Trading in the Obama Nation for an Abomination

Trading in the Obama Nation for an Abomination

Never in my life did I think I could ever say or even think these words: “I am ashamed of my country, the United States of America.”

My father, a World War II veteran, might be rolling over in his grave, upon which we have placed an American flag on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day for over 50 years.  I do not make my statement lightly or unpatriotically, in fact I make it because my father fought for the American principles that he taught me.  He showed me that protecting those principles is a duty.

There is a person who presides over my country, whose actions and personal objectives are diametrically opposed to what makes America great. He is seriously and knowingly attacking the soul of our nation for his own selfish purposes.  I believe that Americans should have a zero tolerance policy for anyone governing our Democracy who has not a shred of common decency and blatantly manipulates the Truth with reckless abandon every single day.

It is unfathomable that any true American could, for any reason, ever support the idea that America is cruelly and cold-heartedly separating children, including infants, from their downtrodden parents at the border.  Has literally stealing babies become the American way to treat people seeking asylum from corruption and predators in their native lands? Do we really equate innocent victims fleeing from gangs of thugs with the very gangs who prey upon them?  Can we not tell one from the other?  How can these people be told to legally cross into America at designated border crossings, when those crossings are closed?  When did America become a Catch 22 nation?

The Trump border policy (not law) imposed solely, soullessly, and maliciously by the Trump Administration is despicable.  It is shameful.  It is morally loathsome.  He metaphorically pointed a gun at the helpless in an attempt to blackmail legislators into doing his bidding.  When they didn’t comply, he opened fire, disingenuously blaming Democrats for not giving in.  This is the act of a schoolyard bully. He has literally and cowardly taken helpless hostages under the American flag and has disgraced that flag in the process.

This is not making America great again.  Trump is trying to re-make America in his own evil image. And he’s doing it with the silent complicity of the Republican leaders and followers who control the Legislative arm of our government. Worse yet, he’s counting on the silent complicity of American citizens as well.  Those who follow, or fail to contest, evil are themselves accountable for that evil.  Do you see what he is doing to us?

How has America become so fractured that any of us would tolerate, never mind advocate, stealing children to use as pawns in an effort to achieve a political agenda?  Have we become so hardened by Trump’s outrageous antics that we’ve forgotten what true outrage is?

Raise your hand if you are happy to see this abomination and then, if you are not an atheist, think about God’s agenda.  No matter what religion you may practice, no concept of a benevolent God could condone, let alone enact, the stealing of children and fracturing of families. Does your God’s notion of family values end at the border?

This is nothing short of an extreme governmental act of terrorism that could well spawn more terrorism in reprisal for decades down the road when these innocent children grow up damaged and corrupted by what we are doing to them.  We are sowing bad seeds.

These are children whose families are being purposely broken in America’s/our, name!

My God, is nothing sacred any more?

 

Main St. Disney is Wall St. Disney

Main St. Disney is Wall St. Disney

I have been a huge Disney World fan for several decades.  I loved going there, my kids loved going there, and even my wife loved going there (the first 6 or 7 times, but not so much the 13 times after that).  Now my kids have babies and I‘ve been looking forward to going to Disney World with them when they’re old enough to appreciate it so I can see the park through their new eyes on their first trip there.

Despite it’s being my best childhood dream, I never got to Disney Land as a kid (there was no Disney World at the time), but I made up for it as an adult. I realized shortly after my first trip to Orlando that Disney World was a place where I could escape Rest of the World both mentally and physically.  Stress disappeared and the only objective for each day was to have more fun.  I never counted, but I’d estimate that over a span of 30 years I’ve been to Disney World at least 20 times. (Extending a business trip for a day, I finally fulfilled the childhood dream by spending a full day in Disney Land in 1995.)

There are lots of folks who have been there many times more often.  It was my treasured escape, until today.

Today Bernie Sanders sent me and scads of his other admirers an e-mail asking us to sign a petition in support of the many Disney employees who have been shamefully treated by the Company.  My first whiff of the tarnish on Mickey’s statue came when a neighbor/friend told me that his son had just been fired without warning or cause from his job as a singer in Epcot.  That couldn’t be right. That wasn’t Disney, it was Rest of World.  I filed that a away in my “there has to be more to it” file, but today Bernie’s light shining on the corporate side of Disney moved that file into the “could well be” drawer.

I can’t tell the story better than Bernie Sanders did, so I pasted an abbreviated version of his call for help here:

The Walt Disney Company is an enormously profitable corporation worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 billion. Last year, it made $9 billion in profits and rewarded its CEO, Bob Iger, with a compensation package worth up to $423 million over a four year period. And as a result of the Trump tax cuts, they were given an additional $1.6 billion.

At the same time — and this is a national disgrace — employees at the company’s theme park in Anaheim, California are paid so poorly that many of them are literally living in a tent city not far from the park.

According to one recent study, nearly 1 in 10 workers employed at the park reported being homeless in the past two years, more than 2 in 3 say they are food insecure, and 3 out of 4 employees say they do not make enough money for their basic needs.

This is not what Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck are supposed to be about. This does not sound like the “happiest place on Earth” to me.

Now, I could be wrong, but I don’t expect you will see the plight of these low-wage workers at Disney discussed tonight on ABC, which is owned by Disney. Nor do I think you will be hearing too much about income and wealth inequality in the mainstream media….

It is long past time that we, as a nation, stop worshipping the corporate greed of Disney and businessmen like Bob Iger, their CEO.

While he may be regarded as a brilliant and successful businessman among his peers in the financial, media, and political elite, the truth is that the way Bob Iger and Disney treat their workers represents much of what is wrong with contemporary capitalism.

This is a company, and a CEO, that accepted an obscene tax cut gifted to them by the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress, publicly promised to anyone who would listen a $1,000 bonus for all of their employees, and then withheld that bonus from some union employees unless they agreed to a contract that gave them a tiny raise to a wage that is still a starvation wage.

This is a company, and a CEO, that in addition to paying their workers here at home extremely low wages, employs many thousands of people in China to manufacture their products sold at Disney stores and online.

This type of greed and ruthless capitalism is not an economic model that we should be embracing. It is not to be celebrated. We can do better, and we must do better…

 

It’s me again. Speaking only for myself, it pains me deeply to realize and say that Disney must do better to earn the respect and interest I once had in this once great Company.  I happen to be a Disney Shareholder, but not one with the wherewithal that the company would take seriously.  I can only hope that others, shareholders and/or Disney enthusiasts, who find this uncharacteristic greed disconcerting will sign Bernie’s petition.  I did.  Maybe the petition will get their attention.

It feels to me as though Mickey has lost his soul.

https://go.berniesanders.com/page/s/disney-greed?source=em180531-t1-full

 

Student Loans: The Gift that Keeps on Taking

Student Loans:                                                 The Gift that Keeps on Taking

I am increasingly concerned about what appears to be strategic planning on the part of some of the 1%.  Of course the plans don’t bode well for the rest of us.  Their objective involves the systematic killing of the American Dream of home ownership to create a new, steady and significant cash flow into their already overflowing coffers for decades ahead.

Here’s how I see it:

America will always need highly educated workers and tradespeople, but the cost of a college education or a technical school is very high and spiraling out of reach for middle class families, and even more so for those close to either side of the poverty line. Many institutes, colleges and universities are well endowed and offer scholarships that defray some of the tuition and cost of living burden on students, but the portion of these costs that are not covered by scholarships and grants are still substantial.

In order to make ends meet, more and more students have no choice but to take a out student loan – the gift that keeps on taking.

When many students graduate, the value of the degrees they earned is likely more than offset by the student loans they owe. They begin their careers saddled with five or six figures of debt that is often comparable to the cost of a nice home.  In essence, they have a mortgage without a dwelling and there’s no way out of that pile of debt in less than a decade unless one wins a lottery. Unlike many other loans and obligations, college loans are not forgiven (erased) when one declares bankruptcy.  In other words, someone took great care to keep these people bottled up for several years.

I have noticed over the years that many real estate developers, especially in big cities and suburbia, are building far more apartments and other rental units than they are condominiums or “starter homes.”  I wondered why, and then considered what they might be up to.

The student-loan-laden graduates have begun to earn good money in the marketplace.  But with the equivalent of a monthly mortgage to pay off student loans before paying other bills, including rent, these folks have little if any funds to save for a down payment on a home.  The rents they pay are like a second mortgage, only they are building no equity when they pay it.  Who is the beneficiary of the equity in this transaction?  The landlords (who are often the developers and/or financiers of the projects).

This generation of young professionals and skilled tradespeople are in a tough spot if they want to eventually own a home.  Rents look more and more like mortgage payments without the benefits.  What incentive is there for these people that could make a mortgage payment more attractive than a rent payment?

Until this year, there was such an incentive. Interest payments on mortgages used to be tax deductible, but they aren’t under the golden haired wonder’s “tax reform.”  Not only did the Republicans (many of whom are basically owned by the 1% profiteers) hand over more than 80% of the benefits built in their tax reform to the 1%,  at the same time they drove another nail in the coffin of the American Dream to own a home. No 20% down payment plus no tax deduction of mortgage interest equals no compelling reason to try to own a home.  They have few viable alternatives but to be renters.

This, and the last minute packet of special incentives for Real Estate Developers that was packed into the tax legislation in the 11th hour as a reward to the golden haired boy and his ilk, is too coincidental not to stink of collusion.

Within the next 20 – 30 years in America, landlords will have enjoyed an enormous captive marketplace and a great deal of influence in the quality of life for Americans.  Their strategy is largely already in place, and until and unless the tax codes in America are repaired, they will no longer be one of the only means by which the insane distribution of wealth in America can be changed.  The “let them eat cake” attitude of turning a blind eye to financial oppression is a time tested recipe for ugly, catastrophic revolution.

Who’s Fooling Who?

Who’s Fooling Who?

It is now beyond doubt that Vladimir Putin’s cyber troops contaminated the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.  Under any other Presidential Administration that would have been treated as nothing short of an Act of War against the United States.

Under the ironic banner of Make America Great Again Americans who were poisoned by Russia’s undercover propaganda campaign refuse to accept the fact that they were caught up in a cyber-Pearl Harbor attack executed by Comrade Putin. The result of that invasion was that it installed a shady, greedy, lecherous businessman, who is deep in both financial and (now) political debt to Russia, as President of the United States. What could be better for Vladimir?

After great subterfuge involving social media, the attack triggered classic shock and awe on Election Night.  America never expected the results.  The coordinated attack was so surgical that it took aim at Electoral College votes rather than the popular vote, which Trump still refuses to concede he lost by millions of votes.

Now, nearly a year and a half later, the truth has pretty much surfaced, the President and his followers remain in denial, and America has done virtually nothing to retaliate for these attacks or to defend against them happening again.

Just ask the Director of the Defense Department’s National Security Agency:

“Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, made some pretty blunt statements to the Senate Armed Services Committee. Rogers acknowledged that Russian President Vladimir Putin probably believes he’s paid “little price” for the interference and thus hasn’t stopped. He also said flatly that Trump has not granted him any new authorities to strike at Russian cyber-operations….

Summarizing what he’d heard in Roger’s testimony, Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) said, “ …essentially, we have not taken on the Russians yet. We’re watching them intrude on our elections, spread misinformation, become more sophisticated, try to achieve strategic objectives that you [Adml. Rogers] have recognized, and we’re just essentially sitting back and waiting.”

Washington Post:  February 27, 2018

 Why is President Trump still doing nothing about the Russian cyber incursion?

Undermining a presidential election is no minor offense. Many of the best military minds in the country predicted years ago that our next major war would be a cyber war.  Our military has prepared long and well for that; all the President has to do is release the hounds.  In light of that, Trump’s “leadership” on this issue makes absolutely no sense, in fact, it is probably a serious dereliction of his presidential duty.  We are already a year-and-a-half behind in terms of what should have been done. Why has Trump virtually sabotaged our military’s mission to protect America?

Either The Donald is afraid of the Russians or he owes his allegiance to them. He’s incredibly self-serving, but I don’t think he’s a coward.  Even if, as he claims, he wasn’t in collusion with Valdimir before the election, it looks like he is now.  Why else would he ignore the Russian attack by tying back our military’s hands?

Let’s add another log on that fire.

Against the strident advice of nearly all in government and commerce, Republicans and Democrats alike, Donald J. Trump, the President of the United States, unilaterally announced that he will place a substantial trade tariff on imported steel and aluminum, ostensibly to fulfill an ill advised “America First” campaign promise. The tariff may breathe life into this manufacturing sector for a while, but it is sure to raise prices on steel and aluminum that will inflate the operating costs of American and global businesses that use these products.  They in turn will pass on those price increases to consumers – you and me.

What countries will be most adversely affected by the import tariff?

Russia ?      No.

How ‘bout China?     No.

Well if not them, who are the targets of Trumps tariff?     In a nutshell, that would be most of our largest trading partners, a.k.a. our allies.

Canada?    Pardon in 11th hour might yet be revoked. Damage to our relationship done by melodrama nonetheless.

Mexico?      Ditto Canada.

What about the European Union?       Oh yeah, they’re really ticked off.

Australia?        Definitely!

South Korea must be exempt, right?       They’re not, at least not yet.

Analysts and other folks with brains predict that if not altered before imposed, Trump’s Tariff will ignite a Trade War, not with our enemies but with our allies! (e.g. Putin’s enemies).

Brilliant Donald.  You ignore malicious and damaging cyber attacks from Russia and then declare war on our allies.  Your Vietnamese-manufactured red hats should have read “Let’s Destroy America’s Leadership of the Free World.” Apparently that’s what your America First mantra has been about all along.

Could it be that the antics of the current President’s Administration are more aligned with Vladimir Putin’s objectives in America than with American best interests and (dare I bring them up) ideals?

Certainly Putin has never been happier.  He ought to have forgiven at least some of Trump’s personal/business loans by now.

The Red Hats will never accept the truth about whose national interests Trump really serves.

But the rest of us know.

Make America ADT Again

Make America ADT Again

Donald Trump disappointed the world once again on February 27, 2018 with his announcement that he will run for re-election in 2020.

The cheers of the nation were inaudible.

Of course, we all understand Trump still needs to get Vladimir Putin’s permission to run again and that’s not a sure thing, but it’s looking good right now. According to reliable sources Comrade Putin is overjoyed with Trump’s undermining of the US military, intelligence departments, and law enforcement efforts to retaliate against the Kremlin for its indisputable and embarrassing cyber attacks on us. You remember them, the social media tricks Putin used to put his yellow helmeted puppet in the White House. [Coincidentally, Putin with an extra space is Put in as in, “Putin put in Trump.” It’s easier to remember the core problem this way.]

Everyone in America was sucker-punched when, with or without Trump’s complicity, Russia  contaminated the Presidential Election of 2016 to make The Donald The President.  “They ate our lunch,” one former US intelligence agent said, “and now the President won’t let us fight back.”  The unspoken next question is: “Who’s side is Trump really on?”

The answer is headline obvious.

Never in the history of the United States of America has a President been so blatantly corrupt as Trump. Abusing his office as President, he has tied the hands of our cyber soldiers while our nation remains under direct, relentless, and quite effective cyber attack by Russia.

Is America’s true Public Enemy #1 Chuck Schumer or Vladimir Putin?

Deceased former presidents are rolling in their graves. Trump, The Traitor in the White House (the title of his upcoming biography), owes Russia way too much money and political capital to even consider getting in Putin’s way. Doing nothing to retaliate, Trump is willingly paving the way for our worst enemy to divide our nation by undermining our faith in our government and in one another.

Trump is the most egocentric, self-serving, greedy and insolent head of state since Caligula (who was, coincidentally, also sexually depraved).

After his announcement, the buffoon king of hubris told reporters on camera that he was sure that, given the opportunity, unarmed he would surely have run into the school (presumably with his red cape fling behind him) to face down the latest assassin of students and heroic teachers. So ridiculously easy to say, so incredibly impossible to believe. How Trump-ish: after the fact, he to claims to have the courage, love and human regard that inspired the truly heroic teachers who sacrificed their lives to protect their students. What really happened was he saw the opportunity to dump another load of BS, this time to try to share the mantle of heroism. His incredibly asinine off the cuff speculation was offensive and degrading to the dignity of every genuine hero. Throughout his life Trump has displayed no interest in protecting anyone but his sorry self.

It’s not just Trump’s hair that is yellow.

And so, for all these reasons and many more, I am proud to announce that, if he’s not impeached beforehand, I will vote against Donald Trump and any who support him in 2020, assuming I am still alive and Putin doesn’t cancel the election.

I encourage all who are Against Donald Trump (ADT), to find a way and to announce your intentions for voting in the elections in 2020.  Let’s make ADT a badge of honor for the two plus years before the next Presidential election.  He has to go.

 

The Reason I Call Them “Repugnicans”

The Reason I Call Them “Repugnicans”

Donald Trump – the President who never released his income tax returns, and never will –  has been among the architects of a sweeping Republican Tax “Reform” Bill. Amazing. The hastily written and largely unread 1,000 + page Bill will give the typical taxpayer a small amount of relief for a while, but first and foremost it is designed to feed the insatiable greed of global corporations and the top 1%. Analysts calculate that super-rich will reap 80% of the benefits of the tax reductions in this new “reform.” These are the same folks who have already been favored by countless loopholes that have provided the 1% unique abilities to shield their riches from taxation under the old structure. This is not a “Reform” it’s a “Repeat” of Reagan & Bush policies that created and nurtured the huge divide between the 1% and the rest of us in America.

Why does anyone in his right mind think that this is good for America?

The Repugnican strategy is no secret. They have the best interests of their masters to serve. Their underlying policy is “Lets make those who earn less pay more, so that we can let those whose money ‘earns’ money pay less.” The Repugnicans, who were so worried about the deficit throughout the Obama years, suddenly have spun 180 degrees with Twitter-Don in office and magically proclaim the National Debt is no problem at all, in fact it can easily take on another $1.4 TRILLION of debt! This is supposed to be good for America?

Think about it for a minute, Ryan’s and McConnell’s Repugnicans are willing to take out a new $1.4 Trillion loan in the nation’s behalf in order to GIVE the 1% rich 80% of that money on a silver platter. That means the 1% get another $1,120,000,000 to make sure they stay stinking rich. What’s left over will be spread unevenly in small bits among the remaining 95% on a sliding scale regressing as income brackets decrease. That way most of the rest of us aren’t completely left out (except the already poor, of course).

Trump/Ryan/McConnell fervently hope that the middle class who get the crumbs under the 1%’s table will fall for the charade that they are our champions. They remain consistent in their belief that they really have no reason or interest to help the poor.

These grifters are saddling us with a $1.4 Trillion ‘Bill’ that will need to be paid. As things stand now, it won’t be paid by Mr. Trump’s Platinum American Express Card, nor on the card of any other person bloated with wealth. Oh no, Ryan and McConnell couldn’t let that happen to the sugar daddies who put them in office and have made them wealthier and more powerful than their wildest dreams. Their tax “Bill” will become our burden. The 99% of folks, many of whom already had to max out their Visa and Mastercard accounts in order to feed their families, will get stuck with the Bill.

Repugnicans want to buy our votes with pennies while they and their masters harvest more piles of money and power than anyone could ever spend.

Was anyone surprised when, in the 11th hour the Repugnicans quietly slipped into their sure-to-be-passed Tax structure one last provision that, surprise, surprise, provides extra tax benefits for Real Estate Developers. I think this provision should have its own name, The Donald Trump Screws America Again clause. That lying sack of excrement had the nerve to tell his “base” of followers that he is going to be hammered by this Tax Reform and that many of his fellow 1%’ers are very unhappy with him. Riiiiiiiiight. This tax reform is shoveling boat loads of money into Donald’s family’s pockets there is NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. His lies could not be bigger.

Wake up. This is only phase one. Trump and his Repugnicans are gearing up to drain, not the swamp, but the US Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs that every day Americans have earned and count on and that those less fortunate need desperately.

The Repugnican Congress is setting the stage to steal what rightfully belongs to real Americans. Somewhere along the line folks seem to have forgotten that when someone in a democracy is entitled to Social Security and Medicare, that “entitlement” is something that people have rightfully worked for, paid for and is due them. Social Security and Medicare are not items of government spending! They are bank accounts owned by people who had to make mandatory deposits into them during their working years. The national budget needs to differentiate between Operating Assets and the People’s Retirement Savings.

The record of Congressional theft of Social Security and Medicare funds to pay the debts Congress incurred for the country is long and shameful. And if we Americans don’t do something about it, it will be continued big time soon.

The overwhelmed and nearly powerless poor will remain Public Enemy #1 in the minds of the Repugnican national legislators. Medicaid, food, shelter, education, and other crucial programs that serve people in need are in the middle of the Bull’s Eye of the hypocrites who will look to take down “government spending.” Only the most reckless government spenders in the land, the military, will be not just exempt from cut backs, but the beneficiaries of several billions of dollars more to play with. The cost of toilet seats in the Pentagon has risen again to what, a thousand dollars each?

It’s time to for us to swamp these brazen bandits with the power of our votes. Let’s take them under. Vote for no one who refuses to sign a sacred pledge to make any diversion of Social Security and Medicare funds from their original intended purposes illegal and punishable under Federal Law. Vote for no one who would take sustenance away from any of our countrymen and women.   Vote for no one who refuses to recognize that the current distribution of wealth in America is absurd, threatens the core of republic, and needs to be changed in our tax system quickly.

If the 99%, don’t stop them, who will?

A User’s Guide to Donald Trump: Appendix 1

A User’s Guide to Donald Trump: Appendix 1

The American public has never had to deal with anyone like Donald Trump in the White House. Most of us are aware of that. But it’s important to identify the aspects of The Donald that set him apart from all previous 44 Presidents of the United States, with perhaps the exception of Warren G. Harding.

For many years Donald Trump was a member of/financial contributor to the Democratic Party. Why then did he suddenly declare his candidacy for the Presidency in the Republican Party primaries in 2012?  First, his motivations for his party affiliations and contributions were, like always, strictly self-serving. They were pragmatic, not ideological. The money he “donated” and his affiliations were intended to be profitable in the long run.

So when he smelled an opportunity that he could never have among the Democrats, it was natural for Trump to change sides. Although he was never interested in running (and losing) against the incumbent Barack Obama in 2012, he was hungry to join the legion of Republicans who sought the presidential nomination. This was an irresistible chance to invent and introduce a new facet of his image, downplaying his amoral, audacious real estate escapades and reckless, amoral, playboy persona. Here he would test fly himself as a potential statesman.

No one took him seriously in 2012; he gathered very few percentage points in the primaries. But that didn’t matter. He wasn’t in it to win it back then. He’d accomplished his objective of planting seeds of quasi-political respectability. He’d shared the stage shoulder-to-shoulder with life-long politicos whose names were, in most cases, lesser known by the general public than his. He wedged his way in and gave his eventual presidential aspirations a precedent.

Over the next four years, he created and burnished his supposed executive leadership credentials with his new popular television show, “The Apprentice.”   Sitting on his regal executive throne, he disparaged and humiliated young business school graduates with his denegrations of their performances in difficult assignments that ostensibly tested their chops. His image took on a hard-nosed, take-no-prisoners attitude and a demi-god-like impatience with the fools he had to tolerate. As intended, he presented himself as a tough boss who demanded results. Contrary to his 2012 primary showing, his television ratings were astounding. Not satisfied with besting unknown job applicants, he then gathered a bunch of celebrities whose fading stardoms were in dire need of any kind of boost, and thrashed them around to get ever-higher ratings. He proudly proved he could easily control and inflict failure on characters whose names were recognizable having once been popular but who were now stuck in the minor leagues.  Meanwhile, Trump’s popularity rose.

Like a mountain of bubbles in a bathtub, there was little real substance in the political image Trump created for himself by 2016. He had no real steak to offer, but he had more than enough sizzle.

The rest is history. He tossed his Vietnamese-manufactured “Make American Great Again” hat into the crowded ring and immediately stood out boldly against the stable of Republican wannabes who were virtually indistinguishable from one another.  His cast away opponents either went home to lick their wounds or prolonged their agony by embracing his campaign.  Trump squeezed out what little value they had left and then left them by the roadside (see Christie, Chris).

With active and illegal complicity, his de facto campaign manager Vladimir Putin crafted and executed a masterfully deceitful strategy for the general election. Hacking into Democratic leaders’ e-mails and making other well-timed cyber moves and Wiki leaks, Putin’s minions created a growing series of questionable concerns about Hilary Clinton. With heavy strategic applications of paid advertisements on major social media sites, The Donald’s allies in the Kremlin pushed all the right buttons to plant propaganda into the willing ears of those living in the heartland. Their strategy’s climax came at the either unwitting or cunning announcement by FBI Director James Comey that more Clinton e-mails were under investigation less than 48 hours before the polls opened. The Hammer & Sickle banner was raised to new heights as the Trump/Putin campaign successfully turned the tide of reason in the electorate just enough for the Electoral College to negate the popular vote.

Gleeful high fives in Moscow.  Trump was in.

God help us.

Now that he is president, it’s important to understand what motivates Trump as he plays the ringmaster over his circus. We caught more than a hilariously stupid glimpse of what is in store for the next four years very early in his administration. In the face of indisputable evidence to the contrary, Trump launched his administration by adamantly insisting that his Inaugural crowd was the largest ever, dwarfing President Obama’s crowds.  In other words, Trump’s presidency began with what 99.4% of sane people in the world knew was the boldest of bold-faced lies. His humiliated Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, was ordered to support those outrageously false assertions in his first press briefing from the White House. Trump and Spicer were the only two people who made those farcical assertions. Everyone knew that neither believed it.

And that was just the inauspicious beginning.

Many political commentators have since grasped the obvious and reported that Trump has absolutely no fundamental political beliefs to inform his decision making. Instead, his decisions waffle depending on what works best for him at a given time. Believing in nothing is very advantageous to someone cares nothing for the truth and wants to remain pragmatically flexible.

Regrettably “pragmatically flexible” is a new piece of Washington-speak that is the equivalent of “unpredictable,” or in Trump’s case “wildly unpredictable.” Trump is definitely that. Those who try to read his mind have to realize he is fundamentally a spoiled and over-inflated bag of pure ego.   Not unlike his counterpart in North Korea, Trump expects his people to, not only accept, but applaud loudly, his blatantly self-serving lies.  Unfortunately, many who invested their support in him find they either have to turn a blind eye to the nature of the man and his shenanigans or admit to a big mistake. Understandably, obstinance favors the former option.

Unpredictability is a strategic tool that fools people and keeps Trump in the limelight where his bleached comb-over and pink cheeks look best.  He stirs the pot, which is not necessarily a bad thing but can be very dangerous in some instances.  I think we all have reason to worry about whether he knows the difference.

Ultimately, Trump has no ideology or morality in the foundation of ‘What’s Best for America.’ The true bottom line is that whatever Donald Trump does is driven by what’s best for Donald Trump. It has always been that way; he knows no other way to live.

Certainly some people, his family, his unstable inner circle, his daughter’s wedding planner, and his business associates have benefitted from some of his decisions and actions, but those are collateral consequences. Trump seems to firmly believe that what is good for The Donald is always the equivalent of What’s Best for America.  So far, I contend that our American values and his stances have never been aligned and are becoming further distant by the day.

A User’s Guide to President Trump – Warnings:

  • Do not expect the truth from The Donald; Fact check whatever he says, even if it is something you think might be true.  It’s a shame to have to do this, but it comes with the territory.
  • Always keep in mind that Donald Trump is his own favorite cause, topic, and person. Donald Trump NEVER does anything that doesn’t primarily benefit Donald Trump. Interpret anything he says or does accordingly. From this vantage point, what he says and does will make more sense in a perverse way. It might not be acceptable or make you feel better, but it is easier to work with than total chaos.
  • Donald Trump will often surprise his allies and detractors by doing the polar opposite of what they expect. He unapologetically contradicts himself often. He is unpredictable simply for no other reason than shock value. He loves creating unexpected change because it almost always grabs his favorite elixir: attention.
  • Oh, one more thing, and this is a big one. Beware: At all costs, whatever you do, don’t let Trump’s reckless bravado start a nuclear w