Beltway Insider: Trump Delusions of Success; Climate March; AR Executions; French Elections; Jonathan Demme

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President Donald Trump summed up his first 100 days in office, the random benchmark date used to gauge the incoming president effectiveness, stating, during a speech in Kenosha, Wisconsin, '"No administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days."'

According to Gallup, President Trump's job approval, over the past week, increased four percentage points to 42% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President decreased four percentage points to 53%. 

Trump Delusions of Success

President Donald Trump has never been one to defer his successes to another or allow a few minor facts to get in the way of the real truth so as he continues to explain to the good people of Kenosha, that his accomplishments even outweigh that of FDR, who pulled America up out of the Great Depression, media, everywhere, has decided just clarify fact check his presidency.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, arguably one of the greatest Presidents in the history of America, signed 73 bills within the first 100 days of his presidency; Donald Trump signed 28, and yes, we all know, before President Trumps explains, if Congress would have been more supportive and not simply vindictive he could have accomplished more.

Trump also signed 20 Executive Orders, 22 Presidential Memorandums and 20 proclamations. Yes. This is true as is the truth that the majority of the Executive Orders have been overturned or deemed unconstitutional and three are simply different versions of the first wholly and across the board rejected travel ban.

The 100-day benchmark also erased the ban on the Dakota Pipeline and the Keystone XL Pipeline and as declared by Mr. Trump the completion of these will reduce the United States foreign dependency on oil and are in the good of the nation. Completion of the infrastructure and a drop of oil running through the more than one-thousand-mile pipeline are two entirely different issues. .

Overturning ObamaCare or the ACA was also a campaign promise and has fallen, at least temporarily to the wayside as the new bill failed to pass Congress. Again, the failure of this bill is due to a vindictive congress not President Trump.

The chant "Lock her Up" still rings in my ears from the Republican National Convention lead by Michael Flynn, who later became Defense Secretary Michael Flynn, only to resign at the request of the President due to his failure to disclose conversation with senior Russian officials and his failure to treat Vice-President Mike Pence with respect and not lie about his dealings with Russia.

And the elephant in the 100day Room, Putin, again back at Vladimir Putin, and the ugly shadow of truth that follows and dogs the president has he continues his attempts to put the rumor and facts to rest, no he didn't cheat, there was no cyber interference from the Kremlin.

The unfortunate fact that accompanies these denials is that nearly every member of his appointed staff has had direct contact with Putin, accepted money from the kremlin, been a party to gifts, dinners gratuities, been photographed and been nominated by President Trump.

Will the 100-day benchmark for Trump's presidency be one for the history books? One could, unequivocally, say yes.

Climate March on Washington Marks Second Mass March in 100 Days

Americans turned out again this week, in Washington D.C., maintaining the vigil that began Day 2 of President Trump's administration and now again, marking Day 100, a second significant gathering of protesters made their way through the streets of our nation's capital.

Taking up the mantle of Climate change and more importantly bringing a national spotlight on this administration denialist argument over the actualities of Global Warming and Climate Change, upward of a quarter of a million marchers peacefully demonstrated.

There has been no concession from the government and it is doubtful that two protests will do anything other than cause a twitter rant from this administration. Keeping the heat on, keeping the issue in the media, keeping experts vocally and publicly challenging the assertion, assumptions, and policies of this administration. Essentially creating a public filibuster on the issue at hand.

Borrowing from the 1960's playbooks on peaceful demonstrations resulting in change, the leaders must remain vigilant clogging subways, and snarling traffic, calling for nationwide participation and sister city gathering.

Making change in this season, one must rise above the din and build a platform that is louder than the cacophony of irrelevance, of the dollar, of hidden agendas.

Arkansas Lethal Injection Executions – Inhumane or Justice

Arkansas became the focus of the national spotlight on the Death Penalty argument over the last ten days as they have sought to move ahead with a series of executions that have exhausted their legal challenges.

Eight Death Row inmates, whose proof of guilt has long been established and punishment determined, were prepped for the process, with the efficiency of a local farmer sending his animals to slaughterhouse, the next eleven days would see the eight put to death for their crimes using lethal injection.

The Death Penalty has long been a hotly debated issue in American politics causing as deep a division in the public as the argument of Pro Life or Pro Choice.

Liberal media, even now as Arkansas has moved to expedite those death row inmates, have begun the usual pleas of humanity as they report on those in this traditionally low ranking state that has as recently as 2016 fallen into the 48th percentile of poverty.

Calling the inmates by name, explaining the physical ills of which they have lived with, and expecting their public celebrity stature to build an outcry to outweigh the viciousness of the crimes to which those incarcerated are responsible, is in actuality irresponsible media.

Lethal injection, which has also been part of the inhumane argument reserved for those who are set to die as punishment for capital crimes. Those crimes deemed the most heinous among society of which create headlines that jump off the page in horror and send shockwaves through every community leading all to demand justice.

Of course, those arguments are well and good when the crimes, the bodies, the murders, the pedophile horrors, the mutilations, are fresh and graphic.

When time has passed and the memories of the loved ones are no longer generating headlines, and the violent offenders claim religion has set them free or a lawyer somewhere has decided to take up the challenge as offensive as the crimes were as now a decade beyond the sentencing has passed do two wrongs make a right argument exhausting patience, time, offending families and stirring up the debate once again.

Well for Arkansas, Lethal Injection became the scab of the factory line efficiency as the main ingredient for the killer cocktail was due to expire. With enough left for eight strong doses, the Arkansas governor, Asa Hutchinson, signed off on the challenges and effectively turned on the conveyor belt.

Double execution dates were set and, to the systems credit, met.

Those career criminals who are remembered for taking decent lives, robbing families of fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, who are now left with only memories and the nagging mental trailers of last moments pieced together by prosecutors, are deservingly dead.

Inhumane? Poverty is inhumane. Illiteracy is inhumane. Injustice and discrimination and many plagues of society are inhumane. Walking into a home, a convenience store, kidnap, rape, and murder, prepared and facing the penalty, not inhumane. It's called justice. Like it or not.

Beltway Insider: Trump’s First 100 Days; France Elections; Marine Le Pen, Tennessee Teacher; LA Riots at 25

French Citizens Gear Up For Historic Election

With almost a redux of the November Presidential Elections, the French are heading to the polls in one week faced with the same choices, an unprepared candidate with somewhat challenging views and a polished, seasoned candidate who also has a closet.

This election go around, from what seems a universally polarized population, are in France and the two winning candidates neither of which secured a majority of the vote are En Marche! (Forward!) party candidate Emmanuelle Macron and The National Front (FN) candidate Marine Le Pen.

The two, like the world population or at least the peoples of democratic governments, are polar opposites, with deeply divisive views and outlooks that are skeptical.

Essentially, if the genders were switched, they would be a mirror of the United States Presidential elections. Le Pen the Donald Trump and Macron, Hillary Clinton.

Macron, even with his salacious closet, is expected to win and carries a significant lead something that Hillary Clinton was never able to sustain. As of April 27, 2017, Macron leads nearly 21 percentage points over Le Pen at 60.2% to 39.8%.

Without bringing to the public eye the personal lives of the candidates, and it is France, Mr. Macron's wife, Brigitte Trogneux, is 24 years his senior and at 39, he remains the youngest candidate to secure a Presidential bid.

His dossier includes appointed positions under outgoing President François Hollande, in both the first and second terms. Appointed as Minister of Economy and Finance he, during the height of the Great Global Recession, pushed business friendly reforms through creating jobs.

Can Marine Le Pen Win? 

With one week before the election Ms. Le Pen's strategy has to be the Hail Mary at every stop, a 24-7 campaign, softening the rhetoric and in this last week pitching a middle of the road pro-citizen issues. Unemployment, youth unemployment, jobs, housing, issues that directly affect the middle class, which has and will always remain the backbone of any strong economy.

Factory workers, school teachers, educators, reaching across party lines and addressing the single international issue that effects the psyche of Parisians more than any other: Terrorism. Trade deals, NATO Alliances, EU determinations, none of those issues will play at the polls more that the issues that translate into effecting humanity.

And conversely, Macron is faced with the similar tasks. Straying from issues that across the board effect the middle class, which runs the gamut of lower middle to upper middle, all of whom have desires for upward mobility, the people must believe in a candidate that will get the economy moving.

The legacy of Marine Le Pen which she inherited from her father are steeped in antisemitism and holocaust denial. The National Front party founded by her father which initially launched her career has certainly gone through a metamorphosis, and she has been at the forefront of the change, softening the hardline positions or attempting to de-demonize even to the point of expelling members, including Ms. Le Pen's father, who repeated the universally rejected views of Holocaust denial.

The entirety of the Denial Argument has been rejected by Marine Le Pen's version of the FN, even as the party itself was founded on viewpoints that included denial.

Fascism remains embodied in the Denial Argument, the rise of the Islamic State also represents a zealous, a religious hatred, and religious dominance denouncing all others as false with a belief that exterminating those infidels remains the only secure way to enter post death paradise.  

Unfortunately, the rejection of her father a founding member of the party and his beliefs occurred in such recent history, only two years ago, remains too little too late. Until 2015, the FN party embraced and endorsed a denialist belief. Granted it may not have been wholeheartedly, or the belief of every member, and it was the Ms. Le Pen's party.

So, can Marine Le Pen Win? It's doubtful and not expected.

Jonathan Demme

Jonathan Demme, a former Entertainment Publicist turned Director, passed away this week from complications arising from esophageal cancer and heart disease. He was 73.

Most have written on his prolific career, which it was, his Oscar winning skill, of his entertainment footprint. Not having the opportunity to meet or interview Mr. Demme, I wanted to write about my introduction to him through this work.

More specifically, Silence of the Lambs, a film that is seared in memory. It's freshness and freakishness has not faded through the years. I still joke about a "nice Chianti" and add Sir Anthony Hopkins actions. And even remember Billy Crystal hosting the Oscars that year being wheeled out with the mask. Silence of the Lambs was genuinely effecting. A thrill ride, frightening, stunning and my introduction to the skill of Jonathan Demme.

He followed with Philadelphia, a casting coup got Antonio Banderas, a screen heart throb to play Tom Hanks's lover adding Denzel Washington as the homophobic, just saying, lawyer and even Joanne Woodward as the matriarch of this tight knit family who explained the hell that would be unleashed upon them all should they move forward to fight the right fight.

Rachel Getting Married, in 2008, again casting brilliance by Demme, moved Anne Hathaway from type catapulting her forward with the role of drug addicted Kym which landed her the first Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations of her career.

Looking back over his filmography I see I liked his early films Married to the Mob with Michelle Pfieffer, Something Wild with Melanie Griffith without knowing.  His documentaries which may not be well know, featured 1960's and 70's folk rocker, Neil Young someone whom I also respect and admire.

He was lauded for his significant style in film making, his close-up, specifically a quid pro quo style which Demme described as necessary to put the audience "in the character's shoes."

His early career, as entertainment publicist, obviously didn't hold him and possibly whetted his appetite for the process and the freedom to create his version of truth in film.

He passed away Wednesday, in the early morning, in Manhattan.

For more information on President Donald Trump:


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