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Friday, September 23, 2016

TRUMP: the CON MAN (Part II)

HEADLINE: “Donald Trump releases list of supreme court nominees.  Back in March of 2013, when Trump was challenged by one of the other Republican candidates (Cruz?) he came up with a list of probable nominees to the Supreme Court that included several judges who are favorites of conservative legal scholars.  Several of the jurists previously clerked for conservative Supreme Court justices after law school. The state supreme court justices include one who was former clerk to Justice Scalia, and three of them clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas (the Donald’s favorite Justice). Another state supreme court justice on the list previously worked for the Bush White House’s office of faith-based initiatives and later in Texas government, where he pushed to keep a monument of the Ten Commandments on public property and the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, issues he has promoted on his Facebook page. 

Let us look a bit closer at some of the decisions and concepts promoted by just three of the possible nominees (for the sake of brevity), with thanks to ThinkProgress.com and People for the American Way for the following information:

·         backed voter ID laws

o   one helped uphold a restrictive Georgia voter ID law and joined one other judge in claiming that “racially disparate effects” should not be enough to prove a violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, even though the Supreme Court has ruled precisely the opposite.

o   dissented from a decision finding that a city had violated the Voting Rights Act by improperly diluting the voting strength of Native Americans

·         criticized not just women’s right to choose under Roe v. Wade but even the constitutionality of the New Deal

·         wrote a decision expanding religious objectors’ ability to limit their employees’ access to birth control coverage that has been described as “the broadest ruling so far by a federal appeals court barring enforcement of the birth-control mandate in the new federal health care law. 

·         showed anti-reproductive-choice views in providing a lenient sentence to two anti-abortion protesters who had to be forcibly removed from blocking the entrance to a Milwaukee abortion clinic and had previously been arrested 100 times for such offenses; this judge praised them for their “fine character” and expressed “respect” for the “ultimate goals” the blockade “sought to achieve.”

·         made the argument that anti-gay groups have a constitutional right to continue receiving government subsidies even if they engage in discrimination. 

·         argued in favor of big business and against consumers and discrimination victims, tried to limit corporate liability for product defects and overturn a $1 million damages award; to protect a corporation from having to defend against an employee’s claim of discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and to reverse a $3.5 million bad faith judgment in favor of a Lutheran church against its insurance company.

·         asserted in dissent that a jury verdict against a criminal defendant should have been upheld even though there was extensive evidence that one of the jurors did not understand English (including a statement from the juror himself), which disqualified him from serving on a jury under state law; 

·         that a prosecutor should be immune from a claim that he fabricated false evidence that wrongly convicted a man for 17 years

·         that a conviction under federal law against someone convicted of domestic violence for possessing firearms should be reversed and that the law itself could well be unconstitutional

·          favored a claim by a student group that it should receive state funding and recognition despite its violation of a university rule prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, an issue on which the Supreme Court reached exactly the opposite conclusion several years later.

·         wrote decisions that reversed an $8.1 million award to whistleblowers who helped bring a defective pricing and kickback claim against a large corporation and a nearly $19 million class action judgment against Tyson Foods for violating the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

·         dissented from a number of Eighth Circuit rulings that have upheld the rights of employees, consumers and others against big business and government agencies;

o   In three separate cases, dissented from decisions that employees should at least get the chance to prove in court that their employers retaliated against them for filing sex harassment, age discrimination, or other discrimination claims. In two more decisions, argued in dissent that public employees should not have the opportunity to prove that they were retaliated against

·         dissented from a decision giving African-American shoppers the opportunity to prove discrimination claims against a large department store

·         dissented from rulings that gave individuals a chance to prove claims of use of excessive force and, in one case, that a city’s policy to use police dogs to bite and hold suspects without any warning was unconstitutional.  

IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO BE CLEAR ON THIS:  Trump as President, would have one Supreme Court vacancy to fill immediately that is now being held up by Senate Majority Leader McConnell on the premise that the new President, and not Barack Obama, should have the right to appoint Scalia’s successor.  Trump has clearly indicated that “he would draw from the most conservative segments of the judiciary to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court.”
If Trump is elected President, this will be his first nomination to the Court, but probably not his last.  In addition to the open seat left by Scalia, there are three current justices who are quite elderly. The next president could fill as many as four seats.  As a result, the nature of the Court could be “locked-in” for several generations; a Court that will have an ultra-right-wing majority bent on over-turning many of the decisions now extant that influence everyday life.  This will not only include over-turning Obamacare, but many programs like Medicare that provides some insurance and protection for a large group of citizens.  Such a Court will also be hell-bent on overturning certain civil and human rights that we now take for granted, such as the Violence Against Women Act, Roe v. Wade, Miranda, speedy trial, and much more.  Further, government programs for people who happen to be poor, underprivileged, handicapped, challenged, or in need of special consideration will, if not voided entirely, face restrictions that essentially change the nature and structure of any such programs.  

So, here’s the deal for all of the disgruntled unemployed and unskilled workers, blue and white collar workers, low wage earners, and all those who simply support Trump because they want their leader to be tough with everyone and everything:   YOU WILL GET WHAT YOU VOTE FOR!

NO MINIMUM WAGE and courts that won’t hear your complaint

NO NEW MANUFACTURING JOBS – they are permanently GONE and not coming back to any great extent, and any that do will soon be replaced by robots and electronics that can do those jobs more efficiently and at less cost per unit than YOU can.  Since Trump regards science negatively, and believes that human-caused climate change is a “hoax”, and that fossil fuels are our future, where does that leave YOU in terms of NEW JOBS coming on-line in the alternative fuels industry? 

NO ENHANCED SKILL TRAINING OR RE-TRAINING - the Donald has no plan for getting our workforce ready for a new techno-world.  Technology is taking over and Trump hasn’t a clue as to how YOU will be trained to meet the challenges.  Besides, practical application of technological advances promises increased corporate profit with fewer personnel costs, so how does an untrained or re-trained worker match up with that?

PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE NOT GOING TO SOLVE YOUR PROBLEMS:  Trump wants to keep them under local control, and many local school boards think ‘innovation’ and ‘creativity’ are dirty words.  Too many public schools are not prepared or equipped to meet the 21st century – not by curriculum, technology, teaching new work skills, emphasizing math and science, or teaching citizenship and its responsibilities, as well as its rights and freedoms.  Schools are caught in the 19th and 20th centuries, and have no inclination to change.  And, school choice which the Donald favors, will only denigrate and re-segregate our public educational system at a faster pace, since making education, research, learning and community internships dependent on profit does not benefit anyone but the profiteers. 
NOT to WORRY – the Donald will fix it right away by giving you the choice of sending your children to a private, for-profit school that costs an arm and a leg; to a charter school that cherry-picks the best students; or, you can keep your children in a public school that has been deserted by all those who could afford to send their progeny to a private (or charter) school.   By the way, you know what that means, right?  Higher taxes to pay for your children’s local public school plus having to pay for those private and charter school subsidies mandated from the federal tax coffers!  Nice Play, Shakespeare!  

NO SYMPATHY or DECISIVE ACTION WHEN BUSINESSES ABUSE YOU because this will be the BUSINESS PRESIDENT, and workers who join together to take their cases to court, will be shunted aside in favor of BUSINESS every time, and Trump’s Supreme Court will take that same side against YOU

EVERYTHING YOU HAVE COUNTED ON TO GET THROUGH IS IN JEOPARDY – including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, pension rights, adequate health care, unemployment insurance; even food stamps and Pell grants

LAW & ORDER will bring results YOU DO NOT WANT:  city curfews for whole neighborhoods, areas or communities; neighbors spying and snitching on neighbors; your home will no longer be your castle – your home will be able to be invaded by the police, even if it’s a mistake;  innocent people will be caught in police militarism to establish Law & Order; some people will be targeted for harassment, arrest, unreasonable charges and unfair sentences; YOU WILL BE ONE of THEM if you look or act or talk in a “foreign” or “different” manner, or happen to be dark-skinned.

THE WALL WILL NOT SOLVE THE UNEMPLOYMENT PROBLEM – Illegal immigrants are not taking away your jobs (first jobs 'taken' by many illegal immigrants are so menial that most working Americans will not consider them).  Under Trump, Businesses will have all the privileges and subsidies and breaks applied to companies with those menial jobs.  Some businesses will be allowed to hire “temporary” aliens – unvetted, unscreened, unprotected, but useable for profit. 

COSTS OF MILITARY BUILD-UP will not simply fall to the wealthy – YOUR sons and daughters will be the FIRST to get the call to volunteer or face a draft; then YOU WILL ALSO HAVE TO PAY THE BILL for all those new unnecessary weapons systems; all the contractors’ over-time, excess time and failures; YOU WILL PAY, not those Businesses and wealthy CEOs who will be benefitting from your lack of consumer protection, lack of rights, and lack of power, as well as from the many tax breaks that only they can access.

YOU are going to PAY MORE IN TAXES to fund the WAR AGAINST ISIS and potentially against Middle East countries that are in turmoil like Syria and Libya; to say nothing about that country that D. Trump says has gotten so much out of the recent Treaty signed with us and several other countries (by which the advance of nuclear power is now restricted), but which Trump wants to renegotiate.  Trump has no idea what he is talking about, and YOU will bear the consequences when IRAN becomes belligerent.

LABOR UNIONS WILL BE OF LITTLE HELP to you because the restrictions already upheld and those that are still to come will cripple the Labor Movement beyond repair.  Just try negotiating with a business on your own and see how far you get in this pro-business climate.  Retaliation and firing-without-cause plus lower wages and lack of benefits will from now on be a normal part of what you will have to face wherever you may work.

CONSUMER PROTECTION and ADVOCACY ARE OUT THE WINDOW:  If you don’t catch-on soon, this will all come back to haunt you under ‘der Donald’ as President.  Remember EPA, OSHA, FTC, AAI, NLRB, FEC – and a myriad of others?  Well, these government-based consumer protection agencies have all been under attack when Republicans are in the White House, and some have never returned to the staffing and budgeting levels necessary for effective inspection and advocacy since the time of the great destroyer of consumer advocacy, Ronald Reagan.  Donald Trump will give them all the heave-ho if given the chance because he wants “interference” with financial interests and business interests to be minimized beyond their present status.  Beyond government, don’t forget that this attack has also been made on private consumer-based groups known for citizen advocacy – such as ACORN, Legal Aid, Planned Parenthood, and Community Action agencies.  Consumer advocacy is GOING, GOING, GOING – and under Trump --GONE!    

With a radical Republican President Trump, an ultra-right-wing majority on the Supreme Court, and a Congress controlled or obstructed by Tea Party ideologues, YOU ARE ABOUT TO WISH YOU HAD NEVER HEARD OF DONALD TRUMP.  Just as Ronald Reagan betrayed his union followers when he fired striking Air Traffic Controllers, Trump followers are about to be betrayed beyond their wildest fears.  THEY ARE ABOUT TO BE EATEN ALIVE by the forces of destruction, division, diminution, denigration, deregulation, distrust, demonization and demoralization. 
I tend, therefore, to pity those followers who believe that Donald Trump, once in office, will carry out every promise he has made to help particular groups of people.  Why do I say that?  Because he has constantly demonstrated in his life and in his work that his personal status, profit, power, prestige and winning are all that matter.  Equality and Justice, Charitableness and Service to others are not important to him unless they can be used as tools to CON others into following his lead.   Therefore, I end with a personal message to Trump supporters: 
 
YOU WILL LIVE TO REGRET YOUR SUPPORT OF TRUMP because his support ultimately means your downfall, and the probable deterioration of our economy, our daily existence, our democratic values and your livelihood.  This is my fervent plea -- Don't fall for the CON MAN'S Tricks -- Realize the potential danger you are in and CHANGE YOUR VOTE NOW!