Featured

Another Republican on Trump – He Has a “Personality Disorder”

Republicans are slowly beginning to realize that they should put country over party, that they should finally acknowledge their mistake of putting a fool in the White House, and they should denounce him every change they get.

Tom Coburn, a medical doctor who served for 10 years in the House of Representatives upper chamber between 2005 and 2015, said he nonetheless thought that his core voters would continue to back the former reality TV star.

“We have a leader who has a personality disorder,” he told The New York Times. “But he’s done what he actually told the people he was going to do, and they’re not going to abandon him.”

The latest of a number of senior Republicans to rebuke their leader, Mr Coburn’s comments came senator Jeff Flake launched a blistering attack on Mr Trump.

Featured

Trump’s Approval Ratings Drop Even Further – Poll

Like his presidency, Donald Trump’s approval ratings is living in the gutters. Since he took the oath of office back in January, controversy has followed the beleaguered man and his doomed presidency.

Trump’s approval rating neared his all-time low in the Gallup poll. The latest figure in Gallup’s tracking survey, released Thursday, pegged Trump’s approval at just 35 percent, down from 38 percent at this point last week. He’s just one percentage point higher than his lowest rating ever of 34 percent. To make matters worse for the commander-in-chief, Trump’s disapproval was nearing his all-time high, as well. It stood at 60 percent, just one percentage point off from his all-time high of 61 percent in early September. The Gallup poll surveys 1,500 U.S. adults and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Featured

Reality to US: My Condolences

I’m still trying to figure out how you actually mess up a condolence call to a soldier’s family and turn it into a national nightmare when the White House Chief of Staff has to lie to cover up for the president’s lies. And just to make it worse, the White House Press Secretary then questions an American’s right to ask questions simply because the Chief of Staff is a Four Star General.

I’m all for respecting the military and the soldiers who serve our country. What I strenuously object to is the idea that we need to glorify the military and hold it in higher regard than  the rights they fight to protect, among which are the right to freedom of speech and of the press.

Saying that its inappropriate to criticize John Kelly simply because he’s a general shows me how utterly ignorant the present administration is of our history and jurisprudence. It also shows me how dangerous they are when it comes to what people say. Would it not also be inappropriate to question John McCain’s service to our country? The president did not hesitate to question McCain’s heroism and commitment.

Perhaps Trump’s tax returns have a line for moral bankruptcy to go along with his likely other manipulations.

Is there not going to be day when something that used to be predictable, normal, mundane or life-affirming is turned into a sloppy, incompetent, truthless, egomaniacal, psychological endurance test? How much more will the president’s actions cause good, honest people to lose their way and wobble because their moral gyroscopes have been knocked off their axes by his insipid need to be the story? Wasn’t John Kelly the man who was going to bring order to the White House? To stop the internecine bleeding and feuding that was tearing the country apart?

This is not going well, especially because Kelly is now looking a lot less like a pillar of moral strength  and more like a man who is wading into the tide of turpitude that threatens to become a tsunami. None of this is making America look like a worthy ally, governing entity or negotiating partner.

All of this comes at the end of a week that saw the president flip-flop on whether he supports a bipartisan fix for the Affordable Health Care Act that would go a long way towards meeting goals that he’s enunciated, which are to provide comprehensive health insurance to people at an affordable price and to stabilize the insurance markets. Of course, that’s what Trump has said. What he really wants to do is disrupt the law and have the country blame the Democrats, but that’s not going to happen. There are too many people in states that Trump won that rely on the ACA. Does he think that Democrats won’t remind those voters next November that it’s his actions that caused their plight if they lose coverage?

This is also a week that saw the president also try to kill two deals that are not nearly as bad as he says they are: NAFTA and the Iran nuclear agreement. The NAFTA negotiations are not going well, and you can’t really blame Mexico and Canada for wanting to hold the line on the deal because their economies have done well under the pact. Why would they want to renegotiate, especially since this administration has shown that it will destroy any agreement they don’t like. And while NAFTA has done serious damage to many parts of the United States, it has also done some wonderful things to other parts. Scrapping the deal will lead to significantly higher prices, an there’s no guarantee that it will lead to the job growth that Trump has promised.

The Europeans, in addition to the Iranians, are also wary of this administration’s negotiating tactics and are saying that Iran is abiding by the nuclear deal. That Iran is supporting terrorist groups in the Middle East is terrible, but let’s address that separately. The last thing anybody wants is for Iran to support terrorists and have a nuclear program.

Which brings us to tax reform, in which the middle class is going to be asked to give up deductions for mortgage interest and state taxes and, as of yesterday, possibly a severe restriction on how much its members can contribute to 401(k) retirement plans. All because the president wants to give businesses a massive tax break, from 35% to 20%, under the illusion that corporations will use that money to create jobs.

And not to help their stock price.
Which is what investors want.
And is tied to executive compensation.
See where I’m going with this?

If these corporations were so moral, why not use the money they have parked away now, bring it back to the US, and create more jobs. You know the answer.

We are very quickly losing our moral authority as a beacon of democracy, tolerance, openness and responsibility. It will take us years to get those back.

For more, go to www.facebook.com/WhereDemocracyLives or Twitter @rigrundfest

Featured

The Retreat Becomes a Rout

And, no; I’m not talking about Democratic failures in the face of the Republican onslaught. What’s being routed is common sense, practicality, reason, and stability.

The president has ultimately decided that if Congress is not going to strip health insurance from millions of people, essentially box them into buying policies that have unconscionably sky-high deductibles (because they’ll be the cheapest ones) or do not cover essential services such as addiction, mental health or family planning, then he is going to do that unilaterally.

By executive order.
Which Republicans hated when Obama issued them.
But we know what that was all about.
Don’t we.

And he’s planning on having the Democrats take the blame for it. That’s a retreat from reality, but then again, President Trump lives on the banks of denial, and he’ll continue to blame everyone except himself for the carnage that will follow. Of course, I do agree with the president that insurance companies should not get a payoff or have their profits subsidized with taxpayer money, but that begs the question of why he doesn’t really work with Democrats to construct a public option to compete with them.

Yes, I know the answer lies in a maelström of contradiction, ignorance, bombast and cruelty, but still.

This, though, is just the domestic bomb. The one that could get us all killed is in his actions on North Korea and Iran. By backing away from the Iran deal, and again leaving it to Congress to follow behind him and scoop up the mess, he makes a deal with North Korea that much more remote. After all, why would any dictator look at how we treated Saddam Hussain, Muammar Gaddafi and now Iran, and want to enter into any deal with us, knowing that at any time the president could abrogate or ignore its provisions? Further, Hussain and Gaddafi were killed after giving up their weapons of mass destruction. Kim and the mullahs are smarter than that.

Any astute reader of US foreign policy would also see that what the president says is not always what the policy turns out to be. Many of Trump’s secretaries have had to clarify, which means contradict, what he’s said because what he’s said would start a war. Cooler heads have prevailed, but cooler heads have also been seen rolling on the floor after a combustible president decided that they weren’t showing enough fealty. or at least got caught doing something stupid.

The real problem is that the United States is losing its credibility and its influence in the name of empty nationalism and the belief among Trump’s supporters that he somehow has the country’s best interests at heart. I don’t think he has our best interests and I’m rethinking the notion that he has a heart. What the president has is an insatiable desire to be the story, all day every day. And as we know from the media, that requires ever-expanding story lines, exaggerations and shock.

The system will eventually react. It will not be a pretty sight.

For more, go to www.facebook.com/WhereDemocracyLives or Twitter @rigrundfest

Featured

White House Chief of Staff – “I’m not being fired today” – Video

Rumors and White House sources say that Trump’s White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly – a man of impeccable integrity and grit – is leaving the White House. But today, Kelly put the brakes on all those speculations – or probably fueled those speculations – when he addressed the media telling them, “I’m not quitting today… I don’t think I’m being fired today.”

Many say the retired General is one of the glue keeping the Trump White House in tact, that he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are the buffers keeping Trump’s insanity from having its full effect on the American people and quite frankly, the rest of the world. When he took the job a few months ago there were high hopes that Kelly would be able to control the 72-year-old kid in the Oval office. Sadly, however, reality has set in and many are questioning Kelly’s effect on Trump.

I have a feeling that the next time Kelly speaks to the media, he will be talking about why he left his job as White House Chief of Staff.

Watch Kelly’s remarks below

Featured

EMINEM Destroys Donald Trump in New Rap – Video

If only other entertainers would stand up and proclaim their disgust with Donald Trump and where his so-called “leadership” is taking this nation, I’m sure we will be in a much better place.

More respect to EMINEM for making his feelings known, and not being afraid of speaking out!

Video

Democracy #Featured

Shooting Policy Blanks

We learned this week that the Republican Party is so concerned about religious rights that they’ll compromise women’s health and allow people who are supposedly committed to love and compassion to discriminate against fellow human beings who love differently than they do.

We also learned that the only suggestion they can come up with when scores of people are killed by altered weapons is to get rid of the alteration, thereby condemning the country to another mass shooting massacre, which I predict will happen sometime in the next 18 months. A bold prediction, no? Kind of like predicting the sunrise tomorrow.

And then of course there’s the ongoing dismissal of African-American concerns regarding police actions, employment discrimination and voter suppression.

OK, you’re right. We didn’t really learn these things. We already knew them to be true, but having to actually live their reality is a reminder that the party truly does want to undo 60 years of progress for those people in society who have consistently felt the sting of discrimination and hate.

I certainly understand that the Republican Party favors the free market, lower taxes, less government and, shall we say, traditional morality, but under the present administration, those polices have become meaner and less fair than ever before. Add in the gerrymandering that keeps the GOP in power even in states where they are a minority only compounds the problem and the inequity. We can only hope that the Supreme Court rules favorably in the Wisconsin gerrymandering case it heard this past week. Courts have been good at preventing the administration from completely fouling the environment,

There’s word that the president has reached out to Chuck Schumer about fixing the health care law, but that won’t pass the House, so it looks like we’re stuck with the stalling tactics that have made the health insurance market skittish and more expensive. The silver lining is that millions of people will not lose their insurance, but we’re clearly not going in the right direction.

It’s disheartening to know that this administration will not do the right thing when the opportunity presents itself.

For more, go to www.facebook.com/WhereDemocracyLives or Twitter @rigrundfest