Posts Tagged GOP
DONALD TRUMP’S VINDICTIVENESS SEEMS TO BE BEHIND TWO SENSELESS IDEAS: ELIMINATING AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE AND SLASHING THE STATE DEPARTMENT BUDGET BY 31%!
Donald Trump has said a lot of idiotic things, taken Tweetery to a new lunacy level, and he has accomplished absolutely nothing…in five months. Remember all of those asinine Legislative “Acts” that he was going to pass “…on Day One!” Did Mr. Know-it-all forget that Congress takes more time off than he does—including HIS Inauguration Day?
There are two major actions that Mr. Trump should have most definitely avoided: Repeal and Replace “Obamacare,” and to slash the State Department Budget by 31%.
Just like any comprehensive bill, such as the (real name) Affordable (Health) Care Act, modifications should be made from time to time, just like what was done after Medicare, was first rolled-out! Deep down inside, the real reason for eliminating ACA—and why Donald has disrupted it’s functioning—is to replace the huge tax cuts, assessed to the Top Two Percent of Taxpayers, which were lost when the Bush Tax Cuts expired.
And slashing the State Department Budget is reprehensible; because, those 170 State Department Embassies, Consulates and other installations, around-the-world, are the face of of the United States to many foreigners. Those offices are used for many other purposes, besides diplomacy: Trade and Agricultural Officers work out of them, foreigners apply for Visas there, and its where Americans go when they encounter problems in other countries. Besides, USAID and other social agencies provide excellent assistance, from those offices, directly to rural villages and groups that need it.
In the case of both eliminating ACA and slashing the State Budget, there is no responsible reason, whatsoever, for Donald Trump to do so. But, after analyzing these ideas, I definitely see a relationship. Let me highlight each:
1. Mr. Trump resents the fact that Affordable Health Care isn’t focused around him. Even though Republicans have called for some form of Health Care for All, going all the way back to Richard M. Nixon, and perhaps even earlier, the GOP just never seemed to have followed through in legislating it! Also, Trump is displaying his racism through his intention to eradicate the signature accomplishment of Barack Obama, our First Black President.
2. Additionally, Donald doesn’t seem capable of letting go of his hatred for former Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton. When it came to “dirty tricks”, Trumpie was far and away, the all-time champion, and definitely not the victim, during the campaign! When Secretary of Defense James Mattis heard that State’s budget would be slashed, he said he was “…going to need more bullets!” Mattis realizes that every dollar spent by State—especially in its various social programs—results in less dollars needed for Defense!
So, when Trump & Friends misrepresent why they needs to Repeal “Obamacare,” and he proposes slashing the State Department budget, the reasons are: his narcissism; racism; sexism; providing huge tax breaks to Mega-Billionaires; and slashing State’s budget to will help pay for the idiotic Wall!
TRUMP’S IMPEACHMENT OR RESIGNATION WOULD BE INSUFFICIENT: WE NEED TO TOTALLY CLEAR-THE-DECK OF HIS ENTIRE REGIME! HERE’S WHY!
The contacts made by a number of Trump loyalists—including (since fired) National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and son-in-law Jared Kushner, during the end of the Obama Administration, were totally illegal and highly unethical! Paul Manafort, who was fired a year ago, has pro-Russian Ukrainian ties, and is now back in the fold of close Trump confidantes. Corey Lewandowski, also fired last summer, has returned, as well. Where did these people go after they left, what did they do, and for whom?
There have been a number of Opinion pieces written recently, which suggested that “President Pence” was sounding better, and better; but, I definitely do not agree! Americans do not vote for a Vice President; rather, they vote for a President, and his hand-picked VP—just comes along, as a package deal. And, when I see: the degree to which Trump is doing the bidding of the Mega-Billionaires; he seems intent on turning our allies into enemies, and our enemies into trusted friends, I just fail to see any rationale for it. But, little by little, Trump has been isolating America from the world, at large!
Donald Trump is our most dangerous weapon, and he’s pointed inward, toward America! With all that is going on, as well as providing sensitive intelligence to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and Ambassador Sergei Kislyak—a reputed spy master—I can only wonder who else in the Trump Regime is complicit in these activities? There are just so many likely candidates!
VP Michael Pence keeps praising Trump for all of his mythical accomplishments, and forceful actions. I can only believe that Pence’s end-game is to continue to kiss Donald’s ring, and his derriere and, in time, he might get to replace Trump in the Presidency! Can there be any other reason why an assumably rationale man would allow himself to become so closely aligned with Donald J. Trump? But, if last November’s Election were invalidated, we would need a brand new Election
While Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is investigating possible Trump links with Russia, as well as other side matters, he could hire Constitutional attorneys to review whether there is a way to declare last November’s Election Null-and-Void. A new Election could be held in, let’s say, 90-to-120 days, with the shorter time-frame decreasing any opportunity for similar collusion and interference. It would be senseless to Impeach Trump, or accept his Resignation, and then expect the same group of people to begin working toward America’s best interest?
In the interim, an evenly weighted Senate Committee should be assigned to manage the Affairs of State, until a new election can be held to elect the President. The respective two ranking members should function as equals. Perhaps nothing much would be accomplished by the committee during that time; but then, what has Donald J. Trump really accomplished during his five months in office?
This is certainly not the first time that a President has acted more in his own, or his party’s best interest. This has been, however, the first time that a President has filled his Regime with a total Rogue’s Gallery of incompetent and disruptive people who are only loyal to him. I’ll leave it to History to properly place Bill Clinton, as it will Reagan and Bush 41 for the Iran-Contra Affair, and cover-up and, of course, Richard Nixon and Watergate.
Even if my plea falls on deaf ears, and nothing is accomplished, I can only trust that some of the Good American People will begin, state-by-state, and district-by-district, beginning to take back America! Much of what I am concerned about today has been going on for decades—beginning with the Trickle-Down Economics Mythology, circa 1980—and it has been made much, much worse by Citizens-United.
Its time to re-insert “We the People” back into our government, and toss-out the: Corporations; the Billionaires; the Lobbyists and all of the politicians that have let it happen—over the past 37 years–on their watch!
Last Thursday, former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, regarding the conversation that he had had, in a sudden dinner meeting, with Donald J. Trump, on April 27. Mr. Trump eventually fired Comey on May 9. Director Comey’s assertion was that Trump had invited him to the unplanned, private dinner in order to request that he drop the FBI investigation about Michael Flynn, and potential collusion between Russia and the Trump Transition Team.
Much of the questioning from Trump supporters, on the Committee, seemed to focus on whether Mr. Trump had specifically asked Director Comey to drop the investigation. As Comey responded, Trump did not! It appears, however, according to Comey, that Donald Trump suggested as much, when he inserted the term “Loyalty,” and that he “expects it!”
This is what behavioral psychologist refer to as “Framing”. For instance, questions can be worded in such a way—either purposely or unintentionally—that might bias the response. Conversations can similarly provide implicit understandings! Consider also, that when a parent, a school teacher, or any person in authority wants something done, they are generally not expected to explain their request in detail. Rather, they just merely suggest their preferred outcome—explicitly or implicitly. And that’s what Trump had done!
Former Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, who had been a key National Security Advisor to Trump, even before the Election, had also filled that informal role, both within the Trump Transition Team and was appointed to it, after Trump’s Innauguration. Flynn, however, had had 19 reported separate contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, a reputed spot master, and possibly with other Russians in attendance. Additionally, other members of Trump’s Transition Team had reportedly also made contact with the Russians, as well.
So, what else might the unexpected one-on-one dinner invitation, alone with Donald Trump, have meant, especially with the interjection of wanting and expecting Loyalty? Could there have been any other implication than that Director Comey’s job was on the line? Also, isn’t it the job of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and its Director, to detect and pursue Criminal Intent?
There is also one other step that Donald Trump apparently failed to consider. If James Comey had, in fact succumbed to his implicit request, how might the Director have proceeded? Certainly, there were some of the FBI’s most senior agents working on the Flynn/Trump/Russia Investigation. What was James Comey supposed to do, in order to comply with Donald Trump’s “suggestion”: tell them that it has been cancelled?
Wouldn’t that have just shifted James Comey over, from being one of the Investigators, to being one of the Investigated?
WILL DONALD TRUMP AND TREASURY SECRETARY STEVE MNUCHIN PROCLAIM THE NEW 21st CENTURY GLASS-STEAGALL ACT, BUT ONLY METAPHORICALLY?
The Banking Act of 1933, commonly referred to as the Glass-Steagall Act, ushered in various reforms, to assist the Nation’s Recovery from The Great Depression. “Glass”, which was part of (new) President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal”, broke-up the Banking Industry, and created Federal Deposit Insurance. It was made permanent in 1945.
Prior to “Glass”, companies could engage in both commercial and investment banking, which meant that risky securities actions might jeopardize clients’ deposits, and there wasn’t any deposit insurance either. In the mid-1980s, however, many of the banking restrictions were lifted, and mostly larger banks transformed themselves into Financial Services Supermarkets. Also, making “banking” even more precarious: the number of products and financial institutions, has frown considerably since the 1930s.
In October of 2008, President George W. Bush bestowed many billions of dollars on the largest banks, in order to enhance liquidity within the banking system. Unfortunately, that action was interpreted, by many, as conveying an explicit Federal Government Guarantee of what became to be called the “Too Big to Fail” banks. That general assumption merely led to an even higher concentration of financial business, on the few, but same, largest—or Too Big to Fail Banks. Thus, the solution worsened the problem!
Following The Great Recession (4Q07-to-1Q09), President Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Act into Law, in July 2010. Dodd-Frank reined-in the banks, required required high equity capital standards, and was intended to separate the investment risks from consumer deposits. The GOP, however, has sought to repeal Dodd-Frank ever since!
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who is Donald Trump’s lead-man on banking laws, has been suggesting that he might propose a “21st century version of Glass-Steagall”. Donald Trump has also been saying the same thing! Today, Senator Elizabeth Warren called Secretary Mnuchin to task, at a Senate Finance Committee Hearing, as linked from CNBC-TV. She noticed that he had been avoiding the question of whether, or not, the Trump Regime would break-up the banks.
Finally, Secretary Mnuchin realized that he had to answer the question, and his response was still quite convoluted: “it’s a complex issue”; “not a good thing”. and finally “NO!” He stammered when she asked him how they could be considering a “21st century version of Glass-Steagall—a law which specifically broke-up the banks—with one that would not.” Mr. Mnuchin suggested that he would bring a team from the Treasury Department to brief the Senator’s Staff.
Secretary Mnuchin seemed to be avoiding answers from most of the Senators on the Committee—especially the Democrats—as he offered to provide briefings, similar to those offered Senator Warren, to a number of other Senators. Surely, the Secretary of the Treasury should be expected to appear before the primary Senate Committee, which regulates his office—and be totally prepared! And it should be obvious to most Americans that, so soon after the 2008 Banking Crisis, that the status of the Banking Laws would be Question Number One, Two and Three!
Following the Presidential Election, there has been an on-again, off-again rally in the stock market, which might have been partially attributed to Donald Trump’s victory, last November. Generally, the stock market performs best in the first and fourth calendar quarters, most years; however, some investors might have placed too much faith in Trump’s vague promises, raising the seasonal spurt even higher. Also, some CEO’s seem to have swooned over his proposals: the corporate tax-rate being halved; escalating depreciation on plant and equipment; eliminating most all regulations; and the “Border-Adjustment Tax”.
As of Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 9.3% since Trump won, and the S & P 500 was up by 8.3%. There was little in the way of economic activity to have justified such a surge; however, some investors may have just followed the herd instinct. They wanted to believe! But like any other asset, when the price rises for no apparent reason, there might come a time where it cannot sustain that psychological momentum. Did the markets seem to sense that yesterday?
Ever since he announced his candidacy, in June of 2015, Donald Trump has been harping on two primary goals—the worthless Wall, and his vow to “…replace ‘Obamacare’: with something much better, and at less cost. Just trust me!” HA! Donald raised the stakes too high, before his American Health Care Act had to be pulled yesterday—for the second time—due to insufficient support from his own Republican Party!
Always the person to find a scapegoat to blame–rather than blame House Speaker Paul Ryan, or the entire GOP–Donald blamed the Opposition Party. For a self-proclaimed “Negotiator”, how ludicrous was it to have over-sold the “certain” success of his AHCA, as he had often boasted, and then blame the Democrats…but, for what? He was trying to tear-down a perfectly good (first-step) of a comprehensive plan that could provide Affordable Health Care for all!
Many Americans, including investors, are beginning to wonder if Trump can actually govern! He boasted, before the election, about how many things he would do, beginning “Day One!” But so far, he has accomplished very little. On the negative side, however, the list of his idiotic moves is a mile long!
Consider the following problems that he has been entangled in: the failed raid in Yemen, which resulted in the death of one Navy DEAL and 24 Yemeni civilians; attacking the American Judiciary for rebuking his two Anti-Muslim Bans; his apparent desire to control the Media; threatening a pre-emptive attack on a nuclear-armed North Korea—in China’s back yard; Trump’s potential collusion with Russia, and so on!
A number of Americans who voted for Trump have been on TV stating that they are having Voter’s Remorse. It’s times like this when I wish that we had a Parliamentary System. That way, just one “No Confidence!” vote would place M. P. Donald Trump, in a back-bench seat, where he belongs. Oh, if only…!
When Trump stated yesterday that the GOP’s AHCA Plan had to be pulled, distancing himself from bad news as always, he proclaimed that the next item of business would be Tax Reform. But there are two problems with that strategy, which he is overlooking: a number of deep-pocketed conservative organizations, including the Koch Brothers, have come out again Trump’s Tax Plan; and the money that he was supposed to take from ACA customers was necessary to fund his large tax cuts for the Wealthiest two-percent!
Meanwhile, many institutional and individual investors are, no doubt, using this weekend to review Trump’s record—both positive and negative—and to decide what their next financial moves might be. Additionally, many overseas investors are also considering whether the recent Trump Rally is real, or just a market bubble! I sure wouldn’t be surprised it there is a pause, at least, in the rally–or perhaps a reversal.
WE CAN’T KEEP WAITING FOR CONGRESS TO GO NOWHERE FAST, REGARDING TRUMP’S POSSIBLE COLLUSION WITH RUSSIA. WHAT’S PLAN B, AND PLAN C?
In my last post, I suggested that behind Donald Trump’s Visible Regime, there might be a Shadow Government, which controls the real power in Washington. But, here are just a few of the problems, emanating from today’s White House, that smell:
1. Trump’s Political Strategist, Steve Bannon, is a permanent member of the National Security Council.
2. With two former generals in Trump’s Cabinet, why was it the Secretary of State, who suggested a potential pre-emptive attack on North Korea, and in Chin’s backyard?
3. Why have Cabinet Officers not been allowed to appoint Deputies, as usual, and their Confirmation Hearings should have been held, or at least scheduled by now?
4. Why was Donald Trump so discourteous after he met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last Friday? He looked like a pouting schoolboy who had just been smacked-down!
5. Why is Secretary of State Rex Tillerson skipping the coming NATO Summit in order to visit Moscow, which he is quite familiar with? Couldn’t he take a side trip there, either before or after the NATO meeting?
6. Numerous former and current Trump Associates have had contact with various Russian officials, both in Moscow and Washington.
7. Yesterday, Donald Trump was threatening Congressman, who vote against his ideology-based Health Care Plan? Does he know that we were still a Democracy?
8. And, why does his daughter, Ivanka, sit in on meetings with foreign Heads of State?
Plan A, just holding Congressional Hearings, when Donald Trump’s Republican Party holds the majority in both Houses, will always have a Chairman who belongs to his party, as well as a majority of members. Also, since the GOP believes that it can jam even the most Draconian Legislation through Congress, with their own Man in the White House, can it really be trusted to find collusion, between Trump and Russia, if it is found to have been present?
A “Select”, or Temporary, Committees of Congress will fare no better, since it also will have many of the same party and ideological biases as standing committees do. The Nation needs to have a Plan B, and a Plan C. Plan B would be the appointment of “Special Prosecutor, someone of exemplary legal credentials and who is unbiased, for or against anything but the Truth. And Plan C would consider other options, besides Impeachment, such as a complete Regime Change.
The Special Prosecutor should delve into all aspects of the Russia-Trump Connections, where there may be improprieties. This would include: current and former Trump employees, agents and advisors; whether in person or any other form of contact, and whether the location was foreign or domestic. And Yes, the Special Prosecutor should have complete access to any and all Federal Tax Returns (and all Schedules) of Donald Trump—and for every prior year!
Plan C should draw-up plans, in the event that there was some form of collusion, between Donald Trump and his Campaign, with the Russian Federation. Simple Impeachment proceedings might not be appropriate, since it would be merely eliminating the Head of an Illegal Government. Just like the proverbial Hydra: cut-off the head, and it frown another. Plan C should decide whether usual Impeachment proceedings would be appropriate or, perhaps, a Declaration of the Election as being null and void might be in order
Plans B and C, or some other appropriate meassures, will take time to consider, draft and, perhaps, need to be ruled on by the Supreme Court. Given the many important policy issues—both foreign and domestic—which are constantly arising, we need to insure that we have plans already in place to maintain that “finely-tuned” Government that the United States must have!
NOTE: I realize that if the world-clock stopped ticking, we would have time to call for a Constitutional Convention, or to otherwise Amend the Constitution; but, WE DON’T!
As the Irish are one of the oldest, and most easily assimilated groups of immigrants, St. Patty’s Day has come to be a day of celebration, not only for the Irish, but for many Immigrant groups.Ω even those who might seem to be flying under the radar—because they are of European stock. But they realize that Trump’s racially-motivated immigration ideas today could turn against all other groups tomorrow. So, they stand together!
Sure, Donald Trump might have toasted Irish Prime Minister Enda Kelly with green beer, on Thursday, and both men had-on green ties, and the fountain on the White House’s south lawn glowed green, for a day or two. The undocumented Irish find little solace in those hollow events, however, due to the fact that they entered the U. S. on perfectly legal Visas, and remained here after they had expired. Besides the Irish, many others, like the Polish, the Mexicans, Nigerians, Filipinos, etc., are hard-working taxpayers, who are raising families here.
Perhaps the Irish won’t be the first group to be deported; but, how can they ever be sure that, as Trump or some other demagogue like him, works their way down the list of nationalities that, at some point, they might be next! As much as Trump talks about creating jobs, he doesn’t realize that immigrants often are the reason for economic expansion as they add (usually) younger workers, entrepreneurial and technological skills, and they also increase the consumer base, as more spenders can grow the economy exponentially.
Undocumented immigrants normally enter the U. S. incrementally, and they are eventually assimilated into our society. Unfortunately, racist actions do make it difficult for some, such as today’s Muslims, and of course blacks after centuries of living in America!
In 1981, 120,000 Cubans came ashore in Miami, in just two months time, and they were quickly assimilated into the local, very large Cuban-American community. That many refugees, arriving in one area, and being quickly assimilated was, of course, an aberration. Even though some of those “Marielitos” were, as Donald Trump would say, “Bad Hombres”, their proportion generally pales when compared to the overall percentage of criminals in American society.
So, while Mr. Trump was toasting Prime Minister Kelly at the White House, Joe McHugh, Ireland’s Minister for the Diaspora and International Development visited the Aisling Irish Community Center, in Yonkers, N. Y. Aisling is one of a number of community centers that provides social services, health screenings and other assistance to, what it calls, the “forgotten Irish”. Staff members at Aisling, and other such centers, say that anxiety is peaking because of Trump. Minister Joe McHugh, said, after his visit: “They live in fear.” But why?
Is this what America has come to: like those billionaires, who have more money than they could ever hope to spend, and they just seem to want more? Everyone of us are descendants of people who had come from somewhere else–even the Native Americans. And for all of those “god-fearing Christians”, I surely wonder how you can mouth the words: “Do unto others…”