Archive for the ‘Donald Trump’ category

The Second Phone Call

October 16, 2019

The now famous “whistleblower” gave us an insight into President Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian President.  From the whistleblower’s report, a number of released emails, and further testimony by present and former Administration persons before select House panels, the public knows how the crass (and mafia-like) President Trump tried to extort the Ukrainian President.  Trump’s goals were information intended to discredit Hillary Clinton and his potential opponent in the 2020 Presidential election, Joe Biden.  

This week the public has learned of a second phone call, this time with the President of Turkey.  The public does not yet have the details of this second call, but the evening news is delivering the sad consequences.  Turkey has invaded northern Syria and is attacking Syrian Kurds who previously had been US allies in the effort to destroy ISIS.  President Trump’s decision to stand back, and by default, allow Turkey to have its way, was against all professional advice news reports are telling.  Slowly there is speculation forming about what the telephone conversation with President Erdogan contained.  And the speculation is not pretty.

One school, let’s call it the “innocent” version goes as follows.  The President initiated a call against the advice of his aides.  As normal for President Trump, the President was unprepared for unexpected developments.  President Erdogan told the President that Turkey was prepared to implement a “buffer zone” in norther Syria along Turkeys border with Syria.  President Trump accepted the proposal and said US troops would not interfere.  President Trump is said to have laid down no conditions or consequences if Turkey went too far.  End of call.

The second school of thought, let’s call it the “Trump, Inc” version opens with the President thanking President Erdogan for attending the recent opening of a new Trump property in Istanbul.  President Erdogan reminded the President that “Trump, Inc” also has several other properties in Turkey and that Turkey was an important country for “Trump, Inc”.  President Erdogan than transitioned to Turkey’s plans to invade Syria and that it would be wise for the US to withdraw as soon as possible, etc, etc, etc.

Most likely the actual conversation combined both versions.  President Trump’s highest interests involve his properties and their financial value.  President never prepares for important meetings and so why would one expect that he prepared for his Erdogan call?  And, as “Mr Transactional”, why would anyone expect President Trump to see further than how the deal impacts the President now.

As a narcissist, a lazy thinker, and an outmatched participant in the international big leagues, why would anyone expect President Trump to suddenly act Presidential and attempt to deal with the best interests of America first?  

Should the details of the second call begin to be leaked, President Trump could be looking at wholesale abandonment by his up to now Congressional Republican firewall.  What a hoot that discrediting Joe Biden doesn’t bother Congressional Republicans but messing with the Middle East would.  Go figure.

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Kiss My A**

October 14, 2019

There is no shortage of reasons why President Donald Trump should not have been elected President.  Never the less, even with the current impeachment hearings, (barring some new discovery), there is between zero and zilch chance that President Trump will be turned out of office other than through the 2020 general election. Let’s hope the ship of state holds together until that time.

This past week should have put to rest any reason a reasonable Congress member would have to insulate the President from impeachment charges.  Whether it was subverting the national interest for his own self aggrandizement or calling out a political opponent by inviting a foreign country to interfere with the country’s elections, President Trump is as guilty as “shit” (to employ a common colloquialism).

How could I use such vulgar language to impugn the person elected to our highest office?

Well. how about the President breaking into jail himself.  This week, in an unforced error, President Trump singled out the Bidens at a Minneapolis campaign rally for a Trump special salute.  On this night,Trump scolded whomever’s name he could remember but saved his most untethered line for former Vice President Biden.

Our President, the present occupant of the White House, found a crack in the gutter and climbed down into it.  From this lowest of low points, “little” Donald Trump characterized Vice President Biden’s tenure as a period where Biden kissed President Obama’s ass.  What?

Where are all those evangelical, bible reading, bible studying Americans who have thrown their support to Trump?  Have these evangelicals thought at all about their fundamental beliefs, or at least what the Bible teaches them?  Strangely, the evangelical community has remained silent and has only spoken out when Trump pulled US troops out of supporting the Kurds.

If evangelicals cannot disown the coarse and vulgar language the President of the United States uses, there is no need to study the Bible any further.

Asking the Ukraine and China to investigate Vice President Biden, with or without a quid pro quo, is impeachable.  Using a euphemism “kissing President Obama’s ass” is disgusting and leaves a dark stain on the Office of President but the crude language is not impeachable.  The “crude speak” is, however, grounds for a sound thumping in the 2020 election. 

If Trump is not defeated, America will deserve all the sewer life that will accompany a Trump 2nd term.

Moment Of Truth, Or Not

October 11, 2019

By now in the Trump Presidency, any serious journalist has figured out that what the President is saying is either (1) completely wrong, or (2) a misleading exaggeration.  In either case, if one seeks factual information, one should look in other places for a reliable answer.  Hmmm.

Early in the Trump Administration, reporters danced around the President’s glaring misrepresentation euphemistically saying the President “may have misspoke”, “was poorly advised by aides”, or “the President’s comments could not be independently verified”.  After a few months it became clear that the President was (1) the author of what he was saying and (2) had no interest in accuracy.

Now, almost three years later, main stream media has moved on and co-reports what the President has said along side of what is known factually. 

Never the less, to a Trump friendly audience, Trumps words are about a message not about an accurate outlook.  For example, despite factual evidence that hispanic Americans, as a group, are law abiding residence with lower criminal records than the population as a whole, Trump’ message is “American doesn’t want hispanics because “they are rapists and bad people”.  

So is the President “lying”?

According to some recent articles, technically the President may not be lying.  Of course what the President is saying is not true, but in order to lie, one must know and care about the truth but intentionally choose to conceal the truth with some other words.   President Trump does not care about the truth, he cares more about a message.

Pundits are applying the non-scientific term, “Trump is bullshitting” or “Trump is a bullshitter” to describe the President’s constant behavior.

A “bullshitter” is someone who has message to deliver and says whatever is necessary to make that point regardless of whether there are facts to support what is said.

Bullshitting goes well beyond “bluffery” which has been practice in politics forever.  For example, “the good citizens of Iowa have a very special place in my heart.  I lover coming here”  These are harmless but almost certainly untrue and meaningless words especially when they are repeated in each and every State.  Bluffery represent innocent statements.  “Bullshitting”, on the other hand, is intentional misleading.

America is witnessing the unexpected complications from Trump’s life time of “bullshitting”.  President Trump made his career as a real estate developer and an entertainer as a “bullshitter”.  Bankruptcy, broken promises, and shady deals where Trump talked his way into a court battles, regrettably does not prepare one for the Presidency.  

As President, Trump has cannibalized existing national strengths and foreign relationships to advance his personal (and unsupported) claims such as “trade wars are easy to win”, “I know more than the Generals”, and “America doesn’t need NATO”.  Today a world congested with mistruths is closing in on President Trump despite what the “yes men” who surround him are saying.

As more voters begin to realize that reality is the opposite of what President Trump claims, the margin of defeat for the president will grow and grow.

Appearance Of Impropriety

October 7, 2019

Voters are being swamped with what appears to be wholly unpresidential behavior while President Trump’s Congressional supporters are doing their best make the least of an untenable political situation.  Voters see what the President has done and then look to their elected representatives only to see Democrats pointed their finger at President Trump and Republicans pointing their finger some other direction.  Who’s right?  Hmmm.

President Trump’s total denial of having done anything wrong is consistent with his already demonstrated lack of ethics and insatiable desire to have his own way.  Congressional Republicans, most of whom know better, never the less are showing no willingness to call out the President.  Impeachment is truly beside the point.  Republicans are constantly recalibrating Trumps actions and their own individual chances for reelection.  What’s missing here?

Assume for a moment that Hunter Biden or former Vice President Biden were guilty of some impropriety in the Ukraine or in China.  In no case does it justify the President to call them (Vice President Biden his political opponent) out in public, or even worse. to coerce a foreign government into publicly announcing an investigation.  If the President had reasonable cause to suspect improprieties, his justice department is well suited to investigate in secrecy, confirm with evidence, and press charges if substantiated.  The President is simply out of place with his rhetoric and once again, inflicts a stain on America’s reputation.

But one must ask, what was Vice President Biden thinking when his son, Hunter Biden, joined boards of companies in the Ukraine and China while the Vice President was in office?  The very presence of Hunter Biden on these boards has the stench of impropriety.  Shame on both Bidens.

One need not look very far to see at least as many and probably far more incidents of potential impropriety with President Trump and his family.  Maybe Americans have just become too jaded to even speak up.  The political camps seem to be more interested in the money and governance comes second.  Hmmm.

In any large well run corporation, the “go-no go” line begins with the “appearance” of impropriety.  Much shorter than an allegation or a proof of impropriety.  President Trump is more than guilty in this case and no other mitigation can provide absolution, but at the same time, the Bidens cannot deny the “appearance” they created. 

Breaking Into Impeachment

October 5, 2019

Republican talking heads have been scrambling the past few days to explain away the “whistleblower” report and the declassified “readout” of President Trump’s telephone conversation with the Ukrainian President.  Despite both reports written in English, Congressional Republicans read one thing and everyone else reads something else.  Same words, two different take aways.  Hmmm.

In live televised interviews, President Trump has now erased any doubts about what the whistleblower or the “readout” meant.  The President confirmed (as indicated in the Whistleblowers report and the Readout) that he wanted the Ukraine to open an investigation into previous Ukrainian activities by Hunter Biden and former Vice President Biden.  The President then gratuitously included China as another foreign country that should search for dirt in the Bidens.  Really, what does Trump not understand about publicly besmirching a likely opponent and by asking a foreign government to “intervene” in the US electoral process?  

IMO, President Trump knows exactly what he is doing.  Trailing in the polls, the President believes that nothing worse can happen to him.  Trump reasons he can sell to enough Americans that the US President, as head of the executive branch, is only discharging his duties when as President, he seeks to flesh out corruption around the world. Sadly, many Trump supporters will swallow that assertion hook, line, and sinker.  “Trumpers” will not think about the similarity this tactic has with third world dictators, flies in the face of Constitutional intentions, and is plain and simply unethical if not outrightly illegal.

So, acting as the chief executive and this assumed “get out of jail card”, President Trump has not chosen to attack his Presidential opponents in traditional ways (like criticizing opponent’s policies) and instead has chosen to put on his sheriff’s hat and call out his opponents in public with unproven charges.  Heroic?

President Trump represents a real and present danger to all Americans.  Trump’s “all decisions come from the President”, disdain for institutions, and flaunting of all ethical bounds if doing so advantages the Trump family put the President in such a compromised position.   The country is running on auto-pilot and at risk should any adverse world development present danger.

President Trump’s antic makes impeachment impossible to avoid even though there is little chance of conviction.

Once impeached, President Trump is likely to rampage through 2020 irrationally lashing out at any and all perceived enemies.  With the economy beginning to teeter and the prospect of job growth ending, more than just the agricultural sector may think they have had enough of President Trump.

The only questions remaining is how many Republican Congress members will distance themselves from the Donald Trump Republican party?  What should be clear is that President Trump’s way is wrong for America regardless if one is a Republican or a Democrat.

Bizarreville, DC

October 2, 2019

A casual observer would be expected to say, “the Washington, DC political circus” can’t get any more bizarre than it is right now.  And, almost before these word’s echo has died, there is another gonzo revelation.  Last week the President released (under pressure) a summary of his July 25, 2019 telephone call with the Ukrainian President where President Trump (imitating a mafia boss) tried to extort the Ukrainian President asking him to dig up dirt on former Vice President Biden (who could be President Trump’s opponent in the 2020 Presidential election).  Hmmm.

This week President Trump is claiming Congressional Democrats and all the major news organization are lying about what the summary actually said.  The President characterized the call as “beautiful” and contained “no pressure” on the Ukrainian President.  Of course, a simple reading of the summary’s English words contradict Trump’s conclusions.  

That Donald Trump is committed to truth suppression and if the truth emerges, misdirection, is now well established as the “Donald Trump modus operandi”.  Trump seeks continual self glorification and will only retain staff members who meets this need.   Trump’s narcissistic side dominates his emotional exterior, and Trump’s commitment to acting first and maybe thinking later, follows normally his official Presidential acts.  

So why is the President acting so crazy?

Maybe he is crazy like a fox. 

  • Would it be better for President Trump to speak to his easy win with the China trade war? 
  • Or, would it be easier for the President to explain how American leadership is leading the world away from the looming global climate crisis. 
  • Or maybe the US economy would be a more fruitful subject where the President can explain why the US economy is flagging in part due to the global economic slow down (facilitated by tariff fears)?

Elizabeth Warren?

September 17, 2019

Democrat Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren (Senator from Massachusetts) held a rally last night in New York’s Washington Square.  Crowd estimates ranged between 10 and 20 thousand which puts Warren in the big leagues.  Her stage appeal is growing, her oratorial skills are evident, and public recognition is beginning to register.  While there are still many months and many primaries ahead, Warren seems to be gathering momentum while other Democrat candidates seem stagnated or declining.

To date, Warren has been noted by her capacity for producing fairly well fleshed out policy statements on a wide range of issues.  Yesterday, Warren published another policy statement and moved closer to the “how to fix government” silver bullet.  The topic was political corruption.

The usual image conjured when one thinks political corruption is the bribe, “you do this for me and I’ll do that for you”.  While Warren undoubtably would find that version of corruption repugnant, she spoke of something far more systemic, politely discreet, and a true poison for our political process. 

Warren highlighted the Washington norms built around the “revolving door” and “paid lobbyists”.  The “revolving door” involves government legislators and regulators who cycle between government jobs and private sector jobs where their influence and knowledge is exploited and while in government, fulfill their debts to private sector employers .  Treasury Department to Wall Street and back.  Defense Department to industry and back.  and so forth.

Lobbying, on the other hand, is a first amendment right (information and constituent’s feelings are good to know).  Lobbying in today’s world is far more about how much money can pass from the lobbyist to the legislator or secretly to the regulator.

Warren connects this “political corruption” to explain why commonsense issues (like there are no limits on military style weapons) with the existence of political corruption.

Her cure prescription is transparency and elimination of the revolving door.

While Warren is emphasizing “government corruption”, Congress right before our eyes has ceased to function as a deliberative body.  America’s needs have been supplanted with the special interest.  Hmmm.

Elizabeth Warren may or may not win the nomination.  And if nominated, may beat President Trump or not.  And, if Warren become President may be able to end this corruption or not.  Regardless, the characterization of political corruption cannot help but make  the public more aware of why nothing sensible is happening.  Stay tuned.