• Category Archives Ethics
  • Synagogue Vandalized with Anti-Semitic Symbols: Will Donald Trump Tell Us There Are “Good People on Both Sides?”

    vandalized synagogue, Nazi symbols, Indiana
    Congregation Shaarey Tefilla in Carmel, Indiana, was targeted by vandals who spray painted a Nazi flag and other symbols on the property.

    A synagogue outside Indianapolis was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti was discovered over the weekend.

    From the IndyStar:

    According to the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council, the vandalism occurred at Congregation Shaarey Tefilla in the 3000 block of West 116th Street in Carmel. The vandalism occurred late Friday or early Saturday and was discovered Saturday morning.

    The crime scene remained intact and surrounded in yellow police tape Sunday morning. The graffiti, which comprised a pair of Nazi flags and iron crosses, was spray painted on two walls of a brick shed that surrounds the property’s garbage bin.

    On the grass in front of one of the Nazi flags, there are apparent burn marks in two places, and a portion of the graffiti bears a black burn mark, too.

    Will Donald Trump tell us there are “good people on both sides” again? Will Sarah Huckabee Sanders tell us, “Look, obviously the president disapproves of vandalism of any kind,” when, in fact, nothing is obvious about this president at all?

    Except that he never comes right out and condemns Nazis.

    Except that he “dog whistles” to the racists all the time.

    Except that we honestly don’t know where he stands on race and racism, except that we do.

    We know exactly where Donald J. Trump stands on racism. He tells us every time a brown child is separated from her parents, stripped from her parents, as they come to America seeking asylum.

    Donald Trump has told us repeatedly where he stands on racism.

    He stands with Fox News. He stands with Steve Bannon.

    He stands as one of the leaders of the Alt-Right in America.

    From the Human Rights Watch:

    Claiming the “animals” comment is just about MS-13 is a semantic trick – don’t buy it. Trump’s policies put immigrants in the crosshairs; he is increasing deportations of deeply-rooted, hardworking people away from their homes, families, and communities. While claiming to protect us from dangerous gangsters, he makes it US policy to rip children from the arms of their parents in order to criminalize migrants and asylum seekers and break families apart through massive deportations. Americans should see through this ploy and reject the inhumane policies that Trump’s rhetoric serves.

    We should see through all of his ploys. He is a dangerous, dangerous man.

    We must #resist.


  • The Fear of Trump Among the Elderly

    senior, man, fearful, sad
    A man fearful, sad. (Creative Commons)

    I don’t know if there’s anything so under-reported and so heart-wrenching right now as the fear of Donald Trump among the elderly. There is a grave terror, almost, of what Trump and the Trump Administration might do to the safety net supporting the vast majority of our senior Americans. This is across the board, although some are more fearful than others, depending on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, veterans, those with physical or mental disabilities — no one seems to consider herself or himself safe.

    Had a conversation yesterday with a retired couple. They’re white, middle class, now living on a fixed income. But their fear is palpable. The rumblings among the GOP in Congress to gut or privatize Social Security, slash Medicare — these are real concerns for this couple.

    I’ve heard similar fears expressed by older family members and friends. The revolt would be great and gray.

    GOP governors have already hacked away at Medicaid, with Maine’s GOP Governor Paul LePage saying earlier this month “he would rather ‘go to jail’ than expand Medicaid programs without a long-term plan for substantial funding.” That’s a nice statement, and, on the surface, it sounds like responsible economics. But what is he doing to secure such sustainable funding? And what is the economic cost of people dying early or young because of lack of access to health care?

    If we examine news reports, we find some coverage of Social Security, fears of what Paul Ryan might do to Medicare, but this anxiety our longtime residents feel about Donald Trump, is, I believe, under-reported.

    And I hope some news organizations begin to take a closer look.


  • Mueller Charges: Trump Should Worry

     

    Robert Mueller
    Special Counsel Robert Mueller

    CNN reports, “A federal grand jury in Washington, DC, on Friday approved the first charges in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, according to sources briefed on the matter.”

    It’s happening.

    And Donald Trump can tweet all he wants. But the charges are coming Monday.

    More from CNN:

    On Friday, top lawyers who are helping to lead the Mueller probe, including veteran prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, were seen entering the court room at the DC federal court where the grand jury meets to hear testimony in the Russia investigation.

    Reporters present saw a flurry of activity at the grand jury room, but officials made no announcements.

    Shortly after President Donald Trump abruptly fired then-FBI Director James Comey, Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel. Mueller took the reins of a federal investigation that Comey first opened in July 2016 in the middle of the presidential campaign.

    Justice is coming for Donald Trump. And it will be blind.

    He may think himself capable of shooting someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue in New York and getting away with it.

    So far as we know, that’s fiction.

    Maybe a dream Trump yearns for.

    But these “high crimes and misdemeanors?” Well, we’re about to see exactly what is there.

    At last.


  • Trump’s Early Ties To Moscow Become More Clear

    Donald Trump smug smile
    From the New York Times:

    A business associate of President Trump promised in 2015 to engineer a real estate deal with the aid of the president of RussiaVladimir V. Putin, that he said would help Mr. Trump win the presidency.

    The associate, Felix Sater, wrote a series of emails to Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, in which he boasted about his ties to Mr. Putin and predicted that building a Trump Tower in Moscow would highlight Mr. Trump’s savvy negotiating skills and be a political boon to his candidacy.

    “Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” Mr. Sater wrote in an email. “I will get all of Putins [sic] team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.”

    “Our boy?” Is Donald Trump really some group’s “boy?” And what do they want from him in return?

    What does Vladimir Putin want in return?


  • Rolling Stone Ranks Anthony Scaramucci’s 10 Days in the White House

    Anthony Scaramucci
    Anthony Scaramucci

    Yes, it happened.

    Turning Left readers are always very well informed, so this is not a breaking story.

    Anthony Scaramucci was fired by President Donald Trump.

    Rolling Stone ranks his 10 days in the White House, from “biblical murder analogies to denials of auto-fellatio, the Mooch’s brief tenure will be, at the very least, memorable.”

    There was a false report today that Scaramucci’s wife was leaving him, filed for divorce, because he posted nude photos of her and loved politics more than she.

    But that was satire.

    What’s real?

    Anthony Scaramucci lasted 10 days in the White House.

    Here are notable firings and resignations from the Trump Administration, from our friends at LATimes.com:

    • Anthony Scaramucci, Director of communications (fired), 10 days
    • Reince Priebus, White House chief of staff (resigned), 189 days
    • Derek Harvey, National Security Council Middle East advisor (fired), 186 days
    • Michael Short, Assistant press secretary (resigned), 186 days
    • Sean Spicer, White House press secretary, White House director of communications (resigned), 182 days
    • Walter Shaub, Director of the Office of Government Ethics (resigned), 180 days
    • Robert Iger, Advisory council (resigned), 133 days
    • Elon Musk, Advisory council (resigned), 132 days
    • Mike Dubke, Director of communications (resigned), 85 days
    • K.T. McFarland, Deputy national security advisor (reassigned), 177 days
    • James B. Comey Jr., FBI director (fired), 109 days
    • Angella Reid, White House chief usher (fired), 105 days (and the only Person of Color on the list)
    • Katie Walsh, Deputy White House chief of staff (resigned), 69 days
    • Craig Deare, National Security Council senior director for Western Hemisphere affairs (fired), 26 days
    • Mike Flynn, National security advisor (resigned), 22 days
    • Sally Yates, Acting attorney general (fired), 10 days

    That’s a list to rival, well, any previous administration.

    More details here.

    Candidate Donald Trump, The Don, Donnie “Make-America-Great-Again” T., boasted that he knew the best people. He would hire only the best people.

    But he’s treating the West Wing like an episode of that little-watched The Apprentice, even calling the Cabinet Room as the “boardroom.”

    Donald Trump, the most insecure man in America, governing, if you can call it that, out of spite for President Obama.

    Who is next to go?

    Bingo, anyone?

    next to go, Trump administration
    Who will be next to go in the Trump Administration.


  • Is Donald Trump Talking To Portraits Of Past Presidents Yet?

    Crazy Donald TrumpAh, Donald.

    The Donald.

    The Don.

    Donnie.

    Donnie T.

    Crazy Donald.

    Are you talking to portraits of past presidents yet?

    You know, Richard Nixon did that.

    You say you like Andrew Jackson, that the two of you are BFFs.

    But you really should get to know Tricky Dicky, the original Richard “I am not a crook” Nixon.

    Are you a liar, Donnie T?

    As you laze about The Big Oval, or wander the Residence at night in your bathrobe, are you taking time to smell the paintings? Are you spending time talking to Andrew Jackson, or do you just admire him from afar?

    James Comey testified today. For how long will your crew insulate you? For how long will the GOP spew out parseltongue, protecting you from yourself?

    Were you really that ill prepared, as Speaker Paul Ryan suggests? Are you just too new at all of this? Are we to believe that James Comey is really to blame because he did not tell you that it was inappropriate for you to meet with him alone? Was it really up to Comey to correct you, sir, when you asked AG Jeff Sessions and Jared to leave The Big Oval so you could spend quality time with Mr. Comey?

    Is there anything at all for which you will take responsibility?

    How long until a new David Frost interviews you, after you’re, you know, out of office?

    Is there a contemporary Dan Aykroyd in your future, sir Trump? Will Alec Baldwin be the ultimate closer for you on SNL?

    The sooner the better.

    Some day, some day soon, this….


  • Donald Trump Calls Out Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh Responds

    Donald Trump smug smile

    Donald Trump mentioned Pittsburgh today, and that was a mistake.

    The Bumbler In Chief called out Pittsburgh today when he announced that he would ditch the Paris Agreement.

    The reaction from Pittsburgh has been a fast and furious rebut.

    From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

    Pittsburgh is hogging the national spotlight, and it’s being shone on the city courtesy of President Donald Trump, who in a climactic moment about the climate, made the alliterative assertment that, when it comes to which accords he’ll agree to, he “was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”

    Which was surprising to Pittsburghers, because It’s worth noting that in November’s presidential election, Allegheny County and Pittsburgh were won by Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

    So far, reaction has been swift.

    And then there were the tweets, these from Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto:

    And the voices go on from there.


  • Trump Sells Out Israel To Impress Russians

    Donald Trump smug smileThe secret intelligence Donald Trump boasted about in front of his Russian buddies?

    It came from Israel.

    Israel.

    The lives that could be lost. The dangers we could face.

    From the NYTimes:

    The classified intelligence that President Trump disclosed in a meeting last week with Russian officials at the White House was provided by Israel, according to a current and a former American official familiar with how the United States obtained the information. The revelation adds a potential diplomatic complication to the episode.

    Israel is one of the United States’ most important allies and a major intelligence collector in the Middle East. The revelation that Mr. Trump boasted about some of Israel’s most sensitive information to the Russians could damage the relationship between the two countries. It also raises the possibility that the information could be passed to Iran, Russia’s close ally and Israel’s main threat in the Middle East.

    The potential for catastrophic fallout from the child in the White House, the child dying to impress others, is incredible.

    I’m scared now.


  • Daniela Vargas Released From ICE; SPLC, Others, Celebrate

    Daniela Vargas
    Daniela Vargas

    No doubt to the consternation of President Donald Trump (it still aches to type that, to say it), Daniela Vargas has been released from ICE. The freedom of the 22-year-old #Dreamer was heralded by the Southern Poverty Law Center:

    We’ve just won an important legal victory.

    Today, Daniela Vargas, a 22-year-old aspiring math teacher, was released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody. A week ago, she had been detained by immigration agents moments after speaking publicly about immigrants’ rights.

    It was a transparent attempt to chill free speech and intimidate immigrants who speak up. We filed a habeas petition to force her release and to stop her deportation.

    “We’re joining the community in celebrating the release of our client, Dany Vargas,” said SPLC Deputy Legal Director Naomi Tsu.

    “But we will continue to challenge the unconstitutional actions of ICE agents in this case and will not rest until she is no longer under threat of deportation. It is counterproductive and harmful to our communities for ICE to be targeting aspiring young people in this country and we urge ICE to release other immigrant youth held in detention.”

    Read more about Dany’s case and the SPLC’s efforts to ensure detained immigrants have access to counsel.

    Sincerely,

    Your friends at the SPLC

    “A transparent attempt to chill free speech and intimidate immigrants who speak up” indeed. This was ugly and wrong.

    As is the Trump-declared war on immigrants.

    It must stop.

    More about Dany’s case here. Read. Celebrate tonight. Remember the many, many who do not make the news.


  • Lawmaker Names Bill Banning Conversion Therapy After Mike Pence

    Mike Pence conversion therapy
    Mike Pence.

    A well-deserved jab at dangerous Mike Pence recently from a New York Erie County lawmaker:

    The Prevention of Emotional Neglect and Childhood Endangerment — or PENCE — would block the harmful practice of trying to “change” the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBT minors in New York’s Erie County.

    More from our friends at The Advocate:

    Erie County Legislator Patrick Burke is trolling the president-elect by introducing a law banning conversion therapy under his name. Known as the Prevention of Emotional Neglect and Childhood Endangerment — or PENCE for short — the legislation, if passed, would make the New York county just one of a few municipalities to block the practice. Currently, five states and D.C. prohibit the use of conversion therapy outright.

    The name is a direct jab at Mike Pence’s 2000 campaign website, which openly supported the harmful practice of attempting to “change” the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBT minors.

    Well done.