Impeach Trump and dump treasonous Republicans

Let’s put this into language that the disgraced president of the United States can understand: “It’s time to impeach the corrupt bastard!”

Donald Trump bragged during his campaign for president in 2016 that he could gun somebody down on Fifth Avenue in New York City and nothing would happen to him.

Then he’s proven that claim over and over again duirng his first disgusting term as presdident.

Aided by a corrupt gaggle of Republicans in Congress, and cowards on the Democratic side of the House leadership, Trump has ignored the Constitution, shredded norms of decency and legality, piled up more blatant lies than any president in history, looted the treasury for his personal benefit and imperiled the nation.

“We have devoted our lives to the service and security of our country, and throughout our careers, we have sworn oaths to defend the Constitution of the United States many times over. Now, we join as a unified group to uphold that oath as we enter uncharted waters and face unprecedented allegations against President Trump,” wrote seven freshman members of Congress in the Washington Post this morning.

They continue:

We believe these actions represent an impeachable offense. We do not arrive at this conclusion lightly, and we call on our colleagues in Congress to consider the use of all congressional authorities available to us, including the power of “inherent contempt” and impeachment hearings, to address these new allegations, find the truth and protect our national security.

Everything we do harks back to our oaths to defend the country. These new allegations are a threat to all we have sworn to protect. We must preserve the checks and balances envisioned by the Founders and restore the trust of the American people in our government. And that is what we intend to do.

The freshmen members are Reps. Gil Cisneros of California, Jason Crow of Colorado, Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania, Elaine Luria of Virginia, Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, Elissa Slotkin of Michigan and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia.  All are Democrats.

“Our lives have been defined by national service,” they add. “We are not career politicians. We are veterans of the military and of the nation’s defense and intelligence agencies. Our service is rooted in the defense of our country on the front lines of national security.”

“Republicans only pretend to be patriots,” writes Paul Krugman in The New York Times.  “Democrats need to expose them for what they are.

He continues:

We have a president who really is unpatriotic to the point of betraying American values and interests. We don’t know the full extent of Donald Trump’s malfeasance — we don’t know, for example, how much his policies have been shaped by the money foreign governments have been lavishing on his businesses. But even what we do know — his admitted solicitation of foreign help in digging up dirt on political rivals, his praise for brutal autocrats — would have had Republicans howling about treason if a Democrat had done it.

Yet almost all G.O.P. politicians seem perfectly fine with Trump’s behavior. Which means that it’s time to call Republican superpatriotism what it was long before Trump appeared on the scene: a fraud.

“Republicans were never the patriots they pretended to be, but at this point they’ve pretty much crossed the line into being foreign agents,” Krugman writes.  “If a party is willing to rig political outcomes by preventing minorities from voting, if it’s willing to use extreme gerrymandering to retain power even when voters reject it, why won’t it be equally willing to encourage foreign powers to subvert U.S. elections? A bit of treason is just part of the package.”

There’s a reason why GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell is now known as “Moscow Mitch.”  He sold out America.  So has his party.

I say this as a former GOP operative.  I worked, and in most cases succeeded,” to elect Republicans to Congressional offices for more than a half-dozen years in the 1980s.  That is not the only reason that I should face enternal damnation, but it is a primary one.

Donald Trump and the GOP are flushing America down into the toxic sewer where politics swamps patriotism and benefit of self blankets service to our nation.

It’s time to dump Trump and his infected allies into that hell hole and seal it forever

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

‘Not Welcome Here:’ El Paso rejects racist president

Surely, most El Paso residents welcomed the remarks of Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren Wednesday, when joined the ranks of believers that Donald Trump is a white supremacist.

Asked by the New York Times if she thought Trump was a white supremacist, she responded, without hesitation:  “Yes.”

She adds:

He has given aid and comfort to white supremacists. He’s done the wink and a nod. He has talked about white supremacists as fine people. He’s done everything he can to stir up racial conflict and hatred in this country.

Notes Thomas Kaplan of the Times in his report about Warren’s remarks:

Ms. Warren’s comments amounted to one of the starkest condemnations to date from a leading Democratic presidential candidate about Mr. Trump’s language toward minorities and immigrants. She spoke hours after former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas gave the same assessment of Mr. Trump. Asked by MSNBC if Mr. Trump was a white supremacist, Mr. O’Rourke replied, “He is.”

After pushing the “birther” lie about President Barack Obama, Mr. Trump began his campaign for the presidency by disparaging Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals. As president, he sought to bar people from predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States; said there were “very fine people on both sides” of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.; and used an obscenity to describe African nations.

He has warned of an “invasion” of migrants at the southern border. And last month, he said that four congresswomen of color should “go back” to the countries they came from; all four are American citizens and only one of the women was born outside the United States.

O’Rourke’s assessment:

He’s dehumanized or sought to dehumanize those who do not look like or pray like the majority here in this country.

Former Vice President, and candidate for president, Joe Biden says Trump has “fanned the flames of white supremacy in this nation.”

Biden adds:

Trump readily, eagerly attacks Islamic terrorism but can barely bring himself to use the words ‘white supremacy. And even when he says it, he doesn’t appear to believe it. He seems more concerned about losing their votes than beating back this hateful ideology.

His low-energy, vacant-eyed mouthing of the words written for him condemning white supremacists this week I don’t believe fooled anyone, at home or abroad.

Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, another presidential candidate, reminds us that Trump “spoke the same words the El Paso murdered did, warning of an ‘invasion”” by Hispanics.

O’Rourke, in El Paso, Wednesday, said Trump must bear responsibility the mass shooting:

To have been so regularly attacked and vilified and demonized by this president, for him to have created the conditions that made an attack like this possible and ultimately likely — it’s very insulting for us that he was here.

Biden sums it up when he says Trump has “more in common with George Wallace than he does with George Washington.”

“Donald Trump has a central message,” Warren says. “He says to the American people, if there’s anything wrong in your life, blame them — and ‘them’ means people who aren’t the same color as you, weren’t born where you were born, don’t worship the same way you do.”

Richard Parker, a Texan and author of “Lone Star Nation: How Texas Will Transform America,” wrote Thursday in the New York Times that Trump’s “day of racist comments left him looking small and isolated while the city (of El Paso) united against him.”

Trump, he said, “not only littered (his visit) with petty insults  — but just to rub salt in the wound, doses of renewed racism.  Yet most striking was how along and outnumbered the president was:  rejected, ostracized and told to go home.”

Parker adds:

With no public appearances, the president seemed to shrink, ever more alone as he clung to his white nationalist politics and governance. But he and his supporters were grossly outnumbered. For perhaps the first time in his angry, racist and cruel presidency, the tables were turned in smoldering, righteous popular anger — and he was on the receiving end.

While it was bad manners for a nation in mourning, it was more than that: It was a fresh dose of racism. In an era in which minorities are becoming majorities, as in Texas, and intermarrying with Anglos, who is Mr. Trump to judge people’s race and ethnicity based on their names? My last name is Anglo, but I am the son of a Mexican immigrant.

Along the president’s route from the airport to a hospital, people lined the roads to greet him — largely with rejection. “What’s more important?” Asked one man’s sign. “Lives or re-election?” American and Mexican flags sprouted together in the August heat. Signs with quotes bearing his name came back to haunt him: “We cannot allow these people to invade our country.” “Not Welcome” covered a stage at a park where people protested the president. The El Paso Times ran a black front page with this headline: “Mr. President, We Are Hurting.”

Another president might have been sensitive enough to sense the shift, and changed course accordingly — played the convener, the unifier. Instead, Mr. Trump displayed just how small he is, no matter how big his mouth or powerful his office. He never once appeared in public. By 6:01 p.m., after just a little more than two hours, he was safely aboard Air Force One again and it was wheels up into the sky. But he is a shrinking president, stuck in a racist past, flying over a changing America. And I think we — or most of us — are all El Paso now.

Let’s hope America is listening.

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

In today’s America, who is or is not an American?

As a newspaperman, I view most attempts to “redefine America” through skeptical eyes.  Every such attempt appears to be based on hidden agendas driven by a lust for power.

As a mostly-white American with some Native American mixed into the DNA, I see myself as a product of mixed environments: Born in Tampa, Fla.,I spent my first five years of life in nearby Gibsonton, where carnival workers (carnies) spent their winters, then my mother and I transplanted to rural Floyd, Va, for three years after my father died in an industrial accident.

I was 8 when my mother remarried a divorced man with three kids who lived in Farmville, Va. — a larger town in tobacco-dominated Prince Edward County.  I had a bicycle and paper route, played Little League baseball and joined the Boy Scouts.  I was a child of the 50s who rode his bike into town on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons and a matinee feature at the local theater, had milkshakes at the local drug store luncheon counter and listened to baseball games on my transistor radio.

Farmville and Prince Edward County had a dark side as well, a racist school board and supervisors who refused to integrate the public school system and closed it down, replacing it with a private school for whites only.  Suddenly, I was going to classes in church basements, American Legion halls, and other spots while African-American kids had no schools.

Even at age 10, I thought that was wrong.  Maybe it was the time in Gibsonton, where I played with the kids of carnival workers of different ethnic backgrounds.   It wasn’t right.  I had a budding interest in photography and crawled on my belly through woods to sneak up on Ku Klux Klan meeting near Farmville and shot photos with my YaschicaMet Twin-Lens reflex camera.

I took my film to the Farmville Herald, a twice-a-week paper and asked then Editor Ben Bowers to have them develop the film and take a look at an essay about being a kid who didn’t agree with the racism I saw in the area.  He liked the photos and the essay, but the local owners of the paper did not so he shopped the story to the Richmond News-Leader and other papers.  Some published the photos and the story,

A Klan Rally

At age 10, I was a published reporter and photographer and, from that day, I wanted to be a newspaperman who would report on what America was and what it should be.

That desire became a career when Pete Hallman, owner of The Floyd Press when we returned to live in the county in 1961, hired me as a full[time reporter and photographer while still in high school.

Today, 61 years later, I’m still trying to report on what American is or is not and what it should or should not be.

I’m not alone.  At The New York Times, Will Wilkerson, writes:

The question of who “we” are as “a people” is the central question on which we’re polarized. High-minded calls to reunite under the flag therefore tend to take a side and amount to little more than a demand for the other side’s unconditional surrender. “Agree with me, and then we won’t disagree” is more a threat than an argument.

The way the nationalist sees it, liberals always throw the first punch by “changing things.” When members of the “Great American Middle” (to use the artfully coded phrase of Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri to refer to nonurban whites) lash out in response to the provocations of progressive social change, they see themselves as patriots defending their America from internal attack.

In a nation defined by political stereotyping, I should be one of those “nationalists.”  I’m white, a product of mostly rural America and a college dropout — a stereotyped supporter of the nationalism defined today by many conservative supporters of Donald Trump.

But I’m not.  I fled Floyd County after high school graduation, working first as a reporter and photographer at The Roanoke Times, where I again covered meetings of the Klan and wrote about racial strife. I then moved to the St. Louis metro area as a reporter, photographer and columnist for The Telegraph in Alton, IL, on the metro-east side of the city, across the Mississippi River.

A column written in the rough and tumble days of The Alton Telegraph.

Alton is a town with a complicated history surrounding the Civil War.  Even though it was the Land of Lincoln and part of the Union, a pro-slavery mob attacked the local newspaper before the war and killed the editor and publisher, Elijah Lovejoy, honored in a statue atop a hill in the city as a martyr to Freedom of the Press.

Alton was also the birthplace of James Earl Ray, who may or may not have killed Dr. Martin Luther King in Memphis, Tenn. in 1968,  A hellhole housed Confederate prisoners of war in Alton.  Some of those stones are now found in many older homes in the city, including the townhouse where wife Amy and I lived.

I wrote often about the racism that still existed in Alton. Simmering racism still thrived in the area.  I tracked down the house where James Earl Ray was born and found it now owned by an African-American family.  When I wrote about that irony, someone burned it down.

After 12 years in Alton, Amy and I moved to the National Capital Region of Washington, DC — an even larger metro area.  We lived in Arlington County for 23 years.  It provided a pleasant mixture of cultures:  “Little Saigon,” the area of Vietnamese restaurants, grocery stores, and shops owned by those who fled Vietnam after the North took control of their homeland; and a thriving Lebanese community that Amy enjoyed because she is Lebanese-Irish.

Staff members at various consulates lived in our high-condo.  We got to know several of them and learned about their homelands and cultures.  Muslims invited us to their mosques and into their homes.  So did Buddhists and Jews and others who came to America seeking diversity and acceptance.

In many ways, living in Arlington and working out of the nation’s capital let us enjoy a rich, culturally-mixed environment.

The terrorist attacks of 9/11 changed some of that on Sept. 1, 2001.  We saw hate slogans sprayed on mosques, broken windows at a Lebanese grocery and shouts of “America First!” at protests.

It bothered us when people we know began talking “hate speak” about those of differing nationalities, particularly those of Arab descent.   I drove to work each morning and passed an armored personnel carrier with a 50-cal machine gun manned by a Marine on the George Washington Parkway by the Pentagon.

One of my favorite photos: Shot on Sept. 15, 2011 — four days after 9/11 in Falls Church, Va.

Washington changed.  So did our attitudes about making the area our home.  When we decided to move to our new home in Floyd, Va. in 2004, we had hope when we saw Oddfellas owned and operated by a mixed-race couple, an African-American chief deputy sheriff, a growing gay community and those who practiced Quaker, Catholic, Buddhism, Muslim and other religions that weren’t visible in the county when I left in 1965.

But we also still found people using the “N-word” and sporting the Confederal battle flag.  When Barack Obama won the presidency, we saw the lunacies of a tea party rise from some toxic swamp.  John McCain carried the county in 2008.  So did Mitt Romney in 2012. Donald Trump won the presidential count in Floyd County in 2016 and probably will in 2020

Such traces of bigotry hang on.

Because I have written about the racism of Donald Trump, George Allen, and other politicos, some Floyd Countians see me as a Democrat.  During a sabbatical from journalism in the 1980s, I worked for three Republican members of Congress and as a political operative for the national party.

I’m not.  I’ve never registered as a member of any political party.  I’ve never contributed to any candidate of any party or for any office.

Being a Republican does not make one an American.  Neither does being a Democrat.  Americans are individuals from a variety of ethnic and racial origins, unique in their views, their goals, and their pursuits.  Instead of being told to “go back home,” we should recognize that all of us are home.

Writes Wilkerson:

But what, today, do Americans call “home”? The next logical step would be to observe that the contemporary sum of rooted, lovable American elements includes the black culture of Compton, the Mexican culture of Albuquerque, the Indian culture of suburban Houston, the Chinese culture of San Francisco, the Orthodox Jewish culture of Brooklyn, the Cuban culture of Miami and the “woke” progressive culture of the college town archipelago, as well as the conservative culture of the white small town.

To reject pluralism and liberalizing progress is to reject the United States of America as it is, to heap contempt upon American heroes who shed blood and tears fighting for the liberty and equality of their compatriots. The nationalist’s nostalgic whitewashed fantasy vision of American national identity cannot be restored, because it never existed. What they seek to impose is fundamentally hostile to a nation forged in the defining American struggle for equal freedom, and we become who we are as we struggle against them.

Whether couched in vulgarities or professorial prose, reactionary nationalism is seditious, anti-patriotic loathing of America hiding behind a flag — our flag. We won’t allow it, because we know how to build a nation. We know how the American story goes: We fight; we take it back.

I’m proud to be an American.  I’m not proud of the nation’s current president, Congress or leadership of either political party.

That’s my right, as a voter, a newspaperman, and an American.

Donald Trump is a racist slob who disgraces America

Of all the thousands of lies told by corrupt Donald John Trump in his disastrous presidency, the most blatant is his claim that “I am the least racist person in the world.”

Trump has been pushing such claims for years.  In 2011, he told CNN Tonight Anchor Don Lemon:

I want to tell you I am the least racist. I am a wonderful person as far as you would be concerned as to race.

Lemon knows better.  When Trump referred to African nations as “shithole countries,” Lemon opened his show with: “I’m Don Lemon. The president of the United States is racist. A lot of us already knew that.”

Trump’s racism is on full display today as he attacks House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md), and four liberal minority congresswomen in the House.  All five, of course, are not white.

Trump mentioned a break-in at Cummings’ home in Baltimore by tweeting: “Too bad!”  That brought Republicans Democrats out of the woodwork to censure Trump.

“This is so unnecessary,” responded Republican Nikki Haley in a tweet that included a “rolling eyes” icon.  She served as UN Ambassador for Trump for two years.

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill) told Trump his tweet was “so beneath the office you hold.”

“It’s childish, and yet it’s getting really old,” Kinzinger added in a tweet.

“Applauding a political opponent’s house getting robbed is impeachable, right?” said Democratic strategist Zac Petkanas. “Or it least worth of the 25th amendment?”

That amendment says a Cabinet can remove a president if they consider him incapacitated or unfit.  Unlikely, however, with Trump’s cabinet since many of them share his racist views.

Conservative writer David Frum called Trump’s comments “dangerous incitement.”

House majority leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland called out Trump’s “racist and dangerous rhetoric, which divides our communities and could lead to someone getting hurt.  Words have consequences.”

“Donald Trump is a racist,” says Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke, one of the Democrats seeking to oust America’s racist-in-chief.

When CNN’s Lemon questioned Democrat presidential contenders Tuesday night in on the televised debates, he noted that Trump “is pursuing a reelection strategy based in part by racial division.”

Lemon asked candidate and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn)”  “What do you say to those Trump voters who prioritize the economy over the president’s bigotry?”

Such questions resulted in a Twitter rant some Trump:

CNN’s Don Lemon, the dumbest man on television, insinuated last night while asking a debate ‘question’ that I was a racist, when in fact I am ‘the least racist person in the world. Perhaps someone should explain to Don that he is supposed to be neutral, unbiased & fair, or is he too dumb (stupid) to understand that.

Nothing to explain.  Lemon is telling the truth while Trump lies.

Donald Trump is a racist.  He is a bigot who spouts verbal diarrhea whenever he opens his mouth.  His ever-expanding girth spills out over his belt like the blob that he is.

He’s a guttural racist slob, a disgusting white supremacist whose hate disgraces the presidency and America.

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

Partisanship must never trump patriotism

“I am not a member of any organized political party,” humorist Will Rogers often said.  “I am a Democrat.”

Those who have watched or listened to the first set of Democratic debates in the 2020 presidential campaign or watched the catfights between Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and a group of left-leaning freshmen members of her party in Congress can easily see what Rogers meant.

If the party of the jackass, or donkey, wants to have a real chance of unseating the scandal-prone and racist Republican president Donald Trump, they need to stop fighting each other and enough common ground to wage what should be the primary fight.

Should they?  Yes.  Will they?  Probably not.

Perhaps Trump will self-destruct with his latest rounds of race-baiting bigotry and hate but there seems to be enough racists and haters among voters to give him the votes he needs next year to win re-election.

Or maybe enough voters who possess enough common sense and a desire to put the country ahead of politics will actually vote next year to restore some sense of normalcy to America and its government.

It would help if Democratic primary voters choose an acceptable moderate to help galvanize those who vote in the general election to dump Trump.

Does America have enough voters who aren’t controlled by hate, white supremacy and racism?  Polls say yes, but those are polls from the same folks who told us Trump didn’t have a chance of winning in 2016.  Of course, it didn’t help that many of those who did vote that year let outright hatred of Hillary Clinton and leftover resentment of her philandering husband overcome reason.

So they turned to a lies-spouting con man who brags about grabbing his sexual conquests by their, well, you know where.

Trump’s very existence in the White House defies all of what used to be the norms of even the hypocrisy of politics.

Evangelicals and other fundamentalists religious “leaders” openly support a man who brags openly about his lifestyle of adultery and rampant sexual abuse and perversion.

Republicans, who used to claim they were the party of balanced budgets, now flock like cult followers to a president who ignores financial prudence and is plunging the nation into record levels of deficits.

The nation’s Justice Department, now run by a partisan Trump appointee who puts blind loyalty above the law, sits idly by while Trump loots the federal treasury to fatten his bank accounts and increase profits on his hotel properties by ignoring the emoluments law that is supposed to stop that sort of thievery.

Congress, controlled completely by Trump’s current political party in his first two years as president and still in control of the Senate, does nothing when he or members of his administration ignores the laws of the land.

Senior advisor Kellyanne Conway got caught violating the “Hatch Act” that forbids blatant political posturing in the White House, Trump said he doesn’t agree with the law and let her actions slide.  Others in his administration have done worse but he says he’s president and can do whatever he wants and Congress just nods and goes along.

Osama bin Laden, the late leader of al-Qaeda and mastermind of the 9-11 attacks, said his goals were to “destroy America and its way of life.”

He disrupted our way of life but did not destroy us.

Donald Trump is another terror who wants to destroy America.  He is a domestic terrorist who is also president, which gives him the power to kill this nation.  He cozies up to enemies of America — Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and North Korean madman Kim Jong-un — while insulting and alienating long-time allies.

An increasing number of Americans wonder if the nation’s current president is a traitor.  Ethically, he is.  Legally may depend on whether or not the prosecutor is a partisan or a patriot.

Republican leader/Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mcconnel is now known as “Moscow Mitch” because he keeps killing any attempts to try and secure the 2020 election from Russian interference.  Such interference helped elect Trump and other Republicans in 2016.

“Mitch McConnel is a Russian asset,” read the headline of a column by Dana Milbank of The Washington Post.

Milbank adds:

Let’s call this what it is: unpatriotic. The Kentucky Republican is, arguably more than any other American, doing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bidding.

That correct assessment by Milbank sent McConnell into a tirade but he’s also using it to raise money from Republicans who think like him.

Milbank’s observations could be said of any partisan who puts his or her “party” ahead of patriotism and true service to this country.

A sticker on the back of my motorcycle helmets expresses how I feel:

I am not a Democrat.

I am not a Republican.

I am an American.

There is a difference.

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

The Liar-in-Chief is destroying America

My 23 years in our nation’s capital gives one a perspective on what does or does not work in government.

Washington, DC, is — for better or worse — a microcosm of the nation it purports to both represent and govern.

When the national capital region works, the nation thrives and feels proud.

When it doesn’t, America turns into a chaotic, nasty place.

Which is exactly what America is today.

Mass shootings have become a normal part of American life.

So has racism and bigotry.

Both have always been part of a sub-culture just below the surface of American life but now dominates discussions and actions fare too often in what should be a “civilized” society.

Much of this can be attributed to an opportunistic president who thrives on spreading hate and fear.

In more than 50 years of either covering government as a newspaperman or working within it as a political operative, I have never seen such a contemptible leader of our nation.

“President Trump tries to undermine its constitutional right and responsibility to oversee the executive branch,” writes former Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan. “His cavalier refusal to provide information requested by Congress has dangerously upended the careful architecture of the Constitution, and the nation will pay a price for his recklessness if he succeeds.”

Fact-checking services, perhaps the only “growth industry” in today’s America, have tabulated more than 10,000 lies by America’s current president.

His is a liar by nature, a con man by profession and an accidental president elected by the politically-stacked electoral college after losing the popular vote by the largest margin in history — more than three million votes.

“Donald Trump’s dirtbag machinations are driven by insane vanity,” says columnist Maureen Dowd. “The First Narcissist’s all-consuming blend of braggadocio and insecurity has turned Washington and its rickety institutions into a dystopian outpost of his id.”

She adds:

President Trump obstructed on nearly every page of Volume II of the Mueller report, even though Robert Mueller was too lost in legalese to throw the book at him. The report counts as the Worst Exoneration Ever, replete with incrimination. And Trump’s motivation for trying to subvert justice and turn the White House into a writhing nest of liars? His ego.

Former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, a member of the same Republican party that claims Trump as their own, calls Trump’s rhetoric “the textbook definition of a racist comment.”

“He has a pattern of racism that goes deeper than his campaign and time in office,” writes Atlantic magazine writer Vann R. Newkirk II. “At this point, open bigotry seems to be the substance of much of his engagement with people of color.”

The U.S. Department of Justice has cited Trump’s companies with housing discrimination against African-American renters. He settled the lawsuit out of court.

“Donald Trump is a racist,” write David Leonhardt and Ian Prasad Philbrick in The New York Times. “He talks about and treats people differently based on their race. He has done so for years, and he is still doing so.”

They add:

“His political rise was built on promulgating the lie that the nation’s first black president was born in Kenya. He then launched his campaign with a speech describing Mexicans as rapists.”

“No, I’m not a racist,” Trump told reporters in West Palm Beach, Fla. “I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed.” Of course, these comments come from the man who claimed he had “facts” to prove Barack Obama was born in Kenya and not in America and continued to make the claim after it was proven wrong.

He told voters in the 2016 election that they should support him because “I will always tell you the truth.”

Fact checkers have documented more than 10,000 lies by him since he became president and the list continues to grow. _______________________________________________________ Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

Warning to Trump: Your reign of terror is coming to an end

Donald Trump: Shouting lies and revealing his insanity.

Beleaguered president Donald Trump claims the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller “totally exonerate” him of suspected criminal activity in the White House.

As might be expected the most distasteful, corrupt, twisted and immoral leader this country has ever suffered, that claim is just another lie from a pathological liar who, sadly, occupies the White House.

I way that as someone who once worked as a political operative for the party of Trump, a party disgraced beyond repair by a the crook it accepts as its leader.

For a dozen years (1981-93), I “served” (a questionable action to be sure) the GOP in various functions to run Congressional offices as a chief of staff, promote their actions as a press secretary, provide political strategy for elections and worked for two GOP presidents (Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush) before topping that questionable list by running the nation’s largest political action committee (as division vice president for the National Association of Realtors).

I had come to Washington in 1981 to become press secretary to Republican Rep. Paul Findley of Illinois.  By 1983, I was chief of staff for GOP Congressman Dan Burton of Indiana.  I had left what I thought was an “honorable profession” as a newspaperman of 17 years — first for The Roanoke Times in Virginia and later The Telegraph of Alton, Illinois in the St. Louis metro area.

Originally, i called the trip to the nation’s capital a “sabbatical” to help me understand more about how Washington worked so I could take that knowledge back to newspapers to make me a better reporter.  “Two years or so,”I promised, “and then I go back to the real world.”

Instead, the unreal world of politics and Washington gave me a sordid education on how power and money corrupts and corrupts absolutely.  Returning to the journalistic world would require taking the first top towards sobriety through Alcoholics Anonymous and a determination to report truth rather than support the perjury of politics in the governing of America.

In less than two months, I hope to celebrate 25 years of sobriety and re-energize a commitment to expose the desecration of America by con artists like Donald John Trump.

Consider what the America of Trump has become:  A place where hate replaces hope, where racism destroys reason and lies displace learning.

Trump tweets lies and distortion in a hateful attack on a Muslim member of Congress and his hate-driven cult of followers cheer.  Fact checkers, a growth industry in the age of Trump, find a president who lies publicly more than 15 times a day.

He hides his tax returns — a first for a modern president — because he knows that they will show he lies about his claimed net worth and they will show his money comes from questionable sources.

His is a racist who praises white supremacists and encourages violence against those who support tolerance and compassion.

Enough.  As a newspaperman who learned, the hard way, how the corruption of power consumes us, I say it is time to declare war on the likes of Trump, his party of political corruption and the culture that spawned and supports him.

On this day after many Americans found — sadly — that Trump’s promised “tax cuts” did not help most of them but instead left them in an even deeper financial hole, it is past time to drive this demonic son-of-a-bitch from office by legal — but harsh if necessary — means,

Get ready, your bloated bastard.  Justice is coming.

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

 

Declaring war on Trump and Republican racism

What Trump gave America was what he is: A racist.

America today is more divided than at any point of its history since the Civil War and the hate seeps out of the toxic minds of those who want a land where white bigots dominate and anyone else must hide in fear.

Racism thrives in a divided government in Washington and a volatile combination of hate and fear of economic uncertainty after the Great Recession.

America’s racism rebirth came in 2008 with Barack Obama’s election as president.  For many, his victory signaled hope for a nation that killed many of its own men, women and children in a Civil War that tore the country apart.

But while millions cheered Obama, others saw him as a powder keg to rally white supremacists.  Racism created the Tea Party and used divisions that have existed since America’s birth to spread fear and encourage hate of anyone who wasn’t white, Anglo-saxon and protestant.

In just the eight years between 2008 and 2016, America went from being a nation of hope to a racist land where hate and bigotry dominates our government, our culture and our way of life.

“An era that started with hope and change had how become one of unapologetic hate,” reports CNN.

Reported the network in 2018:

The hate created two Americas. Two realities. Split-screen reactions to the same events, that continued and were exacerbated with President Trump’s victory and time in office.

When a gunman massacred nine people praying at a predominantly black church, America wept and asked for grace. But the virulent racists cheered, hailing the gunman a hero for helping to start the race war they dreamed of.

When much of America was horrified by the sight of neo-Nazis in their streets in 2017, white supremacists were almost gleeful their views were front and center.

And when a gunman stormed into a synagogue, declaring “all Jews must die,” Americans wept over the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in US history. But white supremacists breathed a sigh of relief. One of their biggest targets had been successfully attacked.

“We have a black man in the White House and you need to do something about it,” gloated Ken Parker, a Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon and neo-Nazi shortly after Obama took office in 2009.  “We would even joke amongst ourselves, we’re going to send President Obama an honorary membership to he the Klan because he’s our biggest recruiting tool.’

Tea Party extremism

At Tea Party rallies their members displayed signs with photoshopped images of Obama as a witch doctor.They called then first lady Michelle Obama “an ape in heels.”

In New York City, real estate tycoon and reality show host Donald Trump called Obama “Muslim’ and questioned his citizenship, saying the president was not born in America.

He used both of those dishonest claims often after his announced his plans to run for president.  He called Mexicans “rapists” and “murderers” and denigrated his opponents with slurs and insults.

White supremacists and racists cheered his outlandish behavior.  They had found an ally.  Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, now headed for prison for multiple crimes, would later testify that Trump never expected to win the election.  He ran to try to help his business.

As a businessman, Trump proved his racism.  Federal authorities fined him often for housing discrimination.  When he owned casinos, managers of the establishments would later testify that Trump ordered them to remove any minority employees from areas where Trump and his wife would dine or play.  He ordered a black accountant fired because “you just can’t trust such people.”

As president, he referred to African nations as “shithole countries” and surrounded himself with a lily-white staff.  He called the white supremacists who brought violence to Charlottesville “fine people” and repeatedly refused to disown the support and embrace of racist groups.

Trump did not create America’s racism, but he gave it a bigger stage as president because he is one of them — a racist and bigot who uses hate to fuel his base.

He claimed he would “make America great again.”  Instead he is destroying it.  He, and those who support him, turned America from a nation that thrived into one that died.

Today, we live in one of the two parts of a divided America.  That division, for the first time in my 71+ years on this third rock from the sun, leaves me an ashamed American.

We could leave, as may others have done or might do, but we don’t run.  We will stay and fight to restore the America that we knew and loved.

We will work with other Americans to get them to the polls to rid our crippled nation of the racist in the White House and the too many other racists and bigots in Congress.  As a political operative, I won 95 percent of my races.

Stand with us or stand aside.  This is war.

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

Gingrich: Hate-filled Speaker who made Trump possible

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

With the death of at least 49 people in two Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand this week by a self-declared white nationalist whose manifesto praised American president Donald Trump for helping such racism expand around the world, the quick reaction is to blame Trump for the terrorism and murders.

Trump is a beneficiary of white nationalism and used racism and bigotry to win the White House in 2016 but the hate that spilled out over social media from the killer in New Zealand existed long before Trump became a cancer on our government.

Trump’s hatred of Islam and Muslims is well documented.  He claimed, falsely, that he saw “thousands of Muslims” in New Jersey cheering on video when the Twin Towers in New York fell on September 11, 2011.  No such cheering occurred and the video did not exist.

He has tried outright to ban Muslims in bulk from immigrating to the United States.  He embraced the white nationalists who brought violence and death to Charlottesville during a protest over removal of Confederate statues.

His racism is both well-known and documented.  His company has a long history of fines for racial discrimination in handling of properties.  Manages at his Casinos were ordered to keep African-American employees away from his and his nude modeling wife during their visits.

He calls African countries “shitholes.”

Trump played the inbred racism of Republicans and angry unemployed voters to give him the votes he needed to pull off his upset win in the 2016 presidential election.

Racist organizations praise his presidency and white nationalists say his actions helped bring them “out in the open” and “to the forefront” of what is happening in America today.

Nihad Awad, the National Executive Director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, says the killing of at least 49 people in a mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques was “inspired by hate mongers in the United States” and he singles out Trump as a major player in that hate.

Yes, Trump thrives on hate.  So does the rapid right-wing that controls the Republican Party today.  Their hate took control of Congress in 1994 when rising GOP Georgia Congressman Newt Gingrich promoted his lies-filled “Contract With America” with promises of term-limits and other needed reforms to fuel the Republican takeover of Congress in that year’s election.

Gingrich abandoned term limits as one of his first actions as the new Speaker in the House in 1995.  He promised an end to padding legislation with lavish pork-barrel projects and then loaded an expensive transportation with ultra-expensive projects for Republicans.

Gingrich put an end to legislative compromises and bi-partisanship and implemented a “our way or the highway” Congress.

Gingrich, like Trump, screwed around a lot.  He dumped his first wife to marry a mistress, then dumped her to marry another mistress.

Gingrich, much more than Trump, created the current right-wing leadership of the GOP.  During the failed impeachment of then President Bill Clinton, Gingrich assailed the “immorality” of a president who had an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky while the Speaker was bedding an Agriculture Committee staffer who is now his wife.

Gingrich shutdown the government because he didn’t like where he was seated on Air Force One on a trip.

And his mistress back in the 1990s?  She is now the American enjoy to the Vatican, an appointment by Trump as a gift to her husband, Newt Gingrich.

Hate, white nationalism, racism and bigotry has been part of America for too long.  Newt Gingrich made it part of the way Congress works as his sole “accomplishment” as Speaker of the House, starting in 1994.

His actions fueled a tragic transformation in Washington that laid the foundation for someone like Donald Trump becoming president.

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

Trump’s existence: America’s real ‘national emergency’

Started thinking about a new column on an unhinged Donald John Trump using his lost-cause border wall to declare a “national emergency” so he can divert funds from various places without Congressional overnight or approval.

The real national emergency, I feel, is the presence of Trump in the White House.

Eugene Robinson said it best:

We have a national emergency, all right. Its name is Donald Trump, and it is a force of mindless, pointless disruption.

The president’s decision to officially declare an emergency — to pretend to build an unbuildable border wall — is not only an act of constitutional vandalism. It is also an act of cowardice, a way to avoid the wrath of Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the far-right commentariat.

It is an end run around Congress and, as such, constitutes a violation of his oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” — which gives Congress, not the president, the authority to decide how public money is spent. It does not give Trump the right to fund projects that Congress will not approve. Authoritarian leaders do that sort of thing. The puffed-up wannabe strongman now living in the White House is giving it a try.

Gene Robinson is a great columnist and can say it far better than I.  I’m sure others will join in.  Donald Trump is a disaster as a president, a film-flam con artist who deserves to be in jail, not the White House.

And, be fair, let’s throw Coulter and Limbaugh into the pokey with him.

Robinson continues:

What the administration really needs to do is expand and improve facilities for processing, caring for and, when necessary, housing these asylum seekers. But Trump doesn’t care about doing the right thing, or even the necessary thing. He cares only about being able to claim he is following through on his vicious anti-immigration rhetoric, which brands Mexican would-be migrants as “rapists” and Central Americans as members of the MS-13 street gang.

Trump had two years in which Republicans controlled both the House and the Senate — and could not persuade Congress to give him funding for a wall. He decided to make it an issue only after Democrats won the power to say no. The president’s negotiating strategy — pitching tantrums, walking away from the table, venting on Twitter, provoking the longest partial government shutdown in history — was never going to work. You might think he would have learned something about how Washington works by now, but you would be wrong.

Editorializes The Washington Post:

ADMITTEDLY, IT is an overworked trope. “Imagine how Republicans would have responded if Barack Obama had tried this!” Democrats exclaim at each fresh outrage. In the case of President Trump’s plan to declare an emergency to build a border wall, it is certainly apt; the Freedom Caucus (including Mick Mulvaney, now Mr. Trump’s acting chief of staff) would have been apoplectic. But in considering this phony emergency conjured cynically for electoral advantage, it is more apt to imagine the future than the past.

Imagine indeed if, two years from now, a President Booker, Harris, Warren or Bennet, seizing on the Parkland massacre’s anniversary, invoked emergency powers to halt the killing of innocents — by banning the sale of semiautomatic weapons, imposing uniform background checks for gun purchases or levying a stiff federal surtax on the sale of gun parts and ammunition.

If an emergency can be manufactured over border security when illegal border crossings are near a 20-year low, as measured by Border Patrol arrests, then it’s a snap to make the case for an emergency over gun deaths, which are near a 20-year high.

Sadly, wannabe GOP leaders like McConnell walked away from their conscience and the nation a long time ago.  They sold out their country for an alliance with a craven opportunist who values nothing but his own ego and whatever he can steal from American treasury and the taxpayers.

Donald Trump’s very existence is a national emergency that threatens America.  He threatens our national survival.  He is a traitor on so many levels.

Writes conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin:

It speaks volumes about Trump’s self-absorption that in order to win back praise from right-wing cranks at Fox News and elsewhere, he is willing to hobble his own plan, damage its future prospects and, oh yes, shred the Constitution. It’s once again all about Trump, Trump’s ego and Trump’s need for reaffirmation.

Trump, aided and abetted by McConnell, reveals himself (again) to be deeply hostile to the Constitution. His party, in the hands of Trump supplicants like McConnell, forfeits its role as defenders of the rule of law, separation of powers and limited government. If there is a silver lining, it is that Trump is helping forge an impressive alliance of Republicans, Democrats and independents who are committed to thwarting his authoritarian impulses.

Too many so-called “representatives of the people” in Washington became cowards and complicit accomplices of Trump and his corrupt, criminal cabal.

Opinion writer Timothy Egan of The New York Times says “Democracy ends in euphemism.” He adds:

Trump is downgrading “national emergency” from something that comes with a siren for a soundtrack to just another term for cheap political expediency.

It used to be a big deal for a reputable news organization to flat out call the president a liar. Now, liar must be the most-used descriptor linked to this president. It’s also the right word. But “liar” has lost its sting, because Trump clearly doesn’t care about telling the truth. As a journalist, I’d get in more trouble if I said the president is fat — my bad, I mean plus-sized.

— so much so that it took an acclaimed Hollywood actor to put Trump into proper perspective.

Robert De Niro said it best.

Amen Robert.

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue