Did not have a permit?

Trump Rewrites His Own History

You know that feeling you have after a night of some Olympic-level drinking, when you want to stay in bed but realize that you have to get up and start the day? Your head is pounding and your stomach wants food. The room is moving and your hands are shaking and deep down inside you say to yourself, I will never do this again, but the feeling you get from Donald Trump’s words is like a reoccurring hangover.

At a previously planned veteran’s action press conference (8-12-2017), President Trump read a short statement about the tragedy and chaos that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia. He took no questions and simply left the room after. This drew a tremendously negative response by both Republicans and Democrats. The press and cable news shows had a field day with the omission of any naming of the parties involved, while using the throwaway line, “… on many sides, on many sides.”

Donald J. Trump waited until Monday afternoon to set the record straight in what has been mockingly referred to as a “hostage video,” where the great Orange Leader finally called out the Neo-Nazis, White Nationalists and KKK by name. That should have, could have, would have been it. However, Trump decided to hold another press conference about, well, we all seem to have forgotten what it was supposed to cover. Once again, our fearless leader took the reporters’ bait and swam right into the deep, dark waters of racism.

He was angry and defiant in a non-presidential way. He lashed out at reporters and swatted away their questions with “Excuse me, Excuse me.” He tripled-down on his assessment that both sides were to blame and even asserted that the Nazis and KKK were legally protesting because they had a permit, as if that was an excuse for murder.

He claimed that on Friday night the Alt-right group was quietly protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue in the local park. In fact, they were carrying tiki torches and chanting extremely racist, Nazi, fascist, anti-Semitic phrases while marching through the streets of Charlottesville. They called the press following the entourage, “Faggots.”

Trump’s lack of awareness of the true events that took place on Friday night, and his misrepresentation of what happened the next day, was so breathtakingly hurtful, we can only wish someone in the White House will tell him how wrong he was. But they won’t. General Kelly may be able to command the troops, but he cannot put lipstick on this pig at the luau.

On Saturday, the protests turned into a riot, which included a White Nationalist Nazi cultist driving his car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters. His terrorist action killed a human being and seriously injured 19 others. While Donald Trump was fumbling, bumbling and trying to win an argument instead of showing true leadership, he added false logic claiming that there was lots of blame to go around.

He rebuked the reporters, claiming they were not reporting the whole story and that he knows more than anyone else about what happened. He pronounced that there are always two sides to every story and proceeded to coddle the Neo-Nazis and KKK by selling them as nice people. “Well, some of them were nice.”

It reminded me of an old friend who was complaining about someone using the words, “That guy’s a Nazi, and not even a good Nazi.” Now, if the President is really saying that people carrying German Swastikas, guns, clubs and torches were there to protect Robert E. Lee from supposed “alt-left” pre-planned violence, then we need a new President.

The idea that one needs a permit to protest is anti-American. Anyone in the United States has the right to peacefully assemble and air their grievances. A notion that any group, no matter who they hate, stands on higher ground because of a permit granting them access to public property is naively marred and diabolically destructive. It’s not the “permit,” stupid, it’s the racism.

While a mother is grieving the loss of her daughter, the President of the United States was on national TV attempting to give evil groups a little love to lower their culpability. He is guilty of obstruction of logic and aiding and abetting the enemy of Democracy.

The Donald thinks he can rewrite history by confusing people, by asking the absurd question of which statues are next to be torn down, George Washington or Thomas Jefferson? As Trump points out, they were slave owners. We know they held slaves, but they weren’t the traitors who left the Union to preserve slavery.

One of the things I can never understand about Donald Trump is the dichotomy of his push to always win, but showing admiration for people who lose. The Germans lost both World Wars and the Southern Confederate army lost the Civil War. Why do losers always admire losers?

Trump’s blatant whispers demonstrate his lack of moral compass. I once heard a southerner say, “I know Hitler was bad, but he did a lot of great things for Germany.” Really? He killed about six million Jews and nine million others. No one precisely knows the number of lives lost. As my father recalled, by the time the war was over, most of Germany was in ruin. What good did Hitler do for anyone?

What a wasted Presidency, and we are only eight months in. If you voted for Trump, you bear part of the blame. If you want to do something good for our country, start to demand that he be removed from office. It’s time to tear down that fake president and write him out of history. Let’s end this national hateful hangover.

 


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.


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.

 


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!


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.

 


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.