FIRE AND FURY

Calling Bluff at the Table

I’ve never been a good poker player lacking the special skills of bluffing, decoying and raising. We know that Kim Jong Un has made a pretty big move in his missile and nuclear program. Yesterday (8-8-2017) Trump raised the stakes with a war of words.

With this quote, Donald Trump seems to be putting on a squeeze and going all in, “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.”

It’s amazing to me that so many so-called “experts” on TV the day after (8-9-2017) Trump bombastic words were sprayed at North Korea, said that he wasn’t really sending a message to Kim Jong Un. Some claim he was endeavoring to shake the Chinese leaders out of their passive restraint of North Korea. Really?

One of the things we have covered on this site has been the negatives of being unpredictable and uncertain. Trump’s use of the term “fire and fury” was interpreted by most military people to mean nuclear war. You cannot drop an atomic bomb as a warning shot. We hope the Donald understands that.

After our President made such a harsh statement, North Korea didn’t wait too long to get its propaganda TV news team to blast a message back at Trump that they are seriously considering a strike against the island of Guam.

This island was selected as a strategic target. For one, most Americans don’t realize that since the Spanish-American War, Guam has been a territory of the United States. People born in Guam are automatically US citizens and our Andersen Air Force Base not only played a major role in the Vietnam War, but it is where the fighters come from that we’ve been using to “intimidate” Kim. To say you are thinking about attacking Guam is saying you will attack the United States.

The day after the Donald’s, arm-folded (defensive posture), “F & F” announcement, our great Orange Leader’s rhetoric was toned down on Twitter today (8-9-2017), “My first order as President was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before. Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!”

While the President was trying to temper his own words, his Secretary of State returning to the mainland said that he doesn’t believe there is “any imminent threat” and added, “Americans should sleep well at night.” Unless he has plans to get Trump out of office, his request that I sleep well at night will have no effect. In a strange plot twist, the use of Tweeter was the more mature approach this time. We didn’t quite get teleprompter Trump, but the Twitter Trump was much calmer than Impromptu Trump.

The irony of this new crisis is that Trump was told by Obama before he left that this would be the new President’s most difficult challenge. And as someone mentioned on a talk-show last night, the days of a President, like Obama, doing nothing about the problem, sure seems now like a more reasonable approach. You see, there is quite a bit of history on how countries get nuclear power and then eventually atomic weapons. They just do it. When someone has the capability of using nuclear arsenal, you really don’t have much to say about it. It’s like an international 2nd Amendment.

What Trump is playing with, is not the lives of thousands of Americans who are live in South Korea, but the 25 million Koreans in Seoul, the capital. When approaching a madman with an atomic bomb, you probably shouldn’t act like a madman.

As I have stated before, if you look at Pakistan, with 140 nuclear bombs and their neighbor, India with 130 devices, you can see that a stalemate in the bomb business is all you can wish for. Once India got the A-bomb, Pakistan had to get their own collection. And the world stood by and watched them do it. How could you protest a country trying to defend itself?

North Korea, short of China and Russian moving troops and armament to the northern most border of Kim Jong Un’s domain, will get an atomic bomb. In fact, they already have one. They have never stopped aiming toward that goal. When you are a dictator, you usually do whatever you want. So, what is this all about?

Does this mean that South Korea will need to have 50, then 100, then 150 nukes just to keep up with the Un? We can send the whole U.S. Pacific Fleet to the waters around North Korea and wait. But what will we be waiting for? Trump, once again, is using the bully pulpit the wrong way. If the strategy is bad cop, good cop, with Tillerson playing the good cop, the international ramifications of the rhetoric gives this President the reputation of being all over the place. And sad to say, a person who appears to be unhinged.

The process of leading a great nation like the United States has never been easy. But this time, the tough businessman  has met his match. And we all hope and pray that the Orange wannabe General doesn’t do the wrong thing. War courts are the wrong place to brag about how successful you were in an election.

 

 


VACATION, NOT A VACATION

Trump Thrown Out of White House

One of the things that every opposing party does is criticizes the president for taking too many days of vacation. This may come as a shock, but I feel sorry for Trump, although, his defensiveness is unbecoming on this issue.

According to the web site SBNATION, Donald Trump whined and tweeted 27 times about Barack Obama playing too much golf. And they actually list them all here. Mr. Trump’s beratements of Barack Obama are so ironic coming from someone who loves golf so much he builds golf courses all over the world. You would think he would promote the sport and encouraging anyone to take up the game.

Democrats used to put down George W. Bush for spending so much time on his Crawford, TX ranch. The Bush’s 1,583-acre Prairie Chapel Ranch was a place the 43rd President could get away from Washington and recharge his battery. There is nothing wrong with having a rested President in the White House. I don’t understand why we don’t follow Europe’s lead and close down everything for two weeks in August.

Our great Orange Leader tweeted today (8-7-2017), “Working hard from New Jersey while White House goes through long planned renovation. Going to New York next week for more meetings.” And we get it and understand your depression era guilt and desire to be viewed as the martyr here, but please. take some time to relax.

The Donald must keep everyone abreast on the details of working hard while banished to the Bedminster property. You are working to promote your brand and being President at the same time. Wow, Multi-Tasker-in-Chief.

This time you have an excuse, they are remodeling the White House and you had to leave that “dump” so they can fix the AC and Heat. While retooling the ducts, we only hope that they put in the microphones and cameras. Did you check if the workers have NSA backgrounds, Mr. President?

It would be good if Trump did actually take some time off and think about what he has wrought on our great nation. I would hope that someone would spend some time with him and figure out a way to better communicate.

It seems that everyone out of the White House is continually pushing back on one issue or the other. They are seen by the non-supporters as argumentative and constantly in a state of agitation. They get anxious and annoyed at the least judgmental question. As they say on TV, the speakers for Trump aren’t addressing the audience or the interviewer, they are simply performing for an audience of one: Trump.

Which brings me to an observation about this administration and the President we currently have. Everything that is done or said, seems to be aimed at smaller and smaller segments of the population. The President seems to only focus on those who voted for him. The people who speak on behalf of the President seem to only address the Orange man in the White House.

The Congress cares about each one of the areas that they represent, but as we can see with their lack of bi-partisan effort, they only care about the people who will re-elect them.

We hope the Supreme Court cares about all of America, but we shall see if their individual dogmas determine the way they rule. Shame on them if they do.

But that begs the question, who’s speaking for me? I am a liberal, a Democrat, and I pay taxes just like anyone else. When I hear someone say that things ought to be a certain way, I ask, what gave you the right to tell me how to live? I certainly didn’t ask you to decide what I believe in, so, why would your far-right, religiously motivated thinking cast a net over all the electorate?

I would probably NOT have a lot in common with Mike Pence. He seems like a nice guy, but his homophobia seems to make him unfit for government work. I am being serious. Mike and his wife ought to take a vacation at a gay nudist colony. You know, just to balance out his feelings.

Mr. Pence, you are there to help govern in the spirit of separation of church and state, not attempt to convert the unworthy. Remember that when you are running for President in 2020.

My conservative friends, yes, I have some, are all pushing back on my dream of getting Trump out of office. They claim I am just jealous of Trump’s big victory and cannot understand that Trump is the best thing that ever happened to America. As anyone who has read this blog from the beginning, I do not to look backwards and only judge what this administration does, or doesn’t do.

If Trump is good for America, why do millions of people not like him? It’s not like the polarity of a “shock jock” on the radio where ratings come from those who hate the person and those who love him. This is our country. I really don’t care what the 70% of hard-core Republicans think. I worry about the 66% of all voters who think he’s doing a bad job. Isn’t a Democracy supposed to be where everyone votes and the majority rules?

Trump is anti­-Democracy. That would be a good message for Democrats. Why would we ever want someone to lead us who lies most of the time and is basically against Democracy? The guy really does need a vacation. I sure could use a three-year vacation from him.

 


IT’S MUELLER TIME!

Donald Feels the Footsteps

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 


ALL TIME LOWS

Trump Sinks & Blames

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 


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.

 


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.

 

 

 

 

 

 


RATS LEAVING SHIP

Trump’s Creeping Corruption

When Donald Trump ran for President he promised us he would “drain the swamp,” which was a terrific marketing slogan. Part of the 10-square miles that make up Washington, DC was built on swampland so the language worked. What Donald didn’t comprehend was that once the water was gone he would have lots of angry alligators ready to take him down.

Surveying how Washington works, you find out that one cannot just come in and push all the institutions, customs and traditions aside. I’ve never thought of Donald Trump as anybody but a third-rate entertainer who is addicted to the roar of the crowd, the smell of the grease paint (or orange makeup). He doesn’t take anything seriously until he doesn’t get what he wants. Then he uses the claws of lawyers and influencers and pouts like a little spoiled brat.

As the clock ticks, we learn more and more about Donald Trump and his associates. Today (7-21-2017) it was disclosed that Exxon Mobil violated sanctions by doing business with Russia. The company, which at the time had Rex Tillerson as its CEO, was fined $2 million for this infraction. Immediately, Exxon Mobil announced that they would sue Steven Mnuchin and the Treasury Department, which Mnuchin heads. How can this be happening? During Tillerson’s confirmation hearing he was asked about this. So much for extreme vetting. Under any other administration, the now Secretary of State would be asked to step down during this lawsuit. How can he testify against the very government that employs him?

Ties with Russia seem to be woven into Trump’s words, actions and deeds. We have stopped sending arms to the rebels in Syria, which is what Putin wants us to do.

If the United States returns those two seize properties that were allegedly used for Russian intelligence, we will see that Trump truly is Putin’s puppet.  We were warned this would happen.

If Trump deletes the Magnitsky Act, which puts sanctions on Russia for Human Rights violations, that is just one more give-away to Putin by Trump.

The lack of transparency about Russia seems more like creeping corruption than good diplomacy. The first thing I would ask Trump is this.  What are we getting out of it, Mr. Big-Shot-Dealmaker?

When Trump rambled on in his New York Times interview (7-20-2017), he seemed to threaten the Special Counsel that his companies, his family’s and his own private finances were off-limits. The accused doesn’t get to the block the investigator’s vision while seeking the truth.

Now we learn that Robert Mueller has sent a letter to the White House saying they must preserve all the documents, text messages, voice mails and correspondence pertaining to the 2016 meeting with Don, Jr., et. al. and Russians. The plot thickens.

And if Friday wasn’t hot enough outside, inside the administration just got hotter. Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, resigned. He told President Trump he vehemently disagreed with the appointment of New York financier Anthony Scaramucci to the position of Communications Director. Will we see more rats leaving the ship?

Whether true or not, it has been leaked, probably by Trump himself, that his team of lawyers are discussing how Presidential pardons work. Aren’t they getting the cart in front of the horse here? You don’t talk about how to get out of jail before you are caught doing the crime.

As our great Orange Leader disparages his Attorney General in the interview with the Times and seems to fail to understand the old yarn about not hanging out your dirty laundry.  He is circling his wagons with more loyalists. Trump being loyal to the people around him is one royal LIE.

The theme has been heard before from the Donald. If a legal mind or someone in the judiciary makes a decision against our 14-year-old leader, he wars against judges with his words. He is not fit to be President and something must be done.

The creeping corruption is slowing working its way to the very man who could end it all, just by telling the truth. Those who stay by his side will be dragged into this mess. Time to be a patriot and get away from this madman. Absolute corruption, corrupts absolutely.

 


HEROES & VILLIANS

The Undisclosed Trump

Robert Mueller has a lot of work to do. The press is drilling to find their “deep throat” and the drip, drip, drip of facts surrounding the presidency only lead to more questions. We know that there is, indeed, a connection between the campaign and Russia, but we still don’t have the complete story.

What Congress must do is pass a law that says anyone running for President and every President in office, must disclose all their financial entanglements. We have never had a leader with this much money and as high an international business profile as Donald Trump. One could ask, can anyone with that many on-going enterprises be outside of the window of conflict of interest? We might be able to know if the tradition of releasing tax returns should become codified by a law.

Lawyers can argue that the President is above the normal conflicts rules and laws because we wouldn’t want his every judgement to end up in the court. That would be extremely distracting, but we have to hold the man in the White House to ethical standards. If not, then we need to rewrite the laws to make him or her more transparent than private companies or sole proprietors. The president’s position is not a limited liability corporation, he’s the leader of the country and the people deserve to his debtors and cash flow.

Donald Trump has pulled another con by saying that his sons will run his businesses, without a firm trust or sell off. He brought his daughter, who still has her own company, into the White House along with his son-in-law.  Why? Was it so he could control them or protect them? Under this unique arrangement both Ivanka and Jared should release their complete income tax returns and financial entanglements as well.

If I really trusted Trump I wouldn’t be asking for this kind of information to be made public. The President of the United States has said some things on twitter, in public and in his proclamations and executive orders that beg the question, why did he say that? Why can’t our great Orange Leader simply release of all the material and prove that he was born in America, ah, I mean, that he has no connection to Russia.

Mr. President says that the “Russia thing with Trump is a hoax” and “This is the greatest Witch Hunt in political history.” Really? Why would this be “FAKE NEWS” when his own son put it on the front page by releasing his emails? We have no idea how many emails Don Jr. and the Trump campaign have deleted, but I am sure someone has them.

The Donald cannot get out front of this story because he keeps throwing more wood on the fire. If he wants a story to go away he should stop talking about it. Maybe Trump has a blood clot in his brain.  That could explain his misuse of the bully pulpit. The simple truth is he’s not getting anything done

We should be able to see the President’s medical records for the safety of this country. For someone so important, we have a right to know if he is hiding any deep and dark medical secrets that could affect the way he governs. It’s only fair that the American understand as much as they can about the person holding their trust. And of course, if he has some creeping disorder or disease, like Ronald Reagan endured, then we the people should have a legal path to replace him. We know the amazing military record of a real American hero, John McCain; let this President release his medical records so we can see what kept him out of military service.

Donald Trump never talks about his mother. This bothers me greatly. I have never respected a person who seems to have no connection to the lady that brought him to the dance. I wonder what that means? He needs to disclose the things that gave him this distorted view of his wealth, fame and ego. He likes to keep too many things secret, which makes him “unpredictable.” Do we really want a fickle leader? If he made a capricious move with some of the bad guys in the world, he could get us into a war.

Donald Trump worships money. He has proven he will lie, cheat and steal to get more of it. He will sue his way out of any situation that damages his weak self-esteem. He will attack people, even if they are innocent, with all the fury of a madman. He is just what many say he is, unhinged. But most people agree on one point, he is not forthcoming.  He thinks that secrets have value, and maybe so, but there is a cost to pay for keeping them.

TRUTH; the American people deserve honesty, openness and truth from its President. The art of the lie might be making some people laugh, but for most citizens in the country his lack of candor is slowing eroding trust, even in his base. People are starting to admit that this President lies. Perhaps they feel okay with their guns and Bibles right now, but in the end, they will be screwed just like the sub-contractors of a Trump building. Those who voted for Trump will have to come to the realization soon, that Donald J. Trump is not Making America Great.

 

 

 

 


OBAMACARE vs. TRUMPCARE

Trump Alone Can Fix It, Except Healthcare

Well, here we are again. The Democrats gave the country the gift of healthcare and like an addict, we do not want the Republicans to take it away. After 7-years of complaining about Obamacare, the elephants in the room forgot to actually pen an alternative bill. No one was working on a rewrite of the plan?

But the blame this time sits in the lap of the 45th President of the United States. Donald Trump has brought nothing to the debate and his actions are embarrassingly superficial and valueless. His language about how the plan will be “beautiful” and “really great” are terms he could have used for one of his beauty pageant contestants. His lack of understanding of healthcare was exposed when he admitted that healthcare was “complicated.”

If all those great and “really smart” people that Trump brought into his cabinet and administration were really smart and great, they would have revised the 906-page Affordable Healthcare Act and made it a better law. But no, they were so busy signing executive orders they took their collective eyes off the ball.

As we watch this drama and dysfunctional relationship between Congress and the White House play out, we learn how little influence Donald Trump has on the process. The Congress must stand behind their work while getting an earful from their constituents when they hold town meetings. Some say that people are being bused in from out of their districts to do these protests, but we are talking about a national bill, right? Why would it matter where the people come from if they are against a healthcare act that will affect all Americans?

This whole episode has vividly exposed the great divide between Republicans. We hear little about those snarly Tea Party people, but they are still around and they are against anything the government might do that has any hint of helping people. We are also seeing the imaginary line between “normal” GOP members and the neo-conservatives. The reason I use the “neo” prefix is because they aren’t old line conservatives like Ronald Reagan, who never walked away from a tax increase that could fix a problem. These new conservatives, like Rand Paul, seem to have some deep-seated reason to not like a good idea. Might Rand Paul be a plant in the Senate for doctors?

Trump should be listening to the CBO scores because the organizations and lobbyists that are paid to protect groups like kids and retired people use the data to send emails to millions of people.

Scare headlines like: Pregnancy to cost 425% more under Donald Trump’s health plan compared to Obamacare, are being splashed on the front pages of newspapers all over the world. Why? Because most of those countries have a single-payer system and they find Trump’s battle with healthcare to be rather humorous. See, they have already solved that problem.

The Donald has once again showed his lack of understanding about how government works and how Congress moves like a turtle. If he was a bit wiser he would have gone right into rebuilding US infrastructure, moving forward with something that would have helped commerce in our country. Most products move on rail, road or runway and if they are in disrepair the economy suffers. Healthcare, in its present state, keeps people at work and that helps the country. Why kill it?

How can the President of the United States sit by and let this happen? It’s as if he is powerless and has no ability to fix what is there now. He really doesn’t care. Just listen to him: “Let Obamacare fail. It’ll be a lot easier, and I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll just let Obamacare fail. We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it.” Once again, it’s blame the other guy and let the people suffer. The atrophy of this “leader” is demoralizing.

This morning (7-18-17), USA Today ran a story asking the question, Will Trump exercise? “He’s 71, holds down an incredibly stressful job, and is overweight. He doesn’t exercise. His eating habits are less than ideal. And to top it off, he doesn’t get enough sleep.” The good news for Trump is that he doesn’t smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol. But after rolling back all the nutritional standards on school lunches, he’s guilty of being part of the problem on healthcare in more ways than one.

The anxiety and stress that Donald is feeling with his new job is the same as the stress he has created for undocumented people and those with pre-existing conditions. Clearly, Donald J. Trump is bad for the health of America. Wait until we discover more lead in the drinking water somewhere in America. In short, Trump hasn’t fixed healthcare for America, he’s made it worse.