Thursday, August 16, 2018

Trump: Business and Budget Savvy and Brilliant Planner of all Things — Yeah, Right

Bastille Day parade Avenue des Champs-Elysees in Paris
(July 14, 2017)

Trump's military parade is now estimated to cost $92 million – $80 Million more than earlier estimates

•  Trump's military parade is estimated to cost $92 million, according to DOD officials with firsthand knowledge of the assessment.
•  An earlier estimate pegged the cost at $12 million.
•  The parade is scheduled to take place in the nation's capital on November 10 and will feature armored vehicles, aircraft flyovers and period uniforms.  

My insert: November 10 BTW, is the official birthday date of the Marine Corps: November 10, 1775 – yes older than the country.

Story and background from CNBC news – Trump got his hair brain idea and he was inspired by the parade in France he saw in the ceremony celebrating France's Bastille Day military parade in Paris on July 14, 2017.
Then in September, Trump met with French President Emmanuel Macron and recalled how much he enjoyed watching their parade, and he said: “It was a tremendous day, and to a large extent because of what I witnessed, we may do something like that on July 4 in Washington down Pennsylvania Avenue. We're going to have to try to top it, but we have a lot of planes going over and a lot of military might, and it was really a beautiful thing to see, and representatives from different wars and different uniforms.”
My 2 cents: Yep, Trump’s drive to fluff up his ego at any cost again is the driving force for this just as it does with anything in his life, or so it seems.
But, nearly a $100 million parade just to “top France’s parade” just as he said is not all that savvy. Simply, what a waste of $100 million that could go towards helping families in need with health care or yes, even food assistance that he wants to punish them about for getting as the GOP “free stuff.”
I hope DOD has the final word and they say a resounding “no.”
We shall see – and thanks for stopping 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Roger Stone Above All Else is a Plagiarist: A Poor One Too re: Space Force Mocker

Roger Stone's sense of humor in full display and very sick
(Trump team lies will not survive in outer space)

Trump's political consultant Roger Stone posted a meme (here at Business Insider) on his Instagram account showcasing himself, Trump, and other White House employees posing as the new “Space Force” team with swastikas on their uniforms. 

·        Roger Stone shared a digitally altered photo on his Instagram page that portrays himself, Trump, and other White House staff members wearing swastikas.

·        The photo was originally created as a critique of the current administration, as well as Trump's new “Space Force” – it included the line “In space no one can hear you lie.”

·        Stone, however, shared the image with his caption: “I love this — proud to be in this crew — but the only lies being told are by liberal scumbags.”

Update Note: The above photo has since been deleted from Stone's account, but it was up long enough for people to question why someone close to the administration would have no problem sharing an image with Nazi affiliated imagery.

A representative for Stone didn't immediately return Business Insider's request for comment.

My 2 cents: No comment from Stone’s camp or from the W/H – no big surprise in that regard. 

The truth and expose to it burns them badly and they are in a dark, deep site trying to develop a story to spin just like they are trying to wipe out Omarosa Manigault-Newman and her tapes stories.

The best is yet to come – stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Daddy Trump to Donald Jr: STFU — You're an ä$$hole and everyone now knows it too

Donald Trump message to Donald Trump Jr.

Omarosa - the gift that just keeps on giving:

President Trump blasted his firstborn son as a total f**k up after learning he had released emails about a controversial Trump Tower meeting attended by a Kremlin-connected lawyer who had promised dirt on Hillary Clinton, according to Omarosa Manigault-Newman’s forthcoming book.

Manigault-Newman, who was unceremoniously fired from the White House last December, says the President erupted in anger after she met with him last July and told him she was “sorry to hear” Donald Trump Jr. had posted screengrabs on Twitter of his email exchanges with British publicist Rob Goldstone.

Of his son, Trump said: “He is such a f**up. He screwed up again, but this time, he’s screwing us all, big-time!”

A White House spokeswoman did not immediately return to a request for comment.  A spokesman for Trump Jr. did not immediately respond to emailed questions.

My 2 cents: Thanks daddy, thanks a heluva a lot … you prick.  /s/ Don Jr.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing this honest Trump moment in history.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Prez to Comey: I hope you can see your way to let the Russian thing & Flynn go (sic)

Mueller on the job & closing in: Flynn & Comey fired 
(Trump may be next and worried sick)

Three down and out: Two to go
(The sooner the better)

Update from here on the following story:

If he has to testify under oath Trump will deny he ever asked former FBI director James Comey to treat former national security adviser Michael Flynn leniently, so said Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, on CNN’s State of the Union program on Sunday (Aug 12, 2018), regarding that Trump-Comey February 14, 2017, meeting in the Oval Office).

As far as Comey, he testified under oath before Congress last year that Trump tried to persuade him to go easy on Flynn the day after the president sacked Flynn, his national security adviser for lying about his contact with the Russian ambassador.

Comey has Trump quoted as saying:I hope you can see your way to letting Flynn go. He’s a good guy. I hope you can let this go” – that “this refers to whole Russian probe question” – that Trump also repeated to Lester Holt when asked about the May 2017 firing of Comey – only a few months after Trump has asked Comey to “let it go” about Flynn firing for lying about his contacts with the Russians on February 13, 2017 – Flynn has served only 24 days. 

Trump’s real true reason: This whole Russian thing was on my mind and that’s why I fired Comey – (refer to the video below in his own words).

The Holt-Trump interview – the first minute or so nails Trump on the reason for firing Comey: “[…] the whole Russia thing is a total hoax made up by the DEMS as an excuse for losing the election…”

Tale of the Tape — in his own words

No wonder Trump is worried sick – Mueller is ready to drop the hammer, and rightly so.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Trump-Pence "Space Force" or Just Spaced Out: Message to ET Here's Our Values

Bang-bang double barrel message to occupy space: 
protect and spread our values

Calling outer space the “next battlefield,” VP the Rev. Mike Pence (R-IN) outlined a bellicose mission for the Trump administration’s proposed “Space Force,” saying it would fight adversaries and spread American values beyond Earth.

Pence’s remarks at the Pentagon, applauded by an audience that included Sec. Def. Mattis and top military commanders, represents a sharp break from decades of high-level U.S. calls for the peaceful development of outer space for all nations (into, I guess the “last frontier” right Spock?).

Spread our values beyond Earth to whom Mr. VeePee? These folks with this message from Trump and Pence collective to alien life beyond Earth who needs American values, we surmise: “Klaatu barada nikto” (Klaatu to Gort: “Gort: Save Earth”) (Hollywood presumptive meaning):

Message addressees 

My 2 cents: This who thing outta be one heluva ride, so hang on tight and if “Space Force” fails and we are invaded, well, Trump in grand style will blame Hillary, Mueller, and 17 DEMS working for Mueller. So, stay tuned and keep in mind that Aliens might send Earth a simple message, but …

Messages sent by aliens from space could destroy life as we know it on Earth if we're not careful about how we read them, (scientists have warned seen here).

A new paper explores how we might read and understand a message that came to us from space. And it finds that it would be impossible to know that a message was dangerous before we opened it.

In fact, the messages are so dangerous that it would be safest to simply discard them without ever reading them, scientists have warned.

Stay tuned and close to your telescope trained on the stars.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Stephen Miller: Trump's Senior Policy Adviser & Staunch Anti-Immigrant Bigot Guru

The man behind anti-immigrant policy and associated movement

Charlottesville, VA redux now pending for DC anniversary
(Trump: Aug 15, 2017 Blames both sides” for deadly violence)

Stephen Miller – who is he, really – some things are in this story from with this shameful policy proposal headlines from Trump:

Trump Administration Proposal Could Punish Legal Immigrants if Their Family Members Use Public Assistance

Quick Background: Stephen Miller (born August 23, 1985) is an American far-right political activist serving as a senior policy advisor to President Trump.

He previously was the communications director for then-Senator (now AG) Jeff Sessions, and a press secretary for former Reps. Michele Bachmann and John Shadegg.

Since joining this administration, Miller has become high-profile in the Trump anti-immigrant movement. For example, he was (1) the chief architect of Trump's Muslim travel ban, (2) the administration's reduction of refugees accepted to the United States, and (3) Trump's policy of separating migrant children from their parents.

On February 12, 2017, he appeared to question the power of the judiciary to limit the executive's role in setting immigration policy from the Guardian here.

Miller also has on multiple occasions made unsubstantiated and false claims regarding electoral fraud.

Miller’s background data shows his real character and proof positive as to why Trump hired him. They share the same ideology and pitiful set of values:

Miller claims he became a committed conservative after reading  Guns, Crime, and Freedom, a book against gun control by NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre. While attending Santa Monica High School, Miller began appearing on conservative talk radio. 

In 2002, Miller wrote a letter to the editor of the Santa Monica Outlook
criticizing his school's response to 9/11 in which he stated that “Osama bin-Laden would feel very welcome at Santa Monica High School.”

Miller invited conservative activist David Horowitz to speak, first at the high school and later at while he attended Duke University, and then afterwards denounced the fact that neither of the centers would authorize the event. As a student in H/S, Miller was in the habit of “riling up his fellow classmates with controversial statements” and also telling Latino students to speak only English.

My 2 cents: Yeah, that Stephen Miller and the GOP right wing and others of that ilk have the unmitigated gall to blame DEMS for the nation’s woes, racial and immigration hatred. Astonishing isn’t it?

And, now this latest policy proposal stated above, which BTW would not need congressional approval, is quite sickening, and in my view against every value we hold dear as a nation and compassionate people – Stephen Miller is not in line with those values, let alone few other common decent values from anywhere, except maybe those held in North Korea, Yemen, or Syria isn’t it?

In short, he need not be anywhere in government and shame for Trump, too his views and aligning them with Miller’ or vice versa and hiring him.

Related to all this from the Washington Post (re:There is no hiding from Trump’s bigotry”).

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

MAJOR UPDATE: Bad News and Woes For Trump, Kavanaugh, and Confirmation

The public needs to react to this broken GOP-run Congress

Vacant 1-year (for Obama not filled); now ASAP (for Trump)
(Two vacancies in reality)

This update is rather long but it ties into the original post that follows below. I wanted to tie this update into that for continuity.

This update is thought-provoking and comes from the Washington Post via MSN here:

If Trump declines an interview, Mueller will probably hit him with a subpoena to appear before the grand jury, as he has privately threatened to doBut on ABC’s “This Week,” another Trump lawyer, Jay Sekulow, flatly stated that if this happened, Trump’s team will fight it all the way to the top, saying in essence: “It would go to the Supreme Court. A subpoena for live testimony has never been tested in court as to a president of the United States.” 

(His Translation: If Trump decides against a Mueller interview we are going to test this).

What this means is that, in advance of Kavanaugh’s hearing, we may already know that Kavanaugh could end up being the deciding vote on the question of whether any president (now Trump) can be compelled to testify to a grand jury. Now, it is possible that the current court could rule on such a matter sooner (the eight justices might deadlock, defaulting to a lower court). 

But it’s also perfectly plausible, depending on how long Trump’s team takes to make a decision and what happens in the courts afterward, that this could be headed for a showdown in front of a high court with Kavanaugh on it. Kavanaugh’s expansive views of executive power and privilege have been widely debated.

Kavanaugh argued in 2009 “We should not burden a sitting president with criminal investigations” suggesting the remedy was Congress passing a law to preclude this, thus he doesn’t 
necessarily think presidents are constitutionally protected from such probes. He also said that the decision forcing Richard Nixon to turn over the Watergate tapes might have been “wrongly decided,” but then he also hailed it as a great moment in judicial history, in which the courts “were not cowed and enforced the law.”

Thus, Kavaaugh could be classified as either “wishy-washy or a level-headed moderate” (the new swing vote as it were).

If we learn that Trump is being subpoenaed for an interview against his will, this would suddenly invest the question of what Kavanaugh really believes on these issues and whether he would recuse himself — with both practical urgency and immediacy. 

We will know before Kavanaugh’s hearing that he may soon be ruling on such a matter — in particular, the question of whether Trump can be compelled to testify.

Brian Fallon, executive director of Demand Justice, which is leading the fight against Kavanaugh, told Greg Sargant, the reporter: “Sekulow’s comments make clear that the question of whether a sitting president must be responsive to a subpoena may not be a hypothetical for very much longer.” 

Fallon then continued: “Kavanaugh owes his appointment to the man who may soon be a party in a case coming before the Supreme Court. Plus Kavanaugh has already expressed strong views on whether a sitting president should be able to be ensnared in criminal proceedings. If this showdown materializes in the middle of the confirmation battle, it will catapult Kavanaugh’s expansive views on presidential power to the front burner. At the very least, Kavanaugh ought to be forced to commit to recusing himself from any matter arising out of Mueller’s probe.”

It is unlikely that Kavanaugh will pledge to recuse himself during his hearing. 

It is also likely that he will try to avoid offering sufficient insight into his views of executive privilege to gauge: (1) how he might rule on a Mueller subpoena or any (2) other Mueller-related matter, such as (3) whether a president can pardon himself or (4) his cronies or (5) shut down a Justice Department investigation into himself, which Trump’s president’s lawyers 

The nightmare scenario vis-à-vis the valued national question we all hold dear that if no one is above the law, how can Trump or any sitting president be exempt and thus be above the law?

The basic question is simple to state yet the details are complex that deals with the issue of a sitting president and his campaign under investigation for collaboration with a hostile foreign power that worked hard to sabotage our democracy allow… 

“Trump that sitting president in essence to freely walk away from the investigation that he clearly has gone to enormous lengths to both scuttle and to publicly vindicate that foreign power (Putin at Helsinki) — by seeking to avoid questioning on those matters to prove his guilt or innocence and possibly with the help of the justice he just appointed?”

Trump, of course, has every right to appeal this to the court. And there are reasons that Supreme Court nominees don’t comment directly on matters they may be ruling upon. It should also be noted that even if Trump avoids a Mueller interview, this would not mean he is in the clear legally. But Trump is probably more legally vulnerable if he does the interview, and in any case, there is a strong public interest in Trump facing such questioning. 

If Kavanaugh does not pledge recusal or shed sufficient light on his views, senators are not obliged to confirm him. Indeed, you’d think this would present them with what should be a very difficult situation. 

It should become harder for any self-respecting red-state Democrat to support him. Heck, this scenario might even get a bit uncomfortable for vulnerable Republicans, since they are facing midterm elections that will likely turn heavily on voters’ desire for a check on an out-of-control president.

The original post from here:

First, this reflection back to October 21, 2016 and then to the main post today (more on that below). Call this a status report of the USSC vacancy to fill Justice Scalia’s seat – the roadblock by the GOP-controlled senate.
“I promise you that we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up. I promise you.” — Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
That advance promise from McCain shows that Senate Republicans will stonewall anyone nominated by Hillary Clinton to the Supreme Court (assumes they keep the majority and she were president).
That statement also comes after an unprecedented seven-month blockade of President Obama's nominee, Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy left by the sudden death of Justice Scalia. So, is it really hard to believe that Republicans would block Hillary's nominees forever – nope not really?
Then on April 12, 2016 more background:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Judge Garland. Obama’s Supreme Court nominee failed to persuade Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) during a private meeting to hold confirmation hearings on his nomination with Grassley saying afterwards: “The committee in the Senate won't be moving forward during this hyper-partisan election year.”
Important Historical Note: Grassley sought to block Garland's nomination to the federal appeals court on which he currently serves as chief judge some 20 years ago. Judge Garland also met with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) one of the dwindling number of moderates. Her office stated that she too had closed the door on confirming Garland. 
Republicans who control the Senate refused to advance the nomination, thus they were obstructionists by any definition and openly ignored their constitutional obligations to proceed with hearings. Current Senate Republicans insisted that the next president following the November election should be the one to fill the vacancy, and they hoped for a Republican president who would choose a “hardline conservative” rather than “a centrist or moderate like Judge Garland” if a DEM were president.
And, here we are today: Midterms coming up and a nominee in the wings – this time a sitting Judge (Brett Kavanaugh) nominated to the bench for that same vacancy by Trump – a Republican in office and Republicans who run the Senate process. This would be Trump’s second appointment in less than two years.
Now today’s post from the NY TIMES with this subject heading:
“The Partisan Battle Brett Kavanaugh Now Regrets”
The key part from this article re: the Bill Clinton impeachment investigation and the Starr report (1996 era) and that all has come back to haunt Kavanaugh, but it also is the part that Trump and his cement-locked loyalists love and why they badly need a solid 5-4 court and that Kavanaugh would give them – remember the GOP words above: “The GOP wants a ‘hardline conservative’ and not a centrist or moderate” – and now that comes back to haunts them in 2018 (my emphasis added):
Kavanaugh still regards Starr as an “American hero.” But whether as a result of mature reflection or the expedient recognition that he should distance himself from the politically radioactive prosecution, Kavanaugh now argues more forcefully against criminal investigations of sitting presidents, to wit:
Background: It was Kavanaugh who pressed Starr to aggressively question former President Clinton on the details of his sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky and he was he who drafted the section of the Starr report to the House that laid out 11 possible grounds for Bill Clinton’s impeachment.
Kavanaugh wrote in a 2009 law review article, about 10 years after the Starr investigations ended, this: “Like many Americans at that time, I believed that the president should be required to shoulder the same obligations that we all carry. But in retrospect that seems a mistake,” so he now says.
(My note: I wonder why caused him to change his mind in such an extreme back and forth view – probably now since he badly wants the vacant seat on the high court to serve Trump and only Trump – sounds harsh and unrealistic but man-oh-man, probably true and plenty of fodder for the DEMS in the upcoming hearing assumes there even is one. Time will tell).
That position has an obvious appeal to the White House and allies of Trump. But to Democrats who objected to Mr. Starr’s investigation and are now the ones looking to a special counsel to find criminal activity in a president’s activities, and there is more than a little irony in Kavanaugh’s shifting positions as stated above.
Now compare the Starr-Clinton investigation with the current Mueller-Trump one – make eyes roll doesn’t it? Easy to substitute names and places and such (Clinton then for Trump now):
Starr’s investigation at first focused on the Clintons’ involvement in an Arkansas real estate deal (Whitewater scandal), then it grew to consider other matters: (1) the death of Vince Foster (White House lawyer who killed himself); (2) the firings of employees of the White House travel office; and (3) various inquiries into possible obstruction of justice.
Kavanaugh, for his part back then, prepared a report concluding that Vince Foster had indeed committed suicide (and not killed by Hillary Clinton as many today still believe – ironic, isn’t it). He also investigated whether documents had been unlawfully removed from Foster’s office, and that litigated cases on attorney-client and executive privilege.
Then when he returned to the independent counsel’s fourth-floor offices at 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue, just across the street from the FBI headquarters, it was to a far different investigation.
News of the Lewinsky Oval Office affair had broken in January 1998, after Clinton testified in a sexual harassment suit that had been nurtured for years by a network of conservative lawyers. 
Paula Jones, an Arkansas state worker, also said Clinton had made lewd advances in a hotel room when he was governor. In his deposition for the case, Clinton was provided a tortured definition of sexual relations — and denied engaging in such actions with Monica Lewinsky. 
Starr then obtained permission from the then AG, Janet Reno, and a three-judge panel to expand his investigation to include the Lewinsky scandal, and suddenly Kavanaugh’s former colleagues were under siege. The investigation that had begun by examining a complex real estate deal in Arkansas had become a tawdry exposé of the president’s sex life, complete with a semen-stained blue dress, and a sex toy in the Oval Office. 
Also, ironic and at the same time, members of Starr’s team included  Rod J. Rosenstein (the current Deputy AG who appointed Mueller to investigate Trump, and Alex M. Azar II, the current Secretary of HHS) they both headed for the exits or kept their distance since the Lewinsky scandal had entered the fray. Neither one of them returned to the Starr team after that.
My 2 cents: Boy does history repeat itself and more so today by all accounts with the extensive Russian involvement, large list of indictments, guilty pleas, and growing witnesses list – all against Trump. 
So, will this Trump investigation end like the Clinton investigation – that is with his impeachment but not removal, or end like the Nixon Watergate investigation wherein Nixon resigned before he was formerly impeached and surely would have been and then just as sure removed from office? That is the million-dollar question isn’t it? 
Stay tuned. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Fed Law: “Illegal to solicit or accept anything of value to campaign from foreigners”

Dynamic duo: Trump Jr. — Natalia Veselnitskaya
(Okay, Natasha — nobody will ever know)

This hot story today from the Washington Post here in part:

BRIDGEWATER, NJ — President Trump on Sunday (August 5, 2018) offered his most definitive and clear public acknowledgment that his oldest son (Donald Jr.) met with a Kremlin-aligned lawyer at Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign to “get information on an opponent,” by defending the meeting as “totally legal and done all the time in politics.”

It is, however, against the law for U.S. campaigns to receive donations or items of value from foreigners, and that June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Natalia Veselnitskaya is now a subject of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia probe.

While “collusion” is not mentioned in U.S. criminal statutes, Mueller is investigating whether anyone associated with Trump coordinated with the Russians, which could result in criminal charges if they entered into a conspiracy to break the law, including through cyber-hacking or interfering with the election.

A lot more on this follows in today’s post below:

Now put that aside for a moment: Being offered and/or trying to get information from any foreign government, let alone Russia an adversary is totally insane and illegal (cite: anything of value from a foreign government related to a campaign) is illegal says Jens David Ohlin, a law professor at Cornell University, who is even blunter: “It’s a shocking admission of a criminal conspiracy.”

Or from Ryan Goodman, a former Defense Department special counsel who says: “The text of the emails provide very clear evidence of participation in a scheme to involve the Russian government in federal election interference, in a form that is prohibited by federal criminal law.”

The official Federal law citation:The law states that no person shall knowingly solicit or accept from a foreign national any contribution to a campaign of an item of value.”  Goodman concludes: “There is now a clear case that Donald J. Trump Jr. meets all the elements of the law, which is a criminally enforced federal statute.”

Note: The statute in question here is: 52 USC 30121, 36 USC 510 — that is the law governing foreign contributions to U.S. campaigns.

The solicitation bit is why it doesn’t matter if Trump Jr. actually got useful information or not. The part that’s illegal is that that he tried or wanted to acquire the dirt on Clinton from a foreign source, but not successfully acquiring it.

However, it is still a crime to solicit this kind of information from any foreign government under these conditions.

Some Trump loyalists will cling to the word “try to solicit” saying “it was offered NOT solicited.”

But, Trump Jr. was clearly soliciting information that he knew was coming from a foreign source. Given that political campaigns regularly pay thousands of dollars to opposition researchers to dig up dirt (that we all know happens), it seems like damaging information on Clinton would constitute something “of value” to the Trump campaign.

My best example: Take B&E (a serious crime – breaking and entering a home or other place to steal money or jewels) but not finding to the robber dashes out only to be caught by the cops while leaving the scene. Then the suspect pleads not guilty to robbery saying to the cops “I got nothing,” but somehow the idiot forgets that B&E is a crime… oops again, Jr.

My 2 cents: President Trump is 100% weak and wrong to even try and justify this with a statement like: “It happens all the time.” 

Note: True on one point only: Getting dirt on an opponent in any campaign (called oppo) is common and not necessarily illegal unless a crime were connected to obtaining/receiving the oppo information (in any form); like stealing it, hacking from computers and databases and taking it, or B&E (e.g., Watergate DNC HQ break in), or say getting stolen info from WikiLeaks (Recall that Trump said publicly: “I love WikiLeaks.”

You may not think it was illegal, unlawful, or that it “happens all the time” – but the truth of the matter is that you can bet the Russians knew exactly what they were doing, legal or not. That was to cause or potentially cause as much election chaos and turmoil as possible. That has been and always will be the Russian goal in such matters.

It might, but getting caught like this with Russian hands all over it – well, Mr. President, even a Rick Perry oops moment won’t work.

Some Trump loyalists will cling to the word “try to solicit” saying “it was offered NOT solicited.”

However, Trump Jr. was clearly soliciting information that he thought was coming from the Russian lawyer. Given that political campaigns regularly pay thousands of dollars to opposition researchers to dig up dirt (that we all know happens), it seems like damaging information on Clinton would constitute something “of value” to the Trump campaign.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Worst Agency the FCC: Chairman Ajit Pai's Fair, Open, and Internet Access Hatred

Look at Net Neutrality repeal keeping this analogy in mind
(As if it were your monthly water bill)

Russia big winner with the FCC’s recent ruling to throw out Net Neutrality.

Now, how all that ties into this recent Trump DOJ and FCC request to the USSC to keep their repeal in place and active.

With the repeal of net neutrality, ISP’s can and will be the only gate-keeper on speed and access to certain parts of the Internet (and for higher prices, too) and therefore easily control access for higher speeds, avenues, etc. which Net Neutrality guaranteed for all people – taking that away does the opposite – it plays favors for pay.

Those mechanisms could be misused if they fell victim to a cyber-attack.

Former Director of Great Britain’s GCHQ (its equivalent of the NSA) said: “The key issue is transparency. We are already struggling to understand foreign political manipulation of Internet content…Without greater compulsory transparency, the end of net neutrality will now allow hostile foreign states new avenues to spend their way into silencing or overriding opposing views.”

A cyber-attack on a major ISP could potentially turn users towards or away from certain information, or shut them out of the information space all together. The future implications of such are frightening.
Open sourcing is one of the best ways to keep the Internet secure from nefarious interests. Traditional hawks might look at the problem and suggest tighter restrictions on information. Such an argument is often used when referencing extremist propaganda found online.

Furthermore, closing the Internet as Russia and China have done is a way to insulate them from political influence campaigns.

Trump himself said during the campaign that he would call Bill Gates and ask to turn off the Internet. This line got laughs from technically literate people, but it is an echo of ideas shared by autocrats around the world.

Key Part: Take public utilities which have evolved over time. But, when electricity was first distributed, it was a novelty and a luxury. Today, the electrical grid is regulated for consumer protection, and is seen as one of the most critical infrastructures to protect from foreign attack. As for the Internet – it is no longer a novelty or luxury. It is the primary method of information exchange, and should be protected as well.

Without protections our country and our democratic process remain frighteningly vulnerable, and that is why the Net Neutrality repeal was another win for Russia’s information warriors. Their interest is not so much in the outcome as it is in the confusion. In all likelihood, Net Neutrality will be drowned out of the news cycle by the impending tax bill vote, or some major development on the Russia investigation.

FCC Democrat commissioner Mignon Clyburn alluded to this in her vote not to repeal and in her dissent when she said publicly: “What we have wrought well one day be apparent by them when you really see what has changed. I fear it may not only be too late to do anything about it, but also because there will be no agency empowered to address your concerns.”

My 2 cents and the bottom line on this latest: The confused and soon-to-forget nature of stories like this are what make Russian influence operations so successful and net neutrality is just another notch on the belt for the Kremlin.

How ironic is that turn of events? And, just in time for the 2018 midterms and big one in 2020: The re-run of Trump II.

Pretty sad isn’t – and I bet you never even thought of this angle?

Stay tuned and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Trump-Mnuchin: Crumbs for Average Americans While Giving More to the Top Crust

If they pull off this stunt this is the projected result 
(Art of the Con still at work)

Heluva big developing story here re: The basics of inflation indexing, should the Trump-Mnuchin Treasury Department decide to pursue it further without congressional approval. 

How it would work: Currently, investors use the nominal price they paid for an asset when reporting capital gains or losses to the IRS after a sale.

Indexing would mean that the price paid could be adjusted for inflation, reducing the profit involved when the asset is sold, thereby reducing the taxes owed.

For example:

If you bought a share of stock for $100 in 1980 and sold it for $400 this year, you’d owe taxes on the $300 gain.

But, using this proposal “indexing” the purchase price would be about $320, meaning you’d only owe taxes on some $80 in gains.

How much money is involved? Allowing indexing for capital gains would cost the U.S. about $100 billion over 10 years, according to an analysis done earlier this year by John Ricco of the Penn Wharton. 

Who would benefit? The great majority of capital gains are reported by upper-income households, so the benefits would accrue largely to the wealthy.
The chart above from The Washington Post illustrates Ricco’s data, which shows that the top 1 percent of households would claim more than 86 percent of the reduced taxes. As with virtually all tax cuts, conservatives argue that indexing capital gains would encourage more asset sales and boost economic growth.

What’s the holdup? The Trump administration may not want to associate itself with what many are calling more tax cuts for the rich ahead of the midterm elections. And there are fundamental constitutional issues, since it’s not clear that the Treasury has the legal authority to make such a change.

President George H. W. Bush’s administration considered the issue in 1992 and concluded that the Treasury could not unilaterally impose indexing, but such a move has never been tested in court.

My 2 cents: Another sneaky back door deal for the top crust – so wait until midterms are over, hope you still have the House and Senate and bingo: slap America in the face with this stunt … and then watch the rich laugh all the way to the bank…

This should a big midterm issue right now regardless of whether Trump and Mnuchin are waiting or not for some legal opinion. This congress must step up now and raise hell.

This latest stunt from Trump once again shows his arrogance and complete and utter disregard for anything for the country, only for him, is rich pals, a and GOP’s ultra-rich base who would send fat PAC checks to him and the GOP just in time for the 2020 big race.

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