Mar 072017
 

Insanity Rules

This is a brief overview of national news. This time, draw your own conclusions: are we moving forward or is the America we all love disappearing?

President Trump cast wire-tapping accusations on President Obama. Obama dismissed them as nonsense. James Brien “Jim” Comey, Jr., the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation asked the Justice Department to publicly refute President Trump’s accusations.

A new version of the travel ban has been introduced. This version doesn’t mention religion (or “Islamic terrorists”) but specifies all the same countries, with the notable exception of Iraq. (We’ll remember forever an interview with an Iraqi general – taped during the original travel ban – in which the general said that Iraqi soldiers don’t know whether to treat the American support forces as allies or enemies…)

While the new and “improved” travel ban is in, an Afghan family was detained at LAX in spite of their special visas. (The husband worked for the American military in Afghanistan for 10 years. The family was relocating to the United States in the face of death threats.) The husband, wife and three small children were kept in detention for several days instead of welcomed as heroes. American gratitude leaves plenty to be desired. No comment from the White House.

Another hate crime against a Sikh, this time in Washington State. The second Indian man was killed by a masked person demanding the Sikh leave the Country of which he was a citizen… (The first Sikh killed in an act of hate crime was a computer specialist on a work visa but perceived as a “Muslim terrorist”.) No comment from the White House on either case.

Obamacare replacement is being gradually introduced. There’ll be health insurance for all… who can afford it. No comment from the White House.

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

 

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Jan 122017
 

President Elect’s First Press Conference

The President Elect’s first press conference of the year shed some light on his preparations for the office as well as the priorities of his presidency.

The four main highlights of the press reference:

  1. President Elect’s FIRST effort at reassuring the public that he won’t use the Highest Office in the country as leverage for the Trump Organization. Even though Mr. Trump will not put his business empire into a blind trust as expected, he went through the trouble of having his attorney, Sheri A. Dillon, explain that he will sever his involvement with his business interests and resign from all positions he holds in the Trump Organization. (His business empire will be run by his two sons for as long as he is in office.)
    To avoid the appearance of impropriety the Trump businesses won’t engage in any new international dealings during his term in the office. In the same spirit, the President Elect will donate to the U.S. Treasury all profits his hotels have made from foreign governments.
  2. Repealing Obamacare stands and the program will be replaced with a “better” and cheaper alternative “almost simultaneously”.
  3. Building “the wall” still remains a priority but the construction – at least initially – will be paid for by the American taxpayers.
  4. Saving American jobs and bringing in more of them still seems to be high on the President Elect’s agenda. Even though he didn’t offer specifics, Mr. Trump said that new factories will be built in the Midwest, soon. (Details to be announced in several weeks.)

The President Elect is more spontaneous than any politician we’re familiar with and his spontaneity often works against him. He is quite undiplomatic and can be ungracious. (There is no need demean and disparage those who hold opposing views. There is a way to disagree while maintaining mutual respect. A respectable person may hold a view we disagree with. The view may be disagreeable. The person remains respectable. There is such a thing as diplomatic protocol and the dignity of the office. Someone should explain that to the President Elect.)

President Elect’s attempts to devalue the press are another thing that’s not endearing. EVERY President needs the support of the press. The President Elect who is fluent in Twitter-talk will need the press sooner or later, too. There is no conspiracy of the media against him. All main stream media – and all intelligent people – share similar values; they have the ability to distinguish a fact from fiction; a possibility from a dream. That’s the essence of the “conspiracy”. The press has an open mind: it criticizes when appropriate and gives credit where credit is due. (Hopefully, as President, Mr. Trump will earn the recognition of the country. When that happens, the press is sure to lend him its support.)

It is for the first time, after the press conference, that I think that the President Elect should be given the benefit of a doubt whether or not we share his values and whether or not we agree with the entirety of his vision for the Country (we all agree with SOME of its elements). His spontaneity and lack of diplomacy make him unlikable. But if you look past them (and I’m not saying we should!) the man is passionate and he seems to love his country. Today, it is conceivable to me that he might have good intentions and may – eventually – adjust his most extreme views to align with the moral values of the majority of Americans. He took the first step.

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

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