The Company Trump Keeps

This just in: “A man is known by the company he keeps.” – Aesop

Let’s pretend that we don’t know Donald Trump.  We have never heard of him and have not seen him in action.

All that we know is that he is in a position to surround himself with whomever he wants…and we know the company he keeps.

What would we think?

Here is a list of some of the company he keeps…

In New York, a city thick with lawyers, Trump hires Michael Cohen.  A self-described “fixer”, Cohen has been described as a mob-boss type lawyer.  He saw his job as fixing Trump messes.  For example, he’s the guy that set up fake corporations to funnel money to women that Trump had affairs with.  He is currently being investigated for Tax Fraud.  He also is being investigated for selling access to Trump once he became president.

Michael Flynn was picked by Trump to be his National Security Advisor.  Flynn lasted about 2.3 Scaramuccis (23 days).  He was fired after it had been discovered that he lied to congress.  Before taking office, he was seen at a table an event in Russia where he was seated with Putin.

Rex Tillerson was Trump’s first Secretary of State.  While he did nothing illegal, he spent his career in Big Oil and was awarded Russian Order of Friendship from Putin.

Paul Manafort was Trump’s campaign manager for about 5 months (15 Scaramuccis).  Manafort was a lobbyist with most of his fingers in Russian related dealings.  He is currently on trial for Tax Evasion, amongst a number of other crimes.

Wilbur Ross, is the current Secretary of Commerce.  Yesterday’s news brought out an article in Forbes describing a grifter scheme that Ross used to steal about $120 million from clients of his investment firm.  Note:  He denies this and has not been proven guilty or even formally charged.

Rick Perry is the Secretary of Energy.  As a presidential candidate, Perry said he would eliminate this agency.

Betsy DeVos is the Secretary of Education.  She is a mega-millionaire and major campaign contributor for Trump.  She is a fan of privatized education and is widely seen as grossly unqualified for the job.

Scott Pruitt was ousted as Trump’s administration of the Environmental Protection agency.  Not only did Pruitt work tirelessly to end environmental protections, he left office while being investigated for nearly a dozen different questionable practices.

While Trump has publicly criticized a number of world leaders, let’s look at a list of those he has praised.

About the Leader of North Korea:

“If you can do that at 27-years-old, I mean, that’s one in 10,000 that can do that,” Trump added. “So he’s a very smart guy. He’s a great negotiator. But I think we understand each other.”

He appears to admire Putin, one many consider the greatest military threat to the world today

He claims to have a great relationship with China’s Xi Jinping, who is the greatest economic threat to the United States and is currently responding to Trump’s tariffs, tit-for-tat.

He is an admirer of Turkey’s Erdogen, a man that may have staged his own coup in order to facilitate a “cleansing” of his military.  This is the guy that came to the United States and had his private guards beat up some Americans.

He is friendly with Duerte, the leader of the Philippines.  This is the guy that has authorized the killing of people believed to be dealing drugs.  This is not a “trial then guilty then shoot” type thing.  It’s more of a “shoot as soon as you suspect” type thing.

In short, the world leaders that Trump admires are the very same that the United States typically spends a great deal of effort protecting the world from.

I can’t really find someone on the other side of the isle for Trump.  There is no Ghandi out there that thinks Trump is great.

So…if this was all you know about Trump…how would you judge him?

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

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The Trump “Walkback”

This just in:  Following Global outrage at Trump’s performance with Putin on Monday, the president decided to rewrite history, putting himself in a better light.

Let’s recap.

I will be paraphrasing here…

The Before Picture

Trump:  I think our intelligence is wrong because Putin very strongly told me so.  I also think that Putin has a great idea.

Putin:  America will give us their intelligence, so we can tell how they wrongly reached the conclusion that we interfered in U.S. Elections.

Democrats:  This is treason

The World: This is treason

The Republicans:  NATO is good, M’kay.

The After Picture

Trump:  I think that I misspoke the other day.  I meant to say that “peach is the best of all cobblers, although, there may be other cobblers as well.  There is just no way to tell for certain.”

Democrats:  Who would believe this bullshit.

The World:  Who would believe this bullshit.

The Republicans:  Whew.  We’re glad he cleared that up so let’s get back to doing something else.

Trump followers: We too love peach cobbler.  Trump is the best.

So there you have it.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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Trump – Putin Puppet Abroad

This just in:  As Trump continues his “wrecking ball” tour of Europe, I thought I would point out a few, very telling issues.

Point #1:  Trump has gone out of his way to disparage two people.  Angela Merkel and Theresa May, are the leaders of Germany and U.K. respectively.  Both of these countries are/were staunch allies of the United States and…both are women.  So, in trashing these women, he showed more of his misogynistic behavior while driving a deadly wedge into the heart of our NATO allies.  For no apparent reason.

Point #2: Trump called immigration in the E.U. “a very negative thing.”  There are a few issues with this.  First of all, Trump has no idea what he is talking about.  He can’t name 5 member of either the E.U. or NATO.  Secondly, this is a patently racist comment.  He didn’t say, “illegal immigration.”  He referred to immigration in general.  He says it is hurting European culture.  I think he is really projecting his beliefs about immigration in the United States onto Europe.  He thinks the immigration of Non-Whites, and Non-Christians, are hurting our culture here at home. If you agree with him on this, then you are a racist as well.

Point #3: While Trump never hesitates to disparage anyone, anywhere, he has singled out Putin as being exempt from all of that.  This begs the question, “Why?”   Combine this with the following: (1) Russia banks lent Trump billions when no bank in the United States would touch him, (2) Trump has a history of selling properties to Russians and hugely inflated profits; a red flag for anyone investigating money laundering and (3) Nearly everyone in Trump’s campaign was on Russia’s Christmas card mailing list.

Point #4:  When the Mueller investigation indicated several Russians last week, Trump blamed Obama rather than Putin.  To me, this is fantastically telling.  Just his morning, Trump said Russia didn’t interfere in our elections because Putin told him they didn’t.  You might recall that Trump thinks everyone that says anything he does not like is a liar.  The press is a liar.  All the women accusers are liars.  This list goes on and on.  But Putin…that is a guy Trump trusts.

Point #5:  During an interview, held two days before his meeting with Putin, Trump was asked, “Who are America’s Foes?”  His response:  “The E.U.”  Not Putin, not China, not North Korea but….The European Union.

There are several other things but none of them are new.  Things like lying and bullying and doing everything he can to alienate our allies.  Strange how this is now so common that it’s no longer front page material.

Time to save the world.

Up, up  and away…

Jim

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Trump – An American Bully Abroad

This just in:  The “Trump Goes to Europe” movie is going as predicted.

Let’s start with two well established facts: (1) Trump lies about everything and (2) Trump is a bully.

Trump’s first stop in Europe was to meet with NATO.  These are our allies.   We trade together.  We fight together.  We protect each other.  This was the strongest, most effective contributor to world peace….in the history of the world.

Trump spent two days trashing it.  He publicly chastised world leaders using made up statistics.  He went after Germany’s Merkel.  My guess is he did this for two reasons.  First of all, she is a woman in a position of power.  Secondly, she is vastly more intelligent than Trump and he sees this as a threat.

Trump came out of NATO basically saying “I set them straight and they will now pay more money into NATO.”  France’s Macron came out of the same meeting and said, “We didn’t agree to do any of those things Trump said.”

Now, who do you think is being honest?  Remember, Trump came out of his meeting with Kim-Jong-Flattop and declared the nuclear threat was over.  He then claimed that American remains from the Korean war had been sent from North Korea.  He also declared that as a show of good will, the United States would stop having military exercises with South Korea.  Of these 3 things, only one was true.  We did stop the exercises which means we gave that away and got nothing in return.

Next, Trump moves on to the UK.  He immediately went on a radio show and declared May, the British PM, was a disaster.  He also praised her opponent.  Later, when confronted with this, he denied it.  He denied it in the face of direct evidence that he was lying.

So, thus far, Trump has trashed NATO, trashed the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and trashed British PM, May.  Sprinkled in all of this has been numerous praises of Putin.

Next, he plays golf and then visits Putin to get further orders.

Never forget, as America’s standing in the world declines, the Republican Party has stood by and allowed this to happen.

Vote in November.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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Putin’s Spanking Room

This just in:  Trump is headed to Europe to meet with NATO, the UK and Putin.  I’d like to share a few thoughts and predictions about this.

But first, let’s look at Trump’s achievements while in office thus far.  Perhaps this will tell us how high or low to set the bar for this week’s expectations.

First of all, we must remember that he is an expert Deal Maker.  If you are not sure, just ask him.

Deals he has backed out of…

  1. The Trans Pacific Partnership whose purpose was to increase markets overseas for U.S products.
  2. NAFT whose purpose was to increase markets in Canada and Mexico for U.S. products.
  3. U.N. Human Rights Council whose purpose is to monitor and address Human Rights around the world.
  4. The Iran Nuclear deal whose purpose was to eliminate Iran’s ability to create a nuclear threat to the world.
  5. ON the verge of exiting the G-7 economic summit because they hurt his feelings.

Deals he has made…

  1. Under his congress, he passed a tax law that adds trillions to our national debt in exchange for…nothing other than millions of tax cuts for the wealthiest people in the country.
  2. He claimed to have made a deal with North Korea and even announced that his 2-hour meeting with Kim -never missed a meal- Jong Un resulted in a complete end to the nuclear threat.  Notable is that North Korea seems to disagree with this completely.

Major accomplishments…

  1. For no apparent reason, pushed for the separation of immigrant parents and their children as they sought to flee violence in their own countries.
  2. Refused to support a “Breast Feeding is Good” resolution at a World Health Assembly; stunning the rest of the world.  His rationale….”Baby food makers are people too.”  Never, ever underestimate the power of the Baby Food Lobby.
  3. Everything else he has done has been through Executive Order, including the tariffs that are set to cripple to Global economy.  He has also dismanted of nearly every regulation put in place to protect our environment.

Now….About his overseas trip that starts today…

He meets with NATO in Brussels on Tuesday and Wednesday.  He has managed to alienate nearly every member in this organization. NATO is the single most successful peace organization in the history of the world.  Trump, on his very own, has created an atmosphere where they fear even meeting with him.  They know he is Putin’s boy and fear that any plans they make will be relayed to Putin when he and Trump meet a few days later.  My prediction:  Trump will continue to alienate NATO.  He will boast about how well everything went and then ignore it when other members claim he is a turd.

We have to remember that Trump lives in a world that exists only in his mind.  There is no “Better and Cheaper healthcare.”  There is no “Denuclearization of North Korea.”  There is no “Better Trade deal that is more fair.”  He’s claimed all of these and yet, all are demonstrably false.

After NATO, Trump goes to the UK where he is universally hated.  He will mostly avoid London where protesters will be filling the street.  There will be a giant balloon of Baby Trump flying over the city.  We have to remember, the U.K. is our biggest and closest ally…and they hate the president of the United States.  My prediction is that he will do whatever it takes to piss of the UK even more.  He can’t help himself.  Making others angry or fearful makes him feel strong.

This brings us to Putin…

Trump and Putin will meet in Helsinki a week from today.  Reportedly, Putin has set up a Spanking Room where he will administer whippings to a fat cheeto dressed in black leather.

Eventually, he and Trump will reach an agreement where Trump tells him everything he knows about NATO and Putin tells Trump how to behave on a wide range of issues going forward.

So, there you have it.

Trump’s experience tells me that my Expectations Bar needs to be set very low.  In fact, I think I’ll just lay it on the ground.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

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Trump – Putin’s Santa Clause

This just in:  This entire Russian thing seems to be about, not collusion in and of itself, but rather…was there a Quid-Pro-Quo?  Did Russia help Trump get elected in exchange for Trump favors later?

Let’s take a look at a few things…

First, understand that Russia’s main income comes from the exporting of oil.  When oil prices are low, the entire Russian economy goes down the toilet.  Putin would love for oil prices to be high.  This includes squashing any alternative energy source that may cause people to use less oil.

What has Trump done?  Several things.  First of all, he dropped out of the Paris Climate Accord citing some nonsense issue about being treated “unfairly.”  This has a double impact.  First, it allows the United States to use more oil without consequence and it also separates the United States from a forum where they should be the World Leader.  Trump has also squashed nearly every anti-oil regulation he can find.  This includes eliminating fuel efficiency on cars.  In other words, he is allowing us to go back to the gas guzzlers of yesterday.  Americans only benefit from better mileage. It’s good for the pocketbook and for the environment.  However, Russia wins when we use more oil since that drives up the price.

Trump also pulled out of the Iranian deal. This is causing uncertainty in the Middle East and we are feeling it at the gas pump; just as Putin is feeling it in his fattening wallet.

Second, Putin wants to be relieved of all the sanctions put on Russia for their bad behavior over the years. Obama put on sanctions.  Congress overwhelmingly approved even more sanctions.  Trump has fought these all along.  For some reason, he knows more about Russia and their intent than the rest of the world as well as our National Security Agencies.  In fact, he continues to fight to lift sanctions on Russia whenever possible.

Third, Putin wants to be brought back into the G7.  It was a G8 until Russia was kicked out over annexing Crimea.  Just yesterday, out of the blue, Trump said he wants Russia back in.  He gave no reason.  The remainder of the G7 voted unanimously to keep Russia out.

Fourth, Putin wants to separate the United States from the rest of the world.  On nearly every front, Trump has given him this gift.  We are no longer the Climate leader.  We are no longer the Moral leader.  The G7 says they will become the G6 since Trump does not want to contribute.  Trump has put tariffs on our closest allies and is threatening to no longer trade with our longest standing and largest trading partners.  In just over a year, Trump has caused the United States to step back from every leadership position we have held since WWII.

This list could go on.  There is the push to enrich the wealthy at the expense of the poor.  There is the war on science and the war on education.  Every day Trump does the exact opposite of what is proper.

So yes, I think Trump works for Putin.  I don’t think this is all a repayment for winning the election.  I actually think Trump expected to lose the election.  I suspect this is to repay some ongoing debt such as the billions of dollars Russian banks lended him when no one else would touch him back in 2008-9.

Trump works for Russia.  But don’t forget, he is able to pull this off because Congress is controlled by Republicans that work for the handful of billionaires that are profiting off of Trump’s moves.  The GOP tolerates Trump’s Russia because it is profitable for them.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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The gift that keeps on giving…

This just in:  In Putin’s eyes, Trump is the gift that keeps on giving.  It really doesn’t matter why Trump does what he does.  It doesn’t matter if Trump just has a boy-crush on Putin or if Putin is controlling Trump.  It doesn’t even matter if some shady Russian loan shark is controlling Trump. All that really matters is that Trump is behaving in a way that Putin must find very satisfying.

Let’s look at a few examples….

  • Russia depends on oil. They use oil, but their real income comes when others use oil.  Trump inexplicably stepping out of the Paris Climate Accord means he is free to promote all types of oil exploitation.  He has done this with great enthusiasm; allowing drilling in Alaska, national parks and off our pristine coast lines.  This makes Putting happy.
  • Russia is a small economy and no match for the United States and its allies. Putin knows this, so it would be in his interest if the United States was somehow made smaller.  For example, if our economy was less robust or our allies around the world began to stand a bit farther from us; as if we were at a global party and broke wind.

Has Trump given this to Putin?  Has Trump made us smaller?

I would argue that he has on several fronts.  Let’s look at a couple…

  1. Moving our Israeli embassy to Jerusalem has alienated us from every Arab country in the Middle East.
  2. Threatening war with Iran and stepping away from the Iranian agreement alienates us from our NATO allies who are part of that Iranian agreement.
  3. Tariffs that start a global trade war has spooked the entire global economy. This, all for a few steel worker jobs that will never be recreated.
  4. A Trump wall has alienated Mexico.
  5. Boasting about lying to the P.M. of Canada has alienated, not only Canada but the rest of the world that now has confirmation about that they have long suspected – Trump lies constantly.
  6. Bolton, Trump’s new National Security Advisor, has openly advocated for a preemptive strike against North Korea; a move that many believe will be almost instantly followed by 20 million deaths in South Korea. This move, even if it worked, would alienate China who sees NK as their illegitimate step child that they are someone responsible for taking care of.
  7. We have stepped out of the Trans Pacific Partnership, closing the door on a massive amount of potential trade.
  8. At home we have seen a rise in white supremacy and racism as well as religious intolerance. All of this serves to dis-unify our country.
  9. At home we have seen tax policies enacted and regulations tossed aside all directly responsible for increased income inequality; another divisive issue.

So yes, Trump has given Putin what he wants.  He has made American smaller.

There you have it.  My argument for “Trump is the gift that keeps on giving…to Putin.”

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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Putin owns Trump…

This just in:  Before I get into the Putin/Trump thing…let’s just notice that the “Guns Killing Kids” issue has started to abate.  So now the NRA and Republican Party can get back to raking in Russian money.

As for Trump…

I have often wondered, possibly as often as several times a day….”How is it possible that Trump so consistently does the EXACT OPPOSITE of the right thing….every time he does anything?”

Could it be that he and I are exact opposites?  Possible, but it seems that we would agree on something every now and then.

But we never do…ever.

There is a reason for this that was recently divulged to Mueller who is investigating Trump.

It turns out that Putin told Trump not to make Romney his Secretary of State.  He wanted someone more friendly to Russia like Tillerson (Who Russia awarded with some sort of Best Friends Forever award).  Russia wanted someone that would help Trump NOT IMPLEMENT SANCTIONS.

Tillerson got the job.  Sanctions have not been implemented and Tillerson continues to cut away at the State Department; taking steps daily to ensure it is weaker than the day before.

So…was this the only thing Putin said.  Did it go like this “Just make Tillerson the Secretary of State and we’ll forget all about the decades you have worked with us to launder money.”  Is that what happened?

Or is Putin telling Trump daily “Do what I say or spend the rest of your life in jail.”

If I were Putin….I would want would love a trade war between the United States and the rest of the world.  I would love a U.S. president that praises Russia and refused to implement sanctions.  I would want a president that would not investigate Russian meddling in elections.

If I were Putin I would want turmoil in the White House.  I would want others in the White House that also launder money like Kushner so my reach would broaden.

I’d want a W.H. that would destroy the U.S. economy through unfathomably bad tax plans and budgets.  I would want divisive issues to be flamed; things like immigration and gun control.

I could go on and on but it is clear to me that either Trump is completely under Putin’s control or there are a heck of a lot of coincidences going on.

It is worth noting that our Constitution protects us from this by balancing power between the Executive, Judicial and Legislative branches.  Out Founding Fathers, however, didn’t count on the possibility that a foreign power would control both the Presidency and Congress.  By Congress I mean, the Republican Party.

My prediction is that Democrats will take the house and senate in the midterms.  Mueller will finish his investigation and Trump will be impeached.  Trump will then refuse to step down.

What happens after that will be up to our generals.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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