Archive for the ‘Taxes’ Category

Day 96. 

The only question to ask today is “is this the end of the beginning, or is it the beginning of the end?”  I don’t ask that question lightly either.  The problem is that even with Flynn’s resignation, there are still way too many questions about the situation, and how trump handles classified information as well.

Let’s start here.  The Yemen raid was supposedly discussed over dinner.  That in itself isn’t a problem, but who was at the dinner and where it was held is a question.  As I have written before, I do not see any reason why Kushner was present.  Nor do I understand how the president could discuss and then make his decision without a full briefing from the entire security staff in a non-secure space.  Having dinner outside a SCIF to discuss such a raid is very troubling, at least to me.

Then we have what happened over the weekend.  As you probably heard, the Prime Minister of Japan was visiting.  Our beloved leader took him to Mar-a-Lago for a weekend of golf.  While they were having dinner on an outside patio, North Korea launched their missile test.

In another breach of security, the president and the Prime Minister started talking about the launch and their reaction to it at the dinner table.  According to reports, the president’s staff began bringing documents about the launch to the table and other guests were milling around and taking pictures.  There are even pictures of staff holding cell phones to light up the documents so they could read them.

We don’t know what was in the documents, and we probably never will.  I don’t even want to claim that the information was classified, but the optics of just how lackadaisical the president seems to hold such discussions is very troubling.

Then late list night, Mike Flynn resigned his position over the Russia scandal that he started.  I am sure that trump and his team will consider the matter closed.  But it is not closed and we the people cannot let it end with Flynn’s resignation.

There was something very odd about his letter of resignation.  It wasn’t what he said in the letter, it was what he did not say.  In his letter he wrote:

Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador. I have sincerely apologized to the President and the Vice President, and they have accepted my apology.

He admits that he misled the Vice President Elect.  However, he does not admit that he misled the president-elect.  That is a glaring omission to me.  If you are resigning because you lied to your boss, why didn’t you mention his name in your letter?  If I were Pence, today I would be demanding and explanation from trump about that omission!

This all means that there are way too many questions about this whole mess that still need to be answered.  As we discussed, “What did the President know and when did he know it?”  Additionally, why did the president take so long to do something about this?  We never heard anything from trump about this matter right up to Flynn’s resignation, except a lie when he sad “I didn’t see that report”.

According to our intelligence communities, Flynn also had contact with the Russians during the campaign.  That is extremely troubling.  Especially when you consider the fact that our intelligence agencies say Russia was behind the hacks during the campaign and that Russia was trying to influence the election in trump’s favor.

So, was Flynn and/or trump actually coordinating the campaign with Putin and the Russians?  Was there any illegal activity between the two parties during the election?  If there was any coordination, then there were a whole bunch of laws broken.

Then we have the fact that Flynn talked to the Russian Ambassador about the sanctions that the Obama Administration was going to impose on Russia over the election interference.  I am sorry, but I do not believe that trump did not know about the phone calls.  I can’t even say I believe that trump did not order the phone calls.

Furthermore, it was also reported last night that Sally Yates, the Acting Secretary of the Department of Justice warned the White House about Flynn.  According to the report, she said that Flynn was “compromised and could be subject to blackmail from Russia.”  She gave the warning last month.  With that information in hand, the White House did nothing!

Then, Yates said she believed the travel ban that trump ordered was not constitutional and would not defend it.  Right after that, trump fired her.  Question – Was she fired due to her not defending a law she considered unconstitutional or because she ratted out Flynn?

And, who are the ones crying the most about Flynn’s resignation?  The Russians!  There have been some very interesting tweets from Russian lawmakers about what they are calling “Flynn’s Retirement”.  One even said he was forced out because of “Russophobia”.

This mess has become so bad, I have to wonder if we can trust trump or anyone in his administration on anything?  What makes them think that the American People are so stupid as to not see through the veil they are trying to place over everything.

Our beloved leader is a disaster when it comes to national security.  He keeps saying that his travel ban and his round up of undocumented immigrants are all designed to “keep America safe”.  Yet, when you look at the overall picture, you will discover that the biggest threat to our country’s safety and security is our beloved leader.

We now have a president who really believes that he is above the law.  He believes that we, the American People will just fold up our tents and follow him wherever he decides to lead us.  That became very apparent when one of his top advisers, Miller, said on national TV that the president’s orders are “unquestionable”.

The media and other pundits keep saying that the administration just doesn’t know what they are saying.  They try to give us the impression that they are just getting their feet under themselves.  That they are learning a real tough job on the job.

Do not believe this bullshit!  THE ADMINISTRATION KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT IT IS DOING!  Their campaign against the media and the judicial system has only one goal.  Make people distrust those institutions so they can ignore the media and the courts and just do what they want.

The whole process behind their methods is to establish an authoritarian government.  Our beloved leader does not want to have to deal with a court system that challenges his unconstitutional actions.  He does not want a media that tells the people what lies are being forced down their throats.  He does not want a Congress who will stop his agenda.

He explained everything very well during the campaign.  He said:  “ONLY I CAN FIX OUR PROBLEMS”.  Once the election was over, he started taking steps to do just that.  He began taking steps to make it possible for him to make all decisions and do whatever he wants because he wants to be dictator.

Congress needs to act on the mess.  They need to investigate just what the hell happened and who knew what and when.  This is way too big for normal committee to investigate.  We need a Special Committee with a Special Prosecutor to get to the bottom of this sink hole.

Yesterday was only the fourth Monday of the trump presidency.  And, in that short four weeks, we already have a potential constitutional crisis like we haven’t had in about 50 years.

I don’t care if you are a Democrat or Republican.  I don’t care if you are a conservative or a liberal.  You can not close your eyes to this potential explosive mess that was created by trump and his administration.

We cannot accept any more excuses.  We cannot keep explaining away these breaches in protocol or security.  Our president is a disaster and he needs to start explaining himself.

If you are willing to accept Flynn’s resignation and let the matter go, then you cannot call yourself a patriot!  Patriots don’t sit around and let a president establish his authoritarian government without screaming back, NO YOU DON’T!

Are you listening Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell?  Our president ran his campaign on fear and hate.  He is running his presidency on fear and hate.  He keeps talking about “security” as something behind all of his actions.  But, his actions have either been unlawful or inhumane.  Is that the kind of president you really want in the Oval Office?

This is not being limited to just “national security” matters either.  Our entire government is under threat.  The Justice Department has already cancelled a case involving LGBT rights.  They have put on hold other cases about voting rights and abortion rights.

If you are concerned about anything special, it will be under attack in the near future by this administration.  Even “conservative” ideas since trump is not really conservative.

I warn you.  Be very concerned with any administration that claims that everything they do is in the name of “national security”.  That is just a cover to sidestep the constitution and the laws.

Remember the warning from Benjamin Franklin.  “If you are willing to give up some freedoms for security, you will soon discover that you have neither”.  We are being forced by our president to make that choice today.

If you read this and think I am pissed off, you are right.  This is not the America I served, and not the America I want my grandchildren to grow up in.  All things begin at the top.  I do not believe Flynn acted alone.  I believe trump knew what he was doing.  I don’t know for sure, which is why we need the investigations.  We need to find out the truth.

And, the shirts keep marching along!



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Day 83.

A lot of things happened again yesterday, and not many of them were good for the country.  The biggest news should have been the nominee for the Supreme Court.  Neil Gorsuch was named as the nominee.  There will be plenty of time to get into this pick, but I am not going to say a lot today.  I need to review his record more before making serious comments.

However, from what I have researched so far, if you like the idea of a religious state, and allowing discrimination against anyone who does not share your narrow views of religion, you will love Gorsuch.  Some people are calling him Scalia 2.0.  But, at first glance he is even worse than Scalia when it comes to civil liberties for every citizen.

As I said, we will have more on Gorsuch as time goes on.  I need more research on his record so I am going to take my time on this matter.  Though I will say that since the only real “vetting” of him was from the right-wing Federalists, it doesn’t look good if you love all of our freedoms.

There was other news that we cannot stop looking just because trump nominated someone for SCOTUS.  The nomination was supposed to take place tomorrow, but his weekend was so bad with his unconstitutional executive order, he needed to change the subject and hope we wouldn’t notice the rest of the shit happening.

The Dissent Chain memo at the State Department now has about 1,000 signatures on it.  It was first reported that 100 employees were going to sign it, but that number rose significantly and more people are reportedly eager to sign it as well.

That will place all of these people in trump’s crosshairs.  They are risking their careers to show dissent against the immigration order.  Yes, it is true that in State, this dissent channel is supposed to “protect” employees who express dissent, but with trump and his henchmen in charge, there is nothing to stop him from trying to “get them”.

Then we have the problem of the nominations for HHS and Treasury.  Yesterday, the Democrats on the finance Committee boycotted the hearing that was supposed to vote on these two nominations.  They boycotted because the day before, reports and evidence said that both Price and Mnuchin lied to the committee in their hearings.

Democrats wanted them to be recalled to explain their lies.  Republicans hated the idea and did nothing except complain about Democrats using the same tactics they used in 2013 in a hearing for the EPA Secretary.  Oh, yeah, Republicans boycotted a hearing trying to get their way.

Only Democrats did not do what Republicans did today.  In an effort to show their support for their dictator in waiting, Republicans changed the rules for the committee that said they didn’t need any Democrats to attend to form a quorum.

As a result of this rule change, both were approved by Republicans on the committee by a 14 – 0 vote.  Republicans have no problem that nominees for their dictator lied to the committee.  That just shows Republican values, I guess.

Also yesterday, Betsy DeVos was approved by her committee to be voted on in the Senate to tear apart our public education system.  It was a total party-line vote and we can see the end of public education in the works.

The actions taken by Republicans on these three nominations show clearly that Republicans do not give a shit about the American people or what they want.  There is more pushback on these three nominees than any others with the possible exception of Jeff Sessions.

DeVos is totally unqualified to head up the Department of Education, and the other two were caught is bare-faced lies to the committee.  Yet, Republicans don’t care about qualifications or honesty.  They only care about pleasing their beloved leader.

This is the exact type of behavior we expect from a dictatorship.  If you can’t get what you want quickly through the normal rules, change them and do whatever you want anyway.  Democrats wanted more information on these two liars, and Republicans did not even talk to them about how to resolve the situation.

Yes, it is true that they would have probably been approved by the committee anyway, but the American People have a right to know if the people being placed in positions of authority in our government have even an ounce of integrity.

Republicans don’t seem to believe the same thing.  They seem to believe that if the nominee is appointed by a Republican, nothing else is required.  This also shows just how much and how quickly Senate Republicans are willing to change decorum and integrity of the Senate.  They only care about power, and now that they have a little bit of it, they are going to ram through whatever they want, the American people and our democracy be damned.

If you take a look at the SCOTUS nominee, what is going to keep McConnell from changing the 60 vote threshold for this nominee to be approved?  The filibuster is a tool that allows the minority to have a say in governing.  Without the filibuster, the majority can ram through anything without any problem.  That is true regardless of which party is in control.

The nominee for SCOTUS is far more serious than even the Appeals Courts judges.  SCOTUS is the final court.  There is no appeal to a Supreme Court decision.  If you claim to really love the Constitution, then you should be more in favor of centrist judges who will look at each law individually not ideologues who will make their mind up before the case is even heard.

The filibuster and the 60-vote threshold on SCOTUS nominees are intended to help make that possible.  They are intended to help keep the court independent of ideologues who want to dominate the rest of the country with their views.

The real frightening part of the rules change in the Finance Committee is that Republicans have shown that they only care about their agenda.  They are willing to destroy the very fabric of our government just to please their beloved leader.

Republicans have been very quiet about the executive order banning Muslims, except to say it “wasn’t rolled out very well.”  They have been very quiet about spending billions of dollars building our Berlin Wall on the Mexican border.  They have been quick to complain that Democrats have used some of the very tactics they used in their hatred of President Obama to “obstruct” him at every turn.

They have shown with their action in the Finance Committee they are not interested in cooperation with the other party.  They are not interested in bi-partisanship between the two parties.  They are not interested in what is good for America.  They are only interested in their authority and their power grab.

What they don’t understand is that once trump gets his dictatorial powers, they will also become “surplus to requirements”.  Our president came into office with the clear intent to establish an authoritarian government with him having all of the power.  Republicans in Congress are more than happy to give him exactly what he wants.

I am not even sure that the upcoming battle over the nominee to SCOTUS is even worth fighting.  If trump doesn’t like what the court says, he isn’t likely to follow it anyway.  That became clear over the weekend when courts across the country said detainees at airports were supposed to be allowed to speak to lawyers and CBP refused to let them anyway.

The administration has said over and over that trump won because many people wanted change.  That is true.  But, I don’t think the majority of Americans thought that change meant destroying our democracy.  They are beginning to discover that is what their votes will get them.  The real question is when and if trump voters will realize their mistake and join the resistance to his authoritarian desire?

Until they do, the shirts keep marching along.

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Day 81. 

The turmoil that trump is causing with his stupid ban and other worthless executive orders is giving Paul Ryan the cover he needs.  If you were surprised by Ryan’s endorsement of the Muslim Ban, don’t be so surprised.  He actually wants the turmoil right now so he can get to work on killing the social safety net.

Ryan is quietly gathering lackey members of his politburo to set up the attack on most of America but especially the middle-class.  The latest recruit is someone you have probably never heard from before.

Our illustrious president keeps saying that he wants to help the middle-class all the while his henchmen work behind the turmoil to kill the middle-class.  The first target is the middle-class retirement and Social Security.

The person that Ryan has recruited is a Representative from Texas by the name of Sam Johnson.  This pathetic Congressman has sat in his seat representing his district in Texas for about 28 years.  In that 28 years he has sat quietly and has done absolutely nothing except what he was told to do by his party bosses.

That makes him the perfect candidate to help kill Social Security for Ryan.  He doesn’t have a history of doing anything, so people might think he is being serious and not a party hack, which he is.

He has come out with his plan which he calls the “Plan To Permanently Save Social Security”.  Wow!  That sure is a humdinger of a name.  Of course it is all the same bullshit we have heard about Social Security by Republicans over decades.

The basic premise of the plan is that Social Security is going broke, which it is not.  According to this lackluster Congressman it is going broke and will disappear because there will be no money in its coffers, so it must be saved.

Because he lies about it going bankrupt, he figures that you will go into a panic and support his plan which he is sugar-coating by calling it “modernizing”,“updating” and “ensuring” the benefits and solvency of the Social Security program, which a big majority of Americans count on to avoid living out their golden years in stark poverty.

He claims that his “plan” will save about 11.6 trillion dollars in benefits to the American Workers.  Wow!  What a plan!  Imagine what you could do with your share of those savings.  Only there is one small catch to this marvelous plan.  It sucks!

First, you will continue to pay the 12.4 percent of your wages throughout your lifetime.  Then, and here is the really great part, when you retire, you can expect anywhere between 20 and 69 percent LESS in benefits.  That means that if you were to make $1000 per month in benefits, his plan would give you a no more than a whopping $800 per month or less in benefits.

So, according to his plan, you would continue to pay into the system but get less when you retire.  That is called “gutting” the system and ripping you off.  See, what a wonderful plan to permanently save Social Security.  I bet you can’t wait for it to go into effect.

The question is why would a nobody congressman from Texas put forth such a plan?  Why would he be so willing to hit the middle-class so hard when it is time for them to retire?  And, if it is such a wonderful plan would he be so dishonest about its details?

Maybe it is because he just doesn’t care about the middle-class.  Maybe it is because he knows that he is going to “get his” when he finally leaves his comfy chair in congress.  Since he took up space in Congress for 28 years not only can Johnson draw a big Social Security check, but he can also receive more than $70,000 a year from his congressional pension.  So why should he give a damn about us?  Because Ryan is using him as cover and told him to submit his plan.

The Republican party has made it easier for corporate greed meisters and their political henchman to rip off the American middle-class workers for nearly a half century.  They have kept wages low by attacking and passing laws to kill unions representing the workers.  They have stripped traditional “retirement” plans from their workers.  They have economically pummeled their workers.  Now, Ryan thinks we need to be pummeled again by attacking the small amount of retirement money most Americans depend upon to stay out of object poverty in their “golden years”.

Ryan tries to justify this dismantling of Social Security by claiming that dependence on such public “entitlements” weakens our nation’s morality.  Entitlements?  Since when is a program that the workers of America pay into to get benefits later called entitlements?  This program is not a “government handout” it is something we paid for to help our retirement years.  In other words it has been earned.

And Morality?  Social Security embodies America’s core moral value of fairness and our society’s commitment to the common good. And it works. Before it was enacted, half of all American’s spent their “golden years” in poverty. Social Security has saved the great majority of us from old-age penury. Where is the morality in taking this earned retirement and modicum of dignity from millions?

Besides, who is Ryan to give us a lecture on the morality of entitlements.  Besides his normal pay check, he enjoys a mud pit of “entitlements” that the rest of us don’t get.  Such as free limousine and chauffeur, a maximum-coverage health plan, a tax-paid PR agent, a lavish expense account, free travel and, of course, a platinum-level congressional retirement program funded by the very taxpayers whose Social Security he’s out to kill.  Paul Ryan is the last person I need a lecture from on morality of any kind.

Paul Ryan is quietly working behind the turmoil caused by trump to get his people busting agenda through his politburo called the Republican Caucus.  The middle-class working stiffs and the poor working class in America are targets in Ryan’s crosshairs again.

And, despite the promises from trump, he will more than likely sign any bill Ryan puts in front of him including the gutting of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid which lying trump says won’t be touched.

We need to keep on top of trump and his agenda of an authoritarian government.  But, we also need to keep track of Ryan and his society busting hacks in congress.  If trump wants to become dictator for life, he needs abettors in Congress who will allow it to happen.  That can only happen if he signs whatever the abettors put in front of him.  And, for the sake of power, he will gladly sign anything including our future.

Sorry folks, this is only going to get worse, not better.  Paul Ryan will make sure of that.  And, the shirts keep marching along.


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Day 78.

If you were wondering who is in charge of the White House, after yesterday you must still be wondering.  Besides that, I am wondering if the entire White House staff have a combined IQ of about 15.

Yesterday was a perfect example of just what we are in for during the next 4 years.  Chaos, stupidity, and danger.  There was so much going on it is hard to actually write about it.  But, let’s try.  However, I will leave the big part for last.

Did you know that there are two famous people in England with very similar names?  One is Theresa May.  The other is Teresa May,.  According to a White House briefing memo, the White House is expecting Teresa May to visit today.

Only, they are not expecting Teresa May today, they are expecting Theresa May.  If you wonder what the difference is, Theresa May is the Prime Minister of Great Britain.  Teresa May is an English porn star.

Now, this may sound silly to even discuss this issue, but it displays that no one in the White House even proofs these memos before being put out.  They don’t seem to get it that what they say and write is seen by the entire world and is a reflection on our country.  It is true that once the error was pointed out to them, they changed it, but that is not the point.  The point is they are sloppy and don’t seem to care.  Let’s hope trump doesn’t confuse the two today and try to kiss May on the lips.

Then, we have a former transition member confess that trump and his administration is planning to severely cut the EPA staff and budget.  The one agency we have that is responsible to insure our clean air and water is the first to be cut because trump doesn’t believe we need clean air and water if it hurts fossil fuel companies profits.  Additionally, even though he and his children were signatories on a letter from several famous people and business people a few years back explaining how horrible climate change would be to the country and the planet, he now doesn’t believe it is real.

Then there is the issues of his executive orders.  Did you know that he never ran these orders past anybody but his staff?  Meaning that he got no guidance from members of congress, congressional staff who specialize in helping draft these orders, or any expert in law.  Meaning, these executive orders may have a slew of problems and may even be unconstitutional because of how poorly they are written.  I mean, I have read some of them and they are more confusing than anything I have ever read.  Lots of words and very little meaning.

Finally we have the Berlin Wall and the example of the “great negotiator” in action.  We have been told over and over and over until we are sick of hearing it, that trump is the greatest negotiator we have ever seen.  All I can say about that is hahahahahahahaha.

One of the first orders he signed was to start building his Berlin Wall.  And, true to form he has stuck to his plan to make Mexico pay for it.  Only Mexico says they won’t pay for it.  And, when the President of Mexico sad so, trump tweeted that if that was their attitude maybe the meeting between their President and him should be delayed.

Then the President of Mexico said he told the trump team that he was cancelling the meeting and he was not coming.  Basically, he told trump to take his wall and shove it up his ass along with the bill.  In typical trump lying fashion, trump then tweeted that it was a “mutual cancelling” of the meeting.

Later on a flight from Philadelphia where trump met with his version of his politburo, his Press Secretary told the press on the plane that we would place a 20 percent import tax on everything coming in from Mexico to pay for the wall.

Then, a couple of hours later, they backtracked on that idea and Spicer said it was only one of several options they were considering.  Later in the West Wing, trump was ambushed by a reporter asking “what about that 20 percent”.  He actually seemed surprised and asked “what 20 percent”?

Our great negotiator has been ranting about taxing imports, especially from Mexico for years as his plan to make companies return to the U.S. from Mexico.  Which proves that he doesn’t know a damn thing about business.

Let me be as clear about this as I can.  Besides breaking an international treaty, imposing import taxes on products coming into the country WILL NOT HURT THE COMPANY.  IT WILL HURT YOU AND OUR ECONOMY!

Let me use cars as an example.  Every single car made in the U.S. by our three big auto makers get parts from every part of the world.  So, let us say that some parts come from Mexico.  When trump places his import tax on imports from Mexico, those part prices will increase.  Therefore, the price for that nice shiny new car will also increase.  The automaker will not pay the tax, you will pay the tax.

That goes for everything you buy.  When you go to WalMart to purchase your cheap clothes made in Mexico, they will cost more.  When you buy your new television it will cost more.  The companies that make the products won’t give a shit either.  They are not going to come running back to the U.S. because they won’t be losing any money with the import taxes, you will.

Then, when you stop buying things because the price keeps going up with the trade war he will unleash, they will start laying off American workers not overseas workers.  See, they pay less in overseas markets for labor than in the U.S. so they will cut the top earners, not the low earners.

As one business analyst said on television the other day, car manufacturers like making cars in Canada because they don’t have to provide health insurance to their workers because of Canada’s Universal Health Car plan.  So what makes you think any import taxes will make companies run to us?  They won’t, they will just cut U.S. jobs and we will face another recession.

That is what the Great Negotiator is going to unleash on his own country.  But, he doesn’t care because it won’t affect him.  And, he is not interested you.  Only, he will find out that you don’t like him very much anymore.

This is what happens when a president decides to tweet his negotiations instead of listening to experts who know what to do and how to handle problems like this.  Then again, since almost all of the top career civil servants in the State Department are either resigning or being fired by trump, there aren’t any real experts for him to listen to.

The purge going on at the State Department is astounding.  He is forcing out some of the best and most experienced foreign policy experts we have.  He isn’t going to have any seasoned foreign policy experts left.  These are non-partisan experts who have served our country for decades in some cases, and he doesn’t want them around.  But, Stalin was Bannon’s hero, so it is no wonder that such purges are taking place under trump.

The irony is that his chief strategist, Steve Bannon told the press yesterday to “just shut up”.  He even went so far as to call them “opposition”.  Very Stalinesque.  It is trump who should “just shut up and listen” to someone other than the brainless Bannon.

All I can say is when the shit hits the fan Americans will begin to hurt again.  And, you won’t have a clear thinker like Barak Obama to bail us out again.  We will see things go from bad to worse to worst.  And all the while, trump, his family, his cronies, the Republican Politburo, and the top 1 percenters will be laughing all the way to their Swiss Bank Accounts.  Our banks will collapse and we will lose even more.

If trump goes through with his so-called economic plan, we all face another economic collapse.  This time probably leading to a full on depression with over 25 percent unemployment.  But, don’t worry, the Republican Politburo will surely cut unemployment insurance to help “save” the budget deficits.

And, it will all start because the “greatest negotiator in the universe” failed miserably with one of our closest allies in Mexico.  As Bugs Bunny would say:  “What a moroon”.


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Day 76.

There have been a lot of words and terms used to describe donald trump.  I have come to the conclusion that all of them are probably correct, except things like honest, believable, and humane.  In the first week of his presidency, he has started a war with the press, he has decided that only he can decide what is “true” and what isn’t, what information from the government can be made public, how to screw first-time home buyers, how to take away health care coverage from the poor and how to line his own pockets.

Yesterday, he very openly did something you have never seen before.  He sat in the Oval Office and signed an executive order that was intended to make himself more money.  He signed an executive order that will help push forward the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access Pipelines.  Problem is he owns stock in the company that owns the Dakota Access Pipeline and that company’s stock went up right after he signed the order.

Yes, his team had originally said that he had sold off his stock in June.  But, the statements from Spicer during a press briefing indicates he has not sold off the stocks.  Nor, has there been any paperwork filed to show he has sold the stock.  In the briefing Spicer said that a few thousand dollars is not at the top of the list of a man who has made billions.  So, the idea he sold the stock was a lie.  Gee, how about that?

There has always been the worry about conflict of interest, but this is living proof that it does exist and will continue to exist as long as he refuses to properly divest himself from his businesses.

He claims that these two projects will create tens of thousands of jobs.  The fact is that combining both projects, there will be about 20,000 jobs created for a period of one year.  Once the project is completed, there will be about 65 permanent jobs between the two pipelines.

And, the oil that is going to be piped down these two lines, especially the Keystone XL pipeline is not intended for the U.S. market.  It is intended to be shipped overseas.  That will not help our economy or help our energy independence, it will only help the profits from which trump will personally benefit.

Instead of these meaningless projects, if trump really wanted to create jobs and help our manufacturing and our citizens he would instead order a change over from fossil fuel to clean energy.  By doing that, he would create an estimated 15 million jobs that would last at least 20 years.

Plus the permanent jobs number would remain in the millions because these systems would have to be maintained.  Wind turbines need constant maintenance.  Solar panels need constant cleaning and periodic replacement.  Tidal generators require constant maintenance.

Additionally, since the source of this new electricity would be free, the cost of our energy bills would be drastically reduced.  Meaning without any “border taxes” our manufacturing would see a possible boom because their energy costs would plummet.  But, apparently trump doesn’t own any stock in clean energy companies, so he isn’t interested in making the change.

He has issued orders that federal workers cannot discuss any business in emails, twitter, phone calls, or any other form of communications, including to members of Congress.  In essence, he has placed a gag order on all federal workers.

He has frozen all contracts and grants with the EPA and told the agency to remove its climate change page from its website.  When the Parks Administration tweeted about carbon dioxide in the air, he made them take it down immediately.  He is doing everything to ensure that the only thing the people of America get from their government is only what he wants them to get.  In an email that did get out, one agency was told that these forms of communications “could find its way to the press” and therefore no one can use them in an official capacity.

He is continuing his rantings about “illegals” voting in the last election.  This moron is so obsessed with himself that he cannot graciously accept victory.  He continues to be hurt by the fact that he lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes.  His “alternative facts” on that it is because 3 – 5 million votes were cast by “illegals”.

Of course he offers no proof.  Now, he is calling for a massive investigation into this fantasy of his simply because Alex Jones of InfoWars told him it was true.  We have a real conspiracy theorist sitting in the White House.  Even Spicer screwed up during the press briefing about this issue.  He was asked several times about it and he offered his “proof” by citing a Pew Paper on the issue.

He claims that Pew wrote that 14 percent of votes cast in our elections were cast illegally.  That is a total and flat-out lie.  14 Percent of votes cast?  As a matter of fact, Pew wrote after this last election that there were no indications of voter fraud.  Not one Attorney General or head of the Election Board in any state reported any voter fraud like trump is claiming.

Besides, if there was this massive voter fraud, what makes everyone think it was intended to help Democrats?  In the early stages of the election I found 3 cases of voter fraud being investigated by states.  All were helping Republicans.  Two by filling out “incomplete” mail-in ballots and one case of a woman who admitted to voting for trump twice.

Maybe we should let him do his investigation.  But, if it is discovered that he was the recipient of that massive voter fraud, I bet he announces nothing was found.  No, this is all cover for his desire to issue National ID cards and “papers” to control us and our movements.

He has hinted that today will be “a great day for national security”.  He supposedly is going to sign two more of those Republican claimed unconstitutional executive orders.  The first is to stop immigration from mostly Muslim counties.  Especially Syria.  It is reported that six other nations will be added to the list.  Those countries include Iraq which has a lot of people who helped us during the war and was promised immigration here for their help.  If this ban goes in, they will be at risk of losing their lives because of this clown.  That will not make our troops happy.

Furthermore, any ban on Muslims will help our enemies recruit more people into their cause.  The leader of ISIS before the elections said, “I pray that Allah hand America to trump”.  He will be able to tell the Muslim world that trump has declared war on Islam, not on terrorism.  Which also means he is putting us in the crosshairs for another serious terrorist attack on our shores.

The second order is supposed to be about his Berlin Wall on the Mexican border.  He has hinted that he will order the wall to be built.  Of course, we will be paying for the wall, not Mexico.  I am still wondering how many gun towers will be placed along the wall to shoot anyone trying to get over it.  He hasn’t said anything about that yet.

We now have the beginning of our authoritarian government forming.  First, you lie, lie, lie.  Then you put a gag order on everyone who works for the government to control information coming out of it.  Then you line your pockets with executive orders that do nothing to help the economy.  Then you openly discriminate against Muslims simply because you don’t like them.  Then you build a Berlin Wall along one of our borders.

If all of this sounds vaguely familiar to you, you are right.  We saw this “big league” in Germany in the 1930s.  The only difference is that Muslims and Mexicans have replaced Jews as the enemy of our “pure race”.

I really wish I didn’t have to make comparisons to the Nazi’s, but it is difficult not to do so with trump’s actions.  In Germany there were gag orders on the entire government.  There was self-dealing by Hitler making him extremely wealthy.  There were lies after lies after lies.  Then there was the Jew who was blamed for everything wrong with Germany.  The parallels are just too close to ignore them.

I am sure that trump lovers will believe these actions are exactly what the country needs. However, I am also sure that the rest of the country is beginning to become somewhat fearful of our future.  And we need to be fearful with trump at the head of our government.

The simple fact is that trump cannot install his authoritarian government without Republican’s help.  But, as we have discussed before, they are laying the foundation in several states around the country.  So, I don’t foresee any help from the spineless Republican members of Congress.  Just look at McCain, Graham, and Rubio.  They all said they have “serious reservations” about Tillerson’s Russian ties to be named as Secretary of State, but they all voted for him anyway.  So, we obviously can’t trust them anymore than we can trump.

It is up to the people to stop this madman from putting in place his authoritarian government.  It begins now.  It begins by mobilizing and making sure Republicans suffer historic losses in the 2018 elections.  And no, it is not too early to start.

In the meantime, we need to flood our Senators and Representatives with negative calls, emails, tweets, and letters to tell them to stop these insane and mostly unconstitutional actions by their leader.  We need to keep score on which ones help us stop this lunatic and the ones who support him.  Then, we need to target the enablers in 2018.

If we are not prepared to fight back, we will lose our freedoms, our democracy and our country.  Do not let the shirts keep marching along.

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Day 71.

Today Donald John Trump will place his hand on a bible and take the oath of office to become our next president.  And, for the first time, I am beginning to lose my optimism for the future of our country.

To be totally honest, if I were a Christian, I would wonder if he is going to burst into flames once his hand touches the bible.  He has shown that he is anything but a Christian in his actions before, during and after the election.

He will be taking that oath knowing that he is the least favorable president-elect to be sworn in in our history.  Usually, after an election, the favorability numbers of the president-elect go up.  This time, they have gone down.  Maybe that is because of his caustic behavior, or his overflowing the swamp with his cabinet picks, or maybe just because even his supporters are realizing what a virtual pig he really is.

The other thing that has gone virtually unnoticed during the transition is his absolute horrible leadership.  When a new president takes office, they are required to fill about 4,000 positions in various departments of the government.  The most important positions include the National Security Council, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security.

When he takes office, almost all of those positions will have empty desks this afternoon and the unforeseeable future.  So far, not counting his cabinet nominees, they have hired about 30 of the 4000 people needed to fill those positions.

He had announced at first that every political position would end today when he takes office.  Then, when he realized that he isn’t even close to fill any of those critical positions, he started asking people to hang around for a “few months”.  Some have agreed and some have not.

Now remember, this is supposed to be a “great businessman who organizes tremendously”.  Well, this situation shows that statement is true in his own imagination.  As someone who worked in business for over 20 years and in the Coast Guard for 20 years, I find this a total disaster caused by someone who loves himself but has no clue about leadership.  In simple words, he has totally botched the transition.  If he can’t handle that, how can we expect him to handle the country?

We can only be thankful that there are thousands of professional public servants who will take up the responsibility of these critical positions until Mr. Incompetent finally gets around to filling them.

Then we have his conflicts of interest hanging over us and him.  At the moment he becomes president, he will be in violation of his lease for the hotel in the Old Post Office building.  Only, nothing will probably be done because the lease if owned by the General Services Administration and he will be in charge of it.

And, since he and his team always rave about the hotel and suggest that everyone including foreign governments use it, he is in possible violation of the emoluments clause.  That is just the beginning of his possible conflicts of interest.  This is something that will need to be watched very closely.  Only, it will be difficult because Mr. Secret won’t divulge his holdings or where he is actually getting his money.

If you love the Constitution, and all Republicans claim to do so, then the first piece of legislation needed to be passed is one that requires all public officials in the federal government, including the president, must release their tax returns.  That is the only way to ensure the emoluments clause will be honored and openly enforceable.

We are looking a very uncertain next four years.  Trump made so many promises to so many people he doesn’t even remember which ones he made or to which group of people he made them to.

He keeps talking about bringing jobs back, but he still refuses to ensure his own family brings their manufacturing to the U.S. and leaves those 12 countries they currently use.  If he doesn’t add his family’s products to the 35 percent “border tax” he keeps threatening, we will know he doesn’t mean a damn thing he says.

There is talk about cutting the budget, again.  But, the only items on the cut list are things that support the rights of every citizen.  Things talked about being cut are grants to help prevent violence against women.  Closing down several agency departments that protect civil rights of minorities of all kinds.  And of course closing down PBS or at least privatizing it.

Then we need to watch out for cuts in several social safety nets.  Republicans want to privatize Social Security.  They want to voucherize Medicare.  They want to “block grant” Medicaid.  And, of course they want to throw about 18 million people off of their health care by eliminating the Affordable Care Act without even telling us what their replacement plan is.

These are just some of the issues and potential problems that America will face under a Trump presidency.  We will have a cabinet with more ethical questions than we have seen in over 100 years.  I will be quite surprised if any of the nominees are stopped.  The current Republican Party is not interested in ethics or integrity.

The anti-regulation crowd known as the Republican Party is itching to eliminate all of the same regulations they eliminated under George W. Bush which caused the Great Recession of 2008.  That is a very scary thing indeed.  Are they actually trying to cause another Great Recession?

Then again, all of this could be mute.  We will have a president who loves to attack people on twitter.  What is going to happen when his target is some unstable foreign leader?  How certain are we that he won’t start a war just because of his bitter, and immature use of twitter?  And, if he does start a war using twitter, will he launch nuclear weapons. After all, as he said “why do we have them if we aren’t going to use them?”

We are moving into a very uncertain future.  We are most likely going to see attacks on African-American rights.  Gay Rights.  Women Rights.  Religious Rights.  Our Health Care.  Our Environment.  Our Economy.  Our Farms.  Our Small Businesses.  Our Public Education.  And, Our Decency.  It is probably the most uncertain future in my lifetime and I lived through the “great red scare”.  I also lived through the so-called “hippie” movement and civil rights and anti-Vietnam war protests.

The future was far more certain during those times than it is today.  The only reason those times were more certain was because we had leaders who were reasonable and rational people leading our country.  Today we will get what I consider the least rational person in history in charge.

It is that instability that causes concern for everyone in the world, not just in our country.  As a result, I am very cautious about the future of our country.  I served my country and I hate the idea of someone so irrational being in charge of the nuclear codes.

I can only keep voicing my opposition to this madman.  I can only try to point out his conflicts as they arise.  I can only try to educate anyone who wishes to be educated about any damage he causes our liberties and freedoms.

We have heard for the last eight years that President Obama restricted our freedoms.  But, when asked to name just one, there is silence.  I am afraid that will not be the case under a Trump presidency.  I am afraid that we will see our Constitution be shredded by him and his Republican lackeys in Congress in the name of Power.

I find it extremely ironic and very frightening that a man is going to take the oath of office that swears to “protect the Constitution of the United States” when he doesn’t even know what is in it.

Furthermore, his actions during his entire life has shown a complete disregard for the law and decency.  He ran for president to line his pockets with more money.  That is all he is interested in and that is all he will work towards.

Hopefully, the near future will also be a time of activism.  It will be a time when people take to the streets again to hold our elected officials somewhat accountable.  It is all up to us now.  We can no longer pretend that the people in charge have our best interests at heart.  They don’t.

And the shirts keep marching along.



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Day 70

We are now seeing just why Republicans have been so worried about having ethics watchdogs hanging over their heads.  Now, I am fully aware that there are some Democrats who follow the same lack of ethics in office, but it is the Republicans who are trying to do away with the ethics groups in government.

Rep. Chavetz and the incoming administration’s Cabinet Picks are showing why getting rid of ethics watchdogs are so important.  They don’t have any ethics and they are damned proud of that fact.

First we have Chaffetz who has been screaming at the top of his lunges that OGE Director Shaub “blew off a meeting with him” in December.  Problem, emails that were released yesterday through the Freedom of Information Act, proves beyond a reasonable doubt, that it was in fact Chavetz who blew off the meeting.

Those emails were not just from the OGE, but from Chaffetz’ office as well.  In the last one, Chaffetz own person told Shaub that Mr. Chaffetz was backlogged and was trying to “get home” which is why he missed the meeting.

This unethical, lying buffoon is the  chairman of the House Oversight Committee to top it all off.  Instead of threatening to close the OGE because Chaffetz didn’t like Shaub’s comments about Trump’s non-divestment from his businesses, they should look at shutting down the Oversight Committee.  Or, at the very least replace this liar from his chair on the committee.

Then we have the case of Wilbur Ross who is the nominee to head up the Commerce Department.  He came out and said that last month he fired a household employee because that person couldn’t produce a valid driver’s license and Social Security Card.  He claims that he did produce what appeared to be the same documents when he hired him.

He is saying that he “unknowingly” hired an undocumented immigrant.  Of course, if he had used E-Verify, he would have discovered the discrepancy when he hired the person in the first place.  When other nominees had similar problems, Republicans said at the time that ignorance was no excuse and they pulled their names from nomination.  Not so for Ross.  He is being given a pass.

There is the nomination to head up the Budget Office, Mick Mulvaney who did not pay employer taxes for his employees for years.  The final bill was over $15,000.  Again, when other nominees were found out doing the exact same thing, they were disqualified.  Republicans don’t think this is a big deal for Mulvaney.

Then, of course, is Tom Price.  He is the nominee to head up Health and Human Services.  His problems come from stocks.  Seems Mr. Price purchased stocks just before he introduced legislation that would help that company’s stock prices rise.

You can quibble about how much money was involved in that one deal or the many other stock purchases he made.  The real question comes in when you look at what he was and what extra jobs he had.

When this first came out a few days ago, the Trump team put out a statement that read:

Dr. Price’s Morgan Stanley financial advisor designed his portfolio and directed all trades in the account.  Pursuant to the arrangement with Morgan Stanley, the financial advisor, and not Dr. Price, has the discretion to decide which securities to buy and sell in his account.

Here we go again with another lie.  During his testimony, Price admitted that Morgan Stanley’s financial advisor was told by him to purchase the stock and did not do so on their own.  The company in question makes hip replacement parts.  Exactly six days after purchasing the stock, Price introduced legislation that would eliminate regulations on that particular industry.  Can you say “conflict of interest?”

It turns out that Price has a lot of medical company stocks.  At first glance, the idea of a doctor purchasing medical equipment stock may not seem all that horrible.  But, this is also a man who served on a committee that was responsible to regulate the health care industry.  Additionally, even if he wasn’t on that committee, he would have to vote on legislation affecting his stock.

Senator Murray questioned Price on whether he thought it was appropriate for members of Congress to be trading stocks that could benefit from legislation under consideration, adding that the 21st Century Cures Act had numerous provisions that would benefit Innate Immunotherapeutics, the company Price purchased his stocks in after Rep. Collins told him about the company.  Collins was a board member of the company at the time.

“Do you believe it is appropriate for a senior member of Congress actively involved in policy making in the health sector to repeatedly personally invest in a drug company that could benefit from those actions?” Murray asked. “Yes or no?”

“That’s not what happened,” Price said.  Sorry doctor, that is exactly what happened.  Why didn’t you divest your health industry stocks to avoid any possible conflicts of interest?  Because you wanted to be able to influence your stock’s worth with laws and lack of regulations that you personally introduced.  In other words, you are a crook.

As I said, ethics hold no meaning for these people.  They are even proud of the fact they have no ethics.  So much so that they want to kill all of the ethical watchdogs in Washington that could call them out for their actions.

The amount of money involved is neither here or there.  The simple fact that a sitting member of congress is willing to take advantage of their position for any personal gain is repugnant at best, and criminal at worst.

These aren’t the only people nominated by Trump with potential ethical problems.  Don’t forget Mr. Mnunchin who ran a bank known as the “foreclosure machine”.  He once foreclosed on a home for an elderly lady over 24 cents.  And, Trump wants him to be the Treasury secretary.

Trump has promised to “drain the swamp”.  If this is his idea of draining the swamp, please stop.  After screaming about the evils of Goldman Sachs, he has placed six Goldman Sachs executives into his administration.

He has offered up the most unethical cabinet nominees in a very long time if not history.  There is the real possibility that we are going to see a whole host of “Teapot Dome” scandals follow his administration if these people are confirmed.  And, with Republican repugnance to ethics on full display, they most surely will get confirmed.

By the time Trump takes his oath of office tomorrow, he won’t be able to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House without wading boots.  The swamp is overflowing right into the heart of our capital.

This is what happens when “businessmen” are selected to run the country.  The only thing they are interested in is running more money into their own pockets.  Take for example the Facebook ad that says Trump wants to invite you to the inauguration for “free”.

It is a scam to raise money.  If you click on the RSVP button, you don’t get an RSVP response, you are taken to a page where you can buy a Commerative Inauguration License Plate for $30.  If you want to go to the inauguration, you can go for free anyway.

Raising money for the inauguration is fine as long as you are up front about it and not trying to scam the people.  This is an open and blatant scam to raise money, but we don’t know where exactly that money is headed.  Another con from the conman!

Money in politics is very bad as we can see.  But, it isn’t just the money in contributions to campaigns, it is the money these scoundrels make everyday right under our noses because of their “secrecy” protections.

But don’t worry, Trump has promised us more “military parades” so you don’t have to think about their lack of ethics.  You can be proud of the military parades just like they are in Russia and other authoritarian countries around the world.

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