Some questions …

I have some questions for those who claim to be gay and Republican.

Do you support Donald Trump’s decision today to ban transgender people from serving in the military? Did you support his earlier decision to rescind protections put in place by President Obama prohibiting schools from discriminating against transgender students?

Do you still think Donald Trump is a friend of the LGBTQ community, someone worthy of your support and your vote?

If you do, you’re pathetic.

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” Trump tweeted today. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

It’s a lie, of course. The Pentagon spends more, ten times as much, on erectile dysfunction meds than it does on transgender services. But telling the truth has never been Donald Trump’s strong suit. In addition to avoiding the draft during the Vietnam War because he had bone spurs, the man is a chronic liar.

One immediate question is why Trump made the announcement today? It’s hard to say for sure, but one commentator suggests that this has something to do with Trump’s efforts to force Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign.

Just as Donald Trump is experiencing an unexpected backlash from his conservative base of supporters for his withering attacks on his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, comes his tweetstorm in which he says he will mercilessly ban transgender people – who’ve been serving openly in the military since President Obama lifted the ban on open service last year – from serving any longer.

You can read the full analysis here and there definitely seems to be some truth to it.

Still another interesting take sees the decision as part of a last-ditch attempt to save a House proposal full of Trump’s campaign promises that was on the verge of defeat.

Read more about that here.

Whatever the reason or reasons, the decision is being widely condemned. The American Medical Association (AMA), the nation’s largest medical society, said “there is no medically valid reason” for the ban. “Transgender individuals are serving their country with honor, and they should be allowed to continue doing so.”

John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, opposed the decision and took issue with how it was announced. “The president’s tweet this morning regarding transgender Americans in the military is yet another example of why major policy announcements should not be made via Twitter.”

And the ranking Democrat on the Committee, Jack Reed, noted that Trump made his decision public on the anniversary of Harry Truman’s order desegregating the United States military.

“President Trump is choosing to retreat in the march toward equality,” Senator Reed said.

“This was a divisive political move that exposes the president’s lack of faith in the professionalism of our armed forces,” Reed added, calling on Trump to review the facts and reverse his decision. “In the land of the free and the home of the brave, every American who is brave enough to serve their country should be free to do so.”

Meanwhile, at the White House, the sock puppet otherwise known as Sarah Huckabee Sanders, threatened to end the daily press briefing because she was unable to answer reporters’ questions about how Trump came to the decision, why he announced it over Twitter, whether the Defense Department was involved or whether Trump was failing to live up to his campaign pledge to defend LGBT Americans.

Or perhaps more important still, whether the decision was politically motivated. Of course, we already know the answer to that, don’t we?

The decision comes one day after the Republican-dominated state Senate in Texas passed a bill that would force transgender Texans to use bathrooms of the gender on their birth certificates rather than the one they identify with.

But apparently our gay Republican friends continue to live in their fantasy world, one where everything is going just swimmingly for the LGBTQ community under the GOP!

To put it simply, transgender Americans have served and are continuing to serve courageously in our military. “I came from a long line of people who have served in this country,” said Machinist Mate First Class Monica Helms. “To have someone say to me, I’m not worthy to be allowed to serve, simply because I’m different, is a horrible and bigoted way of looking at things.”

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Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire …

Lying comes naturally to Trump - he's been doing it for years ...

Good news, people! We can finally put to rest the long simmering debate about whether Donald Trump recorded his conversations with James Comey, among others. Earlier today Trump finally tweeted that he did not tape his conversations with the former F.B.I. Director.

“With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking, and illegal leaking of information,” Trump said in a pair of tweets shortly before 1 p.m., “I have no idea … whether there are ‘tapes’ of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, such recordings.”

You can read more about the breaking news in this New York Times story. The cartoon is from Clay Jones, more of whose work is featured here.

How convenient!

The announcement comes on the same day Senate Republicans were releasing their healthcare proposal so very little attention will be paid to Trump’s revelation. And Trump also left open the possibility that someone else may have recorded their conversations. One wonders who? Could it be the Russians perhaps?

In any event, Trump’s latest tweets raise still another question. We know Trump lies all the time; and since the man is a serial liar, can we really trust his denial today? Could it be the tapes do exist and would prove inconvenient if Trump was forced to share them with Congressional investigators or the Special Counsel?

Can we really be sure of anything when it comes to a liar like Donald Trump?

When Will Republicans Stand Up to Trump?

I wouldn't hold your breath waiting the right decision to be made ...

If the controversy over the firing of James Comey, the F.B.I. director, has done anything, it has confirmed my decision on Nov. 9 to leave the Republican Party after a lifetime as a loyal member.

The Republican Party was once the party of small government, free trade, traditional values, principled foreign policy leadership and, most important of all, adherence to the Constitution. Republicans spent decades fulminating against activist judges like Earl Warren and activist politicians like Barack Obama, claiming they were undermining the founders’ vision of limited government.

And then, the party sold its soul to the soulless charlatan who now occupies the Oval Office and makes a mockery of every one of the party’s principles.

Very thoughtful article by someone who, intellectually at least, is still a Republican, but who wonders whether there are any Republicans left who will put loyalty to the republic above their fealty to the Republican Party?

You should definitely read the entire article. The cartoon above is by Chan Lowe, more of whose work is featured here.

The White House Grifters …

the three pigs ...

April 28, 2017 Update

They dress nice and probably smell good and most of them don’t even muss the furniture. Wealth gives them the patina of respectability — the American reflex of deference to the rich. But make no mistake: The Trump family and assorted cronies are using the highest office in the land to stuff their pockets.

That’s how a column by Timothy Egan I read today in the New York Times begins. The column, entitled White House of Grifters, made me laugh because it makes many of the same arguments I did in this post, but probably in a somewhat more thoughtful way.

In any event, I thought I would pass it along. It’s well worth reading; and since I’m back here posting today, I thought I would toss in this Tom Toles cartoon from the Washington Post as well. I thought it sums things up pretty well.

Isn't that the truth?

April 27, 2017 Original Posting

As a rule, Republican presidents like offering tax cuts, and President Trump is no different. But the skimpy one-page tax proposal his administration released on Wednesday is, by any historical standard, a laughable stunt by a gang of plutocrats looking to enrich themselves at the expense of the country’s future.

You can read more of this New York Times editorial here.

In their infinite wisdom, enough people in enough states put Donald Trump in the White House last year. And because the man has no shame, no ethical standards, and is perfectly fine with nepotism, he brought his daughter and son-in-law along as well.

Without a doubt, the Trumps are the most shameless and corrupt family to ever occupy the White House. Unlike the Clintons or Obama, who waited until they had left office to cash in, Trump and his family are determined to extract every filthy dime they can from their time in office.

Ivanka Trump wins three new trademark rights for her line of handbags, jewelry and spa services from China on April 6, the very day she and her husband, Jared Kushner, sat next to Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife at dinner at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Just coincidence? Only an idiot would believe that.

Scores of other trademarks from which she will personally benefit are pending for her company in at least 23 other countries, including China, Canada, Mexico, Russia and Australia. Want to take a bet on how many will be approved? And this is a woman who goes around pretending to be a public servant? She’s a greedy joke.

Jared Kushner reportedly owns or has a stake in nearly 300 different assets or companies collectively worth hundreds of millions of dollars that classify as pass-through businesses; businesses that would benefit greatly from the tax reductions the Administration outlined yesterday. Another coincidence? Give me a break!

And what about the Donald himself?

We won’t know for sure because the man refuses to release his tax returns and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, another Goldman Sachs plutocrat, now says he never will. So much for the pretense that withholding his returns had something to do with being audited; apparently it doesn’t.

Like I said, without seeing those returns, we may never know the full extent of the personal greed and rapaciousness that will be served by the tax bill he plans to send to Congress.

But we know the man is already profiting from the Presidency as foreign potentates line up to visit his hotel in Washington, his resort in Florida, and the many other properties he should have divested himself from completely before taking office.

We know his tax plan would eliminate one provision without which Trump would have paid less than 4 percent in taxes in 2005. With it, he paid 25 percent.

And we also know that he will benefit personally a lot more than you will from his tax plan because that plan is an irresponsible, shameless, budget-busting gift to plutocrats like himself.

Is any of this illegal? Who knows? But don’t expect the Justice Department to go after Donald, Ivanka, and Jared any time soon. They work for the man, not for you. For what it’s worth, however, the man they work for and his spawn are pigs in my opinion; pigs who deserve the contempt of the American people.

But instead it’s likely Americans will stand by like the sheep they are while Trump, his family, and other plutocrats rape the U.S. Treasury and the American taxpayer for every dime they can extract. That may be all well and good for them.

But it doesn’t change the fact that the Trumps are a family of grifters and you’re the people they’re raping.

More …

Et tu, Brutus?

It’s getting so bad even The Wall Street Journal, long considered the bastion of conservative thinking in the United States, is taking notice.

“If President Trump announces that North Korea launched a missile that landed within 100 miles of Hawaii, would most Americans believe him? Would the rest of the world? We’re not sure, which speaks to the damage that Mr. Trump is doing to his Presidency with his seemingly endless stream of exaggerations, evidence-free accusations, implausible denials and other falsehoods.”

As for his charge that Obama tapped his wires, the Journal notes that, despite all the evidence to the contrary, Trump “clings to his assertion like a drunk to an empty gin bottle.” Not a pretty analogy. It almost makes you wish Obama did tap his wires if only to tighten up all the loose screws in the man’s head.

Read more here; or if you can’t access it there, check out the full text of its editorial in the screenshot below.

Liar …

I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters ...

“But the current president of the United States lies. He lies in ways that no American politician ever has before. He has lied about — among many other things — Obama’s birthplace, John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Sept. 11, the Iraq War, ISIS, NATO, military veterans, Mexican immigrants, Muslim immigrants, anti-Semitic attacks, the unemployment rate, the murder rate, the Electoral College, voter fraud and his groping of women.

He tells so many untruths that it’s time to leave behind the textual parsing over which are unwitting and which are deliberate — as well as the condescending notion that most of Trump’s supporters enjoy his lies.

Read more here and here.