Now that Justice Kennedy has handed Mr. Trump a huge opportunity to steer the High Court further Right, Right Wing activists are openly celebrating. They see the hard right move of the Supreme Court as a long-term victory for their conservative ideals, especially as an inroad in over turning Roe v Wade. What do they call this up-swell of Right Wing support heading in the MidTerms? The "Red Tide". They choose this label in order to counter the widely publicized "Blue Wave" label many on the Left are using to gin up MidTerm Election support of Democratic platforms and candidates.
The difference? A Blue Wave is the notion that millions of Americans are fed up with unfettered and unchecked authority Trump has asserted while the GOP-led Congress abdicates its role to check him. The Blue Wave is synonymous with the grass roots up swelling of support for dividing our government and allowing at least one branch (House or Senate) to flip to the Democrats so an effective check can be put in place of the hyper-partisan GOP sycophantic chambers. Except Red Tide means something totally different and Democrats better heed its advancement. Real Red Tide is actually a toxic bloom of bacteria that not only turns water red in color, but also is so toxic, it kills thousands of fish and aquatic life. (See:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_tide). Ironic the Right Wing embraces a slogan that is inherently toxic - and now is threatening our democracy.
So the Left better get its act together. They must unify. They must act. They must vote. If they don't vote to ensure our democracy is protected this fall, we will risk severe damage which will lead our government to incrementally creep towards authoritarianism based upon purely tribal foundations of Party Power over Country.
As President Franklin D. Roosevelt once wrote; "Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country." Which do you prefer? A Blue Tide to protect our democracy or a Red Tide that will damage it, potentially beyond repair. The choice is obvious. Vote For Democracy!
I am pleased to announce I will once again be a guest speaker aboard P&O's Arcadia for a segment of it's World Cruise from January 23 - 30, 2019!
There's a new disease spreading throughout America. This disease is so virulent, it spreads without restraint and eventually leads to disorientation, light-headedness, a Tourettes-like feeling that leads to uncontrollable emotional outbursts and most importantly, it eats away at the host's brain rendering them unable to distinguish right from wrong, facts from fiction or sympathy for anyone else. It also is highly resistant to logic and leads the victim with an uncontrollable urge to lie and to support thieves and con-men. This illness? Trumpism!
No matter what Trump does, those with this affliction cannot see that Trumpism seeps into the pores of their skin and activates their emotional nervous system, rendering them helpless to fight off the urge to believe lies. In fact, the more lies that are told by Trump and his supporting cast and media, the more afflicted these poor people become. The cure? A healthy does of reality and logic. Why is this remedy not available nationwide? Years ago I asked my son-in-law (a physician) if meds actually work for patients, since so many still die. His reply? "Of course they do, but patients that die fail to take their meds when prescribed." He called it "non-compliance" with doctors orders to take the meds. And with those afflicted with Trumpism, the only remedy for their cure will be to expose them to the bright natural light of liberty, freedom and a healthy dose of reality- none of which is available from the Right Wing Media or the GOP. As a result, democracy may catch this illness and then all of us are in more danger than a pandemic of Ebola.
But America has always been resilient. America faced the reality of an Independence Movement, then a Revolutionary War, then another War (1812) and then another War (1846) and skirmishes that ultimately led to the Civil War (1861). America has suffered setbacks in the form of economic recessions and depressions. America has successfully led the World in fighting World Wars. But America is facing a new problem that is not so easily cured. Trumpism seeps it's toxins deep into America's soul, and only a strict regiment of logic and reality training can cure it. But what if the patient refuses to take its meds and ultimately remains "Non-Compliant?" Then surgery may be necessary, a surgery to cut out Trumpism that spreads like a cancer. The type of surgery needed, and soon? MidTerm Elections! By voting this November, Americans can go a long way to put Trumpism in check, allowing the American body-politic the chance to recover from what looks like a sudden onset of disease.
Like other dangerous illnesses, Trumpism must be defeated before it consumes our great Nation. Please support your local elections and candidates that pledge to cure America from this dangerous illness. Your families will appreciate it. The World will appreciate it. And Democracy will eventually get back on its own two feet and America will again stand proud as a beacon to the rest of the World that liberty, freedom and reliance upon facts and science will cure all our ills.
As President Gerald Ford once wrote; "History and experience tell us that moral progress comes not in comfortable and complacent times, but out of trial and confusion." Let's all pitch in to save America from this awful disease by voting for change this November! Have a great week!
Just another week in America! Our Commander-In-Chief returns with no new promises from North Korea (Kim Jong-Un just made the same promises to "denuclearize" as his father and grandfather had offered to previous presidents). Regardless, Trump continues on his self-congratulatory tweet-fest while he clears a place on the mantle in the Oval Office for his illusory Nobel Peace Prize. (See: www.wired.com/story/north-korea-summit-denuclearize-history/).
Even though Mr. Trump attempted to celebrate his "brilliant" negotiation skills with the North Korean Strongman (see: www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-says-korth-korea-no-longer-a-nuclear-threat-as-he-returns-to-washington/2018/06/13/b1d69566-6ef0-11e8-bf86-a2351b5ece99_story.html?utm_term=.f950ecc996ee), his "glory" was somewhat muted when the much anticipated Inspector General's report on the conduct of the FBI in the investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails was released to the public. The report? It didn't quite come out as well as hoped by Trump. In fact, the IG concluded exactly the opposite of what Mr. Trump has been publicly claiming since the days of the election (and continues to wrongfully claim). (See: www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/6/15/17467706/trump-inspector-general-fox-news).
Despite finding there was no breach of ethics or influence of political bias in the investigation, the President went on to insist the IG Report exonerated him from Mr. Mueller's investigation into possible collusion, conspiracy or direct treason by himself and his campaign team.
“I did nothing wrong, there was no collusion, there was no obstruction. The IG report
yesterday went a long way to show that,” Trump said. “I think that the Mueller
investigation has been totally discredited.”
Except there is one big problem with Mr. Trump's statement. The IG Report did not review anything relating to the Russian involvement in our elections - not.a.thing! But not to be to caught up in this round of lies by Mr. Trump, his simmering decision to have border control separate parents from their children (some taken from their mothers while breastfeeding), has finally caught the American public's attention. Typical for Mr. Trump, he tweeted repeatedly that the law under which the jailing of children in fenced off sections of a former Wallmart is somehow the Democrats' fault since it was "their law" that required separation. (See: www.nytimes.com/2018/06/16/us/politics/trump-democrats-separation-policy.html). Except, there is NO SUCH LAW IN EXISTENCE. When pressed further, Attorney General Jeff Sessions claimed that enforcing border protection laws are based upon "the Bible!" When asked about this statement and policy, White House Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders reinforced that statement by claiming they were abiding by the terms of "the Bible." We now know this may work for his followers/Trumplings, but the "Bible" does not govern our government or our laws, the CONSTITUTION does! Once again, Trump and his minions are damaging the fabric of America. I don't know which is sadder - them doing it out of ignorance or by design. Either way, it doesn't work for our great nation to conduct ourselves like an immoral banana republic. I guess Trump thought Kim Jung Un would approve so it was worth his effort?
But that did not stop Trumplings from posting on social media congratulating themselves by pointing out that folks that come here illegally deserve to have their children taken from them. "Why would a parent bring them here to begin with? Punishing them all will make them think twice about attempting to enter America Illegally". Except, most of these folks are refugees to gang violence in their home countries. They weighed their options and decided to risk the month long rigorous travel to America. (See: www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/06/15/sessions-says-the-bible-justifies-separating-immigrant-families-the-verses-he-cited-are-infamous/?utm_term=.c289a0802e84). When asked about this issue earlier last week, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan actually claimed he didn't "know enough about the matter" to give us an opinion. Now this week, with the matter front and center in our media, Mr. Ryan did change his mind but only said; "We don't want kids to be separated from their parents!"
To those supporting the president, (formally known as a human being) claiming these people deserve this treatment, I say this - you are just the same as the people that supported the return of runaway slaves (because running away was "illegal"). You would also probably revel at turning the St. Louis away from American shores because you know, those Jewish Children will grow up one day and then what do we do with them? (See: www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005267). You would also enjoy watching the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII because you know, they don't "look like us!"
As President James Madison once wrote; "America was indebted to immigration for her settlement and prosperity. That part of America which had encouraged them most had advanced most rapidly in population, agriculture and the arts." This is the diversity that made and makes America great, not those that support a president that lies incessantly, refuses to appreciate the role of the presidency, and seems hell-bent on destructing America's moral high ground, one precious piece after another. Try to have a great week!
Now that our president has again embarrassed us before the entire world, especially our allies at the G-7 Summit, can we expect any better from the Summit with Kim Jong-Un of North Korea? When Trump was asked if he was prepared for the historic meeting, we heard what we have been hearing all along from our "very smart" president - he needs little preparation because he already knows everything he needs to know and he will size-up the North Korean strongman within the first seconds of their meeting. (See: www.apnews.com/2bb960fda0264c488d454632628cb193; abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-prepare-north-korea-summit-attitude/story?id=55723256). Like a high school student that spent the night before an exam playing video games, proceeding with so little preparation is a major risk and from a president, inexcusable! Mr. Trump seems (again) uninterested in learning actual details that might assist in obtaining a substantive agreement with the Hermit Kingdom (North Korea). To Mr. Trump, North Korea is just another dupe ready to fall to his "Art of the Deal", despite the fact by just meeting with the dictator, Mr. Trump has given the dictator Jong-Un a prized position as a world leader. Except North Korea is as backwards as they come.
So if we go by Mr. Trump's belief, the summit will either be over very quickly or it will go well. What is defined as going "well" by Mr. Trump is only that he is portrayed on loyal media to be decisive even though this summit may fail under its own weight. We will find out very soon if the "deal" is worth the minimal effort exerted by Mr. Trump. Either way, we can expect the sycophantic media to highlight everything Mr. Trump wishes to highlight, even though it will be nothing more than smoke and mirrors for the Witch occupying the Oval (still waiting on the "Witch Hunt" to be concluded by Mr. Mueller).
Just this week I had another interchange with a couple of Trump supporters. One was fixated on Bill Clinton and why he was not removed from office after impeachment the other couldn't understand why African-Americans could possibly be unhappy since they are no longer slaves and they already have "Oprah!" Upon further conversation, I learned from this particular Trump supporter that "real Americans" travel the United States and they do not travel abroad. "Shouldn't they see America and all of its beauty before going elsewhere to see what is there?" When I asked him where he has been in his life, he admitted "nowhere" outside the United States. No wonder so many of these folks support Mr. Trump. They have zero idea what it is like to live or experience life abroad. Yet, they are quick to place "America First" without appreciating the role America has as "leader of the free world." Apparently, these folks would rather isolate America from the World. Coincidentally, these are the very same folks that claim America is now more respected world-wide than under Obama. Except, how would they know this if they have never left our shores? Fox news tell them, so they believe it. Just like the guy who couldn't figure out after watching Fox why Bill Clinton was not removed after being impeached. Basic knowledge of our government and our place in the world seems lost to Trumplings. And that should be enough to disqualify them from pushing any opinions that are both ignorant and overall provincial at best.
As Mark Twain once wrote; "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." Have a great week!
Recently I realized that my blood pressure was spiking throughout the day, making me rather uncomfortable. So uncomfortable, I made an appointment to see my doctor to review my meds. Tweaking my meds is really no big deal, except for the fact that various causes were looked at for the spikes. When I suggested that perhaps the political environment under Trump is contributing to my stress, I found others reluctantly admitting they too are feeling side-effects to their health since Trump was inaugurated. Seems the daily and steady effects of Trump in office is causing potential dangerous conditions for many Americans.
Although my "Trump Stress Syndrome" ("TSS") started awhile ago, its impact on my health has gradually reached a point that required medical intervention. How did I reach this "tipping point?" I think it was Trump's Memorial Day Tweet that pushed me over the edge;
"Happy Memorial Day! Those who died for our great country would be very happy
and proud at how well our country is doing today. Best economy in decades,
lowest unemployment numbers for Blacks and Hispanics EVER (& women in 18years),
rebuilding our Military and so much more. Nice!"
Nothing reads like pure inspirational gold than another self-serving, self-absorbed and full blown narcissistic tweet connecting the ultimate sacrifice our men and women of the armed forces made to protect and preserve our freedoms than a "hey look at me!" Trump Tweet! Then his follow-up tweet after Roseanne Barr was "fuel to the fire;"
"Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that 'ABC does not tolerate
comments like those' made by Roseanne Barr. Gee, he never called President
Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and
said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn't get the call?"
"Narcissism" is defined in Psychology Today as "individuals with narcissistic personality disorder, whose grandiosity soars to such heights that they are manipulative and easily angered, especially when they don't receive the attention they consider their birthright." Perhaps students in school could use a picture of Donald Trump to exemplify the definition of a "narcissist?"
We hear all the time folks voted for Trump because he was going to "shake up Washington." Yet the only thing Trump has shaken up are the norms that provided the political guardrails our nation has needed in order to guarantee everyone's freedom and Constitutional rights. Now Trump and his team have claimed in a recently published, previously "secret" memo that the President has the absolute right to control all functions of the Executive Branch - including guiding, manipulating, altering and weaponizing investigations for personal political use. I mean, some like me cringed every time "Lock her up!" was cheered on at Trump rallies (referring to Clinton) and his claims he would jail her once placed into office. (see: thehill.com/homenews/administration/375261-crowd-chants-lock-her-up-at-trumps-cpac-speech).
Not until the rise of Trump, has America seen an endorsed political candidate threaten their political opponents with imprisonment, let alone demand and encourage it after taking office without affording proper due process. Yet, Trump and his supporters still seem to see a legitimate basis for doing so. Now we see their intent to push a narrative that Trump can as president, freely weaponize the Department of Justice and (including the FBI) sate personal appetites to destroy our independent system of justice. If this is not enough to convince GOP members of Congress that we have a rogue president that views himself above the law, I fear nothing will. As a result, the only way to check this conman is to elect Democrats to Congress this November. I am not the first to say this and I certainly won't be the last, but it must be said over and over again. We are reaching a breaking point in our body-politic. And if we don't do something this year to "clip Trump's wings", I fear our country may eventually face a serious and dangerous condition - one that not only may erode America as we know it, but actually may permanently damage her. The best prescription to help our nation heal from this hypertension of hyper-partisanship? A good dose of elections is the best remedy for this treating our collective Trump Stress Syndrome.
As President Abraham Lincoln once wrote; “Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.” It's time to heal America's blisters! Have a great week!
To all those on this Memorial Day that served our great nation!
"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives, that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Abraham Lincoln, February 29, 1864
Have a great week!
Lot's to cover from last week's events, so let's get right to it. First, the United States opened its embassy in Jerusalem in an area close to the existing Israeli governmental offices while the border with Gaza underwent attacks and violence. The trade war sought by President Trump appears to be petering out while feted negotiations with North Korea appear to be "cooling". On top of this, the Supreme Court all but stomped out the life of ordinary workers to seek a level playing field when seeking redress for employer wrongs and (if that was not enough), we had another mass shooting at a school while our president under investigation for shady campaign activities now proclaims the Justice Department will work solely on his behalf by investigating whether the FBI "improperly" spied upon the campaign.
Seems the president and his advisors admit they have no evidence to suggest any such activity took place, but by raising the issue, Fox news and his supporters decided to "run with it" whether it is another lie from the Liar-In-Chief or not. A lot of "IF's" seem to be enough to blur the separation of the Justice Department from the Executive Department and Conservative supporters short-sightedly see no problem with a president using the institution to investigate his political opponents. Wasn't that enough for the week? And guess what, the games will not end anytime soon!
So let's get right to it. Even though Hamas, the oppressive and ruthless rulers of Gaza publicly planned attacks on Israel's border with Gaza for months, the media (and Hamas) conveniently used moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem as great cover for Hamas' iron-clad and ruthless treatment of its citizens. Except one had nothing to do with the other. How so? As I said, Hamas publicly had been planning the border attacks for months and engaged in the border attacks before the Embassy dedication. Yet, this did nothing to slow down the Left-Wing Media from condemning Trump and Israel for the deaths of "civilians peacefully" protesting their internment in what is frequently referred to as the "Open Air Prison" known as Gaza. When the news reported the deaths of so-called "civilians", those on the Left went insane - hurling anti-Israel slogans and demands. Seems a lot of those on the Far-Left fell for the very same trap they see those on the Far Right fall for - Fake News. Once the "dust cleared", Hamas admitted that over 80% of those "massacred" (favorite word used by the Left) innocents were admittedly active members of Hamas - intent on crossing the border and killing as many Jews as possible. Even the Media admitted its mistake (after the fact) that no women and children or elderly were "slaughtered" at the border. When this evidence was disclosed in the Media, the Left's answer? Crickets. Seems the Left is just as guilty as the Right when it comes to over-reacting to news they find worthy of their angst and when proven wrong, provide neither an apology nor an explanation. We can bet they will now keep their "powder dry" until they hear more against Israel so they can re-engage in their Anti-Israel (and for many Anti-Semitic) rhetoric. (See: www.foxnews.com/world/2018/05/16/hamas-admits-most-killed-in-gaza-violence-were-its-members.html, 12newsonline.com/hamas-admits-most-killed-in-gaza-violence-were-its-members/).
To top this off, headlines in many newspapers took the position that by moving the Embassy to Jerusalem, the United States has shown a bias towards Israel. What? It could just as easily be said that forcing the embassy to remain outside of Jerusalem reveals an actual bias against Israel. Israel has maintained the center of its government in Jerusalem since shortly after Statehood (1959). The Parliament (Knesset) has stood in Jerusalem since the early 1960's in an area of Jerusalem the entire World recognizes as Israel and not subject to negotiation with the Palestinians. (See: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knesset). Even Palestinian "demands" (except those of Hamas) have always allowed for the western section of Jerusalem to be Israel's. So why the controversy over moving our Embassy to that area of Jerusalem? It still leaves the opportunity for a US Embassy to be established in the areas the Palestinians demand. Yet Hamas refuses to recognize Israel and the political Left can't seem to see the "forest from the trees" if the news doesn't fit their narratives (profoundly pro-Palestinian). In other words, the Left sees the Palestinians as victims and they are. Except they see them as victims of Israeli policies instead of mistreatment by their heavy-handed rulers (Hamas) who have a Charter calling for the death of Israel (and the elimination of all Jews).
When you ask a Conservative what Trump has accomplished they get tongue-tied, except when it comes to the successful nomination and confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court (while ignoring the fact the GOP abdicated its Constitutional responsibilities by refusing to grant any confirmation hearings for Justice Garland, the man originally nominated to the position by President Obama). Now that the Right-Wing is thrilled with having their man on the High Court, can we look to them to explain his rulings as the "new guy?" I mean, in his recent vote and response to the dissenting minority in the matter of Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, Gorsuch railed for employer rights by establishing that employees not subject to a collective bargaining agreement (not part of a union) can not collectively seek redress for all sorts of wrongs caused by employers. Instead, they must each independently seek redress through arbitration (where the employers control the entire process). In other words, citizens raising complaints against employer wrongdoing must seek redress by themselves, including shouldering the the vast expense of suing a large employer. Guess we can see where Conservatives sit on employee rights? And many Trump supporters approve of this? Far too many continue to vote against their own self-interests. The Court's demand? Congress must address this issue to rectify confusion between conflicting employee-employer statutes. You can bet as long as the GOP controls Congress, this ruling will not be dealt with. I hope Trumplings are proud that they have assisted in making America less great for the working class. (See: www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/epic-systems-corp-v-lewis/).
Once again we all witnessed another mass school shooting and yet we still only hear "thoughts and prayers" from elected officials unwilling to do anything to prevent future shootings. The NRA went so far as to claim guns have nothing to do with the shootings but Ritalin, poor parenting and a loss of morals due to abortion are to be blamed. (See: www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/05/21/things-blamed-for-the-deadly-texas-school-shooting-ritalin-abortion-the-media-schools-and-doors/?utm_term=.94cf780fddff). And the Right Wing media machine and its supporters jumped in line to support "gun rights" guaranteed by the Second Amendment. But what about the rights of those killed and affected by these shootings? Do gun owners perceived Constitutional rights supersede the rights of the innocent to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness?" John Lennon (murdered by a gunman) sarcastically once penned the lyric; "happiness is a warm gun." Now you could use that as the banner for today's NRA and its supporters. Can we at least have a discussion about gun violence? Probably not until the Left stops demonizing legitimate gun owners and those on the Right guided by the NRA realize we as a nation all have a problem and ignoring it clearly is not finding a resolution to it.
And now we have the president, feeling the "heat" of the Mueller investigation demanding the Justice Department "investigate" whether the FBI planted a "spy" in the Trump Campaign for "political purposes." And as predicted in their skewed strategy, the Right jumped all over the claims of the president to justify the claim of a "Deep State" dedicated to ruin Trump's presidency. Except there is NO deep state anything and when the president and his counsel are pressed to provide evidence of such activity, they readily admit there is none (but does it sure play well to their base of supporters). Seems too many on the Right are just as guilty as so many on the Left of embracing bias confirming rhetoric that is more satisfying than actual facts. Who needs to think anymore when it is easier to just "react?" Hear's an idea. How about Trump allow the facts to come out into the open about his campaign instead of challenging every institution and those sworn to uphold the rule of law? If he is so innocent, why the incessant effort to diminish the work of the FBI, the CIA and the DOJ? Witch hunt? Hypocrisy and irony sure seems to fit his demand for blurring the line between Justice Department independence and interference from the president - especially for political purposes. (See: www.nytimes.com/2018/05/21/us/politics/trump-mueller-strategy-russia-inquiry.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news).
And to end this week's blog, have you heard about the mother who ordered a cake for their son celebrating her son's graduating Summa Cum Laude? Seems the Publix Bakery (they do make great cakes), couldn't allow the word "cum" (Latin for "with") to be written on the cake. Seems they felt "uncomfortable" with the word "cum"? And we wonder why our country is so messed up? All I can say to Publix for their obvious mistake -"Res Ipsa Loquitur!" (See: www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/05/22/proud-mom-orders-summa-cum-laude-cake-online-publix-censors-it-to-summa-laude/?utm_term=.d33a7921daef).
So as we head into another week in Trumplandia, allow the words of President Abraham Lincoln to ring clear; "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." Try to have a great week!
Was last week fun for you all too? Just as I'm about to reflect on last week's events, Trump goes and tweets that his job is to ensure China has more jobs. You read that right! The man that promised America First when it came to jobs and trade, sure seems to have become someone other than the Donald Trump we thought we knew even from last week. According to most foreign policy experts, by unilaterally removing the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action ("JCPA"), Trump reimposed severe sanctions against any country trading with Iran - including allies that had extensively engaged in commercial developments post the Obama negotiated Plan. By sanctioning our European allies, we are in a sense punishing them for following our original lead in hammering out the final terms of the JCPA.
With today's tweet from Trump, we now find America supporting ZTE, a Chinese Telecommunications giant that produces software that can be used (and many suspect has been used) to spy on US Agencies and corporations. By Trump tweeting;
Additionally, ZTE, the very same company Trump "instructed" to be assisted by our Commerce Department, also engages in extensive commercial matters in Iran. (See: mashable.com/2018/02/14/huawei-prove-phones-not-spying-americans/#8Em6parR_sqE). So by encouraging ZTE remain in business, is the president suggesting our allies suffer financial penalties for following our lead while giving China's largest telecommunication company free reign to trade with Iran? (See: www.cbsnews.com/news/obama-trump-pulling-u-s-out-of-iran-nuclear-deal-a-serious-mistake/). What happened to Trump's "vision" of America First for jobs, trade, border protection/gutting immigration, etc.? Perhaps Trump actually believes his own supporters' rhetoric about being able to easily brush off any criticism as "Fake" under the guise of negotiating a real "Sweetheart deal for America?" Trump has proven time and time again to be a pathological liar. By doing so, any sudden seemingly unplanned change in his policies apparently based upon whim, is acceptable. But didn't Trump supporters buy a Bill of Goods that included cleaning up the lying cheats that occupy Washington D.C.? At some point, will Trumplings come to realize they got played by The Don?
As President John F. Kennedy once wrote; "Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." Let us all hope Trump supporters realize very soon that policy on a whim is not leadership. America First? Nice catchphrase but a collective coherent and effective policy? Nah. Have a great week!
President Trump, mired in the on-going investigation by Robert Mueller informed the world he was prepared for battle by proclaiming his top legal representative, Rudy Giuliani was joining his defense team. One slight problem arose as soon as Giuliani took to the airwaves to proclaim his client's innocence - Giuliani instead admitted Trump's guilt. Yes, the circus known as the Trump presidency voluntarily took to a high wire act by having Giuliani go "viral" on broadcast media in an effort to "soar above" the alleged Witch Hunt and prove the president's innocence, only to fall spectacularly without a net. Not only did Giuliani claim Trump knew about hush money payments to Stormy Daniels he also detailed why it was important for the money to be paid - to steer it clear of the upcoming election. He even went so far to say Clinton would have done the same thing just before election day if she was forced to. (See: www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2018/05/06/giuliani-stumbles-into-another-fiasco/?utm_term=.855f5ff512d5).
Like everyone else, Giuliani threw Trump under the bus. Not only did he claim Trump knew of the payments, but that he also reimbursed Micheal Cohen plus "expenses" for handing the entire "affair." Giuliani then went on to impress his audience by claiming Cohen probably made several other payments like the one to Ms. Daniels. Gee, Rudy must be the best Trump can do by getting in front of accusations, even those not already raised. Makes one think Trump and his advisors know those indicted by Mueller have already flipped on Trump and getting out on front of questionable matters is better than covering them up - except the confusion coming from the Trump White house seems to fortify the argument that an actual cover-up is underway and Giuliani just didn't "have his facts straight." (See: www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/giuliani-will-get-his-facts-straight-and-other-takeaways-from-trumps-comments-on-the-white-house-lawn). But at this point, who can believe anything Trump says or tweets? (According to PolitiFact and the Washington Post, Mr. Trump is now averaging six lies a day while serving as president). (See: www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2018/05/01/president-trump-has-made-3001-false-or-misleading-claims-so-far/?utm_term=.403fe8cd05c8).
And here we go with a new week and perhaps new claims by Trump and his "crack team" of attorneys. Just today, Trump tweeted out his frustration with the "Witch Hunt" because it is all about the Democrats trying to drag the investigation beyond the Midterm elections in an effort to tarnish the GOP brand. A tad bit hypocritical considering this was the actual strategy played out perfectly by the Republicans running the never ending Benghazi investigations - solely designed to tarnish Clinton's candidacy with eight separate investigations. The rationale used by Republicans for the constant investigations? To create a reason to investigate everything relating to Clinton. Now that the Democrats have the chance to pursue Trump, Republicans seemed worried about the political impact such investigations can cause. They should know, they perfected the strategy and Karma's a bitch! (See: www.usnews.com/debate-club/is-benghazi-a-legitimate-scandal/theres-no-scandal-only-a-partisan-witch-hunt and www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/09/30/kevin-mccarthys-comments-about-benghazi-should-raise-a-red-flag-for-republicans/?utm_term=.ae2cab4026c1).
So as we enter another week of the Trump presidency, we can expect more twists and turns and a lot more revelations of possible Russian collusion between the Trump Campaign, his advisors and perhaps even Mr. Trump himself. Either way, Trump should dig in and expect a rocky remainder of his term. And don't forget, Mr. Mueller's strategy of boxing Trump into a corner is working. Fighting a potential subpoena from the Special Prosecutor could lead to a potential Constitutional crisis - one only the Supreme Court can resolve. (See: www.politico.com/story/2018/05/06/giuliani-trump-mueller-subpoena-570883). If Mr. Trump thinks he can beat the subpoena, he will nevertheless lose as doubt and real concern gain steam throughout this argument. And what if Mueller can prove Trump's guilt? I guess we will only then see if his base of supporters think their dear leader (and themselves) are above the law.
As President Richard Nixon once said; "Those who hate you don't win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself. " Now if only Mr. Trump and his supporters would only this. Have a great week!
Daniel R. Rubin is an Attorney, Educator, Lecturer and National Award Winning Author. He is a retired adjunct professor of American History who also taught Advanced Placement United States Government and American Politics in Venice, Florida.