Has President Trump Ceded Power

Numerous reports from seven newspapers, one wire service and many reputable internet sites insist that President Donald Trump is leaving most of the major military decisions to the Pentagon. If that is true,  it would mean  that the President has given up an active role as Commander-In-Chief. Has he basically resigned as Supreme Commander?  Is it true? If so, it would mean that the President is basically ceding his most important role as the nation’s defender. Now some of you may be happy about that. You shouldn’t be. The founding fathers shaped a military that reported to the leader of the executive branch. Frankly, the military team in place, the security system at the White House and Pentagon seems to be much more competent than some of the people selected to the Cabinet. But the President needs to make the major decisions.  A note to the President — say it isn’t so!

And I ask the question –  Where the hell is Congress? Maybe the party leaders are too busy trying to put one over on the health care front to worry about how much deeper we are getting into the Syrian quagmire. Or is any member of Congress asking why we are not doing more about the bloodbath in nearby Venezuela?

Vision is blurred these days in other areas. For example, has anyone on the Hill addressed the the implosion of retail sales? Do we have a plan to save retail?  Chuck Todd expertly reported on Meet The Press this week that no one is concerned about the number of retail jobs being lost around the nation. Why don’t we hear about this economic disaster from the White House or Congress?

Final notes for now regarding the previous post and the Russia investigation.. The President obviously knew when he issued the challenge about tape recordings to James Comey that the White House had no tapes. You have to think about this as a game of poker. But Comey didn’t blink, nor was he rattled.

Now Mr. Trump seems to be messaging another investigator. Area lawmakers are buzzing about this.  In two tweets and three interviews this past week the President when asked about the future of  Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller said, “We’ll just  have to see…he’s very close friends with James Comey…the people he’s been hiring are  Hillary Clinton supporters…I just don’t know.”  These are the questions. Are these statements just efforts to challenge Mueller’s credibility, or is he setting up the voters with a case that would justify his firing Mueller as special prosecutor?  So the big question comes front and center.  Is Mr. Trump just on the attack or is he thinking about firing the prosecutor which would certainly deepen the Russian crisis?

 

Don’t Play Games With Suspected Comey Tapes

Another challenge for President Trump who is obviously unaware of the deep hole he keeps digging.

If he does have tapes of talks with James Comey, and they verify what he he says , release them already, If he does have the tapes, and they vindicate him, he must be be unhappy with the “tone”.

If he doesn’t have tapes, maybe he’s afraid that people will call his bluff on them, and he might look weak. By all means, here’s a message to Ivanka, Jared, Bannon and other confidants: get this guy together already.

Another sore point. The President is allowing his insiders to float a possible disaster, that being the possibility that he might fire Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller. That decision would be a catastrophe. Like then firing of Comey, it would send a very bad message, a message that the President is scared of something.

My perspective on Trump is not about President Trump. It is about the stability of the country. Love him or leave him, the dramatic drops in his approval ratings have less to do with his policies, and more to do with his weird, changeable, sometimes inexplicable behavior. That continuing show is hurting the people, damaging the mental well being of Americans, and making our allies crazy. His failure to motivate excitement about the future is grim and foreboding.

It’s supposed to be America First. I don’t see that. Do you?

All For One – And One For None Leaves America At Risk

I have tried very hard to be as analytical as I can about our current political situation. After all, I’ve always been an equal opportunity critic of politicians. My sources are Democrats, Republicans and Independents,  and I have a weekly call list that would surprise you. But what happened today at the NATO meetings may be the greatest threat to American security in decades.

There was nothing wrong in President Trump demanding more financial support from some members of the NATO alliance. But it was outrageous for him to have not mentioned our nation’s determined commitment to support all NATO countries. This “all for one and one for all” commitment is a legal part of the NATO alliance and has been embraced by every American President since Harry S. Truman. That is, until now.

This omission was a tremendous victory for Russia’s determined dictator and sometimes murderer Vladimir Putin. President Trump handed him the green light to start spreading his cyber and real-bullet threat to Eastern and Western Europe and the near and Middle East.

In vacating that pledge, Trump has sent shockwaves of fear to millions of people in Europe. And in doing so, the President has reinforced the view that America First may mean Russia First as well.

The eventual result will be an anti-American wave through our nation’s allies. And that will no doubt endanger our own security in the long run.

A firm commitment to support all NATO nations would have gone a long way to convincing angry Americans and our friendly allies to believe that maybe Donald Trump’s behavior is really just a lot of proud bluster. But, after today, trust in our nation’s commitments may never be the same,

As the President would say…. sad.

What Trump Should Have Said!

What an awful perspective Donald Trump has of his own persona. Following the appointment of the former FBI Chief Robert Mueller, the President tweeted with anger again, calling its the biggest “witch hunt” ever. What a mistake? What is the President thinking?

Faced with a barrage of problems  he should have said,   “Great choice of a distinguished investigator. We look forward to a resolution of this barrage of accusations. The country deserves a fair and thorough investigation. And here at the White House we are ready and waiting to cooperate in anyway so that all doubts may be lifted.”

Instead, the man who says he knows the art of the deal misfires again, complicating his image, looking like a man who as they say at the networks is “unhinged.”

So the question is this. Does he understand his mistakes? Is he delusional about his current situation? Even if there’s nothing to any of the investigations, can he get his act together to run the nation, and keep us safe?

Now, in the early years of President Trump, the big question overrides all others. How would he react when a military issue threatens the nation.

The timing of his first foreign trip is challenging, but maybe it will help him realize that its time to finally, and in the hopes of a worried nation, works hard to evaluate himself.

 

Changing of Guard in Philadelphia – Rhynhart Surprises, Krasner Wins With Big$$$

Although the turnout was dismal, the Philadelphia political landscape was changed dramatically in this primary.

First off: Rebecca Rhynhart’s upset win for Controller over Alan Butkovitz is the biggest upset we have seen in a long time. Rhynhart ran a savvy campaign and not as a novice. Rhynhart has had years of experience in municipal finance. She appealed to younger voters and Democrats possibly looking for a change. Alan Butkovitz has had a remarkable political run, but he was probably defeated less by rejection, but more by an electorate looking for something new, a warning to incumbents next year! Rhynhart will face Republican Mike Tomlinson in November, but Tomlinson’s chances are slim to none, with the dynamic Democratic registration edge.

The big question is how Rhynhart handles oversight of the Kenney administration. Will she be as independent as she says she will be?  There is still much waste in City Government. With a prohibitive wage tax, one of the worst in the nation, and high corporate taxes, it is a difficult situation. Finding that waste, attacking it and fighting to make city government more efficient should be a hallmark of the Rhynhart years.

Larry Krasner’s big victory was a product of great name recognition, fueled by the money of liberal billionaire George Soros. Krasner is honest and caring. Will be be tough on defendants? The District Attorney sets the tone, and like it or not, Philadelphia is still a city where crime is an issue. We all know that education is the key to reducing crime, but in the meantime, the citizens will expect Krasner to have the back of the city’s police department.

It’s nice to change the subject from Trump land.  But that won’t last for long, what with the the revelations of alleged impropriety flying out of the big house. While we wait for the  next chapter, I leave you with a question.

Can anyone convince Donald Trump that he needs to change to save his White House?  The answer to that question will forecast whether the President can keep flying by the seat of his pants to keep the show going.

We will find out if Trump can survive politically sooner rather than later. In a few months, under our system of checks and balances we will know  whether the accusations stick.  We will also find out, by the outcome and the emerging real truth, who the real patriots are in Washington.