The long-awaited Special Counsel report produced by Robert Mueller was delivered to Attorney General William Barr this past Friday. Donald Trump, his administration and band of supporters are claiming victory that the report did not find him conspiring with the Russia government during the 2016 presidential election.
But, did the Mueller report really clear him? As predicted, Trump and his pundits which have flamed throughout media have misstated the conclusions reached by claiming he has been totally exonerated.
“Mueller did not find Trump or his campaign conspired with Russia, also did not exonerate him on obstruction”
While team Trump spins the news that they have been absolutely vindicated by the report, a closer evaluation shows a much different summary. Prior to Robert Mueller being pulled in to investigate allegations against Trump, for the most part his life was private, especially those related to his financial dealings.
No report would have been necessary…….
Once he summarily fired James Comey, he inadvertently triggered the investigation as we know it. During that period of countless tweets, threats and other commentary never seen before by a United States president became an unfortunate side show.
Unfortunately for Trump, yes Mueller did not find a conspiracy with the Russian government. But what Mueller did find and was crafty enough to move from his specific mandate, was uncover a long history of Trump behavior which have led to criminal investigations. The Mueller report has completed and those actions will not be handled by the Special Counsel’s office. Instead other jurisdictions have taken the baton which have more freedom in their pursuit of justice and the end result is Trump is now more vulnerable than if the report had not been initiated in the first place.
The bigger picture
So, while Trump’s opponents voiced dismay of the Mueller report not providing the results they were seeking, their thirst for a Trump take-down blindsided many from seeing the bigger picture. Once they awaken from their nightmare of Trump escaping any of the Mueller indictments, they will see he actually did them a huge favor by sending the investigations to other jurisdictions.
Once Trump and his team finish their victory lap and admonishing those who they have defined as their enemies, a gauntlet of criminal investigations await them:
The hush money investigation
Trump’s inauguration funding
Pro-Trump super PAC
Trump Organization insurance policies
Trump Organization real estate deals
The Trump Foundation
Trump’s golf club employing undocumented immigrants
ABOVE CAPTION. President Trump Announces The Nominee For Federal Reserve Chair Of The Board Of Governors
Jerome Powell, governor of the U.S. Federal Reserve and President Donald Trump's nominee as chairman of the Federal Reserve, speaks as Trump, left, listens during a nomination announcement in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. If approved by the Senate, the 64-year-old former Carlyle Group LP managing director and ex-Treasury undersecretary would succeed Fed Chair Janet Yellen. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
“It is my pleasure to announce that @StephenMoore, a very respected Economist, will be nominated to serve on the Fed Board. I have known Steve for a long time – and have no doubt he will be an outstanding choice! @realDonaldTrump “
If your ambition is to serve as part of the Donald Trump administration, it helps to be part of the FOX network, speak negatively about the Obama administration or communicate in the media your disdain for someone in the current administration who happens to be in “hot water” with Donald Trump or his acolyte’s. This morning it was Steven Moore’s turn to see if he can parlay his loyalty to Trump and go through the nomination process.
The Federal Reserve is an independent body with the task of establishing monetary policy. Currently there are two openings on the board. Current Board Chair Jerome Powell has been in the crosshairs of Donald Trump for some time. It doesn’t matter that Powell, a life-long Republican was recently nominated by Trump to his current post less than two years ago. During that period the stock market hit some low marks. Rather than blame himself for the policies he adopted which most economist indicated was the reason for the decline, Trump found a new foe in Powell and suffered the wrath and the blame. Similar to so many officials Trump has appointed, many are independent and do not report or work for the White House. Their role is to work on behalf of the citizens of the United States of America.
Unfortunately as soon as whatever work they are doing intimates something Trump or the White House dislikes, they are admonished and chastised for not being a “team player.”
I only hire the best!
During the 2016 presidential campaign and leading up to naming key administration staff, Trump would boast, “he’d “surround myself only with the best and most serious people” — adding: “We want top-of-the-line professionals.”
That may result in a good sound-bite but the results to date have been a big flop. More than a few people who had the aspiration to be part of team Trump has resigned, summarily shown the front door or indicted due to criminal behavior, while their dreams went up in flames.
Being a panderer has its benefits
In some circles, Moore has been viewed as the ultimate panderer known for making nervous smiles during his stint as a cable-news analyst. He has demonstrated the willingness to support anything and everything spouted by Donald Trump. His behavior has been very similar to those who are publicly interviewing for administration post’s knowing full-well of Trump’s appetite in spending as much time as possible consuming media.
Up until this morning Moore was an analyst for CNN.
“Moore joined CNN as a contributor in early 2017. Given this news, he is no longer with the network, a CNN spokeswoman confirms.” CNN Chief Correspondent @brianstelter
He was known for his commitment to never admit anything negative about Donald Trump or his administration. Despite tremendous documentation and evidence to the contrary, Moore’s would presents arguments that might result in an “F” grade in the most basic debate class. His position was to always deny the obvious.
As mentioned, similar to other appointees Moore’s performance caught the attention of Trump. But perhaps the thing that sealed his nomination was his March 13, 2019 editorial to the Wall Street Journal which blasted current chair Powell and blamed him for the concern about Wall Street. This surely supported Trump’s attitude who in turn suggested to Economic Advisor, Larry Kudlow that Moore is just the type of person to fill one of the Fed vacancies.
Interestingly, many view the Federal Reserve as a prestigious organization where top economist who hold pHD’s wind up. Moore’s resume does not compare to those who currently sit on the board. Absent of a pHD, for the past three years his core employment was being a pundit for the Trump administration.
While Trump’s tweets are considered official communication, Moore indicated he has not received a firm offer. Assuming it comes later today or within the next several days the next step is to go through the nomination process. The big question is whether Trump is appointing Moore because he truly is competent and can improve the body or is he being positioned to promote his views as articulated in his March 13th op-ed.
On March 4th, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo announced the United States has suspended Title III of the 1996 Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) against Cuba.
The move is another twist of the administration’s zeal to thwart any progress made by the Obama administration regarding rebuilding relations between the two countries.
Ironically, Title III had been waived by presidents since 1996 and had been renewed consistently until the announcement by Pompeo. The act essentially allows Cubans who fled the country and landed in the United States following the 1959 revolution to sue in an attempt to reclaim land and property which was claimed by the government. Whether they will be successful in court is undefined at this time.
While the move appears pretty straight-forward, many international experts have a different perspective. Cuba is the largest country in the Caribbean and known for its independence and endurance. In addition to being an ally to communist regimes, they have been a big supporter of Venezuela and their support of the Maduro government.
The 1959 Revolution resulted in those not supporting the new regime to flee leaving property and other assets which the government used to rebuild the country. No doubt the issue is controversial and bitter feelings still exist from those who were exiled. However, some view the Trump Administration’s action as basic retaliation for the country supporting someone in another country who they do not support. As mentioned Pompeo indicated the move will be revisited in 30 days.
Like many things with this administration, it is unclear how many lawsuits may be brought or their probability of success.
This morning, longtime Trump ally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was indicted on corruption charges.
Sometimes you just have to stop and ask a critical question? Why is it so many people who consider themselves a close ally or an associate of Donald Trump find themselves under indictment, if not already convicted of criminal behavior?
No doubt Trump supporters will vehemently dismiss such a question as a massive witch hunt, pure jealously by those who dislike him or simply those hellbent on trolling for any negative news that he might be connected.
Unfortunately, like a heartbeat the throbbing question remains and deserves some type of legitimate response. It becomes a bit silly when Donald Trump and his supporters belt-out their choral refrain “There’s No Collusion, There’s No Russia interference!!!” Yet, all of the lads listed below have suffered the wrath of being entangled in the legal system investigating Donald Trump.
What is it about people who maintain a confident or even arrogant position about their leadership who continue to dangle on the fine line of being a sincere servant or using their office as a criminal conduit?
Stay tuned………….in case you missed the Michael Cohen congressional hearing yesterday here is a clip of him admonishing those who blindly follow Trump and the peril they may encounter.
“Reporters anti-Trump bias has spiraled out of control.” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders
Yesterday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its jobs report reflecting data compiled for January 2019. Great news for the 304,000 who are now employed. The report was also a positive shot in the arm for the Trump administration.
During the two-years the administration has been operating, they have accused the media of only focusing on negative news about the antics that Donald Trump belts out on almost a daily basis. Unfortunately, that is not true as over that period there is plenty of positive news the administration should be proud of.
The jobs report is just one marker. Eyebrows get raised when Trump and those who support him focus their retort primarily on African-American employment data as if they are some primitive group or the only group mentioned in the report. It is silly and many wonder why they don’t simply communicate an argument that includes everybody?
News such as the jobs report would lead media on a more frequent basis, if not for the self-inflicted wounds the administration consistently makes. Their blunders dampen the positive news they create resulting in them communicating a false narrative that “everybody is out to get them.’
The effects of the Government shutdown
The January report is positive news. However, in a more thorough analysis you will see the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.0 percent. Again, that is not alarming as it merely is a data point. It must also be noted the number of unemployed persons rose to 6.5 million. Among those, 175,000 are in the “temporary layout” category.
Despite the shutdown, the January report is good news and some political leaders can’t fathom why Donald Trump doesn’t spend more energy on building on positive reports instead of being obsessed with watching cable television or trying to figure out ways to continue to hold the taxpayers hostage on a wall he proudly stated and his supporters echoed that “Mexico would pay for?”
Why should Mexico pay for the wall? What’s the reason? We don’t need a wall. If Trump wants to build a wall, he has to go to Congress, and he has to tell the truth to U.S. taxpayers that they’re going to pay for that. ‘We’ll never pay for that fucking wall,’” Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico.
The shutdown of the United States government continues, as the sleight of hand maneuver led by President Donald Trump, backed by soundbites coming from Mitch McConnell, Sarah Sanders, and other Trump acolytes try to shield the obvious. They have gone to great lengths to communicate someone else is responsible for shutting down the government rather than the person in the White House. Instead, they try to shield him from further humiliation as people have awaken to his ruse of Mexico paying for the wall, and realize it is he who must accept the blame.
One thing is clear – Everyone wants secure borders. What has been lost in this aspiration is the government has been shut down on a promise that something would happen that had nothing to do with those affected!
Now the truth is before us
Trump has pulled off a capper that will go down in the history books as a hustle of all-time. No one is doubting one of the strengths of his campaign and subsequent administration message was getting his supporter’s stoked into creating a chorus line which has become famous, “Mexico is going to pay for it.” The call and response message seemed so convincing that supporters never realized they would be the “suckers” who Trump really meant would finance the wall.
Maybe you were one in the fired-up crowds when the question of who would pay for the wall Trump claimed would secure the world from any more ills? There was no mention of a shutdown. No mention about any negotiation being necessary with political leaders. It seemed like a slam-dunk, especially coming from the lips of Trump.
Instead, as most hustlers do when things don’t pan out, the blame gets quickly shifted. As mentioned it’s a common sleight-of-hand maneuver. Now all of a sudden people who had no hand in getting folk pumped up such as Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and others who are onto Trump’s hustle are now being blamed because they will not subject U.S. taxpayers to pay for something that someone else was supposed to pay for.
Instead, the likes of Sanders and Trump supporters blame them for not going along and agreeing to pay for the wall. They have moved to new dimensions by claiming those in opposition do not support Trump, dismiss all of the great things he has done since assuming the presidency, do not wish for border security, so on and so forth.
The reasoning is silly and dismisses a core element of this statement. “They want you to believe everybody knew Trump was just playing! C’mon be a patriot and fund the wall so we can open the government”
At what point will those in support of the wall realize they knew all along Donald Trump was hustling them as a backdrop to his charade? In the meantime, the reality is those tied to the United States government are shamelessly being held hostage by those who know they are being hustled, yet still have blind loyalty to Trump and his antics. Like many who are duped on a daily basis, they never believed the joke was on them, at least not until they finally come to their senses. And, that is how hustlers and those like Trump maneuver from issue to issue, business deal to business deal, on and on, leaving their victims in a pool of despair.
The latest antic as it has become clear Mexico will not be paying (upfront) for the wall, Trump has finally fessed up and asked folk to him fund his wall via his website >>>>> HELP ME
“After two years and millions of pages of documents (and a cost of over $30 million) no collusion!” Donald Trump – Dec. 7, 2018
“If the President puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that’s a Russia connection,” the White House spokesman insisted during a contentious exchange with reporters.
He said every official that’s been briefed on the matter has said there’s no sign of “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia.” Sean Spicer March 2017
“from what we know on the public record, Mueller has failed to prove the Trump-Russia collusion that he was appointed to investigate 19 months ago.” Fox News
“I have nothing to do with Russia. I have no investments in Russia, none whatsoever. I don’t have property in Russia. A lot of people thought I owned office buildings in Moscow. I don’t have property in Russia … I built a great company, but I’m not involved with Russia. I have had dealings with them over the years where I sold a house to a very wealthy Russian many years ago. I had the Miss Universe pageant which I owned for quite a while. I had it in Moscow a long time ago, but other than that, I have nothing to do with Russia.” Donald Trump
[Postscript] This was a critical week for a few of Donald Trump’s close allies who have pled guilty and simply are waiting for their sentencing. The filings regarding Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn and Michael Cohen provide the public a better picture of what occurred during the 2016 presidential campaign. Despite emphatic communication from Trump supporters, their claim is despite the filings no crime has been committed and proves people are out to get Donald Trump simply because he won the election!
In the meantime, those who swore the SC investigation is a witch-hunt or it would end in a few days……might want to wake up and stop their prognostication.
Above photo caption. Phil Carlos Wilson took this photo of Claudia Bivins wearing the flag. "As I laid the rebel flag down across Vernon's grave, I told my grandson what it represents -- our hope that racism and hatred would die," Bivins said. "That it would be killed at the root of our hearts, minds and souls."
Click HERE to read more about Bivins tribute to Vernon Dahmer
The final tally is pending official certification but this past Tuesday Republican candidate Cindy Hyde-Smith beat her opponent, Democratic candidate Mike Espy: 473,109 to 404,640. While a victory is a victory the margin is yet another warning bell for the GOP (Grand Old Party) and President Donald Trump’s waning popularity.
In a state where voting is polarized among ethnic and party lines, in a normal environment voting experts felt the race should not have been close. Even though Hyde-Park will remain in Washington, DC as Mississippi’s second Senator, she was not viewed as a strong candidate. In the run-off with Espy two blunders cost her more than a few votes that reminded people of Mississippi’s past. Many voters voiced consternation about having to vote for Hyde-Smith but felt their loyalty to the GOP was more important to the state’s legacy.
Vestiges of Slavery
For some slavery is a thing of the past. Not every White person owned slaves and not every African-American was a slave, although a good many were. Fast forward to 2018, data shows our society is more congenial than ever. However, there is still an attitude that persist with many Whites that African-American’s can never be their equal. It will be denied but simply look at the social fabric of the United States and inequality remains a persistent thorn in our image. That attitude is a direct result of the legacy of slavery and racism where one race was dominant over the others.
“If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th President
Brown v Board of Education was a landmark case in a pivotal time for the United States. Shortly after the Supreme Court ruling public schools across the nation were ordered to end the practice of segregating students based on race.
While some accepted the ruling as the “law of the land” there were just a many who resisted. The resistance came in many forms and the basis was race. Many Whites who were part of that population didn’t necessarily define themselves as racist but through their ancestral inheritance they could never fathom direct association with African-Americans, let alone attend the same school with them.
Year after year, resistance took many forms. Across the nation and specifically in Mississippi leaders developed a plan to thwart the ruling. Rather than open their schools to all ethnicities they abandoned them and set-up private schools known as segregation academies. The result was the assurance those with financial resources could opt out of public education and not have to attend classes with non-Whites.
In 1975, Cindy Hyde-Smith was a minor and she attended Lawrence Academy, which was a segregated academy founded in 1970. More than likely the decision was made by her parents. It’s one thing to aspire for a quality education but it is another to do so while minimizing your socialization with other groups? Apparently Hyde-Smith enjoyed her school experience because to maintain the tradition, as an adult she enrolled her daughter in the same environment.
Creatures of habit
Some may think what is the big deal of wanting to attend a school with people like you? The problem arises when you claim to want to represent a state made up of all types of people. One’s socialization is in the spotlight of how you communicate with others. In Hyde-Smith’s case, her past sheds light of some of her comments during the campaign where she appears to favor one group over the other, while claiming to be the representative for all!
Many Mississippians acknowledge their past history. Since its opening in December 2017, the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum has become a destination for locals and visitors to the state. It showcases the resilience of the African-American experience in Mississippi but it also puts a spotlight on the injustices they had to deal with. Part of the exhibit is the state’s history of lynching.
People from all walks of life make comments which may be viewed as racially insensitive. Certain topics are taboo or better left unspoken. One of those topics is any mention of lynching’s. It conjures up all types of negative feelings and emotions. For African-Americans who were oftentimes the victims, especially in Mississippi one would assume any comments would be held privately, let alone those who hold public office.
Hyde-Smith attempted to minimize her comment about lynching, instead employing the typical strategy of blaming those who brought her remarks up, as having some ulterior motive against her, instead of simply accepting the fact the remarks came out of her mouth?
The lynching comment and the fact of her likeness to segregated schools give pause to her mandate of successfully and equally represented all who claim Mississippi as their home state.
More perplexing is Hyde-Smith’s comments during the run-off debate on November 21st
Mississippi acknowledges its past racial history. Indeed, through the years it has made progress. Hyde-Smith’s challenge will be her allegiance to all Mississippians, not just those who espouse the Conservative values she emits. She also must reconcile her attitude for using lynching as a reference to someone she has affinity for. Then, she must use her power to deal with the education schism the state is known for and one which her parents and she perpetuated by being active participants.
In the meantime, those who voted now can take a break and ponder if they are willing to adjust their own racial bias.
Post-election canvass activity is continuous through the weekend in #LACounty. Care is taken to ensure all valid ballots are processed and counted. Election results will be updated Tuesday afternoon and again on Friday. #Election2018pic.twitter.com/Nyhf3I1Y3L
The mid-term election was on November 6, 2018. Nearly five days later there are still many votes left that need to be counted or in the words of Democratic Nominee for Governor of Florida, Andrew Gilliam, “we must ensure every vote cast is properly recorded.”
Although interest in this year’s mid-terms was historic, turnout came in at approximately 50%, which is higher than normal but embarrassingly low for a nation that prides itself on democracy. Many countries, even some which the United States mocks has turnout at 75-90 percent, far greater than the U.S.
The large numbers of votes yet to be counted is another issue. No doubt millions were properly recorded but due to advances in the election process vote-by-mail and provisional ballots has increased year after year.
Too close to call
A greater concern regarding counting the outstanding balance is the large number of races which are considered, “too close to call.” That number increased drastically during this cycle. Some point to the interest as a response to Donald Trump’s antics. Whatever the reason, democracy works best when more people take the time to vote.
As of latest report California has a little over 4 MILLION VOTES TO COUNT.
Now that the much talked-about mid-term elections have come and gone, many who took time to engage can get back to their daily routine.
A part of Donald Trump’s political ascendance was his ability to target his opponents and mock them in a way to make them irrelevant or plucking away any political favorability they had.
It’s the House fool
As the mid-terms came many political pontificator’s were nervous in wiping Trump’s success off the table or declaring many of his missteps were self-inflicted. After all his rallies were huge hits, packed to the brim with supporters? Many assumed his magic would last forever and that he was untouchable? A good many more bought into the notion of his celebrity and the new-found Republican party he had developed. The economy was booming. Tax cuts were rolling in. The wall would be built, absent of any money from Mexico. Ending his second year as president, Trump was feeling a bit giddy. His tone was who in their right mind would vote against what was achieved?
The IQ Factor
From “low-energy Jeb” to “lyin’ Ted Cruz” to “dishonest Hillary” on and on, Trump had created a line that many supporters came to adore which was about the House of Representative from the 43rd district of California named Maxine Waters. He declaredly labeled her as “Low IQ” Maxine.” The name stuck with his supporters and he took glee and great pleasure in admonishing her. The fact he has created a history of marginalizing or mocking those who are non-white, intimating them as lazy, stupid, criminalistic or other negative attributes was not seen as racist behavior. To his supporters he was simply telling it like it is!!! And, after all he was making their lives better, not to mention giving them their country back?
The result of losing the house
For two years Trump and his administration has held the wild card of controlling all three branches of the government. Yesterday, they received a public rebuke as they lost the House of Representatives. While some will dismiss this fact, it is critical and may provide a glimpse of what Trump and his supporters must deal with. The win provides the Democratic party with the coveted power of being transformed into chairs of the many committees. It also provides them with power of the subpoena.
One chair swap that will take place in January 2019 is the Financial Services Committee. Despite Trump labeling her as a “low IQ” individual, Maxine Waters is in line to be selected as chair. Those who know her define her not by an IQ issue but brilliant in being an advocate against the powerful, specifically personalities such as Trump. They applaud her resilience and track record of getting the job done. Whatever motivated Trump from creating the moniker he assigned her, he may come to regret it as she becomes laser focused on all of his alleged corruption and mis-dealings, including releasing to the public his long-promised tax returns.
Some will dismiss her strategy as “what’s the big deal?” They may be blind of not understanding what transparency is all about? Or, perhaps like some have stated, they may fear the exposure of his financial entanglements which perhaps could be a reason of his behavior, not necessarily just the Mueller special investigation? In the meantime, yes, the economy is moving and consumer confidence is up but the core reality is many view the president as untrustworthy and the likes of Waters and others in the house now have the ability to put a spotlight of what they have been prevented from uncovering or at least obtaining an honest answer for the people they represent.
The Trump and Waters soliloquy will be an interesting dance. One might assume Trump felt he would never lose the house to allow Waters to be unleashed? The voters decided that reality.
BEFORE WE GO…..ICYMI
Many of you recall the tragic murder of Trayvon Martin? The again, some of you are aware of the Women’s Movement which mushroomed the day after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president? But how many remember the killing of Jordan Davis who was gunned down by Michael Dunn in Jacksonville, FL? Unlike George Zimmerman the killer of Martin who was found not guilty, Michael Dunn was found guilty of Davis’ death and is now in prison. Like the parents of so many who have been found their plight by the end of a gun, Davis’ mother found the energy to raise her voice and become a political voice.
Yesterday, Lucy McBath was one of those women who threw their hat in the political ring and won their election (although the results are within the range of an automatic recount). If she is ultimately successful, her victory is a sign of how democracy works – at the local level.
Lucy McBath declares victory in Georgia’s 6th District race