The Dems Should Run as a Team – A Team America – A Justice League 2020

We’ve got to give Trump one thing. He’s not afraid to think outside-the-box. However, because his motivations are self-promotion and self-survival – not what’s good for everyday Americans – his thought processes are circular and always point to “what’s in it for me”.  Trump’s stated motto is “what does it matter if I don’t win?”  That means Trump is willing to do anything to stay in power. And that is the danger of the Trump presidency. 

So maybe we have to think outside the box this next go ’round. We all see the multiple candidates signing up to beat Trump. It reminds me of the GI’s signing up in WW2 to save the world. But so far, only two candidates have a real shot to beat Trump – Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.

Bernie – Polls told us he did much better vs. Trump than Hillary did. He actually got a lot of Trump supporters who sincerely wanted and needed change. Bernie’s sincerity was and still is his biggest attribute. Many Trump supporters now know they were fooled by a con man. They’d be willing to give Bernie a shot to help them. Strange. But the Trump supporters need the help Bernie offers most. 

Joe Biden – Because Joe’s been there before. He’s more of a centrist –  and polls well in the Midwest. But his sincerity – seeing as he has not even entered the race – pales to Bernie’s.

Bernie and Biden compliment each other. Bernie has the young and the left. Biden had the older Democrats and the center. And we will need all of these people to beat our many formidable enemies in the Trump organization. 

The way a primary usually works is: many run and those who lose just go home and continue in their current jobs. But what does that say for all the others with good messages, energies and talents in this struggle we are going through? Are their energies to be set aside? I keep thinking if Hillary had chosen Bernie as veep Trump would never had happened. That energy loss of not enrolling Bernie begat Trump. We can’t repeat that mistake. And it would be so easy to make sure it cannot happen again – right now.

Trump has undone so many of our institutions. Winning back control of our government back will just step one. Change is going to take extensive teamwork – the kind of teamwork that became second nature for the WW2 generation because they too had formidable enemies. Change will not be a one man job. Trump’s “I alone can fix this” is not going to work.  It’s been exposed as folly. Both sides can see that now.

So let’s exploit Trump’s egocentric and narcissistic weaknesses. WWII was all about teamwork.  It was our teamwork that prevailed. Had we been divided then – we might all be speaking German here now. We need that team spirit now.

Solution?

Why make the primary a winner-takes-all race? Why not make this a winner-enrolls-all primary? Can you imagine the strength of that commitment? It would be a truly unbeatable union. Trump couldn’t begin to match it. What’s he going to do? Is he going to run proudly with his team of Pence, Ross, Nielsen, Barr and Kushner? Just picture that. His team is ludicrous.

So let’s announce we are all running as a team. Whoever wins will offer the others an open option to assume a suitable post in the new administration. Perhaps this has to get to Pelosi or Perez first. I will try. But if you have a bigger mic – you try too. The team starts with us anyway. I call it “Justice League 2020” – for social media promotion anyway. After all, we are also struggling for justice as well. 

1-justice

So here’s an image and an outside-the-box strategy to match Trump’s resolve – which will include election fixing, ad hoc crises, cyber attacks, Russian bots and potentially last minute make-shift war efforts. 

Help me get this to all the candidates. The struggle to gain the presidency should not run the risk of dividing the democratic electorate.

Share this forward and upwards. Thank You. 

 

 

What’s the Difference Between Russian Bots on Social Media and Fox News?

Almost no average Americans like the idea of Russian bots infiltrating our social media. There is overwhelming bilateral agreement on that – and for good reasons. 

First and foremost there is the idea that foreigners might not be loyal to the United States and their messages might be tainted and favor another nation-state. That’s why you have to be born here to be president. Granted that many foreigners respect the people and institutions of the US and I am sure there are many US citizens that don’t. Still there is something to be said for investigating the motives and influences of foreign contributors to the media stream. We can’t let ISIS run ads on our media. We all get that. So there should be standards for disseminating information. The new congress has work to do. 

There will be those who say freedom of speech is something that cannot be challenged in any way, under any circumstances. I remind them you can’t shout fire in a crowded theater if there is no fire. Why is that? Because it can hurt people! When freedom of speech can hurt the people or institutions of the US, it can and should be restricted, censored or edited – so it does no harm to the actual people that live here.

This may seem strange – but caring about outcomes for ordinary Americans was built into the constitution from its very first sentence! There is an enabling clause in the Declaration of Independence. ( bolded below) Let’s look it over. 

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

I guess they could have left out all those bolded words and it would just say “we the people … do establish this Constitution”. – But the founding fathers told us why they were doing this. And the whys are the largest part of their enabling clause. Let’s not lose sight of the six reasons they set forth to substantiate the creation of the USA. 

  1. in Order to form a more perfect Union – There was a loose union in 18th century America – and the founding fathers wanted to define that union more precisely. 
  2. Establish Justice – They knew justice needed to be defined and established. This was true then and it is true now. This also speaks to no man is above the law
  3. Insure Domestic Tranquility – And here we get to those media bots and Trump’s divisive messages. There is no way Trump cares about domestic tranquility. He had even said he would not surrender if he lost to Hillary. We’ve heard from him there would be a revolt from his base if he was impeached. Trump’s attitude is inconsistent with the spirit of the constitution and many see that attitude as a disqualify-er for the job of president. But I also see this as a reason to question the right of Fox News – which is not owned by an American – to hinder domestic tranquility with dis-information – just the way most think of the Russian bots. 
  4. Provide for the common defense – I don’t see how what Trump is doing with Russia, Saudi Arabia and North Korea as being helpful to our defense. I say leave this to the generals and the experts. Winning a popularity contest – which is what the 2016 election was – does not  qualify anyone as a military expert. 
  5. Promote the General Welfare – If there is one thing Trump has convinced people he has done right it is promoting welfare. My position is that he has allowed big companies to grab as much as they can through lower taxes and less regulation, and there will be a clean-up cost down the road. I see the phrase “general welfare” as more inclusive than favoring the rich or connected. General welfare was the 18th century way of saying “the 99%”. – Trump’s policies overly favor “the 1%”. People are beginning to catch on to that now – two years into his presidency, 
  6. Secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity – I’d like shine a light on that Posterity word. Caring about the next generation is built into the constitution. How thoughtful of the founders. And how thoughtless and unconstitutional it is to ignore the dangers we are leaving to our children. That word “posterity” in our constitution should inform our climate science policy. The founders had that vision – why have we lost it? Not smart. Not caring. Selfish. But very Trumpian. 

Fox News was created by Australian-born media mogul Rupert Murdoch in October of 1996. Fox News quickly grew to become a dominant subscription news network in the US. As of February 2015, approximately 95,000,000 US households (80% of them)  received Fox News. Murdoch is the current executive chairman of Fox News.

We are currently looking into ways make sure Russian bots don’t spread dis-information over the public airways and on social media. Why then do we allow a foreign-born person – Rupert Murdoch – to spread non-factual information over our airways to our American citizens? That is not consistent thinking. 

I remember when news used to be just news. But now there is something called spin. On the night before Charlottesville I recall Janine Pierrot rallying her listeners to go to Virginia and stand up to defend democracy. She had fire in her voice. The haters that went to Charlottesville felt they were called on a mission. Some said it was their duty to be there.  And Trump said ” I could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and my supporters would not leave me.” These are examples of dog whistling for haters to act out. This is shouting fire in a crowded theater. There must be standards. 

Reporters just go to the places where news happens – and with video and audio media they re-port ( literally re-carry) what they see and hear. However, if the news presented is not truthful or it’s spun to distort the truth, then how is that in keeping with what our founders wanted when they created the 6 reasons to form this beautiful country? 

Media is a big deal these days. It’s certainly bigger than it was in 1776 or even 1976. If we are trying to make sure our media are free of Russian bots, it’s because of the divisiveness they cause – not just because they are Russian or bots. And so, if Fox News is not reporting truth and their agenda is dividing or polarizing the country – which seems to be the case – why do they get the blessings of the FCC? There has to be standards for media. We’ve got  plenty of examples of how media can affect our every day lives. Plenty. 

fox-nowThere could be standards set for media before they can call a produced show “news”. There is precedent for that. Many supplements can’t be called vitamins and are sold with this disclaimer. This product is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose or prevent any disease. That’s there to protect the public from false expectations. It’s also consistent with the spirit of the Constitution.

So I can imagine a TV show – which is also a product or something that is produced – might also need a disclaimer. We don’t want people to have false expectations about the information they are about to receive. That’s also not how the founders wanted it. Media regulation should be part of the Green New Deal. Get on it. Thank You. 

……..

Joseph Aronesty is an e-commerce pioneer, author, songwriter, etymologist and father to five sons. He went to Penn on scholarship and was in a class with Donald Trump in 1967.  He has been writing about Trump since he entered the race.

Keep reading. Stay vocal.

Relevant prior posts:

Trump is One of Many Corrupt Rulers Who Launder Money Internationally

2020 Presidential Hopefuls Should Unite Into a Team: Team America

What If Trump and the Entire Executive Branch Has Been Suborned?

And if all else fails, we can use technology to replace politicians. 

The Way Back to Political Sanity Could Also Involve Facebook, Google, CNN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can Restricting Two of Trump’s Presidential Powers Save Our Democracy?

The walls that protected Donald Trump from scrutiny are beginning to tumble down. Talk of impeachment is gathering some momentum. Still there is the caveat that 2/3 of the Senate would not likely vote to impeach a sitting president.

Well that’s not good enough in these dire circumstances. We have our democracy and way of life to save. We cannot allow loopholes in our own laws, many of which violate the spirit of our democracy, to destroy the American way of life. And yet that is exactly what Trump (and Putin) are counting on. 

Nearly everyone who ran the Trump campaign for presidency has now been indicted and/or has pleaded guilty – which means they are criminals! Are we supposed to believe that Trump surrounded himself with criminals but is himself an innocent angel who just has poor judgment in choosing associates? There are even known and documented entanglements with the Kremlin. But the two parties have split over Trump and until he is either found guilty or innocent this fissure will not heal. We are at a genuine crossroads in American history. 

The USA is now effectively in a state of civil war – left vs. right. The fight is over what kind of country we want to be. We thought that was decided long ago. We thought we were a representative democracy with a government by the people and for the people. Right?  “The people” means the majority of people – not the billionaires.  Our sitting president speaks about Democrats and reporters as if they were the enemy.  Something is not right with this and we all know it. 

It now appears that Roger Stone is going to stonewall the FBI and hope for a pardon.  Are we really okay with Trump pardoning his political operatives even if they are found guilty of collusion with the Russian state to fix an American election? Do you realize that if we are okay with allowing foreign states influence over our elections we are already a conquered state?

Our presidents are given absolute pardon power on paper, but it seems ridiculous in a situation where a president can effectively pardon himself.  It seems dangerous as well.  How would pardoning one’s political allies and targeting one’s political enemies not be abusing power? That is what Putin and Stalin did. How would that keep America safe? How would that be good for you?

So we are proposing that we not allow our country’s laws to destroy the America we grew up in. We’ll need to restrict just two of our sitting president’s powers while we make 100% sure his is not compromised. Bring this up on the house floor. 

#1. Trump cannot declare war until we are certain he is not compromised.

Until then, the Generals and Congress must inherit and share the responsibility of commanding our military. There is no loss therein. Most presidents listen to their generals anyway. We are not comfortable with Donald Trump having war powers in his current state of mind. We know we are not alone. He’s under a lot of pressure now too. If starting a war and letting people die can relieve some of that pressure, Trump is okay with that. He can tune out the suffering of others because he has very little empathy. 

We want to hear more about restricting Trump’s war powers on social media in the coming days. So get the buzz going. We can not sit idly by and let our own laws spell our demise. 

#2. Trump cannot be allowed to pardon anyone indicted and found guilty by Robert Mueller. 

This is just common sense. If witnesses believe they can lie for the president and get a pardon, they will lie for the president. Witnesses should know ahead of time that Trump is not allowed to pardon Mueller’s indictees. Allowing a pardon to undo the penalties for lying to the FBI, renders the FBI powerless. Clearly this was not the intent of the pardon power. This is why pardoning people found guilty in cases in which one is involved cannot be allowed for this or any president. It is abuse of power.  It is a clear case of the letter of the law violating its spirit. 

These two simple and  logical restrictions on Trump’s powers would go a long way to insuring that the whole truth about Trump and the Russians gets out. And that truth will go a long way towards healing the divide in this country.

This bill is also strategically very clever. This is not impeachment. The president stays in office and retains all his powers except the two that could be used to derail the truth from getting out. Burying the truth will destroy the fabric of our country in very short order. So I suspect most Dems and our majority constituency will like the idea of checking Trump’s powers while he is being investigated – potentially as a traitor. This is not a bill the president needs to sign either. 

If Dems can get 90% of their own in the house to agree on this idea, they can publish the names of the Republicans who do not agree to restrict Trump’s war and pardon powers while the jury is out on Russian collusion.  How is that going to play for career politicians? It’s damning as all heck and it should be. Those who would say no to this can only be suborned themselves, because no part of allowing Donald Trump to declare war or pardon his friends sounds right to any of us.

Who among us – on the left or right – thinks it okay for a POTUS to selectively pardon his friends for crimes they are found guilty of doing? What kind of justice would that be? 

So can we please get this post to: Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Ted Lieu, Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, Elizabeth Warren, Eric Swalwell, Amy Klobuchar and AOC? And yes, maybe Mitt Romney and Mitch McConnell. Pass this forward please – for the sake of us all. I have started in my own way. But I need help to get this to the top. 

#1. Trump cannot declare war until we are 100% certain he is not compromised.

#2. Trump cannot be allowed to pardon anyone indicted and found guilty by Robert Mueller. 

I welcome feedback: josepharonesty@gmail.com

Job One for New Congress: Restrict Individual One’s Powers

Proposition 2019: A bill that protects Mueller while it checks Trump’s military powers until he is found innocent.

compromisedOn December 19th,  Trump took two steps that clearly benefited the state of Russia and Russians connected to Putin. Trump removed financial sanctions placed by our elected Congress against a nefarious Russian oligarch who was involved in the influence campaign of the 2016 election. Trump ordered our troops to leave Syria, leaving Russia and Iran more in control in the Middle East. Let’s analyze what this really means. 

I have been writing about my Penn classmate and AC associate for over two years now. It’s hard to miss his motives, as they are always about him. These actions Trump took today were his way of testing to see what power he actually has. 

Trump is not a student of history and really did not know a thing about being a US president when he took office. Ask yourself why he pardoned of Sheriff Joe. Trump did something borderline and when it stuck he learned that this was something he could get away with. That’s how Trump is learning the presidency. It’s really stupid that we allow this. Whatever rules keep him in office in spite of the chaos, lies, deceit and incompetence, they are not currently working towards our common welfare. And that common welfare is what the Constitution is all about!

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The “in order to” clause establishes the reason for all that follows! When actions are taken by a public official that does not sync with or works against that clause, they are at the very least, spiritually unconstitutional. Domestic tranquility and promoting the general welfare of our citizens is every public servant’s duty – even the president. And Trump just does not do that at all, does he? 

Trump also tested his ability to make and end war today. Trump gave an order to pull our troops out of Syria and the military brass did not disobey it. So Trump just learned that, at least, he still has commander-in-chief status with the military. The military brass hold immense power in this country regardless of who is president. He knows that much. If they had said no to him, he would have learned the brass deemed Trump to be potentially dangerous or to reckless to command troops. It would mean perhaps the generals knew the dirt that General Flynn shared with Mueller. It would also mean Trump could not trust the military brass to sell out to him the way his GOP has been doing.  So Trump learned he still was in control of the military today. That alone makes our world much more dangerous.  There was some outrage from career generals – but no one in power said “no sir, we will not do this.” And Mattis resigned over this. 

And since Putin still has his military in Syria there is a real question as to who put this idea into Trump’s impulsive head. If Trump has been compromised by the Russians, the Syria pull out order likely originated with Putin – whom it benefits greatly. If that is the case, since it involves war and not an election, removing troops from Syria to benefit an enemy state is the actual legal definition of treason. Look this up. Espionage and Sedition Act of 1929.

Trump also tested his ability to favor his Russian business friends charged with crimes with his removal of sanctions against Derepaska. And no person or group had the backbone to say, “no, you can’t do that sir. Derepaska is an enemy to the USA. His was sanctioned for good cause. Since Derepaska is a Russian living in Russia, there was no real way for the USA to punish him for his crimes except financially. Today, Derepaska, a Russian oligarch aligned with Putin,  was effectively pardoned by Trump for his crimes against the USA today. He will pay no price for his crimes. That is a pardon. 

OUR PRESIDENT IS ALSO “INDIVIDUAL ONE”

Trump is now individual one in the investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 presidential campaign. That means Trump is now suspected in crimes against our country. It now seems critical to our survival as a sovereign country that Trump’s powers be temporarily restricted for the safety of our American homeland.

We all know he never says one bad thing about Vladimir Putin. Imagine how stupid we will feel if we discover that Trump actually has been suborned and is taking military and financial orders from Putin. Actually, that is how criminal money launders operate. They do for each other and cover for each other. 

We must soon decide. Is it really worth it to leave our 240 heritage here up to a spoiled, incompetent liar and thief like Donald Trump? To think we are allowing Trump to have the nuclear codes while he is under investigation for what could be treason – is way beyond crazy and stupid. Who really knows what Putin will ask for next? How sold out are our government officials? That all has to change in the new Congress.

But first things first. 

I am proposing that job one of the new Congress when they resume on January 3rd is to create a bill that secures two things to keep our democracy safe:

  1. It must protect Mueller and his investigation until the truth about Individual One is a known quantity and he is found innocent of any crimes against our state.  
  2. It must restrict the war powers of Donald Trump until Mueller’s investigation reaches a conclusion. In the meantime, it relegates those powers to Congress, where there is more balance – at least until the investigation ends with Trump not found guilty of any crimes against the state. This will also give Congress a chance to repair its terrible reputation with the American people. They should like that on both sides of the proverbial aisle. 

For the remainder of the investigation, Congress should take over some of the other absolute powers bestowed on a president in good standing. Trump does not have to be impeached for the Congress to do this.  Trump just needs to be checked until we are sure he is working for us and not the enemy.  A bill can do that. This bill could also serve as incentive for Trump to be more helpful to Mueller investigation if indeed he is innocent.

However, it certainly does not look like Trump is innocent. I am sure Mueller, if left to discover the truth, will prove that Trump and his family were both aware of and complicit in the foreign attempt to influence the election of 2016. And that is both traitorous and treasonous. 

P.S. As I edited this post there was Breaking News that Sec. of Defense, General James Mattis was stepping down end of February. That only makes the two above requests even more crucial to our survival. For God’s sake children, don’t let this madness go on one more day beyond the end of February. Imagine the wacka-doodle Secretary of Defense Trump will want in his cabinet. Someone with no real experience. A loyalist. That spells death. It’s going to feel like that apocalyptic movie from the 1960’s – Dr. Strangelove – ’round here. 

Joseph Aronesty is an e-commerce pioneer, author, linguist, songwriter and political activist living in Los Angeles. He was in a class with Trump in 1967 at Penn and worked close to him in AC in the 1980’s. 

Relevant prior posts: 

How to Entice Trump to Step Down in 60 Days or Less

Trump is One of Many Corrupt Rulers Who Launder Money Internationally

What If Trump and the Entire Executive Branch Has Been Suborned?

 

And if all else fails, we can use technology to replace politicians’ functions.

The Way Back to Political Sanity Could Also Involve Facebook, Google, CNN

Trump Threatens to Leak On His Enemies as Mueller Turns Up Heat

mueller-trumpDonald Trump just threatened to release classified information on his opponents – largely Democrats –  but also outspoken civil servants like James Comey, who is about to go through a phony inquiry. The intent of the GOP’s Comey investigation is to scare Democrats from acting against Trump and the GOP. It’s sole message is “you come after Trump he will come after you”. This is one of the last desperate cards individual one can play in his attempt to obfuscate truth and obstruct justice.  But do not underestimate it’s value. Targeting Congress members has historically been a very effective of getting one’s own way. But why is this? Consider the following:

To our collective shame, the American citizenry has allowed politicians to enjoy the fruits of bribes and graft with little recourse. We’ve not been very politically active as a group. We elect politicians but then let them do their thing. We just hope they live up to their promises, but they rarely do. Lying to the public is not even illegal and the criminal type of politician knows that. We give them uncheck-able legal power and they run with it for self-aggrandizement. Therein lies the main problem with our current democracy. 

There’s a heck of a lot of old dirt hiding in the skeletons of both GOP and DEM Congressmen these days. That dirt is the real swamp. And it exists on both sides of the aisle. That dirt, which we permit to exist, consistently stops Americans from enjoying a robust democratic government that really could work for them. That dirt is the real enemy and we have to clean it up. Maybe we know this at last. Maybe. We will see. 

Why do you think Donald Trump said “I like Nancy Pelosi”? Yes, Pelosi is red meat for his base which includes plenty of misogynists who believe women belong in the kitchen, etc. But is it possible Trump already has some palpable dirt on Pelosi? She has been in politics for a long time. That brings experience, but it also means she has a history of business deals. I don’t know the details on how Pelosi got to be worth 29 million in real estate. And that’s not so much in California. I assume she is an honest player having not heard to the contrary. However I also know how Trump thinks. He figures he can paint her black because she has money. All the people in his circle who have money have dirt – he practically insists on it. So when Trump says he likes Nancy Pelosi, he’s saying he likes her as an opponent or enemy – not as a fellow politician to engage in an effort to help Americans live better lives. You can count on that.

For too long, a dis-engaged American electorate has permitted the criminal type to not only infiltrate its politics but steep in it with little consequence. Many of these self-serving politicians exist in both parties. Yes, it feels like the GOP has more of them but that may be because they have the power now. The only congressional group that might not yet have skeletons in their closets is the young freshman class that contains folks like Alex Cortez. So I am specially reaching out to them because it may come down to them to clean up the dirt and make self-serving politicians a thing of the past. 

What this all means becomes more apparent when you consider what happened to the idealistic Barack Obama after he entered the presidency. Barack made an effort to create “change we can believe in”. But,  beyond healthcare it seemed to many that he did not try that hard. Many Americans felt ignored. And that gave the GOP palpable traction to their success in 2016. It seemed like Obama sold out, but we couldn’t quite see it. With Trump – we know 100% he is selling out. We do see and hear about it every day. And it’s finally bugging Americans on both sides of the aisle. That’s what the Blue Wave was all about. And that may turn out to be a good thing. 

When the Democrats take power it will come down to why politicians sell out and why we permit it? Trump has already learned that there are skeletons in closets of his allies and enemies. He is collecting the dirt and he will play that game. It has begun!

So all this means when the DEMS come to power with Pelosi in charge, we the people will have to  keep an eye open for signs they start going soft on Trump. I hope that is not the case unless it’s to have Trump step down and I have written about that. ( see below)

But one thing for sure. Obama’s idealism hit the swamp/wall and he backed down. That wall still exists and the new House members will learn about it soon. Do they buckle? Do they start seeing paths to self dealing and join the swamp? Do they start complicated motions that ultimately go nowhere? We will know soon. 

And what is that swamp/wall anyway? It is the same military-industrial complex that Eisenhower made note of when he passed the baton on to JFK. It’s the Kochs, the Mercers, the Zuckerbergs, plenty of congress members, Boeing, GE, Saudi Arabia’s MBS. Putin, etc.  That’s a heck of an obstinate wall. And when it’s structure is challenged that wall fires back with back room deals and bullets. 

That’s why I sort of wanted the small band of 25 idealistic freshmen who opposed Pelosi to have their way. It’s not going to happen. I’m apprehensively okay with it. The freshman class is among the few in Congress that are not yet suborned by that wall. And yes, we recognize there are plenty of good, decent Congresspeople. But time spent in Congress turns many good people into cynical jaded operatives of the establishment. 

If we are going to make change that really restores America’s position of authority as a beacon of hope for the world to behold, we’re going to have to go “all the way”. That Frank Sinatra song comes to mind. When somebody loves you, it’s no good unless they love you all the way. ( One of my favorites.) We need to love our American democracy all the way this time folks. 

Citizens. If there is one good thing Trump has done for America it may be that his inexperience in government has resulted in exposing political corruption and dirt. And  it is now abhorrent to us all. But it’s only going to be a blessing of we go all the way and root out corruption at all levels of government – city, state and national. We’re going to have to vet our public servants to the core and have them reveal all their financial dealings if they want to work for us. We need to think of political appointments more like we think of doctors with licenses to uphold.  We’re going to have to instantly retire any public servant who does not want to put their books on the record. That’s how graft starts. 

Of course, there would be resistance to this kind of scrutiny from both sides of the aisle precisely because there are crooks in both parties. They have votes and they stick will together to protect their personal interests. So if we don’t go all the way, getting rid of Trump won’t mean that much. We’ll just get a new smoother Trump in time.

Anand Giridharadas, bright young author of “Winners Takes All”, said that maybe it would be a good idea to have a personal wealth ceiling for those seeking office. it’s idealistic, but that won’t happen. There are good people who have money too. So it’s the vetting that has to be done. Laws have to set up that disqualify people to serve immediately if they are found to be corrupt by standards we will have to create. We’re going to have to fix what’s broken in the US government system. 

Now that Cohen is revealing the truth, Trump has admitted he was indeed trying to build a Tower in Putin’s Russia while a candidate. I guess he figured he would not win and he could come back to the Moscow Tower after the election. When he won, he scrapped the tower project for the time being. But once he is not POTUS again in two years ( we presume – or less ) he can and will go back to that or other Russian projects. And so his not-so-far-into-the-future hope INFORMS his decisions today as president. And that we cannot not abide! We can all agree that a US president cannot have present, past, or soon-to-be financial interests in countries that are enemies of the USA and democracy.

Last thing. We’ve learning from Trump that the current rules that might constrain a rogue president are not sufficient to protect our democracy and nation.  Just why we permit the office of president to pardon people who are convicted of crimes is suspicious. We know it’s in the constitution. But it’s such a bad idea for modern times. Pardon power and other absolute powers given to the POTUS since 1776 have to be re-examined and updated to reflect 21st century technology. Maybe we should allow a president to suggest a review for pardoning. But giving one man all the power in a democracy of 300 million is not going to work out for us. They will pardon their criminal friends and how is that good for us?

The Constitution was written when the population of the entire country was 2.5 million. There’s that many people in Brooklyn today.

We’ve got to fix our democracy now and go all the way.

Joseph Aronesty is a father of five, e-commerce pioneer, songwriter, author, creator of etymology by ear, activist since 2015. @EnglishCodeWord

Relevant prior posts: 

How to Entice Trump to Step Down in 60 Days or Less

Trump is One of Many Corrupt Rulers Who Launder Money Internationally

What If Trump and the Entire Executive Branch Has Been Suborned?

Trump’s Main Problem: Cheating To Win

And if all else fails, we can use technology to replace politicians.

The Way Back to Political Sanity Could Also Involve Facebook, Google, CNN

 

 

 

 

 

Why Putin Hacked Our Elections and Why He Wanted Trump

The 2016 hack and publish act is the greatest theft ever committed against the United States. It will be remembered that way, – if we survive this.

Originally written April 2017, the logic of this post is now undeniable. Hurry up Mueller! The whole truth must come out before election day so Americans can make well-informed voting decisions on November 6th. 

Dear Trump Supporter:

Spy Logistics

Imagine you were a Russian tasked with the goal to hack into the 2016 elections to get dirt on Hillary Clinton and help Trump win.  Where would you start? You certainly would not start at the top with Trump, unless you already knew him and his answer. Assuming you did not know if Trump would be okay with foreign hacking help in an election, yospiesu would first have to find that much out.  Why would you expose yourself as a criminal hacker, if the person you are trying to help might not be interested and even possibly turn you in?  To get that permission, you’d have to find a way explain the risks and rewards to Donald Trump.

Those actual inquiring communications from the Russians and the consequent permissions to proceed are the two main elements in the conspiracy to hack the 2016 United States electoral system.  The principles of the theft are clearly Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, as they are the two prime beneficiaries of the theft. They are for whom the stealing was done. 

And what allies did the Russian hackers find here in America?  Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Roger Stone, Jared Kushner top the list but there are many others. This is exactly what and whom ex-marine Bob Mueller is investigating. He is doing it to save America from being taken over by Russia – not with bullets ( they know they can’t do that) but with words. 

Trump knows zero about hacking, but said ( April 30, 2017) “It’s very hard to know who did a hack, once it’s done.” Who told him that?  He certainly did not read it somewhere. Someone told  him this as part of the attempt to get his permission. But, it backfired. Mueller’s team did indeed figure out who the hackers were. Maybe that’s what Trump will say to Putin privately in Helsinki “Hey Vlad, you said it could never be traced. Now what do I do?”  

It’s well-known that Donald Trump does not handle details. He never could. In college, he paid for his homework. ( I was in a class with him at Wharton and know this first-hand. ) Trump doesn’t “study”. He views preparation as beneath him. ( He has said that too, in his roundabout ways.) Trump pays people to do everything for him – even his reading and thinking. So it took detail-oriented Americans like Bannon, Stone, Flynn and Kushner to set this complex entanglement in motion. But even if Trump did not want to know the details of the 2016 hack and publish cyber-operation, the physical actors needed the permission of Donald Trump (or a nod from Donald Jr.) to actually go through with it all. This compares to a Mafia don ordering a hit. The don does not do the crime so he can claim “it wasn’t me”, but he still must approve it. 

Re: Ads in Facebook, Twitter and Google. Russians could not possibly know enough about the nuances of our complex country to time ads and precisely target the right audiences – like they did in places as remote as Ferguson, Mo. They needed American help. And that is espionage. The 2016 hack and publish act is the greatest theft ever committed against the United States. It will be remembered that way, – if we survive this.

Why the Russians Wanted Donald Trump

Trump has had Russian holdings and business arrangements for a long time. These arrangement started in the 80’s, when he started washing his casino cash in foreign banks, like so many corporate crooks and money launderers do. That’s when he first crossed paths with Russian Mafia plaers. These international players don’t want to pay less tax, they want to pay no tax! Why support American infrastructure if you don’t have to is Trump’s MO. Guilt? Not Trump! “I really don’t care”. That, I think, is why Melania selected that infamous jacket. It’s something she probably hears at home a lot.  

Putin knows Trump has had undeclared cash bank accounts overseas. Thats’ the main reason he was an ideal candidate for a rogue nation to support: Trump can easily be blackmailed for his past financial crimes. That’s also why he does not show his taxes. And rest assured Putin does not care about Americans. The democracy that America represents works against dictators who want to steal. And Trump won’t do anything to stop Putin because he is compromised or suborned, as the Russians call it. Trump also kind of likes what he is doing. It’s an ego trip that’s making him richer – so far at least. 

We all know there are many sold-out politicians who just don’t care about average Americans.  It’s a shame, but true. But only a self-centered egomaniac like Donald Trump would stoop to espionage and selling out his country to Russia for a buck. We have not had a traitor like Donald Trump since Benedict Arnold. 

Vladimir Putin is the biggest thief in the history of the world. He has stolen about 200 billion dollars from the existing businesses in Russia in the last 10 years. To carry his plan further and not get caught for what has been stolen, Putin needs the powerful democratic countries of the world to wither away. Weakened, they won’t have the means or resolve to stop his aggressive stealing and land grabs. ( i.e., Ukraine.)

Putin and Trump both supported Le Pen in France and the Russians tried to hack that election too. The French resisted successfully. And Boris Johnson, the Brexit candidate in the UK, was touted by Trump as being a fine candidate for prime minister. The truth is, democracy is just not good for dictators. It gets in the way of their stealing. What thief wants justice? Dictator’s United is the new Citizens United – and its game on, if we don’t stop it. 

Destroying the NATO alliance and democracies like the USA are major goals for dictators like Vladimir Putin. Because Trump is not happy with the few billion he has stolen so far, Trump is a complicit ally in Putin’s global domination projects. Like so many with greed disease, he wants more. Those who do not oppose Trump will eventually realize they have been duped in an effort to make fascism the dominant political force on the planet. Dictator’s United now has its sites on the USA – not just 3rd world countries. What they can’t conquer by force, they will attempt to temp conquer via puppet regimes. That’s pretty much what they have here with Trump. So far, the GOP senators are silent, so Russia is winning. But we can all do something about this soon. 

November 6th 2018 is the new American Independence Day. Be there. Raise your voice.

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You know who THEM is.

Midterm Elections: What Progressive Candidates Should Run On

These are my top ten issues for progressives to run on this cycle. 

candidate.jpgThere’s been a lot of talk about what progressive candidates should and should not run on for the midterm elections. This big question seems to be: regardless of the positive issues we may wish to run on “do we also run on impeachment?”. 

I frankly believe that Trump being in office can end up being the Democrats best friend in November, if they play their cards right! And let’s face it, in 2016 they could hardly have played their cards worse. There is gamesmanship to an election – and it has to be done right. 

One of my strongest suggestions is never to run Dem vs. Dem.  No infighting! The Hillary vs. Bernie division was really what sank the Dems in 2016. We can’t have that happening in the midterms this cycle. Instead, I would rather see run offs decided by two candidates joining at the hip, like a double entry in a horse race. First, it saves election costs. And if their is a complaint about salary, (and this is way more important than any politician’s salary) the saved election funds could be shared along with the allotted salary. That way two close competitors can share one position. Granted they get one vote in Congress. But imagine if Hillary had run with Bernie as a ticket rather than against him. It would have been a landslide. In 2020, if Biden runs, maybe he could run with Bernie as a ticket. Biden/Bernie will play well only if young blood does not take over the scene by then – and it might. We will see. But no infighting. Infighting means we don’t have a clear agenda. And that means, we don’t know what we are doing. And that means, people may decide to stay with what they know and have.  And we can’t have that.

These are my top ten issues for progressives to run on this cycle. 

#1 Medicare For All. There is nothing that unifies Americans more than our need for affordable healthcare. It will be easy to expose the hypocrisy of the GOP on this issue. It should be front and center of any progressive campaign.  But work out the math ahead of the campaign promises. Make it look achievable or you will be tagged as impractical dreamers. Show us where the money will come from. And yes, don’t be afraid to say we should tax billionaires the same or higher than workers are taxed. Remind us that this country worked best in the 50’s when the rich were taxed higher than the poor, which created a more level playing field for all Americans. 

#2 Reversing Trump’s GOP Tax Laws. This is tricky because Trump can say his new laws are the reason for the seeming economic boom. Is it really a boom? Maybe that has to be discussed. Because if we have set our expectations lower, a small increase in take home pay can seem like an improvement. But there are other ways to measure success rather than just pocket money. Trump and the GOP will rely on this argument that things are better. Dems will have to show Americans in black and white, how the increase in health-care costs, the lack of access to great education, and the failure to spend on infrastructure are other ways to measure the standard of living of a nation. Show us how everyday citizens are fare better and even live longer in countries like Germany, Sweden and Japan. And the states that tax heavily and invest in their own infrastructures, like Cali, Mass and NY, – they do not like the new limit on deducting state taxes and interest payments. So expose that strongly as well. 

#3 College and K-12 Investments. There is nothing that quashes the dreams of our children more than the ridiculous economic barriers to quality education. It starts at K. Our grade schools and high schools are short on books. How sad is that? I’m sorry but what differentiates a great country from a failed one is actually the education level of its citizens. It is way more important than levels of pocket money.  A society that is rich monetarily but stupid is ripe for takeover. Think Rome. Brains is what separates us from animals. And honestly, “stupid and spoiled” is sort of what Russians and even Islamic terrorists think of Americans. And frankly, they are not far off. No way we are the brightest minds on the planet any longer. We used to be – in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Somewhere around Regan, we began to slip. That’s also when big money took over the soul of our government. Today, teachers are clearly paid far less than other professionals with the same qualifications as teachers. And yet, teaching is the one profession that makes all other professions possible. So drive all of this home. It will resound in New York as well as Texas and West Virginia. 

#4 The EPA. Golly, I hope Scott Pruitt is still the head of the EPA in November. If he is, he won’t hold that post in December. The air we breathe, the water we drink, and our climates are valid ways to measure the success of a nation. So again, it’s not just pocket change. After all, its not what money you have, but what it can buy. And if your money can’t buy clean air and water, because companies are allowed to pollute, then you are poorer than you think. Expose as much of the EPA’s reversals to common sense legislation as you can this cycle. Remember, the GOP will paint Pruitt as a help to the economy. We need to answer back strongly. “We don’t want an economy that is driven by allowing corporations to pollute our greatest common asset, our environment. Lack of respect for mother earth by this administration should be fully exposed. Again, it will resound with Americans of all stripes, and in all 50 states. Americans want to be proud of America again. That’s really what Trump has done to us. So seize on that. Make America Proud Again? Well, not. We don’t want to sound like we ripped off anything from this charlatan. But the idea of restoring American pride is sound. 

#5 Re-establishing Diplomacy. One of the reasons I am certain that the Russians have Trump suborned is the way our diplomatic core has been stripped under Trump’s Secretaries of State. Bring math to this argument. Show what has happened in stark black and white. Frankly, it borders on treason. And this is exactly what Russia wants. They are increasing their position on the world stage – as we are decreasing ours! If it feels coordinated, it probably is. 

#6 Border Security Done Right. Why is this so hard for us? Border security has nothing to do with hatred of others. We can have secure borders and love our neighbors. There should be check-points and it should be hard to illegally penetrate. I’m not sure we need “Trump’s Wall”. But we should agree to have secure borders, and to police those borders. But also, most Americans agree that the DACA kids are citizens. So we can run on Dreamers and border security simultaneously. Please do that this cycle. And if GOP candidates drift into that general area, welcome them. We need more welcoming of the other here in the USA, and that starts with “across the aisle”, when it is justified. There is a place where can agree with GOP voters on border security. Just strip away the hate of others and be kind to our Dreamer’s. I would fund any border upgrades from infrastructure spending. That is what it actually is. 

#7 The VA. Our veterans deserve the best care possible. Trump had a guy who was trying to do a decent job and he was fired. Rub this in his face forever. Veterans exist in all states. And its damn well embarrassing that he is trying to make veterans care a for profit industry and take his cut. 

#8 Infrastructure. There is no doubt that America has fallen far behind other first rate countries in infrastructure. Our roads, bridges and trains are sorely in need of serious investment. Something like what FDR did seems appropriate. But, we are not as collectively rich as we used to be in the 1950’s. Why is that? It’s because we have allowed our money to collect at the greedy top where it stagnates and gets funneled out of the country into off-shore bank accounts. There is no way to fund the projects we need without recapturing those lost funds. It’s not a pretty statement. I think of things like a billionaire’s tax. So here too, math has to be done to sell infrastructure investment. This is not a cycle where we can make promises that we cannot keep. It will be too easy for the GOP can say we can’t afford this now – that our national debt is already ballooning. But infrastructure is an investment that pays back! So focus on that when you get GOP push-back. Do your math. Cite history. People in all states want better infrastructure.

#9 Voter’s rights and an end to Gerrymandering. The GOP realizes full well that they advance the agendas of the super-rich – not the average American. They know they have no way to win an honest election. That is why Trump and the GOP welcomed Russian help in the election of 2016. They can’t possible win a fair fight with their agenda that favors the billionaire class. Assume the GOP will do anything to win. They will try to block the minority vote. They will play with election software. They will use social media campaigns to rile up hatred again. And Gerrymandering, though slowly being outlawed, still exists. All of this must be exposed. In red states, make it clear the GOP does this because they don’t want your vote to count. 

#10. Vetting our candidates better. This is the hardest to promote because so many sitting Congresspeople are not clean – and won’t support anything which makes vetting candidates a more thorough process. But let’s be real here this cycle. We got a criminal president because we allowed him to be a candidate without even showing his taxes. We vet Uber drivers better than we vet our president, so what should we expect? If there is a path to insane profits in government service, we will continue to get criminals seeking to “serve” in Congress and in other high end government positions. They see dollar signs and are drawn in. Jared Kushner could not even get security clearance, but neither could Trump if he had to.

If there is a full vetting of all candidate’s past financial history, we can at least be sure they are not criminals or money launderers before they take office. No one should be ever be allowed again to hold high office with undeclared foreign bank accounts. In with this line of thinking is “getting money out of politics” , “term limits”, and ending “Citizen’s United”, which really is “Billionaires United” and “no man is above the law”, which must be true in a real democracy. This won’t be popular with sitting representatives. But it has to be addressed or even a new administration won’t have the support in Congress to make the sweeping changes to policies and laws that will be needed to keep the United States strong, free and democratic.  

You will notice I have not mentioned gun laws. I want to, of course. It is a huge national stigma that we do nothing to protect our children as they are mowed down month after month. But common sense gun law changes will not come from this GOP.  They are a sold-out party. The right idea is to vote out the sold-out GOP that have us under their thumbs. We can do so on the ten issues I have outlined above.  Banning semi-automatic weapons is probably fine to discuss, but it seems smarter to just not enroll Americans who will vote GOP for one single issue.

Finally, absolutely do not announce any presidential candidates until after November.  Any Democrat who does that should be shunned by the Democratic Party. Politicians and citizens can and should get out there and talk about what is good for the country. Biden should get off his horse immediately if he intends to run, or he runs the risk of seeming old, slow, out of touch. Same with Bernie. Trump will be running every week from here on in.  But no one should announce they are running in 2020. It exposes an “it’s all about me” philosophy, and in 2018 we need a fully coordinated team effort. Leave “it’s all about me” to Trump. He is so good at that anyway. 

If we succeed in this cycle, 2020 will take care of itself. If we don’t, I will be seriously eyeing getting out of here for my kids sake. I actually don’t want to be a citizen in Trump’s America. 

……. Joseph Aronesty

Joseph is an e-commerce pioneer, songwriter and etymologist. He was in a class with Donny Trump in 1967 at Wharton School and worked close to him in AC in the 1980’s. 

Joseph can be reached at josepharonesty@gmail.com

Joseph’s SoundCloud page: https://soundcloud.com/raiseourvoices

Joseph’s intuitive etymology page: https://englishcode.wordpress.com/clc-etymology/