If You Give Trump the Purse Strings (Dark Version)

If you give Trump a presidential campaign he will seek out a Russian leader to help him win.

If you give Trump help from Russia he will win. He will become the President of America.

Then he will want a White House like a Saudi King’s palace.

If he can’t have a palace he will have a fancy golf club or two – his fancy golf clubs

If he appoints all his cronies to govern/rule with him they will fight to be Dad’s favorite, give bad advice; they will leak the chaos.

If he fires the most contentious ones we will get a lot of new books. The new cronies he appoints will be just like the old ones.

If he can’t get absolute loyalty from his staff and cabinet he and his family will govern America all alone.

If the Democrats take the House he will find a way to bring them to heel by insisting that we need to build a wall along the southern border.

If he gets a wall, he will know he can have anything he wants.

If he can’t get his wall he will shut down the government until he finds out he can’t give the SOTU in the House of Representatives.

If he gives the SOTU he will declare a National Emergency to get his wall.

If he declares a National Emergency he can wrest control of the purse strings away from the House.

 

If he gets control of the purse strings, he may be able to turn the White House into a Saudi King’s palace.

If he gets control of the purse strings, he will know he can have anything he wants.

Trump will finally be a winner.

America and “we the people” will have to do whatever Trump says.

What will we be doing?

Photo Credits: From Google Image Searches – scoop nest.com, Reductress, Mondo Design, USA Today’s FTW, ibtimes.com, YouTube, The Wrap, CNBC.com, Business Insider, Times of Israel, The Daily Beast, CNN.com, CBS 42,Ya Libnan.jpg, Etsy, tenor.com, IBTimes.UK

.

 

.

Bop Bag Politics

Our president is basically a human bop bag. If he gets knocked down he pretends it is due to his magnanimity as a leader (an emotion he does not possess) and then he just pops back up. This bop bag toy works as a symbol for a lot of politicians; but it may just be the quintessential symbol for Donald Trump, not just as a politician but also as a businessman.

Ending the shutdown is a victory for many Americans who spoke up about the everyday repercussions of working without pay; a victory over a president’s empty words about one-sided loyalty. Nancy Pelosi probably never intended to gloat. She used the power of her office, which she understands completely, and the power of the Constitution, to help put an end to the shutdown. The only extraordinary thing about it is the skill with which she wields the gavel. Gloating does not have good outcomes given Trump’s pathologies. He hates losing and will stubbornly hold his ground.

It is entirely possible that Trump only decided to end the shutdown for three weeks so he could give his State of the Union address in the House chambers amidst the pomp and spectacle of regular order in these times that are anything but regular.

However Trump could have decided to do the authoritarian thing and force his way into the House chambers and he didn’t. Perhaps he realized how quickly opposition might escalate if he used that play from the authoritarian playbook at this particular moment, if he sidelined a Congress that now shows some promise of offering the checks and balances that signal a healthy democracy/republic. Don’t be too comforted; this play is still available for future use.

In the Rose Garden he made a formal announcement of a temporary (3 week end) to the government shutdown but he did not back down at all from his insistence on the necessity for a wall on our southern border.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/prisoner-of-his-own-impulse-inside-trumps-cave-to-end-shutdown-without-wall/2019/01/25/e4a4789a-20d5-11e9-8b59-0a28f2191131_story.html

“Trump’s quest for at least some portion of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border is not over, however. Friday’s agreement only temporarily reopens the government, providing a three-week period for Congress to negotiate a longer-term spending agreement. The president said he would continue advocating for his signature campaign promise and threatened to again shut down the government or declare a national emergency to use his unilateral powers to build the wall if Congress does not appropriate funding for it by Feb. 15.

‘Let me be very clear: We really have no choice but to build a powerful wall or steel barrier,” Trump said Friday. He also tweeted in the evening that his decision “was in no way a concession.’”

He does seem, however, to be willing to accept pieces of wall as opposed to sea to sea wall. He also seems willing to accept a steel barrier rather than a monumental medieval concrete wall that can be seen from space. (Although perhaps with his push to get to Mars while he is still President, he will have to leave some kind of monument that will be visible from space.)

So the bop bag we call Donald Trump is now back in the upright position. What will happen next? Will it be some money for barriers and will Nancy Pelosi and her Dem peeps accept a bit of defeat gracefully? Will it be the declaration of a National Emergency, which promises to damage our constitutional democracy “bigly”? Will it be another shutdown after Trump gets to deliver his SOTU address?

What can the president possibly say in his SOTU address that anyone but loyal Republicans will want to listen to? We have not yet reached the point where Americans can be forced to watch the address. Someone will tell us what he said after the fact. If you are a person who sees through this man you will probably have to tune out the SOTU address to save your TV from mayhem. Perhaps you could order a bop bag to take your frustrations out on. Remember also that a bop bag can be put down permanently; all you have to do is take the hot air out of it.

Photo Credit: Amazon.com

State of the Union – My Take

 

My take on the State of the Union (“Uniom”) would include concerns that will not be discussed in Trump’s address tonight. It would include my deep chagrin that our oval office is occupied by a man that I always thought of as a con man and a crook (with really poor taste in interior design). Subtlety does not work for DT and neither does elegance. He likes in-your-face, flashy, keep-your-eyes-on-me behavior. He trails chaos.

It is not just our President’s style that I object to; it is the substance of the man, if he can be said to have any. He will tell us tonight about all of the great things he has done, which, for the most part, involve implementations of Republican policies. What he will not talk about is the hoops he has everyone jumping through because he is under investigation for obstruction of justice. He may even be worried that he will be found to have committed criminal acts or treason. While he tells us he did not collude with Russia when they interfered in the 2016 election we cannot escape our feeling that he is innocent on a technicality. He may have made sure that he never directly contacted or met with Russians during his campaign. He may have never even directly ordered his staff or family members on his campaign to meet with Russians for him. But I would guess that he does not have to ask. His people know Trump-coded messaging and they can carry out his bidding without a direct order.

It is unlikely that Trump will talk about how the paranoia that fuels his attacks on the investigative wing of our government will, at the same time, make America less secure. The FBI is not a warm, fuzzy institution. It is not an organization that the American people welcome attracting attention from, unless they are the victim of a crime.

But we accept the FBI as a serious and business-like group of super-detectives and we respect and fear them. Mr. Trump has been exposing the human side of the FBI, the side where they gossip about classified information and possibly let individual politics rule the outcomes of their investigations. He is tarnishing an important body that usually gives aid to Presidents. He fired James Comey and McCabe left without even waiting to qualify for his pension. Trump is good at spreading suspicion, at soiling the reputations of reputable people. What can we conclude except that he must be guilty of some crime he doesn’t want exposed?

The FBI has acted in ways that have hurt its own image also. The two flirters who exchanged emails while working with Mueller to investigate Russian matters added to the mess when their emails became public. Whatever they intended, they gave Trump more fodder for his campaign to tarnish the FBI and cast doubts on that integrity which was always their trademark. He has turned the FBI into a soap opera so that if/when his guilt is exposed he can argue that the methodologies were so flawed that we should disregard anything this body says about him.

The fact that we have a man in our oval office who had his people collude with Russia for him so that he could have deniability will not be discussed in Trump’s State of the Union. The fact that we have a President who we suspect has been friendly with various mafia groups both here and abroad in the pursuit of his smarmy deals is unlikely to be one of the bullet points in tonight’s address.

We will not hear about the constant barrage of revelations that have us smacking our foreheads daily. Forty-five will not regale us with memories of the most transparent lies he has spoken, of his strategy of owning those lies, of repeating them loudly and proudly because once they become part of the public record that record lends them credibility.

Right now we have Devin Nunes, who is supposed to have been removed from the Russia investigation in the House, waving an enticingly secret memo under our noses, implying he has a piece of information that will exonerate the President, indict the Democrats, destroy the FBI, and perhaps even prove that Russia is now our best friend. The Justice Department does not want the memo released but I am guessing if it seems to meet even a tiny portion of the goals Nunes implies that it does we will find it is leaked soon enough. Devin Nunes has become the President’s most passionate and inept defender. I keep thinking we’ve heard the last of him and then there he is again. So far we have learned nothing substantive from Mr. Nunes.

Right now we have the bad taste in or mouths left by the lack of good faith in the bargaining over DACA and CHIP and the government shutdown. That was clearly a setup designed to embarrass the Democrats and confuse Americans about who to blame for the shutdown. It worked because Democratic leaders in Congress came under fire from their own people and lost “face”.

The State of the Union won’t mention that the divisions in America are not being healed but are instead being whipped up into frenzied arguments by Trumpers who refuse to hear any criticism of Mr. Trump. I received an article in my mailbox yesterday that described a hissy fit by one of the co-founders of Home Deport against Democrats because of what Dems see as flaws in the new Republican Tax plan. In fact, the first article I saw said that Democrats would not be allowed to shop at Home Depot (surely a very poor business decision). I heard the rest when I did a fact-check on the story. We understand why Mr. Marcus is happy with the new tax plan, but why does he get so exercised when Democrats disagree with the plan?

We surely will not be regaled with tales of the disarray in Washington, of the State Department veterans being sent to the basement to fulfill FOIA requests, that have never been considered the most important task of a formerly very busy State Department. We won’t expect to hear a cogent explanation of why the State Department is being gutted.

We know there is more, so much more; we are loaded down with daily nonsense. But that nonsense could change our government so much that it will be like that Humpty-Dumpty from our childhood, so broken that we can never put it back together again.

We will hear about how America’s economy is roaring back as a result of Trump’s executive actions overturning regulations on businesses and rules intended to address environmental concerns but we won’t be reminded that government policies always involve conjecture. Governments decide what policies will produce the outcomes they want but there are no guarantees that the future will comply with the predictions. Everyone is guessing about what will bring about the future they wish to see.

Republicans are not even using past practice to help them predict the future. They are still selling “trickle-down economics” which evidence says has never yet produced any appreciable tickle-down. If it did our economy would not have allowed so much wealth to concentrate in the hands of so few. The tax plan Congress just passed sends more money up the chain. Money never comes back down the chain. Why did the Republicans do something that seems so counterproductive? How can an economy come roaring back if you have no consumers except the 1%? Look at the new consumers just beginning to buy in cultures with far larger populations than we have in America. There are few incentives to bring lots of business back to America. Even a 21% corporate tax rate will not counteract a supply chain that moves too far from the marketplace where products actually are bought and sold. None of this will be discussed in tonight’s SOTU address.

I will not be able to listen to the State of the Union address because I might be tempted to throw something at my TV which I cannot really afford to replace at the moment. I will wait and hear the cooler commentary about the speech tomorrow. However, no rosy picture of the current state of America can possible convince me that the policies we are pursuing will benefit the American people, will keep our government intact, or even will coincide with the United States Constitution.

Dumbledore/Obama Speaks at Hogwarts/Congress

I have defended Obama many, many
times over the past 7 years, although he most likely knows nothing about it and
he really didn’t require my assistance. As I became more and more aware of the
Republican agenda for America I became more and more grateful that Obama was in
the White House helping Democrats at least hold the line against the GOP
extremists. While the right wing bemoaned the Stimulus, which was not an action
that Obama did on his own I was glad that we were not going to be held to an
austerity that would have prolonged the Great Recession. While the right wing
lashed out when Obama did an end run around them to pass the Affordable Care
Act I was glad that more people would have health insurance, that people with
preexisting conditions would be covered and that certain young family members
would no longer have to rely on the emergency room for medical treatment.
I can see that America is not as
prosperous as it was, at least not for all of us. I have not forgotten the
parade of factories that have left empty buildings all over my hometown and the
number of workers who once had secure, good paying jobs who now have jobs that
pay much less. My town has not recovered from the recession but they are
working and the job market has ticked up quite a bit from the days when there
were no jobs to be found. I know that the Obama years have helped our economy.
The strides made with alternative energies alone will serve our economy and our
environment well in the future.
Republicans have been aching to cut
the social safety net, privatize social security, end Medicare and privatize
schools. These things are all bad policy and Obama has held off these Social
Darwinists for two terms now, two terms while Republicans complained bitterly
and lied to the people and said that benefits are harmful. Obama has shepherded
us through an era when facing up to our lingering racism has been painful and
obvious, although still unresolved. Watching the heart wrenching confrontations
between the police and young black folks with the seemingly tiny or nonexistant
misdemeanors being met by out-of-all-proportion consequences will force us, I
hope, to solve our divisions. Obama kept us calm and called for solutions. I
don’t know how all of this would have played out if we did not have Obama in
the White House.
Republicans vowed to block President
Obama and they have done so throughout the Obama years, so much so that I often
wished for a referee who would call foul and put a stop to all of the
obstruction and vituperation. Obama still steadily found ways to hold back
their extreme agenda and get things done. So they stonewalled in Washington,
voted to repeal the ACA eighty-five million times, voted to defund Planned
Parenthood, found ways to abuse traditional perks like gerrymandering to pack
statehouses with Republicans and ways to set voting rights back 50 years, ways
to keep Obama from appointing liberals to the courts, and still Obama did what
he could for Americans day after day.
So I loved President Obama’s last
SOTU address. I felt like he was Dumbledore summing things up, the good and the
bad for all the students of Hogwarts whether allies or enemies. I agree that we
are still a strong nation. I agree that civility is not dead, although it
sometimes seems that way. I believe that we have done great things in the past,
in the present and that in the future we will find a way to a new prosperity. I
believe we need to work together, although I have little faith that the GOP
fever has run its course. They have waited almost eight years for this moment,
and even if it is not turning out quite as planned, they can taste victory. But
I will miss Obama and I will not take a GOP victory as any kind of victory
because we will have to do things that we will later have to undo and that will
be a real waste of time for America and it may actually make our nation more
vulnerable to those who hope we fail. What we must do now is elect a Democrat
and, truth to tell either Hillary or Bernie will do. Better to have two good
choices than fifteen bad ones. 
By Nancy Brisson

Not Redistribution of Wealth! Oh No!

We need to help middle class workers prepare for new jobs.
We need this kind of shot-in-the-arm free community college program that the
President is recommending and that he talked about in his State of the Union
address and that infrastructure stuff and child care. But we have learned all too much about “pay for-s” over the past six
years.
 “That’s impossible.”
say the Republicans, “How will we pay for it?”
So then President Obama rolls out his tax plan. And it’s a
doozie – an in-your-face Grover Norquist, No-Tax-Increase-Pledge doozie! And I
am smiling a big smile even though I know it won’t fly. I also think that if we
say it enough and own it enough it could all happen. We could have lower taxes
for the middle class and we could raise the taxes on corporations and the
wealthy. We are the people. It is our government. We are the 99%. They are the
1%.
“That’s ‘redistribution of wealth,” say the Republicans as
if ‘redistribution of wealth’ is a mortal sin; as if it rings the ‘communism’
alarm bells in the heads and hearts of all sane capitalists.
Why should such obvious fear-mongering and name-calling
bother us? This is not the days of Joseph McCarthy’s Un-American Activities
regime which set out to ruin many successful Americans by painting them ‘red’
for ‘communist’. Americans have no wish to turn over all their property and
money to the state and start a communist revolution in America.
What is clear to most middle class Americans is that we,
however suspicious, were sort of uneducated on the wiles of politicians, and so
we let these powerful and wealthy people create a set of rules about taxation
and profit which sent most of America’s money to a few greedy,
financially-savvy rip-off artists and that now that these people – these 1% – have
all this money they are damned if they will let us rewrite the rules so that
some of this profit stays with the middle class, and some of it funds the
activities of our federal, state, and local governments in order to provide
ourselves with the services and resources we need to keep America great.
Are we frightened of
a label that was once considered a ‘politically dangerous’ one? Do we really
believe that these people deserve all the monies that have accrued to them?
They don’t employ us anymore, they don’t need us anymore. They want to be
Americans in name only and pay nothing for the privilege.
We did not force our corporations out of America through
middle class greed as these folks would have you believe. I will keep saying
this until we all accept it. Globalization was inevitable. There was always
going to be a moment when our corporations moved into less-developed nations.
Nature abhors a vacuum. Once communism proved inferior as an economic system –
at least the brands of communism that have been tried so far – it was just a
matter of time before these communist countries loosened up. It was only a
matter of time before business men’s eyes got bigger and bigger as they thought
of all the potential buyers living in developing nations, how cheap labor would
be, and how easy it would be to operate in countries with no environmental
rules.
There is nothing the American worker could have done to
stop this stampede. Stop letting the 1% blame the 99% for things they had no
control over. Stop letting some simple words, said with a sort of implied
sneer; words like ‘redistribution of wealth’; stop us from changing the way we
tax wealth in America.

There could be backlash, unforeseen outcomes. Going up
against people who are rich and powerful is not without consequences, but if we
are already headed towards a serfdom of low wages and life-long toil, I think
we should risk it. Raising taxes is cheaper, less disruptive, and less costly
in terms of human lives than going through a revolution which is often how
wealth gets redistributed. This is not a threat. This is, however, a
historically accurate observation.
By Nancy Brisson