Closing Thought–01Nov19

Can a president while in office make $500 million off a business deal?

I ask because of a story that I found while surfing them web…..the Trump Hotel in DC may hit the market soon…..

President Trump’s real estate company might unload a palatial hotel over complaints that government-ethics laws are being cast aside, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Trump Organization has hired a real estate firm to let go of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, where Trump and other White House officials often dine and visit. Asking price: over $500 million, or $2 million per room, for leasing rights that extend nearly 100 years. This as Democrats, watchdog groups, and the inspector general of the General Services Administration—a federal agency that leases the hotel—raise red flags about the president possibly receiving “emoluments,” or things of value beyond his government paycheck.

Meanwhile, a federal appeals court said last month that plaintiffs (like competitors of Trump’s restaurants and hotels) can make legal claims against his businesses, per USA Today. And House committees led by Democrats are looking into possible emoluments problems involving Trump. “I’m skeptical that this latest development isn’t an attempt to make a massive profit that directly benefits the Trump family, so I will be following this marketing attempt closely,” says Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Oregon. Eric Trump doesn’t deny it’s an issue: “People are objecting to us making so much money on the hotel, and therefore we may be willing to sell,” he says. Profits at the hotel increased by roughly $400,000 to $40.8 million in 2018.

I think that he should not be able to until after all evidence is presented……

Trump is NO longer a proud New Yorker….he now resides in Florida…….

President Trump is now officially a Florida man. According to documents seen by the New York Times, the president—who was born in Queens and has described himself as a lifelong New York City resident—changed his “primary residence” from Manhattan to Palm Beach, Florida, around a month ago. After the Times reported the change, Trump confirmed that he will be making Palm Beach, where he owns the Mar-a-Lago resort, his “Permanent Residence” after leaving the White House. He tweeted that while New York and its people will always have a special place in his heart, “unfortunately, despite the fact that I pay millions of dollars in city, state and local taxes each year, I have been treated very badly by the political leaders of both the city and state.”

“I hated having to make this decision but in the end it will be best for all concerned,” Trump added. Melania Trump filed the same “declaration of domicile” in Palm Beach County. NBC reports that the president has spent 99 days at Mar-a-Lago since becoming president—around 10% of his time in office—but only 20 at Trump Tower in Manhattan. Sources tell the Times the move is largely for tax reasons: Trump isn’t happy about Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance pursuing his tax returns, and Florida has no state income tax or inheritance tax.

Thoughts?

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

How Could This Be?

That is the question so many people and pundits alike are asking about the state of our democracy…..so many reasons and so little time to correct the discrepancies…..

I guess we can blame the Dems or the GOP or the nation as a whole or fear or a wealth of other reasons but to me there is only one reason…..

Ever heard of the Telecommunications Act of 1996?

Of course you have not…..for it is too mundane for your attention as long as Swamp People is renewed to care.

President Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The act, signed into law on February 8, 1996, was “essentially bought and paid for by corporate media lobbies,” as Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) described it, and radically “opened the floodgates on mergers.”

The negative impact of the law cannot be overstated. The law, which was the first major reform of telecommunications policy since 1934, according to media scholar Robert McChesney, “is widely considered to be one of the three or four most important federal laws of this generation.” The act dramatically reduced important Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations on cross ownership, and allowed giant corporations to buy up thousands of media outlets across the country, increasing their monopoly on the flow of information in the United States and around the world.

“Never have so many been held incommunicado by so few,” said Eduardo Galeano, the Latin American journalist, in response to the act.

Democracy in Peril: Twenty Years of Media Consolidation Under the Telecommunications Act

To me all this division has been fed by the corporate media to drive the news cycle to what they want the reports to be.

But do not take my word for it….this is the summary offered by the Clinton White House of what the act contains….

…this legislation will lead all Americans into a more prosperous future by preparing our economy for the 21st Century and opening wide the door to the Information Age.

Universal Service

The President and Vice President want to ensure that all Americans have access to the benefits of the information superhighway. The Act ensures that schools, libraries, hospitals and clinics have access to advanced telecommunications services, and calls for them to be connected to the information superhighway by the year 2000. It will help connect every school child in every classroom in America to the information superhighway — opening up worlds of knowledge and opportunities in rural and low-income areas.

The V-Chip

Because President Clinton and Vice President Gore believe strongly that families should be able to exercise control over how the media influences their children, the Act includes a provision calling for a computer chip, called the V-Chip, to be installed in every new television set. This provision is critical to give parents control of the television programming that comes into their homes by allowing them to block electronically violent or other objectional material.

Media Ownership

Because President Clinton and Vice President Gore believe that diversity of voices and viewpoints is critical to our democracy, the Act will prevent undue concentration of television and radio ownership. The Act limits the number of stations one entity can own to stations that reach up to 35 percent of all national TV viewers, and keeps existing rules that forbid one

company from owning two TV stations in a local market, or a newspaper and TV station in the same market, or a newspaper and cable in the same market. The Act also maintains the ownership ban of a cable company and a broadcast company in the same market.

Phone Service

The President and Vice President believe that when the walls of regulations are brought down, prices come down for American consumers. This Act breaks down the Berlin Walls of regulation that previously kept local Bell Telephone companies and long-distance telephone companies from competing with one another, while keeping safeguards in place to ensure competition and serve the public interest.

Fancy words….that shows the ends that the MSM will go to own the news and the news cycle…..as well as making certain candidates proper for the American voter…

Is it any wonder that the nation’s “liberal” cable news stations CNN and MSNBC can barely contain their disdain for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and even (to a lesser degree) for that of Elizabeth Warren while they promote the nauseating center-right candidacies of the bewildered racist and corporatist Joe Biden, the sinister neoliberal corporate-militarist Pete Butiggieg and even the marginal Wall Street “moderates” Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris? Next time you click on these stations, keep a pen and paper handy to write down the names of the corporations that pay for their broadcast content with big money commercial purchases.

Money Talks, Bullshit Walks on Cable News

I Read. I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

The Circus Comes To Town

By ‘circus’ I mean the impeachment process and by ‘town’ I mean to the people through their preferred news purveyor.

WE have had months of the back and forth dramatics by the GOP…the accusations, the insults, the lies (oh sorry…the misspeak) and the who;e process will step out of the shadows (GOP talking point) and into the light….only difference is that now the GOP members of these committees will show up so they can perform for the cameras…..

The first formal vote in the House related to the impeachment investigation of President Trump is in the books. In a largely party-line vote, 232-196, the House on Thursday approved the ground rules for the public phase of the investigation. This vote doesn’t address whether Trump did or did not act improperly in his dealings with the Ukraine government—instead, it merely outlines the rules for the inquiry into that question that will now proceed, per the AP. No Republicans voted in favor, while two Democrats—Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Jefferson Van Drew of New Jersey—voted against. Both of the dissenting Democrats represent districts won by Trump in 2016, notes the Hill. Independent Justin Amash, who left the GOP this year, voted in favor.

“This is something that is very solemn, that is something prayerful,” said Nancy Pelosi from the House floor before the vote. “What is at stake in all of this is nothing less than our democracy.” But GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Trump had done nothing impeachable and accused Democrats of trying to oust him “because they are scared they cannot defeat him at the ballot box.” An election is only a year away, he added. “Why do you not trust the people?”

To listen to the House GOP plus a few senators this process will bring the end of everything we hold dear…..they, the GOP, are still moaning about the process….but they seem to not know that the hearings in the House are not the trial to remove…that will take place in the Senate.

To be forthright…..Trump made is Twitter comment on the vote in the House….

Right about the time the House voted to approve the rules for the next phase of the impeachment inquiry, President Trump took to Twitter with a familiar criticism. “The Greatest Witch Hunt In American History!” he tweeted Thursday. And he wasn’t the only Trump to share the sentiment. While daughter Ivanka doesn’t typically weigh in on her father’s political controversies, she did so in a tweet quoting Thomas Jefferson in a letter to daughter Martha about life in DC: “…surrounded by enemies and spies catching and perverting every word that falls from my lips or flows from my pen, and inventing where facts fail them.”

Before you conservs have a stroke there is one thing you need to remember….. Thursday’s measure merely lays out the ground rules the impeachment inquiry will follow.

The humor for me  is the so-called ‘secret’ hearing in the SCIF….but about 45 GOPers are invited and did not show up and complained and moaned about the hearing is secret…..and when the vote came up to make all that process public they all, GOP, voted against making it so.

Perfect example of the silliness and the game being played.

Understanding the significance of today’s GOP establishment requires an understanding of what actually happened during Watergate. In standard U.S. mythology, Watergate was a triumph of American politics, in which bipartisan men of principle joined hands across party lines to protect the Constitution; the entire political spectrum agreed, the logic goes, that what Richard Nixon did was indefensible. In reality, the GOP of the time wasn’t that different from the GOP of 2019, and things could easily have gone the other way. Moreover, since then, much of the Republican Party has believed that Nixon was the victim of a monstrous injustice that must never be repeated.

https://theintercept.com/2019/09/28/impeachment-republicans-nixon-watergate/

Send in the clowns….

Who of the Committee members will be the first to act like an ass for the cameras?

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Did Trump Have An Antiwar Moment?

Trump’s speech about the pulling of US troops out of Syria has been met with condemnation especially by the MSM……Maj. Sjursen has written about how Trump’s “antiwar” speech was met…..

That’s right, sandwiched between Trump’s standard braggadocio about how he single-handedly secured “a better future for Syria and for the Middle East,” and his cynical pivot to decry his opponents’ supposed desire to accept “unlimited migration from war-torn regions” across the U.S. border, was one of the strongest blasts of antiwar rhetoric delivered by a sitting U.S. president since Dwight Eisenhower.

If any other president—think Obama—or major liberal political figure had spoken so clearly against endless war and so poignantly diagnosed the current American disease of military hyper-interventionism, CNN and MSNBC would’ve gushed about Nobel Peace Prizes. It must be said, of course, that Trump has hardly governed according to these peacenik proclamations—he has, after all added more troops in the region, especially in Saudi Arabia, and merely reshuffled the soldiers from Syria across the border to Iraq. Nevertheless, even if the president’s actions don’t match his words, the words themselves remain important, especially from a 21st century, post-9/11 commander in chief.

Trump’s Antiwar Speech Deserved a Better Reception

As a person who is antiwar I like hearing that anyone especially a president that talks like there is an end to our countless endless wars…..but then I see Trump making a conflicting and contradictory statement about war…..

President Donald Trump on Monday offered a confusing description of his foreign policy priorities as commander in chief — insisting that he is working to bring home American soldiers, while warning the U.S. may soon enter into new military conflicts.

“I’m trying to get out of wars. We may have to get in wars, too. OK? We may have to get in wars,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

“We’re better prepared than we’ve ever been,” he continued. “If Iran does something, they’ll be hit like they’ve never been hit before. I mean, we have things that we’re looking at.”

The remarks from the president come as his administration confronts escalating tensions across the Middle East and navigates new troop movements in the region.

https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/21/trump-united-states-wars-iran-053341

As usual a president talks but does NOT deliver and it is not just Trump….they all promise then back away….and soldiers die….and for what?

I will believe the president, whoever that may be, on ending these wars when I see the troops returning home and not to some location for easy access.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Tulsi And The Saudis

First I want to remind everyone reading this that the majority, 15 of 19, of the terrorists that attacked on 9/11 were Saudis…..

Moving on…..

My candidate in the 2020 Dem race for the nomination is Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has made the news by attacking the Saudis position on 9/11…..

Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard joined relatives of Sept. 11 victims on Tuesday in demanding that the federal government release the findings of its investigation into the Saudi government’s role in the Sept. 11 attacks.

“We are 18 years removed from this terrible crime, and the victims of this crime, the families who are here today, the American people deserve all of the evidence to fully come to light,” the Hawaii congresswoman said in New York City. She said the victims’ families “want the truth, and they deserve the truth.”

Plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit seeking the release of documents that they believe link the attackers to Saudi government officials joined Gabbard at a museum near the former site of the twin towers.

“Our government should not be invoking secrecy to keep its own mistakes hidden from the American people and should certainly not be used to protect the Saudis from embarrassment or, worse yet, accountability,” said Terry Strada, a Sept. 11 widow and the chairwoman of 9/11 Families and Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism. “Until there is an accounting, we will never go away.”

The Saudi government has repeatedly denied involvement in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, though 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis.

Gabbard said she would reintroduce House Resolution 663 from 2017, which would demand that documents related to Sept. 11 be declassified “to the greatest extent possible so as to provide answers to survivors, the families of the victims, and the people of the United States.”

She said she was seeking “not a highly redacted version of this information that makes no sense but a declassified version that actually speaks the truth of what led to the attack on 9/11.”

(Yahoo News)

I am with Tulsi on this one….we, the American people, need to read the full u redacted report on the attacks.

More on Tulsi vs the Saudis………

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) called for the end of U.S. assistance to Saudi Arabia while speaking at a 9/11 tribute museum in New York City on Tuesday.

“We should not be selling them our weapons. We should not be aiding or providing them with any kind of support so long as they continue with the kind of actions that I’ve just spoken about,” she said of Saudi Arabia.

The Democratic presidential candidate slammed Saudi Arabia for the death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in its consulate in Istanbul last year as well as for its role in the conflict in Yemen.

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/467978-rep-tulsi-gabbard-demands-an-end-to-us-aid-to-saudi-arabia

For all those that think there is something hinkey between the Saudis and the attacks…then you should be in Tulsi’s corner…..

Tulsi has her critics in the MSM and any time I see someone come out and defend her like I try to do…I feel their words need exposure….

At times it’s been a decidedly lonely journey, particularly in the many years I remained on active duty while actively dissenting. I was, and remain, struck by how few of my fellow soldiers, officers and recent post-9/11 veterans felt as I did—strongly enough, at least, to publicly decry U.S. militarism. Then I discovered Tulsi Gabbard, an obscure young congresswoman from Hawaii who, coincidentally, serves in the Army and is herself a veteran of the war in Iraq. In the current climate of Gabbard-bashing, where even sites like Truthdig offer measured criticism, it’s hard to convey the profound sense of relief I felt that someone as outspokenly anti-war as Gabbard even existed way back in 2016. She said things I only dared think back then; and as I did, she backed Bernie Sanders—a risky endeavor that likely doomed her to the recent slanderous accusations of treason by Hillary Clinton. That’s called courage.

In Defense of Tulsi Gabbard

I say join with Tulsi and demand to make the report known……if there is nothing in it then release it and let the American people see the real story.

So far the rest of the Dem field is too busy trying to perform for the closest camera to worry about this situation.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

VOTE!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”