By Robert A. Vella

Trate, trating:  noun, verb;  meaning hatred of President Trump.

America’s disgraceful, megalomaniac man-child currently occupying the White House has really done it this time.  The ranks of those openly expressing condemnation towards President Trump have swelled to the point of bursting and now include conservative Republicans politically impacted by his latest moves.  Two main issues stand out, but there are others which could potentially turn into a revolt by some states against the federal government.

From:  New Pot Policy by Trump Administration Draws Bipartisan Fire

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration finally crossed the line for some members of Congress this week, provoking bipartisan umbrage and accompanying pledges to hold top officials accountable.

Many thought the day had been far too long in coming. Few thought the galvanizing issue would be weed.

Both Republicans and Democrats reacted with dismay and howls of betrayal to the decision by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to renew tough federal enforcement of marijuana laws, illustrating the growing power both politically and economically of the emerging industry.

“I am obligated to the people of Colorado to take all steps necessary to protect the state of Colorado and their rights,” said Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, a conservative member of the Republican leadership who has rarely broken with the Trump White House.

Mr. Gardner said he had been assured by both President Trump and Mr. Sessions before voting for the attorney general’s confirmation that backtracking on marijuana would not be a focus of the administration. The senator seemed flabbergasted by what amounted to a federal assault on the expanding $1 billion legal pot business approved by voters in Colorado, and he threatened to try to block all Justice Department nominees until Mr. Sessions backed off.

He was not the only unhappy Republican. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said in a statement that she had repeatedly discouraged Mr. Sessions from taking action on marijuana, a move that she called regrettable and disruptive.

Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida, a leading Trump ally in the House, said the decision would deny relief to suffering cancer patients, including children. He said the move by Mr. Sessions was “heartless and cold, and shows his desire to pursue an antiquated, disproven dogma instead of the will of the American people. He should focus his energies on prosecuting criminals, not patients.”

Further reading (posted by TSJ):

States with legal pot denounce Sessions’ marijuana crackdown

Vermont moves to legalize pot as feds signal possible crackdown

From:  Q&A: Plan to expand offshore drilling draws cheers, jeers

WASHINGTON — The energy industry is cheering the Trump administration’s proposal to open nearly all U.S. coastlines to offshore oil and gas drilling, saying it will reduce U.S. dependence on foreign supplies and create jobs.

Independent experts are dubious. They cite strong opposition — even from Republicans — to some ocean drilling and question whether oil companies will invest in expensive new offshore projects when there are abundant reserves in shale on the U.S. mainland.


The plan calls for expanded drilling in the Arctic and off the Atlantic coast and would open up waters off California for the first time in more than three decades. Drilling would be allowed from Florida to Maine in areas that have been blocked for decades.


Some lawmakers in coastal states support offshore drilling, but in some states even Republicans were critical of the Trump proposal.

In Florida, Republican Gov. Rick Scott asked for an immediate meeting with Zinke. Rep. Brian Mast, a conservative Republican who represents a coastal district north of Miami, said oil drilling off the Florida coast “puts our economy, environment and marine life at risk.”

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland asked the administration to withdraw proposed leases off his state’s coast.

Democratic governors along the West Coast blasted the plan. In a joint statement, California Gov. Jerry Brown, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee vowed to “do whatever it takes to stop this reckless, short-sighted action.”

From:  Is the White House declaring a policy war on California?

It’s Washington versus California on marijuana, climate change, offshore oil drilling and immigration this week as bubbling disagreements between President Donald Trump’s administration and California all seemed to spill over at once.

The Trump administration picked a notable moment to undo the Obama-era legal guidance that seemed to give states leeway to legalize marijuana: four days after California, the nation’s largest and most important state economically, officially legalized marijuana for recreational purposes.


There’s more.

On immigration, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Thomas Homan, said on Fox Business Network that “California better hold on tight” after enacting a new law to protect undocumented immigrants from federal authorities.

“There’s no sanctuary from federal law enforcement,” he said, adding that the state would be seeing a lot more agents and deportations as a result.

From:  New California bill could serve as national boilerplate for skirting Trump’s tax law

A California Senate leader introduced legislation Thursday aimed at circumventing a central plank in the new Republican tax law, introducing a model that — if successful — could be replicated across the country.

California Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León (D) introduced a bill that would allow taxpayers to make a charitable donation to the California Excellence Fund instead of paying certain state taxes. They could then deduct that contribution from their federal taxable income.

The bill is meant to completely upend part of the tax law that congressional Republicans passed last year. That law contains a provision that sets a new cap of $10,000 on the amount of state and local property and income taxes that can be deducted from federal taxable income. De Leon’s office said that one-third of taxpayers, about 6 million people, itemized deductions on their tax returns and claimed an average of $18,438 for state and local taxes.

De Leon’s bill, if it became law, would essentially allow Americans to deduct much more than the $10,000 limit by redirecting state tax payments into a type of charitable contribution that would be later redirected to the state. The new federal tax law, which was supported only by Republicans, went into effect in January and does not include any caps on charitable deductions.

From:  ‘Fire and Fury’ author Wolff calls Trump least credible person who has ever walked on earth

Michael Wolff, the author of a new book that gives a behind-the-scenes account of the White House, defended his work Friday, insisting he spoke with President Donald Trump on the record and calling the commander in chief “a man who has less credibility than, perhaps, anyone who has ever walked on earth.”

Wolff, in an exclusive interview on NBC’s “Today,” said that everyone he spoke to for the book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” described the president the same way.

“I will tell you the one description that everyone gave, everyone has in common: They all say he is like a child,” Wolff explained. “And what they mean by that is, he has a need for immediate gratification. It is all about him.”

Wolff added that “100 percent of the people around” Trump, “senior advisers, family members, every single one of them, questions his intelligence and fitness for office.”

18 thoughts on “A Trumpian Implosion: Oh boy, everyone seems to be “trating” these days!

  1. I’m sure you’re aware that the marijuana initiative is related to an Obama policy. And I know he was against offshore drilling … at least in some areas.

    Anyone that wants to know what this president is going to do need only look back on anything Obama supported (or didn’t support) and you’ll know he’s going to do the opposite.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I do understand your point. It certainly has merit; however, I do not think Trump’s psychology can be explained as exclusively anti-Obama hatred. It’s much more complicated than that and involves specific mental health issues.

      For an analogy, consider misogynists who commit violent crimes against women. The misogyny itself may be the result of internalized ideology or indoctrination; but, the violent acts themselves result from mental illnesses such as psychopathy and various psychoses. There is little doubt now that Trump suffers from sociopathy (i.e. ASPD) at the very least.


  2. I wouldn’t call marijuana our biggest problem.

    On the heels of a new U.N. report documenting the rise of extreme poverty in the U.S. (1), we witness passage of a tax bill that will make it worse. These U.N. findings are not the result of a limited trial-and-error social experiment. Like the tax bill, they are the intentional continuation of decades-old practices of selfishness and social neglect. I am not surprised that some voters reached out to a non-establishment candidate. I’m just appalled at the outcome, and alternately ashamed of my country and worried about the world.

    Complaints abound but we must develop corrections. Since I still haven’t found a more comprehensive alternative, I hope you will consider mine. Why might legislators pass it? They may 1) want to restore their honor, 2) enjoy congenial town hall meetings, 3) stop the constant begging for campaign funds and acquiescence to rich donors, and 4) serve their real, breathing constituents and country.

    A retired public servant from a family of entrepreneurs (me) developed this remedy. I think our political dysfunction originated with two elements: partisanship and campaign financing. Professional property managers must analyze and correct real on-the-ground physical, financial, legal and social problems. The Citizens United decision prompted me to adapt my unique experience * to campaign finance reform. The result is draft legislation titled The Fair Elections Fund—a Whole New Ball Game©, at http://www.thefairelectionsfund.com. Several attorneys have reviewed and approved it.

    Our Founding Fathers were opposed to political parties that divide the populace and separate People from their government. These private entities obstruct competition, isolate disfavored people, empower themselves, and enrich (and conceal) their funders. Peaceful recovery is possible if legislation is passed that restores People power and politicians responsive to them.

    Long ago the People defaulted on a basic obligation of citizenship: they let others fund political campaigns. That forced candidates to seek funding elsewhere and make false promises in order to get elected. When in office, they served their wealthy campaign funders, whose goals often differed from public needs. Eventually, outrage was inevitable and misdirected.

    This plan re-imagines the rally cry of the Revolution: “Taxation With Representation.” It funds federal campaigns with a $7.00/year tax paid by individual IRS income tax filers. Prospective candidates must obtain Supporting Signatures from 2 – 3,000 Registered Voters in each jurisdiction in order to use public funds for their campaigns. After FEC enrollment, candidates do no more fundraising. Public funding extends opportunity to more candidates and Approval Voting eliminates outliers. If favored candidates don’t gain wide acceptance or play by the rules, the popular #2 would be elected. This may simplify and expedite replacement in the event of a recall. It can be scaled down to state and local elective offices.

    Representative democracy never was about getting 100% of what you want, or suppressing competitors. Those are the tactics of political parties and authoritarians, as exhibited by a government shutdown, voter suppression, and legislative obstructionism. People have the same basic needs (food, clothing, shelter, income, health care, education), but differ on implementation and financing. By engaging more citizens, this plan dilutes the extreme polarization that has “primaried out” calmer voices and disabled effective governing. Adding this option allows voters to choose among publicly-, privately-, or self-funded candidates. Free market participation allows candidates to maintain their honor. It allows Electors Constitutional discretion without legislative or party (“super-delegates?”) constraints.

    On the economic front, the lessons learned by yesteryears industrialists are lost on today’s financiers. Henry Ford raised autoworker wages so they could purchase the products they were making. Henry J. Kaiser initiated preventive health care to reduce illness and sick leave caused by untreated and contagious diseases (albeit by altering the tax code—taxpayer subsidies to businesses is another topic). These leaders recognized that workers contribute to their success, and provide a stable base of customers. Today, workers are treated like disposable commodities as revenue is transferred offshore, into astronomical CEO wages and financial transactions rather than worker pay, job security, pension plans and health care. This race to inequality served the plutocrats but endangered, neglected, and enraged the electorate.

    Adding a profit margin is why revenue-driven intermediaries are unsuitable vehicles for ongoing public services: they increase the cost and/or lower the wages. The goal of business is to gain, maximize, and retain revenue, often by denying, delaying, and minimizing service. These practices inherently undermine caring for our health, infrastructure, and planet. Contracting with businesses does make sense for specific projects, or leaseholds where the public obtains rental income and retains title and enforcement.

    The website’s Cash Flow pages illustrate that the number of individual IRS tax filers exceeds the number of Registered Voters, actual voters, and unregistered adult citizens. Thus, taxation without representation has been restored. This is a replay of historic danger. The revenue indicated does not include the $5,000 FEC enrollment fee from each candidate for each election, or Free Speech-allowed donations to the Fund.
    It is not my place to decide how the American people may reshape their government. This gratis effort is just a tool for them to do so.

    Please share you thoughts on this proposal.

    Thank you, and best wishes for a better New Year,

    Claudia Davison

    *Developed the bifurcated Street Performer Program at Fisherman’s Wharf—Free Speech for all performers, extra benefits for Licensees, plus revenue for the Port of San Francisco, an enterprise agency.

    (This more specific detail is often omitted):
    Some suggest campaigns dependent upon small donations. That is 1) insufficient, 2) unpredictable, 3) anonymous, 4) perpetual fundraising, and 5) doesn’t expand voters’ choices. Vouchers must be funded and may be useless if a voter can’t reinforce their financial contribution with an actual vote for their preferred candidate where closed primaries or “top two” general elections limit free speech. Without replacement funding, a tax credit will generate a “rob Peter to pay Paul” problem, and proper usage of the credit must be verified.

    Another issue is voting practices. One of my concerns about ranked-choice voting is that voters may make errors that nullify their ballots. Also, in addition to counting and re-counting ballots, the system may be manipulated in such a way that a less popular candidate is elected.

    Further information on the development of this program is in my OpEdNews (free sign-up) article “ACA and Democracy in Danger.”

    (1) https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/dec/15/america-extreme-poverty-un-special-rapporteur

    p.s. In February I’m attending the Unrig the System Summit in New Orleans.

    Liked by 1 person

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