Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A letter to Senator John McCain

The Hon. Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
218 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

(First of all,  I understand the odds of  the Senator actually reading this letter are absurdly remote.  So let me take just a moment to speak to the member of your staff who is reading this on your behalf.    Hi there,  no I am not  one of the Senator’s  Arizona constituents.   I am an overseas, expat California voter who lives in London. Senator Diane Feinstein is my Senator.   But I  wanted  to write to Senator McCain and ask for his help, not as an Arizonan but as an American.)

Dear Senator McCain,

As preface, and confession.  I am not a Republican, (I used to be, but that is not germane to this discussion.)   But I have always admired your service to our country and have the deepest respect for the sacrifices you have made in the course of that service.  You Sir,  are a true American Hero.  

It is awfully tempting when looking at  the arc of your career in public service to ponder historical “what if’s”  It is hard not to imagine that,  had You  been successful in your campaign for the  Presidency in 2000, instead of then Governor Bush,  the world today (and the New York skyline) might well look very different than they do today.  But  that is neither here or there.  We are where we are.

And that,  is the problem.    

Senator.   The President of the United States has, either willingly or  unwittingly been  compromised by an adversarial foreign power.  His National Security Adviser was clearly a risk  to  our national security by his relationship with, and work on behalf of,  that same adversarial foreign power.   

The mountain of evidence that our very democratic process  was compromised is just the tip of a massive iceberg of concerns about this Administration;  and  its political, financial and potentially  illegal ties to Vladimir Putin’s regime.

All this from an Administration led by man who insulted, degraded and mocked not only your service and heroism,  but that of all POW’s

Senator, when  you ran for President again in 2008, your campaign slogan was “Country First”.  It is time to live up to that slogan.   The leadership of the Republican Party under Senator McConnell  and Speaker Ryan  have made it clear that they  will put partisan gain before country, regardless of the cost to our nation.   You sir are  the last remaining Statesman in your party, and all Americans desperately need you,  to once more put country first.   

You have made service to country the defining theme of your life, Sir.   That country now calls upon you again.  

You must stand up, and stop this insanity. The truth  of the Trump Campaign and now, Trump Administration’s  ties to Russia must be immediately  and thoroughly investigated by an independent counsel.   This  will never happen if left to GOP leadership.  

The very security and integrity of our nation is at stake.


David Fabie
London, United Kingdom

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The President of the United States is not Mentally Competent.

There are moments when you know a Presidency is over.    That moment when you see the Man, overwhelmed by the office.   The narrative is lost,  the  grand visions and promises abandoned in a fruitless effort to control events;  which at that moment have taken control of him,  and irrevocably derailed a Presidency.

For  President Reagan it was the moment  cameras caught him being coached by the first lady to answer a reporter's question.

For President Carter it was the moment the mission to rescue the American hostages in Iran came to a crashing halt in the middle of the desert.

For President Lyndon Johnson,  it was the moment he realized  the  overwhelming majority of Americans , and the verdict of history would hold him responsible for the war in Vietnam.

For President Nixon,  it was  the, desperate hubris of the  "I'm not a crook", speech.

Yesterday,  January 25th 2017, five days after his inauguration,  the Presidency of Donald John Trump came crashing down around him. Not in the private agony of the Oval Office,  or some back room  high atop Trump Tower,  but live on Television,  in front of the whole world.

From TheWashington Post:

The way President Trump tells it, the meandering, falsehood-filled, self-involved speech that he gave at the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters was one of the greatest addresses ever given.
“That speech was a home run,” Trump told ABC News just a few minutes into his first major television interview since moving into the White House. “See what Fox said. They said it was one of the great speeches. They showed the people applauding and screaming. … I got a standing ovation. In fact, they said it was the biggest standing ovation since Peyton Manning had won the Super Bowl, and they said it was equal. I got a standing ovation. It lasted for a long period of time.”
The lengthy interview, which aired late Wednesday night, provided a glimpse of the president and his state of mind on his fifth full day in office. It revealed a man who is obsessed with his own popularity and eager to provide evidence of his likability, even if that information doesn't match reality.
I could go on and cite more of the WaPo  article , but honestly  it doesn't even begin to capture the magnitude of the moment.  It is something that must be seen.  Not just to be understood, but to be believed.

If Donald Trump was just a real estate developer,  or a reality show host, or a product pitch man, yesterday's interview would be amusing.  Fodder for the inside pages of a New York tabloid. Just another  celebrity anecdote about a man  desperate to affirm his own grandiose image of himself.  A self-perception that he must defend at all costs.  Defend it against anything that threatens his core belief that he is  the greatest, the smartest, the most "tremendous"  and successful man that ever lived.

But Donald Trump isn't just another insecure celebrity.  He is the 45th President of  the United States.  The Commander-in-Chief of the United States Military, and the man who has the sole power to order the use of America's arsenal of the most destructive weapons mankind has ever constructed

Five days in his Presidency,  Donald Trump is mentally, emotionally  and physically incapable of getting past the fact that fewer people attended his swearing in than that of  Barack Obama.   Five days into his Presidency, Donald Trump is mentally, emotionally  and physically incapable of getting past the fact that Hillary Clinton won more votes than he did.   Five days into his Presidency  Donald Trump is mentally, emotionally  and physically incapable of getting past  even the most routine public criticisms that all Presidents face on a daily basis.

His Presidency has collapsed into an obsession  to convince himself that  his inauguration was the biggest ever,   to convince himself that he really did win the popular vote;  all  at the expense of actual governing.   His administration is currently operating with a skeleton staff at the National Security Agency.  His administration is currently operating with NO sitting ambassadors  at any of our embassies around the world, as he demanded that all serving diplomatic heads from the Obama Administration vacate their posts by the moment he finished taking the oath.

Foreign Policy is reduced to a desperate spewing on Twitter that the refusal of the Mexican President to meet with him was a "mutual decision".

 All the while the President's surrogates are left to try to spin some sort of coherence out of this madness.  Reduced to claiming their provably false statements are not lies,  but rather  "Alternative Facts."

I did not vote for President Trump,  but  like many Americans I did "give him a chance".  I tuned in from halfway around the world to hear  his inaugural address.  Desperate to hear  any evidence that his man understood the office he was elected to,  what I heard instead was political rally  boilerplate, the same divisive rhetoric that defined his campaign.

It was the speech of a sore winner.

In the first television interview as President of the United States,  Donald Trump showed the world that not only is he a sore winner,  but more than that,  he is  a dangerously insecure narcissist who  will at some point,  completely self destruct under the weight of the Presidency.   We all can only hope the expression of that involves the use social media,  and not nuclear weapons.

Keith Olberman gets the last word on this...

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Friday, December 16, 2016

Hey 2016! You Seriously Sucked!! But ... (You did give us James Corden.) So I Guess We're Cool...

Vanity Fair Reports:

"What did we do to deserve James Corden? It’s been quite a year, but at last it’s time to start wrapping it up—and the Late Late Show host has apparently been working for all of 2016 to make sure his viewers do so in the best way possible.

How? By quietly enlisting a sampling of his “Carpool Karaoke” guests to belt out their best rendition of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas.” And like every good present, this one comes with a nice bow on top: Carey herself, who took a quick spin with Corden to do some last-minute shopping.

This one kicks off in style: Corden’s in a festive sweater, and the Elusive Chanteuse is in what appears to be a red leather blazer. Because ’tis the season. Before long, though, the video cuts to various guests of “Carpool Karaoke” past: Adele, Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas, Elton John, Selena Gomez, Lady Gaga, Chris Martin, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Gwen Stefani."


Hat tip to Joemygod

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

My 2016 Election Concession...

Dear Trump Voter,  You won.  I Lost.

It is a beautiful  early Winter day here in London. The weather has been unseasonably mild for mid December. (It is in the upper 50’s Fahrenheit this week). But the Christmas decorations are up in Central London and the city sparkles and shines, even without snow. So I was feeling pretty good, even somewhat smug as I saw the predicted high temperature for Madison, WI today. (12 Degrees F.) That feeling quickly dissipated however, upon seeing the news report about the final result of the election recount in Wisconsin.

After all was said and done, it was Donald Trump who actually increased his margin of victory in the Badger State, by 131 votes. (Hillary Clinton added 713 votes to her total, and Trump gained 844 new votes.) The recount resulted in a total net increase of 837 ballots.

A number of old friends in WI have sparred with me on Facebook over the recount, Russian intervention in the US Election, and what the Trump victory might mean. On more than one occasion over the past few weeks, I have been told that I need to “get over it, cuz Trump won.” A fact that the WI recount result has clearly underscored with added emphasis. So there…. Nyygha!

You know what? They’re right. So to all the Trump voters back in my Childhood home of Wisconsin, I concede. Donald J. Trump won the election by  winning 74 more electoral votes than Hillary Clinton. The fact Hillary Clinton beat Trump by nearly 3 million more total votes, while frustrating, isn’t how our system works. Donald Trump won the election. He is the President-Elect and come January 20th will be the 45th President of the United States.

Granted, there are a few things you voted for in your support for Trump that you clearly are not going to get. Hilary Clinton isn’t going to be charged with any of the imaginary high crimes and nefarious deeds Trump cited to milk applause at his rallies. Sorry, but nobody is going to “Lock her up”. Also, lets be real, you are not getting a wall with Mexico. Not because of political or social opposition, it’s just not physically possible.

 Which brings me to what you actually ARE going to get for you vote.

Congratulations, you are getting a fact-free federal government. The one hallmark of Donald Trump’s historic victory, ( and yes, we all can be honest here and admit it truly was historic), was the total lack of any need for facts. Or rather,  just making up your own facts when reality disagreed with you.

When the unemployment rate was really less than 5%, you just said; No it isn’t… it’s over 40%! When over 90% of the global scientific community agrees on the fact that man-made carbon emissions are a leading factor in changes to our climate, you just said; No it isn’t! The whole thing is a Chinese hoax!

 When you lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes you just said; No we didn’t! Everyone who didn’t vote for us, voted illegally, so we really won!   You voted for , and will now get a Federal Government that will simply make stuff up, when reality doesn’t support the talking points.

Speaking of the climate. You voted for coal, and for oil.. Bigly, as the President-Elect likes to say. You voted for a foreign policy that will put the profits of Exxon-Mobile as the foremost interest of the United States around the world. 

 You voted to reward the dictator of Chad for waging war on his own people. You voted reward Russia for waging war on its neighbor by allowing them to revive a half a TRILLION dollar oil deal between their state owned oil company and Exxon.

Let’s not forget Coal, because you voted to reopen coal mines in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Not only that, but you voted to eliminate air quality standards, clean water regulations and gut the federal agency responsible for overseeing it all.    So this is what you are getting for at least the next four years. An executive branch that is composed  almost entirely, of  exactly the sort of  people you believed you were voting against. 

But you won!  So you get to eliminate health insurance for over 20 million people. With no alternative to fill the gap.  You voted for "repeal" without any sort of replace.   There is no Trump or GOP health care plan beyond going back to the lack of a system the US had before the Affordable Care Act Many aspects of the GOP “proposal” are clear: It would permit health insurers to cover far fewer services than they have to cover under Obamacare, and it would reduce federal subsidies for buying insurance, pare protections for people with pre-existing conditions, roll back funding for Medicaid, and convert Medicare to a voucher-type program.

Trump hasn’t said what this would cost, or how many people would end up with insurance – what we do know is that number will be far smaller than it is under Obamacare. So when all those newly re-employed coal miners get Black Lung, better hope their voucher is enough to cover it.

But you won. So by all means tear up all the trade deals and go try to renegotiate them. Then try not to wonder what happened when the good faith and credit of the United States collapses. But you won, so you get to spend millions of dollars in tax payer money to pay companies to not move jobs overseas And to then call it a victory when those same companies only move most of the jobs overseas.

But you won, so you get to turn Social Security over to the same system and players who completely crashed the economy in 2007, People who actively sought to make money on people losing their homes. So sure, why wouldn’t you want them to be able to make money on people losing their retirement. What could possibly go wrong?

But hey, you won! You get a President who will use social media to attack anyone who criticises him. You also voted to get a Vice President who has promised to make  it legal to treat anyone who is   Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgendered as not just less than equal in the eyes of the law, but less than human in the eyes of the law. You voted to make the government the entity that decides what is best for a Woman’s health. You voted to make sure Corporations have greater civil protections than you do .

But, as you keep reminding me, you won. So you get a new domestic police force with the sole mission of rounding up people. You get internment camps for undocumented immigrants. The irony here is that for years the fever-swamp on the American Right Wing was convinced Obama was building secret concentration camps for Gun Owners, Christians, and anyone who reads Breitbart news.( Funny how that never happened?) Yet you clearly had no qualms voting for the same idea for anyone who in your view “might not belong here”

For the past few weeks I was pretty upset about all this, But you wake up, the sun is shining, the weather is mild. I still have both private health insurance AND universal health care. I still live in a country where the Conservative government pushed for Marriage Equality. I still live in a country that is actively developing alternative energy and doesn’t care if Trump throws tantrums about Wind farms near his golf course. 

 I still live in country that despite it’s own internal struggles with xenophobia, understands you cannot wall yourself off from the rest of the world.    So congratulations on your great win Trump voters! The rest of the World may, for a little while, lament your choice. But soon, will move on, quite content without you.

China, Russia, (definitely Russia), India, and many others will smile and applaud, as a Trump Presidency completely destroys what is left of the American Manufacturing sector. Mexico, Japan and South Korea will quietly cheer when the talking heads on FOX News gleefully announce the idea of a living wage in the United States is dead and gone.

While at the same time, taking heads over on the FOX Business Channel will be insisting that bank executives who, when they crash the economy again, and need to be bailed out by taxpayers, must still receive multi-million dollar bonuses, as those are necessary to "keep America moving forward".

You won. So please do shout hallelujah as Mike Pence leads the charge to legalize discrimination against anyone who isn't a white, (supposedly ) heterosexual, evangelical Christian. Chant “drill baby drill!” as the National Parks are handed over to Oil Companies, Timber Companies and Mining Corporations. You won’t need to worry about helping your kids with their homework as the GOP finally will finally be able to eliminate science from public schools.

You won. So you get to go ahead and teach American kids, that the Earth is only 6,000 years old, and the human race began with two fully formed people, who rode around a garden on dinosaurs, chatting it up with talking snakes. All those students in India, Japan, South Korea and China thank you for freeing up all that space at Universities. As American students won’t be able to fill out the applications let alone get in. But hey, all that “book-learnin’ “ is just a liberal plot right?

You Won,  so you get to try to remake  the United States of America in Donald Trump's image. So please go ahead,  beat your chest proudly and talk of "American Exceptional-ism'. But when you start to wonder why all that American Greatness hasn't  trickled down to you, and get upset about it,  please remember;  You won.  This is what  you voted for.  

There is no point beating around the bush anymore so I wont.   I conceede.  You won, I lost. So I say to my Republican and Libertarian friends, good luck. The rest of the world thanks you, for all you have done ... to eliminate the United States as their competition.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Republicans Blocked Release of Report on Russian Cyber Attacks

The Washington Post's Ellen Nakashima talks to Rachel Maddow about her bombshell reporting on a secret CIA assessment that says Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win.

Like anyone is even remotely surprised by this stuff anymore.  Mitch McConnell is a traitorous partisan hack who  has, will continue to gleefully  endanger U.S. National Security for his own personal gain.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Meanwhile in Donald Trump's America

If you Voted for Donald Trump you are Standing with THESE people. You say you are not a Racist, but YOU Trump Voter, voted to make racism, bigotry and hatred acceptable in the American Mainstream.

You cannot hide your culpability in allowing ... THIS to claim a legitimate place in our American civic discourse... You say you never would approve of mobs giving the Nazi salute, but YOU Trump Voter, have made it OK for others to do so, YOU Trump Voter, did this.. YOU Trump voter, OWN this...

Spare me any pathetic attempts at self justification for your role in leaving this .... rancid Shit stain on American Democracy. Don't bother posting it here.

There is NO excusing this.. or excusing ANY actions that have enabled it.