“Who The Hell Do You Think You Are?’

From Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald:

Dear Mr. So-Called President:

So let me explain to you how this works.

You were elected as chief executive of the United States. I won’t belabor the fact that you won with a minority of the popular vote and a little help from your friends, FBI Director James Comey and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The bottom line is, you were elected.

And this does entitle you to certain things. You get your own airplane. You get free public housing. You get greeted with snappy salutes. And a band plays when you walk into the room.

But there is one thing to which your election does not entitle you. It does not entitle you to do whatever pops into your furry orange head without being called on it or, should it run afoul of the Constitution, without being blocked.

You and other members of the Fourth Reich seem to be having difficulty understanding this. Reports from Politico and elsewhere describe you as shocked that judges and lawmakers can delay or even stop you from doing things. Three weeks ago, your chief strategist, Steve Bannon, infamously declared that news media should “keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while.”

Just last Sunday, senior policy adviser Stephen Miller declared on CBS’ “Face The Nation” that “our opponents, the media and the whole world will soon see as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.”

What you do “will not be questioned?” Lord, have mercy. That’s the kind of statement that, in another time and place, would have been greeted with an out-thrust palm and a hearty “Sieg heil!” Here in this time and place, however, it demands a different response:

Just who the hell do you think you are?

Meaning you and all the other trolls you have brought clambering up from under their bridges. Maybe you didn’t notice, but this is the United States of America. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? Nation of laws, not of individuals? First Amendment? Freedom of the press? Any of that ringing a bell?

Let’s be brutally clear here. If you were a smart guy with unimpeachable integrity and a good heart who was enacting wise policies for the betterment of all humankind, you’d still be subject to sharp scrutiny from news media, oversight from Congress, restraint by the judiciary — and public opinion.

And you, of course, are none of those things. I know you fetishize strength. I know your pal Vladimir would never stand still for reporters and judges yapping at him.

I know, too, that you’re accustomed to being emperor of your own fiefdom. Must be nice. Your name on the wall, the paychecks, the side of the building. You tell people to make something happen, and it does. You yell at a problem, and it goes away. Nobody talks back. I can see how it would be hard to give that up.

But you did. You see, you’re no longer an emperor, Mr. So-Called President. You’re now what is called a “public servant” — in effect, an employee with 324 million bosses. And let me tell you something about those bosses. They’re unruly and loud, long accustomed to speaking their minds without fear or fetter. And they believe power must always answer to the people. That’s at the core of their identity.

Yet you and your coterie of cartoon autocrats think you’re going to cow them into silence and compliance by ordering them to shut up and obey? Well, as a freeborn American, I can answer that in two syllables flat.

Hell no.

My Memory Isn’t Totally Gone

I ran across this picture the other day and it took me back to high school…

I believe it was during our junior year that Richard got his own truck. Shortly thereafter, along with Steve and Joe, the four of us started leaving campus for lunch and hitting the McDonald’s that was about three miles away. (Such things were allowed at the time without parental permission—the horror!—but not having a car limited the off-campus dining options to the Diary Queen Brazier down the street.)

At the time, my folks were giving me five dollars a week for lunch. This covered eating in the school cafeteria and maybe a couple trips to the Dairy Queen without a problem, but once we started eating at McD’s every single day (Richard loved it) and McDonald’s raised the cost of a Big Mac from 55 to 65 cents, I started running short of funds.

I finally convinced them into bumping me up to $7.50 a week, which then covered our daily excursions.

Now $7.50 might buy you one meal at McDonalds…

I’m Going To Miss…

…seeing pictures like this.

Saturn’s moon Dione

After Cassini plunges into Saturn in September this year, ending a decades-long mission that successful beyond measure, NASA—nor other space agency that I know of—has any concrete plans to return to Saturn. Or Uranus. Or Neptune. Or Pluto. I’m just thankful to have been alive when these wonders were initially revealed.

A Question

Is 45 so utterly and completely delusional that he still thinks he has any real legitimacy left with Americans and the rest of the world when he has a Twittertantrum like this?

So he’s complaining about leaking classified fake news? And he fired Flynn anyway? Uh. Yeah, whatever.

Starting to feel the noose getting tighter there, Cheeto?

I’m not dancing in the streets—yet—but I am feeling a little more hopeful that this administration’s wanton hubris and pathological narcissism will be what spells it’s ultimate doom. When you start dissing your own intelligence agencies—who undoubtedly have more dirt on you than even your buddies in the Kremlin—and accuse them of being illegitimate—things are not going to end well for you.

I’m sure someone, somewhere, has hands on the floodgates as we speak, just waiting for the right moment to release the shitstorm of hurt that’s going to hit 45 and his Cabinet of Deplorables like a runaway locomotive.

We are in uncharted territory here, folks. How far into the administration does this Treason reach? As it stands now, I would go out on a limb and dare say any Republican who isn’t calling for hearings is guilty on some level.

There appear to be no Constitutional remedies in place for removing and replacing the entire Executive Branch, so fasten your seat belts. I have a feeling things are going to get very interesting very quickly…

This Is A Line And I Am Drawing It

Some people are saying that we should give Donald Trump a chance, that we should “work together” with him because he won the election and he is “everyone’s president.” This is my response:

• I will not forget how badly he and so many others treated former President Barack Obama for 8 years…
• I will not “work together” to build a wall.
• I will not “work together” to persecute Muslims.
• I will not “work together” to shut out refugees from countries where we destabilized their governments, no matter how bad they might have been, so that we could have something more agreeable to our oligarchy.
• I will not “work together” to lower taxes on the 1%.
• I will not “work together” to increase taxes on the middle class and poor.
• I will not “work together” to help Trump use the Presidency to line his pockets and those of his cronies.
• I will not “work together” to weaken and demolish environmental protection.
• I will not “work together” to sell American lands to companies which then despoil those lands.
• I will not “work together” to enable the killing in any way of whole species of animals just because they are predators, or inconvenient for a few, or because some people want to get their thrills killing them.
• I will not “work together” to remove civil rights from anyone.
• I will not “work together” to waste trillions more on our military when we already have the strongest in the world.
• I will not “work together” to alienate countries that have been our allies for as long as I have been alive.
• I will not “work together” to slash funding for education.
• I will not “work together” to take basic assistance from people who are at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder.
• I will not “work together” to allow torture and “black op” prison sites.
• I will not “work together” to “take their oil.”
• I will not “work together” to get rid of common sense regulations on guns.
• I will not “work together” to eliminate the minimum wage.
• I will not “work together” to support so-called “Right To Work” laws, or undermine, weaken or destroy Unions in any way.
• I will not “work together” to suppress scientific research, be it on climate change, fracking, or any other issue where a majority of scientists agree that Trump and his supporters are wrong on the facts.
• I will not “work together” to criminalize abortion or restrict health care for women.
• I will not “work together” to increase the number of nations that have nuclear weapons.
• I will not “work together” to put even more “big money” into politics.
• I will not “work together” to violate the Geneva Convention.
• I will not “work together” to give the Ku Klux Klan, the Nazi Party and white supremacists a seat at the table, or to normalize their hatred.
• I will not “work together” to deny health care to people who need it.
• I will not “work together” to increase the profits of the insurance companies.
• I will not “work together” to deny medical coverage to people on the basis of an alleged or actual “pre-existing condition.”
• I will not “work together” to increase voter suppression.
• I will not “work together” to normalize tyranny.
• I will not “work together” with anyone who is, or admires, tyrants and dictators.
• I will not “work together” with Donald Trump or anyone who supports him, because I will not allow one man to feed upon the fears of the populace, blaming minorities for their condition or their inability to thrive.

This is the line, and I am drawing it.

• I will stand for honesty, love, respect for all living beings, and for the beating heart that is the center of Life itself.
• I will use my voice and my hands, to reach out to the uninformed, and to anyone who will LISTEN for what’s really so dangerous about Donald Trump, his friends and the Big Lie they spin to the world: That “winning,” “being great again,” “rich” or even “beautiful” is anything more than nothing… When others are sacrificed to glorify its existence.
#RESIST

~Mike Harnisch