Archive for the Playthell on politics Category

Vote No on Pompeo!

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , on April 13, 2018 by playthell

Senate Hearings Exposes Dangerous Constitutional Ambiguities

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s confirmation hearings for Mike Pompeo, who Donald Trump has chosen for Secretary of State, the chief diplomat of the USA, often sounded like a tower of babble as they attempted to define the Constitutional limitations on executive war making powers. The confusion centered on which branch of government has final authority to commit the nation to war, and the debate magnified the ambiguity of constitutional mandates that on the face of it seem beyond question.  For instance, the language of the Constitution places the war making power squarely in the hands of the Congress in Article I, Section 8, Clause 11.

It states: “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives…The Congress shall have power to…provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States… To declare war…To raise and support armies… To provide and maintain a navy.”  And Article II, Section 2, names the President Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. But he is empowered to order troops into combat only after the Congress has declared war: “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States…”

It is no wonder that questions regarding which branch of government has the ultimate war making authority was a major theme in the discourse between the Senators and Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo.  This was no academic exercise, as President Trump has threated to bomb Syria any day now.  Hence the Senators were anxious to know how Pompeo, as Secretary of State, would advise Devious Donald.  Especially since Trump has already stated the view that he does not need authorization from Congress to rain bombs down upon the Syrians.  However, when this question was put squarely to Pompeo by Senator Coons, a Democrat from Delaware, Mike seemed as slippery as a greased pig.

Although he looks like a Mafia enforcer from central casting with his husky physique and wise guy Joe Palooka smirk, Pompeo has a sterling academic pedigree.  He graduated first in his class at West Point – which is harder to gain entrance than Harvard – and later earned a law degree from the Harvard Law School, which Senator Coons said in a self-effacing manner he had been rejected and was forced to attend Yale. In an attempt to evade answering the Senator’s question, Pompeo used the occasion to show off his academic chops by citing a gaggle of academic debates on the War Powers question in a transparent display of obfuscation.  He concluded by saying that so many precedents have been set by Presidents ordering military strikes without consulting with Congress it was impossible to say with certainty that it was unconstitutional.

Pompeo fared no better in terms of clarity when he was asked whether he agreed with Trump that Special Counsel Robert Muller’s investigation into Russian meddling is a fraud…a “witch hunt” and should be fired.  He spouted some spurious Mumbo Jumbo about the legal issues being so complex that he couldn’t offer an opinion on the matter.  Refusing to accept that mealy mouth prattle for an answer, one Senator asked him point blank if he would stand up to the President, and even resign, if he fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Assistant A. G. Rosenstein, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in order to stop the investigation into Russian attempts to subvert our democratic process, Pompeo said he would probably remain at his post taking care of the nation’s business, just as other Secretaries of State had done when the president they served was in trouble, he would stay steady at the wheel and guide the nation through troubled waters.  This too was an obvious dodge.

However, the most dangerous liability of Mr. Pompeo, which would preclude me from voting to confirm his nomination as Secretary of State, is the charge made by some members of the National Security establishment that he “politicized intelligence” in his recent position as head of the CIA.  This is especially dangerous because Pompeo is on record as having opposed the nuclear deal with Iran; he favored “2000 bombing raids” to destroy Iranian nuclear capability instead.  And his belief that a land invasion of North Korea is a feasible military option marks him as an unthinking fanatic.  Sixty years ago, when the North Korean communist revolutionaries had fought invading US forces to a standstill, General Douglass McArthur, conqueror of the Japanese Empire, observed: “Any American President who commits American troops to a ground war in Asia needs their head examined!”

A man who harbors such irrational beliefs and is also willing to “politicize intelligence” is dangerous.  After all, we have seen his like before, and they proved to be mid-wives to catastrophe.  Both the disastrous wars in Vietnam and Iraq was the result of politicized intelligence.  In his revelatory book “Deadly Deceits: My 25 Years in the CIA,” Ralph McGhee, one of the first CIA agents on the ground in Vietnam, provides us an inside view of how we stumbled into one of the most costly wars – in blood, treasure and social turmoil – in US history.

It all began when the CIA was persuaded to cook the intelligence product to a prescribed recipe; so instead of providing Congress and policy makers with objective information they fed them ideologically tainted propaganda.  This is the same way Dick Cheyney, Donald Rumsfeld and their fellow neo-con ideologues in the Project for a New American Century – whose policy papers directed Bush’s foreign policy after the 9/11 terrorist attack by Islamic Jihadist – convinced a clueless George Bush to invade Iraq.

I wrote an extensive analysis of the process by which they took over Bush’s Foreign policy, see: “How the Iraq War Was Spawned in a Think Tank,” on this blog.   The intelligence products they fed the Bush Administration led General Colin Powell, a highly decorated combat veteran, to disgrace himself and cut the fool before the world; giving false information in a speech before the United Nations.

Pompeo was an enthusiastic supporter of the Iraq War. And despite the fact that he is a Sunday school teacher, he is also a highly trained military officer and such a transparent coldblooded war monger he couldn’t be more obvious if he had on fatigues and bandoleros, holding an assault rifle on his lap!  When we realize that Pompeo, like virtually all of the Senators, views the world from the distorted perspective of “American Exceptionalism,” a malignant myth that holds The United States of America above other nations – strains of Deutschland Uber Allis – we have a deadly mix of militarism, nationalism and self-righteousness!

Perhaps the best measure of the impoverished state of our political discourse is revealed in the fact that the wisest and most candid voice among the august Senators was Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky.  An eccentric anti-imperialist Libertarian, Senator Paul reminded me of the great 19th century writer Mark Twain as he delivered a scathing assault on the warmongers who believe they can remold the world in their own image through the promiscuous use of military power.  Not only was Paul vehemently opposed to further American military adventures in the Middle-East, but he thinks all US troops should be pulled from Afghanistan and Iraq; he offered Trump the same advice Henry Kissinger had offered President Nixon during the protracted war in Vietnam: “Just declare victory and come home!”

Rand Paul
 
Giving Pompeo a Dose of Reality

This is also sage counsel for formulating American policy toward North Korea. Alas, this advice was infinitely more profound than anything I heard from Mike Pompeo who, despite his tough guy persona, is a spineless jelly fish when in the presence of Trump. The only sign that he has a bit of a back bone was when Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat from New Hampshire  asked him if he agreed with Trump that our present problems with Russia are caused by the Mueller investigation, and he dissented. Pompeo also pledged to implement the sanctions imposed on Russia by Congress, which Trump has refused to do.

Yet this is the exception that proves the rule.  Many observers – this writer included – suspect that lips to posterior is his natural posture in dealing with the President, hence Pompeo is too busy genuflecting to stand up and speak candidly to Dirty Donald on critical issues.  Now is no time for unprincipled suck ups because Trump’s incompetence and amorality has thrown our nation into serious crisis. This is why Pompeo must never become our Secretary of State!  Let’s see if the Senators can muster the balls to kick this cad to the curb.

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(Click to See Mike Pompeo Stonewall Senator Mendez’s questions)

 

Honorable?

Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
April 13, 2018

 

Is President Trump a Racial Hygienists?

Posted in On Donald Trump, On Trump and Hitler, Playthell on politics with tags , , on January 29, 2018 by playthell

Fanatical whites adoring their Savior

On Making America White Again

It was nauseating to witness Donald Trump, surrounded by grinning handkerchief head black quislings, read a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King. The bumbling fashion in which he read the text made it clear that he was not familiar with the facts, nor was it coming from the heart.   Like so much about Trump, it came across as phony.   That was certainly how it struck Congressman John Lewis, who walked with Dr. King in the heat of the Civil Rights battle and was brutally beaten by racist redneck cops on the Edmund Pettis bridge, during the voter registration drive in Lowndes County, Alabama.

When asked by reporter Katy Tur if he thought Trump’s remarks praising Dr. King was sincere, Congressman Lewis said no; pointing out that you cannot make racist statements one day and praise Dr. King’s legacy the next, yet expect to be taken seriously.  He said that he will not attend the upcoming State of the Union Address, because he does not consider Trump’s election to be legit, given the role played by Russian intelligence agencies in sabotaging Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

The racist statement Lewis was referencing, was Trump’s declaration that the US should not welcome immigrants from “shit-hole” nations like Haiti and African countries.  Trump said he would prefer more immigrants from “Norway” instead.   There was no shame in Mighty whitey’s game.  Aside from the fact that Trump’s comments about Haitians and Nigerians during a discussion of immigration policy in the Oval Office, exposed his abysmal ignorance about black people once more, they also conjured up memories of some of the most racist episodes of the last century.

It is obvious that Trump knows nothing about the role played in the American War of Independence by Les Chasseurs Volontaires de Saint Domingue, ten companies of Haitian soldiers numbering 500 each, who fought heroically in the battle of Savanna during 1779.  They were repaid a few years later with racist American opposition to their own heroic revolution against their French oppressors, despite the fact the Haitian Revolution was based upon the same ideals as the US and French Revolutions: “Liberty, Brotherhood and equality.”  As CLR James, says: “It was one the three great bourgeois revolutions of the 18th century” that helped shape the modern world.

Savanna Monument to Haitian Heroes of 1779

Lest  We Forget?

 It is equally clear that Trump does not understand the contributions Nigerian immigrants are now making to the US.  As a community Nigerian-Americans are model citizens.  They earn college degrees at a rate 10% higher than native born Americans. According to the Houston Chronical of January 12, “Nigerian immigrants have the highest levels of education in this city and the nation, surpassing whites and Asians, according to Census data bolstered by an analysis of 13 annual Houston-area surveys conducted by Rice University.”

These figures are reflected in the three Nigerians in my building: an international lawyer, a medical doctor and a mechanical engineer who has worked for Con-Edison, keeping the lights on in Trump Tower for the last 15 years.  I could cite many outstanding Nigerians contributing to the US in a variety of fields if I had the space.

Alas, none of this matters to Donald Trump, because his concern is keeping America white and, given his choice of Norwegians as the ideal immigrant: The whiter the better!  In this attitude Trump has taken us back 100 years to the ideas of another white New Yorker, Madison Grant.  A Columbia University graduate, Grant really did have the Ivy League education Trump bogusly brags about.  The President of the New York Zoological Society, and a leading voice in the racist Eugenics Movement – which advocated selective breeding to improve the human species – Grant published a 1917 book titled The Passing of the Great Race. 

This book was written as a warning against the Superior Teutonic “race,” whose ideal prototype was the blue-eyed blond, represented in America by the “conquering Anglo-Saxon,” intermixing with the “lesser races.” And here Grant was talking about European “races,” such as Greeks and Italians, whom he labeled “men from failed civilizations.”

In Grant’s view, the ancient civilization of Greece and Rome was built by blond haired Teutons, and it was their bad judgement in breeding with the darker races that brought on the decay and collapse of their civilization. There was a special warning against Jews.  Africans and other subhuman “colored races” were strictly off limits.

One way to prevent this dreaded intermixing with inferior racial stock was by controlling their presence in the American population through immigration policy.  However, Grant was elaborating on the ideas of another rich New Yorker, Teddy Roosevelt, who cultivated the role of Anglo Saxon superman to the hilt; even buying a ranch in Wyoming where he was said to have led posses against outlaws in the late 19th century.

This image was enhanced after he led the “Rough Riders” in the battle of San Juan Hill in Santiago Cuba during the Spanish American War.  Roosevelt felt that the paramount objective of reproductive practices was to prevent overly fertile “lesser breeds” from outbreeding the superior Anglo Saxons.  He was quite open in his views on the superiority of Anglo Saxons and felt that the decimation of American Indians and the conquest of the Philippines were acts of God.

These ideas would inform the passage of the racist National Origins Act of 1924, which set quotas on immigrants based on the countries from which they came.  The Act provided that be visas be issued to 2% of each ethnic group based on the 1890 Census, which would insure that Anglo Saxon’s would forever remain the majority.  One big fan of this law was Adolph Hitler, who praised it in Mein Kempf:

“There is today one state in which at least weak beginnings toward a better conception [of immigration] are noticeable. Of course, it is not our model German Republic, but [the US], in which an effort is made to consult reason at least partially. By refusing immigrants on principle…by simply excluding certain races from naturalisation,”

Hitler was also a big fan of Madison Grant’s “Passing of the Great Race,” from which he lifted his Teutonic master race theory.  We know this because historians have uncovered a letter Hitler wrote to Madison Grant, in which the Nazi leader thanked him profusely and gushed: “Your book is my bible!”  It was these all-American ideas that informed and inspired the Nazi “racial hygienists” to exterminate six million of their Jewish countrymen by industrializing mass murder, and launching a World War which resulted in 50 million deaths.

This is the tradition Donald Trump has so passionately embraced, a set of racist ideas that resulted in the enslavement of Africans and their descendants for 250 years, and the extermination of Indigenous Native Americans resulting in the greatest land theft in history!  Of course, Dumb Donnie Dimwit is too ignorant of history to know any of this – and based on his racist behavior many thoughtful observers believe it wouldn’t matter if he did – he is propagating these ideas nevertheless.

Ignorance is no excuse in any case.  After all, he ran for the presidency, he was not drafted. That he should attempt to associate himself with the prophetic legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, an Apostle of Peace and justice, with the aid of genuflecting Sambos, is beyond shameful: It is blasphemy!

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Playthell G. Benjamin

Harlem, New York

January 29, 2018

A Made in America Autocrat!

Posted in On Donald Trump, On Trump and Hitler, Playthell on politics with tags , on January 6, 2018 by playthell

Dirty Donnie and the Brow Nosers
Senators Shamelessly Genuflect Before the Great Leader

It was nauseating watching the Republicans singing the praises of Fat Donald, assuming an embarrassing lips to posterior posture, while slapping themselves on the back for robbing the poor and showering the rich with even more money…making it rain bigtime for the super-rich plutocrats who own them, the billionaire donors who paid for the campaigns that put these pols in office. They are the new masters of Republican politics created by the Citizens United Decision of the US Supreme Court.

It was sad enough when we saw members of the cabinet cravenly kissing Trump’s rump in public, but this could be largely explained by the fact that their fate depends upon pleasing a vindictive president with a mercurial combustible temperament.  Yet for anyone who reveres the US Constitution, or just can’t stand suck ups, it was especially galling to witness members of the US Senate, a co-equal branch of government, the self-declared “greatest deliberative body in the world,” behave like lackeys in the Court of Ming the Merciless.

It was as if each Senator tried to outdo the other in crafting the most worshipful panegyric to the Great Leader.  They seemed terrified of the ever- present possibility of ritual crucifixion by the tweeting twit on Twitter, which could result in political death.  All one need to do in transcribing their remarks is substitute the salutation “Mr. President” with “Heil Hitler!” or “O Great Leader!” in order to recognize the dimensions of the crisis our democracy is presently facing from Donald Trump’s presidency. Sadly, congressional members of the GOP – Grand Opportunists Party – have entered into a Faustian bargain with an instable accidental President who the shrinks say is suffering from “Malignant Narcissism and Paranoia.” And who can say what the consequences will be?

The scene after the tax heist was, well, frightening, especially when one realizes that autocrats have been elected in other democratic societies to the enduring sorrow of its citizens. Most famously Weimar Germany, which was one of the freest and open democratic societies in the world, with a citizenry far better educated than the US electorate just now, when Hitler was elected. The foundations for a liberal enlightened German society such as Weimar had developed in Germany several decades before.

When the young Afro-American scholar WEB DuBois studied at the University of Berlin in the late 19th century, working on a PhD in economics, it was widely considered the world’s finest university. By the second decade of the 20th century Germany was publishing more books a year than any other country, which is evidence of widespread literacy.   And it was a leader in technology and Industry.

This was a society that had engaged in a protracted intergenerational debate about whether the soldier and statesman, or poet and philosopher represented the highest expression of citizenship. Whereas the billionaire business man is the most admired figure in America even if they are odious, stupid, amoral cretins.  Which does much to explain the ascendancy of Trump.

The Weimar Republic, which emerged in the aftermath of military defeat in the First World War spanning the years 1919-1933, represented a new expression of Democracy following the abdication of Wilhelm II, the last German Kaiser.  Weimar was a far freer and socially advanced society than the US was at the time. Weimar Germans were much more enlightened on race and gender issues, recreational use of drugs, and support for the arts. Afro-American Jazz music and dance – with its ethos of modernity and freedom performed at the “velocity of celebration” as Albert Murray called it – was in vogue, as is poignantly portrayed in the movie Swing Kids.

This tolerant open-minded milieu, where social life is played out to a jazz sound track, is meticulously recreated in the brilliant Novel “Clifford’s Blues; by John A. Williams.  And it is given rigorous scholarly treatment in The Jazz Republic: Music, Race and American Culture in Weimar Germany, by Johnathan O. Whipplinger.   To speak of Weimar says Whipplinger,

“is to evoke images not only of political radicalism and avant-garde artistic experiment but also jazz. More to the point, the Weimar Republic was, in a central way, Germany’s own “jazz age.”

 

But as Edwin Black shows in his seminal book, “Hitler’s Debt to America,” white America’s Master Race theories, racist laws against black people and attitudes about euthanasia advocated by the US Eugenics movement were all adopted by the Third Reich that crushed the Weimar democracy. Alas, the twin disasters that befell Germany after World War I due to the war reparations imposed by the 1919 Versailles Treaty and the Wall street Crash of 1929, sparking a world -wide depression that created a sense of hopelessness among Germans, set the stage for the rise of Hitler.

Although white Americans love to portray Nazis as subhuman monsters who are the antithesis of themselves, after interviewing some of the top leaders placed on trial for war crimes at Nurnburg, the insightful Jewish philosopher Hanna Arendt disagreed, she found them quite ordinary people, and coined the term “the banality of evil” to describe their behavior. Dr. Arendt outraged many Americans, and Jews everywhere, by concluding there was nothing uniquely evil about the Germans.

The problem, she concluded, was blind submission to authority and predicted that there are people we all know who are capable of running concentration camps if ordered to do so by our government.  It is evident that there are many such personality types among Trump’s followers, and like those who blindly followed Hitler, they cite emotional despair caused by economic anxieties as the reason for their allegiance.

Americans have been protected from the rise of an autocrat by our Constitution, which gives Congress the power to check the excesses of the President through legislation or impeachment.  But what happens if the Congress fails to use that power?  This is the question now being raised by serious people as Trump threatens to fire Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor investigating whether members of the Trump campaign team collaborated with the Russians to steal the presidential election, which Trump has repeatedly called a hoax.

After Trump launched threats against128 foreign countries that voted against the US on Jerusalem, former CIA Director Robert O. Brennan remarked: “Trump expects blind loyalty and subservience from everyone—qualities usually found in narcissistic, vengeful autocrats.”  One of the main characteristics of autocratic regimes are fawning flunkies who say things like the once proud Republican Senators were  Trump after the tax heist. Longtime Utah Senator Orin Hatch, said Trump might well be “The greatest president in history!”

This kind of sycophantic praise does not inspire confidence that the Republican controlled Congress will checkmate the power of a President who wishes to turn the FBI into his personal Gestapo and unleash them on his political adversaries; despises the free press; the independent judiciary and congressional opposition.  All the institutions that guard our democracy. In view of this reality, the thoughtful observer is compelled to wonder if the difference between Trump, Hitler and Kim Jung UN, has less to do with philosophy than opportunity.

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Playthell G. Benjamin
January 6, 2018
1013 words

Sweet Home Alabama!

Posted in On Donald Trump, Playthell on politics with tags , on December 17, 2017 by playthell

Senator Elect Doug Jones and Supporters

Bamas Reject Racist, Sexist, Reactionary Politics

The look of resignation on the faces of the crowd gathered at the Campaign headquarters of Roy Moore when they heard of Doug Jones’ victory last night, conjured up images of what citizens of Montgomery – then the capitol of the southern confederacy – must have looked like when they heard that their beloved General Robert E. Lee had surrendered to General U.S. Grant.   They looked as if their world had come to an end, another grand cause lost.  One need only survey the ubiquitous grey heads in this crowd of deluded geezers to see that they represented Alabama’s past and the election results represent the hope of a different and better future.

Nowhere is this dichotomy in generational views demonstrated more dramatically than in the men the Democrats and Republicans put forth as candidates for the United States Senate.  Roy Moore represents the worst of the dismal southern past: A bible thumping, scripture quoting, racist, sexist, homophobic old hypocrite, Moore was the hope of the backward-looking Alabamians who pine for the days when being white meant you were somebody special even if you were an ugly, stupid, po ass redneck.

Moore’s beliefs and behavior, while outrageous and even unlawful – as in the charges of pedophilia – made him the hero of this crowd who seem to want to fight the Civil War all over again.   For instance, this is a guy who has been twice kicked off the judicial bench in Alabama because he refused to follow the law when it conflicted with his dogmatic religious beliefs.  Moore has said he thinks homosexual behavior is criminal and therefore homosexual marriage an abomination. And in response to his mouthing the Trumpist slogan “Make America Great Again,” a black reporter asked him when did he think America was great in the past.

Roy Moore: Fake Cowboy and Fake Christian

This Poseur Can’t Ride Worth Shit!

To wit the clueless old Neo-Confederate sympathizer cited the Antebellum south during “slavery times,” as the old folks who had endured the horrors of slavery used to say when I was a boy in Florida.  Moore actually said: “Of course we had slavery back then, but our families were united.”  Yet a basic feature of US slavery was the destruction of black families, who were the property of plantation owners with no more rights than live-stock.  This was made plain in the Dred Scott Decision of 1857, in which Justice Rodger B. Taney wrote “Black men have no rights that white men are bound to respect.”

That someone running for the US Senate could say such an outrageous thing at the dawning of the 21st century, and not cause an uproar from the US population, is further evidence that the Master Narrative of American civilization still relies more on self-serving white supremacist propaganda than the peer reviewed scholarly evidence presented by professional historians.  The fact is that Moore has added a grievous insult to the grotesque injuries Afro-Americans have suffered from the experience of chattel slavery in the US.

It was a massive crime against humanity that was legally practiced under American law for over two centuries, and spawned a legal caste system that insured the continuance of white supremacy in America for a century after slavery was ended in Civil War, the most destructive war in history up to that time.  It was only after the Supreme Court reversed Plessy V Ferguson in the Brown v Board of ED decision of 1954, followed by the Omnibus Civil rights Bill of 1964, that the legal oppression of Afro-Americans based on race – the criminalization of their skin color – ended.

This is such a shameful history that it is no wonder the official myth makers of white America want to play it down or try and pretend it never happened; as some southern states are doing by leaving the question of slavery out of their public-school textbooks in discussing the cause of the Civil War.  They prefer, instead, to talk about “States Rights” and “the northern invasion.”  The propagation of these fictive lies in the place of historical truth is the reason that we are still fighting over the public display of monuments honoring the Confederacy as I write – although it is akin to flying Nazi flags and building monuments to the Third Reich in Germany.

Roy Moore represents this shameful past, and Doug Jones represents a hopeful future where people of all races and sexual orientations can live together under the equal protection of the law.  Jones was elected by a coalition that has the potential to bring about progressive change everywhere in the US: minorities, women, progressive white men, and the LGBT community.  However due to the disparate interests of the various factions this is a combustible coalition that could blow up if identity politics become an issue.

This election provided ideal conditions for a winning alliance to form.  As the successful prosecutor of the white Ku Klux Klan terrorists who bombed a black church in Birmingham Alabama, murdering four lovely bright young girls attending Sunday School, Doug Jones is a hero to many Afro-Americans.  To choose him over a reactionary racist like Moore was a piece of cake.

What I find harder to explain is why so many white commentators find it surprising that Black Alabamians turned out to the polls in nearly the same numbers as they voted for Barack Obama.  I would have been surprised if the turnout had been otherwise.  Afro-American support for Jones was critical, according to Dave Wasserman, an editor at the authoritative Cook Political Report. who posted some of the numbers on Twitter.

For instance, in Selma, the Seat of Dallas County where a bloody struggle for voting rights took place during the 1960’s, 74% of black voters turned out.  And in Perry County, where Dr. King recruited participants for the Poor People’s Campaign, the turnout was 78%.  Their votes check mated the white rural vote for Roy Moore.  And 90% of all black voters cast their ballots for Doug Jones; in some counties their percentage of the vote exceeded their percentage of the population.

The fact that Roy Moore is an accused pedophile by several credible women, and he was strongly supported by the Groper-In-Chief in the Oval Office, caused him to lose many women voters, and his blatant homophobia turned the gay community against him.  His disregard for the Constitution’s prohibition against government promotion of religion alienated those who wish to maintain a secular society and prefer judges that follow the law. Since Doug Jones embodies all the virtues that Roy Moore lacks, the advantage accrued to him in this election.

This is demonstrated by the dramatic turnarounds in some counties.  For instance, Trump won the Tuscaloosa area – where the University of Alabama is located – by 20%, but Jones won it by 16% which is a 36% turnaround. In Lee County, where Auburn University is located the turnaround is even more dramatic.  Trump won the county by 23% but Jones won by 17%, which is a turnaround of 40%.

But the biggest looser in this election is Steve Bannon, the pompous poot-butt frantic frump, who has declared war on the Republican establishment and was the chief strategist for the Moore campaign.  Some Republicans in Congress have had enough, and are rethinking the Faustian Bargain they made with the iconoclastic charlatan.  Congressman Peter King of New York probably spoke for a lot of his colleagues when he asked: “How did this guy who looks like a dischelved drunk become the face of the Republican Party?”

The numbers from Lee County are especially interesting because Charles Barkley, who campaigned vigorously on behalf of Jones, was a basketball star at Auburn.  And in a state with no professional sports teams, being a major college star is a really big deal…especially if they go on to a Hall of Fame Career in Professional sports. Hence, I believe the role Charles Barkley, a native of Alabama, played in swaying the election to Doug Jones is underplayed, especially when one considers the critical role of the black vote.

Charles Barkley

Homeboy says: “Lets Stop Lookin Like Fools!”

In any case, it is to Alabama’s enduring shame that the election was so close.  Compared to the deeply flawed character of Roy Moore, Doug Jones is a white knight in shining armor.  Hence choosing Jones should have been a no-brainer.  Delusional old fool that he is, I suspect Roy Moore thinks galloping up to the polls on horseback makes him look heroic.   If a short fat guy like Napoleon Bonaparte looks heroic on a horse why not me he might well have asked himself.  Alas, as a life-long horse lover and rider, I was appalled by his brutal ineptness in handling his horse – yanking on the reins with two hands under western style tack and bouncing about like a sack of potatoes.  Hence, despite myriad reasons not to vote for this charlatan, this should have easily cost him the equestrian vote.

Steve Bannon: The Frantic Funky Frump

Wondering WTF Went Wrong!

 

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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
December 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was Right About Trump and Hitler!

Posted in On Donald Trump, Playthell on politics with tags , on November 18, 2017 by playthell

“Only I can Save America!”

A Vanity Fair Writer Revealed Trump was Hitler Fan

While watching MSNBC’s Morning Joe I heard Tina Brown – the British import from the London tabloid world who became wildly successful as the Senior Editor of Vanity Fair – recalled an article she published on Donald Trump where the writer,  Marie Brenner,  quoted his first wife Ivana who said the Trump kept a collection of Hitler’s speeches titled “My Order” by his bedside! This revelation hit me like a lightning bolt because it supplied further evidence for my argument that the two men have much in common regarding their vision of the strong leader, as well as their approach to leadership.

Although I recognized the hazards of comparing any American politician to Hitler, the similarities between the character, personality flaws and political style of Donald Trump and Herr Hitler was so striking that I felt compelled to write about it.  The things I analyzed in the two essays I wrote on the subject – “Is Donald Trump a Uniquely American Fascist?” and “Drumpf and Hitler: Bird’s of a Feather?”- were based upon my observation of the man in action.  I had no inside knowledge of what Donald Drumpf personally thought of Hitler, or if he was even aware of the traits they shared in common.

Furthermore, I didn’t consider it particularly germane to my analysis because I was concerned with exploring the authoritarian personality as a class of phenomenon.  And it turns out that Trump bears a striking resemblance to the European Fascist leaders that rose to power in the aftermath of World War I – namely Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hitler.  Trump even adopted the slogan of the Italian Fascist: “Make Italy Great Again!”  And he aroused the same kind volatile nationalistic passions in white Americans who feel powerless and displaced by the dramatic advancement of women and “alien” elements of the population that are less deserving than them: Muslims, Hispanics, Blacks, Jews, et al.

And they were joined by members of the elite who seek to use the charisma of Trump with the masses in order to defeat their adversaries on the left, seize control of the instruments of state power, and enact their own policy agenda.   Alas, just like the German elite, they mistakenly thought that once Trump was in power they could control him.  Instead Trump has gone his own way, trashing much of what the Republicans have long stood for. Like Hitler, Trump demands personal loyalty to him above party or the national constitution.

Generally, when comparisons between Hitler and an American politician is made, the analyst is dismissed with observations like “there are no jack booted, goose stepping storm troopers marching down Pennsylvania Avenue and the nation’s Capital is not awash in giant Swastika’s.”  But these things are superficial, a matter of national character. And as I point out in my essay Trump is a uniquely American fascist.   Still, he had only tepid criticism when home grown white Neo-Nazi’s held a mass night march through the streets of Charlottesville Virginia, bearing raised torches and shouting: “Blood and Soil!” Which is a slogan borrowed directly from the German Nazi’s.

When they were not shouting “Blood and Soil” they were chanting “Jews will not replace us!” An idea also borrowed from the German Fascist but, based on his close associations with Jews it is a sentiment that Trump does not share.  However, one does not have to be anti-Semitic in order to qualify as a fascist. Mussolini was not an anti-Semite and according to the Jewish scholar Lenni Brenner in his pathbreaking book “Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, there were Jews among the founding members of the Italian Fascist party.

Like Hitler, Trump hates a free press that criticizes him and would destroy them if he could.  He also despises the independent judiciary and all other institutions that serve as checks on his power.  Furthermore, he is a racist, and believes his success in life is due to his German blood, which is a belief central to the identity of and justification for the Third Reich.

But what distinguishes the political style of both of Hitler and Drumpf is that they are given to hyperbolic language, extreme egotism in asserting their claim to leadership – only I can save the nation – a great reliance on charisma, the constant targeting of “enemies,” whether foreign or domestic, and constant denunciation of the previous government.  For Hitler it was the “October Criminals” who sold Germany out by signing the Versailles Treaty, which saddled German with a tremendous post-war debt for instigating World War I, and for Trump is was the “horrible” international trade deals negotiated by previous administrations and the “disastrous” Affordable Health Care Act, signed into law by President Obama, for whom Trump has an irrational envy and hatred.

The way Trump uses provocative oratory, loaded with nationalistic jingoism to incite mindless passion in his followers is reminiscent of the way Hitler built the Nazi movement.   “It is the spoken word not the written word that drives men to action!” Hitler pronounced.  And he well understood that projecting himself as an unbending strong man had great appeal to a group of lost and confused losers.

They become estatic when he talks of crushing “enemies” in other countries, even when he issues threats of nuclear destruction to an unoffending of North Korea because he disagrees with their policies for national defense.  They cheer such threats just as the German mobs cheered Hitler’s threats to destroy Russia…even through a nuclear attack on North Korea would surpass all of hitlers war crimes!   But Trump understands well the power of military bravado combined with nationalist rhetoric to incite a crowd.

These are lessons that could be well learned from Hitler’s speeches, especially the earlier ones that are collected in this book, “My New Order.” When asked about the book my s subsequent journalist who had read about it, Trump was curiously defensive. “If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them.”  Yeah right!

Neo-Nazi Trumpanzese Wilding in the Streets!

Since we know from several fact checkers, the New York Times among them, that Trump is the biggest liar in American public life, I don’t believe a word of it. I think he is lying his silly as off!  In any case, Albert Einstein’s reply to the Rabbi’s that asked if he claimed to show how God made the universe in his work, to wit Einstein replied, well I know that he could have made it that way,” is equally applicable to Trump’s debt to Hitler’s speeches.   That’s why the Neo-Nazi types are so mesmeried by him!

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Observe the Elements of Trump’s Style as Mass Orator Interacting with crowd

Watch the Crowds Cheer the “Great Leader.”

 

Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
November 18, 2017

Devious Donald has no Sense of Decency!

Posted in On Donald Trump, Playthell on politics with tags , , , on October 23, 2017 by playthell
A Gold Star Wife Bids he slain Husband a Final Goodbye
IMPEACH HIS EVIL INCOMPETENT ASS NOW!!!!!!
As Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sargent La David Johnson, an elite Green Beret who was killed in Niger, grieves his death Trump calls her a liar when she recounts the abrasive callousness of the way he acknowledged her husband’s death. After Mrs. Johnson confirmed the account of her conversation with Trump given by Congresswoman Fredrika Wilson, a pillar of the Miami Gardens community and a life long public servant, the tweeting twit in the White House contradicted..in effect saying she was lying.  But fact checkers say that Trump has set a record for telling lies; with well over 1200 in less than 300 days in office!  Hence by any reasonable and objective standard:We should believe the grieving widow over Lyin Devious Dirty Donald.
Fredrika Wilson: US Congresswoman
 A True Servant of the People

 Yet Trump – a rich draft dodging coward who spent the Vietnam war partying in Manhattan night clubs while hundreds of thousands of poor boys were drafted and sent to the front lines – refuses to even call US Representative Wilson by her proper name…he constantly refers to her as “That wacky Congresswoman.” For those who doubt the diagnosis of the team of distinguished Psychiatrists and Psychologists, who have concluded that Trump suffers from “Malignant Narcissism” and “Paranoia,” need only observe his public behavior.

 First, listen carefully the doctor’s description of the symptoms of these disorders, then just watch what Trump does. He is so clearly a pathological narcissist and the mofo is for real PARANOID!!!! He refuses to admit that he is EVER wrong about anything; he is incapable of admitting that he is wrong or showing genuine empathy for anything.
He is also a pathological liar – which is an aspect of narcissistic disorder -which means that he tells lies that are easily disproved and clings to them even after evidence to the contrary is presented! There is an abundance of evidence – a virtual treasure trove – to support the conclusions of the shrinks about the mental disorders of the “Insane Clown President” stinkin up the White House.
One need only consider Trump’s assessment of his administration’s response to the Puerto Rican crisis in the aftermath of the Hurricane. Trump, shameless braggart that he is, gave himself a 10 on a scale of 10! In other words his response has been perfect! Who in public life would say such a thing even if it were true? But to make matters worse, ITS A DAMNED LIE!!!!  When asked by the London Guardian what how she would grade Trump’s relief effort, Carman Yulez Cruz, Mayor of the Capitol city of Puerto Rico, San Juan, replied that she would give Trump a 10 on a scale of 100!
The fact is that most of the island’s resident’s are without electrical power of clean water as I write.  And to add insult to serious injury, Devious Donnie bullied the Governor of Puerto Rico into sitting through his obscene self-celebration with the implicit threat that he might do even less than he has done should the Governor fail to show sufficient gratitude!  One has only to observe the body language of the two men to witness the intimidating posture that Trump assumed with the Govenor.
Dirty Donnie: The Classic Bully
Posing like the Mafia Dons he did business with for years

Yet the response to the Puerto Rican crisis may well prove to be worse than Bush’s bungled response to Katrina! That is certainly the opinion of Russel Honore – the US Army General that Bush appointed to deal with the bungled federal government’s efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005. “It’s kind of like Katrina,” says General Honore, “We got it. We got it. Oh, shit, send in the cavalry,” he said in and interview with Bloomberg News. “This is a hit on White House decision making.”

 Looking at Trump’s rather nonchalant response to the disasters in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico the General – and no doubt many other matters – General Honore concluded that “Trump doesn’t care about people of color!” It would be interesting to know what he thinks about Trump’s vicious attacks on Black NFL players, while soft soaping the horror of the neo-Nazi night marchers in Charlottesville Virginia.

 The treatment that Trump has according the grieving widow of Sargent Johnson, and close family friend and Congressional representative the Honorable Frederica Wilson, who is still fighting for the people of her community at 75 years old, supplies even more compelling evidence for General Honore’s charge.
Yet in this disgraceful act we see many of Trump’s vices exposed: His contempt for assertive women; his racism; inability to show empathy; his ego-mania; compulsive lying; his willful division of the American people into antagonistic faction, and his refusal to ever say I’m sorry: I was wrong! Furthermore, despite surrounding himself with generals, we also see his contempt for soldiers on display – the kind of contempt that allows him to pose as the spokesman for veterans when has had veterans kicked to the curb from the sidewalks outside Trump Tower, when they set up stalls trying to make a few dollars in order to survive.
Alas he is an equal opportunity offender. Although the Gold Star families he has insulted were from non-white minority groups -a Muslim immigrant family from the Middle East and an Afro-American family -he has also insulted John McCain for getting captured. “I like people who wasn’t captured” he said, thereby insulting all of America’s prisoners of war.
As I have noted elsewhere, the election of Donald Trump represents the triumph of the untutored mob.  It is eloquent testimony to the timeless truth of Thomas Jefferson’s prescient warning: “A democracy cannot work with an ignorant electorate, because they will elect and return the worse people to power.”  Donald is a bottom feeder, white trash with money.
There is nothing in Trump’s life, that I have been able to identify, that I would have encouraged my son to emulate.  Conversely, he is everything most Americans would warn their son’s not to become.  A lying racist, sexist, cheating, braggart and bully!  In business he was a swindler and real estate huckster who was a laundry mat for Russian mob money once he so discredited himself with the banking community from repeated bankruptcies  that he could no longer get financing for his projects.  And as the organized crime investigation into his business activities by the New York Attorney will show, he was also in bed with the Italian-American Mafia.  And yet the clueless, shameless,  clown has the chutzpah  to call Mrs. Clinton “Crooked Hillary.”
His baiting of the North Korean leader has brought us to the brink of a nuclear conflict, and his refusal to acknowledge the fact that Russian intelligence carried out a massive cyber attack on the US electoral system borders on treason!  He is a man without grace or generosity of spirit.  We see this most graphically displayed in Trump’s attack on the veracity of the grieving widow of Sargent Johnson, who is pregnant with their third child.
 Fallen Hero
 
 Sargent La David Johnson
The fact that he has yet to publicly say a single word in praise of Sargent Johnson’s heroic sacrifice for this nation, while calling his wife and long time family friend and mentor Congresswoman Fredrika Wilson liars – and even getting General Kelly to tell a transparent lie on Representative Wilson, tarnishing his reputation won through many years on military service – is all the proof we need as to the unsuitablity of Donald Trump to be Commander-In chief of the US armed forces and the leader of this great nation.  He must be removed from office now, either through the impeachment process….or by invoking the 25th amendment.
The situation has become so dire, that San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer is spending 10 million of his own money to finance a drive to impeach him; which according to Laurence Tribe, a Harvard Law Professor and our leading constitutional scholar, the grounds for impeachment have been met.  And not a minute too soon, for everyday Trump is allowed to remain in power poses a clear and resent danger to America and the world!
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Click to witness the last rites of Sargent Johnson
http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/21/us/sgt-la-david-johnson-funeral/index.html
Sargent Johnson’s Widow Confirms Congresswoman Wilson’s account  
http://time.com/4993045/myeshia-johnson-donald-trump-frederica-wilson/
Click to see Congresswoman Wilson’s FBI Speech
See for yourself that General Kelly is a damned liar!!!
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/94925992-132.html
A DETAILED LIST OF TRUMPS LIES COMPILED BY NY TIMES

Trump is Not Only a Lying Racist Fool…

Posted in On Donald Trump, Playthell on politics with tags on September 27, 2017 by playthell

The White Trash in the White House

He is Violating the Constitution and Breaking the Law!

Unable to restrain himself from cutting the fool in public, and perpetually playing to the cheap seats with a promoter’s eye for who is in his audience, Donald J. Trump, the accidental insane President of the USA, spoke to a gathering of his hard-core enablers in the cultural backwaters of Alabama.  Here in this bastion of the old slave holding Confederacy, a state which has given us such flawed statesman as Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, an unreconstructed neo-Confederate redneck – whom Trump appointed Attorney General and now is trying to turn back the clock on Civil Rights – it should come as no surprise that Donald Trump, a con-man who resorts to race baiting whenever he deems it politically advantageous, should be enthusiastically received when he makes thinly veiled racist comments.

Lost in the legislative sauce in Washington, where he has not shepherded a single piece of major legislation through Congress –  Repealing Obamacare; rebuilding infrastructure; tax reform, etc.  And he has shown no greater ability to make a deal with the federal courts, which have blocked his travel bans barring Muslims from entering the US.  Furthermore, many of his close associates and family members are under investigation by the FBI, four congressional committees in the House and Senate, a federally appointed Special Prosecutor, and the dogged New York State Attorney General Eric Schniederman – who has had so much success going after Trump’s wrong doing in the past.

So, feeling ineffective and unloved in Washington, and knowing that hordes of hecklers and haters await him every time he sets foot in his home town, the narcissistic Don fled to the boonies where the hayseeds are still dazzled by this Big Apple bunko artists out to sell them a bill of fake goods wrapped in bogus dreams.  And like all good con men, Dirty Donnie knows just what buttons to push to lure his marks into the trap.

In this case his game was to wrap himself in the flag and football, declare himself the keeper of the patriotic flame and defender of American soldiers – although he is a draft dodging coward and shameless charlatan  who threw veterans off the sidewalk when they were selling their wares in front of Trump Tower, insulted a Muslim Gold Star family, and dissed Senator John McCain’s heroic military service.  Alas, there is no shame in Dirty Donnie’s game.

Jesse Ventura, the former governor of Minnesota and a real badass Navy Seal, vehemently rejects the idea that athletes, students or anybody else should be compelled to stand for the National Anthem or pledge allegiance to the flag.  He points out: “Nazi’s required people to salute the flag or stand and sing the national anthem!  Democracies must win the respect of their citizens.  Ventura recalls that when he was Minnesota’s governor the legislature passed a bill requiring school children to salute the flag and recite Pledge of Allegiance, “and I vetoed it!”

Yet this fake patriot, Dirty Donnie,  claims that real soldiers were dishonored when those black “sons of bitches” decided to kneel while  the National Anthem is played to call attention to racial injustice and white privilege in America.  It tells us all that we need to know about his values and character – or lack thereof – that he calls young black men non-violently protesting the murder of their brethren by white cops who are set free by racist white juries “sons of bitches,” while assuring us that there were “many fine people” among the torch bearing neo-Nazi’s reciting the Nazi slogan “Blood and Soil,” and anti-Semitic slogans like “Jews will not replace us!”

How Trump Feels about Protesters

This tells the thoughtful person all they need to know

Yet, by urging fans to boycott teams and admonishing owners to “fire” players who take a knee during the performance of the Star-Spangled Banner, Trump is violating the First Amendment to the Constitution he has sworn to defend “against all enemies foreign and domestic.” And he may well have broken federal labor laws prohibiting politicians – in the executive and legislative branches – from interfering in the relations between employers and employees.   Trump is such a scatter-brained blabbermouth he even attacked the safety measures agreed upon by owners and players to prevent serious injuries to the athletes that play the game.

It is a violation of our labor laws that can result in a 15-year prison sentence and removal from office. Yet Trump has a long record of flaunting the law, from mobbed up real estate deals to laundering dirty Russian money; in fact, his attitude to obeying the law is so Cavalier that, as I write, the acting head of the Drug Enforcement Agency, Chuck Rosenberg, has announced that he has quit his post because the “President has no respect for the law.”

However, this kerfuffle over football and the flag raises some deeper questions about Donald Trump’s fitness for the presidency.  At a time when the US and its Caribbean territories have been ravaged by devastating hurricanes wreaking havoc on a biblical scale, Donald Trump has had but little to say about making the afflicted people whole again. Their have been five times as many tweets criticizing NFL players as addressing the tragic disaster in Puerto Rico.

Instead, the fuzzy headed megalo-maniacal buffoon in the Oval Office has devoted valuable time and attention to slinging mud at Golden Gate superstar guard Steph Curry – a consummate gentleman and solid citizen-  for refusing an invitation to the White House for a celebration of their NBA championship.  DD is such a petty pouty old fat fool that nothing in the world is more important than his insatiable ego!  I say cheers for Steph who refused to be used as a prop for Trump’s photo-op, which the Republican PR machine would exploit to show how Trump is cool with black folk.

The main problem with Trump, besides his lack of a moral core and ignorance of policy matters, is an absence of principled beliefs about politics and governance; his allegiance is dictated by expedience.  A “malignant narcissist,” what matters most to Trump is “winning”…. however he defines it at the time.  This moral turpitude is made worse by his abysmal ignorance of the basics of government.  Alas, the blabbermouth bubble-head buffoon does not even understand how American democracy is structured and how it is supposed to work…which is a reflection of his ghastly and dangerous ignorance of the US Constitution!

Trump does not understand the separation of powers, the system of checks and balances, or Constitutional guarantees under the Bill of Rights. All he really knows is real estate; it is the family business. And even when he went off to college at the academically distinguished University of Pennsylvania, one of the world’s great centers of humane learning, the joker went for two years and only studied Real Estate! Despite being at the prestigious Wharton School of Finance he was not at all intellectually curious. Hence real estate, not government, is where his expertise lies.  Yet given his multiple bankruptcies many successful businessmen – Mitt Romney, Mike Bloomberg and Warren Buffet among them – do not think highly of his skills as a businessman either.  None of these men said they would hire Trump as the CEO of their corporations.

The fundamental question raised by this fact is: If none of Trump’s peers in the business world – most of them far more successful than Trump – would make him CEO, yet business is his lifelong business, it is unreasonably to expect him to be an effective President of the USA.   The careful observer of his behavior in office can easily the he is clueless!  This is why Donnie Dimwit picks fights with Congress, disses the Courts, disregards the Constitutional protection for press freedom, encourages police brutality toward citizens, and threatens to order American military forces to commit war crimes by suggesting that they murder the families of Jihadists.

Trump is a shameless hypocrite, crook and compulsive liar who draws a moral equivalence between fascist and anti-fascist, and publicly calls for ESPN to fire black female sportscaster Jemele Hill, for accurately calling him a “White Supremacist” on her Twitter feed. Although, without any evidence to support the charge, he called President Obama “a racist” several times when he was hosting a national TV show – and even challenged his right to be President in a racist campaign denying President Obama’s citizenship!

Yet there was NO outcry for him to be fired from his popular reality show: “The Apprentice”  In fact, this blatantly racist charade against Barack Obama – a great president – catapulted Dumb Donnie Dimwit into the Oval Office!!!  And this treacherous duplicity, created from blatant lies and nurtured on racist bigotry, sustains him in office today….despite his proclivity to dance with Nazi’s, lie compulsively about things large and small, poses a danger of getting us into an accidental nuclear war, and trifle with American law.

Hear Trumps Idiotic Statement

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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
September 27, 2017