The Sunday Dog: Why Trump Did Not Act Alone

In the future, children across the United States will be sitting in classrooms listening to lessons about the country’s politics and governmental history. As they swipe images on their tablets and stare languidly at the blue sky out the window, a teacher will drone on about the succession of U.S. presidents. She will focus on the greats, and mention noteworthy accomplishments and events coinciding with each leader’s term. Then, there will be this unfortunate moment…

“O.k. class, we’re going to take a break from presidents for a second,” she will preface her instruction. “Following eight years of President Barack Obama, the United States struggled through four years of chaos when what was then the Republican party, colluded with the Russian government to install a reality TV personality as president and take over the country.”

As kids squirm in their seats, anxious for lunch or recess, the teacher will point to the screen at the front of the class.

“You can see there’s only one short article on your tablets about Donald Trump. If you want to read about him, you can, but we’re going to skip ahead to the next real president who helped restore and rebuild the nation.”

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Trump is not smart enough to act alone.

This is an unfortunate and troubling prediction stemming from last November’s usurpation and the rise of the Trump regime, but it may be the most optimistic of all scenarios for America’s short-term future. The damage that Trump and the corrupted republican leadership are inflicting on our nation’s shifting foundation may eventually topple over two centuries of progress.

The Washington, D.C. establishment has developed into an exclusive club that has lost sight of the people it is supposed to represent. Though he has by no means pioneered the movement, Trump has ambitiously joined those leading the charge for personal gain over public good — Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and the network of so-called “representatives” who govern by the value of dollars rather than the worth of people.

It is easy to vilify Trump for his laughable ignorance, his incessant whining, his loutish misogyny, and boorish abusiveness. He is simply an obvious target, like a rodeo clown wandering the streets of the Washington, D.C. circus. The entrenched Capitol Hill elitists know better than to dodder out into the ring for the audiences’ eyes and likely welcome his bumbling as a captivating sideshow distraction.

The Trump-Russia collusion mystery is no longer about one man, or his campaign team, seeking the favor of a foreign government to sway American democracy. Donald Trump, Jr.’s meeting with Russian agents had several attendees and the revelations keep changing. There is speculation that McConnell knew about alleged Russian intervention. Trump and close insiders suggested Friday that the Republican National Committee pay his mounting legal fees.

The increasing variables and many players in the expanding scandal of Russian interference will eventually cast a much wider web — exposing connections that we can only speculate about now, and some that may never be revealed. The drive for personal gain that brought the government to where it is now will be the same drive that compels our nation’s individual leaders to protect their self-interests as official and public inquiry grows.

In the future, society will look back and understand that Trump was not single handedly responsible for the corruption of America’s democratic traditions. The responsibility lies — like the actual involvement — more appropriately with a broader range of parties.

The destruction of America began with manipulation of the laws by 535 members of congress and special interest groups who buy Washington votes. It began with nine Supreme Court justices who opened the doors for lobbyist funding that corrupts elections. It began with millions of uneducated voters who swipe a screen, punch a ballot, or pull a lever because of a name and a party — and not because they care to understand the civic issues that influence our democratic ways of life, our freedoms, and our futures.

History is a fickle partner to a prosperous future. Ignore it, and the future shrivels and becomes the dark past we try to avoid repeating. As the drama that is America’s first dictatorship under Trump and the GOP unfolds, it is germane to the restoration of our nation’s future that every person be a teacher who will not minimize the current lessons.

Every era and every chapter in America’s developing history is significant — no matter how dramatic the cumulative errors and failures. When the history books are closed, and the classrooms are dark, the most important lesson is not about the singular presidents of our country, but whether our Constitution remains intact, because of, or despite those presidents.

The Daily Dog: Comrades Up in Arms

The New York Times reported Saturday that Donald Trump, Jr. met with a Russian lawyer to discuss potentially damaging information about then Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. At least five White House sources confirmed the meeting, which was held at Trump Tower in New York City in June of 2016. According to the Times report, Trump, Jr. met with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian attorney with close ties to the Kremlin and Russian president Vladimir Putin.

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Natalia Veselnitskaya

 

Trump, Jr. is alleged to have agreed to the meeting with Veselnitskaya on the premise that she had damaging information on Donald Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton. However, in a statement released by Trump, Jr., he said that Veselnitskaya was “vague, ambiguous, and made no sense.” It seems that Trump, Jr. should have been perfectly capable of understanding someone who communicates just like his father.

Whether the meeting actually got to the point of exchanging damaging gossip about Clinton, the world will never know. Trump, Jr.’s word carries about as much value as a Trump casino on the Jersey Shore and Veselnitskaya’s sole career purpose has been to discredit an American law aimed at Russian human rights abusers. Knowing who to believe is like being handed two vials of poison and having to choose one.

The founder of Hermitage Capital, William Browder, whose company was victimized by Russian fraud activities, has called Veselnitskaya a “tool of the Russian government”. In addition to lobbying against the Magnitsky Act, Veselnitskaya is an outspoken voice on social media, attacking President Obama and his former policies, women’s rights, and America’s system of checks and balances that controls Donald Trump. She is a very well connected and represents a valid danger to U.S. security and interests.

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Veselnitskaya used Facebook to spread rumors about The Women’s March organizer and attack U.S. policies.

She is the person that Trump, Jr. — like his father — probably salivated over meeting. The fact that a member of the Trump campaign team jumped at the opportunity to purchase or otherwise procure information on Clinton would appear to undermine one of Donald Trump’s long-standing claims: that he beat Clinton in last November’s election. Anyone hearing of Trump, Jr.’s meeting — except of course the minority Trump base of Middle Ameristan — has to ask, when does cheating officially become cheating?

Professional sports suffer a fair share of high-profile cheating scandals. A much-hyped NFL deflate-gate enraged American football fans. Superstar tennis player Maria Sharapova was banned from her sport for non-approved medications. Lance Armstrong doped. A-Rod used banned substances. The list goes on and on, but where does the cheating begin?

The act of cheating — of ingesting a banned substance, changing a bat, altering a ball — is merely the culmination of the desire, intent, and moral flaws that drive a person to take an unfair advantage. It is what happens when the craving for personal gain overrides values and good judgment.

The intent to cheat begins long before the act. A cheater is born the moment he asks a doctor for a prescription; researches a source; courts a ball handler with favors; or buys a vial of drugs — whether or not they are used immediately. The same is true for Donald Trump, Jr.

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Donald Trump, Jr. has been nominated for an Oscar for Acting with Impunity. Getty Images

It should be irrelevant that Veselnitskaya arrived at a meeting and began to discuss things that were vague and made no sense. Trump, Jr. became a cheater for his father’s campaign the moment he seized on the opportunity to obtain information and began executing his plan and pursuing the lead that tempted him. There is no question about his intention since he admitted in his statement that he agreed to the meeting because the source “might have information helpful to the campaign.”

What information did Trump, Jr. believe a Russian national might have — the latest poll numbers from a Russian university? Saturday’s Times report advances the Trump-Russia collusion theory several steps and is the first publicly acknowledged meeting between Russian influences and a member of Trump’s inner circle.

While it is difficult to accept that an American citizen seeking office would cheat to gain political power, there is another more disappointing aspect to this latest development. While horrified American fans will fill stadiums with roars of disapproval over athletes cheating, when a megalomaniacal family of miscreants usurps the democratic process and the nation’s government, it is like listening for crickets on a darkened ball-field.

The Daily Dog: Will a Gentle Giant Slay the Orange Monster?

Sixty-five years ago, if anyone in America announced that Russians were infiltrating to attack the country, the response would have been overwhelming. Friends, neighbors, family, and authorities would have gathered to defend the country (when it was still called a country and not The Homeland) — regardless of party affiliation. The Red Scares of the 1950s rallied Americans in unity against a common theme and enemy.

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It may take a giant of a man to bring down the Orange Monster.

Jump to 2017 and James Comey’s testimony yesterday before the Senate Intelligence Committee. During his sworn statements on Thursday, Comey unequivocally confirmed Russia’s widespread and active intrusion into American elections and other sensitive areas.

Consider this: a foreign power with an abysmal human rights record breached America’s digital borders and struck at the fundamental heart of democracy. And the sitting president of the United States, a person charged with protecting and defending the nation and constitution, had no comment except for his own skin.

In the long-awaited battle between James Comey and Donald Trump, America was the clear loser yesterday. Comey’s account of a president who demands mafia-like loyalty; asks only about his own jeopardy — and not the country’s — in the face of Russian cyber incursions; and acts on impulse and “the nature of his person” as a liar presents a dark future for America under Trump.

For all the campaign promises and post-election rallies, there is a growing suspicion among even Trump supporters that the president is not going to accomplish much of what he says. However, his family is building a new hotel chain. As his job approval numbers bottom out in the low 30s this week (Quinnipiac Job Approval 6/7/2017), Trump appears on the verge of a complete political meltdown. More disturbingly, Trump’s nosedive is dragging the Republican led Congress with him, diminishing and deteriorating what little public trust remains. Only 11% of polled Americans approve of the job congress is doing right now (Economist/YouGov 6/7/2017). In six months, one man has managed to corrupt the entire government.

The stark contrast between Comey the white-hatted sheriff and Trump the black-masked villain almost pivots on a single point in Comey’s testimony yesterday. Comey presented himself as a humble patriot. He denounced partisan politics vis-à-vis the current investigation for the benefit of America as a whole. He defended the FBI and his former colleagues.

However, the one thing that Comey said that had nothing to do with his service to the nation came in a gem of a response to Sen. Cotton’s questioning. In addition to looking out for the nation, Comey stated that he wanted to be fair to President Trump. He wanted to be fair — even to the man whom he called a liar; the boss who fired him; the leader whom two-thirds of the country disapproves of; and the president who has devastated a nation.

James Comey could very easily have not been fair. He could have adopted the vengeful GOP tactics and engaged in name-calling and smear campaigns. He did neither. There should be little doubt among Americans today about who has the integrity and credibility of a true patriot. The president did not even deign to respond with concern as to America’s precarious position in the wake of Russian incursions.

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A new lawn ornament was spotted this week in the White House Rose Garden.

More troubling than the president’s lack of reply to America on America, is the continued partisan bickering over the situation in Washington, D.C. Republicans are quick to return to business as usual on Capitol Hill as democrats scurry to save Obama-era progresses. In the context of divide and conquer tactics, with one party trying to salvage Trump’s presidency and the other trying to crucify him, we the people may wake up one morning to a looped recording of “Gosudarstvenny Gimn Rossiyskoy Federatsii” in place of the morning newski and trafficski.

The Daily Dog: Blackout Thursday

After teasing the president’s possible attendance in a tweet on Monday, The Faith and Freedom Coalition announced yesterday that Donald Trump had agreed to speak at the group’s “Road to Majority” conference. The sudden confirmation of Trump’s appearance on Thursday gives the impression of another desperate attempt by the president to divert attention from James Comey’s testimony that day on Capitol Hill. The schedule conflict establishes an almost simultaneous competition for media coverage and public attention — both of which Trump crave.

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As Trump’s approval ratings shrink, he’s searching for cheerleaders.

Though not a full-blown Führer rally like the country has seen in recent months, the “Road to Majority” conference offers Trump a safe haven among unscrupulous peers and rabid fans in which to espouse semi-lucid opinions and impulses. Staunch Trump supporter and one-time Jack Abramoff associate Ralph Reed heads the Faith and Freedom Coalition. A former lobbyist, Reed is alleged to have accepted laundered casino payments while working with Abramoff, so the president should feel right at home.

While the substance of the president’s remarks as keynote speaker is unavailable at this time, his comments are not likely to warrant the Washington press corps following him to the Omni Shoreham. In light of the more important speech that will be taking place across town, the media will be in the position of choosing allegiances: to the president’s ego or America’s future.

It should have become obvious to the public during the past six months that little of what Trump has to say has any value to American democracy or its people. In contrast, what James Comey has to offer on Thursday will have critical long-reaching effects on the nation’s future history. His responses vis-à-vis Trump and Mother Russia have the potential to rescue the republic from its present downward spiral.

Journalists occupy a unique role in the rapidly unfolding scandals under Donald Trump’s regime. There is no political or ethical obligation of the press to the president — though Trump’s insatiable appetite for melodrama surely pressures the media into following his every move. Additionally, the administration’s reward and punishment treatment of the press implies an imagined expectation of loyalty. Trump is a master manipulator who surely would rather see the press focus on him Thursday instead of broadcasting Comey’s apt-to-be-damning testimony.

However, the press has a paramount duty solely to the American public. The only spotlight on Thursday should be focused on James Comey, while the nation’s media outlets declare a 24-hour blackout on Trump. Absent announcement of his resignation, Trump’s pop star-like pandering to fans at the “Road to Majority” rally will have zero implications for the American people.

Almost 200 years ago, Scottish philosopher and social commentator Thomas Carlye recognized the importance of the press as instrumental to democracies. Carlye coined the concept of the press as the Fourth Estate in a three-parliament system of government. He was an early advocate of the value of a free press for its ability to propagate facts and opinions in response to tyranny.

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The next Trump Tower?

Faced with a dictatorial businessman with no concept of facts, it is incumbent for America’s Fourth Estate to steel its resolve this week to do what is right — and not be led astray by the president’s cheap diversions, whether they be incoherent tweets or impromptu pep rallies. Depending on the material value of Comey’s statements against Trump, it is not unlikely that the president’s spin machine will reach to new extremes to distract the country from the one point that matters.

For the remainder of his term — be it a few days or years — the number one priority on the president’s agenda will be saving himself and not America, its citizens, or even Jared Kushner. While Trump clings desperately to his delusional pop-culture self-image as master of the Twitterverse, the rest of the country and the press will have another priority — saving and rebuilding America after Trump tried to destroy it 140 characters at a time.

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.

15 Minutes…

Following an abysmal performance at the NATO and G7 summits last week, President Trump is struggling to find a foothold to boost his slipping support and approval ratings. In the wake of Trump’s self-proclaimed and self-gratifying “great success” during his inaugural European vacation, other western leaders offered sharper assessments of Trump’s so-called accomplishments.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel earned a special place in Trump’s daily Twitter tirade on Monday after she expressed her negative impressions left by Trump. Germany is in the middle of an election cycle and newspapers quickly jumped on Merkel’s words. Sueddeutsche Zeitung, one of the country’s largest daily newspapers said her comments on Sunday revealed, “Merkel no longer regards the USA as reliable.”

Trump’s own body language during his visit and the eerie lack of enthusiasm by European leaders after his departure seem to reinforce Merkel’s resolute and honest statements. In a matter of days, Trump managed to erode nearly a century of foreign relations leaving as big a mess in Europe as the one he returned to at home. Yet he still does not understand why he is the subject of intense criticism.

Is he daft? His performance at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day would seem to indicate some degree of cerebral dysfunction. However, looking back at Trump’s on-again off-again presence in the media presents a far-different picture than merely a medical condition.

TrumpCan-1
From soup to nuts…it’s in the can!

Donald Trump is, and always has been, a flash-in-the-pan personality. In the past few decades, he has faded in and out of the public eye, hopping from one 15-minute spotlight to another. He is the original Kim Kardashian of New York City mogul reality.

Unfortunately for the United States, media whore Trump is stalled somewhere among the Reagan-era excesses of the 1980s, the Howard Stern heydays of the 1990s, and “The Apprentice” highlights of the 2000s. The dark spaces in between the highs in Trump’s public jaunts are riddled with lawsuits, bankruptcies, tax audits, and failed relationships — with women and Trump University students. None-the-less, Trump’s eternal goal seems to be a desperate attempt to sustain an eternal “American Idol” image. He wants only to be sought after and worshiped, but eschews any semblance of responsibility for how he earns a starring role.

Clearly, his body and mind can no longer support his own egotistical urge for hollow publicity and adoration. Trump is like “Sunset Boulevard’s” Norma Desmond grasping for the light of just one more blockbuster performance. He has not learned that light cannot be held or captured. Trump’s futile pursuit will eventually land him in the same fame-starved delirium suffered by Desmond in the final scene — beyond the realm of any reality.

Every day, Trump promotes his own tragic demise. To use one of the president’s favorite standbys, it is a “SAD” reality that a man with what he has is so terribly unhappy, dissatisfied, lost, and needy. It is a tragedy for America that to fulfill the emptiness of his existential crises, he is dragging the nation down with him in a last ditch effort to be relevant.

Trump will be remembered, but not likely in the way that he was hoping. When the credits finally roll on his presidency and career, he will end up in a dusty library, nestled somewhere next to Nixon. The caption beneath his presidential portrait will read simply, “The 15-Minute President.”