Whether or not we ever get a definitive answer on collusion, collaboration between now president Trump and the Russians, whether impeachment articles are ever served on that or obstruction of justice, whether anyone involved in any kind of criminal wrongdoing ever sees the inside of a prison cell it’s time to shore up the standards of the presidency.
By no means does the title, byline intend to imply immediately jumped to conclusions, should the investigation outcome not be in democrats, Russia collusion supporters’ favor, we will hunt around for something else to charge involved parties with, seek to invent laws making what they did a crime. Instead it is to say, regardless the end result we wish to codify into constitutional, federal law the up until now unwritten rules and traditions surrounding a presidency, rules that go far beyond answering the Trump/Russia collusion question, preventing similar questions regarding forthcoming presidents. It’s no accident we opened with Bill Maher at the top of the article above the first paragraph; because, for all his comedic antics, his provocateur style and tendency to get in hot water on hot button, social issues, in mentioned video he uses humor to point out something that should have been done a long time ago, at minimum post Nixon and Watergate. Additionally it, suggesting we move from talking about typical presidential norms to hard and fast enforceable laws, presidential hopefuls, future presidents will have to follow is to counter the consistent narrative politicians, media personalities are spending too much time on Russia ‘hysteria’ and not enough on policy issues directly effecting American lives, aptly named kitchen table issues. Leftists, liberals, progressives who insist, particularly democrats who took a beating in 2016, must focus on and adopt measures popular with the American people, generating the enthusiasm for someone like Bernie Sanders, not singularly because it’s the right thing to do, but to win elections in 2018, 2020. Accusations they ‘establishment’ media and so called ‘establishment’ politicians, both viewed as bad things, not only spend inordinate amounts of time on ‘Russia’ the election hacking story, the Trump collusion component or the special counsel investigation, but spend that unbalanced amount of time because of their either hyperbolic bias believing too quickly in things not yet proven. Or due to an open hatred of Donald Trump, less about his offensive personality, throwback, regressive policies, demonstrated incompetence, inability to govern, inadequate responses to national events i.e. Charlottesville, and rather because he is president and not Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders or even Jill Stein, Gary Johnson. Missing entirely the very idea Russia gets so much coverage because it is indeed that important in all its convoluted intricacies, complicated parts it’s unfairly assumed ordinary citizens can’t keep track of. That ‘democrat’ factions of cable news allocate such substantial time blocks to Russia discussions precisely because standard national news on over the air television is allotted 30 minutes in which to squeeze all relevant national/world news versus wall to wall 24 hour news cycles on cable; meaning, developments on a facet of our national security, sovereignty might not get mentioned. Too every cable show even on a network like CNN, MSNBC will cover the day’s news up to that point in their own way, bring on their own panel guests, manage to book authors of breaking stories in print media like The Washington Post, The New York Times, Reuters on the reasonable assumption viewers will TiVo/DVR or catch their favorite program; not watch wall to wall coverage, nothing but MSNBC, CNN or Fox News all day long due to work, family obligations, common errands, run of the mill house cleaning, other enjoyable recreational activities. Also prominent cable shows particularly in evening time slots known for drawing large viewership are aired later than standard 5:30/6:30 news, depending on time zone, allowing instantaneous coverage of breaking information on the ‘Russia topic,’ incorporation of late breaking print media articles published during evening/night hours. Rachel Maddow revealing the running joke among her producers is them calling it, their airing time, the evening block shows From Hard Ball and All In before her, her show and The Last Word after her ‘Russia o’clock’ due to repeated weeknights where things broke late from mentioned print media and more, print media whose readership and subscription have skyrocketed in the so called ‘Trump era.’ Ironically mirroring identical coverage going all the way back to just after the election citizens taking to the streets familiar chant, “not my president,” the women’s march, travel ban protests, coverage of congressional floor votes on repeal and replace of Obamacare, other major events a-la Trump rallies held during the campaign or after becoming president. Rebutting often fallen back on commentary they covered Russia more than they covered longstanding bedrock issues, mentioned networks equally discussed, deconstructed and aired footage of Trump’s Muslim ban, its unconstitutionally, betrayal of our heritage as a nation of immigrants to say nothing of horrible implementation. Healthcare, not limited to votes attempting to repeal Obamacare, created high drama on the congressional floor, but what republicans wanted to replace it with, plans kicking 23 million people off paid for insurance care, the resulting sit ins, die ins, explosive town halls, powerful images/video of police hauling disabled people away from congressional offices, peaceful protests putting a face to people who dared say they wouldn’t live without the affordable care act, the Medicaid expansion. Every major news outlet, including standard over the air channels, covered the travel ban’s effects including protests, chaos at airports, the turning away of an Iraqi translator and his family who had risked his life helping American soldiers there who didn’t speak the language, Christians he, president Trump, did this for allegedly persecuted where they lived, turned away. Who it picked up they demonstrably shouldn’t have, legal residents; an Egyptian mother coming back from visiting her teen daughters who don’t have papers yet, Canadian Muslim tourists, a U.S. recent Clemson graduate stuck in Iran unable to come home post humanitarian work, a Cleveland Clinic doctor with a Sudanese passport, Mohamad Ali’s son and his mother stopped at the airport and asked if he/they were Muslim. Viewers were made aware of the many iterations, incarnations of that ban as well as the numerous lower courts blocking those iterations. In fact MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell did an interview with a young man suffering spinal muscular atrophy and his mother speaking poignantly about how Medicaid allows him to live at home, where he desires to live, provides care attendants who not only see to his medical needs, fundamental personal care such as bathing, dressing, but ensure his quality of life taking him anywhere he wishes to go, think Starbucks. Cheaper than placing him in an institutional care facility by the by, and how that could all go away under the proposed ACA repeal being pushed at the time. All In with Chris Hayes interviewed a cancer survivor able to talk about what getting care was like before and after the Affordable Care Act (ACA’s) implementation; for instance what it was like when she received her cancer re-diagnosis post ACA and being able to focus on treatment not questions from her insurance company about did she hide her diagnosis. They did, all news sectors, highlight these and more of president Trump’s actions, failed actions including his sweeping proposed budget cuts willing to eliminate vital programs like meals on wheels; CNN’s heartbreaking interview with a homebound elderly woman asking how else will I eat. CBS news covering woman wheelchair bound after a stroke surprised at the proposed cuts saying “I was under the influence he was gunna help us;” after school programs, PBS, job retraining letting a former coal miner gain new skills slashed or gone entirely. Carving gaping holes in every budget except defense and the impact it would have on America’s citizenry, people they should see as their fellow Americans. News outlets examined withdrawal of key government position candidates over dark pasts, allegations of impropriety directly related to what they would be tasked to run, roll back of regulation, climate science denial, the scrubbing of climate change from the government’s website including statistical data once accessible. The EPA gag order, pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord, reversing a pending Obama era restriction on dangerous pesticides; it’s all been covered, as have bathroom bills, the keystone and Dakota pipelines, to name but a few issues. Flying over the heads of those yelling about the extent of Russia coverage the daily bombshells, not exaggeration, about senate, house committees uncovering the depth of interference, press reports about key parts, the Obama administration’s response, more major players names revealed. Portions of the Steele dossier that check out, have been proven true; reporting on events Michael Flynn’s foreign agent work, repeated lies about that work and subsequent firing, Paul Manafort’s payments from pro Russia forces in Ukraine and how it ties into a much bigger story on what both Russia and the Trump campaign were doing, coordination that might have taken place. Unearthed previously undisclosed meetings with Russians, think Don Jr.’s Trump Tower confab with a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton, then candidate Trump’s meeting with Sergey Kislyak, Jeff Session’s meetings with same. Realities the first on our given list could have broken serious laws unto some level of treason, the omissions left off Jared Kushner’s security clearance and financial disclosure forms. Events like Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing statements proven false, his later found on foreign person surveillance conversations with the Russian ambassador, Sessions’ recusal. Whitehouse, president Trump’s reactions to unfolding developments, that one on one meeting with James Comey where we later found out A- he wasn’t the one who asked for it and B- the president demanded loyalty, his firing of Comey, the alleged dressing down and name calling Trump did of Sessions due to his recusal, his resignation he refused to accept, the meltdown Trump reportedly had when he was told a special counsel had been appointed. Further, that you can’t ‘talk about jobs’ when the congressional legislative agenda post standard August recess, members having to return every 3 days preventing a full recess, the firing of Jeff Sessions and a recess appointment of someone more ‘Trump friendly’ who would fire Robert Mueller and end the Russia investigation before we known the whole truth, is chalk full of maintenance business. Raising the debt ceiling, funding the government past the cut off and disaster relief for areas hit by both hurricanes Harvey and Irma looming U.S., U.S. territory impact of José and Maria; knowing those issues have been fraught with conflict pushing a decade since the advent of the tea party, now freedom caucus, winning congressional seats. Who are perfectly fine with shutting down the government to get what they want circa Ted Cruz in 2013, who want cost offset for disaster relief if they are going to ‘fork over money’ to help desperate people devastated by mother nature; conveniently while denying climate change and things that can, could and should be done to mitigate its effects, who won’t raise the debt ceiling (an arbitrary number) AKA agree to pay the nation’s outstanding bills. Before that it was the healthcare fight, stated desire to move on to tax reform after the epic healthcare fail, tweets about banning transgender persons in the military, Whitehouse decisions to rescind DACA dominating current headlines. Along with the short term deal to accomplish the 3 pronged hurdle of legislative business, thought next to impossible because president Trump did a deal with democrats excluding republicans and increasing the animus between him and his party stemming from his threats on healthcare, his humiliation of Jeff Sessions, threats to fire the special counsel, shockwaves generated post firing the FBI director. Democrats, progressives on a national level, currently in the substantial minority can’t ‘talk about jobs’ when they are the only ones taking all Russia components seriously; refusing to forget, ignore the reality left the way things are they could cripple our critical infrastructure by attacking computers attached to nuclear facilities, water treatment, electrical grid control. When they are the only ones whose committee holds any credibility seeming what Devin Nunes did getting supposed ‘evidence’ of incidental surveillance from the Whitehouse then running back to the Whitehouse alerting Trump to what they had. What he has done, issuing subpoenas and threatening to hold people such as attorney general Jeff Sessions, present FBI director in contempt of congress prior to simply asking them to appear; Nunes who supposedly recused himself after showing his committee’s hand to the Whitehouse he was charged with investigating, another former Trump campaign person hired. Understanding democrats, liberals, progressives can’t mobilize new business when they stand on the front lines of ensuring there isn’t a Muslim ban, preventing 23 million people from being unceremoniously thrown off their healthcare, the government subsidies that allow the ACA to function continue. Never mind exposing what the republicans wanted to replace it with killing the Medicaid expansion, skyrocketing premiums for people with preexisting conditions; encompassing those like Jimmy Kimmel’s infant son born with a heart defect, also known as born with their ‘preexisting condition.’ You can’t ‘talk about jobs,’ ‘talk about infrastructure’ at the same time going up against Trump administration justice departments’ expanding the powers, reach and priorities of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), waging war on marijuana independent states who have legalized weed under states’ rights either for medical use recreational use, many times both; who wants to throw us back to mandatory minimum sentences for drug crime, rolling back much of decriminalization laws nationwide, enfolding marijuana in larger drug efforts in an era where studies prove it more and more harmless than its fellow illegal substances. Jeff Sessions is still calling it a gateway drug, when the true gateway drug of the 21st century is opioids leading to heroin addiction starting in doctors and dentists offices as legitimate pain management; crackdowns making life miserable for chronic pain sufferers. Almost 100 people a day are dying from overdoses and administration officials remain reluctant to declare a state of emergency regarding opioids except in statements only; experts saying emergency activation’s not enough to make lasting dent in the crisis. Neither the justice department, health and human services seem to grasp treatment, not imprisonment, is the best option; president Trump just having nominated a new surgeon general end of July upon abruptly firing the previous administrations surgeon general without explanation. Talking about jobs seems foolish and tone deaf recognizing huge sections won’t be able to get newly created jobs with even a petty drug crime on their record seeing this [have you ever been arrested/convicted of misdemeanors] is a question common on fast food/retail applications, despite its blatant illegality, never mind anything higher. Incentive for long talked about mass incarceration increased by Sessions’ justice department rolling back Obama era initiatives to cut private prisons; attacking affirmative action on college campuses pushing minorities, blacks into the prison maw. Their siding with a bakery against an LGBT couple raising alarms about the slippery slope their interpretation leads us down; business discrimination on the basis of race, sex, gender identity, religion, ethnic, national origins, signs in windows saying no Muslims, no women, no transgender people; paving the way for them to defy other laws on food safety as a form of protest or expression via refusal, consumer protections because they are ‘inconsistent with its religious belief-’oh. Bringing up media or politician alike, where is there even room to suggest bettering the nation when you have to talk about the horrendous lack of staffing, the mass firings accompanying president Trump’s Whitehouse, the revolving door of west wing personnel and the drama surrounding each change? You can’t ‘talk about jobs,’ talk about infrastructure,’ ‘talk about meaningful education changes’ when you’re just trying to stop Betsy DeVos from privatizing everything, choking public education out of existence, when you’re just trying to hang on to the good things that were there as little as a year ago. Things the active administration is determined to destroy solely because it didn’t come from them, came from the other guy, the previous office holder; all covered by some aspect of the media in addition to Russia, Russia, Russia as Kulinski and his acolytes call it. Or their other reoccurring misconception, opposite flag burning everyone agrees you shouldn’t do it, calls it bad but few are zealots shouting prison time be doled out sans extenuating circumstances, like people being severely injured/killed. That because people care more about direct issues effecting their lives— do they have a job, will they, their children especially one with preexisting conditions have healthcare, will I, we, my family be able to afford available healthcare, manage our premiums, stagnating wages, fighting for a $15 minimum wage because it’s the job they could get and are trying to raise a family, care for elderly parents, they don’t care about Russia in the slightest. Because they live in the heartland, farm country, the rustbelt any region/destination designated ‘Trump country,’ they don’t care about Russia; agree with their neighbors Russia is BS, nothing but sore loserdom. Well there’s a guy in Ayrs Iowa who wants to know about at least one section of the Russia sandal; astutely asking his congress person at a town hall if he was open to releasing Fusion GPS cofounders testimony on the collection methodology and truthfulness of the Steele dossier. Imagine what other non-deplorable, probably not his core base, Trump voters want to know. Bigger question, how do we convince people Russia is something to care about, the 1/3 of Trump supporters who don’t believe Donald Trump Jr.’s Russian lawyer meeting happened it matters, if they don’t cover it in depth, tell American’s why they need to care, how this impacts those very kitchen table issues in the long run.
Long prior to Americans having consistently heard the word collusion let alone knowing what it meant, prior to Russia being so much as a whisper even pertaining to select members of the Trump campaign staffs’ previous job descriptions, Donald Trump proved he was a maverick candidate, and not just a maverick candidate doing away with endless rules, stuffy strictures of political decorum unto giving voters a better candidate, a better glimpse of a candidate. But instead the type of maverick flouting the system in order to destroy it, seemingly uncaring if it was replaced with anything better or worse; who didn’t seem to understand, know historical events behind why candidates release a section of their tax returns, why candidates disclose portions of, significant markers, in their medical history/medical records. Begging the question why since the days of FDR’s polio hidden from the public, John F. Kennedy’s rumored Addison’s disease, Richard Nixon’s funny tax returns haven’t we written into law preventatives to keep said situations from reoccurring; oh right because every candidate going forward from those events has, as a matter of tradition voluntarily submitted aforementioned materials in the spirit of transparency, deference to history. Leaving us reeling when a candidate doesn’t follow the standard path, Donald Trump proved, continues to prove we can no longer rely on norms, tradition; from the beginning candidate Trump branded himself un-politically correct displaying it in the worst of ways. Calling Mexicans rapists, drug dealers, accusing Mexico of not sending their best rather sending people with problems, calling for a Muslim ban ‘until we can figure out what the hell is going on,’ making fun of a reporter with a disability while calling standard media fake news; an ABC reporter a sleaze for following up to see if there really was 6 million dollars raised during the veterans event he held in lieu of attending a scheduled debate since the check Trump cut was for 1 million and only appeared after he was confronted about it, and supporters eagerly ate it up. Candidate Trump resisted basic primary actions like releasing your tax returns that appealed to 1950’s idyllic America nostalgists, who don’t want government in their lives, telling them what to do and theoretically appealed to younger voters, young conservatives, republicans in the era of Edward Snowden. Identical candidate Trump who skirted releasing his medical records, pertinent medical information despite both he and Hillary Clinton, the undisputed front runners being the oldest candidates running in the modern era. Only releasing a dubious, immediately thought fake doctor’s letter to one up questions on Hillary Clinton’s heath; culminating in her 2016 9-11 remembrance day collapse and accompanying media dust up her people didn’t tell America promptly she had pneumonia. Adding to the deceitful, potentially nefarious, unquestionably untrustworthy nature of his position/behavior regarding the information is the respective excuses and sleight of hand employed in doing so. Where he repeatedly claimed he didn’t release his tax returns because he was under routine audit, openly saying he would happily release said returns upon its completion; though the IRS was clear an audit does not preclude someone from making their taxes public, in the context of running for public office. Finally settling on it’s not a law I don’t have to so I’m not going to; if that’s your stance own it, stand up for it, but don’t put us though the dog and pony show other stuff ignoring what started the tradition in the first place. Ratcheting up things with the medical statement via a little known gastroenterologist later admitting he wrote it in 5 minutes under pressure while Trump waited in a car; contrary to what easily tricked people, particularly Trump supporters, were lead to believe, he didn’t release his medical records to Dr. Oz while appearing on his show. What he gave Oz, with his own questioned history, was again hastily thrown together recent blood work and a possibly incomplete list of medications alerting constituents he takes both a statin and anti-baldness treatments belying his ‘astonishingly excellent health’ if he needs to take a statin; left unanswered, if he’s perfectly healthy why has he seen, been seeing a gastroenterologist for 35 years? Held up against the endless questioning about Hillary’s health, the revealed medication regiment receiving new scrutiny post her collapse, it should be frighteningly simple; once you reach nominee status, you have been accepted by your party as the nominee representing democrats, republicans, independents, the green party you must within, say 30 days, release X years of your tax returns up to and including the current year you possess returns for. One of the reasons there was so much speculation was because of partial returns leaked to media and gargantuan losses listed, amounts making it feasible he might not have paid taxes over nearly 20 years; then the 2005 snippets indicated he did pay taxes and supporters shouted vindicated! Not really when the standard is release your complete tax return, he didn’t release so much as a scrap of a document someone instead sent it to the media; all of it unnecessary drama by design meant to confuse and perplex voters who can’t spend every spare waking moment following politics. Too it makes it much easier for the public to gage your truthfulness about your income, determine if you are wealthy are paying your fair share, see who you own money to foreign and domestic, where conflicts of interest might be; generating an informed decision about whether or not to vote for you Russia or no Russia. Once elected it makes it much easier for the government ethics office to navigate divesting your businesses, especially if you are an international business man, sans running afoul of the emoluments clause, conflict of interest statutes. Saving whole reams of paper and ink on news stories, countless hours of video news exposing the dozen ways he, president Trump hasn’t done that, the numerous laws he could be, is violating; freeing up various parts of the government to not investigate this, comment on it and focus on kitchen table issues facing average Americans. Once you reach nominee status you must release all relevant portions of your medical history: chronic conditions, medications, specialists you see, at minimum a statement from a physician on par with what Hillary Clinton released again after her pneumonia; continuing it has to be a practicing physician with a current medical license, general practitioner you’ve seen minimum in the last year, hopefully eliminating the Harold Bornstein factor. Considering the escalating radicalization of politics, bizarre behavior on the part of politicians not singularly attributed to religious ideology, stances on abortion, the 10 commandments in public places, on government property, but the regular public weeping of John Boehner earning him the derogatory nickname boo-hoo Boehner, to the candidate running for public office who tried to make his dog chief of staff, expletive filled rants of headline making Maine governor Paul LePage that had fellow lawmakers suggesting an intervention. Ben Carson who tried to connect Hillary Clinton Lucifer, another name for the devil, because she quoted a college professor who said on a book jacket “Lucifer was the first radical;” at least when Alex Jones suggested A- Clinton and Obama always smelled like sulfur and B- said smell meant they were demons he admitted in a custody case for his children he was ‘playing a character.’ There is an argument for insisting candidates for the highest offices president and vice president submit themselves to a cognitive and/or psychological exam. Ordinarily we would expect the voters to take one look at such displays and nearly instantaneously identify them as crazy, unstable, certainly unsuitable for the offices applied to, they were running to hold; as was the case of the guy who drank goats blood in college, Christine O’Donnell who equated masturbation with adultery additionally calling it selfish, proclaimed condoms wouldn’t prevent HIV/AIDS, inaccurate whether talking about the African continent epidemic or not. Yet with America’s increased aging population it arguably likewise has a hitherto undealt with senility problem viewing projections for Alzheimer’s alone, not including all forms of dementia, mental decline that could explain some Trump, GOP party votes. It’s a sad day when we potentially have to say to prove your sane, cognitively well before you run for office, nevertheless that’s where we are; unfortunately there isn’t a legal, logistical mechanism to take away the voter registration of someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, dementia, conative impairment. Complicating the issue exponentially with or without treatment, especially with it, there is a usually lengthy window where a person shows only mild impeding of function making them perfectly able to vote; thus denial of that right representing a true slippery slope argument, so the alternative is presenting voters with only predetermined well candidates. When there is as much circumstantial evidence preceding election day as there was pointing to a Trump mental health problem, cognitive impairment, psychiatrists were breaking the Goldwater rule to warn the public, associations and entities overseeing mental health are currently contemplating amending that rule to speak out on him during his short, to date presidency. There is now a book expressing the unanimous concerns of thousands of mental health professionals about Donald Trump who firmly believe their duty to warn outweighs their duty to refrain from diagnosing a patient they’ve neither met nor treated; the only real answer is to submit to testing conducted by a panel of phycologists, psychiatrists, neurologists specializing in cognition, dementia, Alzheimer’s, other impairing brain disease, combination of both expertise fields. The man who prompted independent media’s David Packman to do a series entitled ‘Can Trump Read’ noting the lengths he will go to, to avoid reading during proceedings as important as depositions, teleprompter gaffes leaving audience member’s jaws on the floor, misspelled tweets, did we forget COVFEFE, admissions he doesn’t read books and dictates his tweets to a personal assistant. Shockingly that he meets every criteria, observable mannerism exhibited by low literacy, low writing ability persons outlined in a Canadian crime prevention initiative aimed at identifying such petty ‘criminals’ offering education thus avoiding prolonged, future incarceration; regular citizens, nurses, home health aides, caregivers calling in to shows like Packman’s, others telling listeners they work with individuals suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s proper, brain decline, mental health diagnoses and he sounds like my clients, loved one. The man who to this day can’t read effectively off of a teleprompter inserting words, weird stops, one news anchor asking if it was a trick or a tic; sadly Packman compiled his evidentiary video after the election. Common expectation of privacy greatly diminished upon running to become, becoming president, because it is the presidency of the United States, an entire country not president of your local book club, librarian society; if we had to know Tim Kaine suffers from planters fasciitis (a minor foot problem), broke his collar bone, dislocated his shoulder and had his wisdom teeth removed, shouldn’t we know if our elected officials to the top positions are stable, more importantly the Goldwater rule never had to deal with Donald Trump, Donald Trump like persons. Panel issuing a majority ruling akin to the Supreme Court, dissenting opinions drafted, all available to the public facilitating an informed decision; if experts are found drafting opinions based on partisanism, financial incentives, kickbacks, bribery appropriate legal action is taken, image specialist hired at the guilty’s expense to repair the wronged party’s reputation. If the person is found in some way mentally, psychologically defiant, they are remitted to a medical or mental health facility for more extensive, in depth testing; it is taken to a judge to formally remove them from the ballot, institute a ruling they be barred from holding public elected office on the grounds of mental defect, until the symptoms of a previously undiagnosed mental health disorder are effectively treated, subsequently managed if possible. Excluding Russia, mental stability questions Trump’s own shady legal history should have barred him from being eligible to run for president; alleged mob ties, money laundering for Russians, foreign mob entities, years long relationship with legal gray area persons like Roger Stone. Yes perhaps excluding Hillary Clinton too should applicable ideas, concepts about what should be legal and illegal become law in the future, charting the timeline of the FBI’s first inquiry into her e-mail and private server; recognizing she would have missed 2015 primary filing deadlines in select states had she been prevented from registering due to an active investigation, doubtlessly making progressives, independents, Bernie bros, Bernie-crats to say nothing of millennials happy. But people already knew about her e-mail troubles, several hearings having been conducted on Benghazi, the thing that started it all, less and less focused on what happened there getting Americans killed, why there was such a security breakdown and no one waiting in the wings to extract them when things went horribly south. Instead increasingly focused on wild tales about Clinton’s negligence as secretary of state: alleging she was asleep when ambassador Chris Stevens was calling for help, accusing she told rescue forces to stand down though she is nowhere in the military chain of command; both proven irrevocably false and of course her e-mails, her emails, her private server, her private server ignoring the disarray and technological backwater she walked into as secretary of state. More than a few remembering Kevin McCarthy’s select committee on Benghazi comment relating to her poll numbers outing the fact republicans created it to eliminate her, their political rival. Mirroring reactions to things bringing down previous campaigns, repeated allegations of sex harassment, rape, anyone still remember Herman Caine, they’d formed an opinion on it either deciding they didn’t care or weren’t voting for her regardless. Biggest problem with the things now coming to light about Trump, his inner circle, campaign staff is the public, voters didn’t know about mob suspicions going back decades, they didn’t know about all the cagey people he regularly associated with, huge debts; they didn’t know about Trump Tower Moscow, believed him when he said he didn’t have any Russia ties, Russia deals, said he hadn’t called Russia in years, saw it as a positive persons i.e. Roger Stone and Paul Manafort were fired for various causes. Contents of the Steele dossier still being compiled, not yet leaked to media at that time; we the citizens still don’t know the complete content of aforementioned dossier, if we ever will. Putting aside hint, innuendo, maybe the mob ties and money laundering aren’t real or happened on Trump properties sans his knowledge, strong speculation as to whether the Moscow deal was something less than above board, disregarding the troubled pasts of those involved with it, assuming Roger Stone’s shady behavior is his own and he did nothing illegal for Trump, did so independent his asking or bring informed; of course we shouldn’t disqualify someone from the presidency on circumstantial evidence at best, or it should be done via voters at the ballot box just not willing to take the chance, not federal law. Let’s move to the active investigations, note the plural; beyond the Trump University lawsuit, though it is a red flag for fraud, the plethora of lawsuits from persons who believe they were swindled, claim they didn’t get paid-those could be attributed to being a business man, being a huge target susceptible to litigation. However, a woman submitting via court documents she was raped at age 13 by Trump; if his presence at the party/gathering is confirmed, rape aside, cavorting with a known sex offender in Jeffry Epstein. Admitted confessions to far from petty criminal activity, felony grade rape and or sexual assault, sexual battery; who doesn’t remember that Access Hollywood tape, him openly talking about forcibly kissing and groping women able to get away with it because he is a celebrity. Him caught on another tape commenting to a little girl he would be dating her in 10 years; the flurry of women who came forward asserting they were groped, kissed, fondled, harassed, threatened by unwanted sexual advances, threats of engaging in unwanted intercourse, frightened or intimidated by all of the above? Creating enough serious circumstantial evidence that should prompt legal proceedings that say minimally, conclude your legal cases on felony grade charges before you are eligible to run for president; preempting the next Trump-esque problem to plague our political system trailing from the highest office, time to enact a law now asserting no convicted felon can be president. Or it be subject to election commission review to ensure the felon is someone who’s mentality as is follows: yes I am a felon, I was able to turn my life around, I want to be president so I can 1 show other people that’s possible for them too, 2 make things better from the top down so people don’t have to go down the path I did. Pushing a step past the press stories we did see centering on Trump, Trump legal problems more extensive backgrounds on candidates; the first time we heard about possible mob ties shouldn’t have been in the midst of the Russia investigation, major details of which were only available after election and inauguration day. Nor the first time we heard about the imploded Trump Tower Moscow deal, or his relationship with felon Felix Sater, whom he downplayed as no longer a Trump associate, someone he couldn’t pick out of a room; yet was working with Trump business lawyer Michael Cohen on the deal during the 2016 campaign to the point of Trump signed a letter of intent to move ahead said deal. It shouldn’t have been a largely British newspaper The Guardian only beside independent media reporting U.S. allies had spotted suspicious activity between Trump campaign officials and the Russians; it should have been reported in real time press conference worthy, regular programming interruption worthy news made public so voters could render a fully educated decision. Not hidden by, it seems, the intelligence community while they gathered more information, sat on their hands at the same time the media portions rendered to both reporters and voters got nicknamed ‘pee-gate’ because it opened with bizarre sexual proclivities Trump supposedly indulged in spending time in Russia, recorded with ‘Russian prostitutes.’ New law, all relevant such material in the future is to be verified and released to the American people via press conference by appropriate government department i.e. homeland security or the CIA; even only partially confirmed intel should be shared with clear messages to viewers the raw data is without pending context. Had they done this, staunch Trump supporters wouldn’t have been able to as easily dismiss claims of Russian ties and crucial swing voters might have rethought their decision, as U.S. allies gain nothing if their intel is wholly wrong. Returning briefly to Trump’s exhaustively debated mental health, cognition, speaking of which what is he still doing on office; we have article 4 of the 25th amendment broadly stating if the president is incapacitated, unfit to exercise the duties of the office, the amendment can be invoked, glaring implication should be. There is impeachment when the president has broken the law or demonstrated gross incompetence, incompetence to the point of negligence; curious is what exactly else you call a sitting president who mixes up health insurance and life insurance, at least that’s the best educated guess to try and make any since of the few comments he’s made regarding policy substance on the subject. Routinely has no idea what’s in his healthcare bills frustrating his advisors, people trying to hammer out the details into workable legislation, needs the economy explained to him by business people struggling to find qualified workers. Now people who regularly read this blog understand how little validity such statements hold here, but president Trump must understand the whole picture to advise businesses to engage in job training, laser focus on what they actually need when crafting want ad job descriptions. What else do you call a president who, after a bizarre rally and rambling interviews given to print media, has officials expressing concerns he has access to the nuclear codes; that official being the former director of national intelligence James Clapper. Name a bigger demonstration of incompetence than negatively tweeting about the NFL and athletes taking a knee to protest police violence ignoring the literal humanitarian crisis happening in Porto Rico; where 6 days after a hurricane nearly wiped out the U.S. island territory people don’t have drinkable water, there is no power, their electrical grid utterly destroyed, generators are running out of gas even in hospitals and retirement/nursing homes causing death when life support equipment stops working. Piling insult upon injury announcing hospital ship the USNS Comfort will be headed to the island (after 4 days prep and 5 days to arrive) only after Hillary Clinton tweeted about it or he watched her All In with Chris Hayes interview where she suggested it. When North Korea, volatile, unstable, we have quite possibly never been so close to being on the brink of war North Korea is so thoroughly confused and desperate enough to understand Trump they are reaching out to republican analysts, republican strategists. Still neither the vice president nor congress has initiated the steps to invoke the 25th amendment or impeachment proceedings; and if congress remains inactive, there needs to be yet another law forcing their hand or putting it in the hands of another entity to act on best behalf of the people.
‘This Guy Has Emotional Problems’: The View Jumps On ‘Weeper Of The House’ John Boehner
Bringing us to, you can’t tell readers/viewers the American people are ok with the concept, idea, let alone solid evidence a foreign power tried to influence and did interfere with our election. To that end, if an incoming president is read in on detailed briefings explaining extensively, in certain facets as it happens, something as significant as Russians, any foreign power majorly attempting to actively tamper with our election, informed about bots, social media ‘fake news’ manipulation and can be completely nonchalant about it; it’s time to change some laws in this country. Because here are the parts that have far less to do with collusion by Americans, potentially a serving president and far more to do with intrusion the 21 to 39 states whose voting software was stolen, altered, weakened by hacking giving hackers opportunity to change name spelling, a single number in street address to prevent voting. Areas where someone, 99% likely Russians, literally did try to hack into voting machines roughly 2 days before voters hit the polls en mass; those now confirmed 21 states just notified by homeland security, though the breach was known about as far back as June. Facebook has similarly just acknowledged Russians both bought hundreds, possibly thousands, of ads on controversial issues aimed at swing state users, and created fake, American looking profiles meant to deceive fellow Facebook users into believing there were others who felt like them. One famous picture being of a father and his little girl, his a name that doesn’t exist in the town/state he says he’s from, picture actually of a man living in Brazil; on top of Russians, Russian cut outs using their event planning/organization tool, coupled with those fake profiles no doubt, to organize anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rallies. Exponentially more disturbing, until asked specific questions by congressional committees they weren’t looking closely at who was buying their ads some pertaining to decidedly American and decidedly election issues paid for in Rubbles. They first denied for months any such thing could happen, founder Mark Zuckerberg literally calling it crazy (his words), then only found hundreds of ads where thousands were used in France (a much smaller country) to attempt the same outcome they wanted here; problem much more extensive than anyone could have believed. The fact that just like hashtag Syriahoax following the Hillary Clinton hack, it may not be over; as this piece is being written ABC news obtaining a handful of the Facebook ads crafted by Russian actors using popular cartoons like Dora the Explorer to show how easily illegal immigrants can cross the border. Message to stop this we need Trump; possible Russian actors weighing in on the NFL controversy about athletes kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality siding with Trump stoked fires it’s disrespecting both flag, anthem and veterans who’ve fought across the globe for American ideals. Missing the chief point of what the flag stands for contrasted to blatant police violence against young, black and brown, predominately men, ending too often in death. Breaking, Russians apparently spent more money on twitter ads toward the same goals, fake troll farm news appearing more than bona-fide legitimate news; both merely removing ads directly traced to Russia not routed through intermediary countries, twitter only piggybacking off Facebook’s lead shutting down the accounts they flagged. Refusing to touch those identified by outside research; at present irritating congress with their lack of knowledge about what happened, their projected unwillingness to grasp the seriousness of the situation. More insidious is twitter has not banned anonymous accounts, may not collect enough information from users to do the little analysis Facebook has. A Ted Cruz aide coming forward talking about the odd skewing of social media response when his candidate went after Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton or other GOP rivals in the presidential primary, noting peculiarly the reaction was always strongest when coupled with criticisms against Trump; Google joining the growing list of social media and communication platforms to look for and discover Russian ads on YouTube, Gmail and elsewhere. Next we find out regarding Facebook, while they pretended to only recently find evidence of Russian bought ads, Russian activity on the social media platform connected to the election, twice last year they contacted the FBI about strange Russian activity tied to election proceedings. Leading watchers, journalists, reporters, news anchors to frustrating questions about are people at Facebook in bed with the Russians too, colluding too; because, it’s looking increasingly probable, not merely remotely possible, Russian agents, actors had help maximizing the impact of information, efforts down to individual voting precincts not limited to key swing states in general. If not people inside Facebook, floated as an annoyance rather than feasible reality, then who; whole reason for Mark Zuckerberg’s statement on increased scrutiny and filtering of political ads, clear labeling of content was, based on material/testimony given to congress, individual congresspersons are suggesting legislation that would regulate political ads on social media the same way the FCC has mandates for the same ads on television. Things they or the government entity monitoring the internet would have done well to previously have in place from the moment political ads could be bought on the site; bundled together with restrictions/standards for news available on the site, clear labeling of propaganda, satire, from the inception of news being fed into people’s social media feeds. Understanding 50% of Americans now receive the bulk of their news, cull their desired news from Facebook alone; excluding other social media feeds identical to the Facebook model accounting for 2/3 of online news consumption. Where was the cooperation between the internet regulatory entity, speculation there may not even be one since diligent congress persons can’t even figure out who polices, ensures foreign money isn’t used to buy American political ads on the internet against federal law, and Facebook to safeguard American consumers, world consumers really from precisely what took place, world citizens getting the wrong idea about Americans from social media propaganda doing far more than selling products? Assuming there isn’t one, an internet FCC needs to be formed immediately to deep dive investigate how it happened and mandate Facebook make relevant changes period, followed by twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, anywhere political ads and news feeds can be placed on the internet. Risking sounding redundant, we repeat what epitomizes incompetence more than being presented evidence of a cyber-attack on your democracy, voting systems, propaganda influence to change people’s minds and doing nothing; latest revelations about Facebook and our sitting president still only grudgingly acknowledges Russia might have hacked something to do with the election. Has made no major announcements, if not about what Russia has done, how involved it was and what specifically they used to pull it off, then what he/we intend to do as a nation to prevent cyber intrusion of the type discovered and more dangerous forms that can cripple our basic function. By comparison president Trump put together no less than a half dozen commissions on various issues, granted most participants left when they recognized what a farce it was, responding to his inadequate, inappropriate reaction to happenings like Charlottesville; but, while there was a business advisory council, manufacturing advisory council, one dealing with arts, another diversity, not forgetting the 2 remaining commissions on voter integrity and opioids. There was never one on cyber security; reiterating, not singularly what the heck happened with Russia, instead firmly acknowledging cyberwarfare is a real thing even on the unlikely outskirts Russia is not. Whether it was Russia who hacked the DNC/John Podesta or a disgruntled DNC staffer, several of them, known hacking groups i.e. Anonymous comes to mind; Roger Stone’s comments about him soon being in a barrel AKA hot seat where just hot aired bragging, he made a lucky guess rather akin to Mitt Romney in 2012 talking about Russia being our next biggest threat at a time when the middle east was the more present danger, we will face it in the future if we aren’t in the midst of it currently. Our military fighting a losing battle against sophisticated, high quality propaganda videos on YouTube, Facebook and twitter enticing young people throughout the western world to join ISIS, ISIL, execute attacks where they live in ISIS’ name; we sooner rather than later could confront the kind of infrastructure attacks used to make Ukraine a failed state. Proving no Kyle Kulinski ‘the guy’ you insist wants war with Russia, actually democratic strategist, is not ‘calling for’ ‘debating bombing Russia,’ beating the drums of war,’ another of your favorite phrases; he was asking a perfectly sane and logical question. We were attacked, good chance still being attacked through cyber means, have American confederates it seems in Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort (his list of names) aiding and abetting what the strategist rightly called a hostile foreign power; therefore, we should be debating how to respond. Chronicle he listed options; how many sanctions to impose, whether to ‘blow up’ the KGB, GRU, Russian counter intelligence only, largely believed responsible for the havoc wreaked on our election, video abruptly cut for Kulinski commentary. Where ‘blow up’ could have meant dismantle, render inert, damaging the Russian intelligence arm titled the GRU, cause internal problems paralleling what they did to us, ‘bomb’ specific GRU equipment targets if using conventional means; key, whichever way, is to have a strategic response putting Russia on notice what they did will not be tolerated, go unanswered, sending the message they better not do it, try it again. Absolute anathema to that reasonable request, course of action, we have a president content to sit on his hands; who has disparaging words for several groups within his own country, nearly every westernized nation on the globe and a few that aren’t, yet refuses to muster the slightest insult for Vladimir Putin after he personally ordered what went on. Trump’s secretary of state left sitting idle money to combat propaganda be it ISIS, Russia or budding newcomers, no qualms from the commander in chief; a commander in chief continually hosting Russians in the oval office usually throwing out American media to the point news personalities a-la Rachel Maddow are asking can we, American press, know about Russian visits at the same time they do instead of finding it on RT, Sputnik you know, Russian TV? Paralleling the ‘creepy’ Hollywood video calling for war with Russia Morgan Freeman saying we were attacked, are at war, Kulinski again taking issue with the language and tone; never stopping to ask what kind of attack or war Freeman was referring to. That we were attacked on a cyber front, are at war from a cyber perspective; how many people see ‘escalations’ with Russia a revival of the cold war, 21st century reincarnation of the cold war. Oblivious to what the commercial/PSA style video was telling Americans is A-how important this is and why; B- if congress won’t act Hollywood heavyweights are prepared to funnel their considerable resources into investigating what happened and how to prevent it to preserve our 241 year old democracy, yeah, shame on them. That being said, compartmentalizing the president momentarily, outside the commission he could have, arguably should have created, there are other steps to take, not all by him; where is the Federal Election Commission (FEC) who overseas election procedures, or whichever governmental department following the 3 basic things laid out by the New York Times to solidify the integrity of our physical election system? Common sense actions that needed to be standard operation already; conducting regular threat assessments to voter registration systems and removing old, outdated software, replacing aging voting machines with newer producing both electronic plus paper records, auditing votes and auditing them completely enough to determine problems, get to their root cause? Where is the law forcing them to do so if they are so lazy and inept not to see it needs doing; where is the federal funding given to state election operations to assure they can update their voting machines, machine software? Where is the federal funding, coordination apparatus to train poll volunteers on what to do if there is a SNAFU to avoid precisely what happened in Durham North Carolina; where the electronic check in system went down, was riddled with errors and there were paper check in slips, yet only 2 in the back of an election booklet. Sending poll workers sprinting to Kinkos as voters waited longer and longer in line; we’ll never know how many walked away frustratedly giving up, reminiscent of the horrendously long lines of 2012. Rounding out top reasons the left refuses to believe in the Russia scandal, believes the DNC/John Podesta e-mail hack insignificant apart from the public’s need to know the contents of those e-mails; in their opinion the DNC and Podesta both left their systems wide open for hacking absent rudimentary security. Ok fair enough, but repeating ourselves for the umpteenth time, where was the FEC making it regulation all major parties listed on the ballot RNC, DNC, independent, green party, particularly those in something as expansive as a general election, have a mandated level of security; where are government cyber security personnel both setting it up and teaching permanent committee staff as well as the litany of volunteers, persons who will be using it equally how to protect themselves and what to watch for? Answer nowhere, where are the laws mandating they do these things upholding democracy, answer nowhere, a disconcerting pattern throughout the election process on all fronts; not only was there no simple knock on then chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Shultz’s door when the FBI became aware of the DNC breach, they behaved almost identically with Facebook when they called to inform them of what they thought were Russian military intelligence operations related to our elections. Facebook’s complicity, complacency part of the problem, the larger malfunction getting less attention than necessary, the FBI didn’t tell them what else to look for; remembering from part 1, this is A to Z Russia’s playbook for undermining functioning democracies, didn’t tell them to check their ad buys, news feeds, event tool, look for markers indicating fake profiles, identify bots, send agents down there to look, contact counter intelligence at the state department, wherever and ask them to look? Epic fail followed by epic fail, when you confirmed that yes what Facebook saw was some type of Russian attempted interference, short of holding press conferences detailed in the above paragraph, you didn’t send out messages to American Facebook users this was happening, here are the ads it was attached to, here’s what it looks like, what we currently know about what it means so they wouldn’t be duped in their election choice? Remembering too pizza-gate had serious, nearly deadly consequences based on bologna; the Hillary Clinton sold Russia uranium story was misleading, totally non-factual whatsoever linked to Clinton foundation donations and her husband former president Bill Clinton’s speeches, no matter where they were. Truth was she signed off on the deal selling a volatile element used in nuclear energy and nuclear weapons as secretary of state lock step with at least half a dozen other agencies on a contract she couldn’t have stopped if she tried; Russia who turns out bought ads promoting both Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein well after Sanders lost the nomination. But Hillary Clinton was branded a sore loser by the left, progressives, Sanders and Stein supporters for saying so even if she didn’t know specifically how that was the case; the identical candidate Clinton telling us about Russia everyone ignored as the ravings of a floundering campaign by an establishment politician utterly misreading the mood of the country. Her loss boiled down to not ‘being able to figure out where the state of Wisconsin is and go there’ to paraphrase Michael Moore; ads bots, troll farms and still the insistence by Jimmy Dore, Kyle Kulinski and company Russia didn’t interfere. FBI’s 3rd strike, Paul Manafort was under 2 separate FISA, judge granted warrants between 2014 until early 2017 and you didn’t bother to alert his current potential boss he’s been under investigation and has a circumstantial history of unregistered foreign agent work, testified in an influence peddling scheme; further, these details are not available under a background check, why not? Because Donald Trump is above all else a business man, are we seriously trying to say he would have hired so many shady persons if he’d had any clue of their backgrounds, what employer would take a chance on such persons even flipping burgers never mind working in the top echelon of a political campaign; keeping in mind he did fire Manafort over the Ukraine payments only mystery is was that about the gray area of the payments or about optics, Manfort being a distraction, detraction from Trump the ‘star’ of the show? Getting that section of our house in order so to speak, simultaneously it’s time to completely rethink the agency’s party line ‘the FBI doesn’t comment on ongoing investigations’; case in point Mr. Manafort, right there with him Cater Page also under FISA granted surveillance during the campaign for suspicious, unexplained trips to Russia, Page also having a history of giving information to bad foreign entities necessitating his testimony, ironically Russians then too. There is no way the Trump campaign shouldn’t have been made aware of these 2 characters shady histories predictably affecting their current hire; Imagine also how things might have been different in terms of election outcomes, public understanding if citizens had known both Hillary Clinton and the Trump campaign were in the crosshairs of the FBI, the reasons, able to make a decision on equal footing. Because, as far as this author is concerned James Comey was vindicated for his regulation breaking press conference the second it was revealed he did said press conference thanks to a fake circulating document purportedly from the attorney general under president Obama Loretta Lynch describing she would not let the Clinton e-mail investigation go too far. Of course she drafted not such document thought to be Russian in origin; one more on a pile of puzzle pieces law enforcement agencies had voters needed before going to the polls. We must likewise recalculate, reevaluate what it means to ‘influence’ an election, avoid influencing an election when it comes to law enforcement informing the public; there was enough probable cause, evidence to begin and FBI probe into the Trump campaign, though not Trump himself, yet, there was enough evidence to not only grant warrants but FISA warrants directly tied to national security and credible suspicion the subjects(s) of those warrants respectively were working illegally, dubiously as a foreign agents, what FISA warrants are used for. These are exactly the things citizens should be privy to if they can also be privy to negative attack ads getting the names of the candidates right and little else; these are exactly the types of information meant to duly influence an election, any weighty decision, because we don’t want criminals, conmen, grifters, unknown, unrepentant felons in public office let alone the Whitehouse. And if you don’t possess the judgement to avoid such persons in your personal and business life, suss out such persons when seeking employees, staffing a political campaign, then you are unqualified to serve.
The problem isn’t singularly Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort’s foreign agent work and that it looks suspicious on its face you would want to work for another government getting paid, not like humanitarian efforts, bringing business ventures to 3rd world countries meant to gainfully employ desperately impoverished people, teaching small business skills, you started an initiative for solar energy giving people everything from hot water to electricity sans the standard utility pole and cable installation city/nationwide. Neither is it simply working for a foreign business in Germany, France, more remote part of the world looking to give them a commodity, idea, system only found in the U.S. at present; you’re working for the foreign affiliate of an American company the U.K., even an obscure former soviet bloc country, branch of a company looking to establish businesses in the U.S. These are individuals working on behalf of forgein nations in pretty sketchy ways; final legality of such work aside, rigorous debate likely forthcoming as to should government persons, military officers, intelligence agents i.e. Lt. general Flynn be able to be hired to lobby manipulation of foreign policy as he did, it’s how they did it. Both flouting a process by which you are approved to do said work, when there is a process to be approved; there is a mandatory registration especially Michael Flynn should have been aware of having worked for the DIA (defense intelligence agency). Flashing back to part 1, having been given a memo upon retirement not to do the very kind of work he was doing sans the necessary approval; moreover, having been reprimanded for similar issues regarding intel he gave persons in Pakistan on our efforts in Afghanistan. Hypocrisy in full view while chanting lock her up to Hillary Clinton at every RNC, republican event, speech he gave saying had he done half the stuff she did he would be in jail; ironic twist, he arguably did twice the things she did and probably won’t face charges for willfully lying to the FBI in order to renew his security clearance. The question is why not; now that may have changed based on new developments other legal hot water Flynn finds himself in, they may drop that specific charge exchanging them for more significant ones carrying increased jail time, forgo that single charge in deference to cooperation with authorities. But if it remains he doesn’t face charges sans the other components, we need to change enforcement of the laws in this country. Because, lying to the FBI is a crime period end of sentence; and, he didn’t lie about something silly, irrelevant or minor he could honestly chalk up to forgetting, being nervous or new to applying for said clearance, he’d done this multiple times before, he lied about tangible things you only lie about if you have something to hide, are trying to deceive someone, purposefully conceal information you don’t want people to find out about. Forgetting the security clearance application, the failure to register as a foreign agent plainly working as one, the string of lies about his work, conversations with the Russian ambassador, he told to both his boss, the president of the United States, vice president Mike Pence, Pence then regurgitating them to the media to making him look like a fool; Michael Flynn then as a coup De grâce, walks into the oval office and suggests a foreign policy strategy benefiting Turkey not America. A form of treason no question about it; backing up a single step, he took the job in the Whitehouse perfectly well aware of his work and what his pervious, concurrent employers might ask him to do. The Problem isn’t limited to his boss, president Trump, knew about Michael Flynn for 3 weeks, knew about his foreign agent, illegal at that point work, the web of lies he’d told before he fired him, isn’t compartmentalized to, had the media not broken this, he might still be in the Whitehouse; it’s that he never should have been there in the first place, in no way shape or form. Not exclusively because he was warned by none other than outgoing president Obama not to hire the controversial former DIA director who was fired for promoting, proliferating a litany of conspiracy theories, disparaging statements about Islam and Muslims painting all Muslims with the same brush as the violent, extremist ones when we know they aren’t all after the same goals, plenty want peace, call the violence, ‘holy war’ the antithesis of their faith, while working almost throughout his entire high level career in the middle east. The issue in Afghanistan shouldn’t have been that hard to dig up noting his résumé, asking around to his prior employer the U.S. military, U.S. government about a general opinion, feel regarding the man going all the way back to the campaign. Circling us around again to competence, you didn’t vet your campaign staff, you did a background check on Flynn before hiring him so you said, but seemingly ignored his foreign agent work and the compromising position it put him in, that his security clearance would be, should be null and void once that work was discovered? Feigned ignorance about his foreign ties though congress sent you a letter warning you he was being paid by a foreign government, twice Flynn’s own lawyers alerted your administration he might have to register as a foreign agent; and you didn’t rethink your national security advisor? Paul Manafort is a staggeringly worse case of breaking existing law who should have been warier about getting involved with dubious business dealings foreign or domestic, thought twice about ambiguous possibly illicit meetings with foreign persons in the middle of a political campaign previously tangled up in an influence peddling scandal. Blowing his case wide open isn’t merely payments from pro Russia forces over Ukraine, payments from a Cyprus bank, transactions that spell money laundering to those who can read such signs, but ties to Russians where he promised to benefit the Putin government by influencing politics and media coverage stateside; which follows his attaching himself to the Trump campaign culminating in the RNC platform change to a more pro-Russian stance on Ukraine. Manafort who has a long history of foreign agent work violating the Logan act preventing non-government official U.S. citizens from acting against American foreign policy during foreign agent work or negotiating with counties currently in disputes with the United States. Mr. Manafort uncovered to have had a role in protest attacks on U.S. military personnel circa 2006 showing up for a joint exercise between U.S. and NATO forces partnering with the Ukraine, resulting in soldiers fleeing, exercise being called off; backing behind it of course, the pro-Russian political party of Ukraine the party of regents, paying Manafort millions. Paul Manafort whose current job is supporting the Kurdish independence referendum in Iraq, totally opposite our foreign policy wanting the country to remain whole, rumored he was going there to see the vote. Pattern rearing its ugly head, again we aren’t talking about socio or cultural anthropologists, human rights, peace activists familiar with the different ethnic groups, long held histories contributing to the fighting there saying here is a way we can stabilize the region, give each group X piece of land where they currently live, make sure each section gets either equal parts of the valuable resources or 1 valuable resource only stipulation is free flowing trade between each country and freedom of movement with easily procured passport documents between each newly formed country. On the contrary, the only reason Paul Manafort cares one wit about Kurdish independence is whoever is paying him to get these people’s hopes up and anger the official government, cause fear in surrounding countries also housing numerous Kurds who might want the same where they are. News anchors astutely asking if he has a return ticket, was he coming back, or is this a convenient way to avoid his American legal troubles? Questions taking on new strength when the secession vote wasn’t marginally close, Kurds overwhelmingly voting for their independence prompting the Iraqi government to send troops to secure oil fields there and issued an ultimatum to release 3 airports encompassing the area or be shutdown with a flight ban; bringing us back to Manafort and if that flight ban goes into effect, extremely likely as Kurdistan has rejected the demand, can he come back, get back? Likewise for the hundredth time we are forced to ask where is high level governmental law enforcement, FBI, one of the alphabet soup of agencies waring Trump, Trump’s campaign apparatus about Manafort’s prior history, their suspicions about the 2006 Ukraine incident; intervening when it was obvious he was at it again manipulating foreign policy L.A. Times reporting on the RNC shift in stance on Ukraine, against an invaded nation? For god sakes you raided his home with a granted ‘no knock’ warrant to avoid destruction of key documents, data and you hadn’t/ haven’t gotten around to petitioning a judge to seize his passport, restrict his travel to/from non-extradition treaty countries? Latest intricacy to pop up, Manafort then used his position as campaign manager to sell access/intel to high level Russians (he says) in order to recoup debts owed to him; sharp journalists wondering if he was doing the reverse, using it to pay off debts since the Russian he contacted was a former business partner alleging Manafort stole his money? Behaviors that are or should be blatently illegal especially from the foreign involvement aspect, giving it to persons from a hostile foreign government; growing mystery is how Paul Manafort has avoided jail time, was not already in jail by the start of Donald Trump’s campaign. Kind of puts into new light the Ukrainian American doing independent research into him who landed in the Clinton campaign and continued her work now doesn’t it? Cater Page caught giving information to Russians at the New York chapter of VEB (a Russian) bank should have been prevented from taking a job at that high a level in any political campaign, due to not stopping at being a witness, but intricately involved, handing over information to people who turned out to be Russian spies; his, Flynn’s and Manafort’s shaky histories with the law should have been front and center on an in depth background check conducted at the level of the serious job he was applying for. Unquestionably we shouldn’t block someone from their livelihood, career field on pure speculation, innuendo, but there comes a point where circumstantial becomes substantial and national security supersedes job security; Cater Page could secure other employment unrelated to VEB bank, any foreign bank or political campaigns at any level. Dido one Felix Sater convicted felon with purported Russian mafia ties; reviving the broken record, it isn’t just that Donald Trump was attempting to do a Trump Tower Moscow deal behind the backs of America’s public, voters telling people at rallies, media he has no ties, hasn’t talked to Russia in years. It isn’t what Sater and Trump business lawyer Michael Cohen said in now published emails about thinking their negotiated deal would help them elect their boss/business associate president, easily put down to exaggeration and bragging; it’s that by law you shouldn’t be able to cavort with known felons, independent Mr. Trump saying in a lawsuit he couldn’t pick Sater out of a room, but who knew him well enough to be ok with his participation in the deal, while running for president. Judging by Sater and Cohen’s comments it leaves story followers to posit the question, assuming he wasn’t just bragging, engaging in exaggeration, to some extent believed a completed deal would aid Trump in getting elected, how much campaign access did he obtain, what damage or detriment did he do to the campaign with that access, a guy called too sketchy for the Russians? Tracking Trump administration main players, it isn’t simply boiled down to Jared Kushner tried to set up communication channels with the Russians seeking better relations talked about during the campaign, it’s how he did it; he did it not merely as a backchannel rendered unnecessary because they were the incoming administration, floated better relations with the soviet country and still got elected indicating Americans had no problem with it or didn’t care, but purposefully did it that way to circumvent standard monitoring. Put forth using a U.S. Russian embassy to create mentioned channel that had the Russian ambassador ‘taken aback;’ making him extremely naive or utterly crazy in the eyes of intelligence experts, former Whitehouse personnel. That he seems to have done it in an effort to find backing for his failed 666 5th avenue investment renders him another in a mounting list of persons trying to use the campaign, transition and/or the presidency for profit; that he did this leaving so many pertinent things off his security clearance and financial disclosure form should have automatically triggered revoking of his security clearance and his ouster from his Whitehouse position controversial enough because he is the president’s son in-law. Going down the list of legal oddities, gray areas and almost flagrant law breaking, under the law if Donald Trump Jr. can go to the meeting he did, via the circumstances he did and not be guilty of treason on par with what will get you sent to jail for a lot of years versus the section that puts the death penalty on the table if convicted; if he is not able to be brought up on some legal statute carrying a number of years jail time, we need to change some laws in this country. Because, to make crystal clear once and for all what he participated in wasn’t standard opposition research, doesn’t parallel to Hillary Clinton and Ukraine, is the illegal variant on the Steele dossier; Donald Trump Jr. at minimum broke campaign finance law in accepting something of value from a foreign person as a campaign contribution, that e-mails about the meeting mention it coming from the Russian government as part of a larger effort to help his father win election to the presidency adds up to textbook collusion of the kind resulting in legal charges. Weighing his actions you also are forced to ask a whole different category of recurring questions, where is the class, training, advice for political novices just getting their feet wet in politics, where is there any guidance for the inexperienced trying not to break the law; insert dead silence because there appears to be none, leading to the logical follow up question did Trump Jr. remotely understand what he was doing was illegal? Certainly his constantly changing stories, later confirmed to congressional committee phone calls about that meeting not previously disclosed points to him attempting to cover up his wrong doing; however, when he did it did he know it wasn’t standard opposition research, looking at who attended the meeting with him dubious Manafort and equally inexperienced Kushner is it possible until the story broke and staffers were devising a response only then did someone finally stand up and shout to him and his father both—that’s illegal otherwise he had no clue? That in mind, laws going forward should read, you have a maximum of 30 days to register as a foreign agent or face legal action, none of the repeatedly seen retro-active filing these individuals and their lawyers are so fond of; apart from that, you’d better prove you were in some remote hole no phone/internet service, some backwoods hospital suffering if you haven’t registered. People who have ever been convicted, found doing foreign agent work sans registration should be suspended from it for a duration to be determined or barred from it entirely in the future depending on severity and circumstance; repeat offenders most certainly life-long banned. Persons with criminal histories, repeated turns turning states, federal evidence for no jail time or reduced jail time in the capacities both Manafort and Page, Mr. Sater were should be equally banned from serving on a political campaign, in political office, siting administration occupying any high level position by virtue of the nature of their crimes; dido Michael Flynn found giving secrets to Afghans, his being fired/forced out of the DIA for cause. It’s time to reinstitute awareness and use of the Logan act, shore up the Logan act to indisputably clarify the difference between advising foreign governments on their foreign or domestic policy and actively, deliberately undermining, subverting U.S. policy toward that country. Here at home we need to stop depending on, expecting top officials to magnanimously do the right thing, in the Trump era and beyond those days are gone; there should have been an immediate mechanism that fired Michael Flynn the moment Sally Yates informed persons about his potential to be compromised. In addition to informing his boss, Whitehouse counsel there should have been a member of law enforcement, law enforcement agency called; upon verifying the validity of what Yates told the president, they marched into his office, the oval office, wherever Flynn was to be found announced his firing and why, escorted him to his desk to collect personal items, relieved him of his entrance badges, codes, exc. on the grounds he represents a threat to national security. Jared Kushner subjected to identical treatment upon revelations about both his security clearance and financial disclosure forms being woefully inaccurate, incomplete, again none of these retroactive amendments, additions meant to save your legal backside these people’s lawyers always bring up; upon questions being raised it should have meant an immediate suspension pending investigation. At determination of how much was left off, willfully omitted or how forgetfully incompetent and incapable Kushner was, an immediate revoking of that clearance, firing and subsequent removal from the building again traced back to threatening national security. Taking both decisions out of the hands of the president who could be pulling several variations on ‘Nixonian,’ history will henceforth call them ‘Trumpian’ tricks. If we are not going to restrict family member involvement in political campaigns the way we prevent them from serving in lower level offices of elected officials they are related to either by blood, marriage or adoption, through nepotism laws, then we need the above referenced classes to inform incoming political newbies what the laws are and what the ramifications are for their violation, put in place strictures limiting them to answering phones, placing signs, conducting polls, writing slogans, not taking highly important meetings. Donald Trump Jr.’s a case in point to bar them altogether for paralleling reasons we possess nepotism laws; because almost guaranteed is Trump senior would not be facing more obstruction of justice charges than those stemming from Comey and Flynn if Jr. were not his son, he would have fired him for taking the meeting, not informing him about it, for doing something illegal versus crafting parts of the misleading statement to media and consistently covering for his child. Generally also seen as why you don’t mix family and politics, enter Jared Kushner and his boondoggle of a real-estate venture 666 5th avenue; and reliable speculation president Trump, who hired his son in-law as an advisor, permitted him to gallivant around the globe superseding the secretary of state in many cases in order to, for the zillionth time, secure funding for this massive debt, overwhelming black eye on the Kushner/Trump family empire. Situation soon to be described in a law textbook as either the perfect example defense in favor of nepotism laws or a prime example of conflicts of interest to be avoided at all costs for next presidents and their family members.
Should a president now or in the future ever be caught doing what we know president Trump has done with his staff, firing Sally Yates because she allegedly warned him about Michael Flynn’s probable compromised position susceptible to blackmail, Trump’s use of the word betrayal in referring to her refusal to enforce his, majority opinion including hers, unconstitutional travel ban; daring to ‘squeal’ on Flynn, take your pick frightening pundits, analysts, commentators. Demanding the resignation of all U.S. attorneys including previously tapped to stay Preet Bharara speculatively for investigating Trump family finances as they had so far come across his desk. The entire James Comey saga, humiliatingly dismissed for ethically doing his job, refusing to abandon the Flynn investigation, refusing to put himself in the same box he did with Hillary Clinton and announce publicly the president wasn’t personally under investigation knowing how early it was into aforementioned investigation, how quickly that could change; president Trump demanding something no president should from an independent law enforcement entity, loyalty, from Comey at a one on one, impropriate dinner. Demanding the resignation of Jeff Sessions, regardless of if he refusal to accept it; never mind being dressed down, called an idiot for following the law and recusing himself, the documented meltdown he had upon being informed a special counsel had been appointed blaming that too on Sessions and his decision to follow the legal statutes of America. Forcing people out, think Walter Shaub former director of the government eithics office, because they feel they can no longer do the job they were hired to do; pushing a scientist to change their testimony on climate change realities before congress. Resignation of the acting head of the DEA as he slowly realizes our sitting president has no respect for the rule of law; presumably referencing his now former position carrying out directives of an attorney general who wants to re-declare war on pot when states repeatedly vote to legalize it’s use in various situations, who wants to reinstate mandatory minimums for drug crimes centered around marijuana, hardly noticing the opioid crisis, never mind understanding what to do about it aimed at literally saving lives, not stopping at prosecuting addicts. Not dismissing the personal element in the least, Chuck Rosenberg was friends with James Comey and has finally had enough; list not calculating the mass exodus at the state department, both those asked to leave and those who felt they couldn’t stay there any longer either. If this is how things are going under our current legal codes, then it’s time to change, better enforce some laws in this country; because, it shouldn’t be happening. As analysts stated discussing the Comey screed and the fact that while he, president Trump has the legal, job description given right to fire his previous FBI director; how and why he did it was wrong, amounts to obstruction of justice. Because, using parallel illustrations of their point i.e. commenting on possible military action, because you have the power to order military force doesn’t mean you can exercise it to punish, gasp kill, persons for sleeping with your wife; you can pardon someone, however if you pardon them because you received a bribe of thousands of dollars, you are still guilty of bribery, intent matters. Fairly obvious, you can’t fire people for investigating you whether that’s former FBI director James Comey or Mr. Bharara; relatedly people who work in adjacent government positons job descriptions don’t enfold protecting you from investigation of your potential wrong doing. The attorney general of the United States is not your personal attorney meant to shield you from legal consequence; members of congress, whether they serve on oversight committees charged with unraveling the Russia matter or mind simple governance, awaiting the day they’ll be called upon for comment, to decided articles of impeachment, what have you, are not there solely to provide this function either, minimum possessing their own workloads to manage for the American citizenry. Therefore you cannot berate them for refusing to show you loyalty, berate them for not protecting you as Trump reportedly did to Mitch McConnell among others. Concurrently Trump’s staff he’s on good, functional working terms with canceled its initial ethics training and has had no end of ethics debacles ever since; Kellyanne Conway hocking daughter Ivanka’s clothing line on Fox news has become the lease of it. Surpassing isn’t this precisely what they lambasted Hillary Clinton for on the how-to’s of security clearance and classified material handling, that she could never make herself available for the in person tutorials thus not knowing what C meant in a sensitive document guessing it was denoting paragraphs when it actually stood for classified, clamoring she was too careless with said materials to vote for while even fellow democrats shouted her security clearance should be revoked at minimum until she’s sat the needed tutorials? The Trump administration holds a nearly unprecedented number of inexperienced persons occupying high level positions who’ve never been in politics, understandably never heard of the litany of laws affecting the jobs they hold, the work they do and you cancel ethics training? Ethics training desperately needed since no less than half a dozen cabinet secretaries are under investigation, ethical scrutiny by their various department heads for private plane travel on the taxpayers’ dime; most egregiously Tom Price who racked up over a million dollars in such fees when there were almost exactly twin timed commercial flights at a fraction of the cost to short distance places like Washington D.C. to Philadelphia, where thousands take commuter trains, drive daily. Price subsequently only offering to reimburse the American people thousands for his individual seat on each flight ignoring expenses allotted to pilots, gas, the extras accompanying a military plane, noting the entire plane took off because he wanted it to; leading Mr. Price’s resignation and a whole laundry of other officials doing the same thing. Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin whose wife was recently in hot water for tweeting a picture of herself getting off a government plane listing the designers she was wearing, who requested a government plane fort his European honeymoon withdrawn after press got wind; who did take a military plane to Kentucky on ‘government business’ also standing atop fort Knox and viewing the total solar eclipse. EPA head Scott Pruitt under fire for trips to his native Oklahoma where he may run for governor, Pruitt who likewise elicited at $25,000 a private phone booth alleging security but the EPA already has a secure communications area, SCIF just not in his office; who lined up a round the clock 18 man security contingent, remembering he works for the EPA not the CIA so what is he hiding and why the need for such overblown security? Secretary of the interior Ryan Zinke who stuck taxpayers with his flight on an oil and gas giant’s private jet while pushing to give away more public land to the oil and gas industry, balking at national monuments created under Obama, a-la bears ears. Veterans’ affairs secretary David Shulkin and his wife went on an ‘official overseas trip’ where they took in European sites, attended Wimbledon; hypocritically telling his own department to tighten their belt on travel looking to reduce costs by squeezing his underlings who probably don’t do much travel to begin with. Evolving information energy secretary Rick Perry took private flights a mere day before Price’s resignation and Kellyanne Conway hitched at least a ride on one of Price’s flights that has democrats demanding answers; others Betsy DeVos and Wilber Ross cleverly circumvented the plane cost controversy, almost creating another, because these persons are so individually wealthy they own their own private planes, no real consolation to the American people. Following the money has proven a timeless adage in uncovering criminality, nefariousness and dubiously done activities and proves so again in tracking inauguration money raised but not used that has since gone missing while the Whitehouse remains either cagey or silent on what happened to it; what it was/is being used for they will speak about seems disingenuous to the purpose it was donated. Accounted for funds, a mere drop in the bucket of final totals, have gone to both redecorating the Whitehouse and improvements to vice President Mike Pence’s residence, 3 million suddenly going to hurricane relief charities. When pressed inauguration fund managers nonsensically reporting the drastically smaller crowds and lesser caliber music bookings cost a whopping 25 million comprehending president Obama’s 2009 ceremonies, with close to every prominent musical act of the day, music legends like James Taylor only cost 5 million; therefore millions apparently disappearing into the ether. Dovetailing into the next money outrage that should be sweeping the nation, Russia causing a different kind of ethical scandal than that surrounding collusion, obstruction of justice when it was front and center in the press the RNC as well as Trump’s re-election campaign donations are fronting Donald Trump and Donald Trump Jr.’s legal fees, dido proceeds from ‘Make America Great Again’ (MAGA) slogan hats; interestingly doling out 50,000 on Jr.’s legal defense before it was public knowledge he’d met with that infamous Russian lawyer. Hundreds of thousands more spent on lawyers for him and his father to represent them and resolve the Russia matter; purported billionaire status aside, how is this not illegal on its face because donors to the RNC gave to benefit, advance the republican party, not a single member and not specifically Donald Trump, gave to support republicans in their pursuit of office not essentially bail them out of jail, provide high priced lawyers average persons couldn’t afford in a million years. Holding even greater significance perusing likely re-election campaign donations from ordinary citizens versus millionaires, billionaires like recently passed Roger Ailes, longtime contributor and mega rich person Sheldon Adelson and others, some regular persons seen burning there MAGA hats after Trump’s stance on keeping DACA, working something out with DACA. Mike Pence months back assured citizens via the press, quelling reporter questions, his super PAC funds were not going to his legal bills forming the question as Rachel Maddow did, is that where those disappeared inauguration dollars are going, have already gone; Pence’s spokes people continue with staunch no’s, however we’ve seen vice president Pence either has a very loose relationship with the truth an equally very limited understanding of the reality of what’s going on around him. Recall the repeated denials about Trump campaign Russia ties, Michael Flynn’s foreign ties, his conversations with the Russian ambassador proven true and either Pence a liar or woefully misinformed; recurring figure Michael Flynn has used relatives as a front to begin a go fund me page to raise dollars to pay his high priced lawyers, because like Pence he doesn’t possess the Trump purported billions or connections to come up with huge sums of cash. Returning to ill-advised shirking of ethics training, ethics training that would have afforded our novice president crash courses in nepotism law preventing daughter Ivanka and son in-law Jared from obtaining advisory jobs in his administration, whether receiving a salary or not, he’s now reportedly questioning instead of installing a justice department lawyer to craft a dissenting opinion to long held policy going back to the enforcement of the law after president Kennedy gave his brother Robert a job as attorney general. Mr. the one thing he understands is optics having been in reality TV might not then pass over the next in line to serve as acting director of the ethics office for someone with a reputation on the permissive side of things just before that son in-law found 75 financial connections he ‘plum forgot’ to innumerate on his financial disclosure. Competence rearing its persistent head repeatedly is slammed in our faces once more, jobs made all the more controversial by reporter revelations the couple Steve Bannon derogatorily called Javanka not singularly used private e-mail for some Whitehouse business, non-public schedules and returning sent messages, but created private AOL type accounts before coming to the Whitehouse seemingly specifically for use there in a concerted effort to finagle around record keeping laws. Beyond the Trump campaign’s using private e-mail as a major point to say vote for us not Hillary Clinton, he failed to disclose not 1 but 3 such accounts held by him or his wife to congressional committees investigating Russia merely adding to the case against him holding any serious position forget in the west wing of the Whitehouse; Jared Kushner who it turns out not only can’t fill out complex security clearance or financial disclosure forms, taken for granted he hires an accountant, accounting firm to submit his taxes to the IRS, he can’t master the most basic forms registering to vote as a woman. In our increasingly open LGBTQ accepted climate reporters to comedians cautiously hedged their comments and jokes they had no problem if Jared Kushner identified gender-wise as a woman, familiar enough with the film plot of The Danish Girl, rather quickly saw it for what it was another glaring mistake. Following, for example, president Trump’s repeatedly wild assertions on voter fraud, dead people on the voter rolls, persons registered to vote in multiple states, though there is nothing illegal about that provided you only vote in one state, at one polling place; to find out all his adult children are registered in multiple states, ineligible to vote in New York having missed registration deadlines. Beloved daughter and cherished son in-law neck deep in a potentially fraudulent real-estate deal where a donor’s bribe appears to be what kept them from indictment facilitated through publically disgraced spectacle family lawyer Marc Kasowitz. And that this is the person (Kushner) given a sizable portfolio in the Trump administration overseeing critical organizations say veterans affairs, charged with overhauling and streamlining the federal government, serving as contact for over 2 dozen countries, whose travel to places like Iraq before either the president or the senate confirmed secretary of state has planned a visit has had them dubbed the shadow secretary of state should be a frightening exhibit to why the laws governing the presidency aren’t strong enough. Interesting that before encountering the Trump presidency Walter Shaub believed them to be as stringent as need be. Outside family connections resulting in jobs for people totally unqualified to hold them and showing it, there are Trump administration appointees to the department of agriculture instead of people with bachelors and master’s degrees in farm related fields, food bioengineering, even experienced farmers on a large scale, they are hiring a long haul trucker, owner of a scented candle company and a cabana attendant, an RNC intern; head of energy efficacy and renewable energy at the department of energy is a guy who’s last job was retail tire sales, the assistant to the secretary of the treasury is a former production assistant(coffee and equipment fetcher) for a low rent production called ‘That’s Entertainment’ in addition to the litany of cabinet secretaries 2 pages previous and all their shenanigans, 2 Trump independent counsel lawyers talking in an open restaurant space known to be frequented by reporters about things covered under attorney client privilege implicating again Whitehouse counsel Don McGahn, also party to the Comey screed, in trying to hide documents from the Mueller investigation. Seeing what the Trump administration has done to existing law, the loopholes and side steps they have found, the ethical lines they are willing to dance on/over prosecutable laws need to function thus, a fast track to impeachment or constitutional removal if a president tries to ill-treat his staff as Trump has. Especially when it is piled onto a plethora of credible speculations about mental, emotional stability, a real uncertainty, fear regarding the duly elected official holding America’s nuclear codes; represents one more piece of evidence spelling out highest level criminality exceeding the prior precedent of Nixon and Watergate, adds to a collection of evidence to support firing due to job performance incompetence. Regarding the money aspect, A- inauguration funds law needs to be crafted beyond collected monies won’t be used in violation of the tax code, just meaning it won’t be used to establish a for profit corporation, sourcing must be disclosed; B- inauguration law should stipulate unused amounts be returned to the federal government for use on as needed Whitehouse upgrades to technology, building structure maintenance or divided equally between all government agencies for use in operations to benefit citizens, donated to charities, not dumped back into the pockets the president, used for legal bills, decorations, unless perhaps for a national holiday, but not for personal homes, like was done with the vice president. Ethics training henceforth is legally mandatory and you do not get your clearances to be in the building without attending the required ethics sessions and demonstrating you comprehend the topics covered. Why did the Whitehouse need to issue new, stronger ethical guidelines about private flights, use of taxpayer money, all travel expenses approved going forward through chief of staff John Kelly; they should be outlined in federal law for government officials at all levels. No taking private flights when commercial ones are available, expect in cases of extreme emergency, e.g. touring a natural disaster zone, catastrophic event area, no taking military flights unless it is deemed a matter of safety for government personnel or national security; if you want to take a private plane fine, you can, but up front you will cut the government a check for the entire cost of that plane flight/split equally between all government personnel hitching a ride apart from those seeing to its operation. And it will only go to approved work venues; not U.S, Virgin Island territory where you own land, have a house, not having lunch with your son in another town or state, stopping off at your permanent residence in Montana Mr. Zinke, giving a speech to the hockey team of one of your biggest donors. Donations to the RNC (republican national committee) as well as donations, contributions to super PACs, re-election campaigns are not, by law, to be used to pay for the legal bills of government officials at any juncture, level under investigation for wrongdoing in office or other charges, period end of sentence; Michael Flynn’s family setting up crowdfunding, go fund me page may be in extremely bad taste, but people know full well what they are giving money to. People donating to the RNC, Trump’s re-election campaign did not, which should meet the legal definition of fraud; similar to what Jared and Ivanka did with their Trump SoHo project that was neither Trump nor SoHo and not doing nearly as well as they led investors to believe. To that end, nepotism laws will be enforced, no hunting around for a deputy Whitehouse counsel who will draft a witty interpretation loophole, these people just don’t get jobs in the Whitehouse; because, we’re not talking about some intern pushing paper minutia and answering phones, which would require a review if its own, we’re talking about advising the president when you hold no experience. An HR equivalent division of high caliber specializing in the Whitehouse and staffing positions would, by law, review all non- congressional confirmed appointments; anyone found incompetent, unqualified, not holding the proper education, experience for the job would be fired and the president submitted a reasoning for the action and a list of suitable replacements to pick from taking the decisions out of exclusively the president’s hands. Also adding to what Bill Maher stated in his video, about not giving all tasks to your son in-law, job descriptions given advisors must be reasonable; leaving off the Middle East peace bullet point, the rest of the task list heaped on Jared Kushner would normally be the work of a single person per outlined point, not the job description of one person. Similarly on the subject of job descriptions when you work at the Whitehouse beyond the mailroom, janitorial you must have a clearly defined job description; none of the Sebastian Gorka phenomenon, people wandering around adjacent to the west wing, in the west wing with nothing productive to do others not knowing why they are there. Because, this is the Whitehouse not Random House, the Whitehouse not a halfway house for white collar, ‘reformed,’ mob criminals, alphabet agency screw ups; realities yet to dawn on Trump, Trump administrators.
Brit Hume: Trump ‘Seems to Think That The Attorney General is Some Kind of Goalie For Him’
And again proven necessary law changes aren’t limited to those Whitehouse, government, government function aspects connected to Russia; the presidency and related positions surrounding it is one of service not a commodity waiting to be turned into a for profit enterprise for the personal benefit of whichever person is holding the title president in a given 4 year cycle or decade, periphery administration staff. Realities reaching well past ‘the swamp’ Donald Trump pledged to drain and so plainly didn’t as evidenced in the preceding paragraph; it applies to the president himself in all the normal ways we’ve come to expect in 241 years of democracy and keeping it intact. In addition to the emoluments clause supposedly preventing presidents from accepting gifts, duties, monetary payments from foreign governments while holding office, which once more plainly doesn’t work as Donald Trump and family continue to rake in cash from foreign investments, new businesses abroad on top of the old, the golf course in Dubai, hotel in Azerbaijan, expanding his resort in Scotland, Russian coins with Trump’s face, several trademarks. Including with China who he started a foreign policy kerfuffle with over the one china policy he waffled on whether he would support only to receive the trademark seemingly in return; the same China he repeatedly accused of currency manipulation and threatened to start a trade war with to boot. There is conflict of interest statutes meant to guard against presidents making decisions based on what is good for their business, personal financial interests rather than the good of the country, good luck with that; contrast that to Donald Trump Salon.com has a whole series dating back to the transition called ‘This Week in Donald Trump’s Conflicts of Interest’ like that his Muslim ban excluded countries where he does business or that he hosted the Prime Minister of Japan at where else but Mar-a Lago also where the Red Cross held their annual fundraiser; Mar-a-Lago where Trump and the Prime Minister were briefed on a North Korean missile test over Japan out in the open with guests walking by, poor lighting and the guy reportedly carrying the so called ‘nuclear football’ A- bragging about it and B- posing for pictures with guests then posting that on Facebook. Note to self Mr. President, epic national security fail. Of course this is far from the first time solid journalists have asked if running for president was simply a means for him to make money, next means for him to make money; they were asking that summer of 2016 looking at his campaign financial numbers and the millions paid to himself, Trump properties for rent, food, other amenities at establishments he owns. Less than a year into his presidency he has summarily bankrupted the secret service providing security for him, his adult children on foreign trips for their business ventures, his repeated trips to what he nicknamed ‘the winter Whitehouse’ his Mar-a-Lago resort, which by the by he doubled fees for upon his inauguration, his golf club in Bedminster, either of which he likes to visit every weekend; secret service personnel abruptly removed from their Trump Tower command post when they could no longer afford expensive rent payments, space that should have been turned over on a complementary basis in light of protecting Trump Tower’s owner of paid for out of Mr. Trump’s expansive personal billionaire pockets. So presidencies, if not 2020, then 2024 and beyond must operate as follows; if you are an international business man or hold any business holdings, you will divest them to the satisfaction of the government ethics office, through a real, functioning blind trust neither you no your relatives are aware of the operations concerning or other means, options presented to you by the office. Or the alternative is you are not sworn in on January 20th and do not assume the office of the president until such a time as the divesting is completed in its entirety. Secret service personnel will protect the president, legal spouse and minor or adult children, adult children only inside the U.S. unless traveling with the president or a specific threat has been identified; presidential recreational travel will be assigned an operating budget approved by congress similar to cabinet appointments, no going over it unless the president, deep pocketed like Mr. Trump, pays up front for the costs of elective travel. Strengthening the legal rules of the presidency, at some point we have to legally address the fecklessness, ineffectiveness of the United States congress, those elected to it, the legions of periphery people making the Trump nightmare possible. Apart from congressional members who raised no concerns about persons appointed to positions who didn’t believe in the agency they were slated to run, remembering Rick Perry wanted to eliminate the department of energy and doesn’t seem to know they don’t do a lot with energy, Betsy DeVos doesn’t appear to believe in public education, didn’t attend public education or let her kids do so, who doesn’t understand the challenges facing public education or relevant debates on education to date inside such circles, forced into hiring incompetents like Ben Carson because the backup choice was even worse, picking your battles choosing to let slide, monitor the lesser of many evils. You have the senators who confirmed Tom Price despite evidence of insider trading buying stocks of medical device companies and then crafting policy to help said companies when he was chairman of the health subcommittee, who confirmed Scott Pruitt in spite of a cozy relationship with energy companies, speeding ahead of a judges deadline to forcibly release e-mails between himself and those companies. Who confirmed Wilber Ross secretary of commerce independent it looking all too much like his job was quid-pro-quo for arranging, keeping quiet regarding Russian infusions of cash from the king of fertilizer looking to park his money in property to keep it away from a messy divorce. Likewise we have to talk about the lawyers passing the bar in this country and no not from the standpoint of crappy education systems, attend law school by mail/online, night school options, but people who’ve successfully passed the bar in a given state yet don’t seem to know the law. Long before his connections with Russia, Trump Tower Moscow, associating a known felon he wasn’t representing Michael Cohen became a household name when reports came out Trump’s ex-wife described sex with him as rape in divorce proceeding depositions, descriptions she later recanted, and he told press you couldn’t rape your spouse framing it as a legal impossibility. Except that’s not true, you most certainly can be charged with rape even if your accuser is your husband, wife, domestic partner, solid law in all 50 states for nearly 30 years criminalization history going all the way back to the 1970’s; how did his recorded statements broadcast all over nationwide news outlets not produce a letter from the state bar holding his law license for him to appear and answer questions. The pair of Trump Russia lawyers caught by reporters talking in an open air restaurant subject to mirroring summonses owing to their ‘mistake’ falls under lawyering 101, can’t be brushed off, excused by the specialty niche of law you practice. You never discuss things under the blanket attorney client privilege, sensitive aspects of a case out in the open where passersby can hear you; you certainly don’t do so in an environment like D.C. in a public place known to be frequented by reporters. How normal Paul Manafort’s lawyer genuinely thought it was for him to try and use his job in the Trump campaign peddling access and information in exchange for money to recoup debts owed to him by foreign persons, analysts warning his lawyer should be careful saying such things to press, in public lest he implicate his client in a crime; hardly a stretch to think shrewd followers of the story are correct and he was using it instead to pay off debt. Common knowledge neatly summed up in 2 things pertaining to lawyers, 1- everyone hates them until they need one and 2- the profession is ruled by shysters; understood too is you as a lawyer are hired to defend your client knowingly guilty or innocent, but saying that draws scrutiny not deflects it and if your client is innocent…Switching gears slightly, many were shocked by his, president Trump’s, pardon of Joe Arpio former Arizona sheriff convicted on contempt of court charges for refusing so called papers please traffic stops, citizen round ups to detain and deport suspected illegal immigrants without cause. Not least of all because pardons follow strict rules where the person usually serves 5 years in prison, Arpaio only faced 6 months, admit guilt, demonstrate remorse, recommendations usually coming from the justice department, critically here after the sentencing phase has long ago taken place whereas president Trump stepped in even before that had had a chance to occur; so, in the interest of eliminating controversy, unprecedented moves, fairness and justice make those procedural norms law. They have to have been tried, found guilty and sentenced, they have to have served X portion of their sentence, they have to admit guilt along with showing remorse, contrition for their wrong doing or no pardon is issued. Primary reason the Arpaio pardon was allowed to stand when reviewed by a judge is because these criteria are merely guidelines, not solidified into concrete law. Speaking of pardons, whether, how they pertain to Russia or run if the mill criminality, public corruption scandals often too common, a president should not be able to pardon members of his/her family, inner circle of west wing staff, commuting sentences a-la what George W. Bush did for Scooter Libby, removing only the threat of jail time, the prison sentence portion, leaving intact reports to a probation officer, numerous fines, subject to review. The same United States congress, head of government agencies dominated by fellow republicans who privately agree with statements made by retiring senator Bob Corker that the Whitehouse has devolved into adult daycare, generals and the chief of staff spend the bulk of their time trying, largely unsuccessfully to contain the president, the man with the nuclear codes and no legal check on his authorization of their use past a certain point, yet they won’t say so publically confirming too often dismissed press reports and won’t move toward action either on the 25th amendment or articles of impeachment for incompetence. Key journalists asking related to Russia, our lagging reaction, improving counter intelligence, why the obstruction of justice component e.g. James Comey wasn’t dealt with immediately, handled immediately, floored we’re months into investigating and they’re still dragging it out. Assuming their accuracy and noting the accuracy of mainstream media in the Trump era, why is Jeff Sessions keeping his job as attorney general; not fired by the president but whatever law enforcement mechanism that deals with lying to congress as he did in his confirmation hearing about meetings/conversations with Russians, not serious attempt to correct the record, at least enough to get him booted from the Whitehouse if not brought up on prudery charges. To say nothing of becoming something known in the legal community as a hostile witness when asked to testify to congressional committees on Russia and what he was asked about the firing of James Comey, hiding information, changing information released on Russia. Gravitating farther away from Russia, the presidency even, examine closely Alabama, special election held there to fill the seat vacated by Jeff Sessions when he was nominated then confirmed to be attorney general; the winner one Roy Moore a religious conservative most notable for being suspended from the bench twice over refusal to remove a statue of the 10 commandments from the court house lawn he expressly had put there, then years later pulling a variation on Kim Davis telling clerks not to comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing same sex marriage nationwide, as opposed to resigning if it was that much a core of your convictions. Who has said in addition to Islam being a false religion doubtlessly angering Muslim populations across America, his own state challenged Representative Keith Ellison’s eligibility to occupy a congressional seat due to his Muslim faith via a newspaper op-ed; forget that whole constitutional thing about no religious test to hold public office or the very first amendment that states, paraphrasing, the government shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion. And those are just the legal parameters not particularly social ones where he was a part of the birther movement questioning president Obama’s birth certificate, is against abortion, who thinks homosexuality, physical acts between consenting adults should be illegal, who when describing the origins of national trouble being god’s wrath he referred to American Indians as reds, Asians as yellows, thinks 9-11 was revenge for a nation turning against god, showing support for the 2nd amendment brandished a gun at a campaign event. Moore can’t follow the constitution, was suspended from his judgeship for cause, how does he then get to run for a senate seat? Joe Arpaio shouldn’t be able to flirt with a run for senate directly working in government when he was found guilty of criminal contempt of court for failing to follow court issued directives; and to be clear we’re not talking about journalists protecting their sources, Mohamad Ali’s pacifism in the face of Vietnam, we’re talking about a man who wouldn’t give up racial profiling and traffic stops, the mass incarceration of individuals for the immigration status, came dangerously close to human rights violations, all illegal before courts rendered final decisions on his actions. Follow too the reappearance of Michael Grimm who resigned his seat post belittling a young reporters manhood further threatening to throw a reporter off a capitol building balcony for asking questions about the fraud scandal surrounding him, fraud scandal that ultimately lead to charges, conviction and prison time; out of jail and seemingly ready to pick up his life were he left off arrogantly presuming it’s that easy, people of Staten Island will want him and his political baggage. Why are these people even eligible to run for public office, run for different public offices than the ones they were fired from, ousted from, resigned from in shame; why are the laws so far behind, because it isn’t about paraphrasing Bill Maher one last time it’s not about having the balls or bad taste to ask, to try, in his example pardoning yourself, it’s about why we possess a legal code, to remove guessing games, bad judgement calls, absent judgement, legal crises constitutional or otherwise. It’s time to remove legal gray areas, holes in the legal, penal code that don’t need to exist, it’s time to write down, put in legal cadence all those things hitherto assumed self-evident, obvious part of social, political norms so we can stop living in a hole in the constitution and just live in a better constitution.