Once again, Trump drags the White House through the muck.
He gave an ultimatum: Put in money for my wall, or I'll block the budget and shut down government...
...and then caved in.
Personally, I feel the wall is an incredibly stupid waste of money in the form of an ego project. Why should I be disappointed in Trump?
Because he caved in. He declared his position, pushed for it claiming he was going to stand his ground, and then at the last minute instead of finding a way, he capitulated.
You can be sure that in other circumstances, the people watching will be very glad to see this.
Putin? Kim Jong Un? Xi?
Forget about the petty fights Trump has started with both neighbours and traditional allies.
This is more than simply strategy...this is cowardly, unpresidential, and makes America look weak and pathetic...not "great". We ain't winning this way, Trump.
Typical Trumpian nonsense.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke wants to "review" national monuments to "make sure the people have a voice” in which lands receive the highest level of federal protection".
That's super-secret code for "Trump wants to open up National Monuments for commercial exploitation".
So, we're going to be losing parks and monuments so some rich people somewhere can get more rich. I wonder what voices he's been listening to?
Please hear my voice: "I'm not fooled. This is simply a ploy to pander to rich people's interest, and to plunder National Parks and Monuments to do so. Do NOT do this!"
With all the panache of a scary old guy in the back of a van offering candy to a child, Trump has offered to cut all tax revenues...not just for the rich, but for the poor as well.
Who wouldn't want to pay less in taxes? Yet...there's the extra $54billion Trump wants to spend on the military. There's the extra money he wants to build the wall between the US and Mexico (that Mexico still isn't going to pay for)...up to $24 Billion, according to some estimates.
Both of those are large sums of money to pay for something that is both not needed and actually unhelpful. Even the leaders of the military are against the rise in spending on active military combined with a reduction of diplomatic spending.
Trump is offering us all a bit of candy now, knowing that the debt will skyrocket. That's okay by him, really, as he won't have to worry about it...he'll be long out of office and enjoying his ill-gotten gains from the taxpayers before the chickens come home to roost. He's hoping the public will remember this largesse now for votes for his ego projects later.
In addition to these very strange budgetary choices, he's purposefully making it impossible for the normal business of government to be done by not hiring the people needed to run the current government, and firing others appointed by Obama.
So, I'm complaining about low taxes, overspending, and lack of hiring altogether. What would I like to see?
I'd like to see a sensible balanced approach. Fill the vacancies that are currently there so the government can get back to doing its jobs. Start trying to find inefficiencies that can be whittled out. Stop trying to reduce government simply by paralysing it and then waiting until it rots and falls off.
Absolutely STOP trying to give already rich people massive tax breaks.
Absolutely STOP trying to spend money on massive ego projects that will not deliver value to the US taxpayer.
Absolutely STOP spending money having Melania in New York, and quit funding trips to Trump's resorts.
Incidentally, this last factor alone, over the course of his presidency, would give Trump the money he wants for his wall. Did you know that he's already spent, in 100 days, the same amount on travel that Obama did during his whole 8 years in office ($25million)? If he keeps this up (7 of 14 weekends at one of his resorts), he'll spend $350M in his first term. Were he to be elected in his second term, he could fund the building of the wall from his own pocket.
At the end of the day, I'd like to see a smaller, functioning, government. One that takes care of the people, and doesn't represent the 1% of the 1%. This is not that.
At this point, it's beggars belief. It's ridiculous, counter-productive, immoral, wrong, and general not a good idea to argue with facts. They always come around to bite you.
From the behaviour we've seen up to now, I think we can all agree on one facet of Trump's personality: he can't help telling lies. You breath in and out all day, I drink water during the day, Trump lies. It's a part of his metabolism.
This brings into affect a larger issue though...if he's lying 50% of the time... /which/ 50% is it? Is it the size of his inaugural crowd despite evidence disproving it? Is it claiming there's evidence of wiretapping, yet there is none? Is it claiming that an aircraft carrier flotilla is coming your way, yet it's not? Is it promising, time and again, to get Obamacare replaced "easily"? Is it promising to "work every day for you", and then to take actions to repeal many key laws that have protected you against his rich friends? Is it his promise to disclose his taxes after the election (and then not)? Is it his efforts to hire people to the cabinet who are antithetical to the department they are tasked to run (Pruitt, anyone)? Is it hiring his daughter and her husband as advisors, and then installing them in the white house, and then making sure they get their cut of the juicy profits that waft around Washington?
The trend means that he simply cannot be trusted. By that I mean he's enriching himself, his family, and his friends, from YOUR pocket. He and his cronies are taking tax dollars, taking money from foreign companies and governments,
I ask you: how is this helping the average American? How is this helping YOU? Write to your congressman and let them know that you are every bit as important as Trump and his family. You hired him and by extension the bunch of crooks he's put in place. They should NOT be harming you, your family and your community.
One really has to hand it to Trump: the man knows when he's beaten.
He made outrageous claims about how effective he was going to be in his first 100 days. However, the reality of his record is somewhat different.
So, what does he do? (In harmony now...) He blames the Media for making up the whole 100 day thing.
The only thing is, as a candidate, and now as president, his words are recorded, written, analyzed and scrutinized in a way that the conman-Trump's words before never were.
He is, in effect, fighting himself of just a few months ago. We're less than 100 days into his administration, and he's had to eat more humble pie than even his most ardent detractor could hope for...but here he comes again.
I haven't written about nepotism in a little while. That's okay, though, as the Trump's are giving us another lesson.
I'm sure that this is just a happy coincidence, and that it has nothing...absolutely nothing...to do with the fact that she's the President's daughter, and has an office just down the hall from his.
Here's to the Trumps: They not only expose the inner turmoil of the American psyche, but they teach us that family comes first, even before America.
That, my friends, is how it's done.
This is something I truly don't understand about Trump: when he said he'd be "in the White House fighting for us", what he really meant was he'd be "in the White House fighting us".
A day after nationwide protests calling for Trump to release his taxes, the only thing he had to say about it was that the people who funded the rallies should be investigated.
Investigated for what!?! Exercising a right to peaceful protest, guaranteed by our constitution?
This is classic and stereotypical Trump: try like hell (and fail) to make others look "guilty" to distract from his own misdeeds.
Nobody fights this hard to have his taxes exposed unless there's a very embarrassing and illegal story there.
After his taxes, what should be investigated is Trump's flagrant and obvious stealing from the people.
He's spent nearly 1/3 of his (and his entourage's) time on a Trump-owned (and profitting) establishment. In the first 13 weeks, he's spent 7 at Mar-A-Lago, conducting all sorts of Presidential business there.
Why is this still a thing at all? We elected him. We pay his salary. We endorse or condemn his actions. He (like congress) works for us. He should be reporting to us his successes, not fighting to take more tax money from us.
At some point this bird is going to come home to roost. We've already heard about his abysmal popularity (worse than any president on record). We're going to hear about his taxes, one way or another. Hopefully we can stem this endless flow of tax dollars directly into his pocket.
He'll find out that fighting the will of the people that elected you is like fighting the tide.
So, I read today that Cernovich, the ubermind that came up with the pizzagate anti-Hillary story, has created a recording threatening unspecified powers that be to not let Bannon be fired, or he'd spill many beans and "cause divorces".
Seems to me, just wait 6 months, and you'll be able to claim you caused divorces.
At any rate, is it Blackmail or Extortion? Apparently, it depends on the state in which it's performed.
A crackpot (who may/may not have incriminating evidence) is threatening that he'd better get his way, or he's going to rock the boat...and in this case, it's the government of the US that had better behave. The President, in fact.
I've made no secret of my feelings for Trump. I'm still waiting for that glorious day when I hear he's been removed from office with prejudice.
However, this simply cannot be allowed to stand. Crazy or not, you cannot...must not...make a threat to the US government like this.
If you stay quiet and nobody knows what you know, you're canny.
If you publish without trying to extort behaviour, you're a whistleblower.
Threaten to publish unless you get your way? That's simply a crime.
With a bit of luck, he's got Trump-dirt, and both the nation and New York won't have to keep spending pointless and stupid tax dollars securing Melania. Might even save enough to keep Meals on Wheels going.
Cernovich...be a hero...not a criminal. Go on, I say: Do. Your. Worst. Let the divorces fall where they may.
I'm currently binging on "Big Bang Theory" on Netflix. One of the lead characters is named "Sheldon". Definitely socially awkward, he's the embodiment of every one of our most embarrassing moments and social faux pas.
And when it comes to Trump, one of his phrases really resonates with me: "I informed you thusly."
Trump's a coward, changing his direction depending with whom he spoke in the last 5 minutes.
This article documents the first two months of flip-flopping, and this article documents his changing mind in the last few days.
Hell, even when it comes to golf the man said one thing (many times), but has done another (more many times).
The man wouldn't recognise himself in the mirror. He might change his mind on what he wants for breakfast from the time he starts sitting down to the time he finishes.
I'll always be proud that I didn't vote for him, and have kept up writing my congress critters about trying to remove him from office.
For all those Trump supporters who've been saying things like "He doesn't really mean what he says", or "it's okay he's <insert stupid, ignorant or horrible action here>, because he's going to <insert destruction of some parts of government>", to those Republicans who realise they simply can't do a deal with this particular devil, and to all those alt-right folks who've now declared Trump persona non grata (surprise, surprise), I have only one thing to say:
I informed you thusly.
The world today feels more precarious than at any time in the last 40 years. Trump has not laid out any grand strategy, posited any policies for the world to consider, or provided any clue what he's going to be getting up to...(does even *he* know what he's going to do?)
Here are a 4 specific areas where things could get dicy very quickly:
There are other relationships to worry about, of course...China, Mexico, Canada, Germany, UK...come to think on it, pretty much anyone that's actually met with Trump.
Basically, he's proving himself to be a loaded cannon, likely to say the most outrageous things, turning differences into wars, and pissing off even our long-standing allies...and that's when he's actually involved.
Now, on top of everything else, he's declared that the military has been given "total authorization".
Let's be honest...Trump is canny enough to play the media and the Twitterverse...but he's no strategic mind for the betterment of America specifically or humanity in general. He's pretty good at putting tax-dollars into his own pockets, and that's about it.
But...at least when he's involved there's a person to come back to later and say "Why did you do this? It's illegal, you should go to jail."
By giving the military it's head, and authorising them to do whatever, they will. With 4 major critical situations on the horizon, all of which involve an enemy with nuclear weapons, he's let the military do whatever they want.
If I were the leader of pretty much any other country in the world, I'd be shaking in my boots...US ally or not.
He's proven himself a loony, liable to jump in unexpected directions even those opposite of his declared policies, and he's proven he's willing to use armed force without adult supervision when he's jumping.
If Trump can't control himself and the US military, and the American people can't or won't remove a mental patient from the white house, then the rest of the world at some point is going to decide that it has to do so...one way or another.
This is not leading, this is madness.