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Don’t give Trump credit for North Korea suspending testing!

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My take on the North Korea thing is that the Kim family’s goal long has been clear: to develop an ICBM and hydrogen bomb capacity in order to compel America to sit down at the negotiating table and meet their demands. Having such capability seems to be the only way for some countries to be taken seriously.

This would have been true no matter who was in the White House in 2018. It just so happens to be Trump. North Korea has been working on their nuclear program for decades, and they were bound to reach the point of deliverability sooner or later. As things turned out, they reached it late last year; hence Kim Jong Un’s calculated decision to meet with his South Korean counterpart and with the American president.

All that North Korea has ever wanted was a seat at the table and to be treated with the same respect with which America treats other counties. American presidents, Republican and Democratic, have consistently refused to do this, instead branding North Korea a rogue regime. Naturally, North Korea resented and feared this, given America’s historic habit of overthrowing regimes it doesn’t like, and they understood that the only way to force America to accept them was by developing a nuclear arsenal.

Exactly why American presidents have been so resistant to accepting North Korea has always mystified me (and I’ve been watching this game for a long time). Yes, we fought them in the Korean War, but that was 65 years ago! North Korea was never remotely close to being a threat to us, or to our allies such as Japan; and as for their vaunted ability to launch tens of thousands of rockets and bombs on Seoul, nobody ever expected that to happen, because the Kim family knew that if they did it, they would be obliterated in fifteen minutes.

America isn’t the only country ever to have had a stupid policy, but ours toward North Korea was dumber than most. It was similar to our policy—again, under both Democrats and Republicans—toward Cuba. Cuba was never a threat to the U.S., in any conceivable way. We didn’t like their communist government, but that in itself posed no danger to our way of life or national security. In both cases—Cuba and North Korea—I got the sense of an American policy hardened into concrete and made rigidly unchangeable by force of habit. It was an anachronism. Nobody could really explain it anymore, as it became less and less relevant with each passing year. Republicans in particular seemed to lead the anti-Cuba brigade, no doubt because they are so rigidly opposed to any form of socialism, preferring instead their oligarchic policies of tax cuts for the rich and giant corporations and a minimum of help for poor people, and also because of the outsized importance of the Florida Cuban-Americans, who are among the most rightwing blocs in the country. I think the anti-North Korea movement was led equally by Republicans and Democrats, but it never made any sense. I mean, we fought the North Vietnamese and lost 50,000 troops there, but today Vietnam is a business partner and American tourist destination. We’ve spent a ton of money keeping tens of thousands of troops on the Korean peninsula and in Japan all these years, to defend ourselves against a country that posed no threat to us whatsoever.

The only way North Korea might have posed a threat to us was if they developed a nuclear capacity, and the best way to ensure that they would was to do exactly what we did for sixty years: surround them, embargo them, insult them and the Kim family, threaten them, and refuse to talk to them. It’s almost as if the official policy of the United States was to make sure that North Korea would produce nuclear weapons, so that we could threaten them with war if they did.

It rubs me the wrong way to see Trump get any credit for Kim’s decision to meet with him. As I said, this would have happened regardless of who’s president. The rightwing yahoos who remain committed to Trump don’t see it that way, of course; they love macho bullies, and so Trump’s “Rocket Man” taunts were music to their ears. Insults for a chubby, slant-eyed Asian weirdo! Threats of “fire and fury” against a nation of little yellow people who are not like us! That’s what the Breitbart-tea party crowd loves, and Trump, indebted to them up to his neck, gives it to them every time. The funny thing is that, if Hillary Clinton were president and were doing the same thing (of vowing to meet with Kim), Republicans would be screaming bloody murder. Hillary is selling out America’s security! The communist Hillary Clinton hates America and is cutting secret deals with our enemies! Mitch McConnell would be holding hearings to ferret out the internationalists in the State Department who were undermining our freedom. Devon Nunes would accuse Democrats of collusion with North Korea and their chief sponsor, China, and would no doubt find secret memos by which Hillary Clinton was revealing official secrets to terrorists. Fox “News” would be showing clips of North Korean armies goose-stepping, mushroom clouds, and the graves of American war dead killed on Pork Chop Hill. Sean Hannity would be demanding impeachment proceedings.

It’s all so predictable with this tea party crowd, isn’t it? The important thing is to not let Trump get away with taking credit, in case anything good should happen as a result of these upcoming summits (which might not even happen). Let’s not take our eye off the ball: the Mueller investigation continues. We have got to remain united in resistance to this bogus Trump regime.


Wall Street Journal is reaching into the gutter to defend their man

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Donald Trump just tweeted praise on the Wall Street Journal’s rightwing columnist, Kimberley Strassel, for her hit piece on James Comey in the weekend’s paper. The Journal’s editorial page has been, of course, a locus for the anti-Comey movement, which also includes Fox “News” and most of the lunatic fringe of Republican talk radio. Their tactic isn’t to challenge the facts as we know them. No one (besides Trump) is plausibly denying any of the facts concerning collusion and obstruction of justice, because we don’t yet know what the facts are. Instead, the Republicans are using a familiar tactic: launching ad hominem attacks on Comey by besmirching his character.

This would be amusing, coming from anyone besides Republicans, who for the last 1-1/2 years have found themselves in the awkward position of having to defend a man whose moral character is repugnant. The serial adultery, the juvenile insults of anyone he doesn’t like, the perpetual lies, the vulgarity—well, you know the list as well as I do.

Strassel’s smear of Comey is from the Republican playbook, repeated by every GOP propagandist with a platform. Like the rest of her cohort, she lies when it’s convenient, and twists or withholds the truth when it suits her purpose.

For instance, she writes that the dossier was funded by a Democrat-aligned group.” LIE! It was paid for by “a conservative website funded by a major Republican donor” who was working on behalf of a different Republican primary candidate, according to Pulitzer Prize-reporting by the New York Times.

Incredibly,  Strassel writes, “Would it not have been in the public interest to make clear last year that the president was not under investigation?” WITHHELD TRUTH! This totally ignores the fact that Comey divulged the FBI’s renewal of the case of Hillary Clinton two weeks before the election, while withholding the information that Trump and his campaign also were under investigation!

Along the same lines, she demands that Comey “explain the extraordinary accommodations the FBI provided Team Clinton during the email investigation.” LIE!  Do you really believe Comey provided “extraordinary accommodations” to the Clinton campaign? Comey’s revelation of the renewed investigation into Hillary Clinton completely shocked her personally, immobilized her campaign, disgusted all Democrats, and cost Clinton the election! Rather than an “extraordinary accommodation,” Comey delivered the death blow to Team Hillary.

But for me, the most disgusting thing—the worst lie—in Strassel’s hit piece is her insinuation that Comey is avoiding answering questions that make him uncomfortable. If Strassel is so concerned with public figures being completely transparent, here are a couple questions that her man, Trump, refuses to truthfully  answer:

Why won’t you release your taxes?

How many women have you had sex with, besides whomever your wife was at the moment?

How much money is your company making by taking advantage of your presidency?

Why is it okay for a President of the United States to behave in such undignified ways as bullying Gold Star parents, college students, journalists?

Why are you denying that climate change is real?

Do you deny that Russia intervened in the 2016 election on your behalf?

What really happened at the Trump Tower meeting with Donald Jr. and Jared?

Why did you dictate the excuse about the meeting to Donald Jr. on Air Force One?

Why did you fire Comey?

Why did you demand loyalty from Comey?

Why have you allied so fiercely with the most rightwing elements in America, in violation of his promise to be a bipartisan president?

Well, this is another list that could go on and on, but wouldn’t it be nice to hear Trump provide these answers? He won’t, of course, and his Republican enablers won’t ask him to, which is why we need James Comey as Special Counsel to get to the bottom of these scandals.

In his pro-Strassel tweet, Trump called the Comey investigation “one of the weakest obstruction cases ever brought!” LIE! He is, of course, trying to influence the minds of his followers before any report has been issued, before the facts are known, and despite the accumulating evidence that a lot of wrong-doing seems to have occurred on his behalf. It makes me wonder if, when all is said and done, what he would do if Comey’s ultimate report says that there’s not enough evidence to charge Trump with obstruction or collusion—but there is plenty of evidence to charge his son, Donald Jr., and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, with one or both of those crimes. Much speculation is currently underway concerning whether or not Michael Cohen will flip. The question may turn out to be, not if Donald Jr. or Jared flips, but if Trump flips on himself: admitting to crimes to prevent his elder son and his only daughter’s husband from going to jail.

Probably not. As a sociopath, he doesn’t really care about anyone but himself.


Why evangelicals love Trump

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With all the sex scandals surrounding Trump, you’d think his “family-values” evangelical followers are losing faith in him. But no. “White evangelical support for President Trump [is] at an all-time high,” according to the respected PRRI survey, released on Wednesday. While Trump’s favorability rating among evangelicals never hit 50% during the primaries, it has now soared to 75%, an astonishingly high score given the avalanche of sordid news surrounding him.

Why do evangelicals, Pentecostals and other conservative Christians adore him? To answer this, it’s necessary to understand a few things about them.

Fundamental Christians are by far the heaviest of all religious groups led by the Baptists with a 30% obesity rate compared with Jews at 1%, Buddhists and Hindus at 0.7%.” That’s from a Fox News op-ed. I’m not picking on fat people, but obesity can have a serious impact on psychological health. The Psychiatric Times reports that ”overweight and obese persons are more likely than their normal-weight peers to have a variety of psychiatric disorders,” including depression, anxiety disorders, various phobias, suicidal ideation, substance abuse, alcohol addiction, paranoia and schizophrenia. These conditions may well interfere with evangelicals’ ability to think rationally.

Contributing to this intellectual confusion is the fact that evangelicals are the least educated of all religious groups in America. A Pew study found that, of America’s top 31 religious groups, Hindus, Unitarians and Jews have the highest percentage of college graduates (an average of 67.6%), while Baptists, the Church of God, the Assemblies of God, and the Churches of Christ have the lowest (average 13.5%).

This lack of education shows in the beliefs of evangelicals—beliefs based, not on science or fact, but on their interpretation of the bible. For example, By a wide margin, the evangelical leaders surveyed reject the idea that human beings and other living things have evolved over time due solely to natural processes,” according to another Pew Center study.

 It seems to me that evolution, as characterized by Darwin, is so established as scientific fact that anyone who disputes it is, in essence, declaring himself irrational and possibly, by some definitions, insane. I suppose evangelicals would disagree, but again, the non-belief in evolution in favor of a seven-days-of-creation theory is evidence of a lack of intellectual capacity. We have to take that into consideration when asking why evangelicals remain so stubbornly attached to Trump.

Additional factors come into play when we consider the mental stability of evangelicals. The most violent husbands in America are nominal evangelical Protestants,” states an article in—of all places—the religious publication Christianity Today. In many cases, it adds, religion is not protective against abuse.”

As if all the mental and physical health issues plaguing evangelicals weren’t enough, “The [U.S.] states in which evangelical Christians are most concentrated have the highest levels of poverty, unemployment, unwanted pregnancies, domestic violence, disease, and infant mortality [and] the lowest levels of academic achievement, household income, and life expectance,” according to The Economist magazine.

This dismal track record for evangelicals again strongly suggests that something is wrong with them: something unhealthy and certainly not good for American democracy.

My hunch is that the love affair between Trump and evangelicals is the result of the impairment of cerebral capacity among conservative Christians. People who cannot or will not think straight are unable to distinguish between fact and fantasy—unable, that is, to recognize blatant lies of the kind Trump routinely tells. They are thus easier to mentally manipulate than healthy, well-educated people, who generally insist on facts and evidence when making up their minds.

There’s one final problem with evangelicals and Trump, and that is the evangelical tendency to accept authoritarianism as a legitimate structure of governance. Right wing Christians cede to God and Jesus their heavenly affairs; they apparently cede to Donald Trump their worldly ones. This plays right into Trump’s hands: he would cherish an America in which he is answerable to no one—not Congress, not the Supreme Court, certainly not the Fourth Estate.

Trump’s tendency towards megalomania and autocracy is in my judgment a danger to us all, but evangelicals appear not to care. They’ve never been particularly fond of democracy; they prefer a top-down form of tyranny in which unquestioned obedience is expected. They’re getting a taste of it in Donald Trump, and they love what he’s feeding them.

Have a wonderful weekend!

 


Trump and California: An uneasy mix

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Donald Trump is angry at California and our governor, Jerry Brown—again. The nation’s bluest state voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 by a wider margin (61.6%) than any other state besides Hawaii, and Trump’s approval rating in California currently stands at about 29%, lower than any other state besides Massachusetts. Trump knows he’s loathed in the Golden State; we don’t like him, his policies, and everything he stands for, and he doesn’t like us.

Republicans, an endangered species in California, love to slur Jerry Brown. Rush Limbaugh, the former drug addict, recently called him “anti-American,” which is funny, since Limbaugh’s hero, Trump, seems to have sold out America to the Russians. InfoWars, the white supremacist website of the rightwing agitator, Alex Jones, just broadcast, “Jerry Brown, you have destroyed the state of California!” This is arrant nonsense, of course, but most Trump lovers don’t live in California—we don’t want them here—and so they have no idea that Alex Jones and all the other California bashers are manipulative liars throwing red meat to their under-educated, provincial base. Among actual Californians—we who know and love Jerry, and understand how he has governed during his four terms—actually rate him highly, with a recent Fox poll (!!) giving him a 54% approval rating, which is quite good for a sitting governor.

The right wing’s latest complaint against Jerry Brown is that Brown has refused to comply with Trump’s request (actually a demand) to deploy California National Guard troops to the Mexican border in order to help round up undocumented immigrants. Gov. Brown rightly said “Hell, no” (I paraphrase), although he didn’t rule it out: he just asked for a little more information about what they would actually do.

But Trump, naturally, misrepresented Brown’s position, and took to his favorite propaganda outlet, Twitter, to rant, Looks like Jerry Brown and California are not looking for safety and security along their very porous Border. He cannot come to terms for the National Guard to patrol and protect the Border. The high crime rate will only get higher. Much wanted Wall in San Diego already started!”

This comment is typical of Trump in its unsubstantiated smears and lies (“not looking for safety and security”), misrepresentations (“high crime rate”) and deceptions (“cannot come to terms.”)

To insult Gov. Brown by stating he’s “not looking for safety” is McCarthyite, not surprising for a man, Trump, whose mentor was the notorious red baiter, smear artist and deeply closeted, albeit homophobic, homosexual, Roy Cohn. The border areas of California actually have “lower violent crime rates than other places,” according to the F.B.I.

As for that “cannot come to terms” crack, it deliberately and misleadingly implies that Gov. Brown is at odds with California National Guard he commands. That is a lie. Trump would have more accurately used the term if he had tweeted, “My wife, Melania, cannot come to terms with my sexual perversions and serial adultery.” The California National Guard itself, in a formal statement, insisted, “state officials have not rejected anything” when it comes to sending troops to the border, and they suggested instead that “the federal government”—Donald Trump’s government—has “not responded” to Brown’s request for further information on how the troops would be used.

CBS News quoted a spokesperson for Trump’s own Homeland Security department, Tyler Houghton, as saying “the federal government is committed to working with Gov. Brown.” Meanwhile, Brown himself, in remarks on Monday at the National Press Club, took the high road. “We want to be cooperative,” he insisted. “I think we can find common understanding here, there’s enough problems at the border and the interface between our countries, California will have plenty to do, and we’re willing to do it.”

 Here’s the truth, although it’s not likely Republicans can accept it. Jerry Brown remains wildly popular in California. After all, we’ve elected him a historic four times, and would probably do so again were he to remain healthy and run for re-election (he isn’t). California is by far the richest, most powerful, most job-producing, most educated, most technologically advanced, most diverse and most innovative state in the country, and we’ve gotten there under Jerry Brown’s historic leadership. One can’t help but suspect that those rural Red State Trump supporters who are hating on California and Jerry Brown are just jealous, as well they should be!


From the Personal Diary of MICHAEL COHEN

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Dear Diary,

What the hell do they expect me to do, lay down and let ‘em fuck me over? That’s not how I roll! If the Feds think they’ve won the war, they are wrong! They won a skirmish. Now, I’m gearing up for battle!

Look, so what if I did go to Prague? I never testified under oath that I didn’t. I tweeted it, for chrissake. Everybody lies on Twitter. But even if Mueller can prove I was there, he has no idea what I did. At least, I don’t think he does. Of course, you know, Dear Diary, and I know that I was there as Mister Trump’s bag man, to arrange for the release of the Hillary and DNC emails on Wikileaks, in exchange for Donald dropping the Russian sanctions. And let’s just say some money passed hands. But let Mueller try to prove that! Bwahahaha, he can’t.

As for the Stormy Daniels crap, that’s gonna be a little harder. Fortunately, that damn Judge ruled that I have to see the stuff they seized in the raid, and then the Southern District can negotiate with me about what gets out and what doesn’t. You better believe the notes I made about my conversations with the President, about the $130,000, are something I’m going to protect as much as I can. I mean, if that gets out—well, it wouldn’t be the end, but it would be pretty bad. But I’m confident I’ll win that one.

I gotta hand it to Stormy’s lawyer, Avenatti. He’s a tough bitch. Reminds me of me, in a way. What he doesn’t know is that I am not a loser and neither is President Trump. We will fight, fight, fight until he’s broke and exhausted. Eventually he’ll give up. They always do. Besides, with the President’s poll numbers rising, the public mood is turning. People are starting to realize that Trump is making America great again. They don’t care about an aging porn star who just wants free publicity.

And now, this report about my client, Sean Hannity! Look, anyone who’s caught up in sexual scandal and blackmail, the way poor Sean was, deserves legal protection! Besides, the women in question all initiated the sex, not Sean. They came onto him—he’s a good Catholic and believes in the sanctity of marriage!!! If anything, he’s the victim! They took advantage of his goodness. So what if he paid them a little money to shut the hell up? That’s what money’s for.

Besides, President Trump and Mr. Hannity are very busy men, and these kinds of men need the occasional divertissement in order to amuse themselves and get their minds off business. So what if Donald or Sean Hannity consorts with porn stars and prostitutes? Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone, I always say.

Anyhow, I just saw that clip from Saturday Night Live that had Ben Stiller playing me and De Niro playing Mueller. What a load of horseshit. I can’t say I’ve ever been a Ben Stiller fan—hell, I couldn’t tell you any of his movies. I used to be a big De Niro fan but no more! That loser hasn’t made a good movie since Raging Bull. He’s just a washed up old has been. Typical Hollywood elite libtard snowflake.

So the battle is on! I’ll tell you this, Dear Diary, I will go down for President Trump! No way I’ll roll. Sure, I could guarantee his impeachment and probably even being sent to jail, if I told everything I know. But I won’t! The guy’s been good to me. On the other hand, I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Let me see what the Southern District and Mueller have on me. I mean, I love Trump more than my own father—but, hell, forty years in the pokey? I don’t think so.


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