Revolted Colonies

U.S. Politics and Culture

Month: December 2016

Prologue in Courage

anti-america-iran-contest3089837952Turn the clock back to June 2015. Donald Trump whooshed down his escalator and with no irony announced that he would be the next President of the United States. We didn’t believe it then, and some still refuse to believe it. In one sentence, let’s acknowledge that our own stupidity, gullibility, blind belief in democracy, and our moral and physical cowardice have allowed Trump to rise to the Presidency.

Consolidation of Power

Trump’s filled up his administration with people who hold beliefs that favor the accumulation of private wealth at the cost of the commonwealth. They favor the interests of commerce over the well-being of the planet. They align their interests with non-Americans sharing those values.

Trump himself has refused to acknowledge a line between his business and the business of the nation. His children are his business partners, as well as his political confidantes. Over time, the businesses of America and the business of Trump will be joined to each other. The Trump family will become a dynasty by its command of the nation’s business.

Don’t laugh. Don’t fucking laugh.

The Authoritarian in Waiting

Trump admires Vladimir Putin because he has become the all-powerful leader of Russia. Putin is Russia’s President, which doesn’t interest Trump especially. Putin has silenced dissent and controlled communications within Russia, something that Trump, the budding authoritarian, admires greatly. More than anything else, Trump idolizes Putin for being the wealthiest person in the world, his fingers shoved deeply into every Russian industry, holding large stakes in each of them, wedding his political and economic power together to create a new era of Russian dynastic rule.

Trump is obsessed by this vision of dynasty on the grandest possible scale. He means to springboard his real estate and name-brand empire into control of all segments of the economy, giving his children and progeny an empire to sustain them long after he has departed.

This is not a joke. It’s a vision of a twisted, amoral, runaway capitalism that seizing the reins of power.

What is to be Done?

How long will we lambs walk passively to the slaughter? By doing nothing, we are allowing it to happen. Again – By doing nothing, we are allowing it to happen.  There is a provision in the Constitution that bans the President from accruing personal or familial gain through the use of his office. It is called the Emolument Clause, and it says:

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

ARTICLE I, SECTION 9, CLAUSE 8

The way this works is that the House of Representatives must vote an article of impeachment against the President. It then goes to the Senate, which votes to convict or impeach. The House is controlled by Trump’s party. Let’s assume that it will not vote to impeach. What then? The House must be forced to act.  The House must be sued for an order mandating it to carry out its authority.

Constitutional lawyers say that the House cannot be sued.  The decision to impeach is a “political question,” and our courts will not intervene. But, there is an argument against that view.  When a violation of the Constitution is clear, then the House has an obligation, not an option, to enforce the Constitution.  If Congress refuses, then the courts have the power to mandate Congress to enforce it or to order that it be done.

Yes, this is untested. It’s a novel argument and it will be controversial. But, if the courts insist that it is a “political question,” then it would be at least two years before there is a new House elected and four years before this President can be removed from office.  By that time, the Authoritarian in Chief may have Putinized himself, freeing him and his successors from the inconvenience of free and fair elections. As Putin has done.

Prologue in Courage

If you don’t want to lose the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness for which this country was founded; the reason why you, your parents or grandparents left another land to make a new home in America;  the possibility of a life free of poverty, destitution, want and neglect, it is time to act.

For those of us who thought Trump was the answer, don’t be ashamed to admit that he conned you. He’s conned millions of people over a long and sketchy business career.  For those of us who thought he was a joke, by now you know that the joke was on you.  For those of us who have been feeling like there’s been a death in the family, there’s a good reason. This campaign and election killed the Mother Country.  It will never be the same.   Yet, if we cannot save our country through political and legal means, then it will die.

Hoosier Daddy? Carrier Will Keep Half of Jobs Slated to End

CarrierLater today, P/E Trump and Carrier will announce that 50% of the 2,000 jobs set to be outsourced to Mexico will be retained. There are no details available yet, but there appears to be a defense-budget stick used on United Technologies, the corporate parent, and some Hoosier carrots, delivered by Indiana. VP/E Pence remains the Governor. Kudos to Trump for saving these jobs.  

There are special factors at play here: the defense contract tie-in, Pence’s ties to the state, and the fact that keeping the jobs will mean only $.02 on Carrier’s profits of $6.50, less than half of 1%. In other words, the Carrier “deal” is a one-off. 

The jobs saved are high-paying, with hourly rates in excess of $20.00. Even with high-paying labor costs, Carrier shares are earning $6.50. Carrier is profitable without moving any of the jobs. 

 So why the impetus to move?  Wall Street earnings, competition, the lack of effective collective bargaining.  All but forgotten is the fact that disappearing jobs mean disappearing consumers. But that is beyond the horizon of the next quarterly earnings forecast. No need for this manufacturer to think about it. 

 

 

 

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