Politics

What Does The First 100 Days Really Mean?

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Yeah, OK. Then there's this.

You know those times when someone does or says something and that little voice in your brain tells you, "This is going to take up a lot of your time!" Well, that happened to me November 8th, 2016 and I've been trying to deal with it ever since. I'm not the only one, but I am the guy trying to claim he's still non-partisan.

I have been intentionally quiet about our new president since the election. Sure, I've posted a few jokes and things, but for the most part, I've done my best to reserve judgement until now and here is why: I was shocked by the election results and I kinda freaked out. I consider myself to be politically savvy - I check out multiple polls and get my news and info from various sources including places that I think of as the opposition. I try to read the opinions of experts across the spectrum and then I talk to regular people to see how the two "jive" with each other. I do all this and more. And, yet, I did not believe for a second that Trump would win. It was simply impossible.

Why? Because it seems obvious to me that he lacks the moral compass, inter-personal skills, baseline honesty, judgement or comprehensive understanding of the job to be president. I also mistakenly gave the American people credit for being intelligent enough not to vote him into office. Well, I've been wrong before and I'll be wrong again. I just wish I hadn't been wrong about this.

Anyway, I felt the only way I could possibly retain any sense of non-partisanship was to give the man a chance. I promised myself to wait until his first 100 days were complete before making any kind of decision on Trumps abilities. I honestly hoped that he would surprise me. I wanted nothing more than to see him step into the role and be elevated to the level of the office he now holds. I was curious who he would chose to advise him, who he would pick to fill his cabinet and what his priorities would be.

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Well, as we pass the 100 day milestone, I think I've got a feel for how things are going. So, let's start by taking a look at his advisors.

If I was given only one word to describe this group it would be "extremists". His choice of Chief of Staff and Sr. Advisor are telling - Preibus and Bannon are some of the hardest of the hardline folks on Earth. I'm sure they gave good advice during the campaign, but, these types are not who we need whispering into the presidents ear. I do not believe that a majority of people who voted for Trump are overt racists. I believe that a lot of them are good people. But these two guys have been using 'dog whistle' terms and phrasing that brings out the worst in good people. Scare tactics and wedge issues can activate those inner most fears people have deep down inside and cause them to act in crazy ways like we see happening. Well, you have to acknowledge talent when you see it and these two are some of the best at doing the worst.

Trump has surrounded himself with family as his primary advisors - and this is a very bad thing. Do you really think his kids can set him straight when he goes off on tangents? What evidence have you seen to prove this? None. He put his sons in charge of running his companies, but seriously, who honestly believes he is not still deeply involved in the day-to-day operations? He obviously is. He's not the type of person to give up control. Especially now that he is in a position to channel more money than ever into his family pockets. So, who can we turn too when we need someone to speak truth to crazy?

Not his cabinet. These folks are just another example of bad government. It's the Anti-Cabinet. It seems like the criteria he used to choose these folks went like this - 'If you are diametrically opposed to everything a cabinet position or agency of government stands for, if you are tragically unqualified to hold this level position, if you have links to industry or Wall St. and are an uber-wealthy white male, than you qualify for his cabinet'. Tillerson at State. Price at HHS. Pruitt at EPA. Sessions as Attorney General, Mnuchin at Treasury. Ross at Commerce. Perry at Energy. Carson at HUD. DeVos at Education. McMahon at SBA. These are all Anti-Matter to the departments they now head. This group of people represent corporations and the super-rich agenda of dismantling the basic functions of government. This cabinet does not represent the interests of the American people. Hell, they are nothing like regular hard working folks who are struggling to feed their kids and keep gas in the tank. Watch what they do with this power. It will not benefit the majority of Americans.

Now, let's take a look at the promises he made on the campaign. He promised repeatedly to 'repeal and replace' Obama-care. He stated categorically that he would build a border wall and have Mexico pay for it. He would reform taxes. He swore he would bring back solid, full time, high wage middle class jobs. He would revive the coal industry. That he would investigate HRC and, if crimes were found, "lock her up". There were some other promises, but these are the big ones he said over and over at his rally's. One's that actually show the most about this administration and the man himself.

1. Healthcare is an incredibly important thing to millions of people in his country and around the world. Everyone worries about their personal health and that of their loved ones. The democrats fought a hard battle 7 years ago against some very powerful opposition and succeeded in passing legislation that, while not perfect, was a good start at providing this basic piece of human dignity to the American public. For the last 7 years the republicans have done nothing but attempt to sabotage this program so they could call it a failure. They voted 60+ TIMES to repeal it and lost every time. Yet, when they finally achieve the presidency, and hold majorities in both the house and senate, they have no alternative plan to put in place. Why? Because they do not believe that people are entitled to good health unless they can pay for it themselves. The Trump/Ryan plan is a bad joke that raises rates on those who are least able to pay, reduces coverage for the elderly, kicks an additional 24 million people to the curb and incorporates tax cuts for the super-rich. Question - How are tax cuts for the wealthy a part of any health plan? Because that is how these people think.

For the record, the following countries get "it"; Canada, Spain, France, Australia, United Kingdom, Israel, Finland, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Mexico and many others decided some time ago that the citizens of their countries, and all humans for that matter, deserve the care and services necessary to live long and productive lives. When are we going to figure it out? Yes. America needs to do something about its current Health Care System, just not the republican plan. Because, no matter how hard you look at it, in no way can it be described as healthy, caring, or a workable system of any kind.

2. A border wall would do virtually nothing to stop ANYTHING from coming across our southern border. Not people. Not drugs. Not terrorists. Nothing. With the economy the way it is, more folks are heading into Mexico than coming north. Most drugs and other contraband come across at border checkpoints in the back of trucks or via tunnels - some of which are as deep as ninety feet below ground level. And there has not been a single terrorist attack in this country by someone who came across the border on foot, tunnel or by car. Every terrorist who has attacked this country, or even attempted to attack this country, came here LEGALLY. Sure, some ended up staying longer than they were supposed too. But the point is they flew here on planes which landed at airports where they cleared customs like every body else before they did what they did. So how is a wall going to make us any safer? Safer from what, exactly... People who don't look like us, I guess.

Mexico has been very direct with us when they say they have no intention of paying for the wall either. Which means that we are going to use taxpayer money to cover the cost - adding to the deficit. Trump claims he has a plan to recover the cost but that is nothing more than a VAT tax. He doesn't seem to understand that if he raises taxes on goods imported from Mexico, that increase will be passed along as an increase in the retail price we pay as consumers. Either way, we end up paying for a wall that does nothing to make this country safe.

The only thing Trump has done to try and bring back jobs is to repeal regulations that were put in place to protect employees or the environment. Repealing regulations does not bring back jobs - it simply increases profits at our expense. There is NO guarantee that those profits will be allocated to job creation. I do not know of any way to convince these corporations to bring jobs back to the U.S.. Even if we repeal the strongest regulations and drastically cut corporate tax rates, these corporations have made major investments by relocating offshore and are benefiting from a lack of environmental protections and reduced wages in the places they have gone. We have allowed some of the most profitable corporations on the planet to get waivers which lets them get away with paying NO TAX AT ALL and they STILL eliminate jobs here. We cannot compete with this.

Nor should we. The down sizing and off-shoring of American jobs has all but killed the middle class in this country. If we were to try and compete, we would be signing the death certificate of that middle class. This is exactly what Trump and his pal's want to happen. By getting rid of these jobs, and dismantling our public education system, we will be left with a country of only three classes - the working poor, the rich and the super-rich. This is not the America I grew up in. But it is probably pretty close to the one Trump and his cabinet did.

If you think about it like Trump and his cronies do, then it begins to make sense: To live a pro-actively healthy life most people agree that we require health insurance - and by rolling back all those work place and environmental regulations, we are going to need insurance more and more as time goes by. A large majority of Americans get health insurance through their employer. By getting rid of Obama-care, the system in effect forces people to work in jobs they do not like to keep whatever plan is offered to them. They might not be able to look for another job because of a pre-existing condition, or some other restriction, in effect making them slaves to their healthcare.

Take a look at the other regulations he has rolled back. The one that took me most by surprise was when he made it legal for people who suffer from some of the worst mental problems imaginable able to walk into a store and purchase a gun. WTF! Really? Like we don't have enough of a problem with guns in this country already? Why is Trump worried about letting seriously disturbed people exercise their second amendment right? Maybe because the seriously mentally disturbed appear to make up a big portion of his base.

He has rolled back regulations that forced transparency rules on Oil companies, protected streams and waterways from coal waste, from wage theft by employers, eliminating climate change regulations, he has begun to roll back the Dodd-Frank banking rules, fair pay/safe work place rules, automotive emission standards and has put in place a policy that to pass any new regulation you must first identify two existing ones to repeal. Which is insane. I call him the "Repealer in Chief"

The only thing worse is the fact he did all these things utilizing a little known section of the 'Congressional Review Act', which means that once repealed, they cannot be replaced later by any "substantially similar legislation". Wow! Translated into English - we are fucked. The man is a hypocrite. How many Tweets did he send out about the former presidents golf outings? How many about vacation time? How often did he complain about the amount of executive orders Obama signed? I'm sure I'm missing a few things, but this guy is set to blow past Obama's numbers from 8 years in just his first 12 months. I really can't stand hypocrites.

Nothing this president, his administration or congress has attempted since Jan. 20th has been to benefit the common citizen in this country. Every single thing, every single piece of legislation, every single executive order has been to benefit big corporations or his wealthy donors. C'mon, he’s trying to take away your healthcare to fund a tax break for his rich friends, for Christ's sake! That's why they wanted to push healthcare first - before tax reform - so they could fund the cut's.

Whenever you hear people talk about how he has accomplished nothing in his first 100 days, don't believe it. For starters, he put Gorsuch on the Supreme Court (another example of bad advisors). Gorsuch gets to do damage for decades to come. Then consider how much damage, by executive order, he has done. More than any other president I can think of. And, Saturday was only his first 100 days!

Friends, thanks to my health, this is probably the last presidential election cycle I will get to participate in, so I'm going to speak my mind. You people, the American public, need to get your shit together. Get over the labels we have placed on each other. Reject this partisan divide that is killing our ability to have a functioning government. Embrace each other as valuable members of society who, even if we disagree, brings something with them to the table. Understand that this country is too important to 'experiment' with by voting for someone as horrible as Trump. Think about it. In this ridiculously long post, I have not even addressed his habits of telling lies, making false accusations and other possible acts of Treason (I'm saving that for a later rant!). This one justs deals with how he has screwed up the normal stuff. This man is going to bring us all down. Don't believe me? Think he's great? Then you have to ask yourself exactly why he is working out for you?

Personally, I think the man is doing a shit job. Close to criminal. Either way, Donald J. Trump is on course to achieve what I believe is his main goal: To be the last President of the United States of America.

EJK

Eric J. Kiser

Eric J. Kiser

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