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Archive for July, 2017

Anthony Scaramucci, a leftover from the cutting room floor of “Goodfellas” is hired and fired by Donald Tinyhands in the span of ten days. The White House Chief of Staff and the White House Communications Director are unceremoniously jettisoned during that same day period. Nowhere is it written in the Constitution that the White House cannot be a circus act. There is no clause or amendment which prevents the President of the United States from turning his/her administration into, by turns, a vulgar, bizarre or ludicrous set of sideshows that would make the most jaded vaudevillian blush.

The last several Point of View columns have pointed out that that burlesque-like chaos in the White House should be viewed as a sideshow lest we take our eyes off what is really going on during the first six months of the Trump presidency. While SNL writers rub their hands with glee every time Kelly Ann Conway or Sean Spicer or Anthony Scaramucci have executed rhetorical pratfalls every time a microphone is near, the soundtrack for this madness could easily feature the Temptations “Ball of Confusion” as its theme song.

While Donald Tinyhands plays the part of maestro while the West Wing staff plays musical chairs on hoverboards, the blood soaked regime Kim Jong-un in North Korea threatens this country with a nuclear holocaust. While President Trump touts the record gains on Wall Street, unemployment and job growth, he recalls the rooster who takes credit for the sunrise, since he clearly believes that no one is aware that he Administration is riding the wave of economic growth and progress that began 7 years ago during the Obama Administration.

Meanwhile, Russia has imposed the harshest diplomatic sanctions on the United States since 1917. As the Trump administration has misplayed it hand when it comes to sanctions vs. rapprochement with Russia, Vladimir Putin is clearly outplaying President Trump at every turn.

Nevertheless, the Trump White House Follies have become Must See TV for anyone who has a passing interest in what the hell is going on in this country. Anyone who has ever managed a company, government agency or candy store knows that stability and predictability in that management is critical to the success of the enterprise. The fact that Donald Trump has tried to graft his cult of personality onto the American presidency bespeaks a level of pathological narcissism not seen in the American White House in history of the Republic.

Quite frankly, the narcissism and self-adulation and infantile demands for personal loyalty would not be such a problem if Trump was able to produce results that benefited the American people. But unless you believe that demolishing environmental protection regulations, reviving the era of mass incarceration and managing to alienate the leadership of most countries on the planet are accomplishments, it is pretty clear that “failure” and “Trump” will be synonyms in the dictionaries of the future.

Even the hard core of the hard core supporters of Donald Tinyhands have to be asking where is the wall? Where is the replacement for Obamacare? Where are the new jobs in our shuttered factories? And, exactly when is America going to be great again?
The takeaway lesson from what historians will one day refer to as “The Trump Tragedy”, is that elections do matter? Participatory democracy, but so is participatory politics.

Barely half of the Americans eligible to vote did so in the 2016 elections – and less than half of those who voted cast their ballot for Donald Trump.

What has happened is that a motivated, dedicated and desperate minority has hijacked the American government, leaving most Americans in the unenviable position of clinging to the desperate hope that 2018 and/or 2018 will make a difference.

Perhaps it will. But wishing will not make it so.

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There can be no doubt as to whether historians will be puzzled by the events that have occurred during the early days of the Trump Administration. While most of the nation, indeed most of the world, is focused on connections and collusion with Russia, the misdeeds and suspicions surrounding President Trump’s son and son-in-law and daughter, the Trump vision is being fashioned and implanted with appalling speed.

Consider a few examples:

  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a rule that will allow consumers to bring class action lawsuits against banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions with respect to predatory lending and other egregious practices. In turn, Congressional Republicans are working on using special legislative procedures which would repeal the rule allowing misdeeds by financial services institutions to carry on with their harmful and destructive behavior.
  • This week the Budget Committee of the House of Representatives has introduced a budget that proposes trillions of dollars in cuts to the American social safety net. This right wing of the right wing proposal calls for cutting $5.4 trillion in social service programs over the coming decade with Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security programs being led to the bean counter slaughterhouse.
  • On May 11th President Trump established a voter fraud commission to investigate non-existent and purely fictional allegations of electoral transgressions such as the classic Donald Tinyhands claim that over three million illegal immigrants voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. What NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Ordinary People Society and the American Civil Liberties Union claim in a recent lawsuit is that goal of this commission is to develop litigation-proof programs to implement voter suppression strategies.
  • Meanwhile, it was announced that U.S. taxpayers are paying the owners of Trump Tower in New York City (that would be Donald Tinyhands and his family) $2.4 million dollars a year for space even though President Trump has not spent a night there since his inauguration.

What we are seeing, in matters large and small, is the transitioning of the United States into a country that does not focus on the notion of a social safety net for all Americans – a country that does not support the concept of social and economic justice – a country that will be very different after four years of Trump.

And the true tragedy is that while some Americans are just now beginning to understand that elections have consequences, too many people are focusing on the Trump-Russia sideshows while the main event, featuring the dismantling of America, continues with too little comment and very little opposition.

It is difficult to believe that given the very real damage proposed by President Trump and his administration and his supporters in Congress, progressive Americans have been too silent and frightening bereft of strategies to turn the tide in the courts or at the ballot box.

It is very clear that the right wing of the right wing and the Trump Administration have a strategy, it is past time for the progressive aspect of American politics to begin implementing a plan of resistance and reversal –before it is too late.

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Given the flaming news cycles igniting the airwaves and the Internet one would think that issues like healthcare, Russian intervention in the U.S. elections, Syria, North Korea and climate change have all been resolved due to incandescent leadership of the Supreme Leader, also known as Donald Trump, also known as Donald Tinyhands. That would be a useful explanation for little or no media attention being focused on the cataclysmic nature of the damage that the Trump Administration has planned for the people of America.

As you are reading this column, countless human hours are being spent recounting and re-recounting every breath and heartbeat of Donald Trump, Jr. as he spins himself into the dustbin of history while crafting lies and counter-lies regarding his more than obvious flirtation with Russia. Not unlike his father, his lust for “winning” seemingly erases any sense of right or wrong and obliterates protocols that should be obvious to a passably bright fifth grader.

And as you are reading this column, Donald Tinyhands is singlehandedly (pun intended) discovering new and increasingly unpleasant ways to mar, deface, denigrate and devalue America’s international alliances much in the way that an unruly child might devastate a china shop if he broke free from his nanny. The saddest part of this incredibly short-sighted behavior is that there may come a time when these alliances will be all that will keep America from standing alone.

Because it is clear by now that Donald Trump does not understand the difference between deviant and devious, there can be no doubt that these distractions from the daily damage that is being inflicted on the United States is unintentional. Nevertheless, the damage is real and history will show that when it comes to damaging a nation, it is very easy to do so, and so very hard to repair.

The Donald Tinyhands Cavalcade and Clowns has diverted attention from the fact that his tiny hands picked Elizabeth Devos as Secretary of Education and that she has embarked on a series of initiatives that have the potential for wrecking national education policy for years to come. By deliberately downgrading the importance of civil rights enforcement in the field of education, millions of men and women of various racial and gender identities will suffer. By limiting, and in some cases eliminating the protections afforded to students at for profit institutions, Secretary Devos is shepherding the concept of predatory learning into reality.

Meanwhile, the United States Environmental Protection Agency is headed by Scott Pruitt, again personally selected by Donald Tinyhands tiny hands. In addition to being a climate change denier, Mr. Pruitt seems to be hell bent on promoting coal – an 18th century fuel – as a 21st century energy option. The pollution of rivers, lakes, ocean beds and parks in the name of fossil fuel exploration and extraction will be part of the legacy of Donald Tinyhands and his minions.

And so, while Ivanka Trump plays musical chairs with presidents and prime ministers in Hamburg, the dismantling of the health care system, the demolition of urban policies and shredding of this country’s social service safety next are all moving forward at an alarming pace.

The distractions offered by the Trump Administration are too numerous to mention and too numerous to be ignored. Nevertheless, the real danger to the Republic are the intentional and malign acts of a soulless presidency that will haunt this country for years after the man with the Tinyhands is forgotten.

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