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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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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No Collusion, No Puppet

This just in: It appears that the Mueller report could not find enough evidence to charge Trump with Collusion with Russia. The report, what we know of it thus far, did state specifically that it did not exonerate Trump from the charge of Obstruction.

Of course, in the face of direct evidence to the contrary, Trump goes on tour and announces “The report completely exonerates me!” And his followers go wild.

I have long suspected that Trump did not have a collusion agreement with Russia. My primary reason for this is that Trump is not intellectually capable of such a complicated plot. What I do suspect is that Trump is what Hillary claimed in the debates – A puppet for Putin. And…Trump is not even aware of this. Putin strokes Trump just right and Trump does what Putin wants.

But let’s forget about Russia. If Russia didn’t exist, would Trump be a good president?

I would argue the following short list off the top of my head makes him unqualified:

Subverting the Constitution to spend money not authorized by Congress to build a border wall.

Statements like “There are good people on both sides” when referring to white supremacists and counter protesters.

When given the choice between compassion and cruelty, he chooses the latter. Note: Families seeking asylum at the southern border or Puerto Rico.

Cutting off aid to Central American countries in an effort to stop immigration. Completely ignoring the fact that this aid was helping to stem immigration to begin with.

Promotes “healthy asbestos” and “Vaccines cause Autism”.

Denies climate change and does everything in his power to promote the carbon industry while squashing the Green industries.

Lies constantly. For example, just before the 2018 elections he announced that they were working on a major tax cut of 10% for middle class families. This only existed in his head. Now he is claiming a great healthcare plan with better coverage and lower costs. To see it, all you need to do is re-elect him in 2020.

Supports brutal dictators around the world in places like Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and North Korea.

Does not even pretend to be president for All Americans. You are either on his team or you are the enemy.

Supported a tax bill that adds trillions to our national debt while benefiting only the already very rich.

Likes to “grab them by the pussy” because when you’re famous you can get away with it.

Opposes the entire world by withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord.

Calls members of Congress names in very much the same way a schoolyard bully would do.

Belittles our NATO allies and often muses about getting out.

Turned over our role as an international trade leader to China.

I could go on and on. My point is that the “Russia Thing” is just a small slice of Trump’s complete Pie of Incompetence.

Just a note on his healthcare plan. First of all, there is no plan. The Republicans have had 10 years to come up with a plan and the best they can do is “No, you shut up.” Anyway, Rick Scott has been put in charge of this. When asked how his plan is shaping up, he basically said, “Our plan, that does not exist, would be great except Nancy Pelosi will block it at some point in the future.”

He is actually blaming Pelosi for something she didn’t do to something he hasn’t created.

And yet…there are still people out there that vote for Republicans.

Amazing.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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I’m Confused

This just in: Every now and then, I’m having a conversation with someone and my conscious mind leaves the room. Then I hear something like “Don’t you agree,” to which I nearly always answer with “North Dakota.”

There are other things that I either don’t understand or can’t quite get my head around.

For example, I see the U.K. and the E.U. as members of “my team.” I want them to succeed just like I want the United States to succeed. Their success is our success. This is why the Brexit thing has bothered me. This is like a lose-lose-lose situation.

Why would anyone in the U.K. want out of the E.U.?

I saw an interview that may shed some light on this.

Reporter: “Why did you vote in favor of the U.K. leaving the E.U.?”

Girl: “Well, I heard that they were trying to tell us what chicken eggs we have to buy.”

That’s it! I actually saw this interview.

Meanwhile, people in the U.K. are asking people in the U.S. why they support a president that ignores intelligence briefings in favor of notes passed to him from Putin or Fox and Friends.

Reporter: “Why do you support Trump?”

American: “He says what’s on his mind.”

It should be noted that the homeless man sleeping on the front porch of Macy’s in San Francisco has the exact same qualifications.

And here is one I came across while learning Chinese. There are about 50 ways to say “chi” in Chinese and they all mean something different.

For example: “Chi chi chi chi….chi, chi” Means “I went to the market today and the fish was old but they had Caramel Ice cream.”

The response to this statement is: “Chi….chi-chi!!!” which translates, as far as I can tell, into “North Dakota.”

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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The Hidden Reason for the Trump/McConnell shutdown

This just in: If you believe that Trickle-Down Economics is a sound theory that actually works, stop reading now since this simply written blog is about to fly right over your 3rd grade level of economics.

Let’s set the stage…

When the Republican Party took over the House and the Senate, they changed the way their economic policies are graded.

Under Democrats, a policy would have its outcome predicted in advance. If the results came out different, there would be some “splaining” to do. Congress would have to admit that their actions were wrong and promise to do better in the future.

Under Republicans, this was changed to “Dynamic Scoring.” This means they could make a prediction about an outcome (as before) but now, they could readjust their prediction about the outcome once it actually happened. It allowed them to rewrite history so they would always be right.

Step 2 was to pass a massive tax cut for the rich.

The predictions in advance said everyone would get huge tax breaks and the economy would grow upwards of 5% per year. This is a huge rate of growth. Republicans also said that the increased economic activity would easily pay off the predicted multi-trillion dollar debt that would build up if things didn’t work out.

The result of the tax break is clear. Almost no one got a raise unless they were already rich. The debt is soaring out of control at a record pace. And as every educated economist predicted, our economy is heading into a recession now that the short term benefit of the tax break have passed.

These results are like a billboard on every highway in America that says, “Republicans have no idea what they are doing!!”

Now…let’s get back to that Dynamic Scoring…

I just read a headline that says “Even Republicans are fearing that the economy will have ZERO growth this year…”

But wait! There’s more.

According to Republicans, the reason growth will drop to ZERO is not because of the Tax Scam. No…they are saying, “We were right about the tax break causing huge growth. That is going just as expected…except the Government Shutdown is countering that growth so it will be ZERO. Thank goodness we passed that tax scam/bill.”

See what they are doing? They are acting as if the tax cut worked so the Republicans will bear no blame for the coming recession. Also, by blaming the shutdown, they hope to smear a least of bit of the blame on Democrats.

This also explains why Mitch McConnell is as interested in keeping this shutdown going as Trump. Trump is having a tantrum. Mitch is trying to hide his role in the coming recession.

So there you have it – Why the government is shutdown.

Yes, there are other reasons: (1) Russia told Trump to shut it down, (2) Trump needs a distraction from the Mueller probe.

I was going to add that Trump needed a distraction from the Cohen testimony but witness tampering by the President of the United States put an end to that threat.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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And the Wall…came tumbling down

This just in: I know it’s been talked to death but I have a few words on the government shutdown and Trump’s wall.

Let’s start with this…”Tell them we will build a wall.” This is how Trump’s handlers got him to remember to talk about immigration during the campaign. It’s like saying, “Remember, a lot of our base is racist so you need to give them something racist to cheer about.”

Trump first said “We are going to build a wall” and then marvelled at how the crowd reacted. He then ad-libbed “And Mexico is going to pay for it” and the crowd went wild.

This reaction imprinted the idea of a wall on Trump’s infant mind.

Some facts:

  1. There is no crisis at the southern border. I won’t go into details. There is plenty of data about this. So, if you don’t believe me, then you are just listening to Trump or Fox News and there is no help for you.
  2. Trump sent Congress a budget, they came back and gave him what he asked for. But, in the meantime, Trump watched some TV and found that a couple of conservative talk show hosts scolded him for not getting a wall. When Congress came to Trump and said, “Here is what you asked for” Trump said…I have decided I also want a wall.
  3. If you want our country to be safe, pay the Coast Guard who is currently not being paid.
  4. If you want our country to be safe, pay TSA agents who are currently not being paid.
  5. The shutdown directly affects 800,000 paychecks from people that work for the government. However, millions are feeling the impact indirectly or as government services stop.

Now, It’s okay for the president to veto a budget submitted to him by Congress. If Congress really wants something but the president vetoes them, then Congress can override his veto with a 67% vote.

Mitch McConnell will not even allow this vote to take place. This, even though they had a nearly 100% approval of the budget sent to Trump.

McConnell won’t hold this vote because it will force some senators to either publicly vote for the government shutdown (in support of Trump) or it will make senators publicly vote against Trump, thus earning them nicknames.

It’s clear to me that the public wants the shutdown to end.

It’s clear to me that the public does not want a wall.

It’s clear to me that Trump is stuck in some alternative reality where he thinks he is actually a great negotiator.

It’s clear to me that if Congress actually represented the public, they would allow an override vote of Trump’s veto.

It’s clear to me that the Republican Party is afraid of Trump.

And sadly, its clear to me that about 38% of Americans are okay with all of this and thus….we are being governed by the minority.

Conclusion: The Republican Party is far more interested in power and keeping their jobs than they are in actually doing their jobs and promoting a true Democratic government.

Just sayin…

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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Where are the Republicans?

This just in: Yesterday, the Republican Party peeked out from under its rock and condemned the racist remarks of Steve King, one of their own. Following that…they slipped back into the darkness with a smug sense of “Mission Accomplished.”

I’m left wondering, “Is that it? Is that all they think their job is…naming post offices and occasionally pretending to condemn racism?”

They are supposed to make our laws. They are supposed to spend our taxes. They are supposed to represent a Checks-And-Balances on the other branches of the government. In fact, each of the 3 branches is supposed to keep the other branches from things like….treason, for example.

Checks and Balances….I guess that is what I’m missing most right now. Let’s look at a few ways the Republican Party is failing in this endeavour…

Word has just leaked out that Trump has been asking aides for the last year if he can pull the United States out of NATO. Where are the Republicans?

Is has recently been released that Trump has kept all notes from his Putin meetings so that no record exists of what has transpired between these two over the last 2 years. Where are the Republicans?

The New York Times reports that the FBI initiated an investigation into Trump as a possible agent for Russia following his firing of Comey. Where are the Republicans?

Trump has allowed the crown prince of Saudi Arabia to get away with murdering a reporter that lives in the United States. Where are the Republicans.

Trump is holding the government hostage for a wall. Congress has the votes to override his veto and reopen the government. This is up to Mitch McConnell to do. He won’t. Where are the Republicans?

Trump has numerous violations of the emolument clause of the Constitution. He is using his position as president to make money from foreign countries. This is blatantly illegal. Where are the Republicans?

Trump has pulled out of nearly every international trade agreement. Where are the Republicans?

Trump has put tariffs in place starting a global trade war. He is only allowed to do this in the interest of national security. There is no emergency and the tariffs are hurting our economy. Where are the Republicans?

Trump uses racist language all the time. Where are the Republicans?

Trump is separating families at the border; putting children in prison-like camps. Where are the Republicans?

Trump announces, after ZERO consultation, that he is pulling all of our troops out of Syria. Where are the Republicans.

Trump is lying openly about the danger posed by our southern border. Where are the Republicans?

Oh wait!!! I found them!!

While all of this Trump stuff was going on…the Republicans…

  1. Passed a tax cut for the very, very rich which is driving our national debt up at a record pace.
  2. They conducted an investigation on Russian meddling in the 2016 election and quickly decided that nothing happened. This, as Mueller, investigating the same thing, is cranking out one indictment after another.

Aside from that…the Republican Party has been conspicuously absent. There is a reason for this – They fear Trump’s maniac base. If they cross Trump, he will give them a nickname and they will then lose their next election.

So, the Republican Party has elected to let Trump go unchecked; even as he tries to pull us out of NATO, just to protect their jobs.

We are governed by cowards.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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Danger Will Robinson, Danger!

This just in:  Today, I’d like to piggy-back on my post from yesterday where I wrote about the abrupt decision to take our troops out of Syria.

A lot has happened since then.

First, I learned a lot about the value of those troops in Syria.  I now understand why many are calling this move the biggest foreign policy blunder in decades.

I also learned that Trump took a call from Erdogan, Turkey’s dictator.  It seems that Erdogan has wanted to go into Syria and kill all of our allies, the Kurds.  Only our troops presence has stopped him.  So, Erdogan calls Trump and the next thing you know, out come our troops.

I also leaned that later yesterday, Putin praised Trump’s move to take the troops out of Syria.  In the press conference, Putin said we should take troops out of Afghanistan as well.  Three hours later, Trump announces we are pulling troops out of Afghanistan.

Also yesterday, Trump signaled to the GOP that he would sign a stop-gag bill to fund the government into February even if it had no money for his wall or moat or whatever primeval device he wants.  Then  Fox News, Conservative pundits like Laura Ingram, Anne Coulter and Rush Limbaugh got on the airwaves and said, “Trump’s base will leave him if he gives in on this wall issue.”  A couple of hours later, Trump did a 180 and decided that he will let the government shut down even though his own party strongly disagrees with him.

As for the Secretary of Defense, he quit citing that he (Matis) thinks we should support our allies and not give in to our enemies.  Matis went on to say that these beliefs were not in keeping with Trump’s beliefs.  Think about that.

Note that Trump has lost 13 cabinet level members in 2 years.  That is more than the 3 previous administrations lost in 24 years combined!

All of this is just my observations.  Go online and find all the sources that you want.

Reach your own conclusion.

My conclusion is this: (1) Trump works for Putin, (2) Trump is a coward and is backing out of Syria to avoid a conflict with Turkey (3) Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox, is as much our president as Trump or Putin and here is the biggie…(4) Losing Matis as Secretary of Defense will allow Trump to put in a lapdog that will agree with any insane idea that pops into Trump’s tiny little mind.

The world has suddenly become a very dangerous place.

Time to save it.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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