Posted by: maboulette | November 23, 2017

The Liar in Chief Did It Again – Lied to The American People


Trump

For the past week the Liar in Chief has been engaged in a public war of words with LaVar Ball, the father of a college basketball player who had been arrested for shoplifting in China. Trump took credit for personally intervening and getting Ball’s son freed. Trump then attacked Ball for not being adequately grateful about it. Now it turns out Trump wasn’t even the reason Ball’s son and the two other basketball players were freed.

LIE AS TOLD BY TRUMP

Here’s what Trump tweeted about the incident on Wednesday morning, in typically crazy fashion: “It wasn’t the White House, it wasn’t the State Department, it wasn’t father LaVar’s so-called people on the ground in China that got his son out of a long-term prison sentence – IT WAS ME. Too bad! LaVar is just a poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair. Just think LaVar, you could have spent the next 5 to 10 years during Thanksgiving with your son in China, but no NBA contract to support you. But remember LaVar, shoplifting is NOT a little thing. It’s a big deal, especially in China. Ungrateful fool!”

NYTIMES

But now the New York Times is reporting that “Shoplifting is considered a relatively minor crime in China, and foreigners convicted of minor crimes are often deported rather than given prison sentences.” China freed LaVar Ball’s son for the reason that it always frees tourists busted for small crimes: it doesn’t feel like creating international incidents over such minor issues. In other words, Donald Trump had nothing to do with it.  In other words, Liar in Chief has lied again.

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Posted by: maboulette | November 19, 2017

Allegations of Collusion Continues Against Trump, Jr


Junior

Accusations of collusion continue to pile up against Donald Trump Jr. this week, with the New York Times reporting Friday that Trump, Jr went to a May 2016 dinner attended by a top Russian official who was trying to set up a clandestine meeting with the campaign. 

NBC NEWS

NBC News confirmed Saturday that Trump Jr. talked with Alexander Torshin, a friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the deputy head of the country’s central bank, at an event hosted by the National Rifle Association in Kentucky. But the first son’s lawyer insisted the duo didn’t sit together.

SMALL TALK

“Donald J. Trump Jr. was attending an NRA convention and having dinner when an acquaintance asked him to say hello to Torshin and made an introduction,” attorney Alan Futerfas told NBC News. “They made small talk for a few minutes and went back to their separate meals. That is the extent of their communication or contact.”

RUSSIAN BACKDOOR OVERTURE

The encounter matters because Torshin was involved, through an intermediary, in what was described in an email sent to Trump campaign aides as a “Russian backdoor overture.” Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, denied his request for a meeting with the candidate on an email chain that allegedly also included aides Rick Dearborn, Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. The Times reported that Kushner wrote that the campaign should “pass on this.”

NO MESSAGES TURNED OVER

Senate investigators argued Tuesday that Kushner had not turned over the messages to them, as they’d requested as part of their probe into the Kremlin’s meddling in the election. Kushner’s attorney denied it.

“GODFATHER”

Regardless, Torshin has quite the reputation: In 2016, Bloomberg reported that police in Spain believed Torshin was the “godfather” of the Taganskaya crime syndicate and had helped its members launder money. He’s also been linked to the Trumps before: In 2015, he said he personally met the billionaire.

YAHOO NEWS

Yahoo News reported that the White House canceled a February 2017 meet-and-greet between the president and Torshin after learning about his alleged mobster ties. The two were scheduled to see each other before the National Prayer Breakfast, which Torshin regularly attends, given that he’s “sort of the conservatives’ favorite Russian,” as Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican, put it.

ONGOING PROBES

There are multiple, ongoing probes into whether Trump aides collaborated with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 election. So far, two men—the aforementioned Gates and Manafort—have been indicted relating to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, and one—George Papadopoulos—has pleaded guilty for lying to the FBI about his contact with Russia.

 

Posted by: maboulette | November 18, 2017

Legal Expert Says Jared Kushner Will End Up “Doing Hard Time


kushner

 

 

With each passing day we learn more about the role that Jared Kushner played in the Donald Trump campaign’s coordination with Russia during the election, and the extent he subsequently went to in the hope of covering it up, and the legal trouble he’s now facing. After yet another major revelation about Trump’s son-in-law, one widely respected legal expert now says that he believes Kushner will end up spending serious time in prison.

KUSHNER TURN OVER DOCUMENTS

On Thursday evening the news surfaced that Jared Kushner failed to turn over documents relating to a Russian backdoor overture and a Russian dinner invitation, even after congressional investigators requested those documents .It raises questions about why Kushner is refusing to cooperate with those particular aspects of the investigation, and whether he believes he would incriminate himself by turning them over.

LAW PROFESSOR TRIBE

This news led Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe, one of the most widely respected legal minds in the nation, to tweet “My prediction: Kush will be among the Trumpsters who end up doing hard time.  Tribe did not go on to spell out which potential charges Kushner might go to prison for. It is known that he secretly met with the Russian Ambassador and the head of a Russian bank during the transition period, though it’s not known precisely what was discussed during those meetings. It is, however, known that Kushner omitted those meetings from his White House security clearance forms, and it’s stated on the forms that lying on them is an impressionable felony.

HARD TIME

Perhaps most notably, Professor Tribe is asserting that multiple people will do “hard time” for their roles in Donald Trump’s Russia scandal. Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and George Papadopoulos have already been arrested for their roles. Based on federal court schedules, it appears that several more sealed indictments are in place, waiting to be unsealed by Special Counsel Robert Pehaps most notably, Professor Tribe is asserting that multiple people will do “hard time” for their roles in Donald Trump’s Russia scandal. Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and George Papadopoulos have already been arrested for their roles. Based on federal court schedules, it appears that several more sealed indictments are in place, waiting to be unsealed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller at his discretion.

 

 

Posted by: maboulette | November 13, 2017

What Do You Do When Fox News Doesn’t Agree with You


Fox News

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the GOP’s new tax plan will raise the national debt by $1.7 trillion over the next decade. According to Fox News’ Shep Smith, that’s laughable.

OUT OF POWER

Apparently when you’re out of power, you talk about the deficit because the other party is doing it,” Smith said. “It works for both parties. The Republicans have been screaming about deficits for eight years and now they’re trying to add to the deficit. It’s comical.”

FOX BUSINESS REPORTER

Fox Business reporter Gerri Willis agreed, adding that that debt increase would constitute 97 percent of the gross domestic product.

END STUDENT LOAN INTEREST

One of the changes the bill would make, Smith explained, would be to end student loan interest deductions.

“What else are we gonna do to these millennials?” Smith asked.

“$1.45 trillion dollars in student loan debt, now you can’t deduct the interest, you can’t deduct tuition expense,” Willis responded.

“Seriously? We’re putting all of this on young people who are trying to get educated?”

Watch Smith and Willis discuss the many ways the GOP’s new tax bill will be harmful below, via Fox News.


New donald

Hours after Donald Trump sent his already collapsing presidency into total freefall by publicly siding with Russian President Vladimir Putin and against the United States intelligence community, Trump found a way to make it even worse for himself. On Saturday evening he launched into his most inexplicably demented Twitter meltdown to date, in which he called people everything from “haters and fools” to “short and fat.”

TWEETS

Trump incredibly tweeted “When will all the haters and fools out there realize that having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. There always playing politics – bad for our country. I want to solve North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, terrorism, and Russia can greatly help!” (To be clear, he used “There” instead of “They’re” in his tweet.) The latest polls say that the majority of Americans now believe the Trump campaign and Russia conspired with each other during the election, meaning that Trump is calling the majority of Americans “haters and fools.”

SAME BREATH

In that same breath, Trump flatly asked Russia for help. Just in case it wasn’t blatant enough, another Trump tweet spelled out that he’s specifically seeking help from Putin: “Met with President Putin of Russia who was at APEC meetings. Good discussions on Syria. Hope for his help to solve, along with China the dangerous North Korea crisis. Progress being made.” Who cares what he’s asking for help with, the bottom line is that he’s now asking Putin for help, in two consecutive tweets, just hours after publicly aligning himself with Putin against the United States.

MISSPELL WORDS

Donald Trump then went on to misspell two different words before randomly insisting that Hillary Clinton was a poor speller. Then he threw a fit because North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un had called him “old”, firing back that Kim is “short and fat,” before declaring “I try so hard to be his friend.” Trump is in need of immediate professional psychological help.

 

 

Posted by: maboulette | November 12, 2017

President Trump – Don’t Come Home


Trump asis

So, Donald Trump, we’ve got to talk. You seem to be having fun on your current overseas trip to Asia, or at least you did until you launched into your spittle-filled Twitter rant about “haters and fools” and “short and fat” people. But aside from your meltdown today, it’s clear you think you’ve found some friends over on the other side of the world. You have no friends here in the United States.

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

So, here’s a thought, Donald: don’t come home. Just stay over there awhile, or if you like, forever. You’re seventy-one years old, you’re suffering from rapid onset senility, you’re morbidly obese, your doctor is a quack, and you’re way too old to be using that much cocaine – so you’ll be dead of natural causes in a year or two anyway. Just stay in Asia. They love you over there anyway, right?

THEY DON’T

They don’t. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is merely tolerating you for the sake of diplomacy. Chinese President Xi Jinping is just buttering you up, so he can take advantage of you economically. Everyone in South Korea clearly hates you. Russian President Vladimir Putin thinks you’re a complete joke, which is why he turned you into a puppet. These people all hate you every bit as much as mainstream Americans hate you. Your only remaining supporters in the United States are the bottom-feeding white trash, and they’re not large enough in number to prop you up forever.

MAYBE DON’T COME HOME

If you come home at the end of this overseas trip, Donald Trump, you’re eventually going to end up impeached, removed from office, put on trial, and thrown in prison for the rest of your life. Why bother? Just resign now, stay over there, and hang out in Russia. Take a tour of Siberia. Do yourself (and the rest of us) a favor, and just don’t come home.

Posted by: maboulette | November 12, 2017

Mueller Seems to be Building Case Against Trump Not Just His Team


Meuller and Trump

President Trump has said many explosive and treasonous things this weekend, it’s been easy to forget that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is still quietly plugging away at the Trump-Russia scandal in the background. Mueller hasn’t made any new arrests since Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were popped nearly two weeks ago. However, new grand jury details reveal that Mueller is aggressively going for Trump’s jugular.

2 WEEK AGO

Two weeks ago the media reported that Trump campaign co-chair Sam Clovis had testified in a Trump-Russia related grand jury. At the time it was not clear if Clovis was testifying on his own behalf in a case against him, or if he was testifying in a case against a bigger fish. Now Reuters is reporting that Mueller used the appearance to question Clovis about whether Donald Trump knew about his campaign’s ongoing coordination with Russia. This changes everything, for a few different reasons.

COOPERATING

First, the Reuters article says that Clovis is cooperating all the way. Clovis was beneath only Trump and Manafort in the campaign hierarchy, so he’s in a position to know whether or not Trump knew – and if so, he’s already given Trump up. Second, this means that Mueller is already deep into building a criminal case directly against Trump, as he’s asking witnesses questions with the specific intent of getting them to incriminate Trump. Third, it strongly suggests that Mueller doesn’t need Manafort in order to build a case against Trump, and he really did arrest Manafort just to get those with weaker stomachs to panic and begin cooperating. The most important takeaway relates to the actual criminal charges

UP TO NOW

Up to now it’s seem that Mueller was trying to build a comprehensive obstruction of justice case against Donald Trump, as that might be the quickest and easiest to prove. However, it now appears that Mueller is trying to establish that the campaign’s Russia contacts were a crime in and of themselves. That could lead to Trump being charged with something along the lines of conspiracy against the United States.


Article by By Jonathan Watts, Josh Holder, Niko Kommenda, The Guardian

When UN climate negotiators meet for summit talks this month, there will be a new figure on the table: 3C.

Until now, global efforts such as the Paris climate agreement have tried to limit global warming to 2C above pre-industrial levels. However, with latest projections pointing to an increase of 3.2C by 2100, these goals seem to be slipping out of reach.

three-degree-world-cities-drowned-global-warming-1

“[We] still find ourselves in a situation where we are not doing nearly enough to save hundreds of millions of people from a miserable future,” said Erik Solheim, the UN environment chief, ahead of the upcoming Bonn conference.

One of the biggest resulting threats to cities around the world is sea-level rise, caused by the expansion of water at higher temperatures and melting ice sheets on the north and south poles.

Scientists at the non-profit organization Climate Central estimate that 275 million people worldwide live in areas that will eventually be flooded at 3C of global warming.

ASIAN CITIES WILL BE WORST AFFECTED

The regional impact of these changes is highly uneven, with four out of five people affected living in Asia.

three-degree-world-cities-drowned-global-warming-2

Although sea levels will not rise instantaneously, the calculated increases will be “locked in” at a temperature rise of 3C, meaning they will be irreversible even if warming eventually slows down.

Osaka, Japan

5.2 million people affected

At the end of a month in which it has been battered by unseasonably late typhoons and relentless rain, Japan is already confronting the threat posed by climate change-induced flooding.

Osaka, Japan

5.2 million people affected

At the end of a month in which it has been battered by unseasonably late typhoons and relentless rain, Japan is already confronting the threat posed by climate change-induced flooding.

Image modeling shows that swaths of Osaka – the commercial heart of a region whose GDP is almost as big as that of the Netherlands – would disappear beneath the water in a 3C world, threatening the local economy and almost a third of the wider region’s 19 million residents.

Millions of people live in the urban area surrounding Osaka. Sea-level rise will reshape densely and sparsely populated areas.

As a result of global sea-level rise, storm surges and other factors, economists project that coastal flooding could put almost $1tn of Osaka’s assets at risk by the 2070s, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“The costs of protecting cities from rising sea levels and storms are also likely to rise – as are the costs of repairing storm damage,” it said. “Decisions we make today could have a profound impact on the security and culture of the people of this ancient city.”

Like much of Japan, Osaka already has a network of seawalls and other coastal defenses in place to combat tsunami – although their effectiveness was disputed in the aftermath of the 2011 triple disaster.

Osaka city authorities are investing in other infrastructure to mitigate the effects of flooding, but public education is also vital, according to Toshikazu Nakaaki of the Osaka municipal government’s environment bureau.

“In the past our response was focused on reducing the causes of global warming, but given that climate change is inevitable, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we are now discussing how to respond to the natural disasters that will follow,” Nakaaki said.

“We anticipate that Osaka will be affected by natural disasters caused by climate change, but we have yet to establish exactly what might happen or how much financial damage they would cause.

“It’s not that we expect sea levels to rise at some point in the future – they are already rising.”

Keiko Kanai has long been aware that her home city is susceptible to natural disasters. “I’d heard that historically, tsunamis caused by earthquakes put many parts of Osaka underwater, and I knew that some parts of the world were at risk from rising sea levels,” said Kanai, who teaches at a local university.

“But I didn’t put two and two together. Until now I haven’t given much thought to the idea that Osaka too could be engulfed by rising sea levels.”

Kaori Akazawa, a nursing care consultant, said flooding was a consideration when she was deciding where in Osaka to live.

“When I moved here I talked to my colleagues about the risks,” she said. “That’s why I’ve always rented apartments on the fourth story or higher.

“It’s worrying, but I’ve never considered moving.”

Alexandria, Egypt

3 million people affected

On the Alexandria Corniche, waves slowly lap at a shoreline dotted with plastic chairs and umbrellas from the beachside cafes. Students perch on the steps of the imposing Alexandria library. But the same coastline that draws locals to its scenic vistas is threatening to slowly engulf the historic city as sea levels rise due to global warming.

The IPCC reported that Alexandria’s beaches would be submerged even with a 0.5-metre sea-level rise, while 8 million people would be displaced by flooding in Alexandria and the Nile Delta if no protective measures are taken. A 3C world threatens far greater damage than that.

Yet for many residents, there is little public information to connect the increasingly chaotic weather and floods with climate change. “Most Alexandrians don’t have access to knowledge, and that’s what worries me. I don’t expect the government to raise awareness of this problem until it’s already happening,” said 22-year-old student Kareem Mohammed.

“Everyone thinks we should act on this problem 50 or 80 years from now,” agreed his friend, Hazem Hassan, a student in marine biology at the nearby Alexandria University.

Officials maintain that protective measures are being taken, but with little fanfare. “Egypt spends 700m EGP [£30m] annually to protect the north coast,” said Dr. Magdy Allam, head of the Arab Environmental Experts Union, who was previously part of the Egyptian environment ministry.

Allam cited the Mohammed Ali sea wall built in 1830 as a key protection, as well as the concrete blocks lining the shoreline designed to “detour flood water away from residential neighborhoods”. But critics say that this is far from enough given the scale of the problem.

“There are studies indicating that our city is one of many coastal human settlements around the world which will be partially submerged by 2070 if nothing is done,” said Ahmed Hassan, of the Save Alexandria Initiative, a group that works to raise awareness of the effects of climate change on the city.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

1.8 million people affected

Residents of Brazil’s postcard city have plenty of reasons to fear global warming – even if they don’t quite know it. According to Climate Central, a temperature rise of 3C would cause flooding of not just Rio’s famous beaches such as Copacabana and its waterfront domestic airport, but also inland areas of the Barra de Tijuca neighborhood, where last year’s Olympic Games were held.

Barra is built around a network of heavily polluted lagoons that empty into the sea. The prospect of it being underwater alarmed resident Sueli Gonçalves, 46, who runs pensioners’ health projects, as she and her 23-year-old son Yuri Sanchez carried their shopping past the Olympic Park.

“My God. Oh Jesus,” she said, with a nervous laugh. “I will leave here. I will go to the United States. To Canada.”

The family knew about global warming but were unaware of the potential scale of the impact on their upscale neighborhood of smart condominiums and a shopping mall.

“Nobody takes it seriously. People do not think long term,” Gonçalves said.

Storm surges recently destroyed hundreds of meters of beachfront pavement overlooking the Macumba beach, a popular surfing spot on Rio’s western fringes. Last year, heavy waves in another storm surge felled an elevated, clifftop cycle path between Leblon beach and Barra de Tijuca which had not been built to survive such high seas, killing two people.

Last year, Rio’s city government and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro produced a study entitled Strategy for Adapting to Climate Change.

“The current challenge consists in deepening knowledge and monitoring of oceanic phenomena and the evolution of the sea bed and coast,” a spokeswoman for the city’s secretariat of the environment said in an email. An “adaption plan” for climate change produced with professors from the federal university suggested strategies to deal with vulnerabilities in areas such as transport, health and housing. But so far little has been done.

Nara Pinto, 38, who lives in the sprawling Rocinha favela and sells snacks on the pavement overlooking Copacabana beach, said the loss of Rio’s famous beaches would cost a lot of jobs.

“The beach is a tourist point,” she said. “What can be done to stop this?

Shanghai, China

17.5 million people affected

“Shanghai is completely gone – I’d have to move to Tibet!” says resident Wang Liubin, when he is shown projections for the city after 3C of global warming.

When it comes to flooding, the coastal city is one of the world’s most vulnerable. Now one of the world’s biggest ports, the former fishing village is bordered by the Yangtze river in the north and divided through the middle by the Huangpu river; the municipality involves several islands, two long coastlines, shipping ports, and miles of canals, rivers, and waterways.

In 2012, a report from a team of UK and Dutch scientists declared Shanghai the most vulnerable major city in the world to serious flooding, based on factors such as numbers of people living close to the coastline, time needed to recover from flooding, and measures to prevent floodwater. According to Climate Central projections, 17.5 million people could be displaced by rising waters if global temperatures increase by 3C.

Projections show most of the city could eventually be submerged in water, including much of the downtown area, landmarks such as the Lujiazui skyline and the historical Bund, both airports, and the entirety of its outlying Chongming Island.

Since 2012, the government has been making steady inroads to tackle the threat, including building China’s largest deep-water drainage system beneath the Suzhou Creek waterway, made up of 15km of pipes to drain rainwater across a 58-sq. km area. It has also rolled out a 40bn yuan (£5bn) River Flood Discharge project which will stretch for 120km between Lake Taihu and the Huangpu river to try and mitigate the risk of the upstream lake flooding.

Flood prevention walls are being built along the waterfront – in places so high the river is blocked from view – and 200km more are promised across the city’s outlying districts. Flood controls have been put in place along the famous Bund waterfront, where the walkway has been raised to help counter a flood risk, as well as a series of water controls and dams.

Miami, US

2.7 million people affected

Few other cities in the world have as much to lose from rising sea levels as Miami, and the alarm bells sound ever louder with each successive “king tide” that overwhelms coastal defenses and sends knee-deep seawater coursing through downtown streets.

Locals consider this the “new normal” in the biggest city of Florida’s largest metropolitan area, which would simply cease to exist with a 3C temperature rise. Even at 2C, forecasts show almost the entire bottom third of Florida – the area south of Lake Okeechobee currently home to more than 7 million people – submerged, with grim projections for the rest of the state in a little more than half a century. In Miami-Dade County alone, almost $15bn of coastal property is at risk of flooding in just the next 15 years.

A sense of urgency is evident at city hall, where commissioners are asking voters to approve a “Miami Forever” bond in the November ballot that includes $192m for upgrading pump stations, improving drainage and raising sea walls.

“We have a really precious city that many people love and are willing to invest in right now, but it’s going to take some funds to protect it,” said Ken Russell, the city commission’s vice-chair.

Last year, the city of Miami appointed sea-rise expert Jane Gilbert into the newly created role of chief resilience officer with instructions for a robust storm water management plan that also looks at storm surge, such as that from Hurricane Irma in September which brought significant flooding to downtown Brickell and neighbouring Coconut Grove.

Proposals include elevating roads and even abandoning neighborhoods to the water to protect others.

“We need universal recognition that we’re all in this together, to protect this amazing global city that we’ve become,” she said.

Natalia Ortiz, who grew up in Miami, fears the future. “It’s very scary,” said Ortiz, who works with Cleo, a climate change advocacy group. “My son is 11 and my daughter is nine, so they’re young but I think about their future, will they be able to raise their children in Miami the way I had the luxury of raising mine?”

Methodology

Flood maps were created using sea-level rise estimates from Climate Central and digital elevation data. Population estimates refer to urban agglomerations which comprise the built-up area of a city and the suburbs linked with it. Maps include OpenStreetMap data.

Temperature projections are based on University of Washington emissions modeling and UN warming estimates. Trajectories have been updated to match latest temperatures as recorded by the Met Office Hadley Centre.


scared Trump

While President Trump is in Asia, his legal difficulties at home continue to grow. The indictment of three aides, his record-low poll numbers and a wave of Republican defeats in state and local elections compound, the threat to his aides, his family and himself by limiting his options. When he returns November 18, he will find himself more exposed than ever.

TRAPPED?

Is Trump trapped? Let’s just say the president’s defenses have a way of backfiring.

LAST MAY

Last May, Trump fired FBI director James Comey in an effort to get rid of “this Russia thing.” This results was the appointment of special prosecutor Robert Mueller who indicted former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his aide Rick Gates. According to NBC News, Mueller has also amassed enough evidence to charge Michael Flynn, Trump’s short-lived national security adviser.

FAKE NEWS?

Trump claimed claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia were “fake news.” Then came the indictment of George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy aide who says he spoke to Russian about getting “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.

GREAT MEMORY?

Trump, who has boasted having “one of the greatest memories of all time,” said he couldn’t “recall much” about a 2016 meeting in which he appeared in a photograph with Papadopoulos.

Now Trump has a new defense, offered by surrogates in Congress and Fox News.

‘RISK OF A COUP’

“We are at risk of a coup d’état in this country if we allow an unaccountable person with no oversight to undermine the duly elected president of the United States,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said in a Capitol Hill speech Wednesday, according to The Hill. “That is precisely what is happening right now with the indisputable conflicts of interest that are present with Mr. Mueller and others at the Department of Justice.”

RESOLUTION

Along with Congressmen Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and Andy Biggs (R-Arizona), Gaetz co-sponsored a resolution last week that questions Mueller’s neutrality. Capitol Hill Republicans claim the ongoing Trump-Russia investigation is compromised because Mueller was the head of the FBI when the Obama administration approved the sale of the Uranium One mining firm to the Russian atomic energy agency.

URANIUM ONE STORY

The Uranium One story, it must be said, has replaced “Benghazi” as the conservative conspiracy theory du jour for a good reason: The Uranium One story does have the whiff of Clintonian corruption.  Except 5 nations have to vote on any sale – which is left out of the story every time it is mentioned.

People associated with Uranium One donated an astonishing $145 million to the Clinton Foundation, mostly before and during Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential run, according to the Washington Post. In addition, Bill Clinton received $500,000 from a Russian bank to give a speech at a conference in Moscow in 2011.

What the Uranium One story doesn’t have is any evidence of wrongdoing or bias or conflict of interest by Robert Mueller. The Treasury Department was the lead agency that headed the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which approved the investment, (along with other countries) according to CNN.

NO EVIDENCE OF VIOLATION

There is no evidence that the Uranium One sale violated any laws or harmed the United States.

GAME PLAN

Former White House adviser Steve Bannon has been urging Trump to take the fight to Mueller, and the Uranium One story appears to be the chosen presidential cudgel. 

Over the summer, Trump talked about firing Mueller and was talking out of it by aides who feared a political firestorm. The Uranium One story, suddenly revived by Sean Hannity and other right-wing talking heads in the days before Manafort’s indictment, creates a pretext that was lacking before.

Firing Mueller, however, is unlikely to solve Trump’s problem any more than “fake news” allegations or Comey’s dismissal did.

The prosecution of Manafort and Gates (and possibly Flynn) will proceed, unless Trump pardons them, which he has talked about doing. A combination of firing Mueller and pardoning the defendants will invite Senate legislation, already introduced, to reinstate Mueller. It would also likely provoke a legal challenge from constitutional lawyers arguing that the president cannot use his pardoning power to obstruct justice.

DISMISSAL OF MUELLER AND PARDONS

And even the dismissal of Mueller with pardons would not solve Trump’s problem. The special prosecutor is already coordinating his investigation of Manafort with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The Trump group may also face charges in New York state court. The president cannot fire a state official or issue pardons to people accused or convicted of state crimes.

ACCUSE OF A COUP

Accusing Mueller of a “coup” and firing him might rally Trump’s loyal though shrinking base, but it would alienate and demoralize congressional Republicans he needs to pass a tax cut. Those Republicans are already worried about Tuesday’s election results and fear a “blue wave” is coming in the 2018 midterm elections.

Firing Mueller would encourage and energize Democrats, such as Rep. Al Green(D-Texas), to pursue a bill of impeachment against Trump. “He would be impeached the next day,” said one former federal prosecutor.

Green wants to force a vote by Christmas, and Trump just might give him his Christmas wish. With jail time looming for his family and friends, Trump may prefer to invite impeachment proceedings rather than let the law take its course

 


global warming

The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere surged in 2016 to its highest level in 800,000 years, according to a report that was released Monday by the United Nation’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

GREATER THAN AVERAGE

Last year’s increase was over 50% greater than the yearly average increase yearly over the past 10 years, in spite of the fact that human-driven emissions of carbon dioxide have remained consistent for the few years.  Carbon dioxide, together with other greenhouse gases, accelerates the changing of a climate by trapping the sun’s heat in the atmosphere.  Without efforts to remove it, it can state in the atmosphere for thousands of years.  The Trump administration has deleted the entire program developed by Obama to help reduce carbon emissions and help with climate change.

EL NINO

The WHO said that some of the reason for this rapid rise was the El Nino climate event, which triggered droughts inhibiting the ability of plants to absorb as much CO2 as usual.

REPORT

The report warned that increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere “have the potential to initiate unprecedented changes in climate systems,” leading to “severe ecological and economic disruptions.”  Could 3 hurricanes in one year with FEMA needing to double its funding be “severe ecological and economic”?  It certain could be and it is only going to get worse with dropping all programs that were put into place to help.

DROPPED RULES AND REGULATIONS

The Trump administration dropped these rules and regulations to make it less expensive for large companies currently doing business.  This is what the Republican’s always do instead of putting country and the needs of the American people first.

 

 

 

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