[Discussion] Hope to Remember The Trump Administration Thread as being 'transparent and honest'

Let's follow and discuss what our newest presidential administration gets up to, the good, the bad, the lawsuits, and the many many indictments.

I honestly don't know which is worse: Trump inviting the Taliban leadership to Camp David, or Trump lying about how he totally was going to invite the Taliban to Camp David.

Gremlin wrote:

I honestly don't know which is worse: Trump inviting the Taliban leadership to Camp David, or Trump lying about how he totally was going to invite the Taliban to Camp David.

It's a new milestone in "Trump skating past things that would have the GOP apoplectic for months and right-wing media calling for bloody revolution if Obama did them", that's for sure.

NYT: Checking In at Trump Hotels, for Kinship (and Maybe Some Sway):
To ethics lawyers, the most extraordinary aspect of the daily merging of President Trump’s official duties and his commercial interests is that it has now become almost routine.

For a group like Concerned Women for America, with its agenda of religious freedom and limiting abortion rights, for a lobbyist looking for a change in some federal regulation, or for a Republican candidate seeking donors, patronizing the hotel or the president’s Mar-a-Lago club or another of his properties has become a routine part of doing business in the Trump era. For some of the president’s supporters, it is even a way of giving thanks.

“President Trump has really been on the side of the evangelicals and we want to do everything we can to make him successful,” said Sharon Bolan Yerby, an evangelical minister from Dallas, who had dinner at the hotel last fall, and then headed over to the White House the next day for a “faith briefing” of religious leaders. “And if that means having dinner or staying in his hotel, we are going to do so.”

To ethics lawyers, the most extraordinary aspect of the daily merging of Mr. Trump’s official duties and his commercial interests both in Washington and around the world is that it has now become almost routine.

Since Mr. Trump became president, there have been thousands of visits to his properties, not only by Mr. Trump himself, but by foreign leaders, lobbyists, Republican candidates, members of Congress, cabinet members and others with ties to the president. At least 90 members of Congress, 250 Trump administration officials and more than 110 foreign officials have been spotted at Trump properties since 2017, according to social media posts and counts by various watchdog groups.

We've come a long way from Jimmy Carter.

qaraq wrote:
Gremlin wrote:

I honestly don't know which is worse: Trump inviting the Taliban leadership to Camp David, or Trump lying about how he totally was going to invite the Taliban to Camp David.

It's a new milestone in "Trump skating past things that would have the GOP apoplectic for months and right-wing media calling for bloody revolution if Obama did them", that's for sure.

As with everything, our pudding brained POTUS grossly oversimplified details.

TL; DR - the US administration brainiacs thought that Taliban would agree to tripartate talks because Taliban treats with them and the Afghan government treats with them.

The Taliban does not recognize the Afghan government as legitimate. By agreeing to this plan in the way it is supposedly structured, the Taliban would legitimize the Afghan government.

There is also the pesky fact that the Taliban is winning. They control more territory than ever and they have inflicted MASSIVE casualities on Afghan security forces.

Between 40 - 60 thousand in the last 4 years. This does not include civilian casualities because estimates vary greatly and many human rights groups report that US and Afghan forces inflict more casualities than the Taliban.

Gremlin wrote:

NYT:

Since Mr. Trump became president, there have been thousands of visits to his properties, not only by Mr. Trump himself, but by foreign leaders, lobbyists, Republican candidates, members of Congress, cabinet members and others with ties to the president. At least 90 members of Congress, 250 Trump administration officials and more than 110 foreign officials have been spotted at Trump properties since 2017, according to social media posts and counts by various watchdog groups.

We've come a long way from Jimmy Carter.

Well come on, now. Who could have foreseen that maintaining business interests when president might invite this sort of pseudo-bribe?

Sigh.

Haha... it’s called #Rule45

NYT has a detailed breakdown of my above post.

TL;DR - Failed businessman and former reality TV show host tries to make peace process about him with predictable results.

Barr's latest step toward dictatorship:

Attorneys for the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday submitted a motion to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia requesting that the court dismiss House Democrats’ lawsuit aimed at President Donald Trump’s tax returns.

In the motion, the attorneys claimed that House Democrats are constitutionally prohibited from “conscripting” the federal judiciary to enforce subpoenas issued for the president’s tax documents unless the Executive Branch agrees to allow the matter to be adjudicated through the court.

The executive branch is already illegally withholding Trump's returns from the House. Now they're arguing that the courts can't get involved unless the executive branch agrees, which is f*cking ridiculous because the executive has already refused to follow the law, so there's no way they'd "agree to allow the matter to be adjudicated through the court."

In effect, Barr's DOJ is now arguing that the executive branch is completely above the law.

Nothing Banana Republicy about this...

Commerce Chief Threatened Firings at NOAA After Trump’s Hurricane Tweets, Sources Say

NYT wrote:

The Secretary of Commerce threatened to fire top employees at NOAA on Friday after the agency’s Birmingham office contradicted President Trump’s claim that Hurricane Dorian might hit Alabama, according to three people familiar with the discussion.

That threat led to an unusual, unsigned statement later that Friday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration disavowing the office’s own position that Alabama was not at risk. The reversal caused widespread anger within the agency and drew criticism from the scientific community that NOAA, a division of the Commerce Department, had been bent to political purposes.

Officials at the White House and the Commerce Department declined to comment on administration involvement in the NOAA statement.

...

Mr. Ross, the Commerce Secretary, intervened two days later, early last Friday, according to the three people familiar with his actions. Mr. Ross phoned Neil Jacobs, the acting administrator of NOAA, from Greece where the secretary was traveling for meetings and instructed Dr. Jacobs to fix the agency’s perceived contradiction of the president.

Dr. Jacobs objected to the demand and was told that the political staff at NOAA would be fired if the situation was not fixed, according to the three individuals, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the episode. Unlike career government employees, political staff are appointed by the administration. They usually include a handful of top officials, such as Dr. Jacobs, and their aides.

I've become completely inured to this stuff at this point.

Clumber wrote:

I've become completely inured to this stuff at this point.

Yeah. I think he can literally do what he wants at this point and conservatives won’t lift a finger. And maybe the rest of us won’t either because we know conservatives won’t do jack sh*t.

OG_slinger wrote:

Nothing Banana Republicy about this...

Commerce Chief Threatened Firings at NOAA After Trump’s Hurricane Tweets, Sources Say

Shocking! It's exactly what we all assumed. Who could have guessed??

DSGamer wrote:
Clumber wrote:

I've become completely inured to this stuff at this point.

Yeah. I think he can literally do what he wants at this point and conservatives won’t lift a finger. And maybe the rest of us won’t either because we know conservatives won’t do jack sh*t.

Not only conservatives. If the investigating committees recommend impeachment and Dem leadership refuses to hold a House vote it will signal that the president is completely above the law.

I've been more-and-more avoiding national news and focusing on local areas where I can make a difference, such as school board, band boosters, coaching, and other volunteering. If I just stayed home and browsed online, even with the great group here at GWJ, I'd feel increasingly hopeless about our future. But I know that's not true when I leave home and participate in local groups. Citizens and parents I interact with avoid political conversations for the most part and it's satisfying to help build the community.

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Bolton has been fired. I'm afraid to see who replaces him.

JC wrote:

Bolton has been fired. I'm afraid to see who replaces him.

Who woulda thought that War Monger Yosemite Sam would not be warhawkish enough to survive in this Administration?

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/ZvrJj8K.png)
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You know why? So that the headlines today would read

"Trump fires John Bolton" as CNNs front page does now.

If he accepted the resignation he would appear weak! Firing is strong and he only cares about image.

JC wrote:

Bolton has been fired. I'm afraid to see who replaces him.

Milo needs a job.

Bolton should have shaved his stache.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say Bolton was fired for advocating war with Iran when Putin was telling Trump not to do it.

OG_slinger wrote:

Bolton should have shaved his stache.

He needs it for his new career in 70s porn.

Yes. No one should make a change to themselves based on keeping a job with trump. It is a temp job at the best of times and with dippy in charge it is virtually assured you will be updating your resume.

OG_slinger wrote:

Bolton should have shaved his stache.

Look Mr. Burns, I don't know what you think sideburns are...

Rat Boy wrote:

I'm going to go out on a limb and say Bolton was fired for advocating war with Iran when Putin was telling Trump not to do it.

Bolton didn't want the Taliban on U.S. soil. Trump did.

Didn't ever think I would be agreeing with John Bolton, but here we are.

Vrikk wrote:
Rat Boy wrote:

I'm going to go out on a limb and say Bolton was fired for advocating war with Iran when Putin was telling Trump not to do it.

Bolton didn't want the Taliban on U.S. soil. Trump did.

Didn't ever think I would be agreeing with John Bolton, but here we are.

And earlier this month Bolton visited Poland, Moldova, and Belarus in an attempt to counter Russian (and Chinese) influence in Eastern Europe. I doubt Trump's boss was happy with that.

Vrikk wrote:

Didn't ever think I would be agreeing with John Bolton, but here we are.

You're only agreeing with Bolton in comparison to a feeble-minded old man who can't think his way out of a soggy tissue.

OG_slinger wrote:
Vrikk wrote:
Rat Boy wrote:

I'm going to go out on a limb and say Bolton was fired for advocating war with Iran when Putin was telling Trump not to do it.

Bolton didn't want the Taliban on U.S. soil. Trump did.

Didn't ever think I would be agreeing with John Bolton, but here we are.

And earlier this month Bolton visited Poland, Moldova, and Belarus in an attempt to counter Russian (and Chinese) influence in Eastern Europe. I doubt Trump's boss was happy with that.

Yeah, but those guys were white.

Former top FEMA officials arrested on fraud charges in Puerto Rico

CBS News wrote:

Former top FEMA officials who worked in Puerto Rico during the island's recovery from Hurricane Maria were arrested on Tuesday in a federal corruption investigation. The investigation centers around alleged bribes that secured a $1.8 billion contract to repair Puerto Rico's damaged electrical grid.

Federal authorities arrested Ahsha Tribble, FEMA's former deputy regional administrator, who worked in Puerto Rico after the storm, and Donald Keith Ellison, former president of energy company Cobra Acquisitions. Jovanda Patterson, who worked as Tribble's chief of staff, was also arrested.

The indictment, which was returned by a federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico on Tuesday, lists 15 counts of corruption against Tribble, Ellison and Patterson. They include charges against Tribble and Ellison of conspiracy to commit bribery, honest services wire fraud and disaster fraud. Tribble was separately charged with Travel Act violations, while Ellison was separately charged with making false statements to federal agents.

I guess this is the kind of swampiness you get when the then director of FEMA was more concerned about how he could commute between DC and his family's home in North Carolina (and get taxpayers to pick up the bill) than actually running the agency.