A Coup Of A Different Color?

I have been writing and speaking about the possibility of a coup happening in Foggy Bottom.  Mostly it is a “what if” scenario.  Students find it a fascinating subject and seem to devour every word during the speech.

At first I was concerned about a possible military coup simply because of the amount of generals that Trump has placing in key positions….I even wrote a bit on this possibility….

A couple of my closing thoughts posts were on this subject.

Source: Closing Thought–13Jan17 – In Saner Thought

Source: Closing Thought–07Mar17 – In Saner Thought

Then I started thinking that all the problems that Trump is having with leaks in his administration I have changed my thinking into a “soft coup”….meaning that it is a takeover of the government without the use of violence and destruction…the Constitution can be used in this coup…the 25th amendment……

The answer lies in Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution.

The amendment states that if, for whatever reason, the vice president and a majority of sitting Cabinet secretaries decide that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” they can simply put that down in writing and send it to two people — the speaker of the House and the Senate’s president pro tem.

The site Vox took a look at this type of coup……

Source: The 25th Amendment, explained: how a president can be declared unfit to serve – Vox

With all the leaks and the reports of conflict of interests and the ranting, mindless ranting and of course the leaks all seem to be leading down a path for the use of the Constitution.

The American Conservative is also looking into this possibility…..

We Americans have long regarded coups as undesirable political turmoil afflicting nations in Africa, Asia and Latin America in which governments are changed by force rather than through the ballot box. During the past several weeks, political commentators are beginning to use the word when describing the series of events that began last summer with the claim that Russia was somehow interfering in our national election on behalf of one candidate. To be sure, no one expects the country’s armed forces to march on the White House and force Donald Trump out, but some commentators are suggesting that a political environment is deliberately being created that will either make it impossible for Trump to govern or, if the pieces fall together nicely, will provide grounds for impeachment. As those who might be promoting that kind of regime change are civilians who will not be resorting to armed insurrection, it might be most correct to refer to the possible coup as “soft” or even “stealth.” Conservative radio host and author Mark Levin refers to it as a “silent coup.”

Source: A Soft Coup, or Preserving Our Democracy? | The American Conservative

Has anyone heard of Wikileaks?  Of course you have it has been in the news for years and now its founder is writing about a soft coup by Mike Pence…..

Over the weekend we noted chatter that some saw Mike Pence as “the Deep State’s insurance policy,” and now, judging by tweets from Wikileaks’ Julian Assange, that may well be the Clinton/Intelligence Officials plan…

Source: Assange Claims Hillary, Intel Officials “Quietly Pushing A Pence Takeover” | Zero Hedge

I know….I know….all this sounds like some sort of conspiracy theory and it is in a manner….but there are too many analyst and pundits that are starting to think along these lines to not take it a bit more seriously.

Just keep an eye on the upcoming Congressional hearings and investigations…..those could be very telling of something in the wind…..and the Constitution will make it a bit more justified sounding.

Keep in mind that DC is a town full of predators and predators are always looking for a vulnerability…..even the mighty will become prey.

This Was The Week That Was (So Far)

Our new president has had a bad week….but according to the alt-Right news and the toads in their blogs it is all a made up agenda by the “liberals’ or is it the “apologist” or maybe “globalists”….oh Hell who knows who they want to blame for the idiot they elected?

Back to the point of this post…..Mr. Trump is having a really shitty week

It wasn’t the best of news cycles on Monday for President Trump, who will presumably be displeased with negative headlines on multiple fronts. The biggest: FBI Chief James Comey told Congress that he sees no evidence to support Trump’s claims that President Obama wiretapped him. Plus, Comey confirmed that the FBI is investigating possible links between Russia and the Trump campaign during the election. Also making news:

  • Low numbers: The daily tracking poll at Gallup has Trump’s job-approval rating at 37%, his lowest mark so far, and his disapproval rating rose to 58%. It’s being chalked up to controversy over his wiretapping comments and opposition to the GOP health care plan, reports CNN.
  • Net worth:Forbes says Trump’s net worth has fallen $200 million since he took office to $3.5 billion. That drops him 220 spots to 544 in its ranking of the world’s richest people. Trump’s decline, however, isn’t about politics but about the New York real estate market.
  • Stephen Hawking: The famed physicist said in an interview that he’s not sure he’d be welcome in America under Trump because of his opposing views on the environment. See story.
  • Billboard: An anti-Trump billboard in Phoenix is making headlines thanks in part to its dollar-shaped swastikas, per Fox News.
  • Loyalty: The Washington Post has an unflattering front-page story about the White House that says it has installed senior aides in Cabinet departments whose main job is to monitor the loyalty of Trump’s secretaries. ProPublica also reported elements of the story here. Presidents Obama, George W. Bush, and Clinton did not use such a system.

Trump recently went on and on about the money owed by Germany for NATO ops…well it seems that his SecDef does not agree with his rant…..

Defense Secretary James Mattis said Wednesday that NATO does not calculate “past money owed” and Germany is on track to meet its alliance commitments, despite President Trump claiming that the country owed money.

“I cannot give you an accounting for past money owed, because that’s not the way we do that in NATO,” Mattis told the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee. “We do it through capabilities. That’s the commitment each nation makes.”

How humiliating to be contradicted by a subordinate…..

There is more…..an FBI investigation of the Russian thing….I could go on with this subject for many more words….but why?  We all have a good idea what it that is being said…just move on…..

Today is the big day….the House vote on Trumpcare replacement for Obamacare…..but the bad news is there seems to be a lack of votes in favor of it….

  • Reuters explains the stakes: 216 GOP votes are needed, which means the party can suffer only about 20 defections. There are two major camps of concerned GOP parties: centrists who worry an ObamaCare repeal will hurt their constituents, and fierce conservatives who think the replacement isn’t aggressive enough.
  • An $85 billion bone was thrown to moderates, reports Politico, which explains that per the amendment, that amount would be earmarked as tax credits for those ages 50 to 64, whose premiums would soar under the American Health Care Act. For context, it gives this scenario from the Congressional Budget Office: a 64-year-old making $26,500 would see what he pays explode from $1,700 to $14,600.
  • But there’s a twist, observes Matthew Yglesias at Vox: The amendment doesn’t define those tax credits, instead shifting that task to the Senate. His take: “This is a very unusual way to legislate and reflects House Republicans’ desperation to push through basically anything as soon as possible and pass the buck to the Senate.”
  • Also at Vox, Ezra Klein bullets the other substantial changes: The amendment bumps up the repeal of some ObamaCare taxes in a concession to those who want to erase the Affordable Care Act ASAP; prevents the rollover of used tax credit money into a Health Savings Account, ostensibly because anti-abortion activists feared the money could then fund abortions; and gives more wiggle-room around how states handle Medicaid. Klein’s take: the “tweaks” are designed to win over conservatives, but don’t really address the bill’s “flaws.” More here.
  • Axios expects “drama” between now and Thursday night, in part because of what the amendment doesn’t address. More here.
  • As for what’s next, the Washington Post gives context to Trump’s Tuesday meetings: They indicate “GOP leaders and the president consider larger-scale talks with key blocs of House members to be essentially complete. The effort now turns toward persuading individual members to vote for the package.”
  • The AP reports on the message Trump presented: Pass it or there may be hell to pay, essentially. How Rep. Walter Jones framed it: “If you don’t pass the bill there could be political costs,” those costs being lost seats.
  • Will it work? The Wall Street Journal reported Monday night that House Freedom Caucus Chair Rep. Mark Meadows says more than 21 members remain a “nay.”

The big question is will the Repubs play ball?  They are a spineless bunch so any guess is as good as another.

This is going down as his worst week ever….and the reign is only 60+ days old……it can get worse…

The Perfect Spokesman

It is nothing new that hypocrisy runs rampant in Foggy Bottom…..it just has to after all it is a town dedicated to the subject.

Americans live and breath hypocrisy all this back and forth about fake news or alternative facts is just an extension of this.

Then there are those purveyors of this are everywhere but the its use has hit the popularity chart with the election of the new man in DC and to spread this hypocrisy he has hired the perfect person as Press Secretary, Sean Spicer.

He is the perfect spokesman……for example…….the idiots on the Right gave Obama grief for doing what every president has done since the invention of TV…play golf and guess what Trump plays golf and he is taking time away from DC to do so…..but now it is not a problem….why?

Amid a plethora of headlines like the Washington Post‘s recent “How much is Donald Trump’s travel and protection costing, anyway?” Sean Spicer Monday defended President Trump’s golf habits. Responding to a question from Yahoo White House correspondent Hunter Walker about the 10 golf trips Trump has taken to Florida since becoming president—specifically, how they are any different from the golf games then-President Obama played, which were often criticized by Trump before he became president—Spicer explained that Trump himself has talked about “how you use the game of golf” for diplomatic purposes, Politico reports.

“You saw him utilize this as an opportunity with [Japanese] Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe to help foster a deeper relationship in southeast Asia … and have a growing relationship that’s going to help US interests,” Spicer said. He added, per the Washington Post, that Trump isn’t necessarily always playing golf when he heads to the golf course; sometimes he’s just having meetings. Walker followed up by asking why, then, the media is not hearing details from these meetings, to which Spicer replied by saying, multiple times, that Trump is “entitled to a bit of privacy.”

Stolid Crier Of  The “Ignorati”…….

That is only one example…there are so many more and only been on job for 60 days……

Wanna add anything?

One Last Gong

A sad day for us old farts

Back in the day the country tuned on their TV to watch the Gong Show with Gene-Gene the Dancing Machine and the Unknown Comic and the “sex” that was Jaye P. Morgan…..good times.

The Creator and host of the Gong Show, Chuck Barris, has died at age 87……

Chuck Barris, who tapped into Americans’ hunger to be on television by creating game shows such as “The Dating Game,” “The Newlywed Game” and his showcase for the acutely untalented, “The Gong Show,” died on Tuesday, media outlets reported.

Barris died of natural causes at age 87 in Palisades, New York, Variety.com said, citing his publicist.

Decades before television talent shows such as “American Idol” and “America’s Got Talent” came along, Barris was putting everyday people before the cameras in what was more of a reverse talent show with everyday people who did not mind exposing their vulnerabilities or answering embarrassing questions.

Source: ‘Gong Show’ Host Chuck Barris Dead At 87 | The Huffington Post

Thank you for your genius and your time….you will be missed…..

Bang The Gong One Last Time.

Chuck Barris Rest in Peace……chuq

Are You A Good Listener?

A beautiful Sunday high 71 and sunny……does not get much better than that….granddaughter is practicing her flute….I am enjoying a cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee…..

First some bad news…..Rock legend Chuck Berry has died at 90….may he now Rest in Peace.

I have noticed that there are some visitors that do not read the whole post before they comment…..which leads me to believe that they are terrible at listening…..they have a set in their mind and nothing that does not conform to that set will be heard.

This got me to thinking about what type of listener I am….I think that I do it well for I will try to make sense of what has been said…..sometimes I think that is a lost art form……”Most people do not listen with the intent of understanding; they listen with the intent of replying”

There are people who, instead of listening to what is being said to them, are already listening to what they are going to say themselves.

What then makes a good listener?

Source: Characteristics of a good listener

So my friends…are you a good listener?

Time to enjoy the sunshine….see everyone tomorrow with more stuff.  Until then enjoy some Chuck Berry……

Boomers To The Right, Boomers To The Left

Saturday begins and I offer my only post of the day…….a big day of doing as little as possible.

Baby Boomers!  That would be me….I was born shortly after WW2 and as a product of the “Greatest Generation”….”I became a Baby Boomer”.

We Boomers are blamed a lot for the ills of the American society….from the deficit to the election of a president that few sees as a good thing….

We are all old and timeless…some say…..below are a few thoughts that some have about the Baby Boomer generation.

We have created a culture of coarseness, bad behavior and disgust. It’s the fault of one generation

As civilization began, it became apparent that the human race was imperfectly suited for it. Living together took some work. All these years later, there are innumerable examples to show that we’re still not terribly good at being civilized, from the student commuter who dashes in front of an elderly woman to claim a seat on the subway to how societies treat their poor and unemployed. The unchanging reality is that people tend to think of themselves first, yet the task of coexistence is made easier if they don’t. And so efforts arose many years ago to teach folks how to get along.

Source: Blame it on the baby boomers: Yes, pretty much everything – Salon.com

Like I said we Boomers are being blamed for oh so much……Obama has got nothing on us as far assigning blame, that is…….

Wow, so it looks like we have a budget deal in Washington. A debt ceiling and spending crisis has been averted. It’s good news. But let’s all calm down. It’s only temporary. The agreement does not address the long-term fiscal problems we have. Problems that were mostly created by none other than the “baby boomer” generation. Yeah, you know who you are.

You’re tanned and healthy and living way past average life expectancy. You’ve got a defined benefit pension plan from a large company or government that was created years ago when people didn’t understand how horribly these plans can go wrong and now can’t afford to meet its liabilities, but you don’t care as long as you get your check which you don’t really need anyway. And your social security check. And your Medicare reimbursement check. You once hated the government. You smoked pot and protested against Vietnam and President Nixon. That was a long, long time ago.

Source: Baby Boomers: Five Reasons They Are Our Worst Generation | News | Philadelphia Magazine

We even are held responsible for the actions of the so-called “Millenials”….yep that is our fault too……

Many problems with kids can be traced to their parents. So why have millennials been singled out as a uniquely depraved generation? Weren’t they raised by somebody?

For those who may have missed the latest skirmish in America’s generational warfare, a new survey by marketing firm DDB finds millennials — those between 19 and 34 years old, more or less — may be more venal and self-aggrandizing than older folks. They’re more likely to consider themselves workaholics — even with a work ethic their elders find lacking — and a scandalous 27% of millennials say they’d take credit for a colleague’s work if it helped them get ahead. Just 15% of Generation Xers and 5% of baby boomers say they’d do that.

Source: If millennials are jerks, blame the baby boomers

There it is…we Boomers are evil incarnate….and all I can say in retort is…..BITE ME!

I will spend the rest of the day contemplating my place in the universe….( now that is pure BS)….I will enjoy my day and prepare for Sunday (whatever that means)…….

Enjoy your day….be well, be safe……chuq

How the US Could Solve Its Retirement Crisis

If you are a working stiff then you probably are looking forward to retirement so that you may pursue interests that so far you have neglected……right?

AS glamorous as retirement looks there is one small problem……very few Americans are set up to actually go into retirement……is there an answer to the problem?

Retirement accounts are gilt-edged investments that enrich the economy, the safety net and the social fabric.

Too many Americans are saving little to nothing for retirement. According to one study, 45 percent of working-age households “do not have any retirement account assets.” Congress could sharply improve the numbers by adopting dynamic scoring of retiree distributions. The move could lead to millions of new accounts, and a fairer sharing of the US’s retirement promise.

That promise was the whole idea behind a breakthrough reform over 40 years ago. Let’s see where it came up short, and how the country can still make good for those left behind.

In 1974, a far-sighted Congress created a new benefit for workers not covered by traditional pensions. It set up Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), combining pre-tax employee contributions with tax-deferred capital gains. A major sweetener, employer contributions, came later with 401(k)s.

Source: How the US Could Solve Its Retirement Crisis

I do not endorse everything I write about…..some times I am just doing the FYI thing…..