By now, every American should be aware of the death spiral that looks to consume the Trump Presidency. Two weeks of shattering headlines have probably ended the effectiveness of the Administration. (See the links to some of the stories on the Issues Links on this website.) However, lost to a degree in the endless parade of revelations was the news of Roger Ailes' passing.
Mr. Ailes was singularly responsible for the rise of Fox News. When I was a child, there were only the three network news organizations and PBS on TV. Then, with the spread of cable television, came CNN. In response, Fox hired Roger Ailes to provide an alternative, conservative news perspective. Unfortunately, over the last twenty-five years, Fox News has degenerated into a mouthpiece for extremism. Accuracy and balance mean nothing. The network currently serves as the propaganda wing for the Trump Presidency. The Network, to a great degree is responsible for the spread of inaccurate, slanted news stories. If you doubt this just watch. And I don't buy the "liberal bias" in the media excuse. The Network, led by the guiding hand of Ailes has done more harm to American political discourse than Putin and his trolls. All of this in the pursuit of profits for the Fox Network.
The nation sees two realities, depending on what news is watched. The nation is divided. And "a house divided against itself cannot stand." Here is a useful story on Vox about how Fox News distorts reality. I urge you to view the video. It exposes Fax News for the "faux" news that it is.
So, as Roger Ailes is laid to rest, pardon me if I don't shed a tear, but hope instead he is being held to task by his maker for the damage he has done to our nation.
With yesterday’s shocking news that our President had given highly classified information to the Russians, reportedly for no other reason than to brag about the greatness of his intel, we have reached a tipping point. It is the foremost duty of the President of the United States to work to increase the safety of Americans. In this regard, we can now conclude that he is an abject failure.
We are not safer when the President betrays the trust of our allies in the intelligence community, making them less likely to provide us with life saving information.
We are not safer when the President undercuts long standing alliances with democracies that we count on for mutual security.
We are not safer when the President undermines the institutions of the independent judiciary and the Federal Bureau of Investigations, both institutions whose duty it is to protect us from injustice.
We are not safer when the President is a proponent for health care legislation that is a cynical vehicle for a tax cut for the wealthy that will leave tens of millions uninsured.
We are not safer when the President undermines the efforts of local law enforcement by using the threat of deportation to suppress crime reporting in immigrant communities.
We are not safer when the President supports efforts to gut environmental regulations that protect us from polluted air and water.
We are not safer when the President works at every angle to promote the interests of the kleptocracy (“thieving ruling class”) at the expense of the financial stability of the other 99% of us.
We are not safer when the President acts like a prevaricating, spoiled child and makes a mockery of the highest office of our great nation.
There are many excuses why the President behaves the way he does. The reasons are irrelevant. In the end analysis, if the President works to endanger us, then he has no right to be President. Congress must do its job and remove him from office. Immediately. We are now counting the days that the Republican majority continues to advance the agenda of party and the kleptocracy over the interests of the nation and its people. Delay imperils our nation. (S)
With today's firing of FBI director Comey, the time has come for Congress to do its job and appoint and independent investigator to the probe into the Russian hacking of our election and the Trump campaign's ties to that hacking. Delay is no longer acceptable.
Here is what we know or what is obvious.
No one is buying the false pretenses under which Comey was fired. It could not have been, as stated, due to the botched handling of the Clinton e-mail investigation. If that were the case, why not wait for the results of the ongoing investigation into this matter by the Inspector General. No, there had to be another reason to explain the timing.
We know that the FBI had issued subpoenas last week to individuals linked to the Trump campaign. This is more likely the cause of the timing. This would make sense, given that the firing had to have taken several days to orchestrate and wait for a time that Comey would be away from his office. (He was in LA at the time he was fired.)
The White House claims that they were surprised by the reaction to the firing. This is ridiculous. They had to know there would be a monumental reaction. Indeed, this was an historic event.
The calculus had to be that whatever Comey's investigation was closing in on was worse than dealing with the fallout from the firing. Indeed, Trump will now be able to appoint a new FBI Director who cannot be trusted and who could bury the emerging evidence.
Whatever was emerging from the shadows had to be bad. Bad enough to bring down a president.
Congress must act now to ensure that there is an independent investigation. Anything less risks the functional end of our democracy.
There is much that can be said about yesterday's passage of the ACHA in the House of Representatives. Here are just a few thoughts.
First, this is a piece of legislation that if enacted into law is detrimental to the greater public good. To step backward and allow increased premiums for pre-existing conditions and to see that tens of millions lose their healthcare so that the rich can enjoy a large tax break is a disgusting and vicious thing to do. There is no other way to say this-the House of Representatives is acting against the interests of the people and the country. They will be judged harshly by history. They, in fact, have violated the principles spelled out in the Declaration of Independence in which a government has a duty to work to advance the quality of life of the governed.
The passage of the legislation raises questions for the Republicans in the House. Did you pass a bill just for the sake of saying you did? Did you pass it simply because you hate Obama? Did you pass it because you are stooges for the super wealthy and care nothing for the average American? Did you pass it because you feel women are inferior and their rights less important (as the bill targets women's health care)? Did you pass it because you have contempt for those unable to secure employment that comes with benefits? Did you pass it because you fail to recognize that access to health care is a fundamental human right? Did you pass it because you are unconcerned that the cost of healthcare in this country is roughly double that in the rest of the industrialized world where single payer systems are the norm?
For Jeff Denham, our representative in CA 10, who was instrumental in the bill's passage, I call you out for the lying, vindictive, cruel, misogynistic, incompetent fool that you are. While name calling is not the best tactic, you have earned each of these adjectives with your role in this abomination that you call a health care bill. You must really hate your job to have voted for this as it all but seals your fate at the midterm. Meanwhile, we must watch as our fellow Americans agonize over the choices they will have to make if the Senate continues this lunacy.