“…From many sides, from many sides.”

The Confusion from the Commander-in-Chief

During the campaign at one of Donald J. Trump strident rallies he said, “Anyone who cannot name our enemy, is not fit to lead this country.” All the things he has said have come back to bite him. And now we witness the President revealed once again. He has this problem when he talks. He can’t seem to say bad things about Putin or about Alt-right, Neo-Nazi and White Nationalists. Why? Whose team is this man on?

Indeed, Donald Trump is a President the likes of which no one has ever seen. And now we’ve had two major events that really bring a burning feeling to the surface of our citizens. Possible war with North Korea and a domestic threat from hate groups in our homeland streets. Commenting on both incidents, the President used the wrong words.

We always want to believe the President of the United States has some moral core that drives his speech and his actions. Honest, direct communication not only creates trust, but also gives Americans a sense of grounding. But what we have here is a man who obsesses on things about himself and how they make him look.

Trump surrounds himself with people like Stephen Miller, Steve Bannon, Sebastian Gorka and Michael Anton, who all carry heavy-dark-dogmas on their backs. How can Donald Trump be objective on race and equality, when he is being counter-programmed by people who see disruption as getting things done?

You can google the names above and read their backgrounds and the things they have said and become familiar with the riffraff the Donald decided to help him with this messaging. They are controlling this President 100 times more than Dick Cheney’s influence on George W. Bush. They are literally writing the words Teleprompter Trump reads.

General McMaster on Meet the Press (8-13-2017) said that the President doesn’t draw a red line. While the phrases “Fire and Fury, like the world has never seen” and announcing that we are “Locked and Loaded” were used to demonstrate the President’s possible retaliation on a country, Trump has yet to develop and disclose a plan. The only reason he doesn’t use the term “red line” is because Obama used that terminology. Whatever Obama did, Trump must do the opposite. Why?

There was a biblical quality in what our great Orange Leader said in his threats toward North Korea, but there are other good book references standing by if Trump runs out of rhetoric. There’s “death and destruction” and, even stronger, “Wrath, wailing, and woe,” or maybe Trump can use this one, “we will wreck and lay waste all your cities and poison the earth, the water, and the air.” But this assumes that the Donald has ever read the bible.

Of course, he hasn’t gone far enough yet. He still has “All the generations to come will be born crippled and twisted, and the living will envy the dead.” He should think about talking to the young North Korea dictator and come up with some Win-Win deal. Say, isn’t this President the guy who said he wrote The Art of the Deal?

Back at home, the deaths last weekend in Charlottesville, VA made the whole world watch and wait for the President to voice our position. What we got wasn’t our voice, but a rather strange grouping of words. He used his speech to distance himself from criticism of the hate groups. I yelled at the TV, “You son-of-a-bitch!” We were waiting for a President to step up and what we got was a fall guy for the white guys. Then he peppered his speech with the words “law and order” code for police brutality in the Black community. Next, not missing a beat, the Donald jumped to selling what a great job he is doing as President. Really?

Trump’s comments were designed to make sure the President didn’t anger the far Alt-Right, neo-Nazis and White Nationalists. However, the use of the words, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” angered many Democrats and some Republicans.

Being hyper-analytical here, when the President said, “strongest possible terms,” without using strong definitive terms he wasn’t being specific. If fact, the far-right neo-Nazis front took the President’s words as an endorsement of sorts.

That brings me to a question that I must ask, “If you are protesting hate, why are you awarded an equal amount of hate?” If I dislike someone’s views and I think my responsibility as the caretaker of common sense and American Democracy is to raise my voice against the hate, why do you label me a hater?

People who think Hitler was cool, are sick. People who believe that being white gives one an advantage to rule are bigoted small-minded terrorists. If you are someone who carries the myth of white supremacy to the point you join a group like the KKK, you are far out of the mainstream and endorsing the sins of others, you know, lynching, church burnings, murdering and, now, running your car into a crowd.

The visual of the torches in Charlottesville on Friday night was the final straw for many people. It was too close to the pain and hate of the past. The stars and bars, swastikas, weapons, military garb and weapons crossed a line, a deep red, white and blue line.

Trump is the wrong President for the United States. History will show how destructive he was for America. It’s time for us to fix the present situation. If I could condemn, in the strongest possible terms, what Trump is doing to my beloved country, I would simply say, “He’s the worst President, the likes of which no one has ever seen.” We need to hit the reset button.


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.

 


FAKE NEWS OR FAKE PRESIDENT?

Trump’s War on the Constitution

Occasionally I see, hear or read a journalist saying that Donald Trump has some grand strategy. And when pressed, the author says that this latest move was pure genius, or the tweet did exactly what he designed it to do, as if the Donald is some intelligent media designer.

There’s not much difference between Trump and a 9-year-old boy grapping the microphone at Walmart and yelling stupid kid-things into the store’s PA system. The kid’s grand plan is to get attention, same as the “leader” of the free world.

In the President’s latest tweet (7-2-2017), he proclaimed, “The FAKE & FRAUDULENT NEWS MEDIA is working hard to convince Republicans and others I should not use social media – but remember, I won the 2016 election with interviews, speeches and social media. I had to beat #FakeNews, and did. We will continue to WIN! My use of social media is not Presidential – it’s MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL. Make America Great Again!”

When I read this my mind heard a spoiled 9-year-old brat saying, “Mommy made me president. I’m the president. I get to be president and do whatever I want!”

This over complaining and endless whining about news coverage in the media isn’t new to presidents. Trump has decided, however, that anyone who disagrees with him, critiques him or attempts to cover his achievements or lack of them, is the enemy. One could change the term “Fake News” to “People who hate me” and it would fit perfectly in all contexts.

Steve Bannon, the administration’s dark, Spiro Agnew evil twin, has said openly that the media is the “opposition party.”  He, along with Trump surrogates, Miller, Conway and that overtly obnoxious, fake intellectual Sebastian Gorka, have crafted a White House position that is obstinate and cantankerous. Any thinking America hearing them speak can clearly see through the pretentious, defensive droning of their propaganda.

Richard M. Nixon did the same thing when he was president, even using the same terms about the media.  However, Trump is no Nixon. The 37th President had to resign in disgrace. This president, when the time comes, will have to be removed from his current residence by the Secret Service, Capitol Hill Police or maybe the Army.

Even Trump’s slogan is not new. It is a total rip-off of Ronald Reagan’s campaign motto, demonstrating that Trump is an even better actor than Ronald Reagan. An actor takes the stage and plays a part while not being the real thing. We now have a fake President and everything he does is directed to making his character likeable, rather than forging policy and decisions that are right and good for the country. #FakePresident

Trump bellyaches that his achievements are not covered in the “fake news” but he broadcasts his tirades on the very same “fake” mainstream media he continually slams. His complaints about not being covered are total lies. The media covers every speech, every signing, every tweet. His “key promises,” such as reforming healthcare, getting a better, fairer, tax code and creating jobs, have become fake, rally fodder rather than reality.

Months ago, President Trump and VP Mike Pence rode their white horses into the Carrier furnace plant in Indianapolis to announce they had convinced the company to abandon a plan to move to Mexico.  They stated publicly that this would save hundreds of jobs.  Update: many employees will soon be losing their jobs at the plant.  CNBC reports (6-22-2017) that Carrier’s plant in Indianapolis is scheduled to lay off about 600 workers by the end of the year. The jobs are going to Mexico. Nice work, little boys.

Donald J. Trump will probably write that off as “FAKE NEWS,” but the road to success for this president has to go through the media. You cannot be a great president in a vacuum. You cannot guard so dearly the Second Amendment and spit in the face of those who employ the First Amendment to keep democracy strong. Without the First Amendment, we don’t need the Second Amendment.

Fake means fraudulent, and the usage of that term by our president in the context of media coverage is troublesome on many levels. When something is fraudulent it is obtained, done by, or has involved deception – especially criminal deception. The American public, the Congress and the courts must be on-guard with this president. There’s a very small step from complaining to outlawing and, in this case, the outlawing would be executed by an elected outlaw.

At this date, the Fake President may not like the Fake Media, but if all the media outlets stopped talking about Trump, he would probably melt into a damp pool of man tan and makeup.  Sad.


THE SERIOUSNESS OF IT ALL

The Day I Finally Figured Out Trump

Today, Flag Day 2017, gun shots rang out on a baseball field in Virginia. The GOP baseball team was practicing for their annual charity game with the Democrats. Both parties take this event extraordinarily seriously; to the point of practicing in early mornings weeks leading up to the event.

I’ve often said that I am not very smart. I don’t mean that in some self-deprecating way, I truly don’t understand people. How I have been able to understand things at times is by converting the abstracts of life into pictures. My emotions are tied to visuals of every kind. My father was born on Flag Day, so when I see the flags on the streets of our great nation I think of my father. He used to joke, “Hey, look, everyone is celebrating my birthday. They’ve put their flags out.”

When I learned of a man shooting members of the GOP baseball team during their practice today I had a sick feeling. Not just because it was an act of violence but, that as we later learned, there probably was a political motive to the shooting.

For me to understand how politics work I draw a circle. At the top of the circle, say 12 o’clock, exists a place I call the middle, or the moderate, position. Then I can move to the right or the left on that circle. When I get so far down, say around 6 o’clock, it’s hard to distinguish the far right from the far left. They galvanize into this exposed nerve ending. The far right, Alt-Right or white supremacists, look similar to the far left, Patriot fighters, anarchists and Marxist revolutionaries.

On Fox News, Newt Gingrich, a political financial exploitation artist, talked about the meaning of the shootings. He said, “It’s part of a pattern. You’ve had an increasing intensity of hostility on the left.” Maybe you see only the intense increase of the left, Mr. Gingrich, but there has been an increase intensity on both sides and the reason is Donald Trump. You either own that and take your rewards from dirty dark political money, or stop your intellectual charade.

Trump opened a can of worms and no one wants to eat worms. No matter how you serve it up, someone, somewhere, has to stand up and say, TRUMP put the worms in the can. And here is how he started it.

It began with his message against political correctness. People got the message. It was banged on TV for weeks and weeks. It’s okay to say what you want. So, when we had violent rallies the emotional band aids were ripped off and people screamed. They screamed at the Bernie rallies, they screamed at the Donald rallies. The moderate people, like Hillary Clinton, bounced between 11 o’clock, to lure some Bernie voters, and 1 o’clock, to buffer some of the Trump nuts.  But Hilary’s moves didn’t matter.  The distrust that was sown over the years by critics and the campaign bombardment of hateful fake news and mistruths on social media created a myth too big for Clinton to overcome in the Electoral College.

Trump was louder than Bernie and the Democrat machine didn’t want to turn over the reins to a part-time Independent socialist. On the other hand, the avarice of the Republican party permitted Trump to hijack their club. Winning mattered more than principals, which is page one in the Trump and Newt playbook. Trump needs to cut the silly game show crap and start to become serious about America and ALL THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

The fact that the Capitol Hill Police were able to kill the gunman who targeted Republicans on that field means we won’t get to hear his side of the story, but his electronic footprint is the same as those angry “let’s take some action” radicals on the right. You see, when you go so far to the right, you meet up with the crazies who have taken the message of hate too far to the left. They see themselves as freedom fighters, like the minute men. Oppressed white people with guns, far right, or far left?

Trump has to lead or leave. If he had a real brain and better people around him, he would see that he has stirred the pot and added hate toward immigrants, putting just enough salt into the wounds of people who have been economically displaced by years of globalization.  He has “called for things” rather than really getting anything done. He is as fake as the real news he dislikes.

Wait until the people figure out that his “great movement” has achieved only drug prices without oversight, fake job creation without training, education without a budget, environmental policy without a result and healthcare that doesn’t work for the very people who voted for him. They will be screaming, “Lock him up!”

I loved the irony of members of Congress quickly cancelling their hearing on gun control because of the shootings. What, too soon? The language they used in the halls of democracy, “An attack on one of us, is an attack on us all” Finally they understand why NATO exists. Doh!

The Trump administration should realize the harder they push the more push back they will get. Where are all the “best people” Trump said he would get to help him? All the President’s men, and a few women, sat around the cabinet table the other day kissing his ass and wasting the taxpayers’ money.

The more Donald Trump governs only to his base the angrier the rest of America becomes. The thing that gets in the way of any good ideas Trump has is his inability to float above his emotional level and need to be original. It’s not a bad piece of advice to be a moderate in America, especially with so many guns in the hands of crazy people.


BODY-SLAMMING IN MONTANA

Trump Bad Mouths Media

The state slogan of Montana is Oro y Plata, which means Gold and Silver. Perhaps, their recent political headline will set the gold standard on how a Republican should handle the press. Tomorrow we will learn whether the alleged man-handling of a reporter, who just asked a question, had any effect on the special election for their sole member for the House of Representatives. (Because of massive mail-in votes in Montana that were cast before the incident and the fact that the state is primarily Republican, Greg Gianforte won the election and will take the vacant seat).

From Fox News web site (5-25-2017):

Ben Jacobs of The Guardian — walked into the room with a voice recorder, put it up to Gianforte’s face and began asking if he had a response to the newly released Congressional Budget Office report on the American Health Care Act. Gianforte told him he would get to him later. Jacobs persisted with his question. Gianforte told him to talk to his press guy, Shane Scanlon.

At that point, Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. … I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter. As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, “I’m sick and tired of this!”

Nixon, the first president to regularly refer to reporters as “the media” and stayed away from the more Constitutionally acceptable term, “the press”, lives on in the Trump Administration.

From the First Amendment:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

I have long believed that activities of some people are usually based on some kind of whisper or permission slip from someone else higher up in power. In this case, perhaps Gianforte was just having a bad multi-millionaire day. Poor Baby!

The “press” says that Gianforte and his wife founded the customer relationship management software company called RightNow Technologies. They certainly must have a grasp of helping customers be successful, or in this case the voter, for positive gains and results. What positives can come from a body slam?

Trump is the source of the negative energy toward the press and the “mainstream media.” A very dear friend of mine just said, “I don’t know what to believe anymore.” Deep inside that sentence is the dogmatic doubt and disingenuous evaluation of our press as all evil, all wrong, all uninformed. How can one TV news network keep belittling all the other media outlets, when they themselves are a “Media” outlet? No brotherhood, no defense when you do wrong. Read: sexual harassment.

When the President focuses on the leaks rather than the truth, he drives a wedge between the purpose of the press in a democracy and the responsibility of any administration to manage its information.

Trump’s team is horrible at messaging and their boss is worse. With all the golf Donald plays, he certainly should understand what a wedge does. Certainly, he knows the difference between a pitching wedge and a sand wedge.

Instead of thoughtfully using a wedge to get himself out of the sand trap of anti-press philosophy, he generally pulls a driver and whacks the press with it. Instead of making the press wither, it makes them stronger. His harangue makes the media motivated to work harder. The greater the number of shots the press takes the more they will find even more things you are doing; right or wrong.

There is no physical contact in Golf and shouldn’t be any in politics. During the campaign, Donald Trump said it’s very appropriate for his supporters to beat protesters at his rallies. Candidate Trump added as a protester was being escorted away, “The guards are being very gentle with him… I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell you that.”

Now that Donald J. Trump is President of the United States many seem to disregard what the “candidate” said compared to what the President utters. But really folks, the damage is already done. Trump said it was okay, he won the election, therefore those activities are okay. He has already declared war on the press. The media armies are not going away. They are marching toward him. Even Fox News (above) is forced to tell the truth.

Any fool can launch a web site and blast out their true feelings and thoughts. We are all THE PRESS. We are all THE MEDIA.


ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT VS. ESTABLISHMENT

Trump’s Outside Agitator Role

I remember vividly when protesters in the late 1960s grew in numbers. President Nixon and his Trump-like bullhorn, Spiro Agnew, claimed that “outside agitators” were behind all the protests against his administration and the Vietnam war. Funny, that a President couldn’t understand Americans against war.

The term “agitators” goes back to an era of labor disputes when unions would bus in thugs to disrupt the picket lines at job sites. This would give the local police departments justification to go in and bust some heads. While the owners of the factory said, the union had bussed the hooligans in, the unions accused the owners of paying the disrupters. The idea was to create fear and thus end the labor dispute. Bricks were thrown, blood was shed.

Like a 1950s politician, Trump uses the expression that “protesters against him are paid” leading some to make the joke, “Well, see Trump fulfilled his promise, he has created jobs.”

But the real question: Is the President really anti-establishment, or just modifying truth to build his own establishment. A world where nepotism is perfectly legal and the only people who have opinions worthy of his attention are those with as much money as he or are related to him.

The problem with Trump is that he focuses so much on what people are saying about him that he misses the most important part of the job: Actually, getting things done.

When he losses a battle in Congress, he wants to change the rules. Sure, it would get more things done if there was a 51% margin on votes, but 60% is there for a reason.

In his case, it appears that Donald Trump fails to understand that by being anti-establishment he is really being anti-constitution and anti-separation of the branches of government.

Article 2 of the Constitution clearly states that: He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur… Clearly the founding fathers were establishing what they thought was an established order of things especially on treaties with other nations. Jefferson, Washington, Hamilton, et al. didn’t want a king, they wanted an executive.

With all the huffing and puffing done by candidate Donnie on the trail, supporters would have believed that their anti-Washington savior was going to unleash his wrath on all the terrible things in government as soon as he got there. They joined a cult headed by a charismatic leader who lies.

Trump supporters hate the government until they get dragged off an airplane by police. They hate government until they discover their drinking water has poison in it. They hate the establishment because Fox News has been feeding their heads with the gossip according to Rupert Murdoch that everything is wrong, as long as it makes him money.

But in reality, the job of heading the executive branch is not as all powerful as it might be in some other countries or in certain companies. If young Donald would have spent more time in civics class, he would have had a fuller understanding of how things worked before he got to the White House.

To say Kim Jong Un is a “smart cookie” is really DUMB. Ask Kim Jong Un’s uncle how much of a “cookie” he thinks he is; Oh, that’s right, you can’t, because Kim killed him.

And what does this President think is the priority? Well, his campaign (which is now taking money for his 2020 re-election pursuit) said they will spend $1.5 million on TV and online to run a commercial that says mainstream media is “fake news.” That is what you would call anti-establishment, but what is the next step? Can censorship be too far behind? Why not use the $1.5 to explain how the budget works, or why your ideas on healthcare are good? Too complicated?

Freedom is part of this establishment we call the United States of America. Protecting people from abuses and schemes is pretty much an established goal of government. Keeping citizens safe is a must, but how is tweeting at three-in-the-morning keeping us safe? Get some sleep Agent Orange, it’s a well-thought-out establishment out there to get you.

Established facts, like Andrew Jackson’s involvement in American’s Civil War was only his 100 slaves he owned until his death, which took place 16 years before the war started. “Old Hickory” might be your hero Mr. Trump, but the Donald ought to also learn that Jackson was credited with causing the Panic of 1837, which started an almost ten-year recession. Please don’t be like Jackson, Mr. President. Shut up and lead.