Bearing Witness to Trump Week 2

Week of January 29 – February 4, 2017

February 4

A NYT story reveals that autocrats all around the world have celebrated the election of Trump, making them feel more mainstream secure in their own behavior. Do we really risk the new administration becoming a plutocracy if not an autocracy? Let’s see: the cabinet if full of billionaires, those who oppose Trump are called enemies and attacked, the free press is attacked, those who disagree are told to leave, there is a love of the military, the judiciary is attacked, he inserts trusted family members into administration like no other president in modern history, he peddles fear and divisive language, and of course distortions and lies are prevalent.

At the recent national prayer breakfast the President speaks like a true patriot and Christian when he claims he will “totally destroy” laws which provide for the separation of church and state.

What is most sad to me is that the President exploits the uninformed and dupes this misinformed, those he professes to care about. He uses a populist rhetoric in public, but then works to dismantle those things which protect us all. During week 2 this included Dodd-Frank, the environment, healthcare, fiduciary protection for investors, guns for the mentally ill, and the list goes on.

White House spokesperson Conway lies once again using the Bowling Green Massacre as justification for restricting immigration. There was no such thing.

Trump’s son Eric Trump visited Uruguay to advance family business. It cost taxpayers $100K.

Here in the heartland of the heartland, Missouri, we have our new Governor and his Republican legislature “helping” the public with right to work legislation to break unions, reduced funding to education and Medicaid for the poor, and an attack on consumer protection laws. We have a budget crisis largely because the Republican dominated legislature in recent years has reduced business franchise taxes and business income taxes all while dolling out tax credits.

February 2, 2017

In psychology they say you can never get enough of what you profess to abhor and not want. If you see the world you profess to dislike and want to protect us from as threatening, dangerous, chaotic, competitive, and war-like where only winners win and dominate. AND you are in a position of power and projection, well guess what, you will manifest that world around you, even when it did not exist before. We are seeing that every day more and more with the attitudes and actions of the Trump Presidency. They are creating a mean-spirited U.S. and world full of conflict and danger. I have fallen victim to it myself.  It is only a matter of time and opportunity before it all boils over out of control of even the master deal maker.

Trump threatens his first “go nuclear” as President today aimed at the U.S. Senate where he does not like Democrats doing to Republicans what they did to Democrats. Perhaps he forgets that his current supreme court nomination was actually stolen from Obama by Republicans who many think practiced sedition by not performing their duty to consider Obama’s nomination of Garland.

There’s a popular argument that Trump is doing exactly what he said he would upon taking office. Well, yes and no. Examples: he is going to build a wall that Mexico is paying for. The first part appears right. He is going to ban all Muslims. Hum….

The nominee for the Secretary of the Army, Vincent Viola, is another billionaire. His credentials for this job are as a Wall Street trader who owns an airline and hockey team. The combined net worth of Trump’s cabinet picks are estimated between $5 and $15B. Drain that swamp baby, drain baby, drain.

Someone tendered that the rest of the world should ban U.S. travelers from entering their country. After all, we are the most violent gun loving country in the first world that has obviously gone delusional and ungovernable as witnessed from afar.

In another loss for the public’s right to know, the Agriculture Department has removed from its website animal welfare inspection reports and enforcement records on breeders and testing facilities.

February 1

In announcing his pick for the Supreme Court, Trump shows what a carny he is by bringing an entourage with him to clap clap clap, just like in his first press conference, and just what other despots and dictators do around the world. Nominee Gorsuch looks rather qualified, downright intellectual elitist, but that is not the issue for Democrats. We have done just fine for almost a year without the 9th justice, while the Republicans refused to even give Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland, who was just as qualified, a hearing. It was a constitutional crime that the Congress never considered Garland, and that nomination was stolen from a properly-elected President at the time. It is time for Democrats to show some backbone and honor their values, damn the next election. Under normal circumstances, sure give a sane President his nominee. But these are not normal times, the President is not acting like a sane person, and allowing the court to be moved further to the right during these times is a dangerous, reckless act. If the shoes were reversed, is there any doubt what the Republicans would do? Why would we appease the rise of an evil, divisive administration? The only good news is that Gorsuch appears to support the limitation in the powers of the federal government and for state’s rights. Good luck with that and Trump, who is not a true Republican because he acts like that he and his administration have the obligation and authority to do anything and everything to save and fix America from Washington, all said while railing against government elitists.

The assault on the environment has begun by the Republicans with a rollback of environmental regulations such as those allowing coal companies to dump waste into watersheds.  The House then rolled back anti-corruption regulations that required the extraction industries to publicly state the taxes, fees and other compensation (read kickbacks and bribes) they must pay foreign governments. Yes indeed, this is draining the swamp of corruption.

Press Secretary Sean Spicer lies to the press and people again when he claims that the President did not mean this was an immigration ban, when the President himself used the word ban this past week after promising a ban on Muslims during the campaign. Daily the administration pundits remind the press and people that Trump is doing exactly what he promised to do during the campaign.

January 31

Trump has fired the Acting Attorney General, Sally Yates. The gall and hypocrisy of his press secretary who said she betrayed the justice department. She honored the Justice Dept and the American people who she works for in her patriotic act of resistance to a likely illegal action.

Trying to recall all the people and groups that Trump or his administration attach dogs have insulted, maligned, bullied, threatened, disparaged, or belittled so far is not easy. The list is long and includes: immigrants,  Muslims, Women, protesters, Jews, Democrats, Disabled, Political Opponents, Ex-employees, State Dept. Diplomats, the environment, Chinese, Justice Department, ex Presidents, non-violent protesters, Germans, norms of the office, CNN, Federal judges, Justice Dept., CIA, sanctuary cities, senate rules, his replacement on the Apprentice, Nordstroms, and a Texas State Senator.

Some are questioning if Trump suffers from more than a personality disorder and is plain delusional. Tony Schwartz, Trump’s ghost writer for the “Art of the Deal” says that Trump convinces himself that what he says is true or ought to be true. So he does not think he is lying.

The man Trump has promoted to be an expert on voter fraud, and who originated the claim that over 3 million voted illegally, was himself registered to vote in three different states in the 2016 election.

Meanwhile, the Russians take the news of their election meddling so seriously they have arrested people they think leaked what they were doing to the British and US. But we are going to investigate voter fraud. You cannot make this up.

January 30, 2017

Trump claims, in another outright lie, that all is going well with the new immigration bans. Yes, protests are occurring all over the country, a court has ruled parts of it as illegal, the acting AG refuses to defend it, passengers are being yanked off of planes and put into handcuffs and detained without charge or representations, airports are chaotic, and members of his own party say it was not properly vetted. Press Secretary Spicer threatens State Dept. officials who dissent to either fall in line or leave. Another great display of American values. Things are just splendid in Trumplandia. Trump claims that this is not a ban on Muslims per se, despite during his campaign he said numerous times he would bring Muslim immigration to the US to a halt. More lies.

Another first for a President as Trump appoints a political strategist with absolutely no relevant credentials to have a seat on the National Security Council. Of all people, Steve Bannon, who disdains democratic processes and freedom of the press. Bannon is emerging as the Rasputin-type adviser was to Imperial Russian Czars. I can imagine why Trump wants someone so close to him on this council, he Chairman Trump, really has no interest in the details of his job and wants to outsource it to his COO.

In our neighboring Canada, worshippers at a Mosque are gunned down demonstrating the results of a war on Muslims. We don’t need to ban Muslims from America; most of our terrorists and mass shooters come from right here: California, or Texas, or Connecticut, or Colorado, or South Carolina.

Jihadist groups from around the world are celebrating Trump’s ban saying this proves the U.S. has declared war on Islam. Trump did indeed say during the campaign that he wanted to ban all Muslims from the U.S. and enforce a test to make sure they submitted to our values. Yes, these are great values to make sure they have.

Our new U.N. Ambassador, Nikki Haley, gets off to a warm start by telling her fellow ambassadors that the U.S. is taking names who do not back us.

Meanwhile, American soldiers now get to die in a brand new country we can put on the war board, Yemen, as a consequence of Trump’s first military exercise that goes bad. Civilians were killed, including children. Our troops were ambushed with loss of secrecy, an aircraft was lost, and a Seal died with three others injured. The Trump administration lies again and said it was a great success. Can you imagine the howling that would be going on if this occurred under an Obama or Clinton watch. Remember Yemen!


The above news items have been taken from a number of international, national, regional, and local news media sources, both print and digital. Additional editorial opinions and comments about these news items are those of this author.