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H2O Man

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Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 08:49 PM
Number of posts: 65,075

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Trump is a Swine




The controversy over Trump's tweets about Mika & Joe should be viewed as neither a distraction from the Russian probe, nor as distinct from it. Rather, Trump's outburst is symptomatic of a man who feels that his world is coming apart at the seams. His behavior is that of the most cowardly bully, a punk.

Trump likes to incorrectly refer to himself as a “counter-puncher.” This, of course, is a term he heard when he was involved in promoting championship boxing in Atlantic City – something he ultimately failed at, despite being funded by HBO. Yet, his use of that term is the bluff of someone who does not understand its meaning: a counter-puncher maneuvers the opponent into throwing the punches that he is prepared to respond to. Trump is that guy who, when he is getting his ass kicked, resorts to a blatant foul, hoping for temporary respite.

The “cloud” over his presidency that Mr. Comey said Trump constantly whined about involves the investigation of the Trump-Russian scandal. It continues to build strength, while Trump fails in his efforts to repeal President Obama's advances in health care. The Supreme Court gave him a partial victory, yet his administration's overstep on this has already resulted in an upcoming legal challenge. It is the synergy of Trump's weaknesses that cause his unseemly twitter rants.

To paraphrase the Rolling Stones, Trump sees a threatening his very presidency today ….a storm that offers him no shelter from eventually being kicked out of the way. We should be taking full opportunity of this – not as an effort to spike “Mourning Joe's” ratings, but to inflict damage upon Trump. Certainly, the current Congress is not going to impeach and convict Trump at this point. But it would be wonderful if some good Democrats, in both the House and Senate, would at least take actions aimed at censuring him for his latest outburst. And everyone here can – at the very least – contact their elected representatives and recommend this.

In terms of the Russian investigation, Trump's outburst provides evidence of two things: what has taken place in the past two weeks, behind closed doors, has the president very upset. And his behavior continues to follow along a consistent path of bullying and low-blows.

For many years, I was employed in social work. I investigated all types of domestic abuse in the field, and later co-facilitated numerous DV groups. I provided documentation to the courts, and testified in more cases than I can remember. Donald Trump is a classic example of a low-life thug who is convinced that he is justified – the old “look what you made me do!” horseshit – that it is safe to say that he is 100% incapable of change.

But we are not. We can institute change.

Peace,
H2O Man

Water Power

“First, is the danger of futility: the belief there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous array of the world's ills -- against misery, against ignorance, or injustice and violence …..It is from numberless diverse acts of courage such as these that the belief that human history is thus shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. “
– Senator Robert F. Kennedy; Day of Affirmation address; Cape Town University; June 6, 1966


Kennedy family historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., stated that this was his favorite section of what he considered to be Kennedy's greatest speech. While he might not have been totally objective – as he used his skills as a wordsmith to fine-tune the speech – I tend to agree that it was the most important message that RFK delivered. Indeed, it encapsulates the meaning of his presidential campaign that ended two years later.

It is a message that we should take to heart today. Not only for the encouragement it communicates to those struggling in difficult circumstances, but for the nature of the remedy he identifies. For most of his public career, RFK was a hard-nosed, often angry young man. His tactics were divisive, even within Democratic circles. This isn't to suggest that the positions he advocated were “wrong,” or “right,” for that matter. Nor to ignore his many accomplishments.

Still, the RFK of 1966 to 1968 was very different than the earlier version. Two incidents in particular began the process of change: The Cuban missile crisis, and his brother's murder. Still, there were numerous other ripples in American society that moved him along – the civil rights and anti-war movements among them. This included, of course, the violence that he witnessed resulting from them.

In another 1966 speech, in which he outlined the relationship between war, racism, and poverty, he repeatedly stated, “I find that unacceptable.” He refused to normalize the abnormal, which is something we must continue to do in the age of Trump. Obviously, it is not only Trump that is abnormal – literally, a cancerous growth on our nation. It includes not only those who accept Trump, but especially those that empower him. They are unacceptable.

Equally important, Kennedy was not advocating normalizing the abnormal by stooping to their level, resorting to their type of tactics, or reacting to their hatred with our hatred. Instead, he was urging people to use positive energy, in such a way that it sends out ripples that overcome hateful ripples. To wash away the toxic pools of a Trump with currents that reflect our values.

You can read or listen to RFK's powerful message here:

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/rfkcapetown.htm

It's those values, which are a constant among civilized people seeking social justice, that we need to be giving voice to. And not limiting that to spending time on one internet forum. It's important to coordinate it into other venues. For many people, being part of a group effort works best. That's something we have the option to work on here.

If a single forum member sends an important question to a journalist, say Rachel or Joy on MSNBC, it's possible someone on her staff will take note of it. But if ten people, or twenty or thirty, send a similar message, it becomes more likely that one (or more) of her staff will take note. And there are certainly enough good questioned asked, and important points raised here on DU:GD, that we could easily do this. It could start out as a weekly exercise in grass roots democracy, and possibly grow. And it could be a lot of fun.

Peace,
H2O Man

Georgia on My Mind


“A farmer cannot think too much evil of a good farmer.”
John Steinbeck; East of Eden

The recent election loss in Georgia reminded me of a staff meeting I attended at the county Mental Health Clinic on a sunny Monday afternoon years ago. One of my co-workers was presenting a case that involved a family that lived on a small farm. The family had requested appointments at a specific time of day, and that didn't fit conveniently in the therapist's busy schedule.

Now, because the case involved domestic violence, and treatment was mandatory, my friend was not feeling particularly flexible as far as scheduling sessions. “They are farmers. They don't work that hard. Farmers only work twice a day – mornings and evenings,” my friend said. This “opinion,” as it turned out, was not based upon any familiarity with farming, beyond driving past a few farms on the way to and from work. Mornings and evenings.

I grew up on a small family farm. I do remember working before and after school. And weekends. When other kids from the neighborhood were out having fun, my brothers and I were building fence, cutting brush, moving large piles out rocks out of the pasture, avoiding angry Angus bulls, and cutting firewood off the mountain with our grandfather's two-man saw. We did our “haying” the old-fashion way – loose – which creates difficulties when the hay loft was on the barn's second story. And, of course, feeding all the animals daily.

Luckily, I inherited the same lack of basic social skills as my four older siblings, allowing me the ability to fit right in uncomfortably. My brothers – like uncles and great uncles before them – took a liking to the sport of boxing. Over fifty years ago, they matched me in my first amateur fight, and for the next 15 years, I fought hundreds of bouts on amateur and professional cards. A total of 329 fights, to be exact.

The sum total of those experiences – on a farm and in the boxing ring – has provided me with some insight into the election in Georgia. For one thing, “loses” are not fun. I lost a total of nine fights, to eight different opponents; one fellow beat me twice. Yet, loses aren't really loses, unless you don't learn from them. Any of the guys who beat me, that I fought again, I beat. So, for example, the fellow who beat me twice wasn't so lucky in the seven other times we met in the ring.

While I was able to score knockouts in the vast majority of my bouts, there were some opponents – always bigger than me – that I had to simply out-box, and settle for the decision. In those instances, I would generally set a pace that I knew would sap the opponent's resources. He might win a round, but he paid a price for it, even if that price was simply using too much energy. Now, usually if the opponent had shot his wad early, I could get inside, say, “Damn, boy, you're in a lot of trouble now,” and render him defenseless with body shots, setting up the end. But several guys were intent upon lasting to the decision.

As a farm kid from rural, upstate New York, I didn't enjoy a home town advantage. No, I was traveling from city to city, fighting the local golden boy in his back yard. So I knew that the judges were going to favor the golden boy. Thus, two of my “loses” were fights that I knew I won. But that's boxing. It's a corrupt sport, almost as corrupt as politics.

Now, the lose in Georgia was in the republican's home turf. But it's only a loss if we don't learn from it. To win a contest in what should have been a safe election, the republicans had to invest far more resources than usual. And the “decision” was still very close. Come 2018, their party isn't going to be able to defend “safe” seats without investing lots of resources. That makes other seats far more vulnerable to our body attack.

It isn't fun to lose an election, any more than it's pleasant to lose a round in a boxing match. But it's not the end of the fight. For constitutional democracy is an on-going struggle by its very nature.

Clearing fields of brush and stone is not fun. It's hard work, to quote my least-favorite chimp. Putting up a barbed-wire fence isn't a blast either, but it defines a territory. Training for a fight isn't fun either, but the work you do in preparation determines the outcome. In that sense, it's not all that different from organizing a neighborhood, going door-to-door, and staking out territory at the grass roots level. Voter registration plus voter education equals voter participation. And that determines the outcome of elections.

We need to start putting in that hard work now, in preparation for the fight card in 2018. We should be focused on clearing those fields, and staking out territory. It is, in my opinion, counter-productive to waste energy debating (or arguing) about if we need to run centrist or liberal candidates. We are not a one-size-fits-all party, when we function at our best in the political arena. With so many pastures to operate in, there will be plenty of room to run a good variety of candidates.

We don't have to agree on everything. People at the grass roots level frequently have a very different view than that of someone driving by on their way to and from the office. That's okay. We can deal successfully with that, so long as we all do our own jobs. This business about replacing Nancy Pelosi is a fair topic for discussion, but in my opinion, one that would make a heck of a lot more sense in 2019. We do not need more divisions in our party today. If we all work at our own level, changes will unfold as needed. Building upon on strengths insures that positive growth.

Spider Webs

Spider webs are fascinating. They come in various shapes and sizes. Often, one can see the spider that constructed the web sitting, waiting patiently. But, even if the web appears empty, one can be sure that a spider built the web. For there are no spider webs without associated spiders.

There are no criminal webs without criminals. At times, these webs of corruption and deceit are seen sans the criminals that have constructed them. Thus, investigations to untangle such criminal webs can take time. Investigations want to identify all the evidence required to trap the criminals in their web, and to convict them.

There are also investigative journalists who special in deconstructing such webs. There is an extremely valuable documentary on one such investigation of the Trump-Russian web that came out in May. I highly recommend it to everyone on this forum. Here is a link:



Enjoy!

Trump Today

“It used to be, everyone was entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. But that's not the case anymore. Facts matter not at all. Perception is everything.”
Stephen Colbert

“In both law and politics, I think the essential battle is the meta-battle of framing the narrative.”
Ted Cruz


During the 2016 republican primary and general election, Donald Trump was able to exercise control over the narrative. In the primaries, he was assisted by the media; in the general election, by Russia. An objective appraisal would conclude that neither the media or his campaign's Russian connections are aiding him in his presidency.

There are, of course, a group of people who are entrenched in their support of Trump. They are the right-wing of the republican party and others who are further to the right of that party. Though they are a minority nation-wide, they represent an important voting block in several states.

There are also many people who opposed Trump as a candidate, and as president. They are the majority in our country. Currently, the mainstream media and Russian investigations benefit their cause. If they find unity of purpose they will be the most important voting block nation-wide.

The facts are entirely on our side. The media – especially the Washington Post and New York Times – report on facts uncovered by the investigations on an almost daily basis. If the law and politics were completed rooted in facts, there would be no support for Trump, other than that of his family, business associates, and their Russian buddies.

Trump and his supporters have reacted by resorting to his campaign tactics. He is appealing to his base to support him, despite the facts. But the White House narrative is failing dismally on every level except the alt-right.

However, using some simple campaign strategies and tactics can serve the Democratic Party quite well. This can – and should – be done in coordination with the upcoming congressional elections. Let's consider the most basic rule of any type of political and/or social campaign. There are always three groups: those who will always support your cause, those who will always oppose you, and those who are either undecided, or who might change their position.

We want to energize the first group; generally ignore the second group; and convince the third group. Thus, the narrative used to communicate to each group has to be flexible. We benefit from having the first group being active participants in a coordinated effort to damage Trump & friends to the point where impeachment and criminal convictions become reality. The vehicle that allows us to do this is Amendment 1.

In discussions between those in group one, there are a wide range of topics worthy of our attention. We have no need to speak to the second group, but we can often use their words against them while communicating with the third group. Trump's tweets provide a great example of this option.

Trump continues to whine that the investigation is a witch hunt, carried on by Democrats who are sore losers. And it's true that a serious case can be made that Trump would not have won the electoral vote without the Russian's aid. But, in conversations with group three, we should stick to two important points that do not involve any speculation: the intelligence community was investigating Russia's role well before the election, and no patriotic American should be okay with foreign intrusions on our elections. It's really that simple to put Trump's argument in check.

Next, just as Trump used nicknames to label his opponents, we have the opportunity to label him and his merry band of fools. While talking with others from group one – such as here on DU – I do not hesitate to refer to Trump as a flaming asshole, etc. But in speaking to the general public, I prefer a different approach. I've noted that Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson has been referring to the administration as mobsters. That is simple, accurate, and powerful. It combines well with references to the current scandal resembling Watergate, and the question, “What is Trump trying to hide?” As it becomes part of the narrative, it communicates a clear message to group three.

This is, as so many have noted, a strange and dangerous time. Trump clearly wants to fire both Rosenstein and Mueller. The more the pressure is applied to him and his son-in-law, the more his reactions will be out of control. The more out of control he becomes, the more damage he does to himself, and to VP Pence. There is no nobler cause today than participating, at the grass roots level, with the further destabilizing of the Trump administration. Let's get busy.

Peace,
H2O Man

Trump Card

It's not often that people from both sides of the Trump-Russia scandal agree on anything. Did former FBI director James Comey's testimony help or hurt Trump? It is hard for me to believe that those saying it supported the president actually believe what they are saying. Rather, it is evidence that they have volunteered for ethical lobotomies.

Yet, among the republican lies, one man actually hinted at the truth: Newt Gingrich. Over the weekend, Newt voiced the panic that Trump supporters should be experiencing when they consider the legal team that Robert Mueller has put together. By no coincidence, an essay on LAWFARE notes that the worst thing that happened to Trump et al was not Mr. Comey's testimony – but the newest additions to Mueller's team:

https://lawfareblog.com/worst-thing-happened-donald-trump-week?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=sendto_newslettertest&stream=top-stories

In addition to this, consider Preet Bharara's weekend interview, in which he detailed Trump's attempts to exert influence over him:



His description of Trump's contacts with him – and Trump's firing him for non-cooperation – are near identical to Comey's experience. By no mere coincidence, Mueller was fully aware of the details that Bharara shared publicly. Certainly, Trump's behavior falls into a pattern that Mueller understands. And, as always, it's not just the “how” things are done, it's the “why?”

A good prosecutor, when considering what (if any) charges to bring, looks for what is both easiest to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, and what carries a penalty that ensures justice is served. At times, this creates a degree of controversy among the public. Let's consider a fairly recent example.

When Patrick Fitzgerald investigated the Plame scandal, it was evident that two individuals were the primary culprits: Scooter Libby and Dick Cheney. The easiest case to prove was that Libby lied repeatedly to the FBI and grand jury. Those convictions resulted in a significant penalty, although President Bush saved him from incarceration. More, Fitzgerald strongly recommended that Congress go after VP Cheney – he offered to share the files from his investigation with them – but Congress failed to take appropriate action.

Now, let's look at Mueller and the Trump-Russian investigation. The easiest charge to prove against Trump at this time is obstruction. Hence, Mueller will present this specific matter to a federal grand jury – possibly the one in West Virginia, possibly a new one. They will return a sealed indictment. Mueller will inform the House of this, providing them the opportunity to consider articles of impeachment against Trump.

Mueller knows that the House republicans will view such an option in an entirely political manner. This includes a primary focus on what is in their own best interests. There is perhaps a 50-50 chance that, in such circumstances, they will impeach Trump, and send it to the Senate to try.

However, if they opt not to do so, Mueller is now prepared to pursue the matter. This is why he hired Michael Dreeben. And Newt Gingrich knows this. Mueller will pursue criminal charges against Trump in federal court. The White House will hold that a sitting president cannot be charged. And there used to be a tradition that a sitting president should not be distracted from his duties with any court case involving him as an individual. But Dreeben will argue that President Clinton was forced to participate in a civil trial rooted in past conduct, which definitely distracted from his presidency, and that Trump's conduct consisted of behaviors he engaged in as president.

Both sides can agree that Trump is in serious trouble. And it's of his own making.

"....of investigative interest."

The news media has provided a good amount of coverage to James Comey's testimony to the Senate committee. However, there is one issue that should get some more focused attention – why he did not inform Trump that it was wrong to pressure him on letting the Flynn business stop, nor come out in protest immediately afterwards. Why, instead, did he immediately start to document it on a secure laptop, and then only share the information with top FBI officials?

To understand the actual reason, we need to look closely at one short sentence Comey uttered, which has not been appreciated by the media: “It was of investigative interest.”

More, we need to place this in the curious context of events involving the FBI investigation, and the Trump administration. We know that Comey had rehearsed, with those same FBI officials, possible responses to potential odd questions that Trump might pose to him. Surely, he could have told the president that it was unethical to discuss anything about the FBI investigation of people associated with the campaign and transition team with him. Instead, he opted to say that Trump himself was not a target of the investigation. Why?

There are two reasons: first, Trump was not officially a target at that time, simply because investigators were working their way up the chain; and second, investigators are not obligated to be honest with either suspects, or potential suspects. For example, police can separate two suspects during questioning, and tell each one that the other has already ratted on him.

Comey was investigating potential crimes. Flynn was a target. And Trump was closely associated with Flynn and his activities. Imagine an investigator at a social event, who encounters an associate of someone being investigated for a crime. If that suspect's associate asks, “Am I a suspect?,” the investigator will say no, as to do otherwise informs the friend that anything he says can be used against him, and that he needs to hire an attorney. If the associate is in a chatty mood, the investigator will listen closely, so that he can remember the associate's exact words, and then immediately document them. Why? Because the encounter is of “investigative interest.”

What precisely does “investigative interest” mean? There are but two closely related explanations. The first is to gather more evidence against the suspect (Flynn). The second is to gather leads to help identify other potential suspects – in this case, meaning Trump's attempt to obstruct the on-going investigation.

And that is exactly why Mr. Comey responded to Trump's unethical and illegal behaviors, and why he answered the Senators' questions in the public forum in the exact manner in which he did.

Sessions

My father used to say, “If you give a little man a little power, you'll have big problems.” In that context, I have been listening to reports on how Trump is furious with Jeff Sessions, and suspecting that this involves factors beyond Sessions recusing himself from the Russian investigation. This is not to say that Trump doesn't hold grudges. Surely he does, and for both real and imagined slights. More, by his cowardly nature, Trump instinctively attacks those he views as weaker than himself.

Jeff Sessions is definitely a repulsive human being. We need not attribute a single positive quality to him – in fact, not even a neutral one – to identify where it is most likely he has recently upset Trump. The elfin Attorney General's entire political career has been shameful. One hopes his career ends with legal charges this summer.

Sessions was, of course, Trump's first supporter from the Senate. And he was clearly involved in relations between the Trump campaign and the Russian ambassador. Sessions clearly knew his actions were suspect, and thus lied during the confirmation hearings. When caught in the lie, he had to recuse himself from anything to do with the Russian investigation.

Keep in mind that two Senators have made repeated requests that a possible third meeting with the Russian ambassador be investigated by the FBI. Also, that Sessions was involved in the firing of Comey. Note that it was shortly after this that Trump began seeking private legal representation. More, that the media reported that others in the White House were hiring lawyers.

What are the chances that Sessions sought legal counsel? It would seem more likely that he did, than he did not. Would his lawyer recommend that he continue to engage in discussions with Trump on any topic related to the Russian investigation, or that he avoid such potential conversations?

It's known that Trump has communicated with Flynn in recent weeks. His message was, “Stay strong.” Is it possible – even likely – that Trump has attempted to deliver a similar message to Sessions? Especially in light of reports that the two have had several heated discussions recently?

It is possible that Trump is furious about the past recusal, and that the current hearings have him more upset than usual. But it is also possible – and even more likely, I think – that Trump has attempted to speak to Sessions about the investigations, and that Sessions is refusing to engage in these.

That would seem to be a more realistic reason why Sessions would offer to resign at this time. Simply changing the Attorney General now would not stop the investigation. But the offer to resign would be a polite way for Sessions to tell Trump that he's looking out for his own best interests now, not Trump's.

Your thoughts?

Re: Comey and Mueller

Dick Cheney: “How can you possibly be reversing course on something of this importance after all this time?”

James Comey: “I will accept for purposes of discussion that it is as valuable as you say it is. That only makes this more painful. It doesn't change the analysis. If I can't find a lawful basis for something, your telling me you really, really need to do it doesn't help me.”

Dick Cheney: “Others see it differently.”

James Comey: “The analysis is flawed, in fact facially flawed. No lawyer reading that could reasonably rely on it.”

David Addington: “Well, I'm a lawyer, and I did.”

James Comey: “No good lawyer.”

Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency; Barton Gellman; Penguin; 2008; pages 295-296.



As we wait for Mr. Comey to testify on Thursday, I thought it would be fun to review his interactions within the Bush-Cheney administration. Most people remember his intervening when two White House officials attempted to illegally get John Ashcroft to sign on to an enhanced “patriot act” from his hospital bed. But the confrontation detailed above – which took place a few days before – is less well-known. Gellman's book is perhaps the best resource regarding this chapter in our history.

VP Cheney was attempting to keep information on the upgraded domestic spying program secret from everyone in the administration, except a very few individuals. Indeed, unlike the “patriot act,” this program was classified at the highest level, just like the code word information Trump recently leaked to his Russian buddies. Cheney hoped that the pressure to replace the current program, set to run out in a couple days, would force the Justice Department to sign on.

Cheney and his friends were not happy that Ashcroft said he would not sign on, unless Comey was brought in. Thus, the tense meeting noted above, in which Addington shouted, “If you rule that way, the blood of the hundred thousand people who die in the next attack will be on your hands!” at Comey. The following day, when Comey arrived for another meeting with Cheney, he was refused entrance. And this is what led to the infamous conflict at Ashcroft's hospital bed.

Ashcroft's wife had instructed the hospital that absolutely no calls were to be put through to her husband's room. Andrew Card and Alberto Gonzales attempted to get through, but their call was rejected. Either one of them, or perhaps Cheney, got President Bush to call – he got through – and inform the Ashcrofts that Card and Gonzales were on their way over.

Comey was informed of their plan, and he rushed to Ashcroft's hospital room. What hasn't been reported on very often is that Comey called the FBI director, Robert Mueller, and had him inform thew guards at Ashcroft's room that Comey could not be removed when the White House ghouls arrived.

It is well known that Comey prevented Card and Gonzales from accomplishing their goal. More, as Gellman documents, Card would order Comey to go straight to the White House later in the evening. Comey told Card that after what he had witnessed at the hospital, he would refuse to meet with Card without the solicitor general of the United States present.

Comey would then hold an emergency meeting at the Justice Department. If the Cheney forces got Bush to over-rule him, Comey would resign. Numerous others stated that they would, too. This group included FBI director Mueller. Earlier in the evening, Mueller had said, “There comes a time in every man's life when the good Lord tests him.” Comey, Mueller, and the others passed that test.

Gellman writes about how the Cheney people tended to bad-mouth Comey, increasingly in the days leading up to the showdown, including around Bush. Interestingly, Bush was known to say, “Oh, Cuomey? He's a great guy!” – mistakenly mispronouncing Comey's name in the manner of team Cheney (who attempted to connect him with Andrew Cuomo, who they despised).

In fact, when Bush met with Comey in the days after the hospital conflict, and learned about the potential resignations, Bush would agree with Comey's position, rather than Cheney's. And, as we all know, in time the decision was made to appoint Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate the Plame scandal, an illegal attempt by the Office of the Vice President to conduct a “black op.”

From this episode, I think it is safe to say that Comey and Mueller are willing and able to confront the abuse of executive power. Indeed, they coordinated their efforts in the past, and they are coordinating their efforts now.

Twilight of the Idles

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity, but of balance, order, rhythm, and harmony.”
Thomas Merton

“If you're interested in 'balancing' work and pleasure, stop trying to balance them Instead, make your work more pleasurable.”
Donald Trump


Over the years I've participated on DU, I've frequently spoke about viewing systems by using the model of a mobile hanging over an infant's crib. The model is of value when considering systems such as a family, a classroom, or a workplace. It may also be useful when considering the unpleasant spot that Trump finds himself in.

By their nature, a mobile seeks balance. If one piece moves, others must adjust to maintain that balance. If a piece is added, or removed, there must be a corresponding adjustment to reach a new balance. This is rather simple in the context of a mobile over an infant's cribe, but much more difficult in terms of a system comprised of human beings.

Trump believed that the president was the central, most important piece on the DC mobile. He assumed that a republican House and Senate would automatically fall into the balance he dictated. He was convinced that with his ability to appoint a USSC justice, that his intended balance would face no meaningful opposition. He was aware of the corporate influence on the balance of power in Washington ….and, of course, was sure his family could capitalize upon this.

What he didn't understand was that the DC mobile is much larger than what he assumed it was. The number of elected officials, for example, is far smaller than those within the bureaucracy. And these are the people who – as pieces of the mobile – are the most entrenched in their positions, and most likely to resist his dictates.

Indeed, to Donald's surprise, these are the people who are making his presidency anything but pleasurable. And try as he might, Trump finds himself incapable of effectively combating their resistance to his rule. For these people know that both Trump and his top campaign and administration are corrupt to their very core.

Those disrupting his administration are not doing so for political reasons; rather, they recognize his ilk as a threat to our nation. But it is important to recognize that underneath that, not all of these individuals are “on the side” of the Democratic Party. Still, it is enjoyable to watch them apply pressure on the White House.

More, it is a reminder that sometimes you find yourself agreeing with, and being on the same side of an important issue with someone you generally are not in agreement with. That was something that Onondaga Chief Paul Waterman often spoke of. Understanding that in a large society with many sub-groups – or sub-systems – that you have to be flexible, not rigid.

This includes knowing that even in tense times, there are opportunities to advance a group's cause. Martin Luther King and Gandhi were masters at using creative tension. As the intelligence community applies increasing pressure on Trump & Co., they know that most criminals revert to “fight or flight” mode. Trump, being a bully by nature and nurture, keeps attempting to fight. (A good criminal holds tight.)

Certainly, his firing Sally Yates, and then James Comey, suggests that he will continue to try to up his game in the only manner he knows: striking out at his “enemies.” That includes the press, the intelligence community, and will soon focus upon the Senate investigation. He has more influence with the House committee, and will increase his attempts to control it.

His action on the Paris deal was a desperate call to his base, the rabid right wing of the republican party.

His reactions will make him more vulnerable – legally, politically, and socially. The grass roots then has the option to exert its influence on those three levels as well. We need to restore a healthy balance in society. And now is the time to accomplish the beginning of that much-needed change.

(Note: Trump's morning tweet storm per the travel ban was reported after I completed this essay ….but is yet another example of his reacting under pressure.)
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