All the President’s Debt

“Don’t Gain The World & Lose Your Soul.
Wisdom Is Better Than Silver Or Gold.”
Bob Marley

If getting impeached twice isn’t enough for Trump, now he’s really getting a major shot to his ego. It looks as though Trump’s actions from January 6th are coming back to bite him in his backside which will do more damage than he ever imagined possible. The only thing that Trump the narcissist, ever prized are money and power which are quickly fading.

News broke last week that Deutsche bank delivered a major blow to Trump and his conglomerates. The German bank, one of Trumps major financial supporters, announced it will cut ties with Trump.

Deutsche has been Trump’s primary business lender since the 1990s and according to inside sources, is owed about $340 Million encompassing three loans.

Back in the 1990s, after half a dozen Trump bankruptcies, Deutsche was the only bank loaning Trump money when others including JPMorgan, Chase, and Citigroup cut ties with him and listed him as too risky for business dealings. Deutsche has lent Trump and his organizations upward to $2.5 Billion over the last 30 years.

One other financial institution also stepped away from Trump after the Capitol siege: Signature Bank, a New York-area institution, has called for Trump to resign and said it was closing two personal accounts where Trump kept about $5.3 Million. A spokeswoman from Signature Bank said the bank also won’t do business “with any members of Congress who voted to disregard the Electoral College.”

Banks aren’t the only funding source that dealt a brutal blow to his pocketbook this past week. Trumps corporate supporters are shutting off the money faucet too. Companies such as, The PGA, Bank of America, Facebook, Microsoft, Airbnb, Coca-Cola, Amazon, Verizon, AT&T, CNN just to mention a few announced they have suspended political donations and also vowed not to give money to the 147 Republicans who tried, unsuccessfully, to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

The attack on the Capital changed everything, said Greg Valliere, chief US policy strategist at AGF Investments. Corporate executives are genuinely appalled. “Many business leaders felt a need to shame the Republicans who refused to accept the election results.” Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, who led the Senate effort to overturn the election, also might be exiled for the rest of their careers.

The decision to dump Trump is politically convenient now and only comes after years of enabling him. Corporate America didn’t back Trump when he ran for office in 2016. But business groups enthusiastically embraced the Trump agenda after he won the White House. Big business got their deregulations, tax cuts and pro-business judges it wanted.

The corporate relationship first began to breakdown because of Trump’s stances on climate, immigration and race. CEOs scrambled to quit Trump’s advisory councils in August 2017 after Trump initially failed to condemn white supremacists at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Eleanor Bloxham, CEO of the Value Alliance, a firm that advises boards on corporate governance practices, said it’s critical that companies institute policies and practices to make sure they don’t “fall into the same trap again.”

That means companies and business groups must ensure that their political spending matches up with their publicly stated values and that those values are reflective of the ones held by their employees and customers. Bloxham said it remains an open question whether the insurrection at the Capitol delivered a lasting lesson to corporate America, or merely a fleeting one. However, she also said, “We’re a nation that forgets too easily sometimes.”

Trump has always found the means to pull himself out of bad situations. There was always some where he could tap for funds. It appears that all these businesses have finally come to the realization that Trump is toxic to their brands and are abandoning him. It’s just not good for business, when our Democracy is literally under attack by its own President.

Trumps net worth has been estimated at $2.5 Billion by Forbes. Virtually all of Trump’s $1.1 Billion of debt is backed by real estate, mostly linked to a small number of buildings and golf courses that form the core of the Trump business empire.

If Trump defaults on his loans, Deutsche can seize the golf courses and hotels secured by the mortgages, and if their value isn’t sufficient to repay the debt, the bank can go after Trump personally, who guaranteed the loans.

The situation is made more pressing for him because his primary source of income in past years was his work on television which is dried up. So, while the president is asset-rich, it is unclear how much liquidity he has access to.

Now that he’s lost the presidency, the federal government will continue his tax audits. The Manhattan DA is expanding its criminal investigations into Trump organization’s finances. We will learn the real truth behind why he didn’t want his taxes released and his real business high finances.

A great many of us already knew what Trump represented for this country. We always knew that Trump’s best seller book the “Art of the Deal” about the “mind of a brilliant entrepreneur” was and is nothing more than just a book of lies from a con artist. We presume Trump will do what he’s done his entire career, strategic bankruptcy which will once again erase all the president’s debt.

Shine On

Heal and Recover

“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.” 
Christopher Reeve

On Monday morning I watched the ESPN news from our Capital. Washington DC Mayor, Muriel Elizabeth Bowser answered questions regarding the attempted take-over of the capital. She sadly reported how many of the capital police officers that had served our nation in the war in Iraq had stated they were more fearful of their lives on January 6th then when serving in Iraq. These veterans also told of their experiences of protests in other countries and never believed they would see similar violence in our country by its own people.

Men carrying weapons and zip ties into our Capital are not there to take friendly selfies of the Capital with our representatives.

Our previous Republican and Democratic President’s condone Trump and his incitement to cause violence. I can’t comprehend how anyone believes what these people did when storming, killing and violently attempting to take-over our capital was okay.

Later this morning, to add more salt to the wound, I read that some House Republicans sent essentially an extortion letter to Joe Biden asking him to get Nancy Pelosi to back off. “A presidential impeachment should not occur in the heat of the moment, but rather after great deliberation,” they said. Adding that “impeachment would undermine Biden’s priority of unifying Americans, and would be a further distraction to our nation at a time when millions of our fellow citizens are hurting because of the pandemic and the economic fallout.”

Vice President Pence late Tuesday evening, stated in a letter to Pelosi that he would not invoke the 25th Amendment. He does not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution.

Pence continued to say he “did not yield to pressure to exert power beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election” last week, referring to when he oversaw the congressional tally of Electoral College ballots. Mr. Trump had falsely claimed that Pence had the power to reject Electoral College results from certain states.

“I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our Nation,” Pence said.

He also wrote, “the country needed to focus on the orderly transition of power and healing as a nation in the wake of last week’s attacks. I urge you and every member of Congress to avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment.”

My point of view is, Vice President Pence’s decision is no surprise. House Representatives and especially Trump, don’t give a rat’s ass about the people. All they care about is legal consequences from their actions and possible jail time.

As more and more large business pull their PAC money from Republicans and Trump affiliates, this will highly influence the Republicans decision to vote to remove the President from office. These two issues of jail time and money tells a great deal about our Representatives.

Our government leaders should be less concerned about the timing and more about their commitment to convicting a president who has lied about voter fraud, attempted to intimate and coerce government officials to flip the vote and incited violence which caused deaths. I want to believe that these Republicans have more to offer the republic than disloyalty, sabotage and treason.

My hope is that we can have open discussions without violence and hate. This country has a great deal of healing to take place. However, I believe without accountability for the actions from the perpetrators and our leaders who fed the fire of January 6th, there will be no healing. Healing not only from the Coronavirus but from the inflammation caused by lies, mistrusts and conspiracy theories.

We have been a dysfunctional family of people for a very long time. But, just like any dysfunctional person, we must be honest and we must admit we are dysfunctional before we can heal and recover.

Shine On

Get Away With Treason

“Treason seldom dwells with courage.”
Sir Walter Scott

Videos, cell phone footage and security images have been surfacing of the capital building attempted take-over. These images of MAGA Mania/Mobocracy are as shocking and horrific as the images of airplanes flown into buildings on 9/11.

The violence to police by these Trump gangsters, made me sick to my stomach. One news cast in particular of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, made me angrier than I thought possible. In Hogan’s press conference January 7th, visibly shaken, he reported how his request for Maryland’s National Guard to come to the rescue of our capital was delayed by 1.5 hours. Why?  Because he couldn’t get approval from President Trump to send help.

As the country grapples with the severity of what happened January 6, 2021, just less than one week into our New Year, our representatives are working to get Trump either removed from office via impeachment or by using Amendment 25.

If President Trump is impeached or removed from office, he will continue to receive his Presidential salary, health benefits, paid office space expenses, reimbursement for moving and most importantly a lifetime of Secret Service protection. There is no cap on any of these reimbursement amounts.

Throughout Donald Trump’s presidency, the 25th Amendment and impeachment has come up again and again as a possible means of removing Trump. His behavior his entire life as well as his business dealings have always been in question. He treated the American people and our constitution no different than he conducts his businesses, with bankruptcies, conflicts of interest, lies, fraud, misleading product information, mistreating employees, manipulating accounts and bribery just to name a few.

In the more than 50 years since the Constitution was amended to create a way to remove a president unable to do his job, the process has never been triggered. The only time in history Amendment 25 was used, is 2002 when President George W. Bush temporarily transferred power to Vice President Dick Cheney while Bush was anesthetized for a colonoscopy. Other than that instance, Section 4 of the amendment, which allow the cabinet to declare the president unfit, has never been invoked.

On the other hand, if Trump is found guilty of treason he could be sentenced to death.

The story of treason and attempts to overthrow the government or to aid our enemies, is nothing less than the story of America itself. Treason is a capital offense and routinely described as the highest crime in American law, worse even than murder. 

January 6th insurgence was an absolute first for this country in over two centuries. We cannot deny that it was a legitimate attempt to overthrow our democratic voting system as well as our government. All the participants, especially Trump, should be convicted and stripped of their USA citizenship especially their voting privileges.

Yet, why is no one talking about treason? The Federal Judicial Center states:

“In the Crimes Act of 1790, Congress created the first comprehensive list of federal offenses, naming 23 separate crimes. Although seven of the listed offenses, including treason, murder, and piracy, were punishable by death, the Act represented a move away from the colonial-era tendency to make the death penalty mandatory for all serious crimes.”

This weekend, one of my fellow Blogoholic’s posted an excellent post, Treason With a Capital Trump. I highly suggest reading Austin’s post.

No president has ever been convicted of treason, so there is no precedent. I couldn’t find any information about what benefits would be stripped from the president if convicted of treason. There have been few actual treason prosecutions under the U.S. Constitution, and only one person, Hipolito Salazar, from the Mexican-American War was executed for treason under federal authority.

We all know, we are living in times that have never been experienced in this country. With that in mind, my point of view is we must think about how we react to a government and president who blatantly treats its people and values with disrespect and dishonor.

Trump’s conduct has been far beyond the bounds of normal presidential behavior and he may have betrayed the country. But, nothing Trump has done, or is alleged to have done has risen to the level of treason as a matter of criminal law until now. 

Our allies look up to America. January 6th broke the image of how other countries perceive us. Russia, China and North Korea commented on the capital coup immediately.  These countries made it clear to their people how democracy can’t and doesn’t work.

If America wants to be respected leaders of democracy throughout the world, we must show that we will not allow anyone, whether he’s an elected official, a citizen and especially a president, get away with treason.

Shine On

Coup d’état

“Most of wars or military coups or
invasions are done in the name
of democracy against democracy.”
Eduardo Galeano

After Wednesday’s attempt by gansta-Trump and his gang members to perform a coup d’état, I ask myself, how did this happen? I’m shocked, but not really that surprised.

On numerous occasions we were warned by Mary Trump about the possible attempts that her uncle would partake to stay as President. We ignored all the telltale signs of his maniacal personality and mental instability. Point of fact, we have been living in Trump’s world for the last four years.

As I watched the takeover of the Capital Building, I felt like I was watching a 2021 bad version of Diehard the movie. But, there was one thought that crossed my mind as I watched the violence unfold and witnessed government officials huddled and petrified on the floor of the Senate room. How apropos that some of these representatives, who had looked away at the violence when 20 first-graders were shot to pieces at Sandy Hook Elementary School, were now experiencing what thousands of our children felt when they were in lockdown after an active shooter was at their school.

These same representatives looked away from the Coronavirus which has killed over 373,584 US citizens as of January 7, 2021. They looked away when it came to helping Americans who lost family members, medical insurance and jobs. They looked away when BLM supporters marched throughout the country for equality. They looked away from senseless violence and death in this country.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
vetos 2019 bill to expand background
checks for gun purchases.

For the last five years, Trump has endorsed violence against political enemies and to anyone who was not as he perceived, on his side. In each case, his Republicans/followers never blamed Trump for his insidious behavior. Instead, they took refuge using the Second Amendment. When Trump inspired violence would  occur, these same Republicans would go on to say, this is the price of our freedom. Truth be told, many of Trump’s government appointees, celebrity backers and business associates are guilty of giving oxygen to his fire.

It’s a well-known fact, that people never change until they experience something personal to themselves. It took a coup d’état by our own President and his gangster followers to wake people up. What’s disturbing, is some still support the President as I write this post.

While we all watched in horror Wednesday, we were not the only ones watching. The entire world was watching along with us. As a country and as its people, we have humiliated and embarrassed ourselves, to say the least, by what this country has become. Let’s face it people, this is us. This is America. This is what we’ve become. But, I believe we have reached that tipping point where change for the better begins.

January 6, 2021s insurgence was an absolute first for this country in over two centuries. We cannot cast-off that it was a legitimate attempt to overthrow our democratic voting system.

It all began after news broke that the two democratic candidates had won the Senate runoff races in Georgia. Early Wednesday morning after that news broke, a pro-Trump rally in front of the White House by Trump and his supporters was taking place. Trump incited his followers to march to the Capital in protest. Meanwhile, as Vice President Pence was presiding in the chamber over the electoral final count, Trump follower’s broke windows and stormed the Capital, causing numerous deaths, damage, violence as well as terrorizing police. These rioters were brazened enough to actually break into the Senate chambers, congressional members offices, while taking selfies and stealing laptops, government documents and souvenirs. The aftermath left five people dead and many injured, mostly law enforcement.

The overall scene from yesterday, was a legitimate coup attempt by Trump and his supporters. The power of the Presidency is the power to inspire and/or to incite. There is no denying that Trump has been inciting violence with his lies and talk of conspiracy about the 2020 election process. The buck begins and ends with Trump and his Republican enablers. Not to mention the police who fled the scene when the rioters broke into the Capital building. All these people should be punished and  held accountable for their actions and lack of actions.

The big question today is, what is going to be done to these criminals and most importantly their leader, President Trump?

There is talk by our leaders both democrats and some republicans, to immediately remove Trump from office using the 25th Amendment or by impeachment. He only has 12 more days in office. But, as we’ve seen in the past, he can do a great deal of damage to this country in less than 24 hours.

In this Blogaholic’s point of view, I say enough is enough, is enough! To prevent Trump from inflicting any more deaths and damage to this country, we must not only remove him from office, but also try him as a criminal. This country has sufficient evidence on his blood-stained hands to convict him as well as remove his title as the 45th President.

The US Law reads: For a seditious conspiracy or Coup d’état charge to be affected, a crime need only be planned if two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

Twenty years sounds like an extremely tolerant sentence for Trump and his gang members. Some countries would behead a leader who instigated such a Coup d’état.

Shine On

NOTE: I’m not a big fan of Mary Trump, but her insights into her Uncle Donald are chilling.

Reboot Button

“I realized for the first time in my life:
there is nothing but mystery in the world,
how it hides behind the fabric of our poor,
browbeat days shining brightly,
and we don’t know it.”
Sue Monk Kidd

We’ve all overcome so much, and instead of dwelling on 2020, let’s reflect on what we can carry forward into 2021. I believe that reflecting on the past helps us to reshape our future.

The top ten takeaways froM 2020

10.      We are not in control of our lives. If you’re a control freak, this was a challenging past year. We’ve learned to become more malleable about life.

  9.      Experiences in our lives were redesigned. We became creative using Zoom and other means to stay connected. This allowed us more time to reflect on ourselves and our lives and what we want and need to accomplish.

  8.      Friendships and relationships. We became more aware of the strong and weak relationships in our lives.  The deeper and more intimate long-term relationships grew stronger and richer.

  7.      Family dynamics. Home schooling and working from home changed how we interacted. Some couples who had been separated by work because one of them traveled or worked long hours were thrust into discussing their problems in their relationships. This forced people to work-out their problems or come to the realization that their relationships were over.

6.        Our pets were the ultimate winners in 2020. We interacted more with them, petted them more and loved on them more.  In a sense, they became our “emotional support” animals.

 5.       Self-care became a priority. So many never had time or just kept putting off time for themselves. We came to the realization, if we are always running on empty and don’t take time and care for ourselves, it can affect us not only emotionally but physically. Getting in touch with our needs. Going for a short walk. Taking a relaxing bath. Shutting off the news for a few days. These small things can make a big difference in our quality of life.

 4.       The law of attraction. I’m not referring to sexual attraction. This law of attraction has to do with your attitude and outlook. If you’re negative, complaining and angry, chances are that’s what you’re going to receive from others. If you want kindness, love and good things in your life, you have to put out that energy.

 3.       Gratitude for what’s good. There are many little things in life to be grateful about. Be thankful you are not sitting in hours of traffic every day, now that you are working from home. Taking the time each day to thank people in your family, tribe or community. Nothing puts a smile on someone’s face as a simple thank you.

 2.       Offering grace to others. Millions of people went without this past year, died alone, suffered, lost loved ones. Listening and not talking when someone is sharing their hardships. Tom Hanks has a great acronym I try to live by: “WAIT” which stands for, why am I talking?

 1.       Never stop learning. We had more time in 2020 to read, learn a new skill, watch new content and even learn how to cook. We grew emotionally, intellectually and physically.

As we reset to live joyful, purposeful and intent-driven lives, let’s learn from our past and just hit that reboot button.

 Shine On