The Daily Dog: Say it Ain’t So Joe!

Yesterday, the moon’s shadow raced across Middle America, aweing millions who gazed skyward at the eclipse. Today, a less-inspiring darkness will descend upon Phoenix, Ariz. as Donald Trump and a few thousand paid actors cum supporters occupy the Phoenix Convention Center. As his approval ratings plummet, and every week is his “worst week ever,” Trump continues to rely on ‘ego rallies’ as the best medicine for his own incompetence.

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A frustrated Trump couldn’t figure out how to grab Mother Nature by the pussy.

Though the 2016 presidential campaign ended nearly ten months ago, Trump is apparently still dazed and confused about losing the popular vote to Hilary Clinton. He typically visits poor, uneducated, and mono-racial strongholds for his post-campaign distraction rallies — places like Huntington, W.V. (median household income of $29,000, 29% with college degrees, and 86% white), Youngstown, Ohio ($24,000, 11%, 47%), and Cedar Rapids, Iowa ($53,000, 30%, 88%). Phoenix shares some of the characteristics of a Trump base, but there is speculation that Trump is going to Arizona for other reasons.

Maricopa County is home to the notorious hardline law enforcement of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio — a vocal Trump supporter who shares Trump’s bigoted policies on immigration and has a plethora of controversial ideas of his own. On July 31, a United States District Judge found Arpaio guilty of criminal contempt for violating another federal court’s order to terminate immigration arrests on suspicion alone. For years, Arpaio’s office pursued racially motivated policies targeting the Phoenix Latino population and often arresting law-abiding U.S. citizens merely for racially motivated immigration profiling.

In her ruling, Judge Susan Bolton said that Arpaio abdicated his responsibility as a law enforcement officer and “announced to the world and to his subordinates that he was going to continue business as usual no matter who said otherwise.” Bolton’s statement confirms for many that Arpaio’s national recognition and self-styled fame stemmed from his abuse of power and a belief that he was above the laws that he enforced.

In the narrow overlap of local and federal interaction, Trump and Arpaio share a similar mission: promote their own popularity by exploiting immigrants to instill public fear and fulfill a personal agenda. They are both sick men. Therefore, it’s no surprise that speculation this week is that Trump may pardon Arpaio before the former sheriff is sentenced in October.

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Joe Arpaio may soon be on the other side of the fence.

Joe Arpaio is the poster-child for what is wrong with America’s criminal justice and law enforcement systems. Abuse of authority grievances against law enforcement and corrections agencies constitute a wide variety of complaints ranging from simple misconduct to brutality. Arpaio has been convicted of criminal contempt, but many of his policies while sheriff carried abusive implications — from his tent city jail to humiliating prisoners by making them wear pink undergarments. Arpaio is a relic of Arizona’s Wild West who had no business in modern corrections because, like many power hungry officers, he did not respect or honor the duty of his badge.

For Trump even to consider pardoning Arpaio sends a significantly negative message to every American in much the same way his wavering on the Charlottesville tragedy became an endorsement of white supremacists and hate groups. If Trump pardons Arpaio, he will be sanctioning the trampling of civil and constitutional rights of every person accused or convicted of a crime. Because of Arpaio’s history of questionable policies, every officer and jailer in the nation will laugh in the face of prisoner complaints.

Unfortunately, Trump is both too obtuse and too bigoted to grasp the impact of his decisions. The only thing that Trump will appreciate in a potential pardon is the spotlight and applause from his paid fans in Phoenix. He will not understand the disheartening message that a pardon will send to the more than 2.5 million people in jails and prisons in the United States; the more than 10 million children who have a parent behind bars; or the countless other family members and friends who worry that their loved ones will be treated humanely.

For Trump, decisions and messages do not create consequences, but only popularity with the hired help in the audience. Joe Arpaio is guilty of a minor misdemeanor for major crimes against the people of Maricopa County and he does not deserve a pardon simply so Donald Trump can listen to a crowd cheer. As Trump stirs hate again in the Arizona desert, he is campaigning in his mind, but the only opponent he is facing is himself. It’s a no-win situation for him and America.

The Daily Dog: Comic Relief

We do not publish a Daily Dog on Saturdays. That means on Friday evening we do not watch the news, check Twitter, or discuss politics. There is no sacred reason for the Saturday reprieve except for one thing — our sanity.

In the past year, we have noticed something that professional therapists have been commenting on, too. Donald Trump stresses us out. The country is more than just divided, it has become awash in a chaotic frenzy of heightened passions and energies. The “Trump Effect” drives both the Resistance and the Red Hats, and it is driving us all mad.

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Don’t you know I’m loco?

If nothing else, Trump’s failures have propelled American politics to a place where it has not been for many decades — on everyone’s over-burdened and burnt-out minds. It is an unfortunate corollary that the effect has not been more positive like when President Barack Obama took office. There are days when we dread having to listen to Trump, think about Trump, and write about Trump. It is as taxing mentally as running a marathon is physically. It leaves us angry, frustrated, confrontational, and despondent.

The entire political process in Washington, D.C. has become so threatening, and dare we say, anti-American, that we end each evening wondering what world we will wake up to the next day. Our anxiety levels have skyrocketed and our worries for our families, our children, and our livelihoods and safety consume us. Trump is America’s ulcer and there are not enough Rolaids to spell R-E-L-I-E-F.

For those of us speaking out — severely critical of Trump and meting out our frustrations in well-earned and much-deserved First Amendment jeremiads — there is an ever-growing concern of retaliation. Two months ago, Trump began blocking Twitter users who mocked and derided his lack of ability, policy, and presidential qualities. Some of us wonder what nefarious modern-day SS is tracing IP addresses. Reporters have been assaulted and loyalist minority Red Hats troll Twitter just waiting to pounce on those who speak for the majority.

A day off is good for our health, for our minds, and our creativity.

Not all is bleak in America, however. Trump has provided us with moments of levity — like a late night cup of #covfefe or watching him address Cuban-Americans in “Leetle Hahvahnah!” Let us not forget that late night television has not been so entertaining in…well, eight years. Thank Trump for the comedic injection that has given writers so much fodder to work with. Finally, where would America be without Trump’s model for Alec Baldwin’s true-to-life portrayal of the bumbling and ignorant staple on Saturday Night Live?

Trump has really done what he promised when he began chanting, “MAGA! MAGA!” at a campaign rally eighteen months ago. We have Made America Gauche Again and when the world laughs, we should all laugh with it. Trump has made planet earth a happier place, full of hidden giggles, snarky comments, and much needed comic relief. If laughter is the best medicine, Americans will soon be the healthiest people on the planet. Mitch McConnell may as well can the republican health scare bill.


 

 


From all of the chaos and misery, diamonds in the rough emerge from the oddest places. One such gem that had us decompressing and rolling with laughter was today’s message to Trump from former Mexican President Vicente Fox. Fox has elevated the art of political comedy to a mucho más alto level, and he has toyed with Trump on a regular basis. He is a true toreador when it comes to taunting America’s bullshitter in chief.

A day off from the crazy train is time to relax and return to our humanity. It is what gives us the courage to admit that in the end, it is taxing to always be so hard on Trump. Because, when the world has you down, who really doesn’t love a clown?

The Daily Dog: The Golden State Warrior

California state officials announced a plan Monday to combat rumored health care cuts coming from the nation’s capital. The state will provide $20 million for health care clinics to remain open after the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans finally release the American Covert Healthcare Act. Experts and analysts predict the Obamacare replacement will eliminate or significantly reduce health-care funding and accessibility for millions of Americans.

While the federal plan to cut heath care will affect every state, California is the first to take preparatory action. As Washington politicians toy with funding based on personal principles, and federal aid becomes less reliable, states may incur snowballing fiscal burdens. However, as they bear more responsibility for their citizens, individual states may also seek increasing independence from federal oversight.

California is the most populous state. Its 39 million residents represent slightly more than 10% of the U.S. population. In fiscal year 2014 the federal government spent nearly $356 billion in California and the state paid $369 billion in total federal tax. California is consistently a donor state and one of the five least federally dependent states as ranked by a 2017 WalletHub.com report. Its residents receive $0.99, or more than 20% less than the national average, for every federal tax dollar paid.


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Source: WalletHub

In other words…what does California — and the other four least dependent states of Illinois, New Jersey, Minnesota, and Delaware — need the feds for? (As an aside, the most federally dependent state is Mitch McConnell’s home state of Kentucky, where taking away health care dollars will serious affect his constituents.)

As the federal government provides fewer fiscal incentives and benefits for other less dependent states like Connecticut, Nevada, and New Hampshire, will the states be more reticent to bend to federal rules, regulations, oversight, and control? Already, we see a trend beginning to develop.

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Is the day coming when these two flags will switch places on the pole?

In standing up to the federal government and assuming fiscal responsibility for health care shortfalls, California is also snubbing the Trump administration’s position on Planned Parenthood and abortion. The state will fund the clinics that Washington defunding would otherwise force to close. Though California is first to address the healthcare crisis, other states and jurisdictions have begun breaking the strangleholds of a variety of federal rules.

Washington state and Colorado voters ignored federal law when they pioneered the recreational use of marijuana in 2012. Since then, other states have followed suit, expanding the number of states where cannabis is legal for either medicinal or recreational uses. Even the District of Columbia — the seat of the federal machine — has legalized pot, and Delaware is on the way to being the first state to legalize its use by legislation rather than public referendum.

It must drive Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions mad knowing that, somewhere in their fair kingdom, Capitol aides are going home from work each day and…. The marijuana movement has essentially become one of the leading examples of the rising impotence of the federal government.

Every city that declares itself a sanctuary city, and sanctuary states, too, disregard federal immigration laws. Two months ago, New York City announced an ambitious plan to help thousands of poor immigrants gain citizenship — by waiving or supplementing the federal application fees in direct opposition to the White House. In each instance states and cities are rejecting the Trump administration’s control, instead establishing ethical policies based on higher morality than demonstrated in Washington’s hallowed halls. With a growing number of states setting policy independent of the federal government, it becomes progressively challenging for Washington’s myriad agencies to prosecute and enforce every violation.

Washington, D.C. is losing a grip on the country, which may explain why the current administration and congress are trying so desperately to hold on with an iron fist. As the country sees power ebb from Capitol Hill, maybe Donald Trump’s miserable failure as president will be a fascinating and rewarding irony. Decentralized power may eventually make the republic great again, state by individual state and starting with California.

The Daily Dog: Deep in the Heartless Texas

Last week, Texas became the latest devotee of the Trump administration’s fascist agenda of hate and discrimination. On Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott officially sanctioned widespread gender, religious, and racial discrimination by signing Texas HB 3859 into law. The bill is just one of many attempts by Texas lawmakers to legalize bigotry during the current legislative session.

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Under a new Texas law, these children may not have families.

The new law allows child adoption, foster, and welfare agencies to now refuse services to any family because of practically any objection to the parents’ gender identity, sexual orientation, faith, and — in a revival of 1950’s style misogyny — whether one parent has been divorced. (Our guess is that this provision will apply only to prospective mothers). However, HB 3859 does not stop with the adults. It specifically allows for the denial of services to children in need as well.

Our question is this: What kind of monster do you have to be to get elected in Texas? In any other civilized nation, state, territory, or jurisdiction, the welfare of children is one of the paramount standards by which people judge leaders and governments.

Around the globe, NGOs and human rights observers focus their attentions on children more than any other segment of the population. Child workers in China earn worldwide support and spur product boycotts. Starving children in Africa receive needed food and clothing from benevolent nations and donors. In America, lost, homeless, and exploited children have a variety of agencies to turn to for help, because people care about children everywhere….

Except Texas.

Texas’ newly enacted law and the governor’s ignorance are prime examples of legislating through hate and discrimination instead of relying on empirical data and evidence-based practices. They demonstrate the fast receding fundamental value of personal choice in America and the rising intrusion of the state and its (not the people’s) representatives.

America’s legislators have lost sight of their fundamental purpose as elected bodies. It is not to enact laws based on personal faith and beliefs, but to create the intelligent framework that allows for the growth of a civilized society. There is nothing civilized about attacking innocent, needy, and uncared for children. Additionally, there is nothing intelligent about ignoring studies that confirm LGBTQ-parent families are as nurturing as straight couples.

It should not matter that two adults are LGBTQ, interfaith, mixed race, or divorced. The only concern of child adoption and welfare agencies should be if the parent applicants could provide a stable, loving, supportive, and financially secure home. That the state of Texas would deny children a safe home rather than recognize the changing demographics of society is purely a result of the forced imposition of conservative Christian values on entire population.

The strongest and most democratic leaders in America are those who vote for the laws that may go against their personal beliefs, but will provide the most good for the most people. In this case, those people are innocent children. Texas lawmakers and representatives everywhere need to be reminded that being elected to a state or federal office does not bestow the right to enforce personally held beliefs on citizens. The very imposition of personal standards on other’s freedoms is practically the sole reason for America’s foundation and our ancestors’ desire to escape from tyrannical rule — from the 17th century through today.

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The new Texas State Home for Children. “Trust us,” said Gov. Abbott during its dedication. “It’s a safe environment because ain’t no queers here.”

Under the new law enacted by Gov. Abbott, what will Texas officials do the next time the state raids a compound like the Branch Davidians or Warren Jeffs’ polygamist farm? Based on what the new law advocates, it is likely that the Texas agencies responsible for parenting and housing orphaned children may refuse based simply on an agency’s distaste for the children’s backgrounds.

The law presents a new human rights crisis in Texas that borders on criminality by endangering the welfare of children. While the state has a storied history of independent political ideology and resistance to encroachment of any kind, Texas lawmakers have chosen Washington’s fascism over the state’s most vulnerable citizens. While children across Texas suffer, HB 3859 belies the old adage: not everything is bigger in Texas — especially caring hearts and intelligent minds.

The Daily Dog: America’s Last Stand?

Kim Jong-un may not be able to reach U.S. shores with a missile yet, but on Monday, the North Korean dictator’s influence was on full display at the White House. In what appeared to be a broadcast originating from Pyongyang, American viewers were treated to a televised Loyalty Session with the Supreme Leader of the once free world.

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Cabinet members grubbing for Great Leader’s reward.

Never in the modern era of government has there been such a sickeningly blatant display of propagandized adoration from the White House. While Despot Donny got his ego stroked by members of his cabinet, America’s democracy continued on its spiraled decent into oblivion. Across Washington, D.C., the spineless leadership that now represents a minority base seems increasingly unable to control the Orange Monster whom they now bow to without shame.

Where is America’s savior? This is the point in the country’s history that demands more than fantasized expectations of a return to normalcy. The founding fathers and every American since have spent over 200 years growing a nation, seeking equality, and striving to be a worldwide example of democratic values. In 1/400th of that time — six short months — the Supreme Swindler has brought the country to a point very close to no return.

We cannot expect Ulysses S. Grant to charge in on his steed to beat back Trumpolini’s confederacy. There is no Teddy Roosevelt to make a stand against the Fifth Avenue Fraud. America has no heroes arriving, like J.F.K. on the bow of a P.T. boat, at the White House’s door. Not even Ronald Reagan riding up on El Alamein can rescue the Republican Party or the country from the Petulant Philanderer.

History has taught the world that there are no single heroes that remove the threats and defeat despots, dictators, and madmen. It is a collective effort of patriots, of men and women of every walk, who have the power to stand up to abusive authority. This idea appears to evade the sniveling and groveling slaves of the Great Destructor.

While we do not like to initiate or advance conspiracy theories, at some point the people must wonder, “What is the end game? What has Beloved Blessor promised his inner circle to encourage their feckless fealty?” Though we may not agree with the personal opinions and politics of The Sycopathetic Cabinet members, collectively speaking, they are an accomplished group — with personal net worth values ranging from $10 million to $3 billion.

Is the reward of serving and supplicating before Herr Trumpler worth more than personal pride? Why would accomplished and secure business leaders entertain the subservient and self-deprecating behaviors demanded by Demagogue Don, if not for some greater personal benefit?

Something nefarious is afoot, and it is more than the cheap plastic hairpiece of a crown atop King Clown’s head. Our nation’s struggle is no longer a mere popularity contest for the best Apprentice President, is it a matter of survival.

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Is the sun setting on Lady Liberty’s vision of democracy?

If America’s leaders and citizens do not find the backbone to tell Putini the one word he needs to hear, the country’s long-standing history as a beacon of freedom, equality, and democratic institutions will cease to exist — our history will fade and become meaningless. We must unite our voices, not for party, person, or politics, but for the future. We must look the Bully Beast in the eyes and shout, “NO!”

The Daily Dog: Did Trump Just Drop Some Grey Jello on America?

In the midst of this weekend’s attack in London, Donald Trump made what equates to a rational person’s impassioned plea for “the courts to give us back our rights.” Though the president’s tweet was book-ended by his normal gauche ranting, it was the first thought of substance coming from the White House since Barack Obama’s departure in January.

The press and public have grown accustomed to Trump’s gelatinous ramblings that waver like dessert on a tray. Therefore, it is both surprising and difficult to ascertain when anything of legitimate or coherent consequence oozes from the tiny lump of grey matter in the president’s thick orange skull.

It is painfully difficult to admit, but Trump’s Saturday night tweet was the first thing he has ever expressed that America should agree with and support. We do need the courts to give us back our rights, fairly, equally, and constitutionally across the board.

Trumps tweet went viral Saturday night for other reasons. Primarily because he referenced the travel ban (full disclosure: the Dogs fell for it like everyone else) and of the callous timing of the tweet (ditto). If not for the outrage over the president’s ill timed and poorly conceived tweet, his private — and perhaps Freudian (worried much Donald?) — perception of the courts and rights may have fallen by the wayside.

While the tweet was likely an expression of Trump’s hyper-egotistical need for added power, it makes a very important and subtle admission. Americans have lost too many rights in the past several decades. The government machine has been eroding fundamental rights at a pace that is generational, and thus nearly imperceptible. Trump may someday lament his tweet because it exposes the stark reality of the condition of the country. It essentially validates 90% of what is wrong with America and Trump’s presidency.

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Was Trump merely referring to his right to take a dip in the private SCOTUS swimming pool?

If asked to enumerate the rights in need of restoration, Trump would likely not do so eloquently. However, the following suggestions present as essential benchmarks in the current political atmosphere — in case the president cannot recall what the Constitution guarantees and what every American expects, deserves, and is entitled to:

  • We need an absolute guarantee that our First Amendment rights will never be infringed upon; and that regardless of what we express about the president, it will be allowed and respected as hallowed speech; and that a free press shall forever be an inherent part of political transparency as America’s greatest protection against fraud, injustice, and the destruction of democracy.
  • We need to know that when we vote, it will count for the candidate who wins an election, and not the one who loses. We need to restore corporate money and super-PAC limits to resurrect the inviolability of free and fair elections.
  • We need to know that, no matter what color our skin, or what religious emblem we display, or what clothing we don, we will be treated equally and without prejudice — and that we will not be banned from our own country because of these.
  • We need to accept that there are two — or three or four — sexes, but that each will be recognized and encouraged to make choices about their bodies; and that they will share in equal opportunities for their entire lives, from making a decision about an abortion to seeing the same wages on a paycheck to choosing a restroom.
  • We need protection from unlawful police conduct, searches, and seizures; from black-ops FISA courts; and from secret or sealed indictments. We need to know that our homes will not be seized for profit in the name of public domain.
  • We need renewed assurances and direction that the Fifth Amendment invocations against self-incrimination will be protected in all criminal prosecutions; and that the accused shall be afforded reasonable bails, balanced juries, and the competent assistance of counsel; and that race, sex, or status will not decide a criminal prosecution.
  • We need to know that civil rights will be enforced equally by all government agencies; and that police brutality, corruption, lying, and prosecutorial misconduct to gain convictions will not be tolerated at any level.

The challenge for Trump will be to stand by his statement when presented with an issue he does not like or agree with. He does not easily accept the premise of equality over entitlement. For the rest of us, it is to forget for a moment that it is Trump, the president, a billionaire who is asking for rights. As abhorrent as he is, for his request to be fulfilled, the same rights must apply equally to him as all others. That is the fundamental basis of America. We do need the courts to give us back our rights, but only equally for all, regardless of money, power, influence, or title.


Hint to the White House Press Corps: The Dogs would love for Sean Spicer to list the president’s specific thoughts on which rights to restore and to whom.

The Sunday Dog: Trump Thinks Like a Terrorist

Another disgusting and horrendous act of indifference and disregard for human rights and life followed Saturday night’s terror attack in London. Great Britain, one of America’s closest long-standing allies, and its citizens again suffered loss of life, safety, and security — and President Trump’s immediate thought was to leverage a foreign partner’s fear and chaos to advance his xenophobic agenda at home.

Passersby placed “999” calls for police and ambulances at just after 10:00 B.S.T. as a white van began striking pedestrians on London Bridge. A second slash-and-stab incident occurred only blocks away at Borough Market. Londoners went on high alert and Prime Minster Theresa May called for a meeting of Britain’s special security services.

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While Britain prayed for her loss, Trump preyed on America’s fears.

Two hours after the attack, while Great Britain was still reeling to restore peace and treat her injured, Trump tweeted, “We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!” That the president’s immediate thought was not to offer condolences for the dead and wounded, but to scare Americans into supporting his isolationist agenda is the epitome of terror.

Google, “what is terrorism,” and the resulting definition is: the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.

Donald Trump thinks like a terrorist. He uses intimidation against United States citizens to accomplish his political aims. Though it may be lawful, it is still disgusting. His Saturday evening tweet, as grating and incomprehensible as it is to the left, is a strong indication of Trump’s deviousness and self-gratifying tendencies. It should not matter left or right, republican or democrat, to raise the question of why the once leader of the free world does not think first to extend a sincere and sympathetic tweet before launching on his personal crusade.

Merits of the travel ban aside, at what point will the president stop pursuing an agenda of hatred against Muslims? Will his next step be an executive order banning drivers’ licenses for Muslim-Americans? Alternatively, will it be to prohibit car dealers from selling cars to them? Will Trump propel the nation towards policed kitchenware departments and silverware purchases requiring three forms of identification and vetting, while guns are still freely available to any homegrown lone wolf?

In 1930s Germany, Hitler used fear and intimidation to drive the country into a frenzy of hatred that resulted in the unchecked murder of millions of Jews. He blamed the Jewish population for every problem that Germany faced and made the public afraid…afraid that Jews would steal their money and land, commit crimes, or dishonor the nation’s daughters. Hitler parlayed anti-Semitism into a mental, emotional, and physical tool to intimidate civilian support to pursue his political goals. What history does not always teach us is that it was all legal.

None-the-less, Hitler was a terrorist.

Donald Trump began his presidency with an instant aim to intimidate the American public into fulfilling his personal agenda. As one item, the travel ban is strikingly similar to early anti-Semitic laws in Germany that intended to isolate Jews from their fellow citizens and slowly strip them of their citizenship. If Trump gets his way, many Muslim-Americans will find themselves in similar circumstances while travelling abroad — lost in a state of statelessness — if the ban is enacted.

Trump’s continued efforts to scare Americans, combined with his demands for power — his Saturday evening tweet also demanded “the courts give us back our rights” — and disregard for the American political process, border on Hitleresque beginnings. It is not likely that Trump was thinking of a Muslim-American when he tweeted for rights restoration.

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Americans remain vigilant against Trump’s intimidation.

Like Hitler, Donald Trump ultimately would enjoy convincing America that all problems are attributable to one group that he can identify as the enemy. He has blamed Muslims. He has blamed the press. Fortunately, for America, he has not been able to convince the country of any of his premises yet.

America must continue standing up for what is right and not give in to Trump’s selfish terrorist methodologies and motivations. We must say loudly and in unity, “We will not be intimidated.” The instant this country falters in that resolve, is the moment America’s future becomes Germany’s past.

Paris Rising

With yet another grandstanding announcement like some reality TV cliffhanger promotion, Donald Trump axed the Paris Climate Accord yesterday. In withdrawing from the global treaty, the United States joins the esteemed company of Syria and Nicaragua as the three countries on the planet that refuse to give a damn about the future of all humanity.

With no consideration for America’s status as a world leader, Trump moved forward with his personal agenda while burying another hatchet in the back of his on-going vendetta against past presidents. Additionally, he hammered vehemently at another nail in the coffin of the United States’ international reputation and ensured a more dismal future for the children of every nation on the planet.

Whether it is attacking terrorism and ISIS, or working jointly to preserve the planet, global efforts command multinational cooperation. As Trump continues to remove or distance the United States from worldwide efforts — Paris, NATO, G7, Trans-Pacific — the piecemeal dismantling of diplomacy and partnership will increasingly isolate America. Beyond consequences for the United States, there will be long-term global effects as well.

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The New Trump Towers…

The decisive problem with Trump is his inability to comprehend the president’s role, the duties of the office, and the scope of government as opposed to his privately owned conglomerate. During the last four decades, Trump the businessman basked in the glory of placing his name on big buildings, big clubs, big casinos, and big failures. While amassing an empire of his own liking, Trump answered to no one. He did not have to justify his actions to voters, congress, or the leader of the free world and others.

Trump is a needy man bent on legacy and driven to create a permanent lasting impression before his mortal demise. While the presidency is an opportunity to build a legacy, it requires patience, contemplation, and cooperation among many other traits that Trump seems to lack. Instead of exercising the reason necessary to the office and building a memorable and positive record of his own, Trump continues to tear down and erode what he did not build. He is a petty jealous man whose big buildings do not represent his littleness.

Each of Trump’s unspoken goals in Washington, D.C. appears to be geared toward buying another great big building and slapping his name on it — the White House, the Supreme Court, the Capitol. It is Trump’s self-gratification of his ego to acquire, name, and then sit back and hope against bankruptcy. What Trump fails to understand, is that to leave a legacy, you must build it. Destroying what others accomplished does not earn posthumous accolades.

Furthermore, for a man like Donald Trump, every undertaking is a challenge; a competition to show up his peers and rivals alike. He has to win, even when he does not win. His is a stereotype that every person has experienced at some point — most likely with the spoiled bully on the elementary school playground. Trump’s selfish governance is not even a “my way or the highway” drill sergeant, because at least the drill sergeant has a common goal with his troops. Since January, Trump has shown no common goal with Americans. He pursues Trump’s goals only.

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…and the new Red White & Blue?

Trump competed with Manhattan real estate moguls through the 1980s. He chased the likes of Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. He thought he was more popular than Hillary Clinton was. Now, he is in a semi-delirious race with Vladimir Putin. What Trump is trying to win with his presidency no one knows, but as Trump plays dangerously with the nation’s people, economy, and reputation, it certainly is not the betterment of America. Trump had an opportunity, but has already lost the title of leader of the free world. Emmanuel Macron now holds the title as the rational voice of France and the world, concerned with the people of his country and inhabitants of earth alike.

Trump is losing little by little, and with each loss, America slips deeper into the black hole of his egotistical game. When he is gone, the individual mothers, fathers, workers, and true leaders will remain to claw a way out of one man’s failed legacy and lift the country again. By then, Make America Great Again will be a job for everyone, instead of a slogan for one.

Mythical Gryphon Slays Trump

On Wednesday morning, it was evident that America’s Tweeter in Chief was off his meds again. Following a convoluted drunk-text shortly after midnight that resulted in the “#covfefe” intrigue, Trump went on an early morning rant against comedian Kathy Griffin. Earlier, Griffin had posted a tweet in which she held an effigy of a wigged and bloody orange head. It bordered on tasteless, but was in all honesty obviously fake. With the Trump family’s keen ability to sniff out fakeness, the photo should have been quickly identified as not the real Donald Trump.

An effigy of U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is burnt as part of  bonfire night celebrations in Edenbridge
This is a FAKE Trump. No Trumps were harmed in the making of this photograph.

Instead, during one of his first tweets of the morning, Trump said, “My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!” First off, most of Trump’s children are gown adults who, recently appointed to security-clearance level White House positions, are surely able to distinguish an effigy from the real thing. Secondly, those same adult children must, in the wake of the administration’s circus-like criminal conduct, understand politics is ugly. If they are unable to accept the harshness of politics, then they have no place in Washington, D.C.

For Trump’s offspring born to privilege, pampering, protection, and private schools, it is likely Griffin’s comedic attempt did push the envelope of their delicate sensibilities. To Griffin’s credit, she apologized shortly thereafter, admitting that perhaps her parody had gone too far. Her apology is more than the American public can expect from Trump for his indiscretions and the damage that he is doing daily to children across the nation.

In the context of leader of the country, Trump has an assumed moral duty to act in the best interests of the nation’s children. They are the weakest, often without voices, and in greatest need. However, as he has with almost every issue of importance, the president instead demonstrated that the only concern in Trumpington is Trump.

Trump rebuked Griffin for her lack of taste because it may have marred his youngest son. The reprimand comes from the same leader who has refused to protect the interests of America’s poorest children. By not demanding a balanced budget that includes fully funded public welfare programs to families, Trump committed 15 million times more harm as Griffin. In demanding the repeal of Obamacare and coverage for low-income families, the president turned his back on those who need him most: the ailing children of America who live in poverty.

According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, a joint organization of Columbia University and the Mailman School of Public Heath, almost 25% of all American children live below the federal poverty line. When the government’s outmoded poverty standard is adjusted to account for the necessities that a family of four requires to subsist, the percentage of at-risk children rises to 43%.

In America, living in poverty is the single greatest threat to children’s welfare. Children represent one-third of all people in poverty — the largest group of any age category. For them, a “hard time” does not include seeing a violent effigy of a parent, but it may mean being witness to a parent’s violent death. Those children do not worry about their parent’s safety in the most secure mansion in the world, but wonder if the gunfire outside will reach them while they sleep.

For children in poverty, bloodied effigies of loved ones are not fake news: they are the reality of life. Living in poverty stunts a child’s ability to learn, thrive, and succeed. Insufficient income contributes to children having to confront a broader range of physical and psychosocial stressors — violence, in and out of the home, drugs, residential instability, and a lack of food and nutrition.

The president’s agenda and programs offer no support, solutions, or even diffident concern for millions of children who will suffer a hundred times what Barron can only imagine because of a fake photo. They will suffer more than Chelsea Clinton did when Donald Trump called for fans to exercise their second amendment rights against her mother. They will suffer more than the Obama daughters did when the Trump assailed their father and cheered rallies for admirers who burned Barack Obama in effigy.

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Griffin: fierce, but apologetic.

It is difficult to feel sorry for any of the president’s children because of a cartoonish image of Trump in a photo. Moreover, it is even more difficult to generate sympathy when Trump is shamefully using his son as a shield to deflect his detractors instead of bearing the burden of criticism like a man. It is a sign that Trump will sell out anyone.

Kathy Griffin may have crossed a line, but it was a very fine line. The country is staring down its worst crisis in nearly a century. Griffin at least had the conviction to express herself without hurting anyone, which is more than can be said for the unprincipled damage Trump’s policies portend for America’s forgotten children.