All The President’s Men……

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Growing up in the late 70’s & into the 80’s and 90’s this book which was later adapted into a movie was the gold standard for investigative journalism.  Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein broke the story of the century, Watergate that led all the way to the Presidency & beyond.  What eventually followed was President Richard Nixon becoming the first & only President in U.S. history to resign.  There were many that cursed Woodward & Bernstein’s work, however many viewed it as democracy at work and at it’s finest hour.

With the demise of newspapers in the early 2000’s and the rise of 24 hours cycles and online news apps, something got left behind.  The news business has always been just that, a business, however with newspapers there was a sense of integrity and honesty in reporting, and of course journalist investigated leads and real stories.  Newspaper ran expose’s, they investigated everything from local scandals to civic offerings, and even local papers covered and reported and investigated national news.  A true cynic like yours truly could even point to the demise of newspapers with the demise of western civilizations understanding of real news, real issues & more importantly the political process, and of course the candidates themselves.  What has been spawned in its wake is news that’s quick, flashy and more entertainment based, geared around dollars & ratings.  The news in it’s intended format was supposed to function as a public service, to keep the public informed in an unbiased way.

Fast forward to 2016, we have now elected a businessman turned reality star turned now president elect.  Somewhere along the line, the “news business” failed the American people, on a level & scale never seen in U.S. history.  There was so much to investigate with the election, so many real leads, but time after time all the major news companies allowed Donald Trump to dictate what the news cycle was instead of vice versa.  There were tough hard questions out there, that we never got answers too, the main reason, the media never bothered to ASK the real question.  The focus stayed on the silly stupid things Trump said and tweeted, allowing him to drive the narrative.  It was talked about, but no one ever bothered to follow up on Trump’s ties to Russia, and why Russia was so involved with flooding this country with propaganda pro-Trump, and why ALL the hacking that went on only benefited one person, Trump.  Trump’s massive business empire was never investigated, even when it was very clear that he had something to hide.  Trump hid in plain site with his tax returns & the media let him off the hook. Bill Clinton, was hammered in 1992 for avoiding the Vietnam War, and rightfully so.  I’m not sure I ever heard one moderator or media person ever question him or hold him to an answer.  These are just a few of things the press could have investigated, any one of which would have enough to derail his or any candidate like him.

Make no mistake about it, this isn’t hubris, our democracy is in for the fight of it’s life.  The American people are more divided and worse still more stupider than they have ever been at any point in history. Donald Trump is a president the likes of which this country has ever seen, we are truly in third world country territory.  In times like this the american people have turned to newspapers and the anchormen to tell them how is it, with a calming unbiased voice.  The time is now for someone to heed this call, to step up and take a risk and do and report what is right, ratings be damned.  The media has to report the facts, follow the story, with clarity and be crystal clear when doing it.  This is not a fight about red states or blue states, it’s about the american way, which is in grave danger.  The truth is out there, someone or some network needs to step up for We The People, otherwise we could be staring down the barrel of a failed state and moreover a failed democracy.

The D.C. Sellers Market…???

FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 12, 2016, file photo, pedestrians cross Pennsylvania Avenue across the street from the Trump International Hotel in downtown Washington. Several experts in government contract law say that President-elect Donald Trump will have to give up his stake in his prized Washington, D.C. hotel if he wants to be president. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Well it finally looks like those pesky conflict of interests have caught up with President Elect Donald Trump.  Trump and company have done everything in their power so far to skirt this monumental issue that will most likely linger throughout his presidency, however his new lavish Washington D.C. Hotel, will not be one of the pesky conflict of interest problems he has.  According to the Associated Press there is a clause that says elected officials can’t be lease holders on government buildings, which the hotel in Washington D.C. is, a former post office.  Trump and his team are obviously looking into the matter but lawyers who have examined the clause find this critical language to be standing in Trump’s way of keeping ownership of the hotel, elected official of the Government of the United States” shall be “admitted to any share or part of this Lease.”. 

Trump has said many times now that he is elected that most of the conflict of interest laws do not apply to him, for the record that is an extremely shameful position to take now he has the job.  This issue appears to be very clear cut though has it is clearly spelled out.  Former ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush was quoted as saying “It’s a breach of contract,” said Richard Painter, chief White House ethics lawyer for George W. Bush. “He’s got to get rid of the hotel.”  Additionally John Sindelar former senior advisor to the head of the GSA was quoted as saying “He’s going to have to divest himself of the hotel,”  Charles Tiefer, an expert in government contract law at the University of Baltimore, said the language in the contract is “unambiguous” and that Trump will clearly be in violation when becomes president. Tiefer served as the general counsel of the House of Representatives for 11 years before he began teaching and said the words are similar to ones used in rules prohibiting members of Congress from doing business with the federal government.

For his part Donald Trump is “supposed” to clear up his intentions with his business interest in a December 15th news conference, it is unclear at this point how the D.C. hotel is included in that.

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The Apocalypse Day 22…..

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So we are on day 22 of the Trump transition, and what we have learned is not much different that what we knew from his campaign.  In the last few days, I guess frustrated by Jill Stein stealing his headlines with her recount efforts, Trump tweets that there was massive voter fraud, a story he made up out of whole cloth, and one that no one has supported him on so far.  Fast forward to yesterday, Trump basically forgot or chose to ignore civics basic 101, when after watching Fox News in which they had a segment about flag burning, Trump tweets flag burners should lose citizenship & do a year of jail time.  Once again showing how ill equipped he is to do the job and moreover how little control anyone has over the mad tweeter.

 Meanwhile, as this is going on, Trump is assembling his version of the Billionaire Boys club, with 4 billionaires and counting in his cabinet and 3 former Goldman Sachs executives, so much for draining the swamp, looks more like a re-stock, except so far very few of these people are in any way qualified to do the job they are charged with doing.  The latest rumors from Trump Tower has Sarah Palin in line for a possible cabinet post, Secretary of Veterans Affairs.  You know it’s bad when you hear Palin’s name and think it could be worse, at least she has worked in state government at one point. Lastly but not least is Trumps flirtation with Mitt Romney.  Romney far & away would be the most qualified member of Trump’s team if appointed, and the most ready to the job on day one.  Romney has success in high levels of business & government, and the type of experience this cabinet & team desperately need.  I still think Romney is a long shot to fill the post of Secretary of State, but hey maybe we get one Christmas miracle from Trump & Co.

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The Village Idiot POTUS Elect

Proving once again that he has no ideas about american laws & our constitution, Donald J. Trump had this wing dinger of a tweet today. Which shows once again how in over his head he really is & how he isn’t in touch with what a democracy really is. Whether we agree with flag burning or not, that right is protected by the same laws that protect religious freedoms & those precious gun laws conservatives are always spouting off about.

Recount!!!

  If the recount filed in Wisconsin caused Donald Trump so much consternation, what’s another one in Pennsylvania going to do for the delicate President. Jill Stein, made it official a few minutes ago, filing for a recount in Pennsylvania!

More to follow….

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The New Trump Vocabulary…..

As the Trump Presidency gets ready to get underway, there will be a whole new vocabulary that we as American’s will need to learn.  Let’s go over some of those words shall we.

Alt-Right- this a term that really describes a movement that’s basically white nationalism.  With Steve Bannon being the new chief strategist, you will hear this term frequently. It’s fair to say this is a form of racism.

Normalize- This a term the press has used to describe Trump, since he is so far out of the normal, it is a way the press has to cover & report on Trump & try and make him seem like not such a lunatic.

Hate-Crimes-  Last year hate crimes were up 67% in this country against Muslim’s & African Americans.  With the rhetoric used in this campaign & the empowerment by right leaning voters, this is a phrase you will hear a lot sadly moving forward.

KKK & The American Nazi Party-  It’s been a long time since we have heard about these groups.  Both endorsed Trump’s campaign, and with Steve Bannon in the fold, you will hear from both groups much more than you ever have.

Stop & Frisk- this is something that is basically and has been ruled as such a violation of people’s civil rights, but that’s not going to stop Trump & his goons from bringing it back.  This is a great way for law enforcement to detain Muslims, African Americans & and any minorities they deem a “problem”.

I’m sure we will be adding to this list in the coming days and weeks, but I wanted to do my part to educate liberal & progressive America.

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The Apocalypse Day 7

It has been 7 days since the unthinkable and almost unspeakable has occurred.  Donald Trump is going to be our 45th President, and don’t believe the petition or any of the hype about faithless electors in the electoral college not voting for him.  In the last 7 days their has been all sorts of rumors flying about a potential cabinet for Trump, so let me say this, the names go from bad to worse.  About 10 days ago it was floated by the Trump campaign that Newt Gingrich would be the Secretary of State, cringe worthy to be sure.  However yesterday news started circulating that John Bolton was being considered for the job, making the Gingrich pick look great in retrospect.  This all pales in comparison to Trump selecting Steve Bannon from Breitbart News to be his chief strategist, basically his right hand man, the most powerful man in the West Wing, aside from Trump.  Now if you thought Trump said some inflammatory things on the trail, the string of headlines that Bannon has left in his wake is quite the impressive resume.  I believe the term used to describe him is called “alt right”, or as the Germans call it, Nazi.  Bannon’s resume is for another day though, as it would fill a blog or three.

The protesting going on around the country seems like it has no end in sight going from large city to large city, from college campus’s to high schools around the country.  I am on the record as supporting the protesters 1st Amendment rights, if done peacefully & most have been.  I do wish this energy could have spent & used before the election, though.  In an election that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, and lost the electoral by less than 100,000 votes, it begs the question, did all of these protesters vote?  My earnest hope is this eventually channels into something positive, and the outrage everyone has can be sustained.  Only time will tell on that front, we can only hope as the countdown until the midterm elections is already on!!

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