Monday, January 29, 2018
Trump will deliver his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, long after my editor’s deadline. Since he will be speaking from a teleprompter, saying words he did not write, I have no way of knowing what he will say. I do know that he will brag. He wouldn’t do a speech without that element. He will tell the nation the state of the union is the strongest it’s ever been in the history of the world. He will tell the nation he is the greatest President in history. He will remind the nation of his “land-slide” win last November. Of course, he will brag about the economy, the stock market, and the unemployment rates. He will tell you how his tax cuts help corporations, and in turn, will help you. He will tell the nation how much he loves the Dreamers, how much he respects law enforcement, and
WHILE I don’t know what he will say specifically on Tuesday night, I do know what he will NOT tell you. He will not tell you that our country is experiencing more chaos and divisiveness since the Civil War. While he may say the right thing in teleprompter speeches, the next morning we awake to a new twitter bomb. He is the chaos king and that makes him happy.
TRUMP WILL NOT tell you he is President thanks to 80,000 people across three states. With Hillary winning 3 million more in popular votes, that is not a land-slide victory for Trump as he keeps saying. He will not tell you he had a little help from his friends, the Russians, in those three states. The Russian bots were out in full-force across our country, but mainly concentrating on those three states via Twitter and Facebook with incendiary remarks and stories about Hillary, spreading the click bait.
WHILE TRUMP is bragging how great his tax reform is, there are things he will NOT tell you. The tax reform bill gave a 40% tax cut to corporations. The premise is that the corporations will pass this money down to employees. This is a case of smoke and mirrors. Trump bragged that Walmart gave bonuses of $1,000 to employees (turns out it was $1,000 if you worked there 20 years—not many have survived that long). Then Walmart shuttered 68 Sam’s Clubs and fired 500 corporate headquarters’ employees. Pfizer cut 300 research jobs aimed at Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s sufferers. There were no cuts to their Viagra-like research, however. The day Trump announced AT&T were giving employees a $1,000 bonus with the tax windfall, AT&T laid off 4,000 employees, at Christmas time no less. Comcast also bragged about their $1,000 bonus to employees, then promptly fired 500. The rest, was used for dividend payouts. And, while I admire the refreshing honesty of Kimberly Clark, makers of Huggies and Kleenex tissues, I hate what they did. They announced they would lay-off 5,500 workers in 2018. They said, “We will restructure to allocate significant capital to shareholders.” These are only a few companies with many others following suit. Unless Trump lies (which is possible) he won’t be talking about job growth.
TRUMP WILL NOT tell you that the United States has dropped to number three for the most foreign tourists, replaced by Spain in the second spot. Many cities and businesses make their money from the tourist trade. Keep an eye on that number. If it continues to drop, it will be a significant sign of our country’s diminished desirability in the eyes of the world, not to mention the economic impact it will have.
AS FOR Trump’s immigration policy, he will NOT tell you that ICE agents have been targeting and rounding up DACA activists and recipients and sending them to detention centers. If you think deportees are put immediately on an airplane and sent back, you are mistaken. They are mostly held in privatized, for-profit detention centers. Since there are no standards for these facilities, no public over-sight, and no accountability, these centers are rife with inhumane treatment and neglect. Many of these people, these fellow human beings, have known hell we cannot imagine when they were forced to flee for asylum to escape violence in their country. Few of these people being held are Trump’s rapists and murderers. Many have legal status but unable to prove it with no contact with the outside world.
THERE IS a Detention Center not far from here—located in Lumpkin in Stewart County. A group of ladies from middle-Georgia visited this facility a few weeks ago. Although they were not allowed to tour the facility, they were allowed to talk to a few detainees. The stories they heard were heart wrenching and left those ladies shaken. With Trump’s harsh immigration policy, it will only get worse. I don’t know how long it will take, but one day great journalism will expose this dastardly behavior by our government just as they did with Guantanamo Bay.
AND FINALLY, Trump will NOT tell you there is anything more important than getting rich, filthy rich. There is, but Trump doesn’t understand that. Women do. And, Trump will NOT tell you if white men won’t do their job to contain an out-of-control President, there are millions of red, yellow, black and white women poised to end this nightmare and save America.
Monday, January 22, 2018
Let’s get to the bottom of who’s to blame for the shutdown of our government. It won’t take long. It is Donald Trump! He wanted one, he needed one, he manufactured one, he got one! I will offer proof.
THE EARLIEST inkling that Trump wanted a shutdown came just prior to when this same budget bill was set to be voted on in September, 2016, Trump said, “This country needs a good “shutdown” in September to fix this mess.”
TRUMP AWOKE on September 5, 2016, and he decided it was time to abolish another great accomplishment by Obama. He signed an executive order to end the Deferred Action for Children Arrivals (DACA). The program had been working fine. He knew this would cause shock and awe to the Democrats and create a divisive issue. His intent was to end DACA immediately but threats of lawsuits led him to set a six-month deadline for it to end. Trump and the Republicans will tell you he ended DACA because it was unconstitutional. Truth is, no Court or Judge has ever ruled that DACA is unconstitutional. Trump and his right-wing conspirators just did not like it.
AFTER SIGNING two continuing resolutions (CR’s), we arrived at this point in time with an impasse on the budget bill. Even though the DACA program officially ends March 8, DACA protections expire for 122 young people a month and makes them subject to deportation. Thus far, the Republicans have shown no interest in bringing a vote on a clean immigration bill which includes DACA. If this budget bill is passed without addressing DACA, Trump and the Republicans will make sure it is never taken up for a vote.
I BELIEVE that if Congress had been left to their own devices, a deal would have been struck. Trump’s interference, or as he calls it, “making a deal” has been a knife in the backs of the Democrats. First, he got everybody in a room and put the onus on Congress, “Bring me a bill and I will sign it.” He never indicated what he wanted in the Bill. He made a deal with Democrats. Then he reneged. Then he came close to a deal on Friday with Senator Schumer. A deal seemed imminent when Schumer offered him more money than originally requested for the border wall. Trump then upped his request from 18 billion to 33 billion for his wall. There is no way that Democrats or the Congress can trust anything Trump says. As of last Wednesday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell lamented that Trump has not said what he wants in an immigration bill. Obviously McConnell cannot read the mind of a mad man.
THIS IS all a game to Trump and his administration. Mick Mulvaney, White House Budget Director, told Sean Hannity that he was in charge of the shut down and “that’s kinda cool.” Eric Trump told FOX News on Sunday, “Honestly, it’s a good thing for us.” On Saturday morning, Trump’s campaign released a vile campaign ad stating Democrats were murderers. Ads aren’t made that quickly. It was setting on the shelf ready to go. If you are truly trying to win people over in a negotiation, you do not slap them in the face repeatedly. Trump stirred the pot and disappeared. He is sitting back now enjoying the chaos he has caused.
TRUMP AND all the Republicans have their propaganda machine working overtime to convince you that it is a shutdown manufactured by Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer. Lest we forget. Trump is a Republican President. The Republicans control both the House and Senate. If Trump or Congress really wanted a bill, Schumer could not stop them. What they never mention is that the failure of the vote was bipartisan, with four Republicans voting with the Democrats.
NO, IT IS indeed a Trump Shutdown and Trump is the blame. Trump’s own words when he was a citizen about the 2013 shutdown. “A shutdown falls on the President’s lack of leadership. He can’t even control his party and get people together in a room. A shutdown means the President is weak.” Also, Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren asked Trump in September, 2013, “who gets fired if there is a shut down?” Trump answered, “The President.” There you have it folks. There’s your proof!
I WILL close with this. A Republican on television was rattling off things that would not be funded due to the shutdown. One of the things, garbage collection would be suspended in Washington, D.C. To that I say, “Good! Let them smell their own stench.”
NOTE: My newspaper deadline was before the end of this shutdown drama. Kudos to the Dems for getting a promise of a floor debate on DACA. Thus far in Trump’s reign, the Dems have had no input on issues. Also, the Children's Health Care Program (CHIP) is no longer being held hostage. You may be disappointed, but we must stick with our Democratic leaders to achieve justice for these young dreamers. Keep up the good fight!
Monday, January 15, 2018
The big news of this week will be Trump’s award show. Amendment 1, the first of 10 amendments in the Bill of Rights, written by our founding fathers, was surely the most important and foremost element of our democracy based on the prominent placing of this amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press defines our country and are essential to maintain our freedom in this country. These two freedoms separate our country from that of authoritarian governments. Of course, you know that! I’m simply refreshing your memory to ready you for Trump’s self-lauded Fake News Awards he says he will present on Wednesday.
TRUMP SAYS he will present these awards to the “dishonest and corrupt media.” Trump’s done a lot of despicable things in his short tenure as President, but his award show chips away at our democracy, not to mention how much it damages our standing in the world.
TRUMP HAS referred to the media as the “enemy of the people.” That was a term Joseph Stalin used to describe the media in the Soviet Union and we know what happened to the media there. Truth is, Trump probably isn’t aware of Joseph Stalin and will probably say he invented that term concerning the media. He has also called the media the “opposition party” and his favorite, the “lying media.” There is no doubt that Trump is at war with the press and as long as it is politically expedient for him, it will continue to escalate.
I FEEL Trump does not hate the media—he just wants their approval. Trump is attempting to bully the media to say great things about him like his friends at FOX News. Trump has used, and sought out press coverage his entire adult life. He is the most media savvy President’s ever. While a businessman in New York City, he did everything possible to be mentioned in the society pages. He was his own publicist using the fake name of John Barron to call media and brag about himself. He is still his own publicist and uses the fake name of Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Without the fame given to him by the media, he would not be where he is today. He certainly wouldn’t be President without the nearly 24 hours a day campaign coverage, and for that, the media only have themselves to blame. Before cable, the equal time rule would have solved that problem.
FOR TRUMP to thrive, he has to have an enemy. Trump learned from his campaign that nothing gets his “base” supporters riled up quicker than castigating the media. When his rallies became boring, he would turn attention to the “lying media.” In one incident, his remarks were so incendiary, some press people had to be escorted out for protection from the crowd. So, as his poll numbers show even some of his base supporters have had enough, he is grasping at ways to bring them back.
TRUMP’S FAKE News Award’s show will be watched and talked about for the entire week. It is sure to break Trump’s own record for the most lies he has told in one sitting. One thing we know for sure, FOX NEWS and the Monroe County Reporter will not win one of these awards.
TA-DA, and the big story last week-- Trump made another nasty, racist comment. I don’t think I have to repeat the comment here in this family newspaper. Unless you live under a rock, you know what kind of hole trump called these countries and the context in which it was used. What I thought was, “The whole world is thinking about that word at the same time.” That’s probably never happened, and we must give Trump all the credit. Instead of the “shot heard around the world,” we’ll just call it the “s*** heard around the world.