Seven days in December: Seven days left to stop Trump, before the Electoral College vote on December 19


The Electoral College vote to elect the next president of the U.S. will be held on December 19, 2016.

That means there are seven days left to convince electors to not elect Donald Trump, the presumptive president-elect of the United States.

He has had 30 days to show us the quality of his decision making and leadership.

For his cabinet he has selected Generals, Billionaires, and Right-Wing Extremists. His selection of future head of the EPA amounts to a declaration of war on the environment. Not to save the environment, but on the environment.

For secretary of state Trump reportedly intends to appoint Rex Tillerson, the head of Exxon-Mobil. He also reportedly plans to appoint John Bolton, the polemical former acting U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., to be Deputy Secretary of State.


Julian Borger (Washington), “Rex Tillerson: an appointment that would confirm Putin’s US election win; The president-elect is reportedly favouring the Exxon Mobil CEO but experts say the Senate may bridle over a realpolitik choice that would benefit Russia,” The Guardian, December 11, 2016 (16:10 GMT).

His first foreign policy moves signal a collision course with China and appeasement of Russia and Vladimir Putin. By announcing hw will oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty (TPP), and not even try to negotiate better terms, he has undercut American foreign and commercial policy in the region to the great benefit of China and to the detriment of the U.S. and its allies.

Trump has dismissed the findings of the intelligence community including the CIA that Russia intervened through cyber and other means in an attempt to throw the election to Trump. He reportedly refuses to read or receive the daily intelligence briefing from the intelligence agencies.

Federal government employees fear that they will be targeted for having worked on climate change or the assssment of Russian intervention in the U.S.

Trump has been described as a dream target for intelligence operatives in dramatic terms.

Glenn Kyle, a retired CIA officer and interrogator, had this to say:

“There is not just smoke here. There is a blazing 10-alarm fire, the sirens are wailing, the Russians provided the lighter fluid, and Trump is standing half-burnt and holding a match,” said Glenn Carle, a retired CIA officer and interrogator.

“The facts hurt, Trump won’t like the truth, and he will without question seek to destroy those individuals or organizations that say or do anything that he thinks harm his precious grandiosity.”

Carle … said Trump’s temperament had played into Russia’s hands and put the president-elect on a collision course with the CIA.

He said: “Look, in my professional assessment as an intelligence officer, Trump has a reflexive, defensive, monumentally narcissistic personality, for whom the facts and national interest are irrelevant, and the only thing that counts is whatever gives personal advantage and directs attention to himself.

“He is about the juiciest intelligence target an intelligence office could imagine. He groans with vulnerabilities. He will only work with individuals or entities that agree with him and build him up, and he is a shockingly easy intelligence ‘target’ to manipulate.”

–Spencer Ackerman (New York), “Intelligence figures fear Trump reprisals over assessment of Russia election role; Wyden: CIA, agencies and Congress must ‘guard against political pressure’,” The Guardian, December 11, 2016 (18:03 GMT).

Trump has done little to resolve the massive conflicts of interest which will arise on the day he is inaugurated, if he is, or the fact that he will commence violating the emoluments clause and his oath of office to uphold the constitution on that same day.

We are watching a train wreck unfold before our eyes. It took 75 years of sacrifice to achieve a stable international order, which now is wobbling and may be undermined by hasty anf ill-considered decisions in the near future.

After Trump’s attacks on the CIA and others, who will believe the U.S. is telling the truth in the future?

It appears that Trump will be a friend of Putin in the White House.

He called for Putin to intercept Hiilary Clinton’s missing e-mails, and Putin did just that. It seems curious that the idea would occur to him, if he wasn’t already aware that such Russian hacking was underway. We don’t know the full extent of his contacts with Russian officials during the campaign.

Nor do we know the nature and extent of his financial ties to Russia and the Russians, as he refuses to release his income tax returns.

In the end, on Russia and many other issues, in his actions to date he appears to be as extreme as his involvement in the birther movement indicated.

These are indeed seven days in December fraught with significance for the future of the country, and the world.

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.