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Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Day 189. 

Later today our beloved leader is heading overseas on his first foreign trip.  He plans to visits places like Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Vatican, Belgium and Italy.  What could possible go wrong?

Just look at the wonderful week he has just completed.  He fired his FBI Director and had his surrogates lie about the reason.  He then told us why he fired him.  It was because of that “Russian thing”.

The next day he gave away highly classified information to the Russians.  Then he had McMasters go out and lie about that by saying it never happened.  Only the next day admitting that he did give them the information and McMasters then trying to say it was okay to do so.

He met with the Turkish strongman at the White House, then watched as the strongman’s body guards attacked protesters in front of the Turkish Ambassadors residence.  The action he took after this incident was his usual nothing.  Oh, he called the Ambassador to the State Department, but no one was thrown out of the country for the attack.

There is video showing the strongman talking to his body guards before the attack, and then him standing there watching with approval as they attacked the protesters.  Beloved leader must have approved of the attack since he didn’t do anything of consequence in response.

Now he is off on his first foreign trip.  He claims that he is going to try to bridge the differences between the “three great religions”.  Yeah, like that will happen.  He is even going to give a speech about Islam in Saudi Arabia.  And, that speech is being written by one of his advisors who said the Muslim Ban was the best accomplishment of trump’s administration.  He has also said that Islam is not a religion, but rather a disease.  And, he is the one writing the speech on Islam beloved leader is going to give in Saudi Arabia.  What could go wrong?

He is going to visit Israel right after he gave the Russians that highly classified information which NBC News is reporting came from, you guessed it, Israel.  Then, one of his top advisors claimed that the West Wall was not “in Israel it was in the West Bank”.  How’s that for greasing the skids before you visit the country that claims the West Wall as their holiest place on earth.

We also learned that beloved leader wanted to visit Masada.  However, he had to cancel the trip because it turns out that you cannot land his helicopter at the “historical heritage site”.  Why would anyone who knows anything about historical sites and religious sites even contemplate using a helicopter to get there?

While in Italy, beloved leader is going to meet with Pope Francis.  The very Pope that trump doesn’t like and the very Pope that has said some real unflattering things about trump.  What could possibly go wrong?

He is also going to meet with our NATO allies.  Yes, the very alliance that he claims is antiquated and thinks owes us lots and lots of money because he doesn’t understand the alliance agreement.  Additionally, they are going to hammer him on the Paris Accord that is set up to fight climate change.

Our European allies are not thrilled with trump’s plan to “pull out” of the agreement.  As a matter of fact, they are really pissed off at the suggestion of our pulling out.

I also wonder just how he tends to explain that little faux pas about giving the Russians that highly classified information.  How does he explain his willingness to share with the Russians information that we didn’t even share with all of our allies?  That one little thing could spell doom for beloved leader and his attempt to tell NATO how great America is at “leading” the free world.

Since he took office, beloved leader has pissed off our German allies.  He backed the Fascist candidate in the French election.  And, he even managed to piss off our Australian allies.  So, what could possibly go wrong?

It seems funny to me that about the only time I see trump really smiling and having a great time is when he is meeting with dictators.  He smiled broadly when he met with the Turkish strongman.  He really had a great time when he met with the Russians.

But, when he met with the Australians he didn’t smile.  When he met with Angela Merkel, he wouldn’t even shake her hand for the pictures.  And, he never smiled when he was with her.

So, we have a president about to leave on a nine-day, five country trip overseas whose campaign is under criminal and counter espionage investigation for possible collusion with the Russian Hacking.  He is damaged at home over these investigations and his poor handling of the Comey firing.  His lack of care with highly classified information.  And, a legislative record of absolutely no accomplishments.

We are about to be represented by a president who has accomplished nothing, knows nothing, and is totally incompetent.  He has heaped praise on our adversaries and pissed off our allies.

I ask again, what could possibly go wrong?  Maybe those huge cheering crowds when he leaves in the cartoon above are hoping he will never return.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

 

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Day 188. 

Yesterday the Department of Justice announced that they have ordered a Special Counsel to oversea the Russian Hacking and any possible collusion between them and any member of the trump campaign.  That announcement was met with hails of praise about the decision.

I agree that we do need a special counsel or special prosecutor because it is time we actually find out what happened, who may have been involved, and how we are going to make sure it doesn’t happen again.  And, quite frankly, the Congressional investigations are running at a snail’s pace with no sign they will pick up anytime soon.

We also had a report that Mike Flynn told the trump transition team that he was under investigation by the FBI before he took the position of National Security Advisor.  According to the report, Flynn told the now White House Counsel about the investigation on January 4.  Before the inauguration.

Which begs the question of how could trump still name him as National Security Advisor when he knew Flynn was under investigation for his time as an unregistered foreign agent for Turkey?

We also had a report that Kevin McCarthy, the second in command in the House Republican Caucus told a group of Republicans in 2016 that he thought trump was on Putin’s payroll.

On June 15, 2016 McCarthy said:  “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.”   Some of the Republicans laughed but McCarthy quickly added “swear to God”.  These comments were actually taped by someone, and the tape was listened to and verified by The Washington Post. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is a Californian Republican known in Congress as a fervent defender of Putin and Russia.

When the story first broke both Ryan and McCarthy claimed the conversation “never happened”.  But, when the Post told them they had the tape, they changed their story.  Instead of it never happening, they said it was a “bad attempt at humor”.

This took place exactly one day after the news broke about the hacking of the DNC.  And, right after Ryan and McCarthy came out of a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, who had described a Kremlin tactic of financing populist politicians to undercut Eastern European democratic institutions.

Getting back to yesterday, when the news of the special counsel was first announced, trump seemed to be happy and claimed it would end in total clearance for him and then he could move on with his agenda.  In a written statement he said “A thorough investigation will confirm what we already know — there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity.  I look forward to this matter concluding quickly.”

That story changed big time today.  In his usual Cowardly Lion manner, he tweeted this morning:  “it is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”  Then just to make sure he threw red meat to his base he tweeted:  “With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel (sic) appointed!”

Naturally he gave no indication of any of the so-called “illegal acts” by either Clinton or Obama.  The one thing you can say about the Obama administration is that they were not involved in anything “illegal”.  You may not like the man.  You may even hate his guts.  But, he was never at the center of any scandal nor did he get involved in any illegal acts.  Even Republicans called him “no drama Obama”.

But trump can’t stand the fact that his “team” appears to be neck-deep in Russian scandals.  His former Campaign Manager had dealings with “Russian backed Ukrainian government that was ousted by the people.  There are reports of his money laundering for Russians.  And then we learned that somehow he received a $3 Million mortgage that was mysteriously paid off for him.

Mike Flynn went to Moscow to sit next to Putin at a dinner for RT and was paid
$35,000 for his speech without reporting it.  He was a paid foreign agent for the Turkish government during the campaign and did not register as one.  He reportedly told trump team that he was under investigation before the inauguration.  Then he took the position of National Security Advisor and sat in on highly classified briefings that could have affected his client, and Russia.

As reported, there have been at least 18 undisclosed meeting between the trump transition team and Russian officials including ones involving Kushner, Sessions, and that infamous “phone call” about sanctions Flynn made.  Beloved leader call this a witch-hunt.  He calls this a hoax.  He calls this “fake news”.

To add insult to injury, beloved leader was as the Coast Guard Academy’s graduation ceremony yesterday.  During his speech he complained about how the media was out to get him.  He then bragged, again, about his victory.  He tried to tell the graduates to “fight, fight even when thing are against them”.

That is good advice since his administration wants to slash the Coast Guard’s budget.  They want to cut about $25 billion form the Coast Guard.  Including cutting all of the funding for new equipment the Coast Guard desperately needs.  Yet he had the audacity to claim that the Coast Guard was “necessary to help him fight to keep America Safe”.  Hard to do when you cannot afford the very operations that do that now.

And, all the while, we don’t hear anything of consequence from the Republicans.  Both Ryan and McConnell are fuming over the special counsel appointment because they didn’t want one named.  They both said so many times so they cannot be happy right now.  Still we hear the usual silence from them and their party.

Then we come to the final point.  Mike Pence.  As I wrote the other day, I believe Mike Pence is a co-conspirator in all of this.  I do not believe that Pence was lied to by Flynn but Pence was trying to cover for Flynn.  I believe he knew all along about Flynn’s actions and his not being registered as a foreign agent all the while working for trump and Pence’s campaign.

I further believe that in terms of domestic policy Mike Pence is far more dangerous than trump.  With the way trump behaves, we cannot be sure that he will rubber-stamp anything that Republicans in Congress put in front of him.  We know for certain that Pence will.

During his term as Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence was atrocious.  His poll numbers were at rock bottom which is why most people believe he even took the position as the running mate for trump.  He was the driving force behind the anti-LGBT laws passed in the state.  His track record of voter restriction, anti-LGBT laws and anti-civil rights are well-known.

He is a strong believer that rich people should pay less in taxes than you do.  He believes that health care is a privilege not a right and is in full support of the Americans Without Health Care Act.  If we wind up with a president pence after all of this, we can be sure that our country, domestically at least, will be far worse off than it is now.

As Grover Norquist once said, Mike Pence would be that President with “enough digits to hold a pen and sign everything Republicans put in front of him”.  Some are hoping that Pence will get caught up in all of this as well, and will be forced out.  But, that isn’t all that great either.  Remember the next one in line is none other than that unintelligent wank Paul Ryan.

When Richard Nixon was forced out over the Watergate Scandal, our country had one hope.  We had Gerald Ford sitting as the Vice President.  Ford was a moderate and there was hope that the nation would survive the scandal and get back to normal.  With Pence the sitting Vice President, I  don’t have that same hope for the country.

In the year 2017 we face a real problem.  We have an administration that has tried to “run things” like a dictatorship.  We have a political party, the Republicans, who want to dismantle our democracy.  We have another political party, the Democrats, that react to events rather than planning a real resistance that could put a stop to all of this.

What we really need is some people with cool heads and a plan to fight back.  What we need to have is people who love this country more than they love their party and power.  There are some Democrats who are remaining cool-headed and wanting to get to all of the facts no matter where they lead.  There are beginning to be cracks in the Republican side who want the same thing.

The problem is that there aren’t enough of them yet.  The leadership of the Republican Congress is still hiding their heads in the sand.  Or, should I say they have their heads up their asses.  As a result, we won’t know the extent of this problem for months if not years.

Only, it really doesn’t matter how this all plays out.  If trump is exonerated, he will remain in power and continue his authoritarian form of government.  He will be able to pass laws to “jail” journalists that write things against him, which is what he wants.  He will be able to destroy the country we all love.

If he is found to be involved in this mess, he will be forced out of office, if Republicans have the guts to impeach him and hold a trial in the Senate, and we will end up with president pence.  Which would be no better than having president trump.

Because the 2016 presidential election was a disgusting soap opera instead of a real campaign, we wound up with president trump and vice president mike pence.  As a result, we find ourselves in totally uncharted waters.  There is a major scandal hanging over the White House, and there are no heroes who will ride to our salvation.

To put it very bluntly, no matter what happens from here, we the American People are fucked.  We lose no matter how this plays out.  All of this played out in full during the campaign.  The very fact that trump refused to agree with out intelligence community that is was the Russians who hacked the DNC showed just where his loyalties lay.  His comment about hoping the “Russians would hack Clinton’s emails” showed that he liked the idea Russia was involved.  So, this was all foretold.

The best lesson to take from all of this is how important it is to actually participate in our election process.  Maybe if Americans took their responsibility to get out and vote seriously, we wouldn’t be where we are today.  If you didn’t vote last year and are looking for the real blame, look in the mirror.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

 

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Day 181. 

Am I the only one who sees this mess for what it is?  I watch what is going on with this administration and how Republicans are handling themselves, and I keep believing I am watching a reel of Looney Tunes cartoons.  The plots are so similar, that it cannot be overlooked.

Republicans are still trying to tell us how great their Americans Without Health Care Act is.  The brave ones, and there are few of them, even go through town hall meetings and really don’t listen to what their own constituents are telling them.  They simply stand there and repeat the party line.  The problem is that they don’t even listen to what they are saying.

They keep saying that it is okay to charge people with pre-existing conditions twice or three times as much for health care as long as “healthy” people pay less.  One bozo even said “I had my staff talk to an insurance company who is planning to raise premiums 53 percent next year under the ACA.  They told my staff that if the AHCA passes, they will reduce premiums by 10 percent”.  Think about that statement for just one minute.

This clown is trying to tell you that you will see a 10 percent DECREASE in your premiums if the AHCA becomes law.  Simple logic tells us that you can only decrease premiums if you decrease coverage.  That means that if the AHCA becomes law, you will see a decrease in premiums if you accept less coverage for your money.

Republicans are acting more like Wiley Coyote making his plans to catch the road runner.  Problem is, he never catches the road runner and usually winds up the victim of his own plans by having a boulder fall on him instead of the road runner.  Their so-called health care plan is so full of holes that it couldn’t hold water if the water was first placed in plastic bags.  The only real problem is that the bolder is about to land on Americans this time.

Then we have our beloved leader.  He reminds me too much of Elmer Fudd “huntin wabbits”.  This version of Elmer Fudd keeps looking down holes in the ground thinking he will find a wabbit to catch and put on display.  That is his idea of how to extricate himself from his horrible decisions, and his lies, and his connections with an enemy of our country.

If you keep chasing wabbits, and get the media to look down the holes with you, they won’t see what is really going on.  That became really apparent with the Comey firing.  The explanations that he has put forth for the reason for the firing are even worse than the Republicans plan to catch the road runner.

This version of Elmer Fudd has no idea of how to catch a wabbit than the original did.  He keeps plodding along throwing accusations around like candy at a children’s party and hoping one will actually stick.

From all reports, including one that had over 30 informants from the governmens say openly that Comey was fired because he was getting too close on the Russia investigation.  The reports say that Comey was fired simply because trump was furious that Comey would not defend the president and shield beloved leader from the investigation.

The hunting party that trump has surrounded himself with couldn’t give one complete reason for the firing.  I counted at least five different versions of why Comey was fired.  The firing was handled so ineptly, even his propaganda minister, Sean Spicer, had to huddle with his staff behind bushes to figure out what happened.  Then he held a brief “news conference” that wasn’t a news conference on the lawn to explain why Comey was fired.

He held his news conference in the dark without any cameras rolling because he didn’t want his boss see him on television.  The next morning, he was contradicted more than once by others in the administration.

I believe we finally heard the exact reason why Comey was fired.  That came from Foghorn Leghorn, Kellyanne Conway, who clearly stated that “the president expects people in his administration to be loyal to him”.  That sums up all of the bullshit that the administration has been pumping out.  Comey was fired because trump was furious that in trump’s warped mind, Comey was not being loyal to trump.  That is the only reason he was fired.

Finally we have Elmer Fudd meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister and with the very ambassador who is behind the Russian investigation in the Oval Office yesterday.  That in itself wasn’t something that bothered me.  However, when trump banned U.S. Journalists from the meeting but let Russian journalists in is something that is troublesome.

The only photos of the meeting are provided by TASS.  If you are not old enough to understand, TASS was the official news propaganda machine for the Old Soviet Union.  They were allowed into the meeting and our journalists were not.  What is wrong with that picture?  You can bet your ass that if the meeting was held in the Kremlin, there is no way trump’s hero Putin would allow American press into the meeting and not his own press.

Additionally, the Foreign Minister actually made a joke over the Comey firing.  When asked about it he said “He was fired?” then smiled as he and our empty suit Secretary of State walked away.  The photos also showed that the three of them, two Russians and trump were having a great time back slapping and laughing.  We can only guess what they were so happy about.

But, Elmer Fudd did it again.  He got the news media to look down another empty hole in the ground looking for that damn wabbit, and they fell for it, again.

We are going to be asked to look down more empty holes in an attempt to get Elmer Fudd to catch that waskily wabbit.  The next will be his commission he wants to name to look into the phantom “massive voter fraud” problem in our country, which doesn’t exist.

If we are going to have to watch old Looney Tunes cartoons with this administration, what we need is someone in the media and someone in Congress at least as smart as Bugs Bunny to foil Elmer’s attempts to catch him and shine the light on Elmer’s goofyness.

The biggest problem with having to watch this new version of Looney Tunes is that it isn’t funny.  It is downright scary and dangerous.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

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Day 178. 

This administration is very good at exercising conflict of interest in order to line their own pockets.  We have seen instances of one advisor advertising Ivanka’s products on air.  And, we have seen a U.S. department advertising for Mar A Lago on its website.

However, Jared Kushner and his family have gone even further.  They are actively “selling visas” in China in order to get more money for their projects and line their own pockets.  There is something called the EB-5 visa program.  This program awards foreign investors the right to live in the United States for two years and a path to permanent residency, in exchange for investments of at least $500,000 in American development projects.

This program was instituted in order to finance projects in economically troubled neighborhoods.  It has instead turned into a form of cheap financing for luxury real estate developers.  Applicants are primarily seeking the visa, so they do not seek a significant return on their investment.

The United States Government Accountability Office, the investigative branch of Congress, has criticized the visa program for its lax safeguards against illicit sources of money.  It is informally known as the “Visas For Sale Program”.

The Kushner family has used this program in the past as well.  They raised about $50 million from Chinese investors in EB-5 funding for another project in Jersey City, a Trump-branded luxury apartment tower that opened in late 2016.

Now the company is at it again in China.  They held one “investor program” in Beijing, and one in Shanghai.  In both instances, there was a very clear mention of the EB-5 Visa program to lure in more investors.  The Kushner company claimed is was just an investor program and not political.

But, to Bi Ting, who attended the event, part of the appeal was political: Jared Kushner is the son-in-law of — and a powerful adviser to — President Trump. Virtually unheard-of in China just months ago, he is now known here as a deeply influential figure in American politics.

When they held the event in Beijing, reporters for the Washington Post and the New York Times were escorted out of the gathering.  In Shanghai, the press was kept out of the event and kept in an elevator lobby.  I guess the Kushners didn’t want the press to know what they were up to.

Still, leaks come out anyway.  Some who attended described an investor pitch similar to the one in Beijing, and Mr. Trump’s political power was palpable at the Shanghai event even if his name went unsaid. As on Saturday in Beijing, one slide presented to the Shanghai audience on Sunday showed a photograph of Mr. Trump when describing who will decide the future of the visa program for foreign investors, according to a snapshot taken by an audience member.

As you can see, this is not something that is totally unusual.  And, you will also note that Jared Kushner claims to have stepped away from the day-to-day control of the family’s businesses.  But, it still gives off a very dark optic at the very least.

While Kushner’s star keeps rising in the administration, his family is trying to sell visas to rich Chinese who want to come to the U.S. anyway.  This is also at a time when Kushner’s father-in-law is supposedly trying to close our borders to immigrants.

With all of the screaming about Latino immigration, what you are not hearing is that about three-quarters of the 10,000 investor visas were issued to Chinese.  So, it shows that if you have money to invest in this country, you can purchase your visa along with your investment.

If you are a family like the trumps or the Kushners, you simply need to go to China and sell U.S. visas in order to get money to build your projects.  If you are president, or a very powerful advisor to the president, it is much easier to get your money by selling visas.  And, then you claim that you aren’t personally involved in the day-to-day operations of the company.

That way you can claim, falsely in my opinion, that you are not involved in a conflict of interest.  Even though you are still receiving huge profits from the company into your personal pockets.  How convenient.

Of course Jared is not the only Kushner doing business with China from the White House.  His wife Ivanka has also done deals with China from the White House.  She was miraculously granted a shit-load of branding trade marks in China the very day she sat next to the Chinese President at dinner at Mar A Lago.

Jared’s power in the West Wing is growing each day.  One of the things that he is supposedly responsible for is matters dealing with China.  How convenient.  I wonder, if the fact that his daddy-in-law refused to name China a “currency manipulator” as he promised relentlessly on the campaign trail was really the result of Jared’s instance.  Especially in light of these “investor events” selling visas to Chinese for money to finance Kushner projects.

If anyone is wondering why there is a big hoopla over the conflicts of interest this administration has, this is a good example of why that hoopla is necessary.  How is it possible for us to believe that any decisions on China is in the best interest of the nation and not in the best interest of Kushner businesses?  Or, trump’s businesses for that matter.

These types of actions are becoming all too common for the president’s family and other members of his administration.  The head of the HHS has been shown to be guilty of insider trading when he was a Congressman.  No, he wasn’t convicted in court, but he was convicted in the court of public opinion.  Buying stock and then passing laws to benefit the company you just bought stock in is considered insider trading by any definition.

We are not even at the four-month mark of this administration.  And, yet, we seem to be saddled with the most corrupt administration in my living memory.  Yet, no one really seems to care and that is the real problem.

Beloved leader will tell you that he cannot be accused of conflict of interest because he is president.  The Republicans will tell you that people like the Kushners are just using they system and “doing nothing illegal”.  The Kushners will tell you that they are not doing anything that other businesses aren’t doing.

In technical terms they are all correct.  But, in the reality of politics and proper ethics, they are all wrong.  When I was teaching at a Community College in Security Management, I told my students that “integrity is all we have to ensure we do our jobs properly.  If we lose our integrity, we lose our ability to do our jobs correctly”.

The same can be said for politicians, especially the president.  If the president has no integrity, how can the American People trust him to make any decisions that are in their best interests.  How can we believe him if he says we need to attack another country because they have nuclear weapons?  How can we believe him when he says “believe me”?

The answer to all of those questions is that we cannot believe him.  We cannot believe that decisions are made in our interests and not his own financial interests.  We cannot believe him when he says he “cares about us” and wants to make our lives better.  Especially when his actions, and those of his administration, have been to use the office of the president to line their own pockets at our loss.

Beloved leader proved one of his statements correct.  He said “I am probably the only person who can run for president and make money off of the campaign”.  His companies raked in money from his own campaign, so he was right in that aspect.  Now, he is proving that he can also make lots of money off of being president.  And, he doesn’t care if you know it or not.  All that matter to this maniac is his bottom line, not your bottom line.

That is why we see things like the Americans Without Health Care Act pass the House with his blessings.  That is why we see agencies like the EPA being gutted both financially and personal matters so polluters can pollute our water, air and land even more than they already do.  That is why we see his draconian budget that tears apart every program that is intended to make your lives better.

As you can see, conflict of interest comes in many forms.  This administration is openly and blatantly using the office of the president to line their own pockets.  And, like all of the Goldman Sachs former employees who head up our all of finance agencies after causing the economic meltdown 11 years ago, no one will be held accountable.

Ethics and Integrity.  Two essential items necessary to properly govern a country are sorely lacking in this administration.  As a result, they keep getting richer and we keep getting poorer.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

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Day 171. 

The first 100 days of beloved leader’s presidency are finally over.  In those 100 days about the only thing we learned about beloved leader is that he is a total clown with no idea of what the hell he is doing.

The three main items about trump we have learned are Bluster, Incompetence, and Complete Ignorance.  If those are his three main traits, we are all in deep shit.  Included in those three traits is one more.  He is an absolute lousy negotiator.  He couldn’t negotiate his way out of a men’s room.

But, don’t just take my word for it, look at each trait individually.  The day after his inauguration, he complained that no one was giving him credit for “having the largest crowd in history at my inauguration”.  Photographs of his inauguration proved otherwise, but what the hell, he believed it so we should.

Just last night at a rally in Harrisburg, PA he bragged that the crowd set an “all-time record for the arena and that there are thousands of people standing outside who couldn’t get in”.  Only photographs showed the arena was not at capacity.  It holds about 7,000 people, and photographs from the event show about 15 percent of the seats were empty.

Look, there was a large crowd there.  They were even loud and supportive of beloved leader.  But, his bluster couldn’t allow that to come out, he had to openly lie to the people in the arena who could see it was not full.  Yet, they still cheered him and agreed with him.  I guess the arena was never full for any event in its history.  If that is true, then he was right when he said it was an all-time record setter.  If that is not true, then neither is his comment.

He loudly tells us that he is for the “little people”.  But, his first executive order was to increase the cost of mortgage insurance for first-time home buyers making it harder for them to get the mortgage they need.  I am sure all first-time home buyers are thanking him for his support every time they write their mortgage checks out costing them $500 per year more than if he had not signed that stupid order.

Then he allows his EPA chief to let Dow Chemical’s pesticide that affects the development of brains in children and fetus’ to be used on food crops.  This pesticide was banned from food crops under the last administration, but who cares if you child’s brain developes like it should.  Dow Chemical’s profits are far more important than your children’s development.

The EPA has also taken down all of the information about climate change from its website.  It thinks that there is no such thing as climate change so why bother with putting up all of that scientific information that shows they are wrong.

Then under his incompetence, we only need to look at all of the vacancies in the Federal Government.  Of the roughly 459 positions he is required to fill, less than 60 of them have been filled.  There aren’t even any nominations announced for the remaining vacancies.

Additionally, his empty suit Rex Tillerson said that he expects to lay off over 2,000 state department employees.  Beloved leader apparently doesn’t believe that an active state department with real professionals can stop wars.  Which is exactly what their job is.  As whimpering dog Mattis over at Defense actually said “if we don’t have an active State Department, I will need a lot more bullets”.  Even whimpering dog knows we need a State Department that engages with the world.

During his time in office, our beloved leader has managed to piss off our allies like Germany, England, France, Canada, and even Australia.  All the while he is praising the murderer Putin for being a “great leader” as trump likes to call him.

He and his administration told the American People that “we are sending a great armada to the South China sea to show North Korea we mean business”.  Only, that “great armada” was actually heading for exercises with the Australian Navy thousands of miles south of the South China Sea.  The Commander-in-Chief and his whimpering dog Mattis didn’t even know where his fleet was or what they were doing.

Mattis even told us that they made the announcement because the exercise was cancelled so they had to give a reason for cancelling it.  Only, it wasn’t cancelled, and the Vinson and her fleet didn’t head towards Korea until it was over.  How incompetent can you be?

In Syria, his administration said they didn’t mind that Bashaad was in power and that it was up to the Syrian people to decide if they should get rid of him.  Then, Bashaad used chemical weapons on his own people.  So, trump launched a handful of missiles at one of Bashaad’s air bases with very limited results and bragged about being “presidential” over the incident.  He claimed that he had to send the missiles because of the pictures of all of those “beautiful babies” he saw being gassed.  Yet, he won’t let any of those “beautiful babies” to come here to get away from the war.

Then we get to his total ignorance.  We have been staring down North Korea for about 70 years.  Beloved leader seems to want to draw another “red line” in the sand over North Korea.

North Korea has artillery aimed at and in range of Seoul where about half of South Korea’s population lives.  So, in order to show we mean business again, he ordered that a missile defense system be installed in South Korea.  Sounds reasonable especially considering we have over 30,000 troops stationed in South Korea.

Then, he fell back on his gangster mode and claimed that he told South Korea that they should really pay for the missile defense system.  He seems to have left out the part where he would pull it out if they didn’t pay, but the possibility remains loudly in the minds of the South Korean people.

Then, to make matters even worse, he said he would tear up the trade agreement we have with South Korea.  This ignoramus doesn’t understand just how bad he is making relations with one of our best allies.  Does he really think that the South Koreans will be so “strong” in supporting our moves against North Korea if he is going to “tear up” our trade agreements with the South?

Additionally, there are Presidential elections going on in South Korea since their last President was removed from office over corruption charges.  Does he really believe that the winner will be the one who calls out the name trump as a “great leader”?  Rather, it would appear that the winner will be the one who defies and distances themselves from trump the most.  Boy, isn’t that a smart way to win friends.

But, let’s be fair.  He has accomplished a lot in his first 100 days.  He failed to get his Americans Without Health Insurance Act passed because he is a lousy negotiator.  That is a positive for the country.

He was able to get his nomination to the Supreme Court approved.  Of course, his patsy Mitch McConnell had to change Senate rules to achieve that, so it really doesn’t count as a “victory” to me.

He has made “town hall meetings” for his party members almost unbearable.  As a matter of fact, many of his party’s members won’t even hold town halls anymore because they are afraid to face angry crowds.

He has placed a gag order on the employees at EPA so you can never find out about the real effects of climate change or the “sweetheart deals” that Pruitt is making with the fossil fuel companies.

He has removed worker protections from companies who do business with the government.  So if a contractor is guilty of sexual harassment, unequal pay for women, or has a horrible safety record, we won’t know about them and they will get to keep their contracts.

He hired, and then was forced to fire, an unregistered foreign agent to be his National Security Advisor.  Before he was fired, Flynn sat in on highly classified briefings even on briefings that were about the countries for which he was an unregistered foreign agent.

A total of 15 people of his administration have either been fired, resigned, or withdrew their names from consideration for high level posts.  That surely is a record for a president in his first 100 days.  And, we all know how much he loves records.

He has signed more executive orders in his first 100 days than any other president since World War II.  Remember when Republicans claimed that executive orders were nothing more than “a political overreach that flew against the Constitution”?  Funny, we don’t hear the same thing from them now that beloved leader is using executive orders instead of actual legislation.

Finally, he has managed to become the first president who is the subject of a counter espionage investigation concerning his campaign’s collusion with Russia in hacking our national elections.  He managed that in his first 100 days.

All of this shows that we probably have the biggest asshole sitting in the White House in our nation’s history.  The only thing he hasn’t done, yet, is follow his hero Andrew Jackson’s lead who tried make the east coast all white by shipping out all of the Native Americans who lived there.  Only, trump will ship out all Mexicans and Muslims instead of Native Americans.

He has named a fossil fuel company puppet as the head of the EPA.  He has named a public education hater to head up the Department of Education.  He has named an openly proud racist as our Attorney General.  He has placed former Goldman Sachs heads in positions to run our budgets and finances.  You know the company that was the lead in destroying the economy in 2008.

He named a person to head up the Department of Energy who doesn’t even know what the department does, and wants to “get rid of it” anyway.  He fired every District Attorney and has yet to fill one of those vacancies.

He gave a speech about not “tolerating anti-Semitism” in our country, but won’t name one White Supremacist or Neo-Nazi group as domestic terrorists.  Of course these groups all say they are acting as real Christians.  As he liked to say during the campaign, “our president won’t even say the term domestic Christian terrorist”.

The first 100 days of beloved leaders’ administration are finally over.  I won’t blame you if you think it has felt more like 100 years instead of days.  We are saddled with a do-nothing blusterous, incompetent, ignorant idiot in the White House.  Every time he gives a speech using his tele-prompter, I get the feeling I am listening to a first grader reading “see   spot   run”.

That is what we have learned about trump during the first 100 days.   The only question left is will we even have a country left by the 2018 elections?  Considering the first 100 days, that is a reasonable question to ask.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

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Day 169. 

We are almost at the end of the first 100 days of beloved leader’s presidency.  And, in typical trumpian ways, he has done nothing of any good for the 99 percent of Americans who are not rich.  Oh, his administration and especially himself, are touting the first 100 days as being the busiest and best 100 days ever in the history of the presidency.  But, bluster and lies don’t count, and they have accomplished nothing, as Sean Spicer would say, PERIOD.

Yet, they do continue to show just what they think of Americans.  Especially those who are not part of the elite 1 percent of the wealthiest in the country.  They hate us with a complete passion that even Paul Ryan has been smart enough to not display openly.

The latest example came from his “wonderful” tax reform plan.  Well, it was a one page list of wishes complete with absolute lies to make it sound wonderful.  It is really wonderful if you are part of the 1 percenters or if you are a company.  Then, you are overjoyed with what you saw.  If you are not part of one of those two groups, then maybe you shouldn’t be to excited over his wish list.

Oh, his is going to tell you that he isn’t helping the 1 percent too much because he is only bringing down the highest tax rate from 39 percent to 35 percent instead of the 33 percent he promised during the campaign.  But, there are two items in his wish list that will only affect those 1 percenters and bring their taxes down even more and not yours.

The first thing he wants to do is eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax.  That is a tax level that is currently at about 28 percent that was created to keep people, especially the super rich, from getting so many deductions from other loopholes, that they would be required to pay something.  The Alternative Minimum Tax cost trump himself one year $31 million dollars.  No wonder he wants to see it go.

This Alternative Minimum Tax only affects people who earn over $250,000 per year.  So, the 99 percent of the population that does not earn $250,000 per year are not affected by this tax.  It is estimated that eliminating this tax will slash revenues over 600 billion dollars over 10 years.

The second thing is the Estate Tax.  The Estate Tax was implemented because our country was so worried about “inherited” wealth creating an aristocracy that is so prevalent in places like England.  It was intended so people could inherit estates but not become so über rich that they never need contribute to society.

Today, families do not pay any Estate Tax on estates up to $11 million.  Meaning, only the super rich will be faced with estate taxes over that amount.  Again, the 99 percent of Americans do not gain anything from the elimination of the Estate Tax.  But, Republicans and the rich hate it so much they call it the “death tax” and say that you will lose your inheritance if it isn’t repealed.  That is a blatant lie as you can see.

If the Estate Tax were to be repealed, a whopping 5,300 people would be affected, and all of them with estates over $11 million.  Additionally, it is estimated that revenue losses would be about $174 billion.

There are some other little tidbits they don’t want you to know about.  They want to reduce the rate on capital gains and non-corporate business taxes all of which mainly benefit the rich.

Additionally, they want to eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s 3.8 percent surtax on the investment income of high earners, put in place to subsidize health coverage for low-income Americans.  That not only means a nice tax cut for the wealthy, but it would also mean low-income Americans would probably lose their health insurance.

There was one small crumb for the rest of us.  This plan says that the first $25,000 of income would be considered “tax-free”.  But, it doesn’t guarantee the standard deductions would remain in place.  If that is eliminated, for us, this plan would be a wash at best.

Then we have the corporate tax rate being cut down to 15 percent.  The one big item in this phase is that some owner-operated industries would now be allowed to pay the 15 percent corporate rate and not the 35 percent proposed rate for the highest earners.

What does that mean?  Well, for one thing, it means that trump himself would not be subjected to the 35 percent bracket.  He would be able to claim the corporate rate instead.  That goes for a lot of others in the Real Estate business, or even doctors, lawyers, etc.

The plan calls for three tax brackets for individuals.  Those brackets would be 10, 25, and 35 percent.  So, if you now make between $19,000 and $76,000 you currently fall in the 15 percent bracket.  However, there will be no 15 percent bracket.  So, where they draw the lines between brackets could have a positive or negative affect on your taxes.

For example, if they draw the line between 10 percent and 25 percent at $50,000 and you earn more than that, you will pay more taxes.  If you earn $50,000 or less, you may pay less taxes.  The problem is we don’t know where these lines will be drawn.

Yet, experts seem to agree that if this “wish list” of tax cuts goes through, the government will lose over $5 Trillion over the next 10 years.  Beloved Leader’s military build-up plan will cost about half of that total.  Meaning, the deficit will literally explode.

Of course this administration is claiming that these tax cuts will cause the economy to grow about 4 percent.  Their argument is the same as Reagan’s that once rich people have more money, they will invest in creating jobs.  Once companies have more money they will expand production meaning more jobs.  It is simply another example of “voodoo economics” that did not work under Reagan.

As for production ands jobs, let me explain it this way.  Production at our manufacturing plants has doubled since 1984.  That is right, production has doubled since 1984.  However, this production rise is being accomplished with one-third of the workforce that was needed before 1984.

See, free trade agreements are not the only thing killing manufacturing jobs.  The major culprit in killing manufacturing jobs is automation.  By using robots, companies can increase production, and reduce the workforce at the same time.  So all of the talk you keep hearing from Republicans about raising the minimum wage and “regulations” taking your jobs away is complete bullshit.  You are losing your jobs because companies can make more product using robots than using workers.  It is purely a bottom line position.

Beloved leader is no more going to “bring back jobs” than he is going to put coal miners back to work.  It is a fable they are selling, and too many people are buying it.  The real solution is to retrain our workforce to fill positions that cannot automate.  Or, by retraining them to properly handle, maintain, and program the automated assembly line.

That will not happen under trump and Republicans in Congress because that takes money, and since you are not part of the 1 percenters, you don’t deserve to have money spent on you.  As a matter of fact, it might mean no huge tax cuts for the rich, and that is totally unacceptable to Republicans.

In its first 100 days in office, this administration has shown its total disdain for the Average American.  They do not care about you.  They do not care if you have health insurance.  They do not care if you have the proper training to get a good paying job in today’s automated world.  The do not care if you only make minimum wage.  As a matter of fact, the lower your wage the better for them.

None of this is new.  Republicans have been singing this tune ever since Ronald Reagan.  The only thing new about it is we have an administration that doesn’t care if you now know the tune as well.  They are openly daring you to do something about it.  They know the only thing you can do is vote them out of office, and they are counting on you not to care enough to even show up to the polls.

And, that is why 2018 will be so important for the direction of this country and your welfare.  Only voters can stop the madness.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

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Day 163. 

We are quickly approaching the 100 day mark in beloved leader’s presidency.  All through the campaign and at the very beginning of his presidency, he has said over and over that he will accomplish so much in the first 100 days.  He even had something called his contract with America on what will be accomplished during his first 100 days.  I believe there were something like 10 legislative bills he said would be passed.

Well, so far, nothing has been passed.  He made a very feeble attempt at passing a replacement for the ACA, and it crashed and burned even before it could get to the floor of the House and have a vote.  He hasn’t released any information on his tax reforms which he claimed would be passed by now.

He ordered a 90 day review on cybersecurity and promised we would all be very pleased with the results.  No results have come forward, and no one seems to know who is even supposed to conduct this review.  So, one hasn’t even started yet.

Beloved leader claims to have “done more in my first 100 days than anyone in history”.  Which is a blatant lie.  Now he claims that the “first 100 days” thing is a bunch of bullshit.  Maybe because he hasn’t done anything yet.

About the only thing he has accomplished so far is to destroy the EPA and our environmental protections.  He has made it much easier for coal companies to pollute rivers and streams but not at producing more coal.  He has tried to implement his Muslim Ban but has failed at that as well since it was blocked in the courts more than once.

Yes, he did get his terrible nomination to the Supreme Court.  But, as usual, the Republicans had to change and break the rules to get it done.  They proved once again that “they don’t need no stinking rules”.  Something trump loves to hear.

Oh, he launched some missiles at Syria after saying that the dictator could stay as far as trump was concerned.  The damage was so minimal that the Syrian Air Force was carrying out air strikes against the rebels the very next day from that airfield.  Maybe that is because he warned the Russians and therefore the Syrians we were coming.

And, of course, we cannot forget that his administration is under FBI investigation for possibly colluding with the Russians hacking during our elections last year.  I guess that is something he is real proud of as well.

So, as we approach his first 100 day mark, we need to ask what will be his first major “victory” of his administration.  Here are my choices.

First, will he start a war with North Korea?  All of the signs are leaning in that direction.  Only, he doesn’t seem to understand that a war with North Korea would probably include nuclear weapons.  That could cause a global catastrophe.  I really doubt if he fully understands that threat.  I am more inclined to believe that he thinks that would be okay since the nuclear weapons would only be used on Asians anyway.

Second, will he manage to start a war with Iran.  Republicans and trump have been itching for a war with Iran for a very long time.  He want’s to “review” the nuclear deal with Iran even though his own State Department put in writing that Iran is complying with the accord.  Since when does this country pull out of an agreement that is being followed?  Does our word mean nothing anymore?

He claims that Iran isn’t complying with the “spirit” of the accord.  What he really means is they aren’t complying with his “spirit” of the accord.  So, he can just pull out and let Iran get the nuclear weapons this accord has prevented them from getting.  Does that mean that if we pull out of the accord, are we then going to invade Iran on the premise of them wanting nuclear weapons and we are just trying to stop them?  Doesn’t that sound a lot like the second Iraq War that W. got us into and trump blasted during the campaign?

Third, will he finally manage to toss 24 million people from their health care coverage.  He and Republicans are going to try again to pass the Americans Without Health Care Act.  Only this time, because the have allowed the so-called Freedom Caucus to name the conditions, more than 24 million people will lose their coverage.

The Freedom Caucus wants a provision that allows states to opt out of the coverage part for people with pre-existing conditions.  The provision says they must have a “High-Risk Pool” for these people.  But, it doesn’t say how it is to be funded.  Meaning, when a state opts out, insurance companies will have license to price pre-existing conditions out of the market.  So instead of just 24 million people losing their coverage, the number will most likely double.

But don’t worry, trump calls this a “wonderful bill” that will make coverage cheaper for everyone.  People with pre-existing conditions, and those who will lose Medicaid coverage are not considered as part of the “everyone” trump keeps talking about.  Or he believes that having no insurance is “cheaper” since you don’t have to pay premiums.  So what if you get sick.

Fourth, will the administration allow those retired miners to lose their coverage and pensions as we talked about the other day?  Is he going to step up to the plate and ensure they keep their retirement benefits or just throw them to the side of the road like everyone else who isn’t rich?  Can we consider that a “major victory” for trump because it will save a whopping 200 million dollars per year?

Fifth, will he cause a government shutdown at the end of next week.  As of midnight next Friday night, the government money will run out.  If there isn’t a continuing resolution, the government will shutdown again.  And, if it does shutdown it will be trump and the Republicans fault full stop.

The only thing that needs to be done is a continuing resolution that funds the government through the end of the fiscal year.  That is all.  But, Republicans and now trump love to throw in “poison pills” that hurt people just to say they are “standing on principle”.  They simply cannot allow a continuing resolution to pass cleanly and try to get their pet projects through normal channels.

This time, trump seems to be the trigger.  He wants his money to build his damn Berlin Wall.  He is even threatening to stop paying the subsidies in the ACA if he doesn’t get the money.  That would mean that millions of poor people, working poor people, and middle-class people would immediately lose their health care coverage because they wouldn’t be able to afford their premiums.

I mean really?  Beloved leader hates Latinos so much that he is willing to let you lose your health care coverage?  There are ways to fund projects, but holding hostage half of America is not the way it is supposed to be done.  You simply put together a plan and a bill, take it down to Congress, and fight like hell to get what you want.

The problem with this simple legislative way the government is supposed to work is that Republicans abandoned that principle 40 years ago.  Now, they simply want to hold America hostage and hold their breath until they get what they want.  They think it is much easier that way.  And, the only people who will be hurt by their tactics are the “little people”, not themselves.

Those are my five favorites of what would be trump’s “major victory” during his first 100 days in office.  He hasn’t proposed any meaningful legislation.  He hasn’t issued any Executive Orders that does anything except help pollute the planet and make the rich richer.

He has made sure that the “swamp” he promised to drain is overflowing its banks right now.  Corruption and unethical behavior are running rampant in his administration.  So, maybe he is right when he says that he has done more than anyone else in history.  I haven’t seen so much corruption and unethical behavior surface so fast in an administration in my lifetime.

I have said before that the first 100 days thing doesn’t mean much to me.  I am more interested in being shown that the person in the White House has some kind of plan and is ready with some real legislation to push the plan forward.  Beloved leader doesn’t seem to have a plan, and he has no legislation to put forward.

His backers say he is “learning on the job”.  I say it shows his incompetence.  He has shown me only that he is interested in making the rich, like himself, richer.  He is interested in destroying our planet by tearing down environmental protections that have taken decades to implement.  He is interested in allowing a foreign oil company take land away from private farmers in America to build a pipeline that will produce not one drop of gasoline for our country.  It is all going to be exported.

He has shown disdain for the Average American by trying to take away their Health Care Coverage and polluting their drinking water and poison the air they breath all in the name of profits for the insurance companies and the polluters.

I seriously doubt that trump will manage to accomplish even one of these five options.  He doesn’t have the competence to accomplish anything and he is proving that day-by-day.  Which could be a good thing for us.  Because any one of the five options above would be disastrous for the American People.  Especially to most of the very people who voted for him.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

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