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Monthly Archives: January 2018


This address was disingenuous, pandering and fake! He is taking credit for events that he had nothing to do with and possibly panned. The results of his policies will show by years end.

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JANUARY 29, 2018
Kuttner on TAP

Clearly, White House Counsel Donald McGahn or his associates were the source of the explosive leak that Trump had directed McGahn to fire Mueller, and that McGahn blocked the move by threatening to resign. But why did McGahn choose last week to leak the story of an episode that happened last June?
The most obvious explanation is that Trump was again making noises about firing Mueller. If that was the concern, McGahn’s leak worked, with several key Republicans again warning that firing the special counsel is a red line that Trump can’t cross.
Mueller is expected to interview Trump in the next few weeks. That’s a sign that Mueller is close to filing his report. The way this works is that you wait until you have all the goods on the ultimate target from other interviews and investigations, and then you bring in Mr. Big last. If Mueller is ready for Trump, that’s a sign he’s wrapping up.
The report, when filed, is likely to be devastating in its detail. Far more details on Trump’s efforts to kill former FBI Director Comey’s investigation; evidence of complicity by Trump’s family and perhaps by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and possibly by Vice President Pence; lots more detail on how Russian money has been propping up a failing Trump real-estate empire for more than a decade, and detail on what the Russians expected and got in return.
In short, more than enough to impeach Trump.
And then, House and Senate Republicans will go into a huddle and decide whether it’s time for him to go—whether to advise him to resign in exchange for a deal with Mueller, perhaps sparing his family.
Republican leaders will likely be split on this. Throwing Trump under the bus will infuriate his hard-core base. But keeping Trump in the face of overwhelming evidence of impeachable offenses will make the 2018 elections a cakewalk for Democrats.
And one more complication: If Vice President Pence is implicated, then both men might have to resign or be impeached. And that creates an intriguing set of choices for one Paul Ryan, House Speaker—and next in line for the presidency.
Does this beat Game of Thrones, or what? ~ ROBERT KUTTNER

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“Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” – Samuel Johnson, 1775

The above quote explains this administration and it’s ascension. This rise bolstered by the likes of Devin Nunes, abetted overtly and tacitly by Representative Paul Ryan and Congressman Mitch McConnell. These are the two leaders of the House and Senate who by their position in the legislature are supposed to work for the people -ALL people. What has happened in the first year of this administration is executive orders rolling back protections for us all no matter what state you live in. The poorly vetted  cabinet members are spending public money like water but not for the good of the public. Under the guise of “making America Great Again” this administration has made a mockery of the United States standing at home and abroad. The voter base is eroding by the day and the “campaign style” rhetoric is losing favor each time it occurs. What we have is an administration that is undermining our security with “tweet storms”, hidden agendas and often just plain lies. We should be reminded that these abuses raise memories of the Nixon era’s watergate and Joe McCarthy’s “witch hunt for Communists. These two issues point to our failure as voters to pay attention to the people we have elected to the legislature for multiple terms. We the people have to take control of our Government by electing the most honest and forthright people we can but we must also question them at town halls and demand answers to those questions. If we do not get those answers then perhaps we should vote for someone else.  We must remember that a lie is still a lie no matter how it is dressed up.

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The Resident will be touting his accomplishments this past year in the most glowing terms, this glow will be more like the glow from a fire rather than natural glow from good things happening. We have the dishonorable Devin Nunes pushing a “secret document” showing the FBI and Justice department’s mishandling of the Clinton E mails (again?) and the Russian interference. Mr. Nunes appears to be a pawn of the Resident rather than a legislator. These alleged secret memos are not secret but more  closed  information pending examination by a larger body of Congress. It seems that the Trump administration is attempting to derail the Mueller investigation rather than allow the investigation to proceed and come to a conclusion. Again we see the swirl of disinformation, alternate facts and misdirection. This apparently is the core of this administration which is also the traceable road map of the personal dealings of this Resident. This speech will be no more than disingenuous hyperboles designed to appease his base who for the most part are so desperate for relief  that they will clutch any straw in the wind. Many who approve of the Resident’s actions fail to realize the abject depravity of this administration and its long range effect on all of us. In the end the voters of this country will have to step up and replace the neer do wells who talk a good game, THEN GAME US WHEN ELECTED!

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By dsnottselliott
Friday Sep 08, 2017 · 3:54 PM

Reading about Rep. Devin Nunes’ latest stunt in yet another terrific diary from ursalafaw earlier today got me to thinking.
From where I sit, Nunes has been engaged in some serious Obstruction of Justice.   We had that bizarre sequence of events this spring with him going in & out of the White House and then tossing weird crap onto the wall of public opinion trying to get something to stick — something/anything that would discredit any investigation by his (or anyone else’s) committee to look into team Trump’s dealings with Russia & Putin.  It was embarrassing enough that he was sidelined by the House Leadership.  Alas, he wasn’t actually removed from his position as head of the House Intelligence Committee.   He led people to believe he was recusing himself from the matter but we learned during the summer that he hadn’t actually done so.   He sure as hell didn’t give up his power to direct activities of committee staff, allocate financial resources or subpoena powers.
If the stuff this spring wasn’t bizarre enough, we then learned that without letting anyone else (apparently even other Republicans on his committee) knowing he sent a couple of wannabe goons to London to try and corner Christopher Steele.   To no one’s (except perhaps Nunes) these guys were no match for a trained intelligence operative and never got so much of a glimpse of the guy, much less a meeting to try and intimidate him into silence.   Whatever James Bond fantasies those guys had (with Nunes imagining himself as “M”) they were nothing more than a joke.
Now, I’m sure Nunes would argue that he wasn’t trying to obstruct anything, much less Mueller’s investigation and was only doing some freelance investigating of his own.   And if anyone believes that he was only trying to get to the truth I’ve got comp. suite in the Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City and a million dollars of chips for you.  But a good defense lawyer might make a good enough case that Nunes wasn’t actually trying to obstruct his own committee, or any other investigation with that stuff.   However, this past week we’ve learned about his threat to AG Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Wray to have them held in Contempt of Congress (which comes with jail time) if they don’t hand over a bunch of stuff related to Steele and the infamous “dossier.”
That’s an actual threat — communicated in writing and officially.   And if I understand things correctly he didn’t bother with first simply asking for cooperation & access to certain work product of the DOJ (including stuff that Mueller is using FBI resources to investigate) but demanding it via subpoena.   Take that along with his earlier behavior and it sure looks like a pattern of conduct to me — a pattern to try and at least throw sand in the gears of the Trump/Russia investigation.
Maybe I’m nuts, but it looks to me like he might has well have hung a neon sign around his neck saying “Hey Mueller — Investigate ME!”  Now, it’s possible that Nunes is trying to provoke Mueller into doing something that he & the GOP could “spin” into a call for Mueller to resign or be fired.  After all, if Mueller had anyone on his team have a chat with Nunes about his actions/activities or especially if Mueller were to issue a subpoena or two of his own Nunes/the GOP would scream to high heaven that he (Mueller) was interfering with the workings of Congress and/or “unfairly targeting” critics.  I don’t think Nunes is smart enough to come up with such a strategy but unfortunately there are those in the GOP that are that smart and devious.  Or it could simply be a not well thought out means of giving Sessions (and Wray) legal & political cover to turn over work product that Mueller isn’t ready for targets of his inquiry to know about — to help them & their legal teams prepare and/or coordinate stories.  Or “accidentally on purpose” destroy evidence.
I think though that it still places both Sessions and Wray in an awkward position, especially since the former has legal problems already.
In any case, I think Mueller is savvy enough to not take the bait.  He’s got plenty in the public record regarding Nunes stunts, and with this letter now in the public realm Mueller (to me at least) has more than enough to quietly prepare an Obstruction case against Nunes to be presented down the road when events have proceeded to the point that the Trump administration is toast.  I hope so because Nunes deserves to wind up in jail with the rest of the gang.

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Apparently the Resident is a master of hype and hyperbole with a smattering of facts. The ongoing push for reversing executive orders from the previous administration which will affect many Americans for many years. This roll back under the guise of “Making America Great Again” will unless changed or modified will put us on a path of second class in the world order. The supposed and assumed injustices done to us by other countries and the previous administration are couched in terms designed to panic us into believing the barely believable. First  climate change is real (it has happened before but over a much longer time span (thousands or millions of years). The prime movers on these changes are folks who have their own personal interest in mind. These personal pushes are embraced by our Resident primarily because he is un or under informed and these providers of information hold him up as smarter and better than he is (or maybe not). There is no end to the blanket of falsehood pouring out this White House on the promise to “Make America Great Again”. Look at the results: Coal mine are still closing due to cheap natural gas, Immigrants are leaving on their own due to uninformed policies and perceived  sins and our allies are looking in wonder at the attacks on collective agreements that insure security and prosperity for all. Government works when there is integrity in it and right now the “Baby Boss” has missed too many naps to make rational decisions. This spoon feeding of misinformation is leading to possible series of  political missteps which will hurt us for a long time. We can only hope with a different  and saner Captain we can right the ship but only if we pay attention to who we vote for beginning with a non partisan look at who is seeking office and not be persuaded by campaign slogans and semi truths.

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Meshuga’as is a Yiddish word for craziness and that aptly describes the current administration and the hangers-on that follow it. Recently Congressman Ron Johnson (WI) made statements about the FBI which on its face appears to be bad, however when further scrutinized are no more than distractive issues for the Mueller investigation.

inappropriate behavior at the FBI.

Ron Johnson now says he doesn’t know what his ‘informant’ meant by FBI anti-Trump ‘secret society’ meetings. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said on Tuesday he had an “informant” corroborate reports concerning the existence of an FBI “secret society” working to undermine President Trump.
“What this is all about is further evidence of corruption, more than bias, but corruption at the highest levels of the FBI,” Johnson told Fox News’ Bret Baier.
“Now a secret society? We have an informant that’s talking about a group that were holding secret meetings off site. There is so much smoke here, there is so much suspicion,” the senator continued.

Apparently Mr. Johnson has nothing better to do than keep other issues (unproven so far) in the news rather than do his job. This appears to be the case in this administration as a general rule. Distract rather than legislate. Lie when ever possible to keep your message out there. Looking at the Resident’s Supporters in government, each one seems to have a hard time staying on topic and not answering specific questions for clarification. This applies to the preferred news station of the administration “FAUX” network. Typically one can read about current events and have a reasonable idea of what is happening however the last several years have brought about a group of folks who have no issue with promoting lies to get their agenda moving. It is unfortunate that their activities denigrate the good work being done by more honest folks. As voters it is our obligation to parse the truth out of the voluminous lies that litter the airways and in print. An example of keeping the “party line” is recently pardoned Joe Arpaio’s has announced a run for Congress and is still pushing the Birther idea that Former President Obama was not born in the U.S.A. Isn’t a bit late to continue pushing an already proven and accepted fact? We must pay attention to what’s said and not be taken in by “FAUX’ news!

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Having a personal opinion is great.
Believing that one’s personal opinion is absolute truth
leads to most of the world’s troubles.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

The current political war in Washington is more about personal preferences rather than what is good for the country (everyone in it). Since we are a nation of immigrants (no matter what the accepted definition of immigrant is) why are the people we elected making decisions that do nothing to improve our country and by extension our relations with our allied partners in the world? We have people in office who are so shortsighted as to be blind to the cost of their inhibiting actions. These actions have consequences beyond our borders and could conceivable (if not already) create rifts in our worldwide relationships. This administration has spent more time dismantling rules and regulations than improving ones that can be improved, all of this with the tacit if not implicit assistance of our neer do well Congress. It appears that the insiders of this administration have their own agendas and are working to make them priority  over the good for all of us. It is not an issue of campaign promises being accomplished, it is a case of  devious individuals inserting their own opinions onto the public landscape as necessary for better government. Currently the House intelligence committee is raising the spectre of FBI misconduct in the vein of the “McCarthy Hearings’ which ended in failure and the ruin of many careers. Devin Nunes failed in previous efforts to discredit the Mueller investigation and now is making another attempt at discrediting the Justice department and the Mueller investigation. This merely shows that the current administration is at odds with itself and will hurt us all by creating an extension of the existing malfunctioning administration. No matter what your political bent is, these elected people are not working for you. Each one of them is engaged in one-upmanship to benefit themselves. If you believe the current administration is doing a good job then I submit that you take the blinders off and realize that all legislation good or bad affects us all and for years to come until we elect better representatives who actually work for us in an honest manner.

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The current Congress is at a (hopefully) temporary impasse. After meetings with the Resident a bipartisan committee brought a proposal to fund the Government and take care of immigration. The Resident stated “He would sign whatever you guys bring me whether I like it all or not”, this is not the exact wording but it covers the essence. The next AM via tweet the Resident reneged on his words, this has been his way of doing things since his inauguration. Allowing for the yoyo effect of the aides and advisors  who have left, been sidelined or used sparingly, this administration has made no significant forward progress that benefitted the entire country. The meager benefits that has delighted his supporters will be at best short-lived and possible dangerous. The Resident has spent more time campaigning than governing as evidenced by the showy signing of executive orders that roll back protections that will affect all Americans. The majority in Congress has stood back and allowed things to happen while pushing their own agenda and hoping to get the signature of the Resident who by his actions will not read it or understand what he has signed until some one tells him what it is he as signed. The advisors around him tell him what he should do because he apparently has no clue. We essentially have a puppet surrounded by puppet masters who all have different agendas that do not bode well for America. The worst of this is the people in charge of press releases and press briefings (or the nose growing department) consistently relay hardly true and totally untrue statements with aplomb. This pattern of misinformation and outright lies has followed the Resident and his cabinet selections for years. Under the guise of being Conservatives has and will create more dissidence in the US than any administration over the past 10 to 15 years. Our credibility in the world has plummeted to a dangerous level and the Resident seems to take no notice. There appears to be no long range or strategic thinking in this administration beyond a biased and jaundiced view aimed at political theater which has no merit beyond exciting their base (such as it is). It is really unfortunate that there has to be a Government shutdown to get ordinary work done in this Misadministration since the purpose of getting elected is to move the country forward in a manner that benefits ALL Americans no matter if they are naturalized or natural born. It is wise to remember, the only true Americans are the Native Americans who were driven from their territories for the benefit of the newcomers (Europeans, et al). We must remember this quote:” If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything “ALEX HAMILTON (not Alexander Hamilton) British Author

 

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After watching several Sunday News and panel shows today, it has been made even clearer that our Congress is broken and made even more so by the ascension of the current Resident of the White House. Almost to a person all of the administration officials blame the Scamocrats in spite the known facts that the Resident made a statement that he would sign what was brought before even he was not completely happy with it. A bipartisan proposal was brought to him and he refused it( so he lied in the previous statement). Each of these Resident defenders did exactly what their boss did-Lie! It is my opinion that we will never have decent and functioning government under this Resident and the current leaders of the Senate and the House are backing these poor decisions by blaming the other party. This is not governing , this just ducking the responsibility of their office and lying to their constituents as they have apparently been doing for a long time since they appear to do it so well. These folks pass bad legislation  with ease and point at it with pride while saying how good it will be for us much like Adolph did in the 30’s.MA

First day of government shutdown ends in standoff
By Richard Cowan and Ginger Gibson

Reuters 9 hours ago

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Getty Images)
By Richard Cowan and Ginger Gibson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers were locked in a standoff with Democrats on Saturday over the U.S. government shutdown, with Republicans saying they would not negotiate on immigration until the government is reopened.
Funding for federal agencies ran out at midnight with no agreement in Congress, meaning the second year of Trump’s presidency began without a fully functioning government.
Democrats stuck to demands that any short-term spending legislation must include protections for young undocumented immigrants known as “Dreamers.” Republicans in turn said they would not negotiate on immigration until Democrats gave them the votes needed to reopen the government.
U.S. government workers were told to stay home or, in some cases, work without pay until new funding is approved in the first federal government shutdown since a 16-day funding lapse in October 2013.
The Republican-controlled Senate and House of Representatives held rare weekend sessions on Saturday, facing a political crisis that could affect November congressional elections. By about 7 p.m. both chambers resigned themselves to failure and agreed to resume work on Sunday.
Both Republicans and Democrats had dug in during the day, each side blaming the other.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate would vote at 0100 EST (0600 GMT) Monday on a bill to fund the government through Feb. 8, unless Democrats agree to hold it sooner.
“We’ll be right back at this tomorrow and for as long as it takes” for Democrats to vote for legislation that would reopen the government, McConnell said.
Outside the U.S. Capitol, parks, open-air monuments and Smithsonian museums were open as a second annual women’s rights march took place on the National Mall. But visitors were turned away from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia and the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in New York Harbor.
A scheduled trip by Trump and some Cabinet members to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, was being assessed on a day-to-day basis, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said.
Republicans said they would refuse to negotiate on immigration until Democrats provide the votes to re-open the government. Democrats insisted they have been willing to compromise but Republicans backed out of deals.
“The president will not negotiate on immigration reform until Democrats stop playing games and reopen the government,” said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.
Marc Short, the White House’s legislative affairs director, said Trump had been in contact with Republican leaders in Congress during the day, but had not reached out to Democrats.
Short said the president likely would be most effective making the case for ending the shutdown directly to the American people, and he did not rule out Trump addressing the nation in the coming days.
The tough message from the White House and Republicans in Congress led to speculation that Washington could be in for a prolonged political battle.
At the U.S. Capitol, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer delivered a stinging portrayal of Trump as an unreliable negotiating partner, saying the two sides came close to an agreement several times only to have Trump back out at the urging of anti-immigration conservatives.
“Negotiating with President Trump is like negotiating with Jell-O,” said Schumer, who met Trump at the White House on Friday for a 90-minute meeting that had briefly raised hopes. “It’s impossible to negotiate with a constantly moving target.”
‘INCHES AWAY’
The federal government had been running on three consecutive temporary funding bills since the new fiscal year began in October.
Democrats had sought to secure permanent legal protections for 700,000 young undocumented immigrants as a condition for new government funding after their attempts to push through the protections in stand-alone bills were rebuffed. Trump ordered the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program to expire in March, requiring Congress to act.
Earlier, McConnell said a solution to the crisis was “just inches away” but he blamed Democrats for blocking legislation to pass the fourth stopgap funding measure.
One idea floated by Republicans was to renew government funding through Feb. 8 to end the shutdown, while working to resolve other issues, including immigration, military and non-military spending, disaster relief and some healthcare matters.
U.S. Representative Gerry Connolly, a Democrat whose northern Virginia district has one of the highest concentrations of federal government employees, said there was no sign that serious bipartisan negotiations were taking place and he would be surprised if Congress reached a resolution before Monday.
“You can hear the crickets chirping in the hallway,” Connolly said on Saturday evening. He said if there were negotiations, “it would have to be really deep back channels.”
He attributed the lack of talks to “raw feelings” and that Trump had walked away on Friday from a deal on immigration.
A video ad released on Saturday by Trump’s presidential campaign that says Democrats will be “complicit” in murders by illegal immigrants could inflame tensions.
Trump had portrayed himself as the ultimate dealmaker, but his inability to cut a deal despite having a Republican majority in both houses of Congress marked arguably the most debilitating setback for his administration.
“This is the One Year Anniversary of my Presidency and the Democrats wanted to give me a nice present,” he said on Twitter.
The immediate impact of the government shutdown was eased somewhat by it beginning on a weekend.
The Defense Department said combat operations in Afghanistan and other military activities would continue, while federal law enforcement officers also would remain on duty.
Talks on the North American Free Trade Agreement will continue, as will major cybersecurity functions, and most of the Environmental Protection Agency will remain open, budget director Mulvaney said.
But without a quick deal, hundreds of thousands of government employees will be put on temporary unpaid leave.
“It’s ironic that they get paid – meaning Congress – and the rest of the government doesn’t,” said Dawn Gaither, 57, a Washington teacher. “That’s what we need to do, kick these guys in the tail and get them to work.”
(Reporting by Richard Cowan, Ginger Gibson, James Oliphant, Ian Simpson, and David Brunnstrom in Washington; Writing by Richard Cowan and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Bill Trott and Daniel Wallis)
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