Thursday, January 19, 2017

Diary 1/19/2017 and "Trump's Promises Score Card"

For those of you who are into keeping score on how well, or poorly, Trump is at keeping his many promises, you'll want to bookmark this link because ThinkProgress had put together a list and a team of journalists who will be keeping track.  My intended short introduction turned into a full on essay of sortsafter which I have much more information about the ThinkProgress "Trump Promise Score Card."

* You'll have to forgive me for not giving Trump any benefit of the doubt.  He has repeatedly shown that he lives within a narcissistic bubble detached from down to Earth reality.  I have yet to see the slightest indication he possesses any scruples or empathy.  Trump doesn't read and beyond money and marketing appears to know nothing, no history, no science, no geography, no evolution, nor any philosophy beyond,
"The Golden Rule"  ~  The man with the gold makes the rules! 
No different from a few thousand tribal warlords and emperors who came before, to dominate, destroy, get destroyed.  When I was a kid, we had this idea going around that humanity may finally be able to learn from that repetition of historic lessons.  How wrong we were.  I think my generation lost our focus.  We learned to detach and take it all for granted.  For the most part we were all too willing to turn our backs on the lessons of the 70s - namely, that we as a global society needed to power down a bit.  Less baby making.  Wiser resource consumption with an eye toward sustainable systems.  (For instance why couldn't tire manufactures lease their tires, then repurpose returning tires?  Same with batteries and other such short duration resource rich items?  Simple things like that.)  Also, incorporating an appreciation for the profound impacts increasing our planet's atmospheric insulation was sure to have on the biosphere we depend on.

Future, long term survival was dependent on a mature appreciation for this planet Earth and the myriad of biological systems and subsystems along with our global climate engine all interwoven in amazing ways.  But, fast cars, fast food, kick ass movies and music and sports and fantasizing about having riches and ever increasing profits became all we needed.  At best it was a Faustian Bargain.

I'm afraid we liberal intellectual thoughtful types have lost our country because we could never convey the importance of our planet's natural systems, its biosphere and climate system and how they enabled all we hold dear and depend on.

Seems that all the faith-shackled and agenda driven Republicans see are commodities to be exploited and consumed as fast as possible - though no one has a clue what we are in such a damned rush to achieve. 

For me the heart break of the past two months of lost opportunities to make a decisive stand, leaves me feeling bleak as ever.  America has voted (citizens who didn't vote, also voted!!!) and its a resounding endorsement of the Golden Rule - The man with the gold, makes the rules.

America appears to have evolved into a nation who is okay with that attitude.  After all, too much has never been enough for us.  We live on a daily media diet of obsessive love for Hollywood's explosive insanity played out in a parade of "thriller" movies who's gross sales are tracked in hundreds of millions of dollars and followed in headline news like the horse races used to be - at the same time scientists are scrambling for funding to study this home planet that we depend on for everything, at fractions of the cost of a cheap movie, while having to endure malicious dirty tricks.

From what I'm seeing the majority of liberal types have again retracted into their own communities to tut-tut all the avericious people being put into really impactful positions of near supreme power.  Oh yeah, we gave away the Supreme Court too.  Holding protests that usually only impress each other, since they rarely convey a clear policy strategy or achievable goal to follow up on.  Something that's symptomatic of Democrats' tendency to grossly underestimate their political opponents.  Liberals seem to ignore that Trump and gang couldn't care less what we think, they are getting the keys to the kingdom, with the military tossed in for good measure.  We need to do more.  

Senators and Representative need to hear from tens and hundreds of thousands of citizens.  If everyone who takes to the streets these next days also commits to get and remain informed and to call or write their US and state Representatives - now that would make an impression!  But, then you'll have to do it again, and again, again over the next 2 and 4 years.

I would truly love to have my assessment and distrust of this man proven wrong.  This "Trump Promises Score Card" that Koronowski and his team have put together, (which they will be referring back to as these years of living dangerously unfold), will provide an objective score card with which to judge.

Trump made a lot of promises about what he will do as president. We’ve documented 663 of them.

The people who elected Trump expect him to come through.

Ryan Koronowski  |  January 19, 2017
Research Director at ThinkProgress.

Trump made a lot of promises about what he will do as president. We’ve documented 663 of them.

The people who elected Trump expect him to come through.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Columbia Journalism Review letter to Trump

I came across an excellent letter to Mr. Trump written by "The Press Corp" - It seems that along with many other America's they have woken up, taken stock of what happened this past year and are now ready to go forward into our self-inflicted frightening new political reality with a renewed sense of purpose and mission.

Welcome back America's once grand Fourth Estate, we certainly need you more than ever, I hope it's not too late.

Columbia Journalism Review

In these final days before your inauguration, we thought it might be helpful to clarify how we see the relationship between your administration and the American press corps.

It will come as no surprise to you that we see the relationship as strained. Reports over the last few days that your press secretary is considering pulling news media offices out of the White House are the latest in a pattern of behavior that has persisted throughout the campaign: 
You’ve banned news organizations from covering you. 
You’ve taken to Twitter to taunt and threaten individual reporters and encouraged your supporters to do the same. You’ve advocated for looser libel laws 
and threatened numerous lawsuits of your own, 
none of which has materialized. 

You’ve avoided the press when you could and flouted the norms of pool reporting and regular press conferences. You’ve ridiculed a reporter who wrote something you didn’t like because he has a disability.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Step-up Support Sen. Warren's Conflict of Interest Bill

Not much to add, so I'll simply pass this along:
      Donald Trump likes to brag that the president “cannot” have a business conflict of interest. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and a group of Senate Democrats have just introduced a bill to prove him wrong, and they need our help.

With Trump’s deep business ties to foreign governments and businesses, he will be in violation of the Constitution’s rules against bribery on his first day in office. But federal conflict-of-interest rules contain a glaring loophole exempting the president and vice president from many restrictions. Sen. Warren’s new bill (full text appears below this notice) would make it clear that Trump has to follow the rules – or else.

A president using his power to enrich himself while indebted to foreign governments is not normal, and we cannot let Washington Democrats and the corporate media pretend it is. We need to get behind leaders like Sen. Warren and make it clear that Donald Trump is putting America’s safety and security at risk in order to line his own pockets.

Sign the petition from CREDO and Daily Kos: Make Trump disclose and divest.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Senator Gardner - Democratic decency requires NO VOTE on Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State

Since Colorado’s own Senator Gardner is on the Committee of Foreign Relations and is hearing Rex Tillerson’s nomination I decided to send his staff this open letter that I hope they’ll pass along.  I've sent it to our Durango Telegraph as 'letter to the editor' and I want to share it over here.  It might help some gather their own thoughts for sending messages to their own senators.  It's all we have right now, so everyone that cares needs to make an effort. 
{Sorry about that early posting screw up}    It's been noted that mine is not the most diplomatic of opening paragraphs.  So be it.  It's not like Republicans have been anything but ruthlessly hostile to anyone on the other side of their world outlook divide.  Maybe, it's time they stop being so absolutist and progressive types stop being so accommodating !

Honorable Senator Gardner and staff,

Please take the time to think about the many objections to Rex Tillerson becoming our country’s Secretary of State. 

You’ll note right away that I can be categorized (and discarded) as a “tree hugger” type.  Indeed, I have hugged a few in my day.  I know too well how my kind is easily vilified and dismissed by Republicans.  Still I would beg you to consider the reality that we very much depend on a healthy climate and biosphere for everything we have and love.  

No matter what your personal religion tells you about your God, the basic inescapable reality is that we were born of this Earth and shall die back into it.  It is a beautiful reality, once you grow to appreciate evolution and understand what a fantastical pageant you are part of.

But, I digress.  What I really want to beg of you and your staff to consider is all the reasons Rex Tillerson, great oil-businessman though he may be, he should never be allowed to become USA’s Secretary of State.  A position demanding respect for our Constitution and a much broader understanding than a dedicated oil man(42+years), someone who knows nothing but drilling for profits is capable of acquiring.  No insult, fundamental reality.  Secretary of State requires immensely broad and deep understanding of governmental matters and a different sphere of relevant matter than a pure cold blooded businessman like Rex can acquire.

No matter now many big shot deals he may have closed, he’s unfit for the State Department!  Why can’t America at least get an experienced individual?  As for ‘outsider’ that just means he doesn’t know what’s going on.  That may work in the movies, but this is real life and there’s no going back.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Threat of Trump’s Corporate Cabinet. A review by Common Dreams

Here's a reprint of Tuesday's article by Robert Weissman at Common Dreams offering a quick review of Trump's Cabinet nominations and why they are so frightening.  And why we must stand up to oppose their plan to bulldoze America's government into something only a greed blinded oligarch living within their locked-gate enclaves could love.
There's so much I'd like to write about and so little time, either for me or for this country I love.  Thus, I'm forced take advantage of Common Dreams generous Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.  Hopefully someone will find something useful or inspiring in it. 
Published on

The Existential Threat of Trump’s Corporate Cabinet

The corporate interests who the President-elect properly alleged in the campaign buy politicians will now themselves be directly in charge of the government
We’re facing the prospect of a government literally of the Exxons, by the Goldman Sachses and for the Kochs.

President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet and top nominees draw more deeply from an extremist faction of the corporate class than any in memory, and likely in history. We are witnessing the wholesale corporate takeover of the American government.

Nothing more plainly shows Trump’s complete cynicism and dishonesty than his absolute betrayal of the core claim of his campaign – to rid Washington of corruption, cronyism and insider dealing. The corporate interests who he properly alleged in the campaign buy politicians will now themselves be directly in charge of the government.

With this cabinet, it is a virtual certainty that this administration will be the most corrupt and scandal prone in American history.

Unstoppable Together, but we still need YOU!

Organizing is going on like never before, but these organizations require informed and involved citizens to step up and join the effort.  Lots of them, if we are to get the muscle behind them to do us any good.  Can you help?

Published on Jan 10, 2017
Through collective action we have greater power, and with greater power comes greater justice. Join the #UnitedResistance to Trump's hateful agenda. 
Learn more and take action

Their website is still fairly barebones, but they are only a day old, Common Dreams has an article 
Published on 

Groups Nationwide Create Campaign of 'United Resistance' to Trump

From Advancement Project to Free Press, progressive organizations vow to stand up, speak out—and litigate
Progressive organizations across the U.S. are joining together in the latest showing of widespread resistance to President-elect Donald Trump's right-wing agenda, from climate policies to civil rights.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Amoral Republicans Reject Abiding by Ethical Standards in Nomination Process.

I was surprised to find an informative political article at TeenVogue by Lily Herman about the Republican disregard for ethical standards when it comes ramming their agenda and Trump's upcoming Cabinet nominations through Congress.  After a little reading around I discovered it wasn't a one off.  It was a welcome whiff of optimism to think that a young people's magazine like that is taking politics seriously.  Lets hope she helps inform some future activists.

This is followed by a related PBS News Hour special report on Trump nominees attempt to skirt ethics: "Some Trump nominees missing crucial ethics paperwork as confirmation hearings begin" and "Ethics agency has ‘great concern’ about confirmations before reviews are cleared."  If this concerns you please contact your Senator now - the hearing are happening and they need to hear from us.

Republicans Unwilling to Reschedule Trump's Cabinet Confirmation Hearings
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said 
Democrats asking for delays should "grow up." 
{I agree Democrats should grow up and finally stand up to the Republican bullies and absolutists!}

Lily Herman  |  JAN 9, 2017

In an unprecedented move, Republicans in Congress are starting the confirmation process for President-elect Donald Trump's cabinet-level members before several key government offices finish the necessary background and ethics checks for all the nominees. Now, Democrats are asking for delays since they are concerned that any relevant information that might be uncovered won’t be known BEFORE the formal nomination hearings (which are set to begin this week) take place.