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144. In the World of Trump, Strong Denials are Definitive

10 Feb

Of all the bizarre things that Trump has said, the concept of strong denials seems most  ridiculous and pathetic. Imagine what our laws would be like if his principle was applied.

Trump says these people are innocent because of strong denials:

MBS, Saudi Arabia, “Strongly” denies ordering assassination of Wash.Post reporter.
Vladimir Putin,”Extremely strong” denial of interfering with our election.
Roy Moore, Alabama Senate candidate: “Totally denies” child molestation.
Rob Porter, Trump aide, “Strong” denial of domestic abuse.
Trump himself strongly denies all claims by 22 women of his sexual misconduct.

Some Republicans may be considering legislation in which a “strong denial” will erase all charges against an alleged criminal. Trump has supported this, but says it’s really only for his friends. As for Democrats, Repubs say that a strong denial is considered the same as a confession of guilt.  (This paragraph is somewhat speculative.)

Trump says to his friends, for any type of charge, you should strongly deny everything. Never admit to anything. Deny, Deny, Deny.

(For a good further discussion of this topic, see Paul Walderman of Washington Post, Oct.15, 2018.)

While still laughing, I have to include the just published N.Y. Post story with headline: “Bezos Exposes Pecker”  (David Pecker, of course, runs the National Enquirer; Bezos owns Amazon.)

 

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143. Trump: Why Investigate Me?

8 Feb

Trump and his staff have been extensively investigated by government agencies.
He asks why Democrat leaders are not under similar investigation? First of all, Dems. like Hillary C. HAVE suffered numerous (phony) Republican investigations. But the main point is that Trump and staff have done many suspicious things, while the Democrats have not. In my previous blogs (no.136 and others) I have detailed many questionable activities. Here is a brief (partial) list of acts that have raised suspicions.

There is unusual secrecy with respect to the public and he even keeps secrets from his closest staff. Meetings with leaders of Russia, North Korea and other countries have been totally secret. Trump does not understand that he was elected President of a Democracy and not elected to be King. He is supposed to serve the people and the people must be able to monitor (with a few limits) his actions.

Trump has not released any recent tax returns. Every president before him has done this.

Trump has favored Russia and Putin in many ways. He has discouraged Russian sanctions and delayed implementing some. Trump has stated many times how he wants to develop a close relationship with Russia — even though Russians kill reporters and attack foreign countries, like Ukraine.

He rejects information from our intelligence agencies and often favors Putin’s version of events.

Numerous Trump associates have had excessive interactions with Russians. Some have been indicted, some pleaded guilty, and some were convicted.

On TV, Trump asked Russians to reveal info on Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Trump has attacked NATO and our strongest allies. This is exactly what Putin has wanted, which is to weaken his adversaries.

Trump has often rejected the idea that Putin interfered with our elections, even though all of our intelligence agencies agree on this and assert that helping Trump was the aim. Putin himself, said that he favored Trump.

There is some evidence that Russians have provided financial benefits to Trump and his family. For example, reporters have found that condos were sold at a price much higher than market.

Trump has failed to fully separate himself (divest) from his many businesses.

In many situations Trump has defended actions of foreign countries, ignoring negative info from our intelligence agencies.

Last but not least, Trump has told thousands of lies in recent years. That in itself is highly suspicious. Even worse are the many lies by him and staff about meetings with Russians. Meetings might be OK, but frequent lying about them is very suspicious.

142. Trump Nullification

31 Jan

All Democrats, many Republicans, and most citizens would like to terminate Trump‘s Presidency. Most established ways are too dificult or will take too long. Here are the possibilities.

Impeachment:  The House develops a set of articles and the Senate votes on conviction. This is not likely right now, since Repubs control the Senate.

25th Amendment.  The Vice President and cabinet members can determine that the President is unfit to serve, usually because of a physical problem. The 25th Amendment to the Constitution is applicable. This is also unlikely to implement because the sycophants in these positions are blind loyalists.

Hope for Resignation.  This is possible, but not likely given Trump’s goals.

Nullification This is possible and already somewhat in effect. Trump would stay in office, but Congress and his staff would create barriers so that he would lose most of his control. He could still do ceremonial and minor actions, but all major decisions would be made by others. An example is the bi-partisan committee that is dealing with southern border security. The committee is made up of Repub and Dem Congressmen. Trump is not invited to this process. He could veto any resulting legislation, but hopefully an override could provide passage. Trump’s hostage (or leverage) approach using a gov shut-down as a threat would not be possible under this nullification process. The hostage method of Trump is un-American and un-Constitutional.

In all other areas Congress or possibly other agencies like the CIA, DOJ, Military, etc. could in various ways, nullify Trump’s irresponsible “tweety” decisions. In the past there has been nullification, like removing papers from his desk, and simply delaying orders, which are eventually forgotten. What is also happening, is that leaders like USA Sec. of State have assured foreign leaders of USA alliance.

Trump’s lies and mistakes are increasing so that the nullification will be more and more necessary. At the same time, the Dems. must find the best possible candidate to defeat Trump in the next election.

 

140. Shut-Down Reveals Motives

25 Jan

The government shut-down, resulting from failure to pass a spending bill, is a national tragedy.  Many government workers and gov projects are severely affected by the lack of wages paid and other various non-funding. I sometimes suspect that this serious problem is Trump’s revenge for the investigations.  An interesting result of this conflict is that the negotiations and numerous related comments have revealed hidden motives and strategies. (Maybe not so hidden, for many analysts.)

I am sure that many Trump supporters are living paycheck-to-paycheck. These devotees must be shocked by the lack of concern about gov shut-down employee, that have unpaid wages.  While most employees will eventually be reimbursed, regular contractors may not receive anything. Here are some comments. Trump says that these people will “adjust,” they can always find a way. Really? His daughter-in-law Lara says that they will only feel “a little pain.” Sec. of Commerce Wilber Ross says they can get a loan. The Trump family and administration is mostly composed of hugely rich people. Does it sound like they have any appreciation for the results of lost wages ??

When Trump terminated the DACA law, he said that Congress can restore it. This sounded puzzling to me. Now I understand. DACA was terminated so that it could be used for future leverage  negotiations, and it just has been. Obviously, Trump does not care about these people (mostly good tax-paying people) at all, they are just pawns in his schemes. For Trump, everyone is a pawn except for his super-rich buddies, family, and a few of associates.

The way that Congressmen vote on various “shut-down” bills tells you a lot about their character.

Nancy Pelosi has been very adamant about not supporting any money at all for the wall. I have thought about this a lot and today I think I better understand her strategy. My initial thought, and what others have said, is that it like NOT negotiating with terrorists, because more people will get kidnaped if it is rewarded. So don’t give in to Trump to avoid future leverages. But there may be an additional factor. Instead of moving on impeachment, which is chancy, she wants to stop Trump by giving him a major defeat. Losing the shut-down battle may inhibit him from doing other worse things. Continuing the shut-down is harmful, but may less so that an unchecked Trump.

The USA, our lovely homeland, is caught up in traps that have possible remedies, but the remedies will only be achieved with a great concerted effort. Some damage, like radical conservative judges at every level. will be relatively permanent. The current administration has reversed climate-change efforts. Lack of worldwide climate efforts is already causing hurricane and flooding catastrophes, and will ultimately cause the death of many more people. My last word is to thank the many politicians and citizens that have good will and are working on our many problems.

 

 

 

 

139. In the USA, A Growing Autocracy

23 Jan

We are now in the early stages of a growing autocracy with Donald Trump as the aspiring dictator. An “autocracy” is a government in which one person (like a president) controls all of the major decisions. And typically, all dissenters are nullified in some way  and in the worst case murdered.

In our country, the USA, there are clear trends in this direction. Note particularly, the long government shut-down imposed by Trump in order to promote the southern border wall foolishly promised in his campagne. In the traditional way of tyrants he falsely created a border crisis and justified his use of gov employee hostages to coerce congressional action. He even admitted that he could see a shut-down for a year. And there is no sympathy for employees missing paychecks; “they will adjust.” (Trump’s concept of adjustment is getting millions from his father.) Democrats are reluctant to negotiate because on numerous occasions, Trump simply changed his mind after an agreement was reached. Here is a list of other indications of autocracy.

The press is an enemy of him and the people. He justifies Putin killing off dissenting reporters by saying that the US gov also kills people. Leaders that

He has expressed admiration for various tyrants. He is impressed by their ability to control the citizens. How can anyone accept this kind of thinking — but Republican leaders do??

He is the leader of a corrupt political party that follows him with slavish devotion. Early on, many Repubs were against him, but they ALL caved in as his popularity grew.

He undermines and diminishes our most important government institutions, such as the FBI, other intelligence agencies, and many executive agencies such as the State Department. He leads by whims, disregarding knowledgable experts.

His method of negotiation is usually by the use coercion. He bullies our allies and attempts to destroy NATO — likely to please his friend Putin.  On several occasions he has threatened to leave NATO.

Another common characteristic of a tyrant is rule by family. No one really likes a tyrant so nepotism provides safety for him. His daughter and particularly her husband have held important positions.

Testimony has indicated that he has demanded absolute loyalty from members of his administration, for example, FBI director Comey.

Objective evaluations indicate that Trump has told thousands of lies or major exaggerations. Tyrants are known for this and the re-writing history.

He has viciously attacked political adversaries, like Hillary Clinton. He leads the chorus in “lock-her-up.”

He is a ruthless autocrat in dealing with his staff, political rivals, and vulnerable people like those from Central America seeking asylum in our country. He will fire someone using a tweet, without any warning. His plan to stop immigration from the south, is to separate children from their parents. And his plan was so poorly implemented that hundreds still have not been re-united.

By major lowering of taxes for very rich people he gathered donor support.

Tyrants often have scapegoats that are blamed for all problems. For Trump it is Mexicans and Muslims.

      How can people not see this growing dictatorship?

All of the features of tyranny described above are indicators of a serious trend.  We must stop this man using any possible legal method. The further he gets in forming this autocracy, the more difficult it will be to end. The one hopeful aspect of this is that Trump is pretty old and likely will become more and more demented and unable to perform the tasks of his office.

 

 

 

 

 

136. Trump & Putin, Just Infatuation?

13 Jan

If you don’t know that Trump has excessively supported Russia and Putin then you must have been in a 4-year coma. The NY Times just reported that the FBI has been investigating this inappropriate relationship since the firing of FBI Dir. Comey. For those who need some reminders, here is a list of relevant information. One or two factors might not be significant, but so many interactions (many with secrecy) with one country is very suspect.

Failure to condemn Russian attacks on Ukraine and the take-over of Crimea.

Failure to believe his own intelligence agencies, that it was Russia that interfered with the US elections.

Significant delays in implementing some Russian sanctions.

Failure to agree (in a timely fashion) that Russia was responsible for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in England. Months later, after congressional pressure, he finally acted.

Several meetings with Russian leaders and Putin himself without publishing any details. He confiscated translators notes and swore the translator to secrecy. There usually was no sharing of info with his team, and often Trump associates were not present in the meeting room.

Putin’s policies with regard to Afghanistan and other topics were parroted by Trump, and are generally considered lies. Putin claimed that terrorists from Afghanistan attacked Russia, and that led to the Russian attack.

Numerous Trump associates have had excessive interactions with Russians. Some have been indicted, some pleaded guilty, and some were convicted.

On TV, Trump asked Russians to reveal info on Hillary Clinton’s emails.

There is evidence that Trump was planning a hotel in Moscow and was communicating with Putin about this.

Trump implemented to some extent, Putin’s goals of breaking breaking up NATO, which has protected us and Europe from Russian invasion.

In the Helsinki meeting, Trump believed Putin over his own intelligence agencies, and showed an unusual amount of friendship.

Numerous statements on TV that the US must have a good friendship with Russia, even though they interfered with our elections and attacked Ukraine.

Donald Trump Jr. stated that Russians had financially supported the Trump family, when US banks rejected him.

Many of Trump’s foreign trade and military policies have provided opportunities for Russia to take more leadership roles.

There is evidence that Russians have provided income for Trump by paying excessive prices when buying his condos.

130. Current Impeachable Actions

5 Dec

Many legal experts believe that a number of Trumps actions and tweets are illegal and/or serious enough to be used in an impeachment.  Below, I have listed possible relevant violations, without a comprehensive presentation of conclusive facts. The related details are complicated and beyond the scope of an ordinary blog. I have provided an outline of areas for investigation that interested readers can use.  So far, the Republican Congress, which consists mostly of blind followers of Trump, has ignored these possible violations. Mueller’s ultimate findings will be the best source of “facts.”

TAMPERING WITH WITNESSES:  Trump has been tweeting regarding these witnesses: Roger Stone, Michael Cohen, and Paul Manafort. An internet search will quickly lead to relevant statements. For example, just search:  “Trump praises Roger Stone” or “Trump may pardon Manafort”, or “Trump discusses the witness Michael Cohen”

OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE The above “tampering” could also be interpreted as an obstruction of justice. Also the firing of FBI Director Comey and Trumps statement to Lester Holt that he did it because of the Russian investigation, in incriminating.

EMOLUMENTS AND FAILURE TO DIVEST.  Trump has not actually separated himself from a financial interest in his many hotels and golf courses. Having his sons running these businesses still maintains an interest. Foreign leaders stay at his hotels and provide substantial income. Russian oligarchs buy his condos at greatly excessive prices.  Trump stated that he has sold many things (non-gov) to the Saudis.  And this may have influenced his unusual support for “MBS”  who was identified (by the CIA) as responsible for ordering the Kashoggi assassination.

Also, he has stated his admiration for autocratic foreign leaders, like Korean Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin, Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte, Erdogan of Turkey, etc.

COLLUSION WITH RUSSIANS TO INFLUENCE OUR ELECTIONSThe notorious Trump Tower meeting with Trump staff and Natalia Veselnitskaya (June 9, 2016) during the campagne, suggests a collusion. The associated details including POTUS announcements, emails, testimony by several participants, etc. are all very convincing. Mueller has gathered a significant amount of info regarding this meeting. It appears that there is evidence that Trump knew about the meeting and approved it.

OTHER OFFENSES  There are other lesser Trump offensives that should also be considered.  Serious offenses include statements that undermine important agencies such as the FBI and CIA. In several instances, he has chosen to believe foreign leaders over our own intelligence agencies. For a long time he denied that the Russians influenced our elections. He also refused to believe that the Saudi Prince MBS was responsible for the assassination of a US resident reporter Jamal Kashoggi.

Even though Trump might not be convicted after impeachment, I still think it would send a valuable message at home and abroad.  I look forward to January, when the new House congressmen are sworn in.