Bearing Witness to Trump Day 4

January 25, 2017

The day starts with Trump having more meetings with business CEOs. It must surely be clear by now that we have had a business takeover of public government. Do we not understand that it was free market unfettered unregulated capitalism that caused the de-industrialization of America? Businesses moved their production offshore and millions of jobs were lost because labor was cheap with few rights,  environmental protection often non-existent, and impossible to tell if business owned the government or government owned the businesses, as in China. The irony that our capitalists really loved communist, totalitarian countries who could be counted on to keep labor cheap and in line.

Big business says they are happy with the new administration that says corporate taxes should be lowered from 35% to 15%. The effective tax rate is already near 15%, and still they complain! It’s great to have a deal maker at the helm. And nothing says kingpin like someone who negotiates away things they do not even own. Another victory for the working poor who either get to pick up the revenue shortfall in higher personal taxes, or suffer through losses in education, transportation, healthcare, and social security benefits.

Executive orders continue to flood out of the White House at a record pace. Remind me, wasn’t it just last week that the Republicans were indignant about the imperial Presidency of Obama who governed through Executive Orders? Where are the protests now?

The latest order is restarting the Keystone Pipeline which will ultimately carry more carbon-based fuels into the atmosphere. Just after that news report, we heard about rare January storms and tornadoes wrecking havoc, killing dozens across the southeast.

Government agencies appear to be coming under restrictions, censorships, and gagging to avoid speaking of climate change in Trumplandia.

Trump has signed another executive order banning the use of U.S. funds to international NG0’s that provide reproductive services to woman. This follows an order freezing federal hiring for all agencies except the military. So we want to protect the unborn around the world while we grow our military to have more capability to kill more people around the world.

The war on Medicaid has begun with the threat to give it back to the states in the form of block grants that will undoubtedly starve the program to death at the hands of so many state legislatures overrun by Republicans. Another fine example of helping the working poor across our country. The other idea being socialized is more home-based care. We know these are code words for outsourcing care from hospitals and nursing homes to the unpaid families of the sick and terminally ill. The nominated budget director says that Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are all set for failure. We know what comes next, and it won’t be anything so simple and sane such as just raising the cap for what incomes are subject to social security taxes.

The President and his press secretary double down on that there were million instances of voter fraud this last election. Oh right, our problem in democracy is that we too many fraudulent people vote, not that we have so many people who don’t vote that should, or that we have a fraud in the White House.

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.

Bearing Witness to Trump Day 3

January 23, 2017

How telling that President Trump’s first meeting of his first work day was not with representatives from the public but with a dozen-plus CEOs. Not surprising, since his cabinet is full of billionaires professing to understand the needs of working or poor Americans. During the meeting he threatens them with new taxes if they don’t do what he wants. Can you imagine the howling if this would have been a Democrat President threatening to block global trade or impose new taxes on American businesses?

The new administration says it will move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Why in the world with all the global challenges and hot spots would we want to kick that hornet’s nest? Haven’t we done that enough in the Middle East in the last 15 years?

The first lady Melania Trump has returned to Trump Tower in NYC. How many years has it been since we did not have the first family reside in the White House? She, like her husband, must not understand the sacrifices called for in service of the greater public good. Could it be because they have so little history of performing any service to anyone else other than themselves? Just like in refusing to divest himself of his business interests for the good of the country over his self interests.

Trump’s press secretary hints that the U.S. should get much more in return for opening our consumer markets to other countries. I can now see their strategy emerge as savvy business people. Developer / CEO Trump operates the “Mall of America” with 320 million buyers in his real estate development complex. He as a rent seeker just wants to be paid well for allowing others to sell to his captive consumers. Aren’t we ever so lucky.

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.

Bearing Witness to Trump Day 2

January 22, 2017

Trump adviser and pundit Kellyanne Conway says that “alternative facts” are to explain the discrepancies between the crowd count claimed for the inauguration and the protest marches the next day.  She follows this Orwellian Newspeak by announcing that Trump will not release his taxes after all, even when the supposed audit is completed. Could anyone be surprised by another lie?

bearing-witness-to-trump-protest-black-bowTo demonstrate the sadness many of us feel for the environment and planet Earth with the new President and his Cabinet, a black ribbon has been placed around an oak tree that has suffered since the drought and heat wave from a few years back. The same week Trump is inaugurated the news comes out that this last year was the hottest year on record, for the 3rd straight year.

Bearing Witness to Trump Day 1

January 21, 2017

I have not felt this sense of hope in months. Hundreds of thousands of Americans turn out from coast to coast to protest the mean-spirited dystopian vision of America that Trump has cast upon us as his dark shadow. It’s like a fever I have had since November has finally broken, and that we who feel this way are not alone.

Meanwhile, in Trumpandia, the first executive action he took was working towards repealing health care and rescinding lower mortgage insurance requirements for millions of Americans. Tell me Americans who voted for him, how do we reconcile this along with the cabinet of billionaires and generals who are now poised to wreck what few safety nets the working class has?

The next action was to have his press secretary, Stan Pricer, come out blaming the media for misrepresenting the size of the inauguration crowds versus the protest crowds. Instead of listening to what millions of Americans were saying, he chose again to attack the public with more lies. As Trump’s mouthpiece  he cannot open his mouth without exaggerating, self-aggrandizement, blaming, attacking, bullying, or lying. I worry how can those who surround him not fall victim to this same dangerous culture? And true to style, there was no opportunity for the press to ask questions or challenging our new Imperial Presidency during the press conference.

Also on Day 1, Trump goes to the CIA, and instead of it being about the courage of this agency in performing their work, while standing in front of the wall honoring the fallen, it is once again all about him. And the evil news media who misrepresented his sentiments when he said they were acting like Nazis. He called the press “the most dishonest human beings on Earth.” I suppose it takes someone predisposed to this Nazi-like behavior to project that part of their dark shadow on others.

Ending on a hopeful note, we thank even the conservative David Brooks for getting how important this moment is. He writes on Jan. 20 in the NYT that “We’ve never had a major national leader as professionally unprepared, intellectually ill-informed, morally compromised and temperamentally unfit as the man taking the oath on Friday. So let’s not lessen the shock factor that should reverberate across this extraordinary moment.”

Yes, it is an extraordinary moment that requires our bearing witness, moral courage, and public resistance.

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.

Bearing Witness to Trump Day 0

January 20, 2017

Instead of an inauguration speech that brought a divided country together under hope with humility, we have a new President that once again used fear of “carnage” to project his over-sized ego on that of our country. Meaning that it’s always “me first” when he says America First.

There are Christians, myself included, who simply cannot accept this proclamation that America should always be first, be the greatest, be the winner, be the baddest. Then in his speech he attempts to delegitimize and belittle the work of previous administration and public servants, many who were in the crowd.

And the gall to blame government for the sins of unfettered capitalism. It was big business that sent millions of jobs overseas, not government. If a Democratic administration had tried to stop that, there would have been a revolt.

This speech is the way demagogues, despots, and dictators begin ruling their country. Especially when he called on us to “total allegiance to the United States”. I am ever so sad, and now scared. I suppose that is what Trump and his Russian-handlers wanted to happen after just one day.

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.