The Daily Dog: The Clumsy Dictator

Some parents write fake excuses for their kids when they skip school. Others tweak a book report or science project. The nation learned yesterday that Donald Trump takes the extra step as a parent. He helps his kids write false and misleading statements for the most widespread criminal investigation ever of a White House occupant and his family.

Unfortunately for Trump, his literary endeavors on little Donnie’s behalf will likely earn him more trouble than a plagiarized book report would bring. In the scope of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing criminal investigation of Trump, dad may have just proven the government’s case. In doing so, Trump is less of a literary genius and more the bank robber who slides the teller his demands written on the back of his own personal check.

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The Washington Post dealt Trump another card he couldn’t use to build his next tower.

While authorities pore over the evidence to ascertain the gravity of Trump’s crimes, it is time for the American public to ask themselves serious questions about their leadership. The choices facing the country are not enviable. We have arrived at the point in this electoral farce and administrative debacle where no one is proud to say our leader is either a clownish liar or an inept criminal. In the reality television show broadcasting live to the nation, there is no box to check for “other.”

Trump is not only bad at parenting and writing his kids’ excuses; he is simply bad at, well, everything having to do with politics. Generally, being bad at these kinds of things is not a seriously relevant offense. However, when you occupy the White House and write what may be perjurious notes used as evidence in your own impeachment, you have a problem and so does America.

Beyond his criminal activity, Trump’s hastily scribbled excuse note for Don, Jr. demonstrates that in Trump’s grand scheme of leadership, there is absolutely no plan. It validates the chaotic tweets, White House resignations and appointments, and daily spin as the reality and not the exceptions to the rule of order necessary for strong and focused leadership and stable government.

A year ago, when Hillary Clinton stood at the podium during debates, educated, prepared, and focused, America should have seen the train wreck that is Donald Trump before it crashed in our nation’s capital. As tensions grow in various hot spots around the globe — North Korea and the Russian frontier especially — it is troubling to think that Trump is just making things up as he goes along. Decisions with global implications require the knowledge and studious attention America would have found in Clinton…or anyone else besides Trump.

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“By the way, dad, our fake dog ate my homework.”

Trump’s biggest failure will be his driving ambition to do everything himself. Looking back in history, there is a lesson for Trump from one of America’s richest and most accomplished men — a man, who in his lifetime built an empire worth 100 times more than Trump’s few billion dollars. He was also a man who recognized that, as a corporate magnate and leader, he had no need to accomplish everything on his own.

Andrew Carnegie believed that “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.” Widely respected as a business mogul and one of the nation’s most renowned philanthropists, Carnegie also valued something else that Trump seems to have little use for — books and free public libraries.

In contrasting the two businessmen, Carnegie emerges as the true rags-to-riches story of American opportunity and self-motivation. Trump’s inheritance funded and self-gratifying business leadership style is but an apprenticeship to Carnegie’s greatness, and so is his overwhelming desire to be the sole conceiver of ideas and recipient of accolades.

At the close of Trump’s tenure, his own self-oriented needs will bring his house of cards crashing down around him, but he will immediately blame others. It will be interesting to see whether he blames his own children, whom he has surrounded himself with since the inception of his administration. If he does, his demise will also be a lesson in parenting.

A dad who blames his child for the “F” on the book-report the parent authored has more to learn than his student does. It will not be long before Trump is called to the principal’s office, and when he is, let us hope he is expelled. Without the bully on the playground, we can all get back to making America great again.

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.