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Here’s the tweet. You try to figure out exactly what Donald Trump means:

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A White House spokesperson confirmed key numbers in the 2005 Donald Trump Form 1040 released by DCREPORT.ORG and claimed that its publication was “illegal.” So the tax returns are real. So what is the fake news? I guess Trump is claiming that the reporter who published the returns didn’t just “find” them but got them some other way.

To start with, Trump (who really doesn’t pay attention to folks outside his family and business interests by the evidence of who he follows on Twitter), says that reporter David Cay Johnson is someone “nobody ever heard of.” I guess a Pulitzer Prize for economic reporting doesn’t carry much weight in Trump’s universe, but in that universe, no one but journalists want to see his tax returns either.

Of course Trump has no evidence one way or another about how Johnson obtained the tax form. Or does he?

We cannot discount the possibility that Trump leaked the forms himself. Think about it. There is mounting pressure for Trump to release his taxes in full. The Congress is digging into Trump’s connections with Russians. His complete tax returns would show where Trump gets his money, and who he owes. This woefully incomplete two pages from 11 years ago, generally innocuous, might be the basis of an argument that goes: “See, you’ve seem my tax returns and there’s nothing interesting about them.” Form 1040 alone tells you almost nothing about Trump’s business dealings.

National Public Radio reported:

The House Intelligence Committee set the deadline in a letter to Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente last week in which it asked for proof of the claim, which Obama and others have said is baseless.

imageThe deadline is today, March 13, 2017.

Instead of looking at President Obama, the House should be investigating Donald Trump’s sanity.

Senator John McCain told CNN this past Sunday:

I think the president has one of two choices: either retract or … provide the information that the American people deserve

Will the evidence be forthcoming? What do you think?

Update:

Well, the Administration is begging for more time, and the House Committee has given them until the 20th. Meanwhile, Trump’s disinformation secretary, Sean Spicer, is saying that Trump didn’t mean actual wiretapping when he used the word in quotation marks in his tweet. So exactly what does “wiretapping” mean? Spicer also suggested that Trump didn’t mean that Obama himself ordered the quote wiretaps unquote, when he said “Obama ordered.” Who was Trump referring to when he said “bad (or sick) guy”?

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Update:

So March 20 came and went without any evidence. Republican chairman Nunes said that no evidence of wiretapping was found at Trump Tower. Nunes added “it’s possible that other surveillance activities were used against President Trump and his associates.” Well it’s possible that President Trump and his associates were agents of a foreign power. Anything’s possible.

Donald Trump is a liar at heart, and his die-hard supporters don’t seem to care.

Update

As a result of Nunes’ collaboration with the White House, it appears that they have worked together to halt the House investigation into Russian intervention in the 2016 election and Trump’s role in it.

The House Intelligence Committee appears to be paralyzed amid indications that Republican chair Devin Nunes has been working on behalf of President Donald Trump to undermine its investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.

Caroline Bankoff – New York Magazine

Nunes canceled two scheduled hearings of the House Intelligence Committee. Democratic member Jim Himes said:

I’m sorry to say, the chairman has ceased to be the chairman of an investigative committee and has been running interference for the Trump White House, cancelling hearings. … Effectively, what has happened is the committee’s oversight, the oversight of our national intelligence apparatus, has come to a halt because of this particular issue.

I was thinking about the fact that Donald Trump says a lot of  irresponsible things, but he never apologizes. The Chicago Tribune had an article I saw today that says:

… when Congress determines, as it surely will, that Trump Tower wasn’t wiretapped and Trump was wrong to defame Barack Obama by saying he engaged in illegal political espionage — will Trump apologize?

Not a chance. …

The Tribune is no doubt correct. I mean, when did Trump apologize for questioning Obama’s birth certificate? When he repudiated his prior campaign to cast doubt on the document, he blatantly lied about what he had done, and tried to cast the blame on someone else.

The Heritage Foundation (a conservative think tank) wrote an article in 2009 titled: “Barack Obama’s Top 10 Apologies: How the President Has Humiliated a Superpower.” In all fairness, I couldn’t say whether the Heritage Foundation actually views apologies as a sign of weakness, or if this article is just anti-Obama propaganda. In either case, the mindset of the Trump supporter seems to be that apology is humiliating, and a sign of weakness. I personally see honesty as a sign of strength and when correcting the record requires admitting that you were wrong, my respect for that individual and their credibility increases.

Needless to say, my respect for Donald Trump is non-existent and his credibility with me is zero.

Source: WikipediaThe image is the Spasskaya Gate at the Kremlin. The question is whether there is a political scandal in the United States regarding intervention in the 2016 elections by the Russians.

What the Russians almost certainly did is to hack the Democratic National Committee’s email servers, download information, and then release it to the public for the purpose of embarrassing the Clinton Campaign. If you want to investigate that question, I suggest the book, “The Plot to Hack America: How Putin’s Cyberspies and WikiLeaks Tried to Steal the 2016 Election” by Malcolm Nance.

What is less clear at the present is to what degree, if any, the Trump campaign was involved. The fact that Trump Campaign apparatchik, now US Attorney General, Jeff Sessions had contacts with the Russian Ambassador (considered by some to be Russia’s top spy in the US) and then lied about it to Congress seems troublesome. It is also troublesome that the FBI, whom Sessions oversees, has been less than forthcoming to the Congressional committee that is going to investigate the Russian hacking.

I cannot help but see emerging parallels with the Watergate scandal, where government officials lied, and Nixon tried to sabotage the investigation of the Watergate burglary, which was also an attempt to use illegal means to gain information useful in an election campaign. Donald Trump spreads fake news about the question, but has not quite passed over into obstruction. [This article was originally written before Trump fired FBI director James Comey strengthening the parallel to Nixon who fired the Watergate special prosecutor.]

We are at a very early stage in the process of getting to the bottom of the story, and not quite to the point of asking the question: “what did the President know, and when did he know it?”

So Donald Trump had a press conference yesterday, something unlike any other presidential press conference in memory. In it, Trump described his administration as a “fine-tuned machine.”

My first reaction to this insane remark was that perhaps the machine was a clown car.

Trump Clown Car2

In just a short time, Trump’s national security advisor was forced to resign, his spokesperson has been cited for ethical violations. Trump’s number 2 pick for national security advisor won’t take the job. His nomination for labor secretary withdrew after it became clear that he couldn’t even be confirmed by a Republican Senate. Add to that his Immigration Ban ineptly rolled out, and then blocked by the courts.

Trump has picked fights with the President of Mexico, China, the intelligence community and the Press. He has undermined NATO. Is there anything the Trump administration has done well besides dividing the country and sparking protests? Somebody will have to tell me what that is.

He tweets that his low poll numbers are “fake news.” And why did he have to mention Hillary Clinton a dozen times in a presidential news conference, or the (incorrect) number of electoral votes he got? The election is over already!  The Trump administration is more like a bad TV reality show, one headed for cancellation before the end of the first season.

For more on Trump’s decaying mental state, see this article from NPR: “With ‘Fake News,” Trump Moves from Alternative Facts to Alternative Language.

In October 2009, early in the Obama presidency, the right-wing publication WorldNetDaily published an article entitled, “Is it Time to Whisper the Word ‘Impeachment’?

The article quotes President Gerald Ford from his Senate days saying that an impeachable offense was: “whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.” The article goes on to conclude:

“In other words, ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ does not refer to a criminal act. Our Founding Fathers fully intended to allow for the removal of the president for actions which include: gross incompetence, negligence and distasteful behavior.”

If indeed that were truly the standard for impeachment, then I would say that Trump is clearly on the path to impeachment, even though it might have to wait until the next Congress. But that is not the definition. As much as “gross incompetence, negligence and distasteful behavior” characterizes President Trump so far, we have yet to see a level of gross illegality that would literally force Congress to act. Some suggest that a Republican Congress would never impeach a Republican president, but one needs but look at the incredibly low approval ratings Congress has to see that they cannot afford to act in a partisan way when faced with a hypothetical smoking gun in the hands of Donald Trump amidst a pile of bodies in Central Park.

So it is not time to whisper the word “impeachment” – not until it is earned.

I continue to be amazed at the level of cluelessness displayed by Trump supporters. You’d think I would become used to it, but the stupid ratchets up.

This comes from a Public Policy Polling report on February 10. The poll measured how much folks approve of Donald Trump after 3 weeks in office. The Trump Executive Order on Immigration, banning travel from 7 majority Muslim countries was not supported by a majority (45% support, 49% oppose) but the incredible thing is that among those Trump supporters who support the ban, by a wide margin (51/23) said that the Bowling Green massacre shows why Trump’s immigration policy is needed. Here’s the question:

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: ‘The Bowling Green massacre shows why we need Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration?’

There was no Bowling Green massacre! It’s something that Trump spokesperson Kellyanne Conway made up. She claims that she misspoke, but the Washington Post found that she had spoke of the imaginary massacre two times before. Here’s one statement she made to Cosmo:

[Obama] did that because two Iraqi nationals came to this country, joined ISIS, traveled back to the Middle East to get trained and refine their terrorism skills and come back here, and were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre of taking innocent soldiers’ lives away.”

What happened in Bowling Green was that two people residing there, who came to the US from Iraq attempted to send weapons and money to al Qaeda (not ISIS) for the purpose of killing U.S. soldiers were arrested, and sent to jail. They did not travel back to Iraq for training, and there was no attack on US soil. Read the FBI report.

Sensible people can make very bad decisions when they have bad information, but sensible people investigate their facts when making important decisions, like who will be president of the United States.

Propaganda doesn’t come naturally to me. By nature, I want to be fair, perhaps to a fault. Someone I once worked for advised me: “never negotiate against yourself.”

I would very much like for the hashtag #MostDivisivePresidentEver to go viral in reference to Donald Trump. I came up with it myself, but it had appeared earlier on Twitter in reference to Barack Obama. I think the Obama usage was grossly unfair, and “most divisive ever” is just one more smear directed at Obama b\y those who hate him, and will degrade themselves by how lo\w they will go to lie and defame him. I have a point of view, but lying is out of bounds to promote it.

One might argue that Donald Trump is the most divisive president ever when judged over the first three weeks in office. Usually a president gets a “honeymoon,” but Donald Trump skipped that by appointing incompetents and cronies to key positions, and appointing people to head agencies that previously worked to destroy them gets people upset.

And of course the clincher, the travel ban. The ban was an abortion from the start because it was poorly drafted, and ineptly implemented. The text wasn’t released initially, and there was no guidance for those who were called to implement it. It caused confusion and dislocation across the world, and hurt innocent people. It may well be unconstitutional, but the courts will decide that.

Trump is going to have to continue in the same mode, however, to earn the #MostDivisivePresidentEver hashtag. He’s got strong competition from Abraham Lincoln (Civil War) and Lyndon Johnson (Vietnam).

How the birthers enabled a fascist dictatorship in America

Birthers didn’t start out to destroy American freedom and to turn it into an oppressive dictatorship. Because birtherism embraced a fantasy view of American history, one in which “liberty and justice for all” meant liberty and justice for only conservative white Christian native-born Americans.

True liberty scared the pants off birthers who cast about for a leader would save them from the ever-increasing majority of people who didn’t fit their demographic. Donald Trump was that leader, a man was willing to say anything the birthers wanted to hear, and double-down on it when he was criticized for its lack of truthfulness, wisdom, and even common decency.

The fractured Congress, which had long ago forgot how to govern, capitulated quickly to President Trump’s abrogation of treaties, cancellation of basic Constitutional rights for many (such as the internment camp for Muslims). Trump’s brown shirts bloodied any opposition from real American Patriots.