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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Only dictators claim they are above the law

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Propaganda works – 58 percent of Republicans believe education is bad

Critics of Fox News may discount the effectiveness of the right wing outlet’s effort to transform America into a fascist theocracy controlled by the ultra-rich and extremist evangelicals, but that would be a monumental mistake. Like all propaganda agencies, Fox broadcasts talking points crafted by evangelical and corporate activists nonstop until their mendacious messaging is considered a biblical truth.

Fox News, like Republicans and Trump, could never succeed as an ultra-conservative propaganda outlet without an ignorant population. The only way to continue having success at propagandizing is moving the proverbial Heaven and Earth to convince Americans that being educated and informed is detrimental to America and its citizens; something Fox and Republicans have been very successful at.

The idea that education is bad for the country is contrary to the belief of the Declaration of Independence’s author,  Founding Father and third American President Thomas Jefferson. He said:

“An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.”

Another great leader, Sir Winston Churchill said:

“The privilege of a university education is a great one; the more widely it is extended the better for any country.”

Obviously, the current administration and the Republican Party it represents wholly disagrees with the concept of a well-educated citizenry, or that it is beneficial to America if the populace is educated. Likely because the less educated the people are, the more electoral support Republicans enjoy and the more success Trump has as the ultimate purveyor of “fake news;” idiot morons will believe anything.

That being the case, it should be no surprise to any semi-conscious American that since Trump’s poorly-attended inauguration there has been a concerted effort to dismantle, and eventually destroy, America’s education system; from public elementary and secondary school to colleges and  universities. It is also not stunning that Trump and the GOP’s propaganda arm, Fox News, has played a crucial role in convincing Republican voters that education is “bad for America.”

For years conservatives have demeaned “secular” education at all levels, and over the past decade Republicans have pandered to the religious right by railing against higher education with valuable aid from the GOP and Trump’s propaganda agency Fox News. It is evident that neither Trump, Republicans, nor Fox News would exist without a fair number of the population mired in rank ignorance about everything, and that does not include the willingly stupid contingent.

To demonstrate precisely why the people’s freedom, and democracy, are in jeopardy today, a recent poll revealed that nearly 6 out of ten Republicans sincerely, believe that “education is bad for America.”

Seriously, it is beyond the pale that anyone in this country thinks education is bad for America, but nearly 60 percent of Republicans is a mind boggling number. It is not entirely unexpected, but it is stunning that they have no issue telling a pollster that they believe education is a negative for the country.

It is noteworthy to mention that to Republicans and the Trump organization, all education is not “bad;” only secular education and any subject not steeped in fantasy and not recorded as Bronze Age mythos in the Christian bible. If America’s education system followed that of theocracies founded on religion, such as Iran or Afghanistan under Taliban rule, Republicans would spend an unlimited amount of taxpayer money on education. Instead, because America is still a secular democracy with Separation of Church and State enshrined in the First Amendment, Trump and his evangelical malcontent Education Secretary are on an honest-to-dog religious crusade to decimate public education and create a system of taxpayer-funded evangelical madrasas.

Republicans have opposed education for well over a decade, but over the past two years the percentage of Republicans who believe education is bad for the nation has risen sharply. In fact, two years ago a Gallup poll revealed that 54 percent of Republicans viewed education in America as a positive for the country. Now, according to the latest  annual Pew Research Center poll, 58% of those same Republicans believe higher education negatively affects society. Those figures represent a swing of epic proportions, and although there are enough GOP supporters who are too stupid to see the value to themselves and the nations of an education, it is telling that close to 60 percent of Republicans consider education bad for America.

To get a good idea of why a majority of Republicans, obviously Fox News viewers, believe education is bad for America, a recent Fox segment featured Tucker Carlson presenting the issue of education as one of waste because “colleges and universities don’t teach kids anything.” He said:

“Colleges barely teach, yet every year they increase their fees. Try that in a private business, you might get indicted for fraud. Do it at an American university and you get billions in taxpayer subsidies.”

Carlson cited some studies about “adult literacy,” and it is unclear to this author how he connected “adult literacy” reports with universities not teaching students or wasting taxpayer money. For the record, “adult literacy” involves helping citizens 16 and older to better read, write, and do basic arithmetic; something any American graduating from the eighth grade will have mastered with relative ease … if they or their adult caregivers consider education as valuable.

What is glaringly apparent is that based on the opposition to education, the Fox audience only heard Carlson parrot what conservatives, and Fox News, have preached for close to a decade; “colleges barely teach …and they get billions in taxpayer subsidies.”  Of course there is a problem with the high cost of a college education in America, but to claim they don’t teach, or that taxpayers are funding liberal indoctrination programs, is something only dyed-in-the-wool religious conservatives, and obviously 58 percent of Republicans, believe as if uttered by their biblical god.

A big issue conservatives have pushed for years, and likely contributes to the Republican opposition to education, is the mindset expressed by no small number of conservatives, particularly those making up the religious right. A former member of the Arizona state legislature, Frank Antenori, summed up a belief often shared by conservatives. He said:

Why does a kid go to a university these days? They go there to get brainwashed and learn how to become activists  and cause trouble.”

No, kids go to a university or college for an education to hopefully have a better life than their parents. And what too many Republicans and religious conservatives consider brainwashing is what sane civilized human beings regard as “being informed.” And, that “being informed” generally results in a religious conservative “kid” informing their parents that no, the Earth is not 6,000 years old and flat; or that no, a zygote is not a living human being; or that no, America was not founded by religious white supremacists to exist and rule the world as an Aryan Christian nation.

This author knows two families who refuse to send their children to public schools because “they only hire teachers that are either gay, atheist, or sexual predators,” and because all colleges train “those teachers to brainwash the kids with lies about America.”

Of course none of the conservative propaganda warning that education is bad for America is true, but for the ignorant religious zealots and angry racists making up the majority of the Republican movement, that propaganda is biblical truth; why else would Fox News and Republicans promoting school privatization keep telling their supporters that America’s education system is inherently evil, and bad for the country?

Here’s the problem going forward; Trump and his evangelical crusader DeVos will not have much Republican opposition to their goal of dismantling the education system in America and replacing it with for-profit private religious and corporate charter schools – at taxpayer expense. For dog’s sake, they have already garnered support from close to 6 out of 10 Republicans who openly admit they believe education is bad for the country. It is probably true that Republican and conservative leaders are not nearly as concerned with religious indoctrination as they are keeping the voting public ignorant, but despite their motivation, wanting an uninformed population is appalling. However, it is the only way Republicans can ensure that the stupid contingent keeps faithfully voting against their own self-interests and contributes to keeping the GOP in power.

America faces myriad threats to its continued existence as a matter of course, even as a crippled world leader, but with Trump and DeVos on a religious crusade to decimate public education, the greatest threat is an ignorant population opposed to public education. Tragically, with 58 percent of Republicans claiming education is bad for the country, the ignorant population is going to grow with every Fox News segment and with every dirty lie from the fascist in White House and the evangelical extremist running the education system.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump’s Shutdown Threat Reveals the Depth of His Contempt for the People

It is nearly impossible to believe that there are very many Americans remaining who fail to see the abject disaster of allowing a fake wrestling and reality show personality inside the White House. Of course Trump has supporters, but one seriously wants to believe the data that white supremacists {racists} and evangelical extremists (religious right) still represent a minority of the population; it is difficult to quantify the “stupid” contingent that do not fall into either of those categories, but it has to be under 50 percent of the population. After Trump’s outrageous statement last weekend, it is nearly impossible to believe anyone fails to see Trump as dangerously disastrous.

There was an interesting op-Ed in the Washington Post asking, “Does Trump operate out of any conception of what’s in the public interest?”

It is an easy to answer query, and it is a question that applies equally to the Republican Party; the GOP exists solely to advance the interests of the rich and the religious with no regard for “the public interest.”

Trump’s statement that he is looking ahead to September to “close down America” if Congress doesn’t bend to his will certainly insinuates that no, Trump has no “interest” in what is good for America or the people. It is not, as the WaPo piece suggests, that Trump is “incapable” of considering the good of the people or the country; he just has no regard for anyone but himself.

No doubt Trump was serious in threatening to “close down the country” if his Republican underlings in Congress fail to provide funding to build a Berlin Wall-type barrier along America’s Southern border. In fact, it is not a stretch to assume that Trump would in fact “close down America” if he was able, but it is not within his purview according to the document he dismisses as “archaic” and not applicable to him or his administration.

Obviously, someone in the White House informed Trump that regardless of what the voices in his head tell him, America is not one of his bankrupt hotels, at least not yet; he cannot just unilaterally close down the government if his perceived employees in Congress fail to do his bidding. Trump almost certainly meant he would impose a “government shutdown” as demanded by his minders at Fox News to facilitate punishing the American people if he doesn’t get his vanity project and monument to America’s xenophobia and isolationism.

Since he would require assistance from Congress, Trump could not possibly make an outrageous threat without lying; including using alternative facts sourced directly from his juvenile mind. Seriously, it is difficult to recollect any time in American history that a “president” White House resident threatened to “close down the country” if he doesn’t get his way, but then again Americans never allowed a petulant racist bastard take up occupancy in the White House.

Trump was speaking to a group during a tax reform roundtable in Ohio and as usual he was in the process of attacking Democrats “during a riff about border security” and just offered up a typically Trump idea. He said Americans should begin thinking about “closing up the country” if he doesn’t get his way. He said:

They don’t want the wall, but we’re going to get the wall, even if we have to think about closing up the country for a while. We’re going to get the wall. We have no choice. We have absolutely no choice. And we’re going to get tremendous security in our country.”

To show he was serious Trump repeated the idea of closing down the nation and he naturally lied about what he claims is the existential threat to the nation without a Berlin-type wall. He reiterated just how far he is willing to go and how much misery and damage he can inflict on the American people to get his way and sate the white supremacists, xenophobes, and isolationists who demand a whites-only nation. He said:

And we may have to close up our country to get this straight, because we either have a country or we don’t. And you can’t allow people to pour into our country the way they’re doing. We come up again on Sept. 28 and if we don’t get border security, we’ll have no choice. We’ll close down the country.” (author bold)

Trump naturally lied about immigration to defend shutting down the government, and of course his mendacity entailed fear mongering about a massive increase in Hispanic immigrants threatening America as a nation and the white people as a race. One even wonders if very many Americans are aware of the Berlin Wall Trump envisions for America; particularly since a frighteningly inordinate number of people are unaware of the Holocaust.

The truth is that immigration has been on the decline for well over a decade, and two years ago a new trend was reported; more Mexicans are fleeing America than are entering. In fact, exactly a day prior to Trump’s threat to close the country amid his own dire warning that America’s “Southern border is under siege,” Trump’s administration released  statistics showing that undocumented immigration was in line with historical norms that represent a steady decline of Hispanic immigrants; not an invasion and certainly not a dangerous surge.

Although Trump has made immigrants a target for ages, he began ramping up his nasty rhetoric about an hour after watching a Fox and Friends segment reporting on an annual publicity stunt to bring attention to the refugee crisis in Central America; what Fox News convinced Trump was an invasion force consisting of “a small migrant army marching toward the United States.” There is a fair explanation of what the annual “human rights demonstration” entails here; only Trump and his advisory committee at Fox News could possibly conflate the “demonstration” with an invasion force.

One House Democrat, Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), echoed the sentiment of any sane American at the news that Trump threatened to “close down the country” if he doesn’t get his way. Ms. Jayapal said:

“[Trump] is absolutely out of his mind to think that is any kind of a reasonable solution for our economy or compassion or in line with our values. This President [Trump] has done everything he can every time he’s in trouble to turn around and try to turn it against immigrants, and it really deeply saddens me.”

Despite everything Trump says about immigrants, the real threat to Americans is the filthy lying racist living in the White House. The  one who appears ready and willing to burn down the country, or at least “shut it down,” until his employees in Congress hand over taxpayer dollars for Trump’s vanity wall.

It is likely that the same xenophobes who have supported him since his poorly attended inauguration, and his minders at Fox News, cheered his threat to “close America for a while” if he can’t get what he wants; no matter the damage to the nation’s economy and the people.

Despite what the WaPo op-ed proffered, there is not a question of whether Trump has any concern for the public interest, because he has none. The prescient question is how much damage will Republicans allow him to inflict on them if he doesn’t get what he wants.

Trump’s DHS to monitor and compile an “undesirable” media database

There is a very good reason the Constitution’s Framers and Founding Fathers made “freedom of the press” a top priority in the young nation’s Constitution and included it in the Bill of Rights’ First Amendment. That reason has been reiterated by champions of freedom and democracy throughout history and that particularly includes from this nation’s founding continuing to the 21st Century threat posed by an aspiring tyrant. At least in free societies the concept of a free press is regarded as sacrosanct and until recently, that was the case in America. A little over a week ago, a former Daily Kos writer and activist now working at the The Intercept, Shaun King, discovered the harsh truth about being an activist journalist living in Trump’s America.

Democracy Now reported last week that Mr. King and his family were detained by Customs and Border Patrol agents at JFK International Airport and endured questioning about his activism in support of Black Lives Matter. Mr. King reported that after being called out by name, he and his family were taken to a “secluded questioning room” where the officer, who “had clearly been reading his tweets,” asked about his “support for the Black Lives Matter movement.” It is a sad commentary, but it appears that going forward there will be an increasing number of Americans facing detention, or at least heavy-handed government scrutiny, by Trump’s security forces based on the “sentiment” in what they write or say.

Whether it was Founding Father and third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, or war hero and U.S. Senator John McCain, they concur with no small number of American leaders insisting that America as it was created cannot survive without a free press . Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1786:

The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted, when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure.”

Well over two centuries later, and in response to the speech and actions of the “aspiring dictator” Trump, Senator John McCain defended the free press while he was in Munich Germany saying:

“We need a free press. We must have it. It’s vital. If you want to preserve […] democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press. And without it, […] we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time.”

Not to be outdone, Arizona’s other Republican Senator Jeff Flake took to the floor of the Senate to give a speech assailing Trump for perpetually attacking the media for factual reporting. Suffice it to say, even Republicans comprehend the importance of a free press for a bevy of reasons, but none more so than protecting democracy. Republicans cannot ignore the threat to democracy posed by Trump.

That is why it was, although sickening, not shocking that the anti-democracy Trump administration is targeting the free press by giving a federal law enforcement agency the authority to target Americans who express the “wrong sentiment” in what they write, share on social media, or insinuate in a recording. And let’s face it; the “wrong sentiment” includes anything contrary to what Trump thinks is the “right sentiment.”

Bloomberg reported that a FedBizOpps.gov posting by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under the heading, “Media Monitoring Services” is nothing less than a devious “big brother” type maneuver if there ever was one. There was an attached Statement of Work that outlined precisely what the federal law enforcement agency planned to do to bring the media and many Americans into compliance with all things Trump; gather and monitor the activities of the public media and everything and everyone associated with it.

Now, it appears that Senator McCain’s warning about losing “our” personal liberties is not something that is going to happen “over time.” The threat from Trump’s Department of Homeland Security with an attack on the free press is a dangerous portent that the aspiring tyrant is attempting to keep pace with a rash of attacks on the media worldwide.

This is underway in America, “traditionally one of the bastions of press freedom,” where a powerful federal agency is planning to compile a comprehensive list of journalists, social media influencers, bloggers, and podcasters to monitor what they are “putting out to the public” with a particular interest in the “sentiment” they express.

As Michelle Fabio noted:

We are entering potentially dangerous territory with the government keeping track of the ‘sentiment’ of American citizens in a Department of Homeland Security media database.”

The primary concern of the Trump administration is “the sentiment” being expressed by private American citizens, media organizations, bloggers, print journalists and Americans active on social media. It is unlikely that DHS is going to do the same level of monitoring of “foreign” sentiment towards America as the other intelligence agencies such as the NSA and CIA. This action is targeting domestic “sentiment” and although it is normal for dictatorships Trump aspires to emulate, it is an abomination in an alleged “free society” anywhere in the world, much less in the United States of America.

It is nothing less than an outrage in a liberal democracy that a federal agency is monitoring and compiling data on what the dictionary deems are private citizens’  “views of, or an attitude toward, or an opinion of a particular situation or event.” Only someone who has been comatose for the past two years is unaware that the prevailing sentiment in America, and around the world, toward Trump is overwhelmingly negative. It should terrify all Americans that expressing those sentiments is deemed “dangerous” enough to warrant Homeland Security putting them in a federal law enforcement database; something that is unprecedented except in dictatorships.

An organization that has spent the past nearly 40 years monitoring press freedom, Freedom House, “recently concluded that global media freedom has reached its lowest level in the past 13 years.” The organization places the blame for less press freedom on government threats to journalists and media outlets in “major democracies” and “authoritarian countries like Russia and China.” The report also noted that:

It is the far-reaching attacks on the news media and their place in a democratic society by Donald Trump, first as a candidate and now as president of the United States [White House occupant] that fuel predictions of further setbacks in the years to come.”

This action is a dangerous administration’s attempt to rule by tyranny and intimidation and little else. It is also not the first time the Trump administration has suggested keeping a federal database of “undesirables.”

First they proposed forcing American Muslims to “register” in a national database, and then attempted to garner the highly-personal voting and citizenship information from Americans with a bogus “commission” to ferret out the non-existent massive voter fraud. Now they have tasked a federal law enforcement agency with compiling a database consisting of journalists, media organizations, bloggers, podcasters and “influencers” on social media based on their “sentiment?”

It is hardly arguable that the government does not already monitor everything Americans are reading, saying, and writing, and by its very nature everything related to the “media” is not secret. However, the concept of a federal agency monitoring the “sentiments” of Americans and creating a federal database based on those “sentiments” is chilling. It is also another indication that America under Trump, since his poorly-attended inauguration, is experiencing the exact same process that eventually gave the world North Korea, Russia and Nazi Germany.

Under Pruitt the EPA is killing Americans in god’s name

According to the mission statement of the EPA, the agency conceived by a Republican president was “created for the purpose of protecting human health and the environment by writing and enforcing regulations.” It is a very straight-forward and simple mission; protect the people’s health and lives by protecting the environment from polluters.

Republicans serving the interests of the fossil fuel industry disagree with the EPA’s mission on principle; “the environment” is not donating tens-of-millions of dollars to Republican politicians. That being the case, Republicans have lusted for decades to put an end to protecting the environment without regard for Americans’ health or lives. Republicans have no interest in protecting anything except their wealthy donors, guns and single celled organisms to sate their special interests’ greed and nasty control issues. The concept of protecting Americans’ lives has had no place in “pro-life” religious Republican politics for some time now because it is not profitable.

The man Trump tapped to lead the EPA, Scott Pruitt, is one of those religious Republicans who claims to be pro-life, but has spent the past year systematically neutering the EPA’s ability to protect human lives and the environment.  As of late, Pruitt, an evangelical malcontent of some repute, has been “playing the god card” again to justify his fossil fuel environmental agenda; including citing his bastardized interpretation of the Christian bible as authority for his deadly environmental deregulation rampage.

Pruitt claims god gave humans a mandate to use, and apparently abuse, Earth’s resources, but only those dirty resources that are profitable to the GOP’s fossil fuel masters. The concept of using any of Earth’s free, renewable and clean resources such as wind, solar, and hydro is abominable to Pruitt. Probably because although those clean resources are allegedly gifts from Pruitt’s god according to his Stone Age mentality, they do not enrich the fossil fuel industry.

According to one religious man who occasionally acts like what a “real Christian” is purported to be, and is the spiritual leader of roughly 1.2 billion Christians around the world, Pruitt’s claim that his god and the  bible support a deadly environmental crusade is completely wrong.

It is noteworthy that when Pope Francis issued an environmental encyclical a couple of years ago, he specifically addressed Pruitt’s interpretation of  “man’s dominion” over the Earth as cruel because raping and pillaging the Earth is killing millions of human beings. In fact, it almost appears that Pope Francis was specifically targeting Pruitt, Trump, Republicans and their fossil fuel masters for what he claimed were “sins committed against the environment.”

The Pope pointed out that the “selfish system motivated by profit at any price” is “turning the planet into a polluted wasteland full of debris, desolation and filth … When [we] hurt the Earth, we hurt the poor and most vulnerable who are already suffering its impact.”

Apparently, and according to Pruitt’s biblical interpretation, his god supports hurting the Earth and the poor or he would not have given his “godly” blessing to turn the planet into a wasteland. That “wasteland,” by the way, is already killing over nine million human beings prematurely, and that is only the death count from pollution. Those numbers do not include the suffering and deaths resulting from anthropogenic climate change.

The atrocity in America is that religious Republicans carrying the “pro-life” banner are abolishing environmental rules and regulations that can drastically reduce pollution-related deaths among their constituents. That is why Scott Pruitt claiming god as justification for eliminating environmental protections is just beyond vile.

In America in 2012, there were 200,000 deaths from “air pollution”  and because there was an administration concerned about the health and welfare of Americans, new environmental rules resulted in 130,000 deaths by 2016. It is noteworthy that those Obama-era environmental rules have been abolished by Trump, and where rules are still in effect Pruitt has directed EPA inspectors to stop enforcing various environmental laws despite the drastic harm to the population. It is noteworthy that Trump has as much blood on his hands as Pruitt whether the  Oval Office sinner invokes god or not

Last fall in an effort to justify eliminating more environmental protections, Pruitt citedhis Christian bible as support for purging the agency of scientists and barring them from serving in advisory posts. He used some Old Testament scripture to justify appointing fossil fuel industry personnel and Republicans indebted to the industry as policy advisors. Pruitt claimed he needed “diversity” of opinions, or what the Trump administration calls “alternative facts,” to set environmental policy.

Trump concurred with Pruitt’s action banning scientists and this week the White House called on a federal court to dismiss an ethics lawsuit against Pruitt and the EPA. It is unclear how the recently Trump-appointed judge will rule on a challenge to the ethics of replacing scientists with fossil fuel industry advocates likely employed by the Koch brothers as EPA policy advisors.

It is not clear how many more times Scott Pruitt is going to invoke his god to despoil the environment and kill off hundreds-of-thousands of Americans every year. It is true that Pruitt has not yet cited a passage in his Christian bible to support not doing his taxpayer-funded job, or deliberately preventing the agency he runs from fulfilling its mission, but he did find a scripture to support decimating the environment, and kill Americans in the process. They call people like Pruitt “religious extremists and fanatics” for good reasons.

This administration brought a world of doom and gloom to America after 8 years of beneficial changes for the environment and Americans’ health – albeit in tiny, hard-won increments. Now with Trump and an evangelical miscreant like Pruitt demolishing the EPA from the inside, and then invoking his god as justification for eliminating rules enacted to protect Americans, it is a fair assessment that they have a wanton disregard for human life.

It was just reported, again, that there is an alarming increase of birth defects, low birth rate, asthma and cancer in and around oil and gas “fracking” sites, but Congress and the Pruitt-led EPA has resisted taking any steps to enact new, or enforce existing, environmental rules because Republicans control Congress and the fossil fuel industry controls Republicans. Those children in Flint Michigan who ingested and bathed in mercury-laden water will suffer lifelong developmental consequences and yet Republicans and the EPA are still not concerned enough to address the mercury poisoning going on in other areas of the nation,  including in hundreds of public schools.

It is telling about the state of this nation and its people that they have willingly installed a government indebted to special interests, and in their crusade to serve those interests the Republicans running the government are culpable of killing Americans by the tens-of-thousands annually. It is terrifying that the man leading the Environmental Protection Agency responsible for protecting all Americans is using the EPA to kill and maim in god’s name like every other radical religious extremist.

Look, there is something horribly wrong with America and it is down to Americans who, for whatever reasons, are as lost and ignorant as Republicans are religious fanatics and inherently cruel. There has been some outrage after each gun massacre because innocent Americans were slaughtered at the hand of an extremist of some sort. And the nation went ballistic after 911 because innocent American lives were lost at the hands of foreign extremists.  When a gang of criminals knocked down some buildings and killed a few thousand Americans, the country united to support launching two wars against two innocent sovereign nations. No foreigners get to kill innocent Americans with impunity; right?

However, when a political party and the head of the EPA is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans by abolishing and refusing to enforce rules enacted to prevent those deaths, nothing happens and there is no outrage; even when the religious freak running the EPA plays the god card.

Image: Patheos

White House report vindicates President Obama’s regulatory agenda

One of the so-called pillars of conservatism is fervent resistance to change; like very unpleasant toddlers and petulant pre-teens. Republicans have never forgotten some progressive changes going back 80 years to the New Deal and they are still vehemently resisting those changes to the point of attempting to abolish them today.

What appears to rankle Republicans specifically is the very concept of the federal government regulating anything whatsoever, but particularly if it is a means of protecting Americans from the rich and powerful. Republicans particularly despise, and have resisted “vehemently,” any kind of regulations affecting the financial, energy, and commercial sector, or generally what Americans know as corporate America.

Republicans never fail to cite two specific economic reasons why they say regulations are an immoral act of federal government overreach,but their assertions have been disproven on a regular basis. Now the Trump White House has “quietly” joined the debunking effort.

As it turns out, according to a report from the Trump administration’s Office of Management and Budget, Obama era regulations were not “job-killing” or economic disasters like Trump and Republicans contend. And, those federal regulations definitely produced a far greater economic benefit than they cost. Remember, this is the Trump administrations’ Office of Management and Budget vindicating President Obama’s regulatory agenda; it is not “fake news” or part of a liberal media conspiracy. Everything Trump and Republicans have asserted or still claim about President Obama’s regulations, or regulations in general, is fake news and typical Republican lies.

No doubt when the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released its “annual report” late last week amid a rash of Trump scandals, they were taking advantage of the typical Trump weekend outrages. A Trump administration report titled “Report to Congress on the benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations and Agency Compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Act”  is certainly not something Trump or his Republican cohort ever want the public to learn about. Specifically because they would learn, from Trump’s administration, that Republicans, Trump, the Kochs, ALEC, and the Heritage Foundation have been blatantly lying about “regulations as a general matter and wrong about President Obama’s regulations specifically.”

Those regulations, incidentally, “had benefits far in excess of their costs with no discernible effect on jobs or growth.” That last part, jobs and growth, was easily substantiated prior to the OMB report based on years of “regular job and economic growth” numbers during President Obama’s tenure. And all the while, Republicans screamed that President Obama’s regulations were killing jobs, retarding economic growth, and costing the American people dearly. However, according to the Trump OMB’s own reporting, the negative assertions from Republicans and Trump are patently false; particularly the false claims that the Obama regulations were killing jobs, the economy, and corporations.

The OMB analyzed data on all “major” federal regulations between 2006 and 2016 to produce a report founded on empirical data, not typical Heritage Foundation or Republicans’ “fake news.” Major federal regulations are considered those with $100 million or more in economic impact.

The aggregate costs of Obama era-regulations were “$59 to $88 billion” according to the federal agencies the OMB gathered data from. No matter how conservative of an estimate one makes, the $219 to $695 billion in benefits “wildly outweighed the costs” of federal regulations. What that means is that all of the Republican and Trump arguments against Obama Administration regulations, “arguably the organizing principle of Trump’s administration,” are demonstrably false; or in street parlance – filthy lies.

Any half sane American was aware Trump and Republicans’ assertions about President Obama’s regulations were false without a Trump OMB report. Like Republicans and Trump, most Americans heard reports about, or saw for themselves, the monthly job and economic growth reports proving that regulations were not bad for the economy. They were also not bad for “ordinary Americans” who benefitted from their enactment.

It is noteworthy to mention that environmental regulations, “specifically air pollution regulations” did in fact have the highest costs. However, they also have had the highest benefits exceeding those costs significantly. And it is particularly noteworthy that those “higher benefits” went to help the “ordinary American people” economically; but more crucially, it benefitted them with better health and longer lives.

David Roberts framed the issue of “regulatory costs versus benefits” in a very interesting way that informs another reason Republicans and Trump opposed President Obama’s environmental regulations. He wrote:

Air quality regulations serve as a downward redistribution of wealth, out of the pockets of industrialists and into the pockets of ordinary Americans, particularly the poor and vulnerable Americans (African Americans and Hispanics in particular) who tend to live closest to pollution sources. They shift costs, from the much higher health and social costs of pollution remediation to the comparatively smaller costs of pollution abatement.”

It didn’t take a Trump OMB report to “vindicate” President Obama’s regulatory agenda because the economy prospered and a record number of jobs were created in the midst of what Republicans claimed were deliberately cruel job and economy-killing regulations.

For example, the economy gained a net 11.6 million jobs; the unemployment rate dropped to below the historical norm; average weekly earnings for all workers were up 4.1 percent; after-tax corporate profits set new records, as did stock prices. It was nearly the same case during the Clinton Administration when the economy soared in spite of increased regulations, and like during the Clinton Administration,  those Obama regulations were accompanied by a slight tax hike on the very rich. Still, the economy grew, unemployment declined, corporations prospered, and the very rich became very much richer; and as a bonus American lives were saved.

Of course by now most Americans should be cognizant that Republicans and Trump exist solely to serve the rich and that includes giving the wealth of the nation, including the Treasury, to the already rich. But the only important way to frame this issue is that regulations save American lives.

The real story here, and the narrative for Democrats heading into the midterm elections, is that despite Obama’s regulations providing significantly more benefits than they cost, including a growing economy, Republicans and Trump have been eliminating them regardless of the harm to the people. Republicans are well aware that air pollution alone is responsible for killing over 200,000 Americans annually (in 2013), and yet with Trump’s assistance they have laid waste to 67 environmental rules in less than a year.

The message to the American people is not solely that Republicans and Trump are abolishing specifically environmental regulations that are economically beneficial and combat anthropogenic climate change; the message is that they are purposely eliminating regulations that save hundreds of thousands of American lives – all to enrich their wealthy corporate donors. If nothing else, it debunks their so-called “pro-life” status and should disabuse their base of any idea that either Republicans or Trump care if they live or die.

It is remarkable that President Obama’s regulatory agenda is now “officially vindicated” by the Trump’s own OMB, but it is noteworthy that unlike Republicans and Trump, President Obama’s actions were specific to saving Americans’ lives; something Trump or his Republican cohorts would never consider. In fact, they have demonstrated beyond dispute that they will kill American citizens by the tens-of-thousands to enrich their corporate masters.

Trump is not permitting the NSA to stop Russian cyber attacks

Free and fair elections are a crucial element to the success of any representative democracy and it is just one of the reasons Donald Trump despises America’s electoral system as passionately as he loathes the U.S. Constitution. There is some hope on the left that the upcoming midterm elections may be favorable for Democratic candidates, but with Trump in the Oval Office it is looking a lot less “favorable.” Trump is not doing anything to support fair elections and it should not surprise one American; he is a lying, corrupt Republican after all.

Whether it was Trump falsely claiming that 5.7 million immigrants voted illegally in 2016, or convening a special commission to affect future elections in Republicans’ favor, or rejecting the claims of intelligence agencies that the Russians interfered on his behalf in the last election; it is glaringly apparent Trump does not want fair elections.

That assertion was verified by Trump’s National Security Adviser who said Trump will not give permission and authorize intelligence and Defense Department officials to combat the Russians who are still interfering in the electoral process.

During queries to Trump’s director of the National Security Agency and commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, Admiral Michael Rogers testified that “President Donald Trump had not given him or his agency the authority to fight back against Russian attacks on the 2018 U.S. midterm elections.”

That’s right, despite the universal knowledge going back nearly two years that Russians interfered in the 2016 primaries and general election attacking America’s democracy, the corrupt reprobate has not taken any steps to protect America or the integrity of the electoral process. Of course that includes refusing to follow the direction of Congress and protect the nation by imposing sanctions on Russia for interfering in the 2016 election.

In response to a question from Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) regarding the Department of Defense’s ability to respond and defend against cyber attacks from Russia “against our forthcoming elections,” Admiral Rogers was not hesitant to explain why nothing whatsoever is being done to protect the nation’s democratic process. Senator Nelson said:

We have been attacked and there are a lot of us that feel like we are still being attacked and that we’re going to be attacked particularly with regard to our elections. So, what’s the holdup?”

Admiral Rogers replied:

The challenge for us is right now we have this thing called the law. And the legal framework shapes what DOD can and cannot do.”

Mr. Nelson pressed the issue to get an explanation about why there has been no action and what about the law is holding up a defense of America’s electoral process. He asked Rogers:

What do you need as the commander to say go after and punish these guys that are trying to tear apart our critical infrastructure?”

Rogers replied thus:

I need a policy decision that indicates that there’s specific direction to do that. The secretary [of defense] would ultimately make a recommendation to the president… and then based on that, we’d be given specific direction and specific authority.”

Seemingly perplexed, Senator Nelson asked, “So you need a direction and specific authority from the White House?”  Rogers explained that yes, “The president Trump ultimately would make this decision.”

Trump made his decision a little over a month ago when he decided not to impose Congress’ sanctions on Russia for interfering in the 2016 elections. His reasoning was that passing the legislation was enough to serve as a “deterrent.” Congress voted overwhelmingly to impose sanctions on Russia as punishment for “election meddling” in 2016. The concept of “deterring” a past action is beyond a mind-numbing assertion, even for a mind-numbing ignoramus like Trump.

Trump is not going to punish Russia for its past election meddling and it is apparent he has no interest in stopping them now. If that were not the case he would have imposed Congress’ latest sanctions a month ago, and unleashed the Department of Defense on the Russians immediately after learning the attacks are continuing, but he has not. He is so indebted to Russia and needs their attacks to continue unabated, he even violated the Constitution by not imposing Congress’ sanctions. It is a clear signal he is not going to stop Russian election interference because he obviously opposes fair elections.

Free and fair elections are no more appealing to Trump than they are to his Republican cohorts, particularly in Republican controlled states. The Trump demonstrated that a couple of weeks ago when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court had to take action to stop Republicans’ unconstitutional gerrymandering. Trump said that the Republicans’ “unconstitutional gerrymandering” was “correct” and that Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court was wrong. Trump encouraged Pennsylvania Republicans to take their case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court where conservatives will continue their, and the GOP’s, assault on fair elections.

What Trump claimed was correct, according to his disdain for fair elections, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court labeled “clearly, plainly, and palpably a violation of Pennsylvania’s state Constitution.” Of course Pennsylvania Republicans concurred with Trump and said the state Supreme Court’s ruling was wrong; they oppose the concept of “fair elections” or they would not have fashioned a system blatantly skewed to elect Republicans.

The head of the Executive Branch refusing to punish a foreign entity for attacking America in the past, and failing to authorize the defense department to combat ongoing attacks is simply beyond comprehension; it is also un-American and it damn well should be considered treasonous. It is also a clear indication from Trump that he is as frightened of the Russians as he is opposed to free and fair elections. Plus, not punishing or opposing their election meddling efforts is remuneration for aiding him and Republicans in 2016. That the Republicans in Congress are refusing to use their considerable power to punish Trump indicates that they too are either afraid of the Russians or want them to carry on interfering with impunity; everyone knows they oppose fair elections.

One hopes that Democrats are prepared for what may be incredibly disappointing results in the 2018 midterm elections.  Because with the party in power opposed to fair elections that would evict them from power, and the head of the Executive Branch unwilling to interfere with the Russian election meddling efforts, the midterms may produce exactly what the Russians want – a wave election that augments Republican majorities in Congress and the states.