Opinions/Editorials

As Unemployment and Bankruptcies Grow, Trump Still Listens to Kushner

Editor's note:  This article was written by Joe Guzzardi on May 14, 2020.  He is a Progressives for Immigration Reform analyst, who has written about immigration for more than 30 years.

A persuasive argument can be made that President Trump's most trusted White House confidant is his son-in-law and Senior Advisor, Jared Kushner.  Kushner has outlasted almost every Presidential appointee, except for his wife Ivanka Trump, who has hung on since day one.

Recently, the Brookings Institute compiled a White House turnover analysis of President Trump's most influential inside advisors, or "A" team.  As of Friday, May 1, 2020, turnover is 86%, with many of the departures labeled as "resigned under pressure."  More difficult to measure, Brookings admitted, is Cabinet turnover:  case in point, Nikki Haley was upgraded from United Nations Representative to the Cabinet.  After she resigned, her Cabinet post evaporated.  Despite confusion associated with tracking the inner circle's comings and goings, Brookings concluded, President Trump's Cabinet turnover rate is "record setting."

From Russia With Love...Sort Of

Editor's note:  This essay was written by Blair Bess.  He is a Los Angeles-based television writer, producer, and columnist.  He edits the online blog Soaggragated.com, and can be reached at BBess.soaggragated@gmail.com.

FlatteryAmericans who lived through the Cold War were taught that the Soviet Union was not our friend. They possessed weapons that could obliterate us with "the push of a button," as President Trump would say.  They were the scourge of Democracy who ensnared Eastern Europe in an Iron Curtain.  They brought the United States to the brink of nuclear war during 1962's Cuban Missile Crisis.  They were, in the words of former President Ronald Reagan, "the Evil Empire."

So, why is it that in the past year, Russia--the Soviet Union's successor nation--has suddenly become our new best friend?  How is it that a former KGB spymaster named Vladimir Putin has become a role model for the President of the United States?

Why is it inconceivable that a brutal dictatorship--which, in fact, is what the Government of Russia is--could be responsible for an attack on our democratic system of government?

The Real Refugee Problem--And How to Solve It

babyLast week Europe saw one of its worst crises in decades.  Tens of thousands of migrants entered the European Union via Hungary, demanding passage to their hoped-for final destination, Germany.

While the media focuses on the human tragedy of so many people uprooted and traveling in dangerous circumstances, there is very little attention given to the events that led them to leave their countries.  Certainly we all feel for the displaced people, especially the children, but let's not forget that this is a man-made crisis, and it is a Government-made crisis.

The reason so many are fleeing places like Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq is that U. S. and European interventionist foreign policy has left these countries destabilized, with no hopes of economic recovery.  This mass migration from the Middle East and beyond is a direct result of the neocon foreign policy of regime change, invasion, and pushing "democracy" at the barrel of a gun.

Governor Jindal's Stand Against Religious Freedom

FreeSpeechI'm a free speech extremist. I believe the Government has absolutely no business regulating or censoring speech. Of course, commercially popular speech doesn't need protection. It's only unpopular--racist, sexist and vulgar--speech that requires it. So, as a free speech extremist, ironically, I often find myself on the same side as those I believe to be abhorrent, disgusting human beings.

Like the Westboro Baptist Church, for example. When their charismatic leader, Fred Phelps, was alive (may his gentle soul rest in peace) he referred to me personally as "a filthy whore," after I lumped him in with things which make Christianity look bad (him and the Inquisition, just to name a few.) His cult of Protestant fanatics is odious and gross. Their practice of picketing soldiers' funerals, victims of violence, and gay pride events is opportunistic, ghoulish, and grotesque. They're publicity hounds who put themselves in the public eye, in hopes of furthering their cause of 19th century vintage bigotry. The best thing I can say about them is they're cynical. The worst thing I can say is they're Christian.

Affluence Apartheid in America

classwarAnd now for a few choice words concerning my recent demotion to the status of second-class citizen. The amazing thing is how quickly my metamorphosis into Cockroachlandia occurred. One minute, I'm walking around like an ordinary human; the next minute, I'm an insect, an unwanted stiff, a bum, a vagabond, a jamoke. About as popular as feet in a punchbowl.

It seems America is splitting into two different categories:  first class and...wherever I am. Which is as far from prosperous as Kathmandu is to Kansas. Tiffany's and the Dollar Store. A 3-star Michelin restaurant on the banks of the Seine and a Fresno Jack in the Box.

And, on the off-chance I might contract amnesia about my proper position in the big picture, a conspiracy of swells has assumed responsibility to remind me of my new station. And [they] found a primitive, but effective, tool to keep my in my place. [I am t]alking about the ubiquitous, red velvet rope used to separate the VIP's from the hoi polloi. The universal symbol for exclusion.

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