Are You Listening Republicans? Do You Even Care?…

Even the Russians know Trump is a morally bankrupt vessel.

 

The America I Knew as Russia’s Foreign Minister Is Gone

But by impeaching Donald Trump, it can become a beacon of moral truth again.

 Andrei V. Kozyrev, Russian foreign minister from 1991 to 1996

 

Russians with moral integrity know that for America to return to a position of MORAL authority Trump must go.

Looks like some Russians have a much higher bar to clear than many Americans.

The United States has often played a pivotal role in my political life, beginning 50 years ago when I was a student of international relations at a Moscow university.

At that time, Soviet propaganda was well-practiced at denouncing Richard Nixon for rejecting the Kremlin’s dogma that in politics, the ends justify the means. Mr. Nixon had argued during his 1960 presidential campaign that the American democratic system recognizes a standard of moral truth that allows the individual to say to government, “Thus far may you go, but no farther.” If what Mr. Nixon said was true, many of us in the Soviet Union thought, then America is on the right side of history.

The Kremlin would later exploit the Watergate scandal to sneer at Mr. Nixon’s — and by extension, America’s — allegiance to moral truth as nothing more than hypocrisy. But what looked like an easy propaganda victory turned out to be Pyrrhic. When Republicans joined Mr. Nixon’s Democratic opposition in Congress and forced him to choose between resignation or impeachment, the Soviet dissident newsletters retorted that the standard of moral truth had proved to be real in America after all. And they pointed out that the investigation of the president of the United States was initiated by two young reporters, representatives of a free press. The Kremlin found no counterarguments, except to condemn the press as enemies of the people and dissidents as traitors.

The Iron Curtain was not enough to block the words of moral truth from Washington. Gradually more and more people in Russia heard and heeded them. The words spoken by successive presidents, members of Congress and many ordinary citizens were loud and clear — and when buttressed by genuine efforts to live up to them, they were the most powerful weapons in the Cold War. Unlike nuclear missiles, free speech, and the moral truth it brought, was not an element of the superpower struggle to be found in equal measure among both rivals. It was a unique and essential advantage on the American side.

Of course American presidents made a few unhappy, even hypocritical, decisions, in both domestic and foreign policy. Yet we in Russia saw how severely they were criticized by the media and Congress when they did so.

The words above, and those that follow are spot on and demonstrate how the world once thought of the United States and our institutions of government. No longer. Since the rise of Donald J. Trump  we have lost the moral high ground. With this loss we have also lost the respect it brought with it.

It will be a long road back to where we once were. Even if Trump is impeached and removed the work to rebuild the trust and respect DJT has squandered will be daunting for the next President. If Trump is not removed or soundly defeated in 2020 our road back will be much more difficult to acheive. If not impossibe.

Continue reading on BELOW the FOLD..

 

Who Values a Free and Independent Press? Apparently Not Trump…

It has long been recognized that Fox News is the home of Trump supporters. Fox is the place pro Trump folks go to get their pro Trump taking points. It makes little to no difference that much of the networks pro Trump spin is of questionable veracity.

But it seems trouble is brewing in the heretofore cozy relationship between Fox and Trump. Apparently the “Chosen One” is troubled because he perceives Fox as not “working for him” as much as he would like/demands. So much for presidential recognition that fr democracy to survive requires an independent and free press. Trump, being the narcissistic demagogue that he is has little use for a free and independent press. What Trump desires, and needs, is a well oiled compliant propaganda machine working for him 24/7.

This developing potential breakup between Trump and the Fox  Network may turn out to be great news if it results in declining support of Trump by the Network and among Fox regular viewers. Support Trump MUST have f he has a hope of winning reelection.

Even as Trump was tweeting his not-so-veiled demand for more obsequious coverage, USA Today and Suffolk University released a poll Wednesday that showed the significant overlap between Trump’s base and Fox. To wit:

  • Among those who “strongly approve” of Trump, 60 percent trust Fox News more than any other TV news outlet. Fox also accounts for 36 percent of those who simply “approve” of him.
  • In a 2020 matchup with a generic Democrat and a third-party candidate, Trump earns 54 percent of his support from those who trust Fox the most.
  • Of the 41 percent of people who have a favorable opinion of Trump, more than half of them say Fox is their most trusted news source (52 percent).
  • Among the remaining people who say they like Trump, most didn’t have a favorite news outlet. Just 16 percent of Trump supporters named some other outlet tested — whether CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, C-SPAN, Comedy Central or PBS/NPR. In other words, among people who seem to rely on TV news for their information enough to have a favorite, Fox-first viewers account for 4 out of every 5 Trump supporters.

There’s some guesswork involved here. Just because people trust Fox the most doesn’t mean they necessarily get lots of news from it. And just because they don’t have a favorite doesn’t mean they don’t watch TV news. But generally speaking, it’s clear Fox is the go-to for a huge portion of cable viewers who form Trump’s base.

He’re hoping Trump has grossly miscalculated and has indeed shot himself in his fat foot.

Full article BELOW the FOLD.

With the Mueller Report Congress Must Now Act to Do Its Job……

The Mueller report, a 400 page assessment of the Trump administration that began post-election 2016 and continued until this month, is anything but an exoneration of Trump. Rather it paints a picture of perhaps the most corrupt and ineffectual presidency in modern history. It also paints a stark picture of a democratic republic under attack by its president.

The consequential decision to impeach should not be made lightly. But Mueller’s damning report is an invitation that Congress shouldn’t refuse.

Despite Attorney General William Barr’s assurances and President Donald Trump’s boasts, the Mueller report doesn’t come close to exonerating the president of wrongdoing. Instead, it invites Congress to initiate impeachment proceedings. It’s time for Congress to heed that invitation.

In its extensive discussion of the constitutional issues implicated by special counsel Robert Mueller’s 22-month investigation, the report asserts that Congress has the authority to apply law “to all persons – including the President.” Specifically, Congress may “protect its own legislative functions against corrupt efforts designed to impede legitimate fact-gathering and lawmaking efforts.” The authority to prohibit a president’s corrupt use of power, the report finds, is essential to “our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.”

The report declines to reach a judgment on whether the president has committed a crime because Mueller views himself as bound by Department of Justice policy against indicting a sitting president. This does not mean that the president has not committed a crime.

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… Mueller invites Congress to take action, either through impeachment or by exposing a disgraced but politically acquitted Trump to criminal prosecution after he is no longer president — so long as that time comes within the five-year statute of limitations for obstruction.

I have written previously about the dangers of impeachment talk. The consequential and divisive decision to impeach is not to be taken lightly, ought not be used as a tool of political convenience, and should be avoided until the dangers of holding back exceed the dangers of proceeding. With the arrival of Mueller’s damning report, however, the time has now come.

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Congress must uncover the full facts of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, the ways in which that interference is continuing in anticipation of 2020, and the full story of how the president and his team welcomed, benefited from, repaid, and obstructed lawful investigation into that interference and the president’s cooperation with it. Equally important, Congress must seize this opportunity, while the report remains a locus of national attention, for the American public to see and hear for itself the firsthand witnesses to the president’s criminal behavior, and to weigh and rally around an appropriate path forward — as they did in the wake of Watergate.

Mueller’s report has in no way cleared the president of grave wrongdoing. It would be a lie to claim otherwise, as Barr and Trump repeatedly have done. The report takes pains to note that the investigation could not establish wrongdoing under the strict framework of conspiracy law, but declines to draw a conclusion on the existence of collusion, which “is not a specific offense or theory” under U.S. law. Further, Mueller does not mince words about the president’s potential obstruction of justice, stating: “If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment.”

Congress has a duty to provide a beacon of principle and democratic values to the American people. It must pick up the baton that Mueller has offered and come to a judgment of its own, with the understanding that conduct that falls short of criminal conspiracy may nonetheless be impeachable.

Given everything we know about Trump from his public statements and actions, combined with the Mueller Report  and its findings, every Patriotic American ought to be highly concerned with the president, his dishonesty, and his total disregard for our constitution, our institutions, and the rule of law.

Our national values as well as the very foundations of our democratic republic are under attack  by an inept man pretending to be president. Trump, while elected to the presidency, has demonstrated many times he does nt deserve to hold the office he occupies.

Now is the time for Congress to act to protect  our constitution, the rule of law, our free and independent press, and the institutions of government that have served the nation so well up tp 2017.

More of the Associated Press article BELOW the FOLD.

Trump’s First Non Fox News Interview In Two Months…

This morning, President Donald Trump sat down for an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network’s Pat Robertson for an interview that will air on The 700 Club tomorrow.

This will be the president’s first interview with an outlet that isn’t Fox News in more than two months. Following his sit-down with NBC News’ Lester Holt in which he revealed that Russia was on his mind when he fired FBI Director James Comey, the president has done only a handful of television interviews with friendly Fox News.

The White House appears to view CBN as a sympathetic outlet for Trump. Early on in his presidency, Trump gave the Christian station an interview and the channel’s reporters were given questions at early news conferences, much to the consternation of mainstream news agencies.

As for Robertson itself, besides being a longtime supporter of Republican causes and politicians — to the point that he ran for the GOP nomination in 1988 — he’s also known for making his share of controversial and inflammatory comments.

After the Orlando mass shooting last year, the televangelist said maybe it would be best to let the LGBT and Islamic allies “kill themselves.” He’s also described ISIS beheadings as “maybe the best thing that ever happened to the world” and once told a grieving mother that her dead child could have grown up to be Hitler. And let’s not forget his prediction of deadly asteroid impact that never came to pass.

Golly gee, is anyone, anyone at all, surprised? We certainty aren’t.

Full article with links BELOW THE FOLD.

Trump’s Fake News…

As Trump travels to Europe we have come to expect the proverbial dog and pony show from the Trump administration, all admist his unfounded Fake News claims.

As one reads the following it is clear Trump, the minority president, is employing the tactics of all strong men authoritarians who are basically despised by the majority of the population they rule.

Indeed American democracy is at risk…  From within, and, from the very man elected via an outdated electorial college to the highest office in the land.

America BEWARE.

Donald Trump didn’t exactly earn a unanimously warm welcome during his first trip to Europe as president in May. To ensure that his second visit starts off on a far more positive note this week, considerable measures are being taken, including those borrowed straight from the Communist Party playbook.

Ahead of making his way to Germany for the start of the G-20 summit Friday, Trump will land in Poland Wednesday and is guaranteed a rapturous reception: Supportive crowds literally will be bused in to cheer for him.

Trump will find a rare European friend in Poland, a country governed by its own nationalistic government and encouraged by the new U.S. president’s intention to shake up the global political order. Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said that, like Trump, Poland’s government was being attacked by “liberals, post-communists, lefties and genderists.” He added that Trump was “a man who is changing the shape of the world’s political scene.”

The leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, meanwhile, touted Trump’s visit as a major source of pride for the country.

“We have new success, Trump’s visit,” the conservative said. “[Others] envy it, the British are attacking us because of it.”

But the reason that Trump is even in Poland is thought to be in no small part due to the fawning reception he has been promised. And the country’s right-wing government is taking no chances to ensure the U.S. president gets his wish.

Supporters will be bussed to Warsaw, the scene of Trump’s speech Thursday, from all over Poland to participate in what has been deemed a “great patriotic picnic.”

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Yet, while Trump shares much of the nationalistic anti-immigrant policies of Poland’s ruling party, just 23 percent of Poles have confidence in him. That compares to the 58 percent that expressed confidence in Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama at the end of his second term.

And, while likely not visible to the president, there will be signs of opposition to Trump.

Fullk story BELOW THE FOLD.