Clueless

This just in: “I need to stop getting into situations where all my options are potentially bad.” 
― Jack Campbell, Dauntless

As a country … We need to stand for something. We need an identity. We need to have an overall Truth about who we are.

And…we need a plan.

Lewis Carroll famously said, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

This pops into my head almost daily now; driven by the insanity of what our government has become.

We impose tariffs on China and our allies with no plan. Trump doesn’t know how tariffs work so he makes something up that no economist anywhere agrees with. The bigger problem is that he has no idea what he wants to achieve. Saying “China has been very unfair to us” means nothing. Our entire national economic strategy is created and implemented by the fictitious mind of a D student sitting in the Oval Office.

Now, we are beating the drums of war in Iran’s neighborhood. None of our allies understand why. No one in Congress knows why. Only Trump and a couple of advisers seem to be aware of a threat; a threat that they can’t define or share. So, we go to war because we have nothing else to do on a sunny spring afternoon.

Alabama wants to ban abortions for everyone. Why? Because a bunch of men said so. It doesn’t matter that only 21% of Americans agree with them. What’s next? Women that show too much ankle in public should be stoned? Women than don’t obey their husbands or that dare to drive a car should be burned at the stake?

Let’s take these three issues: Tariffs, Abortion and Iran. Tell me what the endgame is. Tell me how our current actions achieve that endgame. Tell me how these issues directly reflect the wishes of the American public.

The fact is, that we are wondering through the forest and chopping down trees because….Trump likes to be in the news.

That’s it. Trump wants to be in the news.

There is no plan for our economy, our military or our morality. We are all over the map; following a leader with a destructive form of Attention Deficit Disorder. He flitters about, sold on the last idea that passed in one of his ears and out the other. He has no discernable moral position other than, he should do whatever he wants at any time.

We, as a nation, are lost in the woods. We are lost because we are following a leader that has no idea where he is going, much less how to get there even if he did know.

Alas…

I suppose I must go and save the world. But, I must say…I’m losing my motivation.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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Silence = Consent

This just in: Congress has the DUTY of oversight. They are an equal branch of government with the president and a big part of their job is to keep the president from wrong-doing such as criminal activity or ignoring the Constitution. In fact, this is exactly why they are a “co-equal” branch.

However, it appears that the Republican presence in Congress is nothing more than a bunch of Trump puppets.

For example…

Republicans remained silent as Trump decided to spend money on a border wall. Congress gets to control the spending in our government but the president can do so in an emergency. Apparently, a bus load of children and single mothers is an emergency.

Republicans are remaining silent as Trump is refusing to cooperate with subpoenas from Congress. These are legally enforceable requests from Congress. In this case, they are following a pretty obvious trail of criminal obstruction that leads directly to Trump.

Republicans are remaining silent as Trump’s Treasury secretary illegally decided to not provide Trump’s tax records. The law says that these records MUST be provided. This demand is being ignored.

Republicans remain silent as Trump laughs with a supporter about shooting immigrants.

Republicans have remained silent as Trump imposes 25% tariffs on China. These are tariffs that are actually paid by the American public. These are also tariffs that Trump is imposing by saying “National Emergency” when all he is really doing is trying to hurt China (completely ignoring the fact that these really hurt Americans, not the Chinese).

Republican have not only remained silent, but actively worked with Trump to keep the full Mueller report from being released to Congress.

Republicans are silent when Trump actively supports the idea that taxes should be avoided if at all possible.

Republicans have remained silent as Trump’s words and actions scream “I am a racist!”

Republicans have remained silent as Trump’s words and actions have screamed, “I think women are sex object and nothing more.”

Republicans have remained silent as Trump reneges on one treaty or trade agreement after another.

Republicans have remained silent as Trump opens up the United States lands to exploitation by oil companies.

Republicans have remained silent as Trump passes the 10,000 lies mark at just over 2 years into his presidency.

Republicans have remained silent as 15 school shootings this year.

Republicans have remained silent as the NRA is investigated for campaign contribution crimes as well as associations with Russia.

Republicans have remained silent (at the very least) when they actually let Russian sanctions be lifted on a Russian who immediately turned around and invested $200 million in Mitch McConnell’s state.

Republicans have remained silent as Trump has unsupervised and unrecorded meetings with Putin while he is being investigated with regards to his relationship with Putin.

Republicans have remained silent as their tax cut for the very, very rich continues to add $trillions to our national debt.

If Trump wants to do something that the president is not allowed to do, he just claims “National Emergency.”

If Trump doesn’t want to do something that he is legally required to do, like provide requested documents to Congress, he says, “Executive Privilege.”

The the Republican Party, through their complete silence, is allowing this to happen.

I think I could go on and on.

In my view, the Republican Party = Trump. This should scare everyone.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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You tell me if this is ethical

This just in: The New York Times uncovered about 11 years of tax information on Trump (1985 – 1995).

The big deal here seems to be that he lost over a billion dollars.

I have a bigger problem, at least for me.

It turns out that during this time, Trump made a lot of money on the stock market. How, you might ask, does someone with as little business sense as Trump, make money on the stock market?

Good question. Here is what he did…

Trump would buy up a bunch of stock in a company, he would then let it “leak” out that he was thinking of buying the company. People would hear about this and rush to buy some stock in that very company. As they bought more and more stock, Supply/Demand dictates that the price would go up; which it did.

After the price went up, Trump would then sell all of his stock at a profit.

In short, he took money from those that overpaid for the stock in anticipation of Trump buying the company.

Now, this is not illegal.

But…is it ethical. Is it ethical to knowingly convince people to buy a stock that you plan on selling off at a time that only you will profit….at their expense?

Trump, not surprisingly, had no problem with this.

Eventually it became “Fool me once – shame on you. Fool me twice – shame on me.” People figured out Trump’s con-job and quit following his investments. When this happened, Trump quickly lost the money that he had gained.

Call is Karma.

This, to me, seems to be the ethical bar that Trump has used to conduct his entire life. If he can profit from it; if he can get away with it…then it’s fair game.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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Trump is an Economic Moron

This just in: Trump has successfully marketed himself as a Deal Maker. I beg to differ. In fact, his sense of deals, business and the economy are all at a level of what I would suspect is a D level student.

Let’s start with his bankruptcies...

Trump has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy 6 times. That is 6 times more than I have.

Let’s look at his known taxes from the mid 80’s into the 90’s…

Trump lost over $1 billion. One of his ways of making money back then was to buy a lot of stock in a company and then let it leak out that he wanted to buy that company. This would cause the stock price to rise. When it did, Trump would sell at a profit. This worked for a couple of years until people found out he was conning them. Trump then lost all of the money he’d made through this scam.

Let’s look at his deal making...

So far he has reneged on the Paris Climate Accord, the Russian Missile Treaty, the Iran Nuclear Treaty, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and NAFTA. None of these has been replaced. He claims great progress is being made on all of these….He also claims that he has a plan for great health care so we know what to expect…nothing. How are you going to make a deal when you have a legacy of failure, conning and reneging?

Let’s take a look at his tariffs

Tariffs are taxes paid by the country that is importing goods to the United States. So, if China wants to send us $100 of goods, they have to pay $25 in taxes. Trump claims this is hurting China and making us rich. However, a recent study showed that China is just adding that extra cost on to whatever they sell us. So, what you used to buy from China for $100 is now costing us $125. This means that it is the American Economy that is footing the bill for Trump’s tariffs. At the same time, China retaliates with tariffs on our exports to them. So, American soybeans now cost more in China. what happens? China buys soybeans from someone else. We lose again.

Everyone is welcome to like whatever political person they want. However, If you think Trump is a Deal Maker; if you think he is an economic genius…you are holding the score card upside down.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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Party over Country

This just in: I have been trying over the last few months, to not write blog posts that are overly political. But…I have something to say.

In the last few days, Trump has sided with Putin over his entire security staff and claimed that Russia is not involved in Venezuela because….Putin said so.

In the last few days, Attorney General Barr lied to Congress when he said he didn’t know how Mueller felt about Barr’s position with regards to the Mueller report.

In the last few days, Barr has refused a Congressional subpoena to release the entire Mueller report.

In the last few days, Barr has refused to testify in front of the House of Representatives.

In the last few days, Sec. of Treasury Mnuchin, has refused to follow the law and release Trump’s tax returns to Congress.

In the last few days, Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, reported to jail for a crime Trump told him to commit.

In the last few days, Trump has floated the idea that his term be extended by 2 years because the Mueller investigation took all of the fun out of his first two years.

In the last few days, over 500 current and former federal prosecutors have signed a letter stating that, based on the Mueller report, if Trump were not president, he would be charged with several felonies.

In the last few days, Trump has declared that he will not comply with any Congressional demands with regards to data and interviews that are related to the Mueller report.

The Republican Senate, to all of this is: “The Mueller report has exonerated the president and it’s time to move on.”

Enough said.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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