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The Trump Doctrine: Shoot Off Mouth, Then Foot

At this point, the main difference between President Trump’s (shudder) relationship with Kim Jong-un and Mitch McConnell is that Trump has asked only McConnell to resign. Kim just gets the bluster treatment. Of the two, McConnell is in the biggest trouble.

Here in New Jersey, and only about 10 miles from the president’s retreat in Bedminster, there is calm. The area is primarily Republican, so most of the population either supports Trump or would never think of voting Democratic no matter who’s on the ballot. In fact, Bedminster, one of the horsiest places in the state, is fast becoming more Democratic due to the building of a huge condominium development, the Hills, back in the 1980s. Prior to that, the area was solidly GOP when the party was sensible. The Hills included the demon seed of New Jersey politics, affordable housing, which brought in moderate income people like me, and just like that, Democrats began being elected in the land of Malcolm Forbes.

There’s a reason that wealthy towns in New Jersey fight tooth and nail not to have to build affordable housing, or prefer to sell their housing credits to more, ahem, modest towns. Of course, you’ll never hear Trump talk about affordable housing or how the neighborhood surrounding his golf club is changing. That’s for losers. Not winners like him who’ve signed major legislation to…to…so sad!

It is in this context that our chief executive has taken to his Twitter account, threatening fiery death, destruction, ruin and an eternity in hell to…Mitch McConnell, whom the president blames for not getting a terrible, horrible, hellfire health care bill through Congress, a Congress that finally realized the political peril of throwing 22 million people off their healthcare. That’s not good enough for our once and future dear leader. He was absolutely no help in the process, mainly because he knows nothing about health care policy, and focused on threatening Senators who have stouter backbones than he does and who do not fear his empty suit.

Now Trump wants tax reform and infrastructure, but these will fail for the same reasons that repeal and replace failed; because the president does not know enough to lead on these issues and cannot speak in more than 140 character bursts. Tax reform is also looking more and more like reform to make wealthier people even more wealthy, while here in New Jersey we might lose the state tax deduction, which will result in the savaging of the middle class taxpayer.

Infrastructure will also go badly because the plan is for the government to spend $200 billion and private industry to spend $800 billion. But if there’s no profit, why would private concerns pony up that kind of money? It’s pretty obvious that we, the people, will end up paying more in fees and tolls to reimburse the private concerns, who might cut corners if their projects turn out to be too costly. Say what you will about public works projects; most of them last if you maintain them.

All this will be moot if we get into a nuclear war with North Korea, which we won’t. And without a coherent policy, or an actual diplomat in South Korea to carry our messages – which we don’t actually have – this will remain a war of words which we can’t win. And our allies and China should now be convinced that our man in the White House cannot be trusted to confer with them or to behave diplomatically. Trump figures he can yell at them like he did the plumbers and spackle guys in his towers when they didn’t do the job as he expected. Then he stiffed them.

What Trump did with North Korea is the diplomatic equivalent of stiffing a contractor. We, the people, unfortunately, will get stuck paying the invoice with our souls.

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Former Army Colonel Confesses He’s Very Concerned about America’s World Relations

You got Vladimir Putin and Russia saying that relations between the U.S and Russia is at an all time low. You got Donald Trump authorizing 60 missiles dropped in Syria, you got another massive bomb called, The Mother of All Bombs raining down in Afghanistan and you got Donald Trump and North Korea threatening nuclear destruction. And all this is happening within Trump’s first 100 days in office.

Put all that together and you have a recipe for global destruction, a time that concerns a seasoned veteran of U.S foreign affairs history.

“I’ve been through the Cuban missile crisis, I’ve been through the Bay of Pigs before that, Vietnam War, the two Iraq wars and so forth,” Former Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson told MSNBC. “And I’ve got to tell you, though, I’ve never been so concerned, as I am now, for the state of this country and world relations.”

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Democracy #Featured

Who Knew It Could Get So Dangerous?

On the (months ago) heels of a 40 watt light bulb going off in the president’s head about how complicated health care could be, comes another revelation – unstated, about how dangerous the world could be.

Perhaps Donald Trump believed that throwing 59 missiles at Syria would startle Presidents Assad and Putin to the point that they would give up the fight and flee. Or maybe Trump giving his generals the green light to MOAB the Afghani desert would cause ISIS to run a white flag up a flagpole like the Vietcong did (not) when Richard Nixon decided we had too many leftover bombs in our arsenal and thought that Christmas would be a fabulous time to send a message of peace war.

In any case, this is now getting dangerous.

Never mind that North Korea’s attempts to rattle us ended in a failure that can be traced back to President Obama’s program to disrupt Kim Jong-un’s military through cyber-warfare. President Trump (shudder) will try to take credit for waking up in the morning and thinking that his actions will solve any and all real world problems. This is the kind of diplomacy we’ve seen before from politicians who believe that sending a military message without any diplomatic follow-up will yield meaningful fruit. It will not. Add the yeasty smell of a candidate who questioned the validity of NATO, and you have the makings of a loaf of something that makes matzah seem like a 7 layer cake.

For three months we saw Donald Trump’s attempts at domestic policy and the utter failure that resulted from his ineptitude. Foreign policy is much trickier and, as we’ve seen, can kill far more people than repealing the ACA. Rex Tillerson has his work cut out for him.

Gee, wouldn’t it be nice to have a president with some foreign policy and diplomatic experience? Like…

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