Updated: Jul 2, 2019
WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump found four federal officials guilty of "treason" Thursday — and then commissioned his intelligence agencies to help the Department of Justice prove it.
That's the lede from this article from NBC News.
The article continued:
At the same time, he is blocking Congress from executing its constitutional duty to execute oversight of his administration, not only with regard to his campaign's ties to Russia and the interference detailed in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation but also on a host of other fronts.
He's wielding power in ways not seen in the United States in generations, if ever, and which many experts say do not resemble global norms for heads of state.
Commenting about that article on Facebook, my friend, Scott Ramminger, had this to say as we approach Memorial Day on Monday:
"The stuff of thugs and dictators. Happening right here in the United States of American.
"Memorial Day honors those who died in the armed forces defending out freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press.
"How about we do a little better job of defending those freedoms here at home? That would be a nice way of honoring our fallen heroes."
Scott is correct. Only in totalitarian countries led by dictators like Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong-un do we see the power of the government turned against those in opposition. Now, we are living in a country where that is happening and continues to happen.
Fortunately, for now, the courts are stepping in and blocking some of Trump's totalitarian-style actions, such as using money approved by Congress for the Pentagon and using it to pay for his unapproved wall.
""The position that when Congress declines the Executive's request to appropriate funds, the Executive nonetheless may simply find a way to spend those funds 'without Congress' does not square with fundamental separation of powers principles dating back to the earliest days of our Republic," wrote Judge Haywood Gilliam, f the Northern District of California, a Barack Obama appointee.
But Trump continues his effort to stack the federal courts with right wing judges whom he believes will do his bidding, and if he remains in power long enough even that safeguard could well be gone.
As my friend, Scott, says, "How about we do a little better job of defending [our] freedoms here at home."
To my friends who are blinded by Trump's rhetoric and false promises and care nothing about his abuses, charmed by his bravado, I encourage you to pay attention to what is happening every day under this president and stop repeating the Republicans' hateful, misleading and just plain wrong talking points about Democrats.
The question is this: Do you want to live in a free society where we are free to believe as we wish, speak our minds freely, with an unfettered press able to report on the activities and decisions of our leaders without fear of retribution? Or do you want to live in a country where one by one those freedoms are challenged, threatened and ultimately wiped away?
This is a great weekend to think about that. Remember, this is "the land of the free and the home of the brave." Let's keep it that way.