Is Trump a Traitor???

There is no doubt that there is a renewed level of tension between the US and Russia. Trump is quite clear about the cause. It’s the US Congress, he tells us.

Odd, isn’t it?, that Russia can interfere with our elections and Trump fails to condemn the interference, creates a commission to find the 0.00000001 per cent (I’m just guessing about how many zero’s belong there) of fraudulent votes in the election, and blames Congress for the tension with Russia.

It’s a terrible thing when America has to ask whether we have elected a traitor to be our president.

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Can a General Be Strong Enough to Save Him?

For the first time since he came on the national political scene, Trump has made a decision which may be quite wise. Calling retired General John Kelly to be Chief of Staff in the White House gives Trump the best hope he has had for becoming more nearly competent.

All others who surround Trump keep echoing what Lewandowski said a year ago, “We have to let Trump be Trump.” With friends like that, who needs enemies? The worst thing that can happen to Trump and to America is for people to continually create a space for Trump to continue being thoughtless, irresponsible, and incompetent.

The hiring of Scaramucci was the latest evidence that Trump has no idea how to hire competent people, since he has always looked for people easily manipulated into a sick kind of personal loyalty. The firing of Scaramucci — who had been nothing more than a tool used by Trump to get rid of Spicer and Priebus — is a step toward sanity. The problem, of course, is that the firing was the work of Kelly and may not signify any real change in Trump.

The only hope is that, unlike the sycophants with whom Trump likes to surround himself, Kelly will actually hold Trump accountable for acting like a grownup. I hope he succeeds before Trump does any more damage to America and to democracy.

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Republican Alternative Reality Excludes Democracy

One can look  practically any single day in the last twelve months and find plenty of evidence that the Republican party — not just Trump — is in a severe disconnect from reality.

Today on Tucker Carlson (Fox News) some Republican hack revealed again that the party has simply lost sight of the fact that the United States is a democracy. There is no evidence in the following quote — or in anything else emanating from Republican leaders and spokesperson — that democracy and America’s first principles even register in Republican thinking these days.

Here is the astonishing quote:

Senators Collins, Murkowski, and McCain failed the Republican party, failed Republicans across the country, and failed the president last week when they voted against that bill. And whether they understand it or not, it was a failure on their part, a failure of character on their part, to vote correctly. Look, the entire party for eight years has been running on this issue, has been running on repealing and replacing. And these three decide that their interests are more important than the president’s. I think it was a selfish move.

I have a few comments. . .

First, notice that the fellow’s complaint is that the party and the president were failed by the three Senators who doomed the health care proposals of the Republican leadership. I would ask, Did they fail America? Did they fail democracy? Nope, the just failed the party and the president. Hooray for them!

Second, he calls it a failure of character on their part. What an absurd thing to say! No one defending Trump has the right to question the character of anyone else. Trump is devoid of character and morality. He is nothing more than a con man. I cannot grasp how anyone can fail to admit that.

Third, if voting in the interests of the state one represents is a failure of character, then we have to go back and create a new constitution, one that grants dictatorial powers to the president.

Fourth, he says they put their own interests ahead of the president’s. Since when in America has it been considered appropriate to serve the president more than the country? Only dictators and tyrants demand unquestioning authority.

Three Senators show some backbone and resist the ridiculous sham of a “bill” put forward by the Republican leadership and this fellow calls that a failure. Three out of 52 Republican Senators voted with integrity. All America should be applauding them heartily. I certainly do.

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McCain Shows Integrity

McCainMcConnell

Senator John McCain cast the deciding vote in the Senate’s rejection of its own last ditch effort to get rid of Obamacare. He gave a clear thumbs down.

My favorite part of the picture above is not McCain but that fellow standing there with his arms crossed. It is Mitch McConnell! He clearly is attempting to use his small vestige of influence to intimidate McCain. And to my great delight, McCain ignores him.

McConnell, who bragged not long ago that we would now be seeing that the Republicans know how to run a government, has proven himself nearly devoid of leadership status in the Senate. His incompetence in handling the healthcare issue is matched or beaten only by the incredible incompetence in the White House.

The completely bizarre, irrational rush to get something/anything passed was meant to cover the fact that the Republicans, having complained about Obamacare all these years, do not have a clue how to come up with a better idea.

It is completely irresponsible of the Republicans to promise “repeal and replace” without having done anything at all to prepare to fulfill that promise. They must not be forgiven unless and until they show deep signs of what the New Testament calls metanoia, a Greek word meaning literally “a change of mind or of one’s way of thinking.” It is usually translated “repentance.”

Having now humiliated themselves, the Republicans must repent of their foolishness and begin to grow up, to mature into people of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. At the moment, it looks like they have less than a handful of Republicans who can show them the way. So it seems they may well be lost.

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McCain Speaks a Simple Truth

After the Senate vote to begin debate on the sham of a healthcare bill this afternoon (with a vote of 51-50, thanks to Pence’s tie-breaking vote), John McCain spoke. He rebuked the Senate for its partisanship and its greater good for political gain than American greatness.

It was great to hear what happens to a man when something like a brain tumor clarifies the mind and the priorities. I hope every Senator engraves his speech on the inside of his/her eyelids.

The Senate under McConnell has been utterly disgusting and inexcusable. He has been a party leader but not in any healthy sense a Senate leader. Sane American voices have got to gain the upper hand in Washington, drowning out the extremists and certainly drowning out the incredibly irresponsible President.

Pray for truth, grace, kindness, integrity to return to the heart of America. Please, please do pray.

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Health Update

Well, the doctor called within an hour of my CT scan this morning to say the cancer has spread to my liver. I’ll be switching to a new treatment in the next week or two.

Humanly speaking, the outlook isn’t very good. I cannot begin to put into words how deep is my peace, knowing that the death of the body is just step closer to full communion with my Lord.

I am eager to experience the fulfillment of the promise in I John 3:2 — “Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”I

I will be known and I will know. My Lord will say to me, “I see you; I know you; I love you.” The best is yet to come!

Thanks for your prayer and your concern. . .It matters a lot to me.

 

 

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I’m a Winner, No Matter What

It was five years ago that I was first diagnosed with cancer. After a year of chemo and some lesser treatments, it was determined that surgery was required. That surgery took place in July of 2013, with no guarantees of its success. By February of this year, the cancer was back and I was officially diagnosed as having Stage Four Cancer, which means it had spread beyond its original site. I’ve been on chemo since then.

Tomorrow, July 24, I go in for a CT-scan to see whether the chemo has arrested the development of the cancer.  The odds are that it has not done so and that, therefore, my cancer is either “stable” or getting worse.

So it seems of some importance that I write an update tonight on my spiritual health. Physical health is going to fail everyone at some time or another but spiritual health is the stuff of eternity. At my age (just short of 75) it is hardly a surprise that I may be near the end of life on this earth.

If you’ve read my other blog posts where I’ve mentioned my health, you know already that at the deepest level of my being there is a very solid trust in the Lord. I trust his love, his wisdom, his power, his timing. So whether I am to die in 2017 or 2027 does not seem important to me. I will die at precisely the right time, not one minute too soon.

You may also know that during these last five years, three biblical verses have become foundational for my daily attitude.

The first is Psalm 118:24 — “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” I learned from my close friend Ray Anderson to revise that just a bit. I say aloud nearly every single day, “This is the day that the LORD has made; I WILL rejoice and be glad in it.” That reminds me both of the sovereignty of God (he is the Lord and doesn’t need me to be in charge of my own life) and that faith is not a feeling but a commitment.

The second verse is Philippians 1:21 — “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” That means I will continue to walk with Christ unless or until the cancer takes my body. And then something even greater comes. So, no matter what, I’m a winner and cannot lose. Life on earth is good; life in heaven will be infinitely better.

(I must insert here the one thing that does bother me. While I will progress from good to great, I am aware that my wife Char will be in a different situation. I’ve had her to take wonderful care of me in some of my tough times these past five years. She will not have me and I feel very badly about that. . .)

The third verse that has become of very great important to me these past few years is Romans 8:37. I’ll quote the whole paragraph in which it appears. “35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For thy sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

If assurances such as these can erase the anxiety of facing our own mortality, then surely they are worth memorizing and reciting daily to keep our ordinary days in perspective.

Entrust yourself and your eternity into the loving hands of our gracious, forgiving, and absolutely steadfast Lord and you’ll discover that few of life’s problems seem like problems at all.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness!”

 

 

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