Stephen Bannon

April 12–Day 83—Complete Turnabout By Donald Trump On Russia, China, NATO, American Foreign Policy In General: Is It For Real?

Yesterday, April 12, 2017, was the 83rd day of the Trump Presidency, and we witnessed a complete turnabout by President Trump on Russia, China, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and American foreign policy in general.

This is absolutely startling, and the question is whether it is for real, or will Donald Trump change his mind next week or next month, or even the next day?

The shift in American foreign policy puts Donald Trump into the mainstream, when he was anything but that during his campaign and his first two and a half months in office.

Is this being done as a ploy to hold off and deter an investigation of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 Presidential campaign in favor of Donald Trump?

Is this being done because of the leaving of Michael Flynn and the likely soon to be leaving of Stephen Bannon from the administration, and if so, is it an indication that Donald Trump finally gets the message of the destructive behavior he engaged in toward allies and friendly nations after the election and until now, in mid April?

We are learning that having an inexperienced and ignorant President creates uncertainties and concern about the direction that the government is going in, and not only in foreign policy, but also in domestic policy.

Can we trust Donald Trump that he believes anything he says today will be the same at any time in the future?

The answer is NO, so we face difficult days ahead as we explore uncharted territory with a man who has no secure principles or beliefs, other than his own advancement.

Total Disarray And Chaos In The Trump White House: Are Stephen Bannon And Reince Priebus On The Way Out?

There seems to be total disarray and chaos in the Trump White House.

There are hints and indications that the Alt Right forces led by Stephen Bannon, already demoted from the National Security Council this past week, may be on the way out, which would be a good thing.

But there are also hints that Chief of Staff Reince Priebus may be gone soon, as well, seen as ineffective in controlling the chaos. Also, the role of Kelly Anne Conway has been cut back dramatically.

The growing role of Trump son in law Jared Kushner may be occurring, but one wonders if he is not being given too much responsibility and burdens for a man just 36 years old, and with ZERO experience in government.

Kushner’s Democratic heritage, and that of others close to him, primarily from New York, makes one wonder if Trump will recast himself completely from what he was when he ran for President.

If Trump does that, it will alienate much of the Republican Party and many of the voters who supported him, as it is already apparent that he has veered away from much of what he pledged and promoted to his audiences on the campaign trail.

What it comes down to is that Trump is an open vessel, with no clear agenda as he sees failures in his first two and a half months, and may be shifting gears dramatically as we observe it occurring.

That does not mean that any progressive can trust or endorse whatever changes Trump creates, as he is still a very dangerous demagogue, and could enmesh America in two wars at once, in Syria and with North Korea.

And his policies on deportation of immigrants and a Muslim Ban are totally unacceptable, as are most of his cabinet officers, and policies on the environment, health care, and so many other areas of government.

The Growing Role Of Jared Kushner: Will It Make A Difference And Transform Donald Trump?

It is now clear that son in law Jared Kushner, and his wife, daughter Ivanka Trump, have a great and growing influence over Donald Trump, as the President is very loyal to family.

The question is whether it will make a difference and transform Donald Trump from a nasty, mean spirited right wing Republican, out to destroy the system, exactly what Stephen Bannon wants, or will move toward the center, and be able to appeal to moderate Republicans and some Democrats, as after all, Kushner was a Democrat in his politics that we know of, earlier in his life.

Kushner has been given great responsibility, to reorganize the federal government, as well as deal with the Middle East, and has also been engaged in traveling to Iraq this week, and the issue is whether he really has the qualifications and knowledge to be able to handle these responsibilities in a way that will lead to good results.

In other words, is Jared Kushner possibly the new Robert F. Kennedy, who had already had government experience before he became Attorney General under his brother, John F. Kennedy, and proved to be indispensable to his brother?

Is Jared Kushner the next Hillary Clinton, who took on health care reform unsuccessfully as First Lady under Bill Clinton, but was also one of the leading attorneys in America?

First impressions of Jared Kushner is that he is nothing special or impressive, more a spoiled rich kid who married into the right family, and had assets to start a New York City newspaper.

The future of America short term, and for the reputation of Donald Trump in history, may be based on the level of Jared Kushner’s success, which at the moment is much in doubt.

Donald Trump Trying To Blame Others For His Own Incompetence And Inexperience, As Republicans Fail To Destroy Obama Care

Donald Trump is trying to blame others for his own incompetence and inexperience.

He would rather allow blame to be put on Speaker of the House Paul Ryan or Chief of Staff Reince Priebus or Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, than take responsibility for the failure.

The answer is they are all to blame, but also Stephen Bannon, Jared Kushner, Stephen Miller, and Office Of Management And Budget Chairman Mick Mulvaney.

But above all, it is Donald Trump himself, and he and his administration are on the road to the worst Presidency we have ever seen, with Trump at a 37 percent rating and falling, after only 65 days of his Presidency.

Donald Trump must start to take responsibility for his own administration, and apologize and admit mistakes, but that is not in his DNA.

Many observers are saying that the Republican Party is self destructing, as they work to destroy Obama Care, and seem ready to see tens of thousands of people die in the process, as they take 24 million people off the rolls without any concern, including many of their own supporters.

The party that claims to be pro life is simply a party that believes every fetus should be born, but after that, you are on your own.

Anyone who says health care is a privilege, not a right, should be immediately repudiated, and any politician who promotes that should be kicked to the curb, and told you are no longer going to represent the American people.

The House Freedom Caucus should be told goodbye and good riddance by other Republicans, or else the party is doomed as the party of death.

Donald Trump’s Deleterious Effect On Americans’ Physical Health, Mental State, And Sense Of Security

Donald Trump has been President for eight weeks, and it has been more than four months since he was elected the 45th President.

In those 56 days since he was inaugurated, Trump has created more tumult and disarray than any President in American history.

In so doing, he has had a deleterious effect on the physical health, mental state, and sense of security of tens of millions of Americans.

Cardiologists have reported that more of their patients have come in with heart palpitations and worse.

High blood pressure has become more common, and mental depression has worsened dramatically.

And the sense of security has deteriorated for African Americans, Latinos, Muslims, Jews, liberals, and the news media, as white supremacy, racism, antisemitism, and nativism have been encouraged by Donald Trump, Stephen Bannon, Stephen Miller, and others on the Trump staff.

Foreign nations have become unnerved about Trump’s weird and unstable behavior, and therefore, nations which are our closest allies–Great Britain, Germany, Australia, Canada, Japan–and other nations as well, have become concerned about the future foreign relations with Trump, as he is a revolutionary ready to destroy the international system.

War seems more likely, particularly with North Korea and Iran, as if we need another war to enrich corporations and the defense industry, and we see Trump promoting attacks on the environment, the safety net, and even the organization of the federal executive branch.

Massive Cuts In State Department, Transportation Security Administration, Environmental Protection Agency Proposed

The Trump Administration is calling for massive cuts in the budgets of the State Department, the Transportation Security Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency, among others government departments.

To cut the State Department when our foreign relations are in such flux makes no sense, and endangers our national security.

To cut the TSA, when the emphasis has been on trying to prevent terrorism in our airports and on our airlines, seems totally suicidal, particularly for an administration emphasizing the issue by having a travel ban on six Muslim nations.

To cut the EPA endangers cleanup of our air and water, and undermines our ability to deal with the reality of climate change and global warming.

It all seems to be part of White House Adviser Stephen Bannon’s desire “to deconstruct the administrative state”, all of the government agencies and programs created since the time of Theodore Roosevelt through the Presidency of Barack Obama.

To many, it would seem to be promoting total chaos and anarchy in a dangerous world.

Donald Trump Refuses To Take Responsibility For Failed Yemen Raid, Death Of Ryan Owens: As Truman Said, “The Buck Stops Here!”

Donald Trump has demeaned the office of the Presidency by his refusal to take responsibility for the failed Yemen Raid that took place two days after his inauguration.

At dinner with son in law Jared Kushner and his White House Counselor Stephen Bannon, he decided to authorize a raid that the Obama Administration had been reluctant to do, because of lack of full intelligence information on the likelihood of its success.

Trump should have been in the Situation Room with top military and intelligence officials, but he decided to try to make himself a hero, and in so doing, caused the death of Navy SEAL Ryan Owens.

Instead of taking responsibility for this blunder and the death, Trump blamed the “Generals” for the failure, and lied that much intelligence information had been successfully gathered, which others, including Senator John McCain have challenged as untruthful.

And then, Trump paraded the sobbing widow of Navy SEAL Ryan Owens at the President’s Speech to Congress, and after a great salute to her by an applauding Congress, bragged that a record had been set for the longest applause ever at a Congressional session, an unseemly point to make at that point of time, and just to add to his narcissistic image. This is absolutely horrible behavior by a Commander in Chief.

Harry Truman had a sign on his desk, “The Buck Stops Here!”. Presidents do NOT blame others for their shortcomings and failures, and John F. Kennedy took the blame for the failed Bay Of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961, and Jimmy Carter took the blame for the failed attempt at a rescue of the Iranian Hostages in 1980.

It is time for Trump to stop passing the buck, and act like a President is supposed to act, stop blaming others for his failed actions!

Trump Speech To Congress: More Sober And Balanced, But Still Full Of Lies, Mistruths, And Deceptions!

Donald Trump’s first speech to a joint session of Congress was more sober and balanced in tone, and avoided controversial rhetoric, but Donald Trump is still Donald Trump, and to believe that Trump is really going to change his lifetime pattern of behavior, is to believe in the tooth fairy!

His speech, no matter how well it seemed to come across in performance, sticking to a script of a person known for good acting on “The Apprentice”, it was full of lies, mistruths, and deceptions.

Trump said crime was at an all time high, when the opposite is reality, but he loves to stoke fear. Instead of defending civil rights and civil liberties his Justice Department under Jeff Sessions will promote law and order, which means, as under Richard Nixon, widespread abuse of power.

Trump said most of the terrorist attacks are from outside, when that is totally false, as it is by Americans who unleash violence, and now the Republicans want mentally ill people to have the right to firearms restored. We have a far greater danger from domestic terrorism than foreign terrorism, as we already have a vetting system that makes it hard for people of ill intention to enter the nation, but instead Trump promotes fear and trepidation to grab more power, as promoted by Stephen Miller and Stephen Bannon.

Trump exploited the family of the fallen SEAL Ryan Owens killed in Yemen, saluting the widow (a touching moment), but bragging about the longest applause ever, as if this is a TV show and that he was looking for ratings. Meanwhile , the Yemen raid was a disaster, so declared by intelligence agencies, and Trump is trying to avoid an investigation called for by the father of the fallen SEAL, who sees Trump as ordering something done in Yemen on a whim, without proper information, and deciding at dinner with Stephen Bannon and Jared Kushner, and not in the Situation Room in the White House, where such decisions are made traditionally.

Trump told a group at the White House during the day that he had interest in immigration reform, rather than deporting millions, even though already undocumented immigrants have been deported or detained, including an immigrant who committed suicide once he was brought to the Mexican side of the border, and a woman detained who has breast cancer with no medical intervention available. When it came time to discuss what he had said earlier in the day, Trump avoided any discussion.

Trump used the term “radical Islamic terrorism” in his speech, despite the advice of National Security Adviser HR McMaster, and if this continues, McMaster, highly respected, might decide to leave, since Trump is ignoring his well regarded advice.

Trump distorted increased costs of ObamaCare, an average of 22 percent, not two to three times what the premiums were, so he lied, and gets away with it with many gullible people.

So Trump is depending on the moment, the audience, and the advisers around him in what he says,and is totally unhinged, totally manipulative and deceitful, totally uncaring about the effect that he has on others. No one knows what the “real” Donald Trump thinks, including himself.

So yes, the speech “sounded” better, but upon further investigation and thought, Donald Trump is still Donald Trump, a disgrace to the office he holds!

C Span 2017 Presidential Survey: The Golden Age Of The Presidency, 1933-1969 (FDR, Truman, Ike, JFK, LBJ) With Five Of The Top Ten In History!

One final commentary on the C Span 2017 Presidential Survey is in order.

Based on the results of this survey, including 91 Presidential scholars, it is clear that there was a Golden Age of the Presidency from 1933-1969, a 36 year period in the 20th century when we had five Presidents–4 Democrats and 1 Republican—who had a transformational effect on American history.

All five of these Presidents—Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson—had bright moments in their Presidencies, but also times when their actions caused problems down the road of history. But they had a massive impact on the office and the nation, and they were ranked as Numbers 3, 6, 5, 8 and 10 in the most recent C Span survey.

Three of them—Truman, Eisenhower, and Johnson—left the Presidency with very low public opinion ratings, but have recovered to rise dramatically in image and reputation over the decades.

The four who followed FDR institutionalized the New Deal and expanded it, and yet now in 2017, everything that was accomplished in both domestic and foreign policy is in danger from the anarchistic, chaotic forces of Donald Trump, Stephen Bannon et al, who are ready to use a sledge hammer to destroy all of the progress and growth of the federal government to protect the population, particularly the vulnerable groups—the poor, the sick, the disabled, the elderly, women, ethnic and racial minorities, labor, and those concerned about the environment.

Since 1969, the Presidency has been going through crisis, first through the shortcomings and paranoia of Richard Nixon, through further decline under Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter (despite their well meant intentions), and then through the Presidency of Ronald Reagan which revived the image of the office, but started the long term decline of the middle class by its actions, continued under George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton despite some reforms, and then reaching a low under George W. Bush, leaving Barack Obama with a challenge unseen since FDR.

Obama’s response in the midst of constant obstructionism was miraculous, and his number 12 rating upon leaving the Presidency insures his eventual rise to the top ten of the list, likely through a decline of Woodrow Wilson and Ronald Reagan by a few notches.

Donald Trump will cause the rise of all of the Presidents who have not done well in the rankings—Nixon, Ford, Carter, and the second Bush—but that reality is a sign that the American Presidency has been under attack as an institution since 1969, with the only bright moment being the rise of Barack Obama. So we are unlikely to see a new Golden Age, and the five Presidents from 1933-1969 are likely to be well entrenched in the Top Ten for the long haul of American history.

One Month Of Donald Trump: Total Alienation, Disarray, Anarchy And Mean Spiritedness

Donald Trump yesterday reached the 31 days of our shortest term President, William Henry Harrison.

In that month, Trump has managed to divide the nation into two camps more divided than ever since the Civil War 150 years ago.

Sure, we had the controversies under Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

But the level of political discord is now worse than ever, and the fear that violence and bloodshed might break out is growing.

Trump has bitterly attacked the judiciary, the news media, the intelligence community, and the bureaucracy in all federal agencies, and in so doing, is creating total alienation, disarray, anarchy, and mean spiritedness.

Trump has been stopped temporarily in his Muslim ban, but is promising another travel ban. He is moving ahead on the Mexico Wall, which will cost tens of billions of dollars, adding to the national debt.

Trump has started a deportation policy which is destroying the lives of undocumented immigrants, who in the vast majority have not broken the law beyond entering illegally years ago, and have contributed to America and brought up children here, and now are having their lives destroyed.

Trump has seen his National Security Adviser forced out, and his Labor Secretary nominee backing out due to his disgraceful record as an employer, and his abusive relationship with his former wife.

Trump has had trouble recruiting for many jobs in the federal government hierarchy, due to his reckless behavior and tweets, and has lied more in one month than any President, and accepts conspiracy theories and demonstrates total ignorance of facts and truth.

Trump can be seen as a revolutionary, using an axe to destroy the federal government, and having dangerous and extremist advisers, including Stephen Bannon and Stephen Miller, who are Fascist oriented demagogues who believe in destroying the record of accomplishments of Democratic and Republican Presidents from TR through Obama.