Donald Trump: “You Surround Yourself With People Who Demand So Little Of You”

Millie Jackson is an R&B songstress perhaps best known for her monologues and raunchy lyrics. Her height of popularity was during a long run from the 1970’s thru 1990’s where she did quite well with the possible exception of her Country album. She did on occasion come out with a sweet love ballad, one of which was “Sweet Music Man” which she performed as a duet with Kenny Rogers who originally wrote and performed the song. One of the lyrics was, “You surround yourself, with people who demand, so little of you!” I am reminded of that line often when thinking of Donald Trump.

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Donald has always operated in a vacuum where he only needed to work with a few people, all of which under his direct control. Despite his need for adulation he doesn’t really like people and would rather be adored in the media or cheered from a stage than actually holding conversations and shaking hands. The self-professed germaphobe doesn’t like people much at all despite his overwhelming need to be liked.

When Trump had to form a government, he basically had to outsource it to a few new friends around him with some government experience. He appointed Chris Christie to head up his transition team who he had to dump when Bridgegate problems became a drag. He then appointed Pence to head the transition who had staffed a Governor’s and Congressional office but perhaps was over his head given the apparent lack of vetting of Cabinet officials and Mike Flynn who headed up (briefly) the NSA.

Besides Pence, suggestions whirled around Trump coming from Bannon, Flynn, Sessions, Priebus, Gingrich, Giuliani, and others who had, “said nice things” about Trump which he associated with credibility. He found himself increasingly surrounded with people more loyal to those that got them their jobs than Trump himself. He tried to overcompensate by refusing to let Tillerson, McMasters and others appoint their own staffs. Surrounding them with spies who would report back to Donald.He gave offices and more power to Jared and Ivanka, hoping “blood’s thicker than the mud.”

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And then there’s Russia. There’s no doubt Russia worked to influence the Presidential Election in favor of Trump. The number of relationships the Trump Campaign and Administration have with Russian oligarch’s, politicians and spies defies any possibility of coincidence. The only question that remains is how much did they collude with Russia and who was involved? Manafort is gone but many of the staff he brought on remain. Bannon has been coordinating most everything in Trump world, how could he not be involved? Flynn had visible conflicts given his paid roles for Russia and Turkey. Some while involved with the Trump campaign. Jared has had questionable contacts. All of these were either not disclosed or lied about. Trump himself has acted as the Putin’s Special Ambassador, praising him at every turn, condemning him for nothing.

Now that the investigations have begun. The one word that must have Trump shivering in his gold-plated boots is being uttered… immunity. He must know these people have no personal loyalty to him, just as he would have none for them in a situation where one of them had to go. Flynn has offered testimony to the FBI and the Intelligence Committee’s if given immunity. Immunity is typically offered when you have evidence against someone higher up that they want more than you. On the Trump organizational chart there is only one man above Flynn. Trump himself.

How does it end? A man like Trump will not fall from grace willingly or easily. He’ll tweet up a storm, encouraging his most ardent followers to revolt. He’ll accuse every party involved of malfeasance, conspiracy, and treason. He has publicly stated the President “cannot have a conflict of interest.” It’s a small step to presume he’s also above the law. He’ll look to those he would wish would help, Congressional Republicans, White House Staff, the people he appointed. He’ll only see those planning their own escape from the Hell Thump hath wrought. They won’t mind selling him out for some immunity of their own.

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Back to the Millie Jackson lyric. Donald Trump has surrounded himself with people who demand very little of him. They never required him to grow up. They allowed him to continue his irresponsible tweets. They Trumpsplained his every thought and action, treating them as brilliant negotiation strategies instead of the rash, childlike responses of a bully. Because they allowed him to throw his tantrums without reprimand. He in turn demanded little of them. We have a President who is knowledgeable about no policy and has the attention span of a flea. No one will throw themselves on their sword to protect him. Even Ben Carson will declare, “No mas” and give up. He offers nothing of value worth protecting. From now on it’s every man/woman for themselves. And it couldn’t happen to a more deserving person.

Trump’s Unbelievably Very Bad Day In Review (3/30/2017) Part 2: The Unanswered Questions

As the scandals swirl around Trump and the Hunger Games are about to begin. These are the questions that have started to be asked but are nowhere near answered. Even after his already unbelievably bad day. This is what I still want to know:

When Trump Is Ousted... What's Next?

  1. Jared Kushner is getting ready for his time under the microscope. Between his secret meeting with a Russian bank on a government watch list and attending another secret meeting with Michael Flynn when they snuck the Russian Ambassador into Trump Tower. After they look at his family’s real estate deals given he hasn’t truly divested from their holdings. When it comes time for him to testify and possibly need to cut a deal for himself. Will Ivanka side with him or daddy?
  2. When Paul Ryan is finally compelled to explain his role in helping Devin Nunes perpetrate his fraud in trying to cover for Trump’s tweet claiming Obama spied on him. How far under the bus will Ryan throw Nunes.
  3. When Nunes is compelled to speak, possibly testify about the degree of White House involvement in the illegal dissemination of classified data (Given only to one party for political use). Who will he blame? Why did Ryan bless it?
  4. Will Mike Pence be able to stay above the fray even after allegedly vetting Mike Flynn and doing nothing after being notified by Elijah Cummings in writing of Flynn’s deception.
  5. Will Trump resign or will he have to be dragged out by his orange hair? What will his hair look like if he spent months away from dye, blow dryers and stylists?
  6. Where is Bannon in all this? You know he’s the manipulating force behind much of this, moving the chess pieces until they all get captured.
  7. Rex Tillerson used to be a Captain of Industry. Now he hides and poses for pictures without speaking, running from the press. He obviously didn’t need the job. Why does he stay? Where’s his pride?
  8. Don’t think I forgot allegations about Trump with underage girls and dozens of claims of sexual harassment and assault. Still want to know?
  9. When will Vegas start establishing odds on his Trump’s impeachment/resignation?

Trump’s Unbelievably, Very Bad Day In Review (3/30/2017) Part 1

As bad as The Donald’s days have been of late. This one is like begging of the bad. He’s running out of distractions and family members to give jobs at the White House. He can run but he can’t hide kind of day! Such a bad day there will undoubtedly be a part two. Here’s the early edition.

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  1. The New York Times breaks the news the House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes press conference which made President Trump feel “partially vindicated.” Was all a hoax. Two individuals, one from the NSA and the other from the office of the White House Counsel that formerly worked for Nunes. Leaked the information from the White House to Nunes so that he could run back to the White House and reveal it to the President. Trump’s credibility for the first time of anyone in recorded history has reached a negative number.
  2. Sean Spicer in attempting to protect Trump when pressed by reporters about White House involvement. Disputed his own words being read back to him by stating. “I never promised to respond to your questions, just look into them.”
  3. The Wall Street Journal reports in breaking news that Mike Flynn has agreed to testify if given immunity from prosecution. Allow me to rephrase, We have found Deep Throat and he’s about to start singing.
  4. Trump is rumored to be writing a new book, “The Art of the Plea Bargain.”
  5. Trump tweets up a storm criticizing the Freedom Caucus, Democrats and others. Given that he’s literally condemned now everyone else in America its truly #TrumpAgainstTheWorld. More most likely to come…

Happy Anniversary Enigma In Black (And Happy Birthday to Me)

Happy Anniversary! Enigma In Black is one year old today. I confess I started out blogging without any specific goals! I wrote because I had things to say and needed to get them out. I wrote long essays on Facebook before I started this blog. More than a few posts are repackaged writings from before I had this forum.

Along the way, I decided upon a modest goal of 33,333 views by the end of the first year. I passed that early this month. My new goal is to reach 100,000 views by the end of year two. I follow bloggers who have that many views for a single post. Baby steps!

A few random thoughts. I started my blog on my birthday which allows me to keep track of anniversaries. Three people I owe in particular for starting this blog are former Fisk classmates Adrian Williams and Barbara Jackson who never failed to push me saying, “You should start a blog!” Thirdly, fellow blogger Babz Rawls Ivy who literally walked me thru the initial steps and made it impossible to turn back. This obligates them I think to keep reading and keep pushing so that I keep growing and push myself sometimes beyond what is comfortable.

I write about politics, maybe too much but the current environment requires it. I write about race, systemic injustice, education, and more and more… history. Those who do not know their past are indeed doomed to repeat it. In the future, I will be not only making commentary but suggesting ways to make a difference. In the same way that faith without works is dead… so are words without action.

Thank you for those who read almost all of my posts. I know who you are and you are greatly appreciated. Especially those that disagree with my views and are willing to use your words to express another view. I am above neither learning or changing my mind.

If you don’t read anything else, I encourage you to follow my Shadow Warrior series. A new individual/group is recognized each month on the 7th for what they’re doing which may not yet be receiving widespread recognition. Honoree’s so far are:

Sevgi Fernandez

The Wilson Academy

Kelly Wickham Hurst

I’m always looking for new people to highlight and your suggestions will be appreciated.

On to a new year. I have exciting (to me anyway) plans to reach a wider audience and hopefully make a difference. Take care!

William Spivey (Enigma in Black)

Fixing Obamacare! (How To Improve The Affordable Care Act)

It’s time to start talking about specific fixes for Obamacare, also known as The Affordable Care Act (ACA). Make no mistake that the overall solution will be complex. In a perfect world the solution might well be to repeal and replace The ACA with a single-payer solution which maybe is what Democrats should have gone for in 2009 instead of trying to compromise with Republicans who ultimately wouldn’t cast a single vote for the bill.

I have two suggestions that will have a major impact on the fortunes of the bill. Based on reversing the attempts of Republicans to sabotage the Act. The Act that Paul Ryan grudgingly acknowledges is “the law of the land.” If we follow the path of Republican instruction and sabotage. It provides a light on the way to begin fixing it.

The first step is for all the states that refused to expand Medicaid to now do so. It was thought by Democrats that the reasons for participating in the expansion were so compelling for their own residents than no Republican Governor’s or state legislatures could refuse to accept the funds. Little did they know the obstinacy of the generally rich men with government provided health care to deny their less well to do citizens a bit of the same.

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Photo: twitter.com

Kansas and North Carolina are already working to expand Medicaid in their states. Before the Presidential election, Nebraska, Idaho, South Dakota, and Georgia were considering expansion which they put on hold when they were certain the ACA would be repealed. The epic failure of Trump/Ryan to eliminate the ACA may have them reconsidering. Think of the positive impact on the laws financial projection and the health benefits to more citizens if Florida, Texas, and all of the 17 states that didn’t expand the ACA simply did so? I’ve written to my Congresswoman to suggest she request a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score, depicting the results and increase in coverage if the 17 holdout states accepted the Medicaid expansion.

Of course the word simply doesn’t apply because not only to the Governor’s of those states need to be convinced. Many Republican controlled states, fortified by gerrymandering. Will still be stubborn opponents to provide to the have-not’s what they themselves take for granted. It will require the same types of pressure as recently applied across the country at town halls held by Congress members. Instead of confronting Congressmen and Senators the focus should be on State legislators an Governor’s to enact the will of the people.

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Photo: twitter.com

The second fix is to undo the sabotage that Sen. Marco Rubio and others did to the ACA in secret. They reduced funding for the obscure “risk-corridors” which basically made insurance companies whole if they lost money by covering those with pre-existing conditions and heaven forbid, sick people. The withdrawal from some markets by insurers was not based on the failure of Obamacare but the deviousness of Rubio et.al.

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Photo: thetrumpreport.com

A bonus third thing is to boycott companies like Aetna who withdrew coverage from profitable areas to punish the government for opposing their merger.

Much as the Republicans spoke of “repeal and replace” for seven years without actually having a plan. It’s incumbent on Democrats and indeed the people to make specific demands to fix the ACA.

  1. Expand Medicaid
  2. Restore Risk Corridors
  3. Boycott companies that harm citizens

Featured Photo: abc7.com

Another Bad Donald Trump Day In Review: 3/24/2017

Donald Trump had yet another bad day. It’s not only a trend it’s pretty much the forecast for the foreseeable future.

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Photo: twitter.com
  1. After promising so much, his Trumpcare died a pitiful death in the House of Representatives. Not only was the vote never held because they didn’t have the votes to pass their bill. Republicans were exposed in their lack of concern for the American people by demonstrating their willingness to negotiate away coverage for maternal care and for mental illness. I can’t help but point out they voted a few days ago to make certain the mentally ill can buy guns. What can possibly go wrong.
  2. The claim by House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes that Trump was monitored fell apart. He now says he doesn’t have in hand any documentation, doesn’t know what’s in it. He came forward because “He’s (Trump) been taking a lot of heat in the media!”Nunes actions make it far more likely there’ll be an independent investigation because he’s proven he can’t be impartial.
  3. Sean Spicer… I almost don’t need to say anything else. Sean Spicer derided reporters for inquiring about the impending collapse of the Republican Health Care bill, asking them to be, “more positive.”
  4. Trump held a press conference during which he blamed the Democrats for the inability of Republicans to agree on a Health Care Plan. This came after leaks showing he also blames Paul Ryan, the Freedom Caucus and Ben Carson. Okay Ben Carson was a joke, nobody believes he’s responsible for anything including the Department he’s the Cabinet Secretary for.
  5. Trump “approved” the Keystone XL Pipeline on paper which brings the project no closer to gaining local approvals for permits and from the State of Nebraska. Trump claims the project will add 28,000 permanent jobs. This is contradicted by the State Department which calculates the actual number of permanent jobs created will be 35.
  6. Eric Trump promised to inform his father regularly about the business he’s running so that daddy won’t have a conflict of interest. Eric said those reports would come, “probably quarterly.” He made that statement just minutes after he said, “I don’t talk about the government with him, and he does not talk about the business with us.”
  7. Russia, never forget about Russia. Paul Manafort has agreed voluntarily before the House Oversight Committee. Of course the earlier mentioned Devin Nunes who chairs the committee, arbitrarily canceled a public hearing so there’s no guarantee we’ll ever know what he says.
  8. Did I tell you Trump blamed Democrats for his Health Care failure. Such a kidder that Donald.

Featured Photo: huffingtonpost.com

Trumpcare: The State of Healthcare in America (How Many More People Will Die?)

” To illuminate how distorted things have become. President Trump has been willing to drop Mental Health Coverage from the list of present guaranteed services. This a few days after Republicans voted to ensure access to guns for the mentally ill.”

How did we get to the point where the discussion on health care has come down to how much less coverage can be provided and how much tax relief can be granted to already rich people? Ideology has trumped and exposed that concern for the American people is only imagined. The less political clout a constituency has, the less they get.

For those that imagined that the new President was your champion when he promised to provide a “great plan.” To paraphrase Kanye West, “Donald Trump doesn’t give a damn about sick people.” To illuminate how distorted things have become. President Trump has been willing to drop Mental Health Coverage from the list of present guaranteed services. This a few days after Republicans voted to ensure access to guns for the mentally ill. To the women who ignored all the misogyny Trump demonstrated not just during the campaign but during his lifetime. He’s also willing to negotiate away maternal care. Did you forget he was a scorpion?

Although Republicans are at the forefront of the current campaign to kill The Affordable Care Act. Democrats share responsibility for where we find ourselves after running away from supporting “Obamacare” for political reasons for the last 7 years. I blame them that many Americans are just finding out that their existing coverage whether it be by Medicaid expansion or participation in exchanges with names that sound nothing like Obamacare, is now at risk.

The Republican Party is imploding right in front of us in a race to serve their masters as opposed to the people. Their priorities are in order:

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Photo: time.com

  1. Provide Tax Relief to the already wealthy
  2. Position themselves best for re-election
  3. Reduce the public cost (and benefits) of Medicare, Medicaid, and healthcare overall
  4. Ship off responsibility to the states while simultaneously capping expenditures
  5. Providing the appearance of caring for any but the wealthy

There are two things Congress could do to be taken seriously on anything they say about health care:

  1. They could vote to change their own government based health care plans to be the exact coverage they offer to all other Americans
  2. Include in the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the answer to a single question. How many more people will die?

That’s the entire question in a nutshell. How many people are we willing to let die to reduce taxes? Don’t distract by claiming greater access as opposed to coverage. No more talk about percentage of Counties with limited providers. I just want to know how many more people will die?

Featured Photo: bustle.com