civics, current events, democracy, government, politics

My Periodic Perusal of the #MAGA Hashtag on Social Media

Now and again, in an attempt to both expose myself to opinions outside of my bubble while at the same time keeping tabs on the people who are the antithesis of democracy and American values, I periodically check in on social media by reading entries filed under #MAGA.

Today’s feast yielded an exuberant bounty of lies, disinformation, and prevarication. Here is a summary lifted from one #MAGA supporter’s meme, with my rebuttal. Note that some of the items listed are true, some are false, most are conditionally true, and nearly all of them are bad.

– Net Neutrality: Repealed – Although it is true that the FCC voted to repeal the regulations known as “Net Neutrality”, the legal and legislative fight for the final determination of this is far from over. Republican Marsha Blackburn has introduced a bill called the “Open Internet Preservation Act” that puts back two of the important rules that were revoked by the FCC (blocking websites and slowing websites), which has bipartisan support in the House. (1) Even if there were no challenges to this (and there are a lot), nothing will happen for months as this will still need to be approved by the Office of Management and Budget (2). Moreover, the reality is that multiple States Attorneys have threatened lawsuits and Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate has also voiced his support of legislation to fight this (3). Additionally, and this is a common and bizarre theme with the MAGA crowd, these types of de-regulation actions will hurt consumers. The National Small Business Association have come out against the FCC’s decision because they worry that it will negatively impact profits generated by small businesses (4). When one of your MAGA relative’s quips about how happy they are with Net Neutrality being gone, ask them to explain why. Then tell them that their access to porn could be seriously impacted.

– US-Recognized Capital of Israel: Jerusalem – This is true, in the sense that Trump declared this in December of 2017. But he was a little late. President Bush Sr. declared the same thing in the early 1990’s (5). In 1995, the US Congress declared “Jerusalem should be recognized as the Capital of the State of Israel.” (6) In 2008 Candidate Barack Obama said that Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel (7) although he quickly retracted it. Of even more interest is Rex Tillerson coming out immediately after Trump made this proclamation saying that the move won’t happen for three years and Trump’s words won’t change anything with how the US interacts with Israel (8). Tillerson – “we are not changing or taking a position on the boundaries of sovereignty in Jerusalem,” he said, “including geographic boundaries.” (9). As to the repercussions of this mostly hollow act – it immediately drew condemnation from US allies in Europe (10). Palestinian officials would “…bolster extremists’ calls for holy wars and delegitimize the United States as an arbiter in the peace process.” (11). The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas added “These procedures do also help in the extremist organizations to wage a religious war that would harm the entire region, which is going through critical moments and would lead us into wars that will never end, which we have warned about and always urged to fight against” (12). The Organization of Islamic Countries called the US decision “dangerous” (13). I grant you that Trump said things. In that sense this is true.

– Defense Spending: Increased – This is sort of true. Both the Senate and the House have passed budgets increasing Defense Spending, but the $700 billion plan exceeds the budget cap of $549 billion that was established by the Budget and Control Act of 2011. (14) Before the defense budget goes into effect Congress will need to pass an appropriations bill in 2018.

– Hillary Clinton: Still Not President Hillary Clinton is still not President. This is accurate. The obsession that Trump supporters have with Hillary Clinton is bizarre and concerning. The misogyny runs deep in these cretins.

– “Catch and Release” Policy: Gone – As with many of the entries on this list, this one is misleading. It is true that Trump signed an Executive Order rescinding the President Obama era policy called “Catch and Release” (15). This had a temporary effect of reducing illegal immigration in the early months of the trump regime as word of this policy spread across the border. However, as of last month, the Washington Times is reporting that a “de-facto catch-and-release policy for illegal immigrants” has been reinstated on account of the fact that illegal immigration has “surged one again” (16). In October during a Senate Judiciary hearing, Senator Ted Cruz asked Attorney General Sessions why the US is still operating under the Obama era “Catch and Release” policy. (17) Moreover, it seems that there were no actual changes to how the policy was enforced by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (18) So. It is true that the official policy is gone, it is also true that it continues to be implemented without change.

-Illegal Border Crossings: Down 50% – This is tricky. If you compare the single month rates of March 2016 and March 2017, there is indeed a 52% decrease in illegal immigration. (19). But of course a single month comparison neither explains the trend nor gives context. The fact is illegal immigration has been on the decline since 2000. (20). And although Trumps rhetoric appears to have had an impact on immigration in general, it’s not clear that any policy decisions have done much to effect it. Currently, illegal immigration is on the rise. This statement appears to be true only under a very limited interpretation.

– Neil Gorsuch: Confirmed to Supreme Court – This is true.

– Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (17 year low) – This is true.  But as with most things on this list this data point doesn’t tell the whole story. {This answer is reproduced from one of my previous articles – }   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 %.  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.”

– Paris Climate Accords: Withdrawn – This is also complicated. Technically, we were never “in” it which makes is hard to “withdraw” from it. Let’s put that aside though and address what I presume is the real point here, to wit, climate change is a hoax. Teaching Conservatives about science is beyond the scope of this particular essay, but suffice to say that climate change is real, and it is a very acute threat to humanity. I think right wing ignorance is well summed up by Trumps tweet from yesterday where he puts his stupid on for the world to see. In it he demonstrates that he doesn’t know the difference between “weather” and “climate” (21).

– US Relations with Israel: Revitalized – This is kind of a mixed bag. Although President Obama had a rocky tenure with Israel (in spite of a $38 Billion-dollar aid package given to them), Trump’s early pro-Israel rhetoric has yielded few tangible results. Much fanfare was given to his ill-advised proclamation to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, much like everything else Trump has bloviated about, nothing has actually happened with this. In fact, Tillerson says it will be years before such a move takes place. You might recall this past May that Trump gave classified information that was from Israel directly to Russia (22). Trump’s fascination with Russia has also brought both tactical and strategic problems to Israel with regards to Syria. (23) The talks the Trump administration is engaged in with Russia with regards to Syria overlooked Israeli concerns (24). We also can not overlook Trump’s famous proclamation “…looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like.” (25). Two last points 1. I’m not clear on the definition of “revitalized”, so make of that what you will; and 2. Regardless of the truth of this assertation, the Middle East is a volatile and complicated issue. Trump supporting Evangelicals view these “pro-Israel” statements as signed of the End of Times and the looming Rapture. They don’t give a shit about Israel or the death and violence these statements are causing. They simply rejoice that they are pushing them one step closer to the Apocalypse.

– TPP: Withdrawn – True. Trump pulled the US out of the TPP. Interestingly, during his Asia trip last month he was lobbying for “…lower trade barriers, better protections for intellectual property, and more banking transparency” (26). Or, precisely what the TPP stipulated. This administration has put out confused and conflicted policy regarding trade, and it has left the world confused. Maybe this is the plan, but the result of it is that other countries are stepping in to fill the vacuum left by the US’s withdrawal and bizarre messaging. The other counties involved in the TPP are negotiating right now and will soon have a trade deal that beings benefit and wealth to them, while we are out there flapping in the breeze.

– Tax Code: Rewritten (First Time Since 1986) – This is false. There have been many “rewrites” to the US tax code. But this person appears to be singling out the Reagan tax reform of 1986 (27). In truth, there are changes to the tax code regularly. In 1993 Clinton brought a moderate tax increase into code, in 1997 a negative income tax was added to the code (28). Bush introduced a tax cut in 2001. Also in recent years, the top tax rate was changed to 39.6%, the number of tax brackets had changed, a “cornucopia of new tax breaks and loopholes was added” (29). Here are some other facts for you to chew on. The 1986 tax bill was followed by a recession in 1990 (30). Clinton raised taxes and the economy grew even faster than with Reagan’s tax cut! (31). Here is one more tidbit – in 2012 the non-partisan Congressional Tax Report found that there is “… no correlation between the top tax rates and economic growth”. (32)

– Obamacare Individual Mandate: Repealed – This is true. Although this isn’t a repeal of Obamacare as 44% of Republicans erroneously believe. (33) Moreover, this speaks to a major problem I have with Conservatism. Conservative policies represent the worst vision of a Road Warrior-esque world where each citizen has a gun in one hand while the other hand waves away any compassion and sympathy for other people. They don’t want to pay taxes because they don’t want their money helping any other people. They believe that if you’re poor, you must be lazy. They believe that it’s not a coincidence that People of Color are over represented in prison and poverty.

– ISIS Caliphate: Collapsed – This is false. ISIS may have lost territory in 2017, but their influence and ideology still represent a significant threat to the US. Multiple counter-terrorism experts and think tanks are reporting that 2018 will see an increase in ISIS-inspired attacks (34). Their propaganda machine will continue unabated (35). Schizophrenic and ineffective policies from the US will continue to foster hatred and despair. 25,000 foreign fighters from 100 nations have entered into Syria to fight (36).  Mubaraz Ahmed, analyst at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change “The underlying ideology that drives the violence of groups like ISIS is not a physical entity that can be stopped by territorial borders” (37). Not only has ISIS not been stopped, Al-Qaida has been revitalized. Osama bin Laden’s son, Hamza, is calling for renewed attacks on the West. (38). ISIS has celebrated Trump – they claim that as a direct result of Trump’s election that fighters are flocking to their cause. (39). And although ISIS has lost most of their territory in Iraq, they are regrouping in the desert between Syria and Iraq, as well as in Libya, Egypt, and Afghanistan. (40). Moreover, this is a childish way to think about counter terrorism and counter insurgency war. Non-linear conflict doesn’t require the control of land to be effective. But thinking like this has led to US support of the Saudi led war in Yemen that has resulted in one of the worst calamities to affect the modern world – starvation, civil unrest, and cholera to name just a few of the atrocities happening in Yemen right now that the US is party to.

This concludes my periodic check in with MAGA. Please use any of this to refute the MAGA in your lives. I don’t have any in mine as I have cut all ties with them. (I will never forgive nor forget).

Daniel P. Cashman, EAMP, MS (AOM)



  3. Ibid
  6. Ibid
  7. Ibid
  9. Ibid
  12. Ibid
  20. Ibid
  24. Ibid
  30. Ibid
  31. Ibid
  35. Ibid
  36. Ibid

37 Ibid

  3. Ibid
civics, current events, democracy, government, politics

From Democracy to Dictatorship

“The probable outcome of too much freedom is only too much slavery in the individual and the state.  Probably, then, tyranny develops out of no other constitution than democracy–from the height of liberty, I take it, the fiercest extreme of servitude … Is it not always the way of the masses to put forward one man as its special champion and protector and cherish and magnify him? This, then, is plain, … when a tyrant arises he sprouts from a protectorate root and from nothing else.” (1)

With these words Plato warns us of the pitfalls of democracy. This is the basic formula –

  1. The citizens have so much freedom in the democracy that they won’t accept limits on what they can do – unlimited opportunities to buy and use at will.
  2. Eventually, they hit a wall, and are unable to continue to enjoy unlimited opportunity. They outgrow the system’s ability to accommodate their desires.
  3. This causes frustration and anger – why doesn’t money grow on trees?!??! A populist comes along offering to overcome the aforementioned limitations. This leads to a new form of government.
  4. This new government will remove the “perils and difficulties” of self-governance through the use of unfettered executive power. (2)

This warning is a general statement; but it speaks to the arc of American democracy as it has been playing out these last 200 years. A vague warning about an unhappy end, easily dismissed as alarmist given how good the last eight years have been for most Americans. (As an aside, I would argue that even the majority of those who felt they had It bad were lacking in awareness of what “bad” could actually have looked like.)

This past year has seen a sinister and troubling turn away from democratic norms by a wholly unqualified dictator wannabe. We have in Trump the fulfillment of Plato’s warning.  A populist who feeds upon racism, misogyny, and fear – both exaggerating the problems and promising that only he can save them.

Plato was not alone in describing the way democracy dies. Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety” (3)

Where Plato saw the root of authoritarianism coming out of economic angst, Franklin saw a threat coming from fear. The Washington Post’s new Trump-era slogan “Democracy dies in darkness” is a warning to how a demagogue can use ignorance to promote fear and angst.

Fear as a tool of control should not be ignored. Americans were quick to jump into line after the attacks of 9/11 – wordlessly acquiescing to restrictions on our freedoms as seen in the PATRIOT Act – a piece of legislation passed hastily by Congress 45 days after the attack. This bill was the first of many laws that made it easier for the government to spy on American citizens. It gave the government permission to monitor email and phone communications, collect bank and credit reporting records, and track the activity of innocent Americans on the internet. (4). And there’s more. Recent years have seen the executive branch move further and further away from both accountability and the rule of law. The law against torture has been suspended (5), the balance in power shared between the legislative and the executive branches has been eroded (in fact, it seems that currently Congress is completely powerless in the face of Trumps outlandish behaviors). We tide of totalitarianism is currently being held back only by the Judicial Branch. The executive has declared its right to suspend habeas corpus indefinitely, and detain and torture anyone is decides is an “enemy combatant”. (6).

Some people believe that this couldn’t possibly happen to us. That somehow, we are immune to the consequences of our actions. “It hasn’t affected me” is often seen on social media as the naysayers downplay the words of those who are watching the White House in earnest. Citizens with enough historical context to know about how minorities are always purged when authoritarians take over. Jews in Germany, peasant “enemies of the state” in Russia. Homosexuals in Chechnya and Egypt.

These same people are seemingly unaware of Hugo Chavez’s journey from democratically elected leader of Venezuela to dictator of Venezuela. In the course of just a few years he “won” approval of a constitutional reform that allowed him to seek reelection indefinitely (7). In echoes of Trump, Chavez forged an “intensely ideological, combative, and intolerant” regime, that used “polarizing rhetoric to incite class warfare and abusing the tools of the state to suppress and persecute his opponents. (8)

I have written about this previously (

Chavez’s work is being continued by Maduro – killing demonstrators, jailing political opponent’s, postponing elections, and creating a special body that he controls that supplanted the countries parliament. (9)

So, when Trump calls for the jailing of Hillary Clinton (10), and works to supplant the CIA with his own private intelligence agency (11) he is following in the long tradition of dictators throughout history.

Modern history is filled with democratic countries subverted and their governments taken over by dictators who were voted into office; Germany and France were stable democracies that became dictatorships in just this way. (You may even include countries like Egypt and Iran that weren’t exactly stable democracies but who nonetheless ended up with dictators).  You can watch what is going on in Honduras right now. Violent clashes around the election where at least 22 people have died (12). Democracy is being tested in real time – what will the results of this conflict be?

When experts who study authoritarian regimes – like Ruth Ben-Ghiat and Sheri Berman – draw parallels between Trump and the rise of other dictators, we should listen.  It can happen here.

Another route to dictatorship happens when demagogues find a way to make bad policies that incite either economic, military or political crisis. (13) Take for example the FCC’s decision to repeal the Obama era Net Neutrality rules. Ignore for a moment whether you think it’s a good or bad thing. The fact is 83% of Americans favor keeping them. (14). In a representative democracy our elected officials are supposed to be instituting policies that are aligned with the desires of their constituents.

Or take the Tax Bill that is being reconciled right now in Congress. The monstrosity that Congress has produced is the least popular tax bill in history with 61% of Americans against it. (15)

Or look at the Concealed Reciprocity Bill, although it has not been signed into law as of yet. This bill is unpopular with Americans across the board, to include the 44 % of Republicans who favor more strict gun laws! (16). Or the de facto repeal of the Affordable Care Act in the new tax bill – the ACA enjoys a 52% favorability rating (17). This list goes on and on – and these unpopular, reckless decisions are being made by a president who has a 32% approval rating himself.

Again – leaders who want to consolidate power create crisis through bad policy. The signs are there…if you aren’t afraid for our country you aren’t paying attention.

Moreover – what kind of politicians go out of their way to create laws that their constituents don’t agree with?

Maybe ones that don’t see the need for a vote in their future.


Daniel Cashman, EAMP



  6. Ibid
  8. Ibid
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)



  3. Ibid
  4. Ibid
  5. Ibid
  6. Ibid
  9. Ibid
  11. Ibid
  12. Ibid
  17. Ibid
  19. Ibid
  33. Ibid
civics, current events, democracy, government, politics

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)


  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)


  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)





  2. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Ibid.
  12. Ibid.
  13. Ibid.
  15. Ibid.
  16. Ibid.
  18. Ibid.
  19. Ibid.
  23. Ibid.
  24. Ibid.
  25. Ibid.
  28. Ibid.
  32. Ibid.
  33. Ibid.
  34. Ibid.
  35. Ibid.
  37. Ibid.
  38. Ibid.
  39. Ibid.
  40. Ibid.
civics, current events, democracy, government, politics

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.” –

  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.” –

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)

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

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

State Dept.’s Top Management Staff Calls It Quits



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civics, current events, democracy, government, politics

Trumps Economy Explained In One Graph

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)