. That was the sentiment of some seriously twisted American Christian extremists who blamed the victims of the Manchester terror attack on who else? The victims; primarily young pre-teen and teenaged girls ranging in age from 8 to 18 years old or their parents who either accompanied them to the concert or were waiting to pick them up and escort them home.

Right Wing Watch has reported that one of those Christian extremists, an anti-LGBTQ crusader named Theodore Shoebat released a video expressing a familiar sentiment typical of the religious right; a sentiment lacking in any kind of compassion for the victims. Shoebat is not a “follower of Christ” kind of Christian; he is a hate-driven monster that warrants being drawn and quartered and fed to whichever starving beast is willing to eat his putrid flesh. Instead of showing even a modicum of compassion for the innocent victims in Manchester, Shoebat displayed the typical hate rampant among, and permeating, America’s despicable evangelical fundamentalists.

Not only is Shoebat lacking any sense of compassion for the innocent victims, he all but asserted those young children and their parents are to blame for their own deaths and injuries. In fact, Shoebat asserted the terrorist that killed 22 innocent children and their parents was an emissary from god meting out “judgement for the West’s rejection of Christianity and its acceptance of homosexuality and degeneracy.” Shoebat said:

I really have no sympathy for these people. The people who died, the people who were injured, the people who were scared out of their minds, who ran away [screaming], I really don’t care. The types of people who go to these concerts are the same types of people who are responsible for the degeneracy that you see in society.

They go to these concerts dressed up as whores, dressed up as sluts, they’re pro-sodomite, they’re pro-divorce, they’re pro-infidelity. They want evil, they want decay, they want sodomy, they want Sodom and Gomorrah.”

It is possible that Shoebat is too driven by his Christian hate to comprehend that the predominant age of the Ariana Grande fan is between 8 and 16 or he would never have claimed the young, mostly female, victims are “pro-infidelity, pro-divorce or pro-sodomite.” The young English fans are also not responsible for anything remotely related to American society any more than they want decay or sodomy. It is a fair bet that none of the young female victims want evil, decay or Sodom and Gomorrah either. But since Shoebat is a typical evangelical  monster of epic proportion he blamed young British children and their parents for what he perceives as the ills of American society

A different Christian extremist, someone known as a “Christian blogger,” wrote on Twitter that her personal god used the horrible terror attack to send the young American pop artist, Ariana Grande, a stern message to teach her the error of her ways; including not listening to god when he speaks. The truly abominable so-called Christian, Jennifer Mayer, wrote on Twitter:

God is speaking to her [Ariana Grande] for being promiscuous and promoting homosexuals.  When HE speaks you must listen, friends!”

This hate-driven so-called Christian, Jennifer Mayer, must worship a genuinely evil god to claim her deity killed 22 English citizens, mostly young girls and their parents, to teach a young American “pop singer” the error of her ways. Apparently in the Christian extremist world, dressing like an entertainer during a stage performance and doing what the biblical Jesus Christ commanded his followers to do, love and embrace all people, even non-heterosexual people, warrants their god’s wrath on innocent girls and their parents; all to teach a young American pop singer a lesson.

Not to be outdone by the Christian extremists, Donald Trump’s close advisor and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones joined the evangelical chorus to condemn the victims while praising his Earthly demi-god Trump. The right-wing freak of nature and “conservative thought leader” labeled the young British girls and their parents “liberal trendies” he says champion bringing radical terrorists into America.

While he was praising Trump for enriching the American military industrial complex with a deal to sell arms to the nation responsible for 9/11, Saudi Arabia, Jones said:

And less than 24 hours after President Trump finishes that speech, a big bomb goes off at a pop star’s rock concert bombing a bunch of liberal trendies. The same people … who are promoting open borders, bringing Islamists in.”

First, Alex Jones is referring to, on average, 8 to 16 year old British girls who no more comprehend, much less promote, something called “open borders” than they comprehend or promote Ronald Reagan’s supply side economics; Jones is one seriously sick twisted piece of work.

Second, there is no possible way those mostly female British pre-teens and teens are promoting bringing “Islamists” in to America. Islamists is a typically conservative label for someone who commits an act of terror; unless they are white evangelical racists, then they are ignored.  One doesn’t have much faith that Jones is any smarter than an eight-year-old English child, but he certainly has to know that Manchester is in the United Kingdom and English citizens, no matter their age, certainly don’t promote “bringing Islamists into America.”

Even the National Rifle Association had to weigh in and blame the victims for the terror attack and claimed the Manchester Arena bombing only happened because of the victims’ “gender bending” and England’s sane gun laws.

As Michael Stone at Patheos noted, these “deplorable” Christian extremists and their conservative brethren “are happy to blame the victim in order to score ideological points; even if she is only eight years old.

A list of the victims is here and it is noteworthy that all but two of them were British and most were either young English girls or their parents. Still, as they are wont to do, America’s Christian extremist sect, the religious right, had no issue blaming the victims for something they claim their god did to punish America and a young pop singer.

h/t Patheos

Conservative Pundit Says Trump Could Cost the GOP a Generation of Voters

 

It would not be an error to say that Donald Trump is not turning out to be the “god-sent” messiah a fair number of Republicans expected him to be. It was actually reasonable for conservatives to expect great things for the Republican movement with a tiny-handed rubber-stamp idiot in the White House and a GOP-controlled Congress. But by now even Republicans understand, at least in private, that they are in a life-and-death struggle dealing with an aspiring tyrant who has no idea what it takes to be an effective administrator, much less president of the United States.

There have been a few conservative pundits who recognize that Trump is a disaster, incompetent, lacks morals, and is a pathological liar. They also comprehend that between Republicans’ inability to reach a consensus among themselves on legislative governance, and their struggle to keep their distance from Trump while avoiding blowback from his base, “a Republican reckoning is on the horizon.”

That “reckoning” is the assessment of conservative pundit Erick Erickson who took to his pen to write a chilling prophecy for the Republican Party’s future; a future he says is in dire jeopardy with Trump in the White House. In fact, devout Republican Erickson warned that Trump is leading the GOP into a “generational wipeout.” It is noteworthy to mention that Erickson was not an early adopter of Trump as president, because as he elucidates in his commentary, he believed Trump “would be deeply destructive to the national fabric and to the conservative ideas” Erickson supports. Thus his warning that “a Republican reckoning is on the horizon” because Trump is in the White House.

Mr. Erickson related the two primary issues he has with a Trump presidency, and it is noteworthy that they are the exact same issues he preached during the presidential campaign. Besides being destructive to the nation and conservatism as a Republican ideology, he “strongly believes that Trump lacks moral character.” Except for Trump’s racist supporters, there are very few Americans who would disagree about Trump’s lack of morals, or character, or compassion, or patriotism, or awareness of just how incompetent he really is – see Dunning-Kruger effect. Trump exists to elevate Trump and enrich his portfolio; nothing else matters and it is becoming increasingly clear to everyone but the clinically insane. Obviously Erickson is not clinically insane and he can see the “generational” damage Trump is wreaking on the GOP as an establishment and viable political party.

Erickson states the obvious according to polls that voters are increasingly dissatisfied with the Republicans’ inability to govern, and he asserts that part of the issue is that congressional Republicans have found themselves in between the proverbial “rock and a hard place” with Trump in the White House.

Mr. Erickson is right, of course. Increasingly, the Republicans who are still ardently supporting Trump find themselves rightly being accused of neglecting their sworn duty to hold the corrupt con man accountable for the myriad conflicts of interest and what increasingly looks like treason against the United States of America.

However, if Republicans do put patriotism and country before party loyalty, Trump’s mean-spirited base will attack them mercilessly as betrayers of the faith and do what Trump has suggested on more than one occasion; recruit and run primary candidates against them. It is highly likely that their fear of a primary challenge is the force prohibiting most Republicans from doing the right thing and fleeing Trump’s treason and corruption. It is a curious position to take because Republicans are assured that they have a second-string rubber stamp waiting to fill in for Trump if he is evicted from office.

Apparently, Erickson is just as concerned about Trump’s “lack of moral character” setting a horrible example for his fellow people of faith as he is his children seeing an ignorant lying savage as president. Erickson must be more religious than once thought because he claims to have had plenty of serious discussions with his Christian brethren throughout the presidential campaign about the danger of supporting a sinner like Trump. He relates telling people of faith during the campaign that “if god wanted Trump in the White House, he would not need Christians to dirty themselves to make it happen.”

As a secular humanist, one feels a sense of duty to remind the faithful that their mythological god had nothing whatsoever to do with Trump being in the White House. That atrocious credit belongs to Russia, James Comey’s ill-timed revelation that there was nothing in a “new” email inquiry, emoprogs, and Republican voter purges. The biblical god did not get to cast one vote for Trump.

Still, Erickson argued with Trump’s evangelical Christian supporters who told him “whether we liked Trump or not, we needed him to save the Supreme Court.” His response was that “four years of Clinton appointing judges, while awful, would be nothing compared to ‘a generational wipeout of the GOP;’” thus Erickson’s prophecy that “a Republican reckoning is on the horizon.”

Erickson also made an important statement that Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman made a few months ago about people getting to close to Trump, whether in political support or in his corrupt administration, can never come away without compromising their character. As the bastardized interpretation of a verse in the Old Testament says;  “you are the company you keep.” No matter how gullible Americans can be, they are just savvy enough to conclude that every foolish Republican still fervidly supporting Trump is just as corrupt, greedy, incompetent, and mean-spirited as he is.

Mr. Erickson said that it is becoming clearer every day that Trump has the potential to cause more damage to the Republican Party and compared him, wrongly, to President Obama and Democrats. He did, though, see a major distinction between Democrats’ electoral setbacks during the Obama Administration and what will drive the “day of reckoning for Republicans.” He said that while  “President Obama is deeply respected and liked by a majority of the voters,” Donald Trump is “increasingly disliked, and the Republicans who enable him are increasingly distrusted.”

It is a stunning admission, but Erickson said the majority of Americans can be forgiven for thinking the GOP has lost is collective mind; especially because Trump’s supporters in Congress and his base “cheer on his every inane statement, delusion, lie and bad act.” The result, according to a staunch conservative and faithful Republican, is that the Republican movement may lose an entire generation of voters through a combination of the sheer incompetence of Trump and a party rank-and-file with no ability to control or distance itself from its dangerously idiotic leader.

While Erick Erickson’s prophecy may come true, and he makes several fine points, it seems as though he underestimates just how much alike Donald Trump and the GOP faithful are ideologically and as a political movement. If that wasn’t the case, Trump wouldn’t be in the White House, Congress wouldn’t be in Republican hands, and America would be going forward, not reverting back to 1920.

Republicans Will Implement Heritage Foundation Budget With Or Without Trump 

 

 

It isn’t a revelation to a few people that Americans can be, and typically are, the most gullible human beings on the planet. It is also true that some Americans believe a fair percentage of the population are stupid as well as gullible and it is likely because few of them actually pay attention to the obvious. There are a few reasons why that’s the case, but it’s fair to say that “confirmation bias” and wishful thinking are at the top of the list.

Right now many Americans are cherishing the “seeming” demise of Donald Trump’s tenure in the White House, and many are arguing that a Pence in the White House cannot possibly be worse than Trump. While that may be true as far as making blunders, conspiring with hostile governments, insulting America’s allies, and attacking any person or organization that fails to lick Trump’s boots, a Pence presidency will be exactly like a Trump presidency as far as domestic and foreign policy.

Right now there are no small number of assessments by pundits and commenters on the left going batshit crazy over the cruel, barbaric social program cuts in “Trump’s budget” for fiscal year 2018. It is a vile representation of exactly what Trump and Republicans think about the American people, especially children, the elderly, infirm, disabled and poor, but it shouldn’t be a revelation to anyone. And for dog’s sake it shouldn’t be attributed to dirty Donald Trump. It is not his budget and if attribution is a such big deal to then get it right and give credit where it belongs or put a sock in it. There are plenty of opportunities to confirm one’s anti-Trump bias, or a reason to rank on the tiny-handed buffoon. It isn’t constructive, or informative, to accredit something to Trump that belongs to the entire Republican Party and its neo-conservative “belief tank;” the teabagger-led Heritage Foundation.

As this author said months ago, all of the proposed cuts, privatization schemes, agency eliminations, healthcare and nutrition cuts in Trump’s budget outline hew closely to a Heritage Foundation blueprint that was published early in the new year; prior to Trump’s sparsely-attended inauguration. If that doesn’t fit the “blame it on Trump” distraction the left is embracing, then the boasts from the Heritage Foundation fawning over “Trump’s budget” should clarify things.

According to the introduction to “an expert assessment” of Trump’s “America’s First Budget” by a bevy of Heritage Foundation “experts” in cruel and unusual punishment:

The Trump administration relied heavily on The Heritage Foundation’s “Blueprint for Balance” to craft some of the ideas included in Trump’s own budget blueprint.”

The Hill reported Heritage Foundation crafted Trump’s budget like they crafted Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” plan over the past few years. So any idea Republicans will rein in their drastic cuts if Trump isn’t in the White House is insane. As a close confidante of the Heritage Foundation and former chair of the RSC, Pence would demand and embrace the harshest cuts possible and it is likely why the inaptly-labeled “Trump budget” contain cuts that Heritage and the RSC know will easily breeze through the Republican-controlled Congress; it doesn’t matter which lying Republican sits in the Oval Office.

Many of the specifically harsh cuts in “Trump’s budget” were part of the 2017 budget adopted by the uber-conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC). The RSC is just as teabagger extreme as the House Freedom Caucus and it is closely affiliated with, and highly praised by, the teabagger-led Heritage Foundation.

In fact, Trump’s current director of the Office of Budget and Management (OMB), former Republican House representative from South Carolina, Mick Mulvaney bragged that he voted for the RSC budget because it was a more conservative alternative to Ayn Rand-inspired House budget Paul Ryan offered up over the past few years.

Now, why this is important is because many Americans are deluded in believing the nation will transform into some kind of socialist paradise if Trump leaves office, whether in handcuffs or in a straight jacket, and Pence becomes president. Pence is more closely tied to the Heritage Foundation than any member of Congress and it would be difficult for anyone to identify any Republican in Congress who does not ‘hew closely’ to the policies, mission or agenda of the Heritage Foundation.

Americans are in this situation because they do not pay attention to the important issues when it matters. Oh they are diligent in focusing on whatever is trending on Twitter or how many times dirty Don plays golf, but they aren’t attentive to why their government and way of life is doomed. At this juncture there isn’t much anyone can do to stop the Republicans, the Koch brothers, evangelical extremists or the Heritage Foundation, but they can start identifying the real source of the impending disaster so maybe by the next decade voters will know it’s not just Trump or any one Republican that’s the problem, it’s the entire conservative movement.

Trump Obstructs Office of Government Ethics Investigation

Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign corrupt Donald Trump promised his gullible supporters that he would “drain the swamp” in Washington. Instead, he turned what he claimed was a swamp into a putrid rotting cesspool of Wall Street titans and profit-driven corporate lobbyists from every industry under the Sun. It is just what a lying con man would do. And, as an aspiring fascist tyrant the Trump imagined that as president he would be immune to any investigation into his corrupt appointments from ethics agencies and watchdogs.

However, the head of the Office of Government Ethics (O.G.E.) is a man dedicated to doing his job and began ethics inquiries into Trump’s cesspool by demanding the names of every former lobbyist who was granted a waiver to work inside the White House, as well as all the federal agencies Trump inserted special interest operatives into. That inquiry by Walter M. Shaub Jr didn’t comport with Trump’s corrupt White House and they sent him a letter “asking” him to withdraw his request for copies of waivers from every federal agency Trump staffed thus far.

Although remarkable in any other era, the Trump administration challenged Mr. Shaub’s legal authority as head of the Office of Government Ethics to do his due diligence in demanding the information. Mr. Shaub’s demand for the waivers is not unwarranted or out of the ordinary because as the New York Times noted:

Federal law gives the Office of Government Ethics, which was created in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, clear legal authority to issue such a “data request” to the ethics officers at federal agencies.” Those “data requests” constitute the primary means the government ethics office has to oversee compliance with federal ethics standards; not that Trump believes he or anyone in his administration has to comply with any ethics standards.

The Trump’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) chimed in and claimed that, for its part,  complying with the Ethics investigation request requires that it “seek further legal guidance” about exactly whose ethical standards the Trump OMB has to follow. A statement claimed that “the very fact that this internal discussion was leaked implies that the data being sought is not being collected to satisfy our mutual high standard of ethics.

The Trump OMB didn’t clarify what “leaks” it was referring to, but it is inconsequential.  The O.G.E.’s mandated duty is to investigate any and all suspected ethics violations and in this case, Trump’s intent to keep waivers secret and away from the public, or ethics investigators, justifies a robust investigation.

Eighteen congressional Democrats agree this O.G.E. investigation has to go forward and they issued a “publicletter to Mr. Shaub informing him they were taking up the O.G.E. cause. The Democrats wrote in part:

If O.M.B. does not stand down from its attempt to prevent designated agency ethics officials from responding to the O.G.E. data call, we will seek the waivers directly ourselves.  The administration certainly cannot dispute that Congress has the right to this information.”

It is noteworthy to mention that Trump did, in fact, sign an executive order very early on banning lobbyists from working on “particular” government matters when there was a question of conflicts of interest with former clients. However, like everything Trump does, he “reserved his right” to issue waivers to circumvent his own executive order. And to keep his corrupt cesspool out the public eye he arranged it so any waiver “that he granted” would not automatically be made public; a practice every other president has followed religiously. Thus, Mr. Shaub as head of the O.G.E. demanded to see the waivers to ensure the public there were no conflicts.

In response to Trump’s claim the O.G.E. has no legal authority to investigate his government ethics violations, Mr. Shaub sent a “scathing” 10-page letter to Trump, every single federal agency’s ethics officer, the six members of Congress overseeing government operations and the inspectors general from “agencies government wide.”

Mr. Shaub wrote, in part, to Trump:

O.G.E. declines your request to suspend its ethics inquiry and reiterates its expectation that agencies will fully comply with its directive. Public confidence in the integrity of government decision making demands no less.”

As a man of character and conviction to ensure ethics in the people’s government, Mr. Shaub said he is not backing down from Trump. He is in the final year of his five-year term and remarked that Trump’s resistance to ethics inquiries is  “an extraordinary thing. I have never seen anything like it.”

That sentiment was shared by Marilyn L. Glynn who called the move by Trump’s White House “unprecedented and extremely troubling.” Ms. Glynn was a general counsel and acting director of the O.G.E. during the George W. Bush administration. She continued that Trump’s refusal to comply with an Ethics Office inquiry, as well as assert that the Office has no legal authority, is a dangerous move. “It challenges the very authority of the director of the agency and his ability to carry out the functions of the office.”

It is noteworthy that during Ms. Glynn’s tenure as chief of the O.G.E., she recalled how the Bush White House would intervene on her office’s behalf with a federal agency to get information that she needed. Mr. Shaub is getting precisely the opposite treatment because Trump is corrupt and his willingness to challenge the legal authority of a simple  O.G.E. request is a dead giveaway that he has something to hide; something Walter M. Shaub is well-practiced in discerning.

There is a damn good reason Shaub is demanding to see the waivers Trump allegedly issued to his special-interest swamp creatures. Trump has already installed literally dozens of former corporate and special interest lobbyists and industry lawyers to work and govern in the corrupt Trump administration. In fact, Trump has hired “industry lawyers and corporate lobbyists” at a far higher rate than any previous administration which is why he is desperate to keep the waivers, if they even exist, concealed to cover the corruption. It makes it impossible to know when officials are violating federal ethics rules and impossible to know if Trump gave the former lobbyists and corporate lawyers permission to ignore something Trump doesn’t believe in; ethics rules.

This latest signal from Trump’s administration that it fully intends to continue violating ethics rule is not unique to Trump and appears to be a Republican “thing.” Remember, one of the first acts on the first day of the new congress was House Republicans voting to abolish the independent Office of Congressional Ethics. Their plan was putting ethics investigations under the purview of House Republicans who have shown they are as averse to adhering to ethics rules as their standard bearer, dirty Donald Trump.

It would seem reasonable that Republicans in the Senate might offer some “counsel” to Trump to comply with the OGE request and put the issue to rest, but they are as corrupt as Trump. Republicans in the Senate ethics committee have allowed at least five of Trump’s cabinet appointees to commit perjury under oath, a federal crime, before rewarding them with high-level Cabinet posts.

It is unclear how Trump will proceed from here, but it is crystal clear that the O.G.E. chief is not intimidated and will not fall victim to Trump’s bullying tactics. What will not be a surprise is to learn that Trump launches a flurry of angry tweets about witch hunts, persecution, leaks, and inauguration crowd size hours before firing the Office of Government Ethics director just prior to abolishing every government ethics watchdog by virtue of an executive order.

Trump-DeVos Cut Public Education To Fund Evangelical Indoctrination

 

For those secular humanists who consider it their social obligation to cover politics and warn about the ever-present threat from the evangelical right, it seems reasonable to scream “we told you so;” especially now that Christian fundamentalists control the entire government. Part of the reason a relatively small percentage of the population now holds sway over the course of the nation and will easily usher in their long-awaited theocracy is because most political commentators, pundits and politicians are terrified of calling out the sole basis for many of the nation’s ills; evangelical fundamentalism. But that’s the subject of another commentary and not this angry piece.

It is an angry screed because as forewarned, this past week evangelical fanatic and unqualified Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has implemented phase one in her effort to transform America’s public education system into a loose confederation of taxpayer-funded Christian madrassas. This author, and a few others, have warned that when religious Republicans gained control of the entire government, they would finish what a few religious Republican governors started; force taxpayers to fund private Christian religious schools using money intended for public schools.

Part and parcel of DeVos’ assault on public education is drastically cutting its funding and using the proceeds to fund and develop for-profit private religious schools. The education budget’s draconian cuts of $10.6 billion will provide seed money for DeVos’ and Mike Pence’s plan to use the taxpayers’ money to fulfill the evangelical theocratic “goal of confronting the culture in ways to advance god’s kingdom.” One of the Christofascists’ “ways” is robbing taxpayer dollars to force America’s school-age children into embracing the evangelical worldview through indoctrination, fear-mongering, and daily propaganda; exactly like every other extremist religion has done throughout history.

That forced indoctrination will be supported in its initial stage with taxpayers giving “hundreds of millions of dollars” to for-profit private religious schools that was intended for public education “via vouchers and school choice programs.” The Washington Post reported:

The administration would channel part of the [public education cuts] savings into its top priority: school choice. It seeks to spend about $400 million to expand charter schools and vouchers for private and religious schools, and another $1 billion to force public schools to adopt choice-friendly policies.”

It is important to note that when Republican theocrats use the term “choice-friendly policies,” they mean “evangelical-friendly policies” and that includes spending taxpayer dollars to expand for-profit evangelical charters. Anyone who believes the religious right Republicans will allow taxpayer dollars to fund Islamic, Buddhist, Wiccan, Jewish or Heathen charter or private schools is an idiot. Remember, DeVos’ stated “their goal” was advancing god’s kingdom; a term straight out of the Christian bible and a favorite of the Christian Dominionist movement.

Previously, when queried about the constitutionality, and morality, of wasting taxpayer dollars on private religious schools, DeVos declared that her reason for robbing public education funds is that “there are not enough philanthropic [private] dollars “ to fund what is currently the need in education… advancing god’s kingdom.”

Tragically, DeVos isn’t alone in the drive to proselytize the youth of America into the evangelical mindset and it doesn’t bode well that Trump’s vice president and ultimate liar Mike Pence and well-documented perjurer Jeff Sessions are maniacal theocrats. In fact, it is certain that any legal challenge to using taxpayer dollars to fund private religious schools will be summarily dismissed by the attorney general who has gone on record stating the Constitution’s “Separation Clause” is patently unconstitutional and is no part of American history.

It is even worse than the vice president and attorney general pushing theocratic indoctrination in public schools.  Earlier this year, an alarming report was released by a conservative Christian group with intimate ties to Donald Trump that advocated forced promotion of Christianity in public schools and abolishing the Department of Education because it is not driven by evangelical theocracy.

The front for radical conservative Christians ensconced in the Trump White House presented an evangelical education policy manifesto to Trump and DeVos demanding the dismantling of the Education Department and inserting the biblical god into American classrooms. It is what the evangelical manifesto considersrestoring education in America in accordance with historic Judeo-Christian principles.” And DeVos, Trump, and the rest of the evangelical Republicans intend to follow those “principles” to the letter. According to the DeVos-Trump education budget, taxpayers will pick up the tab as they watch their public education system transformed into a cabal of money-making theocratic Christian madrassas and a generation of young people indoctrinated into stupidity and seriously archaic mythos.

Trump Supporters Threaten Democrat With Lynching After Call for Impeachment

 

After the not-so-stunning revelations this past week about the Trump, his firing of FBI Director James Comey, and his remarks that he only fired Mr. Comey to sabotage the investigation into collusion with a hostile foreign power, it is nearly impossible for any sane human being to reject the claims of presidential obstruction of justice.

Of course it is clear by now that Republicans are going to great lengths to protect the establishment standard bearer even in the face of mounting evidence coming from Trump’s big mouth that the only reason he fired Comey was to staunch the investigation into the most corrupt and treasonous administration in the nation’s history. Based on Trump’s own admissions, his purpose in terminating Comey’s job was to obstruct justice; an obvious impeachable offense that Republicans can hardly ignore much longer.  It is possible, however, that Republicans are as terrified of Trump’s rabid supporters’ reaction to their possible involvement in impeachment proceedings as they are free and fair elections. It easy to see why Republicans fear Trump’s most ardent supporters and it is not solely because they fear electoral consequences.

Throughout the presidential campaign it was typical for Trump to incite his followers to violence against his campaign’s detractors, and there are documented cases of violence at the hands of Trump’s base. The threat of violence from Trump’s supporters if he wasn’t treated like a messiah wasn’t lost on a devout Republican from New Hampshire.

Fergus Cullen is a former chairman of the New Hampshire GOP and prior to the election he said that because of Trump’s non-stop incitement and warning that the system and the media is out to get him, he feared Trump zealots would get violent if Trump lost the election. Cullen said:

“There’s no telling what his supporters would be willing to do at the slightest encouragement from their candidate.”

One of Trump’s surrogates, Roger Stone, knew Trump had invested time and energy priming his supporters for violence against his detractors and he knew exactly what “they would be willing to do” for their fascist hero. Stone didn’t temper his warning by “intimating” how Trump’s supporters will react to the idea of Trump not being in the White House; he said if that is the case his supporters will get extremely violent, “there will be a “bloodbath.”

Now that there are murmurs that Trump’s apparently clear obstruction of the FBI investigation into Russian interference in the election justifies the House drawing up articles of impeachment, Trump’s supporters are preparing to act. This is particularly the case after one Texas Congressman had the courage to utter the “I” word on the House floor in a speech this week.

On Wednesday, Houston Democrat Representative Al Green was the “first member of Congress to call for Trump’s impeachment from the House floor.” Mr. Green has many valid reason to want Trump thrown out of the White House, but the Texas congressman said it was the firing of FBI Director James Comey that prompted him to make the call.

Of course Green didn’t expect any Trump supporters to hail his call for impeachment as a heroic display of patriotic duty, which is exactly what it was.  But he likely didn’t expect them to threaten him and every other African American with lynching.

Prior to addressing an audience of about 80 constituents at a town hall meeting in a church yesterday, Representative Green  instructed his aides to play a couple of audio recordings of Trump supporters’ reaction to his House floor address using the “I” word. In the first recording he played, a man’s voice says:

Hey, Al Green, I’ve got an impeachment for ya—it’s gonna be yours. Actually we’re gonna give you a short trial before we hang your n*gger ass.”

Representative Green then played another voicemail for the stunned constituents in which a different voice warned,

Try it [impeachment], and we’ll rinse out you fucking n*ggers, you’ll be hanging from a tree. You ain’t (sic) going to impeach nobody you fucking n*gger.”

Green wasn’t playing the racist threats to garner sympathy from the audience, he was alerting his constituents that no matter the level of threats to his life, he was not going to be intimidated into failing to fulfill his sworn oath to defend the Constitution from “all enemies foreign and domestic.” And yes, Donald Trump is a domestic enemy; if for no other reason than he colluded with a foreign enemy to attack the nation’s democracy. Mr. Green told the audience:

“Friends, I want to assure you that no amount of threats or intimidation will stop what I have started, I promise you—we are going to continue with this. We are gonna move forward, we will not turn around.

Al Green is likely accustomed to racial slurs. He is, after all, a seven-term congressman from Texas and a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Apparently what finally drove him to call for Trump’s impeachment was Trump’s very public “warning to former FBI director James Comey” not to leak details of their conversations. He told his constituents that he believes Trump’s actions amounted to an admission of obstruction of justice, and the warning to Comey constituted witness intimidation. He said that because “nothing less than the rule of law is at stake, it is imperative that the House move to indict Trump.

Mr. Green has a lesson for impatient Americans demanding to know why Trump hasn’t been dragged out of the Oval Office in handcuffs yet. He told his constituents that “the process might plod along from here.” He also said he has not introduced an official impeachment resolution yet and was planning more town halls on the subject to gauge the mood of the voters.

He told Mother Jones’ journalist Tim Murphy that, “I haven’t asked leadership for a response,” insisting that impeachment needed to come “from the bottom up, not the top down.” He did express some hope though because “no one in in the leadership had told him to pipe down” even though he thought that there were “surely members who were thinking it.”

After the revelations this week, it is curious why more Democrats and some Republicans aren’t openly calling for Trump’s impeachment; especially when the preponderance of the damning evidence came directly from Trump’s big mouth. One hopes that members of Congress are not refusing to speak out and resisting calling for Trump’s indictment and removal because they are terrified of Trump’s violence-prone supporters; if that is the case Trump will never face justice because Trump’s zealots are bullies and Republicans are cowards.

The sad fact is that may be precisely why Trump has spent no small amount of time and energy priming his acolytes for violence by playing the victim of a “witch hunt” card – he knows they are panting to come to his aid and willing to burn down the nation, with Republicans in it, to keep him in the White House.

Trump Signs Bill Killing Program Helping Retirees Avoid Poverty

One of the issues with the seemingly non-stop scandal stories and self-inflicted crises coming out of the White House is that Republicans in Congress can pass legislation under cover of Trump’s increasing number of screw ups. It was hardly reported that while nearly all media attention was focused on Trump’s obstruction of justice this week, he signed a Republican “resolution”  created to kill states’ ability to help workers save for their retirement.

What immediately comes to mind is; why on Earth are Republicans and Trump killing provisions that have no impact on the federal government, and why are they violating their storied support of “states’ rights?” The answer is more complex than simply stating Republicans are against American retirees’ well-being in their sunset years, but it is glaringly obvious the impetus for the nasty action was abolishing an Obama-era  provision that benefitted low-wage working people to enrich the financial services industry.

Republicans used the Congressional Review Act that allows the majority party in power to pass resolutions without risking Democratic opposition or media coverage as it progressed through the Senate. Joint Resolution 66 was signed by Trump late Wednesday evening and abolishes states’ rights to “create programs addressing the coming retirement crisis.

That crisis President Obama attempted to address is due to the growing income inequality that has steadily increased since Reagan due to more working Americans earning low wages according to the will of corporate America. Those low wages have resulted in fewer Americans able to live day-to-day, much less save even a penny for their retirement. That “fewer Americans” amounts nearly half the workforce in the United States. It is a travesty that in the richest nation in the history of the world a stunning 40-million households have “absolutely no retirement savings” and it portends a significant percentage of the population living out their golden years in dire poverty; something Republicans have no problem with and just acted to ensure reaches fruition. Add to that horrid statistic Republicans’ intent to decimate both Social Security and Medicare to sate the greed of the Koch brothers and wealthy elite leads one to defy any conservative asshole to argue that Republicans don’t hate the elderly.

One state’s Democrats took advantage of the Obama-era provision and sought to help California’s low wage workers by developing a “landmark new experiment in nest-egg building” known as “California Secure Choice.” The new retirement program sought to protect employees, primarily over 7.5 million California  low wage employees, who were not offered any retirement savings plans through their employer; nationwide such a program would help nearly half the workforce and prevent about 40 million households from being poverty-stricken during their retirement.

The law that Governor Jerry Brown signed last September was set to go into effect in 2019. At least that was the scheduled date until the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and “mutual funds industryconvinced Republicans that even one state-run retirement system would be unbearable competition the free market-loving Republicans couldn’t allow; even though the California plan was specifically designed to “fill in the gaps where retirement plans were not already offered.”

Since the California plan was not in competition with Wall Street, mutual fund industry, or the banking-financial services industry, one can only concluded that Republicans are Hell-bent and duty-bound to guarantee that as many retirees live in poverty as possible. It is also a sure sign that Republicans and Trump are deep into their crusade to do the bidding of Wall Street and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at the expense of the people’s welfare.

As California’s freshman Democratic Senator, Kamala Harris noted shortly after the GOP connived to use the Congressional Review Act to prevent Democrats from registering the opposition:

At the behest of the financial services industry, Republicans just overturned a rule that helps American workers save for retirement.”

According to Republican Senator Orin Hatch, helping hardworking Americans in their golden years is the purview of Wall Street and the financial services industry that combined have done nothing whatsoever to address the  impending retirement or income inequality crisis. Hatch defended abolishing “states’ rights” to help their workforce saying, “There’s absolutely no justification for any effort to reinvent the retirement savings system in order to give primacy to government-run plans.”

One can read whatever they want in Hatch’s statement, but it’s obvious that besides lying about what California’s safety net for retirees entails, Hatch and Republicans are doing the bidding of Wall Street’s expansive financial services industry. His statement also exposes the Republican intent regarding the Social Security Trust that Republicans in the embrace of Wall Street and the Koch brothers condemn as a failed “government-run plan.” Remember, Republicans ultimately want the Social Security Trust abolished in favor of forcing all Americans into the private sector’s “retirement savings system;” what George W. Bush promoted as privatizing Social Security.

There is no justification for Republicans in Congress or Trump interfering with a state’s right to aid their low-wage workforce except sheer savagery. California’s program did not have any effect on the federal government budget or Wall Street and their financial service industry that supported the Republican Joint Resolution 66; the U.S. Chamber of Commerce supported the Republican effort because it has been a staunch defender of the corporate and big business’ dream of an entire nation of slave-wage workers.

This abomination is also yet another glaring example of Republican hypocrisy. They ardently defend states’ rights when it involves gun proliferation, attacks on voting rights, and religion-based laws encouraging discrimination and attacks on the LGBTQ community and women’s rights. But if a state attempts to create a safety net for retirees at no cost to the federal government and with no impact on Wall Street or their financial services industry, then Republicans eschew their fierce defense of states’ rights. In this case it will guarantee another 40 million seniors living in poverty and it’s a guarantee fully endorsed by congressional Republicans and corrupt Donald Trump.

Impeach Mike Pence For Continuing to Lie About Michael Flynn

 

One can’t help but wonder why, or how, all these devout evangelical Republicans violate one the most well-known commandments from the “Big Ten” and do it with conviction. Mike Pence, the religious right zealot Trump put in charge of running the government took the time again to lie about when he learned that Trump’s pick to run the NSA was a paid foreign agent for Turkey and had discussed lifting sanctions with the Russians during the transition. For a so-called Christian who wants every student in America to be exposed to and indoctrinated into learning the Ten Commandments, it’s obvious Pence is either grossly ignorant of those god-rules or is a pathological liar like the rest of the Trump administration.

The revelation that Michael Flynn informed the Trump through his lawyer that he was an agent for the Turkish government before being appointed as national security advisor gave Pence an opportunity to do the Christian thing and tell the truth. However, instead of acknowledging that as head of the transition team he did know about Flynn’s foreign agent status and supported Flynn’s appointment as national security advisor, Mike Pence stood by his previous lie and claimed through a spokesperson that “ The Vice President stands by his comments in March upon first hearing the news regarding General Flynn’s ties to Turkey.”

Pence lied and claimed in March that he first learned about Michael Flynn’s Turkish lobbying work through media reports and he is standing by that easily debunked lie. He is lying even after the “new report indicating [that] Flynn informed the transition team in January that he was under federal investigation for not properly disclosing the paid work.”

Of course Pence knew about Flynn’s status long before January, but it is beyond the pale that he expects any sane human being to believe that as head of Trump’s transition team that he only learned that Flynn was a foreign agent two months later after Flynn informed the Trump transition team that he was under investigation for being a paid foreign agent.

There is a simple reason one has no qualms calling Christian Mike Pence a dirty, filthy lying sinner who is no more a real Christian than the Moon is a big piece of cheese. The reason comes in the form of a letter dated November 18, 2016 informing Pence about Flynn’s paid work for Turkey and his contact with Russia. The letter, on official Congressional House stationary, lays out in detail, with 11 cited references, everything Pence said he just learned from media reports in March of this year. The letter was addressed to Mike Pence and cc’d to House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT).

The letter, from the House Oversight Committee’s ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings, not only informs Pence of Flynn’s paid work for Turkey, it describes Flynn’s paid speech denigrating America to Trump’s Russian collaborators at an event he attended with Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Still, Pence not only lies that he was unaware of any Flynn issues, he supported his appointment as Trump’s national security advisor with full knowledge he was a paid foreign agent and was being investigated. It is also noteworthy that Trump and his legal team certainly knew about Flynn’s work and collaboration with Turkey and Russia because Flynn alerted them in January. But they appointed him national security advisor regardless.

Maybe it is a requirement to be a liar in Trump’s administration because two of Pence’s closest aides lied and told POLITICO that Pence had never been made aware of Flynn’s Turkey work; one even said that in his role as chair of the transition meant he “would not necessarily be privy to all conversations.” However, that official letter dated November 18, 2016 from the House Oversight Committee’s ranking member was not “a conversation” any more than Flynn alerting the White House transition team Pence chaired, and Trump, that he was under investigation for being a paid foreign agent. It was something that happened weeks before Trump’s sparsely attended inauguration and prior to Trump appointing Flynn as his national security advisor.

There are rumors floating around that there are increasing calls for an in-depth investigation into Mike Pence for his involvement in the Russian scandal, and they certainly must concern his well-documented knowledge that Flynn was being paid by foreign governments. The real travesty is there is no apparent section in the  U.S. Code criminalizing filthy lies, but there is plenty about treason as well as collusion. According to the existence of an easily available letter from the House Oversight Committee alerting Pence to Flynn’s activities on behalf of foreign governments, Pence not only knew about Flynn’s activities several months before he claims he did, he kept that damning information to himself and supported a foreign agent as national security advisor.

Mike Pence is no Christian. For dog’s sake even a marginal believer would stop short of repeating an easily debunked lie if for no other reason that to avoid jeopardizing their chance at going to proverbial heaven. Mike Pence can claim his evangelical bona fides forever, but he is nothing but a filthy dirty liar on par with his boss Donald Trump. One can only hope that when Trump’s little castle starts crumbling, it will crush Mike Pence for lying to the people, for colluding with a treasonous cover-up and tacit cooperation with a hostile foreign government; and for his part in appointing a paid foreign agent as America’s national security advisor.