Saturday, April 21, 2018

Trump Empire, Inc. “Art of the Con” Playbook Rules: All Other Rules Do Not Apply

Trump Business Model Bible for all Deals 
(No Exceptions / No Deviations)

Sample Project Under Trump Rules

This summary from the main article linked below could just as well

The former Trump insider, Steve Bannon, once hinted darkly about the Trump family’s exposure to money laundering. S/C Robert Mueller has already secured an indictment of Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman on charges of money laundering related to his work in Ukraine.

Federal prosecutors now are reported to be looking into Jared Kushner’s family firm over its use of a federal immigration-related program that offers wealthy Chinese investors visas in return for investments Kushner Companies have denied any wrongdoing.

(Insert: That program is the EB-5 visa program, which offers visas to foreigners in exchange for a $500,000 investment. More here from PBS and here from CNN – both related stories).

The Trump family’s business entanglements are of more than historical significance. Americans need to be sure that major foreign policy decisions are made in the national interest — not because of foreign ties forged by the president’s business ventures.

The main post starts from here with this headline:


By PETER FRITSCH and GLENN R. SIMPSON (founders of Fusion GPS research)

Sub-heading: “Forget Stormy Daniels. The business records subpoenaed by Robert Mueller might be Donald Trump’s greatest legal headache.”

Read and absorb the story and explicit details therein.

Now, my 2 cents: Most-revealing and telling article, isn’t it?

So, what can “We the People” now expect as any kind of outcome?

My first guess: Not much, and why not?

This all-neatly outlined article is just too involved, too interlaced, too political, and with too many ties and connections for any rational or logical or legal conclusion to be reached by mere mortals like me and you.

But, I do give Trump credit for one quality: His con-artist skills, which he has honed for 30-40 years – he now owns the United States just like his newest branch of Trump Empire, Inc., and his major partner is of course, Vladimir Putin.

Together they will divide the planet in half along “East-West” lines as they go hog wild as twin dictators.

But that is just my hunch based on what I just read and everything since Trump took office and Putin just won a life-time seat in Moscow.

Whether that presented above is true or just “fake news” (Trump’s favorite phrase for the facts or anything he does not agree with), remains to be seen. But, as I said, what if all this is true, then what? 

We shall see or will we? Stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by. 




Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Hey Mitch: Thanks for Protecting Me and Covering My A** Just in Case I Need It

You and Ryan are two of kind — Luv ya' both
(Kentuckians can be proud of you — Go Cardinals!!!)

The headlines is startling:



WASHINGTON (THE AP) — GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)  on Tuesday, April 17 thwarted any bipartisan effort to protect special counsel Robert Mueller in his job, saying in part that he would not hold a floor vote on the legislation even if it is approved next week by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Further, McConnell said the bill is unnecessary because President Donald Trump will not fire Mueller, then added: “We’ll not be having this on the floor of the Senate.”

My 2 Cents:

How in the hell does McConnell know that Trump would not fire Mueller, or replace Rod Rosenstein and then order his replacement to fire Mueller – thus competing the ugly circle?

And in slimy traditional GOP fashion McConnell makes his announcement FAUX gnus (surprise, surprise, surprise) ... which we can see once again clearly as ever.

FOX news (oxymoron) is the #1 controller of America media, politics, and just about everything else good and decent.

Not much else I can add to this except maybe to say that McConnell has sunk so low that he could walk under a snake wearing a top hat and never touch it … pitiful man, just awful. So much for the democratic process, um?

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Searching for the Truth: Trump's Insulting Tweets vs. Comey's Pertinent Memoir

President Trump vs. Former FBI Director James Comey
(Goal: Present the Truth for the Public)

Weapons of Choice

Historical review of former FBI Director James Comey’s congressional testimony on Clinton’s email that went from Abedin to Weiner’s p/c at home – Washington Post article here and video extract below:



====================================================


Background from CNN – May 9, 2017 – The FBI sent a letter Tuesday evening aiming to clear up false statements said by Director James Comey to Congress last week that former Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin “forwarded hundreds and thousands of emails to her husband's laptop.”

Note: Comey had been fired the day before on Monday, May 8, 2017

Timeline of events leading to that firing here from the Washington Post.

Comey stated in his testimony the week before to Congress that Clinton's emails had been forwarded to the computer of Abedin's husband, former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, and suggested: “That hundreds and thousands of emails had been deliberately sent directly from Abedin to Weiner's computer.”

But officials told CNN last fall the majority of the thousands of emails reviewed by the FBI got to Weiner's, and while some of those emails may have been sent directly from Huma in order to be printed, precise the number was far fewer than the amount Comey described in his testimony.

The FBI confirmed the distinction in its which read in part:Although we do not know the exact numbers, based on its investigation, the FBI believes it is reasonable to conclude that most of the emails found on Mr. Weiner's laptop computer related to the Clinton investigation occurred as a result of a backup of personal electronic devices, with a small number a result of manual forwarding by Ms. Abedin to Mr. Weiner.”

Comey had said: “Somehow, her emails were being forwarded to Anthony Weiner, including some retroactively classified information by (Clinton's) assistant, Huma Abedin and there was no indication that Abedin had a sense that what she was doing was in violation of the law.”

NOTEWORTHY: The emails weren't marked as classified, although the FBI later found classified information contained in some emails recovered from Weiner's laptop.

The discovery of the emails in October 2016 (one month before the election) prompted Comey to alert Congress in a letter that the FBI had reopened its probe of Clinton's private email server based on the new discovery to Weiner’s P/C.

Some Democrats and Clinton herself have blamed her election loss at least partly on Comey's decision to update Congress about the newly found emails and she was on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey's letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for her and got scared off. The FBI ended its new investigation into the emails two days before the election, in part concluding that no charges should be brought against Clinton or anyone else.

My 2 Cents: I don’t like the election outcome any more than a vast majority of the country, and the email scandal probably hurt Clinton and her chances to win – the Trump team did a great job painting her has “Crooked Hillary and Flynn's lock her up” campaign and the Comey statement plus the WikiLeaks dump of hacked DNC/and personal emails and documents was the icing on the proverbial cake.

But, I also agree with Comey and his conflict due to the timing as he states – I can support his rationale of “what if she won a serious issues were found?” it would cause a major crisis .. 

Having said that, Comey rolled the dice and rightly so, but just look at the Trump major crisis now … good grief “what evil hath we wrought on ourselves”– that is what Trump voters should be asking themselves.

Time will tell and history is still being written. What lies ahead is apt to be much uglier than right now. Then add in the Comey book contents with the back and forth tweets from Trump with a new string of insults (which are the Trump bulling trademark) and the facts as we find and see them – a simple wow will not suffice, will it? 

Thus stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Trump White House Firing Spree Continues: Bolton's First Day Makes First Firing

Trump's Homeland Security Adviser, Tom Bossert
(Sayonara, Tommy)

Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out

Trump still cleaning house? Nope not his time, it's now John Bolton on a rant ... more are apt to feel his meat axe – one day on the job and it’s bye-bye Tommy boy (Tom Bossert) – you’re fired – get the hell out – to wit:




My 2 Cents: So, who’s next? 

CofS John Kelly (possible).

AG Jeff Sessions (very possible). 

Dep AG Rod Rosenstein (strong possibility).

Then what? Keep Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump-Kushner in place and bring in Melania Trump, Eric Trump, and then Don Trump Jr., — all to ensure the family circle remains small and tight while keeping Trump Empire, Inc. in place and paramount at all costs.

So, stay tuned … and thanks for stopping by. 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

The Russian Probe: Trump a Subject not the Target (yet) — Mueller Not Confused

Difference between the two terms is black and white - no gray
(Certainty; no rush or hurry)
 
Subject or target - target or subject – seems I’m cleared 
(We have mid-terms - my base needs to know ASAP)

Trump is a “subject” not the “target” of the Mueller Russian investigation (from Newsweek)
The notion that Mueller is misleading Trump about being a “subject” vs. a target or “the target” is, however, dubious.
Special agents are allowed to deceive witnesses in sting operations, prosecutors are prohibited from engaging in the same types of deception. Mueller is a renowned straight shooter. If Trump were a target, he would have told him.
Ultimately, however being the “subject” of an investigation rather than “the target” is still bad news for Trump.
No one wants to be told that his or her actions fall within the scope of a grand jury investigation. But this is good news for one person: Robert Mueller. The fact that the public is aware that he is not preemptively designating the president a “target” delegitimizes the idea that the investigation is an anti-Trump witch hunt.
Make no mistake, Mueller’s #1 target is Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Whether he takes down Trump in reaching that target still remains to be seen.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Related – difference between someone being the Subject or Target of any investigation:
“A subject” is “a person whose conduct is within the scope of the grand jury’s investigation” (cite: United States Attorney’s Manual).  “A target” is a person as to whom the prosecutor or the grand jury has substantial evidence linking him or her to the commission of a crime and who, in the judgment of the route, is a putative defendant.” 
Ergo: A target is not yet a putative defendant in the eyes of a prosecutor is still by nature, a subject – that is Trump right now.
This topic of classification often arises when a prosecutor reaches out to an individual to obtain evidence from him or her. Every person has a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. What this means is that a defendant — or possible defendant — cannot be coerced or forced to give statements to investigators.
This is among the various reasons that prosecutors often ask anyone who may fall in the “subject” category to sit for a voluntary interview — if a person chooses to give a statement, that statement may be used in an investigation against him or her.
That same Attorney’s Manual warns that “subpoenaing a target may carry the appearance of unfairness,” and judges can consider that such unfairness amounts to coercion in a particular case. If a judge decided so, it could poison the whole investigation. The fact that prosecutors steer toward voluntary interviews with subjects as well as targets indicates just how close these two categories often are in practice.
In certain quarters, Trump’s designation as only a “subject” after a year of investigation is cause to celebrate. The president’s team, however, should not get out the champagne.
Being a subject is a very fluid state and is often liable to change. The fact that Trump is not a putative defendant at this moment only means that prosecutors do not have enough evidence to call him a defendant at this point. It does not mean that they cannot develop that evidence.
My 2 Cents: So, what does all this prove right now? 
Simple, I believe: S/C Robert Mueller is clever, smart, slick, and a true professional and everyone (except for the Trump camp) knows that for a fact. He is slowly working his way to the very top – as he always does in big investigations like this: and possibly right to Trump.
I say that for one simple and clearly obvious and logical reason: Donald J. Trump always knows what goes on around him for and on his behalf by anyone connected to him in any way … make no mistake or have no doubt about that aspect of his life.
Stay tuned – the end is closer than we suspect.
Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

S/C Mueller Got One Liar Sentenced With Fine and Jail Time: Guess Who's Next

Trumpsters make sure your windows and mirrors are clean
(Never know what you'll see - oops)

Tweets are not official government policy
(They are views, opinions, hunches, mostly nonsense) 

Q & A: “Is collusion a crime?” (No, it is not Federal Crime Code) however, this latest action proves Mueller is hot on the trail finding of all kinds of links that lead to or involve Trump’s 2016 campaign, or those very close to him, and perhaps Trump himself since it is very hard believe that Trump did not know what was happening on his behalf since he excels about being in control and on top of everything around him.

This post's source is from Washington (AFP) The Dutch lawyer with direct knowledge of contacts between Russian intelligence officials and a top official in Donald Trump's campaign became the first person sentenced in special prosecutor Robert Mueller's sprawling investigation. 

His name is Alex van der Zwaan. He  was sentenced to 30 days in jail and a $20,000 fine after pleading guilty to lying about his contacts with former campaign deputy Rick Gates and a former Russian intelligence official

Van der Zwaan, a Dutch national with Russian roots and son-in-law of a prominent Russian tycoon, was a lawyer in London for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in 2012 when he carried out work for the Ukraine government through Gates and close associate Paul Manafort. 

In 2016, after Manafort became chairman of Trump's election campaign and took Gates on as his deputy, van der Zwaan and Gates both had communications with a person they knew as a former official of Russia's GRU intelligence agency, prosecutors said (see more on this below). 

According to the FBI court documents, an individual labeled as “Person A” had ties to the GRU (Russian intelligence service) in 2016. 

(Note: “Person A” has since been identified as a former GRU intelligence officer by the name of: Konstantin Kilimnik – whose name surfaced many times during the 2016 election cycle. As I said, he was a longtime fixer in Ukraine for Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, and he had communicated with Gates just ahead of the November 2016 vote, and then a year later he traded emails with the freshly-indicted Paul Manafort. Kilimnik was a onetime Russian military intelligence officer in the GRU (Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate) – that was in the Mueller court filing which ID him as “Person A”). More on all this here, here, and a lot more here).

My 2 Cents: As the old song says: “The Heat is On” and Trump loyalist’s heat shields and tinfoil hats won’t work. 

Mr. Mueller is like a bloodhound – the trail is hot and he knows exactly where it leads – stay tuned. 

With this sentence (the fine and jail time) for lying Mueller's strategy and technique are clear: Working his way to the top. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Trump Sides With PLO: In a Legal Case Against Them and Their Terrorist Attacks

Yasser Arafat: 4th PLO Leader (1969 until his death in 2004) 
succeeded by Mahmoud Abbas 
(Did Trump know him??)

Mahmoud Abbas: President of the State of Palestine, Palestinian 
National Authority, and the PLO 
(Oval Office: May 2017)

Major Update From the Supreme Court (April 2, 2018).  The original post follows this update: 


WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court rejected the appeal from American victims of terrorist attacks in the Middle East more than a decade ago. The justices are not commenting Monday in ending a lawsuit against the PLO and Palestinian Authority in connection with attacks in Israel in 2002 and 2004 that killed 33 people. 

A lower court tossed out a $654 million verdict against the Palestinians.

The Trump administration sided with the Palestinians in calling on the high court to leave the lower court ruling in place. The federal appeals court in New York said U.S. courts can’t consider lawsuits against foreign-based groups over random attacks that were not aimed at the United States. 

The victims sued under the Anti-Terrorism Act, passed to open U.S. courts to American victims of international terrorism.


======================================================

Original Post Follows From Here:

Pretty startling and troubling headline to say the least: Trump sides with terrorists – case in point described in this report:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite its bumpy relationship with the Palestinians, the Trump administration is siding with the PLO urging the Supreme Court to reject an appeal from American victims of terrorist attacks in the Middle East more than a decade ago. The victims are asking the high court to reinstate a $654 million verdict against the PLO and Palestinian Authority in connection with attacks in Israel in 2002 and 2004 that killed 33 people and wounded hundreds more.

A Federal Appeals Court in New York tossed out the verdict back in 2016. It said then that U.S. courts can’t consider lawsuits against foreign-based groups over random attacks that were not aimed at the United States.

The victims then sued under the Anti-Terrorism Act, signed into law in 1992. That law was passed to open U.S. courts to victims of international terrorism, spurred by the killing of American Leon Klinghoffer during a 1985 terrorist attack aboard the Achille Lauro cruise ship.

Again the appeals court disagreed. In late June, the justices asked the administration to weigh in on the case, as they often do in cases with foreign policy implications. The DOJ filed its brief eight months later, saying there was nothing in the appeals court ruling to “warrant this court’s intervention at this time.”

This from a very key and savvy lawyer: Ted Olson in his unusually strong language for a Supreme Court filing wrote:  “The government is not being square with the court.” Olson further said the administration was being cagey about its view of the law, even after the lower court cut back on its use by attack victims to try to hold groups financially liable, and he added: “If the appeals court decision is left in place, it would close the courthouse door to U.S. victims of “many acts of terrorism overseas in which terrorists maim and kill indiscriminately, without regard to nationality.”

Olson then pointed to recent attacks in Belgium, Britain, France, and Spain as examples. Even Klinghoffer’s relatives would have no case, unless they could prove he was killed because he was American, rather than Jewish, he said.

The Trump administration said it is “far from clear” that so many claims would be kept out of court.

Democrats and Republicans in both houses of Congress also are calling on the court to take up the victims’ case.

Further and by example from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) (who was a sponsor of the law) said part: “The Trump administration had the opportunity to stand with American victims of terrorism by defending and restoring the law. But it failed to do so. The Supreme Court should not.”

Historical Note: In 1969, Yasser Arafat and his Fatah took over the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) – the organization had been created by the Arab League five years earlier – and effectively declared Palestinian independence from the region’s power players.

In the years that followed, the various armed factions of the PLO restored the term “Palestinian” into the international media lexicon through a series of high-profile acts of violence in many cases targeting Israeli civilians, including bombings, cross-border raids, airplane hijackings and the 1972 Munich Olympic hostage massacre. The world took notice.

In 1974, for example, the UN recognized the PLO as “the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people,” and Arafat, in military uniform that included a holster that may or may not have contained a weapon, became the first representative of a non-governmental entity to address the General Assembly, saying to the world: “Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter's gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand,”


I Note: Trump had earlier infuriated the Palestinians by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announcing plans to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, so, I surmise this move, another Trump slick “deal” for which the high court should NOT toss, but somehow Trump thinks if it is tossed it will make the PLO happy and not pissed at him - ergo: Art of the Deal, I suppose???

“The Trump con clearly once again in the spotlight.”

Nevertheless, I call this the biggest WTF moment for sure in our history – that is for any president to side with any terrorist organization which the PLO is in such a move. 

I would further say that this could be an excellent case to use to impeach Trump for such a blatant treasonous act – a legal term for sure. 

Naturally, the PLO is calling on our high court to reject the appeal. 

Let’s hope the USSC has more sense and will rule 9-0 for the victims. 

Stay tuned – this is surely a biggie as they say. 

Thanks for stropping by. 


Saturday, March 31, 2018

Wild-Wild West Texas Justice: A Sad Commentary for Equal Justice Under Law

Crystal Mason: Sentenced to 5 years in jail for innocent voter fraud

This story should anger everyone in the country and big time re: Voter fraud and the stark differences between a black person going to jail for 5 years and three white persons not going to jail for the same voter fraud crimes – story here from Raw Story and here from NPRboth good sources.

The basic story: Crystal Mason is black and from Texas and she was just sentenced five years in prison for unknowingly committing voter fraud. She voted in the 2016 election.

Background on Ms. Mason and her story: She is 43-year-old mother of two had just been released from a 3-year sentence for tax fraud and was on parole. At no point did her parole officer or anyone at the state or local level tell her she couldn’t vote. She said she didn’t know she could not vote and now, she’s going to prison for it. 

Yet, in the following three cases, also of voter fraud, no one went to jail and all three of them were convicted of voter fraud – one huge difference: All three of them are white.

In North Carolina: A voter for President Donald Trump cast a ballot on behalf of her mother, who had just died. She claimed that she was grieving the death and didn’t know she couldn’t vote on behalf of a dead person. In that case, no charges were filed. “This woman is 67 years old and has never run afoul of the law for anything more serious than a speeding ticket. It is not in the public’s interest to charge her with this felony offense,” statement from DA David Learner.

In Colorado: The former GOP chairman filled out his wife’s ballot for her and mailed it in. When she went to the polls, she was told she’d already voted, with no knowledge of it. He claimed he was having a “major diabetic episode” and had no memory of filling out the ballot. In that case, he was given three years of probation and 300 hours of community service.

In Iowa: Terri Lynn Rote tried to vote twice for Trump. Her excuse was that she believed Trump when he said the “election is rigged.” She feared her first vote would probably be changed to support Hillary Clinton, so she wanted to vote again. In that case, she confessed to her guilt and was given probation with a $750 fine.

Conclusion:  Crystal Mason was the only of the group who received prison time.

There are marked two major differences are that she from Texas and she is black. Her case is simple and not a “crime” in the pure sense – quite innocent as a matter of fact. 

Sad, isn’t it – this sort of Wild West justice and 100% race based w/o any doubt. Hopefully, and appeals court will agree not sentence her – that would be right and just thing to do.

Thanks for stopping by. 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin Fired: Reason Not 100% Clear But Should Be Soon

Shulkin was appointed VA Secretary by Trump
(He had been Under Secretary under Obama)


Recently fired VA Secretary, Dr. David Shulkin, specialized in health care management. He has been described as “one of the high priests of patient centered care. 

Now he is warning of the impact of privatization and politicization of the already embattled VA — now underway in the Trump White House — writing in a NY Times Op-Ed here via AlterNet with this headline:


“Privatization leading to the dismantling of the department's extensive health care system is a terrible idea.”

He wrote: “The department's understanding of service-related health problems, its groundbreaking research, and its special ability to work with military veterans cannot be easily replicated in the private sector.”

He then cited his VA accomplishments: (1) A new G.I. Bill, (2) reducing wait times at VA hospitals, and (3) providing more mental health services for veterans suffering from the effects of war. 

Shulkin then claimed those successes have now emboldened those in the Trump administration to aim for privatizing the VA health system and adding those advocates viewed him as an obstacle to privatization and worked to have him removed” thus pointing directly to his dramatic firing. 

He then wrote: Privatization of the VA is at its root a “political issue aimed at rewarding select people and companies with profits, even if it undermines care for veterans. The agency has become so politicized that political appointees have chosen to push their agendas instead of doing “what's best for the nation's veterans. These individuals fail to engage in realistic plans regarding who will care for those more than 9 million veterans who rely on the department for life-sustaining care.” 

He then said the private sector would be ill-prepared to handle the backlog of patients and their medical issues (if the administration in fact moves to close or downsize existing VA hospitals and clinics – which also follows privatization plans), citing the vast mental health needs of veterans returning from war as an area that would be gravely impacted.

He also blamed the “toxic and chaotic environment” of Washington for not allowing him to fully accomplish his work at the VA. 

He then vowed “to continue to speak out against those who seek to harm the VA by putting their personal agendas in front of the well-being of our veterans.”

Possible impact of such a move is listed in this fine article from Salon.

Related and listed here (Pro's and Con's) of privatizing the VA.  

My 2 cents in closing:

NEED I REMIND ANYONE THAT WAR IS HELL AND WE HAVE BEEN IN WAR NOW OVER 15 YEARS IN AFGHANISTAN, IRAQ, SYRIA, and A LOT OF OTHER HOT SPOTS IN THAT REGION AND AROUND THE GLOBE.

Also, need I need to remind anyone of the quote from Abraham Lincoln during his second inaugural address March 4, 1865 which was the cornerstone for the VA ever since with only a slight gender neutral change made from the original quote – the new one now reads:

“To care for (him) those who shall have borne the battle and (his widow and his orphan) their families and survivors.”

Trump by his actions is determined to downsize, eliminate, destroy, dismantle, or otherwise do away with time-tested programs which are the basis of our entire democratic and government system as if he was resigning a new business endeavor.

This privatization move if it were to become reality would be a really bad move … 

Now Vets need to speak out without delay – both pro and con – our Congressional leadership needs to hear from them.

Thanks for stopping by and for sure, stay tuned on issue.