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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Lying and Betrayal are Trump Hallmark

He spoke untruthfully throughout his campaign to sucker in unknowledgeable voters, praying on their fears, bigotry, and ignorance. All the while, the Republican Party hid their plans by covering them with patriotic gravy.

The Hill reports the CBO's findings.

"CBO: ObamaCare repeal bill would leave 23M fewer people with insurance
The GOP’s ObamaCare replacement bill that passed the House would result in 23 million fewer people with health insurance over 10 years, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in an analysis released Wednesday.
http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/335000-cbo-obamacare-repeal-bill-would-leave-23m-fewer-people-with-insurance

Sorry, suckers, he likely also had a big deal in the works to expand his empire with his Russian partners. He got stopped by the rule of law, we hope.


Catch me if you can.

Trump's pattern of obstruction

The Hill characterizes the Trump administration's refusal to produce lobbyist waivers for review by the Ethics Office as being a feud. It is much more than that.

Donald Trump has demonstrated that he has disdain for laws and regulations that he is sworn to uphold and defend. The evidence points to that:

  • Failure to comply with the Emolument Clause
  • Committing Misprision of Fraud
  • Lying as a Federal Government official
  • Nepotism
  • Failing to comply with Ethics standards and conventions
  • Obstructing justice by failing to cooperate in investigations
  • Obstructing justice by actively interfering in investigations

That is a start.
"White House, ethics office feud escalates 
An escalating feud between the White House and the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has boiled over, with the Trump administration refusing to produce waivers it has granted to lobbyists that allow them to work in government agencies. 
Walter Shaub, the office’s director, wants to review the waivers and make them public to ensure the Trump administration is adhering to publicly stated policies and an executive order signed by the president. 
That would bring the Trump administration in line with practices followed under former President Barack Obama, who appointed Shaub to his current role." 
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/334854-white-house-ethics-office-feud-escalates
Salon reports more.

"With Trump, that kind of pattern could include the following: 
His dinner with James Comey on Jan. 27. According to the New York Times, Trump asked Comey for a pledge of loyalty at least twice, and was politely rebuffed. 
His decision to invite Comey to that dinner, which the Times suggested was a last-minute affair ("Only seven days after Donald J. Trump was sworn in as president... the F.B.I. director was summoned to the White House for a one-on-one dinner with the new commander in chief"). If that inference is correct, that means Trump decided he wanted to speak to Comey—and to get his pledge of loyalty—just one day after Sally Yates warned the White House that Michael Flynn had lied about his contacts with Russian officials and could be vulnerable to blackmail. 
The Feb. 14 Oval Office conversation described in the Comey memo the Times wrote about Tuesday. According to the Times, Comey wrote that Trump told him, "I hope you can let this go," and that the president did this after instructing several of his top advisers, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to leave the room. 
Comey's firing on May 9, and Trump's subsequent admission that he booted the FBI director after thinking about how “this Russia thing” was a “made-up story.” 
Trump's decision to publicly threaten Comey on Twitter by saying that the now-former FBI director "better hope that there are no 'tapes'" of their conversations." 
http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/05/16/how_a_prosecutor_might_use_trump_s_pattern_of_behavior_to_show_he_obstructed.html


I obstruct, your honor.


U.S. Afghanistan Endgame

The Afganistan situation is an instance of the great challenge to the free world that is manifest in ideologies that are rooted in anti-modern interpretations of Islam and the application of sharia law. The Taliban which was aligned with the Al Qaeda ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 during which they massacred civilians and starved UN supplies to 160,000 starving civilians and children.

The United Nations attribute about 80% of civilian casualties to Taliban insurgents. Estimates are that there are about 25-30,000 Taliban remaining in rural pockets around Afghanistan with some Pashtun tribesman hiding in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

Following the developing Trump Foreign Policy, the Taliban are horrible "losers". If the Afghanistan government is a viable one, then after 16 years of UN and American presence, its combined police and military forces should be able to irradicate or otherwise transform this radical sect because a relatively small number can impose terrorism on the population as the world knows.

President Trump wants to increase the U.S. Troop level to what end? Is it to shore up the Afghan troops to finish the job? Is that what the Afghan government wants to accomplish? Do they request assistance? Do U.S. Military and State Department Leaders believe that is a winning strategy? What about the State Department where Trump wants to reduce the budget?

Congress has every responsibility to grill the administration about this.

The same type of problem exists everywhere in the Middle East where radical Islam exists. To deny that religious extremism is a problem is a mistake. To deny the cause that is economical and education depravity is also wrong. What must the free world do to eliminate the threat of terror from extremists that are intent on projecting violence?

Is it possible to reconcile with the Taliban?

"The Taliban's ideology has been described as anti-modern, combining an "innovative form" of sharia Islamic law based on Deobandi fundamentalism and the militant Islamism and Salafi jihadism of Osama bin Laden, with Pashtun social and cultural norms known as Pashtunwali, as most Taliban are Pashtun tribesmen." 
Wiki

Taliban 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Unraveling Trump and the Russians

Donald Trump and his campaign associates had direct contact with the Russians and were either dupes or naive or colluders, and maybe all of the above. In command is Donald Trump.

Trump had a history of trying to conduct business with the Russians, inside Russia, where he was unsuccessful. He and his businesses were successful in collaborating on projects together in other nations, according to his son. He and his companies benefited from Russian-sourced loans that were likely laundered through foreign banking entities. The Treasury and FBI can make those determinations with assistance from the NSA.

Republican investigators are doing everything possible to slow and impede the discovery process. Just listen to their line if inquiry and the emphasis they give to topics as evidence of this.

In business, Trump is a gambler and wins more than loses. However, when he lost big, who bailed him out? Who loaned him money and why? The line of inquiry goes straight to the Russians where either Trump is a happy business dealer securing their investments, or where Trump became compromised along the way. Questions remain about his business relationships and if there is any evidence of his being blackmailed?

Only a thorough investigation of his business relationships can answer those questions.

Now, Trump's having attempted to curtail investigations by multiple authorities by throwing his weight around makes him appear to be guilty of something. It surely makes him appear to be ignorant of the law or abusive. In either case, there is no excuse.

When Donald Trump comes home from his foreign policy tour, he must face many more questions.

"President Donald Trump may have nothing to hide when it comes to alleged links between his campaign and Russia -- but he is behaving in a way that makes it look like he does. 
The President is now facing questions about two potential incidents of obstruction of justice: applying pressure on and eventually firing FBI Director James Comey, and separately leaning on National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to publicly deny any collusion between his aides and a Russian operation to disrupt the election last year, according to sources cited by The Washington Post and CNN. 
Of all the rapid-fire revelations, these could be the most serious. They indicate not just a single decision, but a possible pattern of behavior -- the scope of which appears to be broadening. A key question moving forward will be whether the President or his advisers had the intent to influence the investigation into contacts between Russia and his campaign, or whether Trump's actions were solely an attempt to manage a bad public relations cycle." 
http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/23/politics/trump-russia-comey-coats-rogers/index.html


Getty Image

'Taxpayer First' Sounds Greedy

The Trump administration and Republican-led Congress endeavor upon a budget plan called "Taxpayer First." It might as well be called "Me First." The spirit and theme are from the implication that American's can't afford the number of needy people that they now support. It means that the nation must accept impoverishment and that children and low-income families are destined to a sorry life. Too bad for them.

From the perspective of a responsible citizen and government, this approach is unacceptable.

As authored in How to Select an American President by James A. George and James A. Rodger (c) 2017 Archway Publishing, poverty in America should be illegal. The required outcome for government is to ensure that all citizens who are able to work have the basic support to apply themselves and to become sustainable. Those with families and who are unable to support them must have the gap filled by citizen taxpayers. The reason being is that people living in poverty are a greater burden than the cost of assisting them and getting into better shape through personal development. That is the cost of citizens living in a developed nation.

Republicans are dead wrong in whacking assistance and accepting impoverishment.

White House To Release 'Taxpayer First' Budget Plan, With Cuts To Safety Nets
May 22, 20179:01 PM ET
Heard on Morning Edition
Scott Horsley 
The Trump administration says it can balance the federal budget within a decade. Its blueprint calls for significant cuts to social safety net programs and assumes more robust economic growth. 
The administration plans to release what it calls a "Taxpayer First" budget on Tuesday.
"This is, I think, the first time in a long time that an administration has written a budget through the eyes of the people who are actually paying the taxes," White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters on Monday. 
The plan was crafted with a skeptical eye toward programs that serve the needy. Over a decade, it calls for hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts to Medicaid, food stamps and disability benefits. 
President Trump's Budget Proposal Calls For Deep Cuts To Education 
"We are no longer going to measure compassion by the number of programs or the number of people on those programs," Mulvaney said. "We are going to measure compassion and success by the number of people we help get off of those programs to get back in charge of their own lives." 
Critics call the spending blueprint "Robin Hood in reverse." 
"The president is essentially abandoning many people the economy has left behind — a large number of whom voted for him — and is pursuing policies that would make their lives more difficult than they already are," said Robert Greenstein, president of the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities." 
http://www.npr.org/2017/05/22/529567550/white-house-to-release-taxpayer-first-budget-plan-with-cuts-to-safety-nets?utm_source=npr_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20170522&utm_campaign=breakingnews&utm_term=nprnews


The Intercept.com Image



Trump squandered opportunity

He can't erase his history. While the President is off on an international diplomacy tour, his administration has launched an assault back home with his budget. The attack is aimed at programs that affect the middle class and poor. His strategy is to support the "trickle down economic theory" that has proved to be a failure in the past.

Citizens are not blind to what he is doing. They see and hear his behavior that begins with his assault on the rule of law. His Executive Orders on immigration are struck down. His Obamacare repeal failed. He persists in attacking the environment.

His plan to overhaul the tax system hasn't a prayer in the political climate that he has created.

"President Trump’s job approval rating has hit a new low in the latest Harvard-Harris Poll survey, with weeks of controversy taking their toll on Trump’s embattled administration. 
Trump’s job approval rating has fallen to 45 percent from 49 percent in March.
The approval rating is at the high end compared with other surveys, which typically survey all residents, not just voters. 
In the RealClearPolitics average of polls, Trump has a 39.6 percent approval rating and 54.7 disapproval rating. 
The drop is largely due to dissatisfaction among independents. Trump’s job approval rating with that group is down from 47 percent in March to 40 percent in May." 
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/334655-trump-approval-falls-4-points-in-new-survey?rnd=1495495375

In the weeds.



Monday, May 22, 2017

Don't Russian to Judgment

"Don't Russian to Judgment" is a Freudian slip. A handful of Republican loyalists brave dishonor and uphold the rule of law, cautioning not to get ahead of the evidence. Some complain the evidence is unsourced to anonymous leakers.

Why do leakers talk to the press? They are professionals who witness wrongdoing and untruthfulness and have no effective means to blow the whistle without retribution.

The free press is essential in a democracy because partisan politicians obstruct fact-finding beginning with the President of the United States and his Republican-controlled Congress.

President Donald Trump danced all over democracy by trying to get the leaders of the intelligence community to impune the investigation into Russian interference and possible collusion by members of Trump's campaign team. He obviously fired James Comey by his own words to stop the investigation.

Those actions are obstruction of justice.

Covering up Michael Flynn's transgressions and lying about it is Misprision of Fraud, an impeachable offense.

There are many more allegations and developing facts. We can wait for Robert Mueller to put the case together.


This doesn't wash off.