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The Villages People

 

[NOTE:  In hopes of stemming a flood of comments from Trumpsters and Russian bots, the following is not FAKE NEWS.  It is what we call parody intentionally designed at the outset to be humorous.  Please do not confuse it with Trump apologists’ attempts to disguise Donald Trump’s ignorant and offensive remarks as “jokes,” after the fact.]

 

The Rolling Stones are threatening legal action against President Donald Trump’s campaign for using their music at his campaign rallies.

~CNN/June 28, 2020

Following receipt of the cease and desist order, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale immediately began searching for replacements.  [NOTE:  The remainder of this paragraph is not FAKE NEWS!]  He approached the following artists.  Neil Young. NO!  Elton John.  NO!  The Tom Petty estate.  NO!   Rihanna.  NO!  R.E.M.  NO!  Adele. NO!  Axl Rose.  NO!   Pharrell Williams.  NO!  Brian May (Queen).  NO!  Earth, Wind and Fire.  NO!  Eddie Levert (The O’Jays).  NO!  The George Harrison estate.  NO!  The Prince estate.  NO!  Steven Tyler.  NO!  Dee Snider.  NO!  Perhaps the best response came from Brendon Urie, frontman for the band Panic! At The Disco following use of his song “High Hopes” at Trump’s June 26 rally at the Dream City megachurch in Phoenix .  “Dear Trump Campaign, F*** you.  You’re NOT invited.  Stop playing my song.”

Unable to contract with actual musicians or their bands, Parscale decided to create his own “tribute band,”  The Villages People (shown below).

When asked why he settled on a 1970s-80s disco band, Parscale replied, “It reflects the candidate’s interest in taking the nation back 40 years.  And what could possibly be more representative of the past four years than an exclusive club in which the atmosphere is dependent on fog and sparkly mirrors?”  In response to a query about which of the group’s hits would be the campaign’s central theme song, Parscale said that decision was pending.  “There are so many to choose from.”

Always willing to provide assistance when I can, I would suggest the following:

  • Muncho Man/1978
  • Y.M.I. an A./1978
  • (Not) In the Navy (or any other branch of the armed services)/1979
  • Ready for the 80’s (the 1880s)/1979
  • Sleazy (no explanation needed)/1979
  • Can’t Stop the Muslims/1980
  • 5 O’Clock in the Morning (Tweet Time)/1981
  • Do You Wanna Spend the Night (Anybody?)/1981
  • (In)Action Man/1982
  • MAGAmix/1989
  • Living in the WhiteLife/1989

POSTSCRIPT

The original Village People have announced they will perform  a revised version of “Happiest Time of the Year,” which appeared on the group’s 2019 Christmas album, at Joe Biden’s victory celebration on election night.  In the new version, lyrics such as “People SHARING all over the world” will now proclaim, “People CHEERING all over the world.”

For what it’s worth.
Dr. ESP

 

Random Thoughts 9/23/2017

 

EXPLAINING THE CONSTITUTION TO ANN COULTER

Image result for ann coulter witchOne of today’s great ironies is how often individuals who accuse others of violating the U.S. Constitution have little, if any, appreciation for what the the document actually says.  The latest example is none other than Ann Coulter who last week responded to Comrade Trump’s flip-flop on DACA by tweeting, “Who doesn’t want Trump impeached?”   Seems like everybody except his die-hard base and spineless Republican members of the House of Representatives.

Keep in mind the author of In Trump We Trust has no problem with Trump’s violation of the emolument clause or his increasingly evident acts of treason during the 2016 campaign and as oval office occupant.  What was the tipping point for Ms. Coulter?  Reversal on a policy decision.  Ann, I think it’s time you took another look at the language in Article II of the Constitution which governs removal of the chief executive and other public officials.

The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

I find it quite incredulous that someone who attended Cornell University and the University of Michigan Law School believes failure to keep a campaign promise qualifies as a “high crime or misdemeanor.”  If that were the case, every president since 1789 would have been hauled before the House Judiciary Committee to answer for their “crimes.”  I guess constitutional law was not a required course at the University of Michigan Law School.

IVANKA AND ME

I would have never believed this, but Ivanka Trump and I seem to have a couple of things in common.  On September 14, the poster child for “Take Your Daughter to Work for Four Years” said the following in an Interview with the Financial Times.

Some people have created unrealistic expectations of what they expect from me.  That my presence in and of itself would carry so much weight with my father that he would abandon his core values and the agenda that the American people voted for when they elected him. It’s not going to happen.

You may remember, last Saturday I suggested Comrade Trump take a different tack in dealing with Kim Jong-un.  Instead of ramping up rhetoric which would make the North Korean leader feel he needed a nuclear deterrent, U.S. foreign policy might be better served by ensuring Kim and his people they were safe from American intervention as long as they kept to themselves.  Based on Trump’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, I know how Ivanka must feel.  Even if you have realistic expectations about my sphere of influence, let me assure you, “It’s not going to happen.”

Image result for obama helicopter leaving washingtonBut my affinity to Ivanka does not end there.  This week, she told us she suffered from postpartum depression following the birth of each of her three children.  I feel her pain.  I too have had bouts of postpartum depression since January 20th when Barack Obama departed the White House.

Now, if only she would follow my lead, and realize Washington, D.C. is not her place of most potential.  It took me seven years to figure that out.  One can only hope she is forced into that decision sooner rather than later.  And please, take “daddy” with you.

For what it’s worth.
Dr. ESP

 

Sheep in Wolves’ Clothing

 

Charles Cooney, the Robert T. Haslam Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT, explains the importance of accepting failure as critical to the learning process.

Failure is not fatal, and success is not final. An expert is someone who has made more mistakes than anybody else.  A successful expert is someone who recognizes mistakes and only makes them once. (Source: ImagineIt Project™ Interview)

When it comes to the Democratic Party and the mainstream media, I’m afraid they have yet to learn from the mistakes they made which contributed to the political ascendancy of Donald J. Trump.  Through claims of moral equivalency and misdirection, the Trump propaganda machine has proven to be a formidable opponent when countering efforts to expose Trump’s just plain incompetence or deliberate complicity in extra-Constitutional endeavors. Two recent news stories demonstrate this unfortunate fact of life.

CASE #1: The Grassley Is Always Greener

On last Sunday morning’s edition of CNN State of the Union, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, applauded committee chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) for his letter to the White House Office of Legal Counsel reiterating the committee’s oversight responsibility for the Department of Justice.  She suggested the Grassley letter was evidence of a bi-partisan effort to get to the bottom of any role DOJ, including Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, might have played in obstructing the investigation into the Russian/Trump connection, including the firing of FBI director James Comey

In light of Grassley’s earlier statements in which he characterized Comey’s testimony as vindicating Trump, one has to question what appears to be an about face.  Occam’s razor redux: the simplest explanation is generally closest to the truth.  Which leads me to the following.

  • Senator Grassley is a long-timeTrump supporter.  Radio Iowa reported on August 6, 2016, “While some prominent Republicans refuse to endorse the Republic presidential nominee, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley isn’t one of them.”
  • Grassley denied Democrats’ request to bring Sessions back before the panel to clarify his confirmation hearing testimony in which Sessions inaccurately claimed to have had no contact with Russian officials.
  • The committee membership consists of 11 Republicans and 9 Democrats.
  • The committee would likely complete its investigation of potential obstruction of justice and release its report before special counsel Robert Mueller delivers his final report and recommendations.

I hope I am wrong, but my gut tells me Grassley’s sudden interest in scrutinizing Session’s behavior as well as that of other DOJ officials is an attempt to preempt Mueller’s findings.  Which makes efforts over the past 48 hours to now discredit Robert Mueller appear to be just one element of a larger disinformation strategy.  I can hear Sean Spicer (assuming he is still press secretary) now, “The congressional committee with oversight responsibility found nothing wrong.  The special counsel, who we warned was biased, has made a questionable case.”

I have great respect for Senator Feinstein.  I believe to this day she was the most likely candidate to become the first female president.  She demonstrated her ability to deal with crises when she became mayor of San Francisco following the assassinations of George Moscone and Harvey Milk on November 27, 1978.  But this is entirely different.  The Republicans are playing three-dimensional chess while Democrats are still sitting around a checker board.  Senator Feinstein, please make sure you are anticipating the opponent’s next three moves before you make your next one.

Case #2: You’re NOT Fired

The mainstream media continues to get played by the Trump propaganda machine.  Consider the following hypothetical.  If you wanted to discredit media coverage of Comrade Trump and the Russian connection, what would you do?  Simple.  Plant an untrue story.  Watch the Washington Post, New York Times, CNN and MSNBC salivate.  Then, in your best Ronald Reagan voice, declare, “There they go again.”

Was this the case when Trump friend Chris Ruddy, during an interview Monday Night with Jody Woodruff (PBS News Hour) asserted Trump was considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller?  Right on cue, the evening cable new shows and the early editions of the Post and Times, dedicated much of their coverage to this “bombshell.”  By Tuesday morning, the White House press office claimed there was not truth to the story and characterized the report as just one more “nothing burger” by the dishonest media to undermine Trump’s agenda.

How many times are the media going to fall for this?  Anyone who has covered the presidency for the past five months should have known better.  First, it was no coincidence the story broke on the eve of testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence by Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III in which he performed one of the greatest impressions of all time of Aunt Pittypat from Gone with the Wind.  “Russians in the Mayflower Hotel.  How did they ever get in? Oh, Senator Burr.  My smelling salts!”

As if the timing of Ruddy’s comments were not enough, the easily fooled media should have known this does not fit the Orangeman’s modus operandi.  Trump does not telegraph behavior.  No one suggested James Comey’s head was on the chopping block.  The ax had already fallen before even the victim knew it was coming.

Even if Trump was actively planning to shut down the Mueller investigation, the press unwittingly prevented Trump from hammering another nail into his own coffin.  I refer to this as the “Matt Drudge syndrome” (bear with me).  In 1998, Drudge made the same mistake and probably saved Clinton’s presidency.  On January 13, 1998, Drudge reported Monica Lewinsky had been the target of an FBI sting operation at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Pentagon City, Virginia.  Drudge’s story put everyone involved in the Clinton sex scandal on notice.

Though we will never know, I am convinced, absent Drudge’s reporting, Monica Lewinsky’s next move would have been to call Clinton adviser Vernon Jordan, who had been her regular point of contact and helped her find employment in New York after leaving her White House internship.  We know Lewinsky’s conversation with Linda Tripp at the hotel was being recorded via an FBI wire.  Therefore, it is no stretch to assume Lewinsky’s phone calls were also monitored.  A cry for help to Jordan following Lewinsky’s meeting with Tripp would have been perhaps the most damning tangible evidence of a cover-up and obstruction of justice.  Thanks to Matt Drudge, that call was never made.

Over the past few weeks, I have encouraged readers to heed the advice of former naval intelligence office Malcolm Nance, “Strategic patience.”  Broadcast and print journalists should listen to Nance as well.

For what it’s worth.
Dr. ESP

 

The Fruit of Patience

 

The title of today’s blog comes from the following quote by Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.

djt-leaving-white-houseFor many, including Late Show host Stephen Colbert, the end of our latest “national nightmare” can not come quickly enough.  During his live broadcast following Tuesday night’s “State of the Trump” address, Colbert shared a screen shot from CNN’s coverage leading up to the speech which included the tag line, “Trump Leaves White House Soon.”  To which Colbert begged CNN, “Don’t Tease!”

Colbert merely echoed what many members of the resistance are asking.  I have received numerous queries from blog readers asking, “Why is it taking so long for anything to happen? When are they going to hold hearings on the Russian connection?”  My response, “PATIENCE!”

Removal of a president (whether legitimately elected or not) from office is something that should not be taken lightly.  Particularly now, when the country is already deeply divided.  Forcing Trump to vacate the oval office before there is bi-partisan agreement that “enough is enough” would have serious consequences.  Remember, when Trump believed he would lose the election, some of his followers were ready to take up arms.  Whereas we are calling for resistance, some Trumpsters were calling for revolution.  Yes, there will always be those who will stand by their “glorious leader” (as he is called by the neo-Nazi on-line newsletter The Daily Stormer) regardless of the charges or the evidence.  Mainstream American has been disparaged often during the past two-years, but it is mainstream Americans who, when in agreement, make things happen.

It’s not like we haven’t been through this before.  So let me share what I believe are the parallels between the current situation and what was happening in 1972-74.  The Watergate timeline began with the break-in at the Democratic headquarters on June 17, 1972.  But this “third-rate crime” which brought down President Richard Nixon was only one instance of what became known as the Committee to Re-elect the President (CREEP) campaign of dirty tricks. The equivalent in the current saga is the February 9, 2017 disclosure of national security adviser Michael Flynn’s meeting with the Russian ambassador in December 2016.  It is just one instance of inappropriate and perhaps illegal interaction between the Trump entourage and Russian officials.  But as we now know as a result of last night’s report then-Senator, Trump surrogate and now Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions lied during his confirmation hearing about contact with Russians. This proves Flynn’s actions were not isolated events.

The June 23, 1972 Nixon recording, which became known as “the smoking gun,” included a conversation between Nixon and H. R. Haldeman during which the President orders the FBI to drop its Watergate investigation.  Although there is no recording (yet?), we do know that White House chief of staff Reince Priebus encouraged U.S. intelligence agencies to discredit reports by CNN and the New York Times concerning contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian officials (Source: USA Today, February 23, 2017). They rightfully refused to do so.

On August 30, 1972, Nixon reported to the nation that White House counsel John Dean had conducted a thorough investigation into Watergate and found there was no involvement by the president or his immediate staff.  If there is one thing we have learned about Donald Trump, he is willing to throw anyone and everyone under the bus to defend his actions.  In this case, the White House enlisted members of Congress including the chairmen of the House and Senate intelligence committees (Senator Richard Burr of NC and Representative Devin Nunes of CA) to counter the CNN and New York Times reports.  Right on cue, Nunes met with reporters on February 27, 2017, telling them, “As of right now, I don’t have any evidence of any phone calls.”  Note, this statement is not even based on a less than thorough review. It was made prior to the committee asking for or examining ANY evidence.

It was not until November 22, 1972 that the mainstream media picked up the Watergate story when CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite devoted 15 minutes of that evening’s broadcast to the scandal.  In contrast, both CNN and MSNBC have produced specials which outline the issues and questions which need to be answered.  UPDATE:  The MSNBC special was interrupted by the breaking news of the Washington Post report of Sessions’ meeting with the Russian ambassador.  Karma is truly a bitch.

So, my impatient readers,  it took five months and five days for Watergate to permeate the national consciousness (break-in to Cronkite broadcast).  We are at the same point in the Trump/Russia timeline after only 22 days (Flynn disclosure to today).  And I am confident there is a another FBI Agent W. Mark Felt aka Deep Throat who will risk his/her career to make sure the story is told and another Barry Goldwater who was the one to tell Nixon he needed to resign or Republicans would vote for impeachment and conviction if required to do so.  And the next Woodward and Bernstein who will keep digging until they uncover the whole truth. But they must be sure.  And that takes time.

For what it’s worth.
Dr. ESP

 

He Who Ignores History

I have heard more than one commentator over the last week compare the the raid on an Al Qaeda structure believed to house Yemen terrorist leader Qassim Al-Rimi to the failed Bay of Pigs invasion during the first days of John F. Kennedy’s presidency.  The focal point for comparing the two is that both military actions were planned by one administration and left for execution to the next.

One valid point does not a general comparison make.  While the planning and execution of both operations spanned two administrations, the Bay of Pigs invasion was a covert operation developed by the CIA and its success was predicated on the false assumption the Cuban people would quickly join the rebels (exiled Cubans trained by the CIA).  In contrast, the Yemen raid was planned by the U.S. Department of Defense and executed by U.S. special forces.  The goal of the Bay of Pigs was to topple the Castro government.  The goal in Yemen is less clear as Al Qaeda in Yemen is seen as a terrorist organization yet also is seen as an ally of the U.S., Saudi and UAE backed government in the civil war with Shiite rebels.  Similar to the conflict in Syria, as they say in baseball, you can’t tell the players without a program.

Which brings us back to January 25, 2017 and the White House dinner at which the commando raid was approved.  Despite the differences between the two operations, there were lessons from the Bay of Pigs which should have been early warning signs for Donald Trump.  In hindsight, Kennedy realized he asked the wrong question during CIA briefings prior to the Bay of Pigs invasion.  He admitted he wrongly focused on the level of preparedness of the CIA-trained exiles and the supporting air strikes.  Instead, of inquiries about what and when, Kennedy realized the real question was, “Should we undertake this operation at all?”  In documents archived at the Kennedy Presidential Library, the newly inaugurated commander-in-chief opined whether he should have restarted the decision process from square one.  If he was going to own the outcome, should he rely on his predecessor’s decision process?

Clearly Trump is not a student of history, or if he is, he did not do well in the class.  Assuming he was handed a proposal outlining the Yemen operation and was told the ONLY reason the Obama administration delayed execution was to wait for a moonless night, Trump should have seen numerous red flags. (NOTE: Obama officials involved in the decision process claim they felt uncomfortable because the on-the-ground intelligence was not sufficient to proceed.  They were proven correct when it was determined the protection around the structure was greater than anticipated resulting in a prolonged firefight.)

The circumstances remind me of two teenage boys trying to create a little mischief.  The first boy buys some cherry bombs and identifies the neighborhood targets (mailboxes and trash cans).  Then he gives the firecrackers to his friend and tells him to light them.  The friend asks, “Why don’t you light them?  You did the easy and safe stuff.”  His partner-in-crime replies, “But you get to do the exciting stuff.”  Right, exciting until he loses a couple of fingers.

And that is what happened in Cuba and Yemen.  Kennedy lit the fuse and had to take responsibility for the deaths of many of the Cuban exiles and the imprisonment of the invasion survivors.  Whether he takes responsibility or not, Trump must reconcile the loss of a Navy SEAL as well as the deaths of nine women and 10 children without achieving the goal of capturing or killing Al-Rimi.

There was a another lesson from the Bay of Pigs, which fortunately President Kennedy embraced.  “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”  (NOTE: Not to be confused with George W. Bush’s attempt, “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”)

Experience with the Bay of Pigs debacle is partially credited for Kennedy’s response to the Cuban Missile Crisis in November, 1962.  Despite advice from his military advisers to use the placement of Soviet mid-range nuclear weapons 90 miles away from the U.S. coastline as an excuse for a second attempt to overthrow Castro, JFK knew he, and he alone, would have to answer for the outcome.

Why do I share this with you?  Because I believe there are two more historical parallels on the horizon.  And if the current occupant of the White House fails to take advantage of the lessons from past events, the botched raid in Yemen will be a footnote to his tenure in office.  The first comes from the Vietnam era.  The presence of the American destroyer USS Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin created a situation which was used to justify escalation of U.S. involvement in Vietnam.  The result?  58,315 killed in action or non-combat deaths, 153,303 wounded-in-action requiring hospital care and 1,618 missing in action.  On February 17, 2017 the US Navy sent the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to patrol the South China Sea.  The American people and Congress should be wary of any reported incident or Chinese provocation, especially if it is associated with a proposed increase in military involvement in the region.

The second, of course, is the March, 2003 invasion of Iraq, attributed to false reports of weapons of mass destruction stockpiled by Saddam Hussein.  The result in this case?  4,424 killed in action and non-hostile deaths and 31,952 wounded in action.  A political and governmental vacuum which opened the door to Al Qaeda and ISIS.  All resulting from an imminent threat to the United States which was hardly a threat, much less imminent.

So when you hear of terrorist attacks in Bowling Green, Atlanta and Sweden, think of Iraq.  Terrorism is real, but it need not be exaggerated for political purposes.  And the fact there has not been an attack on U.S. soil directed from a foreign base since 9/11 should not be overlooked.  These are among the truths we should hold as self-evident.

For what it’s worth.
Dr. ESP