Foreign Policy

A Year Of Donald Trump: A Horror And A Nightmare!

I published on Sunday a summary article on the first year of Donald Trump at History News Network–historynewsnetwork.org. I have published regularly on Donald Trump on History News Network, and some of those articles have been picked up also by Time Magazine and Newsweek Magazine, and all of those articles are on the right side of my blog.

A day before the anniversary of the inauguration, I will summarize here the points that I made in that article:

Donald Trump has been a nightmare, and his unpredictability, and the refusal of the Republican Party to come to grips with it, has created a constitutional crisis greater than the Watergate Scandal under Richard Nixon 45 years ago.

Donald Trump has demonstrated clear authoritarian leanings that endanger all Americans and their basic freedoms and national security.

Donald Trump has undermined the judicial branch of government. with his attacks on an independent judiciary, and his appointments of unqualified people to lifetime positions on the federal district courts and federal circuit courts.

Donald Trump has assaulted the Bill of Rights, and is a threat to the civil rights and civil liberties of African Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans, women, gay and transgender Americans, and members of the news media who dare to investigate and question his white supremacist, nativist, racist, and misogynistic utterances and policies.

He has connected himself to dictators and authoritarians in nations like Russia, China, Turkey, Egypt, and the Philippines, and in the tradition of such past regimes as Nazi Germany , Fascist Italy, and the Soviet Union.

Donald Trump has pursued policies that threaten and undermine the domestic reforms of Presidents from both political parties from the time of Theodore Roosevelt onward, endangering the Social Safety Network of Social Security. Medicare, and Medicaid, and government regulation of industry and big business, and oversight of key problems involving the environment, consumer safety, labor protections, health care, and science and education.

Donald Trump has given us the most corrupt and incompetent cabinet and advisers , making the shortcomings of Ulysses S. Grant, Warren G. Harding, and Richard Nixon pale in comparison. There is no sense of ethics, commitment, scruples, or compassion on the part of Trump and his team, but only with the advancement of the top one percent, over the needs of millions of ordinary people.

Trump’s family has become in one year more controversial, and lacking in ethics and morals, than any Presidential family in history, with the aim seeming to be a family dynasty with no limit on their lust for money and power.

Donald Trump has undermined foreign policy and international relations, alienating our allies, and consorting with dictators all over the world. He has declared war on the diplomatic community, the national security apparatus, and the intelligence agencies that are out to protect American national security. He has been reckless in his dealings with North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico, and with the Middle East cauldron. He has alienated our allies, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Japan, and South Korea with his weird, unpredictable behavior.

Donald Trump’s narcissism, ignorance of history and science, obnoxious behavior and incessant lying make him a terrible model for the future generation of Americans, who used to be able to look up the President of the United States as someone they could respect.

These reasons are justification for action to remove Donald Trump from the Presidency, whether by impeachment, use of the 25th Amendment, or forced resignation after indictments of family members and top advisers by Robert Mueller’s investigation.

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!

2017 Horrible Year Of Reversal, In Many Ways The Most Tragic Year For America Since 1968!

In the past half century, since the tumultuous year of 1968, acknowledged by many scholars and experts as the most significant single year in American history since 1945 (the end of World War II), America has gone through much turmoil and tragedy. This includes Richard Nixon and Watergate; the end of the Vietnam War; the rise of terrorism in the 1990s, leading up to September 11, 2001; two other unwinnable wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; and the Great Recession of 2007-2009, which finally has led to full employment and an economic revival after nearly ten years, but with many Americans left behind.

It has also been a fifty year period of much progess toward civil and human rights amid massive social change , with the Barack Obama years being seen as a positive time in so many ways.

But now, 2017 has revealed that we are in a dramatic retreat from much of the reform and change that has gone on since 1968, and the nation and the world are in total chaos and anarchy, due to the rise of a truly Fascist wannabe, Donald Trump, who has clearly stolen the Presidential election of 2016 and is in process of destroying all of the positive changes of the past 50 years.

Domestic and foreign policy, and constitutional law is in revolution, and 2018 will likely be a continuation of the nightmare of 2017, but with the hope that at least Donald Trump will be forced out of office in some manner, not yet clear.

But the likelihood that Vice President Mike Pence will become the 46th President sometime in 2018, bodes ill for the future, with his extreme right wing evangelical conservative beliefs, which would make him more conservative and extremist than even the most conservative Presidents of the past century, Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan.

So we who are progressives have a lot of work to do next year to attempt to bring America back from the brink of destruction perpetrated by a man who is the most evil President in American history; and a party which has tarnished the reputation historically of Abraham, Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and so many others who proudly carried the Republican mantle in the past 150 years until now.

It is time for progressives to fight with all their energy and strength to return this nation to the great advancements promoted by a century of Presidents and Congresses from the time of Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama.

The Impact Of The California House Delegation–53 out of 435 House Of Representatives Members, And 16 Major Figures

California, the largest state with one out of every eight people in the nation–39.25 million out of 323 million in 2016—has 53 members in the House of Representatives–one out of every eight in the House.

Due to that reality, California House members tend to stand out as more significant than many in other state delegations, with 39 Democrats and 14 Republicans representing the state in the House of Representatives.

A large number of these Congressmen and Congresswomen are leaders in the House, and are often seen on cable television and on news websites.

Among the Republicans, we have:

Kevin McCarthy of the 23rd District is the House Majority Leader, second highest leader of the Republicans in the chamber.

Devin Nunes of the 22nd District is the House Intelligence Committee Chair, although he stepped aside on the investigation of Donald Trump, due to accusations that he had disclosed classified information to the public, and consulted with President Trump on committee actions.

Ed Royce of the 39th District is the House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair.

Dana Rohrabacher of the 48th District has been controversial for his overly pro Russian, pro Vladimir Putin, advocacy.

Darrell Issa of the 49th District was the Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee from 2011-2015, and is also known to be the wealthiest member of Congress.

Among the Democrats, we have:

Nancy Pelosi of the 12th District is former Speaker of the House from 2007-2011, and has been Minority Leader since 2011, and is, therefore, the highest ranking Democrat in Congress, and is always highly controversial as a result of her leadership position.

Barbara Lee is a very outspoken African American Congresswoman, representing the 13th District, and was the only person not to support the resolution authorizing the use of force after September 11, 2001. She has been in the past the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Jackie Speier of the 14th District has been a leader in the movement to expose sexual harassment, and to demand action on misbehavior of members of Congress.

Eric Swalwell of the 15th District has only been in Congress for five years, but has played a role on the House Intelligence Committee and House Judiciary Committee on the ongoing investigation into Donald Trump and Russian collusion, and is often seen on cable news programs.

Zoe Lofgren of the 19th District serves on the Oversight and Judiciary Committees and is an important figure with her 22 years in the House of Representatives.

Adam Schiff of the 28th District has become the major figure on the Democratic side of the House Intelligence Committee investigation into Donald Trump and Russian collusion, and earlier served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and has also served on the Appropriations Committee. He is considered an expert on foreign policy and national security issues. He is often seen on cable news programs.

Brad Sherman of the 30th District is a ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and has been in the House of Representatives for 21 years. He has also served on the Financial Services Committee.

Ted Lieu of the 33rd District has been in Congress for only three years, but is already an outspoken member, including a call for the impeachment of Donald Trump, and he has been made an Assistant Whip by Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. He serves on the Foreign Affairs and Judiciary Committees in the House of Representatives.

Karen Bass, African American from the 37th District, serves on the Foreign Affairs and Judiciary Committees, and is quite outspoken, despite only seven years in the House of Representatives.

Linda Sanchez of the 38th District serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and is ranking member of the Ethics Committee, and is Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. She is also the Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, 5th ranking position in the House Democratic leadership, and first woman of color ever to be elected to a leadership position in the history of the US Congress.

Maxine Waters of the 43rd District, and African American, is the most outspoken critic of Donald Trump in Congress, and has called for his impeachment and removal from the Presidency. She has long been a firebrand on many issues, and is the most senior of twelve black women serving in Congress. She is a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, and has been in Congress since 1991. She was also a strong critic of President George W. Bush, as well as of President Barack Obama. She also is the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, and previously served on the House Judiciary Committee. She has come under fire for her confrontational manner, and has been accused of and investigated for ethics violations.

So 5 Republicans and 11 Democrats, almost one third of the 53 House members from California, are major figures in what goes on in the House of Representatives on a daily basis.

The Nightmare Year Of Donald Trump, But Suburbia, Women, Minorities, White Collar Educated, Those Under 45, And Independents Are Organizing To End The Trump Presidency

A year ago on this date, Donald Trump “won” the Presidency, with 26 percent of all eligible voters backing him, 46 percent of actual voters, and losing the popular vote by nearly 3 million to Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and having 8 million others voting for third party candidates, therefore having 11 million more people voting against him than for him.

No President who has won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote has done so poorly, as compared to John Quincy Adams losing to Andrew Jackson by 38,000 votes in 1824; as Rutherford B. Hayes losing to Samuel Tilden by 252,000 votes in 1876; as Benjamin Harrison losing to Grover Cleveland by 110,000 votes in 1888; or George W. Bush losing to Al Gore by 544,000 votes in 2000.

Also, Trump’s Electoral College victory with 304 electoral votes is only 46th of 58 national elections.

The past year, since his victory, has been a horror in so many ways, as Donald Trump has accomplished nothing in legislation, but has undermined a century of progress under Republican and Democratic Presidents from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama in domestic and foreign policy.

He has abused his executive authority to declare war on the environment, promoted discrimination against immigrants and Muslims, advocated the end of government regulation of business, undermining on civil liberties and civil rights, disarray in our foreign relations with our allies and our enemies in the world, destroyed the concept of civility and common decency, and damaged the image of the Presidency itself.

But he has also demonstrated a level of scandal and corruption far greater than the corruption which took place under Ulysses S. Grant, Warren G. Harding, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan.

His appointees, with a few exceptions, have been a total disgrace, making them the worst cabinet in performance and ethics we have ever seen.

Assuredly, Donald Trump will be the second President, after Richard Nixon, to be forced out office in the next year by the Mueller investigation of Russian collusion, obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

The reaction against him among intelligent voters is already evident from Tuesday’s off year elections, as suburbia, women, minorities, white collar educated, those under 45, and independents are organizing to end the Trump Presidency and punish the Republican Party that nominated him, have collaborated with him, and are conspiring to enrich the wealthy yet once again, as they did under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. In so doing, the Republican Party has declared war on the middle class, and shown no compassion for the poor, the sick, the disabled, and senior citizens.

A major wave election in 2018 is in the offing, as the goal is to destroy the cancer of the Trump Presidency, although some of the damage he and his party have done will take decades to eliminate totally from the nation’s domestic and foreign policy.

This is a major national tragedy, a setback that the nation will pay for long term.

Donald Trump’s Full Scale Attack On The First Amendment, While Endorsing No Limit On The Second Amendment, A Danger To America

Donald Trump has mounted a full scale attack on the First Amendment freedom of speech and press, while endorsing no limit on the Second Amendment, despite the recent Las Vegas Massacre, and is therefore a danger to America.

If it were left up to Trump, many cable TV channels, such as CNN and MSNBC, would be denied licenses to operate, but thankfully, no such mechanism exists to suppress the First Amendment.

Also, Trump wishes to suppress freedom of speech for National Football League players to protest the treatment of African Americans and other minorities by police.

And he seems to think that everyone MUST stand for the flag and the National Anthem, while the Supreme Court has declared that the flag need not be obeyed, and in fact, can be burned in protest, something much more extreme than bending the knee for the flag.

The case on this is Texas V Johnson (1989), with Justice Antonin Scalia, certainly the most conservative Justice in a century, writing the majority opinion.

What Trump is doing was denounced by principled conservative Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who has been against Trump from before the election. He said yesterday that Trump is violating his oath of office by refusing to defend the Constitution, which includes the Bill of Rights, and that Trump had, therefore, committed an impeachable act.

Trump sounds more like Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, or other totalitarian dictators than the leader of a democracy, and he is a clear and present danger to all Americans, as a result.

The possibility of moving toward impeachment is starting to grow, as Sasse joins Senator Bob Corker in warning against the threat that Trump clearly presents the nation.

Trump seems to be unraveling, as reported by journalists who have contacts within the staff of Donald Trump, reminding us of the last days of Richard Nixon.

But if anything, Richard Nixon was far less dangerous than Donald Trump is, as Trump has been collaborating with Russia, while Nixon understood the threat presented by Russia.

Also, Nixon was not out to destroy all domestic reform of the previous hundred years, as Trump is in the process of doing, with ObamaCare, the environment, consumer legislation, and government regulation of business.

And Trump is also out to destroy the Iran Deal, go to war with North Korea, and destroy all areas of our foreign policy with other nations.

So the need for prompt action, before Trump must be wrestled for control of the nuclear codes, is real!

Eight Months Of Donald Trump: Destabilization Of Domestic And Foreign Policy

Today marks eight months of the Donald Trump Presidency, eight months of destabilization of domestic and foreign policy.

One wonders how much more of this America and the world can stand.

The good news is that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is steaming ahead in his investigation of the Trump scandals, including Russian collusion, obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

Mueller has his sights on Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort, and has gained a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) wiretapping order that indicates evidence that can be used against many Trump associates and the President and family members as well.

This author published an article in February on HNN, picked up by Newsweek, that went viral, stating the belief that Trump would leave office between the James A. Garfield assassination death after 199 days and the Zachary Taylor natural cause of death after 492 days, which is matched on May 27, 2018.

Now this author would change the date to predict that by the Ides of March (March 15), the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC, that we will see Trump leaving office, which would be 419 days.

The clock is definitely ticking for Donald Trump, but meanwhile, there is great concern that Trump could launch a nuclear attack or declare martial law, and it is essential for the military people around Trump–John Kelly, H. R. Mcmaster, and James Mattis–to work to prevent such actions as the investigation continues toward resolution.

The Modern Presidency Began Today, September 14, In 1901, With The Coming To Power Of Theodore Roosevelt

As a lifetime student of the American Presidency, September 14, 1901 stands out as the beginning of the modern Presidency.

On that day, 116 years ago, Theodore Roosevelt succeeded from the Vice Presidency, which he had held for about six months, and became the 26th President of the United States, upon the death of President William McKinley from the assassination bullets fired by anarchist Leon Czolgosz eight days earlier, on September 6, in Buffalo, New York.

TR brought a new vision of the Presidency to the White House, an activist, aggressive, broad interpretation of executive powers, and transformed the office for the long term future.

Our youngest President, still 42, TR brought life, excitement, charisma to the Presidency, and made America a respected nation in foreign policy.

He also initiated the idea of Progressive reform, that the national government had a role in moving the nation forward by regulation and legislation, away from the concept of states rights.

There was never a dull moment in TR’s life, either in the Presidency or after, and he became a model for future Presidents of both parties, particularly Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.

With TR’s accession to the Presidency, the history of the Secret Service protecting the Chief Executive began, and remains a major burden of security to keep the President safe and unharmed.

A reminder that the McKinley Assassination is covered in Chapter 4 of my book, ASSASSINATIONS, THREATS, AND THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY: FROM ANDREW JACKSON TO BARACK OBAMA (Rowman Littlefield Publishers), now out since March in paperback from the publisher or Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Also, there is Chapter 5 in the book, which covers the attempted assassination of TR when running as an ex-President on the Progressive (Bull Moose Party) line in 1912, being shot in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 14, 1912 by John Flammang Schrank, but surviving his wounds.

Military Leadership Ignoring Twitter Rants, And Trying To Discipline Donald Trump: First Steps Toward Ultimate Removal Of Donald Trump From Oval Office

It is interesting to note that the military leadership is ignoring some of Donald Trump’s statements on Twitter, and are battling behind the scenes against the more extremist aides that remain influential in the Trump White House.

General John Kelly, the new White House Chief of Staff, is trying to get rid of those who are causing disarray in the Trump White House, and it seems that at some point, he will be able to fire Stephen Bannon and Stephen Miller, both of the Alt Right persuasion, as the only way to get control of the chaotic situation in the Oval Office.

H. R. McMaster, the National Security Adviser, is working at trying to “mainstream” foreign policy, but faces loose rhetoric from Trump, that he is trying to limit, but with strong opposition from the Alt Right extremists, Bannon and Miller, with indications they are trying to force him out. This struggle of McMaster to remain influential is a battle that needs to be won.

Defense Secretary James Mattis has ignored Trump’s statements about eliminating transgender soldiers, with the argument that Twitter comments are not public policy, and it seems clear that he wishes to stabilize the military, and is against any change in military policy on this matter. The hope is that he will succeed in convincing Trump to leave such matters to the military, not to the President’s utterances.

Ordinarily. it would be seen as dangerous to have three recently retired military leaders so influential in a Presidency. but in this case, with this mentally unbalanced man in the White House, it might be the only way to rid the government of extremists that are encouraging him.

Hopefully, it could lead to the ultimate removal of Donald Trump from the Oval Office, when it is clear that there has been Russian collusion, as it is impossible to imagine that any of these three former generals would overlook the facts of the case, when and if they are confirmed.

Patriotism, doing what is proper to maintain our basic civil liberties and civil rights, is seen as the ultimate goal of these generals, to save the country from tyranny.

Hopefully, this blogger turns out to be accurate, in his judgment of what will happen.

America On Verge Of Massive Tragedy Caused By Donald Trump Incompetence, With No Clue To What It Will Be!

In the midst of the incompetence of Donald Trump, one can sense that America is on the verge of a massive tragedy we are not yet aware of.

Every Presidency is faced with challenges and crises that determine the historical record of that President.

So as September 11 would have a dramatic effect on the reputation of George W. Bush; the Monica Lewinsky scandal affect the Bill Clinton legacy; and the Affordable Care Act determine the image of Barack Obama, the question is what challenge or crisis will mark the Donald Trump legacy, other than the scandal regarding Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, now proved by the revelation of emails and meetings between Donald Trump, Jr and his brother in law Jared Kushner with Russian agents, regarding the 2016 Presidential election campaign.

Now we learn of an unreported meeting of Trump with Vladimir Putin at the G-20 Summit dinner in Germany, in full view of other national leaders, but with Trump alone with Putin and a Russian to translate for Putin, but no one else on the American side with Trump. What in the world was going on? This only adds to the image of Russian collusion, with a President not able to be tracked as to what he was doing at that dinner meeting.

Will it be war with North Korea; or a crisis in relations with Iran; or major alienation with NATO allies; or further tensions with China or Russia; or Trump attempts to destroy civil liberties and civil rights in a manner which promotes open conflict and bloodshed in America?

We have no idea at this point, but a major crisis in either foreign or domestic affairs seems imminent, with a damaged, and mentally unstable Presidency in our midst!

Donald Trump is clueless, ignorant, “out to lunch”, lazy, taking no interest in what is going on in Congress, just interested to sign his name, and display it to the gathered audience!

We have a child, not very bright or motivated, who is leader of the free world, and the world and the nation are in deep trouble, about to get worse!