Bearing Witness to Trump Week 3

Week of February 5 – 11, 2017

Trump spends his second weekend of Presidency… Mar-a-Lago. Surprise.

Around the country, more raids and round-ups are occurring against the undocumented. Some who report for their annual immigration check-in are immediately apprehended, handcuffed, and sent out of the country without their families.

Trump continues his attack on the federal courts, claiming they will be responsible for an act of terrorism. More fear mongering to make us be afraid, very afraid. The administration claims they have unreviewable authority. Again, how all despots and autocrats get their footing, right after attacking the press, judiciary, and anyone who disagrees.

The lies continue to pour out every time a mouth is opened in this administration. It seems that the President’s National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, long before the inauguration was indeed engaged in private discussions with the Russians about current sanctions. That is certainly not patriotic, and maybe criminal under the Logan Act, and close to sedition. Lock him up, lock him up, the Republicans would be demanding if this had been a Democrat.

White House spokesperson Kellyanne Conway promotes a Trump family business in a national interview. This behavior has become so normalized, no one is surprised or seems to care. If this would have been a Democrat they would be chanting “Lock her up, lock her up”.

On the list of new people Trump has threatened is a Texas State Senator who had stood up against asset forfeiture by the government before a conviction. Trump said he was going to destroy the lawmaker’s career. Trump goes after one of our most prized rights which is protection of personal property.

Trump’s Supreme Court nominee says he is disheartened and demoralized by the President’s attacks on the federal judiciary.

Finally, good news. A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court ruling that stopped Trump’s immigration ban. How furious he must be to be subject to the courts and constitution just like the rest of us.

Republicans Senators, following the character of their President, muzzle, censure and censor another Senator from speaking on the people’s floor about the history of the nominated Attorney General Jeff Sessions.  This the day after Trump suggests there might not be much difference between Russia and America in that we both kill people.

Trump takes to Twitter as POTUS to attack yet another business, Nordstroms, because they discontinued a product line of his daughter due to poor sales performance. The next day Trump rents out the oval office for Intel to make a televised commercial standing next to the commander in chief. Just imagine if a Democrat had done either one of these, oh the howling for an investigation if not impeachment for conflict of interest.  What hypocrites.

It seems the nominee for Secretary of Labor, whose policies are definitely not pro-labor, had previously employed an undocumented household worker for whom he did not pay employment taxes. Here you have an administration railing against illegal immigrants being led by captains of industry who have employed them. You can’t make this up.

The big infrastructure programs promised during the campaign appear to now be the big privatization program. We will encourage private investment in infrastructure by issuing hundreds of billions of dollars in tax credits? Not only will that shift the tax burden to personal income taxes, but of course the privatized projects will have tolls or equivalent which will also be paid for by us personally. Let me see, what country used an oligarchy to privatize the spoils of being in power? Could it have been….Russia. Yes, the same country that Trump seems to admire and whose leader is one of the few he refuses to attack.

Trump says the press is not covering acts of terrorism in the US. This is a lie. Then they change the story that the press is not covering terrorism adequately. Trump claims that the murder rate is the highest it has ever been. This is a lie. The Trump team continues to undermine and delegitimize the role of the press by claiming the press are the liars, not him. And of course the White House starts playing like they are the poor victims, not the perpetrators. This is what all bullies do when they are called out.

New cabinet members continue to be seated, despite heroic efforts of some Democrats with backbone to slow he process down. Today, a billionaire who fights against public education and has never attended a public school a day in her life, was appointed as Secretary of Education. Soon the EPA will have a new head that wants to muzzle if not dismantle this agency.

For those not paying attention, what we are experiencing is the take down and privatization of government. Some would call it a coup.

The Trump administration now says the immigration ban was due to national security, and we should be afraid, very afraid. They go on to say that it was also done to protect our civil rights and freedoms. Yes, that must be it. Attack our civil rights to protect them.

Now we start a list of all the countries which Trump has attacked, ridiculed, threatened, blamed, coerced, or taunted. The list includes China, Mexico, Germany, Iran, Australia, Yemen, Syria, North Korea, South Korea with more to come I am sure.

What makes me the saddest is those disaffected Americans who voted for Trump because the new global economy of unrestrained free market capitalism and trade had left them behind and their communities distressed. They were lied to and sold an empty bag as the country was de-industrialized. Now that the cost of that has sunk in, we don’t look at the root cause and ask how must we evolve capitalism and enforce public policies to balance the needs of our society. Instead, they are just being lied to again and sold another empty bag of promises from a con man; the king of capitalism and his cabinet of billionaires.

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.

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