The American Nightmare

Putin gloatingI suspect that Donald Trump and his Republican cronies will not be pleased by the cover story in the latest issue of The Week.

Russia’s Vladimir Putin is publicly gloating. “Thank God no one is accusing us anymore of interfering in the U.S. elections,” Putin said in a recent speech. “Now they’re accusing Ukraine.” No wonder Putin and the Russians are laughing at us.

The remarkable aspect of this is that the historically tough-on-Russia Republicans have totally let their guard down and are, instead engaged in a virtual hug-fest with Putin. Trump has embraced Putin’s disinformation campaign and requires that his cadre of loyal Republicans also embrace it. The Ukraine conspiracy theory has become “Trump’s white whale,” and his obsession with it is the main reason why his impeachment is moving forward at such a rapid pace.

Jennifer Rubin, a columnist at Washington Post, wrote, “By spreading Putin’s propaganda, the Republicans’ “useful idiots” are “aiding and abetting a hostile power.”

New York Times journalist Charles Blow suggested that Trump knows exactly what he’s doing. With the evidence leaving “no remaining doubt” about his guilt, he’s doubling down on the Ukraine theory and “eroding truth and bending reality among those who support him.”

Another New York Times columnist, Maureen Dowd wrote that Putin sure did “hit the jackpot with Trump.”

There’s really only one way left to alleviate this insanity foisted upon us by Putin, the master manipulator, and that is for the Democratically-controlled House to impeach Trump and for the Republican-controlled Senate to convict him and remove him from office.

Unfortunately, due to extreme partisanship, that’s unlikely to happen, and at daybreak, this American nightmare will continue.

Written for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (suspect), The Daily Spur (guard), Ragtag Daily Prompt (hug), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (rapid), Your Daily Word Prompt (alleviate), and Daily Addictions (daybreak).

Fake Views

6C6612CD-9627-4020-9606-38178B2499D4Despite the overwhelming evidence against Donald Trump, he still manages to garner the staunch support of most Republican voters. The number of Americans who continue to approve of Trump remains largely static, at about 40% overall. But in a CNN poll last week, only 10% of Republicans said Trump should be impeached and removed from office, while 89% of Republicans approved of the job he’s doing. What?

Republicans in Congress have been briefed by U.S. intelligence officials who informed the senators and their aides that Russia has engaged in a yearslong campaign to essentially frame Ukraine as responsible for Moscow’s own hacking of the 2016 election. This is not fake news. And yet these Republicans continue to cling to that false narrative in order to protect Trump and to deflect the charges that will likely lead to his impeachment. They are unabashedly promoting fake views to the American people.

Do these Republicans in Congress actually believe what they are saying in public? I can’t understand how, for the good of the nation, they continue to wage war on the truth and the facts. Are they hoping that, with the passage of time between now and the elections next November, the American public will either ignore or forget Trump’s abuse of power, obstruction of justice, and his attempts, for his own personal and political benefit, to extort the newly elected president of Ukraine?

Or maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m the fool who is trying to chase after some oasis of truth in the middle of this barren political desert only to find that it’s merely a mirage.

I guess time will tell.

Written for these daily prompts: Your Daily Word Prompt (staunch), Daily Addictions (number, chase), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (wage), Ragtag Daily Prompt (passage), and Word of the Day Challenge (oasis).

Who Won The Week? 11/17/19

10CC3057-4EEA-4C80-B8C1-700C0FC6C906It’s time for another Who Won the Week prompt. The idea behind Who Won the Week is for you to select who you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.

I will be posting this prompt on Sunday mornings (my time). If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.

My pick for this week is bow ties.

George Kent, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, was the first witness to testify at this past Wednesday’s televised House of Representatives impeachment hearing. Kent is a very high-level official who oversees all U.S. policy over Ukraine and has a deep knowledge of the relationship between the United States and Ukraine.

He testified that Trump wanted Ukraine’s newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to publicly and explicitly announce he’d be investigating matters involving Democrats, and he wanted Zelensky to use the words “Biden” and “Clinton.”

Kent testified that the White House’s effort to get Ukraine to root out “corruption” was actually an attempt to make them dig up dirt on Trump’s 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, and a potential 2020 opponent, former vice president Joe Biden. He spoke of how “corrupt” Ukrainians recruited Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to attack U.S. officials with a “campaign of lies” about then-Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. And he made it clear that Donald Trump was willing to use his power and influence to go after his political rivals by threatening to withholding desperately needed military assistance in Ukraine’s struggle with Russia.EF523D53-E48B-4053-B0B9-05E5CCBB9A85But as damning as Kent’s testimony was for Trump and Guiliani and others doing Trump’s bidding, the most notable thing for those of us who watched the hearing, was Kent’s bow tie. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it.

I don’t know if Kent’s bow tie is going to stimulate a resurgence of bow ties in male fashion circles, but as far as I’m concerned, bow ties won the week.

And now it’s your turn, folks. Who (or what) do you think won the week?

We the People

Trump and the ConstitutionHow is it that the Republicans in Congress and those who support Donald Trump can still believe that his presidency is copacetic? Things in and around the White House are not in excellent order. Far from it. In fact, the ubiquity of corruption, dishonesty, and ineptness is astounding.

Trump and his cronies are treating the presidency like a three-ring circus, with a constant drip, drip, drip of questionable, and probably, illegal actions.

First there was the withholding of congressionally approved funds for Ukraine by Trump and his delegates. The money was to be withheld unless the newly elected president of Ukraine agreed to investigate one of Trump’s political rivals. And while Trump claims there was nothing wrong with his dealings with the Ukrainian President, his own “acting” chief-of-staff publicly admitted to a quid pro quo for political purposes and told those reporters assembled to “get over it.”

And then there was the infamous telephone call with Turkey’s dictator, Erdogan, in which Trump gave the green light for Turkey to send his army into the Kurdish homeland, a narrow swath of land in northern Syria. This act will be devastating to Kurds, who fought ISIS on behalf of the United States, and it gave Erdogan America’s blessing to essentially engage in ethnic cleansing (i.e., genocide) of the Kurdish people. It’s an almost incomprehensible betrayal of our allies in the battle against ISIS.

And what about Trump’s desperate move to defy subpoenas, to try to prevent anyone associated with the Trump administration from testifying before Congress, and refusing to comply with demands to provide documents to congressional committees? These are outrageous acts of obstruction of justice.

And finally there is the selection of Trump’s golf resort, the Trump National Doral Miami, as the site for the festivities at next June’s G7 Summit. This is in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which prohibits federal officeholders (including the president) from receiving any gift, payment, or other thing of value from a foreign state or its rulers, officers, or representatives. Having foreign leaders, their entourages, and security teams paying enormous sums of money to stay at a property owned by Trump is the very definition of using his office to line his own pockets.

So back to my original question: how is it that the Republicans in Congress and those who support Donald Trump can still believe that his presidency is copacetic? When will they begin to put country ahead of party? And when will we the people, the American voting public, say that enough is enough?

Written for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (copacetic), Your Daily Word Prompt (ubiquity), The Daily Spur (ring), Daily Addictions (drip), Word of the Day (desperate), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (festivities).