TRUMP GOT PLAYED BY PUTIN

Rookie President, Rookie Mistakes

We are starting to see things the way they really are. The President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, has a way of throwing things to the side with short little bursts of belligerence and denials. Trump is not an experienced politician. He might be a decent marketer and silly entertainer but, like many famous people, he lacks basic common sense on many levels.

When he recently (7-12-2017) recorded an interview with televangelist Pat Robertson, Trump talked about his “very great” meeting with Vladimir Putin. Trump said claims that Russia wanted to help him win the election is an illogical conclusion. Really?

The Donald said that Putin would have been happier with Hillary Clinton in the White House. He bases his opinion on the Trump administration’s buildup of the military and attempts to become a player in exporting energy. The Donald speculated that this “competition” with Russia makes Putin uneasy and Hillary would not have taken such steps. Huh?

The more we hear from this President, the more we realize that he has no fib filter. How can we possibly believe Agent Orange’s words about his meeting with Putin? Did they discuss sanctions? We don’t know. Did they talk about what could happen in Syria if Assad is dethroned? We don’t know. So much for being transparent, Mr. Trump.

Experts warned Trump that Putin would deny any wrong doing in the 2016 US election.  They also said that Putin would agree with Trump that cyber-security was a major issue and would suggest a joint task force, or “unit,” be established to work on the problem together. Our great Orange Leader fell for that hook, line and sinker. He even proudly announced it, until he heard loudly from thoughtful and fearless Senators that it was a colossally stupid idea. Then, he retreated with a tweet.

The mystery through this whole Russian interference fiasco is the disconnect from reality. When did evangelicals, hardworking middle-class Americans and classic Republicans decide that Russia was our friend? We don’t sell Russian cars here in America. We don’t back Russian aggression in eastern Europe and we certainly don’t like that Russia’s allies are Iran and Syria. So, in what world do these people live?

The Russia Supreme Court firmly recognizes only the Russian Orthodox Church and has banned Jehovah’s Witnesses by labeling them an extremist group. They have criminalized preaching, praying and evangelization outside of registered religious sites. Why wouldn’t Trump bring this issue up with Putin when he had his grand meeting? He didn’t. He didn’t talk about Human Rights at all. I guess it’s a lower priority for a guy who slams journalists, while talking with another guy who kills journalists.

We can now read and study the emails between Donald Trump, Jr. and what was presented as “opposition research” from a foreign adversary. Baby Donald said, “If it is what you say, I love it!” and now his old man says that anyone would have taken that meeting.

While the President was defending his son, the Senate was examining Christopher Wray in a hearing for his approval as the next FBI director.  The senior Senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, made sure Wray knew his position on the meetings with known Russian operatives, “You want to be director of the FBI, pal. So, here’s what I want you to tell every politician: If you get a call from somebody suggesting that a foreign government wants to help you by disparaging your opponent, tell us all to call the FBI.” Graham, a Republican, was very clear what someone should do when something like this happens in the future. Was that a teachable moment, or what?

Putin probably pulled the strings and suggested his people get in touch with Trump’s people and of course, the best avenue to Trump and his associates would be through a business partner. Donald Trump has lied about not having any business in Russia and he keeps that fabrication alive with his inability to embrace the investigation into the Russian meddling into our elections. In short, Donald, Sr. is acting like a guilty person and Donald Jr. is showing the world that he is an inept fool.

Some say that Don Jr’s mistake was just a rookie mistake. His actions were certainly naïve, but driven by a need to please his father. Most people believe that he told his father about the meeting before or shortly after it happened. Only one Donald will have to admit that under oath. Surely, Don Jr. will take the Fifth.

It’s not so much that Don Jr. is a rookie, or that Jared Kushner left the meeting early, or that Paul Manafort’s experience might have been dulled by his rude cellphone addiction during the meeting, but it’s clear that the candidate in the campaign was a just as much a rookie.

Donald Trump can’t fire his son.  This presents a dilemma of epic proportions to our President. He can say only that his son is innocent. Sad!

The real winner in all this is Putin. We have to watch Trump carefully now. Four months after Donald Trump fired Preet Bharara, who was then Manhattan US Attorney, a money-laundering suit was settled for nearly $6 million against a Russian owned Cyprus-based company. Some in the know say that the amount paid was nothing compared to what could have been retrieved in court. Did Trump and Sessions pull strings for Russia?

Trump was played by Putin and this will continually be a shadow on the President’s term in office. As a player on the opposing team once said of Putin’s preference for president, “Well, that’s because he’d rather have a puppet as president of the United States.”

People are asking could’ve Don Jr. be that naïve.  I ask, can Donald J. Trump be that stupid?

 


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.

 


SECRETS, RIDDLES AND LIES

Trump’s Russian Roulette

There is a great word that helps us understand the current President. It’s publicity: the notice or attention given to someone or something by the media. It also has a second meaning, the giving out of information about a product, person, or company for advertising or promotional purposes.

With all the complaints about leaks from somewhere inside the White House, Donald Trump just may be the leaker himself. He loves to talk and brag and when no one else is in the room, how do we know what he is saying on the phone to the hundreds of people he talks to in any given week?

The Russia story is a saga because Trump and his surrogates have never been able to say the right things. Their push-back only exacerbates the matter. Donald Trump did business with Russians, that is a fact. Just look up the company Bayrock with which Trump was involved in SoHo and Florida.

According to USA Today, Trump addressed potential investors in Moscow and bragged to Real Estate Weekly about his access to Russia’s rich and powerful, “I have a great relationship with many Russians.”

Also, Donald Trump, Jr. went on the record in September of 2008 by saying, “In terms of high-end product influx into the United States, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets; say in Dubai, and certainly with our project in SoHo and anywhere in New York. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

According to Bloomberg News, “One of Bayrock’s principals was a career criminal named Felix Sater who had ties to Russian and American organized crime groups. Before linking up with the company and with Trump, he had worked as a mob informant for the U.S. government, fled to Moscow to avoid criminal charges while boasting of his KGB and Kremlin contacts there, and had gone to prison for slashing apart another man’s face with a broken cocktail glass.”

The first secret isn’t so much a riddle, but an out-and-out lie on Donald Trump’s part about involvement with Russians. Why Congress hasn’t demanded total disclosure of the President’s financial entanglements is a riddle that can only be solved by the old maxim, “winning is all that matters.”

The President of the United States is playing Russian Roulette, the practice of loading a bullet into one chamber of a revolver, spinning the cylinder, and then pulling the trigger while pointing the gun at one’s own head. He can say that this story is a “hoax” and part of “fake news” but deep down inside Trump must have some guilt about his involvement with the Russians.

John Harris, the Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Politico, was on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show (6-21-2017).  He made an extremely cogent point about the Trump Era by saying this is one of the most transparent White Houses he’s covered.

Harris added, “It’s the most secretive and transparent administrations.” He made the observation that the President is so obsessed with press coverage, many of the staffers, immersed by infighting, can only get their message to their boss by leaking. They are aware of his lack of openness and cannot find any other way to deal with his isolation as a leader. So, I guess he’s inaccessible and a poor listener.

One of the sad things about this administration is its need to hold political rallies to keep a fist-grip on the base and to extract funds from the middle-class to pay for his ego massages. Donald Trump has created nothing short of a cult who really believe his lies and listen to his harsh rhetoric as something pure and patriotic. He insults them with, “I’d rather have a rich person than a poor person running the economy.” (6-21-2017) I assume he means that poor people aren’t smart enough to make economic decisions because they are poor. Sad!

With each bold-orange-faced lie we learn more and more about the American populace and how far one man can abuse power and obstruct justice. The insults are free. Trump has business dealings with Russians and he has been lying about this from the start. The bullet in the chamber is Michael Flynn. Will Flynn bring the President to his knees?

 


WHY BANNON MUST GO

Chameleon Trump Showing True Colors

We’ve all had bad bosses in our lives. And there were times that our bosses kept bad guys around much too long. Some big guys like to have someone around who can be the bad cop when a dastardly deed has to be done. (Like yelling at the Freedom Caucus, that worked?) Others want to be reminded that people are not that important to the success of the enterprise. (The deconstruction of the administrative state is an anti-people statement)

Some keep negative people around because the person becomes the only buddy a guy has. I have even seen bosses keep someone around because they too, were a smoker. Strange.

When Donald Trump raged at the rallies I kept thinking it was an act. He was pro-choice when he was producing offspring, but magically became anti-abortion when he started having grandkids. He appeared to be a real free market man with his actions of having his clothing line made in China to using Japanese steel in his buildings.

He kept screaming about how bad immigrants are, but used immigrants to build his empire. And his immigration force to separate families, much like what happened during WWII both in Germany and the U.S., seemed heartless. I guess he thinks it’s okay to destroy a family, but not okay to kill babies.  We get it.

And now we see his liberal, Orthodox Jewish daughter, Ivanka, known as Yael in the Temple, has become the inner conscientiousness of the Donald. According to some reports, she presented the pictures of the babies choking for life in Syria that convinced her father to reverse is policies about Syria completely.

Steve Bannon’s ex-wife testified in a legal document in the state of California that Steve didn’t want his kids to attend a private school because of the number of Jewish kids at a specific school. Bannon’s reason?  He didn’t like the way ‘they’ raised their kids to be ‘whiny brats’ and that he didn’t want his girls going to school with Jews.

That remark could be written off if Bannon didn’t end up being the money behind and the editorial force in front of Breitbart News. It’s the same publication that raised this headline: ‘Bill Kristol: Republican spoiler, renegade Jew’ and, ironically, the Website that was started by Andrew Breitbart, a person raised in a Jewish family.

Politics is a sticky force and with video everywhere it’s hard not to have researchers pull up every word you said on any issue. When you claim, your position is one thing, so loudly and so strongly, then within 100 days change central platforms, it’s more than a midcourse correction, it’s a damn flip-flop.

Sooner or later the chameleon finds himself sitting on top of a leaf where he wants to stay for a while; a place he might feel more comfortable and so he changes to that color and hopes no one notices his transformation.

Imagine how Steve Bannon feels coming to work every day knowing that the person he thought he could control is, quite frankly, uncontainable.  And that is also the challenge for son-in-law Jared Kushner and princess daughter Ivanka.

The kids, or as they have been called, the “democrats” have to move slowly before they rid the kingdom of the less than worthy. Jared got Chris Christie out of the way, the man who helped convict his father of illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion, and witness tampering and who pushed Charles Kushner into 14 months of federal prison. The kids also drove the big mouth Giuliani out of the picture so Trump wouldn’t get distorted by his dogma.

The reason Ivanka couldn’t vote for her father in the primaries, was because she was a registered Democrat and didn’t understand that in New York primaries you can vote only for candidates in your party. So the nickname ‘democrats’ actually works in this case.

Bannon will only get in the way and prove to be a distraction that actually hurts the country and will force the President to be someone he is not.

As the “kids” slowly work their familial magic and massage Trump’s positions into the middle, Bannon will be an unnecessary third-wheel. The generals certainly don’t want him around. The lawyers don’t want him around – just look at the messy, poorly written executive orders. And of course, this is a family affair and the ‘renegade Jews’ aren’t outsiders, they are INSIDERS, and the President listens when they whine.

Within days the Donald declares NATO is not obsolete, China appears to now be an ally and not a currency manipulator.  Are we are starting to see a President who seems to be thinking reasonably?

Okay, he blew off 60 Tomahawks but the attack didn’t destroy the runway. The carpet bombs must have been made out of real carpet?

Trump now realizes that Russian President V. Putin is not his friend, but he still won’t dress him down as hard as Nikki Halley and Rex Tillerson. We heard how his buddy denies those chemicals were even used. Putin, using a move out of the Donald’s playbook, has pushed back and even called the allegations, ‘trumped-up charges.”

And the crazy kid in North Korea is ready to test the President. Bannon was against the bombing of the airbase in Syria because his ideology is actually getting in the way of how the world actually works. Bannon is an isolationist, while Trump has become a new born globalist. How did that happen?

Even domestically, Bannon sees the world as US and THEM, but in this country, we are a people united, or as some say, citizens united. Who knew being leader of the free world would be so hard. Sad!

 

 


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.