Bob Schwartz

Category: Uncategorized

Monsters in the White House: Where Are the Christians?

Washington Post:

President Trump said on Friday that he was open to releasing migrants detained at the border into mostly Democratic “sanctuary cities,” suggesting that the idea should make liberals “very happy” because of their immigration policies.

Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2019

….The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy – so this should make them very happy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2019

Mr. Trump’s comments came a day after his administration said the policy proposal was never seriously considered. But after the president’s Twitter posts on Friday, a White House spokesman said Democrats should work with the administration to welcome migrants into their districts….

Last year, Trump administration officials had floated the idea of transporting migrants to sanctuary cities, which do not strictly adhere to federal immigration laws, as a way to address the influx of migrants crossing the border with Mexico. One of the highest-profile sanctuary cities is San Francisco, home to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is one of the president’s top political rivals and a thorn in his efforts to change American immigration laws. The White House raised the proposal again in February, suggesting it could punish Democrats for rejecting budget requests for border security.

Using captive human beings as political weapons—literally thrown at your “enemies” like some kind of virus—is cruel, heinous and monstrous. I’ve combed the Gospels for approval of this as a tactic, and I’ve come up empty. On the contrary, if you asked for a technique that is un-Christian, inhumane and immoral, the list could begin there.

Yet millions of Christians, including some at the highest rank of the Trump administration and the Senate, either enable, make excuses or stay silent. How they manage that, and how their pastors don’t speak up, is baffling and heart-rending.

Americans love to watch monsters for entertainment. It’s different when they arrive at the White House and make themselves at home.

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Who should be the guiding light for American immigration policy? (Hint: She is 305 feet tall)

Stephen Miller

Stephen Miller is the driving force behind current American immigration policy—policy that seems to get darker and crueler by the day.

Instead, there is a lady who should be the guiding light for that policy. As usual, better women are pushed aside to make room for lesser men. Anyway, here she is:

You want to know what the 80s were like? Watch St. Elmo’s Fire. (Not!)

It’s hard to know whether to say that St. Elmo’s Fire (1985) reflects the 1980s. On the one hand, it does star the so-called Brat Pack of young stars (real or wannabe) of the era. On the other hand, it is so cheesy and Hollywood-version-of-unreality, starring the so-called Brat Pack of young stars (real or wannabe) of the era:

Emilio Estevez as Kirby “Kirbo” Keager, a law student and waiter at St. Elmo’s Bar.

Rob Lowe as Billy Hicks, a saxophonist “frat boy” and reluctant husband and father.

Andrew McCarthy as Kevin Dolenz, a writer for The Washington Post with a sullen streak, and Kirby’s roommate.

Demi Moore as Julianna “Jules” Van Patten, an international banker and the “party girl” of the group.

Judd Nelson as Alec Newbury, a yuppie pursuing a career in politics.

Ally Sheedy as Leslie Hunter, a budding architect who is reluctant to marry Alec.

Mare Winningham as Wendy Beamish, a welfare clerk from a wealthy family and devoted to helping others.

(Thanks Wikipedia)

If you’ve never seen it, you’ve gotta watch it. And in a twisted, ironic, completely unhistorical way, you’ve gotta love it.

The Mueller Team Champions Truth and Outplays William Barr

“Mr. Barr and his advisers have expressed their own frustrations about Mr. Mueller and his team. Mr. Barr and other Justice Department officials believe the special counsel’s investigators fell short of their task by declining to decide whether Mr. Trump illegally obstructed the inquiry, according to the two government officials. After Mr. Mueller made no judgment on the obstruction matter, Mr. Barr stepped in to declare that he himself had cleared Mr. Trump of wrongdoing.”
New York Times

Investigators from the special counsel’s office have indicated that that Barr’s four-page summary of the Mueller Report “failed to adequately portray the findings of their inquiry and that they were more troubling for President Trump than Mr. Barr indicated.”

This has led to reports that Attorney General Barr is frustrated that Mueller left the decision on obstruction of justice charges to him. He should be frustrated, because his ongoing attempts to hide the most damaging evidence—something he promised Trump he would do—are being thwarted. He got played.

Here’s how it works. Mueller knew that if he determined the issue, whatever he said would be dismissed. He also knew that there was plenty of evidence that might support indicting Trump or at least naming him as an unindicted co-conspirator.

So he put Barr in a no-win situation. If Barr admitted that there was substantial negative evidence, even if not enough to indict, he would hurt Trump. If Barr downplayed it and aggressively tried to cover up the evidence, and the evidence came out—as, after much wrangling, it will—Barr would look like he was taking part in a cover-up. Which he may be.


See Lesson for Trump Attorneys: The Lawyers of Watergate:

“Congress initiated multiple investigations that exposed the involvement of more than 20 of the most powerful lawyers in the United States.

At the top of the list was Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, who resigned on Aug. 8, 1974, as Congress was gearing up to conduct impeachment proceedings.

But the list also included two U.S. attorneys general, two White House counsels, an assistant attorney general and a chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.”

“Trump wrongly claims his dad was born in Germany — for the third time”

Fred Trump, Born in the U.S.A.

Trump may be the biggest idiot in America. Or he deserves our compassion for his cognitive challenges.

Washington Post:

Trump wrongly claims his dad was born in Germany — for the third time
Trump claims his father was born in Germany

Speaking to reporters April 2, President Trump said his father “was born in a very wonderful place in Germany.” Fred Trump was born in New York.

Of all the odd, counterfactual and conspiratorial claims President Trump has made over the past four years or so, this one may take the cake: He said Tuesday that his father was born in Germany, even though he wasn’t.

It is at least the third time he has said this.

“My father is German — was German,” Trump said. “Born in a very wonderful place in Germany, so I have a great feeling for Germany.”

This is not true. Fred Trump is of German descent, and his father was a German immigrant. But Fred Trump was born in New York.

If you ask most adults—and many children—they can tell you what country their parents were born in. You probably know what country your parents were born in. Maybe there are cases where parents were unclear or unsure, or wanted to hide their origins, but otherwise most people know.

It is possible that given Trump’s predilection to lie, this is just one more. On the other hand, maybe he is cognitively off balance, and he has actually forgotten where his father was born. Either way, every attempt by those who know where their parents were born to escape the Twilight Zone has once again been thwarted. It’s been surreal.

Democrats are looking for a phenom. They may have found one—if they can handle it.

“Phenom” is a fascinating English word. It was first used in 1890, to describe an inordinately talented young baseball player on a trajectory to be a superstar. Short for “phenomenon,” it has mostly passed out of usage, but remains an excellent descriptor.

Democrats have had recent experience with a presidential phenom. Obama was just 43 when he started to go supernova at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. A few years later, his talent and person would take him, against all odds and history, to the presidency, and also against all odds and opposition, keep him there for two terms.

In baseball and elsewhere, everybody knows what can happen with phenoms. Some shine and succeed beyond imagining. Some burn out and never make it past their first season.

Democrats would love to find and run another phenom, but are justifiably skittish about losing a precious, one-time-only opportunity to preserve American democracy. They are ambivalent about a phenom like Pete Buttigieg. He has all the right stuff—young, brilliant, accessible, charismatic, articulate, war veteran, Rhodes Scholar, speaks six languages, plays piano at a symphony level, etc. But will the American people elect a married gay man as president?

If the Democrats were confident the answer was “Yes,” we might be at the early stages of another phenomenon. If they are unsure or have already decided the answer is “no,” then we are in uncharted soul-searching territory. But in politics 2019, uncharted soul-searching territory is the name of the game.

April 2 is April Wise Day

If you didn’t notice, April Fools’ Day this year seemed subdued. I understand that, since I didn’t feel much like making light of lying for fun and making light of foolishness. Living daily with very public lying and foolishness makes joking about it too tragic to be funny.

Maybe today, the day after, can be April Wise Day. It can be a day to appreciate the precious value of even tiny bits of wisdom, the kind you hear and read, the kind that can make your life and the lives of those in your world better and bearable.

So look out for wisdom, speak it, seek it, recognize it when you stumble upon it. It’s out there, more plentiful than the foolishness that may be weighing you down.

Here’s a starter, appropriate for April Fools’ Day or any day. Happy April Wise Day.

Get into the habit of singing
a tune. It will give you
new life and fill you with joy.

Get into the habit of dancing.
It will displace depression and
dispel hardship.

Finding true joy is the hardest of
all spiritual tasks. If the only way
to make yourself happy
is by doing something silly,
do it.

Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav (1772–1810), from The Empty Chair: Finding Hope and Joy—Timeless Wisdom from a Hasidic Master, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

Transforming dead treasure into living treasure

Religious traditions, those I identify with as a home, and those I visit, are treasure houses. But that is different than being a treasure hunter. Every treasure, no matter how alluring or valuable in some marketplace, is inert—dead. The hunting and finding is fun. But each treasure demands work for it to become anything other than a trophy or museum piece. Each treasure asks to be transformed and brought to life.

America Is a Baby in a World of Elders

When it comes to history, America is a baby. A big and powerful baby, but still a baby.

American leadership, and particularly certain blindered and limited exceptionalists, seems now to be acting on the premise that whatever America chooses is the best by definition—because it is America. We don’t need history, philosophy or old principles to succeed. We don’t follow roads, we make them.

Much of the rest of the world has long history, and has learned the hard way that history can’t be escaped, but must be regarded and when necessary adapted and transcended. China is not a role model for many things, but in the seventy years of post-revolutionary progress, it has learned that there is value in being heir to thousands of years of success, strife and wisdom. Yet in America there seems to be studied ignorance of political philosophy, wisdom and history. Some seem unable to pay attention to history that goes back only two centuries.

America is a baby being led by a baby. The aspiring superpowers of the 21st century are older and wiser. Who do you think has the better chance of winning in the long run?

With all we are going through, we deserve a WOW!: The 12 Strangest Objects in the Universe

We may be stressed by various happenings in our private and public lives. For relief, we don’t just need distraction. We need a WOW!, something to take our breath away. We deserve a WOW!

Here is one at Live Science: The 12 Strangest Objects in the Universe