The New Deal is on life support. The Republicans have been trying to sweep it away for some eighty-four years. Donald Trump’s elevation to the presidency was, unbeknownst to them, their blessing. Now, with Trump ensconced in the Oval office and the GOP in control of both chambers of Congress, they can practically taste the end of the New Deal and its progeny, progressive America. They’ve waited 84 years for this moment. Over that time they’ve come so close: Nixon, Reagan but they’ve never reached the goalpost. But Trump is different; a master salesman cum grifter, coming to power during a time when White (red) America’s economic woes and fear of an unraveling world order, make Trump him just what the blossoming American oligarchy ordered. Understanding this, the GOP has cast aside any semblance of morality or love of country and Constitution. “Emoluments Clause?” they ask, “What’s that?” and “Russian interference in our elections. Silly you! The problem is American voter fraud.”
The danger for the majority of us (yes Donald, you lost the popular vote) is that the Trump base, comprised mostly of angry White (red) Americans blame their lost privileges, status and economic opportunities on every other living human being except those bearing the blame: the preening 1% and their political operatives. Going back to Nixon and his “Southern strategy,” punctuated by Ronald Reagan’s “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help“, White (red) America has been primed for decades to vote for a demagogue like Trump. So here we are, you got your wish. The GOP wants to step away from your lives. They want to yank away the social safety net. They will let your bridges and roads crumble unless they find a way to outsource for the benefit of private interests. They will (absolutely) give you your freedom to choose your own doctor, but good luck paying for it. They will give you school choice, but only the children of the rich will get a genuine education and the true opportunities and choice that that brings. Expect your children to be funneled, early on in life, into “Training” only. No grand future for them. Indeed, get ready for the “pay as you go” society where it’s everyone for themselves and only the children of the rich succeed becasue their parents can afford to pay and pay and …
White (red) America: I know you are angry. It’s hard to find yourselves in a dead end or with no job at all. It’s hard to see your loved ones succumbing to drug addiction brought about by despair, not lack of “personal responsibility” as you all mouthed for years when drug addiction was rampant amongst “others.” Many, many “others” have had little or no opportunities for hundreds of years in this country, but you looked away. As long as you were comfortable and secure it was all ok. But now it’s not all ok and you still think the answer is to blame the “others” or take away their rights. That’s not the answer. It was never the answer. Our solution, yes our collective solution as a united people and a nation, is to strive for and achieve genuine economic and social justice for all. The answer is to see Trump for who he is and his GOP handlers for who they’ve been for generations: rich and privileged white men who don’t give a damn about you even if you are white and red.
Join the resistance and together let’s continue the march for economic and social justice- we welcome you with open arms.
MEMORIAL DAY is set aside to commemorate those who sacrificed their lives in the service of this country. We all know they were not defending the president, any one individual, or even a piece of real estate, but the principles enshrined in our Constitution. Now is the time for all truly patriotic Americans to stand up to a Republican Party, which watches complacently as Donald Trump shreds our Constitution. Alexander Hamilton cautioned us to be on guard against such a scenario in Federalist Papers #68. He said it was to be expected that the “….most deadly adversaries of republican government might… make their approaches from… foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union?” our “… most deadly adversaries of republican government…” And isn’t this exactly what has occurred? Donald Trump, “a creature” of a foreign adversary has been raised up to destroy us from within.
On this sacred day when we give thanks and remembrance to those who gave their lives to protect our Constitution and with it We the People let’s all take the pledge to save our nation by doing two things:
First, each of us must take one action a week to push back against the anti-democratic forces working full-time to destroy our precious Constitution and with that our democracy; and
Two, help in any way you can to get your friends and neighbors to Vote Local to reclaim our local governments as well as our Congress. Take the EQUAL pledge: https://www.facebook.com/votelocaltaketheequalpledge2017/
It’s true: the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Today’s New York Times shines a light on the sheer rapaciousness of the Kushner real estate empire. It is marked by a dogged cruelty and sheer lack of humanity that, well, frankly made my skin crawl. Anyone who has read the numerous books and articles on the Trump real estate empire will see the same strain running through it- squeezing every dime from the vulnerable, failing to pay the little guy and using the legal system to victimize those without the resources to stand against the Trump (or Kushner) machine. Anyone who believes that the Trumps or Kushners were or are Democrats (other than for NYC political expediency) orthat Jared Kushner will exercise a restraining hand on Trump’s bullying and autocratic approach to governance (or as Trump calls it: “ruling”) is sadly misguided. Whether in business, in the Trump/Kushner Executive orders, or the proposed budget, both men display the same heartlessness and authoritarianism in their approach to “ruling” America as they have in the real estate realm.
Ethnic and religious differences aside, both Trump and Kushner share something in common that has cemented their relationship (and no it’s not Ivanka): each are scions to a New York real estate fortune built on the backs of the poor and powerless and both men who have never had to struggle a day in their lives, are willing to travel any path in pursuit of the G-d they worship: the almighty dollar.
Yesterday The Guardian’s reporter, Ben Jacobs was “body slammed” by Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate for Montana’s only congressional seat when the reporter tried to ask a question about the Republican health care plan.
That incident set off a firestorm of comments, not the least of which have suggested that President Trump’s continual invectives against a free press has encouraged an environment in which such an assault could occur. Since his candidacy began continuing through to the present, Trump has constantly demonized the press. “Liars” and the “enemy of the people” are but a few Trumpian characterizations of the press. His chief strategist Steve Bannon has gone so far as to label the media as “the opposition party” and suggest the “media should keep its mouth shut.” And least we think the violent shutting down of a reporter in Montana was an isolated aberration earlier this month a reporter in West Virginia was arrested for simply asking Heath and Human Services secretary Tom Price a question about the Republicans’ plan for health care. Do we see a pattern emerging here?
The breakdown in tolerance for free speech may be a bellwether indicating we are headed for a serious national breakdown. On May 22, 1856, almost 161 years to the day of the Montana incident, a South Carolinian Congressman Preston Brooks almost beat to death on the floor of the Senate Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner in retaliation for an anti-slavery speech.
When what has typically been lawful speech becomes an excuse for violence or the arrest of reporters or average citizens for questioning the powerful, our democracy is in peril.
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I was struck today by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s response to the Manchester bombing. He said, in part, “…. to deliberately target innocent children is cowardice in its most heinous form.” So true Mr. Speaker. Yet, as he uttered these words I asked myself, how could an individual who speaks so passionately about the victims of the Manchester bombing so callously advocate depriving millions of Americans of health care? Particularly, the Ryan health care plan, in all its iterations, will deprive and/or severely limit American children’s access to health care under the very successful CHIPs program. At minimum it will cause undue pain and suffering, at its worst countless children will die from lack of healthcare.
Ask Speaker Ryan: how do you not equate such violent acts like the Manchester bombing that you rightly and so vehemently condemn, with the violence your health care policies would inflict on Americans? Is needless death and suffering any more acceptable simply because it is caused by an elected official? Speaker Ryan, why is “deliberately targeting innocent children” in your so-called health care plan not an act of “cowardice in its most heinous form” ?
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Trump is truly the proverbial “Manchurian candidate.” He is bound to Putin like a fly caught in a spider’s web. What the Russians failed to accomplish over the course of a half-century Cold War they appear poised to achieve through their corruption of Donald Trump. They have assessed correctly the avarice of the Republican congress- willing to permit a Russian puppet in the White House as long as it means dismantling the New Deal’s heritage: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, all social programs, and most importantly, a large and vibrant American middle class. What do they plan to do once they’ve accomplished this: install a corporate oligarchy. Don’t believe it can’t happen here. It’s unfolding in front of your eyes.
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Shortly after Donald Trump’s unexpected elevation to the American presidency an public Irish Senator, Aodhán O’Riordáin, spoke out against that election’s results. He called the president-elect a “fascist” and a “monster” adding: “I don’t use the term fascist lightly. What else would you call someone who threatens to imprison his political opponents?” That speech went viral.
Now that same Irish critic will attend the St Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City. MSNBC’s Joy Reid, interviewed O’Riordáin about his criticism of Trump. O’Riordáin maintained his prior position about Trump and further noted that many Irish Americans appear to have forgotten both their immigrant roots as well as their history of sectarian persecution under English rule in Ireland as well as in the United States.
He has a point. In the recent election it’s estimated that 45% of Irish Americans voted for Trump, 41% for Clinton and the remainder either for a third party candidate or did not vote. No surprise that many Irish Americans, along with other white ethnic Americans, responded favorably to Trump’s call to “make America great again,” by succumbing to fear and hatred.
Senator O’Riordáin has called on Irish Americans to use St. Patrick’s Day to take an “Irish Stand” and reject the racism, and xenophobia of Donald Trump and his ilk. Indeed, we can all use St. Patrick’s day to take a stand against the rising tide of hate that if left unchecked will consume this nation. Let us heed Lincoln’s call to be a nation that feels “malice toward none” and “charity for all …” If we can all do that, America will find it’s way again.
The Electoral College failed in their constitutional duty when they ratified Donald Trump as president. Now we need to look to other constitutional safeguards to protect us from a man clearly unfit to serve as our Commander-in-Chief and the unfolding debacle.
The Twenty-fifth Amendment provides for the removal of an incapacitated president, “Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.”
Surely, Trump’s 77 minute free-wheeling stream of whatever consciousness Donald Trump possesses, demonstrated he does not have the capacity to act as Commander-in Chief. While I am fearful of a Pence presidency, I am not sure we can survive 47 more months of this out-of-control lunatic. This man, along with his kleptocratic, autocratic followers, need to go now and we must demand that Trump be removed. At this point, it is up to us, “We the People” to take back our Republic and secure our democracy for ourselves, our children, and for generations to come.