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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Trump Dumps Decorum and Established Presidential Procedures--AGAIN

So, what's wrong with reaching out to another nation's leader?
Evidently, everything: Not yet in power, Trump jumps the gun
and gives Taiwan's president a friendly little buzz, quite ignoring
the "one China" U.S. policy dating back to 1979, a concept
made possible after President Nixon's historic visit to China
in 1972. (I still have mixed emotions about that one.)

China has formally protested to still-President Obama and
other officials here, stating the incoming president is jeopardizing
relations between the two world giants. Stomping into
power in a tone-deaf, ham-handed manner will not assist
our country on the world stage; it matters, despite all the
bluster of  Trump, his supporters, swaggering ignoramuses,
alt-right aficionados and practitioners among the elected.

China vs. Taiwan gaffes aside for the moment, mistakes
mount up every day for the DON; if knowledge is power,
ignorance and intransigence ruin effective efforts by the
powerful. DT's cabinet appointments, from Defense to
Health and Human Services, are the stuff of the revanchist
delusional. It seems that the USA is blasting back to a
more unenlightened past, say the late 1940s though the
1950s...a deadly error, as this is not a few years after
the U.S. "made the world safe for democracy".  We
no longer bask in the glow of winning WWII--not after
71 years.

I have previously written my opinion of the Donald
as a trashy, super rich blunderer despite his billions
(--Three or ten? He still has not released his IRS
income reporting/tax returns. Hiding his financial
situation smells, period.). He may be shouting less;
he may seem somewhat conciliatory, i.e., sane;
he may even have a good idea or two; but he is still
the same man who said all the things many of us
cannot forget, misogynistic, racist and irrational
things--accompanied by his psychotic-seeming
facial expressions.

The Don dumps decorum and gravitas at every
turn, embarrassing every intelligent American adult.
...Safe and Happy Holidays? Not on your tintype,
apparently.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Trump's Happy Holidays for the Rich: Oligarchies Still Popular on Wall Street

Shortly after Trump's "unexpected" win, the financial futures
markets took a steep dive, but then quickly recovered, rallying to
new heights. We are now in historic ~1900 DJIA points territory.
There are absolutely no surprises here, dating back as far as you
like, to even before the Dutch East India Company and other
"greed is good"  groups/corporations/combines.

I wonder how Wall Streeters hold their heads up so proudly
amid their many scandals, seldom escaping from a decade
without a major one; no embarrassment engages them in
any will to change, reform. Probably, they shrewdly note that,
given time, everything blows over for most Americans...but not
for me. Ivan Boesky,  Michael Milken, the Savings and Loan
debacle, dot com crisis, Enron, Bernie Madoff--they all are major
malfeasance felons  fresh in my mind. Wall Street employees
and major brokers are unconcerned with what their policies
and sales strategies do to the average investor, to say little
regarding the macroeconomic implications; their main focus
is on them and theirs, comfort and luxury, bragging rights
(--Welcome to my home! Would you like to take the tour?)
--Ugh. Don't selecting the finer wines, food and decor
ever get old?

Trump's Happy Holidays' better behavior may emanate from
advisors' wake up calls, or simply ensuring his election is
not overturned on December 19th, 2016, when the Electoral
College actually delivers its votes: few "faithless electors"
are predicted to cast a change to Clinton. Maybe the Don
suddenly recalled many other nations possess the atomic
and hydrogen bombs, so treading a bit more rationally on
the domestic and international stage, after all the bullying
bluster, seems sane--after all.

Both Roosevelt presidents are spinning in their graves
right about now, for some of the same reasons as well
as different ones. Oligarchy's dark, devious practices
were not approved economic policy by either TR or FDR,
despite the family wealth...

But let's lift  a glass of Cranberry Juice to anyone who
will keep fighting for reasonable, just reforms and
accountability. Lift another one with a toast wishing
Oligarchy a short season as we stumble into 2017.

--Stay alert, y'all!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Tough Reality Check for The Don's Pledge of Better Heartland Jobs

...and wages, according to Reuters, "Politics",
November 10th, 2016.  I strongly urge one and
all to read this article; its bottom line concludes
that even if Mr. Trump had the ability to change
the trade deals he claims Clinton devised to ruin
America, any improvements "would be at the
margins", would be slight. Several economists
are quoted in the piece, reminding people that
~40 years of automation, technology and
offshoring manufacturing jobs won't disappear;
it's almost impossible to "shift the needle", "...
"to turn back the clock."

Here are a few hard-hitting questions for the Don
and crew, assuming they are actually serious about
effecting such a massive blast to the past:

(1) Where will the money come from to build the
factories required to give the blue collar workers
jobs they used to have? Will the Don tax the
Koch Brothers, et al.?

(2)  These purported products created here at home--
who will be buying them? --Only Americans? What
about trade and debt imbalances?

(3)  Can the U.S. become totally self-sufficient,
insular, thumbing its collective nose at the rest
of the world?

(4)  If the USA could become completely
self-sufficient, as it was well over 100 years
ago, what would the implications be for
international relations (i.e., defense)?

(5)  Has Mr. Trump made any provision to
combat other nation's invading us via hack?
In view of China, Russia and others hacking
our web, the disabling of  our infrastructure
and utilities are real possibilities. For those
who read and view documentaries, such
threats are all too real and potentially
immediate.

I'll continue to lob hard balls at the media,
the politicians, the addled, uncaring rich and
the desperate/deluded poor, as Albert Einstein
advised: "Never stop asking questions."

--Questions, the best reality check. Let's polish
them up and put them to the elite and the elected
...but the rest of us must review and reflect
as well.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Trump Troops Us Closer to Disaster: the "Win" is a Loss

November 9th, 2016, 2 a.m. Chicago time:

Yes, as I feared for months, back to Summer, 2015, well
before Trump won the Republican Party's nomination, the rabble,
roused, rising, now reigns. The disaffected, the low-class,
uneducated/educated  white males plus their odd minority and
female fellow travelers, they have all won.

So what exactly is the nature of this win? Destabilization has
already reared its ugly head; the financial futures market has
dropped sharply just two hours ago. World leaders who
previously asked our diplomats "Is Trump crazy?" will
now find out.

                    Errors Revealed and Reviled:

(1) Trump's knowledge of our global village only
exists in the arena of luxury hotels and golf courses.

(2) The new president thinks he can return the planet
to pre-President Clinton days, before NAFTA, before
DA-ESH (ISIL), before Brexit, Syria, et al.

(3) Watch for a wave of extreme Executive Orders
and Presidential Directives issued by our new president
...to say nothing of ones on the books, such as
PD 59, which "legally" allows the U.S. the privilege
of a first nuclear strike.

I am ashamed of everyone who voted for the Donald
and supported him in any way. It is clear now,
inescapable, really, that this is STILL a racist,
insular, sexist, trashy and delusional country, an ever-
accelerating reality here since the Allies won
WWII...a denouement which has brought
us to this travesty of an election.

This Trump win troops us ever closer to disaster,
a downward spiral in a nation not willing to admit
it must relinquish its former "number one" status,
or show the proper respect to the rest of the
planet--which DOES, by the bye, possess
very effective means to retaliate, through
trade, through military realignments and
other international mechanisms.

This world and this country have lost in
the early hours of November 9, 2016.
May God help us, as we were unable
to help ourselves.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Trump's September Survey: No Wriggle Room, Here He Stands

A "Make America Great Again" survey dated September 30th,
2016, graced my mailbox. I've kept it to demonstrate Trump's
positions and opinions, literally delineated  in black and white
which he can't deny or walk back, as he tried to do during the
three debates:

(1) In question 1, the Donald attempts to be all things to all
people, claiming he'll create jobs, boost business, while
castigating Mr. Obama, who handled the Great Recession
(2007-2010) very responsibly. Mr. Trump, with FOUR
bankruptcies, seems scarcely a business model to emulate.

(2) Trump makes promises like traditional conservatives,
pledging to reduce the federal debt and downsize
government.   Naturally, no specifics are offered here,
as usual.

(3) The Donald,  swaggering strongly, states he will take
on China, Russia, ISIS and North Korea-- all by
himself. Again, the plan to accomplish making the USA
great again (number one) is absent.

(4) RE: the Supreme Court: Mr. Trump admires Scalia
and Alito, saying he'll nominate similarly inclined judges
who  enforce, not make, law, quite conveniently
forgetting every SCOTUS  decision DOES "make"
law, one way or another.

(5) Now to our nation's borders: he'll build a Wall,
but in the survey, he omits his impossible demand that
Mexico pay for it. Don didn't get any acquiescence when
he visited Mexico-- the Mexican president, exercising  his
understanding of national sovereignty, said "no", televised
to the world.

(6) He brags that he has earned the approval of the NRA,
reassuring them he'll support their Second Amendment
freedoms. As always, he has no details.

(7) Donald Trump, clearly knowing nothing about the
environment, toxicities to humans, and/or medicine,
promises to weaken the EPA, implying he denies the
reality of Climate Change. Donald, read a book!
You might then learn business and job creation is
possible pursuing environmentally sound policies.

(8) Regarding the ACA ("Obamacare"), Trump
trumpets he can and will  immediately rescind the laws
that made it national policy. Presidential Executive Orders
can only go so far; this is probably a bridge too far, even
for him. Yes, the ACA has its flaws, but now people can
get insurance who were ineligible before, an important
humane accomplishment that Donald ignores, of course.

(9) This item merely asks for donations to the Trump
campaign. Further down, the survey taker is asked
to supply phone numbers and email addresses; there
are privacy issues related to such requests, which I
would never honor.

All nine of the "questions" pillory Ms. Clinton, frequently
positing that she had the authority to make law and/or policy
all by herself either as Senator or Secretary of State or as
the next president, which is just plain wrong; there are 100
U.S. Senators, 435 U.S. House Reps, all of whom possess
a vote. Secretaries of state carry out a president's policy
directives, period. The accompanying pix  are flattering to
Trump (--a difficult task to be sure) while Secretary Clinton's
is one of the worst of her I've ever seen.

Finally, whoever wrote this piece certainly writes in a cogent,
grammatically accurate manner. Trump couldn't have composed
such prose, if  one recalls the few tired, repetitious phrases he
beats to death at every opportunity. We HAVE had presidents
who were capable of distinguishing themselves  with the written
word; President Eisenhower, a moderate Republican, comes to
mind, not ever forgetting another Republican, President Lincoln.

Candidate Trump, here he stands, with no wriggle room, in black
and white on a cardboard flyer. I think I'll hold on to it; someday
soon he'll be called to account, and I'll be ready.


Friday, October 14, 2016

Wells Fargo's CEO Stumpf Steps Down, Platinum Parachute Intact Despite Some Givebacks

--after the scandal about ethics-plagued "sales techniques"
utilized by employees burst over the media world wide.
Mr. Stumpf, haled before the U.S. Congress, shamed and
exposed, could not remain CEO of the nation's largest
mortgage banker, especially after his sales staff fell on their
swords, 5,300 of them summarily fired. Either way, these
hapless workers were doomed, obeying OR disobeying
orders to carry out the massive illegal scheme.

The disgraced CEO walks away with ~130 million big
ones, reported by money.cnn.com. He can presumably
avoid the nation's righteous indignation/opprobrium by
coloring his hair and flying to another nation, retiring
from American business altogether. Will he?

Platinum parachute at the ready, anything is possible;
problematic indeed, however, is the restoration of his
good name. Only  "objectivist" followers of Laissez Faire
(the Ayn Rand version) can  approve of this man's
method, therefore, him.

The Trumps' Anti-Women War: Ugly Americans are Legion

The latest reveals re: the Trumps and their anti-women
wars plainly show two sad, salient facts:

(1) The Donald Trumps, pe're et fils, do not respect
women; both are on electronic record bragging about
their right to demean, insult, intimidate, objectify and
rate females in the workplace where employees are
trapped. Such toxic behaviors ought to be permitted,
opined several males including DT JR. broadcast over
a recent Buzzfeed "bull session".

(2) Apparently, American men share the Trumps'
misogyny, shown via a very recent poll: men will
vote for Trump overwhelmingly on November 8,
while a majority of  women are voting for Clinton.
--The gender wars continue, down the centuries to
today! (England's Queen Elizabeth I was wise to
remain unmarried, wasn't she, girls? Henry VIII's
daughter, she lived long, prospered, remaining large
and in charge for decades....)

Even with better laws and the "civilizing", tempering
effects of education, far too little has changed. The
Trumps, father and son, are actually to be thanked for
exposing their own contempt for women so openly--
while allowing all to see support for the anti-women
wars is far from minor.

Ugly Americans in 2016: they are legion.