Nel's New Day

May 25, 2017

DDT Doesn’t Complete Embarrass U.S.

Filed under: Donald Trump — trp2011 @ 9:10 PM
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At the half-way mark of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT’s) whirlwind trip to the Middle East, NATO in Brussels, the Vatican, and G-7 in Sicily, he got back to Europe but marked the trip with hypocrisy, rejection of human rights, gaffes, and lots of meetings that have left DDT exhausted.

The people who voted for anti-Muslim, anti-global DDT were unhappy to see him with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi holding a creepy glowing orb in a darkened room for a ceremony opening a global organization. At the same event, he touted the similarities between the United States and the Muslim countries represented by 50 leaders in his audience and reversed all his former positions. No mention of “America First.”

President Donald Trump’s one time campaign adviser and longtime confidante Roger Stone said the royal reception Trump received in Riyadh, including the country’s highest civilian honor, made him want to puke. Both George W. Bush and President Obama received the same award, and both bowed. DDT criticized President Obama for this. Stone said that DDT should insist that Saudi Arabia pay for the 9/11 attacks which they financed. Instead DDT lavished praise on the Saudis. The opulence in Saudi Arabia made DDT comfortable, so comfortable that he made this comment when he was talking to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi: “Love your shoes. Boy, those shoes. Man!” (Note that the speaker is the president of the United States.) He gave a speech reversing all his former positions, but he made a lot of money for his friends with their multi-billion-dollar deals in the Middle East plus $360 billion in arms deals. In return, Saudi Arabia wants the repeal of a 2016 law permitting relatives of 9/11 victims to sue the kingdom for their deaths. After George W. Bush declared war on Afghanistan and Iraq, many people forgot that 15 of the 19 attackers came from Saudi Arabia.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also gave a news conference with Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, to which only foreign media were invited—not any U.S. media. The UK Daily Mail provided a transcript to U.S. media.

DDT’s hosts were a bit concerned about his visit too. Speeches had to be cut down to a couple of minutes for the man who has a shorter attention span than a five-year-old, and everyone needs to be careful about what they tell him as he’ll tell anybody anything. DDT needs to be complimented and feel that he’s winning.

When DDT landed in Israel, his next stop after Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had ordered his cabinet members to be present. Some of them had planned to skip the event. DDT said to a group of Israeli officials, “We just got back from the Middle East.” The men tried to control their laughs at the man who failed to realize that Israel is also in the Middle East.

Gaffes before the trip to Israel also riled his host there. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hoped that the U.S. embassy would be moved to Jerusalem, giving Israel ownership over the city occupied by four distinctly separate groups. DDT decided against the move, however, because Jordan’s King Abdullah told him not to do it. DDT refused to go to the ancient mountain fortress of Masada because he would have to take a cable car instead a helicopter. The White House had told Netanyahu that he couldn’t go to the holy Western wall because it was in the West Bank although part of it is in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem. The map used for the trip showed Israel’s pre-1967 borders, excluding East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Golan Heights, and the Gaza strip. In his appearance at the Jewish Western Wall where he seemed to be either doing exercises or maintaining his balance. DDT was afraid to speak to Israel’s Parliament because he might be interrupted. He limited his visit to the famous Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem, to 30 minutes, and much has been made of the difference between his statement at the site compared to the one that President Obama wrote.

Truly embarrassing was DDT’s giving highly classified Israeli intelligence to the Russians while DDT chatted with two high officials in the White House Oval Office. Israel’s bitter enemy Iran is one of Russia’s closest allies. In child-like manner, DDT blurted out at a press conference that he never told the Russians that the information had come from Israel—something no one had been accused of doing. “Never mentioned the word Israel.” This response was to a question directed toward Netanyahu about any concerns regarding intelligence cooperation with the United States.

As for the Palestine visit, DDT had reported that his meetings with leaders in their territory were in Israel— another map issue. He skipped Islam’s Holy Sanctuary, where the prophet Mohammed is said to have ascended to the heavens, and his brief remarks to the Palestinians during his one-hour visit made no reference to a “two-state solution” between the two rival countries. As Hanan Ashrawi, senior official of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said, “He’s still on a learning curve, and peacemaking is not a business deal.” Palestinians in Bethlehem joked that the greatest achievement was that the streets had been cleaned for the visit.

Iran commented on DDT’s constant criticism of the country. PressTV in Iran quoted Americans who wonder, “Why is the Saudi monarchy our friend but not democratic Iran?” Mehdi Hassan, based in the U.S., criticized Trump for speaking to a room full of “autocrats, dictators and despots.”

From Israel and the Middle East, DDT moved on to the Vatican; this photo shows the beginning of the meeting although Pope Francis did relax a bit by the end of the hour. DDT left the 30-minute private meeting, saying that he’ll remember what the Pope had said.

DDT took an extensive entourage with him although Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon were returned to the U.S. after just two days. DDT claimed that this was planned, but rumors included that they’re out of favor, anti-Semitic Bannon was dropped off the tour before Israel, they need to work with the budget, and—my favorite—they need to do something about the steady drip of Russia involvement with DDT.

Wilbur Ross returned with Priebus and Bannon, glowing about the lack of protests in Saudi Arabia. The Commerce Secretary raved, “There was not a single hint of a protester anywhere there during the whole time we were there.” Becky Quick, the CNBC anchor interviewing him, pointed out that the country is a police state and bans protesting. But he  knew better: “The mood was a genuinely good mood.” Saudi state security personnel had given him “two gigantic bushels of dates” which was “a from-the-heart, genuine gesture,” Ross said.

In 2015, more than a dozen activists, members of the Shia minority, were in prison, convicted for peaceful activities. Waleed Abu al-Khair has a 15-year sentence from his peaceful criticism in media interviews and on social media. The writer Zuhair Kutbi was jailed for discussing peaceful reform on television. Others are sentenced to death. In November 2016, the Saudis executed a partially blind and deaf man for protesting. His family said he was tortured into confessing. He was accused of “sending texts,” but he was too poor to own a cell phone. Earlier in January, 47 protesters were executed in one day, and the total number of beheadings by July was 108. In addition, people break the law if they “distort the reputation of the kingdom” or “break allegiance with the ruler.”  A 2014 anti-terrorism law treats virtually all free expression as acts of terrorism, including “calling for atheist thought,” “contacting groups or individuals opposed to the Kingdom,” and “seeking to disrupt national unity” by calling for protests. Dissenters are tortured in prison as well as publicly flogged and sometimes beheaded.

Those praising DDT on his trip have used the low bar that he hasn’t embarrassed the United States. He did support all the actions that found wrong with the Obama: his wife didn’t wear a head covering in Saudi Arabia, and DDT bowed to the Saudi Arabia king. He also supported a global organization and praised the Islam faith. He violated all his promises to his base. Now he has four more days in Europe.

One more thing. From videos of the couple, DDT and his wife, Melania, may not have a close relationship. She preferred to stay in New York when he moved into the White House, and he largely ignores her, never returning to his Trump Tower home. She rarely travels with him although she is on this trip with him. There was one moment that some have called “the slap heard ‘round the world.” As the couple deplaned onto the red carpet in Tel Aviv, he reached out for her hand, and she swatted it away—in front of the dignitaries and news cameras while they walked to a photo op with Netanyahu and his wife. It’s not the first time, but it was the least subtle. this time it was less subtle.

November 1, 2012

Ryan, As Bad as Romney

Filed under: Uncategorized — trp2011 @ 8:28 PM
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The whites are winning over the Native Americans in Montana. Over 30,000 Native American voters live in that state, most of them on reservations, forced to drive as far as 113 miles to vote. In his ruling, a judge refused satellite voting polls on the reservations even though he admits that the Native Americans don’t have equal voting rights. He probably doesn’t want a Democrat senator from Montana. Native Americans in 2006 are largely credited with giving Jon Tester the boost at the polls he needed to narrowly beat out Republican Sen. Conrad Burns by just 3,500 votes out of more than 400,000 cast.

A question to ask the 73 percent of the evangelicals who plan to vote for Romney/Ryan.

Paul Ryan has been so far in hiding that I’ve ignored him during the past couple of months. With Election Day a few days off, however,I dragged out my Ryan folder.

During his 13 years in the House, Ryan has produced only two laws: (1) changed the name of the post office in Janesville (WI); and (2) changed the way arrows used in bow hunting are taxed, removing sales tax on the arrows that cost from $35 to $185 dollars. You may have guessed that Ryan’s hobby is bow hunting. He did have a disastrous tax plan, but it wasn’t his law. 

Soon after he was named the GOP VP candidate, one of his interviews may have caused him to disappear from view. Ryan’s position until he developed Romnesia is that there should be no exceptions for abortion. Perhaps one reason he has this opinion is that he identified rape as “a method of conception.” Raped women probably don’t agree with his wording.

Before his disappearance, he committed several other gaffes.

About his criticism of the  stimulus three years ago: Ryan not only took advantage of this (although he tried to deny this), but he really liked the same proposal when George W. Bush proposed it because it “is to create jobs and help the unemployed.”

About his foreign policy credentials: Ryan said he “voted to send men to war.” About one of his favorite bands: Ryan listed “Rage against the Machine”;  its band leader Tom Morello called Ryan the embodiment of the machine against which the band is raging.

About ENDA: Ryan voted for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in 2007 but later voted against it because of the language “gender identity.”

About rape:  Ryan co-sponsored legislation with Rep. Todd Akin (R-MI) that would redefine “rape” for the purposes of Medicaid funding just a year before he declared Akin’s comments about “legitimate” rape to be “outrageous.

Ryan hates government help for business and calls the progressives who work to help people a cancer. He claims that “hard-working Americans are what create jobs, not government. What he doesn’t tell people is that his family business, the one he briefly worked for as a “marketing consultant,” was built in large part on government contracts, starting in 1884. Ryan Incorporated Central began with government-subsidized railroad construction, moved into building federal interstate highways, and then helped build O’Hare Airport. The company has had at least 22 defense contracts since 1996, including one worth $5.6 million.

Ryan also voted to keep $40 billion in special subsidies for big oil. Ryan and his wife hold ownership stakes in big oil and benefit from his vote.

Ryan is in another position to help his family, this time his wife. Janna Ryan previously worked as a lobbyist for a “roster of clients [that] included pharmaceutical and insurance clients such as Novartis, Cigna and Blue Cross/Blue Shield,” according to a Reuters profile. Ryan touts a Medicare plan that would expand the role of private insurers by replacing the traditional Medicare plan with a voucher program that seniors could use to purchase private health plans. Janna Ryan was also part of the team that lobbied for UPS to defeat a postal reform bill that would have made the U.S. Postal Service more profitable. During that time Paul Ryan made one of his two corporate-funded trips in 2000 to Atlanta, a trip funded by UPS. 

Ryan’s great attachment to Ayn Rand’s writing gives him confusion about an older document, the Constitution. A year ago, he said, “What makes our Constitution such an extraordinary document is that, in making the United States the freest civilization in history, the Founders guaranteed that it would become the most prosperous as well. The American system of limited government, low taxes, sound money, and the rule of law has done more to help the poor than any other economic system ever designed.”

The original Constitution placed no limits on the amount of federal taxes; the Sixteenth Amendment provided that the United States “shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes.” People decide how much the taxes will be, not the Constitution. The most disturbing aspect of Ryan’s speech, however, is a seemingly innocuous claim that the “the enforcement of contracts” is protected by the “constitutional cornerstone of our free society.” The Constitution had almost nothing to say about contracts between private parties. If the Constitution actually did shield contracts in the way Ryan suggests, nearly all laws protecting workers and consumers would be unconstitutional, the perception of the Supreme Court before the Great Depression. It appears that Ryan wants to drive the country back to those dark days.

 Jonathan Chait wrote last spring in a Ryan profile that nobody, with the possible exception of Grover Norquist, had done more to destroy bipartisan deficit reduction agreements than Paul Ryan. In another article he wrote about Ryan voting against the Bowles-Simpson commission and then destroying another deficit plan. The third time that Ryan stopped a long-term fiscal readjustment was when President Obama and Rep. John Boehner striking a deal far more favorable to the GOP than either Bowles-Simpson or the Senate plan. During negotiations to raise the debt ceiling and keep the country stable, Rep. Eric Cantor, second in control of the House, told the president that Ryan disliked its policy and worried that a deal would pave the way for Mr. Obama’s easy re-election.

Ryan’s connection to Romney goes back to Bain Capital when Ryan’s brother was a consultant for the leverage company. This came to light after both Romney and Ryan were accused of profiting by a possibly shady deal with a marketing company contracted by the state of Massachusetts while Romney was the Massachusetts governor.

The debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan showed some of Ryan’s techniques: The Blame Game where it’s always somebody else’s fault; The Boogeyman Move in which he accuses the opponent of trying scare people; The Denial which says that other people have succeeded in something similar; The Pivot which changes the subject; and Attack which Ryan used for the question, “Don’t you think negative campaigning is bad?” Instead of answering, Ryan simply attacked President Obama.

In one interview, Ryan managed to follow The Pivot with The Blame. Asked if “this country has a gun problem,” Ryan immediately retorted, “This country has a crime problem.” Unfortunately, he slipped up when he used a variety of racist stereotypes: “But the best thing to help prevent violent crime in the inner cities is to bring opportunity in the inner cities, is to help people get out of poverty in the inner cities, is to help teach people good discipline, good character.” I guess that’s why crime only happens in poor areas, not in the Aurora (CO) shootings.

Ryan is closer than a heartbeat away from the presidency; some people are saying that he’ll be the Republican presidential candidate in 2016.

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