Category: Trump

On Trump’s latest executive order

From a post I just made on Facebook:

(I used a conservative source, The Hill, so no one could complain I was getting this from the librul media.)

I remember, back in 1994, a school board in Texas wanted to do this very thing. I remember Pat Robertson praising them. I remember thinking I’d been so wrong about Pat Robertson all those years, that he truly was a racist and was preaching poison. Now Trump is doing what that Texas board wanted to do, only trying to force the entire nation to teach this white-washed, racist version of history to the youth. Not surprisingly, “Trump Youth” and “Hitler Youth” are trending on Twitter right now.

Meanwhile, Trump is doing his usual politics of division, telling people that liberals are trying to destroy the country. Every day with this clown in office, I get more and more worried that one day my views are going to be illegal.

It’s sickening to hear Trump, a white supremacist, twist the words of Martin Luther King, using his name in vain, projecting onto the left what Trump himself is doing.

The efforts of so many over the years to bring full equality to this country, are finally bearing fruit–so Trump is trying to erase it overnight. This is what conservatism has done over and over again throughout history: Reformers come along, start to make real change that improves the lives of everyone, so conservatives wipe it all out again and go back to the way things were. This is one of many reasons why I abandoned the GOP some 15 years ago.

Some groups think Trump is the Messiah?

So I’m checking out the blog of a fundamentalist who claims that Trump is indeed the Antichrist at the End of the World–not sure whether to believe, but curious how he counters objections and explains his points.  Then I come across this:

But nevertheless, Orthodox Jews do believe their messiah will be Jewish and of the house of David – which is true of the True Messiah, Jesus. But they do not recognize Jesus, and so they still search for their Jewish messiah, a false christ, the Antichrist. Please watch my video.. https://youtu.be/F-UxKCzsURI – This video observes that some Orthodox Jews are searching Donald Trump’s ancestry to find a link to King David. –Brother James, Misconception: Antichrist Will be Jewish and Not a Gentile

The video led me to this article in the Christian Post: Some Rabbis in Israel Believe Trump Could Be Messiah or His Forerunner, End Times Author Says  Lots of crazyness is there; especially note this:

“We would say the second coming is about to happen, but their messiah is going to be a false messiah. He’s going to be the anti-Christ, right? I also don’t believe Donald Trump is the antichrist. So I think the smart ones in Israel are looking at him right now, saying, he is God’s, what we would call, John the Baptist. He is God’s messenger. When he takes over in January there is a 5777 countdown to the appearance of the messiah,” Horn added.

The Jerusalem Post reported last month that Shas Chairman and Minister Aryeh Deri said Trump’s election could herald the coming of the messiah due to the blow he expects the next president will strike against the “non-Orthodox Jewish hold on the U.S. government.”

(So–If Trump is the forerunner, could the messiah be–Putin?)

Some groups think Trump is the Messiah? 1

I checked the Jerusalem Post link and did a little googling, and there is indeed such a person as Deri making such claims about Trump.  Meanwhile, Netanyahu has been doing everything he can to benefit from friendship with Trump, which has been fulfilling his wishlist.  Netanyahu has been playing into Trump’s narcissism, even naming a Golan Heights settlement after him.  ABC News reports an Israeli group is selling a special-edition Trump coin.

From Henry Siegman’s What my escape from Hitler’s Germany taught me about Trump’s America:

Since its founding in 1948, Israel has presented itself to the world as an avatar of democracy and guardian of the moral truths the world needs to learn about the Holocaust. Yet its governmental leaders and a majority of its Jewish citizens—led by its prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu—have fully embraced Trump (as well, in some instances, as the authoritarian leaders embraced by Trump).

Giant posters and photographs of Trump were recently plastered on the streets and public places of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Declaring “Trump is a friend of Zion” and “Trump Make Israel Great,” they expressed adoration of the man who doubled down on his insistence on the moral equivalence of neo-Nazis in Charlottesville and the Americans who took to the streets to express their abhorrence of these racists and anti-Semites.

So I don’t know how pervasive a belief in Trump as the messiah/forerunner actually is in Israel.  But there are certainly groups pushing the idea.  And to see a malignant narcissist such as Trump–one of the worst people this world has ever produced–viewed as a messiah is frightening.  He has a lot in common with, say, Hitler or Nebuchadnezzar.  Many of us see him as far more likely to be the Antichrist at the End of the World.  Or at least one of many antichrists which have popped up throughout history.

Meanwhile, I keep finding various accounts that some Evangelicals don’t bother fighting climate change because they see it as the End of the World rapidly approaching–meaning Christians finally triumph over their enemies.

Whether you believe or not that the Bible truly prophesies the End of the World, complete with plagues and the Beast (Antichrist) and one-world government etc., many people do believe and behave accordingly.  And we have several facts in front of us.

One is that climate change is real and is already leading to catastrophe around the world: erosion, fires, mass extinctions, floods, extreme heat, extreme storms, etc.  People are already losing their homes and being forced to move because of it; animals and other creatures are also on the move.  I’ve seen reports that farmers know very well that climate change is real, because they’re being forced to change their practices.  With or without prophecy, climate change could lead to the End of the World if we do nothing about it.

Another fact is that some groups of people are venerating Trump for various reasons, making him into a god.

No matter what you believe about biblical prophecy, these are very dangerous factors that could turn the End of the World into a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I don’t know about you, but I’d rather fight back, not sit back and allow this to happen because of our own stupidity.

 

Trump, Putin, and the Antichrist

I was raised in premillennial dispensationalism during Rapture Fever. I’ve tried to set that all aside and be more amillennial, after much study and becoming Orthodox–but those alarm bells keep going off these days.  Many people have been wondering if Trump is actually the Antichrist, if maybe it’s time to take those End of the World predictions seriously after all.

It even trended on Twitter a while back, not seriously but jokingly–though some people pointed out alarming prophecies that sounded like him.  Shortly after, I tweeted that Trump can’t be the Antichrist if he gets impeached.  But then he said we were pulling out of Syria, and I tweeted that I take that back because here he goes and sparks Armageddon: His actions allowed captured ISIS members to escape, and Turkey and Putin to get what they wanted in Syria–along with one of our military bases.

However, Putin seems a more likely contender for the Antichrist, with the Russian Orthodox Church as his Prophet.

Trump may be too much of a puppet of other nations to be the Antichrist, too easily manipulated by Putin, Erdogan, the leaders of Saudi Arabia, etc.  Putin’s definitely smarter than Trump, and he’s got the Russian Orthodox Church in his pocket (the Prophet).  The last two patriarchs are rumored to have been KGB agents.  The church blesses nuclear weapons, and separated from the rest of us when the Ecumenical Patriarch allowed the Ukrainians to form their own church separate from Russia.  Putin’s tentacles have been reaching all over–all documented as truth, and not conspiracy theories, by intelligence agencies of various countries.

He’s even got members of the GOP doing what he wants, along with Trump.  We see signs of this in both the Mueller Report and the Ukrainian debacle, along with reports in the news of politicians being benefited by Russians, Saudis, and others.

(Such as, McConnell is accused of allowing the end of sanctions against companies owned by an oligarch named in the Mueller Report–so that one of those companies could build in Kentucky.  Also, a group of aides and former officials are accused of working around Congress in a potentially illegal deal to get nuclear power to Saudi Arabia–and fill the pockets of many.)

GOP House members have been pushing conspiracy theories that are confirmed by government officials (particularly Fiona Hill in the latest Impeachment Hearing) to have come straight from Russia’s propaganda machine, his cyber war to turn the West against Ukraine and weaken NATO.  The biggest proponents of these conspiracy theories in the hearings included Nunes and Jordan, trying to shout down and ridicule and silence witnesses and House reps who told the truth.

Through Trump, American Evangelicals are falling into Putin’s trap as well, supporting Putin’s own tool to bring down our democracy.

As an amillennialist and preterist, I believe that the events commonly attributed by dispensationalists to the End Times refer to events that have already happened in history, either before or after the apocalyptic books (Daniel, Revelations) were written.  Also, that several events referred to by Jesus happened in AD 70, when Jerusalem was besieged with devastating results.  (Josephus describes the horrific events, complete with cannibalism.)

But the Bible also refers to antichrists not as a one-time event, but as a spirit that continually emerges.  A good run-down of the various interpretations is here.  My studies, including of Orthodox interpretation, have led me to believe that the prophecies refer to things that have happened, and things that will continue to happen.  I thought we didn’t hold to any part of premillennial dispensationalism, but some Orthodox sources say the prophecies refer to the End Times as well.

So you can say that Antiochus Epiphanes was an antichrist.  Nebuchadnezzar was an antichrist.  Caligula was an antichrist.  Hitler is the most obvious antichrist of the twentieth century, with the state-supported church as his prophet, bringing the whole world into Armageddon, then finally defeated.  But he’s certainly not the only one even of that century.  Soviet Russia was full of the spirit of antichrist.  Communist China is also filled with the spirit of antichrist.

Trump is shaping up to be an antichrist of the 21st century, throwing our government into disarray, systematically setting himself up as a dictator until nobody is left around him but sycophants and justices who’ll do what he wants.  The great irony is that Evangelicals, after spending decades warning us of the Antichrist, didn’t recognize him and are now worshipping him, becoming his Prophet.

But there are many people in power now who qualify as an antichrist: Putin, Kim Jong-Un, Erdogan, Orban; the crown prince of Saudi Arabia is certainly shaping up to be one.  Trump is doing his best, but we still have the workings of democracy trying to get him in check.  But are any of these the Antichrist at the End of the World?

That one can’t be answered until it happens.  However, there are some significant elements now in the world that make it possible: Climate change, for one.  We’re getting countless accounts from scientists warning us that the clock is ticking and if we don’t make drastic changes, we could soon see the end of human life on Earth.  This has been going on since the Industrial Revolution, but never faster than now.  Yet governments keep ignoring the warning signs because their fat cats don’t want to lose money.  Another element is the computer age.  Putin has been infiltrating the elections of various NATO countries not with the military, but with the Internet.  He’s found it easy to manipulate millions through Twitter bots, not just in America but in the UK and probably other countries as well.  There are ridiculous, unfounded rumors of body counts around the Clintons, but there are actual body counts piling up around Putin.

But then again, throughout history, antichrists keep meeting their end.  They all die eventually, after all–often prematurely.  Hitler met a spectacular end–like the hand of God–that led to the destruction of Nazi Germany and the deaths of many of the people in charge.  Kingdoms and empires are strong for a time, but always fall eventually, sometimes thanks to people rising up and fighting back.  We may still turn climate change around.  Trump is most definitely going to be impeached; there are many reports of his health deteriorating, and if enough people speak out, the GOP Senate could very well change their minds about removing him.  Putin could meet his own end in one way or another, or we NATO countries could finally win the cyber war.

Ever since my teens, I’ve seen various predictions of the End of the World from Christian “prophets” who turned out to be wrong.  I don’t want to say we are definitely heading into the End Times only to find out nope, wrong again.  Maybe, like every time before, the antichrist will fall but the world will keep turning.  But we do need to keep an eye out for the spirit of antichrist, and take care not to fall into his trap–whether he is “an antichrist” or “THE Antichrist.”

Update 12/30/19: This is not specifically an “endorsement” because I haven’t checked out the site/videos yet.  But here’s somebody who is convinced that Trump is the Antichrist: Brother James Key

Update 6/23/20: Benjamin Corey, a “former fundie” who starts out planning to make light of the whole thing, ends up, as he puts it, “unsettled” by what he finds in biblical prophecy, here.  He updated his post a few weeks ago; things have happened since he originally wrote it that are alarming (such as COVID-19 and events during the BLM protests) and add more support to the idea that Trump could be an antichrist–or even the Antichrist.

Running commentary on yesterday’s impeachment hearing

Yesterday, I posted a running commentary on Twitter while watching the Yovanovitch hearing.

This is what I posted, in text form because there’s no good way to embed 25 tweets from a thread.  I’ll expand abbreviations, because tweets don’t allow for more than 240 characters, and add some interjections here and there:

1) Just started watching the next testimony on C-Span….Skipping past Nunes’ Nunesense…..

2) And the GOP is doing their best to turn this into a clown show and act surprised when Schiff shuts them down.

3) My birdies approve of Yovanovitch’s voice.

4) Ever notice how Trump keeps saying he’s allowed to do things–but not whether they’re morally correct?

5) There’s so much corruption in the GOP–from local to national–that there’s no way I can see myself voting for a Republican again for the rest of my life–without some major housecleaning.

6) Beginning to wonder if the GOP strategy is to say that everything except the July 25 call itself is irrelevant–making the quid pro quo the be-all end-all. But that’s not the case at all.

7) Um–Rep Stewart, it has been PROVEN! [Russian collusion] It’s not ridiculous–It’s FACT! And yes, there was collusion. Did you not notice [Roger] Stone got convicted today?

[Also note that Stewart merely asked if Yovanovitch had any information regarding Trump’s criminal activity.  Just because SHE has none, doesn’t mean he’s innocent of all charges.  It only means that SHE has none.  Yet he twisted it into proving Trump is innocent of all charges.  He also asked if Trump *accepted* a bribe, not if he *offered* one, yet twisted her answer into meaning that Trump is innocent of bribery.  Just shows the mind game the GOP establishment has been playing on the American people.]

[To “The American people know this is nonsense. The American people know this is unfair”: ]
8) The American people know that Rep Stewart is full of 🐂💩

9) The GOP keeps trying to bring in their conspiracy theory 🐂💩but Schiff keeps shutting them down and they get whiny complainey.

10) And Quigley brings in some levity, while pointing out that things didn’t end all hunky-dory making everything that happened before to the ambassador okay.

11) Yovanovitch’s response to [Sondland’s suggestion of] praising Trump via tweet to keep her job: that’s 🐂💩 (yeah, I’m having fun with emojis, lol)

12) uh-oh Stefanik again with more conspiracy 🐂💩

13) Geez….The GOP keeps insisting on bringing in the whistleblower. Those are TWO MONTH OLD articles [in which Schiff spoke of bringing in the whistleblower to Congress]. Things have changed: ie, now the whistleblower’s life is at stake because Trump put a target on his head. And the GOP is trying to give Trump the gun.

14) The whistleblower IS NO LONGER RELEVANT. You have the many witnesses proving what he said. WHEN I REPORTED MY EX-FRIENDS FOR CHILD ABUSE, NOBODY CONTACTED ME TO BACK IT UP. THEY DID THEIR OWN INVESTIGATION ON THE FACTS & LEFT ME OUT OF IT. That’s how it works.

15) The only abuse of power is coming from the frickin’ GOP.

[Rep Jordan complained that four transcripts have not yet been released to the public for the American people to see:]
16) And, you know what, Jordan, the American people could really use the unredacted Mueller Report.

[Jordan complained with faux outrage that Ukrainians complained about Trump while he was a candidate, and that Yovanovitch said nothing to them about it.  She responded, “I think from my point of view, that doesn’t — that doesn’t create a Ukrainian government strategy to interfere in our elections.  So I would just say that, you know, U.S. politicians will often criticize policies of foreign — foreign counterparts, even perhaps during their elections. You know, this happens in politics and I think that it doesn’t necessarily constitute interference.”]

17) To Jordan’s questions: So officials of other countries aren’t allowed opinions, especially for a candidate [not elected yet]?

18) So nobody in Ukraine was supposed to prefer one candidate over another, especially where their own interests were concerned?

19) So if I say it’s stupid to vote in Boris Johnson, or for Brexit, am I now “interfering” with Britain’s elections?

20) So Jordan expects that the ambassador from a land of FREE SPEECH should tell Ukrainians WHAT THEY SHOULD THINK?

21) Near the end, some key points: There was a 1-month gap between ambassadors to Ukraine [Yovanovitch and then Taylor]. During that time, Trump tells Sondland and others to talk to Rudy about Ukraine. Parnas & Fruman [“Lev and Igor”] tried to open a natural gas company in Ukraine; at noon today, we hear that feds are investigating Rudy for planning to profit from that natural gas company.

22)

[To Nunes saying that this impeachment hearing “is an embarrassment”: ]
23) Yes, Nunes, you are an embarrassment.

24) I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if others stood to benefit from the Parnas and Fruman natural gas company: Nunes, Ratcliffe, Jordan, Stefanik, McConnell, Graham, etc. It would explain a lot.

After this, I posted:

Funny thing is I saw a guy in that audience who reminded me of Richard, except he has blond hair–and he was applauding.  It made me wonder if it was him.  Except it seems to me Richard wouldn’t be applauding, unless he’s actually broken free of the Trump worship on the right, like Amash did.

The transcript for the hearing is now out here.

 

Seth Abramson’s Proof of Conspiracy: A review

I just finished reading Seth Abramson’s Proof of Conspiracy: How Trump’s International Collusion Is Threatening American Democracy.

Seth Abramson's Proof of Conspiracy: A review 3

Seth Abramson has become known for posting looooong Twitter threads (I believe one had about 100 posts) on politics of the day.  In order to share them on Facebook, I had to resort to the Thread Reader unroller app, which turns long threads into blog posts to make them easier to read.  But of course, while what he says is shocking, you’ve gotta wonder how reliable it is.

So I picked up the Kindle version of Proof of Conspiracy, which came out just a few months ago, so I could check into this.  Contrary to the spin by the GOP, Abramson argues that the Mueller Report proved both collusion and conspiracy (this book is in tandem with a previous book, Proof of Collusion).  And since I’ve read the Mueller Report, along with documents and analyses, I can confirm Abramson’s conclusion.

Publishers Weekly writes:

[Proof of Conspiracy] alleges a ‘Red Sea Conspiracy’ hatched in 2015 by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates and then Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia. Their plan….was to illicitly help Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in order to gain his support for a ‘grand bargain’ that would end U.S. sanctions on Russia in exchange for Vladimir Putin’s help in evicting Iran from Syria, pave the way for dozens of new Saudi and Emirati nuclear plants, and forge an anti-Iranian, pro-Israeli military alliance among Sunni Arab nations….[CNN analyst Abramson] traces labyrinths of murky ‘ties,’ meetings, and business deals….[and offers] serious criticisms of Trump’s foreign policy, including his support of the Saudi regime’s brutal war in Yemen.

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been working through POC, finally finishing last night.  Right about the time I started it, Trump pulled troops out of Syria–and I began to see, right before me in the daily news, eerie confirmation of things I had only just read in Proof of Conspiracy.  Not just regarding Syria, but other issues as well that started coming to light during the impeachment inquiry, allegations being corroborated by witness testimony.  Names in Proof of Conspiracy started showing up in the news.  We learned new names as well, which traced back to and confirmed claims made in Proof of Conspiracy.

Another way to confirm the claims of the book is the extensive bibliography, which was a PDF posted on the Web instead of in the Kindle book.  I also downloaded it onto my Kindle, where I could click on the links and verify the articles whenever I felt the need.

Then at the end of the book, in the acknowledgements, I discovered that Abramson relied on four fact-checkers.  People complained that Michael Wolff didn’t fact-check Fire and Fury, making it unreliable, so it is a relief to see that Abramson did not repeat that mistake.

And what are the claims of the book?  That Trump’s presidency has not just been a series of blunders, but that Trump is being manipulated–through his greed and desire for power–by leaders of several Middle-Eastern countries in a Red Sea Conspiracy.  Every day, the news confirms that this isn’t just some wild theory.  It certainly explains the Putin and MBS high-five at the G20 last year, while Trump looked on jealously.  It helps explain why Trump would withdraw troops from Syria, to the objections of pretty much everybody, even his attack dog Lindsay Graham.  It also explains why Mueller said Israel–one of our closest allies–is threatening our 2020 election integrity.

Abramson notes how overwhelming it is for Americans to try to keep up with the news when there are so many different sources and so many stories; his book helps by pulling together those stories that most of us probably missed in our busy lives.  I certainly learned a lot of things that were covered a year or two ago in the media, but I missed, despite constantly checking the news since Trump was elected.  Abramson writes on page 561,

At the end of December 2018, the United States for the first time in its history became one of the five most dangerous nations in the world for journalists. We cross this dark threshold at a time when the nation’s journalistic ecosystem simultaneously produces too much quality investigative reporting for even the nation’s best analysts to synthesize; too little accountability for corporate journalism that places profits above ethics; too many stories where commitment to evenhandedness masks an unwillingness to render conventional journalistic and even moral judgments about truth and falsehood, integrity and moral degradation; and too little attention for innovations in the journalistic enterprise that might allow the profession to survive, even if generatively transformed, amid the bewildering transfigurations of a digitized and increasingly virtual (if too rarely virtuous) world.

…The New Yorker quotes Tamir Pardo, the director of Israel’s chief spy agency Mossad from 2011 to 2016, as saying of the Russian election-interference operation in 2016—which appears to have received significant assists from Israeli, Saudi, and Emirati entities—“It was the biggest Russian win ever. Without shooting one bullet, American society was torn apart.” Yet U.S. media still spends more time dissecting Trump’s tweets than seeking to curate the hundreds of major-media investigative reports from around the world that confirm that it is Trump who is, piece by piece, dissecting our nation’s foreign policy and domestic institutions.

This, by the way, also confirms a Facebook post written several years ago by a Ukrainian American friend I met on an Orthodox forum many years ago.  After the invasion, he wrote that it wasn’t just about Ukraine, that Putin would eventually come for us as well.  He thought it would be a military invasion, however, so a few weeks ago, I told him he was right–except that Putin had a much more clever way of toppling us.

Abramson writes on page 546,

The question, of course, has never been about what Donald Trump can or cannot resist. Rather, it has always been about what a society that values the rule of law is willing to tolerate. And more recently—since November 8, 2016—the question has been an even more dire one: What happens to a nation when it not only tolerates the worst excesses and degradations of the human condition but celebrates them? What happens when a once-great nation makes of its very worst instincts and proclivities a shudderingly grotesque political and cultural idol?

What we find when we train this sort of lens on a man like Donald Trump is that his desire to rule has always been co-extensive with his desire to accumulate. Indeed, the fact that, as president, Trump now wants to combine diplomacy with business—even if it threatens America’s national security—is clear.

In short, I recommend this book if you want to understand the strange events that keep going on in our nation and world these past several years.  It is also a warning of why we can’t afford to be complacent about politics in this country.

[Update: Shortly after I posted this, the author himself saw it and retweeted it, which made it go viral.  🙂 I can barely keep up with checking my stats….]

 

Seth Abramson's Proof of Conspiracy: A review
Seth Abramson's Proof of Conspiracy: A review 5

I just finished reading Seth Abramson's Proof of Conspiracy: How Trump's International Collusion Is Threatening American Democracy.

Editor's Rating:
5

Call it what it is: concentration camps. We are turning into Nazi Germany.

Despite having many friends these days, finding kindred spirits all over the place, and being far removed from the loneliness that made me feel dependent on ex-friend Richard’s friendship…there are times when I wish I could talk to him.  This is one of those times.

The news coming from the border keeps getting worse all the time.  One of Trump’s latest tweets (which I trolled) claimed that ICE will begin removing illegal aliens.  I saw this immediately after reading accounts that immigrants will soon be moved into military camps which can be blocked from media/Congress oversight.  And right after reading that some border guards have been using slurs for immigrants and calling them “subhuman” (you know, the meaning of Untermensch).  And soon after reading that the camps now being used can legitimately be called concentration camps.

As I tweeted to Trump,

Removed? To go where, exactly? Concentration camps? Are the death camps next???

The reason I’d want to pick Richard’s brain on this is that he himself was a border guard down there back in the 90s, and he–saw things, did things….This left him a shell of a man, along with at least one of his colleagues.  In the comments under Trump’s tweet, MAGAts are praising Trump and cheering what he’s doing–while I keep reading about the abuses and squalor these people are being subjected to.

It makes the blood run cold.

These are not criminals (they’re asylum seekers).  And even if they were, it’s still inhumane.

These are men, women and children.

But Richard–despite his other questionable stances that made my husband and me wonder if he had a heart (like saying “oh well” to the suffering his political ideas would bring on poor people)–was very much against abuse of immigrants.  He felt guilty for things he did as a border guard.

People these days casually say “shoot ’em!”–but this was the policy for a while, 20 years ago.  To tell border guards they can shoot women with children on sight, or to have citizens cheer on the idea–It’s disgusting.

I hope that Richard has not changed his mind about that.

Thoughts on the Mueller Report and Amash

Yes, I’ve read the Mueller Report.  I just finished it a few days ago, and now I’m reading some underlying documents published in the Washington Post’s e-book of the report.  It’s quite clear that Trump has committed offenses worthy of impeachment.

This is not the Bible or the Constitution, subject to interpretation based on your conservative or liberal leanings.  This is written literally, with legal analysis.  Mueller clearly lays out a number of incidents and whether or not they are obstruction (usually “yes”).

Also, he makes clear that he found no proof that the Trump campaign actively participated in the Russian hacking and influencing of the election–something which, also, the Mueller Report proves happened.  HOWEVER, some members of the campaign (Trump is up for question as well) tried to benefit from that.  They and the Russians were indeed in contact–and one Trump person even passed over polling data to the Russians.  Usually their efforts failed because of ineptitude etc.

Just as Trump’s attempts to obstruct also failed because people refused to follow his orders.  But you know, under the law, *attempting* to commit a crime and failing is still a crime.

The Trump Tower meeting was a setup by the Russians.  They lured in the Trump campaign with promises of dirt on Hillary, but they really wanted to talk about the Magnitsky Act, which upset Russia and led to their ban on Americans adopting Russian children.  (That’s where that “we just talked about adoption” thing came from.)

Mueller also made clear that his lack of indictment of a sitting President is only because the DOJ has this as a policy.  He also responded to one of the president’s lawyers, who argued that investigating a president is unconstitutional because it affects his ability to govern.  In a long and detailed explanation, Mueller argued that it is indeed constitutional to investigate a president.

Mueller also gave potential motives for Trump to try to obstruct the investigation, especially since he didn’t seem to actually be involved in colluding with the Russians.  Basically, that Trump fears what ELSE will come out, crimes committed by him and his family.

But don’t take my word for it–Read the report for yourself and see.

Trump has been behaving more and more like a guilty man all the time.  The more he fights to keep his finances and other activities under wraps, the more his actions scream that he has something to hide.

Do you really doubt this?  Trump has been a known shyster for DECADES.  This isn’t some figure of sterling character–This is Donald frickin’ Trump.  His malignant narcissism is no surprise.

He’s always been an icon of greed and self-worship.  None of his actions can be presumed to be for anybody’s interest but his own.  None of his promises to his supporters can be trusted.  It’s all for show, to bind them to him.  He weaves a spell over people just like narcissists do, then when their lackeys wake up to the truth and act against his interest, he turns on them like a wolf.

None of this is a surprise to those of us who have studied narcissism for years, so every time the press has acted surprised at his actions, I’ve thought, “You’re kidding, right?”

I’m also curious what Howard Stern, longtime friend of Trump’s, has to say about him now, after kind of defending him in the beginning.  He just came out with a new book, and says,

“Now here he is sitting in the Oval Office and flying around on Air Force One,” Stern writes in the introduction. “Two years into his first term, I’m still trying to wrap my brain around it. I feel like I’m living in an alternate reality…[B]elieve me, I’m as shocked as you are.” –Quoted in Daily Beast

He told Trump he couldn’t endorse him as President, and hasn’t heard from him since.  In a New York Times interview, he says Trump probably didn’t actually want or intend to be president–that it was probably a publicity stunt.  As most of us have already figured out, Stern traces Trump’s narcissism to his overbearing father.

And in the middle of all this, I discover a TEA Partier who I can actually like and respect, even if I wildly disagree with his policies: Justin Amash.  Here’s a man willing to stand up to everyone in his own party and be condemned by them, so he can tell the truth: that Trump has done actions worthy of impeachment.

Other Republicans and TEA Partiers–even Lindsey Graham, who used to be more of a truth-teller–have been closing ranks and showing no signs of actually reading the Report.  Or if they have, of trying to downplay it and pretend that it says what it doesn’t actually say.

McConnell is obstructing justice by refusing to give even bipartisan bills a hearing, while Graham uses a common tactic of narcissists and abusers: shouting down the whistleblowers.  The closer the Democrats get to the truth and justice, whether about this or Kavanaugh, the louder Graham shouts and screams and berates.

Which makes us wonder if the Russians have something on Graham, too.  McConnell’s home state, Kentucky, is getting a new factory from Oleg Deripaska, one of the oligarchs named in the Mueller Report.

History will not be kind to the Republican Party of our era.

That is, assuming the fascists don’t take over and make the history books say “all praise the GOP.”

But the GOP has been doing a lot to stir anger lately.  They seem to have forgotten that a large part of the country does not agree with them, that angry citizens turn into active voters.

This could tip either way: People keep expecting a “Reichstag Fire,” or fake crisis that Trump/the GOP use to fool the populace so they allow Trump to take ultimate power.  That’s what the Nazis did.  (Something like that also happened with the Patriot Act years ago, though that crisis was real.)

Or the side that sees through the GOP gaslighting and refuses to be fooled, could rise up.  We see signs of that as well, in the justice system, the voting booth, and House Democrats–though some feel they’ve been dragging their feet.

 

Holocaust Historian calls McConnell the Gravedigger of American Democracy

I can only hope that either this historian is wrong about the direction our country is heading–or that we will truly stop the progress of fascism in its tracks by a supposed “Blue Wave.”

The appointment of Kavanaugh despite huge and intense opposition has exposed yet more of the massive corruption in the GOP: Kavanaugh is a puppet, chosen for his ability to help Trump defy prosecution, while, at the 11th hour, Mitch McConnell threatened Collins into voting for him.  The FBI was forced by the White House to ignore some 40 corroborating witnesses in a merely nominal “investigation” for the sake of appearance, while we now have e-mail exchanges proving that Kavanaugh tried to keep his old classmates quiet.

We’ve been seeing these dirty politics and massive corruption for years in Wisconsin, ever since Walker got voted in, and now it’s happening at the federal level with the Trump regime.  Yet Christians have been duped into thinking the fat cats are somehow the “Christian” party, that the Democrats are the party of God-hating atheists.

A Holocaust historian, Christopher R. Browning, has written The Suffocation of Democracy, an essay for The New York Review of Books.  He compares our current political, economic, and cultural situation to that of the US and Germany between the world wars.

He compares Mitch McConnell to Paul Von Hindenburg, the president of Weimar Germany who made Hitler the chancellor.

He notes our similarities and differences to pre-Nazi Germany, but even the differences are alarming.  For example:

Upon his appointment as chancellor, Hitler immediately created a new Ministry of People’s Enlightenment and Propaganda under Joseph Goebbels, who remained one of his closest political advisers.

In Trump’s presidency, those functions have effectively been privatized in the form of Fox News and Sean Hannity. Fox faithfully trumpets the “alternative facts” of the Trump version of events, and in turn Trump frequently finds inspiration for his tweets and fantasy-filled statements from his daily monitoring of Fox commentators and his late-night phone calls with Hannity.

The result is the creation of a “Trump bubble” for his base to inhabit that is unrecognizable to viewers of PBSCNN, and MSNBC and readers of The Washington Post and The New York Times.

The highly critical free media not only provide no effective check on Trump’s ability to be a serial liar without political penalty; on the contrary, they provide yet another enemy around which to mobilize the grievances and resentments of his base. A free press does not have to be repressed when it can be rendered irrelevant and even exploited for political gain.

 

For another example, we have free elections and a Constitution, but the machinations of the GOP in Congress, gerrymandering, and voter suppression, have been making it practically impossible for Democrats to be elected or to get anything they want, no matter how much the voters protest, call, and write letters.  As I’ve noted repeatedly, if we write to a Republican Congressperson, we’ll probably be ignored with some form letter version of “Sorry, but you’re wrong and we’re doing what we want,” since they’re only concerned with their rich donors and constituents who agree with them.  As Browning writes:

If the US has someone whom historians will look back on as the gravedigger of American democracy, it is Mitch McConnell. He stoked the hyperpolarization of American politics to make the Obama presidency as dysfunctional and paralyzed as he possibly could.

As with parliamentary gridlock in Weimar, congressional gridlock in the US has diminished respect for democratic norms, allowing McConnell to trample them even more.

Nowhere is this vicious circle clearer than in the obliteration of traditional precedents concerning judicial appointments. Systematic obstruction of nominations in Obama’s first term provoked Democrats to scrap the filibuster for all but Supreme Court nominations.

Then McConnell’s unprecedented blocking of the Merrick Garland nomination required him in turn to scrap the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations in order to complete the “steal” of Antonin Scalia’s seat and confirm Neil Gorsuch. The extreme politicization of the judicial nomination process is once again on display in the current Kavanaugh hearings.

One can predict that henceforth no significant judicial appointments will be made when the presidency and the Senate are not controlled by the same party. McConnell and our dysfunctional and disrespected Congress have now ensured an increasingly dysfunctional and disrespected judiciary, and the constitutional balance of powers among the three branches of government is in peril.

Just as I’ve been doing for two years, Browning compares the conservatives of Hitler’s day to the conservatives of ours, riding the popularity of a charismatic candidate into power–and hoping to use him and keep him under control while in office.

Browning hesitates to call Trump “Hitler” or the GOP Nazis, and doesn’t see them carrying out genocide etc.  But he notes how easy it would be for them to get us into wars, the massive damage that is being done to our democracy and our climate, and how our polarization will keep getting worse.

Read more here.

My own additional thoughts:

You’ll also note how Walker and now McConnell have declared themselves “unintimidated” by protests–effectively making protesters into mobs that must be suppressed, rather than American citizens exercising their rights.  And this is being cemented over the weekend by Trump and Republicans who’ve been declaring us Democrats an angry, unruly mob that doesn’t understand law and order, that must be put down.

Our legitimate concerns and reasons for objecting to Kavanaugh are, once again, being reduced to being upset that we “didn’t get our way.”  Our protests are being called “mobs.”

In other words, we’re being called another enemy of the people.  Just as Trump has been labeling the press.  Trump’s base, along with other Republicans, are being stoked into thinking they must fight us and put us down, for the sake of Murica.  This is dangerous, the kind of rhetoric that leads to concentration camps and genocide.  We’ve seen it over and over again–not just Hitler, but over and over throughout history and into the present time.

The GOP doesn’t seem to realize that they’re legitimizing the arguments of the Antifa, who say that only violence can change things.  The more the GOP ignores the constitutionally-protected protests of citizens, the more those citizens may start turning to the Antifa, out of desperation.  We’ve already seen fighting in the streets between the Antifa and Alt-Right, just like Weimar Germany saw street fighting between Communists and Nazis.

How do you think dictators get into power?  By declaring their opponents enemies of the people.  By suppressing their voices so they no longer have any say in the governing of their own country.

Lately, a huge chunk of conservative Christians have been treating Trump as the Messiah when he actually could be an Antichrist of our age.  Antichrists are not a one-time end-of-the-world phenomenon; they pop up throughout history.  Putin appears to be another Antichrist, along with other dictators of our time.

They’re working against Christ by violating His commands to love, to help the poor and needy, to do good.  While proclaiming abortion and gay rights the anathemas that must be suppressed no matter what, and making themselves the victims, Christians have sold their souls to the Devil while claiming to speak for God.

But there still is something we can do: Show up at the polls in November.  Don’t sit at home thinking a Blue Wave is assured.  Start voting every time there’s an election, even a primary.  Even a city council election is important.