There’s No Place For Hate

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Let’s put them back under the rock from whence they came.

Charlottesville. That says it all. But not for Donald Trump. He refused to acknowledge the hate being spewed by his supporters, Nazis, alt-right, white supremacists, secessionists and just plain ignorant haters. Those are the people that Trump looks to for support. He goes to those people when he is feeling ‘sad’, and they praise him. So of course it took Trump two days to reluctantly say that hate and Nazis and alt right haters had no place in our country. But not really because he came out and once again said that the counter-protesters were also responsible and “they didn’t have a permit” the haters did. One Nazi went so far as to say he was glad that the girl was killed.

James Alex Fields Jr. was the driver who plowed into the crowd of counter-protesters. He killed Heather Heyer, a young lady expressing her dismay at the haters in the crowd, her constitutional right. Of course Trump tries to avoid the constitution. And so far, no republican leadership has come out with a strong statement against President Trump’s failure to properly address this incident. This link will take you to photos of the disaster.

Trump has opened the floodgates to the worst kind of people in this country. He has given a national voice for people who previously were not able to affect change in the nation. Now, thanks to this divisive president we have KKK David Duke speaking publicly again. (I had hoped he was gone.) We have more people talking about secession. We have people talking about making the country all white. We have a president trying to qualify slavery as an acceptable part of our history. Slavery and the decimation of Native American tribes were the most despicable parts of our history.

I saw the picture of a very sad police chief from Charlottesville. He couldn’t keep the protesters separated. That is one point that I think that those of us who remember Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi need to remind people. Luther’s platform of non-violence brought us the Civil Rights Act. Gandhi led the non-violent movement to separate India from the British. Non-Violence can be successful if people are consistent and patient.

We cannot allow the haters to continue to divide our country. But we also should not allow ourselves to be goaded into violence. We must remain vigilant but use peaceful methods to achieve the repairs that our country needs.

Peaceful Resistance!

Trump Slithers Around the Constitution

WebThe First Amendment: 1791 Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The Presidential Oath of Office: Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Trump continues to slither his way around the checks and balances that our Constitution has put in his way. As far as a free press was concerned, Trump constantly described any story that he did not like as “Fake News”. When Fox news even challenged his absurd statements Trump became more desperate. He decided to handle the news by banning video press briefings and even stopping press briefings completely. Trump is furious about all the leaks coming from his administration and calls the leakers the real story not the fake Russia story. He is now desperate to know who the leakers are. Heaven forbid that the truth should be revealed!

As early and January 2017, Trump began his attack on the 1st Amendment. In May on ABC’s Sunday Show with Jonathon Karl, Prience Reibus answered a question about the possibility of Trump trying to banish the 1st Amendment. He said, “I think it’s something we’ve looked at. How that gets executed, or whether that goes anywhere, is a different story.” Recently, General John Kelly, White House Chief of Staff, introduced Trump to a group of Coast Guard graduates. During his introduction Kelly described the Constitution as “just a piece of paper” and described the presidential oath as something that was just thrown together at the last moment.

Trump tried to control the FBI by firing FBI Director James Comey. Trump gained control of  the whole Justice Department when he appointed the racist, hater Jeff Sessions as the Attorney General. Jeff Sessions is using his office to advance his own belief system throughout the whole country, instead of being limited to his own state, Alabama. He encourages laws that limit voting rights, women’s rights, gays, minorities, disabled, etc. For example, Sessions called the Voting Rights Act “a piece of intrusive legislation,”

Fortunately, Sessions was forced to recuse himself from the Russia investigation which opened the way for Robert Mueller to named Special Prosecutor for the Russia investigation. Mueller now has a grand jury to dig deeper into the Russia investigation and other ongoing investigations. Trump and his team of lawyers are desperately trying to prevent Mueller’s investigation from gaining access to his taxes and financial dealings. Too much “dirt” there.

Trump lies constantly, so the truth never gets in his way. Trump knows that his base, while shrinking, still believes anything that he says. Since the truth goes hand in hand with integrity, Trump has none. He has gone so far as to use the Boy Scouts of America to advance his pitiful presidency; disgusting.

It concerns me greatly that Trump has gone so far as to even consider changing the Constitution to protect his illegal activities. Eliminate the freedom of speech. Eliminate the free press. Hide the truth or twist it to make lies believable. Take away the freedom to vote. What is Trump’s end game here? Suppress everyone who is not a white male. In other words to be an autocratic leader with a country under his thumb is what I think.

I pray that the Constitution will continue to be foundation of the legal system of our country and that there are still men and women of integrity who will protect it.

Peaceful Resistance!


Putin’s Most Wanted

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This story is so horrifying that I am shocked it is not being reported more heavily by the press. This is I am sure due in large part to the distractions from the Don and the Mooch. On July 26, the Senate Judiciary Committee had planned a hearing with Bill Browder. That is also the day that Mooch came out with his trashy, low class attacks on Reince Preibus. The world was shocked that day and the hearing with Bill Browder was delayed one day. The next day Trump came out with his ban on transgender people in the military. Leaders in the military were not informed and were shocked. But, to their credit, the Senate Judiciary Committee went ahead with their hearing. Before the hearing Bill Browder released a detailed statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee and also allowed it to be printed in its entirety by The Atlantic. This is the link. Please read it. This story is a complicated and truly shocking story of which everyone should be aware. What follows is my summary.

Bill Browder was a businessman who had extensive dealings in Russia and was a friend of Putin. Browder and his lawyer Sergei Magnitsky discovered a $230 million tax corruption scandal involving Russian oligarchs. Bill Browder left Russia on business and Magnitsky reported the corruption to Russian authorities, expecting the authorities to arrest the people involved. However, the “authorities” arrested him instead. In 2009 Magnitsky was found murdered in jail. He had been beaten to death. Magnitsky was convicted of tax evasion after his death. Broward was also accused of tax evasion by Russian authorities and was banned from entering Russia. Attempts to kill Broward also occurred.

In 2012, Congress passed a new law to target human rights abusers with the freezing of their assets in the U.S. and also banned their entrance into the U.S. The act was called the Magnitsky Act.  Putin was furious and retaliated by banning the popular Russian adoption program to U.S. parents.  It turned out that Putin was furious because he was the recipient of much of the $230 million and that he kept most of his money in the west. According to the Magnitsky Act, “Putin could be held personally subject to Magnitsky sanctions”.

Putin is reported to have as many as 10,000 “officials in Russia working for Putin who are given instructions to kill, torture, kidnap, extort money, from people and seize their property.”  This put the cross hairs on Putin. It also created a problem for Putin because previously he had always been able to promise protection to his operatives around the world. After the passing of the Magnitsky Act, Putin could not promise immunity to his network of agents. He was also at risk of losing his money which was held in disreputable Russian banks around the world.

Enter Natalia Veselnitslaya, the Russian lawyer who met with Don Jr. in Trump tower on June 9, 2016. She is currently working as a Russian lobbyist trying to get the Magnitsky Act repealed. She previously acted as a lawyer for the owner of the company “Prevezon—the Kremlin-tied company then charged with hiding a fraction of the $230 million Russian tax scheme in Manhattan luxury real estate.”  

Broward said that Putin keeps control over people by first offering a bribe, and then by blackmailing them with the threat of exposure. Broward explained that once a person was ensnared in Putin’s version of the WorldWide Web, there was no escape. Is this Trump’s situation? It has been said that Putin saved many of Trump’s businesses from going under. Trump took the Miss Universe Beauty Pageant to Moscow in 2013.  A Russian oligarch helped arrange that. Author James Dodson is quoted as describing a golf outing with Eric Trump, “So when I got in the cart with Eric,” Dodson says, “as we were setting off, I said, ‘Eric, who’s funding? I know no banks—because of the recession, the Great Recession—have touched a golf course. You know, no one’s funding any kind of golf construction. It’s dead in the water the last four or five years.’ And this is what he said. He said, ‘Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.’ I said, ‘Really?’ And he said, ‘Oh, yeah. We’ve got some guys that really, really love golf, and they’re really invested in our programs. We just go there all the time.’ Now that was three years ago, so it was pretty interesting.” Is this the reason that Trump is so chummy with Putin and complimentary of Putin and his regime?

So many of Trump’s family, friends and high ranking officials of his campaign are connected to Russia; is it possible for Trump not to be caught in Putin’s trap?  I don’t think so.

Peaceful Resistance!

What Wealth Redistribution War?

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The 1% Already Won!

It always annoys me when very wealthy people whine and complain that they may have to pay more taxes. Those of us who live paycheck to paycheck say Waa, waa, waa. The GOP and the wealthy threaten that higher corporate taxes will cause productivity to be reduced and therefore people’s wages will be reduced or workers will lose their jobs. Conservative economists argue that taxation reduces economic activity. “When you tax people, you usually cause them to reduce the amount that they do the thing that is subject to the tax.” So if investments are taxed, then rich people reduce their investments. Taxing consumption reduces consumption. “Anyway, the basic message is that the more the government tries to shift income around, the less total income there is to distribute. The more equal you force your society to be, the poorer it gets.”  The GOP repeats this threat ad nauseum. They believe if they say something often enough people will begin to believe them.

Economist Arthur Okun described redistribution from wealthy to poor was like using a leaky bucket. This theory was named as Okun’s bucket which states that some people are helped but along the way some money is lost from leaks. So, “Mostly, they focus on trying to quantify the trade-off between equality and efficiency. That may seem a bit heartless, but to many economists, it feels like the most objective way to approach questions of redistribution” These are the views of Noah Smith.

The question I keep asking is why it is okay for redistribution to go up to the 1% but not down to the 99%. The redistribution of wealth up to the 1% has been happening since Regan. When regulation was reduced, big business won and our citizens lost. When the EPA was hamstrung, big business won and our citizens suffered from poisoned water and air, death on the job, confiscated wages etc. Over and over this happened until finally war and more deregulation catapulted the wealthy into the stratosphere.

In To Raise Productivity, Let’s Raise Wages Brenden V Dukes argues that a slow economy is due to a lack of demand and that “weak demand is the main reason for slow business investment growth in the United States. This suggests that policies that raise demand—such as low interest rates and increased infrastructure spending—will cause companies to raise investment as they expect stronger sales as a result of job and wage growth.”

As congress begins to grapple with next year’s tax structure let us hope that they can absorb the lessons learned in the 1930’s and 40’s, when policy makers turned “the Great Depression and World War II into the most rapid improvement in living standards ever.”

Peaceful Resistance!


See No Evil? Trump Is Evil

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Trump is Evil. There is no other way of saying it. He promised not hurt his constituents during the campaign but then proceed to push for a health care bill that he himself described as “mean”.  Trump complained to Fox News that Obama had stolen his phrase when he wrote, “Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family — this bill will do you harm. And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.” (I really miss Obama’s ability to speak correctly.)  So Trump even bragged about using the word mean, but then proceeded to strong-arm GOP members of the house to vote for a ‘mean’ bill that would throw many millions of people off healthcare. Trump pushed a bill that he knew would kill thousands of people who would die without healthcare and he did it with no sense of responsibility.

The United States is known for its poor dental health care coverage. So thousands of people are crossing the border into a town called “Molar City” Los Algodones in Mexico to get dental care. There are 600 dentists in an area with 6000 people. According to Mayor Camacho, Molar City receives 6000 or more Americans and Canadians who come to get dental care every day during the winter’s mild weather.

According to the National Association of Dental Plans, “114 million Americans don’t have dental insurance, including 46.3 million people aged 65 or older. And for those who do, the costs of dental work can still be out of reach.” 

How about drugs? U.S. pharmaceutical corporations price urgently needed drugs out of the ability of most people to pay. Many lawmakers around the country have tried to come to grips with the price of drugs, but have failed miserably. As long as Americans are held hostage by the pharmaceutical companies there is no competition and drugs will continue to be sky-high for U.S. citizens. If we were allowed to order drugs from Canada, prices would come down in the U.S. But competition is the last thing that Republicans want.

We have Ryan, McConnell and Pence as the main hawkers for Trump’s plans. They know there is evil but do nothing to stop that growing evil from destroying the United States government.  And those three shameless people let our evil president cover his butt and allow him to stay out of trouble.

Starting now we must all do everything that we can to elect people who actually care about preserving what is good about this country. We must work at the city and state levels just as the Republicans did years ago. We must take back the Senate so that Trump cannot put another extremist on the Supreme Court. But we must also put pressure on the Democrats in control so that they don’t blow this tremendous opportunity.

So let’s pull up our sleeves and get started. Write, call, march.

Peaceful Resistance!

Pardon Me

PardonMeA couple of nights ago my family and I joked about the ridiculous idea that Trump could pardon himself. After all, he is the president and has the power to pardon most people. He will likely try to use that power to pardon his children. Could he actually pardon himself?

Imagine my surprise the next morning when I saw an article in the Washington Post about Trump’s legal team looking into that very possibility. That is a very scary idea. If a president could pardon himself then that would free up a whole range of illegal activities the president could engage in knowing that there would be no penalty for his actions. That is a serious threat to our democracy. There would be no checks and balances left. But according to the Washington Post’s Jonathan Turley who is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, Trump can pardon himself.  Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, states that the president “shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment”. . Unbelievable!

However, other legal experts have a different opinion. An article in the Washington Post by “Laurence H. Tribe who is the Carl M. Loeb University Professor and Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School, Richard Painter, a law professor at the University of Minnesota, was chief White House ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2007 and is vice-chair of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)”, Norman Eisen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, was chief White House ethics lawyer for President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2011 and is chair of CREW” wrote that the pardon provision of the constitution strictly prohibits anyone, including the president from ruling in his own criminal case. They cite examples going all the way back to 1610.  I am fervently hoping that Jonathon Turley is wrong.

I am sure that Trump’s legal team will be looking for any reason they can use to discredit Mueller’s investigation. Various press sources write that Trump’s legal team is looking into the possibility that Mueller and members of his team have conflict of interest problems and therefore are not able to discharge their duties properly. Trump’s team is also trying very hard to prevent Mueller from looking into Trump’s taxes by threat and innuendo. So we continue to ask: what is Trump hiding in his taxes that could be illegal or impeachable.

We have scary days ahead of us. Threats to our constitution are threats to the United States. Trump must not be allowed to pardon himself, but I am sure that he will try.

Peaceful Resistance!

The 8th Man – Putin’s Spider web

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Why Was the Identity of the Eighth Man Kept a Secret?

This is a complicated story but I will do my best to give a brief summary. The eighth man at the June 9 meeting in 2016 is Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze a Russian whose past puts him squarely in the crosshairs of U.S. investigators of the Trump/Russia scandal. It now looks like Jared Kushner, Trump’s right hand and one of the people in the infamous meeting may have outed the eighth man in his ‘revised’ security clearance disclosure form.

First of all, Kaveladze was president of IBC, a corporation that was responsible for registering over 2000 dummy corporations with the intention of laundering money from Russian and Eastern European oligarchs. The IBC set these companies up in Delaware at an office that was not staffed. Unopened mail outside the office was seen by Politico investigative reporters. The office is rented to IBC and Russian Art Mall which is registered to Aras Agalarov and who also owns Crocus Group, a real estate development firm. Agalarov, through Crocus Group worked with Trump to bring the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow in 2013. Kaveladze is a senior vice president of Crocus Group.  In 2000 the GAO (Government Accountability Office) discovered through an investigation requested by Senator Carl Levin of Michigan that Kaveladze played a big part in the $1.4 billion money laundering scheme through Citibank in New York and Commercial Bank in San Francisco. Kaveladze was also involved in “a Russian crime syndicate apparently laundering around $10 billion using the Bank of New York”. Continue reading

Voter Suppression

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While everyone’s attention is focused (and rightly so) on the Don Jr mess with the Russian meeting on June 9, 2016, and GOP Healthcare, Trump Sr. and republicans around the country, are quietly working to win the 2018 and 2020 elections by controlling who gets to vote. Trump’s Commission on Election Integrity along with its leader Kris Kobach are pushing hard to control who gets to vote in future elections. The Commission sent letters requesting that “states provide voter-roll information including the names, addresses, birth dates, partial Social Security numbers, party affiliation, felon status and other data for every registered voter in the country.”  This plan was received with indignation and refusal by most states. Some states are providing information that is already public but others are refusing to comply at all. Even Kris Kobach as the Kansas secretary of state had to decline on providing some of the data that he himself required in the letter!

In a meeting of secretaries of state a resolution was passed stating that “states are responsible for protecting the integrity of their elections including the secrecy of the ballot, security of their election infrastructures and sensitive personal information included in the states’ voter rolls” and reaffirming the secretaries’ “commitment to strengthening election cyber security, improving processes, and increasing voter participation.” 

At the same time, the DOJ is proceeding with their own plan, driven by attorney general Sessions and VP Pence. This could be a more treacherous plan to control voting in this country. Their letter was sent to 44 states and commanded the states to show proof of how they were abiding by the rules of the 1993 National Voter Registration Act. The NVRA allows voter registration at public service agencies. Kobach, Sessions and Pence want people to have to show proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. The problem with that is that many people do not have U.S. citizenship papers, nor even birth certificates. So the ultimate goal of Kobach and Sessions may be to get the NVRA repealed so that the federal government can order states to follow their voting restrictions.

In the meantime, the ACLU and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed separate lawsuits against the Trump administration saying that their Commission on Election Integrity is violating federal law. They also challenge the lack of transparency. Trump’s plan is viewed as a way to prove that millions of people voted illegally, and proving that Trump’s claim that he lost the popular vote was due to massive election fraud.

Please remember, the truth is that it will only take restricting the vote in a few states to change the winner.

Peaceful Resistance!

GOP Learns How to Fix Healthcare

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Don’t repeal! Fix The Affordable Care Act!

McConnell knows that his healthcare bill is in real trouble. The republicans in the Senate are still desperately trying to get enough votes to ram through their deeply unpopular and dangerous healthcare plan. If two of the following senators vote no on the current Senate bill, then McConnell will have some hard decisions to make. One option that McConnell has mentioned is the frightening word, democrats. He has suggested that republicans may have to work with democrats to shore up Obamacare options. In the meantime, Trump, Pence and McConnell are planning to single out and put pressure individual Senators, just as they did with the House bill. Those twelve senators are:

Colins – Maine, Portman – Ohio, Cruz – Texas, Capito – West Virginia, Moran – Kansas, Heller – Nevada, Rubio – Florida, Johnson Wisconsin, Sasse – Nebraska, Paul – Kentucky, Lee – Utah, Murkowski – Alaska.

But, U.S. senators are not quite as beholding to our very sick president as the house members are. In other words, U.S. senators are not afraid of Trump, and they know how reviled he is in their states. Hopefully they fear their constituents more than our child president.

Warren Buffett was interviewed on PBS and said the republican plans for healthcare should be called “Relief for the Rich Act”. He said that just by himself he would get $700,000 in tax breaks. Buffett also questioned the republican plan to eliminate the ACA surcharge on people earning a higher income, a boon to the senators trying to ram through the lethal weapon that is their healthcare bill. A real billionaire’s opinion of Congress.

Senator Cornyn of Texas asked democrats to offer their own plan if they didn’t like the GOP healthcare plan. Senator Chuck Schumer replied that the democrats already did – the Affordable Care Act. 

So, lets get busy and call our senators and representatives and insist that Congress finally works together and do their jobs to protect the American People.

Peaceful Resistance!




Trump Budget – Slashing the Safety Net

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What does Trump’s budget do to the social programs needed to protect people. Trump is bleeding us dry.

In order to pay for his $600 Billion dollar tax cuts for the rich, his useless border wall, the school voucher programs designed to destroy public schools, and unnecessary increases in the defense budget, Trump’s budget made cuts into just about every federal agency which actually helps and protects American citizens. He also completely eliminated many programs. The EPA is gutted, Arts and Cultural Agencies virtually eliminated, the Transportation Agency is hit hard and the State Department is grossly undermanned and its budget cut by a third.

After looking through this budget by Trump’s regime, it is clear to me that poor people, old people or the infirmed  mean Nothing to Trump’s administration. A deliberate attempt is being made to kill off and dumb down our people by deliberately ignoring their needs. Plus his budget makes a direct attack on culture in our country by  removing any source of joy that people still can enjoy. My daughter plays bass professionally. It is so wonderful to sit in a beautiful hall and listen to that gorgeous music. Small orchestras will not make it without Federal money. Even the biggest orchestras in our country are having a difficult time and that is a travesty. Visiting museums are a great day out for the family, usually for free. The kids really enjoy the Natural History museums that we have in many big cities around the country. Children delight in climbing on dinosaur replicas, digging in the dirt for fossils, seeing the giant shark that once roamed our oceans. I have seen the shark in the National History Museum in D.C. It is quite amazing. The attacks on our Public School Systems frighten me terribly. It is easy to see where they are going with the charter school/voucher business of DeVoss. She has made millions from failing charter schools in Michigan.

Trumps budget kills protection from invaders, as in protection from the Zika virus. Why isn’t Trump’s administration protecting us from the cyberwar which we are currently fighting against Russia, China, North Korea, and which we are losing? I don’t see anything in the defense budget about building cyber bombs. Why is he intent on hurting our college kids by taking away federal work study programs? Does he want them paying for school debt making them indentured servants for their entire lives? I would guess the answer to that question is a resounding yes.

His budget eliminates the Senior Community Service Employment Program, which helps low-income seniors find work. It seems to me that it is counterproductive to remove programs which help people to take care of themselves. Isn’t that what the republicans keep complaining about? That’s all they keep saying. They should listen to the old adage: Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

Here is a list of the different Departments and Agencies receiving cuts. The numbers in this article are a little different from other sources, but not significantly.

The following information and more detail can be found at:


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