THE CURSE OF BANNONISM

Trump’s Special Advisor and Puppeteer

When a president leaves office, they usually create a library to house the papers and books that played a major role in the shaping of their term. With Donald J. Trump, we won’t need a library, because he doesn’t read books. His legacy will simply be a building with pictures of people who had his ear, TV screens playing Fox News broadcasts and digital displays of pages from right-winged web sites.

When I watched the Charlie Rose interview with Steve Bannon on CBS’ Sixty Minutes, I was first disappointed that they would give him such a powerful platform. As the program commenced, however, little bombs of truth started to penetrate my frontal lobes. It became very clear that Bannon was the biggest influence on the 45th President and Bannon’s destructive dogma clings to Trump.

I have long said that Team Trump has no concern for political parties. The Donald is neither Republican nor Democrat. He’s a reactionary personality who believes that his charisma can carry him through any challenge. The flaw in Trump’s  thinking is the belief that people like him. Bannon in the interview actually made that same observation. So, Bannon is allowed to critigue the President.

Steve Bannon, clearly not a likeable person, propels his elitist and subversive views in everything he says. He opens by taking a shot at the Grand Old Party, accusing them of trying to nullify the 2016 election. This “civil war” he is flaming is bad for the party in power. Here is an important area of focus. Bannon says the GOP is trying to thwart Trump’s economic nationalist agenda. No one would argue that our business practices should produce positive results for our country and our people, but there seems to a Bannon agenda, darker and more negative than most Americans envision.

Bannon extends his aggression against certain Republicans with the promise to defeat them. Putting his money (well, other people’s money) where his mouth is means he will be buying ads supporting those running against these “rogue” politicians. He talks about “holding them accountable,” which pushed me to ask the question, “Should the elected official behold themselves to a president or their constituents?” The executive branch didn’t appoint them, they were elected by local counties, cities and states.

Bannon’s reveal that following the election the administration embraced the establishment due to the influence of Jared Kushner, was nullified by his comparison to the way he and Jared dress. Really? Are we in high school? Was Kushner’s desire to work with the “establishment” driven by his wardrobe?

Bannon continued to stir the pot with his opinion that Gary Cohn should have resigned if he didn’t like Trump’s reaction to Charlottesville. I see, you can be critical of things Trump does, but the other guys have to be loyal. Maybe Bannon actually thought he was the President.

The common thread here is that both Gary and Jared are Jewish and would obviously despise anything less than total denouncements on Neo-Nazis. It would be too easy at this point to suggest Bannon exposed a constantly rebuffed anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant grounding by this former Navy officer. But hey, he does mention pearls, limousines and the Hamptons in his put-down of the establishment. This is funny coming from a man who made millions in Hollywood.

It seems draconian to purge someone from the administration because they said the great Orange Leader made a mistake in handling the Charlottesville press conference. Why is Bannon so critical of honesty? He said that “a Darwinian environment for ideas is a positive.” Really, Steve, well Jared and Gary are still there and you are gone. I guess it was the survival of the strongest.

This idea that your “work was done” inside of the White House and you will continue the fight outside of the government is a lame ass excuse for being fired. Bannon called himself a “staffer,” with a kind of snobbish air suggesting that his position was beneath him. You were fired because you were opening your mouth, Bannon, and the White House couldn’t trust you. They are distancing themselves from you now, Mr. Alt-Right winged hooey.

We get that you hate the Bushes, Obama and others who have come before. Your abhorrence and vitriol oozes from our President’s narrow mouth. This concept of saying, in a very forceful declaration, that, “… they know, I know and YOU KNOW THIS IS TRUE!” is what Donald Trump uses when he feels confronted. This was a giant poker player “tell” for me. Bannon fed Trump the notion of taking down the Washington Monument and Donald’s little brain spit out that argument. Steve said that the President was taking it to a higher level and he was the only one defending him. Really? You must have a loose screw somewhere because the President, at best, sounded uninformed.

The most repulsive attempt to re-write history by Steve Bannon happened when Charlie Rose suggested that immigrants helped build this country and Bannon replied, “You couldn’t be more, dead wrong. America was built on her citizens.” Okay, so Africans weren’t citizens but did most of the work, yes? Italians, who later became citizens, paved all the brick streets in my hometown. Were they not working and helping to build America? What a stupid thing for Bannon to say.

And when he said that DACA Dreamers will just “self-deport” in six months and there will be no amnesty for their parents either, he made it clear that he is anti-immigrant and that is where the President was getting all his hogwash.

I am sure the 11 million people here illegally would love to help rebuild Houston and Florida for a chance at citizenship. What about that idea, Mr. President?

I don’t care what Steve Bannon says about the Catholic Church. I don’t care about his agenda to make America a whiter place. And I don’t respect his proclamation that the worst modern political decision was the firing of James Comey. If that was so, why didn’t he stop the President? The “I-told-you-so” Bannon dished out was so annoying, with zero enlightenment.

It’s obvious that Bannon was the puppeteer and Trump was the puppet who would say and tweet anything without any logical filter or understanding about the effect of those words. I am glad Steve Bannon is no longer a government employee. He should never have been hired. And, hopefully, the fake news won’t give him any more air time.


DONALD TRUMP PARDONED RACISM

Gorka and Transgenders Out, Sheriff Joe back on the streets

It should come as no surprise that we have a President who doesn’t care about people, laws or loyalty. Let’s look at each of three events that took place as a Category 4 hurricane was about to hit the homeland.

We knew that a Transgender ban was coming to the military, but this complication and reduction in troop size that some thought was just “an idea” of Trump’s was, in fact, his desire to surprise the Pentagon. Power move.

The sober reality is that whatever Donald says he is going to do, he probably will do. A promise to human beings by the federal government and the military has been broken. Brave citizens signed up to fight for their country and they are being turned away. What a bad decision, Mr. President.

When people break the law, they should be punished. That is what we heard from Donald Trump endlessly during the election and since. He took an oath to uphold the laws of the country and to do nothing contrary to the Constitution. His lack of respect for the courts in the US will affect the way decisions are made, especially at the Supreme Court. They too, have been sworn in to protect the Constitution. Agent Orange’s pardon of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio was a symbolic way of pardoning racism in America, the same as his terrible response to the events in Charlottesville. I warned you. He divides us every day.

And that brings us to Sebastian Gorka. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know who he is. The question of why Trump initially surrounded himself with losers and ideologs such as Bannon and Gorka has never been answered to my satisfaction. Could it be simply because these right-wing nut jobs agreed with him? They weren’t controlling the great Orange Leader as much as they were simply reinforcing his own biased, racist and xenophobic philosophies. There is a connection to Jeff Sessions with both of them.

It would make much more sense if we learned that Trump had a collection of Nazi memorabilia hidden away. It would be more believable if we learned that the Donald was abused by a Mexican housekeeper when he was young. It would explain some things if we found out he always wanted to be a cop and crack some heads. But, alas, the President of the United States has demonstrated that he’s just an evil man who made some jokes and convinced millions of people to vote for him.

He announced his news just as a major hurricane with catastrophic potential was hitting land in Texas. Could this show a desire to sneak in his questionable moves while the media was focused on the storm? Or, worse, did he feel Hurricane Harvey would eclipse his visibility and importance? In either case it warrants the name, “Slimy Bastard.” I mean, really, could he possibly be jealous of at hurricane? Sadly, I believe that to be true.

We see a pattern here that will only get worse. Something must be done soon, or Donald J. Trump will destroy America. If he doesn’t understand what real law means, and if he has no respect for his own party and the political ramifications of his actions, then impeachment is the only answer.

 


THE WORLD JUST GOT SERIOUS

Can Trump Follow Suit?

There is a big distance between rhetoric and action, but in Trump World, our leader thinks that if he says it, it is so. Or even worse, he thinks that if he orders something, then it will automatically happen. This pompous, over-blown self-evaluation of his salesmanship prowess and imaginary ability to get things done is really embarrassing in the light of day.

He keeps telling us how much he has completed and all we see are carcasses of the people he has fired along the way. If these people weren’t good enough to go more than six months, then the guy who picked them clearly doesn’t know what he is doing. Trump creates these “Mission Accomplished” moments every day, which really makes them fade into the sea of bullshit on which he floats.

Congress may have boxed Trump in with the sanctions bill against Russia, but their actions were done for all to see. They are working on shoring up their reputations and getting re-elected. They don’t live in an electoral college world, they sink or swim according to a popular vote, therefore, they must be “popular” with as many constituents as possible.

Trump downplayed Russia’s evil agenda during the election for reasons we will hopefully understand better when all of the dust clears from the handful of investigations currently underway. Trump focused his discontentment on China with his campaign rhetoric. He never accused Russia of currency manipulation, unfair trade practices or unfair treatment of the American worker. He dumped all of that on China.

It was no surprise when our President tweeted away July 29, 2017: “I am very disappointed in China. Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!”

And while he thought he had this “great” relationship with China’s President Xi Jinping, Trump can’t be straight forward about Russia, who increased trade with North Korea by 40% since Trump took office. North Korea showed a 4% growth rate.  What?

Doesn’t the Donald know he is being played by this punk kid Kim Jong, the KGB spy Putin and all-powerful Xi Jinping? The fact is, Russia and China do NOT want to see a united Korean peninsula. They will both prop up North Korea and Kim Jong Un so that unification never happens. Why does the Donald think he can job-out the responsibility of reeling in Un?

Trump just went through an embarrassing week, vividly demonstrated by the vulgar language of his new buddy, “slick Anthony,” “the Mooch,” Scaramucci.  Little Tony, the “front stabber,” revealed the in-fighting and destructive forces in the vortex of Trump’s inner circle. I would even advance the notion here that Trump is being played by his son-in-law and daughter to get rid of all the people who they don’t agree with. Do they think they are “protecting” the President? Well, the apples don’t fall… you know the rest. To fix the general discontent and chaos in the White House, let’s bring in a general. General Mills? General Motors? No, no, a real General.

The final act of this passion play opens with Steve Bannon left dangerous dangling outside of the circle of trust. On the next episode of Reality President, we learn if Bannon will be sent on his merry way, or be given a seat at the grown-up’s table.

Now that John Kelly, the Bostonian former General, is in command of the staff, will he put up with the very thing he hated about Obama: an intellectual approach to solving problems. Generals don’t like thinkers, they get in the way of marching. It won’t take long for Kelly to lose patience with the lack of a chain of command. Those he can fire, he will. The kids, of course, are off limits. The very reason they should NOT be there.

North Korea has tested 14 missiles this year, that’s almost one for every person fired from the Trump administration or government. And as the President preaches about law and order to a group of police officers urging them to not be so nice to people they arrest, his little joke was not taken too well by police federations and departments across this land.

The idea of letting the cops be the prejudger of whether someone arrested should be treated harshly or not during arrest ought to make all Americans nervous. Stop joking around Mr. President. What you suggested is why young Muslim girls get slashed by white supremacists and African-American men get gunned down by over-zealous and nervous cops.

In retaliation for Congress passing a stiff sanctions bill against Russia for meddling in our election, Putin has decided to expel 755 diplomats and foreign service workers from Moscow. Amazingly, Trump says he will sign the bill, which would be a smart and serious move on his part. If he were to veto this bill, he would rip the scab off the wound known as the Russia Investigation. As the investigation takes a break from the front pages, Trump would be wise to press forward and get serious about his role in the world.

Maybe Anthony Scaramucci did something productive when he showed the petty, uncomfortable, back biting working environment that exists inside the White House. This is Trump’s fault. Even privately held corporations would come under scrutiny with this kind of harassment in the workplace.

I still hear Trump voters say how the great Orange one is running the government like a company. Unfortunately for America, he’s running the country like a Trump organization, and all of those loyal Trump voters have never had a chance to work where H1B visa holding, non-Americans get jobs before you do. Boy, what a great boss.

Donald Trump might think he’s doing a great job, but the healthcare fiasco is just one example of Trump failing the test and getting an F for his efforts. He brags about the stock market as if he invented it. The stock market was already on the upward swing before he was elected. The job market opened up in the Spring of 2015, but Trump was too busy bashing Mexicans back then.

One of the things I say to people is this. The stock market doesn’t need Donald Trump to be successful. It was there before he was he was born — the New York Stock Exchange opened in March of 1817 — and it will be there long after he is gone. Just as Obama couldn’t ever take full credit for the stock market, Donald Trump can’t own the bump and then blame any future decease on someone else. If you say you own it, you own it. If Donald Trump was to be impeached and Mike Pence took office, the stock market wouldn’t collapse. It might even go up further. The stock market loves certainty, not unpredictability.

There are many challenges, both domestically and globally, that Trump must confront and manage in a sober manner. Trump has already spent a lot of “serious leader currency” by saying stupid things about world events, organizations and treaties. And back at home, his hurtful attacks on his own people have made it appear to many that he prefers chaos over order. Conflict before country and family before law. This is not the person who will help America stay great.

 


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.

 

 

 

 


“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.

 

 

 

 


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.

 

 


IMPATIENT AND “UN” AWARE

Trump’s Challenge: North Korea

That great term, “sword rattling” takes us back to simpler times, which were just as complicated as they are today. As a country, we don’t get to pick the leaders of the nations of the world. Leaders move to the top of a government sometimes because of birthright, while others kill their way to the top. And in democratic places, some run, campaign and get elected. Their viewpoints will either light the way, or cast a shadow over the land they rule.

Donald Trump ran his campaign on hardened opinions based on his consumption of extremely skewed media outlets and conspiracy theories. He railed against China by mentioning their currency manipulation and trade advantage over the US in almost every rally. He said few negative things about Russia. Trump also claimed he knew more about things like ISIS than his generals, but now that he is President it’s important that he actually listens to his generals.

On the day before the 4th of July, this nation’s 241st birthday, Kim Jong Un ordered the launch of what his press described as an ICBM that could reach the United States. Trump is now becoming aware that Little Kim is taunting the leader of the free world. In fact, the missile traveled 578 miles and made it two-thirds of the way to Japan.

In the Rose Garden (6-30-2017) Trump made a big announcement about the Asian country when he said, “The era of strategic patience with the North Korean regime has failed. And, frankly, that patience is over.” Okay, not quite a red line, but in a communist country, red is not such a bad color.

Once again, our federally paid tweet teenager took to the internet even before he knew the nature of the missile to weigh in on this crisis, “North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life? Hard to believe that South Korea and Japan will put up with this much longer. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!”

When I read that tweet, I LOL’d. The line that stuck out was, Does this guy have anything better to do with his life? And I thought, yeah, that little monster, lucky-sperm leader is launching missiles and our great orange hope is launching tweets. Why isn’t he just talking to Japan and South Korea? It sounds like he is pitching a movie idea to China. What does he mean by “heavy move.” Isn’t that what Trump said he did with women he thought attractive?

According to the New York Times (6-26-2017): “South Korea’s foreign minister indicated strongly on Monday that her government would honor an agreement to deploy an American missile-defense system despite protests and economic retaliation from China.” That seems a bit far from what you want China to do, Mr. Trump.

The Donald might be impatient with North Korea, but he has to understand that country’s complexities. If General MacArthur in the 1950s would have been allowed to continue his march beyond the 38th parallel, who knows what Korea would be as a unified country, today. China wanted a buffer between a working democracy, albeit corruptible, in South Korea and what they want to believe is modern communism in China. Remember, it was China that convinced Truman to “stand down” and fire MacArthur to avoid another world war.

Trump showed his feelings about China’s lack of involvement in his tweet (June 20, 2017), “While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!” Why is our President attempting to shame leaders of major countries into action? It’s almost more important for him to have a running commentary on his feelings. O.M.G. Our president is like a teenage girl writing in her diary every night: Dear Diary…

While China and South Korea would like more discourse between countries, Trump is doing his best at making this about the cult of personality rather than real political diplomacy. Well, to be truthful, Trump is not a diplomatic person. Why is he President again?

Trump toys with people on tweeter and screams about his big bad enemy, the press, at his politically motivated rallies, while Kim Jong Un toys with nations with missiles. The frightening reality is that Un would sacrifice his country’s 25 million people just to prove that he is the boss. What are Trump’s priorities?

Trump may say he is impatient, but what is next? If the President of the United States cannot rally nations and the strong characters who care about the world, he is wasting his time with those 140 characters on Twitter. Those leaders want to know what is the plan and that includes, what happens after Kim Jong Un is gone. Unfortunately, most of those same leaders are looking forward to the time Trump is gone.