Secretary Of The Treasury

Trump With COVID 19 Creates Turmoil And Crisis, And Brings Up 25th Amendment And Succession Law

Donald Trump, having contracted the COVID 19 Virus, creates turmoil and crisis, and brings up the 25th Amendment of 1967, and the Presidential Succession Law of 1947.

Trump has been reckless in NOT promoting face masks and distancing, particularly at his close up rallies, but also in the Oval Office and at other White House sites, and his family refusing to wear masks at the Presidential Debate last Tuesday was totally irresponsible!

Trump should be sidelined for a week or more if he has a mild case, but if severe, it creates a real crisis, that requires the 25th Amendment to be invoked, and brings up the Presidential Succession Law, passed by a Republican dominated Congress in 1947.

If Trump is unable for a period of time to perform his duties, then Vice President Mike Pence can take over as Acting President, as George H. W. Bush did in 1985 when President Ronald Reagan had cancer surgery; and twice under President George W. Bush, having colonoscopies, Dick Cheney was briefly Acting President.

It should have happened when Ronald Reagan was shot on March 30, 1981, but it was not invoked.

Were Trump to fail to survive, Mike Pence would become President, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would be next in line, followed by Senate President Pro Tempore Chuck Grassley of Iowa. The fact that Pelosi is 80 and Grassley 87 is alarming, of course, and right after them would be Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is 56, and Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin who is 57.

Whatever one’s feelings toward Donald Trump, we should all hope for his complete recovery, but it certainly upends the Presidential Election of 2020, and makes the likelihood of a Vice Presidential debate next week less likely, and would seem to lead to the cancellation of the two remaining Presidential Debates, which really should not be occurring after the disastrous first Presidential Debate, in any case!

Time will tell of course, never a dull moment!

Finally, it is truly ironic that the news of Trump having COVID 19 occurs on the 101st Anniversary of Woodrow Wilson suffering a paralytic stroke in 1919, five months after contracting the Spanish Flu Virus while at the Versailles Peace Conference in France after World War I.

Wilson was never as energetic after suffering from the virus, and it seems to have undermined his case for the Versailles Treaty. And once he had the stroke, his wife ran cabinet meetings, and Vice President Thomas Marshall and the American people through the news media were NOT kept informed about his condition, and we had the longest period of incapacity of any President, lasting until he left office 17 months later in March 1921.

Theoretical Possibility Of Nine Business People Or Celebrities With No Government Experience Who Might Run For The Presidency In 2020

Donald Trump is the first totally non government experience candidate ever to win the Presidency.

Before him, Wendell Willkie for the Republicans in 1940, and Ross Perot, as an Independent in 1992 and 1996, also had no government experience.

With the horrific Trump experience, the question arises whether another business person or celebrity with no government experience might run for the White House in 2020, and might have a chance to win.

At least nine potential candidates have been mentioned, but most are not considered serious possibilities.

Oprah Winfrey , Kanye West, and Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson come from the entertainment world, but none of these has seemed serious about running, and somehow, with all three being African American, and Oprah being a woman, it is hard to imagine, without government experience, and just basically being a celebrity, that anyone of them would get very far.

Then, we have Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook billionaire, who is Jewish and would be only 36 years old in 2020, and has controversy surrounding Facebook’s role in affecting the 2016 Presidential election. Also, he has made controversial statements, and comes across to many, including this blogger, as extremely arrogant, and needing much more maturity and judgment to even consider running at any time in the future.

Then we have Andrew Yang, who is an entrepreneur, promoting startups in business in many different cities across America. Yang, born of Chinese parents from Taiwan, would be 45 years old, and wants to promote a Universal Basic Income of $1,000 a month to all Americans 18-64, as part of his platform, and he has already announced for President, but the question is whether he can gain any traction.

Bob Iger, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Walt Disney Company, is Jewish, and is rumored to be interested, but there has been criticism of his leadership of Disney, and he would be close to 70 on Inauguration Day 2021.

Howard Schultz, the former Chief Executive Officer of Starbucks, is Jewish, and would be 67 years old if he won in 2020, and has a very liberal image, and seems to be seriously considering announcing his candidacy.

We also have Mark Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, is very outspoken, and has hinted at running for President. He has been all over the map politically, having expressed admiration for libertarian author Ayn Rand, but backing Hillary Clinton for President in 2016. Also Jewish in his religion, Cuban has been more of a public relations oriented person, much more noticed in the news media than most other businessmen, including Zuckerberg, Yang, Iger and Schultz. He would be likely a Republican candidate if he ran, as he calls himself fiscally conservative, although a social moderate by his own definition.

Finally, much more in the public eye since Donald Trump became President, is Tom Steyer, a billionaire hedge fund manager, philanthropist, environmentalist, liberal activist, and fundraiser, who has been on an active campaign to impeach Donald Trump, gaining a lot of attention. He has long been a Democratic activist, going back to Walter Mondale in 1984 through Hillary Clinton in 2016, and was considered to be a cabinet member twice under Barack Obama, for Secretary of the Treasury in 2009 and Secretary of Energy in 2013, but others were chosen. Steyer is often seen as the adversary of Charles and David Koch.

The only ones on this list of nine who this author and blogger see as “legitimate” are Andrew Yang and Tom Steyer, who seem to have the best credentials, but still, no desire here to have another businessman or celebrity without any government experience as our President in 2021.

In the “real world”, somehow, three African Americans (Winfrey, West, Johnson); one woman (Winfrey); four Jews (Zuckerberg, Iger, Schultz, Cuban); and one Asian American (Yang) potential candidates seems highly unlikely, in the political climate we are in, to have a real shot at being the nominee. So this means probably Tom Steyer, who is most “out there” in the present political climate and is a white Episcopalian, might be the one of the nine with the best potential. Had he actually served in Barack Obama’s cabinet, he might seem to many as a more legitimate candidate, as we have had Presidents who were never elected before the Presidency but were cabinet members, specifically William Howard Taft and Herbert Hoover.

The Trump experience makes it difficult to look at others in the non political world as better than having a Governor, Senator, Congressman, Mayor, or Cabinet Officer in the White House.

We shall see how far these nine possible candidates go in seeking the Presidency, as after the next 100 days, the announcement of Presidential candidacies, will rapidly emerge!

Corrupt And Unethical Cabinet Members Of Donald Trump, Greater Than Ulysses S. Grant, Warren G. Harding, Or Richard Nixon

Donald Trump is presiding after just one year over the most corrupt Cabinet in American history, more than Ulysses S. Grant, Warren G. Harding, or Richard Nixon.

The following Cabinet members have come under controversy for ethical violations, and for their arrogance and insensitivity, and lack of scruples:

Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin
Attorney General Jeff Sessions
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross
Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos
Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Neilsen
Environmental Protection Agency Head Scott Pruitt
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly
Director of the Office of Management and Budget and Acting Head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Mick Mulvaney

Most of the above are setting a record as the absolutely worst possible human beings in public positions of trust, and this does not include the multitude of others who have resigned or been forced out, and the reality that the turnover in the Trump White House is triple that of Barack Obama at this point, and double other administrations.

Many of the people around Trump, past and present, have had to hire lawyers, and built up massive expenses defending their role and influence under the 45th President. Many have lost whatever reputation they had coming in, and many will end up in prison for their misdeeds.

Trump has managed to bring the most despicable, most disgraceful, most nasty and mean spirited, and most materialistic oriented people to gather around what has become a “ship of rats”.

Their inferior and disgusting performance in public office will haunt them the rest of their lives and into history, and this includes the corrupt and entitled son in law Jared Kushner, and daughter Ivanka Trump.

And at the same time, sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump have solidified just how disastrous they are, and how destructive they have been, adding to the tragedy of Donald Trump, who will go down where he has started after just one year, the worst President ever in American history, bar none!

Growing Evidence Of Many More Trump Staff And Advisers Facing Prosecution In Most Corrupt Administration In American History

So far, only four people surrounding Donald Trump have been implicated in the scandals of the most corrupt President in American history, bar none.

But Robert Mueller is, after eight months, clearly investigating many others for various violations of the law in many different areas

So far, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos, and Michael Flynn have been brought to legal action by the Special Counsel.

But there is growing evidence that many more Trump staff and advisers are facing prosecution, and soon.

Expect criminal prosecution of Attorney General Jeff Sessions; Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke; Environmental Protection Agency Head Scott Pruitt; former aide Stephen Bannon; Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin; Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross; White House Counselor Kelly Anne Conway; White House economist Gary Cohn; former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer; former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus; among others. Some clearly will cooperate with Mueller to avoid prosecution or, at least, to have minimum liability legally.

But also expect Donald Trump, Jr; Ivanka Trump: Jared Kushner–Trump family children—to face legal problems, and possible indictment.

And racist, white supremacist, nativist aide Stephen Miller, will probably be shown to be engaged in illegal activities as well, a gut feeling on the part of the author, as Miller comes across as more of a sleaze ball than many.

And Donald Trump will not escape charges, and will be forced out of office for his various crimes–including potential charges of obstruction of justice, abuse of power, violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, money laundering, treason, as well as the corruption involving payoffs to Stormy Daniels and other women he has engaged with in sex scandals.

And do not be surprised if his wife, Melania, the First Lady, becomes the first case of seeking a divorce from a sitting President, or even a former President.

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!

The Behind The Scenes Plan To Prevent Harriet Tubman From Being On $20 Bill, And Keeping Andrew Jackson On It!

After years of total ignoring of the contributions of African Americans in our history as a nation, finally, last year, it was determined to change the $20 bill from President Andrew Jackson to abolitionist and runaway slave Harriet Tubman.

This decision by the Treasury Department elevates a person of color and a woman to an honor well deserved.

Taking Andrew Jackson off the front of the bill is not the tragedy that it is made out to be. He has been on the $20 bill since 1928, a century after he won the Presidency. And he would be placed on the back of the bill instead, so would not disappear.

Jackson is an important historical figure, but besides being a slave owner, which clearly in itself is not the biggest issue as many Presidents before the Civil War were slave owners, he stands out as negative for the mass murder of native American (The Trail of Tears), and for his strong condemnation of and efforts to block anti slavery literature from being able to be voiced through the US Mail system, as well as his destruction of the Second National Bank of the United States, which led us into the Panic of 1837.

Keeping Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill makes total sense, as he was a very constructive and influential figure in many positive ways in our history, while Jackson has so many negatives.

Now, however, it seems that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is moving toward stopping this change in the $20 bill, due to Donald Trump’s love affair with Jackson, and Trump’s insensitivity to the evil aspects of Jackson’s time in office, and his massive racist viewpoints.

It only adds to the image of Trump as racist, which one would think he would wish to overcome by avoiding changing the well laid plans on the $20 bill.

So there is a behind the scenes attempt to prevent Harriet Tubman from being placed on the $20 bill, and there must be strong public outrage at the idea and reality of such an action.

Presidential In-Laws: Jared Kushner Is No William Gibbs McAdoo (Wilson) Or Sargent Shriver (Kennedy)!

There have been Presidential in-laws who have worked for Presidents before Jared Kushner, son in-law of President Donald Trump.

William Gibbs McAdoo, son in-law of President Woodrow Wilson, served as Wilson’s Secretary of the Treasury for the first six years of Wilson’s Presidency, and was crucial in the economic buildup for World War I.

Sargent Shriver, brother in-law of President John F. Kennedy, served as the first head of the Peace Corps, and went on to serve as the head of the War on Poverty under Lyndon B. Johnson, and as Ambassador to France under Johnson and Richard Nixon.

Both were solid citizens who made major contributions, and I discuss this in my recent article on History News Network, out this week, and found on the right side of the blog.

Jared Kushner, by comparison is a spoiled rich kid, who has no special qualifications to be in charge of so many different responsibilities under his father in law. Now with the revelation of his contacts with the Russian Ambassador, including suggestions that they have contact outside of official channels, is making Kushner an albatross around Donald Trump’s neck. However it is clear that Kushner would not have become involved in such dealings without Trump’s support and knowledge, so it puts Trump under further suspicion and investigation.

So do not expect that Kushner will ever reach long term the significance of either McAdoo or Shriver, and in fact, will likely contribute to the downfall of Donald Trump.

Trump’s Pledge To “Drain The Swamp”? Trump Has More Wall Street Corporate Types And Military Leaders Than Any President Since Eisenhower!

Donald Trump pledged to “drain the swamp” of corporate people having influence on government, and this is the first of his pledges that has been totally ignored.

His Secretary of the Treasury (Steve Mnuchin); Secretary of Commerce (Wilbur Ross); Secretary of State (Rex Tillerson); and Chief Strategist (Stephen K. Bannon) are all from Wall Street or from a leading corporation in the case of Tillerson (Exxon Mobil).

Additionally, he has more military people, including those who are not retired for long, and require special legislative approval to serve—Secretary of Defense (James Mattis); Secretary of Homeland Security (John Kelly); and National Security Adviser (Michael Flynn).

So this is more than ever the “Military-Industrial Complex” that President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned against in his Farewell Address in January 1961.

This is a danger to American democracy, as the wealthy one percent not only dominate this administration, but also, more than ever, members of Congress, who are overall wealthier than any previous Congress in American history.

Where is the concern for the average middle class or poor American?

A Proposal To Change Presidential Succession Law Back To Before 1947 Revision

It is clear, to anyone who really analyzes the situation, that the Presidential Succession Law of 1947 needs to be rolled back to what it was between 1886-1947.

The earlier succession law provided that the President’s cabinet members, starting with the Secretary of State, would follow the Vice President in the line of Presidential succession.

The 1947 law changed that to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate as ahead of the cabinet members.

That has been a mistake, as it has caused those two office holders often to be from the opposition party, as under Harry Truman 1947-1949; Dwight D. Eisenhower 1955-1961; Richard Nixon 1969-1974; Gerald Ford 1974-1977; Ronald Reagan 1987-1989 and also for the Speaker from 1981-1987; George H. W. Bush 1989-1993; Bill Clinton 1995-2001; George W.Bush 2001-2003 for the President Pro Tempore, and 2007-2009; and Barack Obama 2011-2017.

That is 38 years out of 70, and also six years for the Speaker and two years for the President Pro Tempore in addition, for a grand total of 46 of 70 years, two thirds of the time.

This has helped to promote stalemate and gridlock much too often, and has led to lack of continuity fear if a President had left office.

Luckily, that only happened twice in the first 27 years, and now it is 41 years since the last President left office early, a trend that is defying American history for turnover of the Presidency during a term, which happened seven times between 1841 and 1945!

The Secretaries of State have often been major figures, and since foreign policy is so crucial now, more than ever, the need for a Secretary of State to be second in line to be President, and a Secretary of the Treasury to be third in line, outweighs the idea of an often mediocre Congressman and a overly aged US Senator being next in line instead! And the importance of party loyalty and support of the President in office also is a major factor.

Presidential Succession Law Of 1886-1947 Needs To Be Renewed!

In 1947, the Republican controlled 80th Congress, in a fit of partisanship and anti FDR sentiment, changed the Presidential Succession Law of 1886, enacted during the first term of President Grover Cleveland.

That law made the succession for the Presidency beyond the Vice President to be as follows: Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of War, Attorney General, and then other cabinet agencies, including Interior and Agriculture.

That law made sense, as it meant that in case of tragedy hitting the President and Vice President, that members of  that President’s cabinet, people loyal to him, knowledgeable in  foreign and defense policies, and domestic policies, would be next in  line, in case of an emergency.

But the Republicans after World War II were furious that Franklin D. Roosevelt had been elected four times, so not only added the 22nd Amendment, limiting any future President to two elected term, or a maximum of ten years if he succeeded during a term, but also decided to make the Speaker of the House and the President pro tempore of the Senate second and third in line behind the Vice President.  That, of course, meant, that if anything had happened to President Harry Truman, and with no Vice President for the remainder of that term of office, that Speaker Joseph Martin, a Republican, would have succeeded him.

The idea of having the opposition party gain the Presidency during a term due to a tragedy was not based on what was good for the nation, but pure partisanship by the GOP.

But now, the extremism in the GOP, including the Tea Party Movement right wing whackos, makes the idea of John Boehner, or some other Republican gaining power of the executive branch under a Democratic administration totally reprehensible, as that would mean a dramatic turn to the far Right, although the people voted in a Democratic administration.  Also, the President pro tempore of the Senate, a position which is honorary based on seniority in the majority party in the Senate, brings the danger, not only of partisanship, but also the reality of a very old Senator, unfit to serve, being third in line for the Presidency, and at the time of Truman, second in line to be President!

That is why there is a need to repeal the 1947 law and return to the 1886 law, which makes the most sense, as the Speaker of the House, while elected, is only chosen by one Congressional district out of 435, and is therefore NOT representative of the nation, as much as a cabinet member, selected by the President but subject to Senate confirmation, is representative of the policies and ideals of the elected President!

The likelihood of this happening short term is near zero, but it is worthy of consideration for the near future!