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.

 

 

 

 

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/

 

 

This November We Must Vote Out All Who Will Not Legislate For the Common Good

A good barometer of the viability of a society is its system of values. When values erode, the society either falls apart or is overtaken. This is exactly what happened in Rome. It’s not that “it can happen here”. It is happening here, right now.

We like the idea of limiting the firepower of the lunatic in North Korea, but we are giving lunatics in our homeland access to killing machines. This makes no sense.

#1 There’s plenty we can do to make our country safer without hurting hunters’ rights.  Automatic weapons are not, and should not be used to hunt animals. What kind of hunting sport is that? And yet we allow automatic weapons to get into the hands of people who kill people for sport. This is crazy America! A recent certified national poll shows that 70% of Americans favor an assault weapons ban.  Representatives who will not publicly state they are in favor of an assault weapons ban, must be voted out. Rubio – Trump – that means you – and plenty of others.

It’s now clear that there is a group of politicians who will even stoop to cheating at the polls with foreign bots posing as Americans. Our president will do nothing to change this. It is how and why he got there and he is compromised by his life of crime. So our numbers must be overwhelming this November.

Gun violence is also very expensive. The costs are 230 billion dollars a year – over $700,000,000 per day!   And it is surprising how few Americans would be negatively affected by an assault weapons ban. Besides Smith and Wesson there are about six other companies that make assault weapons. And then there is a small group of gun collectors who would have to surrender or sell their assault weapons to the police or armed forces. Weight that against $700 million a day and the loss of life and this is a no brainer.  

These businesses can not be valued more than the lives of our kids and citizens. We must now legislate for the common good and vote out all who stand in our way. A good barometer of the viability of a society is its system of values. When its values erode, the society either falls apart or is overtaken. This is exactly what happened in Rome. It’s not that “it can happen here”, it is happening here … right now.

POSSESSION of automatic weapons, NOT the PURCHASE of them, is what needs to be regulated or licensed, like we do for automobiles. Automobiles can be weapons, but guns are weapons and an assault rifle’s sole purpose is to kill mass numbers of people. Why does any civilian really need an automatic weapon? They don’t! 

Even if we had Minority Report pre-crime detection bots and took the Parkland shooter out ahead of the crime, it would not change the fact the we have a systemic disease here in the USA. And like a cancer, it’s going to grow and kill the host body if we don’t start the healing now. The medicine is voting out greedy politicians who won’t legislate what their constituents want. And 70% of Americans want an assault weapons ban. 

And gun maker’s profit protection is just one place our national body has disease. We also see its symptoms in the way our reps undermine healthcare for our citizens in exchange for kickbacks from insurance companies. GOP healthcare, if ever fully implemented, would kill far more people than 911. 

We hear its symptoms reflected in the words of our heartless president who offered lukewarm support for Puerto Ricans with memes like “you are messing with our budget” or “there are a lot of business-people who support the Jones Act”. I hear it is gangsta rap, where the lyrics often refer to being rich as being as the be all end all goal in life. I see it in the way people adore big stars, and then ignore the stars in their own communities. 

The underlying disease is all one: greed. This cancer, is now metastatic. It’s everywhere. Cutting out one infected organ will not cure us.

GREED starts with GR because, like many words that start with GR, it refers to GROWTH.(GARDEN, GRASS, GREAT, GRAND, etc.) Within greedy souls, GREED is a GROWTH that is out of control  – which is exactly what a cancer is. 

And yes, greed will always exist. It’s been witnessed and documented for over 5000 years.  Smart societies put checks and balances into law so that greed does not overrun their governments.  It’s popular to say “get the money out of politics”, but Citizen’s United gives money a larger voice than the actual citizens of our country.  Citizen’s United gives greed a platform to operate and grow here.  That’s neither right nor democratic. Citizen’s United must also go.

And we can do all this in November because it’s easy to spot the greedy politicians now. They are the same one’s who won’t publicly announce they are in favor of an assault weapons ban. They side with the NRA for personal greed, and they do the same on all issues. It’s who they are – and they can’t fool us now. 

It’s a strange irony that the word AMERICA contains two word-parts, AMORE and RICH.  America literally means “loves riches”: Ame-rica. Maybe it’s a self-perpetuating meme. Pardon my linguistic digression, but before Trump became POTUS this was my focus. 

So, I am not that interested in this single-cell Las Vegas or Parkland sicko. We should strive to cure our sickness the same way we fight a systemic cancer. It starts with diagnosis: recognizing the nature of our actual disease: we permit politicians’ greed to shape our lives and laws to the detriment of our citizens.

Donald Trump is a brand that symbolizes greed disease. His first campaign words were “of course you love me, I’m rich”. He learned most people have some level of greed disease from his casino-owner days. And as the gap between the wealthy and the poor grows here, there and everywhere, there will be more and more bad cells acting out – out of desperation. It’s sort of like a negative lottery. Given time, it’s bound to happen again and again. And it’s going to keep happening until we get money out politics or we succumb. 

It was not always that way, here in the USA. After WW11 the rich were taxed at a much higher rate than the poor so that stored capital naturally flowed into infrastructure and education, helping us all and making us naturally proud to be Americans – or US citizens. 

We must start our healing process now. And while kindness and prayers are fine for moral support, if they do not lead to actions they function like placebos.  We need thoughtful, caring legislation ASAP. The vast majority of Americans see no reason why anyone should be allowed to own an automatic weapon, or more than a few firearms to defend themselves. We are not against the second amendment. The vast majority of Americans see no reason Russian bots should be allowed on Facebook. But as long as greed governs in America,  the country that loves richesnothing will change.

Let’s focus on voting out the greedy in government in 2018.  The best thing we have here in the USA is national elections every two years. The next one is November 2018. We can’t afford to get distracted. We have no time to waste either. I sincerely believe 2018 is our last chance to save the ailing American society.

If for no other reason than to send out the messages that US citizens will no longer be governed by greed and that we realize greed in government is our national disease here in America, we must vote out infected ruling party members – at every level. 

vote-all-out

We can do this. The citizens who voted for Donald Trump wanted to vote out a broken system. They just were so blinded by their desire for change that they did not see that Trump was a charlatan. I have forgiven them. They mostly know they made a mistake by now. So those same voters can be enrolled to do that same thing again – to vote out a diseased system. 

We must assure that greed has no place in our government. When Citizen’s United falls apart under a new regime, it will begin to turn the tide of our systemic greed disease. 

And then maybe, slowly, the way you kill a cancer, we can return to the kind America I remember as a child. It was not perfect. No society is. But it was much more inclusive than what we have now. We had a visible path to a good life here, and many of us seized that path and have enjoyed that good life. I was lucky that way.

Now, our kids don’t even see the on-ramp to that path. We have let them down terribly. I am not a big D Democrat. Don’t paint me with that broad brush. I don’t care about parties. I care about the actual people who we elect. I wish there were no parties at all. Parties are part of the greed disease problem. I am a global citizen living in America. My homeland that I love is now governed by greed. It is killing us all and we all know it down deep. All I want is better for my kids. I’d like to the healing begin in my lifetime. 

A spiritual disease is being transmitted to Americans by man a who has been infected all his life. It’s very contagious. 2018 may be the last chance to save us from greed/envy disease. It is usually fatal to societies. 

These are the only two laws we need to keep our schools, churches and streets safe.

#1 LICENSE GUNS beyond the basic two. OWNING ( not buying ) unlicensed guns will be a serious federal crime. And yes, law enforcement agents will have the right to seize unlicensed guns. The loss of one’s gun can be the prime punishment. No sense attaching a huge dollar amount to it and scare people. Assault weapons do not belong in the hands of unlicensed people. That is the goal.

#2 ELIMINATE THE GUN SHOW LOOPHOLE.

Less words. More Actions.

I wrote Song For Healing when I was on chemo. It helped me a lot. My way of praying I guess. It’s not all I did however. Have a listen: 

Joseph Aronesty is an e-commerce pioneer, songwriter, author, linguist and father to five sons living in Los Angeles. He was a classmate to Trump in Wharton in 1967. He is a also tireless activist working to reset America to be the more inclusive place it was when he was child. josepharonesty@gmail.com

 

Russia Meeting Exposes Trump’s Weakness – Bernie Can Too

The reason Putin likes Trump is he is weak & compromised via years of nefarious and illegal business dealings.  That’s also why Putin did not like Obama & Hillary. Obama and Hillary put sanctions on Putin. They were strong and hard to compromise.

Trump keeps trying to say that it’s good to “get along” Russia, the people who hacked the 2016 elections. This is what those who still cling to Trump, to be reminded of.
 

#Trumprussia The reason Putin likes Trump is he is weak & compromised via years of nefarious and illegal business dealings.  That’s also why Putin did not like Obama & Hillary. Obama and Hillary put sanctions on Putin. They were strong and hard to compromise.  It’s also why Trump would rather step down than show his taxes, which will expose Trump’s foreign money laundering deals – something, if you know Trump the way I do, has been going on since the 1980’s. 

It now appears that the meeting with Trump Jr. et. al. was about discussing payback for cooperation and that the agreed payback for helping Trump win the election is the lifting of various sanctions. The Magnitzky sanction is just one of many financial sanctions put on Putin by Obama for his bad behavior. 
 
So they petitioned Trump’s son to get to the boss, and he took the bait. Of course, it’s a serious crime to solicit or cooperate with foreigners to impact an election in any way. And it must be a crime or we have no future as a country.  Which is what Putin wants right?
 
And what will happen when and if Trump can’t deliver on promises to Putin? What will Putin extract from Trump or the USA for Trump’s failure to deliver on an agreement? Putin is a known killer. For that reason alone, the nuclear codes must be taken from Donald Trump asap. We cant trust Putin with the codes, so we cant trust Trump.
 
And Jared Kushner’s security clearance should not last another hour. He could be attempting to erase files and trails right now, from the safety of the inside. 
 
Now on healthcare, here is a unique, marketable idea for Bernie Sanders.
Trump and the right-wing media like to paint Bernie as too old to be relevant.
Trump’s only 4 years younger and Bernie’s in much better shape.
 
3minutesringRSo … I think Bernie should casually challenge Trump to a physical duel. Bernie used to be a boxer. So, in a semi-joking but clear-eyed manner, Bernie could say “how about 3 minutes in the ring to decide healthcare for Americans? We can’t afford all this back and forth, so let’s just do it the old-fashioned way.  If I lose I will personally work with the GOP to the way they want, as long as they don’t hurt people of course. But if I win – its Medicare for all”. This challenge is right up Trump supporters’ alley. They have no head for details, but they won’t forget the challenge.
 
Of course the fight will never happen. But people will never forget who backed down on it. That’s going to be Trump if Bernie does this right. I LOVE IT! Sure, it’s carnival showmanship, something Hillary lacked. But it’s clean. It has no animus. And it will get press and plenty of it.
 
It does not have to over done. It can be said once. But when and if Trump tries to paint Bernie as weak, he can remind Trump of that standing challenge. 
And Trump will never be able to be-little Bernie again

The Argument Not to Talk Impeachment Until The Summer of 2018

Why the GOP majority must end in 2018, or American democracy is dead.

James Comey spoke today. Then Trump’s lawyer made his statement. The battle lines are drawn. This is my takeaway.

comboverDonald Trump has been skirting the law with lawyers for over 30 years. He is used to winning. He will do anything to win. Let me clarify, this does NOT mean winning for Americans. This means winning for him. And by anything, he means anything: killers, collusion, hiring Russian allies, selling out America. It’s just a game to this sick man/child president.

But I am no longer sure there will be a successful case against Donald Trump with a GOP majority in Congress. And we should also suspect the Russians won’t stop meddling in our elections. The president can’t advocate for fair, clean elections, as he was the benefactor in the Russian meddling.  So our 250 year old democracy is under a very real threat. But this should also be clear:

The Strategy To Save American Democracy

The court of popular opinion still gets to speak here in the USA every two years. 2018 is 16 months away. Right now, the president’s approval rating is about 1/3 Americans. The GOP’s healthcare bill is extremely unpopular and they have never been champions for the average American. And I don’t see that healthcare bill morphing into something that most Americans will love.

The unpopularity of this president and the GOP’s healthcare unpopular bill will be both present in the atmosphere of the 2018 election. And what we need more than getting the president out of office, is undoing the GOP majority in both houses. Their entire party has sold out middle-class Americans. Trump is just the figurehead of the real problem in America – a GOP majority that does not care about average Americans because they have been bought by the billionaires. And yes, Bernie had that right.

Absent of more election meddling, I see no way the GOP should honestly hold on to the majorities in the house and senate in 2018. There will be more impetus to VOTE THEM ALL OUT if Trump is still president, because it will become abundantly clear the only way to impeach Trump is to end the GOP majority in the house and senate.

I don’t even say it must be Democrats that get the majority. I’d love to see a great number of new independents running for office in 2018. I sort of think the two-party system is part of the problem here in the USA. Political parties are just too easy to corrupt. But regardless, the GOP majority must end in 2018 or American democracy is dead.

… the GOP majority must end in 2018, or American democracy is dead.

So, I say, continue to push for the truth, of course. Leakers – depending on what you leak – you are heroes. Keep it up. We are fighting a determined enemy in the White House and the GOP – and now it seems they have aligned with our arch-enemy Vladimir Putin. And Dems – continue block as much as you can of the GOP agenda. 

But lay low on the impeachment talk. The last thing we need in a president Pence or Ryan to try and smooth this over. We need the public outrage against our elected representatives to be as high as possible in 2018. And it will be, as long as Trump is still in office.

Stay focused and vocal. There is a game clock in the sport we are playing here and it is set to run out on the second Tuesday in November 2018. About 500 days.

vote.them3x11

Does Your GOP Care?

ryan

The GOP, led by Paul Ryan and Donald Trump, have again taken a bold step to try and pass a health-care bill that allows the super wealthy to get the health care they need, but leaves upwards of 20 million not-so-wealthy Americans, bankrupt or dead. 

And I am forced to remind my followers that greed can kill. We see it in Nigeria, where thousands of children die ever week from hunger while the royal families bask in comfort. We see it in Syria, much in the same way. All the many struggles on this planet is one, the haves versus the have-nots. So, I think its fair to compare Paul Ryan and Donald Trump to Bashar Assad. 

Paul Ryan:

Paul grew up is a cushy lifestyle in Wisconsin. His great-grandfather, Patrick William Ryan founded an construction company in 1884, which later became P. W. Ryan and Sons, now known as Ryan Incorporated Central.  His father did pass away when he was 16, but Paul’s needs were always taken care of. Paul received Social Security benefits from his deceased father to pay for college. Yet he has been one to advance the abolition of social security. Unappreciative. Ungrateful. Insensitive to the needs of others.

Bassar al-Assad:

Born and raised in Damascus, Assad graduated from the medical school of Damascus University in 1988, and started to work as a doctor in the Syrian Army. Four years later, he attended postgraduate studies at the Western Eye Hospital in London, specializing in ophthalmology. In 1994, after his elder brother Bassel died in a car crash, Bashar was recalled to Syria to take over his role as heir apparent. He also inherited a cushy lifestyle that led him into politics. There is no doubt he is insensitive to the needs of others and is ungrateful for the benefits bestowed upon him by the accident of birth.

RYAN: If the ACA is repealed as Ryan wants, it is estimated that 36,000 people a year will die. Over 8 years 250,000 will die and countless more will suffer poverty.

ASSAD: As far as we know, al-Assad himself hasn’t killed anyone. However, his army has killed a lot of civilians at his direction. On 17 August 2015, the United Nations put out an estimate that 250,000 have died in his wars. It may be as high as 400,000 today.

So, what is the difference really between Paul Ryan and Bashar al-Assad?

Paul Ryan grew up in the wealthiest country on earth. – And still, a philosophy of self-centered greed for led him to discount human life so much – that he is OK with the death that will certainly occur if his health care ideas are put in place. Bassar al-Assad grew up in what is arguably the most stressful political environment on planet earth. And yes, he is clearly an insensitive killer. 

But owing to the big differences between the Syrian and American environments, I can actually understand Assad’s devolution to an unsympathetic killer easier than I can understand Ryan’s lack of sympathy for his fellow Americans, which is clearly demonstrated in his health care bill. 

Feel free to weigh directly to me on on this.

josepharonesty@gmail.com

Yes, watching children die in gas attacks is hard to stomach. But make no mistake – these turned Republicans are also killers. They kill in ways that are slow and unseen. But dead is dead. And suffering is suffering.

Let’s remember to VOTE THEM ALL OUT in 2018. 

This really means 90% of the GOP should be voted out in 2018. (There are a few decent GOP members. ) If we can do this, what we are witnessing today will be a short detour in the history of the USA. 

Email me and I will send you a bumper sticker. We need to start showing fellow Americans our stripes so everyone can see our numbers.

vote.them3x11

And remember, members of Congress received the same healthcare insurance benefits as all other federal employee through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, or FEHBP. They are not going to have to worry about their non-health care bill affecting them or their families. That too, clearly should be illegal. Vote them all out and it will be so.  2018 is closer than they think.