Thursday, February 15, 2018

Nikolas Cruz and the National Disease: How Long, America?

He purchased the firearm legally. No laws were broken in his acquisition of the firearm.

Peter J. Forcelli, ATF agent, on how 19 year old Nikolas Cruz got his hands on the AR-15 rifle used in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018.

Well that's the problem isn't it? All these lunatics, or at least the vast majority of them, bought their murder weapons legally with very few, if any, questions asked. In the case of young, Mr. Cruz the state of Florida made it easier than many places to secure his firearm.

Florida allows anyone 18, or older to buy and possess a gun--any gun. In addition the state doesn't require anyone to have a license, or permit to buy one and the purchaser doesn't have to register it. Florida does require an owner to get a conceal and carry license for a hand gun, but when it comes to long barrel weapons, such as Cruz's AR-15 none is needed to conceal and carry. There are also no restrictions on the number of guns someone can buy at one time, nor is there any limit on the number bullets and ammo magazines you can purchase. In short, if you have the cash and inclination you can arm an entire fucking army and your only restriction is a three day waiting period on the side arms.

So it's all The Sunshine State's fault right? No, this is a national disease. When Nikolas Cruz opened fire yesterday it was the eighteenth time in the last 45 days someone has started shooting on an American school campus. The only real difference in Parkland, FL 24 hours ago was the degree of planning, marksmanship, and the size of the body count.

Here is how nuts it is. This morning, MSNBC reported since the Columbine H.S. massacre in 1999 over 150,000 American students at 170 different schools have experienced an active shooter situation. Name one other country in the world where shit like this happens.

The truth is it doesn't. Or if it does it's only once before the government takes drastic steps to stop it.

Not here though. Oh no, thanks to one line in the constitution, the National Rifle Association, and a huge mooing herd of bought and paid for politicians nothing ever happens to halt the insanity, or even slow it down.

In fact, people like Senator Ted Cruz, R-TX are already screeching liberals are trying to politicize the nightmare in Florida. After the news broke, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan's first reaction was to say, "We cannot have a knee jerk reaction."

What? Are these fucks on the brown acid? What happened yesterday isn't some new phenomenon. Columbine was 19 years ago. The Sandy Hook horror took place in 2012 for God's sake. There aren't knee jerk reactions any more. There can no longer be some sort of panicked stampede to rash legislation. The ugly history and statistics are there for everyone to see. Yet congress refuses to do anything about a well documented, decades old, pandemic of mass murders made possible by the easy access to guns.   

As, "thoughts and prayers," are being offered to grieving parents and loved ones the powerful NRA lobby still insists the only way our kids can be safer is if there are more guns. Right now it is estimated Americans own anywhere from 190 to 300 million guns. There is at least one firearm in 39% to 50% of American households. Still, the mass murders continue unabated.

Yeah, that whole we need more guns bullshit has worked out just great for us hasn't it?

Meanwhile, as of 11:45 am central time today there were at least seven different YouTube channels claiming what happened in Parkland, FL yesterday, like dozens of other mass killings, was either a hoax, or a government sponsored, "false flag," operation designed solely to restrict gun ownership.

And we thought Nikolas Cruz was crazy.

How long, America? At what point will we recognize the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness--not to mention the right to just grow up--outweighs the one to have unlimited access to firearms of mass destruction?

Tragically, I know the answer to that question. It's never.

sic vita est


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Update: Things Spin Out of Control at the University of Central Oklahom--Martyr Wannabes, Questionable Journalism, Mobs of Really Scary Gay Students, The Unnamed Nazi Professor, An Outraged Pastor, and Ken Ham Still Gets Paid

Sometimes things spin out of control like they have lately at the University of Central Oklahoma. And while all sorts of bellicose martyr wannabes point fingers and scream foul, the answers are not always as clear as they'd like us to think they are.

Here is what we know. A little while ago a student group at UCO named Valid Worldview approached the Student Association and lobbied to get a man named Ken Ham invited onto campus to speak. Ham would have the use of a university hall and be paid, presumably, by funds the association collects through fees assessed all students attending the school.

Valid Worldview is a, "ministry," of Edmond's Fairview Baptist Church and its pastor is Paul Blair. Brother Blair is a former NFL player, twice failed candidate for the state senate, and a card carrying member of the John Birch Society. Ken Ham runs an outfit called Answers in Genesis. The answers they've gotten from the first book of the Old Testament is that the earth is 6,000 or so years old, evolution is an atheist conspiracy meant to undermine human society and promote abortion, while dinosaurs and humans lived on the planet together at the same time.

Ham, being an absolutist of sorts, says things like you can't be a true Christian if you believe in the theory of evolution. He is also big on claiming that since his rock solid faith is accompanied by a degree in applied science, his views on evolution and the earth's geologic past are just as valid as the millions of esteemed teachers, researchers, and scientists past and present who have proven him to be bat shit crazy.

Then things got--yes--strange. "The Oklahoman," a local right wing publication, ran a page one story saying UCO dropped the invitation to Ham because the Student Association was bullied by an unnamed LBGTQ student group. The details of when and in what form the bullying took place were left to the reader's imagination.

In response UCO President, Don Betz issued a statement The Oklahoman ran Saturday on page six which in part said, the still unidentified LBGTQ group had nothing to do with the decision to un-invite Ham.

Of course that didn't stop the paper from printing three separate letters on its op-ed page Sunday written by incensed readers who condemned LBGTQ students, liberals in general, and institutes of higher education everywhere.

Also on Saturday, the LBGTQ group rumored to be connected to the controversy issued its own statement. It read in part, "Although neither the Student Alliance For Equality (SAFE)  nor its members were participants in the discussion between UCO and the President of UCO's student government, recent news articles compel us to make a clarifying statement." The author, Rachel Watson went on to say, "SAFE is and will always be fully committed to upholding and safeguarding free speech." It also said, "We reject bullying and intimidation in all of its forms as contrary to the core values of our institution..."

In other words, just like Betz had asserted, SAFE said it didn't have anything to do with the cancellation.

The Oklahoman held off on running SAFE's statement until this morning, three days after the fact and buried it on page four right below a story about the state's first confirmed case of measles in three years.

In the mean time, Blair wrote a letter to Answers in Genesis which they published on line. In it he claimed it was a tenured professor who sponsors, "the campus LGBT clubs,"(as opposed to what was hinted as mobs of really scary gay students) who, "rallied support and put intense pressure on the students in the UCOSA," to get Ham's appearance, "reluctantly," cancelled.

All of which leads to the question--What in God's name does this unnamed Nazi professor teach anyway, because he sure seems to have a lot of fucking power over a ton of students.

Further stoking his anger, Blair claims UCO is sponsoring a drag queen show at a future date. In addition the anonymous and obviously deviant professor is also the brains behind--the horror, the horror--"a safe sex carnival." The Pastor roared, "I am hoping to outrage the citizens of Oklahoma. We are not Cal--Berkeley, we are Oklahoma!"

Well, he got that right. What he didn't mention, however, is he was also looking to provide a state owned venue to a verbose loon who prides himself on denying scientific fact and whose cracked views of natural history embarrass most of Christianity--then pay the guy with student funds.

As for Ken Ham--he got everything he wanted and more. He is, according to Blair, still coming to Oklahoma to spew his gibberish, only now in the sanctuary of Fairview Baptist, rather than on the UCO campus. One assumes he will still get paid and the Fairview congregation's money spends just as well as the UCO student body's does.

Not to mention this sort of faux martyrdom is probably worth millions to his organization. Odds are money is pouring into the Answers in Genesis coffers right now thanks to The Oklahoman's initial headline, Blair's bellowing, and Ham's own online publications.

Indeed, nothing gets true believers to give up their cash quicker than the notion a man of that old time religion is being persecuted by gangs of run amok Sodomites. Even if it was, as we are now led to believe, a single unidentified professor at a university with over 17,000 students and 800 faculty members.


Ladies and gentlemen, as you can guess, the bar is open.


Saturday, February 10, 2018

The University of Central Oklahoma Holds the Ham As Pastor Paul Blair Howls Like a Banshee

Controversy is rampant at the University of Central Oklahoma. The home of the Bronchos is located in Edmond, OK which is, depending on traffic, 15 minutes, or so north east of where I currently sit. It is an ever expanding, vastly overpriced, suburb whose only national fame--if you can call it that--came in 1986 when a disgruntled postal worker named Patrick Sherrill shot and killed 14 co-workers, giving America the term, "going postal."

A little while ago the UCO Student Association, in conjunction with another student group called, "Valid Worldviews," invited Mr. Ken Ham to speak on campus.

Ham was born in Australia and grew up there, but has been living in the United States since 1987. His immigration status is unknown and normally that wouldn't be worth mentioning, but there are people around here these days who consider such things a big deal. He does have a degree in Applied Science with an emphasis in Environmental Biology from the Queensland Institute of Technology which is connected to the University of Queensland. He also holds five honorary degrees from Christian colleges and universities here in the U.S. One of them is Liberty University, three others have enrollments of well under 1,000 students, and the fifth is now defunct.

Brother Ham is also the founder and CEO of an religious non-profit known as, Answers in Genesis. He and his outfit aggressively promote the notion earth is approximately 6,000 years old, evolution is bullshit, and humans and dinosaurs co-existed. In other words the old TV show, "The Flintstones," wasn't a cartoon, but rather an animated documentary.

While his nonsense is easy to laugh at it is, in reality, serious stuff. Ham controls a business that has a 75,000 square foot museum in Petersburg, Kentucky which aims to prove his cracked notions of the world and universe. Private donations totaling $27 million paid for the facility, which includes a planetarium and the skeleton of an Allosaurus. It pulls in an average of 300,000 paying visitors a year. This despite people like museum scholar, Gretchen Jennings saying, "It lacks valid connections with world wide thinking on the chosen discipline and with human knowledge and experience." She went on to add, "It's not a museum at all."

Earlier this week, for reasons that are, at the moment, a tad murky, the UCO Student Association withdrew its invitation to Ham. The initial front page report in the local newspaper, "The Oklahoman," claimed intense bullying by the university's LGBTQ community led to the school dropping the invitation. No, not because of Ham's continuing assault on scientific fact and common sense, but because he opposes gay marriage. The paper, a notorious right wing propaganda mill, noted darkly the unnamed LGBTQ student organization refused to take a reporter's calls after the cancellation.

This led an Edmond based Southern Baptist preacher, Paul Blair to howl like a banshee about the suppression of free speech. He also accused UCO of an anti-Christian bias. Besides his ministry, Blair is a former Oklahoma State and NFL football player, a twice failed state senate candidate, and an active member in the John Birch Society. At one time he spoke against a proposed Oklahoma City ordinance which would make it illegal for the municipal government to fire gay employees just because they are gay. On another occasion he said public schools, "teach atheism and call it science."

Today, The Oklahoman published a statement from UCO president, Don Betz on page six which addressed the situation. In part it read, "While any reports of bullying will be and are being investigated, it is important to state that reports the LGBTQ community prevented Mr. Ham from being invited to campus are inaccurate and unfair to members of our campus community."

In short, "The Oklahoman" got it wrong, or knowingly printed--that's right--fake news.

As for Ham, he seemed stunned there are some people in the solid red state of Oklahoma who might actually not like what he has to say. Not to worry though. Pastor Blair has made a big show of inviting him to speak at his church on a later date, while President Betz concluded his statement by saying, "All who wish to freely express their ideas in a peaceful and civil manner, including Mr. Ham are welcome to do so at the University of Central Oklahoma."

Well, why not?

Let's face it, the guy probably doesn't care one way, or the other so UCO might as well let him talk. Indeed, it doesn't matter if he's a complete loon, or, as I prefer to think, a con man running a massive scam on what one Australian newspaper described as, "America, the center of whacked Christianity." In either case this latest craziness doesn't do anything, but increase his profile and inspire even more rubes to contribute money to him. Yes, for Ken Ham, in the end, this week was a win win proposition.

Hey, who says America isn't great?


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Tongue in Cheek Don: You Traitors Need to Get a Sense of Humor

That didn't take long did it? No it didn't, but then those of us who have followed the man for the last couple of years knew it was coming. Let's face it, you can write Don Trump a speech, but you can't make him stick to it and once he's off script God only knows what the crazy fucker will say.  

Yes, less than seven days after he delivered his first State of the Union Address, during which he asked lawmakers of all stripes to rise above party politics and act in unity, Brother Trump called members of  the duly elected opposition not only un-American, but treasonous.

Now that's some serious language coming from the President of the United States of America. Hell, not even  Dick Nixon went that far, at least not while he was sober. It makes you wonder what bridges the democrats blew up? What military secrets they gave away? Actually they did neither. Their high crime was not standing up and applauding after El Donald bragged he and he alone was responsible for the record low rates of unemployment among African-Americans and Hispanics.

Yesterday, in Blue Ash, Ohio Trump had this to say, "Even on positive news like that, really positive news like that, they were like death and un-American. Somebody said, 'treasonous.' I mean yeah, I guess, why not? Shall we call that treason? Why not? I mean, they certainly didn't seem to love our country very much." The crowd roared its approval.

Today Congresswoman Claudia Tenney, R-NY only slightly tempered her approval of what Mr. Trump said. She described the democratic reaction to the State of the Union speech this way. "I would say it was un-American and they don't love our country. I don't know if I would go so far as treasonous."

No one asked Joe Wilson, R-SC. what he thought of the democrats less than enthusiastic response to Trump's specious claim. (Both numbers, despite El Presidente's braggadocio, had begun to improve dramatically during the Obama administration. The only truly honest claim, Trump can make about them is, so far, he hasn't screwed up the progress.) But, let's get back to Wilson. He is the tea party fire breather who not only didn't applaud Obama's 2009 speech to a joint session of congress, but during the middle of it yelled out twice, "You lie!"

Wilson apologized for his behavior, although the mea culpa came only after members of his own party called him things like, reprehensible. Despite that and other derogatory epithets, however, no one on either side of the aisle stooped to use the word treasonous while describing his boorishness. Hey--although it is hard to fathom, a scant nine years ago we were living in a different age.

So what was the reaction today from some of the democrats--you know the very people Donald Trump will need bi-partisan help from on more than a few issues?

Senator Jeff Merkley, D-OR tweeted, "Treasonous means betraying your country--like, say, if someone colluded with Russia to influence American elections. The freedom not to clap for ideas you disagree with is called the 1st Amendment."

Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth, a disabled combat veteran, posted, "We don't live in a dictatorship, or a monarchy. I swore an oath--in the military and in the Senate--to preserve and protect the Constitution of the Untied States, not to mindlessly cater to the whims of Cadet Bone Spurs and clap when he demands I clap."

The White House response to the backlash was to send spokesperson, Hogan Gidley out to explain his boss had been, "speaking with tongue in cheek."

That's right, folks, when the President calls his political opponents, "un-American traitors," it is just a joke. You guys need to get a sense of humor for God's sake.

Well someone needs to tell cretins like Claudia Tenney and those vicious rubes in Blue Ash it was all just a part of The Big Orange Guy's stand up routine, because they sure took what he said as gospel. That is, as they say, self evident.

What's also self evident is Donald Trump and some GOP leaders are disturbingly comfortable with using terminology we normally associate with autocrats and out right despots. The Donald is increasingly prone to referring to himself by name in the third person. He has accused the press of being, "an enemy of the people." Now he is calling political opponents un-American and treasonous. This after it has been reported he quizzed FBI officials about their loyalty to him personally and who they voted for in 2016. And it doesn't stop in the west wing. The other day House Speaker, Paul Ryan spoke about the need to, "cleanse," the FBI. And all of it is set against the back drop of the administration's continuous warnings about the machinations of an amorphous, "deep state," which ruthlessly aims to bring down the Trump presidency.

Yeah, some joke.

Be careful, America. We're getting close to the abyss. And it isn't because of some immigrants trying to find a place where they can earn a living wage. No, it's all about people who want to use keeping them out of here as an excuse for something far darker than we've ever encountered before.

sic vita est


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Right Wing Runs Amok While Some Choose to Believe in the Donald Trump We Know

The sun rose in a cold pastel blue sky this morning. The thin dawn light exposed streets littered with shifting drifts of multi colored confetti. In certain areas, especially those near gated mansions and others adjacent to trailer parks, the charred remains of huge bonfires still smoldered and streamers made of crepe and in some cases toilet paper hung limply from bare tree limbs. The floors of the more notorious beer halls were strewn with thick bellied patrons passed out from too much drink and far too little oxygen. Indeed, many of the FOX News talking heads remained prostrate in bed for hours, utterly spent from Viagra induced highs and multiple orgasms.

Yes, last night the right wing far and wide ran amok with unbridled jubilation. Their man, Donald J. Trump delivered his first State of the Union speech and for nearly an hour and a half he not only didn't fuck up, but at times seemed--praise be to God--presidential.

In fact the performance was so slick one MSNBC wag grudgingly admitted if someone had listened to the address, without any prior context, he, or she would think they were listening to a mainstream republican President.

Luckily many of us are not thusly handicapped. We knew last night as we listened just as we know this morning we are dealing with a congenital liar who has no regard for right, or wrong and is only concerned with his peculiar concepts of winning and losing. This is, after all, the same guy who called Mexican immigrants rapists, thieves, and drug dealers and claimed he personally saw, "thousands and thousands," of Muslims in Jersey celebrating the terrorist attacks on 9-11.

Not to mention he remains the idol of people like congressman Paul Gosar, R-AZ, who before the speech issued a statement which said, "Of all the places where the rule of law needs to be enforced it should be in the hallowed halls of Congress. Any illegal aliens attempting to go through security under any pretext of invitation, or otherwise should be arrested and deported."

Just so we remember who we are talking about here, during the address, Mr. Trump's campaign conducted an online telethon of sorts. As they ran the speech live on their site they showed a list of names of those who were contributing to his 2020 war chest in real time. That's right, Doris, for just $35 our names will show up on the same screen as ol' Don while he's talkin' and the whole damn world will see 'em! The president of Democracy 21, Fred Wertheimer said of the unprecedented move, "I have never heard of anything like this. It is a no class, money grubbing misuse of the State of the Union address that is way beneath the dignity of presidency and the occasion."

In addition, yesterday The Washington Post ran an op-ed by Victor Cha, Trump's former candidate to be the American ambassador to South Korea. The administration dropped Cha as a nominee after he refused to support a preemptive strike against North Korea's nuclear sites. Speaking about the fate of  Americans living in South Korea if Trump were to pull the trigger, he wrote, "To be clear: The President would be putting at risk an American population the size of a medium U.S. city--Pittsburgh, say or, Cincinnati--on the assumption that a crazy and undeterrable dictator will be rationally cowed by a demonstration of U.S. kinetic power."

Ah yes, The Big Orange Guy and his people are quite presidential.

The truth is there are millions of us who won't be swayed with smarmy platitudes and dubious offers of compromise, no matter how well Don Trump phrased them last night. That's because we've heard his not so eloquent, bellicose pandering to the monsters among us, listened to him spew an unending litany of blatant lies, and seen his cruel, petty, and vindictive, narcissism too many times on Twitter.

In other words, I choose to believe in the Donald Trump I know, not the one I met for the first time last night.

sic vita est


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Lou Barletta and the Alt Right: Such is the Nature of Politics in America Today

Lou Barletta was sworn in as the mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania in 1999. The next year the U.S. Census Bureau broke down the population of his burg this way. Hazleton, located in the east central part of the state, was 92.7% white, 0.82% African American, 0.16% Native American, 2.15% Hispanic, plus a few other ethnic groups thrown in.

Things didn't stay that way for long. By the 2010 census Hazleton was listed as 59% non Hispanic white, 4.0% black, 0.2% Native American, and 37% Hispanic/Latino.

It didn't happen all at once, of course. The Hispanic population, most of them Dominicans on the move west from New York City and northern New Jersey, were flocking to Hazleton throughout the decade. By 2006, Barletta and the city council were, by God, tired of it.

That year they passed a city ordinance which was called, "The Illegal Alien Relief Act." The law denied business permits to anyone who employed illegal aliens. It also fined landlords $100 per each illegal immigrant living in their rental properties. At the same time the city fathers made English the official language of Hazleton.

The ordinance, which was eventually ruled incredibly unconstitutional, made national news. Barletta showed up on CBS's "60 Minutes," and FOX NEW's "O'Reilly Factor," where he proudly boasted half the Hispanic population got out of town as soon as the measure was passed. It was a dubious claim since 11 years later Hispanics comprised 40% of Hazleton's population, but that's neither here, nor there. What is of importance is, thanks to his media exposure and braggadocio, the Alcalde of Hazleton became the darling of a lot of people who fall into that toxic world known as the alt right.

Today CNN and KFile reports in 2006 he did an interview with a publication known as, "The American Free Press," during which he explained his anti-illegal immigrant stance. "The American Free Press is also known to routinely claim the 9-11 terrorist attack on New York City was a, "Jewish plot," and the Holocaust is a hoax.

At a 2007 Hazleton rally Barletta appeared with alt right activist and singer, Paul Topete. Topete is also a sometime Holocaust denier and 9-11 conspiracy theorist. During Barletta's speech at the rally, a full nine years before Donald Trump glided down the escalator that fateful day in New York, the mayor referred to illegals as, "murderers, rapists, thieves, and terrorists."

So why is any of that important? After all, at the time, the guy was mayor of a town with less than 25,000 people? Well in 2008, Lou Barletta ran for congress, but lost. Never one to take no for an answer, he ran once again in 2010 and won Pennsylvania's 11th district seat. He's been in the House of Representatives ever since. He doesn't plan on staying there much longer though.

In August of last year he announced he would seek the republican nomination for the United States Senate in 2018. It is a crowded field with five other candidates vying to challenge incumbent democratic Senator, Bob Casey.

When CNN asked about the interviews and appearances with not just Topete, "The American Free Press," but others sponsored by organizations run by off the wall alt right types, a Barletta spokesperson claimed the then mayor didn't know the backgrounds of any of them. He also pointed out Barletta wouldn't allow a proposed Ku Klux Klan march in Hazleton and renounced former Klan Grand Wizard, David Duke's support in the failed 2008 election.

Ah yes, it takes quite the moderate to garner support from David Duke, even if you refuse his help. Not to mention choosing to avoid a potential riot in your downtown by stopping a bunch of raging assholes from marching into it.

Indeed, occasionally doing the right thing doesn't excuse the fact all the wrong people think you're doing a great job.

And that's where a large portion of the republican party, including their man in the White House, is at during this year of our Lord, 2018. The Nazis, the Klan, and other evil idiots, think they're doing a great job.

Such is the nature of politics in America today.


Monday, January 22, 2018

The Second Season of Don Trump's Latest Reality TV Show Begins

One wag on MSNBC put it this way Saturday morning: "Today starts season two of Donald Trump's latest reality TV show."

Yes and the ratings, if judged by the coverage afforded El Donald by MSNBC, the internet, CNN, and his PR staff at FOX, couldn't be higher. The media, all of it, is addicted to the guy--as hooked as any hard core junkie is to meth, or smack. The only question at this moment is whether public interest drives this near 24/7 exposure, or does the coverage itself inspire the Trump hysteria both pro and anti which has consumed us all for over a year now?

While there is no definitive answer to that question at the moment the hypothesis from here is it's a weird symbiosis in which they each feed off the other. Indeed, the cameras have come to cover the mob, expecting a riot, therefore the mob obliges.

All of this is complicated by a president who makes baseless accusations against his perceived enemies, is so petty he cannot respond to criticism without including personal insult, and happily spews lies while utterly ignoring volumes of documented proof they are grotesque falsehoods.

In fact the chaos, which, Donald Trump obviously thrives on, is so great no one outside of his own brain can figure out if he is a 21st century Machiavelli, conceiving devious plots and counter plots to advance his agenda, or a fucking idiot without a clue.

The latest debate about immigration has only deepened the mystery. Over a week ago Senators, Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin were convinced he would accept a compromise on the issue which would halt the looming government shutdown. A mere two hours after talking to him on the phone they arrived at the White House only to find the President surrounded by hard line opponents of the compromise. As Graham and Durbin sat aghast he launched into a rant about, the nation having to accept people from, "shithole," places like Haiti and Africa while extolling the virtues of immigrants from countries such as Norway.

Within minutes the compromise fell apart and the government was careening toward last Friday's deadline without a deal. Durbin broke the news of Trump's racist language which the White House didn't immediately deny and Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue said they couldn't recall. Trump would later claim he didn't use the profanity in relationship to Haiti, or Africa. This caused Cotton and Perdue to both have profound memory recoveries leading them to also deny he said it.

In an interview, Graham said his memory, unlike those of his two fellow republican Senators hadn't, "evolved," on the subject and he knew what he had heard, although he wouldn't repeat it. He also blamed White House aide and resident fascist Stephen Miller for changing Mr. Trump's mind in the space of those two crucial hours even though Miller reportedly didn't attend the meeting.

Later Graham indicated Trump is poorly served by wankers like Miller. In others words, he's willing to make bi-partisan compromises, however his hard core right wing advisers get in his ear and convince him to revert to the raging beast we see at campaign rallies.

Others have speculated Trump has a desperate need to please everyone who is in his immediate proximity. This causes him to seemingly accept deals he really doesn't agree with in order to end whatever the discussion might be on a cordial note.

If either case is the truth our man in the oval office looks to be a tad sketchy. He is either under the dark influence of latter day Rasputins like Miller and John Kelly, or he'll say anything to anyone, just so he can get out of the damned office and back to the golf course at Mar-a-Lago.

I personally prefer a third choice. I like to think the fucker is simply nuts. Okay, it might just be the romantic in me, but let's face it, all the signs are there. The impulsive and irate tweets that come in the pre dawn hours. His narcissistic preening which includes referring to himself in the third person. His adolescent vindictiveness and conviction the press is out to get him only because he is The Real Donald Trump. The bizarre, grandiose, claims about his accomplishments, not to mention the thoroughly transparent lies. Under any circumstances imaginable, if you put all these traits together they paint the portrait of someone who is clinically bat shit crazy.

And none of that counts the inherent racism which we know is there. Don Trump has proved that terrible flaw through his own words time and time again.

Well, we can only hope this gruesome reality TV show will last only three more seasons because honestly the first one was really tough to take. On the down side though, you can never underestimate the sheer power of madness.

Hey, just ask the Germans, Italians, or anyone else where a megalomaniac showed up with the intoxicating promise of making their nation great again.

sic vita est