Conflicting Ban…

It’s been very obvious from the start, Donald Trump wasn’t going to be subtle with his conflicts or the levels of his hypocrisy. The main reason he doesn’t have to be is the IQ & acumen level of his supporters. So it’s comes as very little surprise that many don’t know that Trump has vast business interests in the heavily Muslim populated countries of Egypt, Turkey & Saudia Arabia. If you recall, the majority of the 9/11 terrorist were Saudi nationals. Yet know ban on the country’s & no explanation from the Trump Administration on why those countries were excluded. 

Great source article from Bloomberg about Trump’s Business interest in those countries.

The Q Rating!

More bad news for President Donald Trump.  

Trump — obsessed about his ratings — isn’t doing well. A new Quinnipiac University poll out today put his approval rating among American voters at 36 percent overall, 33 percent among women, 35 percent among Independents. In Quinnipiac’s first poll of Barack Obama’s presidency, Obama was approved by almost 60 percent of American voters. 

The End Of Obamacare?

In between trashing the entire political system & talking about how bad the country is, and inauguration balls, President Trump managed to squeeze in an executive order. Yesterday, just a few hours after being inaugurated, Trump made his first visit to the Oval Office. There he took the first steps to ending Obamacare, by effectively gutting it. The only upside for people is it appears the penalty for not having the plan is now lifted. Otherwise, Trump’s Executive Order and its language basically eases the economic and regulatory burdens by federal agencies. Obviously, the move was PR and more symbolic.  The biggest effect of this order could be widespread waivers from the individual mandate. That, however could create chaos in the individual market. 

What’s still unclear from Trump & Republicans is what alternate they will offer to the Affordable Care Act.  Republicans have had six years to come up with a plan, but to date no one including Trump has offered much more than rhetoric.

Here We Go….

So it’s now here, it’s Black Friday for real , Donald Trump is now President Trump.    So now that he is here, what can we expect from Trump, other than more of the same?   The transition, by historical standards were awful. So far Trump has filled a total of 30 of the positions that need Senate confirmation, in case your wondering, 690 need confirmation.   Trump has the worst approval rating of anyone that’s ever taken office, that’s quite an achievement.  The best indicator of future behavior, is past behavior. If that indeed is the case, we are in for a bumpy ride. 

Here is a synopsis from Robert Reich on what we can expect. 
How will Trump govern? Here’s the verdict of three Trump biographers who have tracked him for more than two decades:

 “This is all about him completely dominating the news cycles—the use of Twitter to distract from any real questions, emphasis on loyalty, vituperation toward anyone he sees who is disloyal or doesn’t toe his line, and his emphasis on conflict, the notion of setting people against each other. Now it’s countries against each other. It’s news organizations against each other.”

“I’ve been asked lately about why he seems to have affection for a guy like Putin. And the thing that I’m afraid of most, based on what I’m seeing, is that he seems to want to be the same style of leader, where he intimidates people.”

“He has this deep fear that he is himself not a legitimate president, and I think that’s why he goes to such great lengths to delegitimize even the intelligence community, which is the president’s key resource in security, and he’s going to do this demeaning and delegitimizing behavior rather than accept what they have to tell him.”

“Trump measures himself by the number of norms that he can violate. The more he can get away with, the more he can thumb his nose at convention, the more powerful he feels.”

“He’s completely ill-informed and lacks the generosity of public spirit to think about what the right replacements should be for the same institutions that he’s railing against.”

“He’s the kid in the back of the class who is taunting the teacher, who is taking over, who has pushed the principal out of the principal’s office, and he’s appealing to that instinct that everyone has at some point in their lives to overthrow everything.”

“The two most powerful people in his White House, other than him, are going to be Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, and they’re going to have the final say on everything. And whatever Gary Cohn or Rex Tillerson or General Mattis or Jeff Sessions or Steve Bannon has to say, it will all end up getting filtered through Javanka. Other than those two, he won’t listen to anyone in a meaningful way, and he never has listened to anyone outside of his core group and family at the Trump Organization for decades, and that’s not going to change.”

“News that contradicts his worldview gets flushed down the sort of emotional and intellectual dispose-all that I think he carries around with him from the second he gets out of bed to the minute he goes to sleep each night. He is the master of counter-reality programming, and it makes him uniquely insusceptible to advice and creative thinking.”

“If he perceives that there’s the tiniest threat to his authority, that there’s any ripple of disloyalty, as he would think of it—then he’s on it.”

“He’s not going to be that concerned with the actual competent administration of the government. It’s going to be what he seems to be gaining or losing in public esteem. So almost like a monarch. Like a modern monarch. The figurehead who rallies people and gets credit for things.”

“He stands for what he can get away with, and if he can’t get away with it, but he made a promise on a ceremonial basis, he’ll figure out a way to blame it on someone else that he can’t fulfill a policy promise.”

“He has no concern for how any of these things look because he’s always gotten away with it and you can only really be sure of anything he says when you have independent paperwork or witnesses to consult.”

“The only things that have kept him awake at night historically are money, sex, food, and revenge.”

What do you think?

The Founding Fathers…

Today, when President Elect Trump becomes President Trump, remember he does so because we are the only civilized country not to elect a leader on votes counted. I am a patriot, I love my country, however I don’t buy everything created in 1776 holds true today. Our Founding Fathers were patriots & heros no doubt. However, these are the same guys that believed leeches could heal you, they wore powered wigs, they also believed in states rights, something we are woefully short on. They also believed that it was ok to own another human being, and the large majority of them, did.  So, forgive me if I think the electoral college has seen its place in history & needs to become that, history.  If we are going to maintain this fragile thing called a democracy, we need to governed by the many not the few. As President Trump lost this election in such a lopsided fashion, that even now, almost 3 months later the stench of it still has the nearly 70 million that voted against him up in arms. Thankfully, we are not armed, and the peaceful transfer of power will once again happen. With that being said, there are only so many perversions of justice the American people will stand for. 

Billionaire of the Day…

It’s hard not to laugh when you stop and think about Trump voters, and Trump himself & the cabinet that he had assembled. It further magnifies the utter disconnect that voters have with reality and their choice for President.  Today another one of those billionaires was on display at the confirmation hearings. Steven Mnuchin is someone who like Trump has helped large corporations dodge their tax responsibilities, but worse still he ran a bank that aggressively foreclosed on thousands of Americans. Another example of the total lack of diversity of a president that lost by 3 million votes. 

Here is a brief overview of Mnuchin, from  Robert Reich & 

When will the working people who voted for Trump discover that he’s oligarch-in-chief? Today the Senate considers Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s pick for Treasury Secretary. Bad enough Mnuchin owns a bank that foreclosed on thousands of working people’s homes. According to today’s Times, Mnuchin is also the director of a tax haven (Dune Capital International, an investment fund incorporated in the Cayman Islands). He “inadvertently” failed to disclose this to the Senate committee reviewing his nomination.

He also “inadvertently” failed to disclose to senators that he manages 7 other investment funds; that he owns $95 million of real estate (a co-op in New York, a house in Southampton, a home in Los Angeles, and $15 million in real estate in Mexico); and $906,556 worth of art.

He explained these omissions were due to a misunderstanding of the financial questionnaire the Senate asked him to fill out. I suppose when your net worth is in the billions, these assets may seem like rounding errors. 

But it does seem to be a pattern with Trump and his nominees. Full disclosure isn’t something that comes naturally.

Other parallels: Both Trump and Mnuchin have run businesses accused of widespread racial discrimination and other predatory practices. And both men have hedged their political bets, donating big bucks to Democrats as well as Republicans. Both represent the excessive wealth and greed of America’s oligarchy.

The Propoganda Network?

Donald Trump constantly complains that the media doesn’t cover him accurately. It is something he has consistently whined about, his real issue is possibly maybe they cover him accurately, unlike Fox News. Networks are supposed to be fair and balanced, however this research by Pew & Robert Reich shows otherwise. 
According to a new study by the Pew Research Center, 40 percent of Trump voters got their news about the election from Fox News (in distant second place was CNN at 8 percent, and the rest mainly from social media). Clinton voters got 18 percent of their political news from CNN, 9 percent from MSNBC, 5 percent from the New York Times, and only 3 percent from Fox (the rest from an assortment of networks, local news, radio, and social media). 

Fox News – especially Trump surrogate Sean Hannity – delivered a steady stream of pro-Trump infomercials. If America still has the “fairness rule” that used to require media to be truly fair and balanced, Fox would be out of business. 

What do you think?

Spanning The Country 

Spanning The Country today makes stops in two of the biggest cities in the country, New York City & Los Angles.  We find in both cities the headlines of the day revolves around the findings that for third year in a row, Earth has broken heat records. The timing of this record is great, as we are 24 hours away from swearing in a president who doesn’t believe in climate change. Trump was famously quoted as saying it “was a hoax, created by the Chinese.”  Additionally when this news was breaking, Trump’s EPA pick, Scott Pruitt was in the middle of his confirmation hearings. Pruitt, testified he believed in climate change, but his record & actions over the years indicates otherwise.   It is extremely troublesome, that we continue to see heat records broken & we are ushering in an administration that has a Neanderthal approach to climate change.  Trump’s administration most likely will set this country back decades when it comes to improvements made by the Obama government. Only time will tell, but judging from the latest data, we can’t afford to have a liaise faire attitude towards climate change. 

The Transition Merry Go Round

There were plenty of head scratchers when it came to President Elect Trump’s nominees. It’s hard to say which one was the worst, since many of them were so awful in their own special way. The appointment of Scott Pruitt was another one that was so bad, it would be hard to describe without graphs or charts. Pruitt, has what can only be described as an adversarial relationship with the E.P.A. , and has been involved with litigation with them on several occasions. Like most of Trump’s confirmation, I expect Pruitt to be confirmed with flying colors, but one wonders what’s next for Trump, putting the Fox in charge of the Hen house?

Check out what Robert Reich had to say, and look at Pruitt’s troubling past with the E.P.A.

Today, Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt began making his case to senators on Capitol Hill that he is qualified to run the Environmental Protection Agency. 

His hearings come on the same day scientists reported that the Earth reached its highest temperature on record in 2016 — trouncing a record set only a year earlier, which beat one set in 2014 — the first time in the modern era of global warming data that temperatures have blown past the previous record three years in a row.

Pruitt has:

1. Spent much of his past six years in office battling the Environmental Protection Agency — repeatedly suing the agency to challenge its legal authority to regulate toxic mercury pollution, smog, carbon emissions from power plants, and the quality of wetlands and other waters.

2. Received significant financial support from the fossil fuel industry, amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years.

3. Dismantled a specialized environmental protection unit that had existed under his predecessor.

4. Denied human sources of climate change. 

Pruitt is by far the worst person ever nominated to head the Environmental Protection Agency over its 46 years of existence. No surprise. Trump has called global warming a Chinese plot and vowed to roll back Obama’s efforts to cut emissions of heat-trapping gases.

At a time when catastrophic climate change is almost irreversible – and just when the nations of the world are on the verge of a significant effort to try – Pruitt’s nomination is an insult to America and the world. 

What do you think?

Spanning The Country 

Spanning The Country today there were several big stories driving the headlines today. The big news of the day was President Obama shortening the sentence of Chelsea Manning. From a political standpoint I’m not sure why the right is up in arms. Just two weeks ago Donald Trump praised Julian Assange on Twitter. So the move by Obama should have pleased Trump. Another big story is the House Democrats numbers continuing to grow for boycotting the inauguration on Friday. At last count 59 members of Congress were boycotting. 

Of course the big concern for many across the country, and in Houston & Charlotte was the march forward to repeal Obamacare, and the concerns about what or if it will be replaced with.  As the Republicans get closer to repeal, there has been quantifiable replacement presented to the American people. One thing the people are short on these days, rightfully, is trust in the government to do the right thing.