TRUMP SIDES WITH SUNNIS

Presidential Gunrunner Changes Tune

Mohammed was able to unite the tribes of Arabia through religious doctrine and force, while Donald Trump, no Mohammed indeed, was able to drive a firmer wedge between the Sunni and Shia believers with one trip to the Middle East.

His vitriol against Iran deployed the old philosophy, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. To the tune of billions of dollars in armaments and technology, the Royal Saud family secured Donald Trump’s loyalty.

To be fair, this is no different than what the former CIA Director and President George H.W. Bush saw was the method to have “normal” relations with most of the Arabs in the area. The US President has always had to deal with kings and dictators to keep the wheels of diplomacy and industry rolling. Stated more directly, Saudi Arabia has oil and we have weapons and great software.

In Donald Trump’s speech to the gathered tribes and countries of the Muslim faith, he failed to comprehend the nature of Islamic banking. For someone who has spread his footprint around the world, Trump’s naïveté on the way the money flows from legitimate sources to the terror groups is astounding. His state department experts could have told him that the men listening to his speech Sunday in Riyadh have no idea what the Islamic banks do with their money because those banks are under no government’s reach. This is how Mohammed wanted it.

Hats off, no pun intended, to the First Lady and Daughter Ivanka for not covering their heads while in a Muslim country, but then, First Lady Obama already blazed that trail. It was interesting how Trump’s daughter might have made a statement in Saudi Arabia, but then covered her head in Israel. So, noted.

Donald J. Trump, who called for the ban on all people coming from Muslim nations, was much more tempered when facing the force of dozens of Islamic nations sitting before him. He didn’t use the term “radical Islamic terrorism” out of respect for the religion. Wow, how he adjusts his act to his audience. When he gets to Israel he will don a yarmulke so not to offend. When did he become so politically and socially correct? What will his base think?

The trip to Saudi Arabia will no doubt improve Trump’s ratings, but while he is away, the plot against him continues in the States. Watching him look so presidential, with no damaging tweets this week, will he learn from this trip? Like someone on vacation without a care and with loads of procedural respect dished out and obviously patronizing anointment from the hosting countries, he shouldn’t let it go to his head. Trump will find the trip less positive toward the end.

He has to face the holy pontiff in the Vatican. The Pope will not kiss his ring or give him a gold necklace. He will ask hard questions about South Americans, walls and what have you done for the poor?

With the big NATO meeting and the G7 Economic Summit in Italy, Trump will find less adoration and more hard questions. For now, he leaves Saudi Arabia with the feeling of success, but with a hard road ahead.

People in America don’t care about whether the Sunnis and Shia hate each other; that has been going on for 1,400 years. What America sees on TV this week will probably fool some into believing that this man of orange has a plan for America.

Peace in the Middle East and deals for bombs won’t give the US a better healthcare system. Trump having lavish banquets abroad will not produce a fairer tax plan for the citizens of this country. But he did say we would get tired of winning. The hype is painful.


ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT VS. ESTABLISHMENT

Trump’s Outside Agitator Role

I remember vividly when protesters in the late 1960s grew in numbers. President Nixon and his Trump-like bullhorn, Spiro Agnew, claimed that “outside agitators” were behind all the protests against his administration and the Vietnam war. Funny, that a President couldn’t understand Americans against war.

The term “agitators” goes back to an era of labor disputes when unions would bus in thugs to disrupt the picket lines at job sites. This would give the local police departments justification to go in and bust some heads. While the owners of the factory said, the union had bussed the hooligans in, the unions accused the owners of paying the disrupters. The idea was to create fear and thus end the labor dispute. Bricks were thrown, blood was shed.

Like a 1950s politician, Trump uses the expression that “protesters against him are paid” leading some to make the joke, “Well, see Trump fulfilled his promise, he has created jobs.”

But the real question: Is the President really anti-establishment, or just modifying truth to build his own establishment. A world where nepotism is perfectly legal and the only people who have opinions worthy of his attention are those with as much money as he or are related to him.

The problem with Trump is that he focuses so much on what people are saying about him that he misses the most important part of the job: Actually, getting things done.

When he losses a battle in Congress, he wants to change the rules. Sure, it would get more things done if there was a 51% margin on votes, but 60% is there for a reason.

In his case, it appears that Donald Trump fails to understand that by being anti-establishment he is really being anti-constitution and anti-separation of the branches of government.

Article 2 of the Constitution clearly states that: He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur… Clearly the founding fathers were establishing what they thought was an established order of things especially on treaties with other nations. Jefferson, Washington, Hamilton, et al. didn’t want a king, they wanted an executive.

With all the huffing and puffing done by candidate Donnie on the trail, supporters would have believed that their anti-Washington savior was going to unleash his wrath on all the terrible things in government as soon as he got there. They joined a cult headed by a charismatic leader who lies.

Trump supporters hate the government until they get dragged off an airplane by police. They hate government until they discover their drinking water has poison in it. They hate the establishment because Fox News has been feeding their heads with the gossip according to Rupert Murdoch that everything is wrong, as long as it makes him money.

But in reality, the job of heading the executive branch is not as all powerful as it might be in some other countries or in certain companies. If young Donald would have spent more time in civics class, he would have had a fuller understanding of how things worked before he got to the White House.

To say Kim Jong Un is a “smart cookie” is really DUMB. Ask Kim Jong Un’s uncle how much of a “cookie” he thinks he is; Oh, that’s right, you can’t, because Kim killed him.

And what does this President think is the priority? Well, his campaign (which is now taking money for his 2020 re-election pursuit) said they will spend $1.5 million on TV and online to run a commercial that says mainstream media is “fake news.” That is what you would call anti-establishment, but what is the next step? Can censorship be too far behind? Why not use the $1.5 to explain how the budget works, or why your ideas on healthcare are good? Too complicated?

Freedom is part of this establishment we call the United States of America. Protecting people from abuses and schemes is pretty much an established goal of government. Keeping citizens safe is a must, but how is tweeting at three-in-the-morning keeping us safe? Get some sleep Agent Orange, it’s a well-thought-out establishment out there to get you.

Established facts, like Andrew Jackson’s involvement in American’s Civil War was only his 100 slaves he owned until his death, which took place 16 years before the war started. “Old Hickory” might be your hero Mr. Trump, but the Donald ought to also learn that Jackson was credited with causing the Panic of 1837, which started an almost ten-year recession. Please don’t be like Jackson, Mr. President. Shut up and lead.

 

 


NO TAXES, NO LOGS, NO TRANSPARENCY

The Trump Illusion of Openness

Donald J Trump likes to put his name on everything. Like a dog urinating to mark his turf, our President thinks that he can just say it, and it is; like his pronouncement the other day that NATO is not obsolete. He continues to play the role of the boy who cried wolf and when faced with a real wolf he pets and feeds the animal. Whose side are you on?

Whatever you say about Mr. Know-it-all, you have to admit he can lie on a dime. If you believe what he says is his policy, then you have to also be able to roll with the punches when he tells you what you believed has changed. Real commitments with Trump don’t seem to be that important. His actions speak louder than his screaming harangues at the rallies.

He says he is open and transparent, but doesn’t want you to know who visits him at the White House. Why? That is not his private property; it is an open and free house of the people. Trump keeps talking about how he’s not a guy who telegraphs his moves and his claim of his unpredictability as some kind of power he has over other people, seems rather suspect.

If Trump was really so cloak and dagger, why would he keep using Twitter? He psychological vomits openly, while he doesn’t want you to know who enters the White House. Strange.

Trump accused Obama of a lack of transparency, while he wallows in this need to control the narrative What if a public company in this country decided that the FEC wasn’t allowed to see their books? He would call this what? Good? Whose side are you on?

Donald, you keep regurgitating that your most recent taxes are under audit. What you should be asking is what is it taking the IRS so long to audit your taxes. You want everyone else in the government to do their jobs and get things done, but not the IRS? If you just released your tax returns you would cement a precedent that all VPs and Presidents must release them in the future. Wouldn’t that be good for America? Whose side are you on?

Many people who support Trump may not really care if he cheated on his taxes, but there are millions, yes Donald, millions of citizens of this great country who truly believe that transparency is a good thing and that you are a servant of the people, not the CEO of a private company called the United States of America. You owe the American people the facts of your financial dealings. What could you possibly be hiding in those forms? Whose side are you on?

Being secretive may have been your method as a builder tycoon, but as your bankruptcy papers reveal, sooner or later people will find out what all this means. And while you are working for us, we would appreciate it if you would come clean and show us what is so problematic about releasing your taxes. Even your nemesis Hillary Clinton released decades of tax returns, but as you said the election is over.

And since the election, you have become more isolated and less forthright than what most supporters would have assumed. And your put-down of Obama for playing golf too much really demonstrates your do-as-I-say rather than being an example of your true beliefs and values.

Some reports claim that Trump has played golf 19 times since becoming President, but the sad thing is that the White House wouldn’t even comment on that stat. Why? Why would something so mundane as the number of hours Trump spent on the golf course be some government secret? Dwight Eisenhower is turning in his grave.

We don’t care how much gold you play Donald Trump, but we truly care about transparency. Be honest, is that possible? Sad!


LITTLE MISS CAN’T BE WRONG

Trump’s Failure to Lead

In the last fifty plus days, we have seen enough from this administration to understand that we have severe on-the-job training on our hands.

There’s a great song from the rock band the Spin Doctors, who should be the house band for the Trump team. In their 1991 song, Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong, the chorus goes like this:

Little miss, little miss little miss can’t be wrong
Ain’t no body gonna bow no more when you sound your gong

And so, it goes with Trump insulting the Brits with a comment about spying and refusing to give up the ghost of his Obama conspiracy of a phone “tapp” in the dark and dastardly Trump Tower. If you are never wrong, you never have to say you are sorry. And never having to admit your flaws is the best path to never solving them.

I just finished a 1,600-mile trip down the east coast of America. And I got to talk to a lot of people. The Trump supporters want all the people on the left to back off and give this man a chance. They keep asking why the press is treating Trump so differently than Obama.

They weren’t aware of the Obama memes of our President depicted as Hitler. Did they not ask why someone like, citizen Trump, would keep up the birther conspiracy that filled hours of cable news time?

And they don’t understand why the courts are against Trump. They have no knowledge of the dozens of lawsuits that the Obama administration had to deal with from immigration (DACA order) to environment orders to healthcare. All they did the last five years was defend themselves. But that is what our society has become. Look at how many times Donald Trump has been sued in business. There is a reason for that, I am sure.

People only see what they want to see. Trump tightly wraps a flag around everything to make people believe that his ideas are the best and if you don’t do things his way, we will be in peril. When he is challenged, he never seems to ask why someone disagrees with him; the mark of a fool in governance.

As much free TV time he got running up to election, he is now wasting TV time on discussions that simply don’t matter. His surrogates are silly gang members spouting off lies and defensive postures. When your defense of the leader of the free world is that he used air quotes, you know you are in trouble.

Disseminating a lie is called defamation. The original source may be protected by the 1st Amendment, but the President of the United States is supposed to know. We elected you to know. I cannot give this mere mortal a chance without him doing the job correctly. If he thinks coal mines pouring pollution into a stream is okay, then he needs to have his head examined. Let’s get rid of all the rules and let the kids in Flint drink the bad water. Really?

And to end this short rant – I must remind the reader that the Spin Doctors song mentioned earlier is on their CD Pocket Full of Kryptonite. As for Donald Trump, his self-absorbed distractions manifest themselves on Twitter. where he lets little Donnie out of the box. Tweets are his kryptonite for sure. Sad!

 


Climate for Constitutional Crisis

Nixonian Activities in Trump White House

The headline on CNN this morning read: FBI refused White House request to knock down recent Trump-Russia stories. What would be your greatest fear for the United States of America? Would it be terrorism; check. Would it be insane leaders of nations with nukes; check. Would it be a president who thought of himself so powerful he could attempt to change the flow of rivers of information away from the people?

In this administration’s attempt to “publicly knock down media reports of conversations between campaign loyalists and Russian operatives” we have now entered a very dangerous era in our country.

According to CNN, White House officials had sought the help of the FBI and other agencies investigating the Russia matter to say that the reports were wrong and that there had been no contacts.

The Trump gang cares not of who controls the press, so long as they control the so-called “facts.” Even if the news is fake, it has to be their version of fake.

The important word here is “control.” When Steve Bannon spoke at CPAC he said that another top Trump priority would be the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” What does that mean? As I have always said, if you listen to the words of a person, you will know what they are really thinking.

Well, a guy named Dwight Waldo, yes real name, wrote a book called The Administrative State in 1948. Ironically, the same year that George Orwell finished his book 1984. I am sure Bannon knows this work and is applying the theories accurately.

In Waldo’s book, he claims that in an “administrative state” there is a tension between democracy and bureaucracy and offers that a political administration dichotomy is false. Public servants must do more than implement policy set by elected officials and ironically the book actually says that government cannot be run like a business.

The funny thing about what Bannon is offering here, is a real glimpse into the workings of a dark and sinister plot to destroy the way Washington works. Deconstruction would assume be followed by some kind of reconstruction, you know, like after the Civil War. A person who says he is against the administrative state is obviously saying the executive branch must be all-powerful.

Attempts to use administrative offices, bureaus of law enforcement or judicial appointees to manipulate the news and rewrite the dialog about this new President is the first step in this deconstruction. Sure, all Republicans think they are right and all Democrats believe their cause is more worthy than what comes out of the other side of the aisle, but someone has to stand up against this ruthless squad of radical Presbyterian terrorists. Joke intended.

If you say you are going to tear down the administrative state, you are really saying that whistleblowers don’t have a legal role in government. You are saying there will be no dissent. And then they will brag about the how all the miners are going back to work and the trains running on time. If that doesn’t ring a bell in your head, go back and study how nationalism in Germany ruined lots of people’s lives. No administrative state there.

 

 


Presidential Apprentice

More divots than pivots

I remember a time in the 70’s when the mega-rock band The Eagles were reaching saturation in the press, on the radio and video music channels. Rather than pour on more, their cunning-larger than real life manager, Irv Azoff decided to hide his prize property for more than eight months. This ingenious idea created a demand for information and music from the band and when they returned, propelled them even further. It also gave them time to prepare more brilliant songs. The limelight sometimes bakes creativity out of an artist.

We have just had a super blast of Trump and I have noticed people on social media saying that they are tired of hearing his name and news focused on him every time they turn on the powerful “fake news” outlets. I’m sure his fans love it, but there will be a point of enough.

Clearly the shock of losing the election has mobilized the majority of non-right wing people in America. Those who didn’t vote for Trump and those Bernie people who may not have voted at all. Yeah, YOU!

Trump is accused of being smart by the over analysis that takes place on the cable news channels. Trump needs a villain in his life, so he has decided to beat up the media. This amateur wanna-be dictator doesn’t realize he’s attacking the 1st Amendment, therefore undermining the Constitution itself. Great way to endear yourself to the Judiciary, Mr. President. Donald Trump is the apprentice now, trying to learn the ropes, while massaging his ego. Why not take some time to understand his political power and his need to lead the WHOLE country? Too busy tweeting?

Quoting Thomas Jefferson as a justification for his rants on the press was, as he would say at the end of a tweet, Sad! Trump loyalists keep saying, ‘Hey, give him a chance” or “why is everyone in such a panic?” First of all, we are giving him a chance, we have no choice. Next, people who are undocumented are alarmed and anxiety ridden. Like when the news showed what was really happening in Vietnam, we woke up. As the “dishonest” news shows America crying children watching their parents taken away in plastic handcuffs, maybe that place called compassion will stir.

If only your core fans buy your next album, your fan base doesn’t grow.  If the Pew Study is correct and Donnie “boy-president” has only has 39% of us approving of what he does, then he has a lot of work to do to impress the boss. He really may not realize it, but he is NOT the boss, we are! He says it, but does he really believe it? No one seems to know what he believes. Clarity has never been his strong suit.

He talks more about himself than the country and its people. He has to impress us, not just dominate TV. He hasn’t pivoted to president at all. The long-sweaty speech in Melbourne, Florida served up more cold mash potatoes with stale gravy. Don’t talk about what you are going to do, just do it.

 

 

 


Jargon, Jews & the Juggernaut

Does Trump Have Classic German Guilt?

While reading, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s TELEGRAPH this morning, I couldn’t help but notice this story, about how President Donald Trump answered one specific question during the joint press conference with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu in Washington yesterday.

An Israeli reporter asked a question.

To quote the article,

REPORTER: Mr. President, since your election campaign and even after your victory, we’ve seen a sharp rise in anti-Semitic incidents across the United States. And I wonder, what do you say to those among the Jewish community in the states and in Israel and maybe around the world who believe and feel that your administration is playing with xenophobia and maybe racist tones?

Trump then wandered around in the desert for forty-seconds talking about how he won the election and the electoral college. One might interpret his first answer to be saying, well, ‘yeah, we have lots of those people in our tent, but, hey, they voted for me.” Like a dog pissing on every tree to mark his territory, he goes out of his way to make sure everyone knows he won the election. His insecurity appears often.

Then, Trump promoted the fact that he has Jews around him, stopping short of the old cliché, ‘Some of my best friends are Jews!” Like the phrase ‘Some of my best friends are Black,’ after an unknowing racist just told a tasteless joke.

The Telegraph summoned it up nicely, urging Trump to make “a strong statement condemning anti-Semitism and a pledge to carefully monitor hate crimes and threats.” Why can’t he find the leadership in his soul to say that?

The Juggernaut is the fact that Trump always caters to his base, not the total America electorate. 48.2% of those who voted wanted Hillary Clinton, while only 46.1% cast the ballot for the Donald. Trump continues to be sullen about the popular vote he did NOT win. He makes no attempt to talk to 48% of the country. His insecurity appears often.

The Jargon that he uses in terms of questions about hate groups, anti-Semitism and the actions of vile people is inadequate at best. It’s like the great line in the TV show Fawlty Towers, when two German guests are staying at the hotel, “Don’t Mention the War!” It was clearly a suggestion to help the guests deal with their German war guilt.

Could Trump have something in his past that would create an embedded need to cover some deep-rooted guilt about Jews? He advertises his proximity to Jews, perhaps to say, ‘Hey, I’m cool with the Jews,’ but even in this case, his insecurity appears and the words fall short of real meaning and empathy.

Trump should talk to his son-in-law about what the Jewish Community really wants to hear from the President of the United States. Or better yet, actually listen to people’s questions during press conferences and answer them honestly.