IT’S MUELLER TIME!

Donald Feels the Footsteps

As the news broke that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was putting together a federal grand jury, Donald Trump was winging his way to West Virginia for another ego boost from his base.

Maybe Donald Trump believes that these gun-toting, God fearing, red-blooded Americans will come to his aid in his revolution to keep his position and power, but there is indeed a new sheriff in town who is focusing on law. And law alone.

Like the dog-catcher seeking re-election, the Donald keeps telling us about the dangers of rabies, when the real problem is the dog-catcher himself. He keeps biting the dogs hoping he can instill fear in them.

We have heard endless discussions on mainstream media about what a grand jury means and what its purpose is in the investigation of Russian involvement in the 2016 election. The malfeasance that took place did have a motive, there was ample opportunity to commit the crime and there is a smoking gun. You can see the result of the interference on the WikiLeaks web site. I’d say there was a crime committed.

What does a grand jury do? In this case, it will give the Special Counsel the ability to call witnesses, deliver subpoenas to those who might have been involved and of course, the potential of bringing charges against someone or something.

A grand jury’s job is to accuse persons who may be guilty of an offense. They also function as a shield against unfounded and oppressive prosecution. It’s a means for regular citizens, who in a sense represent the community at large, to have a role in the administration of justice. The traditional number of the grand jury is 23 and one of the unique differences from a regular court proceeding, the jurors can ask questions during the proceedings.

I was a plaintiff in a case where a grand jury was asked to bring charges against a man who broke into my house. I was simply asked to tell the story of what happened and they decided that a crime had been committed. The defendant was charged with burglary, later plead guilty and had to pay restitution for the destruction of the front door of my house.

Those who serve on the grand jury will not be involved in the larger case, but they play an important role in our judicial system and can be empaneled for months at a time.

While Trump was in West Virginia, he held his rally and regurgitated his position on the matter of the Russian interference. From the stage surrounded by rabid fans, the dog catcher threw the horde some red meat and screamed, “The Russian story is a total fabrication, it is just an excuse for the greatest loss in the history of American politics. That’s all it is.” Well, then, why do we need a grand jury? The man has spoken and he always tells the truth. What?

But he wasn’t done, he had to have the last word on everything, so he continued, “They can’t beat us at the voting booths so they are trying to cheat you out of the … future that you want. They are trying to cheat you out of the leadership you want with a fake story that is demeaning to all of us and most importantly demeaning to our country and demeaning to our Constitution.”

The use of the word “demeaning” is interesting. Is he really saying that investigating whether a foreign power attempted to affect the Presidential election is demeaning? Demeaning is causing someone to lose their dignity and the respect of others. If we don’t investigate the meddling, we would be demeaning our country and our Constitution. This is pure Orwellian Newspeak. Trump insists on the opposite to state his case. And is anyone in his crowds really thinking?

His lawyers, especially Ty Cobb, have a proper viewpoint of this investigation, “The White House has every interest in bringing this to a prompt and fair conclusion. As we’ve said in the past, we’re committed to cooperating fully with Mr. Mueller.” The fact that Trump travels in an alternative universe shows that he has no respect for the law or even his legal team. Most good attorneys tell their clients to shut up and I’m sure that’s happening here, but Trump isn’t heeding that good advice.

Donald Trump should read the Maranda statement that police read to people as they are arresting them. It might not be too long before Trump hears these words: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.” I am sure our great Orange Leader will be able to afford his own attorney.

 

 

 


ALL TIME LOWS

Trump Sinks & Blames

When the latest polls came out today (8-3-2017), we could feel a shiver move through the Republican party. The 2018 elections aren’t that far away and those running for re-election now worry that the political depression from the big guy might rain on their parade.

In the latest Quinnipiac poll really demonstrates that there is another leak the President should be focusing on; the leak of his popularity. The headline out of the latest stats is the fact that Trump’s approval rating is only 33%. Wow, that isn’t very popular. I wonder why the administration isn’t trying to figure out what to do about that, or is it too late?

The poll surveyed 1,125 voters around the country from July 27 to August 1, 2017. It has a margin of error of plus/minus 3.4 points.

  • 54% said they were embarrassed to have him as president
  • 57% said they he was abusing the powers of his office
  • 60% said they believed he was above the law
  • 71% said Trump was not levelheaded
  • 62% said Trump was not honest
  • 63% said Trump did not have good leadership skills
  • 59% said he did not care about average Americans
  • 63% said he did not share their values

The number that jumps out for me is the 62% of the people surveyed said that the 45th President of the United States is not honest. The other number that really hurts me is the 59% who said that Trump doesn’t care about average Americans. Sad!

As these numbers hit the press today, Trump was back on Twitter with his latest whine: “Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time & very dangerous low. You can thank Congress, the same people that can’t even give us HCare!” [sic]

We can always count on the Donald to deflect blame and to attempt to position himself far away from the kitchen of governance. And the military is starting to get a taste of his modus operandi, served up with a side of naiveté.

He pissed off “his generals” in the Situation Room by complaining about not winning in Afghanistan. Really? The great Orange Leader should pick up the phone and call his friend in Russia learn how well they did in Afghanistan. They spend 10 years in the country and the only accomplishment was empowering Osama bin Laden, a terrorist.

Trump’s lack of awareness of history is astounding. And his pathological way of shifting blame away from himself is not only disturbing, it’s counterproductive. The reason our relationship with Russia is bad is because we caught them trying to hack our election and pushing propaganda to help Trump get elected. Congress was just doing their job, finally.

When 71% of those surveyed said that you are not levelheaded Mr. Trump, you should be thinking about how to manage the damage that has been done, rather than casting blame toward the Legislative branch.

This is all part of the things we have outline on this blog over that last 8 months. We can keep doing the same thing over and over again, but in reality, the more we experience of this White House, the more those stats from Quinnipiac seem extremely plausible.

Trump always took pride in his ability to manipulate the press and handle his own P.R., but when he’s finally put under the microscope by the American public, they see the little germs and viruses in his current sample of leadership.

Trump will get on the taxpayer funded jet airplane tonight and go to West Virginia and get feedback from a select group of rabid fans.  He will once again get some love from people who actual believe he was the right choice. But as time goes on, and things don’t get better, that 33% approval rating will drop lower. And the truth is, the only person to blame is Trump himself.

 

 

 

 


A WARTIME PRESIDENT

Can Trump Be Trusted?

While television is saturated with the stories about Trump writing the Don Jr cover-up statement and the White House being implicated in a law suit concerning a FAKE Fox News story linking a murdered campaign worker to leaked emails from the DNC, there is another story beckoning our attention. War is on the horizon. You certainly would never want to be in a war or escalated conflict anywhere in the world and the very last thing we need right now is an amateur in the White House to deal with this incendiary situation.

North Korea is a powder keg. Syria is a problem that we have given to Russia, while we fight on in Afghanistan, the forgotten war. For 16 years, the United States has been in that country with no peace in sight. Obama did everything he could to keep America out of war, deploying strategic drone strikes with limited US military casualties. After more than 14 missiles being launched by North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, we decided to launch our own test missile from California. (8-1-2017) More sword rattling.

While Donald Trump domestically treads water in the deeper, darker end of the swamp, the world is watching his next move with North Korea. As we get to the first day of August, 2017, the White House is in chaos. The press is hitting Trump and family very hard about their lies and misrepresentations. But that doesn’t change the reality that we are getting to the point where if Donald Trump doesn’t draw a red line in the sand with Kim Jong, he becomes the chess player who freezes and cannot make the next move. If you do nothing you maintain your unpredictability, but you get nothing accomplished.

What is the next move? Has Rex Tillerson really done anything to defuse the potential situation by establishing a diplomatic dialogue? This dance of the mighty with blasting rockets by both parties, is a waste of fuel. When Un propels an ICBM into the sky, we fly our fighters near the boundary of North Korea. If this seems a bit childish and over-reactionary, you have to remember the two players. They are both boy-bullies on the playground.

One positive consequence of having lots of generals on the administration payroll is the added layer of stability to an otherwise chaotic White House. There are those who would fear having lots of generals around, but Trump thinks they protect him from a military coup. Funny how conspiracy oriented the Donald is. Silly man.

There is this political conspiracy theory that Presidents have always done well with re-election when they are in the middle of a war. We trust that the generals would never co-conspire with Trump to pull off a popular war to aid Trump. But think about this. If the White House would stoop so low as to use a murder to cover up collusion with Russia, where is their moral compass?

One of the things that the Trump team says when they are trying to bail out our leader after he offends or misspeaks is, “Oh, he was just joking.” When you are the President of the United States, and you are dealing with risky regimes and rogue rulers, you must be careful not to drop a bad joke. Trump isn’t as funny as he thinks he is, but in front of an adoring audience he gets carried away. This is the guy who has the nuclear codes? God save us.

Donald J. Trump thinks he knows everything. He reminds me of a rich guy who likes to watch baseball and decides he knows enough to buy a baseball team. He believes, “I will show them how to win.” After a few years in the league and millions of dollars lost, he becomes frustrated that winning on the professional level is so difficult. What most people don’t realize is that just because you can watch something on TV, doesn’t make you an expert with it.

Recall that our Orange Leader said, “Who knew healthcare was so complicated?” Well everyone but you knew it’s complicated, airhead. And guess what, Donald. Foreign affairs, political planning and domestic programs are nothing compared to war. Is our President qualified to be the Commander-in-Chief? We think not.

With Trump’s inability to quell what he calls a “witch-hunt” how can he possibly deal with actual witches? Yes, war is a witch, the evilest, most terrible sorceress, who drains your sons and daughter’s blood, rips the gold from your coffers and stains any presidency. There is no dry-cleaner in historical analysis.

While we all watch North Korea develop a nuclear weapons program, Trump will soon be seen for the fake that he is. And if he gets talked into striking first, he won’t be bragging about a great the stock market. Just take a look at a list of the products that come out of Japan, South Korea and China. War is a long, dark winter and if this President takes that step, then we are economically doomed.


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.

 


AN OPEN LETTER TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY

Now What Are You Going to Do?

One should be proud to be a member of the party that freed the slaves. The President who Donald Trump most admires, Andrew Jackson, was a Democrat. No one seems to mention that. Grant and Lincoln were Republicans, and Teddy Roosevelt was a Republican, but his cousin FDR was a Democrat. JFK was a Democrat, while the disgraced Richard Nixon was a Republican. As times change, parties change, but people need to feel the party they support has a core set of values that they can believe in.

The party’s platform says that the RNC believes in American exceptionalism. Okay, USA, USA, USA, but then they say: “This platform is optimistic because the American people are optimistic. This platform lays out — in clear language — the path to making America great and united again. For the past 8 years America has been led in the wrong direction.” So much for the optimism. I wonder how many people in any party read their political party’s platform.

Research shows that there are many factors that make up the decision on affiliation to one party or another. Your family or where you grew up have a great influence over whether you follow the elephant or the donkey. Not sure why those images are used for the parties, but we also have to remember we have many other independent parties. Make no doubt about it, our government, from the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and the rules and traditions of the Legislative branch, works best with two parties. But it should be pointed out here that the first President, George Washington had no political affiliation.

Donald J. Trump changed from liberal New York Democrat to National Republican. The reason for this move, he claims, is because he changed his viewpoints on so many issues that he just morphed into a Republican. Huh? Most political experts know that Trump’s move to another party was purely a political move with an eye on being elected.

Trump’s public comments demonstrated his obvious hate of Barack Obama. The Donald was also critical of George W. Bush’s governance, which didn’t disqualify him as a Republican, but created a wall between Trump and the Bush family. He even called George W. a liar during the debates. Nice guy, team player.

Donald Trump should have started his own party, but it was so much easier to hijack the Republican party and remodel it around his base of right-winged maniacs. There is some wisdom in putting down Washington and people of both parties, people already dislike our government in a generic way.

Here is my question to the Republicans who jumped on the band wagon, either early on or after nomination, what happened to your so-called moral bedrock? When Donald Trump came down that escalator and claimed that “Mexicans are rapists” you had your chance to pick up the phone and tell him that is not our message and we cannot have that in our party. But you were too busy trying to figure out how to win, rather than standing by your code of ethics.

You even let Donald’s people — read: Paul Manafort — change a plank in the platform to give Russia a stronger hand in the Ukraine. Why did you let that happen? Because you just wanted to win. And now, what do you have, a President without roots in your party and with no respect for the history of this country.

The fact that Trump conned the evangelical into backing him from the pulpits of their mega-churches and televangelist platforms is so unseemly that I would ask them, “What does your Jesus think?” Basically, people like Jerry Falwell, Jr. have sided with the money changers outside of the temple. They will be judged by a higher power, but you shouldn’t be fooled by these few money-hungry fools with lots of money.

The Republican Party is now in deep conflict. You still have deep-seated radical Tea Party people who will block most issues based on far-right initiatives (a minority in America) rather than what their constituents really want. You have half-baked neo-conservatives who pray to their Ronald Reagan photo every night but have little understanding of how Ron was able to get things done. Reagan was able to govern, even with tax increases, with professional acting prowess and statesmanship. He was previously the president of a labor union. He understood both sides.

The Republican party has some great members. Lindsey Graham, the Senator from South Carolina, has always told it like it is. John McCain, the Senator from Arizona who’s a bit old-fashioned, understands how it all works and what government is supposed to do. Sure, he sides with his party, but he’s not siding with the nonsense and the sabotage created by political whores like Newt Gingrich.

Winning is great, but you have a poor manager of government in the White House and a godforsaken lousy President. How did you let that happen? You have a president who doesn’t care about law. Where were you during this process of nomination? You have a charismatic show man with his long red ties and his fake hair and makeup trying to be the leader of free world but doing a horrendous job. You slap his back and smile for the cameras, because he was the winner and you didn’t want to lose. You have no balls.

The President and his new consigliere, Slick Anthony, use Twitter to shame and bully employees of the government.  This, is not only uncouth but may be against the law. They are employees of the Federal government. Is not harassment against the labor law?

You Republicans have damaged your own party, but I guess you can sleep at night, because you know how dysfunctional the other party is. But in the end, you are going to have to make the biggest decision in 2020. Do you back the incumbent, or do you find someone else to proudly represent your party? You know, it would be a lot easier just to impeach him.


DONALD J AND JARED

Trump’s Circle of Trust

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


“I LOVE THE PRESIDENT”

Respect is Not Enough for Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.