Saturday, April 29, 2017

100 days of Misery in America

The first 100 days have been a disaster. Let us count the ways. 
1) In spite of criminal and ethics violations, no action has been taken against one of the most corrupt regimes in American history. The Government Office on Ethics, America's top ethicists, some judges and constitutional lawyers have noted the violations. Americans still haven't seen his tax returns, but we've seen his conflicts. Billionaires, nepotism, and dark money rule. 

2) A "mine's bigger than yours" presidency has been exposed. It's hype over policy-making, show over substance. Those 30 Executive Orders that reflect his obsession with numbers add up to little more than petty, self-aggrandizing efforts to undo the Obama legacy and boost the profits of oil companies, big corporations, and the president and his family. So we have Orders against Muslim immigration (halted by the courts); for a border wall; overturning the ACA; abolishing sanctuary cities; eliminating Obama's climate change policies and his ban on drilling in the Arctic. What a blowhard!  

But it's enough to keep his tiny 30% base happy, and his ratings low, the courts alert, the lawyers on their toes, the Dems spinning their wheels, and the resistance movement growing. The Women's March, the Scientists' March, the huge Climate Change Marches today in DC, in NYC, Seattle and other cities, demonstrate the outrage of millions of citizens here and around the world at Trump's environmental policies. Trump's  puny "campaign rallies" cannot touch these numbers. Not even close. 

3) While the White House is full of cons, liars, relatives and cheats, the Cabinet is loaded with billionaires, bankers and corporate execs with obvious conflicts of interests in charge of agencies they hate and want to eviscerate or eliminate. Senate Republicans approved them all, KNOWING that the anti-democracy, treasonous Transition Team of Bannon, Pence, Rebekah Mercer and Nunes chose them because they opposed the mission and programs of the agencies they were to head. "Let's deconstruct the government," tra la! Welcome to the Tillerson, Sessions, Devos, Mnuchin, Wilbur Ross, Carson et al Billionaires Club. In 100 days the damage has begun. 

4) Those Russian ties? 100 days gone by and the treason and tyranny continue unabated. Congressional investigations are tainted, with Rep. Adam Schiff (D, CA) the people's only hope, a slim hope. Not sure where the FBI, CIA, Treasury and Defense Departments, and other investigations are. Where is a special prosecutor? The Muscovite Candidate and cronies like Manafort, Paige, Mike Flynn, Wilbur Ross are getting away with treason like Putin is getting away with his invasion of Ukraine. 

The cover-up is so huge that if it's ever uncovered, the current regime will explode as if North Korea had unloaded a bomb on targets White House and Congress. The R members of Congress approved cabinet members and other top officials with Russian ties even after intel agencies briefed them. They knew the information was damaging, and ignored it. Rachel Maddow has connected the dots and made the case. So have other top-notch journalists and some Congressional Democrats. Millions of Americans have heard them, and agree. 

5) How smart is it to damage the White House's relationship with the Intelligence community?  We have our doubts about James Comey, but the FBI has its doubts about Trump. It's investigating the president. All seven Intel agencies are doing the same. We say this as though it were an everyday occurrence. It's shocking. The National Security Council, less Bannon finally, and its various departments are in confusion. The CIA is not impressed with Trump's braggadocio, on display while speaking in front of its Wall of Heroes. The director called Trump's comments "The most despicable display of self aggrandizement ever seen here." The Intel agencies are on to this hollow man and his sordid regime's web of conflicts, collusion, and unsavory connections. When will we see some action? 

6) We've had 100 days of lying. We are witnessing a president who delights in calling facts and truth "fake news" and a press secretary, silly Sean Spicer, who puts out Trump's lies as news. The tweets, one more outrageous than the next in flinging out accusations with no evidence, add to the litany of lies. It would be laughable (and many reporters do laugh at the excesses), if it weren't so tragic. Yep, fact check everything. As Maxine Waters said, this president "can't be trusted." On his 100th day he touted as an accomplishment "pushing back against the media." What kind of a president does this? What kind of man in the Oval Office would call the free press "an enemy of the people?"  

7) It took just 100 days for Trump not only to alienate the intel community and the media, but also the judicial branch of government. Have we ever had a president so ignorant of the US Constitution, Rule of Law, and the role and purpose of our three branches of government?  A guy so unread and unfit that he has blasted the courts' rulings and raised doubts in the mind of Chief Justice Roberts? Maybe Roberts is keeping an eye on his newest member, Neil Gorsuch, too, the Pence on the Bench who arose with $10 million dark-money backing on the ashes of Obama's Merrick Garland nomination, a nomination intentionally held up with malice aforethought by corrupt McConnell and the Senate's Republican majority. Roberts and the Court know the truth. So do we the people. It must mean something.  

Riding the bomb down,
Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove
8) Warmongering is up, diplomacy is down. Tillerson is over his head. Trump has alienated our allies, the EU, NATO, Canada and Mexico, and beyond. He's America's joke. The most transparent thing about him is how little he knows. 

That's why I think the Generals hold sway. General Maddox has a job on his hands managing such an ignorant president, but he and the generals are finding it easy to get their way. They just feed Trump his lines, and he's off like a rocket. Diplomacy takes great intellect, special skills, nuance, and patience--traits Trump lacks. War, on the other hand, can deliver a great macho image for a weak, ego-driven man. The Generals are pros at dealing with this kind of guy. Let's pray the Generals consider the options and the consequences of their talk and their actions more than Trump is capable of doing, and that they encourage the necessary restraint in any overkill type of thinking.  Is taunting Kim Jong's North Korea a good idea?

9) Trump does not speak like a president, act like a president, or think like a president. He lacks gravitas. He lacks impulse control.  Do you feel safe knowing  that Trump has his hands on the nuclear codes? He has an insatiable need for self-aggrandizement and adoration.  He lies.  He's running the White House like he runs his businesses, in chaos. He changes his chatter like a weak reed in the wind, turning back his promises, deflecting the real issues, appropriating other people's comments for his own use, twisting the truth in maniacal tweets. How can we trust a lying con? The overwhelming majority of Americans are on to him, and despise him.   

10) The next 100 days don't look good either. There are the ongoing investigations, the ongoing conflicts; doing the NRA's bidding on guns; undoing government agencies, including getting rid of 2300 skilled workers at the State Department; more tinkering with the ACA, an outrageous FY18 budget, and screw the middle class tax reform. Lots of programs are on the chopping block, from Education, Social Services, Health Care, and the EPA to the NEA/NEH and PBS. I fear for the USAID and Peace Corps budgets. So-called tax reform stands to make Trump, his family and the wealthiest Americans richer, and the rest of us poorer. Mnuchin has indicated as much. "Trickle down" economics has never worked. Why will it now? The Earth, our public lands, our environment, our cultural and social fabric, our social safety nets, our National Security, and a precarious world hang in the balance. 

I could go on.  Andrew Romano, a yahoo journalist, hit the nail on the head in his story about how Trump talks, which is at the level of a five year old: "The campaign allowed him to keep doing what he’s been doing his entire adult life: selling himself. The presidency is different: It requires you to sell your policies." Trump doesn't have any real policies beyond his own self-aggrandizement wrapped in massive conflicts of interests. Nor is he able to make a strong case for any position he takes, as is clear in his orders banning Muslim immigration from six countries for no clear reason.

He can't make a case; he can only spout doublespeak. How easy to turn vice into virtue, slander into truth, thievery into honor, brutality into patriotism, sadism into justice!  How well Joseph Heller captured this presidency in his 1961 Cold War novel "Catch-22."  The first 100 days have revealed a president who is a hollow shell of a man incapable of talking or acting like a president because he has no knowledge, no sense of justice or nuance, no aptitude for discernment. The latter will prove his undoing. The next 100 days of Misery in America starts now. 

Now imagine this scenario, posted by a fellow resister: "Hillary Clinton is president. It's learned that she has deep ties to Putin. She puts utterly unqualified billionaires in cabinet posts. She puts her daughter Chelsea in a position of influence in the West Wing. And Chelsea's husband is Hillary's chief advisor. She refuses to release any tax returns, she blocks access to the visitor logs in the White House and Bill refuses to live in the White House so our tax dollars are spent keeping him safe in Chappaqua. Hillary spends almost every weekend lounging in a resort. AND, in an interview she names the wrong country she bombed while bragging about the chocolate cake she was eating while she did said bombing. Impeachment proceedings would already be underway, I have no doubt." #Impeach45 Phyllis Farnham post on "Donald Trump is not my president" site.
 Why haven't impeachment proceedings started against Trump?  Will they? Will a special prosecutor ever be appointed? By whom? Certainly not Jeff Sessions. How about the new deputy director at the Justice Dept? How long will it take? Where are the lawyers? Where are the lawsuits. Where are the consequences for Trump's obvious ethics violations, his nepotism, his massive conflicts of interest using the presidency to make himself and his family richer.  How long will this travesty go on? 

Sources: Fact checked.  there are several other fact check articles.  trump rather a joke on the world scene. Justice Roberts expresses concern over Trump's executive order and what it reveals. The Russian connections, treason and corruption.  A scary article on how trump is destroying American govt as we know it, to the applause of the Freedom Caucus in Congress, the Koch brothers and Mercer family,and other dark money sources now ruling America. If only his base cared to be informed of how he has and will continue to betray them.   

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