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While we are consumed with watching the White House Clown Show directed by the Clown in Chief, black Americans continued to be slaughtered by law enforcement with seeming impunity. While we are finding out the answer to how many white men can fit in one Presidential Cabinet, many black Americans feel like any encounter with law enforcement, no matter how minor or ordinary, could mark the beginning of their last moments on Earth.

While we are wondering when the Senate and House and FBI investigations are going to come to the rather obvious conclusion that the Trump campaign and Trump administration colluded with Russia, the policeman/killer of Philando Castile was found not guilty on all counts. His killer’s defense was that he “feared for his life” because Mr. Castile announced that he was lawfully carrying a firearm and then reached into his pocket to get his license and registration as his killer had requested.

While we are the thoroughly unprepared, untrained and inexperienced Jared Kutsher (whose only seeming qualification is that Donald Tinyhands is his father-in-law) travels to Israel on a hopeless and inevitably forlorn mission to broker the peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Charleena Lyles was shot and killed by the police in Seattle having called the police regarding her belief that a burglary was in progress in her residence.

It should be noted that Ms. Lyles was a black woman. Ms. Lyles was the pregnant mother of four who was described by relatives as “tiny”. Ms. Lyles may have had mental health issues and when the police arrived it is reported that she had a knife. The response of the Seattle police was not to defuse the crisis through verbal interaction or use of non-lethal force. The response of the Seattle police was to shoot a pregnant black mother of four with her children present.

It may have happened in these United States at some place and time, but there appear to be no reports of pregnant white women being shot and killed by the police anywhere. It is hard to believe that police in any jurisdiction would shoot and kill a pregnant white woman in front of her children whether she was brandishing a knife, baseball bat or gun.

What should be clear to black Americans is that throughout the history of this nation black lives simply do not matter regardless of the rhetoric, legislation and Constitutional amendments. What should be clear is that there is no way that the United States of America and the proud Son of the Confederacy, Jefferson Beauregard Davis III will not lift a finger to make even the most rudimentary official inquiry into the death of Charleena Lyles or the acquittal of the killer of Philando Castile.

There is a Groundhog Day feel to this entire situation. Since the days of the Black Codes in the 1600’s to the Slave Codes in the 1700’s to the regular terrorizing and lynching of black Americans from 1865 to 1965, black lives do not matter – certainly not when compared to white lives. And the head fake slogan of “all lives matter” rings false when it is clear that in comparison to white Americans in multiple similar encounters with the police do not die with anywhere near the same frequency as black Americans.

The saddest part of this story is that within a week or a month of reading this column you will be reading about yet another police-induced atrocity involving a black American citizen who did not deserve today whatever their transgression might have been.

It is said that this is the land of the free and the home of the brave. It is also the land where black lives do not matter.

Impeach Donald Trump – Or – Be Careful What You Ask For

These days it seems that President Trump is close to being permanently adhered to the tar baby called Russia/Collusion/Obstruction of Justice. If a tenth of the allegations that have been leveled against Donald Tinyhands and his henchmen and henchwomen had been cast against the Obama Administration, President Obama would have become an ex-president in the blink of an eye. And yet, Donald Trump appears to be on a bizarre trajectory that will lead to his appearance on the presidential inaugural platform on January 20, 2020.

One need not be a supporter of President Trump to realize that the giant bicameral lapdog that is the Republican Congress would sooner bathe with piranhas than lead any attempt to impeach him. There is already enough stench, stain and suspicion attached to the Trump presidency that there would seem to be no shortage of realists who see that Trump permanently damaging the United States of America is not a good thing. But there will be few martyrs to the cause of justice to be found in the Teapublican cloak room in Congress.

So it would seem that we are to be witness to Donald Tinyhands lurching from one crisis to another, gratuitously insulting over half the planet with his every word and deed. But it is possible to conjure up a scenario where Donald Trump leaves the White House before he has completed his term as the self-styled Disrupter in Chief.

Perhaps President Trump will grow tired of being body slammed in the public arena by the likes of the James Comey – Robert Mueller tag team and simply quit. Perhaps Jared Kutsher will testify against Ivanka and Donald Trump precipitating a must see t.v. family feud. Or perhaps Mike Flynn will be offered a plea deal and send Kelly Ann Conway and Sean Spicer to jail, setting off a chain reaction of betrayals that results in Donald Tinyhands returning to his eponymous tower.

None of these scenarios are even remotely plausible but they are the main feature in the fevered dreams of the American Resistance that foresees the downfall of the Trump presidency. And while there would be some visceral pleasure enjoyed by the witnesses to the downfall of Donald Trump, it would be wise to head the old adage about watching what you wish for.

Because as bad a Donald Trump has been, Vice President Mike Pence is worse. Even the greatest admirers and sycophants surrounding President Trump will admit that he lacks the discipline to maintain proper focus. Mike Pence has that discipline and that focus.

A former radio talk show host, Vice President Pence believes in the agenda that call for the dismantling of the federal government, the shredding of the social safety net and a return to that mythical time when men were men and women were women. As a Congressman, he led the Tea Party-inspired Freedom Caucus which sees “no” as the only viable political action.

Mike Pence would never degrade women with his words like Donald Trump, but he would not hesitate to degrade Planned Parenthood and substitute his judgment for that of a woman when it comes to matters involving her body. Mike Pence would not spend his time tweeting, he would be focused day and night to dismantle anything in the federal government that he could not simply eliminate. Civil rights, LGBTQI rights and women’s rights would become a relic, found only in the most discrete hiding places.

With his passing knowledge of the judiciary, Mike Spence looks like Oliver Wendell Holmes in comparison to Donald Tinyhands. And President Pence would make the Supreme Court a permanent jurisprudential bastion for the right wing of the right wing rather than shoving the Prime Minister of Montenegro out the way and picking fights with the press.

In many ways, as bad as President Trump has been, his successor could be so much worse. So when it comes to impeaching President Trump it might be good to remember to be careful with what you ask.

Somehow James Comey, the presumably mild-mannered former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has morphed into one of the most pivotal characters in the recent history of American presidential politics. Not since the days of the never-to-be-missed J. Edgar Hoover, the venal, vicious and racist cross-dressing founder of the FBI, has the Director of the FBI exerted such history-changing influence. And it is reasonable to ask, Lordy, how did this happen?

Even a cursory analysis reveals that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump thrust the game-changing role onto Mr. Comey, although there is no indication that when the role was offered, he didn’t exhibit any reluctance in fully embracing that role.

Consider James Comey’s role in the 2016 presidential election. Between his midsummer announcement that there would be no further investigation of Secretary Clinton and his stunning reversal 11 days before the election that the FBI investigation of the presidential candidate had resumed, Mr. Comey exerted incredibly undue influence on the presidential election and in all likelihood handed an unthinkable upset victory to Donald Tinyhands.

Of course it can be argued that if a private e-mail server was not installed in Secretary Clinton’s bathroom in her Chappaqua home there would have been no story about hidden e-mails, there would have been no death by a thousand cuts disclosure of the content of those e-mails and there would have been no Congressional investigations and there would have been no FBI investigation. And, of course, there would have been no faux savior of democracy role for James Comey to assume.

Similarly, if the coterie of advisors, sycophants and wannabe’s surrounding Donald Tiny hands had not pursued contact with the Russians like besotted sophomore suitors, there would have been nothing for Mike Flynn, Jared Kutsher and Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III to deny. And then there would be no need to cover up surreptitious correspondence, meetings and a rendezvous in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

And then there would be nothing for the FBI to investigate and no reason for Donald Tinyhands to demand a Godfatheresque ring-kissing pledge of personal loyalty from an appalled James Comey. And then there would be no contemporaneous memoranda penned by Mr. Comey and then there would be Senate Intelligence hearings like the one held on June 7th and June 8th.

However fascinating alternative history might be, it is best left to Harry Turtledove and other authors of that genre. Actual history indicates that Secretary Clinton did create the e-mail server morass giving her sworn enemies just enough morsels of pseudo scandal to bring about the chain of events that resulted in James Comey becoming a key player in her electoral downfall in 2016.

Similarly, by pursuing the fool’s errand of dancing with the devil that is Vladimir Putin, Donald Tinyhands and his henchmen and henchwomen provided his sworn enemies with more than enough reason to sound echoes of Watergate and Iran Contra thereby casting James Comey in the role of Sir Galahad on a mission to save democracy.

By all accounts, James Comey is a decent and dedicated public servant who does not have a devious bone in his body. Nevertheless, Machiavelli himself could not have constructed a series of actions and strategies that resulted in Mr. Comey having such history-changing influence on the fate of over 300 million Americans.

The question is not whether James Comey is a hero or a villain. The question may turn out to be whether the ensuing chaos and turmoil in American politics are the unintended consequences of blind and oblivious dedication to duty.

And now, for his next dark magic trick, Donald Tinyhands has actually withdrawn the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. With the stroke of a pen he has managed to have this country exit the most extensive collective global initiative since the founding of the United Nations, seemingly based on the totally false premise that climate change is a Chinese hoax and the absolutely truth challenged notion that this precipitous act of naked nationalism will help the American worker.

There are many pernicious and dangerous aspects to this chapter of the Book of Trump. Starting with the fact that this validation of an anti-science attitude reflects the neo-Luddite pseudo-philosophy that is sweeping some parts of the country. Indeed, in 2017 there are 14 states, such as Tennessee, Florida, Ohio and Louisiana to name a few, that allow the teaching of creationism in science classes in public schools.

And it is bad enough that American children are being taught that Adam and Eve walked with the dinosaurs. But it is even worse that science-based facts supporting the theory of evolution are treated in many of these same schools as simply an alternative to the Garden of Eden version taught in the Bible.

There are refugees from the realm of fact and science who have not only taken the high ground in public education, but are also finding their way into the world of medical science. There are 20 states that now allow “personal belief” exemptions for adults (and their unlucky children) who choose not to have what used to be mandatory vaccinations. As a result, for the first time in over half a century we now see a rise in measles and other childhood diseases that had virtually disappeared in this country.

Meanwhile, the same wrongheaded flight from science that has challenged the facts supporting the science of evolution and the public health importance of vaccinations are also fighting a fact-free battle against the science that supports climate change. It is beyond belief that the president of the most scientifically advanced country in the world would label climate change a Chinese hoax – but here we are, caught in the spidery web where politics and ignorance have joined together.

There is not enough space in this column to detail all of the scientific proof that details the reality of the climate of this planet changing due to human activity. But you are invited to read “The Sixth Extinction” by Elizabeth Kolbert which details how life on this planet was nearly extinguished five times over the billions of years that there has been a planet Earth, and that now there are (too) many signs that humanity is on yet another path that leads to extinction, this time initiated by humanity and all the technology that will accompany us to the brink of this existential abyss.

And meantime, there are some soon to be unemployed coal miners who are celebrating the temporary reprieve for their jobs, while over 6 million Americans who work in the alternative energy sector will have to wait and see whether their industry, which should be positioned to lead the world, will even exist in the Age of Donald Tinyhands.

President Trump has bellowed in his inimitable style that he is protecting the American worker by withdrawing this country from the Paris Climate Agreement. But many workers will lose their jobs due to in inexorable move from fossil fuels to alternative and reusable energy that the rest of the world is pursuing.

And it can be reasonably be asked how the American worker can be saved if there is no clean air, clean water or a clear and clean future.

The simulated bumper car administration of Donald Trump seems to lurch from fiasco to faux pas with practiced ease. Whether he is leaking confidential files to the Russians or shoving the Prime Minister of Montenegro out of the way like a fevered Black Friday shopper, President Trump has shown himself to be a master of shameless error. But it is worthwhile to imagine what it would be like if other names could be substituted for the players in the Drama Called Trump.

Consider Donald Trump’s campaign and the moment of disgrace occasioned by the release of the Access Hollywood tapes where he confessed to sexually assaulting women on numerous occasions. Without comment I am asking you to estimate the lifespan of the presidential candidacy of Senator Barack Obama if he were starring in the Access Hollywood Tapes.

Consider that Donald Trump admitted to providing the Russian Prime Minister and the Russian Ambassador the United States with classified information obtained from the Israeli government, claiming that as President of the United States he has the right to disclose classified information to whomever he wants (which, in keeping with the best traditions of Donald Tinyhands, is not quite true). Again, without comment, I am asking you to consider the number of minutes it would take the Republican Congress to begin impeachment proceedings if President Hillary Clinton were to take such action.

To continue this Name Game, imagine that President Obama had hung up the phone with the Prime Minister of Australia, had the President of Mexico hang up the phone on him and that he had also shoved the Prime Minister of Montenegro out of the way for a photo op. It is fair to believe that if President Obama had mimicked actual behavior by President Trump the media in general and the right wing mouth breathers like Rush Limbaugh would be bellowing about President Obama being unfit for the office.

And in this last round of the Name Game, if President Hillary Clinton had fired FBI Director James Comey after being rebuffed in his request for a pledge of personal loyalty – acts taken by Donald Trump – it is fair to say that the Teapublicans would be baying at the moon and waiting for their leashes to be slipped so that they could hunt Hillary Clinton to the ends of the earth if need be.

The point of this Name Game is that Donald Tinyhands is the beneficiary of a bizarre double standard. Whether it is traditional white privilege or the revenge of the Angry White Men, there doesn’t appear to be any bottom to the pit of ignorance, misogyny, bigotry and bad behavior into which Donald Trump has cast the public discourse. And yet, he is seriously defended- and excused – for his bad behavior, his inappropriate language and his possible illegal actions.

There is no doubt that as a black American President Obama was held to an almost impossibly high standard and the fact that he mostly succeeded in adhering to those standards will forever irk the Obama haters. Similarly, as the first woman to be that presidential candidate of a national party, Hillary Clinton was held to an impossible standard of needing to be super competent while be an engaging and non-threatening female. And in the end, that impossibility was one of the main reasons for her defeat in 2016.

It remains to be seen how long Paul Ryan and Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich and Mike Pence can continue to excuse and defend the inexcusable and indefensible outrageous and shameful conduct of the Trump Who Would Be President.

The first 100 plus days of the Trump presidency has turned out to be a compelling horror show for anyone who cares about governance, the Constitution or the future of this nation. It is hard not to watch an individual who seems to be dedicated to offending, insulting and repelling virtually every person who does not swear absolute fealty to him, and him alone. The institutional damage that he has committed in so little time is awesome to behold. But it is important to note that when the history books are written the Hurricane Called Trump may turn out to have been a head fake, a distraction from the real damage that is being done to the American people.

Consider the fact that we stared in awe and dismay at the naked lawlessness and infinitely perfect and disgraceful bad taste of President Trump in firing FBI Director James Comey. Meanwhile a mouth breathing direct descendant of Neanderthals named Scott Pruitt heads up the Environmental Protection Agency.

All that Mr. Pruitt has done has been to fire scientists who have been trying to quantify the effects of climate change. He has also declared the policy of his agency as denying the impact of human activity on climate change. And, just to keep things interesting, Mr. Pruitt has begun to allow coal and oil exploration on federal lands in the Arctic and through the lower 48 states.

One day the Terror of Trump will fade into the dustbin of history, but yet unborn children will suffer from the diminished and degraded environment that they will inherit thanks in no small part to Scott Pruitt and his science denying minions. The damage that Pruitt can wreak in just a few short years is fearsome and real.

Consider the fact we are absolutely dumbfounded by the notion that the President of the United States would bar American press from his meeting with senior Russian officials while allowing Russian press to attend. And then, to keep things interest, Terrible Trump shared highly confidential and classified information with these same Russians.

But while the Trump Circus lumbers through the American political landscape, President Trump appointed as Attorney General, none other than Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III from Alabama – a state whose flag is modeled after that of a Confederate State of America regiment (to remove any doubt regarding the heart and soul of the ruling citizenry of that state). Aside from lying to Congress regarding his association with representatives of Russia, Mr. Sessions has been quietly at work reviving the spirit of mass incarceration.

Mr. Sessions has already stated his belief that maximum criminal penalties for even low level marijuana usage will be the hallmark of his tenure. He has also directed all United States Attorneys to seek maximum prison sentences whenever and wherever possible. While the executives and shareholders of CoreCivic (formerly known as the Corrections Corporation of America) are doing the 21st century version of the Macarena, hundreds of thousands of American families and thousands of American communities will suffer due to the revival of punitive action as the driving force of the American criminal justice system.

Recent news has reported that in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Officer Betty Jo Shelby (who is white) has been acquitted of all charges in the shooting of the unarmed Terrence Crutcher (who was black). Prior to this verdict, Attorney General Sessions had announced that the United States Department of Justice will no longer look into these matters, thereby turning back the clock to a time when black Americans could be beaten and killed by police with apparent impunity. Perhaps this is what Making America Great really means.

We have been watching the Trump Rocky Horror Show, wondering who will be fired, indicted or arrested next. Meanwhile his appointee to the Office of Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Ben Carson, has been busy supporting a proposal to totally eliminate the 42 year old Community Development Block Grant Program.

During the Republican presidential primaries Dr. Carson did two amazing things. He made “brain surgeon” a pejorative term and he actually made Herman Cain look good as a black Republican presidential candidate. Now that he has a real job, Dr. Carson seems to be operating on the assumption that he should perform surgery, indeed amputations, on the programs upon which poor and aspiring Americans have depended upon for years. Even the short term impact of his short term thinking can be horrific – and over the long term the damage may well be unknowable.

The point is that in less than four months Donald Trump has proven himself to be miscast as President of the United States. He may or may not be “fired” at some point. But while we are watching the Spectacle That is Trump, we should not lose sight of the real damage that his Administration is doing every day – out of sight of the news cycle.

Watching shiny objects can be dangerous to your health.

It has been said before and it is worth repeating, the best way to boil a frog is to place it in a pot of water and then slowly raise the temperature until, before he knows it, the frog is cooked and ready for dinner. And in some ways, too many ways, the American electorate is rapidly morphing into that boiled frog, especially when it comes to one Donald J. Trump.

When Donald Trump first announced his candidacy for president, he was considered a side show, a carnival act who would serve as the intro act before the presumptive main event players like Bush, Rubio, Kasich and all the other forget me nots and remember me nevers that became forgotten in the Trump avalanche. If Trump was considered a danger to America it was because too many people would hurt themselves laughing at his gaucherie, buffoonery and defiance of facts, logic and basic intelligence. And the American Frog barely stirred.

When the Trump campaign started to move into high gear, winning primary after primary notice was surely taken. But his bankruptcies, outright lies, misogyny, blatant racism, invisible tax returns, numerous sexual assaults and multiple frauds (remember Trump University?) were clear warning signs that Donald Trump could be a dangerous man if he ever became president. The needle moved on the water temperature, but again, the American Frog barely stirred.

By the time that he secured the Republican nomination for president, some real consideration of the danger that President Trump could represent to the Republic was a topic of serious conversation and commentary – if only occasionally. After all, it was incomprehensible that women, working class white men and the working poor would vote against their self-interest and actually elect a man who promised to promote programs and initiatives that were decidedly wrong for them. By now the temperature in which the American Frog was swimming, would have been too hot at first, but by now the American Frog was getting used to the heat.

In his inaugural speech, President Trump spoke of the nonexistent “carnage” in this country and set the stage for creating a climate of crisis that so-called strong men from Caesar to Peron have used to justify the exercise of extraordinary personal powers. By then the American Frog was truly cooked, but it has taken awhile for the erstwhile electorate of 2016 to realize that we are now on the verge of becoming history’s biggest entrée.

Beginning with a flurry of blatantly unconstitutional executive orders and institutionalizing nepotism as the new normal in American government, Donald Trump has shown a truly amazing disregard for history, science and the value and importance of constitutional governance.

He has also chosen to erase the visible progress of racial and gender diversity in American society by choosing to surround himself with as many white men as he can find to the exclusion of blacks, Latinos, Asians and women of any and every color. Indeed, the LGBTQI community is now so isolated in the Era of Trump that they may want to keep an eye out for errant Immigration Control Enforcement agents who might get carried away during their deportation sorties.

We have now also learned that in the Era of Trump it can always get worse. And this week, in what appears to be an expression of monumental narcissistic pique, Donald Tinyhands stomped his feet in rage and fired FBI Director James Comey because he didn’t feel that Mr. Comey was a “team player”. What President Trump didn’t mention is that Mr. Comey was relentlessly pursuing the connection between Russia and the Trump campaign, the Trump administration and President Trump himself.

While we know that President Trump treats the Constitution like a soiled Mar A Lago dinner napkin, it is still stunning to find out that he believes that the American people will believe that he fired the FBI Director for his mishandling of the matter of Hillary Clinton’s email server. Somehow we are supposed to forget who was that orange-haired leader of the “Lock Her Up” chants that echoed through the campaign.

It is said that pride goes before the fall. In the case of President Trump, this epic constitutional crisis that he has created with his own Tinyhands is almost a sure predicate to his eventual fall. What we should worry about is whether America falls with him.