Ivanka Trump presents herself as a Champion of Working Moms. Accordingly, she assumes to speak for those who must work–to support their child(ren), as well as for those who don’t (need to)! I cannot honestly speak for women who are, or were, working moms; however; whenever I hear her speak, I hear mostly the typical GOP income-divide.
In fact , whenever I hear any of the Trump Clan speak, I hear a very practiced form of Bait and Switch. Perhaps the Trumps are really descendants of visitors from the planet Metaphor.
When Ms. Trump touts Health Savings Accounts, tor sodden to finance Maternal Leave; let’s be clare, this is no benefit–the woman pays for it. Why isn’t there a provision for Paternal Leave., as well? Of course, most women would need employer approval and, in many cases, the lower-paying jobs would not be held for them. The proven benefits of parental leave, both to children and parents, abound! Oh, for some mysterious reason, the Trump Program will only apply to married women!
And Daddy Donald, of course, touts how hard his daughter works; but, giving of herself, is merely drumming-up support for one more program, intended to display both his and her humanity. When Donald and Ivanka Trump role out such programs, which are intended to appeal to the working class, the should remember to remove the strings and GOP tickers: they’re dead give-aways!
The linked column, by Jill Abramsom, “Ivanka Trump thinks she is in Beauty and the Beast: more like Macbeth”, from The Guardian (UK), most scathingly deflates “Princess I’s” PR balloon, back down to earth.
By now, most people are aware that: America fired 59 Tomahawk Missiles on a Syrian airfield; that act was a violation of both the U. S. Constitution and the U. N. Charter; the Syria Air Force bombed the same city (without Sarin gas) just a few days later; the Pentagon has not suggested any sort of long-range plan in Syria; but, there have been suggestions that the U. S. is considering either placing nuclear weapons in South Korea, and/or sending a team of (assumedly) special ops to assassinate North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-Un.
In 1950, Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai told several foreign diplomats that China would enter the Korean War if the U. S. crossed the 38th parallel, into North Korea. General Douglas MacArthur, Commander of U. N. Forces—disobeyed direct orders—crossed the 38th, and continued on to the Yalu River—the Chinese Border.
The Chinese. as Zhou had said, entered the war in a big way, and the Armies of the Two Koreas, plus the U. S., have been encamped at the DMZ ever since. Although there was considerable Signals and Human Intelligence ,reporting a very significant massing of Chinese troops at the Yalu River, Mac Arthur disregarded it—at his own Army’s peril!
During the second (I believe) Presidential Debate last fall, Donald Trump had suggested that China should just invade North Korea and be done with the irrational Kim Jong-Un. The result from such an action, however, would force a direct confrontation between nuclear-armed China and the U. S., across the DMZ. So, here we are, 65 years after that War, and the Chinese seem to understand the potential danger of a nuclear build-up on the Korean Peninsula. But, why doesn’t Donald Trump get it ?
The Pentagon has deployed a Carrier Strike Force to Korea with the USS Carl Vinson, and three guided missile destroyers, all of which have been temporarily docked in Singapore. Japan must also be included in any strategic Korean Plan, along with Taiwan, which lies off the southeast coast of China. I believe that, if China deploys ships to the Formosa Strait, which separates Taiwan from the Mainland, Donald Trump should be very, very careful in making his next move. China proved, once before, that it does follow-through i protecting its interests!
North Korea has an 880 mile (1,420 km.) border with China, as well as a very small one with Russia. But, neither of the two nuclear superpowers have common borders with Syria. Additionally, the U. S. apparently has no long-term plans for Syria.
America does, however, have a very long, and semi-permanent, presence in South Korea. With a total of approximately 77,000 U. S. Troops in East Asia, and roughly two-thirds of them in nearby Japan, the situation appears to be more dangerous than Donald Trump’ s first major “Adventure”, in Syria.
Unfortunately, Donald Trump can be almost as irrational as Mr. Kim, of North Korea. So far, however, Donald has dodged a bullet in Syria, at least so far; but, I surely don’t trust him in Korea, where China will be a much more serious, and powerful, opponent!
NOTE: Welcome to my readers in China, Taiwan and Malta!
trumpAnyone with TV or broadband access, undoubtedly saw videos of the dead and wounded, following a poison gas attack, in Syria on Tuesday. The U. S. responded with a massive 59 Tomahawk Missile attack on the Shayrat Airfield, the base which the U. S. believes that the planes, loaded with the Sarin-laden bombs, took-off from. Russia helicopters also uses that base, however! It is unclear as to whether the Syrians, or the Russians, heeded the advanced-warning of the attack; however, there did not appear to be any aircraft debris on the field, in photos that I saw on the following day.
It is commonly believed that, since the War began six years ago, President Bashar Assad’s forces have killed 500,000 of his own people. The photos of dead and wounded, after the Sarin air strike, were horrible to watch; but still, I remember the lifeless body of a three year-old boy, a couple of years ago, who drowned while crossing the Mediterranean, with his mother and brother. That still photo reminded me of just about any small child, just curled-up sleeping; but, that small boy was dead! Why hasn’t anyone acted before—the U. S., Russia, the U. N., the Arab League, etc? How approaching this problem like the seven nation Nuclear Agreement with Iran?
Why didn’t Donald Trump delay the meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, iust a day or two, so that he could devote his full attention to the missile attack? Or, he could have changed the venue to the White House, rather than to his Mar-a-Lago estate. How much time did the two presidents, and their various advisors waste, in flying down to Palm Beach? And that faux “situation room”, with flags a-flutter, truly looked just like a group of businessmen waiting for their dinner reservation. The flags were a photo-op give-away, in a room where tough decisions were charaded to be made? And, no jackets off. sleeves rolled-up?
In a recent post, I had suggested that Congress needs to reaffirm its sole authority to Declare War! Whether we like it or not, Syria is a sovereign state. Also, as a signatory to the United Nations Charter, we can only use military force on another country’s soil, either with its consent, in cases of self-defense or with the approval of the U. N.
As morally warranted as last Thursday’s attacks might have been, what the Trump Regime did was unconstitutional, and also against International Law. The U. S. Department of Defense justified the attack as being: “intended to deter the regime from using chemical weapons again,” That is clearly NONSENSE!.
An initial use of force against an enemy, by the way, would generally be the first of several, or ,many, narrowly-focused actions, designed to progress toward a long-range, strategic mission. So far, however, since no end-game has been revealed, it certainly appears that the Trump Regime is just making this up as it goes along!
During the Administration of President (and former General) Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Defense Department formulated its “First Offset Strategy”, which has always been expected to be an on-going blueprint, for keeping militarily our superiority over the Soviet Union. Ike’s Plan was to take advantage of on-going advanced technological applications within our weapons arsenal. Currently, that top tier of adversaries is composed of Russia and China, with lesser adversaries grouped accordingly. Two years ago, Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work, described the newest version of that blueprint, the “Third Offset Strategy”, to a group of U. S. partners and allies. In his presentation, Mr. Work said:
“While the United States and our closest allies fought two lengthy wars over the past 13 years, the rest of our — the rest of the world and our potential adversaries were seeing how we operated. They looked at our advantages. They studied them. They analyzed them. They looked for weaknesses. And then they set about devising ways to counter our technological over-match.”
Donald Trump boasts about his unpredictability. After the Election in November, when he received the full Presidential Briefing, he allegedly asked: “Since we have nuclear weapons, why don’t we use them?” So here we are, just three days after the (conventional) attack on Syria, and he’s already talking about installing nuclear weapons in South Korea. He had also suggested sending a (presumed) special ops team to assassinate Kim Jong-Un, the Supreme Leader of nuclear-armed North Korea.
Donald Trump boasts about being unpredictable and, with his lack of any clearly defined strategic objectives, as well as his total disregard for the Rule of Law, I am deeply concerned about the potential outcome. He does;t seem to realize that Power Kills, and that means real people’s lives! Under his misguided “Leadership”, Donald Trump could transform America into just another irrational state, but with a vast nuclear arsenal!
Given Mr. Trump’s unprecedented conceit, he doesn’t realize how ignorant he is about: knowing where the Syrian attack might lead America to militarily; the disapproval that the recent action might bring from the International Community; the ramifications from ignoring the U. S. Constitution and the International Rule of Law…and, now he wants to “Do it again”–in North Korea. The GOP seems enamored with him; but, only so they can push through their Draconian laws. But, when will the American People put a stop to this Megalomaniac?
SORRY FOR MY OVERSIGHT IN ASKING FOR COMMENTS ON THE “BOOKS THAT I RECOMMEND” TAB! HERE’S MY “MEA CULPA”,
Earlier this year, when I created the “Books That I Recommend” Tab on this blog, I asked for comments. What about my book selection, do readers wish to share ideas, suggest other interpretations, etc? Actually, I wasn’t sure if the idea for a Book List would even gain traction; however, year-to-date, there have been 200 visitors to that Tab.
At the bottom of the page, I placed a note, asking for the comments; but, the most important ingredient in commenting was overlooked! For some reason, that tab didn’t automatically provide a place to add comments. So, here is my “mea culpa”, for the oversight!
The adventures and misadventures of Mr. Know-it-All are well known, both at home and abroad! Donald’s outrageous personal behavior, and his emotional instability, are quite self-evident. In other words, as Andy Borowitz recently suggested, Donald Trump is even unqualified to run an Arby’s fast-food restaurant!
Whenever I know that Donald Trump will be representing America—whether it be in a one-to-one meeting with a head-of-state, or representing our country in an International Forum—I can only wonder how he will embarrass us this time? Donald seems quite capable of taking this personal art form, to even newer and newer heights!
Mr. Trump shamelessly exalts in the trappings of his Office; but, he shows little interest in the dedication and realities that it requires. He constantly complains about what he inherited: the terrible economy; the awful Affordable health Care System; the War in the Middle East, etc. None of that is true; however, in his delusional state, he appears intent on lowering our expectations. But Donald, you shouldn’t worry. We haven’t expected much rational thought, from the White House, ever since you took over!
With regard to Foreign Affairs, our most important geopolitical relationship is the Atlantic Alliance, established after World War II. It is basically a Trade and Defense Pact, with Canada and most Europe nations as our partners. Donald Trump doesn’t seem to realize its value,; however, and he appears to send out mixed signals as to whether he supports it or not.
Two weeks ago, Donald apparently flubbed an opportunity to build a relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel when they met at the White House. She is the most experienced leader within the Atlantic Alliance. According to one of her aides, Mr. Trump was: ill-prepared, disengaged; and his only contribution to the discussion was to claim that Germany owed the U. S. for under-funding its Defense needs. At the following joint press conference, Donald Trump was surely, rude, and he even refused the traditional handshake.
A couple of months ago, at a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump complained about last November’s Election, and then he praised Michael Flynn, the National Security Advisor, whom he just fired. And then yesterday, during a joint press conference with King Abdullah of Jordon, he once again blamed President Barack Obama for the apparent use of Sarin gas in Syria.
Trump has a reputation for being a schoolyard bully: claiming credit for events that he had no part in; shifting blame, rather than acknowledging his own guilt; and blatantly and endlessly attacking the less powerful. He even seems to have no qualms about publicly washing his own dirty linen—complaining, whining and boorish behavior—in front of other world leaders. Donald, that’s not Leadership: that’s merely irrational behavior!
NOTE: Welcome to my readers from Qatar.
BESIDES MY CONCERN ABOUT TRUMP’S DISREGARD FOR INTELLIGENCE, THE GREATER DANGER MIGHT COME FROM HIS POTENTIAL ABUSE OF IT!
I just added “Code Warriors: NSA’s Codebreakers and the Secret Intelligence War Against the Soviet Union”, by Stephen Budiansky, to my Books That I Recommend Tab. At first, I felt that my interest for this topic was due to my Army service in the field. But as I read more, I realized that the Intelligence, per se, is not the main topic. it’s the: mismanagement, the political abuse and the potential abuses at the highest level.
General Douglas MacArthur, who had used Signals Intelligence quite successfully during World War II, chose to ignore it, as the Commander of Allied Forces in Korea. Chinese Premier Chou en-Lai said that if Allied Forces crossed the 38th Parallel, into North Korea, China would attack. MacArthur not only disobeyed orders, and crossed into the North, he proceeded toward the Yalu River, the Chinese border.
Numerous SIGINT reports indicated a significant build-up of Chinese forces; but, the General and his G-2 (Top Intelligence Officer) suggested that it was merely a several thousand man force. China sent four armies—120,000 men—into South Korea, cutting the First Marine Division off at the Chosen Reservoir. Luckily, China withdrew; but, General Douglas MacArthur was relieved of his Command, in a most public manner.
Robert S. McNamara, President Lyndon Johnson’s Secretary of Defense, had previously been the President of the Ford Motor Company. He apparently relied primarily on his own intellect and decisiveness; because, the Intelligence Community knew to only send him reports that confirmed his own personal conclusions. Perhaps that appealed to his ego, since his staff felt that they should only tell him what he already knew.
In January of 1968, just prior to the Lunar New Year, various Army and Navy SIGINT reports suggested a massive build-up of North Vietnamese and Viet Cong (local guerrilla) forces, at numerous locations around the country. Johnson and McNamara were convinced that the major push would come against the Marine camp at Khe Sanh and that, lacking the troop strength for a multi-pronged attack, the rest were just distractions. The NVA/VC attacks hit some 100 allied locations, and all military operations soon ended.
While some officials ignored SIGINT, or just refused to even consider it, in the early 1970s, President Richard Nixon wanted to see any intercepts about him. So, Henry Kissinger, Nixon’s National Security Advisor told the National Security Agency that all intercepts mentioning either the President or him, were to be delivered to him personally, and only to him. Thus, Nixon and Kissinger were exacerbating the dysfunctional relationship that already existed among the various intelligence agencies.
For his part, Kissinger was also playing one-upmanship, between the National Security Council, which he headed, and the State and Defense Departments. (Foreign Policy was the collective responsibility of all three Departments.) Since the NSA reported to the Defense Department, however, at least at that point, SecDef Melvin Laird advised the NSA Director that he had control of his military career, and that he should be copied on the intercepts. Unbeknownst to Kissinger, that immediately expanded the highly secretive distribution list to three, but still leaving Secretary of State William P. Rogers out.
General MacArthur was known to be a pompous person, who readily claimed all credit for any successes, while shifting any blame to others. Subordinates knew to shield him from whatever he didn’t want to hear. This sounds exactly like Donald Trump; however, Trump also appears to be neurotic, like Nixon, regarding what the media says about him, and he is vindictive in attacking both known and assumed personal enemies. While Johnson was curious about reading the intercepts, he merely seemed to rely on McNamara’s pre-conceived conclusions.
When German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Donald Trump just nine days ago, he should have been prepared to build a relationship with the only experienced European leader, after the French Election in May. Also, having spent her formative years, and her early scientific career in East Germany, Mrs. Merkel is much more knowledgeable in dealing with Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to one of Merkel’s aids who attended the meeting, however, Trump wasn’t at all prepared, and he added little depth to the conversation. None of this surprises Americans who follow his past antics.
Just considering how one type of intelligence has been misused and abused by American Presidents, as well as others in high office, I can only shutter to consider what damage a neurotic psychopath, can do, with access to all of it! Just consider: Donald Trump has shown signs of isolating America from the world at large; that and his vowed trade wars could cause a global recession, perhaps much worse than 2008; and he has the ability to launch nuclear weapons.
Back, some 20 years ago, there were PSA’s on TV, asking parents if they know where their children are at 10:00 PM. Well do we need a Donald Trump vision, such as: “It’s Midnight America. Should you wonder what your President is up to?”
A couple of months ago, Donald Trump was appointing his 36 year-old son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as his Special Emissary, who would settle the age-old dispute between the Israelis and the Arabs in Palestine. Now, since that job went nowhere fast, Jared has been tapped to reform the Federal Government. Really!
According to Trump, Jared Kushner will head the new “White House Office of Innovation”, supplying ideas from the Business World to the White House, with emphasis on Data and Technology. And as always with Donald, it will be “details to follow.” This idea has been contrived many times over the past century, and was never implemented–perhaps, because it borders on insanity!
Running a government like a business seems to make sense; but, only to a person who did not, or cannot, think it through! Last night, when a good friend, Liberal Arts through-and-through, read about it, she shrieked with laughter. Now, what does she get, that Donald and Jared don’t? Or was Mr. Trump just thinking hyperbolically? Now, remember that both Donald and Jared have only dealt with closely held, family owned companies. Not a real corporation!
Businesses are formed and operated to turn a profit and, those that don’t go out of business. Governments, on the other hand, are formed communally, by the people, to provide for common needs, such as: National Defense; Local Security; Public Education; Safe Commerce and Transportation; Prevent Pandemics; Scientific Research; etc. Whereas ineffective businesses ceases to exist, governments generally do not. A citizen registers their dissatisfaction at the ballot box; but, an unhappy customer must do so by taking their business elsewhere.
I believe that this Office of Innovation idea is just another Trumpian boondoggle, and perhaps just one more distraction from his major problems. They are well-known globally, such as: the possible Trump-Russia Collusion; his disastrous health care plan; his sliding “Favorability Rating”, etc. Many Americans today, even some who had voted for him, have begun to seriously question whether Donald Trump can govern, at all!
Donald Trump”s Cabinet Officers, and the various Agency Heads, are mostly a coterie of billionaires and other “Swamp Creatures”, who have little experience, if any, in the policy areas in which they were appointed, and no apparent interest in succeeding at the task. The are loyal ideologues, who seem to be embellishing their resumes, and available for photo-ops, with Donald, on a moment’s notice.
Budget-wise, Donald’s plan seems to be taking a meat-axe to departments that he has some ideological problems with. We already have a larger Defense Budget than the next seven nations (some say ten) combined. Is the 30% slice out of State your idea of attacking Secretary Clinton? But, 120 former generals have voiced their outrage over cutting the State Department, especially by such a large amount. Doesn’t Trump or Tillerson realize that money spent building hospitals, fighting malaria, and providing potable water to rural areas, will work more in our favor than all of the bombs and missiles you can fire?
Donald doesn’t need to reorganize the Federal government into something that it was never intended to be! Rather, he should transform the government into that “Fine-oiled machine”, which he has claimed it to be, by merely re-organizing his Regime! This whole thing is a distraction, intended to divert attention away from his possible collusion with Russia, the real position that Bannon is functioning, and whether he will ever get anything through Congress!
Trump should fire his key appointees–confirmed or not–and nominate/appoint capable people, who are ready to champion their respective departments. Ditch the Shadow Government, including Steve Bannon, who appears to head it! Donald will never bring America together if he has disruption and feuding within his Regime, while purposely holding rally’s, where he spews hatred and divisiveness.
Donald Trump should have realized, by now, that the only Wall that he will ever build, if he keeps on his current path, will be the one between him and the American People!