The Licensing of the Presidency (White House for Sale)


It’s how Trump has done business the past couple of decades. After six bankruptcies, Trump did learn a new trick and started selling his name and not trying to run a profitable business. Trump doesn’t really own many of the properties with his name on them. In 2015, his name was on seventeen properties in New York of which he owned only five. At present, the number of buildings in New York with his name has dwindled to eleven, as the six“Trump Place” properties elected to have the Trump name removed. The Trump Organization continues to manage the properties. A typical deal involves Trump licensing his name which once attracted buyers/renters for a fee while also being paid for management duties.

Last Two NYC Buildings Named ‘Trump Place’ Vote to Remove President’s Name

Trump’s new business model allowed him to eliminate risk while raking in a percentage, whether the venture succeeds or fails. When The Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama City filed for bankruptcy in 2014. It was the owner Roger Khafif that took the hit, even though it was the mismanagement by Trump Panama Condominium Management LLC. that helped run the property aground, approving $2.2 million in unauthorized debts, and approving undisclosed bonuses to its executives.

Last Two NYC Buildings Named ‘Trump Place’ Vote to Remove President’s Name

Trump had found a way to make money he couldn’t possibly screw up. Until he brought the same tactics to his campaign and ultimately to the White House. The first clue should have been when Paul Manafort volunteered to work with the Trump campaign for free. At the time, Manafort was being sued by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska for an allegedly misspent $19 million and had reportedly received an additional loan for $26 million. In all, Manafort was on the hook for up to $60 million dollars. How was he in any position to work in a highly visible position for free when people with ties to the Russian mob were trying to collect from him.

Last Two NYC Buildings Named ‘Trump Place’ Vote to Remove President’s Name

The answer, which was part of a now obvious pattern is that Manafort provided services to Trump, and was allowed to run free with his own side deals, using access to Trump to make money. Among the first things he did was provide information to Deripaska about internal Trump polling data and get Trump to change the Republican Platform in a manner favorable to Russia.

Last Two NYC Buildings Named ‘Trump Place’ Vote to Remove President’s Name

That change to the RNC platform didn’t go unnoticed but Trump and Manafort were able to stonewall efforts to pin down the story and it got lost in a sea of Trump scandals. One might think Trump would be wary of selling his name and position after that but apparently he was just getting started.

At the time of Scott Pruitt’s resignation as the EPA head, he was facing eleven investigations including his relationships with lobbyists which included a highly favorable housing arrangement while in D.C. Pruitt used his White House expense account to fly first class and use private planes. He had a woman on the payroll as an advisor that apparently rarely came to work. It was all good as long as Trump got his wishes which included gutting regulations that were protecting the environment.

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry recently resigned as Energy Secretary (a department he couldn’t remember in a televised debate when running for President). It seems he took advantage of his role as one of the “Three Amigos” advancing Trump’s Ukranian policy to hook up his friends with a huge energy contract. Those friends were loyal Perry campaign donors and I consider it likely Perry would ultimately be rewarded for the favor.

Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Guiliani was apparently working his own side deals while allegedly doing the country’s bidding. He was paid $500,000 by recently-arrested Lev Parnas; a Ukranian-American businessman that was allegedly working for Rudy, digging up dirt on Joe and Hunter Biden in Ukraine. Who pays someone else half-a-million bucks to go work for them?

Last Two NYC Buildings Named ‘Trump Place’ Vote to Remove President’s Name

Recently released documents show Rudy was negotiating a contract with former Ukranian prosecutor Yuriy Letsenko with whom he was working to dig up Biden dirt. Their negotiations got as far as a deal memo which Guiliani signed for $300,000. Trump is suddenly “unaware” of what Rudy was doing in Ukraine. Weeks ago Rudy said Trump was his “only client,” while Trump claims Rudy has lots of other clients than himself. One of them is lying.

Last Two NYC Buildings Named ‘Trump Place’ Vote to Remove President’s Name

Extend the pattern of grifters throughout the Trump administration. Take Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross whose net worth is over $700 million. He’s was sued by and later settled with former business partner David Storper who alleged Ross ripped him off for millions. Ross was Vice-Chairman of the Bank of Cyprus when he oversaw a Russian deal for which the bank was found to have laundered hundreds of millions of Russian money and was also Paul Manafort’s bank at the time. Birds of a feather. Throw in Jared Kushner and wife Ivanka who made $80 million last year while “volunteering” at the White House and it’s all so clear.

Last Two NYC Buildings Named ‘Trump Place’ Vote to Remove President’s Name

Government service is supposed to be honorable; serve your country for a few years at a government pay scale and perhaps you go on to make real money afterward. Trump and associates couldn’t wait that long. Everyone has a side hustle and is using Donald Trump’s name as collateral. The worst part is that many people within his own party know, but simply don’t care. If Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ever pressed the issue, someone might start looking at the millions in gifts he’s received from his father-in-law who owns a Chinese shipping firm? Selling access and favors is a great job if you can get it.

The Pros and Cons of Trump Receiving a Pardon (What Happened When Nixon Got Pardoned?)


We know the Impeachment of Donald Trump is coming. That the House of Representatives will send multiple counts to the Senate for trial is a given. Whether Republicans are able to put Country before Party is another thing but despite the theory that if Trump survives Impeachment it allows him to declare himself a victor. The more likely outcome is that even if he’s not convicted by the Senate. American voters won’t want to put themselves through four more years of this perpetual madness. Once he’s out of office, he’ll be eligible to be prosecuted for his crimes and there’s a line forming of people waiting to charge him. The question is; should Trump receive a pardon as Nixon got? Allegedly to keep from tearing the country apart.

For those Ever-Trumper’s demanding to know what crimes he’s committed? The rest of the nation is sure he’s broken Federal Election laws and obstructed justice as well as violated the Logan and Hatch Acts. When his finances are finally revealed, we can add tax fraud, regular fraud, and money laundering to the list. There won’t be a question as to whether he and his family have broken the law. The question is; what are we willing to do about it?

When Nixon resigned in disgrace, President Gerald Ford pardoned him before charges could be brought in order to “spare the nation.” We’ll never be able to know how the nation would have responded had Nixon been jailed but America was pretty much in turmoil after he was pardoned. Ford discovered the voters held a grudge as he was beaten in the next election by a peanut farmer from Plains, GA. I’ve been to Plains and don’t suspect they’ll be producing any more Presidents anytime soon.

Yes, Trump’s base will be upset if he goes to jail. They’ll be upset if he doesn’t go to jail. They’d be upset if he managed to win re-election. When your constituency is glued together by rage, being upset is what they do. I’m less concerned about the Trump base than I am the next politician who wants to use the Office of the Presidency to enrich himself and his friends at the expense of the rest of us. It’s going to take enough to rebuild this nation as it is without a pissed-off Donald Trump on Twitter all day about how he was wronged.

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Donald Trump didn’t reach the highest office in the land with lofty aspirations to help the country and maintain high ethical standards. He was a crook when he arrived, surrounded himself with more crooks in his Cabinet and administration. It seems almost all of his political appointees were either crooks, white supremacists, or both. None of the people Trump pardoned went through the normal process of having been reviewed by the Office of the Pardon Attorney within the Justice Department. They were issued because someone knew someone or had a celebrity advocate like Kim Kardashian. Like every other American. Trump should have the opportunity to file for clemency. This usually takes place after someone has served a portion of their sentence and met all the guidelines.

I don’t want Trump to go to jail because I dislike him (although I do dislike him). Not because he’s a Republican (he’s not really a Republican although they are willing to follow him off a cliff). Not because he’s conservative (have you seen his deficits?). But because an example must be set. There’s a criminal right now thinking he can avoid a jail sentence if he can just get to be President and avoid prosecution. No, America doesn’t want to become a banana republic where politicians who lose or are ousted are thrown in prison. But America can no longer consider itself a nation of laws if its most visible citizen is above it.

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What if Trump Won’t Leave?


It’s not as ridiculous a question as it seems. Trump has already hinted at the possibility of not leaving office; even if he completed two full terms in office. Of course, there are two distinct means by which he might not serve more than one term. He could be voted out of office in the 2020 Presidential Election, or he could be Impeached. The ongoing Impeachment investigation has reached the public hearing stage. America is learning more daily about Trump’s back-channel diplomacy and apparent extortion of Ukraine to improve his chances of staying in office.

“We’re cutting record numbers of regulations — we’ve cut more regulations in a year and a quarter than any administration whether it’s four years, eight years, or in one case 16 years. Should we go back to 16 years? Should we do that? Congressman, can we do that?”

The immediate threat to his presidency is the Impeachment inquiry. After the first week of public hearings, there is the testimony that Trump blackmailed Ukraine to force them to make public statements about an investigation of a political rival and his son; in order to receive hundreds of millions in military aid. Trump’s engaged in an unprecedented level of obstruction; refusing to let administration witnesses testify or release records and documentation. We’ve seen how an Ambassador was demonized, forced out, and even intimidated while on the stand testifying. He told a foreign leader she was “bad news,” and that:

“She’s going to go through some things!”

The official Impeachment inquiry began after a September 25th phone call during which Trump demanded a favor from the Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky; immediately after he brought up his willingness to purchase additional javelin missiles. An opening statement from closed-door testimony shows on September 26th, Trump talked by phone to Ambassador Sunderland and pressed him on the progress of Ukraine releasing the statement Trump wanted.

It is fairly certain, that the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives will formally Impeach the President and send the case to the Senate for a trial. Less clear is whether the Republican-controlled Senate will do anything other than to vote by Party line. Impeachment requires a two-thirds majority in order to oust the President and currently that isn’t likely. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham says he “won’t even read the transcripts” from the House investigations. He may not be alone.

There is a precedent, however; Republican support to impeach Richard Nixon was even less than it is for Trump. Yet televised hearings and public opinion pressured them to the point that Republicans went to Nixon and told him he “didn’t have the votes” to survive Impeachment. Nixon ultimately resigned “for the good of the country.” From what we know of Trump, the good of the country won’t cross his mind and resignation is unlikely. So what if he won’t leave?

“You know the last time I jokingly said that the papers start saying, ‘He’s got despotic tendencies, (staying in office longer) “No, I’m not looking to do it. Unless you want me to do it, that’s OK.”

The first thing Trump would likely do is to file lawsuits. Sue the House of Representatives, the Senate, the whistleblower; everybody. That he has no chance on the merits won’t bother him. He has claimed that the President has absolute immunity while in office and that the President cannot even be investigated; in his legal filings. He said publicly that he could “shoot someone on 5th Ave.,” and get away with it. People thought he was joking.

We’ve all seen how long he’s been able to avoid releasing his taxes as various lawsuits wind their way through the court system. He’s lost on every lower level, including appeals to the Federal courts. All that remains is the Supreme Court which these days is highly unpredictable. The goal for Trump won’t necessarily be winning, although he would like that. It would be the delay, up to two years. Certainly long enough to run in the next election. If Impeached during one term is there anything to stop him from running in the next election? He wouldn’t be a felon as he wouldn’t have been prosecuted or convicted while President.

“Do you think the people would demand that I stay longer?”

The other possibility where Trump might try to go against tradition and stay in office; is if he is defeated in November 2020, but decides not to stay. He would have no problem declaring it a “rigged election” and either declare himself the winner or demand a whole new election (or recounts in only the states he lost). He’d declare (as he did in 2016) that millions of illegal voters were allowed to vote, provide his own set of unverifiable numbers which would be instantly be backed up by his surrogates and Fox News. Because of our built-in transition period between the election and inauguration. For over two months after the election, Trump would still be President; with control over the Justice Department, the Secret Service, and the military.

America has always set itself apart from the rest of the world with its history of peaceful transition of power. Despite Trump’s constant declarations, there has never been a coup with a leader forced out of power. Usually, an attempt to illegally take power or stay in power involves the military. Whatever Trump believes, the military is not so ingratiated to him that they would obey any order. There’s also the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits American troops from acting on American soil. That doesn’t apply to the National Guard which is controlled by individual states. We might see some Governors call out soldiers in an attempt to defend the President. Trump has had a loyal base of 30–40 percent of the nation. Would they stick with him even in an attempt to unconstitutionally remain in power?

The one thing we can’t say is that Trump would never consider it. He put himself ahead of the country’s interest in Ukraine. He’s indebted to the Russians to a degree we’ll never know until his financial records are released. He will lie, cheat, and steal to stay in power. Overstaying his term will seem relatively minor in his view. He’ll do what he always does; make statements to test the waters, measure the level of resistance… act. Speaking of Chinese President Xi Jinping he said:

“He’s now president for life. President for life. No, he’s great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot someday.”

Should Donald Trump Receive a Pardon?


We know the Impeachment of Donald Trump is coming. That the House of Representatives will send multiple counts to the Senate for trial is a given. Whether Republicans are able to put Country before Party is another thing but despite the theory that if Trump survives Impeachment it allows him to declare himself a victor. The more likely outcome is that even if he’s not convicted by the Senate. American voters won’t want to put themselves through four more years of this perpetual madness. Once he’s out of office, he’ll be eligible to be prosecuted for his crimes and there’s a line forming of people waiting to charge him. The question is; should Trump receive a pardon as Nixon got? Allegedly to keep from tearing the country apart.

For those Ever-Trumper’s demanding to know what crimes he’s committed? The rest of the nation is sure he’s broken Federal Election laws and obstructed justice as well as violated the Logan and Hatch Acts. When his finances are finally revealed, we can add tax fraud, regular fraud, and money laundering to the list. There won’t be a question as to whether he and his family have broken the law. The question is; what are we willing to do about it?

When Nixon resigned in disgrace, President Gerald Ford pardoned him before charges could be brought in order to “spare the nation.” We’ll never be able to know how the nation would have responded had Nixon been jailed but America was pretty much in turmoil after he was pardoned. Ford discovered the voters held a grudge as he was beaten in the next election by a peanut farmer from Plains, GA. I’ve been to Plains and don’t suspect they’ll be producing any more Presidents anytime soon.

Yes, Trump’s base will be upset if he goes to jail. They’ll be upset if he doesn’t go to jail. They’d be upset if he managed to win re-election. When your constituency is glued together by rage, being upset is what they do. I’m less concerned about the Trump base than I am the next politician who wants to use the Office of the Presidency to enrich himself and his friends at the expense of the rest of us. It’s going to take enough to rebuild this nation as it is without a pissed-off Donald Trump on Twitter all day about how he was wronged.

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Donald Trump didn’t reach the highest office in the land with lofty aspirations to help the country and maintain high ethical standards. He was a crook when he arrived, surrounded himself with more crooks in his Cabinet and administration. It seems almost all of his political appointees were either crooks, white supremacists, or both. None of the people Trump pardoned went through the normal process of having been reviewed by the Office of the Pardon Attorney within the Justice Department. They were issued because someone knew someone or had a celebrity advocate like Kim Kardashian. Like every other American. Trump should have the opportunity to file for clemency. This usually takes place after someone has served a portion of their sentence and met all the guidelines.

I don’t want Trump to go to jail because I dislike him (although I do dislike him). Not because he’s a Republican (he’s not really a Republican although they are willing to follow him off a cliff). Not because he’s conservative (have you seen his deficits?). But because an example must be set. There’s a criminal right now thinking he can avoid a jail sentence if he can just get to be President and avoid prosecution. No, America doesn’t want to become a banana republic where politicians who lose or are ousted are thrown in prison. But America can no longer consider itself a nation of laws if its most visible citizen is above it.

America Has a Big Race Problem: It Can’t Acknowledge It Has One


Not only is America incapable of admitting to its race problems. It has developed a whole new language of discussing race in a kindler gentler way so as not to offend those who would prefer not to think of themselves as racist. America used to at least recognize it had a horrible history regarding race. That too is changing as history books in some cases refer to “immigrant labor” as opposed to slavery. Bill O’Reilly, a self-proclaimed historian, refers to how “well-fed” the slaves were that built the White House. Slavery itself is being rewritten as a mere labor arrangement where the “workers” were provided free housing, food, and health-care. America is finding it harder to admit it even had a race problem.

For those willing to concede America once “had” a race problem. They consider it a thing of the past. Solved by the Emancipation Proclamation, or Brown vs The Board of Education, or this Civil Rights Act or that Voting Rights Bill. America has never solved its race problem or rids itself of systemic racism. It has only given it different names. Slavery was replaced by “The Black Codes”, which was replaced by “Jim Crow” which was replaced by redistricting and gerrymandering and voter suppression.

History meanwhile has ignored or forgotten the most heinous acts committed against people of color. We all know about “Custer’s Last Stand”.How many know about the “Devil’s Punch Bowl” in Natchez, MS where 20,000 Black men, women, and children died. Imprisoned by Union troops in a concentration camp after the Civil War ended. History doesn’t mention “Black Wall Street” in Tulsa, Oklahoma where a thriving community was attacked on the ground and from the air. Over 35 blocks of property were burned and destroyed. Over 300 Black citizens killed and 800 hospitalized. 10,000 Black people were left homeless. Over 6,000 were arrested for up to 8 days. Despite the carnage, the official death toll was listed as “39” by the Oklahoma Bureau of Vital Statistics.

Orange County, Florida including Orlando, was claimed to have suffered the “largest mass shooting in American history” at the Pulse Nightclub shooting with 49 innocent people killed. As horrible as that was, it wasn’t even the worst mass shooting in the County as hundreds of Black people were killed and the rest of the Black population driven out of Ocoee, FL when some tried to vote in the 1920 Presidential Election. Ocoee stayed all-white for over 40 years afterward. America omits the inconvenient mass shootings in Elaine, Arkansas or E. St. Louis, Missouri or Mountain Meadows, Utah where Mormons dressed as Indians and killed 140 unarmed men and women. This is the history America doesn’t teach you when the victims are of color. It has redefined mass shootings to exclude more than a couple of shooters or apparently, race-motivated murder. It allows them to forget it had a race problem.

The problem that continues today stems from demographics. Those that wish to, “Make America Great Again” really mean to re-establish White control which is quickly fading. The reason they forcefully claimed “Barack Obama is the worst President in history” is not based on empirical data. They ignored the fact he saved an economy that was hemorrhaging jobs when he took office. He saved the auto industry. He served in grace despite the hate leveled against him. He established health care benefits for over 20 Million additional Americans. They conspired against him on his first day in office. For those who hate him, he has one inherent flaw. He is Black.

The secret to maintaining White control, even as White’s will soon be a minority in this country, is to control the vote. The tactics now closely resemble those used after reconstruction. Impose voter restrictions, enact poll taxes (although we now give them another name). Position polling places where it will be harder for some to vote than others. Provide limited access to minority voters hoping to dissuade them with long lines. America can deny the inherent racism in policies designed to disparately affect minorities; as long as we can claim it’s for another reason. We all know the almost non-existent voter fraud isn’t the real reason for these laws. What America can’t acknowledge is, that it’s all about race.

America has long not wanted to appear racist. Now I find that it no longer cares about keeping up the facade. Putting aside for a moment the racist background of President Donald J Trump, and his father Fred who was once arrested at a Klan rally. His Campaign CEO was Steve Bannon, former head of Breitbart News, who proved that racism has gone mainstream. That he is racist is beyond dispute. His personal comments and those he approved of in the media outlet he controlled; showed his hatred of Jews, Blacks, Hispanics, Catholics, Women and more. When Hillary Clinton discussed the specifics in a nationally televised speech, surely America would say this was too much. A man with his background cannot stand. After a couple of days of being a story, the storm faded as the media preferred to chase Trump’s evolving immigration policy and Hillary’s Emails. One Trump campaign manager was lambasted for an assault on a woman, another ousted because of his close ties to Putin. These apparently were terrible offenses. A racist heading up the Trump campaign, not a problem.

The list of things America won’t address because it can’t acknowledge its race problem is long. Unequal funding for schools. Disproportionate suspensions and expulsions of minority students. Voter suppression. Mass incarceration. Inequitable policing. The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. America, you have a race problem and it’s time you acknowledge it.

The Process of Rebuilding America After Trump


Eventually, unless Trump declares himself President for life and Congress and the Supreme Court both refuse to act. There will be life after Trump, and the next President will have to pick up the pieces of what the Trump era has wrought.

Let’s use the State Department as an example. With the release of depositions taken by the combined House committees in the Impeachment inquiry. We find that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lied when he said his Senior Advisor Michael McKinley never informed him about concerns about attempts to oust the Ambassador to Ukraine; Marie Yovanovitch. McKinley resigned from the State Department, giving as his reason the Trump administration was using its Ambassadors to advance Trump’s political interests instead of stated American policy. America’s foreign policy in Ukraine was apparently being directed by Trump’s personal lawyer with no official role in government; Rudy Guiliani. That’s just one country without getting into US relations with Russia, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Syria, China, and Turkey to name far more than a few where our foreign policy is either unclear or just not working.

The majority of the government is effectively rudderless as dozens of posts requiring Senate confirmation remain unfilled with “Acting” officials trying to lead Departments whose heads are not respected because they’re basically temp workers. Trump in many cases isn’t even trying to get people confirmed because he likes his people not only not to get too comfortable but to actually be fearful of Trump. He can get rid of them at a whim.

The one area Trump has been most effective throughout his tenure is deregulation. Today he weakened an Obama-era regulation that kept coal plants from dumping residue into our lakes, rivers, and streams. How is dumping coal ash into our drinking water a good thing? He’s made possible greater levels of air pollution, water pollution, and chemicals in our food.

The other area where he’s got his wishes although I wouldn’t describe it as being successful; is stacking the courts. In addition to his two Supreme Court picks, he’s done perhaps more damage (along with Mitch McConnell) in packing judges on the Federal bench. The Republican-controlled Senate has rubber-stamped the nominations of almost every nominee including some rated “Non-Qualified” by the American Bar Association. But the question being raised today is not just what has Trump done, it’s how do we fix it?”

The first step to rebuilding the government is staffing it. Unlike Trump’s transition team where Chris Christie the former Governor of New Jersey was unceremoniously dumped as its head. He was replaced by Mike Pence who seems to be denying any knowledge as to how selections were made. Particularly those like Michael Flynn who lasted all of 23 days, having to resign because of being an unofficial agent of Turkey and questionable ties to Russia.

The Trump administration has stopped communicating with America except via tweets or interviews on friendly networks like Fox News. The White House needs to resume daily news briefings and give honest responses to questions, even when it is bad news. After three years of Sean Spicer, the “Mooch”, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Kellyanne Conway, and a few others with no relationship to the truth. The next administration needs to be credible; not lying about things easily debunked like inauguration crowd size or whether or not any new wall is being built and who’s paying for it.

In the next Presidency; science should be viewed as if it were a real thing. Science-related departments like the Department of Agriculture have systematically replaced actual scientists with political cronies who owe their loyalty to the interest groups they used to work or lobby for. The official government position is to dispute climate change or accept it but it isn’t manmade, or acknowledge that but say there isn’t anything that can be done about it. The one thing they’re sure about is that corporations have no responsibility to stop ruining the environment and afterward have none to clean it up.

Besides these basic minimums; a wish list would include a functioning Congress that recognizes its role in providing a check and balance to the Executive Branch. One where the Senate actually votes on bills sent them from the House. One where “advise and consent” is taken seriously and we staff our government and the courts with the best of the best. Some non-partisanship from time to time would be a little nice where the interests of the nation take precedence over the Party line.

These few guidelines are just a starting point. Perhaps the whole notion of staffing much of the government with political appointees should be looked at? Eliminating nepotism would be helpful and be wary of anyone volunteering to work for the government without pay (Manafort, Jared, Ivanka). Nobody takes that kind of job without getting enriched somewhere.

Not My Constitution


Many of my blog pieces are inspired by “Morning Joe.” Given enough time, someone on the panel, most often Joe Scarborough will say something so ridiculous I have to respond. In the past few days, he’s talked about the number of increased Republican seats in the House of Representatives since President Obama first took office. He presents it as if it were because of Republican ideas and policies as if that were the reason. Not once did he mention Gerrymandering and redistricting, often in Unconstitutional ways according to the courts. Not discussed was the impact of Republican pushed bills suppressing votes wherever they have control. Many introduced the day after the Supreme Court gutted enforcement of the Voter Rights Act. That’s typical Scarborough propaganda and because it’s what he always does. It didn’t stir me to write.

What did get my attention was his assertion that the Constitution of the United States was powerful enough to withstand a Trump Presidency as it has withstood Nixon, Bush and others. It was that assertion that spawned this piece because the Constitution has not now or ever been mine.

There is a misconception that the Constitution considered Black people as three-fifths of a person. The Constitution neither said or did anything to supercede existing State laws which universally didn’t consider Blacks any portion of a person. They had no rights whatsoever and were governed by Slave Codes. What the Constitution did was allot additional Congressional seats to States, primarily in the South where slaves were counted for that strict purpose as being worth three-fifths of a white person. The Constitution also didn’t recognize at all “Indians not taxed” which was all Indians on reservations or roaming free. It’s not their constitution either. Republicans have made a hero out of the late Justice Antonin Scalia who favored a strict interpretation of the Constitution as “originally intended.” The Constitution originally intended to codify by its silence, the horrors of slavery and the total lack of power for Blacks and Native Americans.

When the Constitution does speak of race, it does so indirectly. Apparently race was just as uncomfortable to talk about then as now. It refers to, “other persons” or let the individual states determine who counted with language like, “such persons as any of the states now existing think proper to admit.” Its mention of slavery was couched in terms like, “persons held to service or labor.” There are those who defend the Constitution by saying it did not specifically affirm slavery. They feel it was somehow better to wink and nod at slavery and let the states take responsibility for what the Federal government would not. At best the Constitution ignored the plight of Black people. That’s why I can say it’s not mine.

The Constitution set up three allegedly co-equal branches of Government. The Executive (President), Legislative (Congress), and the Supreme Court. When initially created. Every office in every branch was inhabited by a white male. While a great deal of diversity relatively speaking has taken place since then. Two branches have never ceded that control and the third only for eight years. During those eight years, it must be said that the Republicans in the Congress settled on a policy of obstruction and are now about the business of wiping out the legacy of the sole Black President.

You might ask, what of the court? The official arbiter of what is Constitutional and what is not. The Supreme Court is now and forever has been a hotbed of partisan politics. The Court gave us the Dred Scott Decision where Chief Justice Roger B Taney said, “The Founders Constitution regarded Blacks as so far inferior that they had no rights the white man was bound to respect, and that the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.”

When no legal basis could be found to continue segregation in schools in Brown V Board of Education. They decided to desegregate schools but immediately muted their own decision calling for it to be implemented “with all deliberate speed” which set back desegregation for decades.

When the 1965 Voter Rights Act passed. The Supreme Court gutted the enforcement clause and as a result in the most recent election. Hundreds of thousands of voters were unable to vote that could have if not for their action. These are not the sole instances of the Constitution either being ignored or its meaning twisted on behalf of white people. One could make the case that every major piece of Civil or Voter Rights legislation was later weakened by the court. What good is the Constitution when it mostly serves one group? Not my constitution.

In America, the Constitution is revered. Elected officials and our military swear to uphold it. It was originally a compromise that protected the rights of slave states and the Electoral College is a remnant of those days. It acts eerily as it was intended when originally conceived. To provide an unnatural balance of power that serves rural and sparsely populated states and diminishing the power of the heavily populated centers. This is how we get a result where the popular vote doesn’t matter and white votes matter more than minorities.

Back to Morning Joe. The reason he can say the Constitution is strong enough to withstand even our worst Presidents. Is because he doesn’t stand to lose what some other Americans do. He will not be stopped and frisked or have his House of Worship surveilled. He will not see his community flooded with law enforcement, newly empowered to care even less about my life which matters even less than before. He will not lose his healthcare with no plan for replacement. His ability to vote is not at risk. No family member will be deported and hyper mass incarceration was never intended for him. His Constitution is doing for him what it always had. His Constitution… not mine.

What Was True of Trump in 2016 is No Less True Today


I wrote this in May of 2016. Looking back it shows just how much we knew about Trump before he became President and if anything, he’s worse today.

“There is a long list of things that Donald Trump does not understand. The list is long and normally his ignorance would have seen him removed from consideration for the Republican nomination for President. But the one thing he does understand has proven to be enough to attract enough of the Republican base that he steamrolled 16 other candidates to finish on top and now has a chance to become our next President. To those who are supporting Donald Trump, you know the following:

  1. Donald Trump doesn’t know a damn thing about foreign policy. He has no beliefs you can count on. Everything he’s said regarding Mexico, Muslims, China and the few other countries he can name, is contradicted by something else he’s said on the same subjects. He says he is anti-war, yet he has a secret plan to destroy Isis which has no specific base of operations and is spread out amongst nations all over the world, mostly living in major cities intermingled with the civilian population. Ask him how much his wall will cost? How will he make Mexico pay for it? You know he has no plan but you don’t care.
  2. You know Trump has little respect for women. He cares little about them besides their appearance. He calls them “dogs” and rates their bodies. He calls out Hillary for allegedly “enabling” Bill Clinton yet you ignore that he himself is a serial cheater. He want’s credit for giving one of his wives a large role in a casino yet he paid her one dollar a year as salary.
  3. You know he doesn’t really tell it like it is. He lies! Not just an occasional lie but pretty much every public statement he makes is full of lies, many of which have already been disproven. He lies, you know he lies and he knows you won’t care.
  4. You know he doesn’t understand the economy. Being fair I’ll give him credit for taking advantage of tax loopholes, using eminent domain and using the system to enhance his personal wealth. But he has no clue as to how the economy operates, which you know, and it doesn’t matter.
  5. You know he doesn’t hold traditional Republican values. I’m not sure that he has many values at all but he certainly doesn’t believe in the conservative values the party claims to espouse. He just joined the Party, has threatened Party leaders throughout his campaign including possible riots at the Convention should things not go his way.
  6. He has no plan to replace Obamacare, you know his promises are not backed up by any coherent plan and you might not be able to state what specific promises he’s even making other than to be “the best” and “making America great again” and “winning”.


You hear a lot about people voting against their interests. I don’t think Trump supporters or most voters actually vote against their interests. Outsiders simply fail to dig deep enough to find out which interests they care about more than those you think they could be considering.


A Donald Trump Presidency would be a failure on so many levels for most Americans yet many would see him as a champion. Because for all the things Donald doesn’t understand, he knows the loss of white privilege. When he says he’ll “make America great again” he’s clearly saying he’ll reverse the gains made by minorities at the expense of white males. Of course, he’s disregarding that minorities have never had a level playing field in the first place and any gains were to simply get closer to even. His supporters understand that Donald Trump will stand up to any effort that diminishes white people which he lets you know as he bashes Mexicans and “the Blacks” and Muslims and China and Japan, and, and, and.


Donald Trump is xenophobic, he says “America first”. You not only know this but you like it. Donald Trump is clearly racist. He’s counting on you not to care. To vote for Trump is to convince yourself to ignore all the things you know he doesn’t know, in favor of the one thing you’re certain of.”

Although he is on the precipice of Impeachment based on events that weren’t predictable in 2016. His character was always clear. We didn’t know which crimes and abuses of power he’d commit. Just that he would do so.

No, Donald Trump, There’s Only One Kind Of Lynching!


In his most recent attempt to get Republicans to defend him against a looming Impeachment. Donald Trump reminds them that they are witnessing, “a lynching.” Let’s be clear. If you don’t end up dead at the end of the day, you haven’t been lynched.

“So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights. All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here — a lynching. But we will WIN” Donald Trump

Lindsey Graham, who used to be John McCain’s friend and tried to claim some of his integrity by osmosis. Backed the President up in a statement by saying that what is going on is a “political lynching.” Clarence Thomas during his confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court called the investigation into him a “high-tech lynching.” Democrats were too afraid to face the possibility of being called racist so they opted instead to be sexist and misogynistic.

While some people debate whether anything other hanging counts as a lynching (most now agree that shooting and other causes of death count). It’s quite clear that if nobody is dead, nobody got lynched.


If it wasn’t so sick it would be amusing to see the biggest bully on the planet, throwing a pity party trying to rev up support. People who have been lynched have mourners. Family members that have experienced tremendous loss and buried their loved ones, assuming the body was left to be found or in the case of mass lynchings, distinguishable from other bodies. I could point you to the Ocoee Massacre where two men tried to vote and white people shot or burned out the whole black population of the town. Ocoee (a stone’s throw from Orlando) had no black residents for 40 years afterward). That was a lynching.

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Donald Trump has disparaged the entire continent of Africa calling them “shithole countries.” He literally left Puerto Ricans to die after a hurricane by making George Bush’s effort after Katrina look Herculean. Trump visited, laughing and threw paper towels. He tried to ban Muslims, put Hispanic children in cages, and now wants us to feel sorry for him because his crimes and abuse of power and being investigated.

His next move after his claim of being lynched was likely the golf course, making him the first lynched person to demand a mulligan. There and everywhere else he goes, he’ll cheat and lie and beg for protection from people he doesn’t give a damn about. Eventually, he’ll get on Twitter and lash out at others. On a good day, he might destroy a political career or cause someone else to suffer. That same Twitter is now mocking him for evoking the imagery of lynching, applying the term to one of the most privileged people on the planet. Trump should be made to see pictures of people who’ve actually been lynched but he’s likely too sensitive to endure it. There’s no situation ever comparable to lynching. Impeachment is far behind in comparison and Trump is fully deserving.

What is most likely to happen now is that an army of surrogates will support Trump’s use of the word lynching as Sen. Graham has already done. The opinion shows on Fox News will do the same, trying to make it acceptable to their viewers as well. Kamala Harris said what it would do well for them all to remember:

“Lynching is a reprehensible stain on this nation’s history, as is this President. We’ll never erase the pain and trauma of lynching, and to invoke that torture to whitewash your own corruption is disgraceful.” Kamala Harris

Hakeem Jeffries added:

“Thousands of innocent African-Americans were murdered during the lynching epidemic.

They were viciously slaughtered because of the color of their skin.

The House impeachment inquiry is mandated by the Constitution.

Keep. Your. Historically. Ignorant. Mouth. Shut.” Hakeem Jeffries

Congressman Jeffries’s last words deserve repeating. Keep your ignorant mouth shut!

How Donald Trump, Fox News, and Mitch McConnell Destroyed The World


The world has been destroyed, well most of it anyway. Ironically a few of those shithouse countries in Africa survived, missing the nuclear fallout due to trade winds, good fortune, and perhaps some Wakandan technology.

Because no one that knows is left to tell the story, I’ll leave this message which may have missed a couple of the particulars, that describes what happened and who is responsible.

To understand what happened, you have to have an idea of the histories of two old men that followed more or less in the footsteps of their fathers. The eldest, Rupert Murdoch (88) is the son of the esteemed Sir Keith Murdoch, who was an esteemed reporter and editor of, The Herald and Weekly Times publishing company. Sir Richard Murdoch died when his son was twenty-one. Rupert Murdoch used the fortune left behind to start his own company, News Limited.

Donald Trump (73) was the son of New York real estate developer Fred Trump, and he worked alongside his father who lived to the ripe age of 93. Trump allegedly got his start with a million-dollar loan from his father and repeatedly went to daddy for additional funds as many of his projects didn’t work out. When he died, Fred Trump suffered from Alzheimer’s disease which I bring up for no particular reason.

Rupert had always been groomed by his father to enter the family business. He was co-editor of his grammar school newspaper, he attended Oxford and managed, Oxford Student Publications Limited. He worked as a sub-editor for the Daily Express for two years. After his father’s death from cancer, Rupert left Oxford to come home and manage the family business. He soon began making acquisitions and expanding his newspaper empire, first in Australia, then the United Kingdom, and in 1973 made his first foray into the United States, when he bought the San Antonio Express-News. In September of 1985, he became a naturalized US Citizen in order to qualify to own a US television station. In 1984 he bought a stake in 20th Century Fox and in 1996 launched Fox News.

Donald Trump had decided to make Manhattan his oyster and had been involved in several real estate deals, starting with his purchasing a 50% stake in the troubled Commodore Hotel in 1978. The purchase was facilitated by a $70 million loan, jointly guaranteed by his father and Hyatt hotels. It reopened as the Grand Hyatt Hotel, next to the Grand Central Terminal. The same year he finished negotiations to build Trump Tower. He made way for the building by demolishing an old Bonwit Teller store, using undocumented Polish workers and destroying some art deco features which had been marked for preservation. Trump continued to acquire several major buildings in Manhattan along with property in Palm Beach, FL including Mar-a-Lago, and some Atlantic City hotels. The growth of the now named, Trump Organization did not come without hiccups including multiple bankruptcies, several unpaid contractors, undocumented workers, and lawsuits. His credit was so bad he couldn’t obtain financing from U.S. banks and found funding from Deutsche Bank, notorious for Russian money laundering having paid a $630 million fine for its role in a $10 billion money-laundering scheme. He later, according to each of his sons, got money directly from Russia which is now being investigated.

Murdoch had always maintained close ties to government officials including those in the Thatcher government in the United Kingdom and the Republican Party in the United States. He diverged from Republicans in one policy area, being a fan of more open immigration policy as opposed to the Republicans becoming gradually more closed and Nationalistic. Fox gained its greatest growth in the years when Republicans were out of power, maintaining the steady drumbeat of opposition to Democrats, specifically the Presidencies of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. They got away from basic news programming focusing instead on opinion shows, more often focused on fostering hysteria rather than speaking truth.

During the Obama years, they provided a forum for a thirsty real estate developer, known as much for his braggadocio and larger than life television personality that constantly proclaimed President Obama was not an American and he was seeking proof, having dispatched private detectives to Hawaii to prove the fraud and we “won’t believe what they are finding out.” In 2011, at the White House Correspondents Dinner, Trump was embarrassed by the President on National television after having produced his long-form birth certificate. At the same time, President Obama was having carried out the successful raid which killed Osama Bin Laden, making Trump temporarily a laughing stock and figure of derision. It was then Trump decided he would become President.

On June 16, 2015, Trump formally announced his candidacy for President of the United States. Riding down the escalator of Trump Tower ahead of his third wife Melania. He made a speech highlighting illegal immigration, offshoring of American jobs, the national debt, and Islamic terrorism. He spoke in generalities, often contradicted himself, but he was good television, constantly berating his Republican opponents in the Primary election and the present administration. Having little use for truth and ignoring fact-checkers, he was the darling of the news media who saw their own ratings and advertising revenues rise when Trump was on TV so they diligently followed his every appearance, giving him free advertising and drowning out all his challengers. This was true of media in general, but particularly Fox News.

To understand Trump you have to go back to the little boy who was sent to military school because he kept making trips to Manhattan as a young teen without permission. He got exposure to the military structure, admiring the power and control maintained by the officers, wanting that kind of power for himself. He would never seek it in the actual military, getting five deferments, four for college and one for alleged bone spurs in his feet. He watched and complained while many of his poor classmates served in Vietnam. He talked tough but never demonstrated it other than self-serving stories, most of them debunked where he acted heroically. He is narcissistic, egotistical, self-centered and has a need for constant affirmation. He imagines himself to be the smartest person in any room which is rarely true. He is also a pathological liar, which has worked for him most of his life because those who worked for him were afraid to challenge him because they depended on him for employment. He surrounded himself with family and sycophants, looking to do his bidding.

Fox News cared not about Trump’s lack of qualifications to be Mayor, let alone President. Because he had no ideology, the projected theirs upon him, crediting him with brilliance when the actual term should have been witless. He was all personality and no policy and they rode that horse to high earnings, giving him unconditional support and unlimited airtime, they shielded him from every mistake by either ignoring them or giving credence to the “alternate facts” promoted by his surrogates. Trump crushed his Republican opponents and went on to face his Democrat challenger in the general election, Hillary Clinton.

Fox was all in for Trump providing 24/7 attacks on Clinton for her 30+ years in the public view. There was no scandal they didn’t rehash including Benghazi for which she had been cleared, and later leaks of E-mails from her Campaign Chairman John Podesta. Every evening of Fox when their opinion shows came on, O’Reilly, Hannity and the rest blasted Clinton daily and built up Trump. O’Reilly has since departed due to sexual harassment claims but Tucker Carlson has admirably filled the void. They cared little for truth and promoted the few intelligible themes Trump had including the evils of immigration, banning Muslims and building a wall.

They spewed racism themselves and explained and justified it in the Trump campaign. They contributed to the growth of right-wing militias, even supporting groups in the west that took over Federal land. Murdoch and his media company which now included The Wall Street Journal and dozens of local news stations were all in for the inexperienced candidate for he was generating them revenue and almost exclusive access as Trump had little use for probing interviews when he could have fawning ones instead.

The story of exactly how Trump won the election is still being written. Investigations into collusion with Russians who we know interfered in the election have not been completed. We know about funding from foreign sources now believed to include Russia and the United Arab Emirates. Questions of money laundering and obstruction of justice are being researched and of course, there are the women. Fox News which had spent decades telling us about Monica Lewinsky has ignored the 22 women who have accused Trump of sexual harassment, unwanted touching, and rape. Fox helped convince enough people that either all the women lied or it didn’t matter that he was able to win despite an Access Hollywood video where he admitted to forcibly kissing women and, “grabbing them by the pussy.” Then there was the FBI which publicly reopened an investigation into Clinton’s e-mails but said nothing about Trump being investigated that may never be understood. Without regard to how he got there. Trump was elected President and was sworn in on January 20, 2017.

The United States Congress is one of three branches of the government and is part of the checks and balances against excesses of the President. The Republican Party controlled the House of Republicans with a supermajority, meaning they could pass any bill and sent it to the Senate without Democrat input or votes. The Senate was controlled by Republicans which could pass many types of legislation on a majority vote, again without Democrat support. One of the areas where the Senate is supposed to exercise its responsibility to advise and consent is in the confirmation of Cabinet Members. Trump generally presented with inarguably the richest, most self-serving and unqualified nominees ever dragged into confirmation hearings. Republican Senators showed no shame in confirming the likes of Betsy DeVos and Ben Carson who still prove unable to answer simple questions and are embarrassments to the nation.

Fox News not only gave him cover but many Trump appointees throughout the administration came directly from… Fox News. Many of the people now running our government have come to us directly from Fox News having demonstrated little qualifications other than having said nice things about the President and having been TV personalities. The naming of John Bolton as National Security Advisor is such a man who while having more qualifications than most, sees bombing and war as the solution to any problem. Bolton recently quit over Trump’s Syria policy (or lack thereof) showing more integrity than most of the sycophants who chose to work with Trump. While the Democrat-controlled House has offered resolutions to stop Trump. Mitch McConnell says little and does less when it comes to standing up to Trump.

So we arrive at the point where we got a President who needed to be seen as in control of every situation, who believes in talking loudly while others also carry big sticks and he thinks belittling nuclear powers is the path to success. He’s gotten rid of anyone with either experience or willingness to disagree with a man who literally knows nothing. He gets enough public support for every ridiculous action from Fox and has rid himself of anyone who might tug his coattails or whisper in his ear. This is how we ended up in a trade war with China, deserted our allies in Syria, pulled out of the Kyoto Accords, the TPP, NAFTA, and have ruined every relationship with former allies while sucking up to dictators in Russia, North Korea, Turkey, Venezuela, and more. His actions in Syria have emboldened Russia and freed ISIS prisoners.

At the time of this writing, I don’t know whether it was an unnecessary war with North Korea, China, or Russia that resulted in the destruction of most of the world. I don’t know the specific who, just the how. Trump, Fox News, and a submissive Mitch McConnell could take full responsibility if they were still here.