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And now, for his next dark magic trick, Donald Tinyhands has actually withdrawn the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. With the stroke of a pen he has managed to have this country exit the most extensive collective global initiative since the founding of the United Nations, seemingly based on the totally false premise that climate change is a Chinese hoax and the absolutely truth challenged notion that this precipitous act of naked nationalism will help the American worker.

There are many pernicious and dangerous aspects to this chapter of the Book of Trump. Starting with the fact that this validation of an anti-science attitude reflects the neo-Luddite pseudo-philosophy that is sweeping some parts of the country. Indeed, in 2017 there are 14 states, such as Tennessee, Florida, Ohio and Louisiana to name a few, that allow the teaching of creationism in science classes in public schools.

And it is bad enough that American children are being taught that Adam and Eve walked with the dinosaurs. But it is even worse that science-based facts supporting the theory of evolution are treated in many of these same schools as simply an alternative to the Garden of Eden version taught in the Bible.

There are refugees from the realm of fact and science who have not only taken the high ground in public education, but are also finding their way into the world of medical science. There are 20 states that now allow “personal belief” exemptions for adults (and their unlucky children) who choose not to have what used to be mandatory vaccinations. As a result, for the first time in over half a century we now see a rise in measles and other childhood diseases that had virtually disappeared in this country.

Meanwhile, the same wrongheaded flight from science that has challenged the facts supporting the science of evolution and the public health importance of vaccinations are also fighting a fact-free battle against the science that supports climate change. It is beyond belief that the president of the most scientifically advanced country in the world would label climate change a Chinese hoax – but here we are, caught in the spidery web where politics and ignorance have joined together.

There is not enough space in this column to detail all of the scientific proof that details the reality of the climate of this planet changing due to human activity. But you are invited to read “The Sixth Extinction” by Elizabeth Kolbert which details how life on this planet was nearly extinguished five times over the billions of years that there has been a planet Earth, and that now there are (too) many signs that humanity is on yet another path that leads to extinction, this time initiated by humanity and all the technology that will accompany us to the brink of this existential abyss.

And meantime, there are some soon to be unemployed coal miners who are celebrating the temporary reprieve for their jobs, while over 6 million Americans who work in the alternative energy sector will have to wait and see whether their industry, which should be positioned to lead the world, will even exist in the Age of Donald Tinyhands.

President Trump has bellowed in his inimitable style that he is protecting the American worker by withdrawing this country from the Paris Climate Agreement. But many workers will lose their jobs due to in inexorable move from fossil fuels to alternative and reusable energy that the rest of the world is pursuing.

And it can be reasonably be asked how the American worker can be saved if there is no clean air, clean water or a clear and clean future.

The simulated bumper car administration of Donald Trump seems to lurch from fiasco to faux pas with practiced ease. Whether he is leaking confidential files to the Russians or shoving the Prime Minister of Montenegro out of the way like a fevered Black Friday shopper, President Trump has shown himself to be a master of shameless error. But it is worthwhile to imagine what it would be like if other names could be substituted for the players in the Drama Called Trump.

Consider Donald Trump’s campaign and the moment of disgrace occasioned by the release of the Access Hollywood tapes where he confessed to sexually assaulting women on numerous occasions. Without comment I am asking you to estimate the lifespan of the presidential candidacy of Senator Barack Obama if he were starring in the Access Hollywood Tapes.

Consider that Donald Trump admitted to providing the Russian Prime Minister and the Russian Ambassador the United States with classified information obtained from the Israeli government, claiming that as President of the United States he has the right to disclose classified information to whomever he wants (which, in keeping with the best traditions of Donald Tinyhands, is not quite true). Again, without comment, I am asking you to consider the number of minutes it would take the Republican Congress to begin impeachment proceedings if President Hillary Clinton were to take such action.

To continue this Name Game, imagine that President Obama had hung up the phone with the Prime Minister of Australia, had the President of Mexico hang up the phone on him and that he had also shoved the Prime Minister of Montenegro out of the way for a photo op. It is fair to believe that if President Obama had mimicked actual behavior by President Trump the media in general and the right wing mouth breathers like Rush Limbaugh would be bellowing about President Obama being unfit for the office.

And in this last round of the Name Game, if President Hillary Clinton had fired FBI Director James Comey after being rebuffed in his request for a pledge of personal loyalty – acts taken by Donald Trump – it is fair to say that the Teapublicans would be baying at the moon and waiting for their leashes to be slipped so that they could hunt Hillary Clinton to the ends of the earth if need be.

The point of this Name Game is that Donald Tinyhands is the beneficiary of a bizarre double standard. Whether it is traditional white privilege or the revenge of the Angry White Men, there doesn’t appear to be any bottom to the pit of ignorance, misogyny, bigotry and bad behavior into which Donald Trump has cast the public discourse. And yet, he is seriously defended- and excused – for his bad behavior, his inappropriate language and his possible illegal actions.

There is no doubt that as a black American President Obama was held to an almost impossibly high standard and the fact that he mostly succeeded in adhering to those standards will forever irk the Obama haters. Similarly, as the first woman to be that presidential candidate of a national party, Hillary Clinton was held to an impossible standard of needing to be super competent while be an engaging and non-threatening female. And in the end, that impossibility was one of the main reasons for her defeat in 2016.

It remains to be seen how long Paul Ryan and Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich and Mike Pence can continue to excuse and defend the inexcusable and indefensible outrageous and shameful conduct of the Trump Who Would Be President.

The first 100 plus days of the Trump presidency has turned out to be a compelling horror show for anyone who cares about governance, the Constitution or the future of this nation. It is hard not to watch an individual who seems to be dedicated to offending, insulting and repelling virtually every person who does not swear absolute fealty to him, and him alone. The institutional damage that he has committed in so little time is awesome to behold. But it is important to note that when the history books are written the Hurricane Called Trump may turn out to have been a head fake, a distraction from the real damage that is being done to the American people.

Consider the fact that we stared in awe and dismay at the naked lawlessness and infinitely perfect and disgraceful bad taste of President Trump in firing FBI Director James Comey. Meanwhile a mouth breathing direct descendant of Neanderthals named Scott Pruitt heads up the Environmental Protection Agency.

All that Mr. Pruitt has done has been to fire scientists who have been trying to quantify the effects of climate change. He has also declared the policy of his agency as denying the impact of human activity on climate change. And, just to keep things interesting, Mr. Pruitt has begun to allow coal and oil exploration on federal lands in the Arctic and through the lower 48 states.

One day the Terror of Trump will fade into the dustbin of history, but yet unborn children will suffer from the diminished and degraded environment that they will inherit thanks in no small part to Scott Pruitt and his science denying minions. The damage that Pruitt can wreak in just a few short years is fearsome and real.

Consider the fact we are absolutely dumbfounded by the notion that the President of the United States would bar American press from his meeting with senior Russian officials while allowing Russian press to attend. And then, to keep things interest, Terrible Trump shared highly confidential and classified information with these same Russians.

But while the Trump Circus lumbers through the American political landscape, President Trump appointed as Attorney General, none other than Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III from Alabama – a state whose flag is modeled after that of a Confederate State of America regiment (to remove any doubt regarding the heart and soul of the ruling citizenry of that state). Aside from lying to Congress regarding his association with representatives of Russia, Mr. Sessions has been quietly at work reviving the spirit of mass incarceration.

Mr. Sessions has already stated his belief that maximum criminal penalties for even low level marijuana usage will be the hallmark of his tenure. He has also directed all United States Attorneys to seek maximum prison sentences whenever and wherever possible. While the executives and shareholders of CoreCivic (formerly known as the Corrections Corporation of America) are doing the 21st century version of the Macarena, hundreds of thousands of American families and thousands of American communities will suffer due to the revival of punitive action as the driving force of the American criminal justice system.

Recent news has reported that in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Officer Betty Jo Shelby (who is white) has been acquitted of all charges in the shooting of the unarmed Terrence Crutcher (who was black). Prior to this verdict, Attorney General Sessions had announced that the United States Department of Justice will no longer look into these matters, thereby turning back the clock to a time when black Americans could be beaten and killed by police with apparent impunity. Perhaps this is what Making America Great really means.

We have been watching the Trump Rocky Horror Show, wondering who will be fired, indicted or arrested next. Meanwhile his appointee to the Office of Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Ben Carson, has been busy supporting a proposal to totally eliminate the 42 year old Community Development Block Grant Program.

During the Republican presidential primaries Dr. Carson did two amazing things. He made “brain surgeon” a pejorative term and he actually made Herman Cain look good as a black Republican presidential candidate. Now that he has a real job, Dr. Carson seems to be operating on the assumption that he should perform surgery, indeed amputations, on the programs upon which poor and aspiring Americans have depended upon for years. Even the short term impact of his short term thinking can be horrific – and over the long term the damage may well be unknowable.

The point is that in less than four months Donald Trump has proven himself to be miscast as President of the United States. He may or may not be “fired” at some point. But while we are watching the Spectacle That is Trump, we should not lose sight of the real damage that his Administration is doing every day – out of sight of the news cycle.

Watching shiny objects can be dangerous to your health.

It has been said before and it is worth repeating, the best way to boil a frog is to place it in a pot of water and then slowly raise the temperature until, before he knows it, the frog is cooked and ready for dinner. And in some ways, too many ways, the American electorate is rapidly morphing into that boiled frog, especially when it comes to one Donald J. Trump.

When Donald Trump first announced his candidacy for president, he was considered a side show, a carnival act who would serve as the intro act before the presumptive main event players like Bush, Rubio, Kasich and all the other forget me nots and remember me nevers that became forgotten in the Trump avalanche. If Trump was considered a danger to America it was because too many people would hurt themselves laughing at his gaucherie, buffoonery and defiance of facts, logic and basic intelligence. And the American Frog barely stirred.

When the Trump campaign started to move into high gear, winning primary after primary notice was surely taken. But his bankruptcies, outright lies, misogyny, blatant racism, invisible tax returns, numerous sexual assaults and multiple frauds (remember Trump University?) were clear warning signs that Donald Trump could be a dangerous man if he ever became president. The needle moved on the water temperature, but again, the American Frog barely stirred.

By the time that he secured the Republican nomination for president, some real consideration of the danger that President Trump could represent to the Republic was a topic of serious conversation and commentary – if only occasionally. After all, it was incomprehensible that women, working class white men and the working poor would vote against their self-interest and actually elect a man who promised to promote programs and initiatives that were decidedly wrong for them. By now the temperature in which the American Frog was swimming, would have been too hot at first, but by now the American Frog was getting used to the heat.

In his inaugural speech, President Trump spoke of the nonexistent “carnage” in this country and set the stage for creating a climate of crisis that so-called strong men from Caesar to Peron have used to justify the exercise of extraordinary personal powers. By then the American Frog was truly cooked, but it has taken awhile for the erstwhile electorate of 2016 to realize that we are now on the verge of becoming history’s biggest entrée.

Beginning with a flurry of blatantly unconstitutional executive orders and institutionalizing nepotism as the new normal in American government, Donald Trump has shown a truly amazing disregard for history, science and the value and importance of constitutional governance.

He has also chosen to erase the visible progress of racial and gender diversity in American society by choosing to surround himself with as many white men as he can find to the exclusion of blacks, Latinos, Asians and women of any and every color. Indeed, the LGBTQI community is now so isolated in the Era of Trump that they may want to keep an eye out for errant Immigration Control Enforcement agents who might get carried away during their deportation sorties.

We have now also learned that in the Era of Trump it can always get worse. And this week, in what appears to be an expression of monumental narcissistic pique, Donald Tinyhands stomped his feet in rage and fired FBI Director James Comey because he didn’t feel that Mr. Comey was a “team player”. What President Trump didn’t mention is that Mr. Comey was relentlessly pursuing the connection between Russia and the Trump campaign, the Trump administration and President Trump himself.

While we know that President Trump treats the Constitution like a soiled Mar A Lago dinner napkin, it is still stunning to find out that he believes that the American people will believe that he fired the FBI Director for his mishandling of the matter of Hillary Clinton’s email server. Somehow we are supposed to forget who was that orange-haired leader of the “Lock Her Up” chants that echoed through the campaign.

It is said that pride goes before the fall. In the case of President Trump, this epic constitutional crisis that he has created with his own Tinyhands is almost a sure predicate to his eventual fall. What we should worry about is whether America falls with him.

I recently had the privilege and honor to be the master of ceremonies for the Paralyzed Veterans of America – www.pva.org – 2017 Partners Conference in New York City. I could not help but admire the courage, perseverance and strength of spirit of the men and women who attended – men and women who had overcome heartbreaking bodily damage – and the men, women and children who provide love, support and comfort to paralyzed veterans every day of the month, every month of the year, year after year.

During course of this daylong event, I could not help but reflect on the decidedly mixed history of this country and its veterans. After the successful conclusion of the Revolutionary War America’s first veterans had to threaten the new Congress in making demands for back pay and benefits. The threats were so real that those first members of Congress fled the new capital of Philadelphia in order to escape the wrath of the disgruntled first warriors of the Republic.

Indeed, after World War I, soldiers of the United States Army led by Douglas MacArthur shot and killed veterans who had the temerity to march to Washington, D.C. This took place in 1932 as the United States government turned its back on the men who had fought for this country.

Further reflection focused on the fact that the G.I. Bill and other post World War II benefits were certainly a step in the right direction. Nevertheless, despite all the Fourth of July and Memorial Day and Veterans Day rhetoric that is embedded in American culture, a cabinet level Department of Veterans Affairs was not established until 1989, 213 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

What I learned during the PVA conference is that the convoluted and dysfunctional relationship between America and its veterans, particularly its wounded veterans continues to this day. Nevertheless, from President Trump to each and every Teapublican member of the so-call Freedom Caucus in Congress to all the leaders of the Democratic Party – all are more than willing to put their hands over their heart as the “Star Spangled Banner” is played before a ballgame or convention and then sit down and enjoy the festivities while injustice rains on the heads of the men and women who have suffered and sacrificed for this country.

This is not about policy arguments regarding the righteousness of any war or military action. This is about justice and compassion and true honor being afforded to the men and women who fought and died/survived while most Americans stay at home and channel surf from battle footage to the latest sitcom.

Clearly it is past time to hold the U.S. government and its citizens accountable. How is it possible that citizens elect representatives who propose to cut the funding for the National Institute of Health which is engaged in cutting edge research that will allow some paralyzed veterans to walk again? It is time for accountability.

What right does any member of Congress have to deny paralyzed and wounded veterans benefits that included in vitro fertilization so that they can enjoy the warmth and comfort of children and a family? It is time for accountability.

How can there be six month delays in granting benefits and service at V.A. hospitals when we live in a country where Amazon can deliver damn near anything we need in a day? It is time for accountability.

And what President or Member of Congress can dare speak about any future military action in Syria, Afghanistan and North Korea or anyplace on this planet without first mending promises to too many veterans that have already been broken? It is time for accountability.

It is a true national shame that paralyzed and wounded veterans should suffer in a country that lifetime pensions to one term members of Congress and incredible tax breaks to the incredibly wealthy. It is time for accountability.

The designation of the first hundred days of an American presidency as being of singular importance began with the inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933. Since then, the first one hundred days have been seen as a window in the extent to which the new president is on a path to success, mediocrity or failure. Using that basic set of demarcations, it is possible to seriously take stock of the Trump administration to date.

One thing that any president has needed to do is to staff an administration. Aside from the Reagan cabinet in 1981, President Trump is presiding over the largest congregation of white men as senior cabinet officials in almost four decades. But aside from giving the cabinet a retro-ivory glow, he has not done much.

Consider that, after one hundred days Barack Obama had appointed 69 officials, George W. Bush had brought 35 people on board, Bill Clinton had appointed 49 men and women and George Herbert Walker Bush had appointed 50. As this is being read, President Trump has appointed on 26, outdueling George W. Bush in a race to the bottom of the mediocre barrel.

It should be clear that there are 1028 positions requiring Presidential appointment and Donald Trump has only nominated 37 individuals for that position. Indeed, President Trump has publicly stated he may not fill many of these vacancies because he does not see the need to have that many people staffing the government of a country with a multitrillion dollar economy and interests literally all over the planet.

In actuality it may be that Donald Trump simply does not want to go through the trouble of actually working like a real executive instead of a reality-show imposter and that it is easier to just keep kicking the can down the road. After all, he has freely admitted that he thought that the job of President of the United States was “easy” and amazingly, it has turned out to be harder than he thought.

Whatever the case, the desultory approach to executive staffing by the Trump Administration may turn out to be the first halting baby steps down the road of inevitable mediocrity (see George W. Bush) or epic and historic failure (see Warren G. Harding). And of course, the true tragedy would be the demolition of the hopes and dreams of the American people, hopes and dreams that he has pretended to cherish, not realizing that even his most ardent supporters want something more than a speech and a slogan.

The First Hundred Days of Trump has given the nation a collective case of whiplash as the Administration has lurched from one firestorm – failed immigration – to another maelstrom – picking petty fights with the leaders of Australia, Mexico and Germany for starters.

And all the while the sickly sweet stench of Trump-Russian involvement never leaves the room – and continues to linger as a ticking time bomb for President Trump. He may just find out that there is a limit to how far his lies may take him.

The blatant hypocrisy of the Teapublicans in Congress has also been revealed for all to see. There has to be universal agreement that if President Hillary Clinton had appointed Chelsea Clinton to do anything in an official governmental role, the Teapublican hounds would be baying for immediate impeachment.

But when President Trump appoint Ivanka Trump to be some kind of aide without portfolio, representing the United States around the world while her personal brand of clothing and accessories gets a billion dollars’ worth of exposure, those same Teapublican hounds are as quiet as the lap dogs that you see carried around in the purses of stylish models and movie stars.

What is clear and certainly more important than the Marxist (as in Marx Brothers) antics of the Trump administration, is the clear intent of this president to try to erase every bit of evidence that Barack Obama was President of the United States.

Most presidents during their first one hundred days have sought to establish their own vision for the country and then have tried to transform that vision into reality. Donald Trump has spent the most time issuing a raft of executive orders designed to erase the Obama legacy in areas ranging from the environment to the rights of women.

Interestingly, what President Trump will learn over time is that Barack Obama’s place in history is engraved in the granite of time. And at some point he might try to focus on coming up with a coherent vision for this country that would actually make things better in this country.

The recent departure of Bill O’Reilly from Fox News amid accusations of consistent sexual predatory behavior raises several important questions and points to a larger issue. First, the questions:

  1. We are told that 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, along with Bill O’Reilly paid approximately $13 million to 5 women based upon sexual harassment and generally obnoxious behavior. Question – What company pays $13 million dollars due to the misconduct of its employee and keeps its employee? Question – what collective brain lapse affected the shareholders of 21st Century Fox that they would allow management to pay out shareholder assets in defense of behavior that can simply be described as lousy and borderline criminal?
  2. We are told that upon his departure Bill O’Reilly will be receiving approximately $25 million. Please see Questions 1 and 2.
  3. Since the revelations about O’Reilly and the recently departed and never-lamented Roger Ailes from Fox News, there have been multiple reports that the their behavior was neither incidental or accidental, but represented a pattern of consistent conduct over years. Question – stripped of the defense of ignorance, what explanation do the senior management of Fox News and the senior management and board of directors of 21st Century Fox have for turning a blind eye to ubiquitous slime that too often characterized the experience of women who had the misfortune to work at Fox News. Also, please see Questions 1 and 2.

It should be further noted, that before the American media or Americans in general break their arms patting themselves on the back for bearing witness to the humiliation (with payout) of two sexual predators, this country has a very long way to go before American women achieve anything resembling parity and equity. There is a dangerous tendency to label Fox News and its cretin-like behavior as an outlier, although any woman in any profession will attest to the absolute untruth of that tendency. And there is even further danger in thinking that the possible resolution of sexual inequity at Fox News means that there are no problems left to solve in these United States.

While any number of corporate leaders have criticized Fox News and 21st Century Fox for their outrageous institutional culture, we are reminded that of the Fortune 500 companies only 27 have female Chief Executive Officers. Or how about the fact that in the 240 year history of the Republic there have been exactly 41 female governors and that as you are reading this column, out of 50 states only 5 have women in the State House.

The disgraceful status of women in America is found in every marketplace. Nationally, women make 80% of what men earn in a compilation of earnings in every sector. And the poverty rate for women far exceeds that of men in this country.

And academia provides no safe haven for women. Every year 5% of female college students are raped and throughout the country over 1.2 million are the victims of rape.

Clearly, this country is not in a position to engage in self-congratulation because 21st Century Fox is experience a wee bit of penitence and public shaming. The true shame is that the tragedy of the status of women is not viewed as a national crisis. The progress of many women cannot deflect attention from the greater number of women who suffer from violence, poverty, degradation and absence of opportunity every day.

One can only hope that the only good thing in the slime trail left by Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes is a public awakening to the fact that there is a lot more work to be done.