Christmas Eve Alone with Friends & Foes

(Photo Credit Mario Tama | Getty Images)

Two hundred and thirty-eight years ago, the French army was barracked in Providence, Rhode Island. On Christmas Eve 1780, the people of Providence celebrated with the Catholic French-speaking soldiers bunking at University Hall at Brown University, singing carols and lighting candles.

http://www.quahog.org/factsfolklore/index.php?id=159

One hundred and four years ago, enemy soldiers stared across the cold battlefield of northern France and, out of respect for each other, a Christmas truce sporadically broke out along the Western Front… French, German, and British soldiers crossed trenches to exchange seasonal greetings and talk. In some areas, men from both sides ventured into no man’s land on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to mingle and exchange food and souvenirs. There were joint burial ceremonies and prisoner swaps, while several meetings ended in carol-singing. Men played games of football with one another…

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/england/10455611/England-v-Germany-when-rivals-staged-beautiful-game-on-the-Somme.html

In World War II, specifically, on December 24, 1941, at precisely 4:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve, as dusk gathered and the temperature dropped, the red-coated Marine Band on the White House lawn struck up “Joy to the World,” accompanying choirs from area churches. Thousands had gathered in the fading light. After some further carols, the band began “Hail to the Chief.” As the sunset gun at nearby Fort Myer boomed, the president and Mrs. Roosevelt appeared on the South Portico with a group of guests, the Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

http://www.historynet.com/christmas-in-wartime.htm

These days, instead of honoring allies like playing “Joy to the World” to the Prime Minister of Britain, or singing carols to French soldiers away from home to help America, no, instead of celebrating friends or even seeking a temporary white-flag with enemies like the 1914 Christmas Truce, as I’m recording this right now at approximately 6pm Eastern, the President of the United States has spent Christmas Eve 2018 sending out more than 10 tweets already today attacking Democrats, Republican Senator Bob Corker, Trump’s own former anti-terrorism envoy Brett McGurk… and complaining about US allies overseas… that’s right, rather than support foreign allies or seek a detente to the domestic tensions at home, President Trump shows he’s more Grinch than Gingrich, forcing a government shutdown for the holidays after the House and Senate had already passed a bi-partisan bill to avoid this, the third shutdown of the year. Oh, you know, the shutdown that, on December 11, 2018, Trump proudly declared I’ll tell you what: I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck. I will take the mantle… I will be the one to shut it down — I’m not going to blame you for it.”

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/24/politics/trump-christmas-chaos/index.html

Weird how now Trump and his few allies left, like Mark Meadows are trying to blame the Democrats in the Senate for blocking the appropriations bill. Apparently, the approximately 3 million Federal civil servants aren’t as important to the Republicans as Neil Gorsuch was, otherwise the filibuster rule would be removed entirely, right?

So here we are. The second year of the Trump Administration. The filibuster rule that was in place for 100 years has been removed by Republican Senators to seat a conservative justice. The US has broken its treaty responsibility under the Paris Agreement. The US has threatened its own allies in NATO. The US was withdrawn from the Iran Framework. The US has announced its withdrawal from NAFTA and renegotiated the agreement. The US has withdrawn from a nuclear weapons deal with Russia negotiated by Ronald Reagan. And, this fall, the US has done nothing as a Saudi resident-alien living in the United States is murdered on diplomatic grounds by the goons of Mohammed bin Salaman. Most recently, Trump talks with Turkish dictator Erdogan and then announces the withdrawal of US forces from Syria. Cui bono? Who benefits? Dictator Erdogan, Dictator Al-Assad, Dictator Putin, and -ironically- even the Iranian backed terrorist group Hezbollah… and who suffers? The stateless Kurds. The same Kurds that were betrayed by the US in ‘91, the same Kurds not given enough support in IS’ Northern Iraq offensive in 6/2014 & now Trump’s betrayal in 12/2018…

Why does Trump coordinate more with Dictator Orban, Dictator Duarte, Dictator Putin, Dictator MBS, and Dictator Erdogan than Angela Merkel, Theresa May,  Emmanuel Macron, Justin Trudeau, or Shinzō Abe?

Why does Trump exude admiration for Dictator Xi when he removes term limits, builts re-education camps for the Uighers? Is it because Xi has recognized more than 125 trademarks for Trump and his families businesses in just these last two years?

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-40283830

So this Christmas Eve? December 24, 2018, when President Trump just tweeted out “I am all alone (poor me) in the White House”?

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/24/politics/trump-christmas-chaos/index.html

I truly believe this is a man who has built his own prison. Attacking the Bush Family, attacking John McCain, attacking the Federal Judiciary, attacking Jeff Sessions, the DOJ and the FBI, pretending George Papadopoulos, Rick Gates, and Paul Manafort are nobodies, attacking Michael Cohen, building an administration with the likes of Sean Spicer, Michael Flynn, Tom Price, Steve Bannon, Anthony Scaramucci, Omarosa Newman, Gary Cohn, Ronny Jackson, Ryan Zilke,

Forcing out HR MacMaster, Rex Tillerson, David Shulkin, and firing Jim Mathis for announcing his retirement….

And let’s not forget that Trump now has had three chiefs of staff in less than 2 years…

And this is the guy who complains, on Christmas Eve, that he’s all alone….

 

 

 

The Moral High Ground

(Photo Credit: Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images)

Morality is individual, ethics is collective. Often we talk about the so-called “moral high ground” referring to the consistency of moral behavior or a code of morality that allows a person or even a nation-state to respond to the issues of the day or the actions of other nation-states and individuals… Nixon’s lies, Reagan’s “I don’t recall”, the Bush Family’s oil interests, Clinton’s sexual predatory behaviors… all of these call into question that moral high ground of the Presidency and of the United States of America.

Imagine that. Imagine if the preponderance of evidence indicated that a president was guilty of lies, deceptive recollections of memory or facts, business conflicts, AND sexual predatory behaviors?

  1. Before publically announcing his intention to run for president, Trump mocked President Obama for his vacation days and games of golf. How’s that working out?
  1. Trump said as a presidential candidate that he would drain the swamp and hire only the best people….
  • General Michael Flynn… has pled guilty…
  • Michael Cohen has pled guilty and been sentenced to three years…
  • The National Inquirer has admitted to conspiracy and campaign violations in a prosecuting-avoidance deal with the SDNY…
  • Campaign Manager Paul Manafort has been convicted of tax fraud, conspiracy, etc…. Trump’s defense? Well, Manafort worked for Ronald Reagan too… thought Trump seems to forget that Manafort worked for Reagan BEFORE the fraud and conspiracy, whereas Manafort worked for Trump after and during the criminal activities….
  • Rick Gates? Yup him too….
  • George Papadopoulos who has pled guilty to trying to coordinate with the Russians….
  • Trump’s friend and ally, Roger Stone has taken the 5th Amendment in regards to subpoenas by the Republican-led US Senate and is also being investigated by the Mueller probe…
  • Roger Stone’s associate Andrew Miller held in contempt…
  1. Sitting Presidents “can’t be indicted” because that’s been DOJ tradition since the early 1970s… you know what’s else has been a tradition since the Nixon Era? The release of tax returns by presidential candidates.
  1. The Russia assassination of Alexander Litvinenko? The Russian attempted-assassination of Sergei and Yulia Skripal? Horrible! Tragedies! Against the rule of law! Then there’s that assassination of American resident alien journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman?
  1. Trump complained about NAFTA and has renegotiated with the threat of withdrawing from the agreements… like he withdrew from the nuclear weapons deal with Russia, the Paris Climate Agreement, and the Iran Framework… But he expects other countries to follow their obligations such as military expenditures under the NATO Treaty agreements… But China does not have to follow its treaty obligations under the WTO, but they do have to pay tariffs on steel and soy, but maybe not if they make a deal to buy agricultural equipment from the US, but not Harley’s because Harley is a bad company because they moved operations overseas…not like Carrier who laid off 200 employees after Trump claimed to have saved 2000 jobs… honestly, I can’t keep up with the whiplash following this guys logic…. Now arrested Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese tech giant Huawei… Trump’s dangling leveraging Meng with the tariff negotiations, but condemns the use of pressure on Trump Organization and Trump Campaign personnel as virtually criminal acts by the DOJ, you know, his DOJ that’s led by his Attorney-General and his Director of the FBI….
  1. Today, Mika Brzezinski criticized by Trump for her offensive slur against gays…. This criticism by the man who said Mexicans are rapists and drug dealers, Africans come from shit hole countries, and women should be grabbed by there genitals… only he didn’t say genitals, did he? And today, Trump criticized Comey’s non-answers to the House Judiciary Committee, while his own lawyers refuse, limit, and redact questions and answers to the Special Counsel’s Office.
  1. Also today, the House Oversight Committee under Trump ally Mark Meadows began investigations into the Clinton Foundation… what’s weird is that the House is using tax returns to investigate the Clintons…. Imagine if the same committee had access to the tax returns of the president and or the Trump Organization?
  • Then the OVERSIGHT Committee might look at the 63rd Floor of Trump Tower and Vadim Trincher, one of the leaders of a Russian-American crime ring that operated an international gambling operation from Trump Tower which laundered over $100 million, according to the U.S. attorney’s office and FBI.
  • Then there’s the 49th floor rented to ex-FIFA official Chuck Blazer frequently attended Trump’s Miss Universe competitions and let Trump film a commercial for Trump University in his apartment. That’s the “university” that Trump would settle lawsuits brought by students against the now-defunct Trump University for $25 million. As for Blazer, he went on to befriend Russian President Vladimir Putin and voted for Russia to host the 2018 World Cup before admitting in court to taking bribes and pleading guilty to tax evasion, money laundering, racketeering, and wire fraud.
  • 43rd floor –- condo of Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort.
  • 26th and 25th floors — Trump campaign and presidential transition offices It was here that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Manafort agreed to take a meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in June 2016 after being promised potentially damaging information on Hillary Clinton, according to email records. After the election, Michael Flynn and Kushner arranged a separate, private meeting with former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak at Trump Tower that they said was to establish a “fresh start” in U.S.-Russian relations, according to a statement made by Kushner in July 2017. Last December, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his communications with Kislyak and is now cooperating with Mueller’s investigation while facing up to five years in prison. Kushner denies any wrongdoing. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/controversial-residents-trump-tower/story?id=52577191
  1. Then there’s the Wall Street Journal Report from today… Federal -that’s right, FEDERAL- prosecutors are investigating whether the Trump Inaugural Committee misspent $107 MILLION of donations = and is examining whether top donors gave money in exchange for access to the incoming Trump Administration, policy concessions, or to influence official administration positions…. Who!, That sounds A LOT like that whole pay for play that the Clinton Foundation is being accused of, doesn’t it? When did that House Oversight Hearing get called? Oh, right, today… the same day that the Republican owned Wall Street Journal reported that Trump is being investigated for pay for play… I wonder when Mark Meadow’s will have that hearing?

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-tells-meadows-no-on-white-house-chief-of-staff-wants-him-on-capitol-hill/2018/12/12/3148be46-fe57-11e8-83c0-b06139e540e5_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.2398a2e6d74c

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/controversial-residents-trump-tower/story?id=52577191