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Monday, December 12, 2016

November 8, 2016--"A Date Which Will Live In Infamy"

In the election of November 8, 2016, significantly less than a majority of the voters who went to the polls in America, with the help of the electoral college system, managed to elect Donald Trump to the presidency. Based on the latest, most complete vote counts about 2.7million more people actually voted for Hillary Clinton than for Trump.  For the fifth time in American history, the losing candidate, Hillary Clinton, won more votes than the eventual winner.  Donald Trump, a Fascist, a self confessed sex offender, and a career criminal was elected.  Today, more than month after the election, hundreds of thousands of Americans are protesting in a variety of ways all over the country.  In another clear indicator of his bent toward Fascism, Donald Trump has tweeted that these are "professional protests".  We are at the beginning of the worst period in American history.

The CIA has confirmed that there is significant evidence of election hacking by the Kremlin in support of Trump.  Trump is attempting to appoint a Secretary of State, Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, who has significant earlier ties to Russia, Putin, and the Kremlin.  The senate, based on urging from Republican John McCain, is beginning an investigation of the Russian connections to the hacking.  Donald Trump, as he always does when questioned or criticized, is denying the validity of the CIA claims of hacking.  That response is exactly what any rational expert would expect from a guilty party.  The other candidates Trump has chosen for cabinet posts are a Who's Who of Right Wing Radical extremists, former Republican failures, and people with little or no experience in government service.  Nearly every candidate for a key position has expressed some desire to destroy, defame, or hamper the agency Trump has chosen them to direct.  The most experienced member of the group appears to be Elaine Chao, wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who served as labor secretary under President George W. Bush and deputy secretary of transportation under President George H.W. Bush.  However, her father is a well known Chinese billionaire who owns a large fleet of super freighters all of which have been built by suspected slave labor.  Her consideration appears to be a nod to the Chinese bankers who are purported to hold heavy loans against Trump's businesses.  Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama is Trump's choice to be attorney general.  In 1986, Sessions was denied a federal judgeship due to a history of racism.  Trump has chosen Andy Puzder, a billionaire restaurant executive as secretary of labor.  In the past, Puzder has consistently railed against the minimum wage and claimed that it is unnecessary and unfair to employers.  Betsey DeVos, a member of the DeVos family of Amway pyramid scheme fame, has been chosen as secretary of education.  She is an advocate for charter schools and has a long history of opposition to the actions of the Department of Education.  She has frequently called for the abolition of the department which she has been chosen to run.  Trump has also selected Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.  Pruitt's claim to fame is that he has spent most of his legal career fighting the actions of the Environmental Protection Agency and has largely been responsible for the lack or regulation of the gas and oil fracking which has caused the recent epidemic of earthquakes in his home state.

This list of nominees for cabinet positions clearly shows that Trump has a plan to destroy much of the regulatory nature of American government, to abolish several key departments of government, to deny constitutional rights to workers, and to damage the federal government as much as possible.  If these nominees are actually confirmed, and most of them will be, the country is headed into a very dark and uncertain future.  It is my belief that if the Democratic party controlled as many as 45 seats in the Senate that enough rational Republicans would join them to stop several of the nominees from being confirmed.  But the Republican majority in the senate, which leans heavily to the extreme right, is highly likely to confirm all these extremists and an era of active destruction of the federal government will begin on January 20, 2017.  God Help Us All if it does. 

The quote from Franklin D. Roosevelt, our greatest president, which I have chosen to use as the title of this post, came in his speech to congress in which he asked for a declaration of war against Japan after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  That quote came at one one of the darkest times in American history.  Today is just as dark a time for very different reasons.  The voters of America and Appalachia made a horrible mistake in this election.  Donald Trump has a thousand factors which make him unfit to be president and not a single qualifying factor.  Donald Trump used the very same platform in his election campaign which Adolph Hitler used to gain control of Germany.  In a Newsweek article from September of 2016, writer Maiken Umbach, addresses the similarities between Hitler and Trump.  In that article, Umbach points out a significant number of glaring similarities between Trump and Hitler.  

In one of the most important paragraphs of the article, Umbach points out that:
"Neither Hitler nor Trump campaign on specific policies, beyond a few slogans. Instead, both promise a new vision of leadership. They portray the existing political systems as fundamentally corrupt, incompetent, and, most importantly, unable to generate decisive action in the face of pressing problems."

The article goes on to point out how both Trump and Hitler use "highly edited accounts of their personal histories" to gain favor with electorates.  Donald Trump refused to disclose his tax returns in the election process claiming that he was under audit. A former head of the IRS publicly pointed out that a person under audit has every right to publicly disclose their taxes during the audit.  There are several theories about why Trump did not disclose his taxes including: 
  1. that he was not nearly as wealthy as he has always claimed;
  2. that he had not paid taxes which was proven in the one years taxes which were released;
  3. that the taxes would show that he had illegal business dealings with Russia, China, Japan, and Cuba.  
Whatever the actual reasons are that the taxes were never disclosed, it is readily apparent that Trump is  hiding a great deal and none of what he is hiding is to his advantage if it were disclosed.  Also, throughout the campaign, only two world leaders ever actively promoted Trump, Kim Jung Un and Alexander Putin, the two worst dictators in the world.  Both obviously had their own reasons for doing so.  Most intelligent people believe that the most likely reason is that they are aware of Trump's incompetence and are betting that he is unable to handle the duties of the presidency.  There is no doubt that this is correct.  During the campaign, the White House stated that there was evidence that Russian hackers had hacked Democratic records in order to assist Trump.  Why would they do that?  The reason most people give is that Trump is heavily in debt to Russia and Putin.  A new theory has been put forth recently that Putin is also seeking revenge against Hillary Clinton for her prior diplomatic successes which have served to impede Putin's aggressive tendencies in several countries. 

In a Time article from August 2016, author Jeff Nesbit points out that:
"Russian intelligence agencies have allegedly recently digitally broken into four different American organizations that are affiliated either with Hillary Clinton or the Democratic Party since late May. All of the hacks appear designed to benefit Donald Trump’s presidential aspirations in one fashion or another."

Immediately after the election, a senior Russian official admitted that there had been ongoing contact between  Russia and the Trump campaign during the  election.  This is a clear violation of the Logan Act, as was Trump's contact with Mexico prior to the election.  The Logan Act prohibits anyone who is not an official of the government from attempting to engage in foreign diplomacy.  But the possible violation of the Logan Act is the least harmful possible reason for contact between Trump and Russia.  The more ominous reason would be collusion based on the debt and illegal business contacts prior to his campaign.  

Kurt Eichenwald of Newsweek has also written about illegal interaction prior to the campaign between Trump and Cuba and in his article he alleges that Trump violated the embargo of Cuba. The average, uneducated reader should know that major news organizations do not write and publish such articles as the three quoted above simply for the amusement of the authors and publishers.  Due to the possibility of litigation, they work diligently to be able to prove the information in the stories they print.  The bottom line is that there is far more than sufficient evidence that Donald Trump has frequently and recklessly dealt with foreign countries in clear violations of American laws.  Trump's willingness to violate law and common decency is not the simple kind of violations which prior public figures have been known to do.  It shows a blatant, conscious, and egregious form of behavior which was intended to benefit Trump, flout both American and international law, and borders on treason.  If Trump colluded with Putin to hack and alter election results, that action would clearly constitute treason.  

There are also a significant number of pending legal actions against Donald Trump which clearly indicate his general unworthiness to hold any public office.  The worst of these is the Trump University Case if we speak from a business sense.  This case is a fraud case under federal law which seems to clearly point out that "Trump University" was a scheme to defraud thousands of would be millionaires of their hard earned money while giving them nothing for their cash and effort.  Trump reportedly agreed to pay the plaintiffs in the Trump University case a sum of $25million to settle the case.  There is also a civil suit arising from an alleged child rape when the victim was only thirteen.  This case has been filed, dropped, and refiled and dropped yet again.  When legal cases are handled in this manner, it is sometimes an indicator that the plaintiff has been either untruthful or paid off.  We will probably never know the exact answers in this situation but it is highly unusual for a political candidate to get any votes after having been accused of a sex crime.  Donald Trump has been accused and has even admitted on tape to having committed sex crimes.  He even seems to be proud of his crimes.  

But these high profile cases are only the tip of the Donald Trump legal iceberg.  There are roughly seventy five other pending legal cases against Donald Trump for a plethora of reasons.  In the previous link, US News details these cases and the legal issues surrounding them.  There is also a lurid prior legal history of Donald Trump refusing to pay just debts with nearly 4,000 suits having been filed against him.

Donald Trump is clearly unfit to hold any public office of even the lowest importance.  His assumption of the presidency should instill terror in the heart of any rational American.  November 8, 2016, is "a date which will live in infamy".  

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