California Is Emerging As A Global Leader Against Climate Change and Trump

 

 

Now that the imbecile Donald Trump embarrassed Americans while in Europe and gave every indication he would single-handedly make America’s word worth less than dirt, a story that was sparsely reported last week is increasingly important; for the entire world’s population. Anyone who hasn’t been comatose over the past year-and-a-half likely knows that Trump and his administration are climate deniers; Trump says global climate change is a Chinese hoax. But while Trump refused to join leaders of the G7 nations in pledging to go forward with the Paris Climate Accord, California is “becoming a global force” to battle climate change, and Trump.

Last month in San Francisco environmental ministers of Canada and Mexico signed a global pact drafted largely by California to reduce greenhouse pollution responsible for climate change. Next month, California’s governor, Jerry Brown, will be heading to China to meet with climate leaders as part of a “global” campaign to curb global warming.

Besides becoming America’s “de facto” negotiator with the rest of the world on the environment, the Golden State is preparing to wage war against Trump and his attempt to abolish California’s environmental standards and pollution rules because Republicans detest “states’ rights;” particularly if they conflict with the oil industry. That being the case, California has “a battery of state lawyers” preparing to do battle and thwart “any attempt by Trump and Republicans to weaken California’s automobile pollution emission standards.” In fact, as the New York Times reported,

The state is pushing back on everything from White House efforts to roll back pollution rules on tailpipes and smokestacks, to plans to withdraw or weaken the United States’ commitments under the Paris climate change accord.”

Governor Jerry Brown said regarding California’s new role as surrogate for an America with an environmental conscience:

I want to do everything we can to keep America on track, keep the world on track, and lead in all the ways California has. We’re looking to do everything we can to advance our program, regardless of whatever happens in Washington.”

California’s efforts are not going unnoticed around the globe, either. One Nobel Laureate in science who advises several nations on climate change policy, Mario Molina, said:

With Trump indicating that he will withdraw from climate change leadership, the rest of the global community is looking to California, as one of the world’s largest economies, to take the lead. California demonstrates to the world that you can have a strong climate policy without hurting your economy.”

It is noteworthy that California is the 6th largest economy in the world and has led the nation, and often the world, in protecting the environment and its citizens’ health while its economy continues to flourish; the New York Times rightly labeled California an “economic powerhouse.” And it is worth repeating, the state has provided a model for other states, and the nation, that very robust environmental protections and regulations have had the opposite economic effects than the doom and gloom, job-killing devastation claimed by Trump and Republicans. California’s annual economic output is approximately $2.4 trillion indeed making one American state a global economic powerhouse and one progressive state the world’s leaders want to work with; especially to save the planet’s environment.

Although California is under Democratic control, its environmental efforts cross party lines and that includes Herculean climate efforts by former governor, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. Although Mr. Schwarzenegger’s economic expertise is often criticized, during his eight-year tenure he did lead the state in developing the most aggressive pollution-control programs in the nation; he has also taken a leading role as one of Trump’s biggest Republican critics on his lack of a climate policy.

Mr. Schwarzenegger wasn’t the first Republican governor to champion a cleaner environment and strong pollution regulations. For well over three decades the Golden State “has been at the vanguard of environmental policy, passing ambitious, first-in-the-nation measures on pollution control and conservation that have often served as models for national and even international environmental law.” That model is what Trump and his climate-denying cohort want to put an immediate end to.

Trump has already made moves to reduce federal auto emission standards that were influenced by California’s tougher standards because when automakers met with Trump, they complained bitterly that federal standards forced them to build expensive electric vehicles that consumers do not want. This battle is also going to center around concerns that Trump will direct the E.P.A will revoke a waiver issued by Republican President Richard Nixon allowing California to “set fuel economy standards exceeding federal requirements.” Doubtless the auto makers and oil industry contend that drivers also do not want automobiles that get better mileage; they also desperately want to “stop the spread of electric cars.”

California is not intimidated by Trump and is preparing for a legal challenge according to the state’s attorney general Xavier Becerra. “You have to be concerned when anybody talks about going backward. In this case we think we have a strong case to be made based on the facts and the history.”

The state’s Senate leader, Kevin de Leon, is also not intimidated by the Trump and earlier this month introduced legislation that accelerates, rather than retrench, the state’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The legislation requires that by 2045 100 percent of “retail electricity in the state comes from renewable sources.” Mr. de Leon said “it is important that we send a signal to the rest of the world” at a time of what he explained “was blowback from Washington” with an idiot anti-environment administration reverting to policies that helped create global climate change.

As Arnold Schwarzenegger said, everything about Trump is taking the nation backwards and his non-existent climate polices are “a threat to the planet.” Arnold continued,

Saying you’ll bring coal plants back is the past. It’s like saying you’ll bring Blockbuster back, which is the past. Horses and buggies, which is the past. Pagers back, which is the past.”

As the data show, Arnold reminded the Trump and his fellow Republicans that California is the shining example of a state that can adopt and implement “aggressive environmental policies without hurting the economy. We’re outdoing the rest of the country on G.D.P.”

Of course Trump and his anti-environment cohort will never cite California’s success and instead have attempted to frame the issue as California attempting to control the rest of the nation and the world. Trump’s bible-thumping E.P.A. chief, Scott Pruitt, a champion of state’s rights when it comes to gun proliferation and imposing religious laws,  said Governor Brown is “is being the aggressor” with strong state environmental regulations. And he said that Trump’s anti-environmental regulations effort is solely meant “to lift the oppressive yoke of federal regulations and return authority to the states;” but only if the oil and automobile industry approve.

At a time when the rest of the world is shaking their collective heads at the anti-science climate denying moron in the White House, and reaffirming their commitment to move forward in the collective fight to slow the advance of anthropogenic climate change, they can no longer look to America for leadership; a role California is already fulfilling.

Ugly American Trump Insults and Alienates America’s Allies

 

 

Despite its predilection to imperialism and waging wars for the sake of enriching the American military-industrial complex, America used to be a nation most of the world had a semblance of respect for. But with an abrasive bully in the White House, whatever respect other countries had for the United States, if not lost, appears to be waning rapidly; and who could blame them? Trump has managed to disrespect, insult and alienate nearly every country on the planet save his masters in Moscow and barbaric nations ruled by tyrannical despots. However, one expected European nations’ leaders to put aside their disgust with Trump because they are devoutly aligned with the U.S through economic goals as well as their devotion to democracy, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Group of Seven (G7), and a monumentally important Paris Climate Accord. But alas, even America’s European allies have lost respect for America.

After Trump insulted and attempted to bully NATO allies and nation members’ leaders in the organization representing the seven major advanced economies in the world, it is looking increasingly like America is alienating its steadfast allies and isolating itself from the world’s democracies. For his part, Trump certainly accomplished his mission and annoyed America’s NATO partners and the so-called “Group of Seven” (G7) members by doing what he does best; be a loud-mouthed bully like the proverbial ugly American he exemplifies better than any fiction writer could ever hope to create.

Despite Trump’s claim his overseas trip was a raging success, the only thing he accomplished was humiliating Americans and sending a clear message to the rest of the world that not only is the current occupant of the White House a worthless no-account malcontent, he or the United States is not to be trusted. The real leader of the free world, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said as much in a statement on Saturday; including saying that after “a bruising meeting of the G7 wealthy nations, Europeans can no longer rely on their allies.” It was a damning indictment of Trump for Ms. Merkel to say,

The days when Europe could completely count on others are over. I have experienced this in the last few days. And that is why I can only say that we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands – of course in friendship with the United States, in friendship with Great Britain and as good neighbors where that is possible also with other countries, even with Russia. But we have to know that we must fight for our future on our own, for our destiny as Europeans.”

Merkel, as the new undisputed leader of the free world, was verbalizing her and other leaders’ frustration with what has been called tense G7 and NATO meetings that were reported as being focused around “Trump against the leaders of Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada and Japan on several issues.” Haaretz reported that besides being lectured and bullied by Trump, the diplomats were “frustrated at having to revisit questions” they had every reason to believe were settled long ago.

One of those issues was NATO member nations’ commitment two years ago to be more like America and spend more of their GDP on their nation’s defense budgets. Trump criticized and lectured the members who are all ahead of schedule to meet the 10-year goal set up two years ago. And as he has in the past, he acted as if the NATO members owe American taxpayers money. Trump said to absolute shock and then universal disgust:

This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States. If NATO countries made their full and complete contributions, then NATO would be even stronger than it is today, especially from the threat of terrorism.”

To reiterate, all of the member nations are on track to meet their 2024 commitment and goal NATO members agreed on two years ago, and they are increasing funding in their own defense budgets. The people and taxpayers of the United States are not being treated unfairly and the NATO members know it and it is likely true that by now Trump knows it as well. Still, the lying bully just had to lecture the other NATO leaders to confirm to himself that he is boss of the world. It is why he literally “shoved” one European leader aside so he, Donald Trump, could be the center of attention in a group photograph commemorating the inglorious occasion for the NATO leaders.

Trump also caused no small amount of despair and disgust at the G7 meeting over climate change and the all-important Paris Climate Accord that 195 nations, including America, signed on to. While the other G7 leaders were reaffirming their commitment to “swiftly implement the Paris Agreement,” Trump, who claims climate change is a Chinese hoax, said he would make a decision to either end America’s commitment to help save the planet or agree to remain if there are changes amenable to the oil industry. However, according to several sources Trump has told his closest confidantes he will rescind American involvement in the Paris Climate Agreement with 195 nations. Nothing is sacred to Trump and tragically, America’s word is no longer dependable.

Trump was so disgusting to the G7 leaders, that they “broke with tradition” and released “an unusual statement” where six nations’ leaders announced they were reaffirming the Paris climate agreement – without America’s involvement. The “G6” communique read:

“The United States of America is in the process of reviewing its policies on climate change and on the Paris Agreement and thus is not in a position to join the consensus on these topics. Understanding this process, the Heads of State and of Government of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom and the Presidents of the European Council and of the European Commission reaffirm their strong commitment to swiftly implement the Paris Agreement.”

It is noteworthy that it is not just this author’s opinion, or that of Chancellor Angela Merkel, that Trump is rushing headlong into an isolationist stance and alienating our allies along the way. According to a former American envoy to NATO and current director of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Ivo H. Daalder:

This seems to be the end of an era, one in which the United States led and Europe followed, Today, the United States is heading into a direction on key issues that seems diametrically opposite of where Europe is heading. Merkel’s comments are an acknowledgment of that new reality.

This is ‘America first’ — a policy focused on narrow self-interest — and abandons the idea that the best way to enhance our security and prosperity is by having strong allies and leading globally in pursuit of common values and interests.” (author bold)

Only the stalwart Trump zealots and nativistic isolationists would consider Trump’s acts and speech to leaders of NATO countries and the G7 group either appropriate or constructive; they were neither. Instead, “ugly American” Trump earned the scorn of both NATO and G7 leaders and did what he’s done since his sparsely-attended inauguration; insulted America’s allies, alienated America and embarrassed Americans. Only a pig-headed American like Trump would consider those accomplishments a success.

 

 

 

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.