Posts Tagged Politics
On May 4, Donald Trump bussed the GOP Members of the House of Representatives to the White House, so they could all grandstand together, to celebrate the passage of the latest iteration of TrumpScam! But, poor Trumpie, in his exuberance, forgot that there’s another House of Congress, the Senate; which, doesn’t have the large majority that the lower house enjoys!
As America has now come to realize, there are some GOPpers in the Senate—and wouldn’t you know that that includes three of the five Female Republicans, along with some of the Gentlemen—who most actually do have Hearts, Minds and Souls. After never feeling comfortable in bringing any of the Senate attempts at TrumpScam to the Floor for a Vote, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had decided that it was time, to meet with the Democrats and update President Obama’s Affordable Health Care.
Not to take defeat lightly; however, although he merely sat on the sidelines and let the Leadership do the heavy-lifting, Donald Trump decided to hold a command performance, once again, Lunch with the GOP Senators at the White House. But this time, Donald Trump—star of Surreality TV, Asininity and the Twitter World–“ordered” the Senate not to Recess until he has a TrumpScam Bill to sign. Now, this is not one of Donald’s normal irrational comments; rather, in my opinion, that “order” is both a violation of his Oath-of-Office, and the U. S. Constitution!
Donald Trump should be knowledgeable of our Constitution; which, established a government “…of the People, by the People and for the People!” And in it, our Forefathers established three branches of government: the Legislative; the Executive and the Judiciary. This provides for a “System of Checks and Balances,” mostly between Congress and the President, with the Supreme Court acting as referee.
So Donald, the role of the Administrative is not to order or to intimidate, either the Congress or the Courts, as to what to do or how to do it! If you do, you would certainly be usurping the duties and authorities of other co-equal branches of government, and you might possibly be subject to harsh civil or criminal penalties. Either the Senate Majority Leader or the Attorney General should provide you guidance in this matter. STOP IT!
NOTE: As we know, just like the schoolyard bully, warnings don’t work with this Jackass. The GOP must take action; but, how many times can we continue shouting that?
REAL TAX REFORM IS MUCH OVERDUE! BUT, IT SHOULD BE LEFT TO A PROFESSIONAL BIPARTISAN COMMISSION, AND NOT TO POLITICIANS!
Donald Trump boasts that he will reform the Internal Revenue Code. Our tax code was first codified about 100 years ago, is now some 17,000 pages and still growing; but, not all of our tax statutes have been included yet! Previous changes and additions had political motivation, based on the ideology of whatever party was in power. And thus, Tax Reform has truly become a political football; but, without any coherent agenda!
Real reform must be placed in the hands of a totally bipartisan Commission, composed of tax and other financial professionals. The job at hand, however, could be compared to tearing down an old dilapidated building, and then starting from scratch. The existing tax code is much too vital to the on-going functioning of our federal government to go on without it! Therefore, the Tax-Reform Commission needs to be appointed for, let’s say, a ten-year term, and be subject to the oversight of a bipartisan Senate Tax-Reform Select Committee.
Such a Tax-Reform Commission, should be totally staffed and directed by professionals, who are knowledgeable in the functioning of the federal government. Similarities to the operation of the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office easily come to mind. The Leadership could be appointed by the (to be formed) Senate Select Committee, with the committee appointing replacement commission members, as needed.
The Commission should be expected to operate over, let’s say, a ten-year period, so as to: focus on the truly long-term nature of its mission, as well as to remove it from the regular political process. Furthermore, the establishing legislation should include a provision for a subsequent commission to be appointed every several decades.
WAS PUTIN’S “FAKE NEWS” END-GAME SOLELY TO PUT TRUMP IN THE WHITE HOUSE, OR SOMETHING EVEN MORE DEVIOUS?
As a socialist fighting in the Spanish Civil War, George Orwell developed a better understanding of Totalitarianism, than he had before. While the Right was waging war against the Left, he realized that the Stalinists and Trotskyites were likewise trying to eliminate each other. Eventually, he concluded that, whoever wins—whether Fascist or Socialist— will ultimately assume whatever group the wished to overthrow.
Orwell’s epiphany, as such, began to materialize in the first of his two major novels, Animal Farm. The pigs led the upraising of the animals, and as they took over Mr. Jones’ Farm, Napoleon, the porcine leader, claimed that, “All animals are equal!” Eventually, as the pigs moved into the farm house, and began acting more like humans, Napoleon then added: “but some animals are more equal than others,” to the mantra!
Recuperating from a serious neck wound and tuberculosis, back in London, George Orwell started to realize that even the most reputable of newspapers, the Times, reported on battles in Spain, which were never fought, and while omitting others where many were killed! He then began to believe that even the press had managed the news, so as not to print anything that would offend Adolf Hitler; because, British aristocracy and the Intelligentsia preferred appeasement, to war. Way back then, in the 1930s, Orwell dubbed his discovery, “Fake News!”
Managing the news, had been a primary component of Orwell’s second great novel, 1984, as he described the on-going evolution of “Big Brother” actually owning, managing, and disseminating the news, as is the case today in China, Russia, and several other socialist governments. Whereas China has focused mostly on controlling its domestic media, Russia, however, appears to have risen to another level—using external thought control as a political weapon.
Europe has known of Russia’s various attempts for several years, both to sway elections and to splinter continental cooperation—specifically through the European Union and NATO. I cannot say whether Putin’s cyber-warriors had a hand in the Brexit vote; which, might just have been due to frustration with Brussels, or the Independent nature of Great Britain. But, the rest of the E. U., at least for now, has remained together, and willing to reconcile their differences.
The success or failure of thought control, I can only assume, might be dependent upon the basic human rights of the target country. Countries with a strong tradition of free speech, the press and assembly, as well as a good public education, are harder to “reeducate!” The Trump Regime, however, in its dissemination of alternative facts, fake news and lies, appears to be playing into the hands of Vladimir Putin’s cyber-controllers.
Since Inauguration Day (January 29), the White House seems intent on: discrediting any information that comes from reputable media sources; attacking journalists, corporate media outlets, and anyone with opposing points of view; dumbing-down the Public School System through charters and vouchers, which would revert back to the “Segregated and Unequal” Era of some 60 years ago; and Trump’s deemphasizing the value of factual content and individual curiosity. In fact, Donald Trump boasts that he doesn’t even read!
I have no idea as to whether Donald Trump’s Team did, in fact, collude with the Russians. The Great America, which he claims that only he can build, just portrays an idiot’s style of demagoguery, and it possibly—purposely or not—lays the ground for a Russian cyber-invasion. The beauty of any form of cyber-warfare is much more cost-efficient, since troops and equipment don’t need to be transported. Also, consider that our whole system of knowledge—books, education, media—can be easily controlled or edited, on-line.
The 2016 Presidential Election needs to be Invalidated, and all nominations made by Trump must be revoked. Impeachment or Resignation would be insufficient—especially if there was collusion with the Russians, or manipulations by them—because those actions would merely cut-off the head—and leave the corpus in-tact. Recently, the Regime has asked for the Voting History of every American! Can the Thought Police and Book-Burners, from Orwell’s 1984, be far behind?
The Trump-Republicans have gone along with much of Donald Trump’s attacks on our very Democracy, possibly because he seems willing to sign their Draconian legislation into Law. But, what happens when the GOP in Congress transforms to whatever Trump, or perhaps Vladimir Putin, has in mind? With control of all three Branches of Government, Trump’s Party would be the most likely targets. Back in the early 1930s, no one thought that Naziism would arise within Germany, but it did!
Donald Trump, that fellow who resides in the White House, appears to be as narcissistic as The Sun King, and he has the vindictive nature of a small child, who just won’t quite! Donald is so spoiled that he only sees or hear things, which only he “knows” to be true, and his actions bespeak only those that are in his best interest. So, after five and a-half months, holed-up in the Executive Mansion, is he now ready to make Washington into His Kinda Town?
During his time in office, with numerous sabbaticals at his various resorts, he has seemed to be mad at the world, attacking everyone in sight. Here’s the Short-List of his targets: Obama and Clinton; all three major Intel Agencies; members of any and all minority groups; both the DEMs and the GOP; the print and broadcast media, at every opportunity; Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos, perhaps as a corporate leader who just won’t kowtow to him; and on, and on. Equally as bad, is the mass disruption, which Donald has spread overseas, in our name!
Donald Trump acts as if HE owns the place, and that anything that he does, while in office, should be whatever he wishes; because, you see, Donald John Trump is above the Law—or so he seems to thinks! Now, we can consider Trumpie to be just another loose cannon; but, his actions certainly appear to be more evil than that. Remember that Donald has literally offended every one of the nations which we have long-term alliances with, while cozying-up to some of our most dangerous adversaries.
Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are too ensconced in their long-term leadership roles, as Communist dictators, in systems that have been in existence for some 70 years. But, Donald Trump did invite Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey, to visit him in the White House, about six weeks ago. Turkey had been founded in 1923, as a secular democracy, and over the course of time, it had transformed itself into a Western-style nation. It is also a NATO ally Istanbul, its largest city, is strategically located west of the Bosporous Strait, which, separates Europe from Asia.
Erdogan had been thrown out of office in 1998, and imprisoned, when he was the Mayor of Istanbul. e was sacked for trying to spread his conservative Islamic views. He returned to political life as Prime Minister in 2003, and became President of Turkey in 2014. Ever since then, he has once again, been trying to instill his conservative Islamic fervor, and thus transform the nation into one more to his liking.
Just consider any of today’s authoritarian nations—China, Cuba, North Korea, Russia, Turkey—and the many commonalities are quite obvious. Trump is possibly observing how President Erdogan has been re-building Turkish Society, and perhaps getting ideas, but with an American twist.
Human rights have been diminished during the Erdogan Era, as there are other civil rights violations, such as: peaceful civil disobedience has been dealt with harshly; media has been forced to accept the government’s viewpoint; disloyal corporate leaders have been replaced, and many businesses have been nationalized; and Islamic Law is being gradually installed. Also, he has made the Kurdish minority into a boogeyman for many of Turkey’s problems, and questions abound as to whether last fall’s unsuccessful coup was, in fact, staged–thus giving him the reason to take an even harsher stance!
Donald Trump has been moving on many of these same issues. Consider just a few: his Regime is trying to diminish many of the human rights issues by continually attacking the media, and using fake news and falsified facts coming from the White House in order to shift public thinking; middle and upper-level civil servants have been denied work if they do not Pledge Loyalty to Trump; jawboning corporate leaders to follow his wishes; and why are there three generals in his Cabinet?
I cannot honestly say that Donald Trump is trying to transform America into an Authoritarian State; however, there are many similarities with various dictatorships, and one one can be perceived as more insidious than the next. At present, except for the Travel Ban, and the apparent over-active protection given to police officers—in very questionable circumstances—Donald hasn’t tried to change too many of our laws to meet his needs. But, just let your mind wander as to what might be in store for Americans in the future!
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?