Closing Thought–17Nov16

Presidential scandals……it seems in recent history we have had more than our fair share of scandals around the White House.

Nixon it was Watergate and Agnew, Carter it was the hostages and peanut-gate, Reagan it was Iran-Contra, Clinton it was many most of them dealing with sex, Bush2 it was the lies for war and Obama…he had very little scandals other than the major news fakes…..and now we have a new president-elect, Donald Trump…..

It has been a little over a week since his victory and there has been nothing but confusion and contradictions and lies flying around Trump Tower…….how soon before we have our fist Trump Admin scandal?

On Monday, appearing at his first press conference since Donald Trump was made president-elect, Barack Obama spoke proudly about his administration’s track record, which was squeaky clean by two-term presidential standards. “I am very proud of the fact that we will—knock on wood—leave this administration without significant scandal,” he said. “We’ve made mistakes, there have been screw-ups, but I will put the ethics of this administration and our track record in terms of just abiding by the rules and norms, and keeping trust with the American people—I will put this administration against any administration in history.”

Source: The Trump cabinet is going to be plagued by scandals. | New Republic

This admin is shaping up as one that will be the talk of the town for decades after it slides into the annals of history…..it is looking like these years will make the corruption and scandals during the Grant admin look like amateurs….(don’t know about those years?  Read a damn book!)

For those that are too lazy to read that book…..

Source: Ulysses S. Grant presidential administration scandals – Wikipedia

Scandals are nothing new….but I think this time it will epic even more so than the scandals of the Grant admin…..

Is This A Purge?

That word leads me to my historical roots….Purge?

It is a verb….that has a couple of meanings……

1.to rid of whatever is impure or undesirable; cleanse; purify.

2.to rid, clear, or free (usually followed by of or from):  to purge a political party of disloyal members.

3.to clear of imputed guilt or ritual uncleanliness.

4.to clear away or wipe out legally (an offense, accusation, etc.) by atonement or other suitable action.

5.to remove by cleansing or purifying (often followed by away, off, or out).

6.to clear or empty (the bowels) by causing evacuation.

7. to cause evacuation of the bowels of (a person).

In political terms I think of the great “purges” in history…..first the Night of the Long Knives when Hitler purged all those people that stood in his way to total power….second there were the “purges” of Stalin in the USSR when he eliminated his rivals and got a bit of revenge on past deeds done to him.
The reason I gave this historical perspective was because their seems to be a purge happening within the Trump transition team.  The purge is not physical but rather political……is he looking for some sort of purity?
I’m sure that somewhere there is troll waiting to pounce on this swearing that I am comparing Trump to Stalin…..I am not……

Big shake-up No. 2 for Donald Trump’s presidential transition team: Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, who had been leading the national security part of the team, resigned Tuesday. In a statement reported by Politico, he called his time “during the initial pre-election planning phase … a privilege” and framed the work as “a strong foundation for the new transition team leadership.” CNN frames it as the loss of “an establishment national security voice.” The New York Times’ take on Rogers’ “abrupt” exit was more colorful, describing a “transition operation plunged into disarray.”

The Times article reports that while Vice President-elect Mike Pence took the reins of the team at large from Chris Christie on Friday, the paperwork that must be signed in order to allow the Obama and Trump teams to work together had yet to be signed, allegedly because the document was being red-lined. A source in the Trump camp expects it will be signed Tuesday, but the Times pulls no punches: “The slow and uncertain start to what is normally a rapid and meticulously planned transfer of power could have profound implications for Mr. Trump’s nascent administration.” The Wall Street Journal notes Rogers was “considered a close ally” of Christie. While no reason was given for Rogers’ resignation, Bloomberg sources say he was asked to proffer it by team officials.

Also word has come out that Pence has ordered all lobbyists off the transition team…….

Tuesday brought a big shake-up for Donald Trump’s transition team, but the president-elect took to Twitter to assure Americans that there’s a “very organized process taking place as I decide on Cabinet and many other positions. I am the only one who knows who the finalists are!” USA Today reports by way of a team insider that Vice President-elect Mike Pence and transition executive director Rick Dearborn are cleaning house, wiping lobbyists from the team. “This is to ensure President-elect Trump’s commitment to ban lobbyist involvement is being upheld at all levels of the transition,” an unnamed aide tells Reuters. And the ball is moving: Necessary paperwork that had been awaiting Pence’s signature since Friday was delivered to the White House Tuesday evening, though additional materials are required before agency-specific briefings can occur.

As for what was behind Mike Rogers’ resignation Tuesday, many sources seem to be settling on his closeness with former transition team head Chris Christie (though Reuters floats an alternate theory about Rogers not going after Hillary Clinton hard enough during the Benghazi investigation). CNN’s sources take it a step further and say Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner has been pushing to erase Christie associates from the team. The Washington Post sources echo this, calling the situation, in the words of the Post, “a troubling episode of political score-settling.” It reports that in 2005 Christie, then a US attorney, prosecuted Kushner’s father for tax evasion, witness tampering, and illegal campaign contributions; he was handed a two-year sentence.

If so he is making good on his campaign promise…..on the other side….without competent people at the helm of the important positions like SecState or position in the world could become more dangerous than it is today.

This move should give the establishment GOPers a bit of a case of heartburn…… is he just seeking revenge?  Or is it Pence that is doing this?  Maybe it is just to keep the media off balanced….many questions…..only time will tell.

 Like it or not…..there is something fascinating going on in DC…I said fascinating not right.

What Does 2016 Mean For Net Neutrality?

About a year or so ago the internet and bloggers were burning up the airways with all sorts of horror stories about what will happen to net neutrality…..then along came the 2016 election and the issue was not so important…..

But we now have a new president-elect and what could that mean to net neutrality?

First, a piece about militarizing the internet….

A global conference of senior military and intelligence officials taking place in London this week reveals how governments increasingly view social media as “a new front in warfare” and a tool for the Armed Forces.

The overriding theme of the event is the need to exploit social media as a source of intelligence on civilian populations and enemies; as well as a propaganda medium to influence public opinion.

A report from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) last month revealed how a CIA-funded tool, Geofeedia, was already being used by police to conduct surveillance of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to monitor activists and protesters.

Source: Your Government Wants to Militarize Social Media to Influence Your Beliefs | Motherboard

We know how influential social media can be….look at all the fake news stories from Facebook alone….these caught fire and were past off as “real” facts when they were just lies made to look official….

With all that said……what will a president Trump mean to the internet?

On January 20th, Donald Trump will be sworn in as president of the United States. With a Republican-controlled House and Senate behind him, things in this country are going to change… a lot. One of the things that might be on the chopping block early in his administration is Net Neutrality.

This is obviously an issue near and dear to our hearts here at Engadget, and it’s pretty safe to assume that the rules instituted by the FCC in 2015 will be gutted by a Trump administration. In 2014, he described the concept as a “top down power grab” that “will target the conservative media,” and compared it to the Fairness Doctrine — referring to the FCC rule eliminated in 1987 that required broadcasters to present contrasting views on topics of public interest. While it might be tempting to dismiss those vaguely paranoid sounding declarations as simple Twitter bluster, it’s unlikely to be an issue that flies under the radar once he moves into the White House.

Source: Under Trump the future of Net Neutrality and broadband is uncertain

The Right has been all a flutter about their freedom of internet usage and their privacy……will they roll over and play dead…..kinda like they are doing with the lies told them to gain their vote?

My guess is they will play ball with the autocrats that will make up this new government…

“I Will Not Let You Down”

That was the declaration from Donald Trump, president-elect of the US of A, during his acceptance speech on Nov. 8, 2016…..

After it became official that he had won the electoral college I stated that I would at least give him a chance to make good on the promises he made to his supporters and the people of this country.  My biggest concern is that of foreign policy….he made some bold statements about the international situations and I want to know if he will follow through….

Two days after his election and I am already disappointed…..fist, he railed about the DC insiders and that will change…..but yet he is using insiders to advise him on cabinet positions…..one strike

Word has come out about his foreign policy……he promised to pull troops from Korea and that the Iranian nuke deal was dead if he is elected……

New reports from South Korea’s Yonhap news agency suggest President-elect Donald Trump is already reneging on one of his key campaign promises, to make nations like South Korea pay more of the cost for their own defense or face the loss of US troops.

What about the nuke deal?

While the US could conceivably renege on its obligations under the deal, and indeed that has been what some Congressional resolutions suggested doing, it wouldn’t overturn the entire deal so much as render the US the sole violator of it. If anything, such a move risks an international backlash from the other P5+1 nations, particularly those in Europe.

This reality has already been obvious in the first year of the deal, with the Obama Treasury Department slow to keep US obligations related to lifting sanctions, a fact which sparked criticism from Iran, but far more criticism from Western Europe, whose companies are losing out on massive deals with Iran because of US banking sanctions.

Faced with the reality that he can’t effectively “change” the Iran nuclear deal, Trump really has no reason to risk isolating the US economically by trying to roll back US compliance. There is simply nothing to gain, and plenty to lose.

(antiwar.com)

So far 2 promises are about to be broken……how many more?  We still have about 60 days before the swearing in….plenty of time……

While I was asking that question more news hit the wires…..remember at his rallies all the chanting “Build the wall”?  Keep that warm fuzzy feeling……

Prominent Trump aide Newt Gingrich told reportersThursday Trump’s promise to have Mexico pay for a border wall may have been just a “campaign talk.” “He’ll spend a lot of time controlling the border,” said Gingrich, who is expected to have a senior role in Trump’s White House. “He may not spend very much time trying to get Mexico to pay for it, but it was a great campaign device.”

I am sure that the rabid supporters will find some illogical method to justify the lies told to the American people…..they are already whining about the protests the day after the vote…..

But sorry…..a lie is a fucking lie!  You CANNOT justify a LIE!

Trump’s First 100 Days–Redux

Like I have said several times….there are some parts of the Trump agenda that I can relate to……for instance the below graphic……..

If this is his agenda then I applaud him in his efforts……..at least in those first 100 days…..

It is too early to say that I will support this president….but this would be a good start….it might be good to restore the public’s faith in the institution of government…..there are qualified people that are not lobbyists…..it will depend what scale is used to judge the person…..my guess is that a rational independent voice will not be welcome in this new administration.

Too much hearsay right now…..I will wait and see if this part of his promise rings true…..and with what it is replaced.

Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy: What Will He Really Do?

Another op-ed that my friends at Ace News Room felt deserved to be published…..I appreciate their confidence in my analyses……

Ace News asked me for my take on the recent election of Donald Trump and sice I am a foreign policy wonk I thought I would start there….

I have neglected my posts on foreign policy because of the election and all the situations swirling around DC these days……but things are starting to slow down and I can once again return to international situations……

I am on record as saying that are some aspects to Trump’s foreign policy rhetoric that I could agree with……the thing is NO one knows what it will be like in his cabinet right now……

Source: Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy: What Will He Really Do?

If you need a site that specializing in all the news…both good and bad….then please take a visit to Ace News Room….you will not be disappointed.