THE AMERICAN ASSHOLE

No Leading, Just Tweeting

 While Russia may be arming the Taliban in Afghanistan, our President sits on the toilet blasting what appears to be his main problem, his Attorney General? While most liberals have few common points with the “law and order” appointed cabinet member, the public flogging of Jefferson Sessions III is disturbing on many levels. This was the headline in this morning’s Guardian newspaper: Donald Trump denounces Jeff Sessions for being ‘weak’ on Hillary Clinton

We are sure that Trump didn’t learn this management style while he attended the University of Pennsylvania Wharton Business School. His wasteful and harsh tweets today (7-25-2017) are a great example of his truly asinine style: “Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!”

If the President of the United States really thinks he can bully the Attorney General into using the Department of Justice to force a political party to release their server or go after the person who ran against him in the election, then we are no better than some banana republic or third-world country with a power-hungry dictator. We have already seen this movie. It was called McCarthyism. With each day in office Donald J. Trump displays an unconscionable distortion of truth and justice.

And then he excuses an ally of collusion with the Democrats with this tweet: “Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump campaign – “quietly working to boost Clinton.” So where is the investigation A.G.” Has Trump totally forgotten what Russia did in Crimea? The President polishes his shallow veneer with the myth that Russia’s cyber-attack was a myth, a hoax, and the investigation is a “witch hunt.” Does he really believe that reporters getting dirt on Paul Manafort and the money he received from a pro-Russian candidate in the Ukraine is a conspiracy by the DNC to hurt him? The facts speak for themselves. Manafort declared the income.

While Trump has tweeted Jeff Sessions onto his list of whipping boys, his spokespeople are saying that Sessions has the President’s confidence. Why are they torturing this person? This is a point of law which Donald Trump doesn’t respect. Our great Orange Leader thinks that Sessions’ primary responsibility is to protect the president and be loyal to Trump himself. Above the law?

Trump embarrassed himself and our great country by giving a speech at the Boy Scout Jamboree filled with brash braggadocio and self-anointing political taunting. He even took this opportunity to deride former President Obama instead of promoting values, honor, country and loyalty which the scout organization touts. The Jamboree even felt the need to issue this note to the attendees: “Chants of certain phrases heard during the campaign (e.g. ‘build the wall’, ‘lock her up’) are considered divisive by many members of our audience, and may cause unnecessary friction.”

Now, we have this human anal opening posing as President of the United States without any respect for the law, without any awareness of the lack of appropriateness of his comments at gatherings of children and minors and worst of all, without any admission that his need for loyalty is a one-way street.

He is not loyal to people he hires and he seems to have no loyalty to the laws of the land. Remember, he did take a loyalty pledge with the American public: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

If we take his tweets at face-value, we can assume he wants to lock Hillary Clinton up and that he wants Jeff Sessions to do what he demands rather than follow the procedure and protocols of the Department of Justice. Donald J. Trump is no lawyer, although he has made many of them rich. He thinks he knows everything about everything, when in reality, he has the emotional make-up of a 14-year old and the legal knowledge of maybe one “Law and Order” episode. Why should we except anything smart from someone who actually reads the National Inquirer?

During his presidential campaign Donald Trump said that John McCain was NOT a hero because he was captured, insulting every POW and their families. Now we get this tweet today: “So great that John McCain is coming back to vote. Brave – American hero! Thank you John.” When you need his vote, he’s a hero. When the man was just told he has cancer, he’s a hero. And that Mr. President, makes you one large, gaping asshole.

 

 

 

 


DONALD J AND JARED

Trump’s Circle of Trust

There is something not quite right about the relationship that President Donald Trump has with his family and his work. He cannot seem to separate the two. While the mingling of business and family might be common in some royal families, in America it’s viewed with some skepticism.

There are those who didn’t like John Kennedy appointing his brother Robert to Attorney General. And no one talks about Harry Truman giving his wife Bess a job in the White House. She rose to Chairman of the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program, a position that garnered a paycheck, but according to biographers, not a position in which she actively participated.

Now, we have the President’s son-in-law positioned in a role of intense involvement and power: Senior Advisory to the President. There was stretch where Donald Trump was assigning young Jared a new job every other day, from bringing peace in the middle east to reorganizing the government to fixing the judicial system. Really?

We should remember Jared’s blast into business started with this headline: Kushner took over the family business when his father went to jail. And the person who helped put Charles Kushner behind bars was Chris Christie. You know the one who got passed over by the Donald. Jared was forced into running the family business at the age of 26 while his father was in federal prison convicted of illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion, and witness tampering.

I have just read the full six-pages of Jared Kushner’s statement to the Congressional Committee. This well-written document seems rather honest and direct. He’s 36 years old, but he seems to be traveling in a space way over his head. He forgets people, he doesn’t recall meetings, but worst of all, he didn’t even read the whole email that Don Jr. sent him. Jared, you have to read from the bottom up. This is the problem with top-down rich kids. And come on, how could you forget the name of the Russian Ambassador to the US?

He doesn’t remember meetings, but clearly remembers getting an email from Guccifer400, huh? Then he admits asking if there was an “existing communications channel at his (Russian) embassy” and mere sentences later, says, “I did not suggest a ‘secret back channel.’” He needs to get his story straight.

His last paragraph raised some eyebrows, “I have not relied on Russian funds to finance my business activities in the private sector.” This is one of those sentences written by a skilled attorney. “I have not relied…” doesn’t mean, I have no Russian investors in my properties. It could simply mean “I had no financial help while building or buying a property.” In fact, many Russian investors have bought or rented space in Trump and Kushner properties. They are customers.

Mr. Kushner needs to be placed under oath and questioned about the meeting with the banker on December 13, 2016. The bank is a state-owned property and the banker, Sergey Gorkov, gave Jared presents from his grandparents’ home in Belarus. Wait, the Kushners are from Belarus?  Is that the same Belarus once part of Russia which became a founding member of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1922. Oh boy, the story couldn’t get any richer.

So, Jared’s grand parents came from a Soviet bloc country and Donald Trump’s grand parents came from Germany. They are both second-generation immigrants. Of course, sons of different mothers, but this certainly makes the Trump anti-immigrant stance paradoxical.

Back to the President’s son-in-law, why does Trump need his daughter and Jared in the White House? What amount of insecurity do we, the American public, have to endure with Trump? We need him to make clear, objective decisions. The advice of family members can be tainted if they are more eager to please rather than providing truthful feedback. Ivanka could go on every Climate Change march and wear a skin-tight-fitting T-shirt that screamed Save the Planet and her father would ignore any action to help accomplish a better environment.

Jared, with his liberal views and democratic ways, is just a “yes man” and the “doer” while the Donald can jet around and scream to crazy-cult crowds of supporters. We know that Jared has contributed zero to the healthcare bill. As he said in his statement to the Congressional Committee, he’s so busy with thousands of emails, he doesn’t have time to read them all. He’s so busy, he doesn’t have time to do his job.

I almost laughed at the explanation about why the SF-86 had to be amended so many times. Jared Kushner’s excuse sounds like one of those ‘the dog ate my homework’ stories that so many parents and teachers have heard. Okay, you messed up kid, your assistant submitted a rough draft to the FBI. Wow, sure glad it wasn’t some important document.

All of this vividly reveals that Donald J. Trump and his associates are unaware of the laws of governance and uninterested in proper documentation. They are flying by the seat of their pants, and those pants aren’t even made in America.

In the movie Meet the Parents, Robert De Niro’s character, Jack Byrnes, introduces Ben Stiller’s persona, Greg Focker, to what Jack calls the “Byrnes Circle of Trust.” There’s this dialog: “See if I can’t trust you Greg, then I have no choice but to put you outside the circle. Once you’re out, you’re out. There’s no coming back.”

The difference between Trump and Jack Byrnes is when Trump sends someone away that he has endorsed in the past, he doesn’t send them out of the circle. He cannot admit he was wrong. He still speaks well of Michael Flynn, a person who could bring the Donald’s presidency to its knees. He says nice things about Sean Spicer. And maybe that is why he uses his family members as tools. Poor Don Jr. is a “good kid.”

It’s easier to be loyal to your family members than to those outside the circle of trust. Everyone will give Trump a pass on sticking up for his kids, but it’s getting harder to believe that Trump can shovel the same hackneyed phrases and conspiracy theories to all of the country without someone asking this question. Why do we want to be friends with Russia? Why is being friends with them so important to Trump and Jared? Are we worried more about protecting Belarus than the Ukrainian people from Russia?  Hey, just asking.

 


“I LOVE THE PRESIDENT”

Respect is Not Enough for Trump

 400 years before the birth of Christ the Greek physician Hippocrates, incorporated four temperaments into his early practice: sanguine (enthusiastic, active, and social), choleric (short-tempered, fast, or irritable), melancholic (analytical, wise, and quiet), and phlegmatic (relaxed and peaceful). And of course, no one person stays in one zone all the time. We all have mixtures of those temperaments at any given time.

Our current president, seems to live in the sanguine and choleric areas and for those around him.  The only way to stay on his team is to broadcast your open ‘love’ for him. With the appointment of Anthony Scaramucci as Communications Director, we learned his modus operandi from the get-go was to praise his boss and proclaim his love for the Donald.

Mr. Scaramucci has obviously consumed the whole jug of Kool-Aid and will be framing the argument for and massaging the defense of Trump with the skill of a Wall Street tycoon, which is what he is. But that doesn’t change anything. Trump is still the President and his short-tempered, fast and irritating way of overreacting cannot be polished by a slick, well-dressed pitchman. Donald Trump is a high-risk investment.

The enthusiastic, active and highly social (Sanguine) Trump is hardly ever positive. Our great Orange Leader rails at and uses put-downs to intimidate his critics, while attempting to extort more love from his base. He’s like an abusive parent giving a treat after the beating. He has to front each topic with how bad things are to make himself seem the savior.

Maybe being loved is more important than facts, truth, honesty or transparency. Saying that his son’s extremely incriminating email release was being transparent lacks logic, credibility and honesty. Does he love his son more than he says he loves America? Would he lie for his son?

Scaramucci might think he can turn the gray battleship around, but in reality, he’s just a summer replacement player in the reality show known as the Donald J. Trump Presidency. Even Anthony S. said the President is 71-years-old, “You are not going to change him.” Perhaps, if we think a bit Freudian here, maybe Anthony Scaramucci is the son the Donald wish he had. He obviously likes Jared Kushner like a son. Maybe his kids, other than Ivanka, aren’t quite enough like him.

The new Communications Director Slick Anthony uses the term “mainstream media,” which is code for anything negative about the president reported by any news media outlet. They boxed up negative press as “mainstream” and are attempting to redefine it as “Fake.”

Fox News, a major ratings mass media channel, isn’t considered mainstream media because they usually agree with Trump. Why is that? Someone has to tell me what the true definition of “mainstream.” And then explain to me how a website with a few million readers is more important than any mass media outlet.

Truth has a way of rising and breaking the layer of scum on the surface of the swamp. If the mainstream media is trying to convince the 32% of America who caused this ridiculous embarrassment that Donald Trump was a bad choice, they are wasting their time.

Trump may control the Supreme Court picks while he is in power, but he should be very careful about who he pardons or even thinks about awarding a get-out-of-jail card. That roll of the dice could be as bad as Trump’s monumental failure at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. And when the Republicans finally admit that Trump is politically bankrupt, they will prepare his impeachment to save their own jobs.

One would think the Supreme Court would have a duty to block an aggressive attempt to remodel executive power. Any move that would force America into a constitutional crisis would verify to the other 68% of America that Donald Trump is not an honest human being. Trump will never win over those people.

The analytical, wise, and quiet people who work hard every day to make the government work for all the people are still there. They are in the Justice Department, they file into the Treasury, they sit on the Supreme Court and some are even in Congress. They want to do their job and keep the machine running.

The silliness and departures from normal protocols show the world only one man’s viewpoint on how things should be. There is no proof that what Trump is doing is good for America.

We never want a president to tell us what to believe. We never want a President to “explain” how things are as if they only know the truth.  We expect him or her to listen to us and then make some rational decisions that will benefit as many people as possible. Donald Trump wants everyone to love him every day, but doesn’t understand that he must give love in order to get love.

When the man with the most power in the United States of America can be provoked by the least little criticism, we should worry. When the man who will be his voice says he loves the president more than a half-a-dozen times in his first press briefing, he shows us how it’s done.

He shows us why Putin is more important than protecting America from cyber-attacks from Russia. We saw Macron in France use the love offensive to charm his way right into Trump’s small hands. I don’t want to love the president, I want to respect him.

Trump truly believes that if I don’t say he is 100% right all the time, that I am #1, the enemy and #2, against him. For all those people during the campaign who said that the Donald did not have the temperament to be president, they were right.  He is 90% choleric (short-tempered, fast, or irritable) and that is why we judge all that he does through a negative lens. No one can trust what he says. Just ask the Carrier workers in Indiana.

Scaramucci’s “new guy” enthusiasm is a nice change, but when he says, “The American people love this guy” I have to stop him there. Anthony, you need to do some research. More than 50% of American’s do not like this “guy;” your buddy. You need more than 50% to get a bill passed in Congress and we certainly ought to have a president who garners more respect and positive feedback than 32% of our citizens. Scaramucci’s job is to make more Americans favor and support the President. Good luck, Anthony.

The standard comeback by the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue talking heads when asked about low approval presidential ratings is that the President has higher ratings than the media or Congress. And they’re bragging about that?

I’m looking forward to a relaxed and peaceful time when we aren’t screaming at each other and the President of the United States has more than 50% approval rating and that his plans actually work. Right now, we have the wrong plans, the wrong message and the wrong President.

Again, we must ask, “What has gotten better?” Insurance rates are sky-high, wages are NOT moving up fast enough and taxes are the same. The big infrastructure plan is frozen. For a guy who said we would be winning really, really fast, we are waiting. Go for accomplishments Mr. President, not love.

 

 

 

 

 

 


RATS LEAVING SHIP

Trump’s Creeping Corruption

When Donald Trump ran for President he promised us he would “drain the swamp,” which was a terrific marketing slogan. Part of the 10-square miles that make up Washington, DC was built on swampland so the language worked. What Donald didn’t comprehend was that once the water was gone he would have lots of angry alligators ready to take him down.

Surveying how Washington works, you find out that one cannot just come in and push all the institutions, customs and traditions aside. I’ve never thought of Donald Trump as anybody but a third-rate entertainer who is addicted to the roar of the crowd, the smell of the grease paint (or orange makeup). He doesn’t take anything seriously until he doesn’t get what he wants. Then he uses the claws of lawyers and influencers and pouts like a little spoiled brat.

As the clock ticks, we learn more and more about Donald Trump and his associates. Today (7-21-2017) it was disclosed that Exxon Mobil violated sanctions by doing business with Russia. The company, which at the time had Rex Tillerson as its CEO, was fined $2 million for this infraction. Immediately, Exxon Mobil announced that they would sue Steven Mnuchin and the Treasury Department, which Mnuchin heads. How can this be happening? During Tillerson’s confirmation hearing he was asked about this. So much for extreme vetting. Under any other administration, the now Secretary of State would be asked to step down during this lawsuit. How can he testify against the very government that employs him?

Ties with Russia seem to be woven into Trump’s words, actions and deeds. We have stopped sending arms to the rebels in Syria, which is what Putin wants us to do.

If the United States returns those two seize properties that were allegedly used for Russian intelligence, we will see that Trump truly is Putin’s puppet.  We were warned this would happen.

If Trump deletes the Magnitsky Act, which puts sanctions on Russia for Human Rights violations, that is just one more give-away to Putin by Trump.

The lack of transparency about Russia seems more like creeping corruption than good diplomacy. The first thing I would ask Trump is this.  What are we getting out of it, Mr. Big-Shot-Dealmaker?

When Trump rambled on in his New York Times interview (7-20-2017), he seemed to threaten the Special Counsel that his companies, his family’s and his own private finances were off-limits. The accused doesn’t get to the block the investigator’s vision while seeking the truth.

Now we learn that Robert Mueller has sent a letter to the White House saying they must preserve all the documents, text messages, voice mails and correspondence pertaining to the 2016 meeting with Don, Jr., et. al. and Russians. The plot thickens.

And if Friday wasn’t hot enough outside, inside the administration just got hotter. Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, resigned. He told President Trump he vehemently disagreed with the appointment of New York financier Anthony Scaramucci to the position of Communications Director. Will we see more rats leaving the ship?

Whether true or not, it has been leaked, probably by Trump himself, that his team of lawyers are discussing how Presidential pardons work. Aren’t they getting the cart in front of the horse here? You don’t talk about how to get out of jail before you are caught doing the crime.

As our great Orange Leader disparages his Attorney General in the interview with the Times and seems to fail to understand the old yarn about not hanging out your dirty laundry.  He is circling his wagons with more loyalists. Trump being loyal to the people around him is one royal LIE.

The theme has been heard before from the Donald. If a legal mind or someone in the judiciary makes a decision against our 14-year-old leader, he wars against judges with his words. He is not fit to be President and something must be done.

The creeping corruption is slowing working its way to the very man who could end it all, just by telling the truth. Those who stay by his side will be dragged into this mess. Time to be a patriot and get away from this madman. Absolute corruption, corrupts absolutely.

 


HEROES & VILLIANS

The Undisclosed Trump

Robert Mueller has a lot of work to do. The press is drilling to find their “deep throat” and the drip, drip, drip of facts surrounding the presidency only lead to more questions. We know that there is, indeed, a connection between the campaign and Russia, but we still don’t have the complete story.

What Congress must do is pass a law that says anyone running for President and every President in office, must disclose all their financial entanglements. We have never had a leader with this much money and as high an international business profile as Donald Trump. One could ask, can anyone with that many on-going enterprises be outside of the window of conflict of interest? We might be able to know if the tradition of releasing tax returns should become codified by a law.

Lawyers can argue that the President is above the normal conflicts rules and laws because we wouldn’t want his every judgement to end up in the court. That would be extremely distracting, but we have to hold the man in the White House to ethical standards. If not, then we need to rewrite the laws to make him or her more transparent than private companies or sole proprietors. The president’s position is not a limited liability corporation, he’s the leader of the country and the people deserve to his debtors and cash flow.

Donald Trump has pulled another con by saying that his sons will run his businesses, without a firm trust or sell off. He brought his daughter, who still has her own company, into the White House along with his son-in-law.  Why? Was it so he could control them or protect them? Under this unique arrangement both Ivanka and Jared should release their complete income tax returns and financial entanglements as well.

If I really trusted Trump I wouldn’t be asking for this kind of information to be made public. The President of the United States has said some things on twitter, in public and in his proclamations and executive orders that beg the question, why did he say that? Why can’t our great Orange Leader simply release of all the material and prove that he was born in America, ah, I mean, that he has no connection to Russia.

Mr. President says that the “Russia thing with Trump is a hoax” and “This is the greatest Witch Hunt in political history.” Really? Why would this be “FAKE NEWS” when his own son put it on the front page by releasing his emails? We have no idea how many emails Don Jr. and the Trump campaign have deleted, but I am sure someone has them.

The Donald cannot get out front of this story because he keeps throwing more wood on the fire. If he wants a story to go away he should stop talking about it. Maybe Trump has a blood clot in his brain.  That could explain his misuse of the bully pulpit. The simple truth is he’s not getting anything done

We should be able to see the President’s medical records for the safety of this country. For someone so important, we have a right to know if he is hiding any deep and dark medical secrets that could affect the way he governs. It’s only fair that the American understand as much as they can about the person holding their trust. And of course, if he has some creeping disorder or disease, like Ronald Reagan endured, then we the people should have a legal path to replace him. We know the amazing military record of a real American hero, John McCain; let this President release his medical records so we can see what kept him out of military service.

Donald Trump never talks about his mother. This bothers me greatly. I have never respected a person who seems to have no connection to the lady that brought him to the dance. I wonder what that means? He needs to disclose the things that gave him this distorted view of his wealth, fame and ego. He likes to keep too many things secret, which makes him “unpredictable.” Do we really want a fickle leader? If he made a capricious move with some of the bad guys in the world, he could get us into a war.

Donald Trump worships money. He has proven he will lie, cheat and steal to get more of it. He will sue his way out of any situation that damages his weak self-esteem. He will attack people, even if they are innocent, with all the fury of a madman. He is just what many say he is, unhinged. But most people agree on one point, he is not forthcoming.  He thinks that secrets have value, and maybe so, but there is a cost to pay for keeping them.

TRUTH; the American people deserve honesty, openness and truth from its President. The art of the lie might be making some people laugh, but for most citizens in the country his lack of candor is slowing eroding trust, even in his base. People are starting to admit that this President lies. Perhaps they feel okay with their guns and Bibles right now, but in the end, they will be screwed just like the sub-contractors of a Trump building. Those who voted for Trump will have to come to the realization soon, that Donald J. Trump is not Making America Great.

 

 

 

 


OBAMACARE vs. TRUMPCARE

Trump Alone Can Fix It, Except Healthcare

Well, here we are again. The Democrats gave the country the gift of healthcare and like an addict, we do not want the Republicans to take it away. After 7-years of complaining about Obamacare, the elephants in the room forgot to actually pen an alternative bill. No one was working on a rewrite of the plan?

But the blame this time sits in the lap of the 45th President of the United States. Donald Trump has brought nothing to the debate and his actions are embarrassingly superficial and valueless. His language about how the plan will be “beautiful” and “really great” are terms he could have used for one of his beauty pageant contestants. His lack of understanding of healthcare was exposed when he admitted that healthcare was “complicated.”

If all those great and “really smart” people that Trump brought into his cabinet and administration were really smart and great, they would have revised the 906-page Affordable Healthcare Act and made it a better law. But no, they were so busy signing executive orders they took their collective eyes off the ball.

As we watch this drama and dysfunctional relationship between Congress and the White House play out, we learn how little influence Donald Trump has on the process. The Congress must stand behind their work while getting an earful from their constituents when they hold town meetings. Some say that people are being bused in from out of their districts to do these protests, but we are talking about a national bill, right? Why would it matter where the people come from if they are against a healthcare act that will affect all Americans?

This whole episode has vividly exposed the great divide between Republicans. We hear little about those snarly Tea Party people, but they are still around and they are against anything the government might do that has any hint of helping people. We are also seeing the imaginary line between “normal” GOP members and the neo-conservatives. The reason I use the “neo” prefix is because they aren’t old line conservatives like Ronald Reagan, who never walked away from a tax increase that could fix a problem. These new conservatives, like Rand Paul, seem to have some deep-seated reason to not like a good idea. Might Rand Paul be a plant in the Senate for doctors?

Trump should be listening to the CBO scores because the organizations and lobbyists that are paid to protect groups like kids and retired people use the data to send emails to millions of people.

Scare headlines like: Pregnancy to cost 425% more under Donald Trump’s health plan compared to Obamacare, are being splashed on the front pages of newspapers all over the world. Why? Because most of those countries have a single-payer system and they find Trump’s battle with healthcare to be rather humorous. See, they have already solved that problem.

The Donald has once again showed his lack of understanding about how government works and how Congress moves like a turtle. If he was a bit wiser he would have gone right into rebuilding US infrastructure, moving forward with something that would have helped commerce in our country. Most products move on rail, road or runway and if they are in disrepair the economy suffers. Healthcare, in its present state, keeps people at work and that helps the country. Why kill it?

How can the President of the United States sit by and let this happen? It’s as if he is powerless and has no ability to fix what is there now. He really doesn’t care. Just listen to him: “Let Obamacare fail. It’ll be a lot easier, and I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll just let Obamacare fail. We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it.” Once again, it’s blame the other guy and let the people suffer. The atrophy of this “leader” is demoralizing.

This morning (7-18-17), USA Today ran a story asking the question, Will Trump exercise? “He’s 71, holds down an incredibly stressful job, and is overweight. He doesn’t exercise. His eating habits are less than ideal. And to top it off, he doesn’t get enough sleep.” The good news for Trump is that he doesn’t smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol. But after rolling back all the nutritional standards on school lunches, he’s guilty of being part of the problem on healthcare in more ways than one.

The anxiety and stress that Donald is feeling with his new job is the same as the stress he has created for undocumented people and those with pre-existing conditions. Clearly, Donald J. Trump is bad for the health of America. Wait until we discover more lead in the drinking water somewhere in America. In short, Trump hasn’t fixed healthcare for America, he’s made it worse.

 


MADE IN AMERICA

Fair Trade vs. Free Trade

One of the things you can say about Donald J. Trump is that he’s consistent, but he’s hardly ever right. For example, he thinks he knows a lot about money. The logic runs something like this: “I made a billion dollars, so I know how to fix things.”

It would be different if the stock market wasn’t at all-time highs. It would be different if the unemployment rate was in the toilet. But as the administration rolled out fire trucks and back hoes on the front lawn of the White House to promote their America First dogma, the headline in the Washington Post was “Trump’s ‘Made in America’ week is a hypocritical joke.” None of Donald and Ivanka Trump products are made in America. Ivanka’s shoes, handbags, blouses, dresses, jeans and shirts are made in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam and China and Donald’s ties and suits are made in China, Bangladesh and Mexico. When confronted with this fact, the two moguls say, “Everybody else does it.” Really?

Why does the press keep slapping this man? It seems like everything our President touches turns into a controversy at least and a bag of flaming crap at worst. Our very own Don “Quixote” Trump is not only fighting windmills, he is attempting to stop Niagara Falls with his bare hands. Our brave hero.

One of the lessons of war that escapes Donald Trump is what happened after the World Wars. The first war led to the losers to disastrous economic plights that turned people inward and voted for people like Hitler and Mussolini.

The nations of victors in WWII knew that they had to help the economies of many countries to make sure that peace would last. The United States basically took Japan on as a special project. We airlifted in experts and technologies to teach the Japanese how to make many products.

The hard-working Japanese culture and South Korean’s post conflict manufacturing produced some of the finest electronics for the world, and still does. The Donald must have been busy being rich in the 1950s and doesn’t remember how America was flooded with cheap products, like transistor radios, that were labeled Made in Japan.

As more and more American companies realized that they could get cheap parts for their products, the flood gates opened. Many of our automotive offerings needed more and more computer technologies, thus the need to import more parts from other countries. We also created giant discount box-stores that sold everything from TVs to T-Shirts at rock bottom prices. How did they do it? They bought products from other countries that were made by low wage workers.

While the United States knew that workers and factories here were being phased out, we kept thinking we could move those workforces to other industries. That only happened when the worker saw the writing on the wall early and had the capabilities to serve the needs of another field.

Training was essential to complete the migration from the agricultural age to the manufacturing age. Did we forget about this? Logic follows that it would take the re-education of millions of workers to pull off the conversion this time. Some people just don’t want to change.

Now, our great Orange Leader wants us to brand all our products with ‘Made in America.’ I get that, but it’s just a Band-Aid. In fact, the Band-Aid was invented in 1920 by Thomas Anderson and Johnson & Johnson employee Earle Dickson in Highland Park, New Jersey. Not all bandages are made in America, but they are a great example of an American invention that the world now uses. And the examples are countless. We design things, we just cannot make them at reasonable prices because Americans demand a wage to match our prosperous economy. Double-edged sword.

When NAFTA (North American Free-Trade Agreement) was signed, products moved from Canada and Mexico into the US without tariff. We also sold tons of stuff to those two countries.

According to the United States of America Trade Representative (an office of the President): The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with Mexico was $55.6 billion in 2016. Mexico is currently our 3rd largest goods trading partner with $525.1 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2016. Goods exports totaled $231.0 billion; goods imports totaled $294.2 billion.

And their figures on Canada are similar: U.S. goods and services trade with Canada totaled an estimated $627.8 billion in 2016. Exports were $320.1 billion; imports were $307.6 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade surplus with Canada was $12.5 billion in 2016. Canada is currently our 2nd largest goods trading partner with $544.0 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2016.

As you can see, this cry-baby tantrum about “fair trade” is foolish rhetoric by the President on the NAFTA deal. As far as China and other Pacific Rim countries are concerned it’s a different question, but best not to ask too loudly. With the amount of U.S. debt that Chinese banks hold, and our need for China to control North Korea, we might want to carefully plan what we say. Best not to Tweet.

Why does Trump keep complaining about trade? He skillfully convinced those workers who have been displaced by global trade to vote for him. He has to keep them in the hypnotic trance where he promises to magically take them back to a “better time.”

The mantra of “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” only means something if the great one can actually create more jobs. Focusing on coal mining is convoluted logic. Coal has been displaced by natural gas and the good news, the US is pumps lots of that resource. The symbolism might be rich, but Trump is regressive in his thinking. Why did China just take the lead on producing solar energy products? Did we miss that?

Trump actually thinks that getting rid of regulations will magically grow plants and jobs. Rules don’t keep people from being successful, global markets do. Even if we got rid of every regulation, we would still have to produce steel at a price that competes. ‘Globals’ will always be able to make things cheaper and we could tax the imports but that would increase the price here. Why make the America consumer pay for your trade myopia?

What Donald Trump really doesn’t understand is that he’s a President for 1959, not a president for 2017. It’s too late to stop the windmills of the world from turning. If they don’t sell to America, they will sell to someone else. The water will keep coming over the falls, because that is what nature does.

Trump’s one man fight against globalization might make him look like Captain America, but in reality he’s just another America businessman taking advantage of Free Trade for his own benefit. Buy one of his ties, you’ll see where it was made.


PROOFLESS PRESIDENT

Poor Donald the Victim

Missouri has a great nickname, The Show Me State.  They say that people from Missouri have a devotion to simple common sense. In 1899, Representative Willard D. Vandiver said, “Frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I’m from Missouri.”

When Donald Trump and his father, Fred, were accused of violating the Fair Housing Act in New York in the early 1970s, the Human Rights Commission claimed that Trump rental agents had used a code on applications to note if the applicant was African-American or Hispanic so they could prevent them from renting a Trump property. The company was sued by the DOJ in 1973. The case was settled out of court and Trump claimed he did nothing wrong. He had no proof of the Feds’ accusation nor did he have proof of innocence.

He then created the Trump Foundation which, according to public records, has raised $9.3 million from outside sources. Trump hasn’t put any money into the Foundation since 2008, but that is not the problem. The organization never registered the charity with the state of New York. Vince and Linda McMahon, the wrestling people, gave the Foundation a bunch of money, and now Linda runs the Small Business Administration, a political appointment. Was that a long-term pay to play scenario?

It has been alleged that Trump diverted taxable incomes (personal and business) into the Foundation by urging people who owed him money to pay it back directly into the foundation. Without tax returns from Donald J. Trump, we cannot disprove that the Foundation was laundering money. Again, no proof of innocence.

According to the very well-written book, The Case for Impeachment by Allan J. Lichtman, Donald Trump and his organization broke laws by trying to put a casino in Cuba when there was a total embargo on that country. They spent $68,000 in Cuba to explore investment opportunities. The embargo disallowed money to be spent in Cuba. Was Trump changing the rules on travel to Cuba, really just a way to hurt the Marriott corporation’s current efforts to build hotels there?  Again, no proof of innocence.

Lichtman also points out that “Trump was fined $200,000 by New Jersey regulators for removing African-American and female employees from the crap tables at the request of a high roller.” Again, no proof of innocence.

We all know about Trump University, which turned out to be a scam to defraud hopeful students out of their hard-earned money for nothing of real value or opportunities in real estate. Trump claimed no wrong doing, but settled out of court. Again, no proof of innocence.

Trump building projects have exploited undocumented workers. Look no further than the Polish undocumented laborers who were employed on the demolition project for the buildings removed to construct Trump Tower. According to Time magazine, “The men were putting in 12-hour shifts with inadequate safety equipment at subpar wages that their contractor paid sporadically, if at all. A lawyer for many of the Poles demanded that the workers be paid or else he would serve Trump with a lien on the property. One Polish worker even went to Trump’s office to ask him for money in person, according to sworn testimony and a deposition filed under oath in a court case.” Again no proof of innocence.

For years Donald J. Trump claimed that President Barack Obama was not born in America and his crusade of delegitimizing the 44th President. Trump claimed he hired investigators who went to Hawaii and then had the audacity to call victory when Obama finally released a copy of his birth certificate. Trump never apologized for his unproven farce, but his statement on the issue had no empathy or comprehension of the damage his charges caused. He simply said, “President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period.” Again, no proof of innocence.

And that brings us to his biggest cover-up of all. His public denials that no one in his administration met with any Russians during his campaign or transition to the presidency. He lied, or if you want to give him the benefit of the doubt, he had no idea what his comrades were doing while he wasn’t in the room. Really? I thought he was on top of everything.

He keeps tweeting that this “Russia-Trump story” is a “hoax” and he uses language like, “With all of its phony unnamed sources & highly slanted & even fraudulent reporting, #Fake News is DISTORTING DEMOCRACY in our country!” (7-16-2017)

When reading the Don Jr. emails, I keep asking myself, did they make this up? It’s so revealing and stupid that it really does feel like “FAKE NEWS.” But it’s not and it proves that Donald Trump is not the victim here. If Jared Kushner didn’t tell candidate Trump about that meeting, he should be fired. Again, no proof of innocence.

There is not much “frothy eloquence” from those in power right now, but they need to step up and show us something. They must prove they had nothing to do with the possible desecration of our election process. Hey, Trump, the longer you wait to explain what really happened the more your lies collide with each other in the ether of history. So far, I have seen no proof of his innocence.

 


THE WHITE HOUSE IS NOT A FAMILY BUSINESS

Whatever Happened to Nepotism Rules?

Nepotism is the practice among those in power of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs. The law is pretty clear in our government and it applies to anyone hired in the executive, legislative or judicial branch:

A public official may not appoint, employ, promote, advance, or advocate for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement, in or to a civilian position in the agency in which he is serving or over which he exercises jurisdiction or control any individual who is a relative of the public official.

This isn’t “Fake News”, it’s 5 U.S. Code § 3110 – Employment of relatives; restrictions.  I don’t believe that not taking a paycheck, negates this rule. It says “appoint to a civilian position.” The appointment alone is not allowed.

Why does Ivanka Trump, the President’s daughter, have an office in the White House?  Why is her husband, Jared Kushner, a top adviser and “employee” of the White House? They said they put their companies in a trust, although many ethics experts say that they haven’t done enough. Trump, the President himself, is benefiting from money flowing from foreign governments through his properties, but the issue and violation of the Emoluments Clause, will be covered at a later time.

Let’s focus on nepotism for this article. Why is this important? Why is there a rule that prohibits this? One problem that can arise from the government advertising an opening at one of its agencies, interviewing applicants and then hiring a less qualified person to serve in the position. It’s bad business and shoddy business practice to hire the lesser able person.

Another possible violation can occur if someone is passed over and claims they didn’t get the job because of something other than their talent and qualifications. That could trigger a lawsuit based on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which, of course, bars discrimination because of race, color, sex, religion or national origin. You may not be able to prove the intent, but the embarrassment of a court battle would cost the country money and time.

A further problem can result when a senior male employee marries a lower ranking female member of the team. Who has to leave the agency, the senior male, or the woman? This opens up the possible legal problem of sexual discrimination. In the case of Ivanka and Jared, you don’t have that problem, but we do see the complications when offspring are given responsibilities.

The situation with Donald Trump, Jr. and his meeting with a Russian attorney exposes the President to the fact that he will probably lie for his kids, just as easily as he lies about so many other things. If Don Jr. was a mere employee of the campaign, like Paul Manafort, Daddy Trump would have thrown him under the bus. Parents don’t usually do the right thing with their kids, instead they do the right thing for their kids. Think about what Trump Sr. said about his son, “He’s a good boy.” He’s almost 40-years-old Mr. President, but you see him as a “boy?” And the praise for all his transparency was so father-like, while today (7-14-2017) we learned that there were two other people in the room during the meeting; previous undisclosed. What are they hiding?

According to Forbes Magazine, “Kathy Wiseman, a founder of and consultant at Working Systems, thinks everyone should be careful in such a situation. Wiseman advises family businesses and organizations, bringing them both sociology and 30 years of business experience. She estimates that nepotism among top executives works out only 40% of the time.”

So, if nepotism causes problems or at least complications and discomfort 60% of the time, why are we the people allowing Donald Trump to instate less qualified people in positions around him without anyone charging forward and waving 5 U.S. Code § 3110 in his face? Who checks the White House on the matter of employment?

We broke away from a King and a kingdom in 1776. Part of what the rebels here in the 13 States wanted to avoid was an unelected king operating freely and unchecked above the law. Their solution was to create a revolution and break away from the tyranny of Kings. Royalty is based on bloodlines and the children of Kings and Queens get to take over when the parent expires. Does the US now live in that world?

Why are any of Trump’s kids involved in this administration? Perhaps the President needs his “blankie” of his children blindly supporting him and telling him he’s right. But this is only going to end in problems. Don Jr. and the exposure of his emails is just an example of why there is a rule about hiring your kids. And one could ask, what does Ivanka do? What is her job description? As a tax payer, can I see that?  NEPOTISM is bad for business and worse for the United States.

I find it rather remarkable that seven months into this administration we hear the words, “innocent”, “unethical”, “illegal” and “hoax” more often than a normal White House would produce. We can only hope that the Democrats find some believable messenger between now and 2020. The king has no pants and not a lot of regard for the law.

 

 


TRUMP GOT PLAYED BY PUTIN

Rookie President, Rookie Mistakes

We are starting to see things the way they really are. The President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, has a way of throwing things to the side with short little bursts of belligerence and denials. Trump is not an experienced politician. He might be a decent marketer and silly entertainer but, like many famous people, he lacks basic common sense on many levels.

When he recently (7-12-2017) recorded an interview with televangelist Pat Robertson, Trump talked about his “very great” meeting with Vladimir Putin. Trump said claims that Russia wanted to help him win the election is an illogical conclusion. Really?

The Donald said that Putin would have been happier with Hillary Clinton in the White House. He bases his opinion on the Trump administration’s buildup of the military and attempts to become a player in exporting energy. The Donald speculated that this “competition” with Russia makes Putin uneasy and Hillary would not have taken such steps. Huh?

The more we hear from this President, the more we realize that he has no fib filter. How can we possibly believe Agent Orange’s words about his meeting with Putin? Did they discuss sanctions? We don’t know. Did they talk about what could happen in Syria if Assad is dethroned? We don’t know. So much for being transparent, Mr. Trump.

Experts warned Trump that Putin would deny any wrong doing in the 2016 US election.  They also said that Putin would agree with Trump that cyber-security was a major issue and would suggest a joint task force, or “unit,” be established to work on the problem together. Our great Orange Leader fell for that hook, line and sinker. He even proudly announced it, until he heard loudly from thoughtful and fearless Senators that it was a colossally stupid idea. Then, he retreated with a tweet.

The mystery through this whole Russian interference fiasco is the disconnect from reality. When did evangelicals, hardworking middle-class Americans and classic Republicans decide that Russia was our friend? We don’t sell Russian cars here in America. We don’t back Russian aggression in eastern Europe and we certainly don’t like that Russia’s allies are Iran and Syria. So, in what world do these people live?

The Russia Supreme Court firmly recognizes only the Russian Orthodox Church and has banned Jehovah’s Witnesses by labeling them an extremist group. They have criminalized preaching, praying and evangelization outside of registered religious sites. Why wouldn’t Trump bring this issue up with Putin when he had his grand meeting? He didn’t. He didn’t talk about Human Rights at all. I guess it’s a lower priority for a guy who slams journalists, while talking with another guy who kills journalists.

We can now read and study the emails between Donald Trump, Jr. and what was presented as “opposition research” from a foreign adversary. Baby Donald said, “If it is what you say, I love it!” and now his old man says that anyone would have taken that meeting.

While the President was defending his son, the Senate was examining Christopher Wray in a hearing for his approval as the next FBI director.  The senior Senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, made sure Wray knew his position on the meetings with known Russian operatives, “You want to be director of the FBI, pal. So, here’s what I want you to tell every politician: If you get a call from somebody suggesting that a foreign government wants to help you by disparaging your opponent, tell us all to call the FBI.” Graham, a Republican, was very clear what someone should do when something like this happens in the future. Was that a teachable moment, or what?

Putin probably pulled the strings and suggested his people get in touch with Trump’s people and of course, the best avenue to Trump and his associates would be through a business partner. Donald Trump has lied about not having any business in Russia and he keeps that fabrication alive with his inability to embrace the investigation into the Russian meddling into our elections. In short, Donald, Sr. is acting like a guilty person and Donald Jr. is showing the world that he is an inept fool.

Some say that Don Jr’s mistake was just a rookie mistake. His actions were certainly naïve, but driven by a need to please his father. Most people believe that he told his father about the meeting before or shortly after it happened. Only one Donald will have to admit that under oath. Surely, Don Jr. will take the Fifth.

It’s not so much that Don Jr. is a rookie, or that Jared Kushner left the meeting early, or that Paul Manafort’s experience might have been dulled by his rude cellphone addiction during the meeting, but it’s clear that the candidate in the campaign was a just as much a rookie.

Donald Trump can’t fire his son.  This presents a dilemma of epic proportions to our President. He can say only that his son is innocent. Sad!

The real winner in all this is Putin. We have to watch Trump carefully now. Four months after Donald Trump fired Preet Bharara, who was then Manhattan US Attorney, a money-laundering suit was settled for nearly $6 million against a Russian owned Cyprus-based company. Some in the know say that the amount paid was nothing compared to what could have been retrieved in court. Did Trump and Sessions pull strings for Russia?

Trump was played by Putin and this will continually be a shadow on the President’s term in office. As a player on the opposing team once said of Putin’s preference for president, “Well, that’s because he’d rather have a puppet as president of the United States.”

People are asking could’ve Don Jr. be that naïve.  I ask, can Donald J. Trump be that stupid?