civics, current events, democracy, government, politics

Trump’s Lies Resulted in Me Reading About the Economy

I don’t delve into economics when I write because to be honest I don’t know anything about it. In what will certainly become the worst thing that sexual predator has done to me, I’ve had to research economics and think about math.  With all of the talk of the Senate tax bill, I have been bombarded with an onslaught of lies from Trump and his apologists and now I am forced to write about it.

In 2016 Trump campaigned on a platform of bullshit and lies; his followers, bewilderingly as hostile and angry as they were before they “won”, now repeat these lies as gospel. So here is my rebuttal. My point here is less about predicting the effects of the yet-to-be-signed-into-legislation bill, and more to show that Trump is a liar.

As always, feel free to use any of this to humiliate your racist and ignorant Trump supporting family members.

  Trump promised the US would step away from NAFTA (1) – First of all, we haven’t stepped away from it and it has not be “re-negotiated”. In spite of him calling it a bad deal NAFTA has – increased trade and investment (2), American manufacturing, services, and agriculture have all become more competitive as markets have expanded and supply chains have integrated (3), more than two million manufacturing workers at more than 43,000 firms in the US depend on exports to Canada and Mexico (4), the combined platform of Mexico, Canada, and the USA are a vastly more competitive platform than the US alone in facing China (5).

NAFTA has also strengthened Democracy in Mexico and encouraged counter-drug and terrorism cooperation (6).

Trump has promised to get tough with countries that violate trade agreements (7) These accusations have been laid on China whom he accused of “raping the US economy” (8), and he had been expected to announce a “section 301 case” against China. This would have allowed the US to impose tariffs and other trade restrictions. But instead he commanded his trade representative Robert Lighthizer to “study the issue” (9).

He called for a 35% tariff on Mexican imports and a 45% tariff on Chinese imports. (10) I can’t find anything that says that there have been any changes to tariffs on Mexican or Chinese imports (to include looking at the International Trade Administration site).

Taxes! (11) Trump campaigned on cutting taxes for everyone, reducing the number of federal income tax brackets from seven to three, reducing the top rate of the tax from 39.6% to 33%, closing tax loopholes that typically favor the rich, and giving parents of young children a tax break on childcare. (12) I understand that no tax bill has been signed into law, in spite of Trump saying that it was a priority. (Of course, NO SIGNIFICANT LEGISLATION of any kind has been passed by these buffoons.)

Anyway. Let’s look at each point with the monstrosity that the Senate just copped together.

  • cutting taxes for everyone – True. But this bill heavily favors the wealthiest Americans. The Senate bill will indeed cut taxes for everyone, with the highest income earners getting the biggest cuts, with the top 1% of earners getting 20% of the total cut (13). The ultra-rich would also get to deduct up to $10,000 from their 529 plan when they send their kids to expensive private schools. You probably don’t have one of these. (2/3 of American’s said they don’t know what this is (14)). Big companies will also be getting a repatriation holiday that the Senate says companies will use to reinvest into core businesses (which might lead to economic growth). The last time the government issued a repatriation tax holiday, corporations primarily spent the money on stock buybacks. (15)
  • reducing the number of federal income tax brackets from seven to three – the Senate bill keeps seven brackets (16)
  • reducing the top rate of the tax from 39.6% to 33% – Big fail here for the Senate bill – 38.5 % (17)
  • closing tax loopholes that typically favor the rich – Senate bill keeps the “carried interest” loophole which allows hedge fund managers and real estate investors to pay the lowest capital gain tax rate (18). It also avoids hitting private equity and venture capital (19). It also repeals the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax (20)
  • giving parents of young children a tax break on childcare – this he made good on, doubling the deduction from $1000 to $2000, but it expires in 2025. (So have them kids now!) (21)

Reduce the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15% (22) – The Senate bill would bring it to 20%. So, not exactly a lie. But there are a number of other lies rolled into this. First, Trump has repeatedly said that the US has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. We don’t. (It’s fourth). (23) He said that lowering the tax rate would lead to more jobs. It won’t. That‘s a lie Republicans tell themselves. (24) The money for this tax break will be coming out of your healthcare (8 million from the ACA, and 5 million from Medicaid (25)). Paul Ryan also has indicated that the GOP will be attacking welfare, Medicare, and Social Security to pay for this (26)

Trump promised $1 Billion for infrastructure.   “We’re gonna rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we’re going to put millions of people to work as we rebuild it.” (27) As of December 2017, there is no infrastructure bill. There is a plan to have one in January 2018 (28).  He has promised jobs and economic growth as a result of his plan. Of course, all that they have done so far is to give vague plans and platitudes.

Trump promised millions of jobs. (29) The US economy added 228,000 jobs in November 2017! Yay! Unfortunately wage growth was only 2.5%. So there are some jobs but employees aren’t being paid in a way that matches up with the growth in jobs. Also, 228,000 jobs is fairly terrible when you compare the previous eight years of growth. Unemployment has been dropping steadily since 2009 when it was 9.3 % (30).  For comparison, “In 2009 when Obama took office, the U.S. labor market was facing record-high unemployment—the highest since the early 1980s recession—and job losses due to the financial crisis. In January of 2009—the month Obama was inaugurated—the American economy lost 791,000 jobs. Now—eight years later—the U.S. has experienced 75 consecutive months of job growth.” (31)

He promised a 4% economic growth rate (32). Fun Fact: America hasn’t seen a 4% economic growth rate since DEMOCRAT Bill Clinton was president in the 1990s. Economic predictions for 2017 have the growth rate pegged at 2.4% (33) (The EXACT same rate as when President Obama left office in 2016). So…no growth there. At all. Good job #MAGA!

The GOP is about to take us all to the cleaners. This tax bill that they have composed is the largest transfer of wealth to the upper class in history. My point, if I have one, is that Trump fed his supporters a bucket of shit and they appear to be happy to choke to death on it. Maybe this tax plan does something good – I’m surely not an economist. I did see that in 2019 the poorest 20% will save $40 on their taxes.

 

Daniel Cashman, EAMP, MS(AOM)

 

 

  1. http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37921635
  2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanielparishflannery/2017/08/28/is-donald-trump-right-about-nafta/#3e1b27c842e7
  3. Ibid
  4. Ibid
  5. Ibid
  6. Ibid
  7. http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37921635
  8. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/15/donald-trump-china-trade-war-investigation
  9. Ibid
  10. http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37921635
  11. Ibid
  12. Ibid
  13. http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-tax-plan-rich-people-benefits-2017-11
  14. https://www.cnbc.com/2015/09/15/529-savings-plan-assets-grow-but-many-still-dont-use-them.html
  15. http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-tax-plan-rich-people-benefits-2017-11
  16. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2017/12/03/from-tax-rates-to-deductions-comparing-the-house-senate-bills-to-current-law/#46d0c41b73b0
  17. Ibid
  18. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/09/business/carried-interest-tax-loophole.html
  19. Ibid
  20. http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-tax-plan-rich-people-benefits-2017-11
  21. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/winners-losers-senate-tax-bill-n827856
  22. http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37921635
  23. https://taxfoundation.org/corporate-income-tax-rates-around-the-world-2017/
  24. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/30/opinion/corporate-tax-cuts-jobs.html?mtrref=www.google.com&gwh=120CEBA6F2616E7781313373FE2D3219&gwt=pay&assetType=opinion
  25. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/11/29/16712430/senate-tax-bill-change-federal-health-care
  26. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/12/01/gop-eyes-post-tax-cut-changes-to-welfare-medicare-and-social-security/?utm_term=.c061099da89c
  27. http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37921635
  28. http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/363813-trump-to-release-infrastructure-plan-next-month-report
  29. http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37921635
  30. https://www.statista.com/statistics/193290/unemployment-rate-in-the-usa-since-1990/
  31. https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/01/december-jobs-report/512366/
  32. http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37921635
  33. Ibid
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The Road So Far – Trump and Russia

I have taken some time off from thinking and writing about politics – nothing drastic, mind you – but I needed a break and to reclaim some objectivity.

One of the insights that bubbled to the surface was the realization that although Trump and his cohorts are just as corrupt and evil as I’ve been warning of for a year, they are also unbelievably stupid and comically incompetent.

My initial writing on the subject were very alarmist, borderline paranoid. In my defense however, I would say that the full enormity of their incompetence wasn’t clear a year ago. Also, the country is very big and the bureaucracy ponderous. It’s telling that even with majorities in the House and Senate Republicans have accomplished precisely nothing.

As I have started to reintegrate into the news cycle one of the common themes I have noticed is the disbelief by the Right in any connections between Trump and Russia. There is another camp that, perplexingly given that Republicans have been the cheerleaders for pro-America foreign policy for my whole life, seems to think that working with the Russians is a good idea. Perhaps this is my own bias – I joined the Army in 1990 when the Russians were the actual enemy, so I don’t have any real hang ups in thinking they aren’t our friends. Nothing against the Russians of course, but glasnost seems to have been long forgotten.

Let’s take a look into the facts about Russia and their connections to the Trump administration. My intention is not to provide analysis, only to allow my readers a quick reference to shut down anyone who says that there is no “Russiagate”. (Note that the “Conjecture” points listed at the bottom are also pulled from the cited articles)

Fact:

  1. Michael Flynn pled guilty to “lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia” (1) with regard to meeting with Sergei Kislyak.
  2. Michael Flynn was fired (or forced to resign depending on which lie you believe) from the National Security Council for lying to Michael Pence (2) Also, don’t forget that Flynn was ALSO FIRED by President Obama.
  3. Court documents say multiple members of Trump’s team coordinated the specifics of Flynn’s outreach to Russia and knew that the conversations were about sanctions. (3)
  4. Former FBI Director Comey has said that Trump asked him to shut down the investigation into the Trump transition team members. (4)
  5. Trump fired Comey in May and said that the Russia investigation was on his mind at the time. (5)
  6. In addition to examing whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia during the election and whether or not anyone on the team attempted to cover it up, Special Counsel Mueller is investigating whether the firings of Flynn or Comey amount to obstruction of justice. (6)
  7. Flynn was interviewed by the FBI four days after Trump was sworn into office because American intelligence agencies had grown concerned about Flynn’s communications with (7)
  8. Acting Attorney General Sally Yates warned the White House that Flynn might be compromised by the Russians. (8)
  9. Flynn attended a dinner in Moscow in 2015 where he sat at the same table as Putin. (9)
  10. Flynn formed a consulting group after being fired by President Obama that let to inquiries into questionable lobbying for foreign governments to include Turkey. (10)
  11. Investigators working for Mueller have questioned witnesses about whether Flynn was secretly paid by Turkish officials during the campaign. Keep in mind that Flynn himself has disclosed that the Turkish government had paid him more than a half-million dollars to represent its interests in a dispute with the United States. (11)
  12. Flynn has made “materially false statements and omissions” in his federal filings about his lobbying work. (12)
  13. Prosecutors said they would delay Flynn’s sentencing – a sign that their investigation is not over. (13)
  14. Kushner failed to report contacts with Russian government representatives and agents on his SF-86 (the form that is used to get a security clearance with the US government) (14)
  15. Kushner tried to get a secret phone line set up in the Russian Embassy without informing the US government, that would allow him to make secure calls to members of the Russian government without being able to be listened to by US intelligence. (15)
  16. Kushner testified to Congress that he had no contacts with Wikileaks, and then was forced to retract that after emails surfaced showing that he did have contact. (16)
  17. The Senate Judiciary Committee has uncovered evidence that Kushner was forwarded a document about a “Russian backdoor overture” that Kushner failed to hand over to the panel’s investigators. He also failed to provide investigators with a September 2016 email he was sent about Wikileaks, nor did he hand over other communications with a Russian businessman that were forwarded to him. (17)
  18. Donald Trump Jr. had repeated communications with Wikileaks on Twitter. (18)
  19. Kushner has not produced phone records that Senate investigators believe exist. (19)
  20. George Papadopoulos pleads guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia. (20)
  21. Rick Gates arrested for defrauding the US government, laundering money, and hiding his work as a foreign agent. Gates has long standing ties with Russian oligarchs. (21)
  22. Paul Manafort indicted by a federal grand jury for 12 counts including conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false statements, and others. (22)
  23. Manafort has been the subject of a longstanding investigation due to his past dealings in the Ukraine – for which he did not file as a foreign agent until 2017. (23)
  24. Manafort was in $17 million in debt to “pro-Russian” interests. (24)
  25. Manafort took at least 18 trips to Moscow and frequently talked to Putin allies for 10 years. He also traveled to Kiev at least 19 times in 20 months starting in 2014. (25)
  26. Trump has not implemented sanctions against Russia as mandated by Congressional legislation. (26)
  27. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is looking into a data analytics company called Cambridge Analytica as part of its investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. (27)
  28. Congressional investigators believe that Russian hackers have received help in their efforts to distribute “fake news” and other forms of misinformation during the 2016 campaign. Trump hired Cambridge Analytica to take over its data operations – these operations were overseen by (28)
  29. The former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russians sought to influence the 2016 election “cast doubt on the legitimacy” of Trump’s (29)
  30. Department of Homeland Security informed 21 states that they were Russian hacking targets leading up to the 2016 election (30)
  31. The CIA has concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 election in order to help Trump win. (31)
  32. Trump Jr. confirmed he met with a Russian lawyer during the campaign after she promised to turn over damaging information about Clinton. (32)
  33. Trump shared classified information regarding ISIS threats with the Russian Foreign Minister – this information was given to the US by Israel and was not supposed to be shared. (33)
  34. The Department of Justice appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to oversee a federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. (34)
  35. White Trump was actively running for president his business attempted to secure a new real estate development in Moscow. (35)

Conjecture:

  1. Jared Kushner was involved in the contacts with Russia that Michael Flynn lied to the FBI about. (36)
  2. Flynn and Kislyak discussed removing US sanctions against Russia. (37)
  3. Flynn asked Kislyak to help delay a UN vote seen as damaging to Israel – in an apparent attempt to undermine the policies of President Obama. (38)
  4. A “very senior member” of Trump’s transition team told Flynn to contact Russia and other foreign governments to try and influence the UN vote referenced above. (39). This would seemingly implicate other members of Trump’s inner circle.
  5. Members of Trump’s campaign may have sought to ease sanctions on Russia in return for financial gain or because Russian officials held some leverage over them. (40)
  6. One motivation for Trump’s efforts to shut down the Flynn investigation is to “avoid revealing the deep involvement of his top transition officials in Flynn’s discussions with Kislayak.” (41)
  7. Trump met with Russian officials in June 2016 who said they had damaging information on Clinton and that they wanted to share it with him as part of their support for his campaign. (42)
  8. Jeff Sessions lied about the Trump campaigns meetings with Russia. (43)

 

This list is not comprehensive. There are a lot of other agencies and players involved. There are more apparent lies told by various campaign officials under oath. There are wire taps, and money laundering. There are so many people in Trump’s circle that have ties to Russia that it’s kind of hard to believe. But these are facts. Trump and the people around him are under investigation by numerous government bodies, to include both bodies of Congress and the Department of Justice for their ties to Russia. Four members of his team have been indicted and charged with crimes. Serious felonies that include money laundering and CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE UNITED STATES.

Daniel P. Cashman, EAMP, MS (AOM)

 

 

 

 

  1. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia/flynn-pleads-guilty-to-lying-on-russia-cooperates-with-u-s-probe-idUSKBN1DV50N
  2. Ibid.
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/01/us/politics/michael-flynn-guilty-russia-investigation.html
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Ibid.
  12. Ibid.
  13. Ibid.
  14. latimes.com/nation/la-na-pol-kushner-russia-20171203-story.html
  15. Ibid.
  16. Ibid.
  17. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/16/us/politics/senate-judiciary-kushner-russia.html
  18. Ibid.
  19. Ibid.
  20. http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/30/politics/george-papadopolous-trump-guilty/index.html
  21. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/rick-gates-once-the-man-in-the-corner-is-now-a-central-figure-in-mueller-investigation/2017/11/05/716708da-bfff-11e7-97d9-bdab5a0ab381_story.html?utm_term=.3c3187a88170
  22. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/11/24/how-paul-manafort-is-connected-to-trump-russia-investigation.html
  23. Ibid.
  24. Ibid.
  25. Ibid.
  26. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/28/us-sanctions-bill-timebomb-donald-trump-vladimir-putin
  27. https://www.vox.com/policy-and…/cambridge-analytica-trump-kushner-flynn-russia
  28. Ibid.
  29. http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/352039-clapper-intelligence-community-assessment-cast-doubt-on-the
  30. http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/351981-dhs-notifies-21-states-of-they-were-targets-russian-hacking
  31. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/01/trump-and-russia-investigation-what-to-know.html
  32. Ibid.
  33. Ibid.
  34. Ibid.
  35. Ibid.
  36. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia/flynn-pleads-guilty-to-lying-on-russia-cooperates-with-u-s-probe-idUSKBN1DV50N
  37. Ibid.
  38. Ibid.
  39. Ibid.
  40. Ibid.
  41. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/01/us/politics/michael-flynn-guilty-russia-investigation.html
  42. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/…/donald-trump-jr-wikileaks-emails-democrats.html
  43. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/11/3/16599426/jeff-sessions-russia-testimony
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Causalities of Corruption (updated 13 Sep 17)

Edit 2 Oct 2017:

6 Cabinet level nominees have withdrawn their own names (Daniel A. Craig withdrew his name for nomination because of questions about him falsifying records)

64 Executive Branch employees have resigned or quit

12 have been fired

Tom Price, Director of HHS, resigned.

Michael Short, White House Press Aid, resigned.

Derek Harvey, Middle East advisor to the NSC, fired.

George Sifakis, Director of the Office of Public Liaison. resigned.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

“Unplanned and frequent employee turnover is generally regarded as bad for business.” – Chron.com

  This Administration is a lurid mix of bold corruption, breathtaking incompetence, and, I don’t know, is there are word that combines ignorance, cruelty, and greed? As of the morning of September 7th, 2017, after a mere 8 months in office, the rotating door that is the Executive Branch has seen 78 major position changes. Cabinet level members, Department Heads, Assistant Deputies, and other major figures that have been hired and fired, sometimes with mere hours on the job.

“High employee turnover is usually an indication that there are problems with the management of the company, including incompetence.” – Careertrend.com

6 Cabinet level nominees have withdrawn their own names (Daniel A. Craig withdrew his name for nomination because of questions about him falsifying records)

61 Executive Branch employees have resigned or quit

11 have been fired

As has been stated before, the rate of change makes it nearly impossible to have an accurate count. These changes happen weekly, and to make matters worse, it is never clear if the person in question quit, resigned, or was fired. Reasons are seldom given. For a candidate whose business acumen was a central piece of the campaign Trump appears to be the absolute worst businessman; who for all of his “deal-making” hype seems unable to get any legislation signed, in spite of the fact that the Republicans control the entire government. I guess racism and bigotry don’t make a good platform for governance.

It is worth mentioning that as of May 2017, only 5% of Executive Branch positions have been filled. It is difficult to find more current data on this, apparently journalists have moved onto other stories.

Here is the current casualty list –

Stanley Fischer – Federal Reserve Vice Chairman submits resignation, Sep 2017.

Keith Schiller – Director of Oval Office operations resigns, Sep 2017.

Javier Palomarez – president and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, resigns from Trump’s WH National Diversity Council due to DACA decision Sep 2017.

William C. Bradford – Head of the Energy Department’s Office of Indian Energy, resigned after comments he made that “questioned Obama’s birth certificate and called the former president’s mother “a fourth-rate porn actress and whore.” Aug 2017.

Cristin Dorgelo – resigned from the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, Aug 2017.

Christy Goldfuss – vice president at the Center for American Progress, resigned from the National Infrastructure Advisory Council Aug 2017.

DJ Patil – a political independent who was formerly U.S. chief data scientist under Obama resigned from the National Infrastructure Advisory Council Aug 2017.

Daniel Tangherlini – former administrator of the General Services Administration. resigned from the National Infrastructure Advisory Council Aug 2017.

Daniel Kammen – Science Envoy for the Department of State, resigned Aug 17.

Andy Hemming – White House director of rapid response, resigned Aug 2017.

Rev. A.R. Bernard – resigned from the Presidents Evangelical Council Aug 2017.

Tracey Ann Jacobson – a career foreign service officer who served as acting director of the Bureau for International Organization Affairs, resigned from the State Department Aug 2017.

William Rivington Brownfield, who has been serving as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, resigned from the State Department, Aug 2017.

Kristie Kenney, one of the most senior foreign service officers in the State Department, resigned from the State Department, Aug 2017.

John Heffern State Department’s top official for European affairs, resigned Aug 2017

Kenneth Frazier – Merck CEO, resigns from American Manufacturing Council, Aug 2017.

Kevin Plank – Under Armour CEO, resigns from American Manufacturing Council, Aug 2017.

Brain Krzanich – Intel CEO, resigns from American Manufacturing Council Aug 2017

Scott Paul – President of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, resigned from the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative, Aug 2017.

Steve Bannon – Chief White House Strategist – fired (Who knows what actually happened here. The pundits have put out numerous different and conflicting stories – resigned, quit, fired. All part of the smokescreen of lies that are the daily chore of this administration), Aug 2017.

Richard L. Trumka AFL-CIO, resigns Representative to Presidential Counsel on Manufacturing, Aug 2017.

Thea Lee – Depucty Chief of Staff AFL-CIO, resigns as representative to Presidential Counsel on Manufacturing, Aug 2017.

Denise Morrison – Campbell Soup, resigns from the Presidential Counsel on Manufacturing, Aug 2017.

Inge Thulin – 3M , resigns from the Presidential Counsel on Manufacturing, Aug 2017.

Jeff Immelt – Chairman of GE, resigned from the American Manufacturing Council, Aug 2017.

Carl Icahn – special advisor to the president on regulation, resigned, Aug 2017.

Ezra Cohen-Watnick – National Security Council senior director for intelligence, fired Aug 2017.

James Comey – FBI Director, fired by Trump. Reasons not clear. May 2017.

Steven Groves – Chief of Staff to US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, quit Jul 2017.

Jonathan Wachtel – communications director to US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, quit Jul 2017.

Richard Staropoli – the chief information officer at the Department of Homeland Security has resigned from his position after only three months on the job. Aug 2017.

Anthony Scaramucci – White House Communications Director, fired. July 2017.

Angella Reid – White House Chief Usher, fired May 2017. reason unknown.

Charles Brotman – Inauguration Announcer, fired Jan 2017, no reason given.

John Thompson – U.S. Census Bureau Director, resigned May 2017, no official reason given.

K.T. McFarland – Deputy National Security Advisor, fired from the NSC, Apr 2017.

Michael Short – White House Aid, resigned Jul 2017, reason unknown.

Reince Preibus – White House Chief of Staff, fired Jul 2017  “…failed to impose order on a chaos-racked West Wing”.

Walter Shaub – Director of the Office of Government Ethics, quit Jul 2017 “…after condemning the president for using his hotels and other properties for government business in what is in effect a free advertising campaign”.

Andrew Puzder – Nominee for Labor Secretary, withdrew name 15 Feb 2017.

Bob Iger – Advisor to Trumps Strategic and Policy Forum, quit Jun 2017 – “because Trump pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Accord.”

David Rank – Acting US Ambassador to China, quit Jun 2017. “disagreed with Trumps climate change policies”.

Elon Musk – Advisor to Trumps Strategic and Policy Forum, quit Jun 2017. “because Trump pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Accord.”

Gentry O. Smith – Director of the Office of Foreign Missions, quit Jan 2017 “Signaling a lack of faith in the incoming administration and the new Commander in Chief”.

James Runcie – Head of the Dept. Education Student Financial Aid Office, resigned May 2017. “I cannot in good conscience continue to be accountable as Chief Operating Officer given the risk associated with the current environment at the Department”

Jason Miller – Trump campaign’s senior communications adviser, withdrew name from consideration for “family reasons”.

Joyce Anne Barr – Assistant Secretary of State for Administration, quit Jan 2017 “asked to leave by Trump administration”.

Katie Walsh – Deputy Chief of Staff, quit Mar 2017. “A former RNC staff member said of her – ‘she won’t be missed’”.

Marc Kasowitz – Trump’s personal lawyer, resigned Jul 2017 – “ProPublica published several profane emails he sent to an individual telling him to stop defending the president.”

Mark Corallo – Spokesman for the White House legal team, resigned Jul 2017 – “Tension between the White House and the Trump legal team”.

Mark Green – Nominee for Secretary of the Army, withdrew name May 2017 – “…amid a growing whirlwind of controversy surrounding comments he made in the past, especially about LGBT people”.

Michael Flynn – National Security Advisor, fired Feb 2017 by Trump for “lying to the Vice Presedeint.”

Michele Bond – Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, quit Jan 2017. “asked to leave by Trump administration”.

Mike Dubke – White House Communications Director, resigned May 2017 – “The communications operation — and Dubke and Spicer specifically — have come under sharp criticism from Trump and many senior officials in the West Wing, who believe the president has been poorly served by his staff”.

Patrick Kennedy – State Department’s Undersecretary for Management, quit Jan 2017

Phillip Bilden – Nominee for Secretary of the Navy, withdrew name Feb 2017 “over financial concerns”.

Preet Bharara – US Attorney, fired Mar 2017 by Trump for not resigning.

Rumana Ahmed – National Security Council, quit Jan 2017. “When Trump issued a ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries and all Syrian refugees, I knew I could no longer stay and work for an administration that saw me and people like me not as fellow citizens, but as a threat.”

Sally Yates – Acting Attorney General, fired Jan 2017 by Trump for “betraying the Department of Justice”.

Sean Spicer – White House Press Secretary, resigned Jul 2017 – “telling President Trump he vehemently disagreed with his appointment of Anthony Scaramucci”.

Vincent Viola – Nominee for Secretary of the Army, withdrew nomination Feb 2017 “over concerns about the complicated task of divesting from his many business interests”.

Daniel A. CraigFEMA Deputy Director Nominee, withdraws his name after NBC questions on falsified records. Sep 2017.

Daniel Cashman, EAMP, MS(AOM)

 

http://www.salon.com/2017/08/23/trumps-national-infrastructure-advisory-council-is-also-falling-apart/

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-dismisses-climate-policy-advisers-263b52ddeb5e/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/state-department-science-envoy-sends-not-so-secret-message-to-trump-impeach_us_599d9fcae4b0d97c4000a0d6

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/347749-white-house-rapid-response-director-leaves-job

https://news.vice.com/story/at-least-69-people-have-now-quit-trumps-white-house-advisory-groups

Top State Department Officials Step Down in “Black Friday” Exodus

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/nikki-haleys-chief-of-staff-and-communications-director-resign/article/2631136

http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/345578-dhs-chief-information-officer-resigns-after-three-months-on-job

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/05/05/white-house-fires-its-chief-usher-the-first-woman-in-that-job/?utm_term=.386a5e0907c9

http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/01/trump-inauguration-announcer

https://www.bustle.com/p/all-the-people-in-trumps-administration-who-left-quit-otherwise-are-gone-73387

https://www.bustle.com/p/all-the-people-in-trumps-administration-who-left-quit-otherwise-are-gone-73387

http://nypost.com/2017/07/25/white-house-aide-quits-before-scaramucci-can-fire-him/

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/31/trump-ethics-chief-walter-shaub-kleptocracy

https://www.voanews.com/a/trump-firing-cabinet-official-rare-not-unprecedented/3700697.html

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/takes-fired-obama-administration/story?id=20684401

Disney CEO Bob Iger Resigns From Trump’s Advisory Council Over Paris Accord Decision

http://www.businessinsider.com/david-rank-quits-after-trump-paris-accord-2017-6

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/06/trump-climate-change-elon-musk/528906/

State Dept.’s Top Management Staff Calls It Quits

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/05/25/529560167/why-did-the-top-student-aid-official-under-betsy-devos-resign

http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/24/politics/jason-miller-no-white-house-job/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/26/politics/top-state-department-officials-asked-to-leave-by-trump-administration/index.html

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trumps-deputy-chief-of-staff-katie-walsh-leaving-white-house/article/2618887

http://thehill.com/homenews/news/343069-trumps-personal-lawyer-resigns-from-top-post-amid-legal-team-shakeup

http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/20/politics/trump-corallo-resigns/index.html

http://www.newsweek.com/trumps-cabinet-nominees-keep-withdrawing-mark-green-turns-down-army-secretary-595779

http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/26/politics/top-state-department-officials-asked-to-leave-by-trump-administration/index.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/05/30/dubke-resigns-as-white-house-communications-director/?utm_term=.4bdf45b64103

http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/26/politics/top-state-department-officials-asked-to-leave-by-trump-administration/index.html

http://www.newsweek.com/trumps-cabinet-nominees-keep-withdrawing-mark-green-turns-down-army-secretary-595779

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/new-york-federal-prosecutor-preet-bharara-has-not-submitted-resignation/2017/03/11/39163292-067a-11e7-ad5b-d22680e18d10_story.html?utm_term=.7c5745425705

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/02/rumana-ahmed-trump/517521/

http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/30/politics/donald-trump-immigration-order-department-of-justice/index.html

http://time.com/4806749/sean-spicer-resigns-white-house-resignations/

http://www.newsweek.com/trumps-cabinet-nominees-keep-withdrawing-mark-green-turns-down-army-secretary-595779

http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/31/politics/kfile-bradford-resigns/index.html

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/trump-fema-nominee-withdraws-after-nbc-questions-falsified-records-n800856?cid=sm_npd_nn_tw_ma

 

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Trumps Economy Explained In One Graph

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civics, current events, democracy, government, politics

Casualties – Addendum 6

“I’ll choose the best people for my administration” Trump 15 Sep 2016

“I am self funding and will hire the best people, not the biggest donors!” Trump 3 Apr 2016

“We have great people. We have the most loyal people. We have the smartest people.” Trump 9 Aug 2016

  I know, right? Number 6. I’m scared to write these now. The “finely tuned machine” that is the White House is hemorrhaging staff faster than anyone can track. By my reckoning the current casualty numbers are-

5 Cabinet level nominees have withdrawn their own names

34 have resigned

12 have quit

11 have been fired

This latest tally includes:

14 Aug 17 Kenneth Frazier Merck CEO resigns from trump American manufacturing council quoting the administrations lack of taking a stand against racism and intolerance as the reason

14 Aug 17 Under Armour CEO Kevin resigns from American manufacturing council

14 Aug 17 Intel CEO Brain Krzanich resigns American manufacturing council

15 Aug 17 Scott Paul President of the Alliance for American Manufacturing resigned from the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative

15 Aug 17 Richard L. Trumka AFL-CIO resigns Representative to Presidential Counsel on Manufacturing

15 Aug 17 Thea Lee Depucty Chief of Staff AFL-CIO resigns Representative to Presidential Counsel on Manufacturing

16 Aug 17 Denise Morrison of Campbell Soup and Inge Thulin of 3M — had announced Wednesday morning they would resign from the manufacturing council.

16 Aug 17 Jeff Immelt Chairman of GE resigned from the American Manufacturing Council

18 Aug 16 Steve Bannon Chief White House Strategist – fired (Who knows what actually happened here. The pundits have put out numerous different and conflicting stories – resigned, quit, fired. All part of the smokescreen of lies that are the daily chore of this administration).

18 Aug 17 Carl Icahn special advisor to the president on regulation – resigned

18 Aug 17   17 members of the President’s Art Council resigned. Their statement:

“Reproach and censure in the strongest possible terms are necessary following your support of the hate groups and terrorists who killed and injured fellow Americans in Charlottesville,” the 16 wrote in a letter to Trump. “The false equivalencies you push cannot stand.”

“Supremacy, discrimination, and vitriol are not American values,” the letter said. “Your values are not American values.”

The councils that were put together to promote and enhance American jobs have been disbanded, the CEOs have resigned in disgust as a direct consequence to Trumps white nationalist agenda. For a President who ran, in large part, on bringing jobs to American workers it seems like he is going out of his way to alienate the CEO’s of the largest employers in the country. These councils existed to guide economic policy in such a way as to maximize benefit to the American people. Now they are gone and with them any hope of this administration accomplishing much by way of job creation.

I suppose it goes without saying, if you hired “the best” people, you wouldn’t have had to fire them and put up with them resigning.

Daniel Cashman EAMP, MS (AOM)

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History Repeating Itself – Are We in Danger of Legally Installing a Dictator?

Nothing exists in a vacuum. The strife that the Trump administration is causing the United States today has parallels with other tyrants and nation-states throughout history. Although Oscar Wilde taught us that “history doesn’t repeat itself, historians repeat each other”, I think its worth a look into the historical development of autocracy in recent modern history to develop a sense as to what is happening right now in America.

The environment that Trump is engendering closely parallels the situations that other dictators fostered on their way to seizing power. For example, there has been a nationwide increase in hate crimes this year. Within 10 days of Donald Trump’s election, the Southern Poverty Law Center tracked 900 bias-related incidents against minorities. (1). Why is this important?

As Hitler was consolidating power, he denounced Jews, capitalists and other alleged villains and vowed to rebuild German greatness. (2) In the same way, Trump has been railing against Muslims and immigrants for the last year, and has even paraphrased the Nazi slogan “Make Germany Great Again” (3). These deliberate efforts galvanize a disgruntled base by channeling their energies into a common enemy. Just as 1938 saw an increase in persecution of Jews, socialists, trade union leaders. homosexuals, and communists (4); so too did 2017 see an increase in persecution of Muslims (5), homosexuals (6), immigrants (7), Jews (8), and unions (9). Constant saber rattling and the pernicious fear being fostered at every turn by the Trump administration feeds into this.

Stalin consolidated power in the 1930’s and eliminated all opposition in his rule of the Politburo by 1934 (10). In the same way, Trump has consolidated his power over the GOP (11), where even when presented with the most obscene behavior Republicans won’t comment. Even with the murder of Heather Heyer yesterday in VA by Trump supporter James Alex Fields, the Republicans are loathe to say much. Vague platitudes about how murder is bad and that we should come together as a country. When Kenneth Frazier, the CEO of Merck resigned today from Trump’s American Manufacturing Council citing the administrations not taking a stand against racism (12), he was immediately blasted on Twitter. Taking a stand against Trump results in immediate consequences – ask any of the people he’s fired lately.

Distrustful of the Soviet Secret Police (NKVD), in 1936 Stalin fired the head and installed his own guy Nikolai Yezhov (13). And just like Stalin firing the head of the NKVD for his questionable loyalty, Trump fired the director of the FBI James Comey. In 1937 there was a massive purge of the Red Army of anyone not considered loyal (14).  And although I grant you that forbidding transsexuals from serving in the military is not the same as purging the Red Army, it does have an eerie “purge” like quality to it that should give us pause to reflect. Look at what Trump has done in just seven months, almost unopposed.

I think that there have been many articles comparing the rise of Trump to Hitler and Stalin and to autocracies in general. Seriously, there have been enough things written about this that it should really worry you.

I want to look into the future a little bit. Of course, I don’t have a crystal ball, so it is speculation only.

A commonality that dictators have on their rise to power is the consolidation of authority on “legal” grounds. The process has a pretty consistent theme – gather the congress or parliament together, accuse a bunch of them of being traitors then have them arrested and killed.

On July 22nd, 1979 Saddam Hussein assembled a meeting of the Ba’ath Party and accused hundreds of members of being a fifth column and trying to overthrow the Iraqi government. He has them all executed, effectively consolidating his power and quelling any insurrection.

The Burning of the Reichstag (15) on 27 Feb 1933 (portrayed by the Nazi’s as a Communist takeover) gave Hitler the excuse to pass the Reichstag Fire Decree on 28 Feb 1933 (suspended freedom of press and habeas corpus rights) and led directly to the signing of the Enabling Act of 1933 which essentially gave Hitler absolute control over Germany. To ensure that this was enacted without any problems members of the SA and SS surrounded Reichstag members during the signing.

In March 2017 the Venezuelan Supreme Court decided it would take over the National Assembly (controlled by the opposition) leading to violent protests in the streets. (16) One of Maduro’s responses was to create a Constituent Assembly effectively giving him absolute control of the government (17)

What these all have in common is a subversion of the democratic institutions, through the use of law, to create a dictatorship.

And his supporters want that.

In June, radio host Michael Savage called for the government to take over the media screaming “Is it time for the government to take control of the out-of-control pirates on social media?” (18). Politico reports “Trump’s electoral strength—and his staying power—have been buoyed, above all, by Americans with authoritarian inclinations.” (19) Trump was the only candidate supported by voters who are inclined to want authoritarianism. (20)

It would be naïve to think that somehow the U.S. is immune to this. Granted, these bumbling idiots haven’t been able to get their shit together enough to institute whatever their plan is, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t figuring it out. Remember that it was just six days ago that we thought we were on the brink of nuclear war with North Korea. They really are pulling the strings, and we have no choice but to dance when they do. My feeling is that we are all in grave danger. Will this administration so upset the balance of the world that we beg them to take  over? Will they be able to generate so much uncertainty and fear that average citizens ask Trump to save us? Will they simply wear us out and assume the mantle of god-king? Millions of his supports want that right now.

Now is not the time to be exhausted, although I totally get it if you are.

#resist

Daniel Cashman, EAMP, MS (AOM)

 

  1. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/post-election-spike-hate-crimes-persists-2017/
  2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimpowell/2013/02/05/how-dictators-come-to-power-in-a-democracy/
  3. https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/11/23/1603405/-Here-s-Adolph-Hitler-saying-he-ll-make-Germany-great-again-in-1934
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_resistance_to_Nazism

5.http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2017/01/trump_s_executive_order_is_an_unconstitutional_attack_on_muslims.html

  1. http://www.hrc.org/blog/Possible-Trump-Action-Specifically-Targeting-LGBTQ-People
  2. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/immigration/deportation-orders-up-under-trump-fewer-prevail-in-immigration-court/2017/08/08/d3f0a6a6-7c74-11e7-9d08-b79f191668ed_story.html?utm_term=.52de03ba1f49
  3. http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/23/opinions/trumps-problem-with-jews-levy/index.html
  4. https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/02/donald-trumps-loud-silence-on-unions/517179/
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rise_of_Joseph_Stalin
  6. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/05/comey_s_gone_and_the_gop_doesn_t_care_is_there_anything_trump_could_do_to.html
  7. https://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2017/08/14/what-you-should-know-about-ken-frazier-the-ceo-who-just-resigned-from-trumps-council/#1a6a2dca7e01
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rise_of_Joseph_Stalin
  9. Ibid.
  10. http://time.com/3717003/reichstag-fire-1933/
  11. http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-latin-america-40438022/venezuela-crisis-what-s-going-on
  12. Ibid.
  13. https://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2017/06/14/trump-ally-michael-savage-calls-government-takeover-media-following-shooting-gop-baseball-practice/216916
  14. http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/01/donald-trump-2016-authoritarian-213533
  15. http://affinitymagazine.us/2016/12/03/authoritarianism-the-ideology-behind-a-trump-supporter/
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Casualties – Addendum 5

I have been writing these as I notice a headline popping up with the info.  I am taken aback by the frequency that it happens. I really want this blog to focus on issues that are relevant, and in isolation, these personnel changes would not be particularly meaningful. However, the fact that the administration continues to congratulate themselves on how smooth everything is running, it would seem to be germane to the conversation. It puts faces on their lies.

Hand to God, I didn’t expect this to morph into a never-ending rabbit hole. But here we are – two more casualties in the war on America –

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley’s Chief of Staff Steven Groves and communications director Jonathan Wachtel have both quit their jobs. (1)

This brings today’s totals to:

5 Cabinet level nominees have withdrawn their own names

8 have resigned

12 have quit

10 have been fired

I try to keep the list only to significant positions, and honestly, my decision is not really based on any kind of science.  I assume that many other low-level employees have quit, resigned, or been fired based on the large number of them that make the front page of the news.

 

Daniel Cashman, EAMP, MS (AOM)

 

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/nikki-haleys-chief-of-staff-and-communications-director-resign/article/2631136

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