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Independence Day

This photo pretty much sums up how I feel about our country today.

We live in a dark time with someone who is manifestly unfit for the Oval Office and enough people who don’t see this as a problem. If there is any “carnage” at all going on now, it’s the assault on truth, reason, decency, integrity, and compassion being led by our so-called Commander-in-Chief.

Contrary to popular myth, a frog will jump out of a pot of water that is gradually raised to the boiling point. What will it take for America to do something similar?

The Joke’s on Us

In his June 23, 2017 column for New York magazine, Andrew Sullivan makes a compelling argument that Trump’s domestic and foreign policy agenda is driven by the need to undo whatever Obama did. Sullivan refrains from offering any reasons for the president’s spite, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it all dates back to the needling that #44 subjected yet-to-be #45 at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2011 (the same night, incidentally, that the Osama bin Laden raid took place). Witnesses report that the Well-Coiffed One sat stiffly throughout Obama’s hilarious monologue, which Ivanka would probably call “vicious” today.

Knowing what we now know about the notoriously thin-skinned, perpetually victimized narcissist who sits in the White House tweeting and watching TV news, it doesn’t sound at all far-fetched. Wonderful, isn’t it, to realize that withdrawing from the Paris Accord on climate change, betting the future on fossil fuels, shredding the safety net, rolling back civil rights protections, ripping families of American citizens apart by deporting one or both immigrant parents, insulting our NATO allies, cozying up to murderous dictators, gifting the 1% with enormous tax cuts, undermining prison, police, and Wall Street reform, gutting environmental, food and workplace safety protections, sabotaging public schools, and withdrawing critical support from world health programs, is because someone couldn’t take a joke.

That would be a joke in itself if the consequences weren’t so grave and it wasn’t the least bit funny.

InSanity Exclusive!!!!!

InSanity has recently discovered that after journalists were asked to leave Monday’s cabinet meeting—Trump’s first—a TOP SECRET directive was unanimously adopted by those in attendance. This was the session, you recall, when agency heads went around the table pledging fealty to Herr the president. Typical of their comments were these by Reince Priebus, chief of staff, and Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services, respectively:

We thank you for the opportunity and blessing to serve your agenda.

* * *

Mr. President, what an incredible honor it is to lead the Department of Health and Human Services at this pivotal time under your leadership. I can’t thank you enough for the privileges you’ve given me and the leadership you’ve shown.

What has not been previously reported however is that afterwards, everyone was asked to stand and repeat the following oath:

I pledge allegiance to Donald Trump, the esteemed leader of the United States, and to the plutocracy for which he stands, one nation, ripe for plundering, its wealth and resources for the chosen few.

(This was reportedly the same pledge that His Excellency Trump had asked of former FBI director James Comey at their now infamous White House meeting in January.)

Sources also tell us that Betsy DeVos, US Secretary of Education, was so enamored of the pledge that her department is now drafting legislation mandating that all schools require students to recite it every morning before the Lord’s Prayer.

 

Ever since the Fraud-in-Chief took the U.S. out of the Paris climate accords, everyone’s been asking: Does Trump still think that climate change is a hoax? Frankly, who cares: The man has already demonstrated numerous times that he doesn’t think, that his most consequential decisions are based solely on his personal pathologies rather than the nation’s well-being.

To me, the more critical matter is the lie that he and his mindless minions are peddling to justify the withdrawal — claiming that it’s a bad deal for America. Really? The last time I looked, the accord represents aspirational, voluntary emissions and energy-saving targets that each country has pledged to strive for; absent are any regulations that require a nation to take specific actions, or penalties if its goals aren’t met. It contains nothing, in fact, that would prevent the U.S. from continuing to follow the administration’s current misguided policies. Why pass up a golden opportunity though to make — not one, not two — but almost two hundred enemies at once. The man is the most powerful man of the most powerful nation in the world but is always playing the perpetual victim.

The U.N.’s Green Climate Fund, which this country had pledged three-billion dollars to, is designed to help poorer countries mitigate the effects of climate change. The US contribution was the largest of all countries and Trump railed against it. However, it works out to only $10/citizen, eleventh compared to other industrialized nations whose per capita grant was greater. Sweden and Luxembourg, for example, top the list at almost $60/person. The fund is not only a matter of fairness but a crucial investment in Earth’s future.

Trump also declared that the accord was a huge transfer of wealth from us to other nations? Not even close. One has only to look at his tax cut proposals, weighted as they are to mostly the top 1%, to realize that this is just another one of his many projections that show up in rants and tweets.

The administration’s big lie excludes any calculations that consider the jobs to be gained in renewable energies and the enormous cost of storm and environmental damage, and greater incidence of disease, that are likely to result from rising temperatures. No mention either of the global instability that is bound to occur and create unimaginable pressures on nations more fortunate. When world-wide disaster looms just over the horizon, it is a complete absence of moral responsibility to double down on the fossil fuel industry.

The ad nauseam repetition of White House BS taking points needs to be called out for what it is: An Orwellian inversion of the truth that is the death knell of a healthy, functioning democracy.

From The ActionNetwork.org comes this useful town hall locator that tells you when and where a member of Congress is holding a public meeting for constituents.

And if you’re ever home at night wishing there was a rally or protest you could attend the next day if it weren’t too distant, or some meaningful mass action you could join without leaving your home, be sure to check out the Resistance Calendar, courtesy of Michael Moore.

One month into this presidential nightmare, our voices must not be silenced.

 

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Does the White House have any mirrors? I’m beginning to wonder.

Last week, the “Plutocrat-in-Chief” called several respected news organizations “the enemy of the American people.”

Maybe he should look in the mirror every once in a while — assuming he can see past his thin skin and narcissism — and ask who else might reasonably be considered a U.S. enemy.

How about someone who has:

  • Repeatedly lied to the American public
  • Attacked the judiciary, Muslims and other minorities, women, the disabled, war heroes, journalists, TV shows and performers, businesses, and intelligence agencies
  • Claimed that millions of people voted illegally in the last election despite all evidence to the contrary
  • Nominated unqualified/ethically challenged/ideologues (choose one or more) to head cabinet departments, and in some cases undermine their missions
  • Encouraged the rise of white nationalist hate groups
  • Carried on a bromance with Russia’s ruthless dictator Vladimir Putin
  • Refused to make public his tax returns
  • Created myriad conflicts of interest as president by retaining ownership of his far-flung business empire
  • Conducted sensitive diplomatic discussions in public at Mar-a-Lago
  • Demonstrated gross transition and governing ineptitude
  • Alienated trusted allies and large numbers of federal employees
  • Failed to reassure the majority of citizens who voted against him that he understands their concerns
  • Relied on senior advisors with zero experience in government
  • Presided over a White House staff marked by infighting and disarray
  • Struggled to fill key positions in his administration
  • Promoted a delusional dystopian vision of America
  • Slammed the door on refugees and immigrants escaping war, terrorism, economic hardship, and criminal violence
  • Called climate change a Chinese hoax
  • Dismissed Russian interference in the 2016 election as fake news

According to this column in the Washington Post, he wouldn’t even be granted a security clearance if he were applying for a White House position now.

If being a threat to American values and democracy were a crime, Donald Trump’s framed image in government offices would be replaced by a wanted poster — Public Enemy #1, hiding in plain sight. His ranting and ravings, insults and bullying, are nothing but the projections of a seriously unbalanced personality that is manifestly unfit for the presidency.

Projecting