Saturday, December 24, 2016

Micheal Moore's Five Point Plan

Michael Moore's Five Point Plan
Michael Moore's Five Point Plan for the Trump Era
Remember that story about the little Dutch boy with his thumb in the dike. We all have to be that little Dutch boy now because America has sprung about 100 million leaks.

Moore gave his five point plan on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC.

1. Visit your member of Congress.
The House members have offices in their districts. Go and pay them a visit. If the House is not in session, they should be in their district office. If you can’t visit in person, send them a snail mail letter. Better yet, do both.

Show up at their town halls and let them know what you think. Demand that they hold a town hall.

Find your Representative here:
(Enter your address, and you will be taken to your representative’s page. Click on his/her picture, and then scroll down to see their local office address.)

Visit and write even if your Representative is a Democrat. We need to let the Democrats know that we stand with them. And also, we are watching.

2. Insist the DNC appoint progressive leaders.
In addition to being progressive, the chair of the DNC should be someone who can do the job full-time.

Tom Perez was a good choice. 

3. Form your own rapid response team.
We can’t let them sneak anything by us. We have to be ready to respond. That’s one reason I started a facebook page, Blue America Fights Back. (Please join it.) The idea is to have a place to post so that the word gets out quickly.

You can start a facebook page for your district, your state, or just for your circle of friends or neighbors.

4. Plan to go to Inaugural Weekend Protests.
The Women's March on January 21 was a huge success--over a million and a half in Washington Dc alone, with million more in other U.S. cities and in cities around the world. 

Citizens have kept the pressure up. There are major marches and protests almost every week. 

One protest we can all do is to not watch the inaugural on TV. I am also not watching any TV that day, network or cable. I want to punish all the channels that purport to have news shows—they were all guilty of dereliction of duty. They chased ratings instead of truth.

Don’t worry that you will miss anything. It is going to be very boring. No one you ever heard of is willing to perform at either the ceremony or any of the inaugural balls. Even the high school marching bands have refused to show up, and high school marching bands never miss an opportunity to march.

5. Have a Plan B--As bad as you think it be, it will be worse.
We know that it will be really, really bad, worse than our worst nightmare. His cabinet and staff picks are abysmal. Most are totally unqualified for their positions and lack any relevant experience.

And the ones that are “qualified,” like Steve Bannon and KellyAnne Conway, are despicable people. I put qualified in quotes because they are qualified to promote president Trump, but they are not the people who should advising a president of the United States of America. (N.B. I used a lower case “p” for “president Trump” because I can’t bear to give Trump the title. I will continue to do that for as long as he is in office.)

Bannon is head of the alt-right website, Brietbart News. If you don’t know what alt-right means--just think “Nazi” and you will be close enough.

KellyAnne Conway is the most practiced liar I have ever seen, second only to the Trumpmeister himself. Catch her in a lie (and just about everything she says is a lie) and she will segue smoothly to the next lie. She tell her lies with a smile—it’s like pouring honey over a turd—it still stinks and it still attracts flies.

Anyhow, be prepared to be flexible. The Trump administration will try to shut down protest. We must protest in such massive numbers that they can’t shut us down. 

Pay Attention to Local Elections.
The elections of 2018, especially the ones for your state's governor, House, and Senate, should be our focus now. These elections determine who will draw up the districts. If we win these elections, we can brek up the gerrymandering that has given the U.S. House of Representatives their unbeatable majority.  

Watch the Interview.
You can watch the full interview on the YouTube video below. Don’t miss the end when Michael Moore entertains us by singing a Christmas carol, The Little Drummer Boy. He probably chose it to remind us to beat the drums of protest. And because there is no Christmas carol called The Little Dutch Boy.

You might also want to read:

Brace for Impact

The Orange Hitler

Trump is Putin's Puppet

Donald Trump is Whiny Little Bitch

The Revenge of the Yahoos

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Donald Trump Satirical Meme Scrapbook

I found a bunch of memes to explain who Donald Trump is, why he got elected, and how he is destroying America. They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, so I’m letting the pictures tell the story. (With a little bit of commentary.)

Save America from Donald Trump.
Someone,  Please! Save America from Donald Trump! 

Who is Donald Trump? Maybe this picture will give you a hint. 

Donald Trump as Hitler
Is Donald Trump Americas Hitler? 

We knew who he was. He didn’t try to hide it. It was his supporters liked him. The more hatred he spewed, the more they liked him.

Trump is a demogouge.
Trump is a narcissistic, racist, demogouge.

Time magazine chose Trump as “Person of the Year.”  The photo of him was very interesting. It suggested that he was the devil (Notice the horns.) And to add further insult, they used a picture which showed his bald head showing through his comb over. The graphic designers at Time Magzine are pros—no way this happened by accident.

Trump's Time Magazine cover photo
TIME Magazine made Trump look like the devil.

Trump has been doing rallies even though the election is over. He just can’t get enough of those adoring crowds. The love doesn’t go both ways though. At a recent Victory Rally, he actually said, “I don’t need you anymore.” The crowd cheered. Maybe they will eventually realize that Trump is not going to keep any of his promises to them. Here is the hat he should be handing out now. 

Trump Suckers Hat
A Trump hat that says "suckers".

Trump supporters really are a special kind of stupid.

Trump Voters Stupid
Trump voters are a special kind of stupid. 

Yes, I blame the ignorant suckers in this country for the disaster that is about to overtake the United States. But I also have to blame the media. Most of the news networks understood who Trump was, but he put on a good show and they wanted ratings. So they aired “The Donald Trump Runs for President” reality show constantly. They showed his rallies in full. This pumped up Trump’s personal ratings.

Trump Free Media
The media was Trumps enablers.

Hillary got some air time, but it was mostly the incessant chatter over her emails. Hillary did nothing illegal, no classified material fell into the wrong hands, and Hillary apologized. It was a non-issue.

The Republican director of the FBI, James Comey, found no evidence of any illegal wrongdoing. But then since he couldn’t indict her, he smeared her. And when the hullabaloo died down, he revived it with his discovery of new emails, which turned out to be duplicates. Comey, more than anyone, may have won the election for Trump. Trump owes Comey bigly.

Trump Kisses Comey
Trump gives Comey a wet one in appreciation.

And let’s not forget the Russian Connection. WikiLeaks gave the media more emails, and the media promptly blew it up into a scandal. Every day the media would pick one and pretend to be shocked over something that amounted to nothing. They would drop it the next day and move on to the next email-of-the-day. 

WikiLeaks sinks Hillary
WikiLeaks also helped to sink Hillary's campaign.

We must also give some credit to the Religious right in this country. They supported Trump and exposed themselves as hypocrites.

Golden Calf Trump
Trump is the Golden Calf the religious right worshiped. 

Now Trump is President-Elect Trump. The sane people in this country hoped against hope that Trump would at least surround himself with smart people. Nope! Trumps picks for his staff and cabinet are billionaires and millionaires, generals, and extremists (like Steve Bannon, Mike Flynn, and John Bolton) He’s picking people like himself.

The people Trump is picking for cabinet posts have no experience that qualifies them for the position they are being given.

Trump cabinet cat
Maybe Trump wlil put an actual cat in his cabinet. 
To make things even worse, most of Trumps picks want to destroy the organization they are supposed to lead.  It seems like Trump is actively trying to destroy the United States.

Trump's Cabinet
Trump's cabinet picks want to destroy the organizations
they are supposed to lead.  

The latest cabinet pick is Rick Perry, former governor of Texas and former presidential candidate who said he wanted the Department of Energy gone. At least that is what he meant to say. He couldn't remember the name of the agency he wanted gone. Perry's most recent experience is a stint on Dancing with the Stars. He was painful to watch and he was booted out on week 3. 

Trump Cabinet Fox Hen-house
Trumps cabinet picks are like putting the fox in charge of the hen house. 

But Trump's most shameful pick is Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil for Secretary of State. Tillerson has worked at ExxonMobil for his entire career and he is very chummy with Putin. So I guess Tillerson is Trump's thank you to Russia. 

And just to make sure we have the worse State Department ever, Trump is expected to name neo-con John Bolton for Deputy Secretary of State. 

Trump is surrounding himself with current and former Goldman Sachs executives--including the man he chose to be his top economic adviser, Goldman Sachs president and COO Gary Cohn. Is this how Trump drains the swamp?

Every time I think it can't get any worse, Trump announces a new pick and it is even worse. I created this campaign poster based on a photo Bill Maher used on his HBO show. The campaign is over, but will the nightmare ever end?

The Scream Trump Pence Poster.
The Scream Trump Pence Poster. 

Now we have a bunch of new scandals. This time the scandals are about Donald Trump. Russia blatantly interfered in our election to help Trump. The CIA has definitely concluded that Putin was behind the leaked emails of the DNC and John Podesta, Hillary's campaign chair. There are only three questions remaining--did Russia hack the vote counts, did Trump collude with Putin, and why does Trump deny Russia role in the election.  

Trump Russia FBI
Trump denies the Russian Connection.

Another scandal is the rampant conflict of interests that Trump has. He promised to give us his plan to separate himself from his business interests on December 15. On December 13, he cancelled the press conference and moved it to sometime in January 2017. (Or maybe 2020, he didn't actually specify.)

The country doesn't even know just how far-reaching these conflicts are. He is CEO of a privately held company and he will not release his tax returns.  

Trump Conflict-of-Interest
Trump has many conflicts of interest.

If Trump's actions as President-Elect are any indication we are in for four years of the United States of Trump. 

So far Trump has shown no interest in doing anything but rewarding donors and cronies (and Russia). Plus using his office to enrich himself. His children (who will be running Trump enterprises) sit in on meetings and phone calls with foreign leaders. When he speaks with foreign leaders, he discusses his business interests in their countries--and lo, permits are suddenly granted. (Or sometimes, as happened with Turkey, Trump's business interests are held hostage to obtain a favor from Trump.)

Trump World Danger
Trump is dangerous because of his ignorance.

Trump is so busy seeing to his business interests that he won't even take his security briefings. He said, "I'm, like, a smart person. I don't have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years..I don't need that. But I do say, 'If something should change, let us know.'"

We know Trump skips CIA briefings, but he never misses SNL.

Obama responded saying the intelligence agencies "are full of extraordinarily hard-working, patriotic and knowledgeable experts, and if you are not getting their perspective, then you are flying blind."

Trump is willfully ignorant and this will have consequences,
like it did the last time we had a willfully ignorant president. 

Bill Maher said, "It's like watching a play with a gun." 

The entire country, the entire word is in the hands of this one person. Unless! Unless someone can do something! Will the Trump Electors refuse to vote for him? Can the recount give the election to Hillary? Can some lawsuit undo this? Can Trump be arrested before he even takes office? 

Can America boot out this racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, greedy narcissistic con-man who played the American voters. Is is not too late to save us from a sham-president? 

Lady Liberty boots Trump
Can America boot out this sham president.

There is a facebook group for people who want to fight back. It is called Blue America Fights Back. 

I had to cap this off with one of the best SNL video clips ever!

Insane Clown President
CLICK HERE for more info

Matt Taibbi is a great reporter and writer. I’ve been a fan for years.

In Insane Clown President you will see the 2016 presidential contest through the eyes of Matt Taibbi. 

Follow along from its tragicomic beginnings to its apocalyptic conclusion. This book tells the story of Western civilization’s very own train wreck.

You might also want to read:

Brace for Impact

The Orange Hitler

Trump is Putin's Puppet

Donald Trump is Whiny Little Bitch

Michael Moore's Five Point Plan

The Revenge of the Yahoos

Saturday, November 26, 2016

101 Reasons to Dump Trump

On November 8, 2016, the networks called the Election for Donald Trump. Is Trump the winner? Technically. For Now. Here are a multitude of reasons we must not let Trump become president. We must continue to hope and fight for the election of Hillary Clinton.

Dump Trump

Hillary won the so-called "popular vote."
1. When all the votes are counted, Hillary Clinton will have more than 2.7 million more votes than Trump. If we go by will of the people, Hillary Clinton is clearly the choice of the people.

Recounts could yet show that Hillary got the most electoral votes too. 
2. Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, accounting for 46 electoral votes, were won by very slim margins (0.3, 0.7, and 1.2 respectively). A switch of about 70,000 votes could have changed the results. These are states that are almost always won by the Democratic presidential candidate.

Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, asked for a recount in the above three states. (I think she should add North Carolina and Florida.) The recounts either weren't done or were not done properly. Hand recounts wee needed, not machine recounts. 

It would have been unseemly for Hillary to ask for the recount—it would make her seem like a sore loser—but now that Stein has requested it, Hillary is joining in.

We needed recounts because the election results are very suspicious.
3. Every time a “mathematical error” is discovered, it is always in favor of the Republican candidate. 4. Additionally, the machines are often not properly calibrated. As we saw in 2000, the malfunctioning machines, which result in inaccurate vote counts, are always in the Democratic areas of a state.

5. The vote counts don’t match up with the polls. There was a “red shift” in almost every state. This refers to the fact that Trump got more votes than the polls predicted. Is it likely that every poll was wrong—even though they used different methodologies and different models of the electorate--and all the errors were in Trumps favor?

6The exit polls appear to have been wrong also, and again, in Trump’s favor. Exit polling is the most accurate polling there is. Yet they appear to have been wrong in state after state.

Voter suppression was rampant
7. Voter suppression cost Hillary a lot of votes because voter suppression is skewed towards population groups that tend to vote Democratic.

Russia interfered with the election to help Trump win.
8. We know the Russians hacked some data bases of registered voters. Were there other cases where hacking occurred? Could Democratic voters have been removed from the list of registered voters? 9. Trump’s bromance with Vladimir Putin showed that Trump was grateful for the help.

10. The Russians hacked the DNC emails. The release of these private emails caused disunity in the Democratic Party. 11. The Russians hacked the emails of John Podesta, Hillary’s campaign chair. Although there was nothing very scandalous in those emails, the WikiLeaks daily publication of them gave the impression of wrong-doing.

Russia is also behind many of the 12. fake news sites on social media. It used to be called disinformation. Outrageous lies were told about Hillary on websites made to look like legimate news sites. Some of them come from Russia, but many are done in the USA also. 

The FBI interfered with the election.
13. James Comey, Director of the FBI, improperly gave his opinion after concluding that the findings of the investigation did not warrant the recommendation of an indictment. (“Not even close,” he said.) Comey, a Republican decided that he couldn’t indict her, so he decided to smear her. 14. Comey again violated FBI norms when ten days before the election, he let it be known that “new” emails had been found. A week later, he reported that the emails were duplicates. But by then, the damage to Clinton’s campaign had been done.

The news media was guilty of malpractice. 
15. The main stream media—print and TV—were more interested in money than in reporting. 16. Trump was entertaining and got high ratings, so he got lots of free air time. 17. Hillary talked about policies—borrring—so she was ignored.

18. Scandals are entertaining, so Hillary got lots of negative coverage. 19. The scandals were manufactured, but if Hillary tried to point this out, she was accused of being defensive.

20. Hillary was criticized for being “secretive” when she went a few months without hold a press conference. Trump went 6 months without a single press conference, and it was never mentioned.  

21. The only time Trump got negative coverage was when the “Access Hollywood” tape came out. The media loved the sex scandal. This didn’t necessarily hurt Trump—his target audience of yahoos liked him all the more for it.

Hillary couldn’t catch a break from the media. 22. No matter how many times she apologized for using the private server, something her predecessors had done, they kept asking her about it. 23. Even when Hillary had pneumonia, but bravely went to the 9-11 memorial event anyway, she wasn’t called a hero for pushing through—instead, more complaints about secrecy. Yet, if she had told them she had pneumonia she would have been berated for having a “martyr complex.” 

Hillary is far superior to Trump when it comes to character.
24 Hillary more than proved that she had the character to be president when she suffered all of these “slings and arrows” with a brave smile and without complaint. 25. Trump, on the other hand, would go ballistic and start a twitter war with anyone who criticized him. 26. Even now, as president-elect, he is still lashing out via twitter. 

Is Trump a 27. Racist, 28. Misogynist, 29. Islamophobic, 30. Nativist, 31. Anti-Semite or is it all an act? Does it matter? He is surrounding himself with people of this ilk. 

And let's not forget 32. Con-man. About a week after the election Trump agreed to pay $25 million to settle a law suit brought by people who he defrauded with his phony "Trump University."  33. Also the hundreds of small bussiness he bilked by refusing to pay what he owed them, knowing they could not afford lawyers to sue him. 34. And his six bankruptcies which bilked the banks and investors while he walked away with millions. 35.  Add to this The Trump Foundation, a supposed charity which was used mainly to benefit Trump personally and Trump business interests. 

Trump is also a 36. narcissist, 37. a bald-faced liar and, quite possibly, 38 a sociopath. 39. He holds grudges and 40.seeks revenge at all costs. 41. He lacks the dignity we should all exspect from a president. 42. Can you even imagine this man, who is totally lacking in compassion, giving a speech like the ones Obama gave when he was called upon after a tragedy to be Consoler-in-Chief. 

Trump is demonstrating very poor judgement in his official acts so far.
One of his first appointments—43. Steve Bannon—who will be his chief strategist, a position with equal prominence to chief of staff. Bannon is the erstwhile editor of Brietbart News, the alt-right (code for white-supremacist, aka Nazi) internet media organization. Based on the kind of things he publishes, Bannon is all of the above

The rest of Trump’s early picks are no better. He is leaving no rock unturned. 44. Jeff Sessions, who was once denied confirmation by a Republican senate for a judge ship will be Attorney General. 45. Betsy DeVos, a donor, will be head of Department of Education, despite having absolutely no experience in the field of education aside from her advocacy for school vouchers and her hatred of public schools. (Vouchers are a Republican ply to destroy public education.)  46. Nikki Haley will be the U.N. Representative, despite having no experience whatsoever in international affairs. 47. Rex Tillerson is Trump's pick for Secretary of State. He is the CEO of ExxonMobil has no experience in government or diplomacy. Worse yet he is way too chummy with Russia. and 48. Mike Flynn has been tapped for National Security Adviser, a former general who is a very militant anti-Islamist, and is currently considered “nuts"  and obsessed with conspiracy theories. 49. Ben Carson for HUD??? After Carson declared himself unqualified to run a federal agency??? Did Trump want a black person in his cabinet and Carson was the only one he knew?

By the way, the choice of Mike Flynn for national security advisor is especially concerning since it appears Trump will heavily rely on him—50. Trump has so far declined to sit in on most the intelligence briefings offered to all president-elects. I guess 51. he thinks he knows more than the CIA or maybe 52. he is just lazy. 

I was hoping, now that he was president elect, he would surround himself with the best and the brightest. Instead, 53. almost every one of his cabinet and staff picks are abysmal. 54. With picks like these I have to ask: Is Trump deliberately trying to destroy the United States of America?

Trump has 'normalized" hate.
55. During the campaign, Trump riled up hatred at his rallies. Now that Trump is president-elect, haters feel emboldened. 56. Hate-related incidences have drastically increased since the election. (See the Southern Poverty Law Center Report)

Trump has conflicts of interest “big league.”  
57. Trump has said he can run his business and run the country at the same time if he chooses to. And he chooses to. He has 500 companies (more or less) in about 25 different countries (more or less). It's being called kleptocracy.

His business interests are already colliding with his official acts. 58. Foreign dignitaries and others who wish to curry favor with Trump are booking rooms at Trump hotels. 59. Trump listed his business interests, and even his wife’s QVC jewelry line, on an official .gov website. 60.Foreign leaders are expediting his projects in their countries. (Argentina for one.) In the same phone call, Trump discussed official business and personal business.

Let’s not forget his business interest that conflict with the U.S. Government. 61. Trump is suing the U.S. government to reduce his taxes on his new Trump hotel in Washington D.C. How is that going to work?

During the campaign, Trump said, he did not care about his business anymore. He would let his children run it as a blind trust. 62. Of course, if your children run it, it is not a blind trust. Also it is not blind, if you know what is in the trust.

63. But he has gone back on even that. His children and his son-in-law are sitting in on meetings and phone calls Trump is taking with foreign leaders. None of them has a security clearance, or even an official appointment (forbidden by anti-nepotism laws.)

64. Trump has refused to release his tax returns. We don’t know what foreign banks may hold his loans. The banks are often state owned. Will these countries get favored treatment?

65. Trump may force a constitutional crisis. A president may not benefit financially from his office –the Constitution forbids it; it also lists bribery as an impeachable act.

I wonder, will Trump be impeached during his first month in office? Or will he resign? It is the House of Representatives that must initiate impeachment, and I doubt that the Republicans will do it—as long as they are getting what they want from Trump. 66. Another conflict of interest—A president should act in the best interests of the country and not be forced to mollify Congress to avoid impeachment for his criminal acts. .

Trump will not be able to keep his promises he made during his campaign.
67. There will be a lot of very angry people in this country once the figure out they have been suckered. 68. There will be no wall. 69. Coal jobs will not come back. 70. The tax cuts will go to very rich, not the average citizen.

If Trump becomes president, I fear for the country and the world. 
Here are some of the good things we lose: 71. Social Security. 72. Medicare.  73. Universal healthcare. 74. Civil rights. 75: Religious freedom (if you are not Christian). 76. The prospect of an increased minimum wage. 77. Reproductive rights for women. 78. Free college education.79. Reduction of interest payments on college loans. 80. Prison reform.
81. Immigration reform. 82. Protection of voting rights. 83. Campaign finance reform. 84. Corporations and the very rich paying their fair share of taxes. 85. Consumer protection regulations. 86. The advancement of clean energy. 

Here are some of the bad things we will get. 87. Economic mismanagement causing the Second Great Depression (Remember how close we came with George W. Bush.)  88.The disruption of foreign trade. 89..Climate change accelerated. 90. Pipelines polluting our drinking water. 91. Deregulations leading to more pollution of our air. 92. A reactionary Supreme Court. 93.Torture reinstated. 94. More terrorist acts in the U.S..95. The expansion of ISIS. 96. The collapse of nato. 97. More wars. 98. Maybe even nuclear war.

Trump doesn't even want to be president.
99. The First Family will probably not live in the White House. Millenia has already said she and her son will continue to live in Trump Tower in NY. (By the way, protecting Trump Tower is costing the NY taxpayers $1 million a day and hurting the businesses in the area.) 

100. Trump just wanted to win. He has no actual specific plans for the country. ("Make America Great Again" is a slogan, not a plan.) 101. I hear he wants to continue doing rallies. He needs the adoring crowds. It was, and is, all about his ego.

 My dystopian fears have overwhelmed me. 

How the Hell Did This Happen O'Rouke

P..S. Bill Maher is on hiatus, so no jokes in this piece.. 

P. J. O'Rouke, the author of How the Hell Did This Happen?, is a frequent guest on Real Time with Bill Maher, and he is pretty funny himself. The book won't be out until March 2017 (but you can pre-order it). I'm hoping he didn't write the ending yet because I am hoping for a surprise ending.

--Catherine Giordano

Addendum: If you want to fight against the yahoos in America? Please join this facebook group: Blue America Fights Back 

I keep adding to the list. Use the comments to add any that I have so far missed.  Plus here are more items to add to the list of good things lost: 102. Strong labor unions 103. Paid family and medical leave 104: Overtime pay   105. Diplomatic recognition of Cuba and the end of a stupid embargo that accomplished nothing for the U.S. (unless Cuba agrees to build a Trump Hotel) 106. A reduction in spending on useless stuff that the military doesn't need and doesn't even want.

And here is other things we could really do without: 107: Foreign policy blunders: On December 2, 2016 Trump evidently changed America's foreign policy while still president- elect during telephone conversations with the presidents of Taiwan, the Philippines, and Pakistan. Was Trump signalling new policy or did he just not know any better? Either way, there are major international implications upsetting years of diplomacy. 108. Dialing for Dollars Diplomacy. Maybe Trump disrupted long-standing and delicately balanced interrelation diplomacy for personal profit--he wants to get his hotels built in those countries. 109. Paying ransom for jobs. Pence spent $7 million dollars of Indiana taxpayer money to save 800 jobs at Carrier (while Carrier sends another 1000 to Mexico) and Trump boasts how he kept jobs in America. Now every company in America knows they can get a windfall of government money by threatening to send jobs overseas. 110: Stocking the swamp: Trump is picking billionaires, millionaires, Goldman-Sachs bankers, and lobbyists to top posts. 111. Putting Rick Perry in charge of the Department of Energy--this dolt with times to Big Energy replaces a nuclear physicist. 112. The humiliation of Mitt Romney. Trump toyed with him by pretending to conisder him for Secretary of State. 113. Trump has abandoned the principle of "We only have one president at a time."  He is interfering in foriegn rlations. Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel began dealing directly with Prsident -elect Trump in December, 2016. 114. Unpredictability. As David Axelrod said on a recent Real Time with Bill Maher, "Trump changes his mind from the beginning to the end of a sentence." 115: Tweeting--stupid, angry, boastful, lying tweets

You might also like to read some of my other essays about the election. 

Brace for Impact

The Orange Hitler

Donald Trump is Putin's Puppet

Donald Trump is Whiny Little Bitch

Michael Moore's Five Point Plan

The Revenge of the Yahoos

I also strongly recommend that you read "Autocracy Rules for Survival," an article in the New York Times Book Review by Masha Gessen. She writes: "This [conciliatory] talk [from Hillary, Obama, and others] assumes that Trump is prepared to find common ground with his many opponents, respect the institutions of government, and repudiate almost everything he has stood for during the campaign. In short, it is treating him as a “normal” politician. There has until now been little evidence that he can be one."

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Brace for Impact

"Brace for Impact. It's like the movie, Sully. The birds are in the engine, the plane is still flying, but you know the plane is going down." Is America headed for a crash landing?

Brace for Impact: America is Crash Landing
Brace for Impact--America is headed for a crash landing.

Bill Maher.'s joke (from his HBO show Real Time with Bill Maher, the 11/11/16 season finale) was the perfect analogy for what is happening in America since Donald J. Trump became president-elect. It's that moment when you realize you are going to crash and there is nothing you can do about it.

But, Sully performed a miracle that day and landed the plane. Can we do the same for America?

Hillary won the popular vote.
It is projected that when all the votes are counted, Hillary will have received as much as two million more votes than Trump..That’s nice, but it counts for nothing. Just a footnote in the history books.

Remember the 1969 book by Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross On Death and Dying. She outlined the five stages of grief—Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and finally, Acceptance. I find myself experiencing all five at once, or rather, I alternate from one to the other.

It would take something akin to a miracle for the results of this election to be changed. That’s depression and acceptance. But then I remember that Sully safely landed that plane. Miracles can happen. So then I’m back to denial and anger.

Maybe there is something we can do. I’ll get to ways and means in a moment, but first I want to discuss why I feel America is headed for a crash landing. It is more than just the disemboweling of the liberal agenda, the impending fascism, and the yahoos feeling emboldened to express their hatred openly and violently.

Donald Trump is in over his head.
I’ve said it from the beginning—running a business is nothing like running a government. Donald Trump is in way over his head. Even he knows it. Have you seen him on TV recently? No more bombast. Instead he looks scared. Really scared. Little- boy-in-the-principal’s office scared.

David Axelrod, a guest on Maher’s show said “Trump has no ideas. He’s an empty vessel. He changes his opinion from the beginning to the end of a sentence.”

This is scary because it means that he will do whatever whoever he talked to last tells him to do.

Even worse, Trump doesn’t want the job. He wants to sit in his New York penthouse and be king. Maybe Pence and Ryan will be running the country.

There was only one hope for the country. Trump would surround himself with good people and let them run things.That hope is dashed  Who is he picking? He's picking people like Steve Bannon and Mike Flynn. 

And Trump is back to tweeting insults at his political enemies. Any hope that he would finally show a moderate side or become reasonable is gone. 

Conflicts of interest abound.
Donald Trump runs a global empire He owns 500 companies in 27 countries. How can he disentangle himself from that?

Trump’s solution is to have his three oldest children run the company. This is not an adequate solution, but it is made even worse because Trump has appointed his kids as his advisors. He wants them to sit in on classified briefings.

How will this work? In the morning, the family will do government work, in the afternoon they will do family business work, and never the twain shall meet? This is nonsense. Plus they have already mingled the two roles in just the first few days.

On Trump’s transition website with a .gov address, Trump listed all of his business properties and even his wife’s QVC jewelry business. (It was later taken down.)

When Ivanka participated in the 60 Minutes interview, she made sure the camera caught the bracelet she was wearing, and the next day she was running ads for that bracelet. Ivanka also wears the clothes from her own fashion line when she makes official appearances, and then advertises those items, telling potential customers that they can “wear her look.”

All presidents have put their financial portfolios in blind trusts. There is no way to put a huge conglomerate with the Trump name splashed all over everything in a blind trust. The only way to end the conflict of interest is for President Trump’s family to divest themselves of the entire business.

During the campaign he said that he didn’t care about his business—running the country was more important. Prove it!

The transition is in chaos.
When there is not strong leadership, there is chaos. Chris Christie was heading the transition team. Christie and everyone he had chosen to help him with this got fired, apparently at the behest of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared. Now, new people are starting from scratch, but they forgot to file the paperwork, so no one from the various government agencies they need to interface with could meet with them.

The people that Trump wants to appoint to his cabinet are vastly unqualified for these positions. They lack experience or temperament or both. Trump wants to appoint the cronies who were loyal to him during the campaign.

There are 4,000 positions to fill and only two months left to do it. The transition team starts their work months before the election is even held because it is such a big job. But Trump fired everyone, so it is back to square one.

Trump has made only two appointments in the first two weeks. Reince Priebus, the head of the RNC, will be chief of staff. That’s a reasonable appointment. However, Steve Bannon will be co-equal as “Chief of Strategy.” (I think Trump made up that title.) Bannon has long associated himself with the alt-right—a political faction known for white nationalism and misogyny. Not an acceptable choice.

What can we do?
We can forget about asking the Democratic leadership for help.  They are as upset as we are, but we can't expect Obama or Hillary to openly try to upend the election. Other elected officials can’t do anything either. American democracy does not work that way. If we want a peaceful transition of power when a Democrat wins, we have to support it when a Republican wins--even if the Republican is as unqualified and unsavory as Trump.  

A friend of mine has tried contacting leaders, like Nancy Pelosi and others. The staffers who answered the phone were all very frosty to her, and all they would say is, “We have no comment at this time.”
We can protest. By all means join in with protests. Post your opinions and memes on facebook and twitter and blogs. (I’m doing it.) Just don’t expect the election of Trump to be overturned by them. We may be able to have some effect on policy around the edges. For instance, maybe we can pressure Trump not to put Bannon in the White House.

We can work to abolish the Electoral College. The Electoral College is very unfair. It gives smaller states more power than larger states. A voter in a low population state like Wyoming has more than three and 1/2 times the clout of a voter in a large state like California.

This will prevent future problems, but it won’t help elect Hillary. Even if there was a way to abolish the Electoral College in just a couple of weeks, it can’t be applied retroactively.

Also, there is one problem. All states need to get all votes counted in one day. Some states do not have all their votes counted over a week after Election Day.

We can get red-state electors to switch their votes. Every now and then an elector pledged to a candidate votes for another candidate. It is not illegal to do this, and it has never changed the results of an election.

In order to get electors pledged to Trump to change their vote, we would have to uncover something really, really bad about Trump. Much worse than anything that came out prior to the election. And it would have to be irrefutable. 

An investigation into Trump's ties to Russia would be a good thing to focus one. But who would do this investigation? The Republican Congress? The Republican-led FBI? Dream on. It's not going to happen before the inauguration. Maybe afterwards so they can impeach Trump and have Pence as president.

The Electoral College has 306 electors for Trump and 232 for Clinton, a difference of 74 electors. We would need 38 of these electors to switch to Hillary. If you live in a state that voted for Trump, find out who those electors are and lobby them. 

We can find a cache of uncounted votes or prove election fraud in red-states.
Are there thousands of ballots hidden in a closet or dumpster somewhere? Did someone hack the computers? Maybe, but good luck finding the lost ballots and the evidence of hacking. And even then, it would take law suits to change anything.

Trump won some states by very small margins. For instance in Michigan with 16 electoral votes, the margin was only 0.03. But we would need to find more of states with vote-count errors to make up the difference between Clinton and Trump.

In our favor, we know The Russians were actively involved in trying to get Trump elected. They outright said so. Gloating, I guess. Plus the NSA has the proof.

Plot to Hack America
The Plot to Hack America

Malcom Nance, a globally recognized counter-terrorism expert and Intelligence Community member, published The Plot to Hack America in October 2016 Consequently, he can’t answer about what happened on Election Day, but his research and expertise certainly shows that it is possible that Russia hacked the election. But, perhaps they didn’t need to hack the election itself—they accomplished their goal with Wiki-Leaks.

Will we get a miracle?
When I started writing this piece, I thought a miracle could be possible. Now I think it is so remote, it would rival the odds of lightning striking twice.

The Electoral College meets on December 19. Time is very short for a miracle.

After that date, we would have only resignation or impeachment. Then we would end up with Pence or Ryan. Maybe a tiny bit better, but maybe worse. I say worse because Trump is so incompetent, he may bungle everything he tries to do.

When researching something on google or when you see things on facebook, be very careful. There is a lot of fake news out there, deliberately made to look like it is from a reliable source.

I usually look immediately at the web address to see if the post comes from a reputable source like a major cable network (excludes foxnews) or newspaper/magazine. If I am unsure about the source, I copy it into the browser. Many times I have found that the source is a satire site.

You may want to read some of my other essays.

The Revenge of the Yahoos

You can join Blue America Fights Back on facebook. This is a new facebook group that wants to fight back by sharing information and tactics. Likeminded people are invited to join.

You might aslo want to read this. Something Stinks When Exit Polls and Official Counts Don't Match 

Click Here is a list of the Electoral College electors

--Catherine Giordano