THE WALL VS. THE WATER

Trump’s American Carnage

In the election in 1992, Bill Clinton’s campaign hit with the phrase, “It’s the economy, stupid!” In the world now, the slogan should be “It’s the environment, stupid!” The Trump Administration fails to comprehend that what has happened in Texas is going to occur more and more because of Climate Change. And the definition of that term includes over-building (man-made) where concrete had replaced wet-lands and levees. When you get 50 inches of rain, it has no place to go.

First of all, if you build a wall that keeps out people, you are going to create an ecological disaster. Animals migrate to find mates and food and when we block their migration patterns, we could kill out a whole species. And the flooding that is taking place now, could be made worse by a wall that redirects water flow. Are they really thinking about that at all? Besides, the money wasted on the wall could be used for better things.

The “Fake News” that the Donald spews out about moving business forward, even if our environmental protection lags the world, makes him look foolish. Our leader is floating on the flood of his ignorance. Our President doesn’t understand that his message to his heads of departments and agencies was actually a not so subtle nod to the denial dingbats. Tell the people in Houston that the water is a “hoax.”

When Congress comes back into session, it will be important for both Democrats and Republicans to step up and send a message to the White House that we don’t need to spend money on fantasy campaign promises in the United States, we must grasp the need to send aid to our own cities.

Environmentalists have always been viewed as lunatics and tree huggers. We have no problem trusting scientists who predicted the exact moment there would be a total eclipse of the sun, but we scoff at their statements that icecaps and glaciers are melting. They warned us that the temperature of the water in the oceans and the gulfs will warm and that would increase and intensify the power of hurricanes and typhoons. Now we see that the volume of water those storms can deliver to the land is nothing short of devastating.

Our government is not paying attention to history. Did they forget the aftermath of Katrina in New Orleans? Did they not learn anything from that tragedy? We depend on local officials and their experiences to determine if we need to evacuate citizens from harm’s way. We also need a federal effort to study and evaluate these storms and build models to understand worst-case scenarios in these environmental events. Will Trump figure this out?

This brings us back to whether this President is fit for office. With things being complicated and the earth being our most precious priority, will our great Orange Leader even understand what the environment is? The fact that anyone would have to ask this question about the President of the United States is more proof that we have the wrong guy.

Why would a country like America spend billions of dollars to build a wall to keep people out, when our very own people are being forced from their homes by high winds and floods? Donald Trump has a lot to learn, and he will find that his campaign bullshit doesn’t play during a disaster. People want him to hear the cry, “It’s Climate Change, stupid!”

The First 200 Days Of Trump

These daily diatribes from a delusional blogger give you a day by day overview of the 45th President’s first two-hundred days in office. Follow Donald Trump through the tough times on his way to impeachment. Kindle Version HERE, or Get the printed book now, CLICK HERE.


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.


THE GRAND CON

Trump’s Fake Promises

Imagine during a contract negotiation your boss promised you that he would never lower your wage. So, you accepted the new deal and at some point, he reduced your wage.  What would you think of your boss?

On the campaign trail Donald Trump was forceful with his promise that he would not lower Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. And with this grand con, many low income and older Americans connected to that promise. In many cases it may have determined votes in the election. But now the President is silent while the Republican Senate and House of Representatives create large cuts to those programs without his squeaky high voice saying, “No.” What kind of leader is he?

AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond said, “The Senate bill which imposes an “Age Tax” on older adults—increasing health insurance premiums and reducing tax credits, makes cuts to both Medicare and Medicaid funding, and yet gives billions of dollars in tax breaks to drug and insurance companies. AARP calls on every Senator to vote ‘NO’ on this harmful bill.”

It’s pretty obvious that Donald J. Trump is just another typical politician who promises things to get elected and then does what he wants, or what the party tells him to do. This spineless bundle of white fat with oversized neckties has little empathy with the poor, the middle-class or the millions of retired Americans who depend on these services and programs. He just wants to be loved by his slowly dissolving base and get reelected; cringe the thought.

The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship posted this on their Website today: “The Senate GOP recently released their version of the ACA repeal bill that they crafted in secret. Under this bill, millions of Americans, including cancer survivors, will lose health insurance. Cancer survivors are at risk of losing vital protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and premiums and out-of-pocket costs will increase for millions of Americans, especially older, sicker people.”

According to Gallup (here), Congress only has a 20% approval rating, while Donald Trump in the RealClearpolitics.com average gets around 40% approval with 54% disapproval of the job he is doing. Yes, he can blame Congress for the slash and burn healthcare bill passed, but remember that the President still has to sign it and if he signs it, he owns it. Recall when people talked about “Death Panels?” Well with Trumpcare we are actually going to get them.

There are many liars and lies in politics and the average Joe doesn’t have the wherewithal or time to discern the numbers, language and deceits from the truth. Free market healthcare, like trickle-down economics, is a diabolical myth perpetrated on the American public. Math doesn’t lie.  Rich people, the upper 1%, are getting richer while the middle class is getting poorer.

You might not want to trust someone like Donald Trump, or Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who on the side just made a boatload of money producing the Wonder Woman movie. They have no credibility when it comes to what they do with your money. Mnuchin, for example, just sold his interest in Dune Entertainment and then named his fiancée Louise Linton CEO to protect his wealth while he toils at his job in government. I assume Steve and Loise have a swell healthcare plan at Dune.

Can’t you see that this healthcare bill is the way they are going to give the upper 1% more money? Trump and his great disrupters are running a scam, a con, a scheme on the American public. In the next three years, they want to justify tax cuts for the rich by taking services away from the poor, the disenfranchised and the elderly. They aren’t good people and conservative Republicans truly believe that giving rich people more money will help them get elected. After all, rich people give money to super PACs and campaigns, the middle class will never finance their greed.

Trump has already gotten rid of the death tax with the stroke of his pen. His kids will greatly benefit by what he has already done. But we all have to realize how much a burden the rich people have to endure by moving their money around so the IRS doesn’t see where it actually is going. Trump is no better than the steel and train magnates of the late 1800s. Winning may be everything to the Donald, but the middle and lower classes of America will not tolerate much more of his poisonous political pain.

If you thought the voters were angry during the election, wait until they find out you screwed them with a horrendously false promise, Mr. Trump.

 

 

 


HEALTHCARE IS COMPLICATED

Trump Unqualified as Insurance Czar

The House of Representatives’ poorly written healthcare act is very much like a guy with a hangover eating a habanero pepper omelet the next day. Crap in, crap out.

They might claim that it’s the hair of the dog, but in reality, it was just what they shouldn’t have done. When the House narrowly passed the American Healthcare Act on May 4, 2017 (by only two votes), with 20 Republicans voting against the bill, the Donald played right into Democratic hands.

And here is why:

  1. The GOP accused Democrats of not reading the Obamacare act before they voted on it. Trump forced his party members to do the same thing and thus sabotaged those running in 2018. We must remember the 213 Representatives who voted NO on this one.
  2. The de facto party leader, Donald Trump, said that everyone would get coverage and that pre-existing conditions would be covered, while the same leader let the Freedom Caucus roll him and agree to the deal for a state opt-out for insurance companies.
  3. House members made it seem that they were either expecting their older “brother” the Senate to fix their work or, worse, they were just appeasing Trump and showing that they have more division within their party. I used the word “brother” on this one because the committee writing the Senate version of the bill consists of 13 men. Why?

We are hearing lots of talk about Healthcare and Insurance companies. The typical gripe on Obamacare is that there are so few insurance companies in certain states.

Why doesn’t anyone on TV talk about the efforts of state insurance commissioners? Some have blocked the expansion of companies into their States. For example, many people don’t know that it took GEICO many years to get into the Massachusetts market. WHY? Well, the large insurance companies based in Boston blocked any insurance companies that offered what was defined as “discounted” insurance. Boy, that is restrictive. That has since been resolved, but it begs a bigger question.

Why would the President keep rotating that hackneyed phrase that he believes in  states’ rights and wants to give the states more control over Health Insurance? Once you give the states MORE control over healthcare, why even have a national healthcare act? And when all the states raise taxes the President might think he won’t get blamed, but he should think again and stop listening to people like Steve Bannon.

Because of Obamacare, we are no longer debating that there should be a national healthcare plan.  We are now just debating what it should be and who should pay for it. But when the first person with a pre-existing condition dies, Donald Trump and the Republican party will have blood on their hands. That Republican lie about death panels will then be rolled out by the Democrats. Only this time people will believe it.

With all the companies Donald Trump ran in his past life, we are sure that he heard debates about healthcare for his employees. His involvement was probably tertiary with him; either telling someone to do business with someone’s company he liked, or just saying get the price down.

Now, we have Tom Price running around and saying repeatedly how great the plan is, while never addressing any questions. His presentation, like those of most Trump underlings, is just a mini campaign-like speech fraught with fact-free slogans and fallacies. Is it because he doesn’t know what he is talking about, or is it a case of specifics left out so no mistakes are made?

Anyone running a business would ask a few questions before voting on a plan. The first is how much will this cost? The second is what does it do for my workforce? I remember that middle-class rationality of how it would be great to have a “real” businessman run the government.  Well, where can we get one? Or, better yet, where can we get a real businesswoman?

Donald Trump has admitted that healthcare is complicated. Obama once opened an explanation with a remark on how complicated the subject was and Jon Stewart called him out. Stewart challenged Obama by forcefully explaining that it’s the President’s job to help us understand complicated matters.

Let’s face it, a simple man cannot grasp the complexities of things and then turn them into a well-thought-out plan. Trump does hate, sarcasm and bullying well, but on the mattes of state, he’s clumsy and foolish. Sad!


PRESIDENT OUT OF TOUCH

Has Trump Ever Read the NAFTA Agreement?

He fails to see that the world has changed. He may love Twitter and uses it as a weapon, but that’s only the tip of the technological iceberg that’s floating toward his ship. He has the technology to know every fact, but fails to take the time to use it to our advantage.

His weakest point is the fact that he sells his misinformed opinion before getting the facts. I truly wonder if he has ever read the NAFTA treaty and fully comprehends how it works for American businesses.

Mexico purchased an estimated $2.4 billion of corn from the U.S. in 2015, according to Forbes Magazine. Now Mexico is threatening to take their corn business to Brazil. Mexico is currently our 3rd largest goods trading partner with $531 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2015. Goods exports totaled $236 billion; goods imports totaled $295 billion.

The United States buys $297.7 billion worth of goods from Canada, which is 76.3% of total Canadian exports. Canada is currently our 2nd largest goods trading partner with $575 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2015.

What NAFTA did in a nutshell was to create a “National Treatment” of all goods and services from the three countries: US, Canada and Mexico. The agreement basically means that for traders outside the zone, they had to treat all three countries as equal when it comes to the rules and regulations.

It also eliminated any tariffs on goods and services. For example, if Mexico makes a car and sells it in the US, they pay no tax on that good. As well, if Canada produces lumber and sells it in the US, they pay no tariff on the shipment. Why is this good?

Well, imagine that if all the US products and services were taxed by Mexico and Canada. We would be most likely also pay a tax to ship, therefore increasing the price of our goods in those two countries and would stimulate an opportunity for other countries to worm into Mexico and Canada with a better price and displace US companies as the preferred vendor. The additional taxes we might impose would not protect the bulk of profits our companies are making right now by selling goods to Mexico and Canada. This would hurt the US economy.

NAFTA helps settle disputes between our three nations and not to belittle another advantage by mentioning it last, but we have Intellectual Property Rights Protections under NAFTA. Without NAFTA, a Canadian or Mexican factory could produce knock-offs of our products and ideas and sell them around the world without much pushback from a world court.

Like the fat kid at the table, the Donald wants to take all the cookies from the other kids. And after he has taken all the cookies, he gets all huffy when he realizes that the other kids will get their own cookies from someone else and he will get none. He never comprehended that his actions hurt him, even when he felt he was getting his unreasonable share.

Trump floated the threat of signing an executive order (4-26-2017) to withdraw from NAFTA and got calls from the President of Mexico and the Prime Minister of Canada to discuss the renegotiation of the treaty. The President Goof-ball smiles, because he thinks he has won something. He once again has only been shown to be the bully he wants to be.

As these countries look to their Plan B, which means opening up trade with other nations to secure the goods they purchase daily from the US, Trump sits in his little oval office with his big plans that will eventually increase prices on everything we import. He is out-of-touch with the global world that was created by technology, not ideology. If you are a free-market capitalist, then you will certainly see that Agent Orange is putting something in the punch bowl.

If he was truly for the common man and on a quest to create new jobs, he wouldn’t keep cutting the budgets and destroying our relationships with customers for our products. He may think he knows how it works, but when Mexico stops buying corn from US, what will he tell that Iowa farmer?

Can we really afford to stop $500 Billion in trade with our NAFTA partners? I’m still waiting for all the greatness and winning. Markets want certainly, not gamesmanship and insolent deal making.

 

 

 


THE WAR AGAINST WISDOM

Trump’s Anti-People Priorities

We have seen the real Donald Trump and his actions prove that he is against people and their bodies and brains. As the President slashes and murders policies and programs that were designed to protect people, the environment and promote education, we will all suffer from his war against wisdom.

On Earth Day 2017, we had the usual parades, but this year’s celebration included a March for Science to promote “science?” WHAT? When did we get to the point where SCIENCE needed to fight for respect? The misconceptions that have been fed into Trump’s deformed brain are obviously the product of other small thinkers who have avoided facts. When you say, something is a hoax, you have to show the facts in science.

The idea that we can eliminate concepts like the Environment Protection Agency and curb the destruction that is taking place in rivers, streams and the air we breathe is so rash and irresponsible. When we have another water crisis, like Flint, we can all blame the Donald for the disaster.

Most military experts agree that job one of the United States State Department is to produce facts and solutions in simmering spots around the world. Before we send in the Marines, we expect our state department to figure out how to solve the problem before we get into wars and conflicts. Why would Trump cut jobs and decease the infrastructure of State when the world isn’t getting any safer? Even Russia complained about the lack of personnel in the department.

And in Education: As the Center for America Progress reports: Trump budget would slash $9 billion—13 percent of the U.S. Department of Education’s funding—while investing $1.4 billion of new money in school choice, including private school vouchers, sending a clear signal that the Trump administration prioritizes ideologically driven voucher schemes over great public schools. Of course, the middle class may benefit if they have a private school that fits their dogma in their district, but most of the people who voted for Trump will suffer with poor public schools. In ten years, we can all blame Peggy DeVos and Donald Trump for poorly prepared graduates who can’t get jobs.  

On Earth Day, President Tweet wrote: “I am committed to keeping our air and water clean but always remember that economic growth enhances environmental protection. Jobs matter!” With this, the President has staked out a position that no money in his budget should be spent on anything that monitors, analyzes or works to solve climate change. Just because a company makes a lot of money doesn’t mean they will protect their workers or the environment. As a Pittsburgher in the 40s and 50s can tell you, the air wasn’t so clean while US steel companies made tons of money.

And what piece of the pie grows in the Trump budget? There will be a $54 billion increase in Military spending, but due to his mystical promise to lower the national debt he must cut something else out of the budget.

His minions appear to be going after spending as if they are more out to undo the Obama agenda without regard for progress. Trump’s departments and commissions are holding up money to projects that have already been approved. Why?

The Federal Transit Administration put a $650 million federal grant for electrification of a San Francisco Bay Area train system in purgatory. The delay would stop California’s high-speed rail project, which sounds like the infrastructure upgrade Trump kept touting during the campaign. The train line is more than thirty-years old and needs to be upgraded for environmental and safety reasons. The actions are anti-people policies that do more harm than good.

FactCheck.Org

According to Fortune magazine, if “parity” reigns, and both sides of the discretionary budget rise $54 billion in fiscal 2017, total debt and deficits over the next decade will balloon by around $1.4 trillion, including interest expense on the extra debt.

So, Donald Trump lied to America when he said he would lower the debt in his first year. The facts on the issue are clear, his proposals are no different than Obama or Bush on spending money. We all have to remember, when Clinton passed a very unpopular tax increase in his first year he was able to lower the deficit. These are facts and the thickness of the ice at the north pole are facts, not opinions.

Science was used by the Wright Brothers to figure out how to fly. We sure hope President Donald J. Trump understands that every time he steps on to Air Force One, he is benefiting from science. We don’t need a March for Science, we need to fund science and education to keep America great. Does Agent Orange understand this? Sad!