Trump’s “Absolute Rights”

 Mother F**king Laptops on these Mother F**king Planes

There are two things happening at the same time and if you open your eyes wide enough you will see that America has a problem. Let’s simplify all this into grains of truth.

First, we have a President in Trump who actually is being told by lawyers and over-zealous advisors how to leap over his latest lie. Is this democracy or is it something kingdoms had to do when the teenager became King because his old man died. In this case, lots of people who voted for Trump’s big mouth made a huge mistake. Donald Trump has some abnormal affection and bizarre loyalty to Russia. We have to find out what that’s all about.

He may have the right and power to declassify at will, but once he does the intelligence is no longer a secret and then can be circulated to anyone –  SIS and newspapers for example. That’s dumb on his part.

Next, he made a threat, now unveiled, to his fired FBI Director and made a cryptic tweet about “tapes” in the White House.  He then proceeded to claim he didn’t leak anything to the Russians about a threat of ISIS laptop bombs. He next used the phrase “humanitarian reasons” as a justification for leaking information about the plot to the Russians in the Oval Office. Does he realize that if there are any “tapes” they can be subpoenaed by Congress?

Agent Orange has painted himself into a legal corner which he cannot escape without laying down some heavy footprints. But that is not the biggest part of this intrigue. The story within the story is the insane idea of making people check their computers on all flights. There are very good reasons that this would put more people in danger.

Laptops generally run on nickel cadmium (NiCad), nickel metal hydride (NiMH), or lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries, with Li-ion being the most common in newer laptops. There’s a reason why the airlines currently ask you to take any device that has a lithium battery out of luggage you plan to check.

In February of 2016 The Department of Transportation, which oversees the FAA, banned the use of lithium batteries on planes. Due to the risk of fire, lithium-ion batteries cannot be shipped as cargo on passenger planes.

Now we are hearing this call to make people check their laptops in baggage. Is Homeland Security this stupid? Someone will close their laptop and forget to turn it off. They will then place it in the middle of their clothes to protect it and create an overheating situation that could create a luggage hold fire. Who’s your terrorist now?

Let’s get back to those “absolute rights” the Donald claims. It’s about time for the Congress to read Article 1, Section 1 of the Constitution:  All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives. The President cannot make law.

And Agent Orange should read the last paragraph in Article 1, Section 3: Judgment in Cases of Impeachment 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.

The President is not above the law, be it in the office or out of the office. What he told the Russians may or may not destroy a relationship we have with another government’s security services, or it might get someone killed, but Trump doesn’t care. He’s focused only on how he looks to whomever is in the room, friend or foe.

With each justification and lack of communication with Congress, the greater the number of Republican skeptics he will create. Meanwhile, we better hope that laptops in suitcases don’t start fires on those planes. Trump may be a baboon, but someone has to stand up to bad security policies. We cannot trust Trump to keep a secret or make a good decision. Sad, really, really, Sad!

TRUMP’S CABINET EXPOSED – PART ONE

“You judge a man by the companies he keeps”

When the time comes to write the history of the Trump reign in Washington, we can look to the people he picked to sit at the big table. The President’s Cabinet are the most important members of his team. These members are so powerful in the government that they have to be confirmed by the Congress.

Many articles are written as the season begins in any specific sport. The armchair coaches and managers at the magazines, web sites and TV networks tell us why one team is better than the other. It’s only been a little over 100 days since this administration has started and some of these characters weren’t confirmed right away.  However, they all are now official, so let’s take a look at each person.

One of the most important people regarding how our country deals with the many hotspots and countries in the world is the Secretary of State. Traded form the EXXON MOBIL team and playing this position is Rex Tillerson. Rex carries himself well, has the gravitas and voice that can impress you on the get go, but don’t expect to have him ever say anything that matters. You can’t see the strings coming from his arms, but Trump speak is in his speak. I love when he says what Trump wants him to say, then a minute later, actually says that Russian hacking was a bad thing. He’s no Hillary Clinton, but you knew that.

The person in charge of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, was brought in from Goldman Sachs and has a nasty curve ball. While at ESL Investments he helped Trump secure lots of money for his building projects. He gave Trump money and the Donald paid him back with a job taking care of our money? This guy was involved in the housing crisis (OneWest) and foreclosed on a lot of Americans while his company reaped rewards. Of course, this is too easy. It’s putting the wolf in charge of the hen house. We just hope that our nest eggs aren’t cracked by this inarticulate banker.

On Defense, and we mean Secretary of Defense, James N. Mattis is a lifelong military man with excellent credentials. But sadly, many critics of President Trump believe that the driving force on this decision was Mattis’ nick name, “Mad Dog Mattis” which Trump loved saying at his rallies. Mattis carries a big bat and understands global conflicts and the nuisances of specific cultures. As long as Mattis stays, we have some sanity in the ranks.

The Attorney General’s job went to longtime supporter and campaigner Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, whose law and order message was blended with Trump exaggerated views on crime and who commits them. Sessions is not a player on the team, he is the umpire who wants a certain crowd to like him (yes, that was a whisper). Under Sessions, we will fill up the prisons due to his mandated sentencing decree, which will help some of Trump’s contributors, GEO Group, the largest for-profit prison firm and the other large prison company, CoreCivic, who both gave as much as a quarter of a million dollars to support Trump’s inauguration. Sessions also had to recuse himself from any Russian election investigation because of his failing to admit under oath that he, too, met with the Russians. Rule of Law?

Ryan Zinke, appointed and confirmed as the Secretary of the Interior, may have a degree in geology and a military record but the thing that stands out here is that he served on the board of the oil pipeline company QS Energy. During the primary, Zinke said that Hillary Clinton was “the real enemy” and the “anti-Christ” due to her position on freedom of choice for women. While Zinke wants to decide what a woman does with her interior, this guy wants to destroy our land. He wants to burn more coal for electricity and has zero care about Native Lands. To the Native people of America, he is indeed an evil spirit.

Sonny Perdue, may be the Agriculture Secretary, but he is NOT related to the Perdue Chicken Company. As governor of Georgia once asked his state to pray to ask God to end a drought. This is a guy who wanted to returned to the stars and bars flag for the state of Georgia (the one that looked confederate). And ironically, he was sworn as Secretary of Agriculture by Clarence Thomas. It’s too soon to see if this guy has any real understanding of farms, but he is a “Bull Dog” and has a degree from University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. So, he knows animals.

And finally, in Part One, let’s take a quick look at the Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, who is a son of judge from New Jersey. When Ross was the Senior Managing Director of Rothschild Inc., a firm that specialized in bankruptcies, good old Wilbur figured out a way for Donald Trump to keep control of his failing casinos. In settlements that came after a Securities and Exchange Commission probe into overcharging of fees by WL Ross & Co, his most recent firm, he paid more than $100 million in fines and shareholder reimbursements. Of course, he only deals with trade, so his background won’t keep him from pissing off Canada, Mexico and eventually all our trade partners.

In Part Two, we’ll take a look at the rest of the people in the clown bus.

BAD WEATHER IN WASHINGTON

Prognosis: No Hope in Trumpville

As the weather in America rips a path of destruction across this great nation, we do not hear the President talk about climate change. The personal tragedies and demoralizing death from ever-increasing weather fronts are never mentioned by the Donald. It’s as if domestic agenda is being written by his inability to quell the ongoing controversies about himself and his campaign and not by delivering hope to the people. Why can’t he solve that problem?

It’s clear by the tweet storms that the President’s White House has no control over his message because, quite frankly, he’s making it up as he goes. His people run out to the podium and can only attempt to sandbag the negative flow affecting the President.

There are some people who have said – I have heard this – that Donald Trump is suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder), a complex psychological condition that can be caused by many factors, including severe trauma during early childhood.

Along with pathological lying (also called pseudologia fantastica and mythomania), a behavior of habitual or compulsive lying, Trump has few sunny days. He feels compelled to repeat certain phrases incessantly because of an insecure need to be understood. Or perhaps, the repetition solidifies the lie as a truth in his mind.

As we can see when he is on teleprompter he is a poor reader, which could be the result of attention deficit disorder. This would explain why he dislikes reading.

Trump lashes out when the clouds roll in and he feels the world is against him. He lusts after praise and when he doesn’t get any, he inserts praise into his speech pattern. This might be caused by an inferiority complex, a lack of self-worth and uncertainty about himself. He constantly has feelings of not measuring up to standards. His extremely asocial behavior manifests itself by putting down people, especially Barack Obama, who he considers to be mentally superior.

But let’s get back to the weather. When destruction hit parts of America, previous Presidents would comment about the people’s hardship and give them some hope. Sometimes the leader of the free world would actually go to see the damage and experience the pain first hand. This president ignores the very people who voted for him. He only goes out to do his shtick at restricted, ticket-only political rallies.

After the airing of the interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, Agent Orange proved once again that his version of the truth should be our focus. He also finally admitted a “slight mistake” that his surrogates cannot be “perfectly accurate” because there is so much going on? What? I thought being President would be easy.

As the weather gets worse in Washington and the Trumpettes attempt to bail out Mr. Know-It-All, we all need hip boots to splash through the excrement shoveled out these days.

Now he is threatening to end the press briefings. Rather than just pass out fact sheets with your points Mr. President, why don’t you take your significant undercarriage over to the press room and take the questions yourself?

In a recent interview he attacked Stephen Colbert claiming he isn’t funny, while the more he makes fun of him the bigger he grows his audience.

Why is the President of the United States wasting his time talking about comedians? What is really ironic is that Stephen Colbert is the person who coined the term “Truthiness,” which is now in the dictionary. Donald Trump is the glowing example of living on the thin edge of truthiness; that’s no joke.

Everyone knows Comey didn’t bow to the King and that is the real reason he is gone. Who elected this guy? Time will tell if James Comey will become the John Dean of this administration. Younger readers, please Google.

This morning (5-12-2017) Trump’s latest tweet, “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” When have we seen someone fire someone, personally put them down on TV, then publicly threaten them? What a very small man our “leader” is.

Obviously, the President lives in the eye of the storm, but someone needs to tell him the other side of the hurricane will get him. The winds are blowing and the currents are not in his favor.

THE ATROCITIES OF AMERICAN POLITICS

 Donald Trump Will Destroy the Republican Party

When the White House sent Sarah Huckabee Sanders out to the lectern to field questions the day after Donald Trump fired the FBI Director (5-9-2017), we saw a combative B team player who really isn’t ready for prime time. Sorry, but even though she is the DNA offspring of deep southern conservatives, Mike Huckabee and Janet McCain (no relation), we blame the President for not having the guts to come out to the press and take questions himself. He is mostly chicken-shit when confronted.

Sarah, the word Atrocity means an extremely wicked or cruel act, typically involving physical violence or injury. When you claim James Comey was guilty of atrocities you moved him into the same level as Bashar al-Assad, Saddam Husain or, wait for it, Vladimir Putin. You owe the guy an apology for your horrible word use and lack of comprehension.

As the Republican opportunists and sordid politicians line up to try to get behind the President on his obvious move to thwart investigations, there is a flaw here beyond repair for the Republican party. Poor Sarah could not have expected that the day she was to fill in for her co-worker busy with Naval Reserve duty she would make things worse. If she is the future of the party, then you might as well bring her father back.

The thinking Republicans, not Paul Ryan, who are asking the good questions will be able to say they stood up and challenged the Liar-in-Chief when he tried to shut down investigations into Michael Flynn. The Democrats are not without sin on this one.  After all you can’t call for Comey’s head and then, when Agent Orange delivers said head, pull out the word, “Watergate.”

The debate will go on for a few days as to whether this is worse than Watergate, or perhaps Watergate Lite, or maybe nothing at all; but from this vantage point we make our case that Donald J. Trump has always been the wrong person to lead America. If this leads to impeachment historians can say this was just like Watergate.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, which Donald Trump is trying to meld with his executive orders and lack of judgement on almost every issue he faces. The most astonishing aspect was the administrations lack of awareness of how this would be interpreted. If you just worked this through a logic process you would say, boy that is how they got Nixon.

Trump hijacked the Republican Party, and they let him. He hijacked the Presidency and millions of people helped him. BUT, he cannot hijack the structure of America. He cannot stop the truth from coming out, much to his frustration. He wants Mommy and Daddy to back up every one of his lies. And when someone keeps saying that he lies, they are added to his enemies list.

Richard Nixon was an ideologue, with an enemies list, who was the last to see that the country was changing. He was a scotch-drinking Quaker who was so out of touch with reality he listened only to those around him. Donald Trump may not drink alcohol but he is clearly addicted to fame. He needs to have his ego massaged everyday by those around him. This makes him dangerously manipulatable.

The RNC may be all happy that they control the Senate, the House and the White House, but are they really in control of anything? In 2018, when healthcare is costing more and hurting real people, those seats will go away and the cycle will continue. Sadly, when the Democrats regain a majority, the atrocities of American politics will kick in. That’s when nothing gets done.

What Donald Trump has brought to the surface is the many cracks in the Republican party and those who claim the country is better off with an elephant in the room. With hearings on TV so often, we get to see those ridiculous GOP ideologues like Ted Cruz who wastes hearing time with questions designed just to put down Democrats rather than to find out what is really going on. Cruz might think he is smart and impressive, but he comes off like the guy at the party who only wants to talk about what he thinks is important. Save us.

The exposure of public hearings puts on trial the lacing depth of many of those on important committees. It also showcases that the Dems are not all tree-hugging, left-winged whackos as Fox News paints them. They are generally well prepared and ask good questions. Whether you like Al Franken or not, he does have a way of getting people to .

My advice to everyone in America, keep your eyes open. Remember what you said about Obama, well double it with Trump. Are you better off yet? Are you winning? Did you get a raise? How much did they charge for that medicine today? The Republican party owns healthcare and they own Trump, poor babies.

DONALD TRUMP IS NO AXEL FOLEY

The President is Always on Defense

What if you started a new job and the first thing the new boss said to you was, “I’m right about everything and you must never disagree with me about anything.” Anyone worth their salt and without a large mortgage payment would flee the building.

We don’t always get to vote on our bosses, but we do vote for our President. Let’s review once again, Hillary Clinton got 65,844,610 votes which was 48.2% of the popular vote, while the man who is President got 62,979,636, only 46.1%. Another fact, there were 7,804,213, or 5.7% of the voters who cast their ballot for someone other than the two headliners.

In real life and according to a May 9, 2017 Rasmussen Reports Daily Presidential Tracking Poll, 46% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance, while 54% disapprove. Doing the math, that means that more than half the people in the USA don’t think Trump is doing a very good job. And in my unscientific poll, there is a large percentage of people in the country who actually hate him.

Most Presidents start out by presenting their case and through their actions they slowly warm up the citizens who might not have voted for them. People aren’t as dumb as Bill Maher claims they are, but there still are massive numbers of people in the country who follow Trump like a cult leader. One of the meanings of cult is a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing.

Trump thinks he’s the master of the redirect, which was aptly demonstrated in the movie Beverly Hills Cops II. Gilbert Gottfried played a guy at City Hall in charge of all city records. Eddie Murphy and his cop sidekicks used intimidation to trick the timid clerk. The fun begins when Murphy’s character holds a stack of parking tickets he claims belong to Bernstein’s wife:

Sidney Bernstein setting up bribe says, “Wait, l’ve got an idea. ls there something that I have in this office that I could hand to you and that would make you kind of forget that you’re holding those little pink tickets there?” Gottfried proceeds to propose a $200 bribe to have the tickets go away. The metaphor and sleight of hand helps the police get into the city computer.

And the innocent question, “You’d go, what did l have there? I don’t remember.” Of course, “forgetting” was code for just disremembering that he just gave a large bribe to the cops. What is in one hand, made what was in the other hand go away.

On the one hand, Sally Yates just testified about warning the President about Michael Flynn and the President and all his men did nothing for 18 days. On the other, Trump fired James Comey, Director of the FBI, on May 9, 2017.

On one hand, Jared Kushner’s sister used the image of the President and her brother’s position at the White House to sell EB-5 visas to Chinese investors.

So, for $500,000 anyone without clearance, without vetting can purchase a Green Card and move to the United States. While other workers, future immigrants and refugees seeking asylum have to wait in line. Trump approved this measure a few days before Jared’s sister did her pitch, but on the campaign trail he was so worried about how people get into the country. How is the “Golden Visa” EB-5 program even legal? I guess Trump knows best. I mean, how could a terrorist afford that much money? They can’t just take it out of the ISIS bank, or could they?

On the other hand Trump fired James Comey, the Director of the FBI on May 9, 2017.

As the cable news channel regurgitate diatribes assigned to their political formats, the American public is, once again, fooled by the master liar in the White House. Even Fox News wasn’t quite sure how to handle the firing of James Comey. It was delightful to watch them try to vocalize whether this was good or bad. You can’t keep switching your position on major issues and expect the American people to understand your true values.

The real journalists need to step up right now.  They should keep on the Russian story. Why is Donald J. Trump so defensive about this?  It sure does feel like Nixon. Remember what really got to the bottom of the whole Watergate mess was a special prosecutor. We’ve already seen the movie, now we just have to read the script.

And they should be taking the press secretary to the wood shed on the EB-5 visa program and how it makes America less secure.

Why not find the answers, or is the Donald afraid that what he has in his one small hand might show that the other small hand has been signing things at the urging of some dark force from a faraway land?

Someone should follow the money. A thorough analysis of everything Trump does would be in order. How will every decision affect his kids and their wealth? The signing of the budget with the extension of the EB-5 just happened; what else has he done? Or maybe it’s nothing, but why not clear the air? What are you afraid of, Mr. President?

I for one, will not be silent, #NotOnMyWatch.

 

 

Lawyers, Guns and Money

Trump’s Enabler White House Counsel

We learned two things yesterday (5-8-2017): the private education that Donald Trump was awarded did not make him a good speller and when confronted with any legal warning or matter, he will stonewall. He learned all his lessons from the late lawyer and mentor Roy Cohn. Some, who know both personalities, would say that Trump is actually channeling Roy.

The Donald is correct, during Sally Yates testimony in front of the Senate Hearing, she did not give us any new facts about what happened. But what she did reveal was a solid timeline that exposes the President’s decision making process when it comes to potential legal threats to his legitimacy.

The acting Attorney General asked for a meeting with the White House Counsel Don McGahn. At two face-to-face meetings, she warned the administration of problems with Michael Flynn. McGahn posed several interesting questions during those encounters.

He wanted to know whether the acting AG had thought Flynn had broken any laws. He also wondered why it was a Department of Justice matter if two administration officials lied to each other. WHAT? And most damaging, he asked if any action they would take would interfere with an on-going investigation. Yates said, “No,” because Flynn had already been interviewed by the FBI.

Clearly McGahn, coincidentally another ‘Donald’, was fishing for answers to whether there was a probe into Flynn. And of course, McGahn is no stranger to the dirty underbelly of Washington politics. Trump may have said he was going to drain the swamp, but kept one of the alligators as legal counsel.

McGahn was Chief Counsel for the RNC for nine years, before George W. Bush appointed him on the Federal Election Committee (FEC), where he had his fingers on how the election process was governed. Don McGahn, as counsel for the RNC, defended Tom DeLay. If you remember, Tom DeLay was indicted and convicted of illegally transferring funds from his campaign to a super PAC in Texas. Rather than get into the lengthy details here which include something about Russian money as well, one might just google: “The DeLay-Abramoff Money Trail.”

That doesn’t mean McGahn should be judged by the clients he’s kept, but he did work for the Koch Brothers’ funded Freedom Partners. In short, Don McGahn is apparently more swamp than Trump and thought to be able to navigate around the alligators at the Justice Department.

In Warren Zevon’s classic song, Lawyers, Guns and Money, the one line sticks out, “Send lawyers, guns, and money, the shit has hit the fan!” And for Trump, “it” seems to keep hitting the twirling reality of Washington. And in some cases, the President seems to be picking the stuff up and throwing it back in himself, like an orange orangutan.

It’s too late for Donald Trump to defend his pal Michael Flynn to the press or the people of this great nation. Even the press secretary keeps saying “the President had made the right decision and we’ve moved on,” but have we? We have lawyers, we have more guns in Afghanistan and we have MONEY involved in everything Trump and his relatives touch.

The two Donald’s waited 18 days to pull the plug on what they knew was a problem. That doesn’t sound like the fantasy character Donald Trump created on the campaign trail. And the whole Flynn-gate affair prompts the question, “If there was no Washington Post article, would Flynn still have his job?” If the answer is yes, then the President is guilty of putting personal loyalties above national security. And this demonstrated a lack of political and business judgement. In business, you cut your losses and move on.

There was a great article written by the National Review’s Tom Rogan that was posted on November 20, 2016, that quoted someone who knows Flynn well, “Flynn had a tendency to bully anyone who disagreed with his assessments on operational strategy.” Boy, that sounds a lot like the man who wanted him by his side for all the big decisions on security. The whole premise of Rogan’s article was that Michael Flynn was the wrong pick for National Security Adviser.

I always look for strange connections that don’t mean anything, like the fact that Don McGahn’s mother is Noreen Rogan and the article was written by a man name Rogan, no relation.

Now, I know our President might brew that into a conspiracy theory that someone born in the UK like Rogan shouldn’t be allowed to write about American politics, but if Trump took the time to read this article back when he was deciding who to appoint for National Security, he would have seen what everyone saw in Flynn. A right-winged whack job who has no business being on the people’s payroll. If only our President could read.

 

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/442350/mike-flynn-wrong-pick-national-security-adviser

 

HEALTHCARE IS COMPLICATED

Trump Unqualified as Insurance Czar

The House of Representatives’ poorly written healthcare act is very much like a guy with a hangover eating a habanero pepper omelet the next day. Crap in, crap out.

They might claim that it’s the hair of the dog, but in reality, it was just what they shouldn’t have done. When the House narrowly passed the American Healthcare Act on May 4, 2017 (by only two votes), with 20 Republicans voting against the bill, the Donald played right into Democratic hands.

And here is why:

  1. The GOP accused Democrats of not reading the Obamacare act before they voted on it. Trump forced his party members to do the same thing and thus sabotaged those running in 2018. We must remember the 213 Representatives who voted NO on this one.
  2. The de facto party leader, Donald Trump, said that everyone would get coverage and that pre-existing conditions would be covered, while the same leader let the Freedom Caucus roll him and agree to the deal for a state opt-out for insurance companies.
  3. House members made it seem that they were either expecting their older “brother” the Senate to fix their work or, worse, they were just appeasing Trump and showing that they have more division within their party. I used the word “brother” on this one because the committee writing the Senate version of the bill consists of 13 men. Why?

We are hearing lots of talk about Healthcare and Insurance companies. The typical gripe on Obamacare is that there are so few insurance companies in certain states.

Why doesn’t anyone on TV talk about the efforts of state insurance commissioners? Some have blocked the expansion of companies into their States. For example, many people don’t know that it took GEICO many years to get into the Massachusetts market. WHY? Well, the large insurance companies based in Boston blocked any insurance companies that offered what was defined as “discounted” insurance. Boy, that is restrictive. That has since been resolved, but it begs a bigger question.

Why would the President keep rotating that hackneyed phrase that he believes in  states’ rights and wants to give the states more control over Health Insurance? Once you give the states MORE control over healthcare, why even have a national healthcare act? And when all the states raise taxes the President might think he won’t get blamed, but he should think again and stop listening to people like Steve Bannon.

Because of Obamacare, we are no longer debating that there should be a national healthcare plan.  We are now just debating what it should be and who should pay for it. But when the first person with a pre-existing condition dies, Donald Trump and the Republican party will have blood on their hands. That Republican lie about death panels will then be rolled out by the Democrats. Only this time people will believe it.

With all the companies Donald Trump ran in his past life, we are sure that he heard debates about healthcare for his employees. His involvement was probably tertiary with him; either telling someone to do business with someone’s company he liked, or just saying get the price down.

Now, we have Tom Price running around and saying repeatedly how great the plan is, while never addressing any questions. His presentation, like those of most Trump underlings, is just a mini campaign-like speech fraught with fact-free slogans and fallacies. Is it because he doesn’t know what he is talking about, or is it a case of specifics left out so no mistakes are made?

Anyone running a business would ask a few questions before voting on a plan. The first is how much will this cost? The second is what does it do for my workforce? I remember that middle-class rationality of how it would be great to have a “real” businessman run the government.  Well, where can we get one? Or, better yet, where can we get a real businesswoman?

Donald Trump has admitted that healthcare is complicated. Obama once opened an explanation with a remark on how complicated the subject was and Jon Stewart called him out. Stewart challenged Obama by forcefully explaining that it’s the President’s job to help us understand complicated matters.

Let’s face it, a simple man cannot grasp the complexities of things and then turn them into a well-thought-out plan. Trump does hate, sarcasm and bullying well, but on the mattes of state, he’s clumsy and foolish. Sad!

WHY DO WE NEED A SECOND AMENDMENT?

Trump Needs to Read the 1st Amendment

Recently, the President’s chief of staff said that the administration had looked into changing the libel laws in the United States. Donald Trump has constantly used the power of the law suit to attack his “enemies” in business. He, if given the power, would like to control the press by the use of intimidation and fear. Locking journalists up might not change the way they source or write their stories, but it would spell the end of our democracy as we know it.

Sure, if the libel laws were changed it would help Mr. Thin-Skin quell his fragile ego, but at what cost? You could haul reporters into court when they wrote something bad about you, but there is a reason the 1st Amendment was first.

Remember what is says Mr. Trump: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

In these 45 words, the framers established the real core beliefs of America. I have always said to my gun totting friends, you can have your 2nd amendment as long as you protect my 1st amendment. But the first amendment says so much more than giving reporters the right to say what they want.

When Trump signed his executive order yesterday (5-4-2017) thinking he was ending the Johnson Amendment, which bans tax-exempt organizations like churches from political speech and activities, he was dead wrong. The only way the Johnson Amendment can be eliminated is with a vote in Congress. And if the Donald took the time to read the 1st Amendment he would see that he cannot establish a religion nor prohibit the free exercise of a religion. So, there is no need for him to sign a worthless piece of paper.

The President, under the Constitution, cannot “abridge” freedom of speech. That means he cannot reduce, curtail or cut freedom of speech and this includes the press.

The 1st Amendment also gives the people the right to assemble in a peaceful way and also gives them the right to petition the Government for redress, which can include compensation, reparations, recompense and damages. The founders were smart with their description of the Government as an entity that was not above the people. The Constitution is a valuable piece of paper.

That gets around to why we need a 2nd Amendment. The founding fathers understood that at any time, a tyrant, or a king, or over-zealous leader might attempt to take away the freedoms of the citizens, thus the reason why we must have the right to bear arms. If someone attempts to take these freedoms away, the framers were more than hinting at a solution. They were giving tacit approval for armed rebellion.

It says:  A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

You might be surprised that this blogger would say, YES to the 2nd Amendment, because we just might need that “well-regulated” group of Americans to take our country back one day. It doesn’t say anything in those 26 words about mentally challenged people or some ideological driven group of radical terrorists getting guns, does it?

Gun control measures are just part of the “well-regulated” part of the right. Trump is a puppet of the NRA and always has been. It’s rather ironic that the man who rails against lobbyists is controlled by one of the most powerful pro-gun groups. They not only support him, they give him money. In short, the great “swamp drainer” is nothing but a good-for-nothing politician with his hand in the pockets of BIG GUNS. Sad!

 

 

ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT VS. ESTABLISHMENT

Trump’s Outside Agitator Role

I remember vividly when protesters in the late 1960s grew in numbers. President Nixon and his Trump-like bullhorn, Spiro Agnew, claimed that “outside agitators” were behind all the protests against his administration and the Vietnam war. Funny, that a President couldn’t understand Americans against war.

The term “agitators” goes back to an era of labor disputes when unions would bus in thugs to disrupt the picket lines at job sites. This would give the local police departments justification to go in and bust some heads. While the owners of the factory said, the union had bussed the hooligans in, the unions accused the owners of paying the disrupters. The idea was to create fear and thus end the labor dispute. Bricks were thrown, blood was shed.

Like a 1950s politician, Trump uses the expression that “protesters against him are paid” leading some to make the joke, “Well, see Trump fulfilled his promise, he has created jobs.”

But the real question: Is the President really anti-establishment, or just modifying truth to build his own establishment. A world where nepotism is perfectly legal and the only people who have opinions worthy of his attention are those with as much money as he or are related to him.

The problem with Trump is that he focuses so much on what people are saying about him that he misses the most important part of the job: Actually, getting things done.

When he losses a battle in Congress, he wants to change the rules. Sure, it would get more things done if there was a 51% margin on votes, but 60% is there for a reason.

In his case, it appears that Donald Trump fails to understand that by being anti-establishment he is really being anti-constitution and anti-separation of the branches of government.

Article 2 of the Constitution clearly states that: He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur… Clearly the founding fathers were establishing what they thought was an established order of things especially on treaties with other nations. Jefferson, Washington, Hamilton, et al. didn’t want a king, they wanted an executive.

With all the huffing and puffing done by candidate Donnie on the trail, supporters would have believed that their anti-Washington savior was going to unleash his wrath on all the terrible things in government as soon as he got there. They joined a cult headed by a charismatic leader who lies.

Trump supporters hate the government until they get dragged off an airplane by police. They hate government until they discover their drinking water has poison in it. They hate the establishment because Fox News has been feeding their heads with the gossip according to Rupert Murdoch that everything is wrong, as long as it makes him money.

But in reality, the job of heading the executive branch is not as all powerful as it might be in some other countries or in certain companies. If young Donald would have spent more time in civics class, he would have had a fuller understanding of how things worked before he got to the White House.

To say Kim Jong Un is a “smart cookie” is really DUMB. Ask Kim Jong Un’s uncle how much of a “cookie” he thinks he is; Oh, that’s right, you can’t, because Kim killed him.

And what does this President think is the priority? Well, his campaign (which is now taking money for his 2020 re-election pursuit) said they will spend $1.5 million on TV and online to run a commercial that says mainstream media is “fake news.” That is what you would call anti-establishment, but what is the next step? Can censorship be too far behind? Why not use the $1.5 to explain how the budget works, or why your ideas on healthcare are good? Too complicated?

Freedom is part of this establishment we call the United States of America. Protecting people from abuses and schemes is pretty much an established goal of government. Keeping citizens safe is a must, but how is tweeting at three-in-the-morning keeping us safe? Get some sleep Agent Orange, it’s a well-thought-out establishment out there to get you.

Established facts, like Andrew Jackson’s involvement in American’s Civil War was only his 100 slaves he owned until his death, which took place 16 years before the war started. “Old Hickory” might be your hero Mr. Trump, but the Donald ought to also learn that Jackson was credited with causing the Panic of 1837, which started an almost ten-year recession. Please don’t be like Jackson, Mr. President. Shut up and lead.

 

 

PRESIDENT OUT OF TOUCH

Has Trump Ever Read the NAFTA Agreement?

He fails to see that the world has changed. He may love Twitter and uses it as a weapon, but that’s only the tip of the technological iceberg that’s floating toward his ship. He has the technology to know every fact, but fails to take the time to use it to our advantage.

His weakest point is the fact that he sells his misinformed opinion before getting the facts. I truly wonder if he has ever read the NAFTA treaty and fully comprehends how it works for American businesses.

Mexico purchased an estimated $2.4 billion of corn from the U.S. in 2015, according to Forbes Magazine. Now Mexico is threatening to take their corn business to Brazil. Mexico is currently our 3rd largest goods trading partner with $531 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2015. Goods exports totaled $236 billion; goods imports totaled $295 billion.

The United States buys $297.7 billion worth of goods from Canada, which is 76.3% of total Canadian exports. Canada is currently our 2nd largest goods trading partner with $575 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2015.

What NAFTA did in a nutshell was to create a “National Treatment” of all goods and services from the three countries: US, Canada and Mexico. The agreement basically means that for traders outside the zone, they had to treat all three countries as equal when it comes to the rules and regulations.

It also eliminated any tariffs on goods and services. For example, if Mexico makes a car and sells it in the US, they pay no tax on that good. As well, if Canada produces lumber and sells it in the US, they pay no tariff on the shipment. Why is this good?

Well, imagine that if all the US products and services were taxed by Mexico and Canada. We would be most likely also pay a tax to ship, therefore increasing the price of our goods in those two countries and would stimulate an opportunity for other countries to worm into Mexico and Canada with a better price and displace US companies as the preferred vendor. The additional taxes we might impose would not protect the bulk of profits our companies are making right now by selling goods to Mexico and Canada. This would hurt the US economy.

NAFTA helps settle disputes between our three nations and not to belittle another advantage by mentioning it last, but we have Intellectual Property Rights Protections under NAFTA. Without NAFTA, a Canadian or Mexican factory could produce knock-offs of our products and ideas and sell them around the world without much pushback from a world court.

Like the fat kid at the table, the Donald wants to take all the cookies from the other kids. And after he has taken all the cookies, he gets all huffy when he realizes that the other kids will get their own cookies from someone else and he will get none. He never comprehended that his actions hurt him, even when he felt he was getting his unreasonable share.

Trump floated the threat of signing an executive order (4-26-2017) to withdraw from NAFTA and got calls from the President of Mexico and the Prime Minister of Canada to discuss the renegotiation of the treaty. The President Goof-ball smiles, because he thinks he has won something. He once again has only been shown to be the bully he wants to be.

As these countries look to their Plan B, which means opening up trade with other nations to secure the goods they purchase daily from the US, Trump sits in his little oval office with his big plans that will eventually increase prices on everything we import. He is out-of-touch with the global world that was created by technology, not ideology. If you are a free-market capitalist, then you will certainly see that Agent Orange is putting something in the punch bowl.

If he was truly for the common man and on a quest to create new jobs, he wouldn’t keep cutting the budgets and destroying our relationships with customers for our products. He may think he knows how it works, but when Mexico stops buying corn from US, what will he tell that Iowa farmer?

Can we really afford to stop $500 Billion in trade with our NAFTA partners? I’m still waiting for all the greatness and winning. Markets want certainly, not gamesmanship and insolent deal making.