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Monthly Archives: August 2019


No reason for alarm TOTUS is projecting his actions or at least telling his minions to prepare for it. MA

Seung Min Kim, Mike DeBonis 2 hrs ago, The Washington Post


Dems alarmed about Trump’s ‘joke’ on wall

Through his pardons of political allies, conservative defenders and others convicted of federal crimes, President Trump throughout his term has sent indirect signals of his willingness to help those close to him escape punishment.

And now, the president has entwined that message with his chief campaign promise — by privately assuring aides that he would pardon them of any potential illegality as the administration rushes to build his vaunted border wall before he returns to the ballot next November.
The notion has alarmed congressional Democrats, who had been investigating potential obstruction of justice on Trump’s part as the House continues to weigh whether to launch impeachment proceedings once lawmakers return to Washington next month.

Rep. David N. Cicilline (R.I.), a member of the House Democratic leadership and the House Judiciary Committee, said any suggestion that Trump would encourage subordinates to break the law by promising pardons is “appalling” and worthy of further investigation by the panel.
“Sadly, this is just one more instance of a president who undermines the rule of law and behaves as if he’s a king and not governed by the laws of this country,” Cicilline said in an interview Wednesday. “He is not a king, he is accountable … I think it just adds to the ongoing proceeding before the Judiciary Committee as we consider whether to recommend articles of impeachment against the president.”
Trump on Wednesday denied that he had made those private assurances, first reported Tuesday evening by The Washington Post. Yet a White House official who spoke on the condition of anonymity in advance of the report did not deny it and said Trump is joking when he makes such statements about pardons.
“Another totally Fake story in the Amazon Washington Post (lobbyist) which states that if my Aides broke the law to build the Wall (which is going up rapidly), I would give them a Pardon,” Trump tweeted Wednesday afternoon. “This was made up by The Washington Post only in order to demean and disparage — FAKE NEWS!”
The Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, although it is run independently from the online retail enterprise.
The wall discussions are not the first time that Trump has reportedly promised a pardon to a subordinate for doing something potentially illegal.
In April, the New York Times reported that Trump told acting Homeland Security secretary Kevin McAleenan that he would pardon him if he directed his personnel to illegally deny asylum to migrants who request it at the southern border. Trump later denied doing so in a tweet, calling it “Another Fake Story.”
Members of the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to McAleenan requesting information and documents on the incident; a panel spokesman did not respond to a question about whether McAleenan ever responded. The committee said in a statement at the time that “offering a pardon to encourage an officer of the U.S. government to undertake an illegal action appears on its face to be an unconstitutional abuse of power.”
Several Democrats said Trump’s pardon comments were fair game for investigation as they continue to delve into details of potential obstruction of justice on the part of Trump that emerged from former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation.
“The fall is a period is when we are expanding the scope of our investigation beyond the Mueller report,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), who like Cicilline is a member of the Judiciary Committee. “The abuse of the pardon power fits in with our broader investigation into the abuse of the powers of the presidency.”
Raskin added: “It’s similar to the president ordering the executive branch not to cooperate with congressional investigations. That is an abuse of power and an assault on the separation of powers.”
Cicilline said it did not matter whether Trump’s subordinates ultimately carried out his illegal directives.
“It’s an abuse of the pardon power, it’s an abuse of the president’s authority, and it’s very likely illegal,” he said. “So whether anyone actually does it or not — that idea that the president of the United States, responsible for enforcing and upholding the rule of law in this country, is making a statement like that is just appalling.”
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Judiciary panel, did not comment on the issue Wednesday.
Several of the 15 pardons that Trump has issued during his presidency — a power that is nearly unchecked and that Trump has relished — have carried with them an overtly political tone.
The first pardon Trump issued as president went to Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., whose controversial tactics on immigration enforcement garnered legal challenges and a conviction on a criminal contempt of court charge. Trump pardoned him of that crime in August 2017 — less than a month after the conviction and weeks before he was set to be sentenced.
In April 2018, Trump pardoned I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the former chief of staff to former vice president Richard B. Cheney, who had been convicted on perjury and obstruction of justice charges. Trump suggested Libby had been treated unfairly by the prosecution as it probed the leak of the identity of Valerie Plame, a CIA officer.
Trump said at the time that he did not personally know Libby, but the pardon came as several former Trump associates had pleaded guilty to similar charges amid Mueller’s Russia probe.
The following month, Trump gave a full pardon to Dinesh D’Souza, a conservative commentator who had pleaded guilty to illegally using straw donors for a Republican Senate candidate in New York.
As with Libby, Trump concluded that D’Souza had been mistreated and said at the time that he was also considering clemency for former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich (D) and lifestyle guru Martha Stewart. The three had been convicted of crimes similar to charges faced by former Trump associates as part of the Mueller probe.
In May of this year, Trump pardoned Conrad Black, who in 2007 was convicted on fraud and obstruction of justice charges. The billionaire last year penned a flattering biography of the president, “Donald J. Trump: A president like no other,” that defended him against accusations of racism and praised him for the “optimism to persevere and succeed, the confidence to affront tradition and convention, a genius for spectacle, and a firm belief in common sense and the common man.”
Trump has even pondered pardoning himself — tweeting in June 2018 amid the Mueller probe that he has the “absolute right” to do so and that his argument was bolstered by “numerous legal scholars.” (Whether Trump can actually do so is up for debate.)
“More than one isolated remark, it’s the pattern that’s concerning,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said of Trump’s pardon tendencies. “As much as what he may do, or not, is the message that it sends to the American people about his view of the importance of law and law enforcement.”
seung-min.kim@washpost.com
mike.debonis@washpost.com

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It is apparent that the enemy is at the gate, so to speak. Our elected leader(?) has created a chaotic administration which is essentially run by his chosen miscreants. Unfortunately, our Congress has fallen into step with this agenda as they are unwilling to do their jobs. There seems to be a fear of TOTUS or they are using him as a hat to cover their own misdeeds. It is essential that all eligible voters do so to restore order to our country. This should not be about race or immigrants, without either of those, there would be no United States. It is unfortunate the polished history we learn has left out the true facts of our democracy. The current administration has used the vilest part of our history to further it’s own base needs. Each day of this administration brings more issues that are against ALL Americans and this will go on until there is some else sitting in the White House along with a new Senate leader. These 2 changes while not correcting the ship of state will create a course correction that will steer us back into a reasonable style of governing. Our Governing style ought not to depend on wars to create unity since many of our closest allies have succeeded without it.

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Today I heard a news item regarding Joe Walsh’s ( former Illinois legislator, turned conservative talk show host) announcement to challenge Donald Trump for the Presidential nomination. While it is the American way to allow anyone to make this choice, it also allows for radical candidates of all types and stripes. That being said we now have the weakest link in our chain of Illinois representatives assailing the candidacy of Joe Walsh with the name of “windbag”. Mr. Rodney Davis who has sided with the current “windbag” of the White House 94% of the time has little room to criticize anyone with the poor track record he carries. When Mr. Davis can honestly say he is working for the people of  Illinois, that is when he can call someone a windbag. Mr. Davis’s unflagging devotion to this leader against the interests of the people of his State is an insult to ALL of us. “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone” is appropriate here.

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TOTUS is correct the problem with gun issues is Mental Health, the problem is that the mental health issue is in the White house. With a waffling, race-baiting, prattling, misogynist incompetent at the helm of government, we have a mental health issue that requires attention. Corrective action: VOTE!!

Tom Toles Comic Strip for August 21, 2019

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James Downie 9 hrs ago

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.
The United States’ economic outlook is not exactly confidence-inspiring: Manufacturing is flagging, bond yields have turned ominous, and stocks are down (then up a little on Friday, but still very much down). So, faced with the Sunday talk shows, the Trump White House sent out National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow and trade adviser Peter Navarro. On Friday, my colleague Catherine Rampell described the pair, along with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, as Trump’s “dream team” of economic mismanagement; on Sunday, they showed why.
On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” host Chuck Todd asked Kudlow to assess Wall Street fears about the economy. “I don’t see a recession,” answered Kudlow. “And let me add just one theme, Chuck. … Let’s not be afraid of optimism.” He cited strong “consumer numbers,” low oil prices and low-interest rates and predicted “the economy’s going to be very good in 2019.”
That may sound good. But given that we’re well into 2019, Kudlow’s silence about 2020 is concerning. Furthermore, Kudlow’s confidence has some eerie echoes with the last downturn, as Todd pointed out:
But, you know, you actually said that in 2007 right before the second-worst downturn in American history. This is what you wrote. “There’s no recession coming.” This is in December of ’07. “The pessimistas were wrong. It’s not going to happen. The Bush boom is alive and well. It’s finishing up its sixth consecutive year with more to come.”
Here’s the problem: Kudlow and others failed to see a recession coming because they refused to believe housing and other markets could really collapse. Others learned from that mistake; it seems Kudlow hasn’t.
As for Navarro, he was asked on CBS’s “Face the Nation” to explain a presidential contradiction: If tariffs don’t really hurt U.S. consumers, as Trump likes to claim, then why did he delay tariffs until Dec. 15 out of concern for hurting consumers? “I was there in the Oval Office when a group of business people came in and made the following very persuasive argument,” Navarro replied. “They had already bought everything that was going to be on our shelves, but they’d done it in dollar contracts, which means they weren’t able to shift the burden back to the Chinese.”
Assuming that those business leaders are telling the truth, it’s good that the Trump administration would finally recognize reality. Then again, why didn’t someone at the White House make any effort to find this out beforehand? Why go through the whole charade of these tariffs if they weren’t even going to hit China in the first place?
Whether another recession is coming is an open question: Strong consumer spending and low unemployment may continue to keep things afloat. But all Navarro’s and Kudlow’s answers offered was more evidence that, if the economy does go south, this administration is acting without thinking. Kudlow is wrong: No one is “afraid of optimism.” We’re afraid of the team in the White House.

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The race is on for the Presidency ( soul) of the UNITED States. The current officeholder has been emboldened by the die-hard supporters at his rallies which have been nonstop since 2016.  The actual work of the office has been handled by his crew of miscreants whose sole objective is to interpret the ideas of a Conman who is not much more than a Carnival barker with an egomaniacal streak. The GOP has succumbed to the idea of staying in office at any cost while ignoring their own core policies of 10 plus years ago. This is not letting the Scamocrats off the hook as they have also moved in a direction that has not done that well for us either. It is time (and a half) past when we need to agree to disagree on where and what the government does in our names. Our sole objective needs to be electing more rational representatives who can look at the issues and make decisions that benefit ALL Americans without the skewing effects of big money and extreme groups of all sorts. Neither major political party currently has no real plans of action as a collective so cannot (or will not) legislate any worthwhile policies that move us forward instead of sideways and backward. It is well to remember that no matter who’s the President, it is Congress that makes and enacts legislation, approves cabinet members and Judges. If these choices are poor then the results are poor for us. Our lack of engagement is why we still have a core of neer do well legislators who do nothing or do even their nothingness wrong! We definitely need a better qualified or better-informed Resident in the Oval office but we need to start with Congress. Vote don’t mope!

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This should be no surprise after the initial crowd size lie generated about the inauguration crowd. MA

Marisa Iati, Morgan Krakow 13 hrs ago
Workers at a Royal Dutch Shell plant in Monaca, Pa., were forced to choose Tuesday between attending a speech by President Trump or forgoing overtime pay that their co-workers would earn.

© Susan Walsh/AP President Donald Trump gets a thumbs up from Samantha Polizotto on Aug. 13 during his speech in Monaca, Pa. Workers were paid overtime for attending the event. (Susan Walsh/AP)
Attendance was optional, but contract workers who chose not to stand in the crowd would not qualify for time-and-a-half pay when they arrived at work Friday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Several companies with thousands of unionized workers have contracts with Shell, one the world’s largest oil and gas companies.
Workers at the unfinished Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex had to arrive at 7 a.m., scan their ID cards and stand for hours until Trump’s speech began, the Post-Gazette reported.
“NO SCAN, NO PAY,” a supervisor for one of the contractors wrote to workers, according to the Post-Gazette.
The contractor’s memo also banned yelling, protesting or “anything viewed as resistance” at Trump’s speech, the Post-Gazette reported.
“An underlying theme of the event is to promote good will from the unions,” the document said, according to the Post-Gazette. “Your building trades leaders and jobs stewards have agreed to this.”
The Washington Post on Saturday was unable to immediately reach Shell or the plant’s unions for comment.
Trump has a long history of falsely claiming that liberal demonstrators have been paid to protest. When people angrily flooded the streets of some cities after Trump won the presidency, he accused them of being “professional protesters” who had been “incited by the media.” When women protested Brett M. Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, he said they were “paid professionals.”
And when protests bubbled up at airports in 2017 in response to Trump’s ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries, he alleged that the demonstrators were “professional anarchists, thugs and paid protesters.”
Trump’s speech on Tuesday felt at times like a campaign rally, The Washington Post previously reported. Between remarks about U.S. energy production, Trump urged the workers to support his reelection and complained about a laundry list of his perceived enemies: the media, the Democrats running for president and the Academy Awards.
About 5,000 workers attended the speech, according to Newsweek magazine.
Shell spokesman Ray Fisher told the Post-Gazette that workers at the plant have a 56-hour workweek, which includes 16 hours of overtime pay — so workers who showed up on Tuesday were paid for the week at a higher rate.
Another Shell spokesman, Curtis Smith, told Newsweek that workers who chose to skip the rally received “paid time off,” which does not count as hours worked and therefore does not trigger overtime pay. Trump’s speech was treated as a training that differed from other training sessions only in that it included “a guest speaker who happened to be the President,” Smith said. “We do these several times a year with various speakers,” Smith told Newsweek in a written statement. “The morning session (7-10 a.m.) included safety training and other work-related activities.”
Ken Broadbent, business manager for the union Steamfitters Local 449, told the Post-Gazette his workers respect Trump for his title, regardless of whether they liked or disliked him. Anyone who did not want to go to work on the day of Trump’s speech could skip it, Broadbent said.
“This is just what Shell wanted to do and we went along with it,” Broadbent told the Post-Gazette.

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I regret attempting to explain politics to single-minded people and sometimes failing

I regret  how naive some of us  Americans are when it comes to Race and politics

I regret not writing more to my representatives about issues I am concerned about -especially when they are doing a terrible job.

I regret not giving more to charities when I could have.

I regret  not extending kindness when I could

I regret not calling Bull shit when it was apparent

I regret not being a better grandparent or parent

I regret having regrets.

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The “brander in chief ” reminds me of a childhood friend who was able to name someone (“brand”) at a glance. This is a talent the resident of 1600 apparently has also. This “talent” is cute when one is young but dangerous when one is an adult. TOTUS has made it an art form as a way to avoid issues that he is uncomfortable with and does not know how to handle. This is not a good asset for a leader but since we really do not have one that point is moot. The followers of TOTUS are distracted by his loose lips manner of speaking while missing the bigger problems he has created. The elaborate signing of executive orders that undermine our country, the on the fly press conference and the multitude of tweets that have nothing to do with the actual job of the President are not what we need from a “leader”. The next President will have at least 2 years of mistakes local and abroad to correct. If voters do not adjust the balance of power in the Congress then we will still have to slog uphill as a country. TOTUS is no more than a bully who deflects rather than correct or address real issues. His total lack of any ability to understand his job beyond what his handlers tell him ( in words that he can understand) even if what they tell him is wrong but plays to his ego. His staff of miscreants are struggling mightily to keep him in the office so they can continue their errant ways and hopefully keep information that would or could incriminate all or most of them. This could very well be as stated by Benjamin Franklin: “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately”. My thinking is this bunch will rat one another out without hesitation. Assuring this outcome comes from everyone voting.

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It appears that avoidance is the normal of the current administration and Congress. TOTUS has now accused the Clintons of being in league with the late Jeffrey Epstein while diminishing his association with him. This President with the assistance of the GOP (most of them) has abdicated his position as President in favor of 24-7 campaigning and overnight Tweets which serve as press releases. It is well known and proven that lies serve in a place where the truth would work better are the basis of this Administration as was the case in his business dealings. TOTUS’s insertion in many things that have nothing to do with actual governing has lead us to a point of being laughed at in some parts of the world and ignored in others. His “leadership style” has unapologetically allowed the rise of the extremes in America, No. Korea, Russia, Iran and other bad actors who threaten us and our allies. Each day he takes another issue to keep his name in lights (as it were) while the neer do well Congress and his miscreant Cabinet members continue to pursue their personal agendas no matter the effect on the voters. While there are many supporters of this administration and the Congress, there are also many supporters of staged reality shows like J_ _ _ _Y S_ _ _ _ _ _ R  et al which does not suggest this is a way to govern. He Digresses!

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