Closing Thought–05Jun18

The good news is that all the bumps have been removed and the summit between Kim and Trump is back on.

It is scheduled to take place in Singapore on 12 June 2018……the tone of the summit has been dialed back to a more realistic as a meeting for the framework for serious nuclear negotiations.

I wish them good fortune and hope they can have an agreement that all parties can live with and that the final set of meeting will end the nuke stand-off on the Korean Peninsula.

My post is about the use that may be made with taxpayer money…..

The prospect for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula could hinge on who picks up the tab for Kim Jong Un’s hotel.

The arrangements for the five-star accommodations are among many that have to be hashed out before Kim and President Trump sit down for the historic talks in Singapore, the Washington Post reported.

But the US would need to circumvent its own sanctions against the rogue nation.

The peace talks are set for The Fullerton Hotel Singapore on June 12.

A rack rate room goes for $415 that night but a super-luxurious suite, befitting a world leader, could go for as much as $6,000, the newspaper said.

The US is open to paying for Kim. But first, Trump’s team would have to get around its own economic sanctions against North Korea — by obtaining a waiver from the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Really?  A country that pretends to be austere and fearless leader is going to go in luxury…….he needs to re-think this possibility.  If everything goes to crap with the summit…photos of Kim in luxury would make good propaganda though…..this could be used against him at a later date…..

Day is done and I must retire to the “Crypt” for some relaxation….see ya tomorrow my friends……peace out!  chuq

RFK–A ‘What If’

50 years ago Bobby Kennedy was assassinated on the campaign trail in LA……some say if that had not occurred he would have won the Democratic nomination and ultimately the presidency.

Recently I wrote that his son, RFK, Jr has said that he believes there were 2 shooters maybe more when his father was shot….

But let’s think about the 1968 election…..let’s look at history as if RFK had won the election….what would that mean to the US?

It is one of history’s great “what ifs.” What if Robert Kennedy had not been assassinated 40 years ago and gone on to become president of the United States? It’s safe to say that his presidency would have followed a different course from that of Richard Nixon. And it may just be that American politics would not be endlessly refighting the 1960s. Kennedy was a less polarizing figure than Nixon, who exploited the divisions that have now hardened into Red States and Blue States. But Kennedy himself was a complex and mercurial figure, so all we can really do is speculate. It’s an intriguing guessing game—if one does not get too dreamy about the mythology of RFK.

One reality check to start: it is far from a sure bet that RFK would have been nominated, and if nominated, elected. Kennedy was winning most of the primaries at the time of his death in June 1968, but under the old rules the bosses still controlled the Democratic Party. Hubert Humphrey, LBJ’s vice president and Kennedy’s real rival for the nomination (not Sen. Eugene McCarthy, the poet-politician who was fading in the stretch), was the favorite of the bosses. Kennedy was regarded as too “hot” and too radical by the big city and Big Labor chieftains. RFK was counting on Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley to turn the tide, but Daley was not a sure bet (despite some romantic and unconfirmed reporting that Daley promised his support in a phone call to Bobby just before Kennedy was killed). And RFK would have faced a formidable foe in Richard Nixon in November. The New Nixon was an expert at divide and conquer, and he was building a Silent Majority of white middle-class Americans fearful of rioting blacks and hippie college radicals.

50 years ago the US was set for a change and those shots in LA destroyed the chances of a new way forward……robbed the country of a brilliant leader

OMG! Pardon Me!

Well for a couple of days the MSM has been losing their minds over something the president said or was it Rudy had a go at obfuscating the news……it seems someone said the the president may pardon himself over this Mueller investigation.

No one is writing about this (could that be an indictment of silly these things have become?)……they, the citizen, had rather go to the local news station for their opinion.

But really can the president pardon himself?

First of all let’s answer a couple of questions…..

With news reports suggesting that the Trump White House and their legal advisors are taking a close look at the president’s pardon power, we decided to review the rules ourselves. We’ve asked a dozen legal experts for their views on four questions related to presidential pardons.

The questions asked and answered….let’s move on…..and I will offer up a couple of arguments pro and con……

First, yes he can pardon himself……..

As he often does, President Trump hijacked the news cycle with a Monday-morning tweet, this one observing that “numerous legal scholars” agree that “I have the absolute right to PARDON myself.” The president elaborates that he has done nothing wrong, and thus there is nothing to pardon.

So, one might ask, why bring it up?

It’s a good question, and not for the first time are we asking. Late last July, Trump tweeted that “all agree the U.S. President has the complete power to pardon” — only to add that there was no point discussing pardons because the only crimes arising out of the Russia probe were leaks of classified information to hurt the administration, not misconduct by the administration. On that occasion, the president was obviously reacting to a Washington Post report that he had been asking advisers “about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself.”

Finally, the “NO” side of the argument…….

Can a president pardon himself? Four days before Richard Nixon resigned, his own Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel opined no, citing “the fundamental rule that no one may be a judge in his own case.” We agree.

The Justice Department was right that guidance could be found in the enduring principles that no one can be both the judge and the defendant in the same matter, and that no one is above the law.

The Constitution specifically bars the president from using the pardon power to prevent his own impeachment and removal. It adds that any official removed through impeachment remains fully subject to criminal prosecution. That provision would make no sense if the president could pardon himself.

My thought……if Trump pardons himself is he not admitting that he committed a crime?

Whatcha you guys think?

Between The Two Seas

The two seas I am referring to are the Black Sea in the West and the Caspian Sea in the East…..this region could very well become what is known as a linch pin event….

“Linch pin?”

I explained this in a post I wrote for another site about 4 years ago…..please read for it explains everything….this is an important situation developing……

The reason I reference this is because this region is once again heating up….

Azerbaijan and Armenia both lay claim to the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. This disputed region is located entirely inside Azerbaijan – indeed, it is internationally recognized as Azerbaijani – but the government in Baku hasn’t exercised political authority over it in decades. That honor falls to the ethnic Armenians who populate it. In fact, Nagorno-Karabakh had been a semi-autonomous Armenian enclave ever since the Bolsheviks came to power in Russia. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, of which Azerbaijan was a part, the ethnic Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh, backed by Armenia itself, fought a war with Azerbaijan to keep the territory. A truce was brokered in 1994, and though negotiations over its official resolution have continued ever since, they have been entirely unsuccessful.

Minor skirmishes there erupt every so often – the bloodiest of which occurred in 2016 – but they have never escalated to all-out war. Partly that’s because war would be detrimental to Russia. Its interests are too many in the Caucasus to allow Turkey or Iran to gain a foothold there – something they would surely do if they backed Armenia in a conflict. Still, if Nagorno-Karabakh ever is a cause for war, then Azerbaijan, whose military dwarfs Armenia’s, would have the upper hand.

(Geopolitical Futures)

Our crackerjack State Department needs to pull its head out of the president’s ass and keep an eye on this situation or it could quickly become a problem that Trump will want to fix by some sort of attack.

The region is getting more unstable as the months go by……..

The springtime political upheaval in Armenia stunned neighbouring governments – not least that of Azerbaijan. Since 23 April, when mass demonstrations impelled Armenia’s long-time leader Serzh Sargsyan to resign, the Azerbaijani authorities have struggled to understand the implications for the three-decade-long conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Prior to Armenia’s “velvet revolution”, observers in the Azerbaijani capital Baku believed Sargsyan would continue indefinitely as prime minister. At the outset of the anti-Sargsyan unrest, the demonstrations were small, and Azerbaijanis remained doubtful that the unrest would force a change in Armenian politics. They drew comparisons to “electric Yerevan” – the 2015 protests in the Armenian capital against electricity rate hikes. Even as the demonstrations grew, the Azerbaijani authorities did not imagine that Sargsyan would step down. Every previous uprising in the region had had a “geopolitical colour” – some relation to the standoff between Russia and the West – and they did not know what to make of a popular revolt centred solely on national politics.

Armenia has had an election and the new leader is hoped to bring a close to the conflict with the country’s neighbor…..but those hopes could be premature….

For the past month Armenia has coasted on a wave of popular emotion and international goodwill, ever since peaceful protests forced the resignation of veteran leader Serzh Sargsyan and brought to power opposition leader Nikol Pashinian.

Pashinian, who is 42, has appointed a new government even more youthful than himself. He has also promised to crack down on corruption and clean up the old oligarchic system. A country that many had characterized as isolated, stuck, and completely dependent on Russia has confounded stereotypes and now looks dynamic—trendy even. The revolution is still only half-finished, but for the first time in two decades, Armenia is a good news story.

I will be watching since no one else seems to care……all conflicts are important when they could possibly involve American troops…..we have enough war…..we need NO more.

Watch this blog…….