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’s Tariffs Makes the Price of a Coke Go Up. So What Does GDP Growth Mean for Most Americans?

If GDP growth was spread out evenly across the population, every person in your family should have had $4300 more to spend in the last year. Did that happen for you? 

Dear Trump supporter:

From now until the November midterms, you are going to hear Trump and the GOP selling you that everything is getting better for you and all Americans citing the GDP, the Gross Domestic Product, as proof. In theory, GDP is the sum of the dollar value of everything made in the US for any given year. In theory, if that GDP number goes up, it should means things are getting better for Americans. The second quarter’s GDP growth was 4.1%. It’s a good number. But does it really mean things are getting better for you?

Let’s take a look at the recent history of published GDP figures.  ( Google GDP and GDP per capita. ) The numbers are in trillions of dollars, which is 1,000 billion.

I also show a line graph which breaks the GDP numbers down to GDP per person. That should be the only important graph to average Americans because it shows how the GDP growth is helping the average American. And it’s not!

You can see that our ability to buy things with this GDP “growth” has been slowly sinking. That’s because our annual inflation usually outruns our GDP growth. Note: Trump’s tariffs are going to accelerate the cost of living and inflation way beyond the 4.1 % reported GDP growth.

GDP

What Do These Graphs Mean?

Though GDP goes up nearly every year since 2000 from 1% to 4%, when you adjust for inflation, cost of living and population growth, the per capita spending power of the average American is on a slow 40 year slide – going back to Reagan. The Clinton economy started very badly, but made a valiant recovery in its last few years resulting in an almost even situation for most Americans. Bush’ s presidency was the worst for most Americans and ended with a depression. Obama’s term made up the slight loss of the Clinton presidency, but what was lost in the Bush years and the years before has not been recovered. And Trump’s presidency has really just begun, so it’s hard to tell if GDP growth is helping most Americans so far. With tariffs and oil prices up, it feels like another economic wash. So let’s look closer.

In Trump’s first two years you can see GDP is up 1.13 trillion dollars. But how does that help you? Divide the GDP growth by the number of people ( man, woman and children)  in the USA. That is 1.13 trillion divided by 300 million. That number is $4300 per person. That means that if GDP growth was spread out evenly across the population, every person in your family should have had $4300 more to spend in the last year. Did that happen for you and yours?

What happens if that $4300 per person money only goes to CEO’s and people like Trump who are already super-rich? The answer is – it does not help you. An increase in GDP only helps the average American if the money is shared with the average American. It’s the degree of GDP profit sharing that measures how economic growth helps the average American. And if the standard of living keeps sinking, clearly that GDP growth still means very little to the average American. And yet, you are going to hear Trump and the GOP going on and on about how wonderful they are making things for average Americans.

Dear Trump supporters, your GOP and president are lying to you. They are pulling the wool over your eyes. Trump has said “They only know what we tell them” and “How stupid are the people of Iowa”. That tells you how much respect he has for you. He still has that casino owner mentality. Everyone is a sucker to Trump, except people richer and more crooked than he is. That’s why he speaks well of dictators like Putin Kim Jong-un.

Trump thinks you are a sucker if you …

  • work for a living and pay your share of taxes
  • enroll your kids in the Armed Forces ( Neither Trump nor his kids enlisted in any form of public service)
  • don’t take advantage of your power and get as much sex and money as you can
  • really care about others. That ” I really don’t care” jacket was a reflection of Trump’s mentality – not Melania’s. She was trolling him. She seems almost decent.
  • respect rules and laws
  • pay people who work for you fairly when you don’t have to
  • go to church and/or pray of be spiritual

Trump does none of  the above and never has. I think even his supporters know that.

The Folly of Deregulation

Another talking point is that Trump is smart for deregulating industry. While I can agree that some regulations are overdone, when regulations force large profit-oriented corporations to keep our common environment clean and safely remove their own wastes – that’s a good thing. Of course, company profits will go up when they can just dump their wastes in a river. But who pays for that clean-up and the resultant health damages to us all? We all do! Future waste clean-up and health costs to humans are not factored into the GDP number.

So the GDP growth number is simply not a true or full measure of the state of health of our economy. It’s just one of many measuring tools. But you will hear the GOP tout GDP growth as something that is good for you. I am just pointing out that when things are really good for you – you will know. We don’t have to be told that X or Y is or will be good for us. We will know in our hearts, minds, spirits and pockets when things get better.

GDP is like a baseball team’s batting average. Higher is generally better.  But without good pitching, defense, and coaching – the team with the most hits does not always win, does it? It’s the final score that matters. GDP does not inform us on how Americans are doing as individuals.

Trump’s Tariffs

Coca-Cola just announced the price of  a Coke is going up because the aluminum cans will cost more due to Trump’s tariffs. The government could have stipulated that the billionaire Coca-Cola Company could not pass the tariff ( a tax ) on to American consumers, but that is not how the GOP or the Trump government operates. They freely let the manufacturers pass their cost increases on to consumers with no oversight. – And that means you and I are paying the tariffs – not the big companies. Further, the tariff money goes directly into Trump’s treasury and does not help the average American at all unless it is shared with them. And that is not being done. What a scam! And then he tries to get his supporters to like the idea of getting no bang for their buck.

We all end up paying for Trump’s tariffs. Further, any self-dealing politician (Trump is not the only one ) with foreign bank accounts can favor this or that industry or company, after they are secretly paid in those accounts. It’s called picking winners. It’s also called graft. I know our American farmers are figuring that out right now. If I had the ability to make one rule to save democracy, it would be to stop the ability of politicians to have secret banks accounts. That’s how the crimes get done.

One thought that occurs to me these days is maybe Russia will be allowed to hack the US Treasury and the banking sector this cycle. It’s certainly do-able. No one is looking that closely. Trump certainly has done nothing to stop Russian hacking. We hear talk about hacking the grid. Is this how Trump will pay Putin back for the election help? Who really knows? We let them have private meetings. How stupid is that? We’d never know from Trump. And you cannot deny he has done little to nothing to stop Russia’s cyber-war efforts.

Dear Trump supporter,

Do not be fooled by the GOP’s GDP victory lap. Unless you experienced a $4300 per person increase in your family’s income, your share of that gain was heavily diluted. The entire GOP effort has been to lower standards for average Americans to benefit the super rich, like the Koch’s and Trump’s. That’s why you see them trying to break up affordable healthcare and lower taxes more on the rich than the poor. Those two efforts should tell you all you need to know.

Trump has been at war with the world since he was a kid. – And he has not outgrown that child within himself. That is his personal struggle. Dear Americans, Trump’s struggle does not have to be ours.