Throw Jeff Under The Bus!

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III…that mild mannered ex-Senator from the great state of Alabama that became the head honcho of the DoJ….he became the Attorney General of the United States of America……

Sessions, the first and only Congressional supporter of Trump in the beginning…he was rewarded for his support and loyalty once “The Man” was elected to the high office…….

Once AG and because of his ties to the Russian thingy he did what any good “politico” should have done…..he recused himself from the investigation so there could be no conflict of interests……

Trump has done more harm to his “agenda” through Twitter than anything the media has attempted…..as with everything Trumpian…it is always about him….on more than one occasion he has Tweeted about his people around him and each time has pretty much thrown them under the “political bus”…..

No one is immune to his “dressing down”…..the SPOX is not….his son-in-law is not…..and now Sessions is the butt of his, Trump’s, ego……but this time it was an interview with NY Times and not on Twitter…….

President Trump says he would never have hired Jeff Sessions as his attorney general if he had known Sessions was going to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. In a New York Times interview, Trump makes it clear that he feels he has been shabbily treated by Sessions, who was the first senator to support his candidacy. “Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think is very unfair to the president,” Trump said, referring to himself in the third person. “If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I’m not going to take you,'” Trump said. “It’s extremely unfair—and that’s a mild word—to the president.”

Sources tell CNN that Sessions has no intention of resigning after Trump’s remarks. In the wide-ranging NYT interview, Trump said he has no regrets about firing FBI chief James Comey. “I did a great thing for the American people,” he said. He said that weeks before his inauguration, Comey told him about a dossier full of allegations against him, in a move that Trump now believes was an attempt to show he had leverage. Trump also accused special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the Russia investigation, of having “many” conflicts of interest. Asked about his recently disclosed second conversation with Vladimir Putin, Trump said they had discussed adoption, noting that it was the same subject that came up in Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer last year.

Will Sessions turn the other cheek?

Or will he hand in his resignation?

Will he remain a boot licker or will he bow out with some of his dignity intact?

How It Might Happen

Impeachment!

The word is getting lots of play these days…..and usually with a reference or two to Watergate…..lots of analysis and speculation is flying around the media outlets…..so if this happens how will it happen?

Around midday on Monday, Congressman Al Green, a Democrat from Texas, held a press conference to call for the impeachment of Donald Trump. The firing of FBI director James Comey, Green said, was an obstruction of justice falling clearly into that basket of “high crimes and misdemeanors” prescribed in the Constitution as grounds for impeachment.

Green should have waited a day. Because by the time the sun went down on Tuesday, advocates for Trump’s impeachment had a lot more to work with.

Source: What Would Happen If Donald Trump Were Impeached? | Alternet

If this impeachment thing were to be successful then we would have a Pres. Pence……another bad idea….we would be trading an autocrat for a theocrat….but that aside….what would a Pence presidency look like?

When President Trump was elected, a lot of liberals confidently predicted that he wouldn’t last six months. Being sensible and sober, I thought that was nothing more than wishful thinking. But now? It doesn’t seem so implausible.

Even with the Department of Justice’s appointment Wednesday of a special prosecutor, Trump’s early departure — by impeachment, resignation, or the invocation of the 25th Amendment — is a not sure thing, or even a likelihood. I suspect we’re still a few major revelations away from that happening, even if cracks in his Republican support are beginning to appear. The most probable outcome is that this mad circus continues at least until 2020. But as long as we’re contemplating that most remarkable of eventualities, it’s worth considering: What would a Mike Pence presidency be like?

Source: What will the Pence presidency be like?

Pence is an ambitious politician and if were Trump I would keep my eyes on this person constantly……he is a weasel and is just waiting for a good time to strike…

For the first time that I can recall a vice president has started a PAC while in office…..a good place to gather resources if a fight is coming……

Borrowing from his boss’s now-famous slogan, Vice President Mike Pence has launched the “Great America Committee” PAC in advance of the 2018 and 2020 elections, NBC News reports. Pence will use money raised through the PAC to travel the country on Air Force Two and help stump for GOP contenders. The Federal Election Commission received paperwork on Wednesday for the PAC, which a source close to Pence indicates will offer resources “to actually support candidates who are supportive of the president’s agenda.” Under such a leadership PAC, individual donors and other federal PACs can contribute up to $5,000 per year, Bloomberg notes.

Pence aides Nick Ayers and Marty Obst will manage the PAC, with Ayers saying planning for it began back in December. NBC notes it’s the first time a sitting VP has created his own separate arm like this; past officials have typically used campaign or party funds. In fact, a couple of past VPs—Bloomberg points to Joe Biden and Dick Cheney—didn’t have an active leadership PAC at all while in office. “Launching a leadership PAC sometimes signals an intent to run for higher office,” the director for the Center for Responsive Politics tells Bloomberg. But the NBC source insists that’s not the case here: “Don’t read into 2020 as anything other than [Pence] running for re-election as vice president in 2020 and supporting other candidates.”

They can claim whatever they want….that this is to help him in 2020…that is if Trump decides not to continue for whatever reason……

Keep your eyes on Pence….for he is up to something and it is not to help Trump in any way.

Let’s Play Diplomacy

Another Saturday and a visit from my granddaughter…..one of the brighter moments of my weekend…..

First a little something disgusting to make your Saturday.

We are always talking about GMOs and how disgusting the whole idea is….I proved my point with a tomato I bought 2 weeks ago…..it is firm red and delicious looking…after 2 weeks of sitting on my shelf….I got what you see below….still firm and red and delicious looking but it was sprouting already….

 

Moving on….my granddaughter likes playing games…we play chess, dominoes, and backgammon (she is still learning this one)…..

She knows that I am a foreign policy wonk and is always asking questions along those lines….she seem interested so I decided to introduce her to the world of diplomacy…

There is a board game, Diplomacy, and now it can be played on-line…..It’s a multiplayer, web based implementation of the turn based strategy game Diplomacy by Avalon Hill, in which you have to try and conquer Europe. To win you have to be strategic and diplomatic, making deals and alliances with other players, and stabbing them in the back when it suits you best.

Source: Play Diplomacy Online ::: web version of the classic Diplomacy board game

It is an excellent way to learn about diplomacy and international relations…..The game of Risk is good but Diplomacy is better by ten….

(NO!  I am not being compensated in any way for my review of the game)

Finish your day with a smile and love in your heart…I will return tomorrow with much more stuff.

Russia….Russia…..Russia!

There has been a wealth of ink wasted on this Russia thing….did Russia meet with any candidates to decide the future?  Or did it not?

If you really do not know about all this wasted time and energy then get up and use the Google machine….you can learn it all….and from whatever side you want……

I am not here to join in that debate….I will do what I always do….give my readers a history lesson….or if you like a historical perspective….

You see if Trump and/or his minions met with someone from the Russia oligarchy then it is NOTHING new.  That is right…it is nothing new!

Whatever are you talking about professor?

First let’s talk about the Nixon years….and the Vietnam Peace talks….

Journalist Robert Parry, editor of Consortiumnews.com, may be the most knowledgeable journalist about the GOP use of foreign policy subterfuge (some might call it treason) to successfully win the 1968 and 1980 elections. He has compiled the evidence in his latest book, “America’s Stolen Narrative.”

It is a persuasive account of the beginning of de facto stolen presidential elections by the GOP, which in turn has led to a lack of accountability for executive branch actions by the DC code of silence among the powerful. These elections (with the exception of Watergate) taught the Republicans, Parry contends, that there would be no consequences for law-breaking behavior in elections and foreign policy.

Source: How Richard Nixon Sabotaged 1968 Vietnam Peace Talks to Get Elected President

Next up is the Reagan campaign of 1980….and the Iranian hostage thing……

“A conspiracy between a presidential candidate and a hostile foreign power against an incumbent president would seem to be without precedent in American history. But if Reagan struck a successful deal with Iran and captured the presidency in 1980, it would explain why he agreed to the bizarre alliance with Iran in 1985 and 1986: He had gotten away with it before.”—B. Honegger and J. Naureckas, In These Times, July 7, 1987.

The charge has been raised, first in the Middle Eastern and European press and now in the US, that in 1980 while Jimmy Carter was frantically negotiating for an early release of American hostages in Iran, members of the Ronald Reagan campaign staff made the Ayatollah Khomeini an offer he couldn’t refuse—badly needed US arms and spare parts for his war with Iraq if he kept the US Embassy hostages in Tehran until after election day.

Source: Did Iran Delay Hostages Release To Ensure Reagan’s Election? | WRMEA

Now we come to all the hoopla about the Trump people and their alleged meetings/deals with the Russians.

Is it just me or all these incidents involving GOP candidates?  I am sure there are others and maybe even a Dem in there somewhere but these examples are the ones that readily came to mind.

Did I mention that all these examples are those of GOP candidates?  Is that a pattern or what?

Behind Closed Doors

Nope not some chessey country song from the 80’s……

We have had a little over a  month of a new president (really?  Seems like more than that)….and in all that time there has been one “scandal” after another…..granted none are proven scandals but the whispers are there….like them or not.

And the newest one involves our recently confirmed AG…..

Jeff Sessions spoke with Russia’s ambassador to the US twice in 2016, but he didn’t disclose those communications during his confirmation hearing to become attorney general. When asked about possible contact between Moscow representatives and Trump campaign members, Sessions specifically said he “did not have communications with the Russians” during the campaign and that he was “not aware of” any other campaign members doing so. Per the Washington Post, the revelation from Justice Department officials could spark more calls from Congress to appoint a special prosecutor to look into Russia’s alleged attempts to interfere with the 2016 election. Sources tell the Wall Street Journal US investigators have looked into the newly released contacts between Sessions and Russia, though it’s not clear whether the investigation has concluded. Following the disclosure of the conversations, Sessions said he “never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign,” per the AP.

One of the conversations between Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak happened in September, when Sessions, then a senator, was a senior member of the Armed Services Committee and one of Trump’s top advisers; officials say Sessions didn’t remember the details of his conversations with Kislyak by the time his confirmation hearing came around, and that the meeting was related to Sessions’ work on the armed services panel, not the Trump campaign. Sessions’ spokesperson says there was nothing “misleading” about his answers at the confirmation hearing because he was only asked about communications related to the campaign, not to his work as a senator. Following the latest revelations, top Democrats have called for Sessions to step down as AG, Mediaite reports. Republicans are split on whether Sessions should lead any potential probe into Russia’s alleged election tampering. A conversation with Kislyak is also what forced Michael Flynn to step down as Trump’s national security adviser.

After the news broke the other night then the slugs came out from under their rocks…….first the Dems gave their typical response…..

Democrats don’t just think that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should recuse himself from an investigation into Russian ties with the Trump campaign, they think he should step down from his post, period. “The Attorney General must resign,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote in a statement, per the Hill, because he “lied under oath.” Her call for him to resign, echoed by Democrats including Elijah Cummings in the House and Elizabeth Warren in the Senate, comes after the Washington Post reported that he met with the Russian ambassador to the US twice during the 2016 campaign. Sessions, an early Trump backer, says he did nothing wrong because he met with Sergey Kislyak in his capacity as a senator, not as an advocate for Trump. During his confirmation hearing, he declared, “I did not have communications with the Russians.”

Even his party is not above the rhetoric…….

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday that while he doesn’t know if the Trump campaign had improper communications with Russians, the attorney general would have to recuse himself from an investigation. “It is clear to me that Jeff Sessions, who is my dear friend, cannot make this decision about Trump,” he said, per Politico.

There is more and more calls from all sectors of the government for an investigation into Russian influence, if there is any……

Top Republicans said Thursday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should recuse himself from federal investigations of whether Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said during an appearance on MSNBC that Sessions should bow out to maintain “the trust of the American people.”

Minutes later, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) joined McCarthy’s call, tweeting that “AG Sessions should clarify his testimony and recuse himself.”

The calls from two of the House’s most prominent Republicans follow revelations that Sessions met with the Russian ambassador during election season. Under oath in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee for his confirmation hearing in January, Sessions had said that he had not met with any Russian officials.

(WaPo)

Like I said this news just broke recently…..but it will be very telling to see what track this situation takes from today forward…..

Any bets on how long Sessions will survive as AG?

Update:  There has been turn after this post was published and I would like to get my readers caught up……

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Thursday he would recuse himself from any investigations into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election because he was involved with President Donald Trump’s campaign

“I have recused myself in the matters that deal with the Trump campaign,” Sessions told reporters in the latest twist of the controversy over ties between Trump associates and Russia that has dogged the early days of his presidency.

Now you are caught up….for now……chuq

We No Longer Have Three Branches of Government

I agree with the premise of this article….we have SCOTUS legislating from the bench….we have a Congress that seldom works and when they do they do nothing of substance and we have a president that circumvents the Congress…

In essence we NO longer have what was set up in the Constitution….3 branches of government….

Below is an article written by an ex-member of Congress and a Civics teacher about his observations of our government….

It has been my habit to begin each semester by slowly taking students through the Constitution, each article and section in turn, emphasizing not only each provision but why it was included. Fundamental to the constitutional process, I taught, was the unique delineation of authority and responsibility: the separation of powers that so cleanly distinguished American government from those that had gone before it. There were three branches, independent of each other, with varied duties and roughly equal. The greater power—overtaxing, spending, deciding whether to go to war, confirming members of the president’s Cabinet and justices of the Supreme Court—had been placed in the Congress, I said, because while the Founders had created a republic, they also added a sprinkling of democracy: The people would choose who would do the actual governing. I would underscore this point by noting the provisions that made clear the Framers’ deliberate rejection of a parliamentary system like the ones they had known in Europe, where legislative and executive power were joined. Here, it was to be the people, not the parties, that ruled, I told my students.

Source: We No Longer Have Three Branches of Government – POLITICO Magazine

I totally agree and before this country can be “great” again we need all 3 branches doing their job and only their job.

He, Trump, has had his time in the light…time for him to start acting like the president and become part of the legislative process….

(Side note:  If SCOTUS is not a political position then why is there a political ad for the newest nominee?)

View From The “Sidelines”

There has been a few rumblings that Trump appointed adequate people but has NO intention of allowing them to help make policy…..we cannot know for sure that any of that is anywhere near true…..but a recent report shows that there could be a possibility of a grain of truth in these accusations…..

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson feels that he has been sidelined—along with the entire State Department—and is looking for ways to boost his profile, insiders say. A State source tells Politico that Tillerson has privately asked aides for advice on boosting his profile and engaging with the media more often. The Washington Post reports that President Trump has relegated the former Exxon CEO to a “mostly offstage role,” with Tillerson usually absent from high-profile meetings with foreign leaders. The State Department’s traditional daily press briefings ceased when Trump took office and there has been no word on when they might resume.

Insiders say one reason Tillerson hasn’t become the face of US foreign policy the way his predecessors were is the fact that his views aren’t always in line with Trump’s. He is “clearly a very talented and able guy,” former State official Eliot Cohen tells Politico. “The problem is that this is the Trump administration, and one has to surmise that he is not where the president is on some of his zanier days.” Trump rejected Elliot Abrams, Tillerson’s choice of deputy, for having criticized him. The president has also delegated elements of foreign policy to advisers instead of State, including Israeli-Palestinian talks, where son-in-law Jared Kushner is playing a leading role.

The more we learn the clearer the picture will become…..

History is full of leaders that have appointed people around them but they were nothing more than advertising or for show……appears our new ring master is gonna be one of those……

This situation will be monitored and soon we will see who it is that is sidelined for they will be off like a dirty shirt.  Likewise we will see who the “whores” are that will change to suit their position….(Richard Haas comes to mind)…..