Under the Rule of the Czar: Week 4

Nobody can say that this week was boring.  This week has seen some of the worse behavior of Donald Trump yet and just think we are only four weeks into his reign.

On the immigration front, throughout the course of last weekend, the Republican administration conducted nationwide sweeps of illegal immigrants and made many arrests.  This gave warm fuzzies to all of white nationalists that see this Republican administration as being on their side.

On the other hand, this Republican administration is still reeling from the 9th circuit court’s decision to allow a stay of his executive order to remain in place.  Of course, this did not set well with the Republican administration.  Mr. Trump threatened the court with… seeing them in court.  Even his minions were being unhinged.  Steven Miller declared that the powers of the president “will not be questioned.”  Obviously this Republican administration has not heard of the ways that the other two branches of the government provides checks and balances.

As a result of reports that Michael Flynn possibly had illicit communications with Russia last December and that he lied about it to Vice President Pence, Flynn tendered his resignation.  According to rumor, this made Mr. Trump very angry and that anger manifested itself in his press conference on Thursday.  Let’s not lose sight of what really happened.  Flynn was not forced to resign because he lied or had illicit communications with Russia.  He was forced to resign because this scandal was damaging the Trump brand.

If Flynn’s resignation was not bad enough, his choice for labor secretary, Andy Pudzer, withdrew his nomination and the person who he chose to replace Flynn rejected him.  For her endorsement of Ivanka Trump’s products, the ethics office requested that the Republican administration investigate Kellyanne Conway and that a disciplinary action was appropriate.  The Republican administration has not acted on this recommendation and it seems doubtful that it will.

Trump signed a number of bills sent to him by the Republican congress.  The Republicans have eliminated the requirements that energy companies report any money transferred from them to foreign governments.  This bill allows for energy companies to bribe foreign governments for favors without consequences; something that a member of this Republican administration has been fighting for.  Another bill removed the regulations on  the dumping of coal ash into streams and rivers.  As a result of this Republican legislation, coal companies are allowed to pollute our waterways.

Up next for next week is the regulation that required people who were getting certain kinds of mental illness disability from social security to be reported so that they would not be able to pass a background check to buy a gun.  The Republicans along with their NRA stooges continue their fight to keep it easy for criminals, terrorists, and the violent mentally ill to buy guns.

The Republican Congress, which had promised to keep Trump on a short leash, has been keeping itself busy with implementing this Republican administration’s authoritarian agenda.  The Republican Congress has spent years in endless investigation of Obama and Clinton.  Despite the fact that neither Obama nor Clinton are president, they are continuing these investigations.  Yet, when it comes investigation the possibility that our dear leader is compromised or that there is corruption in this Republican administration, they steadfastly refuse to do any kind of investigation.  Rand Paul has effectively said that Republicans should not be investigating Republicans.

To cap the end of the week, this Republican administration ramped up its War on the Free Press.  In press conferences, the administration is only selecting questions from news agencies that report only state approved news.  On Thursday, when Trump’s anger reached its peak over the resignation of Flynn, he spent almost an hour and a half ranting, raving, and berating the press over the so-called “fake news.”  He even said the leaks were true but the news was fake.

These attacks are not about the bias and unfair attacks on him.  These attacks are about forcing the free press to only report news that is approved by this Republican administration.  Later, Mr. Trump tweeted that a number of news agencies (only ones that have not been reporting state sponsored news) were the “enemies of the people.”

You know who else says uses the “enemies of the people” line?  Despots and tyrants use those words.  But what do I know?  According to Pat Roberson, by opposing this Republican administration, I am opposing the will of God.

Conservatives, you should be concerned about Trump’s attacks on the media

I get it.  Conservatives have a long-held belief that the media is biased against them and that it has been unfair to the Republicans and conservatives.  To a point, I agree that push back has been long overdue.  I understand the frustration although I think the push back should be against all media not just the ones with which you disagree.  I can see why you want to support Donald Trump in his war on the media.  I am sure it gives you a warm fuzzy to finally see someone doing something about what you see as being wrong.

It is important that we do not lose sight of the potential damage that this Republican administration can do to freedom and in particular the freedom of the press.  The Republican administration has taken a hostile position against the media.  This does not include just the liberal media.  He is attacking anybody that does not report the news in a way that places him in a positive light.

Let us not forget that not too long ago, Donald Trump, the candidate, was attacking Fox News as a haven for “Trump haters.”  He attacked Megyn Kelly when she had the audacity to ask him tough questions in a debate.  He attacked Bill O’Reilly when he did not report the polls that painted Trump in a positive light.  He even skipped one of the debates that was hosted by Fox News.  Since then, Fox News has given him nothing but positive coverage and his attacks on them stopped.

If these attacks were only about bias and unbalanced coverage, it would be just politics as usual.  However, these attacks go beyond that.  These are constant and harsh attacks that are designed to destroy the credibility of the media and to force them to report only what this Republican administration approves.  Please remember that one of the first actions of despots is to take control of the media and be skeptical of this Republican administration’s motives.

 

Under the Rule of the Czar: Week 3

This week started with a major victory for the Trumpster; his favorite quarterback, Tom Brady won yet another Super Bowl (presumably they checked his balls first).  However, members of the alt-right were triggered by the commercials and half time show (did they think they live in a safe space).  All throughout the week, they were calling on boycotts.  First, it was Budweiser for telling the story of one of their founders that was an immigrant.  Then it was for 86 Lumber for showing a big scary wall with a big wonderful door, a metaphor used by the Czar himself, allowing the wrong kind of people into the country.  Then, there was the call for a boycott on the NFL itself for allowing Lady Gaga to sing because of her message of inclusiveness and unity.  Towards the end of the week, Nordstrom’s was being targeted because they dropped the under-performing line of products from Ivanka Trump.

For people who like to call liberals snowflakes, these people are so fragile.  Hell, they cannot even leave their homes without a security blanket gun.  Some conservatives have even called for sporting events to be safe spaces.

During the Czar’s address during the National Prayer Breakfast, he reiterated his support of eliminating the Johnson Amendment that prevents churches from directly supporting political candidates.  While the Czar claims religious freedom, one of the ways that despots control the masses is by claiming endorsement by religious leaders.  This policy would pave the way to this end.

On the court front for the Czar, things were not so good.  The stay that targeted his big beautiful executive order to keep Muslims out of the country was upheld not once but twice.  It seems that not even the Czar is allowed to revoke visas and green cards without due process.  What is the Czar going to do?  Rewrite it such that it is constitutional or continue to fight for what was a poorly conceived policy.  Of course, the possibility that the Czar choosing to ignore the courts might be an option.

The Czar continues his War on the Media by calling everything that he does not like as “fake news.” The regime has explicitly said it.  Any polls that are negative are to be called “fake news.”  Until the media starts reporting the news as they want it reported, the regime will continue to call it “fake news.”  There was even a claim by the Czar that the media does not cover terrorist attacks at all (which is blatantly untrue).  In other words, until the media allows the Czar to dictate what is published, it will be labeled as “fake.”  Yet again, the regime shows its desire to create a corporate autocratic state with Donald J Trump as our dear leader.

In a speech to law enforcement officers, the Czar has promised ramp up the War on Drugs. We can expect to see more of the same failed authoritarian policies that has resulted in the largest per capita prison population in the world.  He also encouraged broadening the use of asset forfeiture which is a tool fitting of tyrants and despots.  Plus, he signed executive orders paving the way tougher penalties towards people who show contempt of the police.   Again, these are actions of a despot.  By giving more power to the police forces that are increasingly becoming more like militaries rather than civilian peace keeping officers, the Czar is creating a police state that he can use to shut down dissent and protests.

Let’s hope things will be better next week but I would not hold my breath.

Under the Rule of the Czar: Week 2

Overall, this week was not as exciting as the last.  Mostly, the talk involves fallout from last week.  Over last weekend, the Czar allegedly made a couple phone calls to some world leaders.  According to the reports, the calls did not go very well.  It was said that he threatened to send our military to clean up crime in Mexico and hung up on the PM of Australia. John McCain had to make some calls of his own to patch things up.  It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it.

On January 28th, there was a raid in Yemen that resulted in several civilian casualties, the death of an 8 year old American citizen, and a Navy SEAL.  Some people are blaming the regime for this botched raid.  While I am skeptical that the Czar exercised poor judgement resulting in the botched raid, I will note that certain people in Congress are mostly likely not going to launch a multiple year investigation into it like they did for a certain attack in Libya.

Iran chose this week to troll Mr. Trump by testing a new ballistic missile.  Of course, this did not make the Czar happy and his regime has put Iran “on notice.”  Included in his response are additional sanctions on individuals and organizations that are associated with Iran.  You can be sure that this is a pretext for the invasion of Iran.

The big news of the week was the Czar’s selection of someone to fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court.  The nominee, Neil Gorsuch, is the polar opposite of anything that the Democrats would want in a nominee.  He is an activist judge that that consistently rules in the favor of corporations, strongly opposes abortion and Planned Parenthood, and supports a police state.  The type of big government authoritarian that makes Republicans and conservatives all giggly and warm inside.

Predictably, the Democrats are not pleased with this.  After all, this seat was one that the Republicans usurped from them.  There is talk that they might give Gorsuch the same treatment that Merrick Garland received.  Even if was possible for a jellyfish to grow a spine, the odds of them resisting this nomination are very slim.  The Republicans still have the nuclear option and what would be the point of cheating if they are not willing to go all of the way.

Speaking about changing the rules in the middle of the game, after being obstructionists for the last 8 years, the Republicans have decided that they do not like it when the shoe on the other foot.  In response, they decided to skip the rules for quorums in committees.  Basically, they are ramming through the Czar’s nominees without properly vetting them.  Who cares that there are conflicts of interests and incompetence?

As expected, the Czar and his Republican minions have turned to eliminating those pesky laws that interfere with the profits of their special interests.  One rule is the one that requires a financial adviser that you hired to manage your investments work in your best interest.  Did you actually think that there was such thing as a fiduciary duty in this corporate controlled economy?  How about keeping coal ash from polluting our waterways?  Sorry, you don’t have the right to clean and unpolluted waterways according to our corporate leaders.  Keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill? Please, terrorists, criminals, and the mentally ill have a right to arm themselves so says the NRA.

There is some evidence that not all of the Republicans are completely on board with the Czar’s authoritarian regime.  Some of them are questioning the wisdom of building a wall on the border with Mexico.  Either someone finally figured out what the true price tag is going to  be or realized that illegals immigrants can just go over, under, and around it.

Despite the fact that the Republicans have been voting on a repeal or eliminating the funding of Obamacare for the last six years, they are still having problems trying to come up with a bill.  You would think that they could just take one of the 50 bills they passed during the last 6 years and send it to Mr. Trump.  I guess things are different when there will be consequences for their policies now.

On the domestic terrorism front, Mr. Trump has not acknowledged that the shooting in a mosque in Quebec was an act of terrorism.  Yet, a knife attack by a Muslim in Paris gets an all to familiar Twitter rant.  Why is it when a white person committing an act of terrorism, it is not treated as such?

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Mr. Trump surrounds himself by white nationalists such as Steve Bannon.  Speaking of which, the regime has decided to no longer track the activities of white supremacists and radical racists.  Coincidentally, the Czar’s speech for the Holocaust remembrance day that did not mention Jews was intentional.

Next week promises to have drama and excitement when the Republicans try to ram through Gorsuch.