AMERICA IN CRISIS
With Kirstjen Nielsen’s ouster there is no Secretary of Homeland Security, no Secretary of Defense, no Secretary of the Air Force, no U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, no Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director, no Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator, no Secretary of the Interior, no Administrator of the Small Business Administration, no Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Director, no Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator, and no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner.
It was July 21, 2016. Candidate Donald Trump stunned America by announcing at the Republican National Convention, “I alone can fix it.”
The response way back then was fear and trepidation, with charges of authoritarianism – and a good dose of mockery, as CNBC offered hours later:
“I alone can fix it.”
Donald Trump’s message tonight was all about how he alone can fix the country. pic.twitter.com/kElUYF5TuK
— CNBC (@CNBC) July 22, 2016
Candidate Hillary Clinton responded as many others did too:
Trump’s dangerously wrong when he says “I alone can fix it.”
Americans haver never put our faith in one man—we put our faith in each other.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 23, 2016
And again on the campaign trail:
In America, we don’t say, “I alone can fix it.”
We say, “We’ll fix it together.” https://t.co/rKkXeL6c5X
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 6, 2016
We were warned. We knew what was about to happen.
And here we are, approaching the three-year anniversary of Trump’s promise, that he would work alone, that he “alone” would “fix” America.
Trump called it “leaving.” Her “resignation” was to be effective immediately. (She later tweeted she will leave April 10.)
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen will be leaving her position, and I would like to thank her for her service….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 7, 2019
It’s clear Trump fired Secretary Nielsen. CBS News reports this is part of Stephen Miller’s plan to insert extremists into the administration.
But what is also clear is that President Trump increasingly is operating in that “I alone” mentality.
And America is far more weak as a result.
It’s not a stretch or hyperbolic to say that at this moment in time, heaven forbid we are attacked, there will be chaos – and many lives lost, as a result of how withered the Trump administration is.
With Kirstjen Nielsen’s ouster there is no Secretary of Homeland Security, no Secretary of Defense, no Secretary of the Air Force, no U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, no Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director, no White House Chief of Staff, no White House Communications Director, no Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator, no Secretary of the Interior, no Administrator of the Small Business Administration, no Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Director, no Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator, and no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner.
Those are the top positions that are empty.
(“Acting” officials, which are in place for many of these leadership positions, are not the same or the same caliber as Senate-confirmed officials, which most of these positions are supposed to be.)
The Trump administration’s White House web site on his Cabinet (which for some reason omits the Acting Secretary of Defense), says “the Cabinet’s role is to advise the President on any subject he may require relating to the duties of each member’s respective office.”
Who’s advising the president when all these positions are effectively empty, or filled with, basically, a substitute, a stand-in, someone not experienced enough for the job?
Not convinced America is in crisis yet?
Think about this.
At the Dept. of Defense, 25% of key positions as of April 1 remain unfilled, according to The Washington Post and the Partnership for Public Service. At the State Dept., that number jumps to 39%. Homeland Security: 44%.
Granted, some percentage of those are nominated and awaiting Senate confirmation, but if Democrats are holding them up, there’s reason to believe it’s the quality of the nominee that’s the problem, given Trump’s record.
As The Post notes, there are currently 140 key positions requiring Senate confirmation for which the Trump administration has never nominated anyone.
Here’s a small sampling:
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE:
Chief Management Officer, Deputy chief management officer, Undersecretary for personnel and readiness, Principal deputy undersecretary for personnel and readiness, Assistant secretary for international security affairs, Assistant secretary for logistics and materiel readiness.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE:
Undersecretary for public diplomacy, Coordinator for threat reduction programs, U.S. Ambassadors 19 countries, including to three Central American countries: Honduras, Belize, and Panama. Other critical countries without a U.S. Ambassador: Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Pakistan, and Qatar.
Deputy secretary, Assistant secretary for policy.
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE:
Undersecretary for industry and security
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION:
General counsel, Undersecretary, Inspector General
America is in crisis. There are fewer and fewer experts advising the president, and none who are able to tell him “no.”
Image via The White House
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‘Clear and Present Danger’: Majority of Trump Voters Believe It’s ‘Time to Split the Country’ in Two – Report
The highly-respected University of Virginia’s nonpartisan Center for Politics has released a new study that finds a majority of Trump voters believe it’s time to split the country into two, with “red states” and “blue states” seceding from the Union.
The organization, headed by Larry Sabato of “Sabato’s Crystal Ball,” reports that four in ten Biden voters agree.
“The divide between Trump and Biden voters is deep, wide, and dangerous. The scope is unprecedented, and it will not be easily fixed,” said UVA Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato.
“In order to figure out ways to bridge these divides, we need to understand not just the divides themselves, but also understand the ways in which we can, together, move forward to reach common ground. This project helps us do both,” said Larry Schack of Project Home Fire, a new initiative partnering with the UVA Center for Politics.
The report top-line revelations include: “Trump and Biden voters are at crisis stage”; there is tremendous “fear and distrust among Biden and Trump voters”; and “Many Trump and Biden voters believe the deck is stacked against them, and their commitment to democracy is wavering.”
Crystal Ball’s managing editor, Kyle Kondik, tweeted out some charts (below) from the project. Among the disturbing but unsurprising revelations:
Eight in 10 Biden and Trump voters say elected officials from the opposition party present a “clear and present danger” to democracy. Almost eight in 10 Biden and Trump voters say Americans who support the opposite party have also become a “clear and present danger” to the American way of life.
— Kyle Kondik (@kkondik) September 30, 2021
The report also finds strong areas of common ground, including on the need for improvements to the electric grid, water supply, roads, rail, and bridges, and raising taxes on the wealthy.
2. Some of the takeaways:
There is some potential agreement on policy matters, but there are marked differences in their levels of support for some recent proposals discussed in BIF/reconciliation saga https://t.co/42cosYKOLm pic.twitter.com/MkPCYI2bfp
— Kyle Kondik (@kkondik) September 30, 2021
McConnell Rushes to TV Cameras to Gush ‘The Era of Bipartisanship Is Over’ After Infrastructure Talks Break Down
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wasted no time in rushing to find TV cameras to brag “the era of bipartisanship is over,” after talks between the Biden White House and McConnell’s hand-picked surrogate, Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) broke down Tuesday afternoon.
“As you look to what the Majority Leader has in mind for June, it’s pretty clear the era of bipartisanship is over,” McConnell said, referring to Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer’s intention to bring legislation on paycheck fairness, LGBTQ equality, and gun control to the floor for votes.
It took McConnell less than one hour from the time news broke about the talks, which had been going on for about two weeks, and when he spoke to reporters.
“One-hundred percent of our focus is on stopping this new administration,” McConnell said one month ago. “What we have in the United States Senate is total unity from Susan Collins to Ted Cruz in opposition to what the new Biden administration is trying to do to this country,” he added.
President Joe Biden’s initial proposal for an infrastructure bill was $2.3 trillion. He came down to $1.7 trillion in hopes the GOP would come up and meet him there. His offer is now $1 trillion. The GOP is at $330 billion, according to NBC News.
Mitch McConnell said it’s clear “the era of bipartisanship is over” after news that infrastructure talks between President Joe Biden and GOP Sen. Shelley Moore Capito are over. https://t.co/5GOvzzQAVX pic.twitter.com/2NzarQRW1H
— POLITICO (@politico) June 8, 2021
The Frightening Parallels Between QAnon and Hitler’s Nazis
The QAnon conspiracy cult enjoyed a major victory when, on August 11, far-right extremist Marjorie Taylor Greene won a GOP congressional primary in Georgia — and given how overwhelmingly Republican her district is, Greene is likely to win the general election in November and be sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives in January 2021. QAnon, known for their outrageous conspiracy theories, believe that the U.S. government has been infiltrated by an international ring of pedophiles and Satanists and that President Donald Trump was put in power to battle them. And Gregory Stanton, president of Genocide Watch and an expert on the history of anti-Semitism, believes that there are parallels between QAnon’s outrageous views and the views that Nazis promoted in Germany during the 1930s.
Describing QAnon’s views in an article published by Just Security on September 9, Stanton writes, “A secret cabal is taking over the world. They kidnap children, slaughter and eat them to gain power from their blood. They control high positions in government, banks, international finance, the news media and the church. They want to disarm the police. They promote homosexuality and pedophilia. They plan to mongrelize the white race so it will lose its essential power. Does this conspiracy theory sound familiar? It is. The same narrative has been repackaged by QAnon.”
According to Stanton, there are countless parallels between QAnon’s conspiracy theories and the anti-Semitism that Adolf Hitler and his Nazis promoted in Germany before and during World War II.
“The Nazis worshiped Adolf Hitler as the leader who would rescue the white race from this secret Jewish plot,” Stanton explains. “Nazi ‘stormtroopers’ — storm detachment, Sturmabteilung — helped bring Hitler to power. Nazi Germany went on to conquer Europe and murder 6 million Jews and millions of Roma, Slavs, LGBTQ and other people.”
Central to Nazi ideology, Stanton notes, was the anti-Semitic 1902 pamphlet, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” and Stanton stresses that QAnon’s ideology is a “rebranded version” of that pamphlet.
“QAnon purveys the fantasy that a secret Satan-worshiping cabal is taking over the world,” Stanton observes. “Its members kidnap white children, keep them in secret prisons run by pedophiles, slaughter and eat them to gain power from the essence in their blood. The cabal held the American presidency under the Clintons and (former President Barack) Obama, nearly took power again in 2016, and lurks in a ‘Deep State’ financed by Jews, including George Soros — and in Jews who control the media. They want to disarm citizens and defund the police. They promote abortion, transgender rights and homosexuality. They want open borders so brown illegal aliens can invade America and mongrelize the white race.”
Stanton continues, “QAnon true believers think Donald Trump will rescue America from this Satanic cabal. At the time of ‘The Storm,’ supporters of the cabal will be rounded up and executed. The QAnon conspiracy theory has now spread to neo-Nazis in Germany, where over 200,000 German QAnon accounts infest the internet.”
Stanton goes on to write that QAnon’s critics “are perplexed at how any rational person could fall for such an irrational conspiracy theory.” But when people are suffering hardships, Stanton explains, they “respond to fear and terror” and “blame their misfortunes on scapegoats” — which is what happened in Germany during the 1930s.
“In the 1930s,” Stanton recalls, “millions of Europeans were unemployed. Violent battles between Nazis and communists raged in city streets. Democratic governments were powerless. Fascist dictators ruled Spain and Italy. Hitler took power in Germany and conquered Western Europe. Stalin’s communists conquered the East. The Hitler-Stalin Pact sealed totalitarian rule over most of Europe. It took World War II and the deaths of millions to defeat the Nazis’ genocidal tyranny, and another 50 years to free the gulags of the Soviet Union.”
Stanton adds that in 2020, it is obvious that QAnon’s influence is growing when a QAnon supporter like Greene is “likely” on her way to Congress and President Donald Trump praises her as a “future Republican star.”
“The world has seen QAnon before,” Stanton warns. “It was called Nazism. In QAnon, Nazism wants a comeback.
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