I was traveling for about 10 days recently. I wrote further ahead than usual for the articles published during that time period. Just because I travel doesn’t mean American and global politics take a holiday. Today I would like to catch up a bit by making some brief comments on several recent events. Let’s explore.
There were two recent terrorist attacks; a foreign influenced attack in New York City and a domestic one in Sutherland Springs, Texas. A rental truck was the weapon in New York and a firearm in Texas. It may well be impractical to ban or restrict rental trucks to a greater degree but I’m certain the American economy can survive in its current form with some additional restrictions on weapons and clip capacity. Of course, according to the NRA-beholden Republicans and the Trump administration it is too soon to talk about gun regulations. Could the sensible majority of Americans make an appointment or will there never be an “appropriate” time?
Bowe Bergdahl walked away with a relative slap on the wrist compared to what the sentence for his desertion and the life altering injuries sustained by his fellow soldiers attempting to recover him would normally bring. A major factor in the light sentence was that President Trump made comments that interfered with the administration of justice. Never one to learn a lesson, Trump repeated the same thing and almost undoubtedly saved the life of alleged New York City attacker Sayfullo Saipov. Bergdahl should be eligible to vote in 2020 and would have every reason to vote for Trump. (Saipov should be incarcerated but Trump’s actions all but assured his sentence will not be death.) It appears the only things that will save the American justice system from President Trump are a gag and a straightjacket.
The framers drew up the Constitution with the assumption of an honorable President and/or an honorable majority controlling the Congress. It appears that currently we have neither. Perhaps the greatest lesson we will learn from the organized criminal enterprise commonly referred to as the Trump administration is that it will expose all the weaknesses in our political system by exploiting them.
The Trump administration is so scandal plagued that several are having a difficult time getting much press. Secretary of Commerce and Vice Chair of a Cypriote bank that specializes in international money laundering, Wilbur Ross, has been linked to business dealings with Vladimir Putin. Interior Secretary and frequent flyer Ryan Zinke appears to be somehow linked to the Whitefish scandal. People are still largely without drinking water and electricity in Puerto Rico, (not to mention dying from the effects) but a little known company headquartered in Zinke’s hometown of Whitefish, Montana (population of just over 6,000) managed to land a $300 million contract to rebuild the island’s electrical system. The company is two years old and had two employees before the contract. (My wife comes from a town of about that size. Everyone knows everyone! And, oh by the way, the company also links back to Trump.) The contract has been cancelled and the FBI has opened an investigation into it. I’m waiting for Sarah Huckabee-Sanders to say it has nothing to do with the White House.
Events are happening rapidly in Saudi Arabia. I am far from an expert on that country’s politics but you would have to be a fool to believe everything is just a coincidence or part of an anti-corruption sweep. It looks like a power grab/consolidation of power to me. Interestingly Donald Trump and the cash strapped Jared Kushner are aligned with those seeking the consolidation/grab. If we come out on the losing end of this it will be bad!
The arithmetically challenged Paul Ryan is all smiles and out in full promotion of what I call the Trump Tower Tax Cut. He claims it will solve all the economic woes of the American working class. He has his mythical family of four making $59,000 a year who will be able to do wonders with the just under $1,200 per year “windfall” he claims they will receive under the plan. By the year 2027 that mythical family will actually see their federal income tax liability increase by $500 per year. I’m just using your example Speaker Ryan.
Those of us paying attention realize that this is just another Republican attempt to give big business a tax break under their trickle-down theory. The last time we gave big business a windfall by giving them a tax break to repatriate money they spent it not on job expansion, but on stockholder dividends and share buy backs. They will do the same this time in addition to spending it on automation to replace existing American jobs just like Carrier did in Indiana after Mike Pence “bribed” them with state money.
The Trump Tower Tax Cut would add $1.5 trillion to the national debt. Since 35% of equities are owned by foreigners, $700 billion will go to foreign stockholders. Borrow money from the Chinese to send it abroad is the way a genuine fiscally conservative Republican would describe it. Trouble is that they seem to be an extinct species in Washington these days.
A lot more happened while I was “away” but you have other things to do today and so do I.
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