Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Nation Comes First

This is a topic that has long concerned me. A decade before Trump’s son sought a meeting with Russians he was told were part of an operation to influence his father’s election, I had more or less one place where I could talk to others about the state of my country, one place to really discuss politics.

I wrote an entry here mixing my interest in C.S. Lewis (a profound influence on my religious life) and my philosophy of politics proper relationship to conduct.

The book I used for a source had a central tenet: the love that becomes a God, becomes a demon. In other words, if you get too obsessed with the service of one sort of desire or another, it can corrupt you.

There was a particular passage I found interesting then, and still find relevant now.

The difference seems to me important. I may without self-righteousness or hypocrisy think it just to defend my house by force against a burglar; but if I start pretending that I blacked his eye purely on moral grounds-wholly indifferent to the fact that the house in question was mine-I become insufferable.

Let's be blunt here. I value my country's sovereignty. There's no arrogance in saying that America elections should not be interfered with, in desiring to be free of outside interference. What's the point of having an election, where we are meant to choose our own leaders, if some other nation covertly manipulates our population to suit their interests? This government doesn't rule Russians, it rules us! We're the ones who have signed the social contract, who want our nation's government synchronized with our interests.

If Russia sneaks its way into our house and interferes with our elections, common sense dictates we should knock them out the door bruised and battered. if we let them interfere with us regularly, if they continue to influence us in that way, are we really free?

With me, the basic principle is not this fanfare-blowing, overwrought, America first at all costs sort of mentality. The basic principle is that America is my country, right or wrong. It represents me as I represent it. I was born here, and for no more profound reason than that, I want it to be a shining example, to best at what it does, a place where you are not bound by your socio economic class to ignorance and poverty, but can improve yourself as you please.

Even if we have interfered with other nations in the past, perhaps built up some karmic debt in the minds of some, no self-respecting nation would willingly let its internal affairs be interfered with. If we jail Israeli spies, we shouldn't have much love for the Russian kind.

So, if Trump has cooperated with these people in their covert operation, he deserves to be punished for that. A leader who sells out his country to gain control of it is, in effect, turning it into a puppet regime of whoever he owes his success to. The Heritage Foundation has an article on the emoluments clause that addresses one type. It says:

Like several other provisions of the Constitution, the Emoluments Clause also embodies the memory of the epochal constitutional struggles in seventeenth-century Britain between the forces of Parliament and the Stuart dynasty. St. George Tucker's explanation of the clause noted that "in the reign of Charles the [S]econd of England, that prince, and almost all his officers of state were either actual pensioners of the court of France, or supposed to be under its influence, directly, or indirectly, from that cause. The reign of that monarch has been, accordingly, proverbially disgraceful to his memory." As these remarks imply, the clause was directed not merely at American diplomats serving abroad, but more generally at officials throughout the federal government.

We want our leaders to be independent of foreign control. The two named high crimes and misdemeanors of the Article II, section 4 provisions of the Constitution are Treason and Bribery. In both cases, we're dealing with a President who is subverting his office, breaking his word, his oath, and taking his marching orders from somebody else than the American people.

I'd like to think of my nation as not needing some other nation's intervention to govern itself. I'd like to think that the Declaration of Independence was aimed at our overall independence, that we weren't to become subject to some foreign power out of despair for our ability to govern ourselves.

I'm not a xenophobe. But America is my house, and I think Americans should run their house. I don't think Putin has any business more or less acting like an espionage novel version of a SuperPAC. I don't think any Presidential candidate or his campaign have any business accepting the help of a foreign nation in that capacity.

Yes, you might like to get dirt on Clinton. Fine. Get it legally. Don't have somebody steal it for you, foreign or domestic (I'm looking at you, G. Gordon Liddy.) You might like to get somebody pouring fake news into the social media landscape. Regrettable, perhaps actionable under defamation laws... But there are legal ways to go about that, too.

I get politics isn't beanbag. But you have to have rules if you want at least moderately moral, moderately honest leaders in place. If you're preaching about draining the swamp, but you're practicing Trump's brand of politics, you're defeating the purpose of your vote.

Trump and his family are disgracing our system. Their behavior needs to be put in check before it rots our democracy right out from underneath it.

It all comes down to whether you really believe in our constitution, in government of, by, and for the people, in America as an independent, sovereign nation to itself, or whether you think of it as needing one party's rule so badly that this party should be able to bring in foreign help, participate in espionage and even treason in order to win.

If winning is so important to you that you destroy the thing you profess to love, then you are a truly pitiful specimen of American indeed. This nation needs to know how deep the corruption, how deep the rot goes, so that it can tear whatever corruption has taken hold by the roots, so this nation can stand strong, stand independent.

if you apologize for clear collusion between Trump, his campaign, his administration, and the Russians, then you effectively cheer on the kind of shame that France's subversion of England's rule brought on its people. Trump cannot serve the Russian government and the American people at the same time, and serve both masters well.

He either took that oath in good faith, or he did not. We need to find out what Trump did, and bring him the proper reckoning where he has betrayed his oath.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at July 18, 2017 3:21 PM
Comments
Comment #418336

“I don’t think any Presidential candidate or his campaign have any business accepting the help of a foreign nation in that capacity.”

I agree. Everything Stephen writes to this point is correct in the opinion of most Americans.

Then, he writes; “If you’re preaching about draining the swamp, but you’re practicing Trump’s brand of politics, you’re defeating the purpose of your vote. Trump and his family are disgracing our system.”

He goes right off the rails and no longer speaks as an American, but as a “hair-on-fire” Liberal. Stephen makes the leap from generalities about America’s basic principles to accusations about our properly elected president with no facts.

He writes; “Trump cannot serve the Russian government and the American people at the same time, and serve both masters well.”

Wow…what a shameful misuse of loyalty and patriotism. Mr. Daugherty is an embarrassment to both.

It is obvious that Mr. Daugherty loves neither our Constitution or Law and Order. He has convicted the president of horrible conduct using only one criteria…HATE.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 18, 2017 2:48 PM
Comment #418339

What a mess. What an absolute mess.

Trump received an approval rating of 36%, the lowest any president has received at the six month point in 70 years.

The 8th person at the Trump Tower meeting has been identified as a Russian real estate executive for Crocus, which belongs to a Russian oligarch. The person attending was implicated in a Russian money laundering scheme. He set up over 2,000 shell corporations for Russian brokers to launder money through real estate.

It has been confirmed Special Counsel Mueller is investigating the meeting.

If reports are true, and Kushner walked out of the meeting with the folder of dirt on Hillary Clinton provided by the Russians, he committed a felony.

This story changes almost daily. What we do know is that Trump lied about… well… everything. The Russian investigation was not a witch hunt. It was not a hoax. The news was not fake; in fact, Trump Jr. released an e-mail confirming the purpose of the meeting was not to discuss adoption, but to provide dirt on HRC from the Russian government, to the Trump campaign.

What a mess. Polling gave the GOP health care bills the lowest levels of approval in three decades. It was a horrible attempt to take away health care coverage from millions of poor and middle income Americans, in order to give the richest of the rich a big tax break. It failed. Bigly. And that’s tough for the GOP, because ‘tax reform,’ better known as more tax cuts for corporations and the rich, and ‘infrastructure,’ better known as tax cuts for utilities and fossil fuel companies, needed that sweet sweet Medicaid money in order to give that money to the rich and corporations.

And it is fitting that the Republican bill to repeal Obamacare was shot down by three female Senators. Next time those 13 white males go behind closed doors to craft legislation repealing PP, they might want to consult with the ladies.

Posted by: phx8 at July 18, 2017 4:21 PM
Comment #418341

One other observation:

Calling for a “Made in America” week is a good idea. The White House should hammer that every day- better yet, do it for a month. But if Trump chooses to do this, and can schedule it any time he wants, then he and his children need to set the example. They need to lead. They need to move every overseas production plant into America, and there are a lot of them, before declaring “Made in America” week. It would be a great communications coup.

Otherwise, the entire exercise looks so stupid, it is just jaw dropping. What is the matter with these people? Seriously! What a mess. Sad.

And speaking of being a leader- Trump said “most people would have taken that meeting” at Trump Tower. That is false. Most people would NOT have done that. Trump has an obligation to be a leader in every way he can, and that kind of statement is NOT a good example.

Posted by: phx8 at July 18, 2017 4:33 PM
Comment #418342

I am with Conservative Republicans on replacing Obamacare. Merely voting to rescind it, and yet keep its provisions funded, bureaucratic regulations intact, and growing Medicaid to un-affordable heights for two more years while debate takes place is hardly a solution.

My concern is for the millions of working Americans who had good, affordable medical care insurance before Obamacare was passed; and now are suffering while footing the bill for others to be covered.

I see no justice in this. We are not yet a Socialist state. Thank God.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 18, 2017 4:49 PM
Comment #418343

pdx8, maybe, there’s a town in Bangladesh
named america

The right wing platform, again:

1. limit democracy so wealth flows to the few.

2. shape ideology, opponents are bad-ists and isms, un or anti-american

3. redesign the economy so banksters rule, limit manufactures to make local consumption irrelevant.

4. shift the burden from plutocrats to precariat

5. attack solidarity because caring for others is bad

6. run the regulators, to bail out failed businesses,
one set of rules for the rich, another for the poor

7. engineer elections, like “citizens united”

8. keep the rabble in line, “attack labor unions”

9. manufacture consent for control over the uninformed

10. marginalize the population so angry and frustrated people turn on themselves”


Read the September issue of The New Republic.

Posted by: oraoghilie at July 18, 2017 5:07 PM
Comment #418344

Stephen continues to make the accusations of collusion between Trump and Russia, and a lot of other MSM talking points, but I still fail to read about the evidence. WHERE”S THE BEEF STEPHEN?

ph quotes the WAPO/ABC poll of 36% approval; but he fails to mention they polled 12% more democrats. This is the same poll that had Hillary beating Trump by an outlandish majority; so why should we believe a lying poll. But this we do know; Trump won by 50% +- of the popular vote and about 6% of those are waffling on their support of Trump, which means that Trump still has about 44 or 45% support among the American voters. Which is a whole lot more than the congress.

The reason the GOP repeal Obamacare bill gets such a low numbers is because nobody likes it; the dems certainly don’s and conservatives don’t because it doesn’t do the job. So once again, fake polls.

Trumps got the upper hand on this; he will just let Obamacare collapse and do nothing about it.

Posted by: Blaine at July 18, 2017 5:10 PM
Comment #418346

Trumps got the upper hand on this; he will just let Obamacare collapse and do nothing about it.
Posted by: Blaine at July 18, 2017 5:10 PM

I hope President Trump has the courage to do just that. There will be political Hell to pay from both sides. But, a good compromise solution could result.

The Republican’s elected to the House and Senate simply can not get their act together. They lack political will and seem mostly concerned about not offending anyone except those who voted them into office.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 18, 2017 5:31 PM
Comment #418352

I heard today from a Senator that when he came to D.C, he discovered that senators spent 90% of their time working on reelection and raising money and the other 10% actually doing senate work. Then when they have the chance to speak publicly on C-SPAN, they spend it campaigning.

I think Trump knows he has a bargaining chip; the democrats and republicans will be trying to cut deals when everyone loses their HC.

Posted by: Blaine at July 18, 2017 6:04 PM
Comment #418354

“Trumps got the upper hand on this; he will just let Obamacare collapse and do nothing about it.”

That is leadership? That is courage? Good lord. In what universe does that equal the “upper hand”?

Three GOP Senators refused to go along with a repeal, and Trump blamed Democrats. He literally refuses to own it. He refuses to take responsibility. That is the saddest excuse for a president I have seen in my lifetime. He knows nothing about health care, so he can not sell the product. He simply offers to sign something- anything- but he can not lead the charge.

He and HHS Secretary Price can kill the ACA by refusing to disburse subsidies. Trump has threatened to do that several times. It creates uncertainty. Several insurers have dropped out specifically because of Trump’s threats. If he goes through withholding the funding, that would kill the ACA instantly.

oraoghilie,
The conservative agenda shares a lot in common with the Russian agenda- a kleptocracy of oligarchs. The wealth is concentrated in a small number of people. Labor unions are discouraged. The free media is “the enemy of the people.” The elections in Russia are engineered, to put it politely. In the US, the GOP actively pursues voter suppression, while ignoring Russian intervention in our election as much as possible. Evangelical Christianity and the Russian Orthodox Church serve similar roles in enabling Trump and Putin by targeting certain communities.

Ever hear of P*ssy Riot? Those are some incredibly brave artists. One performer, Nadya Tolokonnikova, has been imprisoned, she has been beaten, and still she performs, and still openly opposes the likes of Putin and Trump.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VakUHHUSdf8

This video, “Chaika,” was mentioned on TRMS. The performers are wearing blue Russian prosecutor uniforms. They refer to several cases of high level corruption and the Church that supports the oligarchs.

They literally put their life on the line by putting this out there.


Posted by: phx8 at July 18, 2017 6:12 PM
Comment #418355

Blaine; if President Trump really wanted to stir up a hornet’s nest and get everyone angry, but moved to quick action, he could write an executive order that would subject all congress-critters and senators to Obamacare.

Perhaps if they had to live under the shitty legislation they enact for us; it might clear up their myopic vision.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 18, 2017 6:16 PM
Comment #418357

pdx8, I don’t care for her music, but loved the next one that came up:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-bKFo30o2o

Pussy Riot - Make America Great Again

As I said in a post that was deleted, the POS incited ICE agents to murder a US citizen in the neighborhood where I grew up.

TRMS is great, and I get an unauthorized version every night I can. I also recommend The David Pakman Show on YT. I’ve never wanted to mention it here because he doesn’t need any more hatriots.

Posted by: oraoghilie at July 18, 2017 6:29 PM
Comment #418359

phx8; I encourage “free media” and am glad the “fairness doctrine” is gone.

The GOP actively pursues voter identification to prevent fraud.

Evangelical Christianity is applauded by our president, most members of congress, our judicial branch, most religions in the US, and most persons of moral character.

Labor unions are encouraged to treat all who labor fairly.

The wealth in this country is directly attributable to free enterprise and individual initiative operating in a capitalistic environment.

The retirement savings of most Americans is invested in our corporations. They do well when American business does well.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 18, 2017 6:48 PM
Comment #418361

Royal, can Trump do that with an executive order?

Ph, the 3 republican senators that refused to vote for the repeal bill, were not voting on Trumps bill. The repeal and replace bill was abandoned. The clean repeal bill was brought up by McConnell, not Trump.

Leadership is when you get something done, and Trump has done a lot. Even with the democrats trying to block everything he does.

Posted by: Blaine at July 18, 2017 6:50 PM
Comment #418362

Royal, can Trump do that with an executive order?

I don’t see why not Blaine. Obama did much the same with his executive orders through HHS. Perhaps someone can tell us how it would work.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 18, 2017 6:54 PM
Comment #418365

Millennials Say They Love Socialism, But Can’t Define It

“A new video released by Campus Reform shows that though many young people support socialism, some of them cannot even define what it is.

Campus Reform, a group that investigates issues relating to college campuses, asked students in the Washington, D.C. area about their opinions on socialism as a political philosophy and whether they thought it should be implemented in the United States.”

http://www.westernjournalism.com/millennials-say-love-socialism-but-cant-define-it/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=braverafreedomforce&utm_campaign=can&utm_content=2017-07-18

My capitalist Pals will really like this.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 18, 2017 7:30 PM
Comment #418368
“in the reign of Charles the [S]econd of England, that prince, and almost all his officers of state were either actual pensioners of the court of France, or supposed to be under its influence, directly, or indirectly, from that cause. The reign of that monarch has been, accordingly, proverbially disgraceful to his memory.”
Posted by Stephen Daugherty at July 18, 2017 3:21 PM

This is based on a very anglo-centric view of history, which ignores the view of the English. Charles II is considered to be a hero there. Prince William will be his first descendant to become king, if that ever happens. Charles was sub-leasing his army to Louis XIV, so that he could have an army, during the war of devolution. The quote then was “the little princes held out their hands, and the big ones held out their hats.” Louis XIV had enough money to bribe some members of Parliament, to make Charles dependent on him. These people were all acquainted and related to each other.

Bribery is now endemic to our system of government, and has even penetrated into the SCOTUS, which rules in favor of bribery. Is it really that odd that foreign governments also want to join in bribing people here to see if they can promote their own interest?

Posted by: oraoghilie at July 18, 2017 7:52 PM
Comment #418377

pdx8, A Timeline of Treason | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0AseqeQTws

I don’t know if many people noticed, but Rinat Akhmetshin was literally Putin’s left hand man at a meeting Putin had with the presidents of south africa and mexico. His appearance changed over the years.

Posted by: oraoghilie at July 18, 2017 9:54 PM
Comment #418381

The 8th person attending that meeting at Trump Tower was a real piece of work. There is a reason they concealed his presence. They saved the best for last.

Ike Kaveladze is a senior vice president at Crocus Group, a real estate developer. Kaveladze’s claim to fame is money laundering. He laundered $1.4 billion- with a ‘b’- for Russians and Eastern Europeans through American banks over a 10 year period. According to the GAO report, he set up 2,000 shell corporations to do this.

Trump does a lot through shell corporations. Ordinarily, that would make the real buyers and sellers difficult to trace. However, a Special Counsel with the top prosecutors in the country tracking transactions goes a little beyond ordinary.

Most of the evidence of collusion is circumstantial, although that case became much stronger thanks to the Trump Jr. e-mail. There might already be enough to press charges. Kushner is meat just for his multiple amendments of his security clearance which failed to mention the people at this meeting until recently, if Mueller wants him charged. But I still think the money laundering is what will blow this thing open.

Posted by: phx8 at July 18, 2017 10:51 PM
Comment #418384

”..he could write an executive order that would subject all congress-critters and senators to Obamacare.”

Royal,

Perhaps you aren’t aware but all “congress-critters and senators” and their staffs are already legally required to get their health insurance through Obamacare exchanges. It is a provision of the ACA. “..when Congress passed Obamacare, it required that members of Congress and designated staffers obtain their insurance through an exchange created by the law.” http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/18/politics/senate-health-care-benefits/index.html

Posted by: Rich at July 19, 2017 12:33 AM
Comment #418385

pdx8, It’s getting more and more like a scene from A Night At The Opera, but without the Marx Brothers. I’m getting sick of all these names out of a Dostoevsky novel too. There have to be a bunch of lawyers and accountants involved in setting up all these shell companies. I wonder who took Jack Mitnick’s place after he retired to Florida.

There are so many possible charges against Kushner that they should start a trial on one charge, get a conviction, and see what happens from there.

Manifort got a very large loan out of a very small bank located near the South Water Market in Chicago, supposedly to pay for an appointment as Secretary of the Army. The bank itself has been trying to scam veterans on a bait and switch scheme.

Posted by: oraoghilie at July 19, 2017 12:51 AM
Comment #418387

pdx, Ian Bremmer, who was on TRMS tonight about the other meeting with Putin at the G20 dinner, was also on Bill Maher a month ago, on a panel with Malcolm Nance and Eddie Izzard:
Pee Tape, Fake News, Death Threats | Overtime with Bill Maher (HBO)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inJXUHC0llY

Malcolm Nance is scheduled to be on The Stephanie Miller Show tomorrow.

Posted by: oraoghilie at July 19, 2017 1:43 AM
Comment #418390

Stephen

You lost because of your agenda, and what would have amounted to at least 4 more years of Obama’s liberal policies. There is zero evidence that the Russians had ANY effect on the outcome of this election.

Posted by: dbs at July 19, 2017 6:59 AM
Comment #418392

I think this premise is where Stephen Daugherty goes off the rails.

This government doesn’t rule Russians, it rules us!
Posted by: Weary Willie at July 19, 2017 10:24 AM
Comment #418393

NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Talks Suing Donald Trump

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSGQxN-Ooec

Posted by: oraoghilie at July 19, 2017 10:33 AM
Comment #418394

If a woman is not allowed to sue a sitting president for rape I doubt this guy would be able to sue a sitting president either.

Unless there’s a double standard in place. Heaven forbid that could happen.

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 19, 2017 10:35 AM
Comment #418397
Trump does a lot through shell corporations. Ordinarily, that would make the real buyers and sellers difficult to trace.
Posted by: phx8 at July 18, 2017 10:51 PM

Tell me about it. I’m trying to track down the ones related to the late Peter W. Smith. The names seem designed to make searches difficult:

KLS Research LLC

The Company Corporation (BBB: Do NOT USE THIS COMPANY unless you want them to force you into bankruptcy! )

CorpAmerica, Inc.,
Their other DBA names:
Corporate Agents, Inc.
The Company Corp.
The United State Corporation Company
http://Incorporate.com
http://LLC.com
CorpAmerica
Registered Agent Authority
InstaCorp


2711 CENTERVILLE RD STE 400 WILMINGTON, DE 19808
There are 250 companies that have an address matching 2711 Centerville Rd Ste 400 Wilmington, DE 19808.

CSC (Corporate Services Corporation)
WMB holdings is the holding company of CSC.
of note here is Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, New York-based international law firm

Posted by: oraoghilie at July 19, 2017 11:30 AM
Comment #418398

smart MDSC Advocacy Specialist:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXIoYZa_Uzw

specialists in stupid:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-Ydoh_5EjU

Posted by: oraoghilie at July 19, 2017 1:21 PM
Comment #418399
Then, he writes; “If you’re preaching about draining the swamp, but you’re practicing Trump’s brand of politics, you’re defeating the purpose of your vote. Trump and his family are disgracing our system.”

He goes right off the rails and no longer speaks as an American, but as a “hair-on-fire” Liberal. Stephen makes the leap from generalities about America’s basic principles to accusations about our properly elected president with no facts.

Royal I beg to differ my friend. what he said was “Trump and his family are disgracing our system. Their behavior needs to be put in check before it rots our democracy right out from underneath it.” and there are plenty of facts to support this statement. For starters Daughter Trump and Husband serving as a special assistant in the White House while running her company, is nepotism. This example is more banana republic country dictator than a democratically elected president.

Secondly the whole “hair on fire” thing is a gross exaggeration. Every American should be disgusted with this type of government. It is a reasonable statement given what is known about Trump today. As facts come out over the Russian scandal we find Trump and his staff has lied and deceived every inch of the way, how does a sitting president do that and have you defend him as he rots our democracy out from underneath us.

You continue on with “He writes; “Trump cannot serve the Russian government and the American people at the same time, and serve both masters well.”” and claim “Wow…what a shameful misuse of loyalty and patriotism. Mr. Daugherty is an embarrassment to both.”

While it is true that Trump’s actions are a shameful misuse of loyalty and patriotism Stephens isn’t. IMHO any embarrassment should be yours for making such illogical conclusions. My God Royal you act like Trump has lied his way through the whole Russian thing. Each and every step he has lied,it is a shameful misuse of your loyalty to defend Trump each and every time he lies. I guess you prefer like Trump loyalty to him not the office .

But that isn’t enough for you because you go on with false accusations “It is obvious that Mr. Daugherty loves neither our Constitution or Law and Order. He has convicted the president of horrible conduct using only one criteria…HATE.” but it isn’t obvious to anyone. It is a personal attack on Stephen. Because someone criticizes Trump doesn’t mean they are against the Constitution nor law and order,for crying out loud Royal that is a hateful thing to say. If anything it is a desire for law and order that would be a more logical reason for Stephen to say what he said.

So Royal you smear the writer yet offer no facts yourself when it comes to your defense of Trump. Why is that?

Posted by: j2t2 at July 19, 2017 1:33 PM
Comment #418400

Royal Flush-
The man made his Ethics Watchdog quit in disgust. You want to pretend that just defeating liberals makes the government less corrupt, be my guest. The only saving grace here is that Trump seems to be either lazy when it comes to recruiting, or so radioactive nobody shows up.

Trump seems mysteriously dead set on helping the Russians out. If you got a better explanation for why he’s having hour-long private conversations with Putin and Putin’s translator, be my guest, tell me.

The sanctions, which Russia richly deserves for it’s invasion of other nation’s sovereign territory, and its disruption of our elections, seem to be a prime target for Trump’s team to get rid of, and I’ve seen multiple reports of Trump’s people being stymied in attempts to get rid of them.

I’ve seen actual footage and screen captures of Trump in the same room as the people who his son met with in that meeting his e-mails spoke of, people who Trump Jr.’s friend stated were there on behalf of the Russian government, and part of an operation to help his election. That footage dates from four years ago. He made a music video, held a beauty pageant with them.

The choice of Tillerson himself seems to be a gimmee to Russia, as he was involved in a project aimed at exploiting oil reserves in Russia. Repudiating the Paris Accords, trying to sink green-energy funding (despite the fact it’s gotten damn cheap as an energy source)… Trump seems to be serving the Russian Republic’s interests, not ours.

As for actively pursuing voter fraud? Look, if an organization had enough wherewithal to convince millions to vote falsely, and transport them to the appropriate polling places, then they could afford to provide them with fake IDs appropriate to the jurisdiction. The big issue is… well, it’s a big undertaking to throw an election one way or another simply by faking individual votes. It’s a lot easier to use mass media, especially social media, to spread a lot of misinformation and strategically chosen accurate facts in order to suppress the votes you don’t want and motivate the ones you do. What’s more, no fingerprints of yours on the ballots. You can rightly claim they were all willingly cast by the voters, even though you’ve distorted the media environment that influenced and motivated their choices.

There was a third party involved in our elections, and it wasn’t the Greens or the Libertarians. It was the Russians, and they did their absolute best to make things easier for a man who, as it turns out, needed all the help he could get in order to be elected.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 19, 2017 1:47 PM
Comment #418401

j2t2-
It goes beyond what I personally would want. The constitution was written by men well aware of how the European powers could attempt to buy or marry their way into control of the country. Emoluments isn’t the only means of preserving our independence. The restrictions of the Presidency to Natural Born citizens was in part an attempt to keep this highest office in the hands of Americans, not have some English, French, Prussian or Saxon come over and manipulate the system to become head of state.

It tells you something that George the Third, who we fought our revolution against, was actually a scion of a German house, and the first in his line to speak English as his first language!

We want people to lead us who have a stake in our fortunes, who share in the prosperity or ruin that they bring us. We want the people who lead us to not be conflicted in whether or not they serve this country’s interests, or their own.

For all the effort Trump went through to become President, he seems to have been too good to sacrifice his business empire, entangled in all kinds of different places, with all kinds of different people, to serve the interests of the American people. Even if he didn’t sell us out to Russia, Trump has most decidedly sold us out to his business partners, breaking down many barriers (including the tradition of putting business holdings in blind trusts) that kept previous Presidents clear on who they served.

I think Republicans think of Corruption as some sort of ideological disease, or some result of being in Washington too long. But that’s an excessively optimistic and naive way of looking at things.

Corruption is all about who benefits, and how that influences policy. We ask Presidents to show us tax returns, in part, as part of their proof that they’re not involved in some corrupt arrangments. We ask them to put their holdings in blind trusts so they don’t know how their official decisions will affect their fortunes.

In short, we try to make it more difficult to avoid disclosures, more difficult to act corruptly. We can avoid all corruption, but if we keep pressure up, and make sure these people know they’re being watched, they might pre-emptively avoid trouble by not going down those roads.

Trump supporters have not demanded enough accountability of him, not enough proof that he’s actually avoiding the appearance of impropriety, or actual impropriety itself. Trump seems to have a terminal case of tin-ear on it, with his blabbing secrets to Russians, his continued insistence that Russia isn’t the lead suspect, and all these private meetings with Putin and Russian assets.

Worse yet, I think they’re setting themselves up for an ugly collision with reality. If what we’re saying is true, Putin will take advantage of the weakness he’s cultivating. Whether that’s a follow-up attack on our next election, a challenge to NATO, or some sort of extortion of Western Europe, he’s going to deal American interests a serious blow.

Me? I’m conservative, it seems, in a way they are not, patriotic, it seems, in a way they’ve forgotten how to be, in their zeal to win. I want to preserve the international institutions that keep America powerful in the world. I want to keep America protected against any incursion, even if it does benefit my party the next time.

You cannot serve America’s interests merely by serving the interests of a party, or a leader. Both can stray from the straight and narrow.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 19, 2017 2:59 PM
Comment #418403

Many thanks to Rich for providing the link to info on Obamacare for congress and the senate. I found this interesting…

“For most members of Congress, that means purchasing insurance through the DC exchange. In 2017, the exchange offered 57 plans in its gold tier, the tier from which the government requires members and staffers to purchase insurance.”

Heavily subsidized and 57 gold plans sounds yummy. Is there any other group in America that has such a plan?

“If you got a better explanation for why he’s having hour-long private conversations with Putin and Putin’s translator, be my guest, tell me.”

Stephen, some time ago I advised my Liberal Pals that President Trump and Putin were engaged in dividing up the world. What else could possibly be found to talk about?

“There was a third party involved in our elections, and it wasn’t the Greens or the Libertarians. It was the Russians, and they did their absolute best to make things easier for a man who, as it turns out, needed all the help he could get in order to be elected.”

Wow Stephen…and Obama knew and did nothing. How horrible for Hillary. Let’s go after Obama and make him pay for his misdeeds.


Posted by: Royal Flush at July 19, 2017 4:58 PM
Comment #418404

Stephen Daugherty, I’m thinking that the need for Democratics to have access to Trump’s tax returns is a guilty until proven innocent mentality on their part. It’s a trap. Even when the victim is innocent they eventually get tarred in public. Harry Reid is proud of tarring people in public with lies and brags about it.

Emoluments should be off the table for Democratics because of their lack of the same standard with Obama’s peace bribe.

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 19, 2017 5:00 PM
Comment #418410

Royal Flush
1) The subsidies are largely income dependent, so most people purchasing gold-tier plans would be paying quite a bit. A good motivation to keep the plans truly affordable, no? The Gold tier plans are also available to citizens purchasing on the individual market, for those who can afford them.

2) Perhaps the things our compromised President might be required to do for Putin to avoid exposure. Why else did he talk to him without a translator or NS advisor with him? Why would Trump hide anything from his national security advisor, or trust to Putin’s interpretation in such a one-on-one encounter?

3) I don’t know why you’re peddling these lies. It’s easy to disprove Obama doing nothing. What he did not do was disclose information he was told would make him look like he was trying to tip the election to Clinton. A great deal of what we know came from his investigations, and a great deal of what Putin seems to want us to do concerns what Obama did to punish Putin. Same things that Trump wants to roll back.

You tell me, why are Republicans so comfortable in handing the Sudetenland- oh, I’m sorry, the Crimea to Putin as a permanent part of Russia, no questions asked? Is it because Obama’s policy was against that? Have Conservative become the mindless mirror reflections of their Democratic counterparts, unable to take the initiative, do what’s right when it forces them to agree with Democrats?

Weary Willie-
This isn’t a court of law, it’s an election. It is completely rational to expect somebody to prove themselves BEFORE they win the office. If you elect somebody of questionable reputation and behavior in hopes that they might improve with the pressure of the responsibilities of their offices, you’re engaging in the worst kind of wishful thinking.

And why bring Harry Reid into this? There’s plenty that Trump has said he’s done or would like to do that would come across as depraved to the normal person.

As for Emoluments, right now foreign officials feel pressure to go to Trump’s hotel and pay his company to stay there and hold functions in order to get favorable treatment from the President. Whether or not that was his intention (I doubt he was unaware of the pressure this would bring) It’s a dubious way for a nation to do business, and it’s a President making money off of his office in a way that looks seriously unethical. Hell, the fact that he is both landlord and tenant of that particular hotel is a conflict of interest in and of itself.

As for the “peace bribe?” I was going to argue about diplomacy, but you seem to be unclear on a key concept here: Trump is accepting payments and gifts in kind from foreign emissaries and officials, potentially in return for favorable treatment. What you’re talking about is America giving something to Iran, or some other country in exchange for desireable behavior. Obama didn’t accept money to do that sort of thing, so I don’t see the connection.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 19, 2017 5:48 PM
Comment #418412

The key to lower the cost of health care lies in these three areas.

Allow insurance companies to sell across state lines and offer coverage people want, not what states insist be sold. If I don’t want chiropractic care, or some other medical discipline covered, I should have that choice.

“Unnecessary health care (overutilization, overuse, or overtreatment) is healthcare provided with a higher volume or cost than is appropriate. In the United States, where health care costs are the highest as a percentage of GDP, overuse is the predominant factor in its expense, accounting for about a third of healthcare spending in the US ($750 billion out of $2.6 trillion).”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unnecessary_health_care

The Government Accounting Office reported that in 2011, Medicare and Medicaid paid an annual $65 billion in “improper payments.” That figure could easily top $100 billion in 2017.

A combination of these three fixes will lower health care cost dramatically and make it affordable.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 19, 2017 6:19 PM
Comment #418413

Royal,

You say that Congress and their staffs should be on Obamacare. But they already are. So, you then say that they shouldn’t be offered those gold and silver plans like everyone else. And so it goes with the conservative mind.

Posted by: Rich at July 19, 2017 7:23 PM
Comment #418414

Rich, what are you talking about? I posed a question, should Trump, by executive order, force congress to be on Obamacare. I was informed that they already are. They have 57 gold plans to choose from. Do you have those choices? Does anyone else? If not, why not?

Put your eyeglasses back on and read comprehensively please.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 19, 2017 7:31 PM
Comment #418415

Royal,

Let’s briefly discuss your three “keys” for lowering costs in the health care.

1. Across state lines. The Democrats in the House bill for Obamacare provided for a national market for health insurance sold under the ACA. It was rejected by the Senate under Republican pressure due to the requirement that the national plans would have to be community rated and provide minimum benefit standards. You say, why should plans sold across state lines adhere to some minimum federal standard and be community rated? Why should a 25 year old be charged the same rate as a 50 year old? Why should a man be charged premiums paying for pregnancies? Well, for the same reasons that competent financial advisers recommend that 20 or 30 somethings put aside money for retirement. We all age, we marry, our wives become pregnant, we all become sicker. It is the way of life. Spreading the risk across age and health conditions makes the same sense as economic retirement planning.

2. Over-utilization of health care. Wow! Rationing and limiting health care is now a conservative thing. Times certainly have changed since the “death panel” criticisms of Sara Palin. Conservatives seem late to game on this point. Let’s agree that the Obamacare Chapter funding Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) and the Patient-Centered Outcome Research Institute (PCORI) is a step in the right direction. The issue isn’t overuse of medical resources, it is the use of ineffective, fruitless and costly medical practices.

3. Fraud. Who disagrees?

Posted by: Rich at July 19, 2017 8:17 PM
Comment #418416

Why do we need to have a “National Healthcare System”? How can 535 people be expected to know what 360 million people need for healthcare?

When’s the last time you watched a commercial advertising an “Individual Health Insurance” policy? Have you ever seen a commercial on TV advertising an “Individual Health Insurance” policy? Was it at 4:30 am?

Seriously, why do we need a “National Healthcare System”?

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 19, 2017 8:22 PM
Comment #418417

All I find available are “Accidental Death And Dismemberment” policies and “Life Insurance” policies.

No “Health Insurance” policies. I have access to them at work. I suppose I could find them if I were self-employed. On TV? Nope! Never see them advertised.

Why is that?

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 19, 2017 8:33 PM
Comment #418418
Spreading the risk across age and health conditions makes the same sense as economic retirement planning.
Posted by: Rich at July 19, 2017 8:17 PM And it’s kind of the whole point of insurance. Private health insurance is primarily a scam anyway. They have massive overhead, besides massive salaries and benefits for the people at the top, which means that’s all money that they are not going to pay out in claims. Posted by: oraoghilie at July 19, 2017 9:24 PM
Comment #418420
As for actively pursuing voter fraud? Look, if an organization had enough wherewithal to convince millions to vote falsely, and transport them to the appropriate polling places, then they could afford to provide them with fake IDs appropriate to the jurisdiction. Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 19, 2017 1:47 PM
“Biggest Lie A Sitting President Has Ever Told” , Jason Kander

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIgNU7yFw48

A poltical strategy to undermine faith in american democracy so that people believe that drastic measures have to be taken and put up obstacles to voting.

Posted by: oraoghilie at July 19, 2017 9:47 PM
Comment #418421
.If you got a better explanation for why he’s having hour-long private conversations with Putin and Putin’s translator, be my guest, tell me. Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 19, 2017 1:47 PM
Especially since Putin actually speaks English, and German as well since he was seen conversing with Angela Merkel without a translator. No one but Putin and his translator/recorder? know what was said.

Manafort and donnie jr are scheduled to testify July 26 in public session before the Senate Judiciary Committee. We’ll see if that happens. Kushner is testifying in closed session before the Senate Intelligence Committee July 24. Mueller’s investigation is probably more advanced than they’re letting out.

Posted by: oraoghilie at July 19, 2017 10:06 PM
Comment #418422

One of the rules of participation in the WatchBlog experience is that the comments must pertain to the subject matter of the original post.

I know Royal Flush is guilty of violating this rule of participation. I’m calling him out on it right now. I’m calling everyone else out also.

Stick to the subject addressed in the original post. If nothing else say yes or no, say true or false, say maybe.

Don’t change the subject.

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 19, 2017 10:10 PM
Comment #418424

John McCain has a brain tumor.

Sessions will be resigning soon. His boss just found out that he recused himself, and says it’s unfair to him.

Posted by: oraoghilie at July 19, 2017 10:20 PM
Comment #418429

Oreally

“Private health insurance is primarily a scam anyway. They have massive overhead, besides massive salaries and benefits for the people at the top, which means that’s all money that they are not going to pay out in claims.”

Sounds like the federal gov’t me. The VA is a perfect example of why the gov’t should never be allowed a monopoly on healthcare. There will always be limited resources, and needs out numbering those resources. Turn that over to the gov’t, and when you’re denied, you have no where to go. At least with private insurance there are options.

Posted by: dbs at July 20, 2017 6:55 AM
Comment #418434

dbs, you would think that all Americans would be if favor of the best possible medical care for all Americans. There is nothing the government controls that is efficient. The VA is an absolute joke, the IRS and the EPA are inefficient and have been shown to target certain people. Even NASA has interjected themselves in the falsification of data to support GW. SS and Medicare are in a perpetual state of collapse and bailout. Even the Congress has no respect from the American people, and are so tied up in red tape, they can’t get anything done.

But that doesn’t stop the left from continuing to call for 1/6th of our economy to be placed in the corrupt hands of government and expecting a different outcome.

Posted by: Blaine at July 20, 2017 9:07 AM
Comment #418443

National Health Insurance lowers cost and provides better care to all. So some say.

I say, if that is true, why not National Food Care?

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 20, 2017 5:17 PM
Comment #418445

Blaine, Royal and dbs,

If what you are saying is true, then I would guess that the American public would be in full support of repeal of Social Security and Medicare. Sounds like a great platform for conservatives and the Republican party to run on. Strange that Republicans don’t run on that platform. I wonder why?

Posted by: Rich at July 20, 2017 5:57 PM
Comment #418460

Rich

Soc sec. and medicare will never be repealed not because there aren’t better options, but because of the money that would no longer flow to the federal gov’t. Soc sec could be eliminated, but you would have to decide where the cutoff for benefits would be, and then it would have to be funded until the last person eligible was dead.

Posted by: dbs at July 21, 2017 6:48 AM
Comment #418463

dbs-
It’s really about something simple: that the private market never provided for the need well enough. The consequences of the drawdown would never be popular.

That’s the thing that haunts the GOP’s steps. They can play the Washington Anti-Heroes in Rhetoric, be daring in what they say, but when they start daring things for real, a sleeping giant awakes, even among their own supporters.

If they really want to replace it, they have to find a way for the private sector to serve the need. I think Republicans, in the rush to roll back everything Democratic and Liberal have missed their true opportunity, which is to make the policies they dislike truly obsolete. Otherwise, they play the bad guy, denying benefits to people not prepared to replace them.

That’s the real problem with Randian Objectivism and the government policies that extend from it. It’s basically about glorifying being a megalomaniac, glorifying doing villainous things like leaving old men and women destitute, kicking people out of hospitals onto the street, paying them like Scrooge pays Cratchett before Ebenezer is shown the error of his ways.

Or put another way, the way we’re conditioned by most of pop culture and ordinary life to violently dislike.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 21, 2017 11:02 AM
Comment #418464

Stephen

Obamacare was never anything more than a redistribution scheme. The middle class is being milked so that the left can expand Medicaid to a point where it can never be undone. We were much better off as a whole before that poorly written law was forced through on a strictly party line vote.

Posted by: dbs at July 21, 2017 11:43 AM
Comment #418466

The left loves to claim that conservatives are big business, and they cried and boohood about the rich insurance companies stealing from the American people. But it was the insurance companies that wrote Obamacare and handed it to democrats to ram through. The insurance companies have been making multiple profits and getting subsidies at the same time. Then we add to that the higher copays and higher deductibles. Which means that insurance companies are raking in millions from those who do not qualify for Obamacare, for insurance they don’t even need, and then the insurance companies don’t pay out anything unless the deductible and copayment is made. It’s a win win for the insurance companies. And add to that Obama’s mandate to buy the insurance. Everything that could bring down the cost of insurance has been blocked by the insurance companies and the democrats. Who benefits from only limited access to insurance? Why would the democrats block companies from selling across state lines? Obamacare was always meant to fail, it was designed to fail. And of course the fix for failed Obamacare was a single payer system. The leaders of the left have admitted this was the goal. We are seeing a perfect example of government run healthcare in England right now, where the courts or government makes the decisions who lives and who dies. The claim of death panels was true. We want this monstrosity repealed, but even the republicans are balking because they are listening to the insurance lobbyists rather than their constituents.

Regarding SS and Medicare, they are failing. The government has robbed their funds over the years. It should have been optional to participate, but like Obamacare, the government needed everyone to pay into it. And although the republicans have never talked of shutting down SS or Medicare, that hasn’t stopped the democrats from accusations against the republicans during every election cycle.

Posted by: Blaine at July 21, 2017 12:49 PM
Comment #418637

dbs-
The whole Republican Plan is redistribution. It just goes in a unconscionable direction at a morally bankrupt cost. America is lagging behind the rest of the world in how its healthcare system works in the real world. I had a bit of a health scare this weekend, and without some financial gymnastics, I could have been forced into accepting a disastrously bad situation.

If I had simply been able to show up at some clinic and get looked at, I would have. Best healthcare in the world, they say, but it ends up overpriced and under-covered, which defeats the purpose of having it. Second best and available is better than best and unavailable. One is a modest promise which can be kept, while the other is an extravagant promise which cannot be kept.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 26, 2017 1:33 PM
Comment #418655

Stephen, best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Coue: Every day in every way I’m getting better and better. (repeat often)

Silva Mind Control: Negative thoughts and negative suggestions have no influence over me at any level of my mind.
(post this somewhere)

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Comment #418698

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Comment #418699

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Comment #418700

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Posted by: capstoneprojects.help at July 28, 2017 7:50 AM
Comment #419315

You lost in view of your plan, and what might have added up to no less than 4 more years of Obama’s liberal strategies. There is zero confirmation that the Russians had ANY impact on the result of this decision.

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