Thursday, January 31, 2019

Chris Christie - Huckster on Parade

Thursday, January 31st, 2019

My Dear America:

Is it just me or are we seeing way too much of Chris Christie on Television this week. 

I know that he has a new book out called "Let Me Finish" and that it was probably appropriate for him to appear on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.  But why in the hell was he on CNN today pontificating on Trump and the Russia investigation.   

With apologies to my son, who loves the guy, I have to say that Chris Christie has always seemed to me like one of the phoniest politicians that we have ever seen. I have not read his book which has just been published but reports are that Christie savages both Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon.  Quite frankly I'm OK with his savaging both of these people.  They are both deserving of savaging in my opinion.  The word is, however, that phony Chris continues to find nothing but love for Poor Misunderstood Donald Trump.  On Colbert's show and Trevor Noah's show Christie made it a point to state that he has been offered several positions by Trump after being embarrassingly dumped by Trump at the last minute as his Vice Presidential choice.  Christie says that he turned down the many Trump offers because they weren't the right offers for him.  Chosen assignments that he would take, he said were Vice President or Attorney General.

Certainly Christie asked for the humiliating experience of being dumped by Trump for the Vice Presidential nod.  Common sense should have told Christie that with Jared Kushner (whose Father Christie had sent to prison) being Trump's Son in Law, that Christie's future with the Trump Administration was Dead on Arrival.

Plus Christie had Bridgegate  and Beachgate, as well as Christie's less than charming personality to also help to put the screws to Christie's chances to score with Trump.  As for Trump, he did what he has done with so many others in his path.  Trump had few kind words for Christie during the period of Character Assassination that some called a Republican Presidential Campaign.  Like a fool Christie jumped on the Trump Bandwagon early when he saw his own chances to be President fly into oblivion.  Trump dragged Christie around the country like an obnoxious worn out teddy bear surely with promises by Trump of great things to come for Christie.

After watching Christie humiliate himself laaughing about his failures in his obvious huckstering for his new book on Colbert and The Daily Show, today Christie showed up on Jake Tapper's show on CNN talking like he really knows what's was going on in Trump World.  Chris Christie is out in the cold but still trying to hang on to what he says is a 17 year long friendship with Donald Trump.  

One thing is for sure.  With Donald Trump as your friend you already have an enemy.

Please CNN.  Enough obnoxious Republican losers on the Network.  Charlie Dent at least has a personality.  Rick Santorum is a Know Nothing Know it all.  Please don't add incredibly arrogant Chris Christie to this rather disgusting mix of Republican Has Beens.    

Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

What If Donald Trump Gave A State Of The Union Address and No Democrats Came.

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

My Dear America:

It is an incredible privilege to live in The United States of America.  My wife and I have had several conversations recently about that subject. We are in agreement that although we citizens have all been through some very trying times we are extremely proud to have had the good fortune to have been born and raised in America.  

We certainly have some things in our American History that do not make us proud.  Slavery, The treatment of Native Americans by our Federal and State Governments and The dropping of the Atom Bomb are some of the very bad things that make us realize that we are a nation that is not perfect and has not always done the right thing.

Overall, however, we have much to be proud of in America.  We have had a record number of Presidents of whom we have been proud.  Not all of our Presidents have been worthy of their offices, however.  Richard Nixon comes to mind.  After the shameful conduct of what became known as the Watergate Affair, resulting in Nixon resigning the Presidency, I was hopeful that we would never again witness the level of shameful conduct that we witnessed with Nixon.  After all, Nixon was so bad that it was doubtful to me that anyone    could rise to that level of shameful conduct ever again. 

I was wrong, however, to expect that Richard Nixon's criminal behavior would truly be the bottom of the barrel.  As bad as Nixon was, at least he was not a Traitor.  

How in the world Donald Trump got to be President is a mystery that will haunt me to the end of my days.  It is not as though Donald Trump hid all of his faults from the American People.  He tried to hide a great deal about who and what he was.  But he certainly revealed much about himself in his Presidential Campaign to alert even the most dense American about what Donald Trump was all about.  

Donald Trump was Greedy, An Egomaniac, A Dictator lover and Dictator Wannabe, A man who had no respect for anyone other than himself or certain members of his family, A man who would stoop to any level to get what he wanted. A man who hated Immigrants, Women and many others, A Man who was unfit to be dogcatcher, never mind President of the United States.  

Donald Trump was a man who was so deeply flawed that only a system like the Post Civil War Racist Inspired Electoral College could have elected him to the highest office in the land.

We the reasonable people of the United States, have watched in horror over the past two years as Donald Trump seems to have done everything in his power to do what Vladimir Putin wanted him to do in an effort to run the Democratic Government of the United States into the ground.

During her Campaign for the Presidency Hillary Clinton identified many of Donald Trump's supporters as "Deplorables." Certainly not all of Trump's supporters were Neo Nazis and Klansmen, but as we have seen in what seems to me like an extraordinary amount of continued poll support for the Trump Administration Trump seems to have hung onto much of his deplorable support.  

Certainly Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has won a minor victory in the battle over the Border Wall but with Trump still President none of us can rest easy in the coming days, weeks and years.  

Next Tuesday Donald Trump will give his State Of The Union Speech.  I would love to see the Democrats either not show up for the speech or walk out on the speech.  Clearly no Democrat who attends the speech will find out anything about the State of the Union that they don't already know.

There is a danger, however, that if Democrats don't attend his speech they can be castigated by Trump as UnAmerican although the opposite is true.  

Regardless, it is hoped that Trump will not shut the country down again in a few weeks.  Clearly, one of the reasons that Trump did it in the first place is that he wanted to make if more difficult for American Law enforcement to track down his traitorous crimes.    

We are living through a very dangerous time in which Democracy itself is on the line.  I am sure we Americans will make it through this difficult time Just like we did through Watergate.  

We will probably be a little battered and bruised after our experience with Donald Trump but we will still be a Democracy and will still be America.

Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher 

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Jimmy We Hardly Knew Ya or "FEAR" and Loathing in The White House

Saturday, January 26th, 2019

My Dear America:

I just finished reading Bob Woodward's book, "Fear" today.  The book is an incredibly disturbing portrait of the man who presently occupies the White House and those people who occupied it with him until he fired most of them or they ran screaming out of the White House Doors after resigning.

The book is unfortunately sadly out of date and was so on the date it was published in 2018.  This is Donald Trump's White House, after all.  Bob Woodward is an excellent political writer and as political non-fiction this book is as responsibly and factually written as a book like this can be.  Clearly, as in his other political histories, Woodward has done his research well and there are copious notes listed at the back of the book.

There are very few heroes in this book.  Certainly if you are not a Neo Nazi or a Klan member you will probably not see Donald Trump as a positive figure in this book.  He is in this book, as in real life, a revolting Megalomaniac who listens to reason from almost no one, except "his Generals" before he fired them or pushed them out the door.  Donald Trump, despite the overwhelming lack of evidence to prove it, thinks of himself as, not only the smartest man in the room, but also the smartest man in the world.  What Woodward reveals is that he is neither.

Certainly those of us living in America who get to watch Television and read a newspaper or book now and then know what Bob Woodward reveals in "Fear." That Donald Trump is an idiot.  What is really hard for me to understand is why so many of his staffers, who were generally treated like crap day after day stayed with Trump for as long as they did.  

There are very few heroes in this book but there are a few and some of those who stuck it out with Trump and showed at least some degree of courage and responsible behavior were some that were surprising to me.  Clearly, Reince Priebus, former head of the Republican Party and Chief of Staff for Trump as long as he felt he could take it, according to Woodward, tried to do a responsible job in an impossible position.  Trump cruelly dumped on Priebus constantly but Priebus continued to try to act like a Chief of Staff would in a normal Administration, impossible as that was to do.  

Former Wall Street Goldman Sachs President, Gary Cohn who was Trump's top financial adviser stayed with Trump long enough to give the average American the shockingly unfair  Trump Tax Bill so I would certainly not put him in the hero category.  Cohn did, however, according to Woodward, have the backbone and courage to stand up to Trump and get away with it when he felt that Trump was heading off the rails.  Finally, of course, Cohn had enough and got out of Trump's White House.

Rex Tillerson also comes off pretty well in Woodward's estimation.  Tillerson, Trump's Secretary of State, who famously called Donald Trump an "Idiot" tried to do his job responsibly but was cut off at the knees time after time before being fired by Trump.

H.R. McMaster also seemed to try to do a good job also but was often times doubled teamed by Tillerson and one of Trump's other favorite Generals, Former Marine General, James Mattis.

Although calling James Mattis a Hero might be a stretch, Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis, Trumps Defense Secretary,  was probably the person in Trump's Cabinet who was most adept at handling Trump. That was at least until this past December, when Trump announced by Tweet that he was pulling all troops out of both Syria and Afghanistan.  Trump had not consulted with Mattis before his announcement and James Mattis submitted his resignation immediately and made it clear in his resignation letter that he did not agree with Trump's decision to get out of Syria and Afghanistan and didn't appreciate being left out of this important decision.  Although Trump, at first said Mattis would be staying until Febuary of 2019 he apparently changed his mind when the word got out to the public about Mattis's resignation letter.  Trump then changed his mind and told the country that he was firing Mattis as of the end of December 2018.

So in December 2018 Trump not only fired Mattis but he shut down the United States Government until he got Congress to fund his border wall.

Now, on January 26th, 2019 Donald Trump has finally agreed to open up the government, probably as a result of danger in the skies and hold ups at every airport and outcries from those government workers severely affected by the shutdown.

Mattis was the last of "Trump's Generals" to be tossed out of the Trump Administration upper echelon like human garbage.  Trump is still threatening to shut down the government in 3 weeks if he doesn't get his border wall, that no one except him and Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh, seem to want.  

Although Trump does not seen to recognize it, 2019 will not be like 2017 and 2018, when Congress always bowed to Trump at all times.  It is a new day in the House of Representatives.  Nancy Pelosi is not Paul Ryan.  Trump should know that by now but time will tell if Trump is ever going to wise up.  

Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher

Monday, January 21, 2019

Remembering Doctor Martin Luther King Junior On His Day

Monday, January 21st, 2019

My Dear America:

1965 certainly feels like several lifetimes ago.  

That year was a very pivotal year for me in many ways.  It was the year I graduated from King's College in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania.  It was the year I got married. It was the year I had my first Child.  It was the year that I was lucky enough to take a test that made it possible for me to attend the        CAUSE II program during the Summer of 65 at Temple University in Philadelphia.  

CAUSE II was translated into English as (Counselor Adviser University Summer Education).  Apparently it was the second year of a program which I must say was an excellent way to train Counselors to work in Youth Opportunity Centers (Government sponsored Youth Training and Job Placement Centers) across the country. 

Although I didn't know it at the time, the members of the CAUSE II Program were being taught by some of the best Counselor Education Professionals in the country who were flown into town daily to provide those of us in the program with the best possible Crash Course Counseling Program that could have been provided.

In 1965 Philadelphia was on edge. There had been riots in many major cities and there were going to be more in other cities, including Philadelphia.

One night a black friend of mine in the CAUSE II Program and I took a walk on Broad Street in front of our Johnston Hall residence building.  My friend was a bit reluctant to walk the streets at night in Philadelphia.  He actually lived close to the Temple Campus and knew what could happen on the North Philly Streets if you were black.

Philadelphia Police Commisioner Frank Rizzo had a bad reputation back then as a No Nonsense Policemen with a penchant for kicking ass.  

As my friend and I walked along Broad Street we were suddenly showered with Bright Red Flashing lights.  

One of the cops grabbed me and I could see the other cop quickly and cruelly put my friend up against the wall and tell him to spread his legs.  I was stunned by the whole situation but I was equally struck by the calmness with which my friend reacted to this clearly dangerous situation.  This wasn't the first time this had happened to him.  That was obvious.  Why wasn't I being thrown up against the wall, I wondered, but I already knew the answer to that.  He was black and I was white and in Philadelphia there were, indeed, different strokes for different folks.  After we showed our Temple ID's the police officers let us go and we soon headed back to Johnston Hall.

One day my friend showed up at my dorm room and asked me If I wanted to go to see Martin Luther King.  I said yes, of course and we made the trip together.  I don't recall if Dr. king was speaking on or off campus.  I just remember that it was just a short walk to the church where he was appearing.  Since it was so close to Temple I naturally assumed that at least some white students from Temple would be there.  Although the church was fully packed once inside the only other white faces I saw were police officers.  Suddenly I was finding out what it felt like being in the minority.

Martin Luther King was not the only speaker.  There were several others, including Black Radical, Stokely Carmichael, who seemed to have toned down his rhetoric for this crowd.  After the other speakers had their turn came the main attraction, Doctor Martin Luther King.

It is difficult to put into words what it was like listening to Martin Luther King talk to his Philadelphia audience. I remember just how confidently he strode toward the podium.  I remember being disappointed at his size.  He was a lot shorter than I had pictured him but once this Master Orator began talking he suddenly seemed ten feet tall.  When he spoke you could feel that voice of his filling the church with its incredible, unique power.  He started slow but he built his case for Non-Violence quickly and powerfully.  His words seemed off the cuff and he clearly wasn't reading any prepared speech.  You knew how high this man was going to take you.  You knew very quickly what kind of power this man had.  

Clearly even the police seemed to be impressed by this masterful wordsmith.  When I was leaving after Dr. King's speech I asked one of the cops standing by the door what he thought about Dr. King's Speech.  The officer looked around as if to make sure he wasn't being taped and said in a rather Non Committal way "Powerful Speaker".

During the speech I wondered if Dr. King had noticed my white face standing out in that sea of black faces.  I think that it would have been hard not to notice me.  There were times in his speech when he spoke of white brothers and sisters who had joined their black brothers and sisters in the non violent  struggle for freedom and it seemed to me as though he was looking at and talking to me.  Regardless, seeing and hearing The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King was an experience that I have never forgotten.

Following the CAUSE II Program I returned to Wilkes Barre and worked in the first Youth Opportunity Center in Pennsylvania.  I continued my work as a Counselor and a Therapist throughout my working working life and although sometimes I have financial regrets I will never really regret what I have done in my life in working to help people.   

I will also never forget the incredible opportunity I had of seeing and hearing Doctor Martin Luther King Junior speaking to me and many others in Philadelphia in 1965.  

On this Martin Luther King Holiday I once again thank God for giving me the opportunity of experiencing this Master Orator and incredible human being in person.

Martin Luther King was a young man when he was martyred for the cause in Memphis later in the Sixties.  

On the night before he was executed Martin stated "I've been to the Mountaintop and I've seen the Promised Land."  I thank Martin for showing me on that day in 1965 just what it feels like to be on the Mountaintop with him

Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Welcome To The New Democratic House of Representatives or Happy Dems Are Here Again

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

My Dear America:

Certainly it has been an astounding 2 years that we have been witness to daily, sometimes minute to minute, bursts of Insanity, Stupidity and Treason emanating from the American White House.  I think I speak for many more than myself when I say that we don't need Robert Mueller to tell us that Donald Trump is a Criminal and a Traitor.  We may not know as much as Mueller does but we have seen the evidence flashing across our television screens daily over the past two years.  

We have witnessed Trump in the White House shortly after firing James Comey telling the Russian Diplomats and alleged Superspys all about it.  We didn't see it on American Television because American Journalists were kept out of the meeting with the Russians.  We did see photographic evidence of the Trump- Russian meeting, however, because Trump stupidly allowed Russian media outlets to take pictures.  Did he not realize that in the digital age we would be able to see what the Russians put online

We also witnessed one of the most pathetic performances in Presidential History by Donald Trump meeting with Vladimir Putin and stating that Mr. Putin had "Strongly" denied that Russia had interfered in the 2016 American Presidential Election.  So essentially Trump took the word of Putin in this matter instead of the conclusions drawn by every American Intelligence Agency.

To list the incredible number of Inappropriate and outrageous things that Donald Trump has done over the last two years is nearly impossible.  Certainly trying to count up the two year listing of Trump's lies is also a daunting and near impossible task.  

But today is a New Day in the New Year of 2019.  Today Donald Trump is holding the Federal unpaid workers and the Congress Hostage to his Border Wall.  But today is also the day that the chickens are coming home to roost in America.  Donald Trump and the Republican Party were able to hold onto the U.S. Senate following the 2018 Elections with a very slight edge.  But the 2018 Congressional Election also sent Donald Trump a very strong message.

The results of that strong message was on display in the United States House of Representatives this afternoon as the newly elected members of the Democratic Majority, including many minority and diverse Candidates took their Congressional seats in Washington.

Today the new Congress quickly and wisely elected Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House of Representatives.  Pelosi is an experienced leader who many Republicans running for office in 2018 made the mistake of trying to brand as Bad News.  In the end the joke was on the Republicans,many of whom lost their seats to Democrats in the last election just as Pelosi won her San Francisco Congressional District by a historic margin.

Nancy Pelosi has made it clear that there is no Border Wall in Donald Trump's future unless by some miracle Mexico agrees to pay for it.  

By the way what is up with this Government Shutdown anyway.  What is Donald Trump trying to do.  I think he probably feels that the walls are closing in on him and they certainly are.  

Bravo to Mitt Romney for writing an Op-Ed for the New York Times making it clear to all concerned that as an incoming Republican Senator he is not going to comment on every Trump Tweet but he clearly has no respect for the current occupant of the White House and no obligation to blindly support Trump's every move.

As the Democrats arrive in Washington to take their places in Congress we can only hope that they work for the good of the country, as very few recent Republican House members have done.  

We are not out of the woods yet but I think that with the exciting new Congress we may be on our way to a brighter day.  God Knows we have seen some excruciating darkness during the past two years.

What we Democrats need to do is to recognize that for things to improve in our country we need to band together and clean up what Donald Trump and his Republican Croneys have done.  

We have a great deal of talent in the Democratic Party and we must focus on allowing that talent to show itself.  In a relatively short time we will be choosing a Democratic Presidential Candidate.  

Congrats to Elizabeth Warren for being the first to step forward in the 2020 Presidential Race.  She is a fine and brave Congresswoman who has fought hard for the Middle Class and I would be fine with seeing her running against Trump.

Whoever the 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate is will have a hard Run.

God Bless whoever it turns out to be.

And God Bless The New and improved House of Representatives.

Thanks for giving us a little bit of Hope at a time when we really needed it.

Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher