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.

 

 


TRUMP GOT PLAYED BY PUTIN

Rookie President, Rookie Mistakes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


RUSSIA! RUSSIA! RUSSIA!

Shameful Abuse of Stupid

The idiom, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” is what first came to mind when I read the emails that were sent to Donald Trump, Jr. He believed they were sent by a Russian government lawyer who was willing to give him dirt on the Clinton campaign. What was a weekend of misdirects from Don Jr. finally turned out to be his release of the emails the New York Times was citing on the affair.  By the way, his release came only minutes before the Times divulged the emails.  Coincidence?

Another fact that whooshed through my brain was the old P.T. Barnum line, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” This is true in business and, I guess the Circus, but in politics and governance that is only a semi-fact. Trump has always fed fact fragments and partial truths to the press, believing deep down inside that they are stupid enough to print it. Worse, the Donald believes that citizens are gullible and unaware, and, therefore, will believe anything he says.

This news of a meeting in the Trump Tower between Don Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, was documented in an email that the New York Times craftily obtained. This revelation was clearly bad news for the Trump White House, because their defense has always been that they never met with Russians. Well, the cat is now out of the bag and a conspiracy has been revealed. Even with Don Jr. protecting his Dad, this stinks like a dead skunk on a country road.

Maybe Donald Trump and his extended DNA believe that only children and fools tell the truth, but when you become President of the United States, you are expected to be honest. The oath that the President elect takes, says:  I do solemnly swear 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. Now, I might be accused of being presumptuous here, but I do believe the framers were assuming that the President would always tell the truth. Right?

The defense of little Don-Don is quite fantastic. Lawyers are paid to spin, deny and deliver a positive verdict for their clients, but wait, why do they all have different attorneys? Oh my, does this mean, they are agreeing that something is there? Are they afraid of individually being in legal jeopardy? Clearly, the release of Don Jr’s. own emails can be called “transparent” by his father, but in fact, the son of a POTUS released the missives to get out in front of the Times story. This is much like James Comey releasing his notes to the New York Times before the President claimed something different was said at their meetings.

The legal team’s disguise was constructed on the basis that Don Jr didn’t know who he was meeting with and the event was so insignificant that he never told his father who was then the candidate for President. In fact, Jared Kushner also “forgot” to include the meeting in his security clearance form. It has been said that he amended that form which started the press inquiries into what was discussed at that meeting.

The President’s plausible deniability will be based on Kushner, Manafort and Don Jr never telling him about the meeting, but there is a way to find that out? They all need to be put under oath.

The meeting with the Russian operative was thought to have some meat, thus the CC to Manafort and Kushner. All three men attended the meeting.  At least Donald Jr and Jared Kushner can make sure they have their story straight, but Paul Manafort, a person who received millions of dollars from a Kremlin backed candidate in the Ukraine, surely has his own lawyer and perhaps a different recollection of the meeting.

The government could very easily “turn” Manafort and Michael Flynn against the President himself if they squeeze the vice tightly and make it clear there could be jail time. If I am reading this right: Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both. That is the Logan Act and surely, Manafort and Flynn have discussed sanctions with the “agent thereof” the Russian government. Would protecting the President be worth three years in jail?

Now I know that the Trump Teams will defend this “little” twenty-minute meeting with nothing of value was exchanged.  Even though the content of the emails clearly shows Don Jr’s delight at the prospect of getting what they are terming “opposition research” from this Russian lawyer, time will tell if that was only one meeting, or were there a series of meetings or communications? Indeed, the “so-called” research ended up at the doorsteps of Wikileaks and was published, so we do know something happened in the late summer timeline that Don Jr desired in writing.

Today (7-12-2017) Donald Trump tweeted, “My son Donald did a good job last night. He was open, transparent and innocent. This is the greatest Witch Hunt in political history. Sad!” The President was referring to an appearance on the Fox News channel where he admitted to Sean Hannity, a known Trump operative, “In retrospect, I probably would have done things a little differently.” Good boy, good boy, sit, roll over, good little Donnie. Here’s a little treat, now go back to your office and shut up. So much for “Witch Hunt” Mr. President, you cannot escape from the truth with flashy jargon.

One of the most irritating things that our President and all his men and women do is deflecting to the past.  It’s like a child getting caught and then, responding straight from an over-grown amygdala, “Bobby did it first Mommy.” Even Donald Trump, the father, cannot stop this repetitive invective for things: “Why aren’t the same standards placed on the Democrats? Look what Hillary Clinton may have gotten away with. Disgraceful!”

The only change of tone was the use of the phrase “may have gotten away with,” which psychologists say is one typically used when threatened with the truth.  It’s an attempt to throw doubt on someone else. In this case, however, Trump seems to be less cavalier and a bit more legalistic with his words saying “may have.”

The word Russia is being said more and more each week as the forces claw their way closer to the truth. We may have to step on some “stupid” to get the facts, but we will get there. And as we get closer, more and more Republicans will realize that their party has been hijacked and they will surely start to get into position to take it back. Republicans are tired of hearing the chant of Russia, Russia, Russia and the American people will settle for a President Pence to get this behind us.


SERIOUS TRUMP – GOOFY DONALD

Can We Have the Serious One?

Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post was on Meet The Press this week (7-9-2017) using the term “Teleprompter Trump.” She was describing the person who reads someone else’s words and gets better grades for being presidential than the man known as “Twitter Trump.” And may I suggest a third person inside the human Cheeto?  How about the “Impromptu Trump?” This persona appears when Trump goes on camera to make a point that everyone else in his administration has been making for the previous 24-hours, except he says something completely different than they did!

With our multi-personality President, we must divert the different streams of verbiage into the appropriate buckets. When POTUS spoke last week in Poland, we heard from Teleprompter Trump. In that speech we heard this, “We urge Russia to cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere and its support for hostile regimes including Syria and Iran, and to instead join the community of responsible nations in our fight against common enemies and the defense of civilization itself.”

We live in a sound-bite/headline word. Out of the speech in Warsaw came the line about whether the west has the will to survive, while the warning to Russia was buried in the rest of the lecture. The big speech was a few days before Trump and Tillerson met with Putin and Kislyak. And this meeting, produced more controversy.

Kislyak and Putin claimed in their press briefings at the G20 that, indeed, Trump brought up cyber meddling in our election.  They also said that Trump had accepted Putin’s denial. Trump did not have a press briefing, therefore the story got out in front of him.

The administration thought Trump’s Tweet would soften the astonishment of those who thought he left the Russians off the hook.  Trump wrote, “Putin & I discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded.”

Donald Trump has said that it’s easy to be a critic. I, for one, don’t have to try very hard to muster up some serious criticism about things that Twitter Trump types. But really, are we going to get together with the fox and talk about security at the hen house? Will dinner be served?

As Air Force One made its way back to Washington, the story broke in the New York Times that Donald, Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort met with a Russian lawyer who offered “information” on Hillary Clinton. This meeting occurred right after the Donald won the Republican nomination.

As the weekend progressed, more and more “adjustments” were made to the story.  Finally, we received the official word that, yes, the meeting took place, but the nominee, Donald Trump, was not at the meeting and knew nothing about it. Kushner and Manafort were working for the campaign at that time.

While the super hawks of the Senate, Lyndsey Graham and John McCain, were on the Sunday talk shows making fun of the suggestion of a cyber security unit with Russia, it wasn’t long before the great Orange leader was taking back his own words on Twitter: “The fact that President Putin and I discussed a Cyber Security unit doesn’t mean I think it can happen. It can’t-but a ceasefire can, & did!” (7-9-2017)

The big question is what would Teleprompter Trump say about this? We hardly ever get to see Impromptu Trump, so we probably won’t get to confront that personality on this issue. But, for sure, if Donald J. Trump was in front of cameras and asked about this he would start to defend himself and then make a quick turn to talk about the ceasefire that is taking place in an area of the least problematic in Syria. But then, Twitter Trump drives the narrative and thus action plan of this White House.

May I point out that what was once known as Multiple Personality Disorder is now called Dissociative Identity Disorder? It’s a condition under which a person’s identity is fragmented into two or more distinct personality states. It’s said that people with this rare condition were often victims of severe abuse. Maybe the metal in the silver-spoon in Donald’s mouth leeched into his tiny brain when he was young. Dissociative Identity Disorder is D.I.D., as in “Did I say that?”

Those who lie and exaggerate are often forced to retract, restate and reform the things they said. With Trump’s tribe of surrogates on-call to course correct Our President’s words, one could honestly ask whether Donald Trump has any talent for clarity. In fact, he continuously and clearly steps on his own proclamations. How can this be good for America?

Trump can restate his mantra of “No Connection, No Collusion” all he wants, but the intent of getting information on Clinton was the reason for the meeting with the Russian lawyer. Don, Jr. threw himself under the bus to protect the old man and now we have an admission of the desire for dirt, thus the first step toward collusion.

Donald Trump should think about negotiating a cease-fire with the free press by giving them some real facts. Slowly, the conflict between Teleprompter Trump, Twitter Trump and Impromptu Trump will continue to plague this administration’s ability to create a positive presidential presence for the majority of Americans; you know, the Popular Vote.

Editor’s Note: We borrowed the “Cheeto” moniker from SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR singer Corey Taylor from his book: “America 51: A Probe Into The Realities That Are Hiding Inside ‘The Greatest Country In The World'”