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Friday, June 16, 2017

This President and His Administration Are Tearing Us Apart

Those who somehow thought voting for Donald Trump was going to take this nation in some positive direction should surely be surprised, even now. And if not already, then they should be soon. Honestly, look where we are presently.

First, he isn't even doing his job.

Help wanted: Trump administration 

still has hundreds of jobs to fill

Despite an ambitious agenda, the Trump administration is wrapping up its first 100 days with a long list of campaign promises to work on — and an even longer list of positions that remain empty.

Nearly three months into Trump's term, two of his nominees, Labor secretary nominee Alexander Acosta and Agriculture secretary nominee Sonny Perdue, have yet to be confirmed.

The delays are far longer than for any of the last six administrations.

And it's not stonewalling on the part of Democrats, either, as the article points out.

"Trump has given no names for most slots."
Of the things he is doing, it seems clear he's focused on the wrong ones. Here's one where he seems to be addressing a problem that isn't there. It's a solution looking for a problem.

Moving to Scuttle Obama Legacy, Donald Trump to Crack Down on Cuba

Then there is the mess, the huge, leaderless mess that is Afghanistan and that, our chosen war. The New York Times covers this extremely well today.

Mr. Trump, Afghanistan Is Your War Now

...when it comes to the actual life-and-death responsibilities of the commander in chief — overseeing America’s vast war machine and sending men and women into conflict — Mr. Trump seems more like the delegator in chief. The latest evidence was his decision this week to give Defense Secretary Jim Mattis the authority to determine troop levels in Afghanistan, which could lead to an increase of as many as 5,000 troops, if proposals favored by Mr. Mattis and his generals go forward.

Mr. Mattis has acknowledged to Congress that the United States-led coalition is “not winning” in Afghanistan. It is not at all clear that adding 5,000 more troops — a roughly 50 percent increase over the current troop level of 9,800 — can make a difference, especially when the administration has yet to confront the basic problem of ensuring public safety and the larger political and economic issues that must be part of a comprehensive strategy to resolve the conflict.

Next up is this today from Rafael Suarez Jr. currently a freelance reporter and writer also heard and seen on NPR and PBS, among others.

I've covered legal proceedings, from investigation to jury selection to pre-trial motions to the announcement of the verdict, in state and federal courts, for decades.

Targets of investigations often loudly insist on their innocence, and question the motives of the investigators. But...they aren't usually the chief executives who nominally oversee the very process they are actively discrediting.

When the target becomes the accused, the tone usually changes. Legal teams usually convince the accused to shut the very least stop attacking the process. Something will be lost if the very process the president is discrediting, and the "bad" investigators working this case, find that he hasn't committed a crime.

Fasten your seat belts.

Then there is the annual budget battle that's going on just now.  Bruce Bartlett makes excellent points on this today, also from his Facebook page.

I really don't see where Trump gets the votes to raise the debt limit. There are enough crazy HFC (House Freedom Caucus) members who will never raise the debt limit and will be primaried out of office if they do. It will be almost as hard to get any Democratic votes under the circumstances. The administration strategy appears to be to add a lot of right-wing stuff to the debt limit to get every Republican to vote for it and assume Democrats won't filibuster. But then the HFC becomes the tail wagging the entire government.

Then there is his--our--Vice President.

Check that out. It's the first 6 months of a brand new Presidential administration and his number 2 man, his Vice President, our Vice President, has to hire a criminal defense attorney.

I'm telling you, folks, I say again, this is completely, totally unfounded and unprecedented in our national, American history.

Speaking of the Vice President, there is this between VP Pence and the mess that is and has been the White House, internally.

Pence’s balancing act as Trump’s No. 2 shows signs of strain amid WH turmoil

As if all that isn't enough, there are his inconsistencies, if not out and out blatant, even ugly hypocrisies.

Donald Trump Is Under Investigation 

for Obstruction of Justice

That is huge, needless to say. The first 200 days of a Presidential administration and he's under investigation for obstruction of justice. And that's a side issue to the fact that he's also being investigated for how the Russians may have helped him get elected.

And he's not the only one included in the investigation, apparently.

That last one is very likely to upset, if not anger, his own base of support. In fact, his popularity, if you can call it that, is at historic, Presidential lows and has been since he took office.

Indeed, the polls are not kind to Mr. Trump presently.

I have never been for Donald Trump as President, of course, but know that, because he is, in fact, our President, however wrong that is, we need him to succeed in the job for the nation, for the people and all our progress.

The longer this administration lumbers on, the less successful it looks to be, at the very least. It's hurting the nation.

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