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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Trump Puts US in Reverse

Donald Trump is not making good on his promise to "make American great again." He is a disgrace to the nation, and the pace of due process is wearing thin. He is increasingly combative with the members of his party who are equally combative among themselves. For all citizen-voters to witness, the source of the Nation's dysfunction is the Republican Party and its leadership.

Deciding to withdraw from the Climate Accord is a disaster in the making. It is an affront to America's having been a trusted partner. Under this government, believing America is invalid.

"Trump Reportedly Plans To Withdraw From Paris Climate Deal

President Donald Trump plans to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change, multiple outlets reported Wednesday. This would make the United States one of just three countries outside the historic pact to reduce planet-warming emissions." 
The Huffington Post



Tuesday, May 30, 2017

White House Press Conference Hoax

The news today as delivered by Sean Spicer, The White House press briefer, was a complete absurdity. Spicer read a positively spun assessment about President Trump's nine-day trip abroad. Having seen most of the trip from live coverage, this analyst can confirm that the visit to Saudi Arabia was rosy and cordial, akin to having a party at Mar-a-Lago.

The visit to Israel contained some positively spun moments with the Netanyahu's with a backdrop of the smoldering furor over the President's having leaked confidential information to the Russians that pointed directly to Israel. Spicer didn't even touch that topic.

Next, Spicer reminded that the President scolded NATO about ponying up, but that his pushing the members worked because now they say they can do more without the US? Oh, success. Germany's Merkel claimed that American leadership is no more, thanks to Donald Trump. Another victory for The White House, according to Spicer.

As for the top questions about Russians and the Trump campaign, and about Jared Kushner's talking with Russian bankers and to the Russians about setting up off-channel communications, Spicer cast those as being in the realm of leakage. Where there are leaks, there are no questions, nor answers with one caveat.

That is when the President Tweets a quote from Fox News that is based on a leak, which might be OK.
"Spicer gets grilled about Kushner, Trump's trip in daily press briefing
50 Mins Ago
Breaking News" 
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/30/watch-sean-spicer-gives-daily-white-house-press-briefing.html
If this is how The White House plans to conduct press conferences, they can only hold up a sign that reads: Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.


Sean Spicer
The White House


The Felonious White House

The Daily Kos ramped up the case this morning that the Trump administration likely harbors a bunch of alleged felons. Based on the circumstantial evidence, including leaked information, citizens might have seen sufficient evidence for authorities to mount a case. Due process requires evidence that is indisputable in a court of law, and Robert Mueller is making that case among others.

"If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. 
So providing support, any support, to anyone who has committed a felony, is also a felony.  Even when that supports happens after the initial criminal act. 
Whoever, knowing that an offense against the United States has been committed, receives, relieves, comforts or assists the offender to hinder or prevent his apprehension, trial or punishment, is an accessory after the fact. 
Except as otherwise expressly provided by any Act of Congress, an accessory after the fact shall be imprisoned not more than one-half the maximum term of imprisonment or (notwithstanding section 3571) fined not more than one-half the maximum fine prescribed for the punishment of the principal, or both; or if the principal is punishable by life imprisonment or death, the accessory shall be imprisoned not more than 15 years." 
DailyKos

There will be a large caseload.

Image from the DailyKos


Find the Leaker

Who did that? There is one patriot among them that looms the largest, and that is H.R. McMaster. He was also the person that Trump sent to the microphone to cover for the President. He did so skillfully and on the script, and ran away from the podium as fast as he could.

Tillerson wouldn't leak about this, but he might leak grousing about how Trump is treating the Department of State. Dina Powell wouldn't leak because she is enjoying her special job as advisor to the President and low on the totem pole.

This analyst's guess is that McMaster is the insider patriot who will communicate with others in his class, and who will watch out for American interests. He will let the truth escape whenever he can, right?
"Three of Trump’s most trusted advisers were present — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and deputy national security adviser Dina Powell. Other than a photographer from a government-run Russian news agency, there were no media in the room. 
And yet out of that small group, damaging and highly specific details attributed to U.S. government officials spilled on to the pages of the Washington Post and the New York Times." 
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/335363-trump-leakers-could-prove-elusive-targets

Was it Dina Powell?

"Dina Habib Powell is an Egyptian-American non-profit executive, philanthropist, and U.S. policymaker. She is the current U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy to President Donald Trump. Wikipedia
Born: 1973, Cairo, Egypt
Nationality: American
Spouse: Richard C. Powell
Education: University of Texas at Austin
Children: 2
Political party: Republican Party"

Was it Rex Tillerson?

Rex Tillerson
69th United States Secretary of State
Incumbent
Assumed office
February 1, 2017
President    Donald Trump
Deputy    Tom Shannon (Acting)
John Sullivan
Preceded by    John Kerry
Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil
In office
January 1, 2006 – January 1, 2017
Preceded by    Lee Raymond
Succeeded by    Darren Woods
33rd President of the Boy Scouts of America
In office
May 26, 2010 – April 30, 2012
Preceded by    John Gottschalk
Succeeded by    Wayne Perry
Personal details
Born    Rex Wayne Tillerson
March 23, 1952 (age 65)
Wichita Falls, Texas, U.S.
Political party    Republican
Spouse(s)    Renda St. Clair
Children    4
Education    University of Texas, Austin (BS)
Net worth    $245 million (2016)
Awards    Eagle Scout (1965)
Order of Friendship (Russia) (2013)

Was it H.R. McMaster?

H. R. McMaster
26th National Security Advisor
Incumbent
Assumed office
February 20, 2017
President    Donald Trump
Deputy    K.T. McFarland
Dina Powell
Ricky Waddell
Preceded by    Michael T. Flynn
Personal details
Born    Herbert Raymond McMaster
July 24, 1962 (age 54)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Spouse(s)    Kathleen Trotter (m. 1985)
Education    United States Military Academy (BS)
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (MA, PhD)
Military service
Nickname(s)    The Iconoclast General
Allegiance     United States
Service/branch     United States Army
Years of service    1984–present
Rank    Army-USA-OF-08.svg Lieutenant general
Commands    Eagle Troop, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment
1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment
3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment
Concept Development and Experimentation Directorate, Army Capabilities Integration Center
Joint Anti-Corruption Task Force (Shafafiyat), International Security Assistance Force
Maneuver Center of Excellence
Army Capabilities Integration Center
Battles/wars  
Persian Gulf War
Battle of 73 Easting
Global War on Terrorism
Iraq War
War in Afghanistan
Awards    Army Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star (2)
Purple Heart Medal
Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2)
Army Meritorious Service Medal (5)
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Army Commendation Medal (4)
Army Achievement Medal (4)


In McMaster we trust?

Monday, May 29, 2017

Trump's State and Military Disconnect

The Washington Post reported today that there is a significant disconnect between US foreign policy and military action and influence. It stems from two things: 1) Trump's skewed influence by military leaders that he has staffed, and 2) the State Department is understaffed and unable to counter military influence.

The result is shown by the military ready to beef up Afghanistan and embark on the more aggressive action, even when the State Department may be put at unacceptably higher risk and unable to perform the diplomatic role effectively.

This is what I describe as the effect of having the presence of a President, an illegitimate one, who wields decision-making power. He is dangerous, and the nation is at risk.

"Military’s influence in National Security Council could shift U.S. foreign policy 
Eight out of 25 senior positions on the council are held by current or former military officers, and a recent disconnect between the White House and State Department over a change in strategy for Afghanistan illustrated the influence that they hold in the Trump administration. 
By Missy Ryan and Greg Jaffe
"Unbeknown to the White House, America’s top diplomat was not on board: Tillerson, who heads a department that some White House officials described as “AWOL” during the review process, didn’t think the plan did enough to address other countries in the region with a stake in Afghanistan, such as Pakistan, Iran, and India, a person familiar with his thinking said. Tillerson also was concerned that the plan called for beefing up the State Department’s presence in dangerous locations outside Kabul. 
Even though the State Department remains understaffed at its top ranks, department officials said it had been an active participant in the review and insisted that a final decision on the emerging plan was probably weeks away. A State Department spokesman declined to comment on the ongoing discussions until “the group arrives at a decision point.” 
The Washington Post

Rex Tillerson before becoming Secretary of State


Sunday, May 28, 2017

The point about leaks

There is a problem with leaking that is when someone inside the government investigative firewall provided information to the press as an unnamed or unidentified source. Is there ever a situation in which investigators might want to leak information to the media?

The answer is yes, as a strategy or tactic to flush out more from individuals to make them jumpy and careless, or else so fearful that they cooperate with the investigators.

As written earlier last week, some leakers are those who witness wrongdoing and don't trust that the situation will be remedied through normal channels because they are compromised by incumbents, such as Attorney General Sessions.
"While Trump was away, controversy continued to swirl around his White House, with media reports focusing on the role his advisor son-in-law, Jared Kushner, may have played in Trump campaign contacts with Russian officials.  
Kushner proposed a secret back channel between the Kremlin and the Trump transition team during a December meeting with a leading Russian diplomat, according to a person familiar with the discussions who spoke with the Associated Press." 
http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-updates-everything-president-trump-claims-comey-leaked-1494625733-htmlstory.html
Who leaked information about Jared Kushner? Was it Robert Mueller? Was it James Comey? Was it someone else inside the FBI? Was it done intentionally or not?

Is the intent to shakedown President Trump?


The White House is on fire.

Who are the targets of investigation?

At one point Jared Kushner was not the target of an investigation and was willing to share information with the FBI. He could explain and describe contacts with the Russians.

Although something was missing and it was the listing of some of those meetings on his security application form. Furthermore, he didn't say that he has asked the Russian embassy if the Trump campaign could borrow their secured communications channel to avoid being listened to by the pesky NSA or FBI.

With these discoveries, the Republican leadership is more concerned with how these stories are getting into the press than they are about members of the Trump campaign having colluded with the Russians in one way or another.

"The FBI is examining the activities of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who traveled to Moscow and accepted payments from Russian organizations, and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who spent years working for pro-Russian interests in Ukraine. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, then a senator from Alabama, also met with Kislyak last year." 
https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2017-05-26/jared-kushner-under-fbi-investigation-for-meetings-with-russians

What is the chance that when all of the investigations are complete that the authorities will declare that there is nothing fishy in Trumpland?


U.S. News Image

Republican Thuggery is Impeachable

When studying political science at The Ohio State University, Professor Silver assigned that I research the history of the Western Federation of Miners. The miners in Colorado formed the union to fight horrible treatment by the mine owners. The mine owners sought assistance from government authorities, and they hired guards from the Pinkerton protection services company. The Pinkertons shot five strikers to death. The government persisted in standing by the owners until eventually laws were changed to protect organized labor and workers from corporate abuse.

Today, the Republican Party fights against organized labor and, as such, is no friend or workers.

Ryan Grim sent an email to me this morning. He is the journalist from The Guardian who was assaulted by a Republican who is now elected as a Member of the House of Representatives from Montana. This is a terrible mark on the citizens of Montana. Their actions are deplorable by US Constitutional standards and must be condemned. So must be the deplorable and illegal actions of President Trump and all members of Congress who obstruct justice and abuse the Constitution. They are liable for their action and should be impeached.

In Ryan's email, he mentions the Pinkertons.
Ryan Grim
8:30 AM (18 minutes ago)
to me  
As I'm sure most of you have seen by now, there was good news and bad news out of Montana last week. The good news was that police tracked down and arrested a man who witnesses said attacked a journalist without provocation. The bad news is that he is once again roaming the streets, and was elected to the U.S. House by Montana voters, beating Democrat Rob Quist by six points. 
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee celebrated the loss, arguing that it proved their strategy of not trying to win the race was the prudent one. They even mocked Republican operatives who had warned the race would be closer. Two little things about that line of thinking: 1) there's a key Senate race in Montana in 2018. Even if they thought the race was unwinnable, doesn't it help to run a strong campaign now and prep the ground for 2018? Is the 50-state strategy a real thing or just marketing? And 2) the DCCC loves to boast about the millions of dollars it has raised from small donors since the election. Those small givers think the party is going to use the money for these kinds of races, and they risk a backlash if people decide they were duped. Here's my video report for TYT on the race. 
And here's a story I did at The Intercept about how health care came to dominate the race, helping make it as close as it ultimately was. 
Also at The Intercept, Dave Dayen has a story on a deal between a private equity giant with ties to Trump and the kingdom of Saudi Arabiato privatize a massive chunk of U.S. infrastructure. 
The big story we dropped this weekend is on modern-day Pinkertons who are being contracted to police pipeline protests around the country. It sets up a series of incentives where the private police, known as TigerSwan, which policed the Dakota Access protests, must make the protesters out to be deeply dangerous creatures that require highly expensive security contractors.
Ryan Grim
During the labor strikes of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, businessmen hired the Pinkerton Agency to infiltrate unions, supply guards, keep strikers and suspected unionists out of factories, and recruit goon squads to intimidate workers. One such confrontation was the Homestead Strike of 1892, in which Pinkerton agents were called in to reinforce the strikebreaking measures of industrialist Henry Clay Frick, acting on behalf of Andrew Carnegie.[4] The ensuing battle between Pinkerton agents and striking workers led to the deaths of seven Pinkerton agents and nine steelworkers.
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Federation_of_Miners


Is Montana in America? 

With whom is Trump at war?

This morning, one story from MSN News reads that Trump needs to make some changes amid his White House in crisis.
“The bottom line is they need fresh legs; they need more legs,” said Barry Bennett, who served as a political adviser to Trump during the general election. “They’re in a full-scale war, and they’re thinly staffed.” 
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-considers-major-changes-amid-escalating-russia-crisis/ar-BBBA58g
Too little and too late. Donald Trump should never have been seated as President for many reasons:

  • Emolument Clause violations that have a conflict of interest
  • Colluding with the enemy in interfering in free elections
  • Lying 
  • Misogyny and Sexual Assault

After having been seated, we know enough circumstantial evidence to drown him in court.

Trump believes that he is at war and the question is with whom? It is with the American public and the free press.


Can't blowhard your way out of this one.


Saturday, May 27, 2017

ASAP, Invalidate Trump

One of many headlines this morning is that Donald Trump will likely make the wrong decision on the Climate Agreement by pulling out. He wants to do that to prop up mining jobs in America that perpetuate the fossil fuel industry. What is needed instead is an investment in infrastructure and renewable energy.

Trump is abroad, making bad decisions and shoving other national leaders around like the bully he is. That is not American. He has tarnished our national reputation and citizens must reclaim it by removing Trump from office along with all of his corrupt cronies.

"Can the Paris Climate Deal Survive a Trump-Style Renegotiation?
By BRAD PLUMERMAY 26, 2017." 
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/26/climate/can-the-paris-climate-deal-survive-a-trump-style-renegotiation.html?_r=0


A coal-fired power plant in Ghent, Ky. CreditLuke Sharrett for The New York Times

The Unmerry Month of May with Trump

Here are 99 stories authored by James A. George in the month of May about America's illegitimate President. I have been on this beat and pursuing the evidence since before Trump stole The White House. I am pursuing his colluders and co-conspirators who are members of the Republican Party. This government shall not stand as it is. It must be reconstituted under the rule of law and with the guidance of the US Supreme Court.

The House and Senate Republican leadership have obstructed justice and cannot be trusted. The quorum of legitimacy rests in the Democrats and Republicans who have rejected the corruption of the Donald Trump regime, and with the professionals on which we depend as a nation. The game is over for the Trumps and corrupted Republicans.
  • Enough with Trump!
  • Trump is a failure says, Boehner
  • Problem: Not who, but what was leaked
  • Established Media Misses the Point
  • America is leaky
  • Trump can't break America
  • Trump's penchant for Twitter
  • Lying and Betrayal are Trump Hallmark
  • Trump's pattern of obstruction
  • U.S. Afghanistan Endgame
  • Unraveling Trump and the Russians
  • 'Taxpayer First' Sounds Greedy
  • Trump squandered opportunity
  • Don't Russian to Judgment
  • The 'con' in Trump
  • No way out
  • Things can go right
  • 'Barbaric criminals' replaces 'radical Islam'
  • Can America have a royal family?
  • Demoralized Presidency
  • Trump swaggers off to Arabia
  • Trump Travel is 'Disconcerting'
  • Losers lose, Trey Gowdy
  • GOP Insider calls it 'a coup against Trump'
  • Flynn is lightning rod
  • Contracting for Justice
  • Crumbling Trump and New Equilibrium
  • Caution: Trump investigation will take awhile
  • Oddity about Speaker Ryan
  • 'No politician treated worse'
  • Keep Moving on Tax Reform
  • Trump acted without permission
  • The 'Right' is Wrong
  • John Negroponte shrugs at Trump's situation
  • Difference Between Drama and Crisis
  • One of many Trump mistakes
  • MacMaster's Immaculate Deflection
  • Trump will rationalize anything
  • For reasons of national security
  • Trump shared secrets with Russians
  • Do you trust Trump?
  • Shame on North Carolina
  • Is Pence a Leaker?
  • Our own worst enemy
  • Speculative Analysis versus 'Fake News'
  • The Matter Before the Nation
  • Greatest American Fraud
  • Republican agenda rattled by distractions
  • Loyalty and Allegiance
  • Trivial Trump Observation
  • 'When will this end?'
  • Selecting an FBI Director, Part 4
  • Republican Party Responsibility
  • Republican's try to change the subject
  • Constitutional Crisis in Trump Behavior
  • The Rule of Law and the Presidency
  • Life Goes On
  • Trump is untrustworthy
  • Challenging the Senate's ending filibuster
  • Arrest Donald Trump
  • Lying is a crime, Mr. Trump
  • Trump, talking aloud
  • Trump's failed distraction, Obama
  • For 'good health' walk away Trump
  • Tyranny in Progress
  • Sessions will never do what he should
  • Free press is working
  • Evidence points to Trump conflicts
  • Selecting an FBI Director Part 3
  • Take Sessions to Court
  • Selecting an FBI Director Part 2
  • How to Select an FBI Director (Part 1 of 2)
  • Trump Bombs Investigation
  • War in Afghanistan is not the answer
  • Comey Fired
  • Evidence mounts that Trump stole election
  • Necessity of investigating Trump taxes
  • How to repair USA's broken government
  • Trump on Tweet-storm defensive
  • Yates and Clapper nail Trump
  • Ask me why I am one-sided
  • How to insure Americans with healthcare
  • Americans don't know how to throw out the garbage
  • GOP is worried about Trump
  • Profile of Vulnerable Republicans
  • Noose Tightens Around Trump Presidency
  • Save the Nation, the Court
  • Typical day on the border
  • When Healthcare drives job growth
  • More Trump Bullshit
  • Health care and capitalism?
  • The GOP House Fraud on Healthcare
  • Humpty-Dumpty Award for Congress
  • House of Representatives Malpractice
  • Senate Oversight and FBI Director Comey
  • Trump war on Americans continues
  • Nothing funny about dumb Trump
  • Time spent by Congress on repeal and replace
  • Trump is a sociopathic liar 
Read all of the stories at the blog.
http://howtoselectanamericanpresident.blogspot.com/
Please, read my book: How to Select an American President


Purchase the book online at Amazon at the link below.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1480840882/ref=nav_timeline_asin?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Enough with Trump!

Clearly, the NSA, Treasury, and FBI investigators have encircled the  Trump team. Trump and his campaign surrogates have lied and cheated their way into office.

The most blatant and damning of the evidence is Jared Kushner's seeking to use the Russian embassy's communications channel to avoid being heard. That is a treasonous act. The fact that Kushner is in The White House as an advisor is an insult to every citizen. The Trump's have stabbed American democracy in the back while mugging Lady Liberty.

Read the rest of the story.

"Jared Kushner Reportedly Discussed Setting Up Secret Communication Channel With Moscow 
Another possible piece in the Russia puzzle. 
By Mollie Reilly

Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, reportedly discussed opening a secret communication channel between the administration’s transition team and the Russian government, The Washington Post reported Friday. 
According to the report, Kushner discussed that possibility with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, in December, before Trump’s inauguration. Specifically, Kushner reportedly asked about using Russia’s diplomatic facilities to secure the channel to avoid being monitored. 
That suggestion surprised Kislyak, who is widely believed to be involved with Russia’s spying operations, according to the Post: 
Kislyak reportedly was taken aback by the suggestion of allowing an American to use Russian communications gear at its embassy or consulate — a proposal that would have carried security risks for Moscow as well as the Trump team." 
The Huffington Post

Clear the deck.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Trump is a failure says Boehner

Former Republican House Speaker John Boehner declares the Trump is a disaster. No kidding. If citizens read my book, How to Select an American President by James A. George with James A. Rodger (c) 2017 Archway Publishing, they will be better equipped at making the right choice the next time.

Trump's failings begin with his character and behavioral flaws that diligent voters and press could have identified. The Republican Party failed to vet and screen out this failed candidate. Next, they tried to cover up his glaring flaws in a state of denial.

“Everything else he’s done [in office] has been a complete disaster,” Boehner said. “He’s still learning how to be president.” 
Boehner, who backed the businessman during the presidential campaign, criticized the Trump’s late-night tweets and said he hadn’t imagined him becoming commander-in-chief.  
The former speaker, who retired from Congress in 2015, suggested investigations into Russian interference in the election were necessary but said talk of impeaching Trump would only boost the president’s political support. 
“I don’t know why either of these [2016 presidential] campaigns were talking to Russians, but they need to get to the bottom of this,” he said. “The crazy left-wing Democratic colleagues of mine bringing up impeachment talks … talk of impeachment is the best way to rile up Trump supporters. Remember, impeachment is not a legal process; it’s a political process.” 
Boehner also said he thought a border adjustment tax, favored by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), was “deader than a doornail” and called the prospect of tax reform just “happy talk.” 
Since leaving office, Boehner has joined a D.C. lobbying firm and the board of tobacco giant Reynolds American, Inc. He told the energy conference he has no regrets about leaving Congress. 
“I wake up every day, drink my morning coffee and say hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah,” he said." 
The Huffington Post 
I am happy for you John and happy that we don't have to deal with you too.

No regrets.

Problem: Not who, but what was leaked

Republicans have lots of problems. Here is a short list.

1. A President who is a sociopathic liar and alleged lawbreaker: Emolument Clause, Misprision of Fraud, False Allegations, and Slander, suspicion of committing treasonous acts in concert with his campaign surrogates

2. A political party that is ideologically bent on hurting millions of Americans via ill-conceived legislation

It amounts to a corrupt party that is heinously mean-spirited, cruel, and unAmerican.

Now, they know that the Trump White House has a leaking problem and it begins with the head-leaker. Having been caught "red-handed" (pun intended), party leaders are more concerned about who is tattling the truth than they are about the nastiness in the message.

Do you think that it was a joke that Donald Trump was being paid by the Russians? There is plausibility here that is undeniable.

"GOP leaders launch internal review into leak 
House GOP leaders have launched an internal review into how someone secretly recorded and leaked audio of a private 2016 leadership meeting in which Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) jokes about how Russia is paying off Donald Trump. 
Sources familiar with the review told The Hill that GOP leadership is currently researching what federal statutes or House rules could be applied to hold the leaker accountable. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has voiced concerns that more audio recordings of sensitive leadership discussions could be leaked." 
The Hill email

Trump's guy, McCarthy

Established Media Misses the Point

A story in US News and World Report today headlines: "Long Live the Establishment, President Donald Trump came to Washington to shake things up, but he's finding change is hard to come by."

Donald Trump declared war on Washington with such themes as "drain the swamp." His attack aims at government in general.

Informed citizens know that his attack and that of right-wing Republicans is an assault on the Middle Class and Poor. It is a mugging of the US Constitution while the right-wing disguises it under a shroud of patriotic noise that is far from it.

That should be the news here. Donald Trump attacked democracy and the rule of law, and he is getting his butt kicked.

The news is that Americans seated an illegitimate President and he and his associates are bent on destroying democracy and the American Political System. The battle is raging and citizens had better hope they win by the rule of law.

Owner(s)   U.S. News & World Report, L.P. (Mortimer Zuckerman)
Editor   Brian Kelly
Launched    1948; 69 years ago (merger of United States News [1933] and World Report [1946])
Language   English
Headquarters   Washington, D.C. (editorial staff)
4 New York Plaza
New York City, New York, 10004 (Daily News)
Country    United States

Read the US News story here:

https://www.usnews.com/news/the-report/articles/2017-05-26/the-washington-establishment-haunts-president-trump?emailed=1&src=usn_thereport


The government is the instrument of We the People.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

America is leaky

The number of leaks of classified information indicates that something is wrong in the Trump-managed government. To begin, President Trump is reckless and feckless in his personal behavior, and that sets the standard for his administration. He is the source of a problem.

He gave classified information to the Russians right in the Oval Office.

Many professionals in his staff witness wrongdoing and they are prone to speaking about it to the press.

The leaking of Manchester terrorist bomb pictures points to undisciplined and unthinking grandstanding, perhaps
"Flurry of leaks alarms US allies 
Current and former senior American officials are growing concerned that a deluge of leaks from the U.S. government will imperil some of the nation’s most important intelligence-sharing relationships. 
The exposure of sensitive forensic information from the U.K.’s investigation into the Manchester bombing is unprecedented, some national security experts say — and Britain is right to be furious. 
“They need to find out how this type of information got out. I think it does damage to our capability of sharing intelligence on issues that we have to share intelligence on,” former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told The Hill." 
Via The Hill email 
Flurry of leaks alarms US allies 
BY KATIE BO WILLIAMS - 05/25/17 05:00 PM EDT  37 
Current and former senior American officials are growing concerned that a deluge of leaks from the U.S. government will imperil some of the nation’s most important intelligence-sharing relationships.
The exposure of sensitive forensic information from the U.K.’s investigation into the Manchester bombing is unprecedented, some national security experts say — and Britain is right to be furious.  
“They need to find out how this type of information got out. I think it does damage to our capability of sharing intelligence on issues that we have to share intelligence on,” former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told The Hill. 
Prime Minister Theresa May raised the issue at the NATO gathering in Brussels on Thursday evening, vowing beforehand that she would “make clear to President Trump that intelligence that is shared between our law enforcement agencies must remain secure.”
But the outrage over the Manchester investigation disclosures is only part of a growing international distrust with the U.S.'s ability to safeguard the secrets of its allies, intelligence experts say.

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/335212-flurry-of-leaks-alarms-us-allies?rnd=1495746035


Getty Image
PM May with Mr. Leaky

Trump can't break America

No matter how hard he tries, Donald Trump and right-wing American conspirators cannot break the nation and the values on which it stands.

There are right and legal means to get things done and to protect and serve Americans. Trump and Republicans have lost their way.

Here is more evidence that President Trump is unfit and may be much worse than that.

"Appeals court upholds injunction blocking Trump's travel ban
A Richmond, Va.-based federal appeals court on Thursday refused to reinstate President Trump’s ban on nationals from six majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S., delivering a major blow to the Trump administration. 
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals said in its ruling that Trump’s executive order "speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination." 
http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/335163-appeals-court-upholds-injunction-blocking-trumps-travel-ban?rnd=1495735527
It was a mistake to send him on a diplomatic mission because he is offending our trusted allies. There is a right and wrong way in diplomacy, and Trump is unskilled.


The Washington Post Image

"Trump chastises fellow NATO members, demands they meet payment obligations
Trump scolds world leaders at NATO ceremony 
President Trump criticized leaders at a dedication ceremony at the new NATO headquarters in Brussels, May 25, saying they need to increase financial contributions to combat "the threat of terrorism." (The Washington Post) 
By Philip Rucker, Karen DeYoung and Michael Birnbaum May 25 at 2:47 PM
BRUSSELS — President Trump, speaking at a ceremony Thursday to dedicate a memorial to NATO’s resolve in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, publicly chastised his fellow alliance leaders for not being “fair” to U.S. taxpayers." 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-told-in-brussels-that-west-should-focus-on-values-not-only-interests/2017/05/25/7aa1865c-40cd-11e7-9869-bac8b446820a_story.html?utm_term=.e5f81e98775d



Trump's penchant for Twitter

Twitter is talking about it, the President's effect on their brand of social media. Citizens are asking if it is appropriate for a President to be Tweeting at-will? 

From a journalist's perspective, Presidents and elected officials are surely free to use available means of communications to reach and engage the public. However, elected officials are public service agents, and their messaging should be managed and regulated in that context.

When they are wearing their politician hat, that is one channel. When they are speaking from their elected position as the voice for citizens, that is another channel.

In both instances, an elected official is subject to standards of decorum that reflect the values of the citizen-voter community. Channels such as Twitter have standards for their member-users.

Consideration should be given by legislators to rules and regulations governing the behavior of elected officials in their use of social media channels. Ethics are involved in addressing this subject too.

"Inside Twitter, angst over the Trump effect 
Twitter insiders are at odds over whether to celebrate President Trump’s headline-grabbing use of their platform. 
Some Twitter executives have praised Trump’s prolific Twitter habit, saying it brings welcome transparency to government. Others lament the way Trump has used the social media platform in his rise to power." 
http://thehill.com/policy/technology/335036-inside-twitter-angst-over-the-trump-effect


© Hill Photo Illustration/Garrett Evans

What are the rules for elected officials and social media?

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.

The 'con' in Trump

While the President does fine when in surroundings that are akin to Mar-a-Lago and when he sticks to the well-crafted script, don't be fooled. His international performance is 1) carrying out our American foreign policy that needed adjusting, and 2) distracting as best that he can from the lion's den that awaits him back home.

The "con" has two meanings: 1) con job as in persuading people to do or believe something, typically by use of a deception, or 2) consequences as in the actions that catch up with one who is deceptive.

Show us your tax returns.

Citizens have his number.



Got your number.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

No way out

Given the evidence that I have seen and heard about, there is no way that Donald Trump and Mike Pence are going to remain in office to complete their first term.

Mike Pence has been trying to plead ignorant about Donald Trump's many missteps. The trouble is that other evidence incriminates him every step of the way.

When Pence says he didn't know something, it may mean that he ignored or failed to attend the warnings or information.

At any rate, Trump and his entire campaign are in a bucket of collusion, and Robert Mueller is taking inventory of what is in the bucket. He readily gets the picture while agents continue to find the missing pieces.


They share everything.

Things can go right

Donald Trump's first couple of days have demonstrated what?

1. A well-choreographed visit planned by State Department Professionals can be executed correctly when the President stays on script.

2. American foreign policy toward Saudi Arabia needed adjustment to offset allied positioning against the Iranians.

3. Weapon systems sales are good for the American economy and producers and sound for allies, providing they do not abuse their use.

The next stop could be more difficult because President Trump stepped on his opportunity for success by sharing secret intelligence information with the Russians that was sourced to Israel. Israel is rightly angered.

Some aspects of the Trump manifesto and agenda are improvements in foreign policy where Obama's become tired and ineffective.


Maybe there should be a hiccup button when he speaks to shut off the mic.

'Barbaric criminals' replaces 'radical Islam'

First of all, replacing the notion of "radical Islam" with "barbaric criminals" is an excellent idea. That way, Americans and the free world are not at war with the Islamic religions and the Muslim world. Whose idea was that?

Past Presidents chose not to be at war against religion and picking sides based on religious beliefs because that is unConstitutional. Furthermore, the criminals who terrorize the world by exploiting religious beliefs should not be permitted to hijack religion. Hmm, not any more than Republicans seizing evangelical Christians for political gain, perhaps.

The "Deep State" has some good ideas, and "barbaric criminals" is one of them.
"President Trump during a major speech in Saudi Arabia on Sunday is expected to characterize the fight against “Islamic extremism” as a battle against “barbaric criminals” instead of one between different faiths." 
The Hill 
It will be excellent if Trump sticks to the script.
"President Trump during a major speech in Saudi Arabia on Sunday is expected to characterize the fight against “Islamic extremism” as a battle against “barbaric criminals” instead of one between different faiths. 
“This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations,” Trump is expected to say in Riyadh, according to excerpts released by the White House.
“This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it. 
“This is a battle between good and evil.” 
The excerpts provided by the White House do not include the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism,” which Trump frequently used on the campaign trail. 
Instead, Trump is expected to call on the Islamic world to confront the “crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires.” 
“And it means standing together against the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews, and the slaughter of Christians,” he is expected to say. 
“Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will deliver you no glory – piety to evil will bring you no dignity. If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and your soul will be condemned.” 
The Hill


Getty Image

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Can America have a royal family?

Could be we found a role for the Trumps.

Maybe we Americans missed the boat, trying to cast Donald Trump as a President and leader of the free-world. From his appearance in Saudi Arabia, he and his family look more like a "royal family" that fit right in.

It might be that American's missed an opportunity to embrace the British model. Casting the Trumps as King and Queen, Princess and Princes might be more appropriate.

Doing that, we need to find a President who can comply with our Constitutional laws and regulations.

Ponder institutionalizing the Trump model with Lords and Ladies, commoners and peasants.


Trump in Arabia


Friday, May 19, 2017

Demoralized Presidency

President Trump brought to The White House the brand that he wore on his sleeve.

Citizens don't need or want a demoralized presidency that The Hill described today. However, staffers can't do anything about it except to sharpen their resumes.
“Some of them think it will pass, some are frustrated because they look like amateurs in responding to all of this, and some are freaked out because there is an actual investigation now,” said one GOP operative in touch with White House officials. “It’s leaks and tweets and frenzy. They wake up every day and are continually slapped in the face, and it doesn’t look like it will stop. They’re demoralized.” 
The Hill
It is a mess, and he remains delusional about it as that is his usual coping behavior. Transparency is what Trump provides endlessly.

Republicans also are covered in mustard splashed by their 'hot dog' President.



Trump swaggers off to Arabia

The Washington Post is prepared for a field day. In the "daily newsletter" from "the Post," Ishaan Tharoor explores the possible scenario for a visit.

The image accompanying the article say it all, "Donald of Arabia."

The meeting with the Royal Oil Kings and Princes is the stuff that he is made of. There will be big deals, the biggest deals ever. Weapon sales will top the list because that is very good for the American economy.

Trump is all for oil, except, he wants more domestic production that doesn't bode well for the Arabs. Never mind that. Trump probably has large-scale commercial development ideas tucked away for his family to follow up.

Who knows?

Hopefully, no one will bring up "Muslims." Muslims, he loves Muslims. He's the most loving of Muslims so long as they are not too radical.

"Today's WorldView
BY ISHAAN THAROOR        

From the beginning, it was a conspicuous choice. The first stop on the maiden overseas voyage of the Trump presidency would not be continental cousin Canada or anglophone chum Britain — or even erstwhile wall-funder Mexico — but Saudi Arabia. Yes, Saudi Arabia, the abode of the holiest sites of a religion President Trump once said “hates us,” a country he once suggested would not exist without “the cloak of American protection.”
Nevertheless, Trump heads to Saudi Arabia on Friday — with a cloud of intrigue and scandal tailing him all the way. According to a story in the New York Times, he is not happy about embarking on this trip and even told an aide that he wished to cut its nine-day itinerary in half. He is set for meetings with leaders in Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Vatican, Italy and Belgium, all of which could become gaffe-fests for the loose-lipped and inexperienced president. 
The Washington Post
Today's WorldView 

Hold your breath.