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Despicable Trump

I wrote this for the Urban News in February 2019.

The Shutdown

Donald Trump, our president, shut down the government for five weeks in order to distract us from multiple ongoing investigations.

The shutdown made no sense on a number of different levels. Republicans held both houses of Congress for the last two years. Yet Donald Trump did not make a big deal out of not getting his funding for his “big, beautiful” Mexican wall. He did not take his best chance of getting funding by pressuring Paul Ryan, then the Speaker of the House. Yet now that Democrats control the House, he wants funding for a wall that most Democrats—and for that matter, most Americans—do not support.

So he invited the new Democratic leadership—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer—to the Oval Office and threatened them with a shutdown if they didn’t give him his wall. Unfortunately for Trump, 58% of Americans oppose building the wall. So the Democrats refused to cave to his threats, and after 35 days, President Trump backed down and allowed the government to reopen, without wall funding. To hold 800,000 government employees hostage over a diversion is despicable.

So why did he do it?

Trump’s inauguration committee raked in more than a hundred million dollars but spent only a fraction of the total. Investigators are trying to figure out where the money went.

Trump’s over-the-top opulent hotels have been packed full of diplomats and private money- and power-brokers from all over the world ever since he was elected. This seems to be an obvious conflict with the emoluments clause in the Constitution, which prohibits the president from profiting from his high office. This is being investigated by federal attorneys, and House Democrats have also promised to investigate this as well.

Trump’s son and son-in-law and his campaign leadership are being investigated for colluding with the Russians to get him elected. His former and present cabinet secretaries are being called before the House for investigative oversight hearings. And Donald Trump’s biggest worry was what convicted felon Michael Cohen has said to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team—and what he will say to investigators.

Michael Cohen was Donald Trump’s inside man, his personal lawyer, his fixer—his consigliere. Nancy Pelosi’s House is going to question him. Maybe it was time to distract the public with a shutdown.

Roger Stone

Roger Stone is the political insider’s insider. He has worked behind-the-scenes for years in the bowels of the Republican machine. I had never heard of him before a couple of months ago—though he was one of Richard Nixon’s fixers and “dirty-tricksters” in the 1970s. In fact, he and Nixon’s other henchman, Paul Manafort, formed a lobbying and political consulting firm called Black, Manafort, & Stone in the late 1970s to do dirty tricks for other Republicans—beginning with Ronald Reagan’s campaign in 1980.

The reason that Roger Stone is more interesting than almost all of the other characters indicted by Robert Mueller is because Stone sent out tweets that oddly foreshadowed what was to come. His tweet, “It will soon be Podesta’s time in the barrel” (Podesta was Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman) would have meant nothing—if WikiLeaks had not released John Podesta’s emails just days later.

How did Stone have that knowledge? Where did his information come from? Was it just a lucky guess, as he told the Senate Intelligence Committee?

It appears from the indictment that Roger Stone tried to contact WikiLeaks. It also appears that a high-ranking official in the Trump campaign was in contact with Roger Stone and asked Stone to reach out to the Russians. This appears to be the collusion that we have long suspected.


By |2019-07-27T16:23:28-04:00July 27th, 2019|Domestic Issues, Elections, Party Politics|Comments Off on Despicable Trump

The latest on RussiaGate

I have really, really tried to take a break from politics. I just get tired of fighting all of the time. Politics is about fighting for every idea, every word and every breath. I don’t think that it is possible to fight effectively all of the time. Even Joe Frazier didn’t fight every day and he was one of the greatest fighters of all-time.

So we KNOW that Russia used a 3 pronged approach to help elect Donald Trump and destroy the chances for Hillary to get elected.

1) Infiltrate Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

2) Attack the DNC and DCCC

3) Use social media to stir confusion

Obama understood the problem. He wanted to put out a nonpartisan statement stating that the Russians were interfering with our election. Obama knew that if he made a huge announcement at the White House that it would be seen as partisan. Republicans would have called foul. So, Obama got the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate together. He wanted them to put out a joint statement. This would have been supported by the intelligence community but Mitch “I’m NOT a patriot” McConnell would not sign on. So the joint statement never happened.

This nonsense from Trump is just that. Nonsense. He would have fallen on the floor and had a seizure if Obama would have held a prime time news conference and layed out all of the information that we had about the hack.

Look there are very few things that are certain in the world. I feel pretty certain that the sun will rise tomorrow. I’m also certain that Putin hates Hillary Clinton and wanted to do everything in his power to swing the election away from Hillary to Trump.

This week we see the cause and effect. Trump asked for Russia interference and within hours the Russias swung into action. Cause and Effect.

No matter how many stupid charts the Republicans throw up they can’t escape the fact that Putin hated Hillary and wanted to make sure that anyone other than Hillary would be elected. He wanted to sew the seeds of confusion and Trump was the perfect man for the job. Trump is perfect. He isn’t really a republican but Republicans love the fact that he is pro-business. The GOP is allowing our president to stumble and bumble his way thru his presidency. Trump is alienating our allies and saying great things about North Korea and Russia. Trump is starting a trade war with everyone which can only help Russia.

Whether you believe that Putin loves Trump or hates Hillary isn’t important to this story. The facts are that Russia DID hack our election. The other fact is if we don’t do something about this hack, it will happen again.

By |2018-07-14T23:00:35-04:00July 14th, 2018|Elections|Comments Off on The latest on RussiaGate

Urban News: Happy New Year

I wrote this in January for the Urban News in Asheville.

Happy New Year to you and yours. I love the idea of the new year and starting over. Don’t you wish we could redo the election? Unfortunately, there are no do-overs in life.

Giving Your Money to the Very Wealthy

So, if you remember, the GOP sped through a tax cut just before they got out of Washington for their Christmas break. Remember the GOP line—“Everyone will get a tax cut.” Well, that may have been what they set out to do. But that’s not what they did. If you make less than $500,000, then you get a tax increase. Those Americans who make less than $30,000 get run over by a MACK truck with this legislation. The Child Income Tax Credit that has helped so many Americans with children (remember how the GOP says that they love kids) has been dramatically cut. There’s still no funding for the CHIP program. Also, millions of America households will lose a large portion of their mortgage deduction.

By now, we should know that when our Tweeter-in-Chief decides to tweet something, it is probably not random. (It maybe something he saw on Fox two minutes earlier.) Many of his tweets are designed to get you mad or irritated. So, during this Tax Giveaway to the Wealthy, Trump tweeted that we will move our embassy in Israel from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. What?

Jerusalem is the center of the religious world for Jews, Christians, and Muslims. There are sensible reasons the embassy now sits in Tel Aviv—for one thing, to keep pressure on Israel and Palestine to negotiate a two-state solution. It’s been that way for 30 years. Second, this will cost us, hard-working Americans, hundreds of millions if not a billion or so dollars to make this crazy move. Finally, the announced move sends a clear message to the Arab nations that we simple do not care about them or their issues.

And what a great distraction! The mainstream media went nuts over the embassy move, and progressives were so busy yelling about it that they stopped yelling about the unfairness of taking money out of the pockets of millions of Americans to help give $1.5 trillion to large corporations and the top 0.1% of Americans.

Also, the tweet allowed the GOP to lock down the votes of those Senators who seemed like—or at least pretended—that they care for the poor and the middle class, like Susan Collins of Maine. It also gave cover to self-defined “budget hawks” like Bob Corker of Tennessee, who insisted “I won’t vote for any bill that adds a single penny to the deficit,” and then turned around and happily voted to add $1.5 trillion dollars to that same deficit. So the tax “reform” passed on a party-line vote: every Republican for it, every Democrat opposed.

Oh, wait, the new numbers from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities estimates the total cost of this giveaway will be $2.2 trillion. This reverse-Robin-Hood handout will make our deficit more than 10% bigger than it already is. It is a disaster for our country.

Don’t be fooled again

Now, Trump returns to the White House from playing four or five rounds of golf and he is hot. He is mad. He is in a fever over this new book that is coming out. Like always, he has his lawyers sending out cease-and-desist orders. Trump is throwing around the word “libel.” And the media, once again, is eating this stuff up.

Why? I don’t care if Trump and Steve Bannon are buddies. I don’t care if they get in a fist fight on Pennsylvania Ave (my money is on Bannon). This is yet another distraction. What is more important is that Trump said that our nuclear weapons were bigger than North Korea’s. This is insane. There is no other way to describe it. North Korea is a problem without a reasonable solution.

Let’s just say that we follow our U.S. ambassador’s statement. Ambassador Nikki Haley said that we cannot tolerate a nuclear North Korea. OK, so now what? North Korea is just 40 miles from Seoul, South Korea. North Korea does not need nuclear weapons. They can simply lob hundreds of cheap Scud missiles and tens of thousands of South Koreans, our close ally, will die. Just a peek at any map and you see that Japan, another close American ally, isn’t much farther away from North Korea. Although North Korea does not have tomahawk missile technology, they do have missiles that can reach Hawaii and California. How many American lives are we willing to risk? 100? 1,000? 10,000?

A lot of those Neocon types say that we just need to send in some Navy SEALS to deal with them. So these SEALS are going to sneak into a closed, militarized society undetected, and locate the North Korean leadership, and take ’em out? That works on NCIS and in John Wayne movies, but not in real life. Guns and bullets and bombs are not going to fix this problem.

Starting a war with a country that has no moral standards is NOT a good idea. I don’t think that Kim Jong Un cares if hundreds of thousands or even millions of his own people die, as long as he can say that they stood up to the U.S. Oh, and for those of you who believe that we should use diplomacy, don’t lose heart. Diplomacy worked for years. Then we, okay, not we. Our former president GWB called North Korea part of the axis of evil. Well, the North Koreans read the tea leaves. They kicked their nuclear program into high gear and they kicked diplomacy to the door.

Trump is unhinged

There was a huge article in the New Yorker about our president, Donald J. Trump. The article describes his dysfunctional cabinet. It talks about the fact that he really doesn’t sit down and allow aides to inform him. That details are not for him. He doesn’t read. He looks at hours and hours of Fox News.

Yet didn’t we know all of this before the election? We’ve always known that Trump is a rich man who only cares about money and maybe his family. That’s it. He doesn’t care about the environment or healthcare or any of that “policy stuff.” He cares about money. And maybe his ego. Period.

To be honest, I don’t need to read any more articles about how White House aides are running scared. I do not care that Trump can’t or won’t control his temper. This is not news. It’s not news that Trump won’t change, and we can’t change Trump.

What we can do—what we have to do—is win the House in 2018. Then we can block his agenda. We must also win the Senate in 2020 (if not this Fall) and the White House. We need to win and win big. We have so much work to do. We need to start now!

Happy New Year!!!

By |2018-06-05T21:15:11-04:00June 5th, 2018|Elections, Party Politics, Taxes|Comments Off on Urban News: Happy New Year