Democracy

The Snowflake Presidency

When are Americans going to wake up and realize that Donald Trump is like any other guy in a bar with an opinion and limited facts? That he’s essentially a guy who went into dad’s business, spreading his money around to anyone who would spell his name correctly in big neon letters, and that he knows virtually nothing about how the American political system works or the ideas on which it is based? As for his defensiveness and inability to take blame, that makes Trump not just the first snowflake president; it makes him a virtual blizzard.

Realizing this makes it easier to dismiss 95% of articles that are written about him, articles that register shock–shock!–at the things he says and the things he does.

I have no doubt whatsoever that Trump asked, indeed demanded, that James Comey stop the investigation into Micheal Flynn. I have no doubt that Trump knew virtually nothing about how his travel ban violated basic American values and legal norms. I have no doubt that he is unschooled in any of the vital public issues that confront our nation at this moment, including, but not limited to health care, the environment, taxes, job creation, roads, bridges, airports, technology information systems, the Internet, immigration or foreign relations.

He, and I assume many of his shrinking support base, sees himself as the great disruptor, when in fact he is clueless about how his words and actions damage him and even more, damage the country. Just in the past few days Trump has finally affirmed that the US stands firmly behind our NATO allies and that we will defend them under every circumstance. And he has said that he will address the issue of whether there are Oval Office tapes of his conversations with Comey and others.

But why wait? In the first case, Trump’s waffling and non-commitment in Italy only served to heighten mistrust of the US as a staunch ally. In the second, and under the same circumstances, you or I would immediately be accused of withholding evidence in a criminal investigation. What Trump is doing is not disruption or draining liquids or statecraft. It’s an ignorant guy in a bar watching cable news and spewing his uninformed opinion.

And it’s not going to stop.

The White House staff was able to keep Trump occupied throughout Comey’s televised testimony, which, if you have any experience with children who have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, is a Herculean task, and he generally stayed off Twitter for the day. But he came roaring back with venom, calling Comey a liar and offering to testify himself under oath with nothing more than…himself. And he’s his own worst enemy. Comey has witnesses and written notes. Trump has…beer and pretzels.

As I’ve said, my life has become lighter and less fraught since I committed to the obvious and judged Trump, correctly, to be nothing more than an uninformed blowhard.  The real problem with my assumption, though, is that the other people in the White House and in Congress must step up and make sure that Trump’s worst excesses do not become law.

What happens when Rex Tillerson and others with some modicum of knowledge resign because Trump has contradicted them one too many times? What happens if Senate moderates can’t defeat the ruinous Trumpcare bill now in front of them? What happens if Paul Ryan continues to excuse Trump’s behavior because, essentially, he doesn’t know any better?

Obviously, the first thing is that I will become heavier and more fraught, but it will also mean that the country will be in an even more spectacular danger. That’s why those who oppose the administration’s direction must organize and coalesce around candidates that will take back the House and/or Senate in 2018. That’s got to be the one indivisible goal for those of us who see the danger that’s plainly in front of us.

Otherwise, we will continue to be buried under the billions of snowflakes already descending upon us.

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

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New Lows for Trump’s Approval Ratings

Olbermann called him “our national embarrassment, our international disgrace.” And it seems the rest of the country concurs. Let’s see how low Trump’s poll numbers would go.

The new Quinnipiac University poll finds Trump has a job approval rating of 34 percent, compared to 57 percent who disapprove of the way the president is handling his job.

In a poll released at the end of last month, 37 percent of respondents approved of the job the president was doing and 55 percent disapproved.

The new poll also finds 31 percent of voters think Trump did something illegal regarding his relationship with Russia.

Another 29 percent of respondents think the president did something unethical, but not illegal, regarding his relationship with Russia. Thirty-two percent think the president did nothing wrong.

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Olbermann on Trump – “Our National Embarrassment, Our International Disgrace” – Video

Olbermann began this episode of The Resistance by apologizing to the rest of the world for the mistake America made, a mistake called Donald Trump.

“Let me apologies again to the world, particularly the United Kingdom on behalf of the United States of America,” Olberman said. He continued. “Donald Trump is not of sound mind. We are working to correct the problem as soon as possible.”

Olbermann then went on to explain why Donald Trump, who Keith referred to as “our national embarrassment, our international disgrace” would have already been fired if he worked this incompetently anywhere else in the private industry.

“His complete incompetence, his complete failure, and his complete inability to see his incompetence and his failure, is anything except personal brilliance, would get him fired everywhere from the boardroom at Microsoft to the deep fryer at McDonald’s.”

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Climate change #Featured

We’ll Always Have Paris

Of all the things that Donald Trump has done to make us weaker over the past 5 months, his withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Accord is the one that feels most like a betrayal.

Because it is.

His decision betrays common sense. The only reason to withdraw is because Trump and the rest of the conservative know-nothings simply don’t believe that human activity has led to a rise in greenhouse gases and a dangerous warming of the planet. All of the discussion about whether Trump believes in climate change is moot. He doesn’t have to say anything more about the subject. By throwing his lot with the deniers and hopelessly believing that coal and oil are the future of the country (and the world), he is overtly saying that we can continue to burn fossil fuels and nothing will happen to us. I guess he’s chosen not to recall the terrible air and water pollution that plagued the country until the EPA and the Clean Air and water Acts were passed.

Yes, there are some small business owners who believe that climate regulations will hit them harder than the large corporations that oppose the president’s (shudder) decision, But the Paris accord didn’t force anybody to impose strict regulations on anyone. Of course, that’s one of the main points of opposition from the right: if other countries could set their environmental bar low, it would mean that most of the regulations and sacrifices would have to be made by the major industrialized countries. And since the United States is the world’s number 1 polluter (are you tired of winning yet?), we would need to regulate ourselves more. Of course, this is hogwash, and not a reason to pull the country out of the agreement.

The real damage in all of this is that by leaving the pact, the United States gives up a great deal of credibility and power. When the US signs an agreement, we need to abide by it, especially when every other country in the world, save for Nicaragua and Syria, is a signatory. Pulling out sends the message that we are no longer to be trusted.  Of course, most of the negative reactions by the rest of the world have been aimed at Trump himself. Most of the rest of the world knows that the majority of the country supports the science behind global climate change and sees Trump’s decision as representing a minority view meant to appeal to his limited, and shrinking, support base.

And really, if you’re another country, why would you renegotiate an accord that took years to come to fruition with a president who could step back from it at any time? And if Trump is only going to agree to deals that are advantageous to the US, why would any country agree to negotiate with him?

In the end, America First and isolation will only serve to highlight the selfish and short-sighted nature of the Trump administration. The United States needs to be a leader and a role model in this world. We need to call out dictators and leaders who abuse press freedoms and commit human rights abuses. Trump has sent the message that we will not be doing that to the extent that we have in the past. His is a transactional administration, which basically means that if you give us money, we’ll pay attention to you, but if you don’t, we won’t honor our commitments as robustly as before.

This is terribly dangerous and can only lead to other powers, such as China and Russia, filling in the space that we should be occupying. And as China and India confront their pollution crises, which they will absolutely need to do, they will find that wind, solar and even nuclear power will be cheaper and healthier for their billions of people. Meanwhile, the administration is asking the country to go back to the 1950s when workplace safety requirements were few and polluted air and water was everywhere. Especially in Pittsburgh.

We’ve just taken two steps backward and none forward.

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

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Disrespectful Trump Pushes NATO Prime Minister Out The Way – Video

This has nothing to do with Trump being from New York as stated to my by a co-worker. This has everything to do with Trump being a pompous, disrespectful, ass, who thinks everyone – including prime ministers, are below him.

In a meeting today with NATO leaders, Trump is seen looking aggravated as he pushes away Montenegro’s Prime Minister, Dusko Markovic.

One day after a Republican politician bodyslams a reporter, Trump puts his thuggish-street ways on full display for everyone to see. This is beneath the office of the Presidency.

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Even Melania Can’t Stand Donald Trump – Video

It all makes sense. It is now obvious why Melania Trump stays in New York while her husband is destroying America in Washington. It has nothing to do with their son being in school, it has everything to do with Melania’s apparent disgust of physical contact with the donald.

There are many videos online showing Melania doing everything she can to avoid touching her husband, but the more recent video of their trip to the middle east speaks volume.

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Let’s Compare Obama’s “Scandals” to Trump’s Scandals – Video

I remember the times when some in the press stumbled over themselves to pin a scandal on former president, Barack Obama. It wasn’t easy, so the simplest things were often blown up into a so-called “scandal.”

From Obama putting his foot on his desk in the Oval office, to the color of a suit he wore, to him chewing gum, were blown up into a “scandal.” Now compare those actions to those of Donald Trump, and the obvious obstruction of justice soup he is now boiling in.

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