Trump – Season 2

This just in:  The midterm elections were just 3 days ago.  Let’s take a look at Episode 1 of Trump Season 2.

Within hours of the close of elections, Trump fired his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions.  He made it clear that he fired Sessions because Sessions recused himself from the Mueller investigation.  You may recall Trump was stunned by this.  He was certain that he has a Trump Loyalist in Sessions that would protect him from Mueller.

Now, the Constitution says the President can’t install a Head of Department on his own.  This is one the the checks and balances of the Constitution and is designed to prevent the President from appointing a lacky.

Trump appointed a lacky.

Without authority, Trump put in an AG that has publicly, on several occasions, denounced the Mueller investigation.  This guy wasn’t one of the top guys in the Justice Department.  He was just a lower level guy that Trump specifically chose because he wants the protection.

So…on day 1 after the mid-terms….Trump violated the Constitution to protect himself from prosecution.

Meanwhile…Other Trump supporters (AKA Republicans) down in Florida are calling it conspiracy that people in charge of voting in Florida are actually insisting that all of the votes are counted.  Apparently, to keep it from being a scandal, vote counting should have stopped at any point where the Republican candidate had the lead.

Most haven’t noticed that Trump also failed to install the latest round of Russian punishments.  I don’t have a lot of detail on this one.  But…Trump is meeting with Putin soon and I expect him to walk out of that meeting with a gold star stuck to his forehead for being such a good boy.

Then…there was the press conference.

Here are the highlights:

  1. Trump claimed losing control of the House to be a great outcome from a “Deal Making” point of view.
  2. Trump called out Republicans that lost because they “Refused his embrace.”  He failed to list those Republicans that lost after being “embraced.”
  3. Trump got into an argument with CNN’s Acosta and then had his press credentials revoked.  As justification, he used a doctored video to imply that Acosta was physically aggressive with a female aide.

It’s been less than 3 full days since the election…

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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Trump-Publicans and Death by Gun

This just in:  In the middle of last night, shots were fired at a bar in California.  A deputy sheriff ran towards the danger and was killed.  He was a hero.  It’s important that we realize that he, and men like him, run towards danger every day so that we can stay safe.

His name was Ron Helus.

We can pause appropriately and then send “thoughts and prayers” or, we can do something to stop this madness.

Last year, there was a mass shooting in Texas.  Senator Ted Cruz got some face time on television and said, “We will do everything humanly possible to make sure this never happens again.”

Then he forgot all about it.

Let’s get to the root cause…not the guns but rather….the enablers.

We don’t combat gun deaths because Trump-Publicans refuse to allow evan an investigation into how we might go about this.

Let me say that again.

Trump-Publicans (There are no longer any Republicans) refuse to fund research into ways to combat gun violence.

Every time there is a “Death by Gun” in the United States, the people that helped pull that trigger are Trump-Publicans and those that voted for them.

Trump-publicans will race to mourn the death of the brave officer and ignore that the fact that they put the gun in the killer’s hand.

This is not new behavior.

Trump-Publicans claim to be the party of fiscal responsibility and yet they have overspent to the tune of $1 trillion dollars a year.

Trump-Publicans claim to be the party of the Constitution and yet they call the Free Press the enemy of the people.

Trump-Publicans claim to be the party of the Patriotism and yet flock to racist dog whistles, forgetting the lines “All men are created equal” from the Declaration of Independence.

Trump-Publicans think its appropriate for the President to change the Constitution by himself (see 14th amendment).

His name was Ron Helus and he died because half of the people in our country enable the hypocrisy of Trump and the Republican Party.

I’m not mad at Congress and Trump.

I’m disappointed in us; in who we are and in what we allow to happen.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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Trump’s Hail Marys

This just in:  We all know that Trump lies.  There are questions about his actual understanding of this.  At times, he actually doesn’t seem to know that he’s lying. There are times when he lies in the face of direct evidence to the contrary.  He even sometimes lies by having two consecutive sentences contradict each other.

In the end, we throw up our hands and say, “Perhaps he’s just insane.”

However, Trump has really ramped up the Lie Factory output in recent days.  Let’s look at a couple of his big ones.

The 10% tax cut:  Trump announced this at a rally.  He claimed that there would be a 10% tax cut passed in a week that would target the middle class.  Here is the problem with this.  No one, anywhere, knew about this.  Congress, which takes months to craft a tax cut had no idea what he was talking about.  In fact, he said, “next week” when in fact, Congress was on recess and would not even be in town next week.

He just made this up.  Everyone knew he made it up. And yet, the people at the rally applauded loudly.

There is the Caravan Lie.  I’ve already covered this biggie.  However, let’s not lose track of what this lie really is – A Dog Whistle to his racist base that wants non-whites kept out of the country.

Now he claims he has the ability to change the Constitution of the United States by Executive Order.  He wants to get rid of the 14th Amendment which says that if you are born in the United States, you are a citizen.  This is just another Dog Whistle calling to White Supremacists as Trump continues to try and keep American white.

I might go another way than Trump on this issue.  I might suggest that if your dad was wealthy enough to buy you 5 draft deferrals, you lose your citizenship.

Trump claimed “riots in California” over sanctuary cities.  Need I say it….Dog Whistle.

This entire immigration deal is about white supremacists. I’ve been saying for well over a year, “We need more immigrants, not less!!”  Our economy is stalling due to lack of labor.  We need more people.  Finally, I saw an economist on television say this very same thing.

Election Day is just 6 days away.  If you are like me, you don’t vote along party lines but rather, you vote for the best candidate.  This year is different.  All Republicans are complicit in Trump’s Path of Destruction.  They are either complicitly silent or actively supportive of him.  A vote for a Republican is a vote for Trump.

Knowing that, vote next week (or earlier if you can).

Help to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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“Let there be fear!” – Republican Platform

This just in:  I first went snorkeling in the Philippines. Having just been stung by a jellyfish, my assumption was that everything in the water wanted to kill me.  So, I put on this mask which only let me see what was straight ahead.  I ended up swivelling my head back and forth the entire time.  I was afraid of what I couldn’t see.  I was afraid of the unknown.

I’ve carried this experience with me for decades.  I use it in my professional life where I am a Change Agent.  I have found that people resist change, in large part, because they “know” the current situation while the new situation is “unknown.”  When I educate them and take away the “unknown”, I also take away the fear and resistance.

This brings me to the Republican Platform; a platform which can be summarized in the following way: “Create fear and fight any information that would take that fear away.”

A prime example is the issue of immigration.  Yes, we should not let illegal immigrants into the country.  This doesn’t mean that we need a wall.  This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t find ways to make it easier or faster for people to enter our country.  In fact, if we are to continue our economic growth, we need immigrants by the millions.

Republicans say, “Democrats want open borders.”

Republican say, “The caravan coming up from Mexico is filled with terrorists, gang members and diseases like leprosy.”

Republicans send 5,000 troops to fight off the caravan.

If people knew the truth, none of this would matter.  The caravan is made up of less people than it takes to fill a high school football stadium.  It’s made up of women and children.  When they get to the border, they will have the same rights that every other person has when they come to our country.  5,000 troops is about one soldier per child.

This is easy information to research.  Get online and look it up.

The problem is, too many Republicans are hearing what they want to hear and therefore look no further for answers.  They want Non-Whites out of the country and if they need to fear this caravan to justify that…then that is what they will do.

This same fear is applied elsewhere.  We drop out of trade agreements because, “They are unfair and the world is ripping us off.”  This is nonsense but…creates fear.

We keep Muslims from entering the country to appease the Conservatives (those that long for a pretend history of white and Christian America) and we use fear of terrorism to justify this.

The Far Right (A combination of Republican and Red Bull) send out pipe bombs and shoot up a synagogue.  Republicans see that this is causing fear so they immediately say, “Democrats are blowing themselves up so that you will blame Republicans.”

Trump has said that without his guidance, the United States will turn into Venezuela.  That is fear.

Trump calls the press an Enemy of the State.  This is an attempt to keep you from reading and thus believing any narrative that didn’t come from him.  He wants you to be fearful and knows that knowledge will make that more difficult.

My recommendation is twofold.  First…read a book.  If you want to understand tariffs, watch a couple of youtube videos on the issue.  If you want to understand the Fed and interest rates, take 15 minutes and you’ll understand.  If you want to find out about the world…watch a combination of sources.  If you want to know what the Republicans are doing about healthcare…it’s all online.

Secondly…vote.  I truly believe that if everyone in American understood the Republican stance on any issue, they would turn away from them.  Well…almost all.  There are white Nationalists that understand Trump completely and he is their man.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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Ramblings from an unfocused mind

This just in:  Every now and then, I just need to clear all the temporary files in my mind.  The result is a random flood of unrelated things with no attempt to weave them into a story.  This is one of those days.

Let’s begin…

When I travel, I allow myself one stop at Popeye’s Chicken and one stop at Taco Bell.  The result of this well-intentioned effort on restraint is that I stop at Popeye’s once and buy enough food for everyone on the block…and one plastic fork.  Today…it was $20 at Taco Bell.  The last few bites were slow going down but still awesome.

51% of of our Senate represent 44% of our population and 26% of our country’s GDP.  Yes, they represent the poor states; those states that have made bad investments in themselves and their economy.  Instead,they rely on the Blue states to subsidize them.

When I read for fun, it’s usually “hard” Science Fiction.  There has to be a couple of spaceships and some sort of war.  Neal Asher is my author of choice.  However, I am now reading a book about two little girls that are solving a neighborhood crime.  It’s called “The Trouble With Goats and Sheep.”  I’m really enjoying it!

I’m going to San Diego to watch Navy play Notre Dame.  It should be a lot of fun as a few of my Naval Academy classmates will be there.  The game will be a horror story as Notre Dame will probably score like a basketball game.

Yesterday, I left my hotel room in the morning as MSNBC was interviewing people about Kavanaugh.  The question was, “Who is more energized by this; Republicans or Democrats?”  I came back 10 hours later are this was still the question they were discussing.

The New York Times ran a story about Trump’s history of tax evasion and tax fraud.  The result:  His fans still love him.  Go figure.  This guy belongs in jail and my hope is that he dies wearing Folsom Orange.

I’m taking a class on “influence.”  Chapter 3 was about the downside of influence.  It talked about traits like Narcissism and how those are basically used for evil.  As an example, the course used Donald Trump.  By the way, this was recorded about 10 years ago.  The course says avoid Narcissistic people because they lie all the time and promise you great things but have no substance.  Pure Trump.

A UN Climate report came out and said, “You have 11 years until the end of the world.”  Everyone in the world is terrified.  Not Trump.  He continues to think Climate Change is a Chinese hoax designed to somehow hurt American manufacturing.

Last word on Kavanaugh…The Republican Party said the following 2 statements (paraphrased here): “We believe Dr. Ford” and “Dr. Ford was a hoax.”  They wavered between these two, depending on the audience.  The Republican Party also defines “Mob” as “Angry women that raise their voices and make old white men uncomfortable.”

As I write this, MSNBC has moved from “Who is the most energized” to “Live coverage of people wading through water while carrying puppies.”  It seems to me that the major news outlets have three modes: (1) Politics because no one is dying right now, (2) Plane crashes because a bunch of people died at once and (3) Hurricanes because “Who doesn’t like watching roofs blow off?”  Honorable mention is the occasional mass shooting (or…act of terrorism if it was committed by a non-white.)

I’ve been doing some work in Canada recently and I would like to report that Canadians are as nice as we think they are.  They look at Trump and understand that we had a temporary lack of good judgement and they will wait patiently for sanity to return to the lower 48.

I guess that’s enough of a data dump for now…I still have a Burrito Supreme that’s not going to eat itself.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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The Shame

This just in: “Every nation gets the government it deserves.” – Joseph de Maistre

Last night I had a dream.  I was some sort of Terminator-type guy and I was fighting off an alien invasion that was enslaving mankind.  In the end, I saved the world.  There was a brief celebration and then everyone turned against each other to see which of them would be the new leader and thus, the new “enslaver of mankind.”

At this point, I turned my back on the populace and walked away knowing I had accomplished…nothing.

I think the moral of the story is that the enemy is within.

Our government is in a shambles.  I can’t blame Trump.  I can’t blame the Republicans.  Why?  Because if we get rid of them, the “system” that gave birth to them will endure and thus…produce replacements that are just as bad.

What do I mean when I say “system”?

I think if I had to choose one issue…it would be the absence of accepted facts.

Pick any issue.  Let’s use tariffs.  I think we should know exactly why the tariffs are in.  We should know exactly how these affect our target (China) and our allies.  We should know how they affect us.  We should know how, as a tool, tariffs stack up against other options that may achieve the same goal.

We don’t clearly know any of this.

What about the tax cut that was passed?  What about immigration?  What about NATO or the Paris Accord?  What about Kavanaugh?  What about auto emissions? What about Net Neutrality?  What’s the impact of income inequality?  Can we do better with healthcare?

Suppose we knew exactly the impact and various solutions to these and many other issues.  We could then make good choices.  Perfect decisions come from perfect information.

This brings me to the title of this post: Shame.

The “Shame” is that we are completely able of finding the answers to these issues and making them public.  We are smart and capable.  We can do this.

But we don’t.

We don’t because people are “influenced” to turn the other way.  It could be “vote this way for me and I’ll vote that way for you” type of thing. It could be “I don’t’ want Trump to give me a nickname.”  It could be, my billionaire campaign contributor won’t back me if I don’t vote a certain way.”  Once influence, the fact are often hidden as they may contradict a desired action.

These types of influencers are what got a tax cut passed that is adding trillions to our debt so the extremely rich have even more money.  These types of influences gives us a circus for Supreme Court nominations where 90% of Kavanaugh’s history is kept secret even from the Judicial committee’s Democrat members and the FBI is directed to apparently “not find anything.”

What’s that you say, “We don’t know what the FBI was directed to do.”  That is true.  So I ask, “Why don’t we know exactly what the FBI was directed to do?”

We now have permission to lie.  We have permission to hate.  We have permission to ignore science.  We have permission to scam the tax system.  We have permission to ignore the plight of women and minorities.

And with this permission came an astonishing revelation:  We have been waiting all along for this to be okay. 

The most shameful thing of all is that the mirror has been turned towards us and the picture is not pretty.

That Shame may also be the hidden blessing.  I can pretend that my face is not dirty so long as you don’t make me look in the mirror.  When confronted with the fact…maybe I’ll decide it’s time to bath.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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Why I think Kavanaugh is lying

This just in:  I don’t care what Kavanaugh did 35 years ago; at least not nearly as much as I care about what he is doing right now.  Right now, he is lying to Congress and that is a felony crime.

I think he is lying for a couple of reasons I’m going to lay out right now.

Reason #1:  He is acting like he is guilty.  If I’d been accused of the type of conduct he is being accused of, my first action, as an innocent person, would be to insist on a thorough investigation.  Anything short of that would leave lingering doubts about the type of person I was.

Saying there have been 6 Background Investigations is nonsense.  If a BI was so conclusive, why would there ever be a 2nd one, much less 5 more.  When conditions change, a new BI is warranted.

Saying, “We have signed notes from a couple of people” is about the same as saying, “I climbed a tree and nearly touched the moon.”

Reason #2: Kavanaugh has skin in the game; a lot of skin in the game. He will get the job of a lifetime if he is appointed so there is a lot riding on this.  Additionally, anything short of his getting the job will leave him tainted as “The man that lost the job because of a 35 year old sex offense.”  His reputation is on the line along with the job.

Reason #3: The woman has nothing to gain.  In fact, she has already lost a lot.  She’s lost her privacy.  She’s exposed herself to death threats and hate mail.  She is demonstrably non-political.

Reason #4: The Republican Party is rushing this through.  Why?  Because where there is smoke, there is fire.  The longer he is sitting on the hot seat, the more stuff about his past is likely to be exposed.  They act like it’s important to fill this seat on the SCOTUS as soon as possible.  This ignores the fact that they just allowed a seat to be left open for several months so that Trump, not then President Obama, could fill the seat.

Those are reasons I think he is lying.

Here are a couple of reasons I think he should not get the job:

  1. His opening statement yesterday made it clear that he is going to hold a grudge against the Democrats.  So much for non-partisan judges.
  2. He will end up Judging Trump which means that Trump is picking a SCOTUS justice that will get him off of the hook.
  3. He is emotionally unstable as demonstrated in yesterday’s hearing.
  4. He is lying to Congress.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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How I Would Interview Trump

This just in: Trump says/does two things that I think he shouldn’t be allowed to get away with.

The first thing he does is make grandiose generalities about his performance; things like “I’m saving Social Security.  The Democrats want to destroy it” or “No other president has accomplished more than I have.”

The second thing he does is justify his positions by claiming some unseen crowd has told him that this or that is the right thing.  For example, “Sessions is a terrible Attorney General.  Many people have told me I should fire him” or “A lot of people are telling me that this North Korea thing has gotten much better since I stepped in.”

Let’s face it.  I could do this.  In fact, anyone could do it.  Any person on the street can tell you “I have done more to improve healthcare than anyone ever.  In fact, everyone I know agrees with me.”

See how easy that is?  It’s not true but it’s easy.

And it works because no one is challenging him.  This means that when he says and does ridiculous things that his supporters want to believe is true, there is no one standing up and saying, “The King has no clothes!”

This is where I come in.  I would be the best and toughest interviewer ever.  Lot’s of people have told me this.

Let’ do a trial run…

Trump:  I am saving Social Security.

Me:  What specifically are you doing to save it?

Trump:  Lot’s of stuff.  Stuff the Democrats hate.  I’m getting a lot of positive feedback on this.

Me:  Name a couple of people that are giving you this positive feedback for doing something that you are unable to describe.

Now, since Trump is making all of this up as he goes along, this could get to be really fun.

Trump: You know that Hillary wanted to crush Social Security.  They won’t tell you that.

Me:  How was she trying to crush Social Security?  Who won’t tell me that?

Trump has no idea how Social Security works.  He has no idea how healthcare works.  In fact, I would not be surprised if he knows less about every aspect of his job than say…a college freshman that is considering majoring in Political Science.

My point is…Trump is pretending to do his job and we are letting him get away with it.

Yes, it’s entertaining to watch…but is that enough to justify the long-term damage he is causing?

Someone needs to challenge him.  It won’t come from the right because, let’s face it…they fear his wrath.  They fear getting one of his pet names.  His base won’t challenge him because they want him to be right.  If they were to pay attention and discover that he is never right, then that would mean they have been following a false messiah.  It’s best to just keep pretending and not look too deeply into truth of things.

My hope is that the midterms toss out enough of the Trumpublicans that those remaining will take note; that they will say, “Hey!  This guy is dangerously incompetent and riding his coattails is not helping me keep my job.”

I know I’m right on this.  Everyone says so.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

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And the Walls…came tumbling down

This just in:  I have to start with John McCain.  He was a great man.  I disagreed with him on a lot of issues but I always respected that disagreement.  I knew he was taking a position that he felt was right and what was best for the country and those that elected him to office.  He fought hard when he felt he was in the right and apologized when he felt he’d made a mistake.  My greatest sadness, however, is that he leaves no one behind to fill his shoes.

As for the latest in a long list of Trump failures…

Trump is now boasting about a trade agreement with Mexico.  I haven’t heard a lot about the details but it sounds like China has been somehow cut out of automobile manufacturing trade between us and Mexico.  I think I’m fine with that.  On the other hand, the Wall Street Journal says this deal may actually be worse than the original.  This is not hard to believe.  Recall that Trump wanted to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with the “Best Healthcare Ever”.  In the end, all he, and the Republican Party wanted to do was eliminate an achievement by the opposing party at the expense of the American People.

Also….

The deal maker that thought he might get the Nobel Peace Prize is watching an agreement with North Korea slip away.  In fact, it could be worse than before Trump touched it (Everything Trump Touches Dies).  We gave up an exercise with South Korea to get this deal rolling.  In the meantime, Russia and China are stepping in to support North Korea, belittling any “sanction” type efforts we may make to put pressure on Kim Jung Bowling Ball.

And as for the crumbling…

  1. Trump’s campaign manager is found guilty on 8 felony counts.
  2. Trump’s “fixer/lawyer” is found guilty on 8 felony counts and implicates Trump in one of them.
  3. Trump confesses to breaking campaign finance laws on Fox and doesn’t even know it.
  4. Trump family Chief Financial Officer has agreed to testify against Trump for immunity.
  5. National Enquirer owner has agreed to testify against Trump for immunity.  This is a biggie as this guy gets dirt on powerful people and then keeps it in a safe where he can use it later if needed.
  6. Trump Chief Political Advisor, Roger Stone, has agreed to testify against Trump for immunity.
  7. Trump’s son is in trouble for lying to Congress.
  8. Trump’s son-in-law was just fined for lying on documents related to real estate deals.
  9. New York is after Trump for financial misdealings with regards to his foundation.

And these are just the issues from the last 2 weeks.

But don’t forget.  Obama had scandals as well.  He once wore a brown suit.  That was Yuge!

I would bring up how Trump treated John McCain’s death but if you support Trump, I’m sure you found a way to make this okay in your mind.  Good for you.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

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The Tip of the Iceburg

This just in:  Yesterday, Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, tweeted to Giuliani, “Buckle Up Buttercup.”  Basically, the ride has only just started to get good.

The “Trump Witch Hunt” handed in 16 more guilty felony counts yesterday; 8 from his long-time lawyer/fixer and 8 from his campaign manager.  Of these 16 felonies, only one really pointed at Trump.  Cohen said he violated campaign laws at the direction of a Republican presidential candidate in an effort to help that candidate’s campaign.

Small stuff, really.

Isn’t that strange?  The president is accused of being a co-conspirator to commit a felony crime and it’s really the least important and least illegal thing he has likely participated in for decades.

I predict Trump is going to face many, many more problems in the very near future.  I think he’ll be charged with money laundering, bank fraud, tax evasion and treason.

All of this illegal stuff, in my humble opinion, is really not why I dislike him so much.  I think he is a scumbag whose twisted personality is so foul it has reached out and affected the lives of every American.

He has made racism okay.  He’s set back civil rights and discourse back to the 1960’s.  He has damaged NATO which has been able to keep all of us safe for nearly 4 generations.  He’s aligned our country with the lowest of dictators and withdrawn our standing as the Moral Authority in the world.  He’s damaged international trade agreements that will lower the economic wellbeing of the entire world.  He’s actively worked to enable  exploitation of the planet; making it acceptable and even profitable.

And worst of all, he’s pulled back the curtain and exposed something I was in complete denial about – the fact that millions of Americans are completely okay with his behavior and even support it.  Nearly the entire Republican Party, that I was once a member of, has been exposed as enablers of Trump.  As he takes one swing after another at the world order pinata, Republicans gather around to scoop up their share of the ill-gotten candy that bleeds out.  So long as there is candy, they will help him do whatever he wants to do.

Why do I say this?  Watch the news today.  Count how few Republicans step forward to wash their hands of this clown.  Right now Fox News is talking about the 70 new jobs in Met Coal (used to make steel) in PA.  This coal mine has nothing to do with Trump but Fox acts like he just saved the world…while failing to notice Cohen or Manafort.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

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