Tainted Apathy

There is a class of Americans (by some accounts 40 % of the population) that just plain doesn’t give a damn that a president of the United States would pay off a porn star to conceal the fact of a philandering liaison―an encounter that took place shortly after his wife gave birth to the couple’s only son. This is hardly a surprising development when one considers the fact that Donald Trump took his first wife to a ski resort for the purpose of continuing an affair with his second wife, Marla Maples. Nevertheless, Rudy Giuliani confirmed what most people suspected when he appeared on Fox News and admitted that Trump lied to the American public when he denied knowledge of a $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels to buy her silence prior to the 2016 presidential election. The Trump base of supporters―racists, fascists, Republicans and Evangelicals―could care less.

First, it should be noted that the contract signed by Stormy Daniels, a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) which underlies the payment, is probably void. Agreements for using corrupt influence in procuring government jobs, titles or honors fly in the face of public policy. The leading authority on contracts, former Yale law professor Arthur Linton Corbin, informs through his treatises that contracts against public policy are unlawful, and therefore not enforceable.

Donald Trump exposed again his long-standing attitude of racial animus―utter contempt for all people of color―in the aftermath of Charlottesville. His “good people on both sides” declaration earned the adulation of the likes of David Duke, former self-appointed Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Following the Central Park Five debacle in which Trump demanded the death penalty for people of color who had been proven innocent, one has to wonder why Trump did not send HUD Secretary Ben Carson a DVD copy of “Chattanooga Shoe-Shine Boy” as a shithole Christmas present.

In addition, it should not be forgotten that the Chairperson of the Republican National Committee (RNC), Ronna Romney McDaniel, gave a scandalous endorsement and financial support to credibly alleged pedophile Roy Moore in the recent Alabama U.S. Senate race. The party of Lincoln is no longer the Republican Party…it is the party of Trump and his Russian allies; the sooner it is put out of business, the better for the American people.

Indeed, self-styled “Republican” members of the United States House of Representatives are carrying water for Russians and for the fascists who marched at Charlottesville.  Working on behalf of fascists, Russia and Donald Trump, House Freedom Caucus members Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan drafted an impeachment article against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein because he refused to reveal redacted contents of an ongoing FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Meadows and Jordan are bound by oath to oversee the conduct of the Executive Department of government, but Rosenstein and others have determined that the information sought after by the wayward legislators would be delivered to the targets of the investigation. If and when Democrats take over the House, Meadows and Jordan would be proper subjects for subpoenas to explain their treasonous conduct.

Finally, we are witness to self-righteous Evangelicals wallowing in, and justifying the utter filth indulged by Donald Trump. There are the “dossier” claims of Trump arranging “golden showers” by prostitutes at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton―allegations which become more believable with each passing day.  White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders knowingly spews forth a litany of falsehoods each time she appears. One Evangelical claims that it is her “faith in God” which gives her confidence to stand before a crowd of reporters and lie.  Moreover, the so-called “Family Research Council,” headed by conservative Evangelical Tony Perkins claims that Donald Trump deserves a “mulligan” on his sordid sex life and Stormy Daniels because he is delivering what Evangelicals want. In other words, the end justifies the means.

Now that lying, pedophilia and golden showers have been revealed as Christian values…what next?  It appears that Evangelicals are doing their best to resurrect values that brought extinction to the Roman Empire. In any event, a church pew is the very last place to bring your children on a Sunday morning.

Are You A Republican?

A new year is upon us. This is a time when people indulge that time-honored tradition―a New Year’s resolution―of resolving to change an undesired trait or behavior. It is in this spirit that the following survey is offered for politicians and their faithful supporters.

Has anyone ever called you a “miserable son of a bitch?  If the answer is yes, you might be a Republican.  Former Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner, during a speech in 2016 called Texas Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh,” and further stated: “I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone. But I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”

Are you a white nationalist who believes that racial diversity is not our strength as a country? If the answer is yes, you might be a Republican. Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa), quoting Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban, tweeted “Diversity is not our strength. Mixing cultures will not lead to a higher quality of life but a lower one.” In addition, King has frequently questioned contributions to society by non-white people.

Have you ever supported, or voted for a person facing credible accusations of pedophilia? If the answer is yes, you could only be a Republican. Former U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, who, as a man in his thirties only enjoyed the company of teenage girls, was endorsed by the Republican President and supported financially by the Republican National Committee, headed by Ronna Romney McDaniel.

For men: have you ever bragged that you are a “star,” and this therefore gives you the power to grab female genitalia without consequence? If the answer is yes, you might be a Republican.  The infamous “Access Hollywood” videotape revealed only one out of a host of character defects in the Republican who resides in the White House.

For women: have you ever voted for a man who brags about his prowess in molesting women? If the answer is yes, you might be a Republican.  There are two streams of thought here. First, you might be an introvert who has latent fantasies of bedding a billionaire, and second, you might be a brazen extrovert (also known as a tramp) who openly accepts an invitation to slither into the gutter and wallow in the filth and perversions of a Republican Commander-in-Chief.

For self-styled Evangelicals:  does your faith in God give you confidence to stand before a crowd of reporters and lie with a straight face? If the answer is yes, you might be a Republican. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders proliferates lies on a daily basis. A study by the Washington Post reveals that the number of lies in the first year of the current administration is over 1,000, as compared with 18 by the previous administration over a four-year period. The only time that Sanders does not lie, like her boss, is when her lips are not moving.

Have you ever attempted to subvert the rule of law? If the answer is yes, you might be a Republican…not to mention a traitor. It is common knowledge that Russians interfered with our last presidential election. We also know that certain Americans assisted the Russians. At this time, we do not know what these Americans received in return for their treasonous acts. Nevertheless, Congressmen Devin Nunes (R-Ca) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) are acting like lawyers for the Kremlin in their bold attempts to undermine the FBI and the ongoing investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian collusion and conspiracy.

Have you ever accepted a bribe to vote in a certain way? If the answer is yes, you might be a Republican.  Representative Chris Collins (R-NY) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) publicly admitted that their contributions from big donors would end following their failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act, if they did not soon do something to enrich their political benefactors (“Get it done, or don’t ever call me again”). At the time of these statements, a “tax reform” package was on the legislative agenda.

As a legislator, have you ever voted in favor of a bill that would greatly enrich your finances? If the answer is yes, you might be a Republican. The recently passed Republican tax bill greatly enriched many of the senators and representatives who voted on it, not to mention the man who signed the bill into law. No Democrats voted in favor of the bill. Pundits referred to one of the more noteworthy Republican votes as the vehicle for a “Corker-Kickback.”

If you answered yes to one of the above questions, you have the necessary credentials to present yourself as a bona fide member of the Republican Party; this must be a great source of pride for yourself, your family and your community. If you answered yes to three of the foregoing questions, you are a contemptible person, and probably a traitor. If you answered yes to all of the above questions, you are a revolting specimen of humanity, and not even decades of successful New Year’s resolutions will eradicate your moral unfitness.

This year past has been a period of unprecedented tumult. Republicans have led a withering assault against free speech, the rule of law and the various institutions of democracy. They have poisoned the air, given corporations the authority to fleece the public, stolen  public lands, and in a final act of contempt for hard working Americans, lined the already deep pockets of wealthy individuals with a pseudo-tax reform act that future generations will be forced to pay for.

To those who are not Republicans, HAPPY NEW YEAR! And good luck with saving our democracy in the coming months. The storm is gathering.

Year of the Woman

We are living in a watershed moment. Following decades of living in silent shame, women are striking back.  And sexual predators in the workplace, along with their enablers―in politics, business, the media and even Hollywood―are falling like tenpins.  We owe this day of reckoning to the Predator-in-chief, Donald Trump.

The catalyst for this ongoing revolution was the release of the infamous Access Hollywood tape. Trump admitted that it was his voice on the tape and indicated that he might start kissing a woman he was about to meet during filming, and then said:

“I don’t even wait.  And when you’re a star, they let you do it, you can do anything…grab them by the pussy.”

This taped conversation was not just locker room banter as suggested by Trump. On the contrary, it revealed “power” as the only item in the predator’s toolbox. Power allowed this man to fondle or otherwise assault any woman in any place; planes, trains, cars, and even in the public foyers of his hotels. It allowed him to enter the dressing rooms of beauty pageants he hosted and ogle the bodies of 13 and 14 year-old girls in various stages of undress.

The “victimized woman” narrative began several generations ago when women left their homes and the safety of domestic tranquility to enter factories in support of the war effort during World War II. Rosy the Riveter became an American icon. The war ended and even more women entered the work force. Whatever the reason for subjecting themselves to the power vested in supervisory authority, we now understand that women have been degraded, harassed, marginalized and even molested by their male superiors. And for decades, this activity was ignored by the public. Such failure only served to empower predators in the work place; if a woman wanted a job, or any other opportunity, she was forced to swallow her pride, submit to unwanted advances, and keep her mouth shut.

There were some scattered successes in the fight against work place predators: the 20 million dollar settlement achieved by Gretchen Carlson against Roger Ailes and Fox News comes to mind. But it was Donald Trump who brewed up the perfect storm for women’s rights. One day after Trump’s Inauguration Day festivities―before a smallish gathering by recent standards―a crowd estimated at 500,000 pink-hatted women stormed Washington D.C. to protest the swearing in of an admitted sexual predator.

The next notable gathering came in an off-year election in the state of Virginia.  Women stood in line for hours in a steady rain to cast their ballots.  While the issue uppermost in the minds of these voters was health care, it was generally agreed by most commentators, and supported by data, that these women were braving the elements to cast a vote against the Predator-in-chief. Non-married women went for the Democratic candidate by a 77-22 per cent margin.

Donald Trump filled the dam, but Harvey Weinstein opened the floodgates. Anyone with a wife, daughter or granddaughter who has been subjected to the cowardly advances of predators in the work place should want to take these creeps out behind the woodshed and beat them within an inch of their lives. Indeed, if you heard the tape of that sting operation against Weinstein by the New York City Police Department, and did not get a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, then you are part of the deliberately indifferent crowd that has been empowering these predators for decades.  Weinstein is a rapist and belongs in jail.

The list of exposed predators grows longer each day. Fox News paid out huge settlements to the victims of Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly. The corporate parent of Fox News, Twenty-First Century Fox, likewise paid out a $90 million settlement to shareholders for complicity in the Fox News scandal. U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, a man who was twice removed from Alabama courts for misconduct, was exposed as a predator of teenage girls when he was in his 30’s. Specifically, one Leigh Corfman, a 14 year-old girl at the time,  alleged that 32 year-old Moore took her to his home in the woods, undressed her,  and attempted to seduce her. As a matter of law, this conduct defines Moore as a pedophile. Next comes U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-Minn) who admitted to improper sexual activities directed at a female radio station personality while on a U.S.O. trip abroad. New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush was suspended after allegations of unwanted sexual activity by four female journalists at Thrush’s previous employer, Politico. Next came the biggest fish of all, formerly much revered Emmy and Peabody Award winning journalist Charlie Rose. Rose was suspended from the PBS news program he hosted, and suspended from his co-anchor job at CBS news after disturbing allegations of predatory sexual behavior toward several women.

While the purge of predators from every workplace in America is just beginning, we can nevertheless thank Donald Trump for setting the stage. The year 2017 will go down in history as the Year of the Woman, and there remains only one message to be delivered: “GO GIRL!” Decent men everywhere support your cause.