Tag Archives: President Trump

Bet on the Players Not the President

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

New Orleans   President Trump could have, and in fact should have, just declared victory over the cowering and hapless National Football League billionaire owners and called it a day, case closed.  He had proven that a poorer man could successfully bully a whole gaggle of richer men.  For once in his life, he should have just shut his pie hole.

But, no, he couldn’t of course, so now the players are going to have to teach him a lesson.  Sports betting is now legal.  Soon it will be available in your town, too.  Delaware jumped off the line first.  If you are betting, I’d bet on the players this time.

There might be a dozen or so of you out there who don’t know what I’m talking about, so here’s the brief context.  Some NFL players, led initially by Colin Kaepernick and then Eric Reid and others, began protesting police brutality and racial discrimination during the anthem before the beginning of football games.  Some owners were fine with it, some weren’t.  The NFL brass was respectful in the beginning.  Before the protests could run their course or lead to some reforms, President Trump jumped into the fracas and tried to claim the protests were unpatriotic.  Then it was on!  Jerry Jones, the bully-boy owner of the Dallas Cowboys, threatened his players, and away we go.  There were stutter steps towards a resolution.  Players like Kaepernick filed grievances over collusion to prevent them from being able to work.  Secret recordings of the owners’ meetings became public proving how spineless many were.  Jones was fined and forced to pay the league’s legal costs for his mischief.  Finally, in a ham-handed move the league announced that their players would have to stand or stay in the locker room:  no more protests.

Trump of course declared victory, reminiscent of George W. Bush on the aircraft carrier, he mistook one successful skirmish for a bigger battle in the war.  Whoops!  The owners, the league, and Trump forgot about the players when they threw in the towel.  Furthermore, the players have a union so the owners can’t simply announce a unilateral change without negotiations, so there’s a problem there as well.

Trump then tries to have the standard White House celebration for the Philadelphia Eagles victory in the Super Bowl and suddenly finds out that he can hardly pull a van load of players and Eagles staff to drive the short trip to Washington.  The Eagles players had never even protested during the anthem, but now they are in it to win it on this front as well.

We all know what’s coming unless someone puts a sock in Trump’s mouth and the owners grow a backbone.  There are going to be whole teams that simply do NOT come out for the anthem and stay in the locker rooms unless this rule is changed. Constitutional lawyers are starting to weigh in now that the new NFL rule is a breach of freedom of speech and illegal.  Steph Currey and LeBron James in the midst of the NBA finals have already declined a visit to the White House and others are expressing solidarity with the Eagles and the NFL players.

We all know football.  When there’s a mess this big and the ball is bouncing all over the field, count on the players to pick it up and run with it.  That’s my bet, and I’m sticking to it.

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DACA Disgrace

New Orleans   When Jeff Sessions was a Senator in Alabama, he was pretty easy to ignore. Just one of a hundred, a voice in the back of the room where he could be easily ignored, especially if you didn’t live in Alabama. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on the other hand is a very, very scary dude and impossible to overlook.

He didn’t announce the new Trump administration policy on the Dreamers and DACA so much as he spit it out. These were no longer children brought unwittingly to the United States by their parents from other countries who had no say in the matter, hardly knew their birthplaces, and did their best to love America and make it their home. In Sessions snarl, these were “illegal aliens.” They were potential terrorists. The program was unconstitutional. Hundreds of thousands of them were stealing jobs from the native born, real Americans.

It hardly matters that none of what he was saying is substantiated or really true. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA is currently covering 800,000 young people. Potential security risks and terrorists? In order to win DACA status all of these young people had to go through rigorous scrutiny, have degrees, be in school, and have job prospects. Unconstitutional? No court has so ruled, and the Justice Department offered no brief to support the claim. Taking jobs from the native born? Really, you think the DACA folks are pushing people aside to be chicken pluckers and farm hands? The estimated adverse economic impact of ejecting the promise of the Dreamers is $400 billion! These are not free loaders or job thieves, but good, solid young men and women trying to make America great again.

Speaking of chicken brings us to President Trump of course. You can hear him clucking far behind Sessions that he “loves” the Dreamers. He kicked the can over to Congress for six-months, because he is one President where the “buck never stops here” at his desk, if he can duck and cover beneath it and point the finger elsewhere. If this is what it means to be loved by the President, like his ex-wives, we should not want any of it but the alimony payments.

The DACA fight is not over. The Dreamers and all of us who support them won’t walk away or hide behind the door. They may end up in the shadows, but they are not there now. They are at risk absolutely, but their addresses and personal information are protected by privacy guarantees.

There will be consequences for Trump and his administration though. It has become clearer and clearer, despite any last hopes any of us might have had, that this is an administration willing to govern by only appealing to the 30 to 40% of the American people willing to support them. That may seem plausible in the first year of an administration, but just as winter is coming, so are elections in 2018 and 2020, and that base isn’t big enough to allow an administration and its policies to be sustainable.

We’ve got some tragically rough days ahead, but mark the calendar, our day is coming as one shameful decision after another is announced from the White House.

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Please enjoy Braindrain by SUN Parade.

Thanks to KABF.

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