Lesson 1: History repeats itself.
Posts Tagged Politics
DONALD, “JUST BEGUN!” REALLY? THAT JOBS REPORT, ON FRIDAY, HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU! JULY WAS JUST THE 83RD STRAIGHT MONTH OF ECONOMIC GROWTH!
The Department of Labor announced that 209,000 new non-agricultural jobs were created last month, as compared to analysts’ projections of 175,000. (Agricultural jobs are generally extracted, because they are seasonal, and vary by region of the country.) The unemployment rate dropped incrementally to 4.3%, from 4.4%.
Donald Trump, as usual, claimed credit for the employment uptick, as well as the stock market slowly edging upward, past 22,000 on the Dow. But, let’s put the economy into context! What part of Donald Trump’s Agenda did he sign into law, which might have stimulated the economy, created an uptick in the labor market, or removed the disruption and uncertainty that has surrounded the Trump Regime, since Day One? Not a damn thing! Also, it’s lucky for America that he hasn’t!
Consider his Economic Agenda. His Tax “Reform” is not a reform; rather, it just replaces the Bush Tax Cuts, for the Top Two Percent, which had expired in 2010. He talks about a needed Infrastructure Plan; but, where is it? And, his Trade Policy is complete lunacy: opting-out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and enabling China to join, and probably take our leadership role; while, at the same time, he is also disrupting our trading agreements and strategic alliances with Canada and Mexico, and he has alienated the entire Continent of Europe. No, Donald, you have not accomplished anything, at all! And, perhaps, that’s to our good fortune!
Your predecessor assumed an economy with the worst Recession since The Great Depression of the 1930s, a 10.0% unemployment rate, and a stock market, which had dropped by more than 50% in the previous 18 months. He went to work, rolled-up his sleeves, fought the Republicans who lectured him and obstructed him every step of the way. But, President Obama got things turned-around, and without a Tweet or a photo-op!
I believe, Donald, that if you check with your Secretary of Labor, you will find that the continued growth of the economy is due to the fact that the U. S. has just enjoyed its 83rd straight month of growth in a row. Oh and by the way, President Obama saved General Motors and Chrysler Corporation, and kept 1.9 million Americans working.
Employees of those companies, including their parts and component suppliers, finance subsidiaries, insurance companies, dealerships, etc, continued working, paying taxes and contributing to our economic growth. So Donald, don’t you dare pretend to take credit for President’s Obama’s great economic accomplishments!
Recently, we have seen several female Republican members of the Senate who have had the temerity to voice their opposition to the assumed President as they had voted against his dishonest Health Care Agenda. Senator Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, faced-down explicit, and public threats of retribution by Trump against the People of Alaska. To me, that smacks of Senate-tampering!
Of the 52 Republican members in the Senate, only six (or 11.5%) are female. The ladies are better-represented within the Democratic Party; however, with 15 (or 34.8%) of the 46 Senators. But either way, since women represent 52% of our society, even the 21 ladies of the Senate seems hardly proportional.
Since the earliest hominids roamed the earth, several million years ago, there had been a division of responsibility: Males were the hunters and defenders of the home fires, while the Females gathered edibles, and bore and nurtured the young. Although times have changed over the millennia, females have largely retained the advantages of the more social and caring gender.
Senators Murkowski and Susan Collins, of Maine, recently spoke-out, after they joined with Senator John McCain, of Arizona, to vote-down their party’s latest iteration of a Bad Deal, the “Skinny” Healthcare Plan. The ladies specifically cited that many of their constituents would be among the tens of millions of Americans who would lose health care. Additionally, it would have de-fund the Planned Parenthood Association.
Planned Parenthood is a nationwide non-profit health care provider, which mostly treats females, and it is often one of the few full-service health care facilities that care for the poor, by accepting Medicaid. The small group of Republicans who had been writing the various health care scams, while meeting in secret, were all men. When I heard these men pooh-poohing the importance of contraceptives and mammograms, I could only wonder, if we flipped the script, what they would feel if viagra and prostate exams were eliminated. So, what’ll it be, boys?
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!