On the occasion of the Trump inauguration

(Update: Trump may well go down as the most divisive, two-faced president in our history. Praise then insult peppered with insult then praise. Not convincing. He actually smiled – a real smile – a few times during the day. He will stand in front of a mirror for a few more hours and fix that though. What have we done to ourselves? Not me, but the conned ones.)

It is now D-Day minus one. I feel that I must write this because I fear our country is in grave danger. Regardless of the party, having control of the oval office, both houses of Congress, soon the judiciary, and a majority of governorship’s is a disaster waiting to happen…and we won’t have to wait long.

Besides running an unconventional (to say the least), campaign that brought out the worst in America and raised the fears of the founding fathers. Is this finally when the ‘Great Experiment’ fails? For the sake of my children and especially my grandchildren I hope not.

What has happened to decency?…or as the song from Chicago goes: “whatever happened to class”. Sadly, having class today is measured by wealth…in the billions, not millions, ad it is arguable that despite all his bluster, Trump is only a billionaire on paper, not on TRUE NET WORTH. This could be a major reason he will not release his tax returns.

Congress was derelict in not demanding he do so by January 2nd. Not a peep from then, until the confirmation hearings began and then almost in whispers. Where are the leaders? Of the GOP: they are groveling before this mysoginistic, narcissist that is also a pathological liar (meaning never admitting when he is wrong…about anything…and WE let him get away with it).

My wife and I have travelled extensively in Europe the past couple of years and I can’t tell you the number of people who have stopped us – on the street, literally – to say how pleased they are that Obama had restored dignity to the presidency. This followed G.W. Bush’s senseless invasion of Iraq, failing to stop ISIS in its infancy (this according to two CIA analysts who were stopped in their tracks by Cheney), and creating unrest throughout the Middle East.

On Inauguration Day, let’s not forget the fake injury of Dick Cheney so he did not stand for the swearing in, or Mitch McConnell saying on the first day that their job was to make Obama a one-term president. Regarding the first, Cheney was being disrespectful of the office, not Obama and McConnell was showing a level of immaturity as a representative was to later do at a SOTU address when he yelled out ‘Liar’ to Obama. How dare they call themselves the “Party of Lincoln”, the are the farthest thing from it.

Obama was elected with a true mandate: both popular and electoral majorities. Trump only had the electoral vote, same as G.W. Bush in win over Al Gore. In both cases, the winners swept both houses of Congress too, and for the GOP this time, a majority of the state governorship’s.

A democracy is about balance. It is requisite. In Obama’s first term the electorate reversed it’s mandate (sic) two years later, and with the newly created Tea Party wing of the GOP, made gridlock the norm. That is why the people are angry and their actions were ignored leading to the election of the renegade Donald Trump.

Let me say that BOTH parties let us down – miserably. Clinton should never have been the Dem candidate and sadly the one who should have been, Joe Biden, was still distraught over the loss of his beloved son, Bo. He would have been a ‘walk-in’ and now we are going to pay for it.

I have often said that the internet was a Pandora’s Box and once opened would never be shut again. It has done some wonderful things but it has also empowered every individual that wants to speak their mind for better or worse.

Tom Friedman wrote in “The Earth Is Flat” of this empowerment and the problem is we begin to believe what we say is fact, and followers believe it too.

So the disgusting comments Trump tweets, and even says, have become part of the lexicon. This is not what I want for America. Nor do I want a nation of ‘Fake News’. What has happened when people don’t believe what they hear or read in the mainstream media, and instead, rely in the Internet and some unseen friend on Facebook…who is perhaps not a friend at all.

Then there is usurping powers of the president while still president-elect. Talking with foreign powers, thwarting policy and relations with our allies, this is ‘unpresidented’. Yet we let him get away with as we do with all of our politicians who stray from the trodden path. There is no political downside for anything they can do, even as they attempt to weaken ethics rules, and pave the way for their return to the private sector. Wait, whoever said they should make a career in the nation’s capitol? Certainly not the founding fathers.

The sad thing is that there are at least three fact-checking organizations on the Internet. The liars say they have a political agenda, either left or right wing. But all three have a different approach yet come up with the same results. Factcheck.org, Politifact.com, and Snopes.com. Is your country worth so little you that you believe in negative statements and emails without bothering to spend five minutes knowing the truth. Worse, to send it on to your contacts without checking it out. Out of decency, when I get one of these and find it to be false, I send the link back, but only to the sender rather than embarrass them by hitting ‘reply all’ – which as a good American I should do. The good news is that it has reduced the number of rubbish emails I get…but are they still sending them to others?

You may agree with me or not, that is your prerogative, but I am not going to even watch the inauguration tomorrow. It would make me sick and considering what Cheney, McConnell and other GOP leaders (sic) did to Obama on day one, I feel justified.

My  mind is now at ease as I have done what I believe is my duty as an American.

TB

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I am not updating the blog…perhaps until next year. Merry Christmas!

If you are interested in all things wine, go to Trader Bill on Wine

All the best!

TB

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Trump the bully

Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.
– Samuel Johnson

…what if they have neither…only bluster and cunning?

I may not be able to do anything but it is better to try to do something than to see ones’ country torn apart. Here are a few of my concerns starting back during the campaign:

  • “Crooked Hillary” and “Send her to jail” – is that what responsible people do in an attempt…and it was successful..to win…but the country’s highest office???
  • “I know more about ISIS than any of the generals, I am the only one that can destroy them.” – That alone should have told you to run! Elect Mickey Mouse, anyone but…
  • “She has used her office to collect money for her foundation.” – patently false! Yes, contributions provided access but that is what every politician does – in any country! Add to that, her foundation even with its size has been shown to do good both nationally and internationally. What has Trump’s done…besides self-dealing? A sham! He is going to be fined for using foundation funds to pay HIS fines, purchase a portrait of himself (do I need to even comment on that one), is under investigation on the self-dealing which the foundation has admitted to. Contrast to the Clinton Foundation, because they are scrupulous about paying their taxes and not taking advantage of anything that could be questioned…with good reason.
  • “I will release my taxes at the proper time.” – well, Donald,it is long past that time and you should do it before the electoral college meets on Dec. 19th!
  • ‘nuf said about Trump Enterprises, letting his kids run it and saying that is sufficient. Not for a world leader…of the free world at any rate.
  • Challenging the credibility of our electoral system, which has been used as a model for countries around the world establishing democratic governments. It makes us look like hypocrites…which we are and always have been on democracy.
  • He, Rudy Giuliani, and Kellyanne Conway, all calling protestors ‘cry babies’ and not denouncing the protests quickly enough…include Obama on this. Cry babies who won in their states and feel they have been robbed.
  • Criticizing Jill Stein and the Clinton campaign for seeking recounts in at least three states: Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania…Florida could be next. Consider, Stein raised less than $4 million for her campaign but has received over $6 million for recounts. Trump is furious…as he so often is with that hair trigger brain of his. But wait…he was screaming widespread voter fraud and his ego, despite winning the electoral college (so far that is), cannot bear the fact that he lost the popular (sic) vote by more than 2 million votes! If that is the case, he should prove it, of course he has shown, and facts have shown there is miniscule if any, voter fraud. How could it be done on such a grand scale. Would 2 million people risk going to jail? Thus far there has only been one incident reported: a woman who voted twice…for Trump!
  • “I would have had more votes if I had campaigned in California and a few other states” – so? Clinton would have also had she used his strategy. What’s your point?

The people he has surrounded himself with before (two crime families, which somehow wasn’t picked up by the New Jersey Gaming Board, nor was he required to testify before the board as is required by law…but hey, it’s New Jersey, right Chris? Here are a few: Bannon, the chameleon Giuliani, using Hannity of FOX News as a foil, along with Kellyanne before she resigned to run his campaign (wait I thought it was the liberal media that was the problem…FOX with the worst credibility rating of any news (sic) network for mixing opinion with fact. Worse he had not denounced neo-Nazi’s, the KKK, or any fringe group out to destroy the fabric of our nation. A case in point, Richard Spencer, head of the ‘alt-right’ movement (translation: American Neo-Nazi Party), who held a victory rally  for Trump, using the phrase: “Hail Trump, Hail America” (white that is), giving a Nazi salute which many in the audience eagerly gave. Note his comb over, a replica of Hitler’s. We cannot let this stand!

There you have it, a few of the reasons we cannot allow Trump to be president. Keep on going, Donald, and the electoral college might just hand you a stunning defeat. It is critical with our checks and balances destroyed by the prevalence of the GOP control in the House, Senate, gubernatorial states, state legislators, and the equal weighted Supreme Court about to be turned heavily to the extreme right…and while extreme liberal is communism, the opposite is fascism. Hail Trump…or should it be ‘heil’? TB is ‘seeking’ an answer.

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11/28/16…Kellyanne? You’re FIRED!!!

Not quite, but…

She made two cardinal sins on Sunday talk shows: first, she thought she knew

The Donald’s mind without checking in the last half hour (joke), but seriously, she claimed she had talked with him about the President-elect and he had no problems with her comments on him…hmmmm. Secondly, purportedly at least, The Donald is trying to ‘make nice’ because he knows he needs all the help he can get.

It didn’t take long for word to get out that Trump was pissed! Damn, if she leaves, is there anyone else he can grope or find attractive enough to? (“Donald, stop that…oh, okay…). That was not fair besides she is a mother of four and 49 years old…way to old for him. Note to Melania: at 46, you are on borrowed time, wheras he told Howard Stern, Ivanka was a “nice piece of ass” and at her optimum age of 35…at 45 they start walking. Good advice, no? Oops, Melania, remember when you were pregnant and he called you a “monster” and a “blimp”. Don’t worry, those are just his ‘pet’ names, right??? Right???

Word in D.C. is he is having problems filling 2nd and 3rd tier jobs…you know, the ones who do the heavy lifting, not just titular heads. Why on worth would you want to be in THAT cabinet? To save him from himself? That familiar “you’re fired!” could ring out loud and often but hey, when you’ve been elected dictator, who cares.

But this isn’t Trump Enterprises where there was no one to say that Trump Wine, and the infamous Trump U. were bad ideas…hence a misogynist, narcissist, with delusions of grandeur. But there is Congress and that honeymoon, even with his own party in control, could be very short, i.e. over before he even is sworn in?

Listen to Ted Cruz: during the battle he called him a ‘pathological liar’, no argument there because he never  backs down from a statement no matter how strong the proof. Another mark of a narcissist, because they never want to lose and his sister, the former appellate judge for New Jersey (appointed a federal judge by Reagan and to the appellate court by the evil Obama). Now he says it was ‘just in the heat of battle’. Hey, Ted, you might get that Supreme Court seat yet! Ah, but once there, in decisions he can say what he really thinks, IF he follows the Constitution, not the party.

Okay, I had some fun…factual fun, though. Now for my real thoughts (note that I voted for Clinton as the lesser of two evils since both parties let their constituents down): he has no moral compass, no compassion, cannot tell a lie…oops, truth, is crude, disgusting, and a pompous ass! He will destroy relations with our allies, and has already started by telling the Brits who their Ambassador to the U.S. should be…and he still has ‘elect’ after his title.

Ah, those poor people in manufacturing jobs and especially coal…you see, it is Obama’s regulations that are killing….killing I (he) say! Well, guess what, Donald? It’s called technology and alternative fuels (not alt, like alt-right), natural gas is an easy substitute for coal in power generation, and has fewer emissions. Oops, Donald, forgot that climate change is a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese. Well, hate to tell you this but solar and wind power are growing by leaps and bounds and if Congress would ever clamp down on auto industry think where we would be?

Oh, and you have truly pissed off the alt-right (neo-nazi’s, KKK, etc.) by not prosecuting Hillary, even though you have no power to try or not to try. If you think those election night and the next few days, protests were bad, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet…and that, Mr. Trump will be your bad!

But Mr. Trump, and I hope that President-elect is as far as you go (see last column on Dec. 19th and the electoral college, aka the 12th Amendment!). You have no credentials to be president: zero, zip, zilch, yet you continue to tell the American people how it’s gonna be.

You have cast doubt on our elections, the hallmark of any democracy, by making insane comments before the election about voter fraud, and saying you will keep us in suspense whether you will challenge the election…but not if you win.

Well, guess what Donald? You are winning, and as Judge Judy tells people who are winning: shut up! You can only hurt yourself. Yet because Clinton shows a 2 million vote lead in the ‘meaningless’ popular vote and is joining Jill Stein in a possible recount of three states, you just can’t help yourself. Now you are screaming…literally, the millions of voters were illegal. That is tantamount to treason because you are once again challenging the very backbone of America and democracy that we have preached to other nations. Also, you, Rudy Giuliani, and Kellyanne should shut up about people who backed Hillary being “cry babies”, telling Clinton and Obama to stop the protests, yet you claimed to be unaware of any alt-right hate crimes that have escalated after the election and when she pressed YOU to do something, you said, in a monotone that lacked conviction: “stop it now.” Yes, daddy!

Well, I guess I’ve got it off my chest now but i am speaking as an American, not a Republican, Democrat, etc. but as someone who thanks to you has lost all faith in our political parties…perhaps that is your rationale for becoming Dictator-in-Chef.

A disgusted TB.

 

 

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11/25/16 TRUMPED! The GOP

‘The Donald’ has ‘trumped’ the GOP (Grand Obstructionist Party), and the man who let it all happen was…drumroll please…REINES PRIEBUS. But what the hey, he got his reward.

Anyone recall him saying on MTP when he was challenged for letting Trump, a former Democrat, friend of the Clinton’s, and never a ‘Reagan Republican’ or even conservative (his demeanor alone tell you that!), run ‘because we are a big tent’. Ain’t that the truth and you, Reines, let the camel put his nose under it.

Me a GOP hater? No, a life-long Republican, as were my parents and the rest of my family. Until…John McCain, went against all advisors and chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. That did it for me, and I voted for Barrack Obama…twice. This time, I held my nose and voted for Hillary, because I thought of Reagan’s deep respect for the office and Trump’s total contempt for it and for trodding on common decency AND the U.S. Constitution: the ultimate ‘Flim-Flam Man’.

Does anyone recall the Robert Redford, Paul Newman movie, The Sting? At one point, newbie Redford asks Newman why he is a con man…for the money? To which, Newman responds, “it’s to see the look on the face of the mark, when he realizes he has been had.”

You..some of you…certainly not me or the 2 million that cast their votes for ‘crooked Hillary’, as the ‘devil you know’, while polls showed many preferred ‘the devil THEY don’t know. Now that he has won, or has he…won’t know for sure until Dec. 19th…he is showing his largesse (large ass?), by saying he won’t prosecute her. Once again, he didn’t bother with the details like not being the one who can appoint a special prosecutor, OR tell the FBI and Justice to drop the charges. Furthermore, as will undoubtedly happen with all, he is breaking his campaign promises (panders!), he made to the voters, his constituents, the party, and our country. Good luck, America…you elected a liar, thief, tax dodger as ‘your’ (not my) president. As George H.W. Bush once put, “this will not stand!”

Since penning the above, in an unprecedented move, Jill Stein, a physician and the Green Party candidate, has raise funds for a recount in those three three states (Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida). So while the odds of 21 ‘renegade’ electors is slim, the odds are diminished by a possible change in the electoral vote.

Recall Trump being gracious in victory…always easy even for him, although he still was unconvincing when Leslie Stahl asked him to tell his supporters to stop with the racist and ethnic violence. Instead, he said he was ‘unaware’ of that even though he is a junkie on social media. So what did he say? Nothing of note ending with “stop it”. Stop it? Not Stop It! or the more appropriate, STOP IT…IMMEDIATELY!!! That is what parents tell their kids, right?

Thus there are two possibilities, one of which would result in Clinton being named President, and one in which the GOP House would select the President…hopefully not Trump but a more responsible, realistic individual…or even Pence. Time will tell, but remember, you heard it first hear IF it does happen.

Hopefully, based on his telling the UK who their ambassador to the U.S. should be which is totally unacceptable for a sitting President, let alone a President-elect. The furor it started in the House of Commons was not a pretty sight, especially their statements about the man’s racism. There seems to be a common thread on racism, doesn’t there?

Meanwhile the stock market is at record highs, but after the first surge not convincing and certainly not all sectors…especially bonds, the largest market in the world!

Hope you and your family were able to have a political free zone for Thanksgiving and that it was a good one for all.

Trader Bill

 

 

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11/23/16 The world according to Trump

Despite his BOLD statements we see a man who must rely on being outwardly aggressive in order to get his point across. To me, this alone disqualifies him as a presidential choice. His behavior in the debates (sic) was deplorable.

Then there was his disrespect for the Constitution on presumption of innocence in calling her “crooked Hillary” – even in the debates, and then adding “lock her up”! This incited the extremist ‘lunatic fringe’ much the way Adolph Hitler appealed to thugs. In addition to Clinton, who he formerly proud to claim as a friend, he has incited violence and hate messages to blacks, latinos, muslims, and jews (in this regard it is ludicrous that he tell the UK who their ambassador to the U.S., and it is one who has a record of racism per the House of Commons, and remember he is not even President yet. As the last missive stated, that could change on Dec. 19th, as a recount is being recommended by statisticians in three states (Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida (where the average margin of victory for either side has been just over 11,200 and in 2000 Bush ‘was declared the winner’ by just 363, an incredibly strong argument against winner take all electors!).

Are we so desperate for reform we have elected a man who never made a totally true statement during the primary and presidential periods, who had over 50% flaming lies, and has appealed to the worst elements of society as well as those who have been hurt by the economy (perhaps Hillary’s biggest blunder was taking them ‘deplorables’ which was a gross insult but pales in comparison to the names Trump has called some vets, gold star families, and those listed in the above paragraph?

But perhaps the worst thing is his selection of associates and now a cabinet of people who are against the liberties guaranteed by our Constitution. But let’s get back to his statements on policy:

  • “I will build a wall and Mexico will pay for it, gladly.” – the only way he can do that is to withhold remittances to Mexico who would undoubtedly cancel theirs and along with his other assaults lead to trade wars.
  • “She voted to invade Iraq.” – hello? If you recall in Desert Storm, Dems voted against it and were accused of not being loyal in the next election. By the second Gulf War, they had learned their lesson when Colin Powell, then Secretary of State, lost Condi Rice’s support and caved, further he took their erroneous (putting it politically) intelligence (sic) and presented it over opposition from the two CIA analysts who prepared the talking points (they were changed by Cheney who was itching to invade Irag and that is what brought about the growth of ISIS which was in its infancy: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/announcement/on-may-17-frontline-investigates-the-secret-history-of-isis/ This overriding of a CIA plan that would have destroyed it, upset the balance of power in the entire Middle East, and we are paying for that hubris today. But blame Hillary and other Dems for voting for it?
  • “Believe me…: Whenever Trump says this he is starting to tell a lie, believe me!
  • “Greatest…people love me…I know more about ISIS then the generals…all politicians are stupid (since those in the GOP backed him, I will give him that)…I have a secret plan…” the list goes on and on…and they listen to him and trust him. Even when confronted with proof that he is wrong, he sidesteps it and never admits to being wrong…that is a trait of a narcissist…do you think he is?
  • “The election is rigged” – I am beginning to think he is right since he is winning  – so far at least, despite Hillary leading in the popular vote now by 2 million votes! What does this say about a man who will have to swear to defend the Constitution?
  • “I may challenge the results…I’ll keep you in suspense…I won’t challenge it if I win” WTF! This is a man running for the highest office in the most powerful nation in the world, good grief!

Okay, the election is past and he has chosen his 16-person transition team (4 of whom are his kids and son-in-law). His appointment of Bannon to a non-cabinet position thus not requiring Senate confirmation, and most of his others thus fare give little comfort to those who voted against him – and I suspect members of his own party. It is sickening to see people like Newt Gingrich reverse all of his stances in direct conflict with his own writings, and I won’t even touch Rudy Giuliani, who sounds more unstable by the day.

The point is that the world according to Trump is a very fluid world as his financial career has been, by a very vindictive man. Will he prevail? Only time will tell.

Trader Bill

 

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11/22/16The beginning (end?) of Trump

(NOTE: it has been four months since I posted here. I am truly concerned for our country and my children’s and grandchildren’s future. We just finished a very contentious election and it will not be over until December 19th when the electoral votes are talleyed. In the meantime I am going to point out my concerns about our new president’s qualifications.)

This is not meant to be mean-spirited, it is about whether this man is qualified (mentally) to be the President of the United States. It is all the more imperative since he will have both houses of Congress, most governorships, and soon the Supreme Court all aligned. This is not, and never has been good for the people and the country.

It is not over…yet. First, the electoral count is 290 to 232 for Trump. In 2008, Obama had 330 and in 2012 303. Yet, the Trump team, Speaker Ryan, and others believe they have a mandate. The last ‘mandate’ was Obama in 2008 when he won by over 5 million votes, but by declaring a mandate, the Democrats set themselves up for failure and just two short years later, thanks to the Tea Party, the House turned Republican, where it has remained ever since. So Mr. Trump and the GOP: you DO NOT have a mandate, not when Clinton is leading in the popular vote by 1.7 million, and Michigan and Florida are up for grabs.

Did you know that since 2000, the average margin of victory, in either direction, in Florida is less than 11,500 votes? I am not a spoiler but I have written to the Office of the Federal Registry which every four years becomes the electoral college. While they are committed in most cases to vote with the popular vote in their state, the college exists to keep the people from making a grave mistake. Only once has the vote swung the other way and the candidate was still elected by the House of Representatives. That year, an entire state, Virginia voted against its citizen for all 25 votes. This year it would only take 21 electors to revolt and turn the election (although I am not advocating it or even believe it will happen, but it could). With 1.7 million voters disagreeing with the state tallies, why not?

The way it works is this:

“The Certificates of Ascertainment, which contain the names of the appointed Electors and the vote counts for each political party on the state’s ballot, are signed by the Governor and contain the state seal.  These are prepared before the meeting of the Electors, which is December 19 this year.  At the meeting of the Electors, the Electors each vote and that vote is recorded, so both the identity of the Electors and how they voted is public record.  Each Elector signs the Certificate of Vote.  We will post both Certificates on our website once we receive them from the states, but we currently haven’t begun to receive the Certificates of Ascertainment yet.” (Source: Office of the Federal Registry)

A further question is the all or none method in some states and proportionate in others. The Constitution set no rules on how votes were to be apportioned. The Office of the Federal Registrar informed me that it would require a Constitutional Amendment.

As you know, Donald J. Trump is the first candidate in recent history to refuse to release his tax returns (during the campaign he said he was not allowed to during an audit – denied by the IRS – but would release them as soon as it was completed – not yet!). Now he is refusing with his staff saying that his financial statement supplied was enough. It is not! Especially for a man with so many interests globally to avoid (multiple) conflicts of interest. Now we have learned from the IRS that his foundation has engaged in self-dealing, which they have admitted to. These issues include paying fines levied against Trump and I am sure when it is looked into there will be many more.

Ah, but what about the Clinton Foundation? They are accused of using her office as Secretary of State to obtain foreign donations. So long as it only increases accessibility and no value was received (same goes for Congress), that is not illegal. It has been reported in the past that one thing the Clinton’s are scrupulous about it their taxes. Obviously, they saw the risks and from what accountants have said they have been very conservative, to the point of not taking deductions when they were advised they could – could you do that?

I just sent the following message to my representative, both Minnesota U.S senators, Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell. Feel free to use it if you agree with me on this subject:

Congressman/Senator, you have a duty to demand that Donald Trump release his tax returns. it is unthinkable with his conflicts of interest that he do so. This is now imperative in light of the IRS release on the Trump Foundation’s self-dealing.
The GOP blundered in even letting this man run as a Republican, and Mr. Priebus has been amply rewarded for it.
Respectfully,

That is enough for today. Think about it. This could be a big turning point for our nation and its future. Based on his cabinet selections so far, I am very concerned about where we are headed.

Thanks for reading,

Trader Bjll

 

 

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