Trump Starts Run, and So Many Troublesome Issues


Trump on White House web.

Trump on White House web.

The Trump Presidency has started, and the ‘troublesome issues’ are multiplying rather than decreasing. Beginning with who had seats on the dais (at least seven Trump donor billionaires)1 and then attended the Capitol luncheon thereafter. Add in an inauguration speech that was almost as divisive as his campaign speeches, and clearly aimed at his base. He then goes to the Liberty Ball and calls his critics “enemies”.

Enemies? Is that a really good start to say effectively that pretty much anyone beyond your ‘base’ is your enemy? Is this supposed to bring the country together, or given his vindictiveness and the fact that he now has the reach of the United States government in his hands, that many will fall in line out of fear?

More troubles are the clear signs that the creation and enforcement of Trump positive world came with the tug of war over the number of people attending the inauguration. It is clear that he must be the biggest, the best, beyond compare. It is also clear that anything he does or proposes is seen as an extension of himself – his hotels, golf courses, steaks, etc. Anyone challenging this is an “enemy”. Trump is vengeful and vindictive and will personally call out those who cross him. So what is likely to happen in the world of smashmouth politics? This is likely to get very ugly very quickly.

We have a right to worry when Trump makes statements like he did to corporate CEOs on Monday:

“We’re going to be cutting regulation massively. We’ have regulation, and it will be just as strong, and just as good, and just as protective of the people, as the regulation we have right now.”

“The problem with regulation right now is that you can’t do anything” I have people who tell me they have more people working on regulations than they have doing product. It’s out of control, I mean it’s gotten out of control.”

“If somebody wants to put up a factory its going to be expedited. You have to go through the process, but its going to be expedited.”

“We think we can cut regulations by 75%, maybe more, but by 75%. ”

“…taxes are going to be cut way down…”

Let’s put this through the reality machine. You cannot cut regulations by 75% (or more) and maintain the protections, and checks that are currently in place. This is doubly true when you promise to expedite major construction.

Now let’s take the argument about major cuts to taxes on corporations. The reality is that regardless of actual tax rate, the effective tax rate of major corporations in the United States is among the lowest in the “advanced” nations, with many corporations paying little or nothing.

The ones who don’t get this sweet deal is actually small business, which similar to the average taxpayer miss out on many of the platinum loopholes of the super rich. But wait! Personal taxes are also supposed to drop – with the largest share of cuts for the top .5% (rich). This is not going to stimulate the economy as those benefiting most from the cuts are already spending, and not enough relief is going to be “trickling down” to help the rest of the population.

Another frightening thing that is happening is the gag order apparently put out across all government departments. All communication with the outside world (department social media, listservs, etc) have been ordered silent. All updates of websites has been stopped. All webinars and other activities are on hold. A ‘rogue’ employee at Badlands National Park put out a series of environmental fact tweets after the gag order had come down from on high. They were taken down. At the EPA, they were ordered to stop all contracts and grants – the heart of how the department works – and frankly will unjob a lot of people.

The video below is an excerpt from The Rachel Maddow Show of 1/24/2017, and discusses the gag order that has gone out to the EPA and a number of other agencies.

trms gag orders report from Rowan Wolf on Vimeo.

This is our government; the research paid for with our dollars. They work for our good (hopefully) and get paid with our tax dollars. To have the President in effect shut down the entire scope of government activity is a affront that frankly, I take personally. It is a theft of our government with the stress on ‘our’. We must push back, or we will have lost our government and much more.

We are dealing with a man who (as far as we know) never volunteered for a public service in his like. As far as we know, he not only has not read the Constitution, he has not even looked at little issues like ‘balance of powers’, or the limits of the Executive Branch, or the power (or lack thereof) of Executive Orders.

Trump is not a king and we cannot let him abide under the idea that he has unlimited power.

There appears to be little kindness in this man, nor much sense of responsibility. He is going after the Dreamers aka DACA registrants – those who were brought to this country as children and who registered for DACA under President Obama. He is also going after Muslim immigrants, but most especially refugees. After claiming that Hillary Clinton and President Obama ‘created’ ISIS, he feels no sense of responsibility for refugees from them.

Just as a reality check, the Vice President is not a prize either and allegedly, follows a dominion theology.2 So there are problems in that direction as well. Dominion theology in the Trump administration is a topic needing discussion, but not one I am covering here.

I could go on and on as the Trump crew is a seemingly bottomless pit of bad news and catastrophic tidbits. As tiresome and heartbreaking as it is, we must call out each piece. Keep close track of what is happening, and take action.

 


Spot the Billionaires Given Special Seats on Donald Trump’s Inaugural Platform:

The Intercept identified seven donors who were seated not far from the dais: Sheldon Adelson, Steve Wynn, Carl Icahn, Harold Hamm, Lew Eisenberg, Woody Johnson and Phil Ruffin.

The list, however, suggests that 17 other individuals listed as donors were given seats on the platform as well:  Hushang Ansary, Roy Bailey, Brian Ballard, Tom Barrack, Joe Craft, Louis DeJoy, Robert Grand, Diane Hendricks, Peter Kalikow, Richard Lefrak, Ed McMullen, Steve Roth, Anthony Scaramucci, Tommy Hicks, Gentry Beach, Ray Washburne, and Ron Weiser.

Dominion Theology is a contemporary grouping of theocratic ideologies that seek to institute a nation governed by Christians based on understandings of biblical law. (Wikipedia)

Comments

  1. Jessie Harban says

    At what point does failure to act become complicity?

    There were half a million people marching in DC on his coronation day— if we can get half a million people to march in “protest” of his rule, we can get half a million people to march a little farther and physically remove him— half a million is too many to stop without creating a Tiananmen-type situation that they’d be ill-prepared to conceal or manage the fallout of.

    If we wait four years, most of the damage will already be done— and there’s no guarantee we’d be able to vote him out at all. The Democrats do have a not so proud tradition of letting disastrous Republicans win second terms by nominating unelectable right-wing hacks to oppose them. Even if we do oust him in 2020, recent history suggests that his Democratic successor will give him complete amnesty for his crimes, continue 95% of his policies, and transition most of what Trump did from “evil Republican excess” to “new bipartisan norm” with maybe a few crumbs thrown to the left just to establish their “lesser evil” cred.

    Even people like Elizabeth Warren are apparently ready to capitulate to Trump so I don’t think we can expect the Democrats to help here.

  2. cobsweb says

    I agree that there is a normalization push that is dangerous, but that time alone will accomplish it. I am not sure, under our system, how a person can be involuntarily removed other than impeachment. One would think that “fitness” is likely to come up at some point. Unfortunately, if that did happen, Pence would step in and that is an additional set of problems.

    Personally, I would think that the intervention of both Russia and Israel would require some action, but I don’t know what.

    There are some real esoteric aspects of the Constitution, but they seemed to have thought of a lot of problems.

  3. sonofrojblake says

    we can get half a million people to march a little farther and physically remove him

    Alive, he’s the President. There’s not really any argument about that. So you’re advocating assassination.

    half a million is too many to stop without creating a Tiananmen-type situation that they’d be ill-prepared to conceal or manage the fallout of

    True. Except, you’re advocating gathering together a group of Leftists who have the courage to physically confront the Secret Service with the immediate and realistic risk of death. I’ll be surprised if you can get half a million. I’ll be surprised if you can get half a dozen. And when you do they’ll be characterised, with some justification, as terrorists. Good luck.

    there’s no guarantee we’d be able to vote him out at all

    Pesky democracy, giving the wrong answer.

    The Democrats do have a not so proud tradition of letting disastrous Republicans win second terms by nominating unelectable right-wing hacks to oppose them

    That’s more or less how you let this disastrous Republican win his first term.

    recent history suggests that his Democratic successor will give him complete amnesty for his crimes, continue 95% of his policies… I don’t think we can expect the Democrats to help here.

    Wow. You’ve already given up on whoever the Democrats put up in 2024 – that is some weapons-grade nihilism right there.

  4. cobsweb says

    There is a BIG jump from what Jessie Harban said to assassination, and that is a word you don’t just throw around unless you are making an outright effort to throw flags on a site or author or organization. That IS treason after all. Jessie was asking about LEGAL ways to remove a president – at least that is what I saw in the comment.

  5. sonofrojblake says

    What other interpretation of “physically remove him” do you have?

    You can physically remove someone from an office, by simply picking them up and carrying them outside. But if you were by some miracle able to get a small cadre of special ops into the White House, restrain the President, pick up him up and physically remove him from the Oval Office, the bad news is he’d still be President.

    You can’t physically remove someone from office except by doing something physical to them which means they no longer occupy that elected position… and that’s a pretty short list of physical actions. I’m honestly interested to know what you think would work.

  6. cobsweb says

    Well, it is pretty pointless for me to keep trying to explain something that I did not say, but I presume exactly what was said. My interpretation? “Pluck him from his office and take him elsewhere”. When you play ‘capture the flag’ you don’t burn, or otherwise destroy the flag. But then perhaps I am too literal.

    That is an expression of the will of the people. Would it work? Not my comment. Personally, I would encourage pushing for removing him from office on the grounds of fitness. I mean he has almost destroyed relations with one of our closest neighbors because Mexico’s President would not kiss the ring and pay for ‘the wall.’ Gads! and he did the ‘negotiation’ on twitter. Wow. That is hugely professional – forget presidential.

    Back to the point. As I said, not my comment. Jesse can argue for her or himself, or not, but I am not a mind reader.

  7. Jessie Harban says

    @2, cobsweb:

    I agree that there is a normalization push that is dangerous, but that time alone will accomplish it. I am not sure, under our system, how a person can be involuntarily removed other than impeachment. One would think that “fitness” is likely to come up at some point. Unfortunately, if that did happen, Pence would step in and that is an additional set of problems.

    Within the limitations of “involuntary” and “under our system,” the only options are impeachment or being declared unfit, neither of which are realistic. However, there’s no reason to accept those limitations.

    Nixon’s departure was technically a “voluntary” resignation, even if it was under threat of impeachment.

    Meanwhile, “under our system” is increasingly tenuous since everything Trump does violates or breaks it. The practical fact is that a dictator can’t rule when a sufficient number of people oppose him; being functionally ousted by a critical number of people considering him illegitimate may not be a removal “under our system” but if he’s already broken the system, that’s hardly a complaint.

    Hence the idea to physically remove him from the White House— if a sufficient number of people oppose him that we can do such a thing, then he’s been functionally ousted; at the end of the day, you’re President because the country treats you as President, not because 538 people voted to make you President. The actual act of removal is symbolic— though it will likely serve to convince him to “voluntarily” resign as per Nixon and make it easier to reestablish a legitimate government with a minimum of chaos.

    @3, 7, sonofrojblake:

    Alive, he’s the President. There’s not really any argument about that.

    You can’t just declare yourself correct; that’s what the argument is about.

    It’s entirely reasonable to argue he isn’t even President now; the idea that he’ll still be President if a million people gather in DC to remove him is simply begging the question.

    So you’re advocating assassination.

    Hopefully it won’t come to that. I’m not a big fan of the death penalty; while Trump and his cohorts will likely deserve lengthy prison terms I don’t think we should actually kill any of them. Although if any time travelers show up to kill Trump, I think maybe we should let them.

    I’ll be surprised if you can get half a million. I’ll be surprised if you can get half a dozen.

    We got half a million marching in DC before Trump started any genocides. I have a little more hope for Americans than that.

    And when you do they’ll be characterised, with some justification, as terrorists.

    They already have, according to laws introduced in a number of states.

    You can physically remove someone from an office, by simply picking them up and carrying them outside. But if you were by some miracle able to get a small cadre of special ops into the White House, restrain the President, pick up him up and physically remove him from the Oval Office, the bad news is he’d still be President.

    “Special ops?” I’m not sure what kind of movie plot you’re imagining here, but this isn’t some clandestine military whatever.

    Contrary to what you’re implying, the presidency is a social construct— Trump is only President to the extent that society believes he is president and acts on that belief. If America as a whole – or at least, say, the 90% of Americans who didn’t support Trump on election day – all agreed that Trump wasn’t President and refused to give any credence to his dictates, then he would cease to be President regardless of what any law or document says.

    Even if fewer than 90% of Americans acknowledged his illegitimacy, there’s still a critical point at which he simply wouldn’t be able to govern— and if a million people were ready and willing to gather in DC to physically remove him from the White House where he is trespassing, then the critical point is almost certainly passed.

  8. Jessie Harban says

    @3, sonofrojblake:

    Pesky democracy, giving the wrong answer.

    Except it’s not democracy. You can’t force people to choose between a fascist and a fascist-appeaser and then use their choice as proof that fascism is simply what the people want and chose.

    That’s more or less how you let this disastrous Republican win his first term.

    Strictly speaking, he didn’t actually win the first term, but otherwise close enough.

    Wow. You’ve already given up on whoever the Democrats put up in 2024 – that is some weapons-grade nihilism right there.

    How many times does someone need to punch you before you figure you should duck when you see their fist move back?

    Since Reagan, every Democratic president has continued or exacerbated the policies of all immediately-preceeding Republicans— and at least four out of five failed Democratic nominees ran on a promise of doing exactly that (which could well explain why they failed). In 2016, the Democratic Party eagerly attacked liberals in primaries all over the country, and now every single elected Democrat is happily capitulating to Trump. And even now, many people on the left are disturbingly willing to overlook Democratic complicity in various atrocities so there’s at most minimal effort to break the Democratic Party’s disturbing slide into fascism. Why would you assume they’ll be much better in 8 years without any evidence?

  9. sonofrojblake says

    at the end of the day, you’re President because the country treats you as President

    Ah, no. At the end of the day, you’re President because the Secret Service, the Army, Marines, Border Control, Homeland Security and police do what you tell them. The rest of the country, particularly the ones without guns, don’t really have much to say about it.

    It’s entirely reasonable to argue he isn’t even President now;

    I have no idea how to address that argument without sounding patronising or condescending. He was duly elected. He has been inaugurated. He is exercising the power of the President from the office of the President. Present an argument that he’s not, in fact, the President.

    We got half a million marching in DC before Trump started any genocides

    Whoopy doo. We got two million marching in London before Blair started any genocides (from a country with approximately one sixth the population). Made precisely fuck all difference.

    the 90% of Americans who didn’t support Trump on election day

    So your position is that every single man, woman and child who didn’t actually vote Trump, didn’t support him? No, hang on, do the maths – your position is that every single person who didn’t vote Trump and half the people who did didn’t support him? How do you know this?

    if a million people were ready and willing to gather in DC to physically remove him from the White House where he is trespassing, then the critical point is almost certainly passed

    As I say – that would rather depend on how many of those million people would keep walking towards the White House when a loaded, cocked gun is being pointed at their face by a man who doesn’t agree with them and whose job is to protect the President. I’d bet folding money the number who would keep moving forward would be quite small, and would be smaller still when the shirts of the second row were covered with the brains of the people in the first row. The President is protected from this sort of nonsense by serious, humourless, professional people with guns and numbers and the willingness and more importantly the legal authorisation to use them. I’m touched by your faith in the humanity of the Secret Service, I really am, but I can tell you in your position, I wouldn’t bet my life on it. And like I said – I don’t think you’d find many people who would be willing to either. You’re essentially asking people to bet their life that the President’s security detail would be susceptible to an attack of conscience in the face of an impassioned protest from the people. Now who’s writing a movie plot?

    Strictly speaking, he didn’t actually win the first term

    Strictly speaking, he did. That’s why he’s President. That’s what “winning” means. It means that, according to the rules – which are related to, but not directly dependent on the popular vote – he won. Bellyaching about it and claiming he didn’t win just sounds silly, especially when his opposition had an opportunity in the past to change those rules to make it so the popular vote was what mattered, and she blew it.

  10. Jessie Harban says

    Ah, no. At the end of the day, you’re President because the Secret Service, the Army, Marines, Border Control, Homeland Security and police do what you tell them.

    And you are, perhaps, under the impression that they aren’t human? Or perhaps not American?

    I have no idea how to address that argument without sounding patronising or condescending. He was duly elected.

    Except he wasn’t duly elected, a fact that you are determined to ignore.

    He is exercising the power of the President from the office of the President.

    Actually, he’s been exercising considerably more power than the presidency allows.

    Present an argument that he’s not, in fact, the President.

    He was never elected, and he is acting in violation of the Constitution and violating basic human rights of a great many people.

    So your position is that every single man, woman and child who didn’t actually vote Trump, didn’t support him? No, hang on, do the maths – your position is that every single person who didn’t vote Trump and half the people who did didn’t support him? How do you know this?

    Approximately half of the electorate didn’t (or couldn’t) vote. Unless you want to make the claim that a substantial chunk of the people who didn’t (or couldn’t) vote are Trump fans, that puts his maximum support at just over 50%.

    Of the half who did, slightly less than half voted for Trump. Unless you want to make the flagrantly asinine claim that people who voted against Trump are Trump supporters, that puts his maximum support at about 25%.

    Of the 25% who did vote for Trump, exit polls say a substantial majority of them hated Trump; they picked him only because he was the lesser evil compared to Clinton (or so they thought). The vast outpouring of Trumpgrets corroborates the claim that a clear majority of Trump voters are not Trump supporters. That puts his support at around 10% of the electorate in total, as of election day.

    As I say – that would rather depend on how many of those million people would keep walking towards the White House when a loaded, cocked gun is being pointed at their face by a man who doesn’t agree with them and whose job is to protect the President. I’d bet folding money the number who would keep moving forward would be quite small, and would be smaller still when the shirts of the second row were covered with the brains of the people in the first row.

    If you think they’d be willing to murder unarmed American civilians en masse despite the considerable risk of arrest and imprisonment, you’ll need to actually offer some evidence for that.

    Mind you, there’s no shortage of examples where people risked death in large numbers to protest tyranny— I doubt people in London ever did, but try looking at some of those “colonies” Britain used to have. And they had no assurances that the people defending their oppressors would ever see the inside of a cell.

    You’re essentially asking people to bet their life that the President’s security detail would be susceptible to an attack of conscience

    The only way Trump can ever be removed from office is if his security detail has an “attack of conscience” and lets the challenger(s) in.

    Strictly speaking, he did. That’s why he’s President. That’s what “winning” means.

    Clinton received 65,844,610 votes.
    Trump received 62,979,636 votes.

    You’re supposedly good at math(s). Which number is larger?

    It means that, according to the rules – which are related to, but not directly dependent on the popular vote – he won. Bellyaching about it and claiming he didn’t win just sounds silly, especially when his opposition had an opportunity in the past to change those rules to make it so the popular vote was what mattered, and she blew it.

    Talk about tone deaf.

    Why don’t you explain to some Holocaust survivors that it’s silly to bellyache about how it was an “atrocity” because it was perfectly legal under the rules in effect at the time, and besides Hindenburg had the chance to prevent it but he blew it.

  11. sonofrojblake says

    you are, perhaps, under the impression that they aren’t human? Or perhaps not American?

    They’re both. Explain how either of those attributes might prevent them from firing bullets at terrorists.

    he wasn’t duly elected, a fact that you are determined to ignore

    That’s one of those “alternative facts” I keep hearing about. You can assert it all you like, it doesn’t make it true.

    He was never elected…

    Oop, there you go again.

    he is acting in violation of the Constitution and violating basic human rights of a great many people.

    In case you weren’t paying attention, Obama did that. Bush did that. It’s practically the job description of American Presidents going back to… well, the first one.

    Now on to the dreary maths.

    YOU asserted, in post 9, that, quote: “90% of Americans […] didn’t support Trump on election day”. That’s our starting point.

    Now:
    “Approximately half of the electorate didn’t (or couldn’t) vote. Unless you want to make the claim that a substantial chunk of the people who didn’t (or couldn’t) vote are Trump fans, that puts his maximum support at just over 50%.”

    Implicitly here you are claiming that NONE of the 50% who didn’t vote are Trump fans. Not one. You’ve no evidence (obviously), you just assert it. Nice move. He doesn’t get to claim ANY of them, you get to claim ALL of them. No hypocrisy there.

    Of the 25% who did vote for Trump, exit polls say a substantial majority of them hated Trump

    Hahahahahahahaha. Priceless.

    First of all – you’re talking about the same pollsters who called the election for Hillary in July. Of 2015. And continued to do so until AFTER many of the results had been declared. Do please excuse me if I regard pollsters pronouncements with the same degree of credibility I have for homeopaths, astrologers and crystal healing practitioners. Seriously, THOSE are the people you’re turning to for support? You are desperate.

    Even more desperate is the idea you’re floating that someone doesn’t count as a Trump supporter if they VOTED FOR HIM. Sure, and I’m a non-violent progressive vegetarian. Ignore that bacon sandwich I’m eating and the black person I just shot, I hate bacon and she looked at me funny.

    Your problem with this frankly ridiculous argument is that there is a very well established method for deciding how much support people have and who gets to be President. The rules are clearly laid out and neither of the candidates objected to them at any time before or during the election. One even had an historic opportunity to change the rules, and didn’t take it. It’s something called an “election“, and you had one, and Trump won.

    All that other stuff you’re burbling about? It’s irrelevant. I have no time or sympathy for anyone who voted Trump and now regrets it. Fuck those people. A vote for Trump SUPPORTED HIM. I refuse to believe that anyone bright enough to find a polling station and cast a vote is too stupid to understand that, and shame on you for implying it.

    Trump was actively voted for by 19.7% of the population, Clinton by 20.6%. Thus, the ONLY thing you can say with any authority and credibility is that 20.6% of the country didn’t support Trump.
    The 60% who didn’t vote break down into:
    Trump supporters – I’m told they’re not that bright, so really quite a lot of them might not have known how to vote.
    Clinton supporters – I’m told they’re a bunch of smug arrogant gits, so it’s quite credible they didn’t vote because they simply didn’t think it was worth the bother as there was no way that man could win
    Don’t knows – people who wanted to vote but honestly didn’t know which one to go for. Given the polarising nature of the candidates, each one of these probably owns a unicorn.
    Hate and are disgusted by both – I could quite easily imagine there being tens of millions of those.
    Don’t cares – rich people, unaffected by who’s in, and those lucky people who have the option of going living somewhere civilised when the wheels come off.
    Too young – quite a lot of kids. I’ll bet most would have voted for Trump. He’s funnier, and it would annoy their parents.

    And yet you’re claiming EVERY SINGLE ONE of those people for Clinton, because something something reasons.

    If you think they’d be willing to murder unarmed American civilians en masse despite the considerable risk of arrest and imprisonment, you’ll need to actually offer some evidence for that.

    Two words: Kent State.

    there’s no shortage of examples where people risked death in large numbers to protest tyranny— I doubt people in London ever did

    Two words: Cable Street. Oh, and six more words: fuck you, you ignorant Yank moron.

    Which number is larger?

    Trump won 304 electoral college votes.
    Clinton won 232.

    Which number is larger?

  12. cobsweb says

    Argue – fine.
    Pontificate – fine.
    Name call and disparage those you are “dialoging” with – totally unacceptable. Kind of moves us out of the realm of even a casual attempt at civil conversation.

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