TARRIFS ARE TAXES, STUPID!

Trump’s Egomaniacal Economics

If someone asked you if it’s possible to solve an economic problem by creating a trade war with another country, you might have to ask, “Can such a war be won?” and, of course, “How much would that war cost?” These are things that we elect our representatives in Congress to investigate and debate.

I found a very well written web site, Council on Foreign Relations. They state clearly, “A tariff is a tax imposed on goods imported from a foreign country. Tariffs are paid by an importing business to its home country’s government, most commonly as a fixed percentage of the value of the imports. Tariffs can serve several goals. Like all taxes, they provide a modest source of government revenue. Several countries have also used tariffs to help their infant industries at home, hoping to shelter local firms from foreign competitors. Some tariffs are also meant to address unfair practices that other countries have used to make their exports artificially cheap.”

Let’s consider a real-life scenario. You want to buy a brand-new iPhone. The cost of the iPhone XS Max has a suggested retail price of $1,099. Now if a 25% tariff is placed on the item, the Ajax importer company will have to pay $274.75 to the treasury for each phone it brings into the US. Most importers will cover themselves by increasing the unit price of phone they sell. So, the Sprint store will have to give the importer more than $1300.00 for each phone, and the local tax a consumer might pay will drive the price even higher. In New York state, you would have to pay $114 in taxes. Yes, the treasury gets the tariff, but at what cost to the consumer? The Trade war with China makes you pay $1400 for a phone that cost $1100 last month. In most cases, higher prices also mean fewer phones will be ordered.

When soybeans were shipped to China by American farmers at $13.83 per bushel in November of 2012, their profit margins were tight. Now, in April 2019, the price of soybeans has sunk to $8.59 per bushel. Why would the price go down?  President Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum caused the Chinese to retaliate and charge US farmers a tariff. The price of soybeans went down because China found cheaper suppliers in the world and much of the US crops that were to be sent to China now sits in warehouses. This lowered demand for soybeans. To help the farmers, the Trump administration is giving farmers a $6 billion bailout so they can weather his trade war, but wasn’t there a better way to achieve a workable trade deal with China?

Trump, along with a lot of blowhard politicians, said that the TPP agreement the US was in the middle of negotiation with many Pacific Rim countries was a bad idea. This agreement was an attempt to protect smaller nations like New Zealand and to check China’s more aggressive trade activities. The TPP was set to become the world’s largest free trade deal, covering 40 percent of the global economy. It was opposed by China and Trump declared it a bad deal because Obama was involved, but I’m fairly sure he never read the agreement and has no idea what it would have done. Most people in the world who were against it saw it as a way for the US to broaden its trade efficiency. I’m not sure why Trump opposed it.

If a candidate for President of the United States promised that under their administration prices on most goods imported into America would cost 10 to 25% more, hardly anyone would vote for him or her. That is exactly what happened with Trump. If you are trying to comprehend how much money you did or didn’t get back in your 2018 tax return, you need to factor in the rising costs of many goods. It’s likely that whatever you gained by the tax cut will not cover the increases coming to your budget shortly.

The New York Times reported today (5-20-2019) that “Anti-money-laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank recommended in 2016 and 2017 that multiple transactions involving legal entities controlled by Donald J. Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be reported to a federal financial-crimes watchdog.” Trump is suing that same bank to keep them from releasing financial information about his companies and business interests. One must ask if he is attempting to game the system by being nice to Russian loan suppliers and covering up ethical and legal misdeeds with banks.

We know that one of the key elements of the Trump Doctrine is eliminating regulations to the detriment of valuable oversight that, as investors, we all appreciate. We don’t want banks to launder or manipulate money, we want them to be legal players and honest brokers.

The Department of Labor’s “Conflict of Interest” rule stated that advisers had to give conflict-free advice on retirement accounts, putting their clients’ needs ahead of their own potential income. It was eliminated in June of 2018. WHY? What sense does it make to remove a law that declares money managers must put your interest above theirs? This is so wrong in so many ways, but it’s a true reflection of who Trump is.

This person sitting in the White House doesn’t care about you paying more for things just so he can look tough. He isn’t smart enough to know that a country with the power of the USA can get things done in trade without hurting our own economy. The Donald doesn’t really care if a stockbroker cheats you out of money. By blowing away the “Conflict of Interest” rule, Trump has just paved the way for the next Bernie Madoff. I am totally convinced the man knows nothing about global economies. The conflicts Trump creates are all for his own benefit. He has no long-term planning.

Tariffs are taxes and Trump is toxic.

BRAND NEW BOOK ON AMERICA

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


TRUMP’S TRADE WAR

Did He Really Need to Do This?

If you review the dogma of Donald Trump, you will see a picture of the administration’s complete lack of intelligent design. If you wanted to bring together many nations to curb Chinese manipulation of world trade, you would sign an TTP agreement. Trump walked away from it. After NAFTA achieved years of strong economic development in the US, Canadian and Mexico, Trump tore it up.

If you want to keep track of the nuclear ambitions of Iran, you make them sign an agreement with many nations. Trump walked away from it. If you want to motivate the countries of the world to establish reasonable pollution control and climate change curtailment, you sign a Paris Accord. Trump walked away from it.

And now, Trump believes that the way to get the world’s economy under the control of American money is to slap tariffs on products from all the top economies of the world. What is a tariff? It’s a tax on imports or exports between sovereign states. It is a means to regulate international trade by taxing foreign products to encourage or safeguard domestic industry. Basically, we add taxes to products so that another country cannot undercut US products with a price advantage. This was first done by Alexander Hamilton to protect new companies from harsh competition.

Consider this. You bought a case of wine in France and tucked it into your luggage as you returned to the US. A customs inspector discovers your cache and analyzes it. Let’s say you bought a case of 36 bottles for two dollars a bottle. So, the value of your case is $72 and the tariff (really a fine in this case) is $8 per bottle or $288 for the case. Now, let’s further say you were bringing the case into America for a friend. Instead of charging your friend $72, you now must charge your drinking buddy $360 for the contraband you delivered. If we apply this to a real-world business situation, one might also have to charge the friend federal and state taxes on the goods, which would raise the cost even more. Yes, the treasury got the $288 in fees, but the tariff was paid by the importer, and the consumer reimbursed the importer for their costs. The money was a tax paid by the consumer and deposited into the treasury.

Now, if France got wind of this tariff and matched the tariff on something coming the other way, let’s say, a John Deere tractor, then their consumers would have to pay an increased price on the US-made tractor. But what if the French refused to pay the tariff and bought a Kubota tractor from Japan? That would mean the US manufacturer would lose the sale and the trade war would damage that company’s bottom-line. These complex layers of global trade are a great pitch to rabid political rally goers, but the consequences of knee jerk trade policies become highly problematic for our producers.

Idiot-in-Chief Trump has a fantasy dream that all the rustbelt states will bring back major manufacturing facilities and we will return to the calmer economy of American in post-war 1950s. This might sound like a great idea on the surface, but it took more than 70 years for these former US industries to be eliminated by sellers importing cheaper goods from other countries and that’s not a clock easily turned back.

Sure, the US could have been a protectionist economic force in the last 50 years, but the rest of the world wouldn’t have bought our expensive goods. Large markets such as China, India and Southeasts Asia would have simply bought items and sold products such as steel and aluminum to and from other nations. Our industries might have collapsed faster.

Instead of trying to bring back those high polluting industries, with no guarantee that we could even produce cheaper products, we need to look toward products of the future. To borrow a sports metaphor from famous hall of fame hockey star Wayne Gretzky, success is “not skating to where the puck was but skating to where the puck is going to be.” And that is precisely what we must do with our industrial developments and plans.

The world is migrating toward wind and sun energy. Why can’t we be the #1 producer of the gear to lead the planet to renewable energy? If the earth is all about technology, why aren’t we investing in education and finding the brightest and smartest inventors for the future? It’s a better investment than cranking up the coal burning power plants. Even investment in nuclear power plants makes more sense then putting money into old technology. We can produce without killing the world markets.

Most smart investors and economists understand how things work, but remember, they are never 100% correct. We have a president who thinks he knows everything about money and how to make billions, yet in his life he lost more than a BILLION dollars and paid no taxes for more than a decade. Sadly, his followers don’t care about the past. They don’t even care about the Mueller report. The reality is we all will lose money because of Donald Trump. WHY DO WE HAVE TO PAY FOR HIS MISTAKES? Hey, maybe that’s a good tag line for a political opponent’s commercial in 2020!

BRAND NEW BOOK ON AMERICA

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


LIARS ALWAYS BELIEVE LIARS

Trump Fails to Defend Decency

We learned a lot about President Donald Trump this week, and none of it was good. In the history of American presidents, we may have challenged some of their political intents or lack of awareness on certain issues, but we always believed they upheld America’s best interests. It’s getting harder and harder to believe that Trump sees another liar for what he is. Putin lied; Trump took the bait. Kim Jong-Un lied; Trump came running into his arms.

The 45th President of the United States is what is known in foreign relations circles as a naïve “chicken shit.” In my book, Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs, I bared my feelings about the relationship between Kim and Trump, “We saw what happened to a kid from Cincinnati who was slowly murdered while incarcerated in North Korea. After he came home to die, the head Goofball genuflected at the groin of a despot for a freaking photo op. Have you no decency, Goofball-in-Chief?”

To quote another stable genius, Britney Spears, “Oops, I did it again.” Trump stood on the international stage in Vietnam, imaginary bone spurs and all, and once again said that he believed the word of a deranged tyrannical dictator about the death of someone. If you are keeping score, he believes that Putin wasn’t involved in the attack on our democracy during the 2016 election. He believes the Crown Prince and his royal family had nothing to do with the brutal murder of a Washington Post reporter, Jamal Khashoggi. Shamefully, he also believes the denials of Roy Moore and those who support him. Now, he says that Kim knew nothing about the treatment of Otto Warmbier. What a farce.

The people who would be most affected by Trump’s comments are very disturbed by the siding with Chairman Kim. And it only took 48 hours for the Warmbier family to respond, “We have been respectful during this summit process. Now we must speak out,” Fred and Cindy Warmbier said in a statement. “Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuse or lavish praise can change that.”

What Trump has done, slowly but surely, is lower the moral value of America. He doesn’t defend decency; he steps over it. This brings us the Michael Cohen hearing that took place while Trump was in Vietnam. The House of Representatives Committee of Oversight called the convicted ex-lawyer and Trump fixer to testify the same way one might interrogate a spy to learn how to keep the wolfs away next time.

The Republicans on the committee were woefully unprepared to use the evidence that was provided to defend their president. The best confrontations were the product of young fresh faces and minds from the Majority. Michael Cohen has an agenda. The Democrats in Congress also have an agenda. Not all agendas are bad. An agenda is simply a list of items to be discussed at a formal meeting. While that word has been hijacked by zealous persons and hyper-partisans, it’s true meaning persists. Michael Cohen is a liar who the head liar, Donald Trump, employed for almost ten years, most likely because Cohen would lie for him.

There are some experts who think that Trump watching the Cohen testimony so bothered the “leader of the free world” that when North Korea proposed a reason to step forward, Trump childishly rejected the offer and walked. He was rendered stupid by what was happening in Washington.

The goal of the hearing was clear and totally in the purview of the committee. They were exercising their duty to conduct oversight regarding what has been happening in the administration. And what did we learn about Trump? Well, most of it is old news, but often obscured by the multitude of tweets, public statements and known legal documents. The hearing emphasized the reality that Trump is not a trustworthy person. Doh!

We all know he lies, he cheats, he deals and he double-deals. He’s underhanded and will commit crimes to protect his name and money. To put a bow on it, he’s the most unsavory and corrupt President since Richard Nixon. Just why do we let this man continue to be our president?

As more holes were torn in his reputation, it was fitting that he was in Vietnam, a place where 58,220 US soldiers were once killed in its jungles and cities. As Michael Cohen was quoting Trump’s mea culpa on faking a medical deferment to get out of serving his country, Kim Jong-Un was Donald Trump’s master puppeteer, once again.

Kim gets to take the long train ride home to accolades and proclamations in his homeland about the way the little murderer stood up to the blowhard leader of the United States. Trump will come home to face questions about the fantasies of a friendship that was supposed to help him get a Nobel Peace Prize. There will be other questions about what he knew, and when he knew it. Russian investigation is one thing, but the legal beagles in the Southern District of New York are searching a scent. It’s the stench of lies, crimes and felonies. It won’t be long now.

Silly man. Trump doesn’t even realize the whole world is doing more than watching; they are laughing at him. And because he is the President, they are laughing at America too, and that should make us all angry. It’s time for action!

BRAND NEW BOOK ON AMERICA

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.

 

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


WHERE DID EMPATHY GO?

Trump’s Weakest Moment

When we need someone to lead us, he fails. When we need the President to feel the pain of the people, he stumbles. When he presents America to the world, he embarrasses. Donald J. Trump has no empathy for Americans. He has no empathy for anyone else in the world. It’s not America first. It’s Trump First.

With all the leaders of the world commemorating the end of World War I in Europe, Trump said the weather was too bad for him to travel to a cemetery where American soldiers are buried. All the other leaders went, but Trump sent retired General John Kelly in his stead. Once again, Trump was missing in action on the empathy front. One wonders if his bone spurs were acting up that day.

It takes more than my two hands to count the number of events that have taken place in America and the world these past 22 months where the President of the United States could have been a comforting presence, but with Trump all we have is a fatalist. What a terrible thing to say, even if it’s true.

With more than 30 people dead in California due to fires, our president decided to tweet this, “There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!”

Really, this guy wants to blame “forest management” on the fires? Donald Trump has no knowledge about wildfires. They start, spread and devastate large areas because the land is too dry and the winds fan the flames. Wind and dry land are essential topics of the Paris Accord, but our Great Orange Leader will never make that connection. He would prefer to blame rather than help. Trump has no empathy.

Our president talks up first responders and police on the campaign trial, but he fails to understand their methods and challenges. This was the response from California Professional Firefighters President Brian K. Rice, “The president’s message attacking California and threatening to withhold aid to the victims of the cataclysmic fires is Ill-informed, ill-timed and demeaning to those who are suffering as well as the men and women on the front lines.” Or to put in another way, IT’S CLIMATE CHANGE, idiot!

Trump thinks he still on a reality TV show where the host is supposed to get laughs and applause. It might be a game to Trump, but when people die it’s no longer funny. If Trump doesn’t declare the fires in California a national disaster, he is negligent of duty and should be impeached. You cannot withhold funds for recovery because you don’t like how the people voted.

I am getting weary of those supporters who cannot see Trump’s lack of empathy and poor leadership. They tell me my rhetoric is not helpful and that we will never to be able to repair the divide by attacking the President. They keep saying, “Hey, look at the economy.” And I say what I have said from the day he was elected, “He’s bad for America. He embarrasses America.” They just don’t get it, but time and history will show that his destructive, unhelpful and conspiratorial comments have made America less safe and less “great.” America deserves a better leader.

The First 200 Days Of Trump – ONLY ONE MILLION LEFT

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

 

The Jonas Bronck Series

BOOK ONE (IF GOD COULD TALK) A Cable TV talk show host is approached by a friend who offers a guest for his show who has never been on TV before. The Diary of a TV Journalist is the story about the host of the show and his executive producer vetting the guest and attempting to determine what would happnen If God Could Talk…

BOOK TWO (IF GOD COULD CRY) One of the most eye-opening stories about terrorism. The famous cable TV talk show host, Jonas Bronck, leaves New York on a quest for truth. He finds himself in the middle of terror and personal torment in the name of journalism. He once again asks, If God Could Cry, would he be crying for us, or with us?

Books available on Amazon:


DEMONONIZATION MATTERS

Trump’s Vitriol Being Acted Out

We have been writing this blog since Donald J. Trump became president, and in many of these missives we have warned that when an extreme ideolog stirs up his base, bad things happen. Trump rallies show us just how violent people can get when they are urged to hate journalists or anyone with a different opinion. With Trump holding the highest office in the land, we seem to have a domestic problem. It’s almost as if Russia has their hand in this great divide of America. It’s exactly what they would execute if they had the power. Maybe they have the power.

President Trump has multiple personalities and all of them lie. When confronted, he tries to be “presidential,” but he continually tweets messages of negativity and hate. The Donald has his enemies list, and it’s become apparent today that the crazies are attempting to gain his love by doing bad things to those on that list. When someone sends bombs to former presidents, actors and news networks, we are at a serious crossroad. Something must be done.

Trump’s harsh rhetoric, stupid conspiracy theories and hate speeches have pushed the fringe element to the edge. It’s time for Congress to comprehend that Donald Trump is bad for America. Trump has never even started to bring America together. Instead, he has divided us and turned basic traditions, customs and laws upside down. His thoughts and actions are not good for our country. He mocks decent conduct and has abandoned the respect and responsibility of the office. He has not fulfilled his pledge to protect all Americans.

We will learn more about the pipe bombs being sent to former presidents, movie stars and a news network, but Trump has can no longer brag about the lack of terrorism in America since he was elected. That was just another lie. STOP AND THINK ABOUT IT; the targets of these acts are Trump’s targets. The enemies of this terrorist appears to be the same people Trump doesn’t like.

I would urge everyone to google this reference in Wikipedia. I cannot believe that I would even think about what Hitler did to gain power when we are being attacked on our soil. I do not trust Trump and I am saddened to think he would ever promote this kind of activity.

We need to make sure that Trump is not complicit. We need to find out if these evil people are being motivated by Trump and, if so, they need to be condemned by the President. Trump has got to stop the vile demonization of Democrats and unnecessary bullying of our free press. If he cannot stop weaponizing his position, he should be impeached. He is inciting violence. And now we have proof.


A dangerous self-delusion

Trump peers over cliff, can he fly?

Your favorite President did nothing wrong!” sure sounds a lot like “I am not a crook!” When one engages in high risk marketing only two things can happen, and one is bad. In this case, the implication of the opposite is clear, he did do something wrong and he is covering up a whopper.

We are hearing tapes of the President’s voice instructing his lawyer to pay cash to hush-up a Playboy model. We are hearing him say not to believe what you read or hear. He is not well. He is not truthful and he is tearing down any respect left in the presidency of the United States of America.

The assumptive pronouncement, “Your favorite President…” is only meant to enrage the opposition. The enemy of the people is not the press, it is the people who are not checking the President’s reckless actions and statements. One group blindly follows this lunatic, while the other wants his disruption and instability to end. The resistance will pay for a clear path to normalization with a little bit of Constitutional crisis, if need be. In other words, most of the people in America think something is wrong. More than half believe Trump is doing a bad job, while the other 38% think he is being tried in a kangaroo court.

The self-delusional rhetoric from our Great Orange Leader feeds to the narrative that he is the victim, but the facts speak tons. More than 17 people have left this administration, either on their own or after being fired, with two or three of the appointments coming under fire as we speak. Might I remind everyone that these were people picked by Trump, so he must have made mistakes. Don’t hold your breath waiting for an apology.

After his fruitless photo-op with Kim Jong-Un and disastrous summit with Putin, Trump has proven that he’s an amateur on the world stage. He’s making the same mistakes which he has criticized former presidents of making. He draws his own red lines in his tweets, only to use hyperbole to divert the American public’s attention from these embarrassments. He’s a 250 pound tough guy perched on his toilet while blasting out all caps tweets. But when he gets face to face with world leaders needing a cautious approach, he kisses their asses. He spits in the faces of the allies we depend on to keep the world balanced and protected from dangerous regimes. Doing a Shylock shakedown of the NATO nations is beneath the leader of the free world. That challenge should have been kept in the family. Why give Russia hope? Or is that Trump’s primary role?

Trump’s latest eruption is another attempt to soil the Mueller Russian interference investigation. His acknowledgement of Russian interference was just another photo-op and left-handed compliment, but now he’s back to calling the whole thing a hoax. If you say that you agree with the intelligence community’s findings, but then throw massive shade on the investigation a day later, you are obviously not telling the truth. Trump equates the Mueller – Russian thing as all against him and a trick to delegitimatize his election. He’s not wrong. If Mueller finds anyone from the campaign involved in the Russian operation, Trump might be impeached just for being the benefactor of bad players within this campaign. Will any of the 17 people who left his administration be found involved in the meddling?

Trump today is attempting to move the story away from the delusional view of North Korea with a new attack on Iran. Last night’s tweet, (7-22-2018), shows the new tactic, “To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!”

Congress should pass a law that taxes the use of ALL CAPS on Twitter to pay for the Russian investigation. Trump is a shameful example of who we should not let near the nuclear codes. He’s not a “stable genius.” His actions clearly show that he’s just an over-blown, fat baby president without any knowledge of history or government. As soon as this president gets to the edge of the war cliff, will his supporters believe they all can fly with him or will he fall out of power? History and gravity will destroy this administration and take Trump to the bottom. In the end, poor little Donnie will be all alone with his money, big ties and bad makeup.

The First 200 Days Of Trump – ONLY ONE MILLION LEFT

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

 

The Jonas Bronck Series

BOOK ONE (IF GOD COULD TALK) A Cable TV talk show host is approached by a friend who offers a guest for his show who has never been on TV before. The Diary of a TV Journalist is the story about the host of the show and his executive producer vetting the guest and attempting to determine what would happnen If God Could Talk…

BOOK TWO (IF GOD COULD CRY) One of the most eye-opening stories about terrorism. The famous cable TV talk show host, Jonas Bronck, leaves New York on a quest for truth. He finds himself in the middle of terror and personal torment in the name of journalism. He once again asks, If God Could Cry, would he be crying for us, or with us?

Books available on Amazon:


SPEED DATING IN SINGAPORE

Trump’s Simplistic View of Diplomacy

What the world just witnessed in Singapore was the devaluation of reality. The bull in the china shop destroyed so much stemware and pottery that the United States will have to take out another loan to pay for it all. If I was a conspiracy theorist, I might suggest that the big summit between Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump didn’t really happen. But we saw it on TV, so it must have taken place. However, the final product of the event has less backbone than a jellyfish.

The Democrats asked, “Where’s the beef,” While the Trump loyalists were toasting, “Well, Trump did it!” Yes, he took a meeting with the Chairman of a totalitarian nation, who arrests, tortures, kills and enslaves his people, but that never stood in the way of the Donald’s ego. He thinks he will get the Noble Peace Prize for this made-for-TV event, but he failed to get anything of substance from this high-level meeting. It’s pure Trump; lots of talk, lots of words, little substance.

Trump walked away with a two-page letter saying we agree to reaffirm the talks to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. We still don’t know if Kim’s definition of denuclearization matches ours. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the U.S. goal of the meeting with the North Korean despot was to get “Permanent, verifiable, irreversible dismantling” of their nuclear war machine. Mike has now become frustrated with the fair questions concerning that very pronouncement.

When Pompeo, probably suffering from the new orange form of jetlag, was asked about the fact that his words were not in the two-page agreement both leaders signed, he cited the word “complete” and equated it to “permanent, verifiable, irreversible dismantling” of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. When pressed further, Pompeo barked, “I find that question insulting and ridiculous and, frankly, ludicrous. I just have to be honest with you. It’s a game and one ought not play games with serious matters like this.” Mike, Mike, we appreciate your being “honest” with us but, please, when you negotiate a complex disarmament agreement with another country, you should use precise legal verbiage. Right?

Since Trump returned from his speed-dating session with a dictator in Singapore, he has declared that North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat. This, we guess, is based not on an agreement but on his perception of a five-hour meeting with Kim Jong-Un. Donald Trump destroyed relationships with members of the G-7 with insults and his lack of understanding about how trade works, and then dashed off to the big summit. He doesn’t have a solid grasp of diplomacy, so he wasted his time and millions of dollars on a giant photo-op.

Time will tell whether a pledge to start a dialog will indeed lead to peace, but there is good reason to cast skepticism over what happened in Singapore. By telling Kim that we would suspend all military activities with South Korea, we gave the autocrat a gigantic win, without getting diddley-squat in return. Trump also hinted that we might pull out all our troops from South Korea. Really? Why would we do that?

When confronted about some of the North Korean human rights violations, Trump replied with praise for Kim Jong-Un as a “tough guy,” a “smart guy” and a “great negotiator.” When Bret Baier of Fox News interviewed Trump following the denuclearization summit, our president declined to condemn North Korea’s record.

International bodies have accused Kim of crimes against humanity, including assassinations of political rivals, public executions and the imprisonment of tens of thousands political adversaries. Trump seems numb to real carnage.

The Donald disassociated Kim from those atrocities with, “Hey, when you take over a country, tough country, with tough people, and you take it over from your father, I don’t care who you are, what you are, how much of an advantage you have – if you can do that at 27 years old, that’s one in 10,000 could do that.” I guess their first date went well, judging from Trump’s additional comment, “So he’s a very smart guy, he’s a great negotiator and I think we understand each other.”

Trump believes that everyone is like him and that flattering the other person is all that’s needed. When Trump says something that doesn’t get a response, he assumes he has won. Judging by what we know so far, Trump received a few words on paper, while America appears to have given more than we got. We all hope this is real but, judging by the reaction of Mike Pompeo to a few honest questions about the agreement, maybe the Secretary of State realizes that this is not as it appears.

Trump knows how to pull out of deals, but there is no evidence that he is competent with making pacts, agreements or peace treaties. Without good people like Pompeo, Trump would just be another fat, pompous politician with promises to keep. It’s not bad that he delivers on all his promises, but those promises are terribly destructive. He has made America less great. I am embarrassed by him.

The First 200 Days Of Trump – ONLY ONE MILLION LEFT

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

 

The Jonas Bronck Series

BOOK ONE (IF GOD COULD TALK) A Cable TV talk show host is approached by a friend who offers a guest for his show who has never been on TV before. The Diary of a TV Journalist is the story about the host of the show and his executive producer vetting the guest and attempting to determine what would happnen If God Could Talk…

BOOK TWO (IF GOD COULD CRY) One of the most eye-opening stories about terrorism. The famous cable TV talk show host, Jonas Bronck, leaves New York on a quest for truth. He finds himself in the middle of terror and personal torment in the name of journalism. He once again asks, If God Could Cry, would he be crying for us, or with us?

Books available on Amazon:


BECAUSE I SAID SO

Trump’s Tricks Wear Thin

Do you remember when you got into an argument with your parents and their final salvo was a single line that ended the dispute? Their words “…because I said so,” only made you angry and more defiant. In the final analysis, you realized they had a power over you that could not be challenged. Maybe that’s why you wanted to leave home as soon as you could. The escape from parental control is also why some college students do the stupidest things in their first year away from home. It’s a burst of freedom.

People in the media use the word “optics” when something just doesn’t look right. A sharp weapon of denial is built into any liar’s quiver. This morning (6-4-2018), on NBC’s Today show, Bill Clinton was asked if he would have handled the Monica Lewinski scandal differently in light of today’s #MeToo movement. Mr. Clinton, in his raspy style, pointed to the interviewer and talked about him not having all the facts. That is funny. Why would any fact other than Clinton lying about the whole thing matter? You cannot argue away a mistake by either blaming someone else or claiming a deep state conspiracy against you. Bill Clinton did, in fact, have sexual relations with “that woman.”

It is my contention that the way Bill Clinton mishandled his sexual misconduct while in the governor’s mansion in Arkansas and in the Oval Office helped Donald Trump. Clinton handed him a get-out-of-jail card for his “pussy grabbing” comment and helped his team dilute the claims of the more than a dozen women who claimed Trump mistreated them. Both men have sexual demons, delusional darkness and shitty chauvinism that follow them long after they leave the room. The best these power-hungry men can do is merely deny their actions.

Trump’s latest attempt at trickery is the game of telling someone else to make it all go away. He claims he is innocent, there was no collusion, and he embellishes the assertions with “no obstruction.” After saying he did nothing wrong, Trump used his goofy puppet-attorney Rudy to declare that he doesn’t have to abide by a subpoena.

In true Trumpean style, Giuliani claimed that Trump could have shot Comey and gotten away with it. In so many words, Trump’s legal team is saying that the President of the United States is above the law. I’m having a hard time finding that contention in the Constitution.

The assertion that the President could even pardon himself is one of the most idiotic allegations that has ever been made, and I am not alone in my pronouncement. Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey and federal prosecutor, said that, “It’s an outrageous claim, it’s wrong.” Christie added on ABC news This Week that Trump’s legal team, “…was trying to make a broad argument.” That doesn’t hold much water.

I have a lot of respect for Preet Bharara, former US attorney, who said that Trump pardoning himself would be an “almost self-executing impeachment.” Amazingly, Giuliani agreed with Bharara on Meet The Press (6-3-2018). So, why the ping-ponging opinions Rudy?

Here are the most logical questions for Trump. If you are so innocent of any charge or theory, why not clear the air, tell the truth and get back to your job of destroying democracy in America? Why the stone-walling? Who are you protecting? Why were there so many meetings with Russians and what happened during them? What is really going on?

Even a casual observer must think that Donald J. Trump is hiding something. Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, while taking about the recent tariffs that Trump capriciously placed on Canadian products, said, “…a year ago when I talked with the president about the possibility of 2-3-2 tariffs steel and aluminum, he agreed that it would be insulting to consider Canada as part of the national security concerns. So, for me, that really doesn’t make sense.”  

Canadians can be overly polite, and one could interpret Trudeau’s words to mean that President Trump cannot be trusted. Other nations cannot rely on what Trump says. His ruthless policies and knee-jerk reactions hurt our allies. Trump is the “jerk” in “knee-jerk” who lies to our allies in wars and trade.

The insanity of President Trump may lead him to think he has stacked the deck of the Supreme Court. But if the question of Presidential power gets to a vote with the Justices, the Donald just might be surprised if they don’t give him cover. Think about that. If the Supreme Court ruled that the president could not be held accountable for his actions and words and was, in effect, above the law, what would keep him from getting rid of the Supreme Court? And wouldn’t that be a wonderful end of TRUMP!

The First 200 Days Of Trump – ONLY ONE MILLION LEFT

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

 

The Jonas Bronck Series

BOOK ONE (IF GOD COULD TALK) A Cable TV talk show host is approached by a friend who offers a guest for his show who has never been on TV before. The Diary of a TV Journalist is the story about the host of the show and his executive producer vetting the guest and attempting to determine what would happnen If God Could Talk…

BOOK TWO (IF GOD COULD CRY) One of the most eye-opening stories about terrorism. The famous cable TV talk show host, Jonas Bronck, leaves New York on a quest for truth. He finds himself in the middle of terror and personal torment in the name of journalism. He once again asks, If God Could Cry, would he be crying for us, or with us?

Books available on Amazon:


LEAVING THE DOOR OPEN

Trump pulls out, Kim wants back in?

Have you ever watched two seven-year-old kids get into an argument? You try to be a good parent and hear them out, but as they talk through their disputes, reasons and opinions, you soon realize that their lack of experience and logic only gets in the way.

What just happened with this summit between the United States and North Korea? You could blame all the confusion and chaos on the lack of experience and the naïveté of a conflicted leader, which might be either man in this case.

Maybe this drama playing out in front of the whole world is some master deal-making, or could it be that a lack of planning and the immature, overt commenting has gotten in the way? Why did Trump agree to a meeting so quickly and so openly?

This is not business as usual. When things become unwieldy, the talking heads attempt to justify the quick changes as part of the voodoo our president has been selling from the beginning. The Kool-Aid drinkers claim that secrets and mystery are part of the Great Orange Leader’s “talent.” What few people stand up and say is that these broken promises and whimsical changes are game playing and bad business form. Not good, but bad, Donald.

The blame for Trump’s temporary halt to the summit can be assigned to two people. And might I remind you these two were Trump picks. One was John Bolton, who decided to compare North Korea to Libya. Bad idea. Vice President Mike Pence, the other, obviously didn’t clear his words with anyone when he doubled-down on the “Libya model,” adding more fuel to the fire. Without nukes, the people in Libya overthrew and killed their leader.

North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-Un, didn’t control his country’s messaging when their top spokesperson called Pence a “Political Dummy.” While I agree with the sentiment, the true meaning of the words might be lost in translation. Were they saying that Pence’s statement was “dumb,” or were they saying that Mike himself is dumb? Who knows? That comment lit Trump’s fuse and he sent a “break-up” letter to his “Little Rocket Man” without alerting Congress, the military or our allies.

While most of the letter was rather formal, there was an embedded threat, “You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.” Everything is “massive and powerful” to Trump and he goes out of his way to talk about the money we are spending on our military. Doesn’t Trump realize that putting a two-ton bomb on the negotiating table starts the discussion on a bad foot? And, as we know from Trump’s Vietnam war deferment, he has bad feet.

Most intelligent observers see Trump’s machismo and posturing more as personality cult and less as successful diplomacy, which is done behind closed doors, with few or no press releases or tweets.

I’ll wager that Kim Jong-Un has some fear that Trump will act rashly, perhaps dropping a damn bomb on his head. Of course, the people living in South Korea, Japan, Russia and China do not want him to do that for very good reasons. First, it would kill millions of people. Next, it would disrupt the world economy and drain money from coffers and banks around the world.

The newly non-elected President for life in China knows that he will be around long after Trump is back in New York making more lousy business deals. President Xi Jinping acts deliberately, slowly calculating his moves five, ten or twenty years out. Meanwhile, wild hare Trump moves much too fast and creates a puzzling narrative which might hold viewers to a TV show but is senseless in the world of foreign affairs. And let’s not forget, the tortoise won the race.

As the world changes, will it adjust to Trump, or will the Donald alter his routine to meet the demands of keeping America strong? We heard an almost globalist mantra from our president with his consideration of helping Chinese workers and a sanctioned Chinese phone company, ZTE. What part of security risk doesn’t this President understand?

This is not neo-conservative, not traditional Republican, and certainly not the least bit constructive. It is simply what Trump wants. He has already decided what to do and what it all means. If the facts don’t fit his opinion, he fabricates lies into a story to help his cause. He doesn’t care who he hurts or what is true.

In the end, we will learn what most of those “haters” already believe and some know for certain. Donald J. Trump is just a con man without a soul. He has convinced himself that he is doing a service to the country by fixing all the things he believes are wrong with America. He even exploits God’s name to advance his doctrine. We hope and pray that God soon responds.

The First 200 Days Of Trump – ONLY ONE MILLION LEFT

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

 

The Jonas Bronck Series

BOOK ONE (IF GOD COULD TALK) A Cable TV talk show host is approached by a friend who offers a guest for his show who has never been on TV before. The Diary of a TV Journalist is the story about the host of the show and his executive producer vetting the guest and attempting to determine If God Could Talk…

BOOK TWO (IF GOD COULD CRY) One of the most eye-opening stories about terrorism. The famous cable TV talk show host, Jonas Bronck, leaves New York on his quest to find truth. He finds himself in the middle of terror and personal torment in the name of journalism. He once again asks, If God Could Cry, would he be crying for us, or with us?

Books available on Amazon:


SPYGATE vs. LIEGATE

“Guarantee His Safety”

I have been writing about Donald Trump for the last 15 months. I wouldn’t have cared about him had he not been elected President of the United States. Since the election, however, I feel compelled to keep a running diary of my thoughts about this man and what he is doing to the country I love. With more than 150,000 words about our pudgy president, I hope only that some read these thoughts.

Many of my friends are Republicans and they, at least, want Donald Trump to be successful. That is how we all start out with a new President, but very early on we realized that Donald Trump is not the president for all Americans. He is the leader only for those whom agree with and support him. He doesn’t care at all about what the other half of the country thinks and believes.

Over a drink one night, one of my most consistent critics said to me with all certainly, “Well, at least Trump pushed the Clintons and Bushes out of the way.” This might bring some comfort to those who wanted to shake things up in Washington, but at what cost? This question remains, was Donald Trump a good choice? Or, more importantly, is Donald Trump good for America? I have never believed that he is.

With the President of South Korea at his side yesterday, Trump made some very disturbing remarks that were certainly his way of softening the blow of both John Bolton’s and VP Mike Pence’s comments about applying the Libya model to North Korea. You might recall, that under pressure from the U.S. and its partners, Muammar Gaddafi denuclearized his country and, three years later, was pulled out of a sewage pipe and murdered by his citizens. These comments disturbed Kim Jong-Un and he made noise that he wasn’t happy. Words do matter.

Trump said about Kim, “I will guarantee his safety. He will be safe, he will be happy, his country will be rich, his country will be hard working and very prosperous.”

After all the saber rattling this President has done in the past, for him to be walking back the notion that the deal to denuclearize Kim’s country is a trick to overthrow the dictator seems a bit too obvious. While the Donald plans to make the people of North Korea rich, what will he tell the people at the Carrier plant in the State of Indiana who lost their jobs after Trump promised they wouldn’t? What will he tell the people of America who will see large increases in their healthcare bills due to his neglect of reforms? Most importantly, what will be tell the parents of Otto Warmbier, who was sent home from North Korea dying in a coma?

More than 70% of the people in this great country think that Trump’s tweets are his weakest activity, intended to keep pushing his obnoxious brand of fake news and lies. Now that our Great Orange Leader has applied the title SPYGATE to the investigation into whether Russia was trying to infiltrate his campaign, we know that he truly believes everyone, from the press, to Democrats, to the FBI, the CIA and other loyal Americans are out to get him. He can’t simply admit that the Russians wanted him elected, and he will never realize that, if need be, they will be the ones bringing him down when they become tired of his inability to give them what they want. Will he appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate the Russians after he is thrown out of office?

This is no longer a game of thinking, “Well, we’ve got to give him a chance.” This is a man with such a poor grasp of the English language that most translators from other countries simply state that he doesn’t sound very educated.

When Trump was at the CIA the other day for Gina Haspel’s swearing in, he got lots of applause to his lines, except for one. When he proudly claimed that America is finally respected again around the world, no one clapped. Go back and watch the video if you don’t believe me. Does the CIA rank and file know something the President doesn’t? They usually do. And be sure to note the overzealous hug of Ms. Haspel at the end, where Trump pushed his chest into her chest. Creepy.

Trump tweeted today (5-23-2018), “Look how things have turned around on the Criminal Deep State. They go after Phony Collusion with Russia, a made up Scam, and end up getting caught in a major SPY scandal the likes of which this country may never have seen before! What goes around, comes around! Follow the money! The spy was there early in the campaign and yet never reported Collusion with Russia, because there was no Collusion. He was only there to spy for political reasons and to help Crooked Hillary win – just like they did to Bernie Sanders, who got duped!”

Here are the key phrases, “Criminal Deep State,” “Phony Collusion,” “SPY scandal,” and the term, “Follow the money!” which is a Watergate reference. The Donald used the word “Collusion” three times in those tweets and he continually says the same thing over and over, like a drooling homeless man living in a box under a highway overpass. When Trump feels people are attacking him, he creates diversions and lies. He is exactly what Bernie Sanders said he is, “a pathological liar.”

Pathological lying (also called pseudologia fantastica and mythomania) is habitual or compulsive deceit. Trump’s compulsive bending of the truth and documented lies make his entire presidency LIEGATE.

I must ask if Trump is guaranteeing our safety. The only way we can assure our safety from his misdeeds and regulatory rollbacks is to vote people into office who will challenge him and keep him under control. We’ve already lost the Supreme Court. Once again, they showed how they are on the side of U.S. corporations, not the people of America, when they decreed against class action lawsuits. Donald Trump will only get more dangerous the longer he is permitted to rule.

When the Russian investigation wraps up, we will learn that we are only as strong as our institutions. We shouldn’t assume that our Courts and Congress can keep America safe from a tyrant. Our free press reveals the lies and the loose lines that Trump presents every day, but there is very little critical review of this man that doesn’t get pushed aside from his henchmen in the conservative wing of the Congress and a complicit West Wing of the White House. Trump must be stopped, one way or the other.

The First 200 Days Of Trump – ONLY ONE MILLION LEFT

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

 

The Jonas Bronck Series

BOOK ONE (IF GOD COULD TALK) A Cable TV talk show host is approached by a friend who offers a guest for his show who has never been on TV before. The Diary of a TV Journalist is the story about the host of the show and his executive producer vetting the guest and attempting to determine If God Could Talk…

BOOK TWO (IF GOD COULD CRY) One of the most eye-opening stories about terrorism. The famous cable TV talk show host, Jonas Bronck, leaves New York on his quest to find truth. He finds himself in the middle of terror and personal torment in the name of journalism. He once again asks, If God Could Cry, would he be crying for us, or with us?

Books available on Amazon: