Loyal to a Fault

In the era (or should I say, error) of Donald Trump, the word “loyal,” which has always had a positive connotation, has shifted. Let me explain.

New presidents are expected to nominate highly talented, well-qualified people to fill appointed positions in the executive branch of the federal government. Appointees should be able, creative, and experienced people who will serve the needs of the government and the people it serves.

I’m not suggesting that loyalty to the ideas and ideologies of the president shouldn’t play a role in making political appointments. But that should not be the primary criterion.

The president should not be appointing someone to head up the Department of Justice who is a well-known segregationist and racist. Nor should he appoint someone who has sued the EPA and is a vocal climate change denier to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Secretary of the Interior should not be someone with deep ties to the fossil fuels industry. The Secretary of Health and Human Services should not be someone who profited from insider trading of health care company stocks and who is devoted to his boss’ aim of destroying health care coverage for 20+ million Americans.

The president should not appoint as his senior strategist a right-wing nut job and white nationalist who wants to dismantle the establishment. The president should not ask the FBI Director to pledge his loyalty and then fire him when he doesn’t. And nepotism is not a qualification.

I could go on and on, but I think you get my point, which is that loyalty should not trump qualifications.

It’s a shame that our president has turned “loyal” from something positive to something questionable.

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “loyal.”



I read this in my morning paper:

“A little-noticed mandate from the Trump administration has cleared the way for some people with outstanding arrest warrants to purchase guns.”

It seems that the U.S. Department of Justice under Jeff Sessions issued a memo six months ago that redefined who is a fugitive from justice. As a result of that redefinition, fugitives who were previously unable to purchase guns legally now can. And more than a half a million names have been dropped from a national law enforcement database used to determine who may purchase firearms and/or obtain a carry permit. WTF?

Earlier this year, Trump repealed an Obama administration gun regulation that prevented certain individuals with mental health conditions from buying firearms. This enabled those who are unable to work because of severe mental impairment and can’t manage their own Social Security disability benefits, and who were previously considered ineligible to buy guns to be able to buy guns. WTF?

And I previously posted that Republicans in the House of Representatives are considering legislation that would roll back decades-old restrictions on gun silencers. WTF?

So, the Trump administration and the Republicans in Congress want to enable more fugitives to buy guns, to allow seriously mentally ill people to buy guns, and want to make legal the use of silencers on firearms.

Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with these people?

The Un-President

Years ago, from 1969 to 1975, 7-up started to advertise itself as “The UnCola” in an effort to differentiate itself from Coke and Pepsi.

I was thinking about the American disaster known as Donald J. Trump, the fraud and con man who is now our country’s first un-President.

Trump says he prides himself on being unpredictable. But the leader of the free world must be a stabilizing influence, and Trump is clearly unstable. His behavior and demeanor are totally uncharacteristic for someone in the position of President of the United States. Many of his actions have been unprecedented. On the world stage he seems to be taking our country into uncharted waters.

He’s undoing most of the regulations intended to protect our environment. He’s also undermining Obamacare mostly because it’s named for Obama.

Trump may lead us into an unwinnable nuclear war with North Korea. He’s even undercutting his own Secretary of State’s efforts to come up with diplomatic solutions to North Korea. And he’s unlikely to re-certify the nuclear deal with Iran.

There’s an undercurrent of discontent among those who deal with Trump both within and outside of the White House. Many pundits and politicians are declaring Trump to be unfit for the office and that he has become totally unhinged.

From my perspective, the only hope we have to save the American democracy is for our elected representatives in Congress to grow a spine, to show some backbone, and to put the good of our country ahead of the good of the Republican Party and their own unenlightened self-interests and start the impeachment process.

My concern, though, is that Donald J. Trump, America’s first un-president, America’s most unpresidential president, America’s most un-American president, may also be America’s most unimpeachable president.

And that’s unfunny.

I originally published this post about an hour ago. But then I saw today’s one-word prompt, “fraud,” and decided this post fit that prompt well. So….

A Method To His Madness

F945969A-8E93-41AD-9731-42CD922B9904White House reporters were unexpectedly summoned Thursday evening and told the president wanted the press to document a dinner he was holding with the military leaders and their wives.

Once the “fake news” reporters were gathered and pictures were taken, Trump gestured to the press. “You guys know what this represents?” Trump asked. “Maybe it’s the calm before the storm. Could be the calm, the calm before the storm.”

“What storm Mr. President?” one reporter shouted. “ISIS? North Korea? Iran?”

“You’ll find out,” the president said.

Some, including his own Secretary of State, consider Donald Trump to be a moron. Others label him as a con man. There are those who perceive him to be the second coming of Jesus. Whatever.

I think the man is a genius, at least when it comes to self-promotion. He is a true master of the art of diversion and distraction.

Whenever the news about him turns negative, whether it’s collusion with Russia in last year’s election, his handling of the devastation in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria, or myriad other blunders, he adroitly changes the narrative.

Yesterday he gave us yet another distraction to divert us from the really important matters. Using the phrase, “you’ll find out,” he has created yet another “cliffhanger” designed to keep the press and public on the edge of their seats.

Tune in next week for the next installment of “President Apprentice” to find out what Trump means by “the calm before the storm.” It’s must see TV. The ratings will be over the moon!

I can’t stand Donald Trump, but I have to admit that when it comes to self-promotion, he’s pure genius.

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “genius.”

One-Liner Wednesday — Death and Horror

E82A676F-9B92-43AB-BED4-476CB6478312Before I present my one-liner for today, let me first confess that it’s actually a two-liner. Sorry for bending the rules a bit.

Let me also say that I’m quoting Eliot Spitzer, the disgraced former Attorney General and former governor of New York. Sorry about that, too.

Anyway, here’s what Spitzer said:

Yes, people pull the trigger, but guns are the instrument of death. Gun control is necessary, and delay means more death and horror.

So why am I quoting Spitzer? Because I think what he expressed is a rational response to the NRA’s refrain that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

The only way to reduce the incidence of more death and horror from mass shootings like the one on Sunday night in Las Vegas is, as Spitzer said, to pass common sense gun control laws.

If a disgraced politician like Eliot Spitzer can see that, why can’t the Republicans in Congress, whose refrain is always “now is not the time” to talk about gun control. But delaying such a discussion means more death and horror.

Yet for Republican legislators, it seems that never is the only good time to talk about gun control.

Written for the One-Liner Wednesday prompt from Linda G. Hill.