Incompetence and Misleading the Public is a High Crime

After years of observing President Trump demonstrate an ineptness that astounds even fans of the 1962 New York Mets, I have determined that for the benefit of the nation, the world, and to allow Melania Trump to return to the relative safety of the nearest Women’s shelter that she can buy; Donald J. Trump must be impeached.  His impeachment cannot be for his shady business dealings with Russia or any of the other rather unsavory business types he has done business with over the decades.  When he was elected, his past connections was fairly well known.  An astute, diligent press could and should have been able to report on all that, but then there would not have been any ink left or air time available for writing about and covering his wonderfully, enlightening tweets.  We certainly cannot impeach him for collusion with the Russians for affecting his election, mainly because.  OK because it didn’t happen and even if it did there is the slight (sic) problem that both Democrats and Republicans committed much more election tampering than the Russians could have.  See Post

 

How about impeaching Trump for the recent implied allegation by former FBI Director Comey of Obstruction of Justice? Good, but it still has that Russian stink to it and for the sake of world peace, we need to avoid any impeachment that revolves around Russia.  Any issues with Trump’s staffers, or even Vice President Pence, regarding Russia; we can resolve after we impeach The Donald. No, not Russia, not even the alleged Prostitutes in Russia will have the lasting positive impact that an impeachment trial on the grounds of incompetence will have. But only if the trial takes place and found guilty.  Trump cannot be allowed to resign, and then be pardoned. The trial must happen.  Sure, I know, it would be a bend over backwards by Congress to write up the impeachment articles but they are all experts at bullshit. I am certain they can wordsmith incompetence into legalese so that it can be described as a high crime or even a misdemeanor.

 

Just for starters here is some of the examples of The Donald’s challenge to the ’62 Mets.  He has a majority in both Houses, he claimed he had the best health care plan to replace the ACA.  He has failed, not for a lack of trying; but instead his attempts have been miserable failures.  This failure to deliver anything that resembles his campaign pledges is clearly evidence that he either ran his campaign based on total fabrications of what he intended to do once he won, or just did not care. He has admitted openly that he had adopted phrases on the campaign trail that implied policy, but were only included because the phrase elicited a positive reaction from his supporters. On the few occasions that he has actually tried to implement policy that aligns with his campaign either the Courts or his own party has thwarted him. The Courts, due to unconstitutional policy, the Republican Party leadership due to political constraints. In both cases, a competent President would have made adjustments to his proposals so that they could, in some manner be implemented.

 

Perhaps you are reading this article and are thinking that all politicians make claims and policy proposals on the campaign trail that they do not keep. Why impeach Trump?  That is very simple, because we can. Because running for president in the manner that happens today was not foreseen by the founders. Because, by running a campaign built on promises made to the electorate and then abandoned once elected most certainly in a functional democracy be considered and impeachable offense and a high crime. Because, not having the skill set required to execute the duties of any job, let alone presiding over a nation of over 300 Million people, should not be allowed to continue performing that job. Being incompetent and should the Congress awaken and do their diligence to remove Donald J. Trump via impeachment, American Presidential candidates will be restrained in making promises they are unable or unwilling to keep. Congress will also reestablish their Constitutional role of being a check on the President. But only if Trump is impeached for incompetence. His most glaring defect as President. Even his most ardent supporters are starting to realize that.

Thanks, Russia!

All over the press, mainstream media, social media, water coolers, and barstools the talk is about President Trump’s relationship with Russia. Every person he knows that ever spoke to a Russian is being presented as further evidence of collusion with Russia between his campaign and even President Trump himself in order to alter the results of the vote last November. A serious charge that if proven true should mean more than the removal of just Donald Trump as President. Since the accusations extend to numerous individuals within his campaign, a legitimate case could be made that the election itself is invalid. However calling telephone conversations that have been documented as not having been found to have any evidence of collusion along with the total lack of any hard forensic evidence means that the charges, if true would be hard to prove. In fact, there are significant reasons to discount every justification being made by the press and the government to take the idea of Russian meddling in the US Presidential election seriously.

But there was election tampering and it all occurred by US interests without any foreign assistance. Hillary Clinton actively rigged both sides of the primary. She manipulated the media with the assistance of the “unbiased” DNC, laundered contributions that were intended for other Democratic candidates in other races. There was also money used by the DNC and the Clinton campaign to create a hidden stash that was used to create social media propaganda and outright attacks on Sanders and his supporters. Additionally there are questions outstanding as to the validity of the actual votes counted in the Primaries due to red flag discrepancies between the count and exit polls. On the Republican side, the Clinton campaign enlisted assistance from various media outlets to minimize their coverage of Sanders and fill in that void with an overdose of coverage of the two most extreme Republicans, Trump and Cruz.

During the general election, Republicans had already proactively rigged the vote by engaging in wholesale voter suppression of targeted likely Democratic voters. There was minimal, exit polling which is the international standard in which to gauge the validity of the vote. Additionally when challenges did arise, recounts were either impossible due to all electronic votes tabulated without a verifiable audit trail, or both parties conspired to raise the costs of funding recounts as to make them all but impossible to achieve.

And after all that known improprieties by US interests we are supposed to get all worked up because the Director of the FBI stated that Vladimir Putin hates Hillary Clinton? That was an actual reason provided at one point by then FBI Director Comey.

But still, when I mention these issues, people tell me to ‘get over it’. Why? The supposed two party system was manipulated so that the choice would be between a person whose only accomplishment in life was marrying a guy who later become President, while she garnered an incredible resume, but little else and a man who rose to fame and fortune by the grace of his father’s business acumen backing him up. Ever since his father’s death, his career has been a string failures punctuated with a few get rich quick schemes. In other words, this election was not between two people who have been proven capable, but between two corrupt and incapable individuals. Whether the Russians had any influence in the outcome, the damage was done before they ever got involved. Maybe, the Russians did us a favor, or more likely we are just giving them another reason to make a toast and down a shot of vodka.

HOW YA GONNA DO THAT?

BRADFROMSALEM

Election season in America.  There is nothing like it anywhere in the world.  Some , maybe even most, do it better.  And surely there are also a lot places that do it worse. But I really doubt that any nation can have such a convoluted, impractical, inconvenient, illogical, costly, undemocratic process of a electing the only nation wide elected office holder.

And we got ourselves a doozie this year. But that is just an observation and not what this blog post is about.  However, as you read on, keep that observation in mind.

I am strong supporter of US Senator Bernie Sanders to be elected President, and so I get to read and talk about his candidacy with many Hillary supporters.  And a theme that I have heard from these supporters from the earliest days of the campaign has been, that “other people” will not vote for a Socialist so he can’t beat a Republican, and even if he did win, he can’t pass any of his plans because Congress is overflowing with Republicans.

The first point is totally irrelevant, since if Socialism is so despised, then how will he win the nomination? And if the fear of Socialism only exists in Republicans, then most of them they are not voting for him anyways, and we all know Republicans would never vote for Hillary.  But more importantly, Bernie Sanders in all his years in office always worked to promote private enterprise, expansion of Democracy, and using government as the organization to operate certain industries where profit is not in the public benefit. Industries such as schools, health care, and infrastructure projects. These areas have always, since Colonial times been administered, at least partially, as social institutions in the US.

The second point is unique. Because once the point is made that he will not be able to pass any legislation they are in the awkward position of justifying it with outright misinformation. The reason is quite obvious. The point is made under the assumption that Congress will have both houses under Republican control. If that happens, then Congress will block every thing Hillary proposes as well.  We all know the song, it’s been playing almost continuously for 7+ years. So, in order to hide that the Hillary supporters make two points. First is that Hillary has actually passed legislation, and Bernie has not.  Without going into details, that simply is not true.  The second point assumes the first point is correct and is more of a demand. How will he pass his legislation proposals, is the query. One person even asked for a detailed plan. Whether or not the Republicans hold both houses, there will be different players. For example, Harry Reid will not be the Democratic leader. This would be like asking Peyton Manning exactly how will you win the Super Bowl, what plays will you call, who will be your receiver? Not the day before the Super Bowl, but at the beginning of pre-season.  Not only that, when the question is reversed, the answer gets flipped back to Hillary has a history of getting things done so there is no need to explain it.

So, in a year when all the assumptions have turned out wrong, we are being told to elect a candidate based on the type of assumptions that have turned out wrong, based on facts that are misleading.

Let’s Pretend.

 

Picture 045

 

BRADFROMSALEM

Let’s play pretend.

Let’s pretend we know what happens over the next two years while the Republicans have control of America’s House of Representatives and the Senate as well. Let’s pretend that they continue passing bills in the House to defund anything Obama tries to do either by veto or by executive order. Let’s pretend that in both chambers, rule changes are instituted on a regular basis. Rules that prevent any chance of Democrats funding any initiative that will provide more opportunities for rich and poor alike, strengthen and reinforce the tattered safety net, glue back together our crumbling infrastructure to keep things working and moving until a new infrastructure can be designed and built. Of course, we must also pretend that even environmental issues will need to be put aside so we can pretend to create jobs via tax cuts to those that have money, and less regulations on both good and bad, but especially pesky environmental and safety regulations. Yes, let’s pretend by a crooked hook they get everything they want, and more.

What will happen when they attain their goal of privatizing every single government function?  Is it the end of government waste and fraud, saving the taxpayer billions of dollars every year? Is this how we achieve a lowered tax rate, but continue to live and prosper in the greatest nation ever made in the history of Earth, 3rd planet from the star Sol in the Milky Way galaxy?  No, it’s not. But at that is exactly what the Republicans will pretend. What I don’t know for sure is just how many Republicans believe that their agenda, if implemented, will create the greatest nation ever made in the history of Earth and how many know it’s a game of pretend.

So what does happen? The meager improvements in the real unemployment figure will start to diminish and by the end of the two years turn negative just like in 2008. The persons whose wages have been stagnant lately will see their wages actually decrease, and those already suffering lowered wages will see their pay plummet. We probably will see prices begin to drop as demand almost entirely disappears.

You may have heard that recently, Mitch The Turtle McConnell, is taking the credit for our limping, but improving economy to the Republicans and people being thrilled about the Republicans gaining control of both Houses. He knows the reality is that any improvements have been in spite of Republican obstructionism, but that doesn’t matter. By 2016 he and the rest of the Republicans will be able turn in either direction. If things go well leading into the 2016 elections, the story will be that it is the Republicans that did it. If things turn sour (most likely), he can say that Obama’s veto pen, executive orders,  and the Democrats in Congress obstructed all their initiatives.  That story does not require truth to get in the way of its telling, the media will report as a “he said/she said” argument. But since we are pretending that the Republicans do get their way, then I am fairly certain that the economy will tank and the Republicans have already started to sow the seeds just for that outcome.

But I call this pretend because there are options open to the managers of the American economy. And the economic managers work for the executive branch. There are signs that some, particularly Senators Warren and Sanders, that are trying to force the executive branch to look for alternative answers. Warren’s blocking of another Wall Street guy to Treasury, and Sanders naming a leading Modern Money Theory advocate to be the minority economic adviser to Senate Budget committee. Together on two separate fronts these two are making it clear to the administration and the American people, that just maybe the ruin that Republican economic policies will create does not have to happen. And all their maneuvering to get their way will end up as an exercise for some future professor to say to her class, let’s play pretend.

So What Happens Now?

2011-06-20-20-14-31_salem_massachusetts_us.jpg

BRADFROMSALEM

I read posts and comments and columns about the upcoming catastrophe. The end of our nation, is how I would best summarize it. The Democrats lost the Senate and as I noted in my previous blog, it was not the fault of the electorate, but instead it was the fault of the party. So, does that mean, next week when the new Congress convenes, their first order of business will be to mobilize a special military force or perhaps a special media force, whose entire purpose will be to dismantle the US as we know it. Or, at least think we know it. How much will change?

From where I sit, not much. First of all both of the mainstream parties are terribly fractured. So that on the Republican side you have a small vocal minority of individuals that mostly have no idea how government works. These, of course, are the Tea Party adherents. There are just enough of these silly people to allow the other two Republican factions to actually put together a coherent Birthday Party, let alone a political platform.  The other two are the Ayn Rand Libertarians/Objectivists and the rest all want to be Ronald Reagan, or at least what they imagine him to be.  Whatever comes out of this crew is sure to be horrible legislation that in most cases will rarely have enough Republican votes to pass. And the ones that do get through, usually with the help of some Democrats will almost never have enough support to pass a Presidential veto.

Democrats of course have their Progressive Wing and the Blue Dog wing, they at least talk to each other, but it appears they have not figured out that if they had a common agenda, they can probably run the board. Instead, they just run away from using common messages. The look just like Will Rodgers described them years ago.  “I do not belong to any organized politic party! I’m a Democrat.”

And there, my friends is the problem. Knowing this tells us exactly what the outcome of this Congress will be. It will be whatever President Obama wants it to be. The worst of it is called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). A treaty with a group of Pan asian nations that has been years in the making, a treaty that for most of those years was being negotiated in secret, a treaty that the administration is looking for Congress to authorize it without amendments, and to give that authorization prior to actually seeing the agreement.  This agreement is more of the same ilk as NAFTA, only more so.

By taking our cue from this particular treaty, we can surmise that the President will allow us continue down the same path started by Reagan (perhaps Nixon, but that is another story). Pushed onto the American public by Presidents Clinton and both Bushes. President Obama had a chance to break this cycle when he first arrived in office. Instead he brought on board the old Clinton crew. We can expect that public policy will mostly be framed by a simple concept. The American government should do nearly anything in its power to ensure that American corporations are profitable in the world markets.

Of course, I do expect that in really lame cases, such as the Keystone pipeline and a few other environmental issues, Obama may show some toughness. In other words, it won’t be all bad, and the worst stuff will be mostly the same as it is now. Foreign policy is run from the White House, and will continue to, so that won’t change much.

Real, transforming change can occur in 2016. Until then. Let’s just watch the show, let the Republican pro business agenda loose. Let the American people see for themselves what it really means to believe that supporting businesses over people actually helps more than a few persons. I am willing to bet the 2016 election it, unless Hillary is the Democratic candidate.

What? You say the Republicans walked all over the Democrats in November?

Ropes Garden, Salem MA July 2014
Ropes Garden, Salem MA July 2014

 

BRADFROMSALEM

Apparently the Democrats did the impossible. They got their asses kicked from sea to shining sea, and that shine wasn’t from the sun reflecting off the pristine waters of the Atlantic and Pacific.  The shine comes from oil slicks. Yecch.  The Democratic loss this year was like being up 3 games to none in a 7 game series. In baseball, arguably America’s sport, a comeback from 3 down had never happened. Never. All sports fans, but especially fans of the greatest and most famous sports rivalry, the Red Sox and the Yankees, know exactly what happened in 2004. The impossible happened.

Let’s look at the political advantages the Democrats had available and yet for some inexplicable reason they did not even put their advantages into the game. At least the Yankees did not bench their best when they were up 3 – 0 in the series. The first advantage Democrats had was that the economy was improving. Instead of boasting about it repeatedly the Democrats paid homage to the Republican myth of too much spending and the debt is too high. At the same time, the Decrats gave lip service to income inequality but never proposed anything about how and why we should fix it. And even less was said by the Democrats to connect the debt myth to inequality. Of course they did not say anything, about the debt myth since they had already agreed to play under Republican definitions of how an economy operates. because of all that the Democrats went to bat with 1 strike against them in nearly every debate election contest. And all they had to do was insist on explaining how fixing income inequality would improve the economic position of every person, and then tell them what they will do.

They allowed the Republican Party to denigrate the President of the United States, simply because he is a Democrat.  I did not hear of a single Democrat responding to a Republican taunt that the Democrat just voted along with President Obama and so were effectively equivalent to the President. They should have came back strong with a retort along the lines of “Of course I voted for policies favored by the President. He and I are both Democrats, we are going to agree on a whole lot more than you and I are going to agree on. By the way, can you describe the Jobs plan you have?”  Instead, many Democrats folded into a fetal position and whispered, but you belong to the Tea Party.  Whether the Republican was a Tea Party supporter the voters that are watching the debates or following the coverage are likely voters that have not already decided. Since running from their own party is essentially the same as an abdication, the Democrats now came out of each debate with two strikes against them.

Then it came down to the last few weeks before the election. Surely by then the Democratic Party as a whole must have realized just how much trouble they were in. If you follow politics, it’s just like the Republicans hit a grand slam in the early innings, somewhat like a goofy Red Sox centerfielder, who was also a heck of an exciting player. This is because the Democrats never told a cohesive story about the Republicans. One that emphasized that the Republicans shut down the government as a plot to abolish the ACA because the Republicans were unable to do it legislatively, the way the system was designed. Democrats did not make a simple case that every time John Boehner or any other Republican asks rhetorically, ‘where are the jobs, Mr. President’; the American people should be asking Boehner that as the Speaker of the House, it his responsibility to get legislation proposed. And with Republican taunt, the Democrats could list job proposals, action on immigration, plans to address income inequality, and critical ideas and solutions on what the US can do to limit the impact of Climate disruption on the future of America, and the entire world.

But, the Democrats stood there as a group, hoping that each candidate would solve their own campaign. And without a cohesive plan nearly every Democratic candidate just stood there and took strike 3 called.

People did not vote for any Republican agenda as the Republicans and the media claim. How could people choose an agenda that consists of only repeal measures and no positive message, other than you hate the President.  People keep blaming the large number of Democrats that did not vote. Tell me, if you were an undecided voter, why on earth would you vote for a Democrat? They told you nothing about what they stand for, what they would do to make life better for most people. They walked into this 2014 election cycle aware that the Republican ineptitude on actually articulating a policy was non existent. Instead of putting together all the good things that Democrats want to do, the Democrats took a 3 – 0 series lead and did nothing to get that 4th game.

 

 

MA Democratic Convention (and beyond)

 

MA Democratic Convention 2014

 

BRADFROMSALEM

If you are a Progressive in the tradition of Teddy Roosevelt, a Liberal Democrat who honors Franklin Roosevelt, or a Bleeding Heart Liberal, or even a Socialist Democrat the Democratic Convention that took place this past weekend in Worcester MA was possibly a bellwether of a renewed ascendancy for the Liberal and Progressive movements.

On the opening night alone the speakers were all significant persons for the Progressive fight to retake America. Take it back from the people in both parties and in the Tea Party movement in particular that believe America can no longer afford to invest in itself. An America that has come to believe punishment solves all problems. These are the ideas of the Middle Ages when all power and wealth belonged to the princes. Back then, princes were defined by the land they owned, today it is by the industry the run.

On Friday night, the speakers were, Rep. Jim McGovern, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Gov. Deval Patrick, and Sen. Ed Markey. The following morning at the AFL-CIO breakfast we heard from Sen. Markey, Former State Sen. Warren Tolman and his brother, MA president of the AFL-CIO, Stephan Tolman, Dr. Don Berwick and many others.

The convention itself was a long drawn out affair, but almost all the candidates for the 4 offices up for nomination spent much of their time making sure everyone understood that they were not just Democrats, but Progressive Democrats. In the end, those did not try or were obviously insincere about being a Progressive failed to get on the ballot. Except for one, who is on the ballot and she took the biggest beating of them all.

The candidate that will be on the ballot, but must be considered the biggest loser, was current Attorney General Martha Coakley. If you are not familiar with her, she was the person that lost Scott Brown. Now, she is running for Governor leading in some poll by 35% over State Treasurer Steve Grossman. He is another longtime MA politician, but his Liberal credentials have never been questioned. In fact, initially, he was the candidate I supported. But then I started checking into Dr. Don Berwick, former head of Medicare under President Obama; and I discovered a candidate that more closely aligned with me on taxes, Single payer support, education issues, and the list goes on. At the end, when they finally counted the votes (4 hours to count 1 ballot!) Grossman beat Coakley by over 10%. But Berwick was only 1 percent behind her. The other two races that I really cared about Attorney General and Treasurer came out for the more Progressive candidates, Tolman and Deb Goldberg, respectively.

The people that are taking part in the Democratic Party in MA are truly the Left Wing of the Democratic Party. I believe this may be a harbinger of the future.

The first shots, the first confrontation and the first actual battle of the American Revolution all took place in MA; Boston, Salem and Lexington respectively. The Abolitionist movement  grew in strength on the streets of Boston, the first woman Cabinet Member came from Worcester, the right to marry the person you love was established first in MA.  Things start in MA. Hopefully, this Conventions results are the start of a return to People First, and Nothing Else Second.