Monday, July 31, 2017

The Mooch No More

 Mike Flynn lasted a little over three weeks as Donald Trump's National Security Advisor. He was fired because he, "lied," to the Vice President about meeting with some Russians during and after the campaign.

The 24 days he worked at the White House Asylum for the Rambunctiously Insane is a full two weeks longer than Anthony Scaramucci. The Mooch was named the President's Communications Director last week only to be shown the door a couple of hours ago.

Scaramucci's arrival was accompanied by a mini purge of sorts. His presence caused Sean Spicer and an assistant to end their six month run as official mouth pieces for the administration. It also heralded, if not inspired, the Reince Priebus hit job which happened Friday in a limo parked at Joint Base Andrews. The only thing missing from that scene was Priebus pausing to buy oranges from a street vendor as the button men moved in.

Of course, Scaramucci's tenure in the West Wing will have to be accompanied by an asterisk since the fucker proved so nuts he didn't even last long enough to be officially sworn in. However, that's a detail few will remember when compared to his crazed outburst to correspondent Ryan Lizza last week. Yes, his rambling, utterly paranoid, rant was the stuff of legend. Rumors at MSNBC were that Trump heartily approved of the profanity laced tirade. Over at Fox some of the wankers on Hannity's show seemed to approve of Scaramucci's street gangster approach to suspected leakers within the administration.

Today the White House is saying El Donald didn't think The Mooch's language was appropriate so he had to be let go. Right. While it is easy to imagine Donald Trump firing someone, anyone, it is incomprehensible he'd do so because of the person's language. No, the cause of Anthony Scaramucci's political demise lies elsewhere.

In his heady first hours on the job last week, The Mooch was proud to tell everyone who would listen he didn't report to some two bit Chief of Staff, but only, The Man himself. The none too subtle message was he, Anthony Scaramucci, was Don Trump's new go to guy--he was going to take names and kick ass and no one better fuck with him while he did.

Oops.

Enter retired General John F. Kelly, who was sworn in as White House Chief of Staff this morning. Kelly's first move was to have a meeting with west wing personnel, during which he told everyone in attendance they all reported to him. His second, according to sources cited by The New York Times, was to make sure Anthony Scaramucci's ass was fired.

Or maybe it was the other way around.

Well, these things happen, no matter what the order. Sometimes the true believers simply go too far in their enthusiasm. Even, Herr Hitler understood the dangers of offending the middle and upper classes, not to mention military leaders by using a gang of vulgar, unrepentant thugs to sell the program and enforce his will. It's the reason he ordered, "The Night of the Long Knives," and offed Ernst Rohm and the rest of the Brown Shirt leadership.

So now Kelly is in charge and The Big Orange Guy is telling us he'll do a cracker jack job and will be the best White House Chief of Staff in the history of the entire world. Or, at least until Donald J. Trump decides he's getting in the way of ego and criminal buffoonery. Then, as we've seen, Trump's loyalty lasts about as long as the time between his tweets.

This morning the last few words of one of those tweets were, "No chaos in the White House." If  he truly believes what he wrote then we can only imagine what Don Trump's concept of chaos actually is. .

No wonder America's allies have grown edgy. To them it must look like they are stuck on a ship commanded by Phillip Francis Queeg and the strawberries have just gone missing from the officer's mess.

Indeed.





7-31-17

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Great Dinner Leak: The Mooch Goes Off and Reince Priebus Goes Away

Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.

Anthony, "The Mooch," Scaramucci--recently appointed White House Communications Director speaking about Donald Trump's quite suddenly, former chief of staff, Reince Priebus.




A couple of things immediately came to mind after, Ryan Lizza, the chief Washington correspondent of The New Yorker reported his little phone chat with Anthony Scaramucci. The first was, where in God's name does Donald Trump find these rabid werewolves? The second; now we know why Sean Spicer quit.

Actually Scaramucci isn't officially the Communications Director yet since the sale of his company, SkyBridge Capital to a Chinese firm hasn't been finalized. Be that as it may he obviously has the boss' blessing and free reign to act even Trumpier than Trump himself.

It isn't like we should be surprised he wants to play the tough guy. The first day he reported to the White House he showed up wearing blue tinted mirror aviator sunglasses which gave him a sort of movie Mafioso/Caribbean strong man look. You know, a cross between a tall Joe Pesci and Powers Boothe's portrayal of Jim Jones in Guyana. 

Obviously that's the role Scaramucci wants to play because from the first moment forward he hasn't concerned himself in the least with communicating. Instead, he has focused entirely on ferreting out those who are leaking information to the mainstream media. Well, that and making sure any internal rivals, real, or imagined, end up sleeping with the fishes.

And, as Lizza has testified, he's none too subtle about it.

The new Communications Director went ballistic because Lizza tweeted, Scaramucci, Trump, and the First Lady, were having dinner with Fox News personality Sean Hannity and a former Fox executive named Bill Shine. An unnamed, "senior White House official," was cited as the source of the attendees names.

The Mooch was on the phone almost immediately, demanding, "Who leaked that to you?" When Lizza declined to identify the source, Scaramucci told him, "What I'm going to do is I will eliminate everyone in the coms team and we'll start over."

He continued, "I ask these guys not to leak anything and they can't help themselves. You're an American citizen, this is a major catastrophe for the American country. So I'm asking you as an American patriot to give me a sense of who leaked it."

When this appeal failed, Lizza reports Scaramucci asked him, "Is it an assistant to the President?" When Lizza declined to give him a name, or a hint the third time he said, "OK, I'm going to fire every one of them and then you haven't protected anyone. So the entire place will be fired over the next two weeks."

Then, as Mac Davis once said in a movie, came the weird part. The Mooch spiraled off on a bizarre, yes, paranoid, rant. "They'll all be fired by me," he said. "I fired one guy the other day. I have three to four people I'll fire tomorrow. I'll get to the person who leaked that to you. Reince Priebus--if you want to leak something--he'll be asked to resign very shortly. Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac." To emphasize his point Scaramucci dove into an imitation of Priebus, "Oh, Bill Shine is coming in. Let me leak the fucking thing and see if I can cock-block these people the way I cock-blocked Scaramucci for six months."

Within moments he started yammering about the publication of his financial disclosure form. Convinced Priebus had given it to the press, he said, "I've called the FBI and the Department of Justice." Going into the third person for an instant he went on to say, "The swamp will not defeat him. They're trying to resist me, but it's not going to work. I've done nothing wrong on my financial disclosures, so they're going to have to go fuck themselves."

The financial disclosure he was talking about hadn't been leaked by Priebus, or anyone else. It is public information accessible by any twelve year old with a computer who knows where to look.

There was more of course, but why go into it all, especially the part about Steve Bannon sitting around sucking his own cock? After all, given what we know about Bannon, The Mooch probably nailed that one on the head, so to speak.

Scaramucci got the job, apparently, because Don Trump was impressed with his dogged defense of the administration on Cable news talk shows. In fact Trump is so enamored with the zeal of the new Communications Director, Scaramucci doesn't  report to the White House Chief of Staff, who had been Priebus, which is normal, but directly to El Don.

The rumor flying around MSNBC last night was that The Big Orange Guy was happy with Scaramucci's phone call to Ryan Lizza. It looks to be true since, just moments ago, Priebus' expiration date arrived. Yesterday, some hacks on Fox, after declaring leaks, as opposed to criminal incompetence, might lead to the downfall of the Trump presidency, predicted as much. Geraldo Rivera told Hannity, Reince Priebus is, "gone," and Steve Bannon is, "hanging by a thread."

That's where the discussion ended. There wasn't any speculation one way or other about whether Brother Bannon is, despite his tenuous position, continuing to self fellatiate, or not.

A week, or so ago Mr. Trump told an adoring crowd his administration is, "a well oiled machine." The problem there being so is a stock car roaring around a NASCAR track, but that doesn't stop it from careening headlong into walls and other vehicles at two hundred miles an hour if the driver doesn't know what the fuck he's doing.

Lord in heaven, how does Vladimir Putin keep a straight face these days?  





7-28-17











Tuesday, July 25, 2017

American Health Care: Trump Has Pen in Hand

After 7 years of talking we will soon see whether or not republicans are willing to step up to the plate. Obamacare is torturing the America people. The democrats have fooled the people long enough. Repeal, or repeal and replace. I have pen in hand.

Donald Trump on Twitter this morning.



I'm sure he does. However, as usual, Mr. Trump didn't seem to have a firm grasp on what was happening in the Senate this afternoon. The yes vote didn't immediately create a new health care law, or repeal the old one. What it did was bring any number of proposals--the house replacement bill, the senate version of it, all manner of amendments, and the issue of repeal only--to the floor of the Senate for open debate.

In short, any replacement of the Affordable Care Act remains a fog shrouded, ghoulish, target located at the end of a long and contentious road.

So, just what is the state of American health care when compared to other industrialized, rich, countries?

Well, even with the ACA it sucks.

The Commonwealth Fund, which was established in 1918, has tracked the state of medical care in 11 industrialized countries since 1980. It's latest report looks like this:

When it comes to access, affordability, and timeliness of treatment the U.S. ranks 11th out of 11 while the Netherlands is first.

In the area of health care efficiency, ie. availability of your regular Doctor, access to medical records and test results, and the effort required to deal with insurance and government paper work, the U.S. is 10th out of 11, trailed only by France.

The one place the United States does climb in the rankings is preventative care--a key benefit of the ACA--coordinated care and patient preferences. We are fifth out of 11. The U.K. is first.

Then we get to the quality of health care received by the wealthy as opposed to the poor. The U.S. is last by a huge margin.

Finally there is the bottom line. It falls under the category, health care out comes per population. In other words the death rate amenable to health care and specific diseases. The citizens of the United States of America, despite paying more per person each year for health care than the people in any of the other nations surveyed, is mired once again in 11th place.

But, hey, enough of brutal facts. Let's get to the really bad news. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, in the proposals put forward by the republicans which will improve any of those stats. In fact, the dreadful truth is once their plan, or non plan is finally signed into being things will get even worse.

Todays, The Oklahoman noted if the GOP health plan passes, as currently written, rural hospitals in the state, which are barely hanging on now, will collectively loose $25 million during the first year it is law.

The non partisan Congressional Budget Office projects the House version of the GOP replacement bill will cost 23 million Americans their health insurance within 10 years. The kinder Senate version will cut 22 million off from coverage. If the republicans can't get anything passed and just repeal the ACA cold turkey, the CBO says 32 million Americans will lose their health insurance.

In addition George Washington University's Milken School of Public Health and the Commonwealth Fund predicts a repeal without replacement will cost over one million people employed by the health care industry their jobs. Over the next decade one in every 20 health care worker would go unemployed.

Yes, it would seem the GOP strategy is two fold. First, make sure America's poor and those of non European descent aren't able to vote. Then, let 'em die in the streets from preventable diseases because they can't afford readily available health care.

The Big Orange Guy really isn't the problem here. He hasn't a clue when it comes to what is in, or not in any of the proposals floating around the hill. In fact, it's not even clear he understands what health insurance is. All he knows is thousands of Obamaphobes cheered when he said he'd get rid of the ACA and by God he's going to sign anything that does.

Indeed, Don Trump, in this instance the cheerleader in chief, may have a pen in hand, however, it's the congress of the United States which holds the dagger to our hearts.

And tragically, a scant few hours ago, Vice-President, Mike Pence and 50 of those ruthless bastards got together and agreed to decide exactly how and when to plunge it in.

Such is the current state of, The American Dream.





sic vita est



7-25-17


Friday, July 21, 2017

The Failing, Fake News Interviews Donald Trump and He Explains Government, Insurance, and French History to Us All

You can say a couple of things about Donald Trump. One, he is incapable of shutting up even when it is his best interest to do so and, two, he will never cease to invent alternative facts and histories.

On a day like this it would be easy to concentrate on the sudden departure of White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer. However, let's face it, he was on his way out the door from day one. According to the New York Times, Trump wasn't sold on him from the very beginning. They're reporting, Reince Preibus had to talk the Don into hiring the guy after Trump questioned, you guessed it, Spicer's loyalty. After six months of presidential dementia, it seemed like the only reason Spicer was kept around was so the boss could periodically torment and degrade him. (Yes, you might be the only Catholic in the entourage, but no you can't meet the Pope.)

Today, Trump hired Anthony Scaramucci as the White House Director of Communications and Spicer decided he'd had enough. Not to worry though, he'll land on his feet. Even as I write there are scores of publishers dialing Mr. Spicer's number and offering him profoundly huge amounts of cash in exchange for a tell all book. Believe me, those people are pros. The bidding began the moment he left the building.

Meanwhile The Big Orange Dude sat down with the New York Times for an interview the other day. That would be the same publication Mr. Trump has repeatedly described as, "failing," and the purveyor of, "fake news."

The initial rush of left wing outrage had to do with Trump's admission he would have never hired Jeff Sessions as Attorney General if he had known Sessions was going to recuse himself from the Russian investigation. Indeed, what's the use of being president if your own employees won't help you out in a pinch? Screw the ethics and legalities. Such things are for terminally weak losers. Just ask Vlad Putin.

I, on the other hand, prefer to take a look at three other tidbits Brother Trump left us with thanks to the Times. They might not be as attention grabbing, but they are just as telling, if not more so.

Perhaps in an effort to justify his canning of James Comey, Trump claimed the director of the FBI began reporting to the Justice Department only, "out of courtesy," post Richard Nixon. He assured the Times that when it comes to the FBI chain of command, "There was nothing official. There was nothing from congress." The FBI's website states its director has been answering directly to the Attorney General since the 1920s. In addition, any communication between he and the White House adheres to a strict set of guidelines and is approved by the AG, or other high ranking Justice Department officials. As we all know, the only exception to these rules was, J. Edgar Hoover who, while running the bureau, didn't answer to anyone, not even God Almighty.

On health insurance coverage, he said, "You're 21 years old, you start working and you're paying $12 per year for insurance and by the time you're 70, you get a nice plan. Here's something where you walk up and say, I want my insurance."

Beyond being completely out of touch with reality--name one 21 year old paying $12 a year for any kind of insurance--Donald Trump, the leader of the United States of America, doesn't seem to have a clue how health insurance works. Apparently he thinks your medical coverage increases over time as you pay for it, rather like whole life insurance death benefits. As for walking up to someone and saying, "I want my insurance", that is exactly what the Affordable Care Act allows millions of Americans to do.

Now, while both of those are fine examples of Trumpisms, my personal favorite was DJT's take on French history. When it comes to Napoleon Bonaparte, the Times quoted him as saying, "His one problem is he didn't go to Russia that night because he had extra curricular activities and they froze to death."

Wait.

What was that? No--seriously--what the fuck did the man just say? The Times asked the author of, "Moscow 1812: Napoleon's Fatal March," Adam Zamoyski for a translation.  Without blinking, Mr. Zamoyski responded, "I can't make heads or tails of it."

Listen, no one in their right mind can. Even a third grader forced to sit through the first half of the Audrey Hepburn/Henry Fonda movie version of "War and Peace," can describe Napoleon's ill fated invasion of Russia with more eloquence, detail, and accuracy.

Which leads us to our greatest problem. Third graders don't possess the nuclear launch codes, but Donald John Trump does.

In the end, I can cope with Don Trump being an utterly amoral misogynist and venal capitalist greed head turned political opportunist. I can even deal with it when he exploits the bigotry and xenophobia which exists in the dark souls of some Americans. What I really can't stand though is his autocratic view of how the president should be kowtowed to, not just by all the branches and offices of the government, but also a free press.

Well, that and his warped versions of history which have the distinct feel of psilocybin induced hallucinations. But then, hey, that's just me.
 



sic vita est



7-21-17

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Legislative Accomplishments of Donald John Trump and the Cult of Personality

Despite the condemnations of terrible shills like Kellyanne Conway it is easy to understand why the national media continues to be focused on the connections between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and the Russians. Let's face it, the number of secret meetings and those involved in them continue to grow at a staggering rate. In fact at this point it is almost quicker to name a list of people in the campaign who didn't confer with Russian agents rather than those who did.

Yes, to listen to MSNBC and some of the others one can easily imagine the public outrage is tantamount to a prairie wild fire roiling out of control some where west of Tulsa and Trump's support is circling the drain.

The only problem is it's not. At least not among the Trump faithful--those hearty souls desperately hanging onto lower middle class status while fantasizing about the return of industries and jobs that have gone the way of the Dodo.

CBS took the time to visit an Indiana county fair the other day and speak with a few Trumpists. One of them was Brenda Wilson. She assured the interviewer she, "wasn't at all," bothered by the Russian disclosures. According to her, "There is nothing to it."

Then there was Fred Wilson who said, the media, "Probably should," report on what the Big Orange guy tweets early in the mornings, "But it shouldn't be the main line." He added, "The troubling thing to me is, you know, we need to get behind the president  and quit majoring in the minor things, in my opinion, and let him do the job he was elected to do."

Finally we have, Gary Rice who complained, "He's getting a lot of things done behind the scenes that the media so overshadows on the negative side that it's just making it twice as hard."

Ah there we have it. "He's getting a lot of things done behind the scenes." Our man Gary Rice echoed in a way what the many times unhinged Mrs. Conway has to say about the media. Mainly why is the press focusing on Russia instead of America?

So what has Donald Trump accomplished legislatively? Well, in his mind anyway, a lot. Late in June, El Donald said, "I will say that never has there been a president--with few exceptions, in the case of FDR he had a major depression to handle--who's passed more legislation, who's done more things than we've done."

For those keeping count some of the other, "few," presidents besides FDR include Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George H.W. Bush.

In the face of such stats the people at a CBS affiliate, KAQY, comprised a list of Mr. Trump's legislative accomplishments a couple of weeks ago.

Over his first 163 days in office, Don Trump signed 41 bills, not counting executive orders. 15 of them rolled back Obama era rules and regulations. (Including one which prevented companies from dumping mine waste into streams. A second restricted the killing of certain wildlife in Alaska if you aren't going to eat it.)  His first action waved the waiting period required by law for a retired member of the military to become Secretary of Defense. Two authorized the naming of V.A clinics and another named a federal courthouse. Three reappointed regents to the Smithsonian Institute.

Another directed NASA to encourage young people to pursue studies in science and math while a second NASA related bill did provide the agency with its first firm budget in six years.

There were a couple which provided funding to keep the government running, probably because even he saw what happened to Ted Cruz when the little cretin inspired a shut down a few years ago. Then there was a law which further weakened background checks on gun buyers.

Another helped states block federal funds to private agencies which provide abortions while one encourages the display of American flags on National Vietnam War Veterans Day.

Of course, there are others, but none of them have to do with building a wall on the southern border, or a new  American health plan, although the republican Senate is close to passing a mutant BDSM version of the latter.

Not that he has a clue about what coverage it contains, or doesn't. It has been painfully obvious since his inauguration, Don Trump doesn't give a rat's ass about the details of the GOP's alternative to the Affordable Care Act. All he cares about is taking credit for replacing Obama Care. And, if the current Senate version utterly fucks over his base, well, he knows they'll buy into the program anyway. Why wouldn't they? They have from day one and as we've seen show no signs of deserting him now.

It's as one Tennessee woman said when asked what it would take for her not to support Donald John Trump, "I don't know what he'd have to do. I guess kill someone. Just in cold blood."

That's right, when it comes to Trump's worshippers, any media revelation, no matter how damning, simply strengthens their faith. Any failure to accomplish meaningful legislation is somehow the fault of evil democrats. This is what we get when millions believe in a messiah who has hypnotized them with Living Colour's siren song that says,

"Look in my eyes, what do you see?
I'm the cult of personality
I know your anger, I know your dreams
I've been everything you want to be."

Tragically, such is the state of the American volk.




sic vita est


7-16-17



Monday, July 10, 2017

The Latest Adventures on the Trump Merry Go Round

...round and round and round they rode, oh what an episode..."

Nat King Cole and Stubby Kaye, from the movie, "Cat Ballou."



Many things can be said about Donald Trump and the wankers he has employed in the past and does now. The foremost among them is they will lie at any time to anyone. That and their lies are so God awful transparent they are invariably exposed within weeks, if not days.

Back in March Donald Trump Jr. was saying he'd never met with any Russian on any subject prior to the election. On Saturday, Trump the Younger admitted he was involved in a pre election meeting with a Russian attorney: "It was a short introductory meeting," he said. "I asked Jared and Paul to stop by. We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow up."

The key words there being, "primarily discussed." So what got Don Jr, the future first son in law, and the campaign's chairman at the time to Trump Tower to speak with Natalia Veselnitskaya?

On Sunday we found out. According to Trump Jr. "I was asked to have a meeting by an acquaintance I knew from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant with an individual who I was told might have information helpful to the campaign."

Ah, there we have it. It turns out the real reason Trump, Kushner, and Paul Manafort showed up that day was they believed Veselnitskaya, a Russian who is tight with the powers that be in Moscow, had dope on Hillary Clinton which would damage her politically. In this instance anyway, it turned out the promise of dirt was just a lure to get the Americans there so Veselnitskaya could talk about the defunct adoption program. When Trump and the others realized the lawyer wasn't going to provide them with any sort of credible incriminating news on Clinton the meeting ended.

So, despite all those indignant White House denials, Donald Trump Jr. just admitted senior officials within his old man's campaign, at the very least, made an attempt to collude with a connected Russian player during the election.

Not that this should come as a surprise. Mike Flynn--apparently unaware someone might be listening in on the Russian ambassador's phone calls--denied he had several conversations with Sergey Kislyak about lifting U.S. sanctions right up until the moment he was shown the door.

On two separate occasions, Jeff Sessions told senators he didn't meet with Kislyak despite having talked with him at both the GOP convention and in his office the September before the election. Sessions is now the chief law enforcement officer in the United States of America.

When Jared Kushner filled out a questionnaire to get his security clearance he initially indicated he didn't have any meetings with the treacherous Russkies. That included get togethers with Kislyak and the head of a Russian bank the media subsequently uncovered. Not to mention the one with, Veselnitskaya, Trump Jr. just blabbed about.

Meanwhile The Big Orange Guy met with Vladimir Putin one on one the other day. El Donald reported he was satisfied the Russian government didn't interfere in any way with the last U.S. election. Why? Because Vlad told him they didn't.

Trump was so impressed by Putin's stand up honesty he tweeted, "It is time to move forward in working with Russia..." Then he proposed a joint U.S.-Russian cybersecurity team be put together in order to prevent any further election hanky-panky.

The general reaction to this latest example of Brother Don's slavish devotion to all things Russian was best summed up by Senator Lindsey Graham, R-SC. He tweeted the theoretical collaboration was, "...pretty close to the dumbest idea I've ever heard."

In fact the blow back on this particular light bulb moment was so severe by yesterday Trump was tweeting that even though he came up with the proposal it didn't mean he thought such a thing could happen. He finished the tweet by posting, "It can't."

Say what?

In the long history of presidential position reversals it is hard to think of one which happened quicker and is seemingly more absolute than what we just heard from Donald Trump.

Given all this overwhelming evidence, if it wasn't previously, it is now painfully obvious the upper levels of the current administration are heavily involved with drugs. Indeed, it is no longer a matter of if,  just a question of which ones. Let's face it, no one makes up the insane shit we've been hearing the past year, or acts like Don Trump and his crowd without being seriously into some awful chemical, or organic compounds. Christ, even the most depraved junkies can come up with plans, excuses, and lies  more lucid than these crazed fucks.

In the end the terrible truth is those now in charge of the republic are grotesquely weird and deeply paranoid. They are--despite their vast wealth--terminal losers desperately in need of validation from the very people they think so little of and they're willing to say and do anything to achieve it.

Tragically their crudely amateurish and vile scams are being pulled not just on the professional pols in Washington, but us as well.

And--as pointed out previously in this space--we're stuck with them.



7-10-17

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Declaration of Independence: The Supreme Judge of the World 1, Jesus 0

On July 2nd, 1776 a bunch of white guys representing 13 separate British colonies located in North America had a decision to make. It had taken a while to reach that moment. In fact debate about the issue at hand had been so contentious at times the entire Maryland delegation had walked out in protest a month earlier.

Totals were tabulated a tad differently in that Philadelphia hall than they are in the current American congress. Each colony, or state had a single vote, no matter how many people lived within its borders. Internal polls were taken within the delegations which ranged in number from three to seven. If a majority of say, New Jersey delegates were in favor of a proposal, New Jersey voted yea. If not, the state voted no.

The vote that day was on a resolution to sever all political ties between the thirteen colonies and Great Britain. It passed 12-0 in favor, with one abstention. The result thrilled John Adams so much he wrote his wife a letter telling her, July 2nd was destined to become a great American holiday. You know, there would be parades, NASCAR races, baseball games, kegs of beer, brats on the grill, and fireworks booming overhead at night.

Oops.

On the 4th of July, after a day of heavy editing, during which, according to Wikipedia, about 25% of the text was deleted, a final draft of sorts was approved by congress and sent to the printers. On the 19th another minor change was made to reflect New York's belated yes vote, which made the passage of the Declaration of Independence truly unanimous.

For reasons that remain unclear, America quickly settled on the middle of the three dates as its Independence Day.

Since then the declaration, much like the constitution, and the bible, has been used to justify almost every political and moral argument shouted from the rooftops within these United States.

As late as a couple of months ago Donald John Trump assured the graduating class of the right wing, evangelical, Liberty University, America is a "Christian nation." He used as proof the Declaration of Independence, which he noted, referenced, "our Creator," four different times.

Yeah, well, kind of.

Actually the word Creator appears once. That would be in the preamble whose primary author was John Adams, a Unitarian who didn't believe in the Trinity. It was a piece of work so radical and inflammatory its first reading had caused the Marylanders to take their temporary walk.

In the introduction there is a mention of, "...the laws of nature and nature's God." In the conclusion, Thomas Jefferson appealed to, "the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions," and pledged the new nation would pursue its course, "with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence..."

The document doesn't contain a single mention of Jesus, or Christ, or, even the term, our Savior--all of which differentiates Christianity from various other religions who worship a Deity, or Deities. In other words, while the majority American citizens at the time might have been Christian, the founding fathers, despite what Don Trump and others say, didn't specifically embrace Christianity, or any other faith. In fact they went out of their way to avoid doing just that.

But hey, a little truth has never stopped a rousing speech delivered to a mob ready to hear how righteous their history and therefore their cause is. If you want proof, just ask the Germans.

Given these circumstances one can only imagine how fast Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, and the rest are spinning in their graves right now. They may have been a flawed lot, but unlike the current resident in the White House and his minions, they relied on reason and brains, not lies, grotesque bluster, and revisionist theological propaganda to make their point and, ultimately, history.

Thank the Supreme Judge of the world they didn't.




sic vita est


7-3-17