Monday, August 21, 2017

It's Time to Censure and Impeach President Trump

Senators Hatch and Lee, Representatives Bishop, Love, and Stewart:
Please censure and impeach President Trump. The president has proven repeatedly that he cares more about himself than the health, welfare, or condition of the country. He needs to go before he is personally responsible for more damage to the peace of the nation. 
He has dismissed advisory councils, believing his own “brain” to be better than the experience or advice of other leaders. He mocks, threatens and bullies any public figure that dares to speak out against him. He has set a horrible example for the youth of America regarding the truth, sexism, racism, trusting the expertise of others, and acceptance of others. 
His comments regarding the tragedy in Charlottesville fell far short of a leader who cares about all citizens. He failed to make it clear that racism, bigotry, and extremism would not be tolerated in this country. If nothing else proves it, surely his failures regarding Charlottesville indicate he is unfit to lead a diverse nation.
If you need further proof, consider that as the Commander in Chief he has disrupted morale, leading even the highest ranking leadership of the armed forces to speak out against his policies. (Policies he claims he had consulted them on.) 
His fake cover of Time magazine that he publicly displays (and has not disavowed knowledge of) is proof that he cares more about his ego more than the truth. 
When he doesn’t like someone’s allegations or actions regarding his behavior, he simply fires them. He does not have the confidence of the nation that he has any interests above his own personal reputation.
At a time in history where it has never been more important to show acceptance of all religions and races, he canceled the traditional Ramadan dinner. What message does that send to our Muslim neighbors both at home and abroad? 
His obsession with “fake news” wreaks of a personal agenda of misdirection. If he can convince enough people that they cannot trust the media, he can get away with anything by saying the media made it up. He has banned major news outlets from the press room and press conference. He has shown a total disregard for the First Amendment. What part of the Constitution will he ignore next? 
He has been in office over 200 days now. In that time he hasn’t managed to get even one effort passed through Congress. He has only been able to accomplish anything by ignoring the legislative branch and using his executive powers. While he may have the right to use those executive powers, he does not have the right to ignore the will of the people. If the citizens of this country wanted those same things, he would have been able to get them passed through Congress. 
On the global level he has embarrassed the country, and harmed our relationships with other former allies. 
And this is all before we even bring up his and his staff’s relations with Russia.  An issue too complicated and long to parse out in this short letter. 
From the moment he took office the question has been raised over and over whether or not he has the trust and confidence of the nation (he does not), or if he is fit to lead (quite questionable when he puts his own interests above those of the country), or if he has broken the law (with his business relations with foreign governments, and possible treasonous relations with Russia). 
We wake up each day worried to see what chaos no drama he has caused with his egotistical decisions. How much more must we endure? When will you put this country out of its misery and bring in real leadership? 
Representatives Bishop, Love, and Stewart, as members of the House, you have the ability to begin the process to censure and create articles of impeachment. 
Senator Hatch, few people in this country have the power that you do to impeach President Trump. As the head of the Judiciary Committee, you have the power to lead this effort. 
And so I ask you, what are you waiting for? What more must he do before you will take action? How much more harm must ensue? How much more damage to the American culture must he inflict? Does he need to mock the disabled one more time? Abuse another woman? Fire more staff and advisors? Discriminate against minorities? Alienate our international neighbors? Invite Nazis to dinner? 
Mr. Trump does not have the best interest of this country in mind. He cares solely about himself, and will continue to make statements and choices to preserve himself at the expense of the safety and peace of the nation.
Please, Senators and Representatives, censure and impeach President Trump before he causes more harm. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Fake News and SEO

Have you wondered why it is Trump so fervently believes in "fake news?" His passionate cries of fake news! Fake News! Have confused many people. Why is he so convinced that the media is making up total lies?
The answer is- because he pays them to.
This article from Paste Magazine, "How the Trump-Russia Data Machine Games Google to Fool Americans," is possibly the best article I've read on Donald J. Trump to date.
Trump's team pays for people to create fake stories (showing his opponents in an absurdly bad light), and then use search engine optimization (SEO) to promote the fake news.
So naturally it is easy for a man who is easily deluded to his own grandeur to believe that anything negative about him is actually fake news created by his enemies, just like he creates it about them.
I can understand if this might be hard for some people to believe (this being the entire idea that you can game Google to spread fake news). But I work in marketing. I personally spend hours every day working with SEO. I've seen first-hand just how easy it can be to create a website, implement excellent SEO techniques, and dominate Google.
So for me, this just makes sense. I finally understand why Trump believes in it. He's not a nut job conspiracy theorist. He's guilty of fake news himself!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Not Even a Good Liar

According to Trump's private fleet records he never went to Russia.
Not even in November 2013, when he was there for the Miss Universe pageant.
It's like he's not even trying. Unless you believe the possibility that maybe, possibly he flew commercial.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Trump and the Russia Interference Allegations Timeline

The timeline of events surrounding President Doland Trump, Jared Kushner, Michael Flynn, James Comey, and others on the possibility that Russia interfered in the U.S. election, and possibly with the complicity of the Trump campaign.

June 6, 2017 - Reading Between the Lines of Comey's Prepared Testimony. New York Times reporters analyze prepared remarks by James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, that were published Wednesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee.
May 26, 2017 - The Trump-Russia Story Starts Making Sense (WSJ)
May 27, 2017 - Jared Kushner requested secret channel to communicate with Russians (W Post)
May 27, 2017 - White House will not comment on Jared Kushner's involvement with Russia (The Hill)
May 27, 2017 - Trump and Russia: A Timeline on Communications (The Hill)

May 25, 2017 - The Justice Department tells CNN that Sessions did not disclose his meetings with Kislyak on his application for a security clearance, despite a requirement to name contacts with a foreign government or its representatives in the previous seven years.

May 23, 2017 - Trump gets outside council (a lawyer who has worked for him for 15 years) for possible lawsuit over Russia interference allegations (WSJ) Former CIA director John Brennan confirms that he viewed intelligence showing people involved in Trump’s campaign had interacted with Russian officials and that the contacts “concerned” him. He refuses to identify the individuals or speak to their level of involvement in the campaign, and says he is unsure whether the contacts amounted to “collusion.”

May 19, 2017 - White House lawyers begin researching impeachment
May 19, 2017 - Rick Santorum warns Trump GOP could impeac

May 17, 2017 - Everything we know so far about Trump, Russia, and Comey (LA Times)

May 16, 2017 - Trump asked Comey to drop investigation into Flynn according to memo (LA Times)

May 11, 2017 - Timeline of events leading to Comey's firing (NY Times)

May 9, 2017 - Trump fires Comey (LA Times) Former acting attorney general Sally Yates says during testimony before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee that she had warned the White House that Flynn and Kislyak had discussed sanctions immediately after realizing that Flynn had misled Pence about that fact. Flynn’s communications with Kislyak had been picked up in routine surveillance of the Russian ambassador, she says. Yates also disputes the White House’s characterization of Flynn’s behavior as routine.

April 11, 2017 - Congressman Jason Chaffetz won't investigate the Russia connection, constituents fight back (Deseret News)

April 1, 2017 - Trump tells NBC to stop covering the Russia investigation (

March 28, 2017 - Trump admin tries to block Sally Yates from testifying on Russia.  (W Post)

March 20, 2017 - FBI Director James Comey confirms in public testimony before the House Intelligence Committee that the bureau is investigating Russian election interference, and any linkes between Moscow and Trump’s campaign.
The same day, Spicer says at a press briefing that Trump stands by his comments that he has no knowledge of any contacts between his campaign associates and Russia during the election — though he notes that Trump is aware of Flynn’s contacts with Kislyak. Spicer says that the White House is not aware of any contacts between former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and Russian operatives. Spicer also stresses that former Obama intelligence officials have said there is "no evidence of a Trump Russia collusion.”

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Deep Musings on Secular, Worldly, and Religious Ideas...

This morning as I read through the morning news I find myself contemplating the picture attached to this article about Trump meeting Pope Francis. And not just because of the grim look on the Pope's face. If anything I am sure that this is just a bad and out of place picture out of hundreds, and that's why it is making the media rounds. (Only Trump is smiling, and everyone else looks off. I'm sure it's just a bad picture, and not indicative of any real emotions.)

But it is an interesting picture for other reasons.
1. Jared Kushner- Jewish.
2. Ivanka- former Christian converted to Judaism to marry her husband.
3. Melania- former topless model, from a not usually Christian country, that tends to hate Catholics, and yet claims to be a Roman Catholic.
4. Trump- serial womanizer, on his 3rd wife, who claims at different times to be Catholic or Lutheran. I think he and Melania are not actually really religious except in political years.

And then there is the Pope. A man who embodies the very definition of being the Lord's servant on Earth. Few men in history have shown the love and compassion for all of humanity that Pope Francis has. He has set an example for all of the world when it comes to accepting sinners and the poor. He shows humility in all that he does. (And I would say without hesitation is the very compelling opposite of all things Trump.)
I may not be Catholic, but I have nothing but the greatest respect for Pope Francis.

It is of interest to note that he doesn't just represent a religion, but a country. It is a religion with so much power that it is a country. That's no small thing. The Vatican City holds a great deal of power within its walls.

And that's my jumping off point---

What if all religions were their own nation state? What if other world leaders had to pay the same respect to all religions that they do to the Vatican?

I think it would be a beautiful thing. I'm actually quite serious on this. I don't believe religions need armies to be heard. The Vatican certainly doesn't need one, and yet is heard worldwide. (Also, sidenote, if you've ever seen the Swiss Guard at the Vatican, feel free to laugh at the idea of those men actually in battle.

Which brings me to my next musing...

Respect for religions and beliefs.

Whilst in the Middle East, Melania and Ivanka didn't cover their heads. But they did to meet the Pope. They would not have been allowed to meet the Pope otherwise. I do believe they should have shown respect for Muslim beliefs in Saudi and worn head scarves there too.

Last, but more important than all the rest, Callista Gingrich. The third (or is it fourth?) wife of Newt, has been named Ambassador to the Vatican.

For a hundred reasons I don't like Trump. But this is one of the few things he's done that truly just disappoints me. Appointing Callista Gingrich to the Vatican is showing tremendous disrespect for Catholicism and the Pope.

Both the Church and the Pope have promoted strong marriages, anti-divorce, and purity. And so Trump appointed a woman who had a 6 year affair with Newt while he was married. Callista and her husband represent the Pope's views on family and marriage about as well as Donald and Melania. Of course, her job is to represent American views, not the Pope's. But in this unique ambassadorship, it would be far more appropriate and fitting to appoint someone who doesn't embrace the opposite values.

It's very disappointing.

Respect for other's beliefs is more important now than ever before. Intolerance of other beliefs has always been (and probably always will be) what leads to war. If the Crusades and Islam's War on the World has taught us anything, it's that we greatly need to respect other's beliefs.

So look at the picture below one more time and think about it. And think about how the Pope is doing something here many popes before him would not have done. He is standing with 2 Jews, a topless model, and serial adulterer. He is the one in this picture showing respect for others' beliefs, and embracing those he doesn't agree with.

Not the other way around.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Rick Santorum Warns Trump the GOP will Turn on Their Own

Normally I'm not a big Rick Santorum fan. But his warning to Trump is spot on. Glad to see a party mainstay show some backbone.
As White House lawyers begin researching impeachment procedures, former senator and Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Friday night the GOP is nowhere near supporting such a move, but warned President Donald Trump that "this can't continue for a whole lot longer."
Santorum voted to convict former President Bill Clinton of perjury and obstruction of justice during his impeachment trial in 1999. (Reminder- he was acquitted in the end.) Santorum believes that as of May 19, Republicans would currently oppose impeachment. But then he showed some surprising independence and backbone and cautioned that things could change dramatically if damaging revelations continue to plague the Trump administration.
"Unlike Democrats, who will never break with a president, no matter what they do -- I mean I don't care, they can find him with a smoking gun and a picture, they wouldn't break with him -- Republicans will," he warned. "So I would say this to President Trump: This can't continue for a whole lot longer."