Release The Damn Report!

Posted in The Mueller Investigation with tags , , , on March 29, 2019 by playthell

Attorney General William Barr aka Fred Flintstone

The Investigation Is Over…But the Mystery Lingers On

While Donnie and the acolytes do a doophus pootbutt victory shuffle in the end zone, with Dirty Donald repeatedly spiking the ball celebrating his “exoneration” of suspicions that he or his surrogates among campaign workers engaged in a treasonous conspiracy with Russian intelligence agents to fix the presidential election in his favor, and then engaged in nefarious efforts to obstruct justice by trying to hamper the investigation into the matter, it ain’t over yet.

For one thing, neither the Congress, the press, nor the public has seen the actual report produced by Special Prosecutor Robert Muller following the most most massive investigation of a President in American history. As former FBI Director James Comey says, “So many questions” remain unanswered. And they will remain so until Mr. Mueller’s full unabridged report is made public.

At present all we have is a terse summation of what the report says composed by Attorney General William Barr, which does not begin to tell us what inquiring minds with a material interests in the issues at hand need to know. The most obvious question is after a 22 month investigation which issued 500 search warrants, 2, 800 subpoenas, and conducted five hundred witness interviews, how could Barr reduce this to a four page letter of explanation composed 48 hours after its release? The next most compelling question that begs a deeper look is how did Barr arrive at the conclusion that Devious Donald was not culpable of obstructing justice.

In his brief letter summarizing the “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.” Barr tells us “Although my review is ongoing, I believe that it is in the public interest to describe the report and to summarize the principal conclusions reached by the Special Counsel and the results of his investigation.” The Attorney General then gives an accounting of the size of Special Counsel Mueller’s team, telling us he “employed 19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, and other professional staff.”

Yet, despite this sweeping investigation Barr tells us that Mueller wrote in his summation, “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” The fact that it took Barr only 48 hours to resolve a question that Mueller was unable to resolve after 22 months, compels the thoughtful observer to wonder if this is a case of charlatans rushing in where angels fear to tread.

Like this writer, Fortune magazine, a journalistic pillar of the establishment, also remains unconvinced and raises 16 questions that demand answers before the Trump/Russia mess can be fianally put to rest. They are wide ranging questions that go to the heart of the matter, such as: Why did Mueller let Trump submit written answers to his questions instead of insisting that he be interrogated face to face? And how was it possible to arrive at a decision about obstruction of justice without personally interviewing the President? Whom did Mueller interview? How wide ranging was the scope of his investigation? What was Mueller’s standard of proof? What about the infamous Trump tower Meeting with Russians offering dirt on Hillary? Did he attempt to determine to what extent Russian interference swayed the election in Trump’s favor?

Obviously the scope these questions are beyond the boundary of this commentary. However it is of critical importance to find out if Mr. Mueller’s report addresses the question of why Trump never specifically tasked the FBI with developing an assessment of what effect Russian interventions had on the outcome of the presidential election, and whether he ordered them to develop a plan to counter Russian efforts to interfere in future elections.  Everything I have heard suggest that the intelligence community has received no orders to undertake this task which is so critical to the survival our democracy.

Added to these probing questions I would like to also ask why we should trust Barr’s judgment on obstruction of Justice? Everybody who cares to know is aware of the fact that Devious Donnie appointed him because of a 17 page legal opinion he authored in June 2018 and voluntarily submitted to the Department of Justice, in which he argued that Mueller’s investigation of Trump for obstruction of justice was “fatally conceived” and made an argument that was simpatico with the arguments of Trump’s lawyers that a president cannot be investigated for actions that the constitution permits him to take such as firing a subordinate who works at his pleasure, like the Attorney General. Based on this opinion it is very nearly impossible for a sitting president to commit obstruction of justice in this case. And many observers who are learned in the law believe that’s precisely why Trump appointed him….and why Barr should have recused himself.

Barr’s view of presidential powers so alarmed Neil Kinkopft, Professor of Law at Georgia State University, he wrote a critical treatise on Barr’s views. Titled The Bar Memo and the Imperial Presidency, Professor Kinkoptf warned that under Barr’s expansive view of presidential powers “(1) Trump can take over, manipulate, or terminate the investigation, and (2) don’t hold your breath waiting to see a Mueller report).” To emphasize just how radical and dangerous Barr’s views are he selects “the memo’s most jaw-dropping passage:  “Constitutionally, it is wrong to conceive of the President as simply the highest officer within the Executive branch hierarchy. He alone is the Executive branch.”

Professor Kinkopft goes on to tell us, “The conception of presidential power embraced in the Barr Memo goes well beyond the ordinary unitary executive claims.” This is both enlightening and frightening because we are witnessing Barr’s theory of presidential power being played out before our eyes, as he exonerates Trump for Obstruction of Justice, and has thus far has not released the original Mueller Report, but is futzing around with it so that it reflects his views on the law. This is unacceptable!

Hence, until we are provided an opportunity to review the entire unedited report from the Mueller investigation, and find the answers to these and myriad other pressing questions therein, this matter is not finished, the case remains open. But alas, even it Trump should prove innocent of all charges in the Russian affair, it still does not explain his curious behavior toward the Russians. For instance, his decision to take the word of Vladimir Putin, a former KGB intelligence officer, over all of his own intelligence agencies who were unanimously agreed that the Russians had interfered in our presidential election – a fact which is now incontestable – and then announce that decision on the world stage at Helsinki.

Nor does innocence in the Russian affair magically make Trump fit to be president of the United States. For he remains the same lying, boorish, ignorant, vulgar, shameless unreconstructed charlatan and bullshit artist he was before the investigation began. Don the Con has debased the language of presidential discourse; trashed the morals and manners the world expects of the president of the United States; repeatedly assaulted the First Amendment which he swore to uphold. by branding our free press an “enemy of the people!” Devious Donald has lied so promiscuously and prolifically – 7,000 and counting according to fact checkers at the Washington Post and Toronto Star – that his presidency has been branded:”The Post Truth Era.” And his lies are most dangerous when he is freewheeling on the stump. The perfect demagogue, his rhetoric is often so reckless it threatens to provoke internecine violence across the nation!

Alas, Trump remains a man whose character is innocent of honor and devoid of empathy; so much so that House speaker Nancy Pelosi has said nothing “associated with manhood” could apply to him. That’s why he can so easily scorn the military service of Senator John McCain, when he is a cowardly draft dodger. Some people refused to serve because they were principally opposed to the war. But Trump was a chicken hawk who was for the war so long as he was not called forth to fight it. His crooked daddy even bribed a doctor in order to get a phony diagnosis of bone spurs to keep punky Donald out of the draft. Trump’s cheap shot attacks on McCain outraged Bob Kerry, a highly decorated Vietnam Veteran, who challenged Trump to “show us your bone spurs!” Kerry says it is obvious that Devious Donald looks at all those who served in Vietnam as “suckers” because their arents didn’t have the means to get them out! A thoughtless motor mouth, Trump’s snide remarks about McCain has raised the question as to whether he lied to escape conscription, and I predict the call to show the x-rays of his bone spurs will grow louder.

By any objective measure one would stand a far better chance of making a silk purse from a sow’s ear than manufacturing a fitting president from Dirty Donald. He is a man totally devoid of any moral sense, or even any notion of fair play. That’s why he has the unmitigated gall to demand an apology from those who investigated him when it is he who should apologize to others. First he should apologize to Bob Mueller – a decorated marine veteran and life long public servant – for having impugned his motives, traduced his honor, and labeled his investigation a “treasonous” ploy of the “Deep State” – a malignant fiction conjured in the paranoid fantasies of the lunatic right.

When Mr. Mueller’s conclusions broke in his favor however, the Special Counsel suddenly became “an honorable man!” Yet Devious Donald has offered no apology for the months of vicious slander of the man, and his mission. He has also offered no apology to former President Obama for conducting a protracted campaign of racist smears and lies against him in an attempt to de-legitimize his presidency, and DD continues to call his presidential opponent “crooked Hillary” despite the fact that after extensive investigations by Republicans – which she withstood with far more grace and decorum than him – Hillary has never been indicted, let alone found guilty, of anything! Such behavior provides irrefutable evidence that Trump is a man with the morals of a pathological blaggard and has a hole in his soul. Hence James Comey is right on when he concludes: “Trump is Morally unfit to be president.’

Of one thing I am certain; If there is a just God presiding over the universe, and Dr. King was right when he declared “The arc of the universe is wide but it bends toward justice,” then somewhere out there in the 16 ongoing investigations into the affairs of that mobbed up Big Apple bunko artist who bamboolzed the bigoted boobs in the boonies and accidentally became President, Dastardly Don will get his just deserts. He shall be cast in the pit of miseries where he will dwell in an orange jump suit to match his complexion for the rest of his days. Otherwise there is no justice in this world, God is dead, or at best she has lost the battle for the souls of man to the Devil!

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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
March 28, 2019

Trump’s Tweets are Toxic!

Posted in On Donald Trump, On Foreign Affairs with tags , , on March 29, 2019 by playthell
Mourners Outside the New Zealand Mosque

President’s Rhetoric Unleashes Dogs of Chaos Globally

In response to the last horrendous mass shooting, which occurred in Christ Church New Zealand, where 50 innocent souls were slaughtered in their Mosque by yet another white supremacist fanatic while offering up prayers to God, Christian Picciolini, a former star in the US “White Nationalist” movement during the 1970’s and 80’s observed: “For the first time in modern history our president’s words are actually causing people to murder each other.”

Trump does have a historical precedent however.  Andrew Jackson, Trump’s favorite president, ordered genocide against Native American “Indians” creating the infamous “Trail of Tears.” Mr. Picciolini knows the awesome power of hate speech first hand. He tells us how hate filled lyrics he wrote 30 years previously ended up inspiring Dylan Roof, the murderous young white whacko who murdered nine Afro-American worshipers in their church; slaughtered them like hogs after they extended the hand of brotherhood to him and invited him to join their prayer circle.

Picciolini painfully recalled this incident in order to point out that things President Trump says not only resonate with white nationalist around the world, but will affect young people who are growing up in the toxic environment that Dirty Donald has created for many years to come. Trump has normalized far right rhetoric that used to be confined to the far edges of the US political spectrum; hence words and ideas that were believed outrageous or unacceptable have become common fare.

This shift of the Oval Office from a place of relative sanity to a political loony bin started with the installment of the far right-wing activist and conspiracy theorist, Steve Bannon, in the white House as a senior political strategist. Fortunately for the American nation and the world their relationship feel apart after people began to refer to Bannon as “Trump’s Brain.” This was too much for a megalomaniacal churl like Trump to bear, so he christened Bannon “Sloppy Steve” and banished him.

Nevertheless, Dirty Donald has remained the hero of the far right at home and abroad, whether it is government leaders or fascist white nationalists. It is no accident that Trump has been praised by home made white supremacist activists David Duke, Nigel Farrage in Britian and now the New Zealand mass murderer. Although Trump’s flack catchers in the Republican Party vehemently deny and connection between their man in Washington and the shooter on the other side of the world, the facts tell a different tale. And facts are stubborn things that will not be denied. First of all, this is not the first murderous right-wing fanatic inspired by Trump, he is just the most competent at his grisly business.

Mass Murder in the Mosque

Super Trumpanzee Caesar Sayok aka “The MAGA Bomber,” so named because he was fond of Trump’s “Make America Great Again” caps, mailed pipe bombs to key members of both houses of Congress and the press. It does not take Sherlock Holmes to figure out that the bombers hit list corresponded precisely to Trump’s enemies list. Since it is a safe assumption that Trump did not provide Caesar his list, he constructed the list of intended victims from listening to Trump’s hostile rhetoric directed at these people and assumed he was doing Doing Dirty a solid. For had he succeeded “The Donald’s” most vocal and fearless critics would have been silenced. Yet, despite the fact pattern regarding the MAGA bombers motivation, the Republican flak catchers assumed their routine lips to posterior posture with Dirty Donnie and quickly denied any connection between Trump’s verbal arson and the mad bomber!

The atmosphere Trump has brought to the Oval office has undoubtedly given license to a gaggle of ordinary white dopes, who are seeking salvation by a Great White Leader. And these people, “Silly Sally and Simple Simon,” think they have found this Mighty Whitey in Devious Donnie. Like the followers of Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini in the 20th century, the Trumpanees are true believers. And some of these star struck acolytes would commit murder and mayhem if they believed that’s what their savior desired. The Naval Reserve Officer was about to carry out an operation targeting prominent Democrats and journalists who oppose Trump for assassination, but luckily the FBI arrested him before he could strike. Had these guys been more efficient there would be some very important Americans taken off the scene.

Even when Trump is not mentioned, the effects of his rancid rhetoric are evident in the dastardly deeds of his admirers in the white supremacy movement. Just look at the massive march of torch bearing Neo-Nazi’s in Charlottesville Virginia. Chanting “Blood and Soil” a concept fundamental to the Nazi argument that Jews were not real Germans, they transitioned to “Jews will not replace us!” This was some for real Nazi shit, and considering they were marching in support of a Confederate hero, the demonstration highlights the similarity between the beliefs of the Confederacy and Nazi Germany.

This Neo-Nazi uprising resulted in injury and even death to those who peacefully opposed them, but the President could not bring himself to unequivocally denounce them, while denouncing violence in general he observed that there were also “some fine people” among the torch bearers. When we consider the fact that Trump was endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan, and it’s former leader David Duke, a Neo-Nazi ideologue whose intense hatred of Jews inspired him to earn a PhD in Jewish Studies to better defame them, we know that the White Supremacist movement considers Trump their true leader.

While I respect New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s choice not to mention the shooter’s name because we will become complicit in assuring him the publicity he seeks in perpetrating his horrendous act, as a reporter I am conflicted about it because I believe his name should go down in infamy for all times. However more important than the killer’s name is the fact that the mass mosque murderer mentions Donald Trump’s name as an inspirational figure, a personal hero of whom he calls “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.” Although he claims to have policy differences with Trump, which he doesn’t spell out but we can surmise based on his actions – and his 74 page tirade will likely offer further clarity when it is available for study – he would like to see Muslims and Jews in gas chambers. A fate he would probably also wish to befall all non-white people.

Although Trump issued a general statement condemning the mass slaughter, he dose not reach out to the beleaguered Muslim community, specifically reject the ideology of white Supremacy, nor make any attempt to disassociate himself from the global white nationalist movement. Since it is abundantly clear that he is viewed as the de-facto leader of this movement by many of its activists, this was the perfect opportunity for Dirty Donald to disassociate himself from them; to clarify his views and denounce theirs. But he chose to do neither. So what are we to surmise about Trump’s true beliefs on white nationalism?

When Congresswoman Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota, criticized the treatment of Palestinians and pointed out that the Congress was silent on these atrocities because of the financial power of the American Israel Political Action Committee, “AIPAC, Trump was quick to denounce her as an “anti-Semite,” something he has refused to do with the real anti-Semites in the White Nationalist Movement, even the torch bearing Neo-Nazis in Virginia. But when Judge Janine Pirro, and outspoken Islamphobe, viciously attacked Omar because she is a Muslim woman that voluntarily wears a Hejab, saying she should be denied her seat in Congress, Trump rushed to her defense when Fox News suspended her in response to the outcry! There is no shame in the White Nationalist’s game.

Yet, beyond Trump’s providing inspiration for murderous white racists, there is abundant reason to believe that Donald Trump’s open hostility to our constitutionally mandated free press provided license to the Saudi government headed by Prince Salman, to murder the Washington Post columnist Jamal Kahshoggi in their Trukish Embassy. When we consider the fact that Saudi Arabia is an American client state, that would be little more than another oil rich Arab desert shiekdom with out the backing of the USA, one does not have to be a great strategic thinker to conclude the prince wouldn’t have done it he thought it wasn’t cool the president. After all, the prince had heard the president call the US press “the enemy of the people” ad nauseum.

These are only a partial listing of the toxic effects of the tweeting troll in the White house, but it is more than enough to assess it’s murderous results. Alas, the news that the Mueller investigation has absolved Trump of the suspicion of treason has given his presidency a big boost, and grand bullshit artist artist that he is Devious Donnie is certain to make the most of it, spinning a web of lies about his victimization by agents of the “Deep State” who are out to get him. And although it is obvious if that were true he would not have been exonerated by the investigation, it makes no difference in Trump’s narrative of events.

Although these are poignant symptoms of his mental illness – Malignant Narcissism and Paranoia – the refusal by the press to consistently point this sickness to explain much of Trump’s behavior before, will render them suspect and ineffective should they try it now. Hence from all appearances, we are stuck with this toxic wanna-be tyrant – who threatened that if Mueller’s report had been unfavorable to him the military, police and Bikers would come to his rescue – for the foreseeable future. But, since there are 16 other investigations underway…one never knows…do one.

 

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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
March 25, 2019

Remembering the Heroes of Bloody Sunday

Posted in Bloody Sunday: A Remembrance, Playthell on politics, You Tube Classics with tags , , on March 4, 2019 by playthell
Congressman John Lewis Viciously Beaten as SNCC Leader
A Pivotal Event in the Struggle Against White Supremacy in America

On March 7, 1965, 54 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, John Lewis of SNCC – now a venerable Democratic Congressman – and other Civil Rights leaders led a March from Selma Alabama to the state capitol of Montgomery to protest the horrible system of white supremacy. Although it was a peaceful march based on the philosophy of “passive resistance, the marchers were viciously attacked by violent white racist!

However the violence of the crazed rednecks back fired because the entire episode was captured on film by the Television networks and broadcast around the world. This was a seminal even in the history of the struggle to dismantle the evil oppressive system of racial caste oppression in the US because it exposed the truth about the bogus claim that America is “the home of the brave and land of the free” where “All men are created equal.”

This was no picayune matter, because the US was locked in an intense ideological struggle with the powerful Soviet Union of Russia to recruit the hundreds of millions of people in the Third World nations of Africa, Asia, South America and the islands of the seas. Most of these millions were living in African and Asian countries that were just throwing of the oppressive yoke of European colonialism in the aftermath of World War II, when European world order had collapsed due to the cost in blood and treasure extracted by the second great war in a generation.  And the US government’s oppression of it’s on citizen’s of color alienated them from America.

There are studies which show the great anxiety of the US government when US Ambassadors, and other diplomats, were accosted by reporters and citizens around the world. For instance, historian Mary L. Dudziak tells us in her path breaking book Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy: “Within this context, racial discrimination, especially when it was broadcast to international audiences, became problematic to the Cold War effort itself.” Representatives of the American government were barraged with questions about the hypocrisy of US claims to being the bastion of freedom and equality, yet keep millions of their citizens in a state of tyrannical oppression that exceeded ANYTHING the US was self-righteously protesting in the communist world!!!

The US government had no answer for this that was not viewed with ridicule, as the masses of African and Asia increasingly either allied themselves with the Communist camp or adopted a non-aligned position that viewed both sides based on how the supported our struggles.  They had no permanent friends or enemies…just permanent interests!

It was this response of the Third world community that served as a major impetus for the US government to act dramatically to eradicate the racial caste system whether by law or or tradition. This march in Alabama 54 years ago was a pivotal event in ending this evil racist system in the United states; 100 years after the end of the Civil War that abolished Afro-American slavery in Alabama and throughout the American south.  It also ended the dominance of The Southern Christian Leadership Conferences’ vision of the Southern struggle.

On the next march – which attracted a vast and diverse gathering and the US government was forced to protect them from violent attacks by white racist terrorists because the eyes of the world were focused like lasers on the march – Stokely Carmichael and H. “Rap” Brown of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, introduced “Black Power”as the slogan,  for their Black Panther political party in Lowndes County / Selma Alabama, where courageous young college students were mobilizing Afro-American citizens to exercise their right to vote.  The introduction of the concept of Black Power and organizing the Black Panther Party qualitatively changed the course of the black liberation movement in the United States.

Watch NBC’s report on the march and hear critical interviews with Dr. King and others who give in-depth analysis of the struggle against racism at the time. This is a priceless, a living archive of the times, whose sense of immediacy is preserved by the miracle of the moving image with sound. Relive this critical event, and feel the tenor of the times at:

https://www.nbcnews.com/video/bloody-sunday-a-flashback-of-the-landmark-selma-to-montgomery-marches-1191243331868

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Playthell G, Benjamin
February 3, 2019
Harlem, New York

A Soulless Dangerous Deranged Demagogue!

Posted in On Donald Trump, Playthell on politics with tags , on February 20, 2019 by playthell

Dirty Donald the Dastardly Deceiver

The Real National Emergency

“The only national emergency is that the President is an idiot!” says Ann Coulter, a former feverent fan. I never thought the day would dawn when things would be so fucked up that I would find my view on anything sympatico with the demented mutterings of Anorexic Annie. Yet, although we are coming from different places – the rabid right and the progressive left – we whole-heartedly agree that Donnie Dimwit is an idiot! However Dirty Donald is also a shameless demagogue, but Annie would not dare to mention that, because it would be a transparent case of the pot maligning the kettle since the definition of “demagogue” defines them both.

In the Google Dictionary a demagogue is defined as: “A political leader who seeks support by appealing to the desires and prejudices of ordinary people rather than by using rational argument.” As a verb Google defines demagoguery as to “rhetorically exploit (an issue) for political purposes in a way calculated to appeal to the desires and prejudices of ordinary people.” By any objective assessment, Donald J. Trump is a model demagogue.

But, alas, he is also the President of the United States…the most powerful man in the world! When we consider the fact that he is also a pompous ignoramus and compulsive liar who suffers from “Malignant Narcissism” and “paranoia,” we have a very dangerous situation. Perhaps the best way to understand the nature of the problem we face is to recognize that these are the same mental maladies that Adolph Hitler suffered from. (See:”On the Psychology of Hitler and Trump” by Dr. James McIntosh, https://commentariesonthetimes.me/2018/09/07/on-the-psychology-of-hitler-and-trump/

All of Trump’s pathologies were dramatically displayed during his Rose Garden speech to sign the budget bill, barely staving off another disastrous government shutdown the next day. His megalomania, paranoia, compulsive lying, abominable ignorance in tandem with brazen arrogance, bullying and atrocious manners of the sort one associates with “white trash, were clearly in evidence.

A content analysis of his speech will verify most of these claims, and watching his body language will testify to truth of my other criticisms. Throughout the speech politically astute friends and colleagues blew up my phone with expressions of shock and dismay at the cavalier trashing of truth by the President in favor of faux facts that strike his fancy.

Wearing the strained expression of a man with diarrhea of the mouth, trump spouted piles of poop from his pie hole posing as presidential pronouncements that bubble heads in the boonies will receive as the latest gospel from on high. He claimed spectacular successes in everything from bringing back mass manufacturing in America to raking in “billions” from his tariffs on Chinese goods, to averting nuclear war with North Korea and engaging in a Bromance with North Korean strongman Kim Jung Un.

Devious Donnie insisted that he has convinced his boy Killer Kimmie to scrap his nuclear arsenal, despite the assessment of US intelligence agencies which insist that Donnie is delusional; they have found no evidence that the Koreans have disarmed or scrapped a single missile! And, given the way the US just scrapped the nuclear treaty with Iran, despite all intelligence agencies in the US and Europe verifying that the Iranians have adhered to the treaty’s terms, why would Kim disarm? It is reasonable to assume the North Korean military would overthrow Kim if he attempted it.

It seemed no lie was too ridiculous to tell, no statistic too outrageous to manufacture, no verbal outrage beneath Fat Donald. This was most apparent in his obsession with Barack Obama, which appears to be getting worse; as his comments about the President that preceded him bear no relationship to easily verifiable truths and amounts to an “Obama Derangement Syndrome.”

For instance he accused President Obama of running up the worst debt in history and “I inherited a mess!” He also claimed the US economy was failing when he entered the Oval Office and “was going South fast.” The truth is that it was President Obama who inherited a mess, as the economy under the leadership of George Bush and the Republican Congress was in free fall, teetering on the brink of total collapse!

Barack saved the economy from what many economist predicted would be a worse crisis than the Great Depression of the 1930’s; which was also a Republican debacle! He single handedly rescued the auto industry while Republicans fiddled around prattling on about “free market” corrections. Not only did Barack rescue the economy and steer it away from catastrophe, but he promoted economic policies that created the longest period of Job growth in the private sector ever! This is the economy that Trump inherited, is still riding on, and shamelessly attempts to take credit for.

Alas, given the policies he is pursuing with record deficits caused by massive tax cuts to big corporations and wealthy individuals – which his family and friends will benefit mightily from – along with expanding the military budget and deregulating financial institutions, Trump is on the well worn Republican path to economic disaster!

But to hear Trump tell it, had he not arrived in the Oval Office when he did, the US economy would now be in chaos. Ironically, history has proven Jeb Bush – who I always figured for a well mannered mediocrity trading on the family name – to be something of a political prophet. “Trump is a chaos candidate…and would be a chaos president!” he said during the Republican primary. Lo and behold it has come to pass! The measure of the danger that confront Americans as I write is dramatized in the irrational blather Trump spouts as the world watches.

Nowhere do we observe Donny Dimwit’s flaws so clearly as when he is free stylin, rappin on without benefit of a written script. Here Trump’s Malignant Narcissism and Paranoia is self-evident to anyone who has read descriptions of the symptoms of these mental disorders in a published diagnosis signed by 70,000 psychiatrists and psychologists called “Duty to Warn.” For some bizarre reason, the major press organizations will identify Trump’s lies and ignorance but they will not discuss his mental illness. Yet one need not have any training in the mental health profession to identify it; hence refusal to name and claim it only adds to the confusion created by the web of lies, gross exaggerations and fiction routinely spouted by Trump whenever he speaks to the public.

For instance, what is the average citizen to make of a statement like this: “We’re gonna be leveling the playing field. The tariffs are hurting China very badly. They don’t want them and frankly if we can make the deal, it would be my honor to remove them. But otherwise, we are having very many billions of dollars pouring into our treasury; we have never had that before with China.” Is Trump so ignorant that he does not understand it is American consumers that buy China’s products who will pay the tax mandated by tariffs? Apparently so.

The purpose of tariffs is to discourage countries from selling their cheaper products in the US market in order to protect American industries from having to compete with them. It is not a tax paid to the American treasury as Trump argues. Forbes magazine, a leading financial journal, noted the President “showed a troubling lack of understanding about how the levies work.” Unfortunately, most Americans don’t read Forbes.

Hence between Trump’s genuine ignorance, malicious lies and mental illness it is impossible for ordinary people to distinguish fact from fiction. While the press has performed heroic service fact checking Trump, they have been pitiful cowards in candidly discussing his mental illness for fear of massive lawsuits. Yet in the interests of fairness it must be conceded that this is no picayune concern, given Dirty Donald’s litigious character, and the wishy washy position of the American Psychiatric Association on the validity of professional opinions rendered on subjects who have not been personally examined by the psychiatrist. This could place a news organization at legal risk.

However, journalists could get around this problem by always quoting from the authoritative statements of the doctors that signed the “Duty to Warn” statement. They can also point out that these are some of the most prominent people in the mental health profession, clinicians and scholars who have rejected the position of the APA. And they can show how he is acting out the behavior the doctors have described.

For instance, one need only look closely at Trump’s astonishing attempt to argue the case for himself being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. After boasting about the fact that the Prime Minister of Japan nominated him, he quickly added that “many others” also felt he merited the Nobel but “I probably won’t get it.” It was a poignant portrait of a pathological narcissist who thinks everybody is against him for no reason; the fact that he is an obnoxious Jackass apparently escapes his notice. It has since come to light that Trump asked the Japanese leader to place his name in nomination!

Trump’s gushing admiration for the Chinese leader – whom he refers to as “President Xi” – especially Xi’s comments about the death penalty for drug dealers, exposes his autocratic tendencies. And his decision to run around Congress and swipe funds ear marked for other purposes is further proof. But the most compelling evidence of Trump’s wanna-be dictator dreams is his brazen admission that: “I didn’t need to do this but I’d rather do it much faster.” In other words he cannot be bothered with the messy process of democracy, which is not surprising for a 71 year old man with no experience in public service civilian or military, who has spent his life running a small family company where his orders went unchallenged.

This is a damming admission that provides a powerful argument to his opponents, which could well bring about his defeat in the Federal Courts. The guy never learns! It is because of his unbridled mouth in a nationally televised interview on NBC where he admitted firing James Comey because he wanted to end the FBI investigation, which led to the appointment of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, whose investigations has resulted in indictments and guilty pleas of several of Trump’s closest associates and may well result in his impeachment.

He just does not know how to control his emotions or his mouth. Above all else, this scatter brained speech demonstrated that left to his own devices Donnie Dimwit will self-destruct. And, alas, if Congress and the courts don’t take measures to check him, this ignorant lying demagogue will wreck our democratic constitutional system of government.

Most often, as was the case today, these shocking exhibitions of megalomania are inspired by his obsessive envy of Barack Obama, whom I am convinced Devious Donald harbors deep seated feelings of inferiority towards…just as I had observed when we were in the boxing business and I witnessed him kissing Don King’s ass almost forty years ago. I think Donnie Duphus has an attraction/revulsion complex when it comes to outstanding black men who started out with nothing, yet rose to heights that he aspired to despite all his advantages of money, complexion and connections.

The Dons: Bunko Artists!

Master and Apprentice
I was on the Boxing Scene and Peeped their Hole Card!

Negotiating With the Great Sugar Ray Leonard

That Trump seeks to justify his unconstitutional State of Emergency by misrepresenting an Executive Order issued by President Obama demonstrates the extent to which he measures his presidency by the actions of the Obama Administration. Of course, the whole subject is way above the head of Trump’s followers – the hard core Trumpanzees – and the distinction between this and Obama’s Order is not understood by the public in general. Hence the subject is a fertile field for an amoral demagogue to sow his lies; it is the fact that such a man occupies the most powerful office in the world that constitutes the real state of emergency alas.

*** For an inside look at the relationship between Donald Trump and his Mentor Don King see: _”Game Recognizes Game” at: https://commentariesonthetimes.me/2017/01/06/game-recognizes-game/

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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
February 19, 2019

The Quintessential Megalomaniac!

Posted in On Donald Trump, Playthell on politics with tags on February 10, 2019 by playthell

Trump Prattles On Under the Watchful Eye of Madam Speaker

Deluded Donald Opines on the State of the Nation

There was a palpable tension hanging over the chamber as guest walked into the House of Representatives, Nancy’s crib, to await the arrival of Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the USA. Who is viewed by some Americans as the accidental President; the Moscow candidate from Russia with malice. While some believed this would be the occasion when Trump would show real presidential leadership and offer a path to bi-partisan cooperation in addressing the critical problems confronting our country, I remained skeptical.

Having first met him when he was trying to break into big time boxing in a big way, I still see Trump as the bullshit artist I knew back in the day. He had adopted a permanent lips to posterior posture with Don King – a black gentleman gangster/businessman from John D. Rockefeller’s home town Cleveland Ohio – who could make his dream of becoming a major player in the boxing game come true.* That’s when I peeped that this guy would stoop to anything in order to succeed. Since he was a grown man in his forties, with a fully formed personality, I am still adjusting to the fact that the shallow poot butt bunko I met in the boxing game is now President of the United States!

Since I have seen no convincing evidence that Trump has gone through an intellectual or moral metamorphosis, I viewed his speech from the perspective of my first impressions of the guy. I pegged him as a consummate bullshit artist spouting hyperbole and selling illusions…but I never believed the hype. Interestingly enough, that’s the same opinion his fellow Republicans held of him during the primary election when they were competing with Trump to become the party’s candidate for president.

They repeatedly called him an “amoral con man” who had no “core convictions,” a political chameleon whose allegiance is dictated by expedience; a life long Democrat who had used his celebrity as a television reality show host to hijack the Republican Party in an act of calculated political opportunism inspired by no higher aspirations than boosting the commercial value of the “Trump” brand, personal power and ego gratification. Alas nobody was more shocked and surprised about his win than “The Donald,” who understood as much about being President as a gorilla knows about playing Bach!

Viewed from this perspective Don The Con was true to form when Trump took the stump. The event was as cleverly staged as a Broadway show, with a carefully written script; human props designed to provoke applause when he called them out; a Tsumani of exaggerations and deceptions; half truths and blatant lies; and a well rehearsed reality show huckster who loves the limelight of center stage and all eyes on him. The central theme of the speech “choosing greatness” was perfect for a man afflicted by “Malignant Narcissism” and suffers from the delusion that he is the greatest at anything he undertakes. The Bunko began with his opening statement:

“We meet tonight at a moment of unlimited potential, as we begin a new Congress, I stand here ready to work with you to achieve historic breakthroughs for all Americans. Millions of our fellow citizens are watching us, gathered in this great chamber, hoping we will govern not as two parties, but as one nation.”

Coming from the most vulgar partisan President to inhabit the White House in the more than half century that I have been seriously observing the antics of politicians, I recognized the con game had begun, and I prepared to be immersed in the avalanche of bullshit that was certain to follow. After repeating his standard promises to defend American jobs from export, protect American workers, provide cheaper and better health care, pursue a nationalist “America First” policy in foreign affairs, et al, Trump spouted his second applause line:

“There is a new opportunity in American politics, if only we have the courage together to seize it. victory is not winning for our party, victory is winning for our country. this year, America will recognize two important anniversaries that show us the majesty of America’s vision and the power of American pride.”

Trump then quickly invokes one of his most reliable anecdotes: Tales of American military heroism. For a draft dodging coward, who faked his way out of serving in Vietnam with a bogus medical report bought by his father, Duphus Donald loves to ride on the military’s cool. Although he didn’t have the balls to serve, he had the unmitigated gall to publicly brag about how he was involved in a “private Vietnam” avoiding venereal diseases from all of the New York nookie he was getting – Playa! Playa! However Trump does not hesitate to associate himself with the views of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, a hero of World War iI and a former Republican President:

“In June we marked 75 years since the start of what Gen. Dwight Eisenhower called “the great crusade,” the Allied liberation of Europe in World War II. On D-Day, June 6, 1944, 15,000 young American men jumped from the skies, and 60,000 more stormed in from the sea to save our civilization from tyranny. Here with us tonight are three of those incredible heroes. Private first class Joseph Riley, staff sergeant Erving Walker — and sergeant Herman Zeitchik.”

This kind of presentation is bound to inspire vigorous applause from all quarters which, knowing the character of Devious Donald, was contrived to do just that. Paying homage to the heroism and sacrifice of the soldiers that performed these historic feats seemed a secondary consideration. This holds true for all of the guest that were honored during Trump’s speech; they were props designed to inspire applause. It was especially true in his choice of two black ex-cons he singled out for praise; he seems unable to find brilliant accomplished black Americans to celebrate although they are everywhere. First there was his favorite coon, Crazy Kayne, cuttin the fool before the world in the Oval Office, and now the jail birds. It was all phony baloney!

As was his fake enthusiasm about the dramatic increase of women in the work place, especially Congress, to which Democratic women in the chamber responded with applause as cynical as Trump’s acknowledgment. After several paragraphs of duplicitous calls for unity between the two parties, the possibility of which he has consistently trashed with his autocratic behavior, he now assumes the role of the great unifier:” We must choose between greatness or gridlock, results or resistance, vision or vengeance, incredible progress or pointless destruction. Tonight, I ask you to choose greatness.” After listening to Trump sing the virtues of political unity and cooperation between the two parties Nicole Wallace – a long time Republican strategist who played a key role in the McCain presidential campaign – commented: “He doesn’t mean a word of it.”

Democratic Women Responding to Trump

Freshman Firebrand Ocasio Cortez is in the Middle

During a rambling speech of over two hours Trump inflated his economic achievements, many of which are extensions of the Obama economy, which experienced the longest period of job growth in American history. For instance, he loves to point to the low unemployment rates for Afro-Americans. But economists have shown that the Afro-American unemployment rate was reduced by 9% under President Obama and only 1% under Trump. And equally questionable is the claim that: “My administration has cut more regulations in a short period of time than any other administration during its entire tenure. companies are coming back to our country in large numbers, thanks to our historic reductions in taxes and regulations.”

But, alas, as Trump was making this claim Ford, America’s oldest car manufacturer, has announced plant closings and a massive layoff of workers due to rising costs and are planning to relocate plants outside the US. Ford CEO James Hackett offers this explanation for these decisions: “From Ford’s perspective the metals tariffs took about $1 billion in profit from us, the irony of which is we source most of that in the U.S. today anyway. If it goes on any longer, it will do more damage.”

This complaint about rising production costs is echoed by other companies and some, like a South Carolina TV manufacturer and a Missouri company that produces nails, stand in danger of going out of business altogether! And thousands of soy bean farmers have seen their market dry up as Chinese buyers turn to Brazil, and are now surviving on a US government farm support program from the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Added to these dangerous follies is the inconvenient fact that the tariffs are actually a tax on American consumers, because when the cost of Chinese products go up American consumers will be charged higher prices for commodities they want that are manufactured in China.

There are so many lies and obfuscations in Devious Donnie’s State of the Union Address, I think it wise to leave their correction to the legions of fact checkers who are working this story. Instead, I would rather clarify some important facts that were ignored in the speech. There can be little doubt, knowing how Trump loves to grandstand and his belief that he can sell anybody, that the President loves this forum. Here he can prance and preen before the cameras, playing to the cheap seats while running down a rap to the world with no fear of questions or instant fact checks.

Hence at no point do we get any hint about the most serious issues facing the nation, questions of life and death that range from the possibility of economic collapse at home to regional wars; the growing danger of nuclear conflict with strategic weapons; the encroaching destruction of our natural environment. Given the critical importance of these issues to the survival of modern civilization, or the human species, Trump’s indifference to them marks him as one of the worst grandfathers ever, despite his penchant for showing off his grandchildren.

Despite the self-congratulatory bullshit about his great economic success, the Trump Administration is following the blueprint for economic failure that guided the Bush administration’s policies – and has been the guide to repeated Republican failures. It is a well established pattern: A big tax give away to the rich; widespread deregulation of corporate activity; dramatic increases in military expenditures.

The Trump Tax cut has blown a hole in the federal budget by passing trillion dollar tax cut, raising the deficit to a historic height, and the Republicans will seek to reduce the deficit by cutting programs that benefit the poor and working classes. This attack on the safety net that protects the most vulnerable among us will give rise to a movement to check it as the people fight back.

Trump proudly asserted that “My administration has cut more regulations in a short period of time than any other administration during its entire tenure.” Included near the top of the list of scrapped regulations are those passed under the Obama such as the Dodd-Frank Bill, and the Consumer Protection Bureau. These laws arose from the rubble of the great economic crash under President George W. Bush, a collapse that economist say would have been worse than the crash of 1929 which sparked the Great Depression of the 1930’s.

For instance, there is a nearly a unanimous agreement among economists and financial experts that had the 66 trillion dollar Credit Default Swap market failed, it would have created a financial crisis beyond the capacity of the Federal government to bail them out. That would have brought on the complete destruction of the capitalist system and ushered in unspeakable horrors which are nearly impossible to imagine and too ghastly to contemplate if we could.

Hence, like the laws passed during the Reconstruction period in the aftermath of the devastating Civil War that tore the nation apart, the laws regulating financial institutions are intended to put the system back together and prevent the disaster from happening again. Alas, Donald Trump and his band of swamp dwelling economic predators are enacting policies that could wreck the economy again.

Given Trump’s apparent ignorance of macro-economics and history, he does not understand that he is headed down a well worn path to economic crisis. And it is fairly certain that if he has not learned the lessons of the Bush Administration, Trump knows nothing of the role of the Smoot-Halley Tarrifs played in bringing about the Great Depression of the 20th century. This accounts for his reckless employment of Tariffs today, mistakenly believing he is boosting the US economy despite increasing evidence that the opposite is true.

Yet beyond the flirtations with domestic disaster, the Trump administration’s foreign policies also foreshadow impending catastrophe; especially in the Middle East, where they have given license to Israel and Saudi Arabia to do as they please in their domestic and foreign policy so long as they support American interests in the region. This stance will insure the rejuvenation of the Jihadist movement, especially it’s Al Qaeda and ISIS factions.

It will also further radicalize the Palestinian resistance, specifically the US decision to relocate it’s embassy in Jerusalem. Support for the Saudi Royal family and other tyrannical Arab Shieks is the reason America became a target of Al Qaeda, and uncritical biased support for Israeli government policies is the reason we have been targeted by other militant Islamic groups. Guided by hawkish policy wonks such as John Bolton and Elliot Abrams, from the now defunct Project For A New American Century, the cabal that convinced Bush to attack Iraq, the Trump Administration may well attack Iran and Venezuela, costing the nation more blood and treasure for dubious objectives.

But as horrid as they are, these are mere skirmishes from which we may be scarred but we will survive and even thrive. However that cannot be said should we we lose the battle to halt climate change, or blunder into a nuclear exchange with Russia or China. Alas, the decision of the Trump Administration to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord may well push the earth’s deteriorating environment past the point of no return in the opinion of some scientists.

And Trump’s scrapping of the Intermediate Nuclear Arms Treaty, if not reversed, will surely lead to a new nuclear arms race with Russia and hasten mankind’s movement toward extinction. Anyone who thinks this is an alarmist position need only look at the Doomsday Clock, maintained by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which alerts us to the probability of nuclear destruction by positioning the hands of the clock relative to midnight, which is “Dooms Day.” At present they have placed the hand at two minutes to midnight!

This means that we are as close to nuclear war as we have ever been. In view of these realities alas, the State of our Union is unstable and the chances of our survival into the future is problematic at best. Of course, this is all above the head of Donnie Dimwit, who is far too dense to grasp these complexities. From all the rumors that constantly leak out of the White House and Oval Office, the guy cannot be educated because he has a very short attention span and hates to read, and cannot distinguish fact from fiction when he does.

This explains how he could ask in earnest: “Why hasn’t the National Enquirer won a Pulitzer Prize?” As I write he is arguing that the National Enquirer is “more accurate” than the august Washington Post!” For those who know and love great journalism this is blasphemy, dammed foolishness, the blathering of a half wit motor mouth…and that, thoughtful reader, is the unvarnished truth about the US President.

* For an up close look at the relationship between Donald Trump and Don King, see “Game Recognizes Game” at https://commentariesonthetimes.me/2017/01/06/game-recognizes-game/

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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
February 10, 1019

Hands Off Venezuela!

Posted in On Foreign Affairs with tags , on February 5, 2019 by playthell
Abrams and Pompeo: Hovering War Hawks

Is the US Engineering a Coup in Venezuela?

From the moment I heard that John Bolton was chosen as Trump’s National Security Advisor, I knew it was just a matter of time before the US would be involved in promoting armed conflict in foreign countries who chose a path of development, or foreign policy, that was not aligned with American foreign policy or perceived economic interests; the extent to which they allow private American corporations to dominate their economies.

The covert operation now underway in Venezuela is a classic case in point; there the largest oil pool in the world had come under government control through nationalization. And what is worse, the government was headed by Hugo Rafael Chavez, an Afro-Indian who was the youngest and first person of his racial background to become President of Venezuela, in which, like all the nations of Latin America, wealth and power was monopolized by a white oligarchy who proudly claimed descent from the Spanish Conquistadors.

Furthermore, the oil wealth of the nation was heavily invested in eradicating poverty; providing health care and educational opportunities to the lower classes; the people from whom Chavez came, which is why they loved him. Despite the hatred spewed against him by the oligarchs and the privileged affluent classes egged on by the US elite, Chavez was viewed as a genuine national hero by the poor and working classes of Venezuela, and also supported by radical intellectuals intent upon creating a more just and equitable society.

Yet the newspapers and broadcasters, which were owned by the oligarchs, conducted a vicious unceasing campaign against the progressive Chavez government which included scurrilous character assassination, and even hints that an actual assassination would be welcomed. No wonder he rightly saw them as the enemy of the people. It is the ultimate irony that Donald Trump, a pugnacious ignoramus and compulsive liar who has labeled the US press “enemies of the people” for simply reporting the facts about him; fulfilling their role as watchdogs over those elected to govern as mandated by the US Constitution, now defends the “free press” of Venezuela!

This campaign of disinformation and calculated lies against the Venezuelan government under Chavez was often echoed in the US corporate media, whose owners identify with the wealthy class in that country, and in the rhetoric of US politicians of both parties. When Chavez died of cancer and his close comrade Muduro took over the reins of government with a firm commitment to continue Chavez’s program, this hysterical propaganda campaign has systematically escalated to create a smoke screen behind which Mike Pompeo could appoint the old neo-con war hawk Elliot Abrams to manage American policy toward that beleaguered nation.

Abrams is a war criminal; he is responsible for the deaths of many thousands of innocent people in Latin America due to his involvement with the murderous Contras in Nicaragua; the death squads of El Salvador; and his support of the genocidal regime of military dictator Rios Mott in Guatemala – who was later convicted of genocide against the indigenous population. The only reason that Abrams was not convicted as an accomplice to this and other crimes against humanity is because he was an official of the American government, and the USA ignores the International Criminal Court when it is not in their interests to uphold the ICC’s judgements.

One need only look at the track record of the neo-cons during their ascendancy under the Administration of George W. Bush, and it is easy to recognize the danger they pose to pursuing a peaceful US foreign policy today. Right-wing Neo-con policy wonks from the Project for a New American Century such as Bill Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, John Bolton and their sponsor “Dirty Dick” Cheney led us into the disastrous Iraq War against the protest of seasoned intelligence officers, scholars on the region, and concerned American citizens opposed to interventionist foreign wars – especially wars of choice against weaker nations that pose no danger to the USA like Iraq and Venezuela.

A deep thinking cosmopolite of humane vision, President Barack Obama pursued a different foreign policy; one that sought to empower international organizations such as the United Nations, and the Organization of American States. He also worked to build important international treaty alliances such as the Paris Accord on Climate Change. And he favored support for popular democratic forces against authoritarian leaders, especially in the Middle East during the “Arab Spring.” He also signed a major nuclear arms treaty with Russia to reduce nuclear stock piles, and opposed the development of new weapons; for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Alas, the Trump Administration has reversed that trend.

John Bolton, a pugnacous pootbutt nerd who always looks like his is still mad because the tough guns ate his lunch as a kid, is an unreconstructed neo-con hawk who is still committed to the PNAC vision of a unipolar world where the US is the only super-power and thus can impose its will upon the world with military might: A Pax Americana. Mike Pompeo is the point man for this retrograde policy, we saw this in his statements during his recent trip to the Middle East, especially his visit to Egypt, which was in sharp contrast to Barack Obama’s humane and visionary speech when he visited Egypt on his first trip to the Middle East early in his presidency. (See: “Of All the Places in the Muslim World Why Egypt?” at https://commentariesonthetimes.me/2009/09/17/of-all-the-places-in-the-muslim-world/

I warned that this guy was a dangerous snake when Dastardly Donald first appointed him Secretary Of State – See Vote No for Pompeo at https://commentariesonthetimes.me/2018/04/13/vote-no-on-pompeo/. And Pompeo’s appointment of Elliot Abrams to run the State Department’s Venezuala Desk leaves no doubt about the return to an aggressive gun boat diplomacy in Latin America. Abrams first appears on the scene as an important player in US relations with Central American nations during the Reagan Administration when he organized illegal covert financing for the murderous right-wing Somosistas, aka “Contra’s” in violation of the Boland Amendment during the 1980’s.

This Amendment was a rider attached to the House approriations Bill of 1982, and specifically prohibited any American funding to forces attempting to overthrow the Sandinista government of Nicaragua. It was named for it’s author Congressman Edward Boland, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and it passed the House 411-0! Abrams would later plead guilty to lying to Congress twice about his role in the Contra affair, but was spared jail time by virtue of a pardon by President George H. W. Bush – and old CIA spook.

Nothing gives us a better measure of the moral character of the man than Abrams’ response to the report of the United Nations Truth Commission on El Salvador. After examining 22, 000 war crimes committed by right-wing “death squads” during the 12 year Civil War between the traditionally white oligarchy and the impoverished Afro-Indio masses – in which Catholic Arch-Bishop Romero was murdered at the alter of the national cathedral while conducting mass – the Truth Commission concluded that 85% of the crimes were committed by right-wing forces funded by the Reagan Administration, a policy which Abrams played an important role in formulating. When the UN report was released Abrams was the US Assistant Secretary Of State for Human Rights, and his response was “The administration’s record on El Salvador is one of fabulous achievement.” Obviously, there is no shame in this murderous clown’s game!

Alas, even this horrendous record does not exhaust the list of Abrams’ crimes. Ten years later, as a member of the PNAC cabal that seized control of US foreign policy after the 9/11 catastrophe, Abrams was an enthusiastic advocate for the invasion of Iraq. For an indepth analysis of the critical role neo-con policy wonks played in convincing George W. Bush see: “The Iraq War Was Spawned in a Think Tank” at, https://commentariesonthetimes.me/2011/05/06/the-iraq-war-was-spawned-in-a-think-tank/. Although this disastrous war cost the nation dearly in blood and treasure, and unleashed the dogs of chaos in the Middle East, Abrams and his PNAC goons remain unrepentant.
Abrams was also futzing around the White House lurking in the shadows when the Bushmen decided to launch and ill fated coup against Hugo Chavez, the elected leader of Venezuela. Although he remained in the background, Abrams’ Finger was all over this criminal enterprise. This is the man that Bolton has now selected to head the present US activity in Venezuela!

One need not be a prescient policy analyst in order to predict that the US will attempt to organize a coup in Venezuela in the near future. Many observers who are schooled in such matters believe that a coup is already underway. The signs are there and the blueprint is clear, for they have followed it before. The case of Salvador Allende comes to mind, where US induced economic instability led to social unrest, and the US government used that discontent to promote a coup led by the murderous fascist military strongman Agusto Pinochet, who literally murdered thousands of Allende supporters after causing the assassination of the country’s elected president and imposing a military police state on the populace.

Alas, I fear that we are witnessing a replay of that dreadful drama of subversion cloaked as democracy and carried out by economic sabotage and the murderous carnage of Civil War, which is certain to follow any coup in Venezuela. Fortunately, as I write, the opposion leader is opposed to America intervention…at least publicly. Given that support for President Maduro is down to 24% according to a recent Venezuelan poll, It is a propitious time for a US sponsored coup, and with a lazy ignorant president willing to concede policy decisions about Central America to his militaristic neo-con advisors….we shall see what unfolds.

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NOTE: This is the first of a multi-part series. Future essays will take a closer look at the nature of the “Bolivarian Revolution” initiated by Hugo Chavez, it’s origins, aims, victories, and defeats. As well as speculations on what the future holds.

They Finally Got Roger Stone!

Posted in On Donald Trump, Playthell on politics with tags , , on January 28, 2019 by playthell

The Master of Dirty Tricks Politics

Will Trump’s Ace Boon Coon Squeal?

Standing before the microphones in a short sleeve sports shirt Roger Stone, who had just stepped out of the Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale Florida, took questions from the press about the seven count indictment that he had just been charged with and calmly pleaded his innocence – while a chorus of boisterous voices shouted “LOCK HIM UP! He seemed unusually relaxed for a man who had to put up a couple of hundred thousand bucks in order to walk out of the court house, where he had been dragged in shackles like a low life crook only a couple of hours before.

In fact, Roger seemed stone cold for a man whose plush home had just been raided by a heavily armed FBI SWAT team. Given Stone’s close and long standing friendship President Trump – 40 years and counting- a relationship he gleefully acknowledged in his response to the press, one wonders if his breezy confidence that he will escape any punishment for the crimes of which he is accused stems from the assurance that he will be pardoned if he stands strong and don’t “rat” Fat Donnie out.

Roger was tutored in the myriad deceptions and treacheries practiced by the churls and scoundrels that pollute the the practice of law and politics by Roy Cohn, the ruthless New York lawyer and political operator that served as legal counsel to Senator Joseph McCarthy, chairman of the committee that conducted the notorious anti-communist witch hunt during the “Red Scare” mass hysteria of the 1950’s. A basic tactic of Cohn’s is to never admit error or culpability and attack your adversaries relentlessly.

We can clearly see this tactic being employed by Roger in his response to the Federal indictment against him; we also see this strategy at work in the tactics of Donald Trump when dealing with media critics and political opponents. This is because Cohn was also a major influence on Trump – who is still searching for Kohn’s replacement and in desperation has misplaced his faith in Rudy Giuliani alas – and Trump is Stone’s creation as a political actor. We can witness Trump’s metamorphosis from media savvy real estate huckster to President of the US in the deeply revealing documentary film “Get Roger Stone.” We also learn that Stone is a malicious maestro at conducting dirty political tricks.

We are shown how his career as a big-time political operative began with his work during the Nixon campaign, when he was a student activists at George Washington University. And Stone’s reverence for Nixon is verified by the tattoo of Nixon he wears on his back. Paul Manafort, the former Trump Campaign Chairman and longtime business partners with Stone, says Stone’s influence on Trump has been so thorough that they think and act alike. Their actions are so in sync it is difficult to separate the actions of one from the other Manafort declares.

That is a frightening thought, because the portrait of Roger stone that emerges from “Get Roger Stone” is of a cynical amoral cretin who adores the exercise of power, and privileges winning over morality or fair play. I remember thinking at the conclusion of the film that Roger Stone was the most amoral, corrupt, avaricious, vicious, malicious, person I had ever witnessed up close. The client list for the lobbying firm run by Stone and Manafort alone – Congo cleptocrat Mobutu Sese Seko, Philiphine strong man Marcos, and a mobbed up real estate mogul Donald J. Trump for instance – would condemn them as point men for the devil.

Yikes! if Trump is Stone’s psychological clone we are in deep trouble I thought after viewing the film. To get an idea of crimes the US president may have conspired with Stone to commit, we need only consult the extensive indictment of Stone by the Mueller Grand Jury. And this is widely believed to be only some of the charges the Special Prosecutor’s Office is prepared to bring.

The carefully detailed 24 page indictment charges Stone with I count of obstruction of justice; 5 counts of making false statements to Congress; and I count of witness tampering. These are all felonious offenses that can send Mr. Stone to jail for the rest of his life if found guilty on all counts. The five counts for false statements in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1001(a)(2) and 2. carries a maximum sentence of 25 years. The Obstruction of Justice violation under Title18, United States Code, Sections 1505 and 2. carries a max sentence of 5 years. And Witness Tampering -Title 18, United States Code, Section 1512(b)(1). carries a max of 10 years.

Hence Roger Stone is facing a possible forty year incarceration in Federal Prison, which means that he would be 106 years old if he served all of his time! This is why Stone’s apparent nonchalance in the face of these charges are so puzzling and has many seasoned legal eagles and political pundits speculating that Stone is angling for a presidential pardon from his corrupt long time homie: The wannabe mob boss befouling the White House.

As I write, several days after Stone’s arrest in Florida, he was intensifying his attack on the legitimacy of the Mueller Investigation when he arrived in Washington for arraignment– a tactic right out of Roy Cohn’s playbook – while seeming to get a bit wobbly on whether he is willing to cooperate with the Special Prosecutor. Wise and devious old fox that he is, suspicions are rampart that Stone is messaging Trump through the mass media, letting him know that he is willing to button his lips and remain true to the mob code of Omerta, so long as Fat Donnie is willing to come to his rescue with a Pardon. We shall watch his moves with careful interests and will comment on them as developments warrant.

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See: 
Amy Goodman on the Documentary about the relationship of Roy Cohn, Stone and Trump
https://www.democracynow.org/2019/1/28/wheres_my_roy_cohn_film_explores
Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
January 28, 2016