The Creeping “I” Word

The news these days is all Trump all day…..and not in a good way….there are many games played in DC and the new one is a basic repeat of the past…..and one that has his nose picking supporters all butt hurt……and they do what they do….strike out instead of making a cogent argument against any action they just want to insult and to show their command of adjectives……

Everyone that breathes knows the story in the headlines……but a new wrinkle has shown its face….the possibility of an impeachment process……

President Trump’s latest troubles have even Republicans such as John McCain drawing comparisons to Watergate. An assessment at NPR notes that the “‘I’ word is creeping its way into the mainstream,” but the piece emphasizes, twice, that the chance of a GOP-controlled Senate impeaching Trump is somewhere around zero. A look at what others are saying:

  • Testing the waters: In what it sees as a “significant development,” McClatchy reports that Democrats are poised to start polling to gauge sentiment. Their fear is that making a public push to impeach Trump may backfire in the long run.
  • “Hushed” chatter: Politico’s Playbook blog says the GOP chatter on Capitol Hill in the wake of the new Comey reports is “hushed” but unmistakable. “That’s not to say President Donald Trump will be impeached, but the prospect is beginning to creep into Republicans’ minds, and it’s noteworthy that they are not ruling it out.”
  • Not so hushed: Rep. Justin Amash became the first Republican in Congress to publicly broach the idea Wednesday, reports the Hill. Asked if what Comey said was true would merit impeachment, he responded simply, “Yes.” On the Democratic side, Rep. Al Green of Texas called for Trump’s impeachment on the House floor Wednesday, reports the Week.
  • Nope: Law professor Jonathan Turley assesses the Comey allegations and finds zilch in them to support impeachment. “There are dozens of different variations of obstruction charges ranging from threatening witnesses to influencing jurors,” he writes in the Hill. “None would fit this case.” As for the broader charge of Trump trying to interfere with the “due administration of justice,” that would hinge on the dicey prospect of proving that Trump intended to influence “corruptly.”
  • Deep breath: “Take a few steps back, America,” advises John Kass at the Chicago Tribune. “Get yourself a pocket copy of the Constitution and hold on.” He sees one big issue with the Comey story: We haven’t actually seen the supposedly damning memo. So until then, or until Comey testifies under oath about his conversations with Trump, “we just don’t know.”
  • Two to watch: The president’s fate really lies with House leader Paul Ryan and Senate leader Mitch McConnell, writes Dylan Matthews at Vox. As long as they don’t turn on Trump, he’s safe.
  • Trump’s strategy: Expect him to keep “stoking his base,” predicts a post at Axios. Lawmakers will be leery of bucking him if he stays popular in their districts. “It’s his most basic survival strategy—and it’s another reason he won’t change.” In the meantime, the Trump campaign is fundraising with an email that has “SABOTAGE” as a subject line, notes Slate.
  • The 25th? In the New York Times, conservative columnist Ross Douthat doesn’t think impeachment fits and instead floats the idea of invoking the 25th Amendment. That allows the removal of a president if the majority of his Cabinet tells Congress he is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” A two-thirds vote by Congress would follow if the president contests. Based on the daily comments about Trump from his inner circle in the press, Douthat thinks it’s a possibility.
  • The bookies: Bookmakers say the odds of a Trump impeachment have jumped in the last week, and MarketWatch has the details.

There will make the news more enjoyable for some….but then there seems to be another wrinkle forming in the fabric of Trumpism……

The Justice Department has appointed a special counsel to oversee the investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election, the New York Times reports. According to the Washington Post, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has tasked Robert Mueller with investigating “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.” Mueller, a former FBI director, is authorized to prosecute any federal crimes the investigation uncovers and will have subpoena authority, USA Today reports.

Mueller will answer to Rosenstein at the DOJ but have more freedom to run the investigation than would a US attorney. “I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authorities and appoint a special counsel,” Rosenstein said in a statement. Rosenstein makes it clear that doesn’t mean he’s found evidence of criminal acts. In a statement following Rosenstein’s announcement, Trump said a special counsel will only confirm what everyone already knows: there was no collusion between his campaign and Russia, the AP reports. Mueller served as FBI director from 2001 to 2013, the longest term since J. Edgar Hoover. Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz calls him a “great selection” with “impeccable credentials.”

Please stand by for updates from the Mother Ship……the foil hat will not block out the signals……

Time For Congress To Stand Up

For a decade I have been harping on the cowardliness of the Congress for allowing wars to be fought without any authorization except that the president wants it.

Since 2003 I have been calling the Congress spineless, cowardly, do-nothing, etc because they neglect their duty …..the duty to declare war.

I will say that there are a few in Congress that are trying to do the right thing….among those is Rep. Tulsi Gabbard,…..these responsible Americans are demanding that the Congress stand up and do the right thing…..

Anyone who has served in the U.S. armed forces is familiar with completing an Operations Order (OPORD). Spelling out the situation, mission, execution, sustainment, and command and control enables our Army to “fight and win our Nation’s wars.” For our troops in harm’s way in Syria right now, the mission has not been spelled out and Congress, by ignoring its responsibilities to authorize and exercise oversight over the use of military force, is responsible. History has shown us that when Congress neglects its duty, our troops are at an avoidable strategic disadvantage.

For a prime example of this dynamic, we need look no further than the Vietnam War. In the jungles of Southeast Asia, the United States gradually built up its activities with no clear direction from Congress. The result of this legislative negligence was a bloody, deadly, and tragic waste of resources. One does not have to look hard to see the parallel in Syria. Over the years, a steady trickle of troops were committed as the United States sought to train “moderate rebels.” Where does this path lead?

In the wake of the failures of Vietnam, Congress attempted to reassert its authority over war-making with the 1973 War Powers Resolution. Seeking to prevent further failures in Syria, Congress likewise needs to reclaim its war powers through a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). The time for this is now.

Source: Congress Needs to Stand Up and Reclaim its Authorities on Making War

If you agree then let your voice be heard to your representatives in DC….call, write, text, email whatever it takes for the cowards to get the message.

Just DO IT!

The Hearing

The much anticipated event of the season so far is the Hearing on the Flynn fiasco.

I admit it…I watched it and was entertained.

The witnesses were professional and well versed in what was going on.  Now the Senators were another thing all together.

As I expected the Repubs were trying to make it into some kind of circus….Cruz, Cronyn, Graham, Grassley…all the usual bullshit suspects had a go at the witnesses…..

Sally Yates was grilled on the events around her going to the White House and informing them that there was a problem with the news National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn……

Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, speaking publicly for the first time about concerns she brought to the Trump White House on Russia, told Congress on Monday she warned that National Security Adviser Michael Flynn “essentially could be blackmailed” because he apparently had lied to his bosses about his contacts with the Russian ambassador. The statements from Yates shed light on the chain of events that led to Flynn’s ouster from government in the first weeks of the Trump administration. Yates, appearing before a Senate panel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, described discussions with Trump White House Counsel Don McGahn in January in which she warned that Flynn apparently had misled the administration about his communications with ambassador Sergey Kislyak, per the AP.

White House officials had insisted that Flynn had not discussed US-imposed sanctions with Kislyak during the presidential transition period, but asked Flynn to resign after news reports indicated he had misled them about the nature of the calls. “We felt like it was critical that we get this information to the White House, in part because the vice president was making (inadvertently) false statements to the public and because we believed that Gen. Flynn was possibly compromised,” Yates said. “We knew that was not a good situation, which is why we wanted to let the White House know about it.” The Jan. 26 conversation took place two days after the FBI interviewed Flynn about those contacts. McGahn asked Yates how Flynn did in the interview, but Yates said she could not answer. She was fired four days later by the Trump administration. (Outgoing President Obama warned President-elect Trump about Flynn.)

Sen. Lindsey Graham came right out of the gate with a false statement at the hearing where Sally Yates is testifying about the Mike Flynn/Russia scandal. Graham said that the joint intelligence report found no collusion between Trump and Russia. This was a false statement.

Here is what the joint report concluded, “We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin, and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.”

Like I said turning into a bullshit fest…..

The House is also investigating the Russian ties and some strange news has come out of the House…..

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) told CNN that House investigators had uncovered power classified evidence of Trump, his family, his businesses, and his campaign’s deep personal, financial, and political ties to Russia.

CNN’s John Berman asked, “Have you seen things on the classified side that you can not tell us about that is even stronger evidence than what is out there publicly?”

Rep. Swalwell answered, “Yes.”

Berman continued, “Ok. So there are things that you can not tell us that you think perhaps are more convincing than the public information?”

Swalwell answered, “There’s a pattern here on the classified and unclassified side of deep personal, political, and financial ties that Donald Trump, people in his family, and people in his businesses, and on his campaign had with a foreign adversary in Russia that converged at the same time that Russia was interfering with our campaign.”

Rep. Swalwell went on to say they hope that the evidence will be coming forward in the coming months.

It seems that investigators have powerful evidence against Trump, his family, his businesses, and his campaign. All four are so closely intertwined that it is not surprising that Trump’s family and his businesses, and his campaign are all involved in this scandal.

(politicususa.com)

Tweeting bullshit does not make this go away….if anything it makes it worse….and getting your toadies in Congress to repeat bullshit is also not helping….

Personally I want to know what is what…..and if any of these people are found to have been in the pocket of the Russians then they deserve jail time….if not worse.

It’s Tax Reform Time Again

Well sports fans it is that time of the year again….the presidential push for tax reform.  And our Trumpy boy is no different….he has said he wants to give the country tax reform…..but as usual when the GOP uses the term “tax reform” they mean a tax cuts…reform is NO where in the equation.

The problem is what he is offering is not tax reform but rather the ever popular tax cuts.

The White House on Wednesday began laying out President Trump’s tax plan, which calls for sharp cuts for businesses and individuals. The administration says the cuts will spur economic growth and bring jobs and prosperity to America’s middle class, though lawmakers were worried about ballooning federal deficits. Much of the details have yet to be hashed out with Congress. Some highlights, per the AP:

  • Trump’s plan would reduce the number of personal income tax brackets to three from seven: rates of 10%, 25%, and 35%. The current maximum is 39.6%.
  • It would double the standard deduction for married couples to $24,000, while keeping deductions for charitable giving and mortgage interest payments.
  • The administration plans to provide tax relief for families with child care expenses, too, although the specifics have yet to be included.
  • The plan would trim deductions utilized by wealthier Americans. This would include deductions for state and local tax payments, a change that could alienate support from lawmakers in states such as California and New York with higher state taxes.
  • It would also repeal the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax.
  • On the corporate side, the top marginal tax rate would fall from 35% to 15%.

Small businesses that account for their owners’ personal incomes would see their top tax rate go from 39.6% to the proposed corporate tax rate of 15%. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who earlier called the plan the “biggest tax cut” in history, said the change for small-business owners—a group that under the current definition could include doctors, lawyers, and even major real estate companies—would be done to ensure that wealthier Americans could not exploit the change to pay less in taxes.

As you can see…these are tax cuts….reform would require legislative action on the tax code….a thousand plus page code…..this does nothing to reform….but it does return us to the days of the damn silly “trickle down economics”….or “voodoo economics”…….

President Trump’s tax reform plan unveiled Wednesday heralds the return of the Laffer curve, or as it’s more commonly known—thanks to the first President Bush—”voodoo economics.” The New York Times reports the Laffer curve was first sketched on a napkin by Arthur Laffer in 1974. The curve says that if you cut taxes enough, you can make up for the financial shortfall through economic growth. And that’s exactly what Trump’s team is pitching—though it’ll mean adding billions upon billions of dollars to the national deficit while waiting on that promised growth. Here’s what else you need to know about Trump’s tax reform plan:

  • While Republican lawmakers were supportive in public, they’re grumbling in private, CNN reports. Congressional Republicans are upset Trump’s promised tax-reform plan is more of a tax-cut plan. One senior GOP aide says it’s “not even close” to tax reform.
  • CNBC reports the plan is missing one thing that Wall Street really wanted: a steep reduction—all the way to 10%—for companies that bring earnings back to the US from overseas.
  • There are eight reasons Trump’s tax reform plan likely won’t get through Congress, according to the Washington Post. They include that Republicans may not tolerate a huge deficit increase and that the GOP head of the Senate Finance Committee is openly wondering if it’s a “good idea.”
  • Politico argues the plan released Wednesday was less a step toward actual tax reform and more something for Trump to use to bolster his 100-day presidential resume. It was a single page of “mostly general principles” largely carried over from campaign promises.
  • Mother Jones reports Trump’s tax reform plan will make the Trump family richer in four different ways, including by cutting the tax rate for “pass-through corporations.” The Trump Organization is made up of pass-through corporations, and the plan would cut the tax rate of Trump and his children from 39.6% to 15%.
  • But we may never know exactly to what extent Trump stands to benefit from his tax reform plan, according to the Washington Post, as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the president still “has no intention” of releasing his tax returns.

The trickle down was promised in the 1980’s and so far that trickle has not found the middle class….and yet the GOP still thinks the idiots in society will believe the bullshit from 35 years ago…..and guess what…they will!

Please stop calling it reform and label it what it is….a cut….nothing more than that.

Showdown At Foggy Bottom

I know that sounds like a spaghetti western from the 70’s….all we need is some cheesy music and we would have a hit.

This time I am talking about the shutdown of the government…..yes we are about to play that game yet again.

The Congress says one thing the president another….and the chest thumping has begun……

Once or twice a year recently, the federal government threatens to shut down. But the Washington Post reports this year’s version of the crisis—the deadline to pass a spending bill is midnight April 28—has a brand-new wrinkle: President Trump. According to the New Yorker, things had been going pretty well to avoid a government shutdown, with Republicans and Democrats negotiating toward a compromise bill. Then on Friday, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said either the bill includes Trump’s border wall and defense spending increase or it must defund a major part of the Affordable Care Act. (Interestingly, Mulvaney was also involved in the last government shutdown in October 2013, which also hinged on defunding the ACA.)

The problem now is that even if Democrats and Republicans in Congress reach a compromise that allows them to pass a spending bill, there’s no guarantee Trump will sign it. For example, Democrats don’t want the border wall built, and conservative Republicans aren’t too keen on paying for it either. Adding to the uncertainty, the deadline to avoid the shutdown falls on Trump’s 100th day in office, and he could be desperate for a big win by the deadline. The New Yorker reports one top White House official actually “sounded excited” by the prospect of a shutdown. For his part, Trump says he thinks “we’re in good shape” to avoid a shutdown, according to Forbes. And here’s the kicker: Even if a spending bill somehow gets passed, it only funds the government through September.

Personally I think most of it is all bluff……his scores are so low that if he goes through with is threats it will dip even further…..and on the international scene opponents will try to take advantage of the situation…..something the US cannot allow….no matter the cost.

Will there be a showdown or a just a couple of kids in a staring contest?

(I would like to thank Trump and his opposition for making anything in and around DC totally irrelevant….that will give me time to concentrate on real problems and solutions)

Closing Thought–24Apr17

Celebration update:  For all those redneck toads out there….today is Confederate Memorial Day…..

“Unwanted Politician Removal”

One way of ridding ourselves of a politician that is no longer “lovable” is resignation…..another way is through the process of impeachment…..this one was tried with Bubba Clinton and his blowjob scandal…..and we all remember the resignation of Nixon, right?

Well it seems that all this mash up with Pres. Trump over his business dealing, his taxes, his people and probably his bathroom tissue and the Dems are licking their chops….

A new introduction in Congress could make it easier to rid ourselves of an unwanted person…..

A House Democrat has introduced legislation to enhance the Constitution’s presidential removal procedures in response to concerns about President Trump’s behavior.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) filed the bill during the House’s two-week April recess to empower former presidents and vice presidents of both parties, in coordination with the sitting vice president, to determine if a president is fit for office.

“It is hard to imagine a better group to work with the vice president to examine whether the president is able to discharge the duties of the office. When there are questions about the president’s ability to fulfill his or her constitutional responsibilities, it is in the country’s best interest to have a mechanism in place that works effectively,” Blumenauer said in a statement.

Source: House Democrat introduces bill to amend presidential removal procedures | TheHill

Trump supporters….not to worry…the Congress is a dysfunctional mess so this will probably go no where…

If that does not interest you…then how about some music….in my opinion it is Johnny Rivers best album…….

TTFN……will see you guys tomorrow….chuq

Tulsi: A Voice In The Wilderness

Since 2016 I have been amazed at the guts of this one US Congresswoman from Ohio…..she was the first to come out in Bernie’s corner and since those days I have been following her career…..and let me say as a person that is a strong antiwar supporter her stands are the perfect stand for us people that detest war and all its trappings…..

After the latest strike on a Syrian airfield she was the first to come out with a warning that needs to be heard and understood…..

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) has a message for the liberals attacking her criticism of President Trump’s missile strike on Syria, warning that a rush to aggression risks repeating the same mistakes that led the United States into the Iraq War.

“We need to learn from Iraq and Libya — wars that were propagated as necessary to relieve human suffering, but actually increased human suffering many times over,” she said in an email to The Hill.

Gabbard, a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard who served two tours in Iraq, has been highly critical of Trump’s decision last Thursday to launch 59 missiles at a Syrian airfield in response to a deadly chemical attack that killed scores of civilians, including children, in a western Syrian town days before.

Source: Gabbard: ‘We need to learn from Iraq’ | TheHill

It is great to see that the antiwar movement has someone that will step up and take over from us aging ones from the past…..she should be applauded and not criticized for her stand….

Donald Trump’s feverish tweeting appears to be contagious. Amid a chorus of praise for the administration’s cruise missile strike on a Syrian airbase last week, Neera Tanden, the head of the Center for American Progress, dashed off a tweet calling on voters in Hawaii to oust Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard for expressing skepticism about the Syrian government’s responsibility for the chemical attack that provoked the U.S. military strikes.

Former presidential candidate and former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean piled on, and tweeted that Gabbard’s comments were a “disgrace” and that she “should not be in the Congress.”

Gabbard had good reason to ask for proof. By his own account, Trump struck rapidly after seeing gruesome televised pictures of dying babies. No time was allowed for an independent investigation of the source of the chemical weapons attack. No presentation was made to the United Nations or the Congress, asking for permission to use force. Trump flipped his own policy on its head overnight, and began lobbing missiles.

Source: Democrats Shouldn’t Be Trying to Banish Tulsi Gabbard – LA Progressive

This is why I have NO use for Democrats…they are spineless toads that only in it for the dollars….Tulsi should be held up as an example of how Dems should be acting in this time of war….someone needs to stand up against the M-IC and Tulsi is doing just that….

Finally a Dem with a spine!

Thank you Tulsi….you represent me better than any of my state reps…..you have my support.  chuq