Tuesday, May 30, 2017

NATO 5-30-2017

30, May 2017                                    NATO  

In his latest effort to win “friends and influence people,” President Trump admonished European leaders to contribute their fair share to NATO. What hypocrisy, what chutzpah! This is the man who used every possible loophole to avoid paying his fair share of taxes. If everybody emulated Trump’s “smart” example, our infrastructure and national defense would be in shambles.

When Trump equivocated on America’s commitment to mutual defense and played coy to its Article 5 commitment, Germany’s, Angela Merkel, seized the moment stating, “we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands.” Speaking to journalists, she made no effort to hide her utter contempt for Trump and his entourage. Britain’s departure from the EU is also interpreted as an unambiguous retreat from the world stage. Germany is generally considered to be “the new leader” of the liberal world. Perhaps, NATO members should be more wary of the US role in world affairs. The politics of NATO is fraught with many risks. Invocation of Article 5 resulted in needless NATO deaths resulting from US policy blunders in Iraq and Afghanistan. It should only be used when a NATO ally is in imminent danger of being attacked.

Trump rounded off a disastrous NATO meeting by shoving the prime minister of Montenegro to ensure that he was front and center of a photo op. Such bullying, boorish, behavior is a national embarrassment and re-invokes the specter of the “ugly American”. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Manchester Bombing 5-25-2017

25, May 2017                                Manchester Bombing

While the horrific suicide attack in Manchester has dominated international headlines, little attention has been paid to civilian casualties in the perpetual “war on terror”.

Recent US airstrikes in Syria and Iraq have killed dozens of civilians during the past week. In Yemen, the human rights group, Reprieve, says U.S. Navy SEALs killed five civilians during a raid Tuesday night on a village in Ma’rib governorate.

The journalistic monitoring group, Airwars, says airstrikes on Sunday and Monday reportedly killed up to 44 civilians in Mosul, mostly women and children.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says U.S.-led airstrikes have killed 225 civilians over the past month, including 44 children.

Sadly, victims in conflict zones receive little media attention. It’s kept very ethereal, very distant and abstract. We never learn their names; we never hear the wailing cries from their families. One wonders whether such appalling deaths are the emotional driving force which motives Muslim youngsters on their suicide missions. Britain, the US and other western nations have been guilty of flooding the Middle East with billions of weapons which fuel the never ending cycle of death and destruction. This must stop. These wars are routed in centuries old conflict between Shias and Sunnis and the US and other western nations should remain neutral, otherwise we can only expect more “Manchester style” blowback tragedies. Finally, Muslim Imams need to do much more in “policing” their own youngsters and pruning their scriptures from hateful passages which justify killing infidels.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Trump’s Saudi Trip 5-23-2017

23, May 2017                          Trump’s Saudi Trip

Candidate Trump would be incensed with President Trump’s warm embrace of the Saudi monarchy. Forgotten, are his tweets calling them “cowards” and his Facebook post likening them to “slaveholders”. The “born again” Trump curtsied before King Salman, and seemed overwhelmed with the sheer opulence and grandeur of his surroundings.

He seemed totally unaware that Saudi Arabia is the epicenter of global terrorism aggressively funding Madrassas all over the world promoting an austere Wahhabi interpretation of Islam. This is the country that forbids their women to drive and compels them to cloak themselves in suffocating head to toe body coverings. This is the country where women are denigrated and lashings, decapitation of limbs, and stoning are fully condoned by the authorities. This is the birthplace of Wahhabi ideology which inspired the 9/11 hijackers and ALL other Islamic terrorist groups in the world including the Islamic State.
It is ironic that Trump was critical of Iran where they just concluded their elections. When was the last time Saudi Arabia held elections?

Trump announced the sale of $100 bn “beautiful” weapons to Saudi Arabia, the opening of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology in Riyadh and the creation of a Terrorist Financing Targeting Center. Oh what irony! The epicenter of terrorism is Riyadh! These “beautiful” weapons will be used to kill innocent men, women and children in neighboring Yemen and we will be complicit in Saudi’s war crimes. The ‘made in America’ unexploded ordinances are sure to engender fierce anti-American rage.  

Friday, May 19, 2017

Michael Flynn & Trump 5-19-2017

19, May 2017                             Michael Flynn & Trump

Contrary To Trump’s assertion, Michael Flynn is NOT “a good guy”. He's thoroughly deceitful and untruthful. He was fired by Obama for being untrustworthy. He has consistently ignored national policy and national interests to pursue his own selfish agenda. He tormented Clinton leading the chant, “lock her up”. He remained silent about his interactions with foreign powers amassing substantial wealth. Trump has never gone to bat for anyone without an ulterior motive. Let us hope a vigorous investigation will expose the sordid details of the Trump-Fynn-Russia saga.
Trump “requested” Comey to halt his investigation of Flynn.  “I hope you can let this go” followed by veiled threats behaving more like the mafia than the president.

This is the man who tormented Barack Obama with fake stories of being born in Kenya. The same man who had his supporters chant "lock, her up" at his rallies. The autocratic president wants to lock up journalists and censor the media. This man is extremely dangerous and must be removed from office.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

End the EB-5 Program 5-16-2017

16, May 2017                             End the EB-5 Program

The Kushner’s continue to use their White House connections to amass large fortunes.
Jared Kushner’s sister is wooing Chinese investors offering them a fast track to acquiring US Green Cards in return for investing $500,000 in a New Jersey property.

According to participants, Kushner’s sister, Nicole Meyer, promoted 1 Journal Square, a Kushner Companies’ development in Jersey City, at a recent event at the Four Seasons Hotel in Shanghai.

The sales pitch sought to raise funds from Chinese investors through the U.S. government’s EB-5 visa program, which permits permanent U.S. residency for those who finance projects that create a certain number of jobs.

The project is planning to raise $150 million from 300 EB-5 investors.

Trump’s family’s promotional efforts in China have generated widespread criticism of the EB-5 visa program, which has grown popular among wealthy foreigners seeking to move to the U.S. but faces increasing allegations of fraud and misuse. Critics see it as an attempt by China to curry favor with the White House.

Bi Ting, a 34-year-old woman who attended the Shanghai event, stated the obvious – having the name of the U.S. president’s son-in-law on the building was “a bonus for the project.”

The program is supposed to target poor US neighborhoods to generate jobs. 
It is time to end the EB-5 program which was crafted to benefit the super-rich.

Impeach Trump 5-16-2017

16, May 2017                               Impeach Trump

A beaming Trump hosted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in grand style tipping them off about an ISIS terrorist plot. US reporters were shutout generating a great deal of speculation. Was Trump proving his fidelity to President Putin to dissuade him from releasing his financial entanglements with Russian oligarchs?
Eric Trump admitted that Russian oligarchs had funded many of Trumps’ golf courses when US money was tight. Eric Trump boasted: “We don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”

By revealing highly classified information to an adversary, Trump’s boasting may well have given a warning to ISIS. He may also have blown the cover of one of our principal allies in the Middle East, Israel. The information could easily be passed to Iran, Israel’s arch enemy. It is doubtful whether Israel will share additional intelligence reports knowing Trump’s predilection to boasting in front of our adversaries.

Trump behavior on the National security stage is both reckless and shows total disregard for the security of the country. The bookies in London have now raised the impeachment stake to 50-50.

A secret note from Trump to Comey could raise the stakes much higher. Apparently, Trump asked Comey not to pursue criminal charges against Michael Flynn – a blatant obstruction of justice. Comey should be reinstated and articles of impeachment drawn up. Trump is an embarrassment and a national disgrace.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Trump & Sisi of Egypt 5-15-2017

15, May 2017                            Trump & Sisi of Egypt

Both Trump and Sisi have much in common. Both hate their judicial systems that curb their dictatorial powers. Both hate the ‘fake media’. Sissi tosses dissenters in jail and is frustrated with the long drawn appeals process delaying their ultimate execution. “No courts should work this way” he fumed. President Sissi is frustrated with the courts protracted procedures and its efforts to curb dictatorial powers. During his three years in office, Sissi has dismantled most barriers to ultimate power. Media outlets have been shut down and journalists jailed.

Likewise, Trump has taken aim at the courts that seeks to curb the absolute power of the President and demands absolute loyalty from his administration.

Trump has expressed great admiration for President Sisi who is attempting to neuter the courts. The only guardrails to ultimate dictatorial powers in the US are the courts and a free “watchdog” press that Trump has mocked as fake news. Trump supporters and the Republican Party have a critical choice to make. Continue to be enablers of Trump and accept his false promises to bring back elusive jobs and in the process usurp the powers of the media and weaken the judicial system. His supporters must also accept that the teachings of the Bible and the Ten Commandments are irrelevant. Trump has violated all Ten Commandments. The survival of the planet is unimportant and the “sacred” mission of the Republicans is a “reverse Robin Hood” - wealth transfer from the poor to the ultra-rich.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Comey’s Firing 5-14-2017

14, May 2017                     Comey’s Firing  

Trump’s firing of FBI James Comey is an enormous abuse of executive power whose purpose is to derail an investigation that was coming too close to the White House.
Trump demanded “loyalty” and made Comey an offer he had to reduce – scuttle the Russia investigation and retain his job, a blatant obstruction of justice – an impeachable offence.
This will go down in history as the biggest scandal in US history. Recall how Trump heaped praise on Comey when he tilted the presidency in his favor by reopening the FBI the enquiry into Clinton’s email server – just day before the 2016 election. Trump then “bludgeoned” Clinton with demands to “lock her up” to the delight of his adoring fans. But now the shoe is on the other foot, an angry Trump fired Comey when he learned that he had sought approval for additional resources to investigate the Russia hacking scandal. Thus far, a  number of Trump’s associate’s shady activities have been exposed from Paul Manafort, one of Mr. Trump’s campaign managers, Roger Stone, a longtime confidant, Carter Page, one of the campaign’s foreign-policy advisers and Michael Flynn, the disgraced former national security adviser.

Given all that has recently happened with the firing of Sally Yates, the acting attorney general and the dismissal of the US States attorneys, there is little hope that Trump or his associates will ever be held accountable for their misdeeds. Only a groundswell of public outrage can steer our faltering democracy and rescue it from tyrannical rule.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Comey 5-7-2017

7, May 2017                             Comey

In a recent Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing, Director of the FBI Comey stated that he was ‘mildly nauseous’ over the idea he swayed the election.’ He went public because he believed that the emails might provide insight into Mrs. Clinton’s reasons for using a private server and might change the outcome of the investigation. Failing to inform Congress, Mr. Comey said, would have a required an “act of concealment.”

Mr. Comey what makes me nauseous is your very selective concern of Clinton’s emails which amounted to nothing of consequence (your words) and your deliberate “act of concealment” of Trump’s team’s far more serious possible collusion with Russian officials who were meddling in our 2016 election. Why didn’t you inform Congress and the public of this ongoing investigation which commenced six months prior to the election?  If you had made this information public the election results would surely have tilted overwhelmingly in favor of Clinton. Your action have resulted in the election of the most dangerous, incompetent, president in US history and has created a ripple effect across the country and the world. Here are a few examples: 

Loss of House and Senate seats.
Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
Thousands of immigrants torn apart by ICE agents.
Loss of health insurance for 24 million.
No accountability of Trump team who have committed treason.
Major confrontation with North Korea.
Accelerated warming of the planet.

Mr. Comey your reputation as a “boy scout” leader is forever tarnished. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Trump’s obsessions 5-3-2017

3, May 2017                                Trump’s obsessions
President Trump seems to be obsessively warm and effusive to some of the most brutal dictators in the world. Following his inauguration, he reached out to Vladimir Putin in the hope of warming relations with Russia and perhaps thanking him for the role he played in torpedoing Clinton’s efforts.  Earlier this year he invited President el-Sisi of Egypt to the White House. El-Sisi is a former army general who overthrew the democratically-elected president of Egypt in 2013. He imprisoned tens of thousands of soldiers, police, judges, prosecutors, academics and journalists.
Following Erdogan of Turkey’s election, Trump called to congratulate him ignoring his assault on free speech and imprisonment of tens of thousands of people following last year’s coup.
Thailand’s leader is another authoritarian leader invited to the White House. The invitation will help fend off domestic opposition in Thailand. Prime Minister Prauth Chan ocha seized power in a military coup three years ago.
His latest infatuation is with President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, the authoritarian leader guilty of the extrajudicial killing of tens of thousands of suspected drug suspects.  During their “very friendly conversation,” Trump invited him to the White House. This was Trump’s latest impulsive gesture which caught members of his National Security Council and State Department off guard.
Trump praised the dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, as a “smart cookie.”  He recently stated that he would be “honored” to meet the North Korean leader.