“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.

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

Pay Attention To His Words!

45 has always told us exactly what he’s planning, either outright (not that any of us actually believed him at the time) or by projecting whatever it is onto his opponents.

Over the last few days, he appears to be laying the groundwork to preemptively shift all blame for any future terrorist attack on the country from his administration to the federal judiciary, as well as the media:

“If something happens blame him [Judge James Robart] and the court system.”

Let that sink in for a minute. The asshole in the White House is attempting to de-legitimize an entire branch of government in advance of “something happening.”

HE IS PROJECTING HIS PLANS, FOLKS.

In the twisted, fevered minds of Bannon & Co. I’m sure America’s very own Reichstag Fire is in the planning stages, if not already finalized. And if/when it happens, you can expect Martial Law to be invoked and there will be troops in the streets. All media not complimentary to 45 or his minions will be silenced and at that point, it’s game over. You thought it was crazy under Bush/Cheney in the aftermath of 9/11? THAT WAS JUST THE WARM UP ACT. Someone PLEASE convince me that if there is another attack on this country, The Land of the Free and Home of the Brave will not cower in the corner, desperately wanting Daddy 45 to protect them at any cost.

Even if there is no false-flag operation, the mere fact that 45 is driving out the best and brightest from the echelons of government—people whose job it is to keep us safe—and replacing them with a bunch of pathologically incompetent sycophants  is leaving us vulnerable to real attacks and should be setting off alarms from coast to coast.

But what do I hear from the Republican party? You know, the ones who can actually remove this tiny-handed man-child from power? It’s been either crickets or thunderous applause.

THIS IS HOW EVERYTHING AMERICA—AND EVERYTHING IT STANDS FOR— DIES.

Over the past few days I’d been feeling somewhat encouraged because of the amount of blowback 45 is getting from ordinary citizens and the courts, but hearing this today on NPR while driving home sent chills down my spine. I’m now back to feeling like I’m trapped in one of those nightmares where you know what’s coming and are completely powerless to stop it.

So how difficult would it be for a 50-something PC Technician with no degree and his 30-something Teacher husband with a Masters to emigrate to Canada or New Zealand or Australia? Would our relationship even be recognized?

Not This Time, Motherfuckers

Not. this. time.

I got on the subway in Manhattan tonight and found a Swastika on every advertisement and every window. The train was…

Posted by Gregory Locke on Saturday, February 4, 2017

“I got on the subway in Manhattan tonight and found a Swastika on every advertisement and every window. The train was silent as everyone stared at each other, uncomfortable and unsure what to do.

One guy got up and said, “Hand sanitizer gets rid of Sharpie. We need alcohol.” He found some tissues and got to work.

I’ve never seen so many people simultaneously reach into their bags and pockets looking for tissues and Purel. Within about two minutes, all the Nazi symbolism was gone.

Nazi symbolism. On a public train. In New York City. In 2017.

‘I guess this is Trump’s America,’ said one passenger. No sir, it’s not. Not tonight and not ever. Not as long as stubborn New Yorkers have anything to say about it.”

Quote Of The Day

Nice people made the best Nazis. My mom grew up next to them. The got along, refused to make waves, looked the other way when things got ugly, and focused on happier things than politics. They were lovely people who turned their heads as their neighbors were dragged away.

You know who weren’t nice people?

Reisters. ~ Naomi Shulman.

Now is not the time to be “nice” to white supermacists and neo-Nazis. Now is not the time to listen to “both isdes” in some misguided notion of “tolerance.” Now is not the time for politeness or silence. NOW is the time for good people to resist. Loudly and unambiguously. Democrats in Congress, are you fucking listening?

After Only Two Weeks, Voters Yearn For Obama

Buyers’ remorse sets in. From Public Policy Polling:

Less than 2 weeks into Donald Trump’s tenure as President, 40% of voters already want to impeach him. That’s up from 35% of voters who wanted to impeach him a week ago. Only 48% of voters say that they would be opposed to Trump’s impeachment.

Beyond a significant percentage of voters already thinking that Trump should be removed from office, it hasn’t taken long for voters to miss the good old days of Barack Obama…52% say they’d rather Obama was President, to only 43% who are glad Trump is.

Why so much unhappiness with Trump? Voters think basically everything he’s doing is wrong:

-Overall voters are pretty evenly split on Trump’s executive order on immigration from last week, with 47% supporting it to 49% who are opposed. But when you get beyond the overall package, the pieces of the executive order become more clearly unpopular. 52% of voters think that the order was intended to be a Muslim ban, to only 41% who don’t think that was the intent. And the idea of a Muslim ban is extremely unpopular with the American people- only 26% are in favor of it, to 65% who are against it. When it comes to barring people from certain countries from entering the United States, even when those people have already secured a Visa, just 39% of voters are supportive to 53% who are against it. And just 43% of voters support the United States indefinitely suspending accepting Syrian refugees, with 48% opposed to that. Finally voters see a basic competence issue with Trump’s handling of the executive order- only 39% of voters think it was well executed, to 55% who believe it was poorly executed.

The attitudes of Trump voters on the issue of the order being a Muslim ban are telling. 71% claim they don’t think the intent of the executive order was to ban Muslims from entering the country, to 23% who say that was the intent. But then when you ask Trump voters what their feelings on banning Muslims from the country are, they support it. 48% of Trump voters support banning Muslims from entering the country, to 40% who are opposed. So they say it’s not a Muslim ban, but they want a Muslim ban, and 94% of them support the order.

Trump voters also continue to refuse to believe in the sincerity of those protesting him. 48% think the folks who protested at airports across the country last weekend were paid to do so by George Soros, to only 31% who think the protesters weren’t paid. Trump voters thought the women’s marchers were all paid by Mr. Soros as well so clearly the Trump administration is going to be very expensive for him.

-It hasn’t taken long for voters to develop a pretty dim view of Trump advisor Steve Bannon, and become wary of the extent to which he’s being given power within the administration. Only 19% of voters see Bannon favorably, to 40% who have a negative opinion of him. Only 34% of voters approve of his being given a seat on the principals committee of the National Security Council, to 44% who are opposed to that. What’s particularly telling is that only 19% of voters think Bannon belongs in that seat on the National Security Council more than the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence, to 59% who believe those folks are more deserving of that place at the table. Even Trump voters think he’s gone too far on that front- by a 40/35 margin they think the more traditional members should have that position rather than Bannon.

-Very few voters go along with Trump when it comes to his voter fraud paranoia. Only 26% of voters think millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 Presidential election, to 55% who believe that’s not a real thing. This is another issue where even a significant number of Trump voters become wary of his claim- 47% believe it but 27% don’t and another 26% aren’t sure. It’s been unusual to find things where a majority of Trump’s voters don’t go along with him.

-Voters continue to be very skeptical of the funding plan for the wall with Mexico. Only 40% of voters are in support of building the wall if American taxpayers have to front the cost for it, to 54% who are opposed. And there’s similar opposition when it comes to the 20% tax on items imported to the US from Mexico that the administration floated last week- only 37% of voters support that to 50% who are opposed to it.

-Obamacare continues to become more popular the more talk there is about repealing it. 46% of voters now say they support it to just 41% who are opposed. And only 33% of voters think the best course of action is for Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act and start over, to 62% who think it would be better to keep it and fix the parts that need fixing.

Another aspect of Trump’s unpopularity is that he’s losing all of his fights. In the last week he’s gone on the attack on Twitter against John McCain, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and CNN and in each case we find voters siding with Trump’s adversary:

-By a 51/37 spread voters say John McCain has more credibility than Trump.-By a 52/41 spread voters say the Washington Post has more credibility than Trump.

-By a 51/42 spread voters say the New York Times has more credibility than Trump.

-By a 50/42 spread voters say CNN has more credibility than Trump.

Overall 47% of voters approve of the job Trump’s doing to 49% who disapprove. And 45% have a favorable opinion of him to 52% with a negative one. But when you dig down on the actual policies he’s pursued and actions he’s taken, the picture gets even worse for him.

A few other notes:

-68% of voters have a favorable opinion of the National Park Service, to only 9% with an unfavorable opinion of it. Only 30% of voters approve of censoring the Park Service’s social media accounts, to 52% who disapprove of that. Trump voters do support censorship of Park service social media accounts, 59/12, though.

-Only 13% of voters approve of the job Congress is doing, to 68% who disapprove. Paul Ryan has a 35/43 approval rating, and Mitch McConnell’s is 17/55. Democrats lead the generic Congressional ballot 45/42.

Full results here.

Oh, suh-NAP!

Apparently 45 dissed Arnold Schwarzenegger at the National Prayer Breakfast. At the National Prayer Breakfast. Once again 45 makes everything about him.

Schwarzenegger’s response was epic.

“Hey Donald, I have a great idea. Why don’t we switch jobs? You take over TV since you’re such an expert in ratings, and I take over your job and people can finally sleep comfortably again.”

My First Thought…

…was that I did not beat cancer to deal with this crap.

And then I realized that maybe that was the reason I did—and to fight against it.

From Wil Wheaton:

This Is A Fixed Point In Time

I am so disgusted by my government, and the cowards in Congress who refuse to stand up to the popular vote losing madman who currently sits in the White House, so profoundly out of his depth, he can be controlled by a neonazi and sent off to watch a children’s movie while thousands upon thousands of my fellow Americans take to the streets to challenge and resist his deplorable, unconstitutional, Fascist actions.

Yet I am also proud, inspired, and comforted by the millions of people not just in America, but around the world, who are standing up and declaring that we will fight this despicable scourge, this illegitimate, incompetent, corrupt, hateful, bigoted, petty tyrant, and everything he stands for. We will fight him until he is defeated, and we will never forget the appeasers and cowards who did nothing to stop him. Those who stand by silently, or offer empty words are no better than the evil men and women who enable this would-be dictator.

This is a binary moment in history, and all of us must make a choice that we will live with for the rest of our lives: you may choose to stand with Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, Richard Spencer, and the racist white nationalists who support them, or you may choose to stand on the side of justice, equality, and the rule of law.

Choose wisely.