The Daily Dog: Say it Ain’t So Joe!

Yesterday, the moon’s shadow raced across Middle America, aweing millions who gazed skyward at the eclipse. Today, a less-inspiring darkness will descend upon Phoenix, Ariz. as Donald Trump and a few thousand paid actors cum supporters occupy the Phoenix Convention Center. As his approval ratings plummet, and every week is his “worst week ever,” Trump continues to rely on ‘ego rallies’ as the best medicine for his own incompetence.

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A frustrated Trump couldn’t figure out how to grab Mother Nature by the pussy.

Though the 2016 presidential campaign ended nearly ten months ago, Trump is apparently still dazed and confused about losing the popular vote to Hilary Clinton. He typically visits poor, uneducated, and mono-racial strongholds for his post-campaign distraction rallies — places like Huntington, W.V. (median household income of $29,000, 29% with college degrees, and 86% white), Youngstown, Ohio ($24,000, 11%, 47%), and Cedar Rapids, Iowa ($53,000, 30%, 88%). Phoenix shares some of the characteristics of a Trump base, but there is speculation that Trump is going to Arizona for other reasons.

Maricopa County is home to the notorious hardline law enforcement of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio — a vocal Trump supporter who shares Trump’s bigoted policies on immigration and has a plethora of controversial ideas of his own. On July 31, a United States District Judge found Arpaio guilty of criminal contempt for violating another federal court’s order to terminate immigration arrests on suspicion alone. For years, Arpaio’s office pursued racially motivated policies targeting the Phoenix Latino population and often arresting law-abiding U.S. citizens merely for racially motivated immigration profiling.

In her ruling, Judge Susan Bolton said that Arpaio abdicated his responsibility as a law enforcement officer and “announced to the world and to his subordinates that he was going to continue business as usual no matter who said otherwise.” Bolton’s statement confirms for many that Arpaio’s national recognition and self-styled fame stemmed from his abuse of power and a belief that he was above the laws that he enforced.

In the narrow overlap of local and federal interaction, Trump and Arpaio share a similar mission: promote their own popularity by exploiting immigrants to instill public fear and fulfill a personal agenda. They are both sick men. Therefore, it’s no surprise that speculation this week is that Trump may pardon Arpaio before the former sheriff is sentenced in October.

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Joe Arpaio may soon be on the other side of the fence.

Joe Arpaio is the poster-child for what is wrong with America’s criminal justice and law enforcement systems. Abuse of authority grievances against law enforcement and corrections agencies constitute a wide variety of complaints ranging from simple misconduct to brutality. Arpaio has been convicted of criminal contempt, but many of his policies while sheriff carried abusive implications — from his tent city jail to humiliating prisoners by making them wear pink undergarments. Arpaio is a relic of Arizona’s Wild West who had no business in modern corrections because, like many power hungry officers, he did not respect or honor the duty of his badge.

For Trump even to consider pardoning Arpaio sends a significantly negative message to every American in much the same way his wavering on the Charlottesville tragedy became an endorsement of white supremacists and hate groups. If Trump pardons Arpaio, he will be sanctioning the trampling of civil and constitutional rights of every person accused or convicted of a crime. Because of Arpaio’s history of questionable policies, every officer and jailer in the nation will laugh in the face of prisoner complaints.

Unfortunately, Trump is both too obtuse and too bigoted to grasp the impact of his decisions. The only thing that Trump will appreciate in a potential pardon is the spotlight and applause from his paid fans in Phoenix. He will not understand the disheartening message that a pardon will send to the more than 2.5 million people in jails and prisons in the United States; the more than 10 million children who have a parent behind bars; or the countless other family members and friends who worry that their loved ones will be treated humanely.

For Trump, decisions and messages do not create consequences, but only popularity with the hired help in the audience. Joe Arpaio is guilty of a minor misdemeanor for major crimes against the people of Maricopa County and he does not deserve a pardon simply so Donald Trump can listen to a crowd cheer. As Trump stirs hate again in the Arizona desert, he is campaigning in his mind, but the only opponent he is facing is himself. It’s a no-win situation for him and America.

The Daily Dog: Unmasked – Trump has no Leadership

This week, business executives from across America joined voices to send a resounding message to Donald Trump: “We do not approve.” Their collective response to Trump’s racist revelations and his refusal to unequivocally condemn hate groups following the Charlottesville neo-Nazi riots demonstrated concern for their own constituents — consumers driven by socio-political advocacy — and individual morality. They set an example for Trump that he has been unable to grasp.

Within a few days of Trump’s racist-confirming rants on camera and Twitter, members of two White House advisory councils began quitting. Their audacity enraged Trump and he attacked and bullied them on Twitter. It did not take long before the most powerful women and men in American business abandoned their roles as advisors and dissolved Trump’s panels for his support of racism and his infantile tantrums. It is the first time in U.S. history that business leaders have refused to participate in esteemed roles as White House counsellors. With two of his councils already disbanded, Trump announced late yesterday that he would discontinue organizing his infrastructure policy group.

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Trump is still searching for his leadership face.

On Thursday morning, the Senior Associate Dean of Executive Programs at Yale School of Management, Jeffrey Sonnenfeld appeared on MSNBC and offered a scathing assessment of Trump’s alleged business talent. Until now, most of Trump’s critics have focused on his new role as a political leader, but Sonnenfeld delved into Trump’s self-proclaimed deal-making expertise, saying, “Trump is not a Fortune 500 business leader.” He went on to suggest that Trump merely masquerades as a prodigious business leader while riding the accomplishments, accolades, and ideas of more skilled peers.

There is no doubt that leadership in both the modern business arena and big government require similar skill sets. Additionally, neither business nor government can be led singularly because of the amount of information, data, and wide-ranging policies that must be considered and exercised. The most successful CEOs, innovators, and business moguls rely on cadres of analysts, advisors, and assistants to gather, wrangle, and interpret data and information. From chief executives and presidents, to governors and Oval Office leaders, modern leaders trust highly condensed and only the most relevant information to guide them.

No leader attempts to lead alone. It is a position of weakness, which is why Trump’s failures in Washington are mounting. He is like an unskilled circus clown trying to stand on a tent pole instead of a scaffold.

Regardless of Trump’s Washington leadership model, Sonnenfeld’s academic assessment of his business acumen is not necessarily problematic. Riding the coattails of others is not the most honorable ascension to greatness in America, but it is a common enough practice that it has become an accepted method of climbing the corporate ladder. Additionally, it is a model that would translate adequately to politics — if Trump had peers to follow and surround himself with in the White House.

However, Trump has neither appointed, nor relied on, an especially gifted circle of competent or knowledgeable advisors. Not only is he failing in his own achievements in government, but Trump has also created a void where there are no concomitant successes for him to draw on for a boost. He has clipped the coattails that may have afforded him opportunities.

With the republican dominated government nearly stalled, Trump’s approval ratings continue to plummet, and it appears that he will accomplish little in his first year…because he only pretends to aspire to leadership. As he does in business, Trump is masquerading around Washington as a political VIP, and it is no ball for the American people. When the mask finally comes off, the results are going to be ugly.

The Daily Dog: Trump Declares Moral Bankruptcy

Donald Trump is a morally bankrupt dysfunctional ignorant narcissistic racist.

We have been saying this for months in one way or another. We hear it on the streets, in restaurants, and among family and friends. The media has been building toward the “Full Monty” on Trump, but there is still a bit of a delicate dance between the press and the White House. However, we are not the ones — the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers — who need to say what is wrong with Trump.

 

08162017 ClashFollowing the Charlottesville white nationalist riots, Trump’s critics demanded he condemn — by name — the neo-Nazis, supremacists, KKK, and other hate groups responsible for the weekend’s violence. Now, the time has come for Washington politicians of every race, religion, sex, affiliation, persuasion, and slant to do what they demanded of Trump: Name the evil.

 

An overwhelming majority of America knows that racism is immoral, and that white nationalism does not represent the accepted principles and mores of our country. We do not need to be told that hate groups’ anti-American sentiments are “condemned” or “not tolerated.” We denounce them with our protests; by not joining gangs who don hoods and carry torches; and by how we treat our neighbors — without a thought of skin color or ignorant prejudices.

With the exception of Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and a few other soulless GOPers who cannot be salvaged from the wreckage of the S.S. Trump, America wants and demands that its representative leaders denounce by name, Donald Trump. Stop condemning the generalities and condemn the general. Trump is not going to change his ignorant and racists views and beliefs because of your patience.

Trump did not goosestep down Main Street this weekend, but his comments Tuesday demonstrate that, in mind and spirit, he marched proudly in Charlottesville on Saturday. While Trump has maintained he is not taking sides in the nationalist question and scandal, his self-professed inaction is a corrupt and sickening confirmation of hate. A leader who cannot take a side, is a leader who lacks the personal conviction and courage necessary to the position. Trump has demonstrated himself ineffective and impotent, not only because of his lack of morality, but because he walks the fence like a terrified cat avoiding the dogs.

 

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Trump cannot wash his hands of his racist tendencies. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images.

 

In addition to his wavering and weakness, in each instance of error, Trump defends himself by attacking our nation’s core principles and founders. Tuesday afternoon was no exception as he derided the press and equated the Founding Fathers to Confederate traitors and Civil War criminals. There can no longer be a moment of hesitation from either democrats or republicans that Trump is unfit for office. The rest of the world is watching, and speaking what America’s leaders should be saying.

Trump accused “alt-left” activists and protesters of trying to rewrite history for supporting the removal of Confederate era artifacts from public places. As the alleged leader of a free democracy, Trump should know that Americans are not trying to rewrite history. They are attempting to right the wrongs done in the past, and if he had a moral compass, he would recognize the importance of that task. To see history rewritten, and wrongs likewise righted, Trump need only wait for the day he is impeached.

We will say it again for the leaders who are still uncertain: Donald Trump is a dysfunctional ignorant narcissistic racist. He is not fit to lead America and 535 more voices must join the 260 million already saying so.

The Daily Dog: Comic Relief

We do not publish a Daily Dog on Saturdays. That means on Friday evening we do not watch the news, check Twitter, or discuss politics. There is no sacred reason for the Saturday reprieve except for one thing — our sanity.

In the past year, we have noticed something that professional therapists have been commenting on, too. Donald Trump stresses us out. The country is more than just divided, it has become awash in a chaotic frenzy of heightened passions and energies. The “Trump Effect” drives both the Resistance and the Red Hats, and it is driving us all mad.

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Don’t you know I’m loco?

If nothing else, Trump’s failures have propelled American politics to a place where it has not been for many decades — on everyone’s over-burdened and burnt-out minds. It is an unfortunate corollary that the effect has not been more positive like when President Barack Obama took office. There are days when we dread having to listen to Trump, think about Trump, and write about Trump. It is as taxing mentally as running a marathon is physically. It leaves us angry, frustrated, confrontational, and despondent.

The entire political process in Washington, D.C. has become so threatening, and dare we say, anti-American, that we end each evening wondering what world we will wake up to the next day. Our anxiety levels have skyrocketed and our worries for our families, our children, and our livelihoods and safety consume us. Trump is America’s ulcer and there are not enough Rolaids to spell R-E-L-I-E-F.

For those of us speaking out — severely critical of Trump and meting out our frustrations in well-earned and much-deserved First Amendment jeremiads — there is an ever-growing concern of retaliation. Two months ago, Trump began blocking Twitter users who mocked and derided his lack of ability, policy, and presidential qualities. Some of us wonder what nefarious modern-day SS is tracing IP addresses. Reporters have been assaulted and loyalist minority Red Hats troll Twitter just waiting to pounce on those who speak for the majority.

A day off is good for our health, for our minds, and our creativity.

Not all is bleak in America, however. Trump has provided us with moments of levity — like a late night cup of #covfefe or watching him address Cuban-Americans in “Leetle Hahvahnah!” Let us not forget that late night television has not been so entertaining in…well, eight years. Thank Trump for the comedic injection that has given writers so much fodder to work with. Finally, where would America be without Trump’s model for Alec Baldwin’s true-to-life portrayal of the bumbling and ignorant staple on Saturday Night Live?

Trump has really done what he promised when he began chanting, “MAGA! MAGA!” at a campaign rally eighteen months ago. We have Made America Gauche Again and when the world laughs, we should all laugh with it. Trump has made planet earth a happier place, full of hidden giggles, snarky comments, and much needed comic relief. If laughter is the best medicine, Americans will soon be the healthiest people on the planet. Mitch McConnell may as well can the republican health scare bill.


 

 


From all of the chaos and misery, diamonds in the rough emerge from the oddest places. One such gem that had us decompressing and rolling with laughter was today’s message to Trump from former Mexican President Vicente Fox. Fox has elevated the art of political comedy to a mucho más alto level, and he has toyed with Trump on a regular basis. He is a true toreador when it comes to taunting America’s bullshitter in chief.

A day off from the crazy train is time to relax and return to our humanity. It is what gives us the courage to admit that in the end, it is taxing to always be so hard on Trump. Because, when the world has you down, who really doesn’t love a clown?

The Daily Dog: A Thin Skinned Cat

While vacationing in Florida in April, president Trump’s motorcade made a detour…kind of like the entire country did when he stole the election. Trump’s detour, however, was not because of a sinkhole that opened in front of Mar-a-Lago, or to avoid street flooding caused by global warming and rising sea levels. The president was simply too much of a coward to face any of the protesters along his route on April 15 — tax day.

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Trump’s own administration is never sure of the president’s daily direction.

In May, reports surfaced that Trump had begun blocking Fifth Estate bloggers and opinionated Twitter users whose stinging commentary left too much of a burn on the president’s hyper-sensitive skin. The threat of a Trump block quickly became a badge of honor among those diligently seeking to restore America’s voice of reason. The ACLU and other organizations debated the constitutionality of Trump’s egotistical crock blocking — contributing to Trump’s ire.

Now, before his proposed state visit to the United Kingdom, Trump has offended yet another U.S. ally because he is too delicate and afraid of possible spirited protests. Londoners and Brits across the land are celebrating as if they had just repelled Hitler’s Luftwaffe.

A fundamental tenet of any democracy is that elected officials must listen to and hear the many voices of a nation. In the global context, a modern president must accept that various opinions will follow beyond America’s borders. As the embodiment of democratic values, Trump has a duty to expect and foster free expression wherever he travels.

It is equally fundamental, though unwritten, that democratic leaders — foreign or domestic and especially those in the Twitter era — understand that peoples everywhere will praise and criticize them. Moreover, it is a given that the scales are not often likely to show a balance between the two.

Based on Trump’s recent frailty in the face of protests and criticism, it is difficult to imagine him as the self-described giant in the cutthroat world of late 20th century Manhattan real estate. Perhaps Trump’s skin is thinning with age, and failing him at a time when he most needs it.

Perhaps the president’s hesitation stems from the idea that Trump himself is but a novice critic and mudslinger. His childish rants lack the refined and complex creativity that a more educated and intelligent adversary might employ. He engages in elementary-school playground insults and banters on Twitter with remedial fragmented thoughts — much in the same way his base responds to the media, press, and Muslim Americans.

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This job is bigly hard driving me crazy! Photo: Albert H. Teich

 

If Donald Trump’s constitution has deteriorated to the point where he cannot endure a bit of verbal pushback and the mildly vulgar gesticulations of a few protesters, it is time to ask the more serious questions. Trump is a man who ridicules the likes of Sen. John McCain — a veteran and P.O.W. who suffered in enemy hands — but he certainly could never have endured McCain’s torment. With such friable armor, it is a wonder that Trump survived the sex-crazed hell that he has described as his personal Viet Nam.

The nation and its jelly-kneed leaders in Washington, D.C. are approaching a critical juncture very early in the Trump saga. As tensions rise in the Middle East (thanks to Trump); as allies retreat from traditional bonds (thanks to Trump); and as Americans become increasingly divided against each other (do we have to say it); someone has to step forward and grab the loosed reins.

Figuring out what to do with Trump is like trying to care for an aging pet. At what point does the country seriously consider impeachment as the kindest available euthanasia of the administration? American and Trump both deserve at least that kindness and mercy. The alternative is to wait another year for when the president’s cabinet and inner circle finally realize that Trump is incapacitated because of his thin-skinned mental state.

In that scenario, the result for Trump and country would be more devastating and embarrassing than impeachment. Invoking Section 4 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment would leave a darker and more nefarious stain on our democracy.

Impeachment holds a humiliating connotation for the United States. However, the process demonstrates to the world that democracy is a well-maintained and functioning machine that self-corrects anomalies in the normal procedures. A Section 4 removal — especially before mid-term — is less complimentary.

In the case of Trump, it would reveal an exploitable failure in the electoral process…a failure that any enemy could capitalize on with a well-funded dummy candidate. Removal would tell the world, “Look, democracy is so great, we elected a crazy man!” Not our best selling point on the global stage.

Impeachment saves face for the failing Trump as well. To vilify and demonize Trump or to rally against him for his crimes and indiscretions would at least satisfy his primal urge for attention. An action to remove the infirm, skinless, and fragile old man would likely infuriate and strike at Trump’s deepest feelings of resentment and only steel his resolve against America.

We generally do not endeavor to sink to Trump’s level, but sometimes it is easier to reach an adversary in his own language and perspective. The president has delusions and imagines himself as a giant among men — an invulnerable fortress of power and wealth. To this, we say, in the president’s language, “Donald, we are the many losers of America. Like great guy Jack — we will use our tinly axes and our tenacity to bring downly your bigly CRAZY beanstalk! SAD!”

The Sunday Dog: American Madness

In the wake of Senate Intelligence Committee hearings last week, the nation has been all-atwitter discussing who will emerge victorious from the growing political controversy: Former FBI Director James Comey or President Trump. It should not be comforting for any American — Trump fan or not — that British betting giant Ladbrokes adjusted the odds on the president not seeing out his four-year term from 4/5 to 5/7. Following Comey’s revelations on Thursday, bettors are gambling on the slim 34% chance that Trump will still occupy the Oval Office by 2020.

Forget the analysts and pundits, the experts who see the president’s term as he does — a money-making game — have spoken and Donald Trump is last season’s nag ready for the glue factory. Based on his record, who could blame Ladbrokes for the downgrade? Trump is a broken record of failure. He is uneducable and he misbehaves to the point that he will destroy the presidency rather than accept constructive criticism or adjust his chaotically maddening ways.

Each day, Trump exhibits increasing signs of mental illness or incapacity — whether those signs take the form of irrational tweets or angry misleading responses during brief encounters with the press. Experts are hesitant to label him with definitive diagnoses, likely because of limited access to the president or his propensity to sue, but the American public is scratching a collective bald spot wondering what is going on with the president.

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Will Trump’s illness drive America mad?

Trump never seizes the opportunity to restore even an iota of confidence in his leadership. For instance, his belated Friday afternoon response to Comey’s testimony only added to the confusion of the ongoing investigation. Instead of answering questions directly, Trump did what he often does. He deflected, raised the anticipation level, and ultimately said nothing.

Asked if Comey lied, Trump commented on his own statements. He joked about asking for loyalty, forgetting that he held a campaign rally where he encouraged the entire audience to salute and pledge allegiance like junior Nazis. Rather than admit or deny having tapes of the Comey sessions, he pretended it was part of a reality television cliffhanger — taunting the press with ambiguous “On the next Apprentice episode” teases.

The American presidency is not a game, and the millions of lives affected by Trump’s indiscretion are not some unfeeling die-cast pieces.

Trump’s mental illness, senility, ignorance, and impairment aside, what is significantly troubling about this president is his lack of appreciation for the office and the people who are its foundation. It is awkward and challenging to condemn the president for an undiagnosed and obviously untreated psychological or mental defect. It is much easier, however, to crucify Trump for being cavalier, abusive, and superior with the responsibilities entrusted to him.

Americans may sometimes find it difficult to understand or recognize exactly what Trump has inherited as president. With all the extraneous media clutter, people may inadvertently ignore the complexities of democracy, country, and duties that are neither tangible nor concrete.

The role and responsibilities that Donald Trump has accepted — and joked about casually — as president are the very tangibles that surround us and are never in the news. Look around and you will see what Trump and the odds-makers are gambling with: your child’s innocent eyes as they follow a butterfly from blossom to blossom; an aging parent’s rough hands passing photographs of family; the choice between an extra gallon of milk in the shopping cart and a gallon of gas.

Trump assumed these real responsibilities when he took the oath of office— and he plays with them carelessly and irreverently. Mental illness or not, it is what makes him unfit for office and what should make America broil in a madness of its own.

The reality show that is Comey v. Trump right now has no value for Americans in the trenches at home or at work. For Donald Trump, every day as president has simply become another episode in the crazed mind of a man who does not care about the men, women, and children of America. It’s another example that with Trump, the TV is always on…even when nobody is home.

#Covfefe Solved!

On Monday, the White House claimed that it was “utterly ridiculous” for anyone to infer that President Trump attacked London’s mayor because the mayor is Muslim. White House deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders was too quick to respond when asked about Trump’s tweets criticizing Mayor Sadiq Kahn. The knee-jerk denial was strong enough to kick her credibility out the door where it almost hit a cowering Sean Spicer.

Trump and Kahn have been sparring in the media since the beginning of both their political campaigns almost two years ago. Kahn took early exception to Trump’s “ignorant” view of Muslims; and Trump took an exception to…well, Kahn’s religion. Then candidate Trump intimated that Kahn was an “exception” to the rule among Muslims and how the Travel Ban would affect him if the mayor visited the United States.

Yet, the White House continues to treat the American public like a mindless herd that will eagerly consume and digest any statement, opinion, or denial coming from on high. Trump has not only insulted Mayor Kahn and other European leaders, but he humiliates every person in the United States daily in assuming they are not intelligent enough to connect the dots in the administration’s path to ruin.

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Tiny hands and a big mouth make Trump a double threat in the Twitter dominated media world.

It was only a few weeks ago that the president wished the “many losers” in the country a happy Memorial Day on Twitter. On the heels of his criticism and “pathetic” tweet regarding Kahn, it is neither ridiculous nor a stretch to see the president for what he is: an inflammatory blowhard — the original agent provocateur.

Trump ramped up to his hasty presidential campaign crushing dreamers on national television by yelling, “You’re fired!” Millions of Americans tuned in each week filled with glee and anticipation to see which apprentice’s failings merited Trump’s ire. How happy they must be now that Trump is calling them losers and heaping his scorn on the public. America created this monster, and America must work together to contain him.

Once in office, Trump continued his role as the inciting agent by encouraging his appointees to do his bidding and then disowning the consequences. For Trump, failure is familiar and embarrassing, and he is fearfully incapable of owning it. He is never at fault and has an answer for every moronic debacle — or he sends one of his minions to their doom in having to lie and make excuses for him. (Try saying, “Cover for Me,” after a shot of tequila or when you are exhausted.)



#Covfefe launched the Twitterverse into a bigly Conundrizzy…


Contrary to the White House propaganda, what is utterly ridiculous at this early point in the Trump presidency is that it is not ridiculous to assume or infer anything. In almost every instance of Trump’s incoherent tweets, unscripted speeches, and blustery promises, the not-so-hidden meanings eventually turn out to be quite transparent and true. A ban that is unequivocally not a ban is later proclaimed loudly and openly…as a ban.

Trump is raw, unfiltered, frustrated, and spoiled. He has difficulty containing his intentions and emotions. He is driven to express what Trump wants to say because he believes that he is right, everyone else is wrong, and he is thus superior.

A majority of his tweets contain emotional language, capital letters, and exclamation points. It is not at all unreasonable for the public to interpret the meaning of his excited utterances as what is most obvious the truth at the moment. However, what is unreasonable in this new era of political chaos is for the president and the White House staff to assume that Americans are somehow less intelligent today than yesterday. Simply because an idiot leads a nation (or pretends to), does not make it a country of idiots — the same way not every American is a bigot, racist, or even a small-time orange billionaire.

The Daily Dog: Did Trump Just Drop Some Grey Jello on America?

In the midst of this weekend’s attack in London, Donald Trump made what equates to a rational person’s impassioned plea for “the courts to give us back our rights.” Though the president’s tweet was book-ended by his normal gauche ranting, it was the first thought of substance coming from the White House since Barack Obama’s departure in January.

The press and public have grown accustomed to Trump’s gelatinous ramblings that waver like dessert on a tray. Therefore, it is both surprising and difficult to ascertain when anything of legitimate or coherent consequence oozes from the tiny lump of grey matter in the president’s thick orange skull.

It is painfully difficult to admit, but Trump’s Saturday night tweet was the first thing he has ever expressed that America should agree with and support. We do need the courts to give us back our rights, fairly, equally, and constitutionally across the board.

Trumps tweet went viral Saturday night for other reasons. Primarily because he referenced the travel ban (full disclosure: the Dogs fell for it like everyone else) and of the callous timing of the tweet (ditto). If not for the outrage over the president’s ill timed and poorly conceived tweet, his private — and perhaps Freudian (worried much Donald?) — perception of the courts and rights may have fallen by the wayside.

While the tweet was likely an expression of Trump’s hyper-egotistical need for added power, it makes a very important and subtle admission. Americans have lost too many rights in the past several decades. The government machine has been eroding fundamental rights at a pace that is generational, and thus nearly imperceptible. Trump may someday lament his tweet because it exposes the stark reality of the condition of the country. It essentially validates 90% of what is wrong with America and Trump’s presidency.

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Was Trump merely referring to his right to take a dip in the private SCOTUS swimming pool?

If asked to enumerate the rights in need of restoration, Trump would likely not do so eloquently. However, the following suggestions present as essential benchmarks in the current political atmosphere — in case the president cannot recall what the Constitution guarantees and what every American expects, deserves, and is entitled to:

  • We need an absolute guarantee that our First Amendment rights will never be infringed upon; and that regardless of what we express about the president, it will be allowed and respected as hallowed speech; and that a free press shall forever be an inherent part of political transparency as America’s greatest protection against fraud, injustice, and the destruction of democracy.
  • We need to know that when we vote, it will count for the candidate who wins an election, and not the one who loses. We need to restore corporate money and super-PAC limits to resurrect the inviolability of free and fair elections.
  • We need to know that, no matter what color our skin, or what religious emblem we display, or what clothing we don, we will be treated equally and without prejudice — and that we will not be banned from our own country because of these.
  • We need to accept that there are two — or three or four — sexes, but that each will be recognized and encouraged to make choices about their bodies; and that they will share in equal opportunities for their entire lives, from making a decision about an abortion to seeing the same wages on a paycheck to choosing a restroom.
  • We need protection from unlawful police conduct, searches, and seizures; from black-ops FISA courts; and from secret or sealed indictments. We need to know that our homes will not be seized for profit in the name of public domain.
  • We need renewed assurances and direction that the Fifth Amendment invocations against self-incrimination will be protected in all criminal prosecutions; and that the accused shall be afforded reasonable bails, balanced juries, and the competent assistance of counsel; and that race, sex, or status will not decide a criminal prosecution.
  • We need to know that civil rights will be enforced equally by all government agencies; and that police brutality, corruption, lying, and prosecutorial misconduct to gain convictions will not be tolerated at any level.

The challenge for Trump will be to stand by his statement when presented with an issue he does not like or agree with. He does not easily accept the premise of equality over entitlement. For the rest of us, it is to forget for a moment that it is Trump, the president, a billionaire who is asking for rights. As abhorrent as he is, for his request to be fulfilled, the same rights must apply equally to him as all others. That is the fundamental basis of America. We do need the courts to give us back our rights, but only equally for all, regardless of money, power, influence, or title.


Hint to the White House Press Corps: The Dogs would love for Sean Spicer to list the president’s specific thoughts on which rights to restore and to whom.

The Sunday Dog: Trump Thinks Like a Terrorist

Another disgusting and horrendous act of indifference and disregard for human rights and life followed Saturday night’s terror attack in London. Great Britain, one of America’s closest long-standing allies, and its citizens again suffered loss of life, safety, and security — and President Trump’s immediate thought was to leverage a foreign partner’s fear and chaos to advance his xenophobic agenda at home.

Passersby placed “999” calls for police and ambulances at just after 10:00 B.S.T. as a white van began striking pedestrians on London Bridge. A second slash-and-stab incident occurred only blocks away at Borough Market. Londoners went on high alert and Prime Minster Theresa May called for a meeting of Britain’s special security services.

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While Britain prayed for her loss, Trump preyed on America’s fears.

Two hours after the attack, while Great Britain was still reeling to restore peace and treat her injured, Trump tweeted, “We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!” That the president’s immediate thought was not to offer condolences for the dead and wounded, but to scare Americans into supporting his isolationist agenda is the epitome of terror.

Google, “what is terrorism,” and the resulting definition is: the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.

Donald Trump thinks like a terrorist. He uses intimidation against United States citizens to accomplish his political aims. Though it may be lawful, it is still disgusting. His Saturday evening tweet, as grating and incomprehensible as it is to the left, is a strong indication of Trump’s deviousness and self-gratifying tendencies. It should not matter left or right, republican or democrat, to raise the question of why the once leader of the free world does not think first to extend a sincere and sympathetic tweet before launching on his personal crusade.

Merits of the travel ban aside, at what point will the president stop pursuing an agenda of hatred against Muslims? Will his next step be an executive order banning drivers’ licenses for Muslim-Americans? Alternatively, will it be to prohibit car dealers from selling cars to them? Will Trump propel the nation towards policed kitchenware departments and silverware purchases requiring three forms of identification and vetting, while guns are still freely available to any homegrown lone wolf?

In 1930s Germany, Hitler used fear and intimidation to drive the country into a frenzy of hatred that resulted in the unchecked murder of millions of Jews. He blamed the Jewish population for every problem that Germany faced and made the public afraid…afraid that Jews would steal their money and land, commit crimes, or dishonor the nation’s daughters. Hitler parlayed anti-Semitism into a mental, emotional, and physical tool to intimidate civilian support to pursue his political goals. What history does not always teach us is that it was all legal.

None-the-less, Hitler was a terrorist.

Donald Trump began his presidency with an instant aim to intimidate the American public into fulfilling his personal agenda. As one item, the travel ban is strikingly similar to early anti-Semitic laws in Germany that intended to isolate Jews from their fellow citizens and slowly strip them of their citizenship. If Trump gets his way, many Muslim-Americans will find themselves in similar circumstances while travelling abroad — lost in a state of statelessness — if the ban is enacted.

Trump’s continued efforts to scare Americans, combined with his demands for power — his Saturday evening tweet also demanded “the courts give us back our rights” — and disregard for the American political process, border on Hitleresque beginnings. It is not likely that Trump was thinking of a Muslim-American when he tweeted for rights restoration.

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Americans remain vigilant against Trump’s intimidation.

Like Hitler, Donald Trump ultimately would enjoy convincing America that all problems are attributable to one group that he can identify as the enemy. He has blamed Muslims. He has blamed the press. Fortunately, for America, he has not been able to convince the country of any of his premises yet.

America must continue standing up for what is right and not give in to Trump’s selfish terrorist methodologies and motivations. We must say loudly and in unity, “We will not be intimidated.” The instant this country falters in that resolve, is the moment America’s future becomes Germany’s past.