IT’S MUELLER TIME!

Donald Feels the Footsteps

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 


MCCAIN’S REVENGE

Trump’s Unifying Bridge Burned

What makes people work together? You can talk about common goals, community or sense of family, but what gets things done on the world stage is empathy and truth.

When Donald J. Trump was sworn in as 45th President of the United States he had an opportunity, a chance to unite all Americans around a more moderate approach rather than the antics of the bombastic clown candidate we witnessed during the campaign. Some of the pundits and experts believed that there would be a substantial pivot to something that was more presidential. They were all wrong. What we saw, is what we got.

Even when veteran judges were asked to evaluate his “Travel Ban” they vocalized their desire to separate what candidate Trump said from what President Trump said and did. I’m not sure why the things Trump said during his presidential pitch would be disallowed in a court of law. When a seller of a product misrepresents what that product does in their marketing they can he held accountable. Why is pre-President Trump being forgotten?

Billionaire Mark Cuban was very direct in his “Shark Tank-like” evaluation of Trump. Mark said that Trump would not just leave the campaign behind. Cuban believed the Donald would double-down on some of the campaign’s aspects and even take them to more absurd levels. Mark was right.

Whatever someone says is important. Words matter. Listen carefully to what someone says and you can look right into their soul. People are not that perfect and they show you so much if you are open to the nuisances.

From the beginning of Donald Trump’s rise in the public atmosphere of New York, he was at best a playboy, at worst a misogynic woman hater. He flaunted it and loved the spotlight that was aimed at him and the beautiful women on his arm. He cheated on his wives and he bragged about conquests. The Access Hollywood tape and the women who came forward saying he actually did touch them inappropriately, might have been forgotten by red-blooded All-American rednecks, but American women know how that attitude feels. It’s learned from an early age.

When Trump was asked about John McCain during the campaign, he very cynically said that he didn’t think McCain was a war hero because he was captured. Then he blasted from every auditorium microphone his plan to make sure every veteran would be treated better by the V.A. Was that simply his deep-seated guilt for his comment, or his fear of being exposed by his obvious scheme to get out of military service himself? As someone who has a bone-spur, I can tell you with the right shoes you can do anything.

Trump thinks he can do everything better than Obama, who had very little interaction with members of the House and Senate. The great Orange Leader bombed with Congress because of too much contact. His little bribing and beating down free luncheons at the White House showed his lack of knowledge on the legislation that they were considering. Even one Republican commented, “He didn’t seem to understand what we were trying to do with the bill.”

His big party on the lawn of the White House with Representatives to celebrate one step in the process of repealing and replacing Obamacare was his “Mission Accomplished” moment. He truly believes you can throw a beer bash and everyone in D.C. gets in line. Oh, how foolish this naïve business person is.

In the middle of the night, or to be exact, the morning of July 28, 2017, with 49 voting in favor and 51 voting against what was known as the “Skinny Bill”, the Senate stopped repeal dead in its tracks. Three Republican senators, John McCain of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine voted no along with all 48 Democrats.

Why this should be very alarming to the administration comes in many different colored poison pills they are going to have to swallow. First, the obvious fact that Trump has no real sway with the Senate. He has pockets of deeply loyal fans in the House, but you cannot get America to do anything without the Senate, and they know it.

Trump can hurl his psychological vomiting toward the players via Twitter, but deep down inside he’s in a quandary about why this “extremely lovable playboy” cannot be taken seriously. One wouldn’t turn to Hugh Hefner for marriage advice, so why is America depending on a tax-evading, draft dodging, pussy grabbing man-child to run our country?

Let’s put it more simply for the people moving their lips while reading this. The people who voted against all these Trump pushed (but not read) bills is because of things he said in the past.

What do Murkowski and Collins have in common? They are both women. And they are more sensitive to women’s issues. Planned Parenthood has 56 independent local affiliates that operate more than 600 health centers throughout the United States, providing high-quality services to women, men, and teens. And this legislation would have, more, or less, closed those facilities.

The cookie Congress was throwing in for women’s health was money for community centers to do what? You cannot deal with female issues without dealing with reproduction and diseases that affect their body parts. And of course, the whole world wasn’t watching when 13 male Senators created this bill behind closed doors. No women allowed? And at the 11th hour, the administration threatened these women and see what it got them, a NO VOTE.

I am sure John McCain, who spent six-years as a prisoner of war in Viet Nam, has all the patience of a saint. He brushed aside Trump’s insult on the campaign trail and I am sure never expected an apology. But a prisoner of war learns a lesson that business cannot teach you: you must wait for the right moment.

When Trump asked McCain for his vote, he hailed him as a hero. But a funny thing happened on the way to the Senate. John McCain, recently diagnosed with brain cancer, got on a plane and with his first vote set in motion a series of stateman’s like things. First, he gave a speech about how Congress is getting nothing done and urged his fellow legislatures to get back to what is called “regular order.” He was simply asking them to do things right. As he was giving the speech, I found myself thinking, wow, he would have made a great President.

But what Trump and his band of not-so-merry-men in the West Wing found out is it takes two to tango and McCain was leading while the music played. From my perspective, he got his revenge for the mean and disruptive statements Trump has made. He waited his turn, played his card and voted “NO!”

John McCain already has a legacy much greater than most, but what he did in the dead of night was punch a little crack in the dam of ignorance that has been created by electing a demigod to the high office in the land. The pressure will build behind the Republican dam and others will take their turn at making that crack a little bigger.

When the gate is opened, water from Capitol Hill will be released and flow toward 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. By then, surely the current occupants will get out in time.


AN OPEN LETTER TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY

Now What Are You Going to Do?

One should be proud to be a member of the party that freed the slaves. The President who Donald Trump most admires, Andrew Jackson, was a Democrat. No one seems to mention that. Grant and Lincoln were Republicans, and Teddy Roosevelt was a Republican, but his cousin FDR was a Democrat. JFK was a Democrat, while the disgraced Richard Nixon was a Republican. As times change, parties change, but people need to feel the party they support has a core set of values that they can believe in.

The party’s platform says that the RNC believes in American exceptionalism. Okay, USA, USA, USA, but then they say: “This platform is optimistic because the American people are optimistic. This platform lays out — in clear language — the path to making America great and united again. For the past 8 years America has been led in the wrong direction.” So much for the optimism. I wonder how many people in any party read their political party’s platform.

Research shows that there are many factors that make up the decision on affiliation to one party or another. Your family or where you grew up have a great influence over whether you follow the elephant or the donkey. Not sure why those images are used for the parties, but we also have to remember we have many other independent parties. Make no doubt about it, our government, from the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and the rules and traditions of the Legislative branch, works best with two parties. But it should be pointed out here that the first President, George Washington had no political affiliation.

Donald J. Trump changed from liberal New York Democrat to National Republican. The reason for this move, he claims, is because he changed his viewpoints on so many issues that he just morphed into a Republican. Huh? Most political experts know that Trump’s move to another party was purely a political move with an eye on being elected.

Trump’s public comments demonstrated his obvious hate of Barack Obama. The Donald was also critical of George W. Bush’s governance, which didn’t disqualify him as a Republican, but created a wall between Trump and the Bush family. He even called George W. a liar during the debates. Nice guy, team player.

Donald Trump should have started his own party, but it was so much easier to hijack the Republican party and remodel it around his base of right-winged maniacs. There is some wisdom in putting down Washington and people of both parties, people already dislike our government in a generic way.

Here is my question to the Republicans who jumped on the band wagon, either early on or after nomination, what happened to your so-called moral bedrock? When Donald Trump came down that escalator and claimed that “Mexicans are rapists” you had your chance to pick up the phone and tell him that is not our message and we cannot have that in our party. But you were too busy trying to figure out how to win, rather than standing by your code of ethics.

You even let Donald’s people — read: Paul Manafort — change a plank in the platform to give Russia a stronger hand in the Ukraine. Why did you let that happen? Because you just wanted to win. And now, what do you have, a President without roots in your party and with no respect for the history of this country.

The fact that Trump conned the evangelical into backing him from the pulpits of their mega-churches and televangelist platforms is so unseemly that I would ask them, “What does your Jesus think?” Basically, people like Jerry Falwell, Jr. have sided with the money changers outside of the temple. They will be judged by a higher power, but you shouldn’t be fooled by these few money-hungry fools with lots of money.

The Republican Party is now in deep conflict. You still have deep-seated radical Tea Party people who will block most issues based on far-right initiatives (a minority in America) rather than what their constituents really want. You have half-baked neo-conservatives who pray to their Ronald Reagan photo every night but have little understanding of how Ron was able to get things done. Reagan was able to govern, even with tax increases, with professional acting prowess and statesmanship. He was previously the president of a labor union. He understood both sides.

The Republican party has some great members. Lindsey Graham, the Senator from South Carolina, has always told it like it is. John McCain, the Senator from Arizona who’s a bit old-fashioned, understands how it all works and what government is supposed to do. Sure, he sides with his party, but he’s not siding with the nonsense and the sabotage created by political whores like Newt Gingrich.

Winning is great, but you have a poor manager of government in the White House and a godforsaken lousy President. How did you let that happen? You have a president who doesn’t care about law. Where were you during this process of nomination? You have a charismatic show man with his long red ties and his fake hair and makeup trying to be the leader of free world but doing a horrendous job. You slap his back and smile for the cameras, because he was the winner and you didn’t want to lose. You have no balls.

The President and his new consigliere, Slick Anthony, use Twitter to shame and bully employees of the government.  This, is not only uncouth but may be against the law. They are employees of the Federal government. Is not harassment against the labor law?

You Republicans have damaged your own party, but I guess you can sleep at night, because you know how dysfunctional the other party is. But in the end, you are going to have to make the biggest decision in 2020. Do you back the incumbent, or do you find someone else to proudly represent your party? You know, it would be a lot easier just to impeach him.


THE AMERICAN ASSHOLE

No Leading, Just Tweeting

 While Russia may be arming the Taliban in Afghanistan, our President sits on the toilet blasting what appears to be his main problem, his Attorney General? While most liberals have few common points with the “law and order” appointed cabinet member, the public flogging of Jefferson Sessions III is disturbing on many levels. This was the headline in this morning’s Guardian newspaper: Donald Trump denounces Jeff Sessions for being ‘weak’ on Hillary Clinton

We are sure that Trump didn’t learn this management style while he attended the University of Pennsylvania Wharton Business School. His wasteful and harsh tweets today (7-25-2017) are a great example of his truly asinine style: “Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!”

If the President of the United States really thinks he can bully the Attorney General into using the Department of Justice to force a political party to release their server or go after the person who ran against him in the election, then we are no better than some banana republic or third-world country with a power-hungry dictator. We have already seen this movie. It was called McCarthyism. With each day in office Donald J. Trump displays an unconscionable distortion of truth and justice.

And then he excuses an ally of collusion with the Democrats with this tweet: “Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump campaign – “quietly working to boost Clinton.” So where is the investigation A.G.” Has Trump totally forgotten what Russia did in Crimea? The President polishes his shallow veneer with the myth that Russia’s cyber-attack was a myth, a hoax, and the investigation is a “witch hunt.” Does he really believe that reporters getting dirt on Paul Manafort and the money he received from a pro-Russian candidate in the Ukraine is a conspiracy by the DNC to hurt him? The facts speak for themselves. Manafort declared the income.

While Trump has tweeted Jeff Sessions onto his list of whipping boys, his spokespeople are saying that Sessions has the President’s confidence. Why are they torturing this person? This is a point of law which Donald Trump doesn’t respect. Our great Orange Leader thinks that Sessions’ primary responsibility is to protect the president and be loyal to Trump himself. Above the law?

Trump embarrassed himself and our great country by giving a speech at the Boy Scout Jamboree filled with brash braggadocio and self-anointing political taunting. He even took this opportunity to deride former President Obama instead of promoting values, honor, country and loyalty which the scout organization touts. The Jamboree even felt the need to issue this note to the attendees: “Chants of certain phrases heard during the campaign (e.g. ‘build the wall’, ‘lock her up’) are considered divisive by many members of our audience, and may cause unnecessary friction.”

Now, we have this human anal opening posing as President of the United States without any respect for the law, without any awareness of the lack of appropriateness of his comments at gatherings of children and minors and worst of all, without any admission that his need for loyalty is a one-way street.

He is not loyal to people he hires and he seems to have no loyalty to the laws of the land. Remember, he did take a loyalty pledge with the American public: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

If we take his tweets at face-value, we can assume he wants to lock Hillary Clinton up and that he wants Jeff Sessions to do what he demands rather than follow the procedure and protocols of the Department of Justice. Donald J. Trump is no lawyer, although he has made many of them rich. He thinks he knows everything about everything, when in reality, he has the emotional make-up of a 14-year old and the legal knowledge of maybe one “Law and Order” episode. Why should we except anything smart from someone who actually reads the National Inquirer?

During his presidential campaign Donald Trump said that John McCain was NOT a hero because he was captured, insulting every POW and their families. Now we get this tweet today: “So great that John McCain is coming back to vote. Brave – American hero! Thank you John.” When you need his vote, he’s a hero. When the man was just told he has cancer, he’s a hero. And that Mr. President, makes you one large, gaping asshole.

 

 

 

 


DONALD J AND JARED

Trump’s Circle of Trust

There is something not quite right about the relationship that President Donald Trump has with his family and his work. He cannot seem to separate the two. While the mingling of business and family might be common in some royal families, in America it’s viewed with some skepticism.

There are those who didn’t like John Kennedy appointing his brother Robert to Attorney General. And no one talks about Harry Truman giving his wife Bess a job in the White House. She rose to Chairman of the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program, a position that garnered a paycheck, but according to biographers, not a position in which she actively participated.

Now, we have the President’s son-in-law positioned in a role of intense involvement and power: Senior Advisory to the President. There was stretch where Donald Trump was assigning young Jared a new job every other day, from bringing peace in the middle east to reorganizing the government to fixing the judicial system. Really?

We should remember Jared’s blast into business started with this headline: Kushner took over the family business when his father went to jail. And the person who helped put Charles Kushner behind bars was Chris Christie. You know the one who got passed over by the Donald. Jared was forced into running the family business at the age of 26 while his father was in federal prison convicted of illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion, and witness tampering.

I have just read the full six-pages of Jared Kushner’s statement to the Congressional Committee. This well-written document seems rather honest and direct. He’s 36 years old, but he seems to be traveling in a space way over his head. He forgets people, he doesn’t recall meetings, but worst of all, he didn’t even read the whole email that Don Jr. sent him. Jared, you have to read from the bottom up. This is the problem with top-down rich kids. And come on, how could you forget the name of the Russian Ambassador to the US?

He doesn’t remember meetings, but clearly remembers getting an email from Guccifer400, huh? Then he admits asking if there was an “existing communications channel at his (Russian) embassy” and mere sentences later, says, “I did not suggest a ‘secret back channel.’” He needs to get his story straight.

His last paragraph raised some eyebrows, “I have not relied on Russian funds to finance my business activities in the private sector.” This is one of those sentences written by a skilled attorney. “I have not relied…” doesn’t mean, I have no Russian investors in my properties. It could simply mean “I had no financial help while building or buying a property.” In fact, many Russian investors have bought or rented space in Trump and Kushner properties. They are customers.

Mr. Kushner needs to be placed under oath and questioned about the meeting with the banker on December 13, 2016. The bank is a state-owned property and the banker, Sergey Gorkov, gave Jared presents from his grandparents’ home in Belarus. Wait, the Kushners are from Belarus?  Is that the same Belarus once part of Russia which became a founding member of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1922. Oh boy, the story couldn’t get any richer.

So, Jared’s grand parents came from a Soviet bloc country and Donald Trump’s grand parents came from Germany. They are both second-generation immigrants. Of course, sons of different mothers, but this certainly makes the Trump anti-immigrant stance paradoxical.

Back to the President’s son-in-law, why does Trump need his daughter and Jared in the White House? What amount of insecurity do we, the American public, have to endure with Trump? We need him to make clear, objective decisions. The advice of family members can be tainted if they are more eager to please rather than providing truthful feedback. Ivanka could go on every Climate Change march and wear a skin-tight-fitting T-shirt that screamed Save the Planet and her father would ignore any action to help accomplish a better environment.

Jared, with his liberal views and democratic ways, is just a “yes man” and the “doer” while the Donald can jet around and scream to crazy-cult crowds of supporters. We know that Jared has contributed zero to the healthcare bill. As he said in his statement to the Congressional Committee, he’s so busy with thousands of emails, he doesn’t have time to read them all. He’s so busy, he doesn’t have time to do his job.

I almost laughed at the explanation about why the SF-86 had to be amended so many times. Jared Kushner’s excuse sounds like one of those ‘the dog ate my homework’ stories that so many parents and teachers have heard. Okay, you messed up kid, your assistant submitted a rough draft to the FBI. Wow, sure glad it wasn’t some important document.

All of this vividly reveals that Donald J. Trump and his associates are unaware of the laws of governance and uninterested in proper documentation. They are flying by the seat of their pants, and those pants aren’t even made in America.

In the movie Meet the Parents, Robert De Niro’s character, Jack Byrnes, introduces Ben Stiller’s persona, Greg Focker, to what Jack calls the “Byrnes Circle of Trust.” There’s this dialog: “See if I can’t trust you Greg, then I have no choice but to put you outside the circle. Once you’re out, you’re out. There’s no coming back.”

The difference between Trump and Jack Byrnes is when Trump sends someone away that he has endorsed in the past, he doesn’t send them out of the circle. He cannot admit he was wrong. He still speaks well of Michael Flynn, a person who could bring the Donald’s presidency to its knees. He says nice things about Sean Spicer. And maybe that is why he uses his family members as tools. Poor Don Jr. is a “good kid.”

It’s easier to be loyal to your family members than to those outside the circle of trust. Everyone will give Trump a pass on sticking up for his kids, but it’s getting harder to believe that Trump can shovel the same hackneyed phrases and conspiracy theories to all of the country without someone asking this question. Why do we want to be friends with Russia? Why is being friends with them so important to Trump and Jared? Are we worried more about protecting Belarus than the Ukrainian people from Russia?  Hey, just asking.

 


“I LOVE THE PRESIDENT”

Respect is Not Enough for Trump

 400 years before the birth of Christ the Greek physician Hippocrates, incorporated four temperaments into his early practice: sanguine (enthusiastic, active, and social), choleric (short-tempered, fast, or irritable), melancholic (analytical, wise, and quiet), and phlegmatic (relaxed and peaceful). And of course, no one person stays in one zone all the time. We all have mixtures of those temperaments at any given time.

Our current president, seems to live in the sanguine and choleric areas and for those around him.  The only way to stay on his team is to broadcast your open ‘love’ for him. With the appointment of Anthony Scaramucci as Communications Director, we learned his modus operandi from the get-go was to praise his boss and proclaim his love for the Donald.

Mr. Scaramucci has obviously consumed the whole jug of Kool-Aid and will be framing the argument for and massaging the defense of Trump with the skill of a Wall Street tycoon, which is what he is. But that doesn’t change anything. Trump is still the President and his short-tempered, fast and irritating way of overreacting cannot be polished by a slick, well-dressed pitchman. Donald Trump is a high-risk investment.

The enthusiastic, active and highly social (Sanguine) Trump is hardly ever positive. Our great Orange Leader rails at and uses put-downs to intimidate his critics, while attempting to extort more love from his base. He’s like an abusive parent giving a treat after the beating. He has to front each topic with how bad things are to make himself seem the savior.

Maybe being loved is more important than facts, truth, honesty or transparency. Saying that his son’s extremely incriminating email release was being transparent lacks logic, credibility and honesty. Does he love his son more than he says he loves America? Would he lie for his son?

Scaramucci might think he can turn the gray battleship around, but in reality, he’s just a summer replacement player in the reality show known as the Donald J. Trump Presidency. Even Anthony S. said the President is 71-years-old, “You are not going to change him.” Perhaps, if we think a bit Freudian here, maybe Anthony Scaramucci is the son the Donald wish he had. He obviously likes Jared Kushner like a son. Maybe his kids, other than Ivanka, aren’t quite enough like him.

The new Communications Director Slick Anthony uses the term “mainstream media,” which is code for anything negative about the president reported by any news media outlet. They boxed up negative press as “mainstream” and are attempting to redefine it as “Fake.”

Fox News, a major ratings mass media channel, isn’t considered mainstream media because they usually agree with Trump. Why is that? Someone has to tell me what the true definition of “mainstream.” And then explain to me how a website with a few million readers is more important than any mass media outlet.

Truth has a way of rising and breaking the layer of scum on the surface of the swamp. If the mainstream media is trying to convince the 32% of America who caused this ridiculous embarrassment that Donald Trump was a bad choice, they are wasting their time.

Trump may control the Supreme Court picks while he is in power, but he should be very careful about who he pardons or even thinks about awarding a get-out-of-jail card. That roll of the dice could be as bad as Trump’s monumental failure at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. And when the Republicans finally admit that Trump is politically bankrupt, they will prepare his impeachment to save their own jobs.

One would think the Supreme Court would have a duty to block an aggressive attempt to remodel executive power. Any move that would force America into a constitutional crisis would verify to the other 68% of America that Donald Trump is not an honest human being. Trump will never win over those people.

The analytical, wise, and quiet people who work hard every day to make the government work for all the people are still there. They are in the Justice Department, they file into the Treasury, they sit on the Supreme Court and some are even in Congress. They want to do their job and keep the machine running.

The silliness and departures from normal protocols show the world only one man’s viewpoint on how things should be. There is no proof that what Trump is doing is good for America.

We never want a president to tell us what to believe. We never want a President to “explain” how things are as if they only know the truth.  We expect him or her to listen to us and then make some rational decisions that will benefit as many people as possible. Donald Trump wants everyone to love him every day, but doesn’t understand that he must give love in order to get love.

When the man with the most power in the United States of America can be provoked by the least little criticism, we should worry. When the man who will be his voice says he loves the president more than a half-a-dozen times in his first press briefing, he shows us how it’s done.

He shows us why Putin is more important than protecting America from cyber-attacks from Russia. We saw Macron in France use the love offensive to charm his way right into Trump’s small hands. I don’t want to love the president, I want to respect him.

Trump truly believes that if I don’t say he is 100% right all the time, that I am #1, the enemy and #2, against him. For all those people during the campaign who said that the Donald did not have the temperament to be president, they were right.  He is 90% choleric (short-tempered, fast, or irritable) and that is why we judge all that he does through a negative lens. No one can trust what he says. Just ask the Carrier workers in Indiana.

Scaramucci’s “new guy” enthusiasm is a nice change, but when he says, “The American people love this guy” I have to stop him there. Anthony, you need to do some research. More than 50% of American’s do not like this “guy;” your buddy. You need more than 50% to get a bill passed in Congress and we certainly ought to have a president who garners more respect and positive feedback than 32% of our citizens. Scaramucci’s job is to make more Americans favor and support the President. Good luck, Anthony.

The standard comeback by the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue talking heads when asked about low approval presidential ratings is that the President has higher ratings than the media or Congress. And they’re bragging about that?

I’m looking forward to a relaxed and peaceful time when we aren’t screaming at each other and the President of the United States has more than 50% approval rating and that his plans actually work. Right now, we have the wrong plans, the wrong message and the wrong President.

Again, we must ask, “What has gotten better?” Insurance rates are sky-high, wages are NOT moving up fast enough and taxes are the same. The big infrastructure plan is frozen. For a guy who said we would be winning really, really fast, we are waiting. Go for accomplishments Mr. President, not love.

 

 

 

 

 

 


RATS LEAVING SHIP

Trump’s Creeping Corruption

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


HEROES & VILLIANS

The Undisclosed Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 


MADE IN AMERICA

Fair Trade vs. Free Trade

One of the things you can say about Donald J. Trump is that he’s consistent, but he’s hardly ever right. For example, he thinks he knows a lot about money. The logic runs something like this: “I made a billion dollars, so I know how to fix things.”

It would be different if the stock market wasn’t at all-time highs. It would be different if the unemployment rate was in the toilet. But as the administration rolled out fire trucks and back hoes on the front lawn of the White House to promote their America First dogma, the headline in the Washington Post was “Trump’s ‘Made in America’ week is a hypocritical joke.” None of Donald and Ivanka Trump products are made in America. Ivanka’s shoes, handbags, blouses, dresses, jeans and shirts are made in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam and China and Donald’s ties and suits are made in China, Bangladesh and Mexico. When confronted with this fact, the two moguls say, “Everybody else does it.” Really?

Why does the press keep slapping this man? It seems like everything our President touches turns into a controversy at least and a bag of flaming crap at worst. Our very own Don “Quixote” Trump is not only fighting windmills, he is attempting to stop Niagara Falls with his bare hands. Our brave hero.

One of the lessons of war that escapes Donald Trump is what happened after the World Wars. The first war led to the losers to disastrous economic plights that turned people inward and voted for people like Hitler and Mussolini.

The nations of victors in WWII knew that they had to help the economies of many countries to make sure that peace would last. The United States basically took Japan on as a special project. We airlifted in experts and technologies to teach the Japanese how to make many products.

The hard-working Japanese culture and South Korean’s post conflict manufacturing produced some of the finest electronics for the world, and still does. The Donald must have been busy being rich in the 1950s and doesn’t remember how America was flooded with cheap products, like transistor radios, that were labeled Made in Japan.

As more and more American companies realized that they could get cheap parts for their products, the flood gates opened. Many of our automotive offerings needed more and more computer technologies, thus the need to import more parts from other countries. We also created giant discount box-stores that sold everything from TVs to T-Shirts at rock bottom prices. How did they do it? They bought products from other countries that were made by low wage workers.

While the United States knew that workers and factories here were being phased out, we kept thinking we could move those workforces to other industries. That only happened when the worker saw the writing on the wall early and had the capabilities to serve the needs of another field.

Training was essential to complete the migration from the agricultural age to the manufacturing age. Did we forget about this? Logic follows that it would take the re-education of millions of workers to pull off the conversion this time. Some people just don’t want to change.

Now, our great Orange Leader wants us to brand all our products with ‘Made in America.’ I get that, but it’s just a Band-Aid. In fact, the Band-Aid was invented in 1920 by Thomas Anderson and Johnson & Johnson employee Earle Dickson in Highland Park, New Jersey. Not all bandages are made in America, but they are a great example of an American invention that the world now uses. And the examples are countless. We design things, we just cannot make them at reasonable prices because Americans demand a wage to match our prosperous economy. Double-edged sword.

When NAFTA (North American Free-Trade Agreement) was signed, products moved from Canada and Mexico into the US without tariff. We also sold tons of stuff to those two countries.

According to the United States of America Trade Representative (an office of the President): The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with Mexico was $55.6 billion in 2016. Mexico is currently our 3rd largest goods trading partner with $525.1 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2016. Goods exports totaled $231.0 billion; goods imports totaled $294.2 billion.

And their figures on Canada are similar: U.S. goods and services trade with Canada totaled an estimated $627.8 billion in 2016. Exports were $320.1 billion; imports were $307.6 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade surplus with Canada was $12.5 billion in 2016. Canada is currently our 2nd largest goods trading partner with $544.0 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2016.

As you can see, this cry-baby tantrum about “fair trade” is foolish rhetoric by the President on the NAFTA deal. As far as China and other Pacific Rim countries are concerned it’s a different question, but best not to ask too loudly. With the amount of U.S. debt that Chinese banks hold, and our need for China to control North Korea, we might want to carefully plan what we say. Best not to Tweet.

Why does Trump keep complaining about trade? He skillfully convinced those workers who have been displaced by global trade to vote for him. He has to keep them in the hypnotic trance where he promises to magically take them back to a “better time.”

The mantra of “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” only means something if the great one can actually create more jobs. Focusing on coal mining is convoluted logic. Coal has been displaced by natural gas and the good news, the US is pumps lots of that resource. The symbolism might be rich, but Trump is regressive in his thinking. Why did China just take the lead on producing solar energy products? Did we miss that?

Trump actually thinks that getting rid of regulations will magically grow plants and jobs. Rules don’t keep people from being successful, global markets do. Even if we got rid of every regulation, we would still have to produce steel at a price that competes. ‘Globals’ will always be able to make things cheaper and we could tax the imports but that would increase the price here. Why make the America consumer pay for your trade myopia?

What Donald Trump really doesn’t understand is that he’s a President for 1959, not a president for 2017. It’s too late to stop the windmills of the world from turning. If they don’t sell to America, they will sell to someone else. The water will keep coming over the falls, because that is what nature does.

Trump’s one man fight against globalization might make him look like Captain America, but in reality he’s just another America businessman taking advantage of Free Trade for his own benefit. Buy one of his ties, you’ll see where it was made.


THE WHITE HOUSE IS NOT A FAMILY BUSINESS

Whatever Happened to Nepotism Rules?

Nepotism is the practice among those in power of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs. The law is pretty clear in our government and it applies to anyone hired in the executive, legislative or judicial branch:

A public official may not appoint, employ, promote, advance, or advocate for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement, in or to a civilian position in the agency in which he is serving or over which he exercises jurisdiction or control any individual who is a relative of the public official.

This isn’t “Fake News”, it’s 5 U.S. Code § 3110 – Employment of relatives; restrictions.  I don’t believe that not taking a paycheck, negates this rule. It says “appoint to a civilian position.” The appointment alone is not allowed.

Why does Ivanka Trump, the President’s daughter, have an office in the White House?  Why is her husband, Jared Kushner, a top adviser and “employee” of the White House? They said they put their companies in a trust, although many ethics experts say that they haven’t done enough. Trump, the President himself, is benefiting from money flowing from foreign governments through his properties, but the issue and violation of the Emoluments Clause, will be covered at a later time.

Let’s focus on nepotism for this article. Why is this important? Why is there a rule that prohibits this? One problem that can arise from the government advertising an opening at one of its agencies, interviewing applicants and then hiring a less qualified person to serve in the position. It’s bad business and shoddy business practice to hire the lesser able person.

Another possible violation can occur if someone is passed over and claims they didn’t get the job because of something other than their talent and qualifications. That could trigger a lawsuit based on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which, of course, bars discrimination because of race, color, sex, religion or national origin. You may not be able to prove the intent, but the embarrassment of a court battle would cost the country money and time.

A further problem can result when a senior male employee marries a lower ranking female member of the team. Who has to leave the agency, the senior male, or the woman? This opens up the possible legal problem of sexual discrimination. In the case of Ivanka and Jared, you don’t have that problem, but we do see the complications when offspring are given responsibilities.

The situation with Donald Trump, Jr. and his meeting with a Russian attorney exposes the President to the fact that he will probably lie for his kids, just as easily as he lies about so many other things. If Don Jr. was a mere employee of the campaign, like Paul Manafort, Daddy Trump would have thrown him under the bus. Parents don’t usually do the right thing with their kids, instead they do the right thing for their kids. Think about what Trump Sr. said about his son, “He’s a good boy.” He’s almost 40-years-old Mr. President, but you see him as a “boy?” And the praise for all his transparency was so father-like, while today (7-14-2017) we learned that there were two other people in the room during the meeting; previous undisclosed. What are they hiding?

According to Forbes Magazine, “Kathy Wiseman, a founder of and consultant at Working Systems, thinks everyone should be careful in such a situation. Wiseman advises family businesses and organizations, bringing them both sociology and 30 years of business experience. She estimates that nepotism among top executives works out only 40% of the time.”

So, if nepotism causes problems or at least complications and discomfort 60% of the time, why are we the people allowing Donald Trump to instate less qualified people in positions around him without anyone charging forward and waving 5 U.S. Code § 3110 in his face? Who checks the White House on the matter of employment?

We broke away from a King and a kingdom in 1776. Part of what the rebels here in the 13 States wanted to avoid was an unelected king operating freely and unchecked above the law. Their solution was to create a revolution and break away from the tyranny of Kings. Royalty is based on bloodlines and the children of Kings and Queens get to take over when the parent expires. Does the US now live in that world?

Why are any of Trump’s kids involved in this administration? Perhaps the President needs his “blankie” of his children blindly supporting him and telling him he’s right. But this is only going to end in problems. Don Jr. and the exposure of his emails is just an example of why there is a rule about hiring your kids. And one could ask, what does Ivanka do? What is her job description? As a tax payer, can I see that?  NEPOTISM is bad for business and worse for the United States.

I find it rather remarkable that seven months into this administration we hear the words, “innocent”, “unethical”, “illegal” and “hoax” more often than a normal White House would produce. We can only hope that the Democrats find some believable messenger between now and 2020. The king has no pants and not a lot of regard for the law.