Fake President – and Memorial Day

Reading time – 4:18; Viewing time – 6:54  .  .  .

The Fake President Part

He says “fake news” daily, but it isn’t about fake news, as the president and his drones would have you believe. It never was. Same for his attacks on our other institutions.

They want you to believe whatever they say that effectively undermines our sharing of power – our democracy – and I can prove it with just a few things that happened last week.

From the AP:

“WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Thursday granted Attorney General William Barr new powers to review and potentially release classified information related to the origins of the Russia investigation, a move aimed at accelerating Barr’s inquiry into whether U.S. officials improperly surveilled Trump’s 2016 campaign.”

At root, this isn’t about an investigation. There is no improper surveillance or corrupt FBI, because investigating is what the FBI does – it’s in its name – and it’s what they do to identify and catch bad guys.

Recall that our nation was cyber-attacked by a hostile foreign power solely to benefit the candidacy of Donald Trump. We’d have to be idiots not to look into a possible conspiracy.

Click me

So, this new power to declassify that Trump has given to Barr (and which has never before been delegated by a president) is actually about giving Barr the power to selectively release documents, to dis-empower our intelligence agencies and invalidate conspiracy investigations. It’s about trying to make Trump’s election win appear to be earned, even as we all know it’s phony. It’s about making the FBI look corrupt. Doing so is an effort to sabotage public confidence in the FBI in particular and government in general. That’s what fascist autocrats do – they demean government so that citizen loyalty gets shifted to the leader. Buy and read this book and you’ll understand.

From the New York Times:

“WASHINGTON — Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks leader, has been indicted on 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act for his role in obtaining and publishing secret military and diplomatic documents in 2010, the Justice Department announced on Thursday — a novel case that raises profound First Amendment issues.”

The First Amendment ensures several rights and freedom of the press is one of them. It is the only thing that ensures public accountability of government officials. It is the primary bulwark against totalitarianism. And our president has thrown tantrums for years about our national press, demeaning it by calling it “fake news”. Now he’s trying to cut the legs out from under our investigative reporters.

Trump’s fake news charge isn’t about the accuracy of reporting and it isn’t made solely out of pique; it is made to decrease your confidence in the press, to make you so skeptical that you’ll only listen to one person: the president. That’s what fascist autocrats do – they demean the press so that citizen loyalty gets shifted to the leader. Buy and read this book and you’ll understand.

From Twitter:

Trump has the distinction of having such a profound absence of good judgment, that he posted this video. It is a doctored video of Nancy Pelosi, clearly an attempt to make her look old, enfeebled, perhaps mentally challenged.

This video is so transparently altered that we have to wonder why the President of the United States would have anything to do with it.

His current spat with Nancy Pelosi can be reduced to its playground bully essence, “I’m rubber, you’re glue. Everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you.”

The real dynamic, though, is that Trump is trying to undermine your confidence in both the Speaker of the House and the entire Congress, leaving the president as the only one for citizens to follow. That’s what fascist autocrats do.

In contrast, here’s the truth.

The FBI and its over 35,000 people are dedicated to protecting us from bad guys. They put their lives on the line for us every day. They’re the real deal.

Our mainstream press is the real deal, too, as they dig to separate truth from propaganda and lies and hold government officials accountable.

Congress surely is more complicated, but it is the branch of government that most closely represents We The People.

Trump is working every day toward the goal of becoming an autocrat, a dictator, like his bromance buddy Vladimir Putin, whom he believes blindly and more so than our entire intelligence community. He is attempting to undermine the pillars of our government and of our democracy itself, leaving only him to follow.

Click me for a larger view

Despite Donald Trump’s inane and self-important proclamations, there is no corrupt FBI or brain-addled Speaker of the House or fake news. There’s just a fake president.

The Memorial Day Part

This is Memorial Day weekend. Sadly, our president scheduled a trip to Japan. So, instead of visiting Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier on Memorial Day as representative of all of us paying our respects, he’s going to have a press conference with Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.

You and I can do better than that.

This is the day we set aside to honor our war dead, those who, in Lincoln’s words, gave their last full measure of devotion. They are among the heroes who made it possible for us to live the lives we do, so it’s fitting that we honor them.

So, display your flag – half-mast until noon, then at the top for the rest of the day. Go to the ceremony in your town and remove your cap as the bugler plays Taps. Thank the veteran sitting next to you for having had his buddy’s back. Stand and be grateful to these people. We owe them more than we will ever be able to repay.


Ed. Note: I don’t want money or your signature on a petition. I want you to spread the word so that we make a critical difference. So,


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3 Responses to Fake President – and Memorial Day
  1. Jim Altschuler Reply

    I agree with the autocrat fascist portion of this blog.

    However, I would like to add, as strongly as possible, that we owe our allegiance and respect not only to those who “gave the full measure of their devotion”, the 10’s of thousands who died, but also to the 100’s of thousands who served in whatever capacity, in whichever service, in whichever of the many conflicts and wars in which our nation, through the young people at the time, participated. To those who came back with holes in them, those who came back with body parts missing, those who came back with part of their heart and soul missing, those who came back with what has been called battle fatigue and PTSD: God bless each and every one of you, and perhaps most of all, Thank You for your service to our country and each and every one of those who live here.

  2. Dan Wallace Reply

    Happy Memorial Day, Jack.

    As previously stated, trying to understand why the current occupant of the White House does what he does is a poor use of time. Per the criterial laid out in various versions of the DSM, he is a psychopath or has a textbook case of anti-social personality disorder. Doesn’t matter which. All the same stuff. Not every psychopath turns into a brutal dictator, but every brutal dictator starts out as a psychopath. How much of that risk do we want to take?

    And better, probably, to spend our time asking how America got to such a state that 60 million of us would willingly vote for a psychopath. How, exactly, did THAT happen?

    Assange – different story in my view. He is not a “journalist.” He’s a naive radical fringe player who thinks that the world would be better if everything were transparent. This might be the case but probably isn’t. And he does his part by releasing publicly whatever non-public stuff he can get his hands on. This inevitably makes the people whose stuff he releases look bad, but it’s not exactly equal (how many documents covering Russia’s support of Bashir Assad’s use of chemical weapons have the Russians allowed him to purloin?). So he makes things much worse. Journalism starts with reporting. In his case, there is no research, no interviewing, no analysis, and certainly no investigation. What he releases is given to him by people who stole it, not people who had legitimate access to it and decided to influence policy by leaking it. There’s a difference in there somewhere. If his key is thrown away, I don’t think the real press is in any greater danger than they already are. Just my opinion.

    • Jack Altschuler Reply

      Regarding Assange, I don’t think it makes a bit of difference if he’s a journalist. The key question is whether the government can put a foot on the neck of reporting things it doesn’t want reported. If the answer to the question is yes, then our democracy is extinct. Nice concept. Interesting experiment in self-government. You had a good run, but it’s over.

      My amateur psychologist opinion is that Assange has heavy duty daddy issues. He’s all about killing the king. He’s a victim of the Great and Powerful Anti-Oz and is spending his adult years hitting back. His are adult temper tantrums no less than are Trump’s.

      Nevertheless, I don’t want to see him prosecuted on these Espionage Act charges. It would be a terrible blow to all journalism and the end of governmental accountability.