Monday, January 30, 2017

After Latest BLOTUS Stunt- Dems Must Vow Total Obstruction

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"Well, uh, uh, I'm just doin' what Stevie Bannon told me to do! BWAAAHAHAHA! Why does everybody hate me?"

The latest vicious stunt pulled by the Trumpistas was their de facto Muslim ban enacted by fiat Saturday at exactly 4:42 p.m ET, stranding thousands at airports around the world.

The pseudo-order(given it will surely be overturned) ,suspended entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, barred Syrian refugees indefinitely and blocked entry into the United States for 90 days for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen

Trump has declared his paper piffle "E.O."  is "not a Muslim ban" but obviously it is and only a brainwashed, authoritarian Zombot would deny that. Clearly, Trump is capable of lying with impunity and getting too many of his groupies to swallow each of them whole.

As the NY Times Editorial Board put it Saturday night, after the latest Trump abomination:

"It must have felt like the worst trick of fate for these refugees to hit the wall of Donald Trump’s political posturing at the very last step of a years long, rigorous vetting process. This ban will also disrupt the lives and careers of potentially hundreds of thousands of immigrants who have been cleared to live in America under visas or permanent residency permits.

That the order, breathtaking in scope and inflammatory in tone, was issued on Holocaust Remembrance Day spoke of the president’s callousness and indifference to history, to America’s deepest lessons about its own values."

The depth of depravity of Trump and specifically his Nazi advisor Steve Bannon, was on full display Saturday evening as hundreds of thousands of lives were dislocated by his insane scribbles passed off as "executive orders". They are nothing of the sort as I observed in my previous post, never mind thousands of  gullible officials taking them as settled law and preventing even green card and valid visa holders from returning home.

And while the pro-authoritarian Trumpies make much ado of how their gilded hero is "protecting " them, they'd be better served by backing up and putting on their thinking caps.  Mike Morrell, former CIA deputy director, noted this a.m. the ban is purely for show and given the history of recent attacks doesn't get at the core problem. In his words:

"I think the order is going to make the threat worse. It is going to make us less safe. First of all, the biggest problem we face is home-grown terrorism.  Of the roughly hundred people who've been indicted for Isis -related crimes over the last three years, eighty five percent were American citizens. This doesn't get at that at all.... It doesn't make the danger any less and it's playing right into the Isis narrative that it's a war against Islam. So this is going to be a recruitment boon for Isis."

Morrell also exposed the blatant Trump lie that these nations were on Obama's hit list. In fact not. They were really part of a program to enhance the security of a visa-waiver program for people traveling from European countries. So the Trump bunch effectively enhanced and 'weaponized' a nominal visa waiver program.

As I said, all for show, to posture in front of Trump's brain-addled authoritarian "hobbits" - as Bannon referred to them when he raged at the NY Times.

As the Times also  noted, regarding Trump''s - I mean Steve Bannon's "order" (since Bannon is really the one pulling the strings of the brain dead idiot)):

"The order lacks any logic. It invokes the attacks of Sept. 11 as a rationale, while exempting the countries of origin of all the hijackers who carried out that plot and also, perhaps not coincidentally, several countries where the Trump family does business"

Well, what would you expect from the pen of a white Nationalist Nazi who even dubs himself "Darth Vader", as he did in a documented phone call to the Times last week, ordering them to "shut up".  Trumpies ought to ask themselves why Bannon-Trump haven't banned the nations from which the 9/11 hijackers came. Well, because those nations have Trump business interests!    For example Trump is involved with multiple deals with UAE billionaire developer Hussain Ali Sajwani. Sajwani himself has engaged in several controversial land deals with senior officials in the United Arab Emirates .During Trump's recent news conference he actually admitted Sajwani offered him $2 billion worth of development deals in Dubai.

And don't get me started on the pussyfooting Dems who ought to be ashamed that Bannon - in his rant to the Times -  actually declared the MEDIA to be the opposition, NOT the Democratic Party!  If I were a Dem (which I am not, I'm unaffiliated) I'd hang my head in shame because Bannon's spiel to the Times really showed my party wasn't doing its job as an opposition.

But in the wake of Bannon-Trump's Muslim ban  we have a serious shot over the bow for any Dem cooperation with this vile bunch of reptiles.  Wait, that's an insult to reptiles..  Before, I was willing to give the Ds a pass even if they ended up voting for some of Trump's less vile despicables, but no more.  Now, I want to see full throttle obstruction to the Bannon -Trump Reign by Diktat.

For reference, after the Nazis occupied Paris in 1940, a clique of French authorities proceeded to work with them, including facilitating deportations of Jews to Nazi death camps.  This lot became memorialized in an infamous sense as "Vichy France". In other words, Nazi collaborators.  The Dems now risk becoming known as VICHY Dems if they do not fight like rabid ferrets against everything the Bannon-Trump hoodlums propose or try to do.

The reason is abundantly clear: nothing they propose,  no law or plan,  can have the nation's interests at heart given a) Bannon is really running the show and b) Trump is a mere mentally unstable puppet.

Nobel economics laureate Paul Krugman tweeted on Tuesday that we have "An American first: a president who was obviously mentally ill the moment he took office. Thanks, Comey." Yesterday Arizona congressman Ruben Gallego said Trump is mentally unstable. He also said "This man is not normal. He is not acting normal. And there's nothing that he's done at this point for me that he's proven that I should work with him. And I don't think it's gonna change."

Do the Democrats get it then? You cannot work with an administration run by a Nazi white nationalist and a madman liar! This is a non-starter, What does this mean? What sort of actions does this translate into?

- No more votes cast for any Trump nominees! If they are going to get in anyway, fine- let the GOP deliver their votes, don't you do it!

- Total filibuster against ANY Trump Supreme Court nominee until Obama's SC pick (Merrick Garland) is first given a hearing. Sorry, you do not get to "jump" your place in line for SC nominees even after an election.  Any Dem who refuses to exercise the filibuster is to be primaried, no exceptions.

- No enabling passage of ANY Republican legislation that will ultimately be signed by Bannon-Trump. That includes infrastructure, Obamacare (ACA), defense.   Again, any Vichy Democrats who collaborate with these vermin to be primaried when they next face re-election.

In a more general sense, former Senate aide Adam Jentleson, writing in The Washington Post ("Senate Democrats Have The Power To Stop Trump If They Use It") referenced procedural measures to solidly muck up the works and slow everything to a grind. He writes:

"The tool lies in the simple but effective act of withholding consent" adding that "an organized effort on the Senate floor can bring the body to its knees and slow down the agenda of a president who doesn't represent the majority of Americans"

How  would it work? Basically the 48 Dems would have to organize so one is always on the floor when the Senate  leader (McConnell) calls for motion to consent. Bear in mind for the Senate to move in a timely fashion there must be unanimous consent for every action or measure put forward. If a single Senator objects to any consent agreement then McConnell will be forced to resort to time-consuming procedural steps through the cloture process.  These steps would generally take four days to confirm nominees and 7 days to advance any piece of legislation. And that's without any amendment votes, If those are added,  each such amendment can be subjected to 7 days of cloture as well. With the will to do it, the Dems for once could have the Reepo heads exploding with frustration and exert some measure of payback.

To effect this, all the Dems need is to ensure one of them is always on the floor to withhold consent. The beauty is that because every Senate action requires unanimous consent it confers massive leverage for Democrats. BUT....they must possess the  balls to use it, else forget it, as they revert to balless donkeys as depicted above. If they don't like being called "obstructionist"  then,  again, we must call them balless donkeys. There's no other option. You either do like the Reepos and bring an Uzi (not a knife) to a gunfight, or go home.

Sen. Chuck Schumer on Sunday vowed to “claw, scrap and fight with every fiber of my being until these orders are overturned.” That's fine as far as it goes, but unless he and fellow Dems unite to obstruct every move the Trumpists and GOP attempt in the wake of Bannnon's atrocity, it's merely empty words.

Am I advocating analogous strategies to the Tea Party? You're damned right I am, especially after Bannon-Trump's latest abomination with the de facto Muslim ban which will even have effects too many can't see  For example, the Tech companies including Google have vowed to move their companies to other nations if their workers can't secure the H1B visas here.

In the end this is about acting the part of a genuine opposition and not as political collaborators for an unstable asshole and his Nazi master, Obersturmfuhrer Bannon.   This is the piece of dung who - in a statement released about Holocaust Memorial Day - ensured that all reference to Jews was scrubbed beforehand. This, of course, is the M.O. of the Holocaust denier.

The media should not have to play the part of a full opposition party but rather a vigilant outside ("fourth estate") monitor- recorder of ongoing transgressions It is up to our opposing political representatives to act the part and not confect excuses not to.  It means risking collegiality but that's okay  For the parlous era in which we find ourselves collegiality must take a back seat to protecting citizens' rights and not enabling an  anti-American rabble that calls itself an administration.

Have my made my point clearly? Yeppers, I believe I have!

Lily Rothman, in her recent (Feb. 6, p. 20) TIME essay ('The Perils of Snap Judging A U.S. President') is correct to the degree that many U.S.  Presidents gummed things up in their first 100 days "as they try to find their footing as leaders of the free world".  But for Donald J. Trump there is zero danger of that, i.e. waiting past those 100 days for him to rectify. The reason is because we know - short of  his getting needed ECT and treatment at Bellevue - he will be as much (or more) of a lying asshole then, as he is now.

Thus the take of Garrison Keillor is the more correct:

"What we know is that this man is who he is. There is no larger, finer man waiting to get out."

So whether we wait 1 day, 100 days or 1000 days is immaterial. Trump, morally deformed mutant that he is will remain the same Indeed. A 70 year old psychopath with delusions of grandeur and omnipotence who relies on a white Nationalist consigliere (Bannon) to tell him what to do and what to sign. No wonder Paul Krugman in a Tuesday tweet referred to him as an American "first" - the first ever mentally ill  man to become president. The Dems and media must fight this monster with every fiber of their being, exposing his atrocities as they emerge- and there will be more.

The last straw was disallowing the Director of National Intelligence and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs from being assured a seat at the principals meeting - the most senior grouping of national intelligence officials or NSC. And who will get special prominence? Who will be guaranteed a seat before all others? Why Steve Bannon, Nazi consigliere to the mad potentate with orange hair.     This is now serious territory, folks.  This is the territory of an emerging constitutional crisis. One which could have so easily been avoided had the electors done their sworn duty in December and prevented this fool's ascent to the highest office.

This is territory we cannot tolerate, and one hopes Nancy Pelosi- who is to convene a Town Hall tomorrow night - grasps the meaning of a Vichy Dem and doesn't try to insist we can work with these vermin.  On the positive side, even if he Dems punk out, the ACLU will be there to fight for us. They have collected $24 million since Saturday compared to typically $4 million a year.  Thanks, President Bannon, for your terrific help here, writing as a 25 year member of the ACLU!

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