Wall Street

Donald Trump And Afghanistan: No More Interest In Reform, Only Killing, A Prescription For Disaster!

Donald Trump’s speech on Afghanistan last night was what this blogger expected: Trump the warmonger, a complete switch from his “isolationist” stand during his Presidential campaign.

It was very predictable, as again, Donald Trump proved to be what he has always been best at being, a massive liar and manipulator of the truth!

The man who was a draft dodger, on the basis of bone spurs in the 1960s, and said his “Vietnam” was avoiding sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) with women at that time of his life, now has become a war President, and is allowing his overly dominant military administration to “charge on” in Afghanistan, after 16 years, the most of any American war, and inability to resolve the matter.

Afghanistan caused the loss of Alexander the Great in ancient times; of the British Empire in the 19th century; and of the Soviet Union from 1979-1989.

It is a “hell hole” with no end, and already 2,400 Americans have died in that war, and the war has also cost an estimate of between $841 billion to $2 trillion dollars, a massive waste of money that has undermined the nation! And over 20,000 men and women have been wounded, many of them seriously, and mental issues have arisen among many of these veterans, and many others who were not physically harmed.

And to top it off, Trump has indicated there is no interest in trying to make life better for Afghan civilians, but rather just to kill terrorists!

That is a prescription for endless, constant war, and bitterness, and continued growth of terrorism for decades on end!

The Taliban control an estimated 35-60 percent of the nation, and opium production in the major province that produces the drug is 80 percent under their control.

The Afghan mentality is that you kill their relatives, for generations after, the goal will be revenge, so a war is unwinnable.

And Trump seems to be stirring up trouble with neighbor Pakistan, a Muslim nation with nuclear weapons, with his hostile rhetoric.

It seems as if Trump has decided to be a warmonger–continuing in Afghanistan, while fighting ISIL (ISIS), and stirring up China with threats of trade wars, while trying to deal with North Korea, without starting a new Korean War or using nuclear weapons on Kim Jong Un; and threatening to break the Iranian nuclear agreement; and also suggesting action in Venezuela; as well as trying to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, Syria, and Iraq.

All that Trump seems to be able to do is make money all of the time, while promoting American imperialism overseas, insuring engagement in more wars, and spending taxpayer money to glorify himself as a “tough guy” in international affairs, while avoiding diplomacy, and cutting the State Department budget by up to 40 percent, including NOT having many ambassadorial positions filled or even nominated after seven months in office!

Trump is a true proponent of unregulated capitalism and American militarism, precisely what has led to so much turmoil and suffering caused by the top few percent of the population who worship Wall Street and the Pentagon as the answer to all problems in America.

Meanwhile, the white and minority working class become the cannon fodder for Trump’s egotism and narcissism, as he continues to divide America, and has no concern about the tremendous damage he is causing, creating an atmosphere of civil anger and disrespect that has split America like no time since the 1960s, and in many ways, worse than that decade 50 years ago!

Six Months Of Donald Trump: Neil Gorsuch, And Nothing Else Of Substance Other Than Executive Orders That Repeal Much Of 20th Century

It has been six months since Donald Trump took the oath of office, and what does he have to show for it?

Well, there is Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, approved by smallest margin since Clarence Thomas in 1991, and with changed rules, with the filibuster no longer applicable. Gorsuch would never have been approved if the filibuster still existed for Supreme Court nominees.

Other than that, nothing of substance, with the exception of a host of executive orders designed to destroy the Obama legacy and cut regulations dramatically in all areas of government, having a devastating effect on the progress made under Republican and Democratic Presidents going back to Theodore Roosevelt at the turn of the 20th century.

But no legislation has been passed, NONE!

Trump has been much better at dividing the nation, keeping his public opinion ratings under 40 percent, an all time low in the 70 plus years of Presidential ratings.

The promises have not been kept, as with the Mexico Wall, ending ObamaCare, Tax Reform, and Infrastructure Investment.

Trump has undermined environmental protections,

stripped labor protections,

made for high levels of stress for multiple millions on health care,

promoted high levels of corruption openly,

lied five times a day,

created a commission to investigate voter fraud that does not exist,

undermined respect for the law and the intelligence agencies and freedom of the press,

made wild and unsubstantiated accusations against Barack Obama,

created tension with our NATO allies,

been limited in his Muslim ban by the courts although winning a partial victory temporarily,

been far too friendly with Russia and Vladimir Putin,

failed to fill thousands of essential positions in the federal government and caused many bureaucrats to resign,

supported authoritarian dictatorships in many nations openly,

undermined our energy future by falsely claiming that coal has a long term future,

and promoted wealthy special interests on Wall Street despite his claims the would “clean the Swamp”.

His cabinet and other appointments are the absolute worst, most atrocious of any President, and the mean spirited, nasty nature of Trump and his cohorts has caused a loss of faith in the American future.

And all this and more, without, so far, any major international crisis, but with it lurking on the horizon, and the thought of how Trump will handle it when the crisis arises, is literally horrifying, and sure to cause loss of American lives!

When Will Trump Supporters Finally Abandon Their “Hero”? When They Are Personally Affected By Trump And GOP Policies!

As we reach the six month mark of the Trump Presidency, we see Trump’s public opinion ratings between 36 and 40 percent, depending on the poll, and mid to high 50s diaapproval.

And yet, the one third of Americans who still support Trump seem unwilling to abandon their “hero”, even though he is doing great damage to the Presidency, and to domestic and foreign policy.

Thankfully, there is no major crisis that has arisen so far, although there are problems, such as North Korea in particular, which could erupt at any time.

But Trump has not had to deal with an economic collapse, as Barack Obama inherited from George W. Bush; or a terrorist attack such as George W. Bush had with September 11 in the first year; or any other major crisis such as John F. Kennedy and the building of the Berlin Wall in his first year.

Of course, the first year is only half over, and one can expect that there will be a crisis that will test Donald Trump sometime soon, a totally terrifying thought.

But the question remains, and to when will Trump supporters finally turn against Donald Trump?

One has to believe only when they are personally affected by Trump and Republican policies, such as the knocking of millions off ObamaCare and Medicaid, with no alternative, will they react.

Many people seem not to be noticing either how Trump is out to fill the government with Wall Street types, the so called “swamp” he said he would drain, but is not doing, and maybe there will eventually be a reaction to that.

The arrogance of the Trump family may also, finally, change people’s minds, as with the Donald Trump Jr and Jared Kushner Russian connection scandal revealed in recent days.

One would like to believe that when Trump supporters realize what a crooked and uncaring man Donald Trump is, and how it affects them personally, that they will rise in outrage, but then again, who knows?

There is the possibility that the Trump voters will never realize how they have been exploited, a sad sign of the lack of knowledge and understanding of what American government is supposed to be all about.

If so, the “experiment” in American democracy may be in trouble, and we may be seeing millions of clueless voters willing to accept authoritarianism as normal!

From 9-11 To 11-9: One American Tragedy To Another!

The 21st century began with the horrific attack on September 11, 2001 on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing nearly 3.000 civilians of many nations.

It ushered in a 15 year period of turmoil, division, and tremendous spending to fight terrorism and wage two unwinnable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It has led to persecution of Muslims in America, and promotion of nativism, racism, and antisemitism.

It has caused the two major political parties to fight each other in a way that prevents any cooperation on just about anything.

And then, in the midst of all this chaos and anxiety, along came a charlatan, a rookie in politics, a crooked businessman, a narcissist to the extreme, who was able to convince working class white males that he was their “Superman”, and would end terrorism, crime, and fight Wall Street, all fabrications.

So from the 9-11 tragedy, we went to 11-9, November 9, 2016, the declared victory of Donald Trump, who has caused more division and hatred than anyone in the past 15 years.

And he won due to the quirks of the Electoral College, having only one serious opponent who won electoral votes, but only winning 46 percent of all votes cast.

And November 9 is also the day in 1938 when we had Kristallnacht, the “Night of the Broken Glass”, when thousands of Jews became victims of a pogrom, as businesses and synagogues went up in flames and ushered in the beginning of the Holocaust in Nazi Germany, which killed six million Jews by 1945.

With the rise of white supremacy, and characters such as Richard Spencer and David Duke backing Donald Trump’s attacks on Mexicans. Muslims, and all immigration under attack, one can sense that we might be moving toward Fascism, with only the scandals around Donald Trump giving us the hope that his agenda may be stalled and prevented permanently.

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?

Trump Cabinet Appointments And Other Top Advisers Mostly A “Basket Of Deplorables”! An Outrage To Presidential Cabinet History!

Donald Trump is nearing the end of his search for Cabinet appointments and other top advisers, and sadly, the group is mostly a “Basket of Deplorables”, an outrage to Presidential Cabinet history!

The problem is that some skeptical Republicans and the entire Democratic Party in the US Senate have limited ability to prevent or hold up more than a few of this disgraceful group.

The list of people Trump is offering us includes people too close to Russia; people who are billionaires and deeply engaged in the corporate culture; people who are totally inexperienced and unqualified to hold the positions they are being offered; people who are retired generals who have not been retired long enough from the military, so must have legislation passed to allow them to serve, undermining the idea of civilian control; and people who are simply outrageous in their views on the environment, education, health care, labor rights, and foreign policy.

It is hard to find anyone who one can be content with as a choice, and it seems as if Donald Trump is determined to select the kind of people which seem assured to wish to destroy not only the Barack Obama legacy, the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson, but also to promote the interests of major corporations such as in the oil industry and Wall Street at the expense of workers, consumers, and the middle class and the poor, while also stirring up animosity toward China, Iran, and North Atlantic Treaty allies, while strangely becoming cozy with Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

We are on the road to a massive constitutional crisis that may surpass Richard Nixon and Watergate, and Donald Trump seems very willing and able to create one crisis after another, as he lurches toward Fascist type government, and declares war on the news media and civil liberties and civil rights. He is already alarming many members of the Republican Party, which he feels no loyalty to, and to think that we are seeing John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, Ben Sasse, and Floyd Flake as already alarmed about his controversial statements and actions, and he is not yet inaugurated as President, but already is stirring a tempest, is a sign of the crisis that is coming after January 20, 2017!

I just published an article on the Trump Cabinet choices on History News Network, and it is posted on the blog on the right side for everyone to read and consider.

Republican Views On Donald Trump

Much of Wall Street is against Donald Trump, and many corporations are refusing to sponsor or support the Republican National Convention.

And many Republicans are either refusing to support Trump or, at least, are refusing to attend the convention, and or speak. Others, however, have supported Trump, and some of them are on the Vice Presidential “short list”. The incomplete list below contains 51 names.

Among them are the following who refuse to endorse Trump: (24)

Illinois Senator Mark Kirk
Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham
2012 Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker
Former New Jersey Governor Christie Todd Whitman
Former Florida Senator Mel Martinez
Former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman
Former Texas Congressman Ron Paul
Former Republican National Chairman Ken Mehlman
Former Oklahoma Congressman J C Watts
Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush
President George H W Bush
President George W Bush
Bush I National Security Adviser Brent Scowcraft
Retired General Colin Powell
Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge (Also Secretary of Homeland Security)
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan
South Carolina Congressman Mark Sanford
Ohio Governor John Kasich
Texas Senator Ted Cruz
Nevada Senator Dean Heller
Utah Senator Mike Lee

Among others who will not attend the convention and or do not plan to speak: (10)

New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte
South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner
Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy
Texas Senator John Cornyn
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley
Utah Congresswoman Mia Love
Florida Senator Marco Rubio
Ohio Senator Rob Portman
Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker

However, others have endorsed Trump, including the following: (17)

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry
Dr. Benjamin Carson
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
Former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul
Florida Senator Marco Rubio
Former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich
Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown
Former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin
Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn
Iowa Senator Joni Ernst
Florida Governor Rick Scott
Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions
Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton
Maine Governor Paul LePage

Republican Party Split Begins Around Presumptive Nominee Donald Trump!

The Republican Party is deteriorating before our eyes, as they face the threat of Donald Trump.

George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham all reject him.

So does Erick Erickson, Bill Kristol, most of the Weekly Standard and National Review conservatives, and most US Senators and Congressmen of the party.

Others such as John McCain and Susan Collins and Kelly Ayotte are steering clear of him, while not repudiating him.

Many Republican Senators running for reelection are in a no win situation, including McCain, Ayotte, Rob Portman, Ron Johnson, Pat Toomey, and Mark Kirk.

Many Wall Street Republicans, and much of the Wall Street Journal group, and even elements of the Fox News Channel crowd, reject Trump’s candidacy.

Neoconservatives in the party are infuriated with Trump’s foreign policy views.

Social conservatives cannot accept Trump’s support of limited abortion rights and LGBT rights, including transgender bathroom issues.

And Speaker of the House Paul Ryan stating his inability to support Trump at this point is totally stunning!

There is a sense of desperation, and the belief we are in the midst of a revolution in the party system!

Major Historic Splits In Democratic Party

The Democratic Party has existed for 188 years, since the election Of Andrew Jackson in 1828.

In that nearly two centuries, there have been major splits and divisions:

In 1860, the party split, and the Northern Democrats. the official party, nominated Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas for President, while Vice President John C. Breckinridge was the nominee of Southern Democrats.

In 1896,  the “Gold Democrats” refused to back the party nominee, the  “silver tongued orator”, thirty six year old William Jennings Bryan, who promoted “free silver”, and drew support from the rural states in the Midwest and Great Plains and Mountain West, and kept the South loyal to the party.

In 1948, Southern Democrats broke from the convention that nominated Harry Truman for a full term, and ran South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond as the States Rights (Dixiecrats) candidate.

In 1968, Alabama Governor George C. Wallace formed the American Independent Party, and ran against Democratic nominee Hubert Humphrey.

Notice that it was the South that caused three of the four splits, with the result being Douglas and Humphrey losing because of the split, while Truman won despite Thurmond’s opposition.

The other time, it was the rural West that revolved against the “Eastern Establishment”, represented by Wall Street, but Bryan, nominated three times for President, was unable to win the Presidency, although he helped to shape the Progressive Era with some of his reform ideas.

 

The Young (Under 45) Challenge To “Baby Boomers” Control Over Politics! Is It For Real?

If one goes by public opinion polls and turnout at rallies, the “young”, defined as those under 45, born after 1970, are rebelling against the “establishment”, the “Baby Boomers” in this upcoming Presidential Election of 2016.

They seem to want a complete  overhaul of government, and many of them are gravitating, ironically, to the OLDEST Presidential candidate of all, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a democratic Socialist, who has been in office for 25 years in Congress, plus eight years as Mayor of Burlington!

One would think that Sanders was an “outsider”, but he has been in government positions for more years than anyone else running, including John Kasich and Hillary Clinton!

But he is seen as a dramatic change because of his attacks on Wall Street, and his non-interventionist foreign policy, including his votes against the Persian Gulf War and Iraq War.

But the question arises whether one can be sure that the young, particularly those under 29, and even more, those who are teenagers or early 20s, can be relied on to show up in the primaries and caucuses, and actually vote in November for the change they say they want.

Many observers are skeptical, and wonder if the youngest “new” voters really even understand politics, foreign policy, and major complicated issues, or are just “along for the ride”, the excitement of being involved now, but losing interest as the months go by.

We shall see just how the young among us will transform American politics, and if it leads, somehow, to the election of a democratic Socialist President, it will be historic, even more so, than the election of the first African American President!