Cabinet Officers

Donald Trump-Kim Jong Un Summit: Inadequate Preparation And Unlikely Success

Donald Trump, after canceling the proposed summit with Kim Jong Un, has reversed course, and has decided to go ahead with the meeting on June 12.

Many observers and experts feel this is a mistake, as it is clear that Donald Trump has inadequate preparation, and faces unlikely success.

North Korea has a history of misleading and lying on agreements, and Donald Trump is too subject to flattery and vanity, and it is feared that he will be taken advantage of by a wily, smarter Kim Jong Un, who wants to add to his stature on the world stage, but has no intention of giving up nuclear weapons.

The idea that Trump allowed the number two figure in North Korea, the spy chief responsible for so much harm over a long period of years, to spend two hours in the Oval Office alone with the President, except for translators, and with no advisers or Cabinet members, is shocking, as who knows what was discussed.

This follows the unwise decision of Trump to allow top Russian figures in the Oval Office last year the day after he fired FBI Head James Comey, for investigating Russian Collusion.

No such private Oval Office meetings have ever happened before under any President of the United States.

We do know that Trump said he did not bring up the horrible violation of human rights in North Korea, the most backward and totalitarian nation in the entire world.

It is not that bringing up human rights will bring change, but for an American President to avoid the topic completely, not care about the people of the nation who live under such dire oppression, is so disturbing.

But then, Trump has a history of courting dictators, including Vladimir Putin of Russia, and the leaders of China, the Philippines, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates,and others, while being highly critical of our democratic allies in Europe, Asia and the Pacific, as well as Canada and Mexico. He prefers autocracy to republican democracy or parliamentary democracy as a form of government, and has wished he could be President for life as is now the situation in China.

Donald Trump’s ignorance of history and facts puts America and its national security in a very dangerous position, and now there is news that Trump plans a summit with Putin, shortly after the North Korea summit.

We could be in the most dangerous situation diplomatically in decades, due to the willingness of Trump to forge ahead against the advice of diplomats and his own advisers.

Oprah Winfrey For President? Absolutely Not!

We have entered the silly season, when Democrats, who are desperate for someone to replace Donald Trump or Mike Pence in 2020, have decided that Oprah Winfrey is the person to nominate and elect President.

This author and blogger has no issue with the significance of Oprah Winfrey to the entertainment community at large.

Oprah has had a wonderful and inspiring career, and has spoken up for much that is good and decent.

It is not an attack on her virtues to say that a speech at the Golden Globes Awards ceremony, while inspiring, is not a justification for her to be running for President.

Of course, she can run if she chooses to, but that does not mean America should elect her, or Mark Cuban, or Dwayne Johnson, or Mark Zuckerberg, or any other successful entrepreneur or entertainment star to the White House.

We should have learned from Donald Trump that being successful in entertainment or business does not qualify you to be the leader of the free world, far from it.

All of the above, including Trump, lack EXPERIENCE, KNOWLEDGE, EXPERTISE in GOVERNMENT and FOREIGN POLICY, and in this complex world, one needs to have had a career in government, as a US Senator, a US House of Representatives member, a Governor, or a Mayor, or possibly a significant cabinet officer, such as Secretary of State, Treasury, Defense, Homeland Security, or Attorney General.

One needs a record of accomplishment and involvement in the domestic and foreign policy issues that matter.

Such a person, just one example, is former Vice President Joe Biden, who if not for his age, would be seen as the best person for 2020, but the answer is to use Joe Biden’s great credentials, combined with the idealism and progressive credentials of a Joe Kennedy III or Chris Murphy or Amy Klobuchar or Cory Booker or Eric Garcetti or Kamala Harris or Gavin Newsom or numerous others as a Vice President.

Have Joe Biden agree to one term, followed by the likelihood of one of these government leaders succeeding, in theory, for two terms.

Any of the above and even others in government would be far better than a celebrity, such as Oprah Winfrey by vast margins!

It Is Time For Donald Trump’s Staff, Advisers, And Cabinet To Resign, As A Message To The President That He Should Resign!

After four months of chaos, anarchy, insults, misbehavior, and outrageous words and actions by Donald Trump, it is time for his staff. advisers, and cabinet to resign as a group, as a message to the President that he should resign.

It is never easy to work for a President, and it is considered an honor and a lift to a future career and wealth, so it is understandable that many of those around any President might be reluctant to take drastic action such as mass resignation.

But one’s reputation is also at stake, and one can earn wealth in the future just by having been on a President’s staff.

One does not need to take unreasonable abuse and mistreatment, as so many around Donald Trump have suffered.

One must have personal dignity and principle, and decide that enough is enough.

For instance, Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary, has been horribly mistreated, and he is just the tip of the iceberg. And Reince Priebus, the White House Chief Of Staff, is not respected by his boss.

And his top Cabinet members often contradict him publicly, and then Trump reasserts the outrageous statements that ha has made, which they have tried to “clean up”.

When the National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster; and the Secretary of Defense James Mattis; and the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; and the United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, among others, find themselves totally ignored, and they witness the irrational behavior of Donald Trump, they are not doing a service to ignore such erratic behavior, and are undermining the safety and national security of the United States.

It is time for men and women of principle to stand up and say they will not tolerate such disgraceful behavior, and that the President has shown by his words and actions that he is not fit to be President.

And this means Vice President Mike Pence must also start serious consideration of invoking the 25th Amendment, Section 4, as the commitment of the Vice President and the Cabinet is to do what is good for America, not for any one man who happens to be President.

Clearly, Donald Trump is unhinged, dangerous, and could start a nuclear war, and or declare martial law, horrifying thoughts that require a steady hand at the controls, not a wacky, unstable, narcissistic maniac named Donald Trump!

Donald Trump’s Confused Mental State And Erratic Behavior: A Call For Mike Pence To Invoke The 25th Amendment, Section 4, NOW!

A national crisis has now arisen, as the behavior of Donald Trump in the past 72 hours demonstrates a confused mental state and erratic behavior.

His statements about Andrew Jackson, the Civil War, and Kim Jong Un of North Korea, and his general lack of knowledge and clarity on many domestic and foreign policy issues is extremely troubling and dangerous, particularly at a time when war with North Korea seems likely soon, and Trump has power over the nuclear codes.

Trump is undermining our relations with our allies, South Korea and Japan, which are directly affected by Trump’s changing stance on North Korea.

Trump is harming our relations with our border neighbors, Canada and Mexico.

Trump is confusing our major rivals, China and Russia, as well as Iran and ISIL (ISIS).

Trump is worrying our major allies in Europe (Great Britain, Germany, and France), and the whole NATO alliance system which has worked so well since 1949.

His own Republican Party cannot fathom his constantly changing views on health care, and his war on the federal government agencies.

Trump is an embarrassment to himself, with his total lack of knowledge and facts on history and science.

It is hard to imagine that we have had a more ignorant, clueless President than Donald Trump, with only possibly Warren G. Harding, and maybe George W. Bush competing for that dubious honor, but even they had some competent cabinet members and advisers, while it seems no one can stop Trump or control him in any fashion.

Yes, there is James Mattis and H R McMaster, and Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, but none of these people seem to be able to stop the reckless statements and weird behavior of Donald Trump.

It is time for Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, Section 4, in consultation with Congressional leaders, and become “Acting President”, until and when Donald Trump is pushed to resign or be forced out by impeachment, as incompetent and dangerous mentally to hold the office of President of the United States.

We cannot afford to have a nuclear war or some other kind of major war or other disaster, because government leaders are unwilling or courageous enough to take action on a timely basis!

Congressional Republicans Growing Unease About Donald Trump

Less than two weeks in office, Donald Trump is starting to see growing unease among some Congressional Republicans about his independent, go it alone, style of leadership.

Trump clearly feels he was elected without true party unity, and intends to govern in an authoritarian manner, but there are Republicans who are unhappy with his style and manner.

These include:

Arizona Senator John McCain
Arizona Senator Jeff Flake
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham
Ohio Senator Rob Portman
Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse
Maine Senator Susan Collins

Also, some Congressmen are also speaking out, so Trump may be a President without a party, and to find that, one must go back to the 19th century, where two Presidents, who succeeded a President who died, had massive headaches trying to deal with the party that had accepted them, members of the opposition party, as their Vice President, due to the wishes of the Presidential nominee, but with no expectation that the President wold die in office.

I am referring to Democrat John Tyler, who ran on the Whig Party ticket with William Henry Harrison in 1840; and Democrat Andrew Johnson, who ran on the Republican “Union” Party line with Abraham Lincoln in 1864.

Both Tyler and Johnson would have never ending headaches with their adopted party, with major battles over Supreme Court and Cabinet appointments, and a threat to impeach John Tyler, and an actual impeachment trial for Andrew Johnson.

Could Donald Trump be on the way to similar resistance and possible impeachment? He is alienating Congress by being a “lone wolf”, showing his disdain for Congress and the party line he ran on.

One must recall that his victory for President was the worst ever in popular vote loss to his opponent, and seventh lowest percentage ever, but with all those Presidents with lower percentage of vote, having had two or three opponents who gained electoral votes, instead of just one opponent.

Analyzing Hillary Clinton’s Choice For Vice President: Most Likely To Be A Sitting US Senator

It is two days until Democrat Hillary Clinton announces her Vice Presidential running mate, and it is almost certain, looking at history, that it will be a sitting United States Senator.

If one looks back historically from 1944 onward, every VP nominee except one and a half times (to be explained in next paragraph) was a sitting Senator.

The only exceptions were Sargent Shriver (second choice after Senator Thomas Eagleton withdrew over his mental shock treatments being revealed) in 1972, and Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, and those were the two worst Democratic defeats ever in their history.

So 16 out of 18 elections, a US Senator ran for Vice President:

Harry Truman 1944
Alben Barkley 1948
John Sparkman 1952
Estes Kefavuer 1956
Lyndon B. Johnson 1960
Hubert Humphrey 1964
Edmund Muskie 1968
Walter Mondale 1976 and 1980
Lloyd Bentsen 1988
Al Gore 1992 and 1996
Joe Lieberman 2000
John Edwards 2004
Joe Biden 2008 and 2012

Notice that 8 of the above 13 Senators who ran for VP were from the South or Border states, and two were from Minnesota–and keep this in mind as you read further down on this entry.

So it would seem to this blogger that, based on history, one can assume that three cabinet officers—Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (a recent name added to the mix), would be unlikely to be chosen.

So that would leave the following as possible choices, all US Senators:

Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
Cory Booker of New Jersey
Tim Kaine of Virginia
Sherrod Brown of Ohio
Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
Al Franken of Minnesota

The problem is that Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Ohio have Republican Governors, so at least temporarily, a seat would be lost by Republican appointment, which could be crucial to organization of the US Senate next year.

So it would seem to this blogger that Tim Kaine is the most likely choice, followed by Amy Klobuchar (bringing a woman to the ticket, but not the highly controversial Elizabeth Warren).

In two days, we shall see!

Speaker Paul Ryan Totally Out Of Line In Demanding That Hillary Clinton Be Denied Access To Intelligence Information As Nominee!

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is totally out of line in demanding that Hillary Clinton be denied access to intelligence information as the Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, due to the controversy over Emails, and the FBI director’s criticism of her handling of the matter, while not recommending prosecution.

If that is to occur, then Republican nominee Donald Trump, a dangerous, reckless, “loose cannon” must also be denied access, as he is unable to control his mouth, and might reveal highly sensitive information during the campaign.

It is not Paul Ryan’s place as second in line to the Presidency to intervene and get involved in this controversy, and it makes one wonder how Ryan, if he remains Speaker, and Hillary Clinton, would be able to work together and cooperate next year, if Clinton wins the White House.

Some have thought that Ryan would love to cause a coup and become President himself, as he has done a horrible job as Speaker, and this blogger was highly critical of him when he was Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential running mate in the 2012 Presidential election.

Ryan is totally untrustworthy, and is a good reason to wish that the old Presidential Succession Act of 1886, replaced by the present one in 1947, could be revived. The cabinet members should follow the Vice President in the order of succession, not the three out of four years opposition party Speaker and President Pro Tempore of the Senate being ahead of the cabinet officers in the line of succession, in case of an emergency.

A Businessman Knows How To Run A Government Successfully? The Case Of Herbert Hoover As A Rejoinder To Donald Trump!

Donald Trump loves to say that his business experience qualifies him to be President. But his business experience has mostly been failures and bankruptcies, and he inherited money from his father, which gave him an unfair advantage, compared to 99 percent of Americans, and he set out to take advantage of every legal trick and method of manipulation to enrich himself at the expense of others, including often not paying his bills.

We have had only one businessman, Herbert Hoover, as President, and he became a total disaster after he was elected in 1928. But he was not born to wealth, was orphaned before age 10,and accomplished his great business career with his own efforts and intellect, and became a multimillionaire in the mining industry by age 40, and then devoted himself to public service.

But the difference between Trump and Hoover is that Hoover served many years in government, working for Democrat Woodrow Wilson, and Republicans Warren G. Harding and Herbert Hoover, before he ran for President.

He had never been elected to anything, but he had been an extremely successful and outstanding figure in the First World War effort, and served eight significant years as Secretary of Commerce. Hoover stands out as one of the small group of really exceptional cabinet officers, which usually includes other agencies, such as the State Department, the Treasury Department, the Justice Department, and the Defense Department as the major areas where notable cabinet members serve a President.

Unfortunately, he had no ability to overcome the Great Depression that began in October 1929, as he was tied to a laissez faire political philosophy, and did not know how to gain backing in Congress. He was also a poor communicator, who was unable to inspire the American people with his public speeches and radio addresses. Hoover’s personality was very introverted, and he did not inspire confidence. So his business background failed him when it mattered, as President of the United States.

One can be sure that if Hoover was alive today, he would be shocked and stunned at a con artist, Donald Trump, who has had four bankruptcies, and has no understanding of government or world affairs, would have the gall to think he was qualified to lead America in the 21st century.

Can Bill Clinton Hold Government Position Under Hillary Clinton? NO, As Of 1964 Nepotism Law

The Hillary Clinton Presidential campaign is spreading information that former President Bill Clinton may be utilized by his wife in a government position if she wins the White House.

However, under the 1964 Nepotism Law, passed after Robert Kennedy left the government to run for the US Senate, it is illegal for a relative of any President to be in a public, paid position in the government. It is seen as a conflict of interest, so for instance, Jeb Bush, after leaving the Governorship of Florida in 2007, was not eligible to serve in the administration of his brother, George W. Bush.

RFK was Attorney General under his brother, President John F. Kennedy, but the Congress decided after the Kennedy Administration’s end, that such a situation should not happen again. Also, JFK’s brother in law, R. Sargent Shriver, served as head of the Peace Corps.

So Bill Clinton could be an unpaid advisor, but cannot go on the government payroll, even assuming he would agree to donate any government paycheck to charity, as RFK did under his brother.

It is clearly assumed that Bill Clinton would have an important background role, but again, it cannot be as a cabinet officer or an official part of the White House staff, unless Congress agrees to change the law, but that is highly unlikely in the present political climate, with a Republican Congress, and the likelihood that at least the House of Representatives will remain Republican after this year’s Presidential and Congressional elections!

Speakers Of The House Of Representatives Who Sought The Presidency, And Now Paul Ryan?

The Speaker of the House of Representatives is second in line for the Presidency after the Vice President under the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, the third such law.

The first such law, from 1792-1886, put the Speaker third in line for the Presidency, with the Vice President and the President Pro Tempore of the US Senate ahead of him, later reversed in 1947.

The second law, from 1886-1947, did not include the Speaker in the line of succession, but rather the Cabinet officers after the Vice President.

In our history, only one Speaker of the House became President, James K. Polk of Tennessee, from 1845-1849, and he proved to be one of the more significant Presidents, adding more real estate to America than anyone other than Thomas Jefferson.  This was accomplished by treaty with Great Britain over the Pacific Northwest in 1846, and by war with Mexico from 1846-1848, which added the Southwestern United States to the Union.

But seven other Speakers sought the Presidency, including the following:

Henry Clay of Kentucky sought the Presidency in 1824, 1832, and 1844, and is regarded as the greatest single legislator in the history of both houses of Congress.  In 1844, we had the only Presidential election where the two opponents had both been Speaker of the House, Clay and Polk!  Clay lost his three elections to John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, and Polk.

John Bell of Tennessee was the Constitutional Union Party nominee for President in 1860 on the eve of the Civil War, and lost to Abraham Lincoln.

James G. Blaine of Maine was the Republican nominee for President in 1884 and lost the election to Grover Cleveland, and was also Secretary of State under three Presidents–James A. Garfield, Chester Alan Arthur, and a full term under Benjamin Harrison.

Thomas Reed of Maine lost the nomination of the Republican Party in 1896 to future President William McKinley.

Champ Clark of Missouri lost the nomination of the Democratic Party in 1912 to future President Woodrow Wilson.

John Nance Garner of Texas, after being Vice President under Franklin D. Roosevelt for two terms from 1933-1941, lost the nomination of the Democratic Party to his boss, President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940

Newt Gingrich of Georgia lost the Republican nomination for President to eventual nominee Mitt Romney in 2012.

So four Speakers were nominated for President, with only Polk winning; and four other Speakers lost the nomination when they sought the Presidency.

Now we may have a ninth such Speaker seeking the Presidency, Republican Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, whose name is being promoted, despite Ryan’s denial of any interest in running for President.