Nero fiddles as Rome burns

Frankly, the United States is under attack, under attack by entities that are using cyber to penetrate virtually every major action that takes place in the United States. – Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

George W. Bush understandably took considerable grief for continuing to read The Pet Goat to school children as the 9/11 terrorists struck the Twin Towers. Compounding it was the revelation that Bush had been dismissive of the Presidential Daily Briefing that warned an attack was imminent.

History repeats itself with greater consequences. The current Commander-in-Chief sits in denial as the attack on our democracy itself continues unabated under his watch. Compounding that are adoring Donald Trump fabulists weaving gossamer tales about a bogeyman called Deep State, fables worthy of JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

Recently, CIA Director Mike Pompeo stated he had “every expectation” Russia will be trying to influence the 2018 election. Director Christopher A. Wray said the FBI is undertaking “a lot of specific activities” to counter Russian meddling despite it not being “specifically directed by the president.” Coats, Pompeo, and Wray. All Trump appointees. All putting country ahead of party as Trump seethes.

Nero fiddles as Rome burns and his legions cheer him on.

Who do voodoo? They do, sticking pins into Hillary Clinton dolls in a vain attempt to direct attention from the betrayal of US security and sleaze that have become the hallmarks of the Trump administration.

Stormy days lie ahead for the Party of Trump. There has been a telling decline in those who identify as Republican. Democrats last week picked up another Republican-held seat in the Florida legislature. The score on flipped seats since Trump took office: 36 to 4 in favor of the Dems.

Stormy Daniels, known in private life as Stephanie Clifford, is $130,000 the richer thanks to Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal attorney in a scheme to hush up The Donald’s escapades with her during and after his wife’s pregnancy.

“I am Mr. Trump’s longtime special counsel and I have proudly served in that role for more than a decade,” Cohen said. “In a private transaction in 2016, I used my own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to Ms. Stephanie Clifford.”

Very noble. Chivalrous, don’t you think? Family values? But “facilitate”? That indicates he helped smooth the transaction between two parties. One was Clifford. The other?

Tony Perkins, the head of the vehemently anti-LGBTQ Family Research Council, said he would give Trump a “mulligan” over his affair.

“We kind of gave him ‘All right, you get a mulligan. You get a do-over here,’” Perkins told Politico. The fundamentalist right’s version of Catholic absolution. Perkins didn’t mention if his beneficence and benediction extended to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Reports indicate Clifford no longer feels legally bound by the non-disclosure settlement now that Cohen apparently has confirmed that it was not fake news, even by fake-news criers’ standards.

I am reminded not all Republicans approve of Trump personally despite polls indicating a sizeable majority do. I’d like for that to be true. Polls do show white women increasingly no longer identifying with the POT.

November will tell if the POT’s leader’s transgressions become so heinous and his shtick worn so thin that enough say enough is enough. It will tell if what began with a trickle ended in a deluge.


Fourteen young adults will not graduate, their families are horrifically scarred, and their Marjory Steadman Douglas High School classmates will henceforth remember their tragedy as America’s 21st century St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. In the bloodletting, three teachers gave their lives to protect their charges. Columbine High School and Sandy Hook Elementary redux.

This is a trying time for the thoughts-and-prayers crowd, the ones who invariably opine with sad Sarah Huckabee Sanders eyes that a massacre’s aftermath is not the right time to talk about sensible gun control. They’re wringing their hands waiting for this latest massacre to become yesterday’s news.

They direct the conversation towards those suffering with mental illness, the clear majority of whom are non-violent. The true mental illness here is the kind suffered by political toadies like Senator Cory Gardner whose campaign war chests reek from NRA blood money. As the POT leader would tweet, “Sad. Very sad.”

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