White House Woes

The Trump Presidency

First 7 Months in Trumpland

Volume II - September onward


TRUMP NEWS

Early Trump News (January-August)

Latest News Briefs

January 12: Trump reportedly uses vulgar term to describe Haiti and certain African nations. In White House meeting, he says he'd rather have immigrants from countries like Norway.

January 14: Trump denies using vulgarity during meeting, insisting he is not a "racist." Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), having attended that meeting, says vulgar term was used "repeatedly," while two Republicans claim it was never said.


Recent News Briefs

October 24: Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) announces that he will not run for re-election in 2018, citing, Mr. Trump’s “flagrant disregard for truth and decency.”

October 27: Following emergency surgery, disabled 10-year-old girl – brought to U.S. without documentation as a baby – is snatched by immigration officers.

November 4: "Trump/Pence Must Go" protest rallies take place in 22 cities.

November 7: Syria joins Paris Climate Accord, as does Nicaragua, making U.S. the only non-participating country.

November 7: Trump administration begins to curtail Temporary Protected Status program, which has allowed undocumented immigrants from 10 troubled countries to remain in the U.S.

November 7: In off-year election, Virginia voters elect Democratic candidate Ralph Northam, by wide margin.

November 9: After friendly meetings with Chinese President Xi, Trump turns combative at APEC Forum in Vietnam, hailing "America First" policies.

November 9: Stream of sexual harassment accusations hits politics; woman charges that 38 years ago, when she was 14, Roy Moore (Republican candidate for U.S. Senate) made inappropriate advances.

November 12: While in Philippines, Trump issues stream of combative tweets, calling those who suggest Russian collusion "haters and fools."

November 16: Even though some top Republicans urge Roy Moore to quit Senate race, he digs in, backed by Alabama's Republican party.

November 27: During ceremony to honor Navajo veterans of World War II, Trump mocks Senator Warren, calling her "Pocahontas."

November 29: Trump retweets violent video issued by far-right, anti-Muslim British group.

December 2: Senate passes massive tax bill in late-night session, with last-minute changes handwritten.

December 4: After period of silence about Roy Moore, accused of sexual misconduct with teenage girls when in his 30s, Trump endorses him in Alabama’s Senate race.

December 6: Trump announces that U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel, drawing quick rebukes.

December 12: Democrat Doug Jones beats Roy Moore in Alabama Senatorial election.

December 12: After Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) calls on the president to resign in wake of sexual misconduct allegations, Trump sends angry tweet claiming she “would do anything” for campaign contributions.

December 15: Asked if he plans to pardon Michael Kelly, convicted of lying to F.B.I., Trump replies: “We’ll see what happens.” According to The New York Times, Trump insisted he has “nothing to do with Russia.”

December 20: Congress pass massive tax bill. Trump has called it great Christmas gift to middle-class, while critics assert that it's huge giveaway to corporations and ultra-wealthy, adding $1.5 trillion to 10-year deficit.

December 21: United Nations votes against U.S., 128 to 9, on Trump's decision to move Israeli embassy to Jerusalem.

January 3, 2018: Trump taunts North Korean leader in retaliatory Tweet, insisting that his “nuclear button” is “bigger and more powerful” than Kim Jong-un’s.

January 6: Reacting to allegations in new book, including assertion that White House aides questioned the president's fitness for office, Trump tweets that he is a "very stable genius."

January 8: Trump orders deportation of 200,000 Salvadorans. Because of massive earthquakes in El Salvador in 2001, persons residing in U.S. (legally or not) were granted right to remain, under Temporary Protection Status program. Protection has been extended several times.

For additional details, as well as previous News items, please click here.

Toil & Trouble

Countdown to Trumpland, our new section on the Trump phenomenon and its potential impact on so much of American life, was our main story until Inauguration Day on January 20. Since then, we've provided news and commentary on the Trump presidency, in a section called White House Woes. Mr. Trump's candidacy and election has led to a crucial urgency among progressives and others who feared a barrage of disastrous decisions from his Administration.

Meanwhile, Tirekicking Today has been developing this section on work, labor, and consumer concerns. Toil & Trouble builds upon the uncommon views in Work Hurts, one of our Books in Progress. In addition to notable news items related to work and labor, this section will feature critical essays and editorials.



"No man is good enough to be another man's master."
George Bernard Shaw,
in Major Barbara



Work/Labor News Headlines

• "Fight for $15" campaign for minimum-wage hike looks back on a string of victories in 2016, as new wage floors emerge in several regions of the country.

• While Fight for $15 campaign strives to raise minimum wage sharply, 21 states stick to current federal minimum ($7.25 per hour).

• By wide margin, Nissan workers at Mississippi plant vote down representation by United Auto Workers union.

• On Labor Day 2917, "Fight for $15" and union groups march for minimum-wage hike. Click here for coverage of Chicago protest. • Nomadland, by Jessica Bruder, chronicles lives of "houseless" Americans, many of them elderly, who live in vans and RVs, working at seasonal and short-term jobs to survive.

Additional Labor news items will be posted soon. Please check again,


The Dunning-Kruger effect: "Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge."
Charles Darwin



“You know what the weirdest part about having a job is? You have to be there every day, even on the days you don’t feel like it.”
Jemima Kirke as Jessa Johansson, in episode 4 of the HBO series Girls, created and written by Lena Dunham

Labor-related Essays:

Own Nothing, Owe Nothing
10 Ways to Keep Occupy Movement Alive
Surprise! Some of us like to pay taxes
Reject! For some applicants, job search is futile exercise
Overview: All too often, Toil Is Trouble
Needed Now: Jobs, Not Careers
New Ways To Look at Work
Solidarity Forever?
Quit calling us consumers!
Let's break the chain of consumer debt
Prioritize! Living with Less and Liking It



"He that has to obey the will of another is a slave."
Samuel Fielden (1886)


UPDATED: January 16, 2018

After 23 years of covering cars and the auto industry, Tirekicking Today has shifted gears, with a new focus on social issues and current affairs - led by the unprecedented ramifications of the Trump presidency


During January, this page will be further modified to reflect the change in featured subject matter.



Third book from TK Press Is Now
On Sale in print and e-book form
... and it's Incompetent

TK Press, the book-publishing division of Tirekicking Today, has issued three titles since 2014. Each has been written by James M. Flammang, author of more than two dozen previous books.

The latest is INCOMPETENT: Coming Up Short in a World of Achievement. Whether it's sports, business, personal relationships, the arts, or any other area of life, some of us score a flat zero in the skills and talents department. Blending serious concerns with a humorous tone, each chapter covers a specific area of incompetence with which the author, amazingly, is all too personally familiar.

Incompetent is available NOW in print (paperbound) and e-book form, at these and other retailers:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Excerpts may be seen at Bublish.com.

Also On Sale:

Mr. Maurice Knows It All ... and tells you so. Available as print or e-book at various retailers, including Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

In 78 concise chapters, the debonair yet down-to-earth stuffed pig known as Mr. Maurice–who just happens to know everything–unleashes a torrent of acerbic, humorous, delightfully wise words on subjects ranging from work to movies, from money to citizenship, from status to guilt. An emigrant from Britain, with obviously French heritage, Mr. M. manages to combine strictly contemporary attitudes and piercing opinions with a gallanry and sophistication reminiescent of the era of Mark Twain and Ambrose Bierce.

Note:Mr. Maurice ... was re-launched in 2016 by a different distributor and printer.

Books in Progress (outlines and excerpts)

Editor James M. Flammang, the author of more than two dozen books (including six for children), is at work on several more. Each title views its subject from an oblique and lighthearted – yet serious – perspective. Preliminary outlines and excerpts may be seen by clicking on each title.

Absurdities: Logical Lapses in everyday life and thought is a comprehensive collection of stinging essays that gaze with disbelief at various aspects of modern life. Chapters are arranged in sections, including Work, Money, Identity, Communication/Technology, Consumption, Politics and Law, Pastimes, Sex, and Transportation. Scheduled to go on sale early in 2018.

Untied Knots - Fiction by Flammang: two groups of short stories, each with a tangy twist. One group is travel-based; the other focuses on stay-at-home folks.

Fraidy-Cat: Surviving a lifetime of unwarranted fear and fright. A personal look backward, focusing on lessons learned about debilitating fear and anxiety, including ways to cope and survive.

Work Hurts: Reflections on a wasted life questions the conventional wisdom on work and careers. For untold millions, including many with "good" jobs, each day's toil delivers no joy and little reward.

Hotel Life, subtitled "Living small in an age of large," assesses the satisfactions of simpler living and minimal consumption, while chronicling the joys (and drawbacks) of residing in low-end accommodations.

Also under consideration for future publication:
Steering Toward Oblivion is a caustically critical but humorous observation of the car culture and auto business. Note: Outline will be updated to reflect current conditions.

For further information, please contact us at JF@tirekick.com.



• Articles and essays on topics related to current affairs, and occasionally about relevant automotive subjects, will be posted here periodically.


• New editorials, automotive and non-automotive), will be posted periodically.



• Occasional reviews of current vehicles will appear in this space.

Reviews of 2016-2018 vehicles by editor James M. Flammang may be seen at CarsDirect.com and NewCarTestDrive.com.



Tirekicking Today editor James M. Flammang, a veteran independent auto journalist, has contributed countless product reviews and feature articles to such publications as autoMedia.com, New Car Test Drive, CarsDirect, and Kelley Blue Book. He has written extensively for a variety of major outlets, including J.D. Power, cars.com, and the Chicago Tribune. Flammang is a member of the Freelancers Union, the International Motor Press Association, and Midwest Automotive Media Association (past president). The author of more than two dozen books, mostly on auto history, also has contributed extensively to Consumer Guide publications and to such trade publications as Ward's Dealer Business. TK Press, established in 2014 as a division of Tirekicking Today, has already published three books by Flammang.





"I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein's brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops."

Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002)
Paleontologist, The Panda's Thumb

Countdown to Trumpland

Early January, 2017

Leading Up to Inauguration


Delight or Disaster?

Trump presidency signals either his promised return to a “Great” America, or the demise of Constitutional Democracy, with economic tragedy for lower and middle classes.

As the New Year begins, Americans face a political scene that can only be called unprecedented. To about half the voters in November’s election, the arrival of Donald Trump as president-elect demonstrated a fresh start for the country. To the other half, seeing this willfully ignorant, ill-behaved, flagrantly self-absorbed bully prepare to take the reins of government – despite fierce distaste for so many of the principles and values upon which this nation was founded – is an occasion for dread, distress, and abject hopelessness....

Click here for more.

As soon as Donald Trump entered the White House, Tirekicking Today halted its section “Countdown to Trumpland." Our follow-up series (at right, above) is titled “White House Woes: The Trump Presidency."

In addition to articles on specific issues that President Trump deals with, we include news items on the latest actions and words emanating from, and about, the Trump Administration.



For latest commentary, as well as details on protests and resistance, please click here.

For commentary and protest reports from the first seven months of the Trump presidency, please click here.



For Latest News on Trumpland, please click here.



For news from the first seven months of the Trump Administration, please click here.




News Headlines
in the Auto World

• Automakers seek easing of future fuel-economy standards, under Trump administration. (2/23)

• Attorneys for families of airbag victims allege that four automakers (Ford, Honda, Nissan, and Toyota) knew "for years" about risks of Takata airbags. (The New York Times, 2/28)

• Self-driving Volvo crashes and rolls in Arizona; vehicle was part of Uber pilot program.

• White House plans drastic cuts for EPA, curtailing fuel-economy and emissions testing. (The New York Times, April 4)

• Volkswagen sees strong sales in U.S., despite huge fines and criminal charges resulting from diesel-engine emissions falsification. (May 11)

• Ford removes Mark Fields as corporate CEO, after three years in that role. Fields, a 28-year Ford veteran, was considered a "car guy." His replacement, Jim Hackett, headed Ford’s self-driving division, but previously came from outside the auto business. Ford’s stock has fallen 40 percent since 2014. (May 22)

• Volvo announces that it will stop building passenger vehicles with gasoline or diesel engines by 2019, issuing only hybrids and pure electric models. (July 5)

• Volkswagen plans to drop Touareg SUV, according to Automotive News. (July 11)

• Environmentalists fear that Trump administration, as part of its program to roll back regulations, will ease fuel-economy requirements for the future.

• U.S. Volkswagen executive sentenced to seven years' in prison for diesel emissions cheating.

• North American International Auto Show opens to public in Detroit on January 21, 2018. During media days prior to the show's opening, autonomous (self-driving) cars capture much of the attention. GM has announced it will place a self-driver on sale in 2019.




All editorials, essays, and articles are available for reprinting.
Editors are invited to contact us for rates and full details.

TIREKICKING TODAY began in 1993 as a monthly print publication. Created by widely-known automotive writer/editor James M. Flammang and associate editor Marianne E. Flammang, it went on the Internet in 1995. TIREKICKING TODAY has given consumers, enthusiasts, and industry leaders an abundant supply of valuable automotive information, incuding new-vehicle reviews, used-car buying advice, editorial commentary, and feature articles. By 2016, we were ready to ease away coverage of automobiles, and take the publication on a completely different track - focusing primarily on topics that had become far more crucial than cars.

©All contents copyright 1997-2018 by Tirekicking Today.
Material may not be reused in any way without express permission from Tirekicking Today.
For information on reprinting and syndication rights,
please contact us at JF@tirekick.com.
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