Prepare For a Bad Case of “Voter’s Remorse”

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I think Americans are soon going to experience a gigantic case of “voter’s remorse” with Donald Trump. Since winning the Electoral College pledges, in the weeks since November 8, 2016, Donald trump has back-pedaled, altered, flip-flopped, and even changed his stances on core issues that he asserted on the campaign trail. It is (or should be) obvious that he is a “say-one-thing, do-another” kind of person. He said the things he knew would appeal to voters to get him elected – not because he meant them, but because it’s what the American public wanted to hear. He literally took advantage of peoples’ disillusionment with politicians and “politics-as-usual” and played on those sentiments just to get elected.

And he has amassed a team of spin-doctors like Kellyanne Conway, Reinse Prebus and others from his own team (including many in government who have now jumped ship and landed on the Trump bandwagon) to rationalize his contradictions and about-faces. Additionally, he has amassed an army of apologists from all over America who (instead of recognizing and admitting they’ve been bait-and-switched) will downplay and whitewash his behaviors, rather than recognize (and sound the alarm about) the huge red flags raised by the “3 a.m. Tweeter-In-Chief” President-Elect.

Working-class Americans thought Trump would enact legislation and make policy changes that would improve and enhance their lives and strengthen their incomes. Instead, it appears they will see increases in taxes for the lower and middle-class and tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans; reductions in government services; reductions of quality in (or loss of) health insurance; potential curtailment of the First Amendment protections; greatly increased intrusions into peoples’ privacy through removing protections against arbitrary and unreasonable surveillance from the NSA, DHS, FBI, and other government and law enforcement agencies; loss of support for Medicare and Social Security for the elderly and disabled, and many more government services that have eased the burden on – especially – lower income Americans.

Apparently, the Republicans and right-wing extremists in government are going to use Donald Trump as their “tool” to implement their their own policies and intensify their war against the poor and their enhancement of the wealthy. And Trump, being unfamiliar with and inexperienced in political dealings and behind-the-scenes jockeying will be played like a fiddle by those who will do us ALL (who are not wealthy) grievous harm.

Trump’s proposed tax plan will make the rich richer, the poor poorer, and the middle class continue to stagnate while plunging the country into yet another recession. And, of course – and as always – the rich (including Donald Trump) will simply continue to get richer and more powerful.

The only hope – however dim – is to convince enough Electoral College members to do the RESPONSIBLE thing and become “Faithless Electors” to prevent Trump from running this great nation into the ground. People may hate Hillary Clinton, but her platform really does work to improve things for the “average American” and reduce the power and control (and abuse) exerted by the 1%.

 

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The Election is Over. Now What?

I make no secret of the fact that I strongly distrust Donald Trump. Nor do I make a secret that I believe a huge number of people who voted for Trump were lied to and manipulated into voting as they did. I believe there was a lot of influence from fake news the has proliferated over the Internet and on social media, and I’m frankly surprised that so many people actually fell for it.

I also believe that – if not Trump himself – many who supported Trump on the inside (Trump’s PR people, campaign workers, etc.) either fed into the fake news, or turned a blind eye to it since so much of it favored their candidate. Do I have proof of this? No, I don’t. It is just my opinion. But for those who are aware of the fake news sites and the influence they can (and did) have, think about it. I will talk about fake news more in-depth in another post.

No-Trump

Now that the election is concluded, and Trump has won the Electoral College majority, it’s time to brace for (and prepare for) potentially the worst four years in the history of post WWII America. We have to be very aware of the following, and very determined to stand against Trump and the Republican-led Senate and House of Representatives. We have to call up our internal “”Elizabeth Warrens’ and Bernie Sanders’ and stand strong against Trump and the GOP every time they try to institute legislation or policy or engage in practices that are antithetical to the progress that has been made thus far.

Democrats remember all of the obstructionist tactics that Republicans used to block their agenda during the Obama years and come January 2017; it’s payback time. Republicans won the election, and they may control both the House and the Senate, but they do not have the 60 votes needed to pass legislation in the Senate.

Not My President

Donald Trump is all about Donald Trump. But besides himself, Donald Trump is all about money and wealth and being rich and being a “one-per center” and helping other one-per centers. As has been discussed in the news from CNN to FOX to local T.V. news and radio stations and on (legitimate) news outlets on the Internet … look for the rich to get even richer, the middle class to continue to stagnate, and the poor to slide even further into poverty. Look for medical care to become harder to get, more expensive, and those with pre-existing conditions find it very hard (and excessively expensive) to get or maintain health insurance.

If you are average middle class, don’t expect any really noticeable changes. You might see a slight reduction in your payroll tax, but it won’t amount to anything significant. You will probably pay higher premiums and deductibles for your health insurance. Your pay will not increase because Trump is now in the White House. That will be solely up to your boss/management.

Remember Reagan’s “Trickle-Down Economics?” Do you remember how well that worked? (It didn’t). Reagan felt that reducing tax burdens on big companies and corporations would result in more money so they would hire more people and be able to increase wages for employees. But what happened when taxes were reduced for the wealthy, by and large, they just kept the money and got even more filthy rich.

Trump’s tax reduction plan and proposed new tax code will, of course, favor the rich, again. It will cut taxes for the middle class, which will tremendously reduce federal government revenue and weaken government programs. Local governments will need to pick up the slack, so local taxes are likely to increase: sales tax, state and county income taxes, anywhere they can figure out legal ways to take more of your money.

For those at the lower end of the working income scale … times are going to get tough(er). Your income will slightly decrease because Trump’s tax plan will increase your taxes a little.

If you are disabled, elderly, unemployed or below the poverty level … things are going to get even harder than they already are. People who are employed, and the rich folks look down on you like you are a blight on society. While they pay lip service to “Oh, I’ve had financial hard times, and I just picked myself up by the bootstraps and got going again” – they have never had genuinely hard times. The greatest majority had some kind of edge or advantage: a well-to-do family member to hire them; they lived in an area where their skills were in enough demand that getting a job wasn’t all that hard; they had been able to earn a Bachelor (or higher) degree and thus are more employable; they had friends or family to put in a good word for them to help get them hired – or they had been raised in an environment where they were effectively “groomed” to be able to find and maintain employment. Some has some kind of advantage that allowed them to start their own businesses and while I’m sure these people all worked quite hard and put in the time and effort … they still had some kind of advantage, or leg up. They are able-bodied and able-minded.

Not so for folks who are disabled. Just having a disability automatically closes many doors for employment or starting/running a business. No one will admit it (because it’s illegal) but there is serious and pervasive discrimination against the disabled when it comes to hiring them. “Well, I’m not sure my insurance would cover you” or, “I’m just not convinced you could actually handle the job” or, “I just can’t afford to go making all kinds of reasonable accommodations  for all you disabled folksor the felt, but unstated, “I don’t want people working for me who are physically or mentally messed up because I’m afraid they’ll just get in the way or need too much extra attention – or I just don’t like them.” They might be afraid someone with a mental disability will one day “go postal” and start shooting people! I could write many posts just on this topic alone.

You can’t make employers hire you. If you are low-income, chances are you’ll never qualify for large enough loans to get any viable business off the ground. And believe it or not, it’s even harder for disabled folks whose disability is not visible. Surprisingly, many people actually think people with invisible disabilities “are faking it.” For the sake of brevity, I won’t list invisible disabilities here, but here is a link to a site that discusses and details invisible disabilities: https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/types/invisible/

The elderly have most of the problems that disabled folks have, and they are discriminated against because “you’re just too old. We want young, vibrant, attractive people working here.”

But I digress.

Trump, buttressed by a Republican Congress and Senate – and the appointment of a U.S. Supreme Courts Justice who will rule in support of the right-wing agenda, will have the power to really screw this country up badly. The GOP has been chomping at the bit to cut taxes, cut government spending, undo everything they can that was put in place by democrats (ObamaCare, Clean Energy, Environmental protections, subsidies for the most vulnerable and needy in America, etc.).

Donald Trump is NOT My President

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Ha! I sure pulled one over on YOU, didn’t I!

Donald Trump is not a good person. He is definitely not a good choice for the office of President of the United States of America. Why? Among other things, he demonstrates many negative, unfavorable character and personality weaknesses such as racism, sexism, narcissism, elitism, discrimination against low income working people, against the poor and disabled, and intolerance for people who are different.  This man actually engages in petty attacks against various people and organizations based on thin-skinned, intemperate bias. He is unqualified in many other ways I suspect will surface as he starts trying to be a president.

Trump claimed he will be “a president for all Americans.” He said he wants to bring Americans together. In reality, he is the most divisive presidential contender I have ever seen in my lifetime. He promotes an “us v them” sentiment. He actually promotes violence (the news has been plastered with Trump encouraging people to be violent toward protesters, saying he would pay legal fees of anyone who knocked the crap out of protesters at his rallies.

He is a fascist, nationalist demagogue who blatantly appeals to the most intolerant, racist, sexist, classist, discriminatory and bigoted sickness among disenfranchised, gullible Americans.

Donald Trump is not my president. And while it may be easy to automatically jump to the conclusion that I am some kind of biased liberal crackpot, that’s just not true.  I am conservative on many issues, populist on others, and liberal on only a few social issues (such as supporting the nation’s most vulnerable – the elderly, the disabled, and low income workers who work hard but are grossly underpaid – rather than bashing them and robbing them of their livelihoods by cutting support programs that help them to keep their head above water). I am a pretty pragmatic, realistic thinking person who has consistently voted on the issues, not the person – until now. This time I voted on the issues, and on the person, because this time, the person (Donald Trump) is a “special case” and, I believe, a clear and present danger – a genuine threat to America both domestically and internationally.

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Donald Trump’s signal to the elderly, poor, lower middle and lower working class.

I really believe in my heart and soul that Trump very bad for most people in this country (except other one percenters and other wealthy individuals, corporations and CEOs who will benefit tremendously by his tax cuts and “reform”).

In terms of how I will be affected, personally, I have several very real and legitimate concerns and reasons for not wanting Trump to be president. I fear how my health, welfare and livelihood (and that of millions of others in comparable positions) will be negatively impacted.

I am a disabled person, surviving on a low income from Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. (Note: these benefits are NOT “welfare” – they are insurance benefits promised to me and millions and millions of other hard working Americans should they become disabled, as I did). I am also a Veteran, as well. Trump has mocked disabled people and Veterans, and he – along with a Republican controlled Senate and House – poses a tremendous threat to me and the millions of people who are poor and disabled.

Trump is a Liar

Donald Trump is one of the biggest and most obvious fakes I’ve ever seen slither his way into being a presidential candidate. He is a fake; in that he literally says what he believes will influence people to want to vote for him, then changes his position once he has achieved what he wanted for himself. He’s a salesman and a demagogue. What salespeople do is try to create a need where none existed before, to make people want to buy products or services that will make the salesman a little richer. What demagogues do is manipulate people based on their fears, prejudices and hopes, and on their hatred and sense of disenfranchisement.

Trump is an Egotistical Narcissist

Donald Trump is all about Donald Trump. The “giveaway” signs are in how he calls himself “the Donald” and in how he has so many of his personal living spaces, upscale apartments, and his home filled with lavish settings and furnishings, and objects that are gold or gold-plated. Trump was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and he had easy access to far more opportunity than the great majority of Americans. In his own words, “My father gave me a small loan and I started a business and now I’m a billionaire.” I ask you, how many people have fathers who can give them a “small loan” of fourteen million dollars? Did your father give you a multimillion dollar loan? To me, a “small loan” would be a few thousand dollars. A million and above would be a huge loan. Hell, with fourteen million dollars, I could have started several businesses and still have the financial power to ensure they didn’t fail. Only stupidity and crappy management would cause failure with fourteen million dollars to support a startup until it stood on its own legs.

Trump is a Sexist

At least twelve women (at this writing) have come forward to accuse Donald Trump of sexual misconduct. His own words, televised around the world, prove he said such things as “just grab ‘em by the pussy” and because he’s a star, women will let him do anything he wants. He said “And I just have to kiss ‘em. It’s like a magnet, I just walk up and kiss ‘em.” If you haven’t seen the footage, you haven’t been awake. So far, twelve women have come forward to claim Donald Trump engaged in sexual misconduct with them.

Now, as he assembles people for his cabinet, Trump has included Steve Bannon of Breitbart news for his Chief of Staff – a truly vile person who is a white supremacist with ties to White Nationalists.

http://www.dailywire.com/news/8441/i-know-trumps-new-campaign-chairman-steve-bannon-ben-shapiro#

Trump Back-Pedaling on His Campaign Vows?

It seems Trump is now back-pedaling and altering his original campaign vows so quickly it’s hard to keep track of it all.

For example:

He vowed to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, and said Mexico will pay for the wall.

Now, he’s “modifying” his “vow”:  (according to the Republicans’ own “Conservative News Station, FOX News).

Trump claimed to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants. Now it seems he is waffling on that vow, too.

Trump back-pedaled on his promise to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton over her emails. “I’m going to think about it,” Trump said.

In fact, NBC printed an article titled, “A Full List of Donald Trump’s Rapidly Changing Policy Positions”.

For example, regarding his intent to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton, after claiming to want to put her in jail, incarcerating his political rivals is what you would expect from a Kim Jong Un of North Korea, a Vladimir Putin of Soviet era Russia, a Augusto Pinochet of Chile, or other fascist or dictator, not from an American president.

Then there is this:

Look at the news detailing much of the serious damage Trump and the now Republican-led government will deal to the United States:

Nov. 9, 2016

The Market Is Betting Trump Will Bring Higher Inflation and Interest Rates

Moves in the bond market suggest that investors see the economic ground shifting in the wake of Donald J. Trump’s surprise victory.

By NEIL IRWIN

He wants to build a “wall” along the southern border and deport some 11 million to 12 million people who have entered the United States without legal permission.

  1. He wants to end birthright citizenship for children born in the U.S. to two noncitizen parents.
  2. He wants to expand the use of torture techniques in the war on terror, advocating methods “a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,” and he wants to send even more detainees to the prison at Guantanamo Bay.
  3. He would deny visas to all Muslims seeking legal entry into the United States.
  4. He wants to repeal Obamacare either legislatively or by means of a new Supreme Court ruling that would overturn the court’s landmark 5-to-4 opinion in 2012, upholding the Affordable Care Act’s “individual mandate.”
  5. He wants to “open up our libel laws” and reverse The New York Times v. Sullivan decision, the unanimous 1964 ruling that provides journalists and private citizens with First Amendment protections against defamation lawsuits brought by government officials and public figures.
  6. He would defund Planned Parenthood, ban late-term abortions and select a new Supreme Court justice who may vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.
  7. He would “consider” appointing justices who would overturn Obergefell v. Hodges, last year’s historic 5-to-4 Supreme Court decision on gay marriage.
  8. He would defend “religious freedom” against anti-Christian secularists.
  9. He would disband the Environmental Protective Agency and turn regulation of greenhouse gases, clean water and the like back to the states because he believes that climate change is a hoax.
  10. He would support voter suppression, and he has recently spoken out against same-day voter registration in the mistaken assumption that it would permit noncitizens to cast ballots in federal elections.
  11. He would support the idea of paying federal bondholders less than 100 cents on the dollar in order to bring down the national debt.
  1. Trumps plans to cut taxes for the rich and somewhat for the middle class, “renegotiate NAFTA” bring manufacturing jobs back home, reduce gov’t regulation on businesses, and other plans he has pledged to engage, the US deficit will skyrocket. When the debt grows so large so fast, it becomes a focal point of spending cuts. Spending cuts typically target the most vulnerable in society: government and wealthy people don’t want to take ANY kind of reduction on revenues so, instead, they will cut services to the low income workers, Medicare and Medicaid, reduce Social Security, reduce government pensions, etc.

More Donald Trump Horror Stories …

According to a CNN Money report, “Donald Trump was a Nightmare Landlord in the 1980s”

Donald Trump bought a rent- controlled building in New York and engaged in underhanded slumlord-like activities to drive out renters so he could tear the building down and build luxury apartments to rent to a more affluent class of renters.

From the right wing political blog, “Red State”: (link is to a Wikipedia article about the Red State blog)

“Why Donald Trump is a Bad Man and would be a Bad President”

“Trump has been typically braggadocious about his adultery and philandering. For instance, these come from his various literary works:

“If I told the real stories of my experiences with women, often seemingly very happily married and important women, this book would be a guaranteed best-seller (which it will be anyway!). I’d love to tell all, using names and places, but I just don’t think it’s right.” (“Trump: The Art of the Comeback”)

and

“I have too much respect for women in general, but if I did [write about my love life], the world would take serious notice. Beautiful, famous, successful, married — I’ve had them all, secretly, the world’s biggest names…”

… And the disturbing information about Donald Trump just goes on and on … it seems I could write an entire book about it.

Either the people who voted for Trump do not know very much about him, and are basing their support only on what they have seen him say in the media … or they know what a horrible person he is but don’t care (a very scary thought) – or … they have built up such a hate for Hillary Clinton (or just against Democrats in general) that they would actually support a megalomaniacal, egotistical, narcissistic, dishonest, philandering, sexist, abusive, racist, classist, elitist, politically inexperienced, thin-skinned impulsive, retaliatory horrible person for arguably the most powerful position in the world.

What a horribly scary – and very dark turn – for a country whose reputation and standing in the world has already taken a beating with the revelations from Pvt. Bradley manning and Edward Snowden and Wikileaks …

Trump supporters – “be careful what you wish for” should have been the most prominent thought in your mind (but clearly, it wasn’t).

God help us all.

Not My President.

When Donald Trump announced that he was running for the office of the President of the United States, I took it as a joke. I mean, c’mon, “The You’re fired!” one-percenter who is an obvious narcissistic, pompous, self-important, windbag who was born with a golden spoon in his mouth, living up in his ivory tower and is so out-of-touch with “normal” people that he is truly clueless? The whiny little rich boy who got started in the real estate business with  “a small loan from my dad” (fourteen million dollars) and whose father took him by the hand and guided and groomed him to become a tyrannical property owner… that sexist, racist, classist nut job conspiracy theorist and crazy “eccentric” fool?

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Fast forward to Nov 8, 2016. I was flabbergasted – shocked, stunned, appalled. This really threw me for a loop, and not a “good” one at all.

Donald Trump is almost like a combination of a little bit Hitler, a little bit Anthony Wiener, a little bit Rob Blagojevich, a little bit David Duke and a little bit slum lord (and a hodgepodge of other unsavory “deplorables”).

And Republicans … Trump supporters … what the f… are you thinking?? All I can say is … be careful what you wished for …

Statistics have shown that, over several decades, the rich are getting richer, the middle class is stagnating, and the poor are just getting the middle finger. With that kind of … disease … in the White House … watch the situation get even worse. No, not just “worse” but horrifically worse. Naturally, with that despicable person as POTUS, if he gets his way, things are NOT going to get better! No, they won’t.

The FLOTUS – Melenia Trump – I don’t think we’ve seen a First Lady (“Lady?”) like her ever before. I mean, seen as much of a First Lady (too much of her!).  The Internet is increasingly swimming with (“very revealing” to put it politely) pictures of the new First Lady. And his offspring (shudder). Donald Jr. and Eric Trump largely reflect the worst traits of a severely emotionally and psychologically flawed father. Daughter Ivanka might be the closest thing to “sane” in that family. Or maybe not?

***Disclaimer: This blog entry (as does the rest of this blog) expresses the opinions and beliefs of the author and, as such, could be … subject to error … you be the judge …

Santa Rosa Enacts Rent Control

By a vote of 4-2, Santa City Council voted to enact rent control in Santa Rosa, California, one of the latest cities to enact rent control, as reported in the CBS SF Ba Area News web site here:

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/08/31/santa-rosa-enacts-rent-control-after-city-council-votes-4-2/

However, according to Santa Rosa’s Press Democrat newspaper web site, it was supposed to go into effect Friday, Sept 30th. Because of pressure from a powerful SIG, the California Apartment Association – and landlords, rent control has been delayed:

Opponents of Santa Rosa’s new rent control law appear to have submitted enough signatures to suspend the law and put the issue before voters.

A local property manager aligned with the California Apartment Association, which advocates for landlords statewide, turned in five boxes of petitions apparently bearing 12,543 signatures at City Hall Monday morning, Santa Rosa City Clerk Daisy Gomez said.

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/6131861-181/landlords-submit-anti-rent-control-petition

The CAA is a wealthy organization that takes in millions of dollars in contributions. Money that is being used to meddle in the affairs of cities across the state to corrupt the political process, and fight back against any reasonable renter protection proposals throughout California. The CAA has handed out $2,161,312 from 2004 to 2012 to politicians and their campaigns, according to Follow The Money.

[…]

“The Press Democrat has reported that many people are complaining already that they have been tricked into signing the petition to over-turn renter protections, and how people can have their name removed from the petition in Santa Rosa.

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2016/09/09/18791038.php

Obviously, the rich landlords are scared of a reduction in anticipated profits … they clearly don’t care about the hardships they are imposing on renters, many of whom pay over half their incomes for rent. It’s probably safe to assume that these landlords (the great majority of them) live in homes they own, homes that are nice, many are upscale.

They want to fight rent control because they fear rent control will force some of them to curtail their practice of gouging renters, charging far more than the properties are even worth, and from unfairly evicting renters.

The person who owns the apartments I live in makes many multimillions of dollars per year, bending renters over the barrel. He lives a pretty rich life, owns several businesses (his father already had a fortune in real estate, and his son was brought up with a silver spoon in his mouth and walked right into the family business and never had to struggle to get by. He has even made prejudiced statements maligning “poor people”). By contrast, I am disabled, struggling to get by on my limited, low-income, Social Security Disability benefits. And he’s raised my rent 66% in the last three years. People in Santa Rosa are facing comparable increases – some even greater. And while I don’t live in Santa Rosa, I live in the next city south of and connected to Santa Rosa, so what happens in Santa Rosa will likely have an impact in Rohnert Park, as well. Housing and rental prices are skyrocketing all over California – and even across the nation – and it’s damned unfair to renters. These greedy vultures are taking big advantage of the lack of housing stock to gouge and extort renters mercilessly.