Presidential Apprentice

More divots than pivots

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Worst Press Conference Ever

“I’m really not a bad person”

In an overblown 77-minute press conference, the president of the United States took the mic away from Spicer and decided to command communication himself. His opening lecture to the press belabored his quest to discredit the media.

His attempts to alienate journalists smacks of the implication of the opposite. Donald J. Trump loves the press and lives for their attention. When he says “the tone is such hatred” in the reporting on his administration, he takes on a martyr complex that is so unattractive in any human.

His statement, “I’m really not a bad person” was as shallow as Richard Nixon’s “I am not a crook.” If you have to tell people you aren’t something, you open the door for the listener to think that you are saying the opposite. “The roll out was perfect, there was zero chaos” and “the administration is running like a fine-tuned machine” are simply not true. The rollout of the travel ban was vague and disruptive and found to be poorly written at best. I’m not sure the hail of executive orders is something to brag about, especially when they aren’t comprehended by the commander-in-chief.

The on-going reverse engineering that is taking place is atrocious. When Trump was confronted on the misinformation about his electoral vote number by NBC’s Peter Alexander, the president’s defense was “I was given that information” and then, “Actually, I’ve seen that information around.” While claiming that everybody else is fake news, the lie bubbles coming out of his little round pie-hole exposes his lack of trustworthiness with facts and figures.  

Why would any country want to deal with someone who doesn’t prepare enough for a press conference to get the facts right? Any Congressional leader who isn’t asking how do we contain this paranoid-pathological liar posing as president has probably sipped enough of the Kool-Aid of power to longer be thought of as a viable leader either. We are talking to you Paul Ryan.

The reality TV show – referred to as the press conference – had some simple rules. Ask a tough question, you’re out. Ask a question that provides a way for the host to brag about himself, you get praise. Ask a controversial question, and you will be put down with lines like, “Quiet, quiet, quiet,” and then, “See he lied about — he was going to get up and ask a very straight, simple question. Okay, sit down.”

Once again, Trump treated a Jewish reporter with disrespect going on a self-absorbed talk about himself, rather than answering the question. To the credit of other reporters, they didn’t let the president off the hook by returning to the question and pointing out it wasn’t about him. This was the worst press conference ever.

One of the ways a president can be impeached is if the office holder commits a misdemeanor. If someone continually lies to the American public, to Congress or to the Judiciary, isn’t that a misdemeanor? Let’s keep counting the lies for the writing of the Articles of Impeachment. If only embarrassing America was a misdemeanor.

 

 

Jargon, Jews & the Juggernaut

Does Trump Have Classic German Guilt?

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

An Israeli reporter asked a question.

To quote the article,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Unbelievably Decisive?

Follow the Vodka

The White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has a responsibility to back his boss and protect him from the ‘evil’ media; we get that. But when people speak English they use words and words have meanings. It’s clearly unbelievable that Spicer claims President Donald Trump was decisive with the Ret. General Michael Flynn fiasco.

Why does the president even need Spicer? Why does Trump need Kellyanne Conway? He kept saying during the campaign that only he knows how to fix things, but when given the opportunity to fix things fast with Flynn, he was frozen with inaction and waited for the damage to go away. Just like a typical politician.

Once again, Trump’s latest legal document, his tweet of 2-15-2017 sets the tone of the administration, always looking backward, always comparing itself to Obama, shoveling crap on Hillary Clinton hoping to divert the attention away from his own inadequacies.

Why don’t the American people know what Trump owes to Russia? Why can’t the ‘all powerful’ legislative body we call Congress get to the bottom of Mr. Trump’s financial entanglements with Russia? While Nikki Haley talks tough at the U.N., Trump undermines her positions with his tweets and talks. While the Senate hawks harbor suspicion with this bizarre bromance between Trump and Putin, they have failed to demand an answer.

In the 2004 novel by Philip Roth, The Plot Against America, the scenario he presented was the manipulation of the US election so a pro-Nazi candidate, Charles Lindbergh, could use his fame and nationalist viewpoint to take power and then pal with Adolf Hitler. Clearly, if Donald Trump’s administration was in cahoots with the Kremlin during the election, then we have seen a real plot against America.

There will be a list of those who spoke up. And there will also be a list of those people who remained silent while America was shamed and devalued by this egoist parading as a puppet of Putin.

 

 

 

 

St. Valentine’s Massacre

Trump Exposed by General Flynn

One of the great things about a free press is that they don’t stop doing their job when they are attacked. Those who work in the press have to learn the craft of journalism. The fourth estate, and now the fifth estate, have a purpose in Democracy. That purpose was codified by the founding fathers.

Retired Lt. General Michael Flynn exposed President Trump as a slow moving, unaware and non-detailed oriented “learning on the job” leader. Flynn violated the Logan Act and the President learned of this on January 26 and waited twenty-days to act. Trump’s spokespeople seem to be bumping into their own claims. At this point, Sean Spicer is nothing more than a visual pun and Kellyanne Conway has no credibility. Thanks to the Washington Post for doing their job.

While this “shit storm” is happening in the administration, Trump wastes his valuable time with Twitter adding layers of uninformed chatter and tacky vague innuendo. The President’s legal advisors may think they are there to protect the POTUS from unnecessary legal actions, but what they fail to do is to inform their client of the most important part of this mess. TWEETS are legal documents and be used in court against the President and could damage relations with other nations.

Trump has been exposed as a feckless leader with a monumental lack of perspective or knowledge of how basic governance works. Flynn liked Trump, Trump likes people who like him. The General was a tough-rouge general who Colin Powell described as a “right-wing nutty.” But Trump thinks tough style and great nick names are the only substance he needs to put people into his administration.

It’s time for President Donald J. Trump to start his “extreme vetting” in his own house first. How can he claim to love this country so much, but continue to appoint and nominate such mediocre and un-empathic characters to the departments and councils they are predisposed to not like? You have been exposed by your actions Mr. President. The confusion and the disparate positions that are sprouting from your many spokespeople make it seem like you are out of touch with your own people.   

 

 

Steve, Stephen & Agent Orange

The Brains Behind the Curtain

We now know the source of poison that leaks out of the windows and the doors of the White House. Every president has had people who whisper into their ear. Some objective observers have said that these aids are not just advisors, but they actually control the leader of the free world.

George W. Bush had Dick Cheney, who like his father, had roots and connections in the C.I.A. There are those who say that Cheney misled and manipulated the younger President Bush and gave him justification to re-enter Iraq and finish the job that his father failed to accomplish.

Richard Nixon had John Ehrlichman and H. R. Haldeman, who historians believed were pulling the strings of the soon-to-be broken president during the Watergate scandal. Haldeman was an experienced advertising man who used his talents to sell Nixon to the American public. Ehrlichman was an attorney who believed the President had unlimited powers and could not be held accountable for dirty deeds.

Trump has Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller pulling strings and writing up executive orders based on their ideology and political beliefs. It is quite obvious that their efforts were never filtered or tested through any analysis of who this is good for and will this hurt anyone? They simply don’t care about people; they care about creating a world they believe is right.

While Stephen Miller read his answers to the questions from all the Sunday morning talk shows, one could feel the defensiveness and witness the deflection laced vitriol. The non-fact of voter fraud was repeated, covering the fib of the older brother President showed that he too, has bought into the lie, or did he create the lie?

Mr. Miller’s pronouncement that Federal judges didn’t have the authority to stop the President’s travel ban was nothing more than an attempt to argue his position on the media, that same media they claim is so dishonest and terrible. Judges judge, presidents lead.

Mr. Miller and Mr. Bannon should remember that both Haldeman and Ehrlichman were convicted of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury and both served time in prison. Steve and Stephen should focus on the phrase “obstruction of justice” as they carry on the business of President Trump.

The key to keeping America safe from terrorism starts with keeping America safe from tyranny. Let Democracy win first and the rest will be fine. Who is the puppet and who are the puppeteers?  Time will tell whether the pitch-man is reading a well-prepared script, or is true to his convictions.

 

 

Impeachment is the tool

The Constitution and Impeachment

The Constitution, Article II, Section 4: 
The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

The Constitution, Article I, Section 3: 
The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.  When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation.  When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside:  And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.Judgment in Cases of Impeachments shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust, or Profit under the United States, but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment, and Punishment, according to Law.