SYMBOLISM & THE SUPREME COURT

Trump’s Weaknesses Revealed Again

America is changing because of Donald Trump and the arduous journey back to normality will take years. I have long believed that Trump’s words and actions do not reflect his hardcore values. They’re just tools to get the job. He’s far more interested in winning than solving the problems of real people.

This brings us to the Supreme Court, which should be an apolitical body that interprets the Constitution and applies same to decisions which move the country forward. Everyone says the Supreme Court doesn’t write law, but that is bullshit. Its legally binding decisions are based on the religious indoctrination and political bias of its justices. Sorry, but that’s the truth. How can they possibly know what the founding fathers thought or meant, when much of today’s practices, terminology and language didn’t even exist back then?

In a 7-2 vote, the Supreme Court decided that a 40-foot, World War I memorial cross on public land in Maryland can stand. According to the Baltimore Sun newspaper, “The case began as a lawsuit by three people who live near the cross and the District of Columbia-based American Humanist Association, which includes atheists and agnostics. They argued that the memorial should be moved to private property or modified into a nonreligious monument such as a slab or obelisk.”

Now I know that this “important” decision hammers the First Amendment with the same tool that would have been used to chisel that cross into a slab, but reasonable minds get the point. Justice Samuel Alito wrote, “A government that roams the land, tearing down monuments with religious symbolism and scrubbing away any reference to the divine will strike many as aggressively hostile to religion.” That seems logical, but the Supreme Court is full of Catholics and Maryland is a state that has harbored both boats and Catholics for centuries. For the record, six of the Justices were raised Catholic and three came from Jewish homes. Perhaps you might want to reconsider if you believe they are free of their backgrounds and upbringings.

A chapter in my new book, Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs, describes what one sees as they travel our American highways. People are killed by the thousands each year on our roads. Almost 40,000 people die on our motorways each year, and memorial flags and crosses go up all the time. I feel they are more of a distraction and less things that should be protected.

Maybe I am being harsh on the cross, but I suggest that an Islamic edifice on the same land would not only be defaced but the Supreme Court would order its removal. Are Trump’s picks pushing religion?

They will argue that a monument holding words of a religion casts a greater shadow than a symbol alone. They will argue that crosses, which mark the graves of American soldiers, became a symbol closely linked to war. But shouldn’t the star of David, the symbol of Judaism, have equal standing and be added to the memorial? And what about an Islamic symbol, as well?

The Supreme Court had to decide if that monument should be taken down. It’s somewhat strange that their decision devalued the symbol of Christ. They are saying that the symbology of a cross is so widely used it cannot possibly offend. If this was a trademark case, the plaintiff would be up in arms. What will they do when a Swastika is erected on public land? Most people don’t know that symbol originated in the Hindu religion, although Hitler graphically flipped its perspective.

I get it. The court was dealing with only one cross and one lawsuit, but they have now paved the way for Christianity to gain more power over other religions in the US. They have said that the cross is not firmly linked to a religion. Oh, how they offend the Christians of the world. Will we now see more crosses on public lands?

The Supreme Court will never take off their robes and appear in court wearing T-shirts and jeans. They will never abandon their symbolism. Robes impart a sense of religious symbolism, like a church choir. The decorum of the court is paramount in maintaining law and order. Symbolism works where important decisions are made. Just like banning cameras from their court, the formal propriety of dress sends a message to those who must argue before them.

The Supreme Court will be tested again on the separation of church and state. I don’t understand why we have “In God We Trust” inscribed on our money. Why not put a giant cross on the new $20 bill? Why not say a prayer before every session of Congress? Oh wait, they already do that. You see, despite Thomas Jefferson’s thinking that it would be a good idea to keep God out of government, no one seems to know just how to do that.

The symbolism of racism, civil war, hate, white nationalism, the KKK, confederate flags and neo-Nazis are far greater threats to our freedoms than a cross on the side of the road in Maryland. If the Supreme Court decided to outlaw symbolisms of hate, they would be challenged by those factions using them. The bottom line is this. The Supreme Court has imposed their value system on us by deciding the presence or absence of blatant religious messaging in a symbol. Who gave them that power? The Constitution doesn’t support such a responsibility. Is it time to revisit, and perhaps restrict, the power of the Supreme Court?

A good President would try to balance the court. Along with consideration of the political leanings of candidate judges, shouldn’t their religious affiliations be examined as well? Why not have a Protestant on the court? How about an atheist? What about finding a judge who is gay or transgendered? You see, knowing how a prospective justice will rule on a woman’s right to choose is only one of many litmus tests that should be applied. If the Supreme Court cannot be unbiased, it should at least be balanced. The justices need to adjudicate things for what they are, not for what they want or imagine them to be.

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 RE-ELECTION WAR

War Crimes & Criminals

Ask yourself this; who is Iran’s main ally? It’s Russia. And with Trump’s curious desire to be friends with Putin he will surely be tested by rising tensions in the Middle East. When Trump had problems with Syria and ISIS, he turned to Saudi Arabia to act as our broker in the region. When the final body count is in, Trump will be guilty of letting criminals reign, endorsing war crimes and the propping up ideologs who see war as conversation.

The new United Nation’s Human Rights Council’s paper on the unlawful murder of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi, downloadable here: [un report], clearly shows President Trump’s reluctance to place the blame on the Saudi Crown Prince. In a sense, Donald Trump is guilty of aiding and abetting. Under US law, this criminal action is part of Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(22).

Trump haters need not get excited. Prosecution against any person under this section may not be instituted without the written approval of the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, or an Assistant Attorney General. Knowing that William Barr is not a real A.G. but rather a P.O. (Political Operative), Trump will not be brought into court. The Justice Department could bring charges against the Crown Prince and name Donald Trump and Kushner as accomplices, but that could only be done if Turkey would refuse to bring charges there.

Trump abandoned a multi-nation agreement with Iran to curtail their nuclear ambitions. Candidate Donald blathered that the Iran Nuclear Deal was the worst ever, along with the NAFTA agreement, the Paris Accord, and everything else the Obama administration achieved over eight years.

Tension in the Persian Gulf has been amplified by Trump’s rhetoric and actions. Could it be that Trump was amped up by his awkward sword dance in Saudi Arabia? Jared Kushner’s buddy, Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS), got exactly what he wanted with both Iran and their war in Yemen, plus major arms sales to his kingdom. Congress voted against our involvement in Yemen, but Trump vetoed that bill proving that he is protecting the royal house of Saudi, not America.

Iran and the Russians view most of what happens in the world through religious or self-determination lenses and they share a common connection to oil and energy profit-taking. Trump and his ideologs need to comprehend that the more they push Iran to the brink of war, the more they will have to rely on Russia to intercede. It’s a fundamental theme of what can loosely be called the Trump doctrine, getting someone else to do the dirty work. But this one is more complex than just sending love letters to Kim Jong-Un or blasting out eight tweets before the sun rises.

The Saudi’s view Iran first as a competitor for the oil market, but also see them as a religious pothole that was created in 632 A.D., when Mohammed died without a clear successor. Iran is a Shia nation, while Saudi Arabia, since 1744, has been aligned with the religious leader Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, founder of the Wahhabi movement. This strict puritanical form of Sunni Islam perceives Iran’s Shiite majority as their natural enemy.

By aligning himself with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Trump has taken sides with the Sunnis. According to the BBC, “Shia make up roughly 10% of all Muslims, and globally their population is estimated between 154 to 200 million.” Their source was Pew Research. Sunnis comprise 85 to 90 percent of all Muslims, totaling 1.6 billion people. So, Trump’s alignment with the religious majority has geo-political implications that are far more complicated than his baby brain can comprehend.

During the formation of our country, we hooked up with French money to defeat the Brits. Then, a few years later, their revolution cut off the king’s head. Early in American history, we changed the name of the Church of England to the Episcopal Church, but we never outlawed the denomination. Our ethic concerns were based on freedom and justice of law.

We have always taken sides in conflicts around the world. We decided that a corrupt government in South Vietnam was more righteous than the North Vietnamese revolutionary Hồ Chí Minh, whom the citizens revered. We know how that worked out. We may have picked the right side in Korea, but we didn’t finish the job and created a greater threat by not working with the Chinese to create a complete country.

Donald Trump is not a good President and he will be tested greatly as the Commander in Chief. He’s not thinking about diplomacy, leadership or keeping the world safe; he’s thinking about being reelected. Every move he makes demonstrates his position as an amateur political hack, not a statesman.

Trump is now interfering with the military judicial system by pardoning or granting clemency to those accused or convicted of war crimes. This unwarranted activity can be debated in military circles, but some experts believe this will lower the moral mission mandate that US troops have always honored. This makes the military weaker and perpetrates the ugly American colonization and control image we have around the world.

Perhaps calmer minds and reluctant actions will prevail with the Iranian situation. It is clearly a challenge for a distracted person who just happened to get elected president. Only 70,000 votes put Trump in the White House. He wants to get reelected and relies on the help of imaginary friends most reasonable people would call foes. Can Putin be tapped to quell the dogmatic viewpoints of Iran and their Supreme Leader?

Let’s get something straight. Iran is a country which chants “Death to America,” while this President pushes his loyal lunatics to scream, “Lock her Up!” After hearing Trump speak, one would think that Democrats are the enemy and not North Korea, Russia, China or Iran. What a misguided, two-bit politician. It’s time for Trump to step up and lead, or he’ll be OUT! And the next president will then have to clean up a war Trump created with his lack of common sense and conspiratorial mindset. To be clear, Trump cannot be trusted.

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.


AN OPEN LETTER TO DEMOCRATS

Time to think about what is really happening 

This isn’t about winning; this is about America. We are seeing a president who is far beyond the norms of process and law in executing his duty as Chief Executive of the United States of America. If every witness pulled into the Congressional bright light of oversight claims executive privilege, we will never be able to maintain the checks and balances that are fundamental to our form of democratic government.

While Cable News and the multitude of pundits and self-proclaimed experts keep the conservation focused on an election more than 500 days away, there is a concerted effort by Democrats to bring the profound meaning of the Mueller Report to the American public. These hearings, interviews and pronouncements of Donald J. Trump’s guilt may net them considerable TV time, but in the end, they do not have the votes in the Republican controlled Senate to convict Trump of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” So, why all the fuss?

The worst part of Trump’s horrible presidency is that every Tom, Dick and Loraine now wants to run for the highest office in the land. Unfortunately, there will not be a Republican primary challenger to the President, but that is no great surprise. Republicans just want to win, and they will ignore any sins that get in the way.

Joe Biden is running for President and, according to the polls, he’s doing quite well. Perhaps this is just the America people saying they want a return to the past, the recent past when things seemed more normal and less controversial. Maybe the mandate of the next president is simply to make the citizens of this great country feel secure and more focused on important issues.

I would suggest that there is nothing wrong with having lots of candidates running for president, but sometime late in 2019 or early in 2020, the party should have a new Continental Congress boiling down the issues and constructing a strong, ironclad platform. All the Democratic candidates have great ideas, and each seems to have landed on one big idea to push. Bringing all those together under one strong manifesto would be the best way to resolve the issues going forward. This wouldn’t have to be complicated and surely a clearly written document might be a new and welcome means of dismissing Trump.

I would also recommend that we think of the voluminous pitches for president as bids for the Vice-Presidential slot, instead of the top job itself. This would be a great method to vet many of the 2020 hopefuls. The current downside is all the data and conversation surrounding so many topics is confusing the electorate. Sorry to say, but most people in the USA want short phrases, big specific points and emotionally driven resolutions to their personal problems and grievances. Newsflash, they have always been this way.

The fact that Joe Biden seems to be running against Trump more than running on issues shouldn’t surprise anyone. The fragmented marketplace of ideas is nothing new in such a complex and advanced society. Biden says, “This is a marathon” and everyone should know that much will happen from now through the primaries and on to the eventual election. Along the way, plan on seeing much more from Donald Trump’s big bad bag of dirty tricks.

Our president says incredibly stupid things every day. To send a message to Kim Jung-Un that he, as president, wouldn’t permit the CIA to use every trick in their bag to secure this nation against a rogue nuclear state is horrendous and harmful. Donald Trump continues to poison the intelligence community including the FBI, CIA, NSA and even the DOJ, and Stooge William Barr has poisoned justice itself. Barr is not the Attorney General; he’s a political operative for Trump.

My recommendation is not to overreact to the Trump games and slogans, instead, use the chaos to prove your point that the Donald is totally toxic. Democrats are not going to sway hardcore Trumpeteers and Trumpettes. Libertarians are not going to jump on the Biden wagon because they are constantly looking at the atrocities of government no matter what party. The moderate independents are unsure of their political position and could make a difference, but what are the major points of their agenda? They want to step away from the party system that prevents them from voting in primaries. Fourteen states have closed primaries that prohibit voting if you are not a registered Republican or Democrat. How do we fix this?

Trump is not a good president. The fact that his administration eliminates environmental, banking and business rules without any analysis of the effect is wrong. According to the Washington Post, Trump has espoused more than 10,000 lies since he became president, which is a degradation of the morals and values of America. The reckless use of his authority on trade and tariffs proves that he has little patience or desire to negotiate long-term solutions to truly make America better. The stock market is not always the best way to judge whether the middle class can progress and prosper, but Trump uses the ups and ignores the downs. To Trump, it has always been about winning, even if he must cheat to get there. What an ethically corrupt human being.

It will take some time to find the right person to beat Trump in the next election. The goal is not just to rid this land of President Trump, but to make truth the driver in governance and demand that leaders help all United States citizens. We will not get better in America until we have a whole president, a person who leads us all.

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.

 


MUELLER KNOWS TRUMP

Are US Presidents Above the Law?

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has finally spoken. His words were exact and well-chosen. He specifically said that his team could not indict a sitting president, period. He also said they would have exonerated him if they could have. They didn’t.

Congress is the only court of law in which a president can be charged. Specifically, the remedy for presidential misconduct is impeachment. It starts in the House of Representatives and courses through a trial in the Senate in which the Chief Justice presides and the members of the Senate are the jury. A two-thirds vote, which is 67 members is necessary to convict and remove a President from office.

We don’t know the procedure after a conviction because impeachment of a US President has never gone that far. One would hope that the person convicted would go honorably, as Richard Nixon did when he was on the precipice of impeachment. That being said, we don’t know what Donald Trump would do. Some say the Congressional Sergeant at Arms would physically remove the president from government property, but that is just an opinion.

Robert Mueller may go down as the most potent silent person in government. He states that he has spoken in the more than 400 pages of his report. If you read the report, you will see that Donald Trump is a paranoid power-hungry crook. Robert Mueller told us what Trump did and urges you to read his work and not bother him with politics.

What we learned today is a special prosecutor and special counsel can’t arrest a president. Being an employee of the Justice Department, a prosecutor or special counsel must follow the guidelines and rules of that department, which were designed to keep an out-of-control prosecutor from unnecessarily hindering the Executive Branch.

Throughout Donald Trump’s life he has thumbed his nose at the law. He’s not a person you would trust in business because he would likely do something illegal and get you entangled in a lawsuit that you will ultimately pay for. It’s a Trump common practice which is both legendary and extremely troubling. It speaks to a real lack of character.

The American taxpayer shelled out more than $25 million to find out that their president has, at least, obstructed justice and weakened our election security. Mueller was very clear, Russian operatives attempted to change our election results. He said that the Russian effort favored a certain candidate (TRUMP) and expressed the truth that if he could have cleared Donald Trump, he would have. This is not a gordian knot but rather clear and specific legal code for “he’s guilty,” and Congress now has the power to do something righteous for the country.

Were Robert Mueller given a truth serum, he would tell you exactly what he thinks of Donald Trump and his minions. I’m sure he probably has a low regard for the president and those around him in the administration, as well as for the Congressmen and women who refuse to focus on the real danger of this president. Trump doesn’t take foreign interference in our elections seriously. Mueller knows that, despite his warm and fuzzy feeling for Attorney General William Barr, that man’s independence is in question. Barr’s statements and actions are driven by his rank and President Trump’s authority over everything he says and does. Mueller knows that Barr is not an independent agent of justice.

The events of this corrupt presidency should be a positive motivation for legislation on several important fronts. First, we need to mandate and codify transparency in the Executive Branch. After fifty-years of the tradition of presidential candidates and presidents releasing their income tax returns, this practice should become part of US law. The refusal of the Treasury Department to release Trump’s tax returns to the Ways and Means Committee in the House means we need a stronger law requiring every major candidate and office holder to make public their tax returns.

Congress should pass a law that commands all political campaigns to disclose to the FBI any communication with a foreign person or government that offers information or “dirt” on another US candidate. Withholding such information should be against the law.

Perhaps the biggest foible in all of this is the fact that a president cannot be charged with a crime while he or she is in office. The legal logic makes sense on the surface, but it weakens the notion that no person is above the law. If a president murdered someone and there was clear proof that he did so, how can this not be a punishable crime in the normal judicial process? If Congress is not the Judicial Branch, can they truly be above the partisan swamp? Can they give a true verdict when they are willing to look the other way for their personal gains and preservation of their elected positions?

We have a lot of work to do and most of it has been caused by a President who cares little for the “normal order” of government, law or fair play. Whether he likes it or not, Donald Trump will soon inherit his own classification of concepts such as “Tea Pot Dome,” “Watergate” and “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”

Trump is an inept political operative with too much money to understand the pain of the middle class. He’s above the law in his own mind and Robert Mueller knows it. Trump keeps saying that “he’s the most transparent president in history,” making us wonder why he didn’t sit for an interview with Robert Mueller. Maybe Trump’s just afraid of him. Why doesn’t Trump release his tax returns? Maybe he’s afraid of what we would learn.

Trump must be impeached, or he will think he can do anything. Without impeachment, this country has just elevated a president to King. And the king has no pants.

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.

 

 

 

 

 


OLD WHITE PEOPLE

What’s wrong with Donald Trump?

I just turned 70-years old so I get to say things that younger people cannot. Some might think that I have become a curmudgeon of monumental proportions, and to those ageists, and in the spirit of age equals wisdom, I say, “Go F yourself.”

This last week, we saw some extremely funny reality TV, with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi taking pot shots at the President of the United States. The fool in the White House seized the bait and attempted to console himself with his sophomoric retorts. What is rather remarkable is these people oversee billions of our tax dollars and the defense of our country — scary old white people are running things.

In their back and forth, each older leader claimed the other is not mentally right. Now age doesn’t necessarily mean that you lose your faculties but judging by his comments a case could be made that the leader of the free world has some mental problems. Our president says he hasn’t changed, and that might be true, but that doesn’t mean he’s fit to be president.

Donald Trump is a pathological liar.  Anyone who has observed his routines over the years would agree he has a major problem telling the truth. He forces those he hires to lie at his command. We saw that in the Roosevelt Room when he asked his team to claim he was calm during the three-minute monologue he used to abort a planned meeting on US infrastructure. Of course, his minions said what he wanted them to say, and Nancy Pelosi’s description of his temperament and tone was certainly shaped to advance her agenda. That aside, more than six Democratic leaders came to the White House for a meeting, and I have to believe they attended in the hope of getting some things accomplished. Trump then walked to the Rose Garden and barked about how badly the meeting went. On display was a prepared sign outlining the Mueller report. I’m not sure what the sign had to do with the subject of the meeting, infrastructure. Why would any mature adult need a fabricated interpretation of RUDE? Trump walked out of the meeting and he admitted that Pelosi’s comments were the reason.

Let’s face it. Donald Trump is a fucking, spoiled brat. He has no logic circuitry in his conspiracy ridden brain. It’s time that we get beyond this polite protocol and treat him like the child he is. First, we need some discipline, and if that doesn’t work, a shrink.

For grins, let’s assume Trump has a few good ideas. If those ideas are beneficial to America and our people, why is there always an air of despair about things being unfair, sad and a disgrace? Why does he always need to put down the other party or the former president, which makes half of America feel badly when he’s pitching an idea? Any good communicator knows that you don’t implant negatives when seeking acceptance.

Trump loves to slip a giant turd into the punch bowl before dancing around the party lauding the tasty libation. He tries to convince the attendees that Obama and the Democrats put gin in the punch. Huh? More than half of the country doesn’t trust him, and I suspect most world leaders clearly see his lack of credibility. I may be old, but I’m not stupid. Trump is worse than Nixon.

Research and poll results are important to Americans. We always want to know what people are thinking. We crave knowledge and truth. When Trump says he’s the most transparent president ever, any thinking person will laugh. He requires and exists on lies and secrets. He won’t show his tax returns, when every other president for the past 50 years has disclosed the details of their wealth. What could be so wrong with his taxes that he fights so hard to keep them from being revealed?

Could it simply be that he isn’t rich? Yes, it could. His ego is fragile, his skin is thin and he’s highly vulnerable to shame. Did you notice that he almost crumbled when Pelosi suggested that an intervention should take place? The highest-ranking member of the House just said out loud that she thinks Trump is nuts, causing Trump to repeat his “very stable genius” sales pitch. Who says shit like that?

I think the researchers need a new model. We don’t need to know if people approve of the job he’s doing or whether they support the old white guy. We need to get down in the dirt and dig up the true feelings of our people. And by the way, pollsters should feel free to use this suggestion to gather feelings about anyone running for office, Congress or the Supreme Court. I call it the DOUGLAS SCALE, and this metric will help us understand the real feelings of the America voters and citizens.

How would you describe your true feelings about Donald Trump? (choose one):

    1. He’s worse than what my body feels after Chemotherapy.
    2. He’s a total loser and I hate him with all my heart.
    3. He’s a despicable human being with no redeeming qualities.
    4. He’s a pathological liar who should seek professional help.
    5. He’s only in this thing for himself and will do the wrong things for his ego.
    6. He means well but lacks the ability to be understood.
    7. He’s got some good ideas, but everyone is against him.
    8. He’s a remarkable President who will change America forever.
    9. He’s really doing God’s work, the American God.
    10. He’s the best and should be made President for life.

It would be interesting to see the percentage of people who truly hate the guy. I’ve presented a more American grading scale. We are not a polite people and, since Trump has become president, we have become a more open and direct populace. He’s a dangerous President who needs to be taken out of office, either by impeachment or voting. Trump is an unstable menace to our mental health.

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.

 


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.


CAINE, MOORE & MONEY

Congress: All about the “Benjamins”

Herman Caine has never appeared to be anything but a partisan carnival barker with some of the most asinine ideas coming out of his pie hole. In his 2016 campaign, Caine introduced the memorable tag line “9-9-9” for a tax reform. The idea was to replace all current taxes (including the payroll tax, the capital gains tax and the estate tax) with a 9% personal income tax, a 9% federal sales tax, and a 9% corporate tax. The concept caught people’s attention, but Caine neglected to do the math. And many people didn’t look at the plan’s details, which would have added harsh sales and “value added” taxes while ending all deductions. Some “real economists” believed that the plan would have increased the deficit by billions. Huh?

Now if Herman a clown, Stephen Moore, the other guy Trump nominated for the Federal Reserve Board, is a buffoon. He started a group called Club For Growth in 2004, worked for the Heritage Foundation and has a Master’s Degree of Arts in economics, but professionals in the field feel he has no credibility. CNN hired this idiot to be a balancing act, presenting right winger viewpoints on discussion shows. From my perspective, TV networks putting fools on the air is how we got Trump in the first place. Yes, I blame you NBC.

As our not-so-great leader and part-time president Donald Trump said, “It’s easy to be a critic.” That’s exactly what Moore has been over the years. A plug-in personality to put down people who have power or respect in the financial arena. Unfortunately for Stephen Moore, when he veered out of his imaginary lane and tried to expose thoughts on any other topic, he exposed himself as a total asshole. This self-confessed male chauvinist pig’s latest harangue is that the real problem with the US economy is male wages are not rising fast enough. He goes on to call men the “real bread earners” in the family. He must be from 1945.

When both clowns were nominated by Trump to push Jerome Powell at the “Fed” to lower interest rates, I calmly told many of my friends, “Don’t worry, they will never get on the Federal Reserve Board.” Why did I think that? Because Republicans, especially those in the Senate, care far more about their freaking money than they care about Trump, or America for that matter. And so, it has come to pass that Mr. Caine and Mr. Moore have been obliterated from the Fed board confirmation hearing process. Trump will have to be more careful next time. You know, apply some real VETTING.

If you would enjoy an interesting day of research, look at the financial realities of those who sit in the Senate. Lindsey Graham is ranked 84th in Senate wealth at $489,009. Mitch McConnell is ranked 11th in the Senate with a net worth of $26,927,535. Rand Paul is ranked 66th in the Senate with an estimated net worth of $1,335,018. Mr. Sheldon Whitehouse ranked 21st in the Senate with $8,883,112 in 2010. Richard C Shelby at 22nd had a net worth of $10,963,007. Charles E Schumer ranked 73rd in the Senate with an estimated net worth of $948,522. Unless stated otherwise, all figures are from 2015 and posted on OpenSecrets.org. Mitt Romney, not on their site since 2010, is allegedly worth more than $300 million and is clearly the richest member of the Senate.

The House of Representatives is not much better. Nancy Pelosi is ranked 6th in the House with an estimated net worth of $100,643,521. Darrell Issa (R-Calif) is worth $330,050,015, Jared Polis (D-Colo) clocks in at $313,556,221, Mark Warner (D-Va) is worth $238,157,630, John K Delaney (D-Md) comes in at $232,816,089, Dave Trott (R-Mich) banks $177,149,145 and Vernon Buchanan (R-Fla) is worth $115,534,558. These figures are also from the same site and year, 2015. Just imagine how much more these folks have made with this great economy and why they are so very careful as they cast their votes.

Consider this from NPR. “Russian aluminum company Rusal announced Monday it plans to invest in a new Kentucky aluminum mill to be built near Ashland in eastern Kentucky. The $200 million investment in Braidy Industries is Rusal’s first U.S. project since the Trump administration lifted U.S. sanctions placed against the company. Rusal had been sanctioned by the U.S. government because its major controller, Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, faces accusations of “a range of malign activity around the globe” by Russia, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. Those actions include interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and meddling in neighboring Ukraine.” You see, this helps Mitch McConnell’s state and Steve Mnuchin lifted sanctions against this one specific company. Can you say, Quid Pro Quo? They have no souls.

It’s clear to me that smart politicians, economists and business people are not going to let Trump foolishness get in the way of their money. Many of the Republicans who blindly follow Trump into indefensible domestic and global misadventures allow him to make many mistakes if they don’t jeopardize their wealth. With the most recent jobs report showing more than 263,000 jobs added in April 2019, and unemployment dropping to 3.6%, the path is cleared for a great Trump campaign in 2020 and possible reelection. If the Democrats have a chance of taking back seats in the Senate and the White House, they must convince all Americans what they propose is something better than what we see right now. Good luck.

It would be disheartening to the left wingers if a candidate said, “I wouldn’t change a thing.” It would be equally insane for a Presidential candidate to say that they would like to spend more money than Trump spent in his first two years.

Might we remind the public here what Forbes magazine said, “Trump has talked loudly but delivered little real results when it comes to impacting trade. Under his watch the trade deficit has grown over $100 billion, going from $502 billion in 2016 to $621 billion in 2018, an increase of 19%. The deficit for Goods has increased $140 billion from $751 billion to $891 billion. At its current pace, the Goods deficit could also hit $1 trillion in 2020.”

It’s clear that Trump lies about everything, more than 10,000 times since he’s been elected. Why would economic issues be any different? How can we trust him to be a good steward of the economy when he goes too far in everything he does to feed his insatiable need for personal winning? He just can’t smile and move to the next thing. He must rub someone’s face in it. He walks around believing that he’ll figure out the debt later. No planning, No blame. That is the way he ran his companies, and that’s the way he’s managing the nation. HE SPENDS TOO MUCH MONEY ON STUPID THINGS. We just might have a storm on the horizon, but ego won’t let him think he could ever make a mistake. Another credit downgrade of America on the world’s financial stage will hurt us all. We hope it doesn’t happen, but would you loan money to someone who owes $1 trillion? I don’t even know who we owe it to, do you?

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.


GUNS, GUTS & GRAVITAS

Trump’s Vacuous Reactions

Have you noticed that when Trump responds to various things, he sometimes seems passionate and focused, while at other times he offers a rather perfunctory reaction? If you assume that the 45th President of the United States has some thought process at work before he speaks, wouldn’t you also believe that he would try to be a respected leader with his words.

70% of everything Trump says is negative. He continually sounds more like a small-town politician rather than the leader of the free world. And because of his lack of precision when presenting his viewpoints, many people on the other side paint him with a justified brush of racism and xenophobia. They use his own words to reach their conclusions. Donald Trump is a horrible communicator. Consider the sheer volume of his statements and orders that must be explained by others in the administration. Of course, the common thread in the explanations from Trump supporters and, sadly, those in Congress is a tinge of anti-press putdown.

Hate speech and crimes in America are on the rise. In 2017, hate crimes were up by 17% (7,175 incidents): 1,679 of them were religious bias crimes, 58.1% were anti-Jewish and 18.9% were against the Islamic community. These stats are from the FBI. While some people are quick to assign blame to Trump, hatred seems to be a global trend that must be intelligently addressed. However, don’t look to Trump for leadership here; he’s not capable.

Our president is missing a gut feel for the realities of life in America. I have often believed he treats Putin well because he fears being poisoned by him. The reason he doesn’t take a strong stand against the White Nationalists, Neo-Nazis and the failing KKK is because he’s afraid they will turn against him politically. Some Neo-Nazis have already abandoned him because of his stance on Israel. Trump’s bailiwick is fear and hate, while his lack of understanding of real people could become his Waterloo.

Think of that hate cult known as the National Rifle Association. Trump fears the guys with the guns, and they manipulate his fear by motivating him to stand behind the 2nd Amendment in fake, patronizing ways. No matter what state Trump visits for his rallies, guns are not permitted in the building. Of course not. GUNS ARE DANGEROUS and there is no way the Secret Service could protect the president if people carried guns into a rally. Despite this, Trump pushes for guns in public places like schools and churches. You know, to shot back at the bad guys.

In his response to the gunfire in Poway, California, Trump gave his obligatory comments and then said that it “might be a hate crime,” before getting a report from authorities. Why would he do that? And then he tacked on, “that’s unbelievable.” Does he mean, that a hate crime is unbelievable, or that it’s unbelievable that in 2019 it’s happening again? As is typical of this moronic man, his sentence construct gets him in trouble and misguides us.

Trump dismisses major realities like global warming and climate change without a drop of common sense. He doesn’t relate to the pain that extreme weather is causing to Americas in every state. He’s disinterested in taking a strong stance against foreign meddling in our elections because he thinks it’s good for him. He obviously doesn’t care about people, only himself.

The Trump surrogates on TV keep referencing Donald’s frustration about how the investigation into Russian interference was conducted and his belief that it shouldn’t have started in the first place. It’s appalling when semi-literate Congressional leaders paint a picture that it’s more important protect the President fragile temperament than to fortify the electorate against fraud and deception. Who are these people?

In pitching his book, Mike Lee of Utah talked about how the problem is Congress, even though he is a member of Congress. He complains bitterly about those “unelected” career government people who have done such terrible things to Trump. That’s rich. Hey, Mike, you do realize we didn’t vote for Jared Kushner, or Ivanka, or Mick Mulvaney or Betsy Devos and the rest of the low-life ideologs who are ruining America right before our very eyes. They are political appointees who should be doing their damn jobs to protect the Constitution and to help America.

Kushner says that a “few ads” on Facebook was no big deal and claimed that the Mueller Investigation did more harm to democracy than Russian interference. You lost, little boy. Perhaps your ancestors from Belarus found living under Russian rule for so long wasn’t all that bad. Well, not all that bad after getting past the imprisonments and executions.

Hardly anyone talks about GUNS these days. They focus on HATE. The thousands of parents and families who have been torn to pieces by gun violence in America have never lost their focus. We will never get any effort to curtail the White Nationalists, Neo-Nazis or the KKK from Donald John Trump. He’s simply chicken-shit-scared of them. Trump will never make a grand speech or produce a plan to reduce the hate that is flaring up in America. He holds the blowtorch in his small little hand while insincerely protesting these “sad things.”

The vile and derogatory disparagement Trump spreads at his rallies, press conferences and online tweets has penetrated the mass mentality of our nation. His highly destructive attitude toward anyone who thinks differently than him is appalling and offers a back-stage pass to radical minds intending to harm.

Trump is an idiot when it comes to understanding the fragile intellects of those who follow him. He truly believes that most Americans are so stupid he can get away with anything. He dismisses the people who are trying to tell him what he is doing wrong as haters. By simply using the word, he is promoting hate. Since Trump demonstrates a belief that he’s above the law, a lunatic-coward wielding an AR-15 believes he can make a difference, too. Sadly, people die when such errant political rhetoric is acted out. Trump has blood on his hands, just like Pontius Pilate. Happy Passover.

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.


BARRED FROM THE TRUTH

Trump’s Lies and No Recollections!

The wheels are coming off our democracy. William Barr, the Attorney General of the United States, should be impeached by Congress. Barr has exposed himself as an agent of the White House rather than the man the country needs to protect us from illegal acts and determinations. He’s a partisan hack under the power of the president and has lost all credibility because of his verbal whitewashing of the Mueller Report. And yes, any public official can be impeached by Congress.

But let’s back up; what is really happening here? William Barr is simply the result of a terrible, defective President. What we should fear is four more years of this idiot in power and the ideologs and anti-patriotic water boys working in this corrupt administration. What did the Mueller Report really show us?

From the beginning of this presidency, Donald Trump has surrounded himself with a bastion of mediocre, self-serving, self-dealing and misguided criminals. Some of these people have already been convicted and are headed to jail. Some of these poorly vetted individuals were brought into the Trump circle based on superficial Google searches. Yes, that’s in the report. They were given big titles when they were nothing more than eye candy for the campaign, frauds at best. Some of these losers came highly-recommended by lame braindead people who had no idea what they were doing. Judging by the number of high-level fools who have since left the administration, the Mueller Report highlights the fact that Trump is a horrible chief executive.

Next, it’s clear that Robert Mueller and William Barr are not on the same page. The contradictions between Barr’s assessment and Mueller’s document are appalling. Did William Barr even read the report? Rod Rosenstein will likely become known as the biggest political patsy in the history of America. If you read the report (GET IT HERE) you will learn about all the unethical and illegal acts that took place in the Trump administration. Don’t take my word for it, read the damn report. Mueller should have at least named Donald Trump an undisclosed co-conspirator in an illegal campaign contribution, you know, the one that led Michael Cohen to jail time.

The Mueller Report shows us that Vladimir Putin lied, and Donald Trump believed him. Unfortunately, the report also shows us that the President of the United States doesn’t know the difference between the truth and a lie. Donald Trump embarrasses America by continuing his dialog that says, bad guys are good, good guys are bad. When will someone from the other side of Congress stand up and scream, STOP SHORT-SELLING AMERICA!

One could second guess Robert Mueller in this as well. A huge mistake was NOT having Trump come before the Grand Jury to explain, under oath, what he did. Even if Mueller interviewed Trump, it may not have differed from his written answers where, more than 30 times, Trump said, “No Recollection.” Because Trump wasn’t summoned to the Grand Jury, like any other American would have been, he is now set up to believe he is above the law. This is troublesome.

There will be many detailed examinations of what is in the Mueller Report, and it is good that Barr has finally said he will give Congress a secret peek at the non-grand jury redacted portions, but the damage is already done.

Donald Trump is not going to be arrested or brought before Congress to explain himself. The 45th President of the United States will not be impeached. As Trump has said so loudly and clearly, “the system is rigged.” There’s one he gets right! The Republicans have sold their souls to the devil, Donald Trump. He has hypnotized the evangelicals, bribed Wall Street and demolished common decency, and many people just don’t seem to get it.

In a country that was created because a group of smart, independent men decided that a king could not be above the law, it’s unfathomable that we don’t have strong guidelines concerning a President’s legal standing. Should a one-off policy memo from Robert Bork at the Department of Justice be the definitive guide of law governing the accountability of our president or any other member of the Executive Branch? Shouldn’t we examine this under a legal process and make a firm statute accordingly? Why would we ever have a law that prevents a president from being arrested by law enforcement? We also need a ruling about candidates releasing their tax returns. As a country of law and order, we are failing in these important regards.

I would like to get a few things off my chest before my big finish. Why does Donald Trump get to say that his public words were just a joke or sarcasm? “Hey, I was just having some fun!” He’s the motherfucking President of the United States. I cannot believe that judges, prosecutors and 40% of the American public just laugh and go about their business. Why is it not treason when Trump appears on a broadcast in front of a crowd asking a hostile foreign government to hack into a computer system to get his political rival’s emails? Why are we so dumb as to not take this guy’s request as a legal statement of his actual intent? Why is the Justice Department being allowed to shield some Americans from prosecution? Where does it say that the President is above the law? Could it be that some judges and others in power assume Trump can’t possibly mean his outrageous statements? And after he signs an executive order putting those outrageous statements into policy, why don’t all his words matter?

In conclusion, rather than summarizing — a word that has been forever perverted by the stationary frog William Barr — let me rag on the Mueller Report just a bit more. In black and white, the Report shows the world that Donald J. Trump is a big, fat, fucking liar. He’s always been a liar and always will be a liar. In fact, he’s a pathological liar; look it up. So, I turn to you America, you beautiful shining light on a hill, and ask you this. Aren’t we a better country? Isn’t there an honest broker for democracy who can lead us and the world without deception and lies? We have a liar as a president. Donald Trump is also a cheat, a con, a racist, a xenophobe and, while I’m on the subject, he has a camel-toe neck. Take that you LOSER!

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.


ATTORNEY GENERALIZATIONS

Trump Stooge on Trial on the Hill

I’m totally mystified why the new Attorney General, William Barr, released a four-page letter after receiving the full Mueller Report on March 24, 2019. It has been called a summary, but while testifying in Congress, he said it wasn’t really a summary. Are you confused yet?

It was only a few years ago that the Director of the FBI, James Comey, attempted to do the same thing, even though it was against policy to comment on an active investigation. When these officials speak, the nation listens. In Barr’s case, he claimed the letter was intended to provide an overview of the 400-page Mueller report, while waiting for his team and the Special Counsel to redact parts that deal with Grand Jury testimony, ongoing investigations and court cases. His redactions should prevent exposure of those who were not charged with any crime, preserving their innocence, unless and until proven guilty.

I found Barr’s statements to the House and Senate Appropriation Committees didn’t clarify the language or intent of his March 24 letter. He refused to talk about what he wrote, but spoke of “other probes” that might be coming. Didn’t he do exactly what former FBI head James Comey did when right before the election he talked to the American public about the ongoing investigation into Hillary Clinton? Unlike Trump, his boss, Barr refuses to call the Mueller probe a “witch hunt” or illegal investigation. Yet Barr seemed to laugh with the Republicans about the potential of a leak by Congress should the full report be given to them.

What I found most disturbing was Barr’s lack of candor about the Department of Justice’s reversal on the case against the Affordable Care Act. He made it seem like his own decision to have the act nullified by the courts is so outrageous that no one should worry it will actually happen. Barr said his decision to reverse course two weeks ago was based on what he could legally justify and the President’s wishes. He didn’t say that his intent had anything to do with the good of Americans. Strange isn’t it? He seems to have no concept or regard for the millions of citizens who would surely suffer if that act was torn from them.

Then there’s this convoluted logic. He wrote a letter saying what the report didn’t say, as much as what he thought it said, but didn’t want to include more because people would talk about it. Huh? Let’s read between his lines. That letter was not a favor to the American public.  It was a big, wet, sloppy kiss for Donald Trump.

The more Barr talks, the more I see him as a partisan player who was put into place to do exactly what Trump wants him to do. This is the kind of AG that Trump trusted Jeff Sessions to be but was publicly disappointed when Mr. Sessions followed the law. I don’t know Barr’s exact agenda, but his answers and non-answers make it clear he’s just another creature in the swamp of old-line Washington politics. Remember, he was standing behind President George H.W. Bush when he pardoned all the liars in the Iran-Contra scandal.

Barr also told a Senate panel on Wednesday that he thinks “spying did occur” by the US government on President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. He plays right into Trump’s narrative, then adds, “I’m not suggesting that those rules were violated, but I think it’s important to look at that. I’m not talking about the FBI necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly.” The rules he spoke of are those that were enacted many years ago after it was disclosed that Vietnam protesters were the targets of government surveillance. Barr is simply broadcasting misinformation, adding fuel to many of Trump’s most troubling conspiracy theories. This feels more like Nixonian opinion on Presidential power rather than justice for all.

Perhaps William Barr will look better once the Mueller report is released, but the ability to shade the effect of the report by redaction will be closely monitored by the Democrats in oversight committees. Trump thinks he won, but this is but one round in ongoing investigations. Mueller could not exonerate the President because he can’t foresee the future disposition of those cases. The Donald may see Barr’s letter as a personal pardon, but there is more coming.

This isn’t wishful thinking. In another battle, Trump will stonewall the release of his tax returns. He will wait until after the election to pardon his buddies, but if he loses the election he could end up sitting in meetings with lawyers over the next ten years. In the end, he will do no jail time because, as he says, “the system is rigged.” Rich, white, powerful men always prevail in America and that is the reason we need many more reforms that help citizens, not officials. It might be time to get rid of those in government who don’t work in the interests of the people who pay them, we the taxpayers.

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.