Friday, December 22, 2017

Trump's Bully Pulpit

How Intimidating Is It?
{Saturday, December 23rd, 2017...Happy Holidays}
      A little over a year ago -- in November of 2016 -- America's daunting two-party political system produced a presidential race that came down to two candidates -- Democrat Hillary Clinton vs. Republican Donald Trump -- that were disliked by most Americans. The "no-win situation" left voters with the proverbial dilemma of having to not vote at all or to choose the "lesser of two evils". In that milieu, which is not exactly the democracy crafted by the Founding Fathers, Ms. Clinton got by far the most popular votes but Mr. Trump got by far the most electoral votes, which is a quirky situation most Americans don't even understand. But in 2016, as in 2000 when Republican George W. Bush beat popular-vote leader Al Gore in a regrettable election, Mr. Trump used his electoral vote edge to subdue Ms. Clinton. Now, finishing up the first year of his 4-year term, President Trump has about a 30% national approval rating and the entire mainstream U. S. media -- both print and electronic with the exception of Fox News -- is mired in a heated coup-like conspiracy to overthrow the, uh, democratically elected Trump presidency. But Trump, not any of his enemies, is the President. That means he has the Bully Pulpit, which was on display this week at the White House, in the United States Congress, and at the United Nations. Tweet, Tweet and Tweedledee.
        The saddest thing about President Trump's use of his Bully Pulpit is the sheer fact that he mostly uses Uncle Sam, the nickname for the proud and precious U. S. democracy, as his prime punching bag. Beyond that, he bows down to big boys like China, Russia, Vietnam, etc., but relishes bulling small countries, such as Cuba.
      In 2016, the last year of the Obama presidency, the United Nations voted 191-to-0 to oppose the U. S. embargo of Cuba. There were two abstentions, the United States and, of course, Israel, which the rest of the world consider a bought-and-paid-for vote because Israel is by far the biggest recipient of U. S. economic and military aid.
    In October of 2016 President Obama's U. S. Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, received a standing ovation when she explained, above, why the decent Obama administration could not support the U. S. embargo of Cuba. By then Obama had done everything he could to normalize relations with Cuba but a handful of miscreants in the 535-member U. S. Congress have kept it in place since 1962. 
     In October of 2017 the UN as always voted overwhelmingly against the insanely cruel U. S. embargo of Cuba, but this time the vote was not unanimous. It was 191-to-2 with no abstentions because the Trump-mandated vote as well as bought-and-paid-for Israel's were the only two countries in the world that supported the embargo.
    In order for Trump's USA to bully the United Nations or little nations like Cuba, he needs thuggish right-wing sycophants, but they are not hard to find these days.
    This week -- on Dec. 20th, 2017 -- President Trump's Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, made a speech that threatened all nations of the world unless they sided with Trump's newly mandated Jerusalem dictates, which defy not only world opinion but the positions of all U. S. administrations in the last 70 years. In a live broadcast carried around the world by international outlets such as CNN, the BBC, etc., Ambassador Haley prior to the vote warned that the U. S. would "take names" of all nations that voted against the U. S., implying that punishment would then be meted out accordingly. It was not the first time that Haley at the UN had used unmistakably threatening tones to remind the world of the consequences of opposing the USA even with a mere UN non-binding vote that the U. S. can routinely veto. After her threat, the UN vote opposing the dangerous U. S. stance on Jerusalem was 128-to-9. The nations siding with the U. S. -- presumably bought-off or afraid -- were: Israel, Guatemala, Honduras, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, and Togo. So, Ambassador Haley had to write down a lot of countries to punish. Of course, the likes of Russia and China are too big to punish but...what about the UK, all the EU nations, all the Caribbean nations, all the Latin American nations, all the Scandinavian nations, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc., etc. etc. That's a lot of nations even for President Donald Trump and Ambassador Nikki Haley to punish.
      The quotation above was a Nikki Haley Twitter-Threat about "taking names" but it sure appears to have been dictated by her boss, Twitter-master President Trump.
          The photo-graphic above mocks the United States UN Ambassador as "ISRAEL'S AMBASSADOR TO THE UN." It is something, I believe, that President Trump and all Americans should be concerned about. You see, in reality, Nikki Haley is not Trump's puppet. That distinction, and her fealty, belongs to Marco Rubio.
   In the 2016 Republican primary, Senator Marco Rubio was Nikki Haley's fervent presidential choice. They mocked and ridiculed Trump, at least until he eliminated Rubio and the other 15 Republican contenders. Then Rubio, after even losing his home-state of Florida to Trump, vowed not to seek a 2nd term as the U. S. Senator from Miami, which was a lock because only anti-Cuban extremists get elected to Congress from Miami although most Cuban-Americans in Miami favor normalizing relations with Cuba. Also, it was assumed after her idol, Rubio, missed out on the presidency, Haley would continue her cushy job as the Governor of South Carolina and use it as a future stepping stone for her Presidential aspirations, which would be surpassed only by her devotion to Rubio. Politics, of course, have strange bedfellows. Rubio relented and grabbed a second 6-year term in the U. S. Senate, a position he once admitted he didn't like but now realized was needed to keep his presidential hopes on the front-burner. And, for some reason, Haley quit her job as Governor of South Carolina to accept Trump's offer as United Nations Ambassador.
      The political nexus tying Nikki Haley to Marco Rubio will one day rise up to smite the Trump presidency. Meanwhile, the two foxes in Trump's hen-house are closely monitoring the coup against Trump being relentlessly waged by the U. S. media.   
      If Trump doesn't know it now, he will soon find out that Nikki Haley's NUMBER ONE, now and for always, is Marco Rubio, not Donald Trump. The moment the Trump presidency appears vulnerable enough, which will happen before his first term ends in 2020, the two foxes in his hen-house will pounce and then feast...at least as far as the Republican Party is concerned. The extreme left-wing tilt of the other party, the Democrats, also favor future prospects for Rubio and Haley because they can easily claim that the left-wing Democrats now favor even illegal immigrants and other minorities over European immigrants and, yes, politically incorrect white people.
      President Trump apparently thought that putting his two bitter primary enemies, Senator Rubio and South Carolina's Governor Haley, in his hen-house was the best way to keep an eye on them...and at least postpone their White House ambitions till his own was fulfilled. But that decision will come back to haunt Trump.
     After Trump mocked Rubio during the 2016 presidential campaign, President Trump decided he needed to toss Rubio a tasty bone -- little CUBA!!
      Although Marco Rubio is clearly President Trump's prime back-stabbing threat, Trump has tried to ameliorate the situation by essentially anointing Rubio as the USA's most powerful Cuban dictator since the Bush dynasty back in the 1980s anointed future billionaire Jorge Mas Canosa to that very undemocratic position.
     Thus, with Rubio peeking ominously over his right shoulder, President Trump went to Rubio's Little Havana stomping grounds in Miami to sign legislation reversing much of Obama's decency towards Cuba, reverting back to Rubio's Cuban indecency.
     During the Republican primary in 2016, Trump had effectively stated that "Sheldon Adelson would have total control over Rubio," referring to the Jewish billionaire.
     Actually, Rubio's insatiable taste for money-burgers is as well known as his courting of billionaires, especially wealthy Jews that seek pro-Israeli politicians.
     In fact, Rubio is so pro-Israel that he often appears openly to tout Israeli causes and Israeli flags more fervently than United States causes and United States flags. 
      Indeed, when Republicans are in charge of Congress, that powerful branch of the U. S. government clearly favors Israel over any Democratic administration, as President Obama found out and as the quotation above attests. Obama as President didn't think the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu should come to Washington and address Congress on the eve of important U. S. elections. But with Republicans in control of Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu easily prevailed, to the acute embarrassment of President Obama and the democracy-lovers in the United States.
      All U. S. Presidents since Israel's founding in 1948, like John Kennedy, have solidly supported Israel, as have the vast majority of Americans, including me.
    But there have been times, such as this week concerning Jerusalem, that the United States has had to use its economic and military clout on the international stage, as well as the frequent use of its UN VETO, to counter the consensus of the rest of the world that, at times, Israel uses its enormous nuclear-powered military disproportionately against helpless civilians in Israeli-dominated areas like little Gaza or in other Israeli-occupied territory that the international community fiercely opposes. Even the three Bush U. S. presidencies, for example, strongly opposed Israeli settlements being continually built on occupied land, but Israel can easily ignore U. S. wishes because of its dominance of the U. S. Congress and the extreme power in Washington of AIPAC, the omnipotent Israeli lobby that no U. S. politicians, Republican or Democrat, will ever challenge. To illustrate that point, back in the 1980s when the Bush dynasty anointed Jorge Mas Canosa as the first powerful Cuban dictator in the U. S., Canosa was advised to study and then replicate AIPAC. Canosa did that and created CANF, the omnipotent Cuban lobby in Washington that immediately began coming up with such omnipotent anti-Cuban legislation as the Helms-Burton Bill and such extremely lucrative Washington-to-Miami money pipelines as the lush Radio-TV Marti anti-Cuba propaganda machine that till this day sucks up tons of cash-cow tax-dollars even though two decades ago a famous ABC News report correctly labeled it "the broadcast to nowhere." And, no, your Congressman can't deny such things but neither can he or she challenge them. The two greatest U.S.-Cuban authors -- Julia E. Sweig and Ann Louise Bardach -- have explained all that minutely in their truly outstanding books, essays and articles.
    The world's smartest person, Albert Einstein himself, correctly defined Israel "as a blessing to the world." And the world needed that blessing soon after World War II.
     But the brilliant mind of Albert Einstein also made the statement depicted above that, all too often, right-wingers in America and right-wingers in  Israel routinely ignore...at their peril and at their nations' peril, both America and Israel. For right-wing extremists in America and Israel to not abide by the Einstein Doctrine delineated above will likely endanger Israelis, Americans, Arabs, and all citizens of the world. This is particularly true considering that mighty America and little Israel are both supreme nuclear powers with ultra-modern delivery systems on land, in the air, and both on and below the seas. But it is now a diverse nuclear-powered and proxy-war world that we live in, with all at risk from the endless lunacy.
       Therefore, this week when Nikki Haley -- Marco Rubio's puppet at the United Nations speaking on behalf of President Trump -- was acting like "Israel's Ambassador to the UN," not America's, Americans should take notice. Using Trump's bully pulpit, she clearly threatened to "take names" and then punish any nation that didn't support the Trump position on the Jerusalem controversy. Perhaps she scared seven little nations into supporting the U. S. vote but that's all. All of the large nations in the world, and all of America's best friends, ignored Haley's ignorant threat, as well they should. But at least Haley's big-bully threats to the whole world reminds other nations of what little Cuba has dealt with since the 1950s, what helpless Chile dealt with in 1973, what...well, you get the point, I hope. What Nikki Haley demonstrated at the United Nations this week is abundantly  clear: America's two-party political system needs to find better politicians than...Clinton, Trump, Rubio, Haley, etc., etc., etc. 
        The 128-to-9 UN vote on Jerusalem this week or the 191-to-0 UN vote in 2016 against the Cuban embargo are NON-BINDING VOTES because the U. S. has a veto in the UN. And regarding a NON-BINDING UN RESOLUTION Nikki Haley threatens every nation in the world that doesn't vote the way the U. S. insists they vote!!! Incredible. Simply...INCREDIBLE. And if the American people meekly allow such things, then THEY are to blame far, far more than the miscreants who benefit from them.
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