Brazil

Donald Trump Undermines Democracy In Ukraine, South Korea, Middle East, Hong Kong And Elsewhere In Favor Of Russia, North Korea, Turkey, China And Other Authoritarian Governments

It is now very clear that Donald Trump acts like an authoritarian leader, and is working to undermine democracy and the rule of law everywhere he can, outside the United States.

Trump cozies up to dictators in Russia, China, North Korea, Turkey, Egypt, Brazil, the Philippines, Hungary, Poland, and innumerable other nations, as all he cares about is MONEY and profit and his own aggrandizement of power.

In so doing, Trump endangers Ukraine, the entire Middle East, Hong Kong and Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, the Kurds, and our NATO allies, but he has no conscience or concern about human rights or freedom.

The authoritarian nations are marching forward with the endorsement and support of Donald Trump!

Donald Trump Foreign Policy A Total Disaster!

President Donald Trump has totally destroyed American foreign policy, creating a massive disaster which will impact the nation and the world for long beyond his tenure in office.

He has damaged our relationships with our democratic allies in NATO, along with our alliance with Japan and South Korea.

He has developed a total admiration for authoritarian dictatorships, including Russia, China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, the Philippines, and Brazil.

He has created a situation in the Middle East that is causing disintegration of any hope of stability, by helping Russia, Iran, Syria and Turkey massacre the Kurdish minority that helped the world against ISIS. And he claims to be unwilling to trust Iran on the repudiated Nuclear Deal, but now is helping them and Vladimir Putin to increase their influence in the Middle East, a situation which also endangers Israel.

ISIS now is again a major threat to the world, particularly to our allies in NATO, and Trump seemed to encourage that with his outrageous comments last week, showing lack of concern with that reality. But it will also affect the United States as well over time, and will make it more dangerous for Americans to travel world wide, as ISIS will be out to attack Americans, as well as Europeans.

Trump is totally clueless on foreign policy, and has fired anyone who has any sense of reality on the subject, and now has sycophants working to destroy the Foreign Service and the State Department, a long range detriment to any future President who will follow Donald Trump in the Oval Office.

This is only one of a multitude of reasons why Donald Trump needs to be removed from the Presidency, but will 20 Republicans join 47 Democrats in doing what needs to be done, to rid the Presidency of this menace to the nation and to the world?

Sadly, the odds are strongly against it!

Donald Trump And Disposal Of Human Rights, The Goal Of Jimmy Carter Four Decades Ago

In the late 1970s, President Jimmy Carter enunciated his belief in human rights, and pursued a policy of denunciation of those nations which denied human rights to their citizens.

Now, four decades later, President Donald Trump has totally reversed such a policy, and has embraced leaders of nations which massively violate human rights.

So we see Trump embracing Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation ; Kim Jong Un of North Korea; Xi Jinping of China; Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia; Abdel Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt; Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey; Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines; Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil; Jaroslaw Kaczynski of Poland; Viktor Orban of Hungary; and other authoritarians who deny basic civil rights and civil liberties to their citizens, and persecute minorities and immigrants in their midst, and threaten journalists, extremely alarming and disturbing.

At the same time, Trump attacks and is critical of the leaders of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Canada and the other nations in NATO, and it is clear that he is enamored with dictators over democratic leaders.

In so doing, Trump is undermining the concept of liberal democracy, and destroying American constitutional principles, damaging the image of America, and destabilizing international affairs.

Prediction That Four States Will Decide Presidential Election—Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida–Is That Legitimate?

Many political observers are saying that four states are the true battleground that will decide who is inaugurated President on January 20, 2017.

Those states are Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, and Florida.

The question is whether that belief is legitimate.

This blogger thinks it is much more complicated than those four states, and that two of them–Pennsylvania and Florida—are assured for the Democrats as it is.

Yes, it is true that Pennsylvania west of Philadelphia and east of Pittsburgh is often called “Alabama”, but Pennsylvania has been reliably “Blue” or Democratic for six straight elections from 1992 onward, and that is not likely to change. If “Alabama” really mattered as much as some think, then how did our African American President win the state both in 2008 and 2012? If anything, with the economy far better now than it was in 2008 and 2012, and with Barack Obama’s public opinion rating now at 58 percent, the highest since his first year in office (2009), Pennsylvania is assured to go “Blue” again. Remember, all that is needed is to win the most popular votes to win the electoral votes, not necessary to win a majority, but just a plurality.

Florida, despite being Republican in state elections, went for Barack Obama twice, and now there are many more Puerto Rican citizens who have moved from the island to central Florida in particular, due to the tough economic times in Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans are citizens who just need to re-register at their new address, and the vast majority of them are Democrats, and therefore now lessen the Cuban influence on the state vote. And many younger Cubans are not automatically conservative or Republican as their elders are. With the I-4 corridor (Central Florida) becoming more likely Democratic, add much of South Florida to the equation (Broward and Palm Beach Counties), and the influence of North Florida and Miami-Dade County (where many immigrants turned citizens from Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and other nations in Latin America have migrated and not generally Republicans) are therefore outweighed, and with the better public opinion ratings of Obama added to the mix, the odds are that Florida will go “Blue” again.

Ohio is more difficult, and history tells us that every elected Republican President has won Ohio, so this is truly the crucial state but with Hillary Clinton having the edge in most polls. And one must remember Hillary has a built in edge in “Blue” States, and does not have to win Ohio, while Donald Trump must win it or have no chance to win the White House.

North Carolina went for Obama in 2008 but went “Red” for Mitt Romney in 2012, but polls now indicate that Hillary is favored, but again is not essential for Hillary to win the Presidency.

I would say beyond these four states, there are the states of Georgia and Arizona and Utah, all “Red” states, that indicate close races, with the possibility that they could go “Blue” for this election, and possibly beyond, particularly true for Georgia and Arizona, due to the increase in Hispanic and Latino population and voters.

So Hillary Clinton still has an overwhelming advantage, with eight weeks out from Election Day, to win the Presidency.

A Woman As German Chancellor; A Woman As British Prime Minister; A Woman As President Of The United States; Why Not?

The world is reaching a moment to celebrate!

We have had a woman as German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, since November 2005.

We will now have a woman as British Prime Minister, Theresa May, in two days.

And in November, four months from now, we are very likely to have a woman President elected, Hillary Clinton.

And why not?

It is long overdue that this has happened!

We have seen several nations in South America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile) and two in Europe (Norway, Poland), and two in Asia (South Korea, Taiwan) with female leaders, along with past woman leaders in India, Pakistan, Israel, and Great Britain, among others.

It is time to put women into power, as so many men have done so much damage over time, and there is no special talent to govern held by men, so this development is wonderful and laudatory!

America’s Defense Budget More Than 13 Other Nations Combined!

America’s defense budget is over $600 billion per year, more than the next 13 nations combined, and one can be sure that the intelligence agencies, all 16 of them, are not included in this total, as their budgets, and in many cases their actual existence, are a deep dark secret!

China, by comparison spends one sixth of our defense budget annually, about $100 billion, for a nation with four times the population of the United States.

The other countries on the list include Russia, Great Britain, Japan, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, India, Brazil, South Korea, Australia, Iran, and Italy.

The military budget is far higher than it was during the Cold War, and too much is being spent on nuclear weapons, and weapons systems that will never, in reality, be used.

But the Pentagon budget has long been one of massive cost overruns, and corruption by corporations that produce our war goods, and meanwhile the one half of one percent spent on “welfare” is being targeted for massive cuts by the Paul Ryan GOP Budget!

It is time for smart spending on defense, not massive waste at the cost of basic decency for our poorest citizens in a country that likes to think it is the most advanced in the world, but yet is too ready to sacrifice “social spending” in the name of mindless defense spending!

The Middle Class Alarm Bell: Declining Rapidly In America and Multiplying In Brazil, India, China, Russia!

In the midst of the greatest economic crisis for America since the 1930s, the alarming reality is that the middle class, the backbone of America, is rapidly declining, as stratification of wealth has grown to be the greatest it has ever been in American history.

At the same time, we are witnessing the multiplication of the middle class in Brazil, India, China and Russia, and that is an alarm bell that this nation is in danger of a declining role economically on the world scene, in competition with these rapidly growing nations’ prosperity!

Who would have thought after World War II, that within two thirds of a century later, the concept of an American Empire that would be the world’s leader would come to a crashing halt, as the statistics now indicate is happening before our eyes?

This is not a time for accusations and for political points to be gained! Rather it is a time for all Americans to unite behind an economic program that promotes economic growth, rather than stagnation. Sadly, the likelihood of Congress working with the President when they come back after Labor Day is considered quite remote, and the losers will be all of us in this nation that deserves better!

The Transportation Infrastructure Crisis In America’s Future

The United States became the nation it is today because of the development of transportation infrastructure, highlighted by the transcontinental railroad system in the middle and late 19th century, and the interstate highway system of the middle and late 20th century, along with the growth of cities and mass transit.

Now, a century and more later, with growing population and the aging of the infrastructure, there is a dire need for renovation and rehabilitation of our transportation network, but the cost will be substantial, and the trend is toward delay and avoidance of the responsibility of our government at all levels to deal with the essential rebuilding and expansion of our transportation network.

With the Republicans in control in the House, it seems as if there will be major cuts in spending on infrastructure, estimated to be a one third cut on interstate highways and mass transit, and attempting to end federal support of the Amtrak train system in the Northeastern United States.

It is estimated by experts that $1 trillion needs to be spent on maintenance and growing demand with increased population, and this does not include the estimated $2 trillion necessary to rebuild roads, bridges, water lines, sewage systems, and dams that have reached the normal level of longevity. These estimates do not even include the cost of air transportation investments for the long term future.

The US is way behind investment in the area of infrastructure, as compared to Russia, China, India, and Brazil, and the economic competition of the future will be shaped by decisions made now, often in a short sighted momentary way, to our tremendous need for investment in large amounts.

Are we again to wait until there is a literal short term crisis to react to the reality of what needs to be done? Is the answer just to patch up with band aids, rather than to face the responsibility of dealing with the future now, rather than later, when it will be more expensive?

The reality is that lack of action will cause state and local governments to raise sales and property taxes to deal with what the federal government has reneged on, and it will also lead to more privatization of services, which will also cause much higher taxation down the road, no pun intended!

There is an old saying that applies here: “Penny wise, Pound foolish”!

The Need To Build And Reconstruct Infrastructure For The Future Of America

America is at a crossroads, and it is essential that America understand the need to rebuild much of our infrastructure, as well as expand our technology to meet the demands of the future, and compete with other world nations, including China, India and Brazil, all emerging powers.

Our highways, tunnels, bridges, train systems, power grid, energy supply, internet networks, and all other infrastructure need a commitment equivalent to the building of the transcontinental railroad system during and after the Civil War; the urgency to the building of the atomic bomb during World War II; the building of the interstate highway system beginning in the 1950s; and the competition with the Soviet Union in the space program to go to the moon in the 1960s.

Millions of jobs could be created in these infrastructure projects, and could help America to compete in the world economy and keep the excellence that America is noted for. But instead, there seems to be no imagination or creativity to look to the long term future in the midst of the present economic crisis.

This requires strong presidential leadership, to move beyond the pettiness and the politics of the minute, and think long range!