Another Stab At It

It seems like I make an attempt to catch up on the sins of the Trump administration about once a week. I am never completely successful. Today I’ll take another stab at it. Let’s explore.

Early Sunday evening I was spending some pleasant time just hanging out with my wife when I caught the breaking news that Homeland Security Secretary Kirsten Nielsen had left Trump’s Cabinet. My initial reaction was neither surprise nor regret. To say Nielsen was a disappointment would be an act of kindness. Like all exits from Trump’s Cabinet whether she truly resigned or was fired is questionable. I read her resignation letter but rumors are she entered the meeting that precipitated it with no intention of resigning. Monday morning as I checked my iPhone I thought the Huffington Post put it best with their article headline “‘Child separation secretary’ steps down”. Nielsen will certainly not be missed and I have to wonder where she will find future employment now that she totally ruined her reputation in service to a disloyal leader.

As of tomorrow her acting replacement is Kevin McAleenan the current Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection (CBP). His resume is impressive and he received a glowing character reference from Gil Kerlikowske whose opinion I respect. (In full disclosure I have met Kerlikowske although we are not close. We were in the same circle of political allies and friends in Western New York a long time ago.) McAleenan’s record of late is basically someone who carries out Trump’s orders. Time will tell but if recent history is any indication of the future we may actually miss Nielsen as difficult as that is to believe.

Last Thursday the House joined the Senate in passing a resolution to end American military involvement in Yemen. It is widely expected that this will set up Trump’s second veto. I find the move encouraging in that it is only the second time in recent memory that Congress has actually tried to rein in a president when it comes to war powers. The interesting part has huge international (and for Trump and his inner circle financial) implications. The hostilities in Yemen are largely a Saudi endeavor.

Also on Thursday the Trump administration announced a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping to supposedly stop the ongoing trade war. When and if the summit will actually take place are huge question marks at this point. My guess is that it will take place if Trump can book it for Mar-a-Lago. That would make it personally profitable for Trump. Remember it’s all about how much money he can put in his pocket.

Speaking of Mar-a-Lago – which is nothing more than a free advertising and money making scam that Trump is running – we recently learned just how much of a security risk it is. Basically it is the most transparent pay-for-play scam Trump is running. Many presidents have had a “winter White House” but in recent history they were always a private residence that was relatively easy to secure. Mar-a-Lago is a private club that anyone who has another disposable income can join. If my memory serves me correctly the initiation fee is $200,000 (up from a pre-election $100,000) and that doesn’t include the substantial (five figures) required annual spending. For your money you get to be up close and personal with the President of the United States. While it is cost prohibited for the overwhelming majority of Americans it is a deal for high level lobbying. It is also a profit center for Trump. It is a chance to party with people sucking up to you and make a bundle in the process; nice scam Mr. Trump. If some foreign national shows up with malware what do you care? After all she is a business acquaintance of your good friend, the massage parlor “queen”. Everybody needs to make a buck especially when the taxpayers are picking up the tab. Privatize the profits and socialize the expenses.

In another example of Trump appointing the fox to guard the henhouse the nomination of Barry Myers to head the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is moving ahead in the Republican controlled sycophant Senate. Myers is the former head of AccuWeather which envisions itself as a NOAA competitor. He is a long time outspoken critic of NOAA. The appointment makes sense in that Trump, along with the vast majority of Congressional Republicans, neither care about nor believe in science.

Talk about lipstick on a pig (bad pun intended), last Wednesday we learned that the Trump administration plans to cut the number of pork inspectors by 40% replacing them with “in house” employees of the plants. Let’s see, the “cop” works for the possible “crook”; what could go wrong with that? Maybe we can sub contract the FBI to the Mafia?

Last week a real life story of the effects of deregulation and “business friendly” regulators played out in a Washington Post story entitled, After hundreds of crashes, this Britax stroller faced recall. Then the Trump appointees stepped in. It seems that Trump appointed regulators backed down on a prior demand to recall a dangerous jogging stroller. Young moms and their babies have suffered repeated injuries when the wheels literally came off the stroller without warning. Broken bones and teeth resulted. The lesson here is that we may soon have to stop eating pork and we cannot expect a Trump-led government to protect American consumers.

As I figured when I started writing this piece I again failed at even briefly covering all I wanted to, but I’ve had enough for today and I’m sure you feel the same at this point. Well, I took another stab at it.

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