We Need A Hero

It is undeniable that James Comey made a lot of bad choices, however, firing James Comey while investing Russian involvement in the US elections raises some questions.

Why fire FBI Director James Comey now?

Does the white house understand the meaning of conflict of interest?

Is this an admission that the investigation is getting too close to the truth?

We need a hero that can lead the American people.

Stop the madness.

Is the Ivanka Trump Nordstrom Scandal a Big Deal?

Before taking the oath of office, Trump brushed aside questions concerning conflicts of interest surfacing from his family business. It took less than a month in office for Trump to confirm; he has no intention to respect or honor ethics laws associated with his personal finances and the presidency of the United States.

Although the recent tiff between Ivanka Trump and Nordstrom department stores may not appear significant, it has raised the question of whether Trump cares about anything other than his financial gain.

When the White House witch doctor, Kellyanne Conway, plugged the Ivanka line, apparently breaking ethics laws, the result was a thank you from Trump and a statement from Sean Spicer that Kellyanne was “counseled.” Ultimately, there were no legal repercussions.

It is just a pattern of illegal behavior, clearly indicating that our illegitimate president is incapable of psychologically detaching himself from his family’s brand-driven financial interests. Trump maintains he has no interest in relinquishing his controlling interest in the Trump Organization while his adult sons, Donald Jr., and Eric Trump “supposedly” head it.

Furthermore, staff members are willing to believe it is their jobs, as paid agents of Trump, to defend his personal and his family’s private business interests rather than the interests benefitting the American people.

Does Trump understand that he is the ultimate hypocrite? Do the voters that elected Trump, realize that, Trump could care less about them and their prosperity? Trump is out for his enrichment. The sad thing is that he made a deal with the devil, President Vladimir Putin, to steal an election so that he could gain more personal wealth. The same way Putin works in Russia.

The Nordstrom scandal only took a week. Nordstrom stated it would no longer carry Ivanka Trump brand products, based on poor performance. There was a call to boycott companies that sold Trump products at the time, but Nordstrom denies dropping Ivanka was based on that protest. Days later, Trump used his personal Twitter account to blame the Nordstrom decision on his politics, without any proof.

“My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person ― always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!” he tweeted. The official, government-owned @POTUS Twitter account re-tweeted it.

During the next daily press briefing, the White House communications director, Sean Spicer, attacked Nordstrom in his official capacity as a government spokesman. Similar to Trump, Spicer, without evidence, insisted Nordstrom ceased to carry the Ivanka product line because “they have a problem with policies.” Spicer, like Trump, ignored the store’s explanation.

Then came Kellyanne. Kellyanne told viewers during a morning interview on “Fox & Friends,” to go out and buy the Ivanka line, going as far as claiming she was going to give the line a free plug. Kellyanne’s lack of restraint is predictable when the villain at the top, has a willful disregard of conflicts of interest and ethical standards. Trump set the standard when he failed to separate himself from his businesses entirely. Similarly, his eldest daughter had not separated herself from her line; despite saying she would when her spouse, Jared Kushner, took a position as a White House adviser.

Trump’s defiance that he “can’t have a conflict of interest” has made its way to members of his staff, who treat Trump’s business interests as if they were the interests of the American people. Sean Spicer seems not to understand that there is a difference between the federal government and Trump.

Trump’s comments about Nordstrom and the Ivanka lifestyle brand are just a piece of this outlandish conflict of interests. The retains much larger holdings that could present greater conflicts, and have more significant consequences than the Nordstrom fiasco. An individual may decline to engage in a business venture. Local businesses could cancel their contracts with a Trump business, or a foreign nation could interfere with Trump’s overseas business holdings. Will there be political, Twitter of financial retribution or ramifications? If Nordstrom is any indicator, the answer is, yes.

Trump, Sean Spicer, and Kellyanne Conway are indicating that the family business interests are an extension of Trump’s elected position. As a result, it sets the tone that individuals, businesses, and other countries better not, if they want to remain in good favor, mess with Trump Inc.

Trump seriously needs to consider if wants this job. If he cannot separate himself from his family and friend’s investments, we the people will end up paying the price. His actions are just another unnecessary distraction that will cost taxpayer dollars.

The real fear that Trump plans to use his new job to enrich himself and his family business and not to pursue policy goals came true right before our eyes. Federal ethics laws prohibit executive branch employees, including Kellyanne, from promoting any private companies or commercial products. Even Representative Jason Chaffetz admitted Conway’s plug was a violation.

This violation does not concern Trump, although he claims he wants to represent the people of the United States, he willingly chose not to pay United States federal taxes for years. That does not make him smart. It reveals he has a disdain for any person, business, or country that opposes his agenda and that he is excessive, dishonest, and greedy.

Alternative Facts

Mr. Trump’s White House counselor Kellyanne Conway created a new term to explain White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s statements the day after Mr. Trump’s swearing into office. Apparently, size matters because Sean Spicer was instructed to lie about the numbers in the crowd at Mr. Trump’s inauguration. Rather than admitting to lying, Kellyanne Conway asserted, Sean Spicer told us “alternative facts.”

The reality is Mr. Trump has a distant relationship with the truth. It appears Mr. Trump believes if he repeats his lies, then they become real. Unfortunately, that is not how it works, and ultimately the truth reveals itself.

Mr. Trump can continue to insult and accuse the press of being dishonest. Still, for anyone paying attention, it is apparent Mr. Trump lies continuously to win elections and protect his inflated ego. Mr. Trump can apparently fool some people all of the time, but eventually, his lies and deception will catch up with him. Mr. Trump will never admit it, but eventually, he will get caught, and he will not be able to lie his way out.

I feel sorry for the people who believe in Mr. Trump. It is remarkable how Mr. Trump claims he is holding the press accountable. We, the people, have to hold Mr. Trump responsible for his lack of professionalism and endless deception.

How will the truth reveal itself? I do not know, but there is precedence; President Nixon played a similar game, and the truth revealed itself, and President Nixon resigned long before we learned most of the ugly truth.

Does The Truth Matter?

Donald Trump’s unexpected victory and recent inauguration will force the people of the United States to address a series of unprecedented predicaments over private debts, nepotism, anonymous loans, hidden tax returns, a questionable financial history, several criminal investigations, and a frenzied desire to attack anyone who criticizes anything about him. All these issues and more will be ongoing while Mr. Trump is serving in the highest public office.

Additionally, setting aside the fact that Mr. Trump doesn’t understand the definition of “Fake News,” he continues to accuse our intelligence leaders of leaking “Fake News” that embarrasses his fragile ego. Until recently, Mr. Trump refused to acknowledge Vladimir Putin’s meddling in the United States election that undoubtedly swayed the results in his favor. Even in his admission, he denies the selected leaking of hacked and doctored information, which he chose to repeat during his campaign daily, affecting the results.

Why should the people of the United States have to manage up to a disrespectful, insecure, hypocritical egotist who refuses the long-standing presidential tradition of yielding his holdings to an independent manager? As an alternative, he prefers to fuel doubts of conflicts of interests over his businesses’ many financial and foreign ties by pretending he is giving control to his sons.

Even if Mr. Trump’s divisive demeanor tempers and he rises to the role of president of the United States, the people of the United States will still have a lot to consider.

Can Mr. Trump function with a Republican majority congress that knows he is unstable?

Mr. Trump lacks patience for anyone with opposing views. In the debates and on Twitter, he attacks, insults, and demeans his opponents. How will that play with Congress? Will he attempt to intimidate through policy decisions when Congress opposes him?

Will the Republican establishment attempt to undermine Mr. Trump?

While many Americans voted for and appreciated that Mr. Trump is not part of the establishment, the fact is, getting things done will be contingent on the already established infrastructure of his party. Mr. Trump will probably be the first president in recent history that will have significant opposition from both sides. Democrats will oppose him on issues that are irresponsible or socially dividing. Republicans may want to send a message that they will never allow any attempt to steamroll their party again.

Can Mr. Trump negotiate with other world leaders?

Mr. Trump seems to think alpha leaders like Russian President Putin will respect another alpha leader like himself. Mr. Trump either forgot or did not know that Russian President Putin had a personal vendetta against Secretary of State Hilary Clinton because she stood up to him and called him out for meddling in the Russian elections. Given the opportunity, President Putin, who apparently succeeded, would have helped anyone win the election over Hilary Clinton. Mr. Trump does not seem to understand that his ego makes him susceptible to all types of psychological attacks, ultimately becoming an easier target than Russian President Putin dreamed. Mr. Trump’s leadership style will likely antagonize allies and foes.  Unfortunately, foreign policy has consequences, and Mr. Trump’s inability to show leadership, show any inclination toward diplomacy, or properly vet cabinet selections is troublesome.

Can Mr. Trump mend relationships with minority groups, and where will Mr. Trump’s evolving view on immigration reform lead?

Mr. Trump played to American’s fears of diversity, emboldening hate groups, and relished in demeaning minority groups. As a result, Mr. Trump is often called a hate-filled racist, homophobic, xenophobe that wants to ban the media from exposing his hypocrisy. The media finally realized the ratings Mr. Trump brought with his controversial tweets and his eagerness to appear on every cable show are no longer worth the ratings. Meanwhile, Mr. Trump continues to admonish protesters and belittle the press. As a result, he will have to endure civil unrest in many cities across America and around the world. Regarding immigration, Mr. Trump gave us whiplash pivoting from a hardline approach to a more refined tempered stance. The question remains, can Mr. Trump overcome this stigma and work in close collaboration and more efficiently with all Americans, especially communities he bitterly insulted on his way to the oval office?

Will Mr. Trump cause irreparable damage to the environment?

Mr. Trump campaigned, calling climate change “a hoax,” and is attempting to fill his cabinet with representatives of fossil fuel industries. Mr. Trump promises to boost jobs by abandoning President Obama’s clean energy plans. Mr. Trump previously pledged to pull the US out of the Paris climate deal. Once again, however, concealing his true intentions, Mr. Trump has toned down his view, claiming he now has an “open mind” on US participation in the deal.

What are the real intentions of Mr. Trump? Does Mr. Trump want to be President of the United States, or does he want to achieve megastar status? He does not have the charisma to be a celebrity based on talent or artistic achievement. Is Mr. Trump just seeking approval by conning the disenfranchised to blindly following? It is clear he cares more about personal perception than anything else, and Mr. Trump will most likely use the office of President of the United States to belittle his imaginary enemies and attempt to make as much money as he can regardless of his disenfranchised followers. The problem is the people who voted for him thought he would represent them.

Unfortunately for the citizens of the United States, Mr. Trump only represents Mr. Trump. He had an opportunity to help by paying his fair share of taxes. Mr. Trump chose not to pay taxes for fifteen years. Why would he change now, because he is President of the United States?  I don’t think that is enough to turn this charlatan into a humanitarian.

Clear and Present Danger

We all witnessed a cause for excessive sorrow this past week, seeing incident after incident across our nation; children fear being sent away or not belonging in this country because of disabilities, race, or religion. Middle school and high school students use derogatory language, and college students create repulsive websites depicting African-Americans’ lynchings.

Children watched and listened to presidential candidates engage in offensive, childish name-calling and learned to accept this as the new normal. The alarming number of violent, discriminatory incidences after the election results has caused many schools to declare their values of inclusion and commitment to the safety and concern of minorities, immigrants, and refugees.

Regardless of how we voted, and whatever the reason, we must not ignore that a result of this election is the permission it granted racism, sexism, xenophobia, and bigotry to emerge from the darkest recesses and surface openly in our communities.

Post-election, we need to put aside political differences and past bitterness toward previously elected officials and come together as families, friends, communities, and as a nation to address the numerous issues before us. We must unite in preventing and banishing hate speech and actions. We must join in being advocates for inclusion. The attacked are our fellow citizens, immigrants, refugees, our fellow humans, and our children.

If we don’t unite in addressing this clear and present danger, it will rip our country apart.

This past week, I felt sorrow, hope, and anger. I do not believe I am alone. Sorrow will lessen with time, but it does nothing at the moment except paralyze. Hope should sustain and grow, but hope, while necessary, in itself is not a strategy. Anger about the occurrences of the past week is a wake-up call to everyone, especially our newly elected leaders, that we cannot be complacent.

Racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, and hate, are born of and sustained by ignorance, fear, and despair. We must contain our sorrow, hope, and anger, and we should channel it into fighting for inclusion and fighting against ignorance, fear, despair, and hate.

Our future, our economic viability, and our national security depend on it.

Throw It Away

On Election Day, 2016, before the polls closed on the East Coast, a friend told me that she was extremely proud of her two daughters; they voted for Gary Johnson. Struck by the pointlessness knowing they are both attending colleges in swing states, I asked her, “Was voting for a third-party candidate the equivalent to throwing their votes away?”

After an onslaught of disparaging remarks about Hilary Clinton, I asked, “How could any woman support Donald Trump; he campaigned with a blatant bigoted, misogynistic message?” My question ignited another barrage of derogatory remarks regarding Hilary Clinton.

The next assault surprised me, not by the tone, but this time I was being reprimanded for suggesting her daughters could support Donald Trump, a revolting and condescending individual, a vengeful, mean-spirited man; ignorant of national and global policies and anything to do with women’s issues. A narcissist who would do nothing but take the country backward, a candidate that had no concern for her daughters and would ultimately strip them of their civil liberties and potentially the ability to make choices about their bodies. Instead, they chose to cast their votes for Gary Johnson as an alternative because they could not bring themselves to vote for Hilary Clinton or Donald J. Trump. Surprised at this point in the conversation, I had not been physically assaulted; I respectfully asked again, “Was voting for a third-party candidate in the United States, a two-party political system, essentially the same as not voting at all?”

My friend “accidentally” threw coffee on me.

While wiping the coffee from my shirt, I offered a response to my leading question.

“I do not think voting for a third-party candidate is the equivalent of not voting at all or throwing their vote away. First, they voted, and it does make a protest statement. Second, there are other candidates in other races and important issues on the ballot.”

While their protest statement may seem like an excellent idea, this probably was not the right election. Granted, we had to choose between an inept, racist bigot and a woman with an email problem, but choosing to vote for a third-party candidate ultimately eliminated their selection of the next United States president.

Now they get to live with the results.

How Could We?

How could we elect a man to be in the Oval Office who built his campaign on hate, racism, sexism, and division?

How could we elect a man to be in the Oval Office who thinks NATO is an apartment building where the tenants are not paying enough rent?

How could we elect a man to be in the Oval Office who does not know enough about critical policies to finish a one-minute answer on any issue without insults and repetition?

How could we elect a man to be in the Oval Office who was briefed on U.S. intelligence but will not admit he knows the cyber attacks came without question from Russia?

How could we elect a man to be in the Oval Office who does not understand or admit climate change is real?

How could we elect a man to be in the Oval Office who boasts that he tries to pay zero federal taxes but then complains that our airports and roads are falling apart and there is not enough money for our veterans?

How could we elect a man to be in the Oval Office who promises change but thinks people who pay taxes are stupid?