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.

 

 


RUSSIA! RUSSIA! RUSSIA!

Shameful Abuse of Stupid

The idiom, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” is what first came to mind when I read the emails that were sent to Donald Trump, Jr. He believed they were sent by a Russian government lawyer who was willing to give him dirt on the Clinton campaign. What was a weekend of misdirects from Don Jr. finally turned out to be his release of the emails the New York Times was citing on the affair.  By the way, his release came only minutes before the Times divulged the emails.  Coincidence?

Another fact that whooshed through my brain was the old P.T. Barnum line, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” This is true in business and, I guess the Circus, but in politics and governance that is only a semi-fact. Trump has always fed fact fragments and partial truths to the press, believing deep down inside that they are stupid enough to print it. Worse, the Donald believes that citizens are gullible and unaware, and, therefore, will believe anything he says.

This news of a meeting in the Trump Tower between Don Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, was documented in an email that the New York Times craftily obtained. This revelation was clearly bad news for the Trump White House, because their defense has always been that they never met with Russians. Well, the cat is now out of the bag and a conspiracy has been revealed. Even with Don Jr. protecting his Dad, this stinks like a dead skunk on a country road.

Maybe Donald Trump and his extended DNA believe that only children and fools tell the truth, but when you become President of the United States, you are expected to be honest. The oath that the President elect takes, says:  I do solemnly swear 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. Now, I might be accused of being presumptuous here, but I do believe the framers were assuming that the President would always tell the truth. Right?

The defense of little Don-Don is quite fantastic. Lawyers are paid to spin, deny and deliver a positive verdict for their clients, but wait, why do they all have different attorneys? Oh my, does this mean, they are agreeing that something is there? Are they afraid of individually being in legal jeopardy? Clearly, the release of Don Jr’s. own emails can be called “transparent” by his father, but in fact, the son of a POTUS released the missives to get out in front of the Times story. This is much like James Comey releasing his notes to the New York Times before the President claimed something different was said at their meetings.

The legal team’s disguise was constructed on the basis that Don Jr didn’t know who he was meeting with and the event was so insignificant that he never told his father who was then the candidate for President. In fact, Jared Kushner also “forgot” to include the meeting in his security clearance form. It has been said that he amended that form which started the press inquiries into what was discussed at that meeting.

The President’s plausible deniability will be based on Kushner, Manafort and Don Jr never telling him about the meeting, but there is a way to find that out? They all need to be put under oath.

The meeting with the Russian operative was thought to have some meat, thus the CC to Manafort and Kushner. All three men attended the meeting.  At least Donald Jr and Jared Kushner can make sure they have their story straight, but Paul Manafort, a person who received millions of dollars from a Kremlin backed candidate in the Ukraine, surely has his own lawyer and perhaps a different recollection of the meeting.

The government could very easily “turn” Manafort and Michael Flynn against the President himself if they squeeze the vice tightly and make it clear there could be jail time. If I am reading this right: Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both. That is the Logan Act and surely, Manafort and Flynn have discussed sanctions with the “agent thereof” the Russian government. Would protecting the President be worth three years in jail?

Now I know that the Trump Teams will defend this “little” twenty-minute meeting with nothing of value was exchanged.  Even though the content of the emails clearly shows Don Jr’s delight at the prospect of getting what they are terming “opposition research” from this Russian lawyer, time will tell if that was only one meeting, or were there a series of meetings or communications? Indeed, the “so-called” research ended up at the doorsteps of Wikileaks and was published, so we do know something happened in the late summer timeline that Don Jr desired in writing.

Today (7-12-2017) Donald Trump tweeted, “My son Donald did a good job last night. He was open, transparent and innocent. This is the greatest Witch Hunt in political history. Sad!” The President was referring to an appearance on the Fox News channel where he admitted to Sean Hannity, a known Trump operative, “In retrospect, I probably would have done things a little differently.” Good boy, good boy, sit, roll over, good little Donnie. Here’s a little treat, now go back to your office and shut up. So much for “Witch Hunt” Mr. President, you cannot escape from the truth with flashy jargon.

One of the most irritating things that our President and all his men and women do is deflecting to the past.  It’s like a child getting caught and then, responding straight from an over-grown amygdala, “Bobby did it first Mommy.” Even Donald Trump, the father, cannot stop this repetitive invective for things: “Why aren’t the same standards placed on the Democrats? Look what Hillary Clinton may have gotten away with. Disgraceful!”

The only change of tone was the use of the phrase “may have gotten away with,” which psychologists say is one typically used when threatened with the truth.  It’s an attempt to throw doubt on someone else. In this case, however, Trump seems to be less cavalier and a bit more legalistic with his words saying “may have.”

The word Russia is being said more and more each week as the forces claw their way closer to the truth. We may have to step on some “stupid” to get the facts, but we will get there. And as we get closer, more and more Republicans will realize that their party has been hijacked and they will surely start to get into position to take it back. Republicans are tired of hearing the chant of Russia, Russia, Russia and the American people will settle for a President Pence to get this behind us.


FAKE NEWS vs. REAL JOURNALISM

Trump’s Attempt to Muddy the Waters

Back in February, 2017 Trump tweeted: “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” Then he deleted that tweet and posted something similar, but took ABC off his enemies list. Trump, obviously not a student of history, missed this fact: Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin used the term “enemy of the nation/people” to refer to those who disagreed with the Bolshevik government. Did you write that one, Steve Bannon?

Trump went on a rant July 1, 2017, after receiving heavy criticism from both sides of the political spectrum due to his attacks on MSNBC talk show hosts, “The FAKE & FRAUDULENT NEWS MEDIA is working hard to convince Republicans and others I should not use social media – but remember, I won the 2016 election with interviews, speeches and social media. I had to beat #FakeNews, and did. We will continue to WIN!”

And on that same day, Mr. President continued, “My use of social media is not Presidential – it’s MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL. Make America Great Again!”  Along with his jingoistic rhetoric, Donald Trump, like so many other power-hungry leaders around the world, wants to control the media. He attempts to distort whatever truth is left and brands his lies as official doctrine. And the term Modern Day rings like “Modern Day Prophet” for those following along in church.

For those of us who were schooled in the trade of journalism, we take the responsibility of our craft seriously. The Fourth Estate is usually reserved for the printed press and credible broadcast news teams. The Fifth Estate, the newer term, stands for groupings of outlier viewpoints in contemporary society, such as bloggers and journalists publishing in non-mainstream media outlets and social media. The right of center to Alt-Right people use the term “mainstream media” as a pejorative term, whereas, Breitbart represents what was called “Yellow Journalism” in the 1950s.

The “fourth estate” comes from the European concept of the three estates of the realm: the clergy, the nobility, and the commoners. The Press was supposed to hold the three other estates to a standard with information gathering, storytelling based on truth and distribution to everyone equally. Yes, the King could read that he had no pants.

We know that Donald Trump has tapped into a raw exposed nerve in the disadvantaged and struggling middle class. With much of America moving away from reading the newspaper and getting their news from the internet, the line of what is credible or legit has become extremely blurred.

The price of entry into the newspaper business in most cities is so great that even large companies attempting to bring a new paper to market have an uphill, if not impossible, climb. With the internet providing more outlets than needles on a porcupine’s back there are plenty of free opinions and micro-targeted sites that can sanction what consumers think.

This tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories even has its own term: Confirmation Bias. It is so important to be right in today’s society that many people spend hours of every day watching a news channel that corroborates their baseline beliefs. Fox News leans to the right, while MSNBC leans to the left. That is their branding positions and, depending on who is in power, they will have better ratings.

CNN, the new Trump target, has decided like many channels and programs that there are millions of people who don’t like Trump, so that is a built-in audience. The sad part of all of this is that I haven’t mentioned journalistic integrity or award-winning writing. Those are less important in this instant gratification world. Trump produces ratings and it doesn’t seem to make a difference if you are building him up or beating him down.

THE LATE SHOW with STEPHEN COLBERT on CBS-TV has increased almost 30% according to TV News Desk (7-6-2017) and you can chart his increases with his direct aim at Trump. The Donald, whether he likes it or not, is easy to parody because of what he says and how his administration attempts to govern. Writing jokes and monologues about Trump has a built-in benefit, because if you manage to get under his thin skin he mentions you. Better yet, if he attacks you, your ratings go up even more.

I may be in the minority but I think the “news” that the President maligns is less news than fake. To our great Orange Leader, when confronted with anything that makes fun of him, or puts him down, or (can I say this?) bullies him, he launches into an overly emotional rebuttal.

The people doing the real investigative journalism are at the newspapers. Think about it, every major break or leak has come from the newspapers. The Michael Flynn lies came from the newspapers. The Comey meetings with Trump came from the newspapers. And the ethics conflicts of Kushner and the Trumps all come from the print medium.

The TV journalists at CNN are hampered by the overload of trying fit real journalism into a small box of endless talking heads and opinionated “experts” who, at times, do more harm than good. Stop and think about it, do we need Rick Santorum giving his opinion on what the news means?  He’s a failed neo-conservative right-winged politician spewing nothing by RNC talking points. What about Sean Hannity? Well he couldn’t write a lead to save his life.  Then, of course, we know what happened to poor old Brian Williams. These are the people most Americans would say represent the “news” business.? Really?

The one investigative reporter I want to hear from isn’t a journalist at all. His name is Robert Mueller. I would like to hear his story, in fact, now that would be BREAKING NEWS!


“NOBODY REALLY KNOWS”

Trump Sows the Seed of Doubt

Donald Trump is an interesting speaker. After saying that “Nobody really knows” who hacked our 2016 national election, he says, “And there’s nothing wrong with that statement.” Much like salting his verbiage with the plea “Believe me,” it serves to block or deny the interviewer the next question, “What is the truth, Mr. President.” Clearly to him, the truth is what he says it is and one thing for sure, he doesn’t want anyone to question him.

When Trump says in his legal documents, which we call tweets: “North Korea is behaving very badly. They have been “playing” the United States for years.” We see that he is irritated at how the US has handled that country in the past. There are times when I feel sorry for President Trump. He lives in a world where everybody that came before him is stupid, or incompetent. In his little, inexperienced mind, everybody else is not smart and surely the solution is simple. He asks, “Why didn’t they do something?”

The reason I feel sorry for him is because as he gets closer to any real problem, he finally realizes it’s complicated, like healthcare. Because he believes only he knows a better solution, he fails to comprehend the reasons things haven’t been achieved before is because global problems are multifaceted. He does understand that three out of the five things you could do would be a total disaster. The two good ideas are only good for us. And for how long?

When asked earlier about what he would do if North Korea launched an ICBM (A rocket that could make it from Asia to US soil) Trump tweeted, “It won’t happen!” Well, I guess that was “Fake News” because in fact, Kim Jong Un carried out a test of what most experts agree was an ICBM capable of at least reaching to Alaska and Sarah Palin’s back porch.

In his unrelenting desire to denigrate the previous president, Trump cares not where he is or what audience is listening. He will do everything he can to put-down Obama. Does Trump realize that from Truman to Obama there were eleven presidents who had to deal with North Korea and nothing has changed? There have been eleven presidents before Trump since Israel was created and we still don’t have peace in the Middle East. Nobody really knows if Trump knows this.

Back to North Korea, Trump was very critical about previous administrations declaring “red lines,” whether they were in the sand, or in the snow or on poorly drawn maps, but now that President Trump is confronted with less than adoring support from many of the other nations of the world, he will have to make his due with the devil. And who is the devil? The very man who many think helped him get elected. Putin will want more than he gives.

Nobody really knows if Donald Trump is smart enough to be President, but we do know that the people around him have little sway on what he thinks, what he does or what a new world order should be. His ping-ponging between sword rattling and attempting to outsource his problems to Russia or China have failed. Both world powers have no intention of carrying out any plan that would weaken their economies or stature on the world stage. Both Russia and China like selling things to North Korea. Russia loves to sell things to Cuba, Iran and Syria. Most likely, Japan and Germany will craft a trade deal that will hurt Detroit and there is nothing Trump can do nothing about it.  If only Trump was open to some free trade that would help America.

Trump could use some strong counseling on the fact that his sowing doubt makes him sound unsure of himself. Why wouldn’t you want the leader of the free world to know things? He claims he knows more than everyone else, but on certain things he  is passive, clueless and uninvolved, perhaps posturing so that someone else can take the blame. A blamer always needs someone to blame.

Now, after saying he would be able to stop North Korean’s leader from testing rockets and nukes, he has thrown out increasingly stern warnings. According to the Washington Post (7-6-2017), In Warsaw, Trump said the United States was considering “some pretty severe things” in response to what he called “very, very bad behavior” from the North, although he did not mention any specific plans. “Something will have to be done about it.”

Nobody really knows what “something” could be. Perhaps, our great Donald is still formulating those ideas. It’s pretty clear to the world that if you want to stop someone from doing something you either talk to them or punch them. Trump sure does a lot of talking, but he doesn’t put his money where his mouth is. Perhaps he wants to use someone else’s money to solve problems that won’t go away.

With trade, climate and immigration on the table, with the EU and Syria, North Korea and ISIS being important to Russia, China, Japan and South Korea, our President should be prepared to listen as much as he talks.

Trump should work on knowing the issues and proper answers and stop watering down his speeches with anti-press, anti-Obama and anti-trade tirades. Nobody knows why he does it, and nobody outside of the US cares about his fake fight with CNN. Focus, Donald, Focus!

 

 

 


PLAYING THE TRUMP CARD

The Jester at the World Leader Table

If you play a trump card during a game of Spades, you take the whole trick, or in non-card terms, you get to pick up every card on the table. That makes you the winner. The trump card sounds like the strong member of the deck, but the name has slightly different roots. From old English(1500s), trump meant to “deceive, cheat” and then from Middle English trumpen. The old French tromper also meant “to deceive.”

We should remind our readers that Trump’s last name is not the original version of his name. His family were Drumpf’s in Germany and they changed their name to Trump. Another deception in play here, but either way, the word Trump doesn’t always have positive connotations.

The leaders of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union will gather at the 2017 G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. The meetings will begin on Friday, July 7, 2017.

In an interview in the German weekly, Die Zeit, Angela Merkel said, “While we are looking at the possibilities of cooperation to benefit everyone, globalization is seen by the American administration more as a process that is not about a win-win situation but about winners and losers.”  It was clear that she was taking the first shot across the bow of the USS Donald Trump.

This is a great lesson in the destructive power of over-statement. In the hours and hours of titillating campaign tirades and over-modulated microphones, the Donald made it very clear that it was going to be “America First!” In his bombast, he belittled the whole notion of globalization.

His raspy bleating convinced many voters that the rest of the world was ripping America off and they were the reason for the torment of our middle class. Guiltless, in Trump’s accusations, were the rich Wall Street oligarchy, who Trump relates to more than the common man.

The President’s conundrum was produced by his own reckless mouth. He talks about how it would be good to befriend Russia so that they can help us beat ISIS, without any apparent regard that Russia is an ally of Iran and will only go so far in the Middle East quagmire. Can Donald Trump not comprehend that Putin likes Assad and wants him to stay on top of Syria? You know, the guy who gassed the kids.

Trump probably forgot that Russia (Then, the USSR) spent nine years of direct involvement and occupation in Afghanistan. They may fly some sorties and drop some bombs, but they certainly aren’t going to bomb Damascus. They don’t even believe that chemical weapons have been used in Syria. What Trump wants from them, they have no intention giving him. It’s what THEY WANT that should make us nervous.

As far as China goes, why would they want to thwart Kim Jong Un now? Trump tweeted this morning (7-5-2017): “Trade between China and North Korea grew almost 40% in the first quarter. So much for China working with us – but we had to give it a try!” This tweet comes right before the dealer is ready to split the deck, so Trump farts at the table.

Why would the G20 nations think that Trump can be trusted after not even restating the commitment to Article 5 at the NATO meetings? Yes, he finally said he would, but what a dud not uniting the NATO group when they were all face-to-face.

When the bully is being attacked by another bigger bully from another playground, why does the home bully think that he can rally the tormented to help him thump the invader? Merkel wants to make sure the EU is protected and that means keeping Russia in its own borders and off line. Russia wants only to disrupt America. China wants to make sure Trump thinks he’s in charge. And the other kids on the playground just want to make sure that a global unity helps them maintain stability in their own homes.

What Donald Trump thought he needed to say to get elected has isolated him from those who really listen and want America to be successful. Trump sacrificed his credibility with all the players around the table with lies, exaggerations and ludicrous statements about how things work.

When everyone else shows their strong face cards, Trump will be left with the cards he pilfered from the deck before the other people arrived. Trump has continually played the isolation card and sadly, he’s been showing the Joker more than any other card at the world table. Someone needs to tell our great “Orange Leader” that the Joker has no value at this table.

 


IMPATIENT AND “UN” AWARE

Trump’s Challenge: North Korea

That great term, “sword rattling” takes us back to simpler times, which were just as complicated as they are today. As a country, we don’t get to pick the leaders of the nations of the world. Leaders move to the top of a government sometimes because of birthright, while others kill their way to the top. And in democratic places, some run, campaign and get elected. Their viewpoints will either light the way, or cast a shadow over the land they rule.

Donald Trump ran his campaign on hardened opinions based on his consumption of extremely skewed media outlets and conspiracy theories. He railed against China by mentioning their currency manipulation and trade advantage over the US in almost every rally. He said few negative things about Russia. Trump also claimed he knew more about things like ISIS than his generals, but now that he is President it’s important that he actually listens to his generals.

On the day before the 4th of July, this nation’s 241st birthday, Kim Jong Un ordered the launch of what his press described as an ICBM that could reach the United States. Trump is now becoming aware that Little Kim is taunting the leader of the free world. In fact, the missile traveled 578 miles and made it two-thirds of the way to Japan.

In the Rose Garden (6-30-2017) Trump made a big announcement about the Asian country when he said, “The era of strategic patience with the North Korean regime has failed. And, frankly, that patience is over.” Okay, not quite a red line, but in a communist country, red is not such a bad color.

Once again, our federally paid tweet teenager took to the internet even before he knew the nature of the missile to weigh in on this crisis, “North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life? Hard to believe that South Korea and Japan will put up with this much longer. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!”

When I read that tweet, I LOL’d. The line that stuck out was, Does this guy have anything better to do with his life? And I thought, yeah, that little monster, lucky-sperm leader is launching missiles and our great orange hope is launching tweets. Why isn’t he just talking to Japan and South Korea? It sounds like he is pitching a movie idea to China. What does he mean by “heavy move.” Isn’t that what Trump said he did with women he thought attractive?

According to the New York Times (6-26-2017): “South Korea’s foreign minister indicated strongly on Monday that her government would honor an agreement to deploy an American missile-defense system despite protests and economic retaliation from China.” That seems a bit far from what you want China to do, Mr. Trump.

The Donald might be impatient with North Korea, but he has to understand that country’s complexities. If General MacArthur in the 1950s would have been allowed to continue his march beyond the 38th parallel, who knows what Korea would be as a unified country, today. China wanted a buffer between a working democracy, albeit corruptible, in South Korea and what they want to believe is modern communism in China. Remember, it was China that convinced Truman to “stand down” and fire MacArthur to avoid another world war.

Trump showed his feelings about China’s lack of involvement in his tweet (June 20, 2017), “While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!” Why is our President attempting to shame leaders of major countries into action? It’s almost more important for him to have a running commentary on his feelings. O.M.G. Our president is like a teenage girl writing in her diary every night: Dear Diary…

While China and South Korea would like more discourse between countries, Trump is doing his best at making this about the cult of personality rather than real political diplomacy. Well, to be truthful, Trump is not a diplomatic person. Why is he President again?

Trump toys with people on tweeter and screams about his big bad enemy, the press, at his politically motivated rallies, while Kim Jong Un toys with nations with missiles. The frightening reality is that Un would sacrifice his country’s 25 million people just to prove that he is the boss. What are Trump’s priorities?

Trump may say he is impatient, but what is next? If the President of the United States cannot rally nations and the strong characters who care about the world, he is wasting his time with those 140 characters on Twitter. Those leaders want to know what is the plan and that includes, what happens after Kim Jong Un is gone. Unfortunately, most of those same leaders are looking forward to the time Trump is gone.

 

 


AN OPEN LETTER TO THE BASE

Dear Donald Trump Fans

It is unlikely that you are reading this, but if you are, I just wanted to say a few things to you before you slap on the little red baseball cap or “Lock Her Up” T-shirt and jump in your car and drive to the next rally. I know that you are as American as I am and you really do want this country to be successful, but we have to talk. This isn’t funny anymore.

You probably haven’t gotten a raise in years. I get that, it’s horrible. In some cases, your raise was eaten up by the banking crisis that was created by greedy bankers with an immoral disregard for the common man and your mortgage. I get that, too. In other cases, your employer may have used the whole age of financial insecurity as a way to justify keeping the workers’ wages where they would produce profit for the owners, not your long-term benefits.

Donald Trump was hyper critical of Obama and Bush and government in general, maybe that is why you like him. His anti-government, anti-immigrant, anti-free trade, anti-anyone else, make him a leader who really respects the rule of law. As long as that law lines up with what he wants to do, he will apply it. When it doesn’t, he will attempt to break the law; it’s who he is.

He’s for state’s rights, until those state’s right interferes with his grand plan to remake America in his image. Go ahead, admit it, you are just as radical as those people who marched against the Viet Nam war, oh, you’re not, sure fooled me.

Trump say he is really going to change things, but do you really listen to what he says and then match that up with what he does. He kept saying that he was out for the blue-collar worker and he preaches he wants to bring back manufacturing to those places that once boomed with industry, BUT HE IS AGAINST INCREASING THE MINIMUM WAGE. Gee, why wouldn’t he fight for you on such a simple thing as a few more bucks an hour?

Donald Trump has yet to explain being nice to Russia is a good idea. He has yet to demonstrate that a country that doesn’t give a rat’s ass for the American worker, would be someone we have not be afraid of? Trump seems to be afraid of most things that are NOT AMERICAN, except PUTIN WHO IS NOT AMERICAN.

He has confused you with his mantra that he didn’t collude with Russia in the attempt to disrupt our election process? Trump did eventually admit that Russians did launch a cyber-attack against our beloved country. You did hear him say that, right? RUSSIA IS NOT OUR FRIEND AND YOU SHOULD BE ASKING TRUMP WHY HE HASN’T DECLARED CYBER WAR AGAINST THEM.  If Trump is so strong, why are Russia, Syria, Iran and North Korea not changing anything they are up to?

Many Trump supporters believe that Donald Trump is a great Commander-in-Chief, but when he launched 59 tomahawks into Syria for their use of chemical weapons, the airport was up and running a few days later. WHY DIDN’T WE TOTALLY DESTROY THE AIR BASE IN SYRIA? Some strike, huh?

Now I know, you think Congress is useless institution and if you believe your leader, the court system is just as rigged, but aside from God, who do you believe in? Now, I have been quite critical of your addiction to the cult-like Trump dogma, but I want to have a man to man with you, or, ah, man to woman with you.

I have always asked the question, why do rich white guys always think they can fix things? They think that because no one confronts them when they are wrong. Let’s zero-base this thing, Trump’s Base people. You claim the Donald is smart because he got rich being a great business person, right? You said he would make a good president because the country would benefit from a strong businessman running the country like a business. Well, okay, let’s work on that premise.

YOU DO REALIZE THAT DONALD TRUMP IS $315 MILLION IN DEBT, RIGHT? Why? If he so rich, why would be carry any debt? Now, let’s see how he stacks up with other great American born success stories. Donald Trump is worth $1.4 billion, while Warren Buffet, the head of Berkshire Hathaway is worth $76.1 billion. Mr. Buffet disagrees with Donald Trump on many issues. Last time I checked, Warren Buffet pays his taxes and carries no debt at all. So, why wouldn’t we be listening to Buffet before Trump. While we are on the subject of wealth equals smarts: Jeff Bezos is worth $84.3 billion, Bill Gates is worth $88.7 billion and Mark Zuckerberg comes in at $63 billion. You should be listening to them. Beating he IRS system is more important to the Donald than paying his taxes on time like you do.

Now, let’s address the big fat orange elephant in the room. When Donald Trump screamed it was okay to smack protestors at his rallies, you were on his side. Of course, when he said, “It’s time for us to take our country back!” you liked that message. You also are enabling him with his war against the press, but then, you don’t trust that much anymore. In Donald You Trust.

You like the idea of America First because you truly, deep-down inside believe that immigrants and African-Americans and gay couples and people with a liberal progressive agenda have taken advantage of you personally. In many cases, you have been enabled by your evangelical leaders. When did church folk decide that white Christians are more important than the poor? WWJD?

When you say you want to take your country back, you seem to be immune to the reality of history that North America. Our land was stolen from the native peoples by European colonists. The colonization of America was simply people with guns and horses taking land from people who didn’t have guns. Probably why you want to keep your hands on your guns and the 2nd Amendment. I get that, too.

What really made America great were waves of immigrants from all over the world who came here to have a better life. DONALD TRUMP’S GRANDFATHER CAME FROM GERMANY FOR A BETTER LIFE. The Donald is more immigrant that those who want to take their country back. His mother was not born in America, she was born in Scotland. That makes the Donald only second or third generation American, depending how you’d like to split hairs.

Now we come to the most important issue for the Trump loyalists. We must talk about what you really want. What is it that you really want? Are you just in this for “endless winning”? Or are you, like most Americans, interested in more jobs, better healthcare, a better, safer life and an opportunity for your kids to do better than you did? DOES THAT RING TRUE?

Donald Trump has spent most of his time with rich people and famous people and the urban elites. I am sure he paid for an abortion more than once in his life. His political and moral positions change when they get in the way of what he wants. We know that he gave money to the Washington elite, he admits it. Donald Trump will attempt to bounce between helping rich people and his kids first, then, if there is anything left over, maybe he’ll throw you a bone. You don’t have to believe me, you just have ask, IF TRUMP WAS SO GREAT, WHY ARE YOU STILL PAYING MORE FOR MEDICINES AND INSURANCE?

The debacle in Congress over the healthcare bill is just an example that we don’t send someone to drain the swamp, because in Washington, the swamp must be navigated by someone with a map. Our government was designed so that one person could never dominate it. WHAT DO YOU WANT, A RAISE AND LOWER TAXES? OR DO YOU WANT DONALD TRUMP TO SPEND ALL YOUR MONEY ON A WALL?

As strong as you think Trump is you must start to think and realize that he’s just a rich, silver-spoon-in-mouth golfer who fooled you once, twice and again and again. Just ask yourself, “Are things better?” And if they are not better now, when will they get better? You can say he’s not a miracle worker and “please give him a chance.” But remember, HE TOLD YOU HE WAS A MIRACLE WORKER.

 

 

 

 

 


FAKE NEWS OR FAKE PRESIDENT?

Trump’s War on the Constitution

Occasionally I see, hear or read a journalist saying that Donald Trump has some grand strategy. And when pressed, the author says that this latest move was pure genius, or the tweet did exactly what he designed it to do, as if the Donald is some intelligent media designer.

There’s not much difference between Trump and a 9-year-old boy grapping the microphone at Walmart and yelling stupid kid-things into the store’s PA system. The kid’s grand plan is to get attention, same as the “leader” of the free world.

In the President’s latest tweet (7-2-2017), he proclaimed, “The FAKE & FRAUDULENT NEWS MEDIA is working hard to convince Republicans and others I should not use social media – but remember, I won the 2016 election with interviews, speeches and social media. I had to beat #FakeNews, and did. We will continue to WIN! My use of social media is not Presidential – it’s MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL. Make America Great Again!”

When I read this my mind heard a spoiled 9-year-old brat saying, “Mommy made me president. I’m the president. I get to be president and do whatever I want!”

This over complaining and endless whining about news coverage in the media isn’t new to presidents. Trump has decided, however, that anyone who disagrees with him, critiques him or attempts to cover his achievements or lack of them, is the enemy. One could change the term “Fake News” to “People who hate me” and it would fit perfectly in all contexts.

Steve Bannon, the administration’s dark, Spiro Agnew evil twin, has said openly that the media is the “opposition party.”  He, along with Trump surrogates, Miller, Conway and that overtly obnoxious, fake intellectual Sebastian Gorka, have crafted a White House position that is obstinate and cantankerous. Any thinking America hearing them speak can clearly see through the pretentious, defensive droning of their propaganda.

Richard M. Nixon did the same thing when he was president, even using the same terms about the media.  However, Trump is no Nixon. The 37th President had to resign in disgrace. This president, when the time comes, will have to be removed from his current residence by the Secret Service, Capitol Hill Police or maybe the Army.

Even Trump’s slogan is not new. It is a total rip-off of Ronald Reagan’s campaign motto, demonstrating that Trump is an even better actor than Ronald Reagan. An actor takes the stage and plays a part while not being the real thing. We now have a fake President and everything he does is directed to making his character likeable, rather than forging policy and decisions that are right and good for the country. #FakePresident

Trump bellyaches that his achievements are not covered in the “fake news” but he broadcasts his tirades on the very same “fake” mainstream media he continually slams. His complaints about not being covered are total lies. The media covers every speech, every signing, every tweet. His “key promises,” such as reforming healthcare, getting a better, fairer, tax code and creating jobs, have become fake, rally fodder rather than reality.

Months ago, President Trump and VP Mike Pence rode their white horses into the Carrier furnace plant in Indianapolis to announce they had convinced the company to abandon a plan to move to Mexico.  They stated publicly that this would save hundreds of jobs.  Update: many employees will soon be losing their jobs at the plant.  CNBC reports (6-22-2017) that Carrier’s plant in Indianapolis is scheduled to lay off about 600 workers by the end of the year. The jobs are going to Mexico. Nice work, little boys.

Donald J. Trump will probably write that off as “FAKE NEWS,” but the road to success for this president has to go through the media. You cannot be a great president in a vacuum. You cannot guard so dearly the Second Amendment and spit in the face of those who employ the First Amendment to keep democracy strong. Without the First Amendment, we don’t need the Second Amendment.

Fake means fraudulent, and the usage of that term by our president in the context of media coverage is troublesome on many levels. When something is fraudulent it is obtained, done by, or has involved deception – especially criminal deception. The American public, the Congress and the courts must be on-guard with this president. There’s a very small step from complaining to outlawing and, in this case, the outlawing would be executed by an elected outlaw.

At this date, the Fake President may not like the Fake Media, but if all the media outlets stopped talking about Trump, he would probably melt into a damp pool of man tan and makeup.  Sad.