Politics Roundup: November 21 – 27, 2016

politicsroundup

Welcome to the weekly compilation of the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the comings and goings from the alternate world of reality – politics!

Monday, 11/21/16:

Will names be named today?

Could President Elect Donald Trump go against his pledge during the campaign not to put a Democrat in his Cabinet?

What about Bernie Sanders Democrat, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, meeting with Trump today?

On her meeting with Trump, Gabbard said, “Let me be clear, I will never allow partisanship to undermine our national security when the lives of countless people lay in the balance.”

Has the entertainment world declared war on the President Elect?

First there was the cast of Hamilton addressing Vice President Elect Mike Pence when he attended a performance of the show with his family. Then last night during the American Music Awards we had to endure a political statement in song from Green Day with an anti-Trump refrain.

Is this appropriate?

Is the venue wrong?

In comments in Peru on Sunday, President Barack Obama signaled he would not be silent like former President George W. Bush, if he disagrees with Trump policies.

Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan is serious about toppling California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi from the position of House Minority Leader.

There are no conflict-of-interest laws binding the President and Vice President, but we have never elected a businessman with a global empire to sit in the Oval Office before.

So how does the President Elect divest himself from his formidable holdings and business entanglements from his role as President of the United States?

Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown says he talked to the President Elect about heading up the Veterans Administration.

Pence said Sunday that 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is under serious consideration to become Secretary of State.

With the uptick in hate crimes since the election, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has put together a task force specifically to delve into such incidents.

Arizona Senator and 2008 GOP presidential nominee John McCain was adamant that contrary to the expressed desire of the President Elect to bring back water boarding, it will not happen.

Trump’s approval rating has risen to 46% since election.

Representatives of the five largest television news networks – Fox, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS – had a meeting this afternoon with the President Elect.

newsmeetstrump

The Federal Election Commission has asked the Trump campaign to correct 1,000 donations, totaling over $1 million which may have violated fundraising law.

A Texas lawmaker has submitted a bill which would allow parents full access to their children’s school records. But opponents say that closeted gay students would be outed to parents, who may throw them out in the cold.

Before I get flak, it happens every day. Hundreds of young people find themselves on the street, cut off by family.

When asked, President Obama said he was not concerned about being the last Democratic President since Hillary Clinton, the 2016 nominee, won the popular vote.

But as we know, it is not about the popular vote, but the Electoral College, which matters.

For those who wonder, here is this year’s Electoral College map:

electoralcollegemap

Both Trump and the President of Argentina deny that there was any discussion of business concerning a Trump property in the Latin American country when the two spoke, squashing rumors of conflict of interest.

Tuesday, 11/22/16:

President Elect Donald Trump released a video Monday outlining his agenda for his first 100 days in office.

More voices are calling on Trump to call out white nationalists by name and denounce their bigotry. This comes after release of video of a meeting of white nationalists Saturday in Washington DC showing attendees shouting, “Hail Trump” and displaying Nazi salutes.

trumpdenouncesracism

Why does Trump not denounce these racists by name?

The argument is that Trump slammed not using the term, “Islamic terrorism” by his Democratic opponent and the White House during the campaign.

Yet Trump won’t call out “white supremacists” and “white nationalists” by name.

Rival Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will not be investigated or charged by an incoming Trump White House, says Campaign Manager Kellyanne Conway.

Or will she?

To hear many Democrats talk, Trump is already President referring to him as “the most corrupt President in history.”

Sorry, folk, at the moment he is still a private citizen and a businessman. Trump does not take office until January 20, 2017.

Then you can talk about whether he is or is not a “corrupt” President.

For now, he is transitioning from private citizen to public servant.

Following a meeting of representatives from CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, attendees speaking anonymously said that they walked into the sitdown with Trump and faced a “firing squad” on Monday afternoon.

Reportedly, CNN honcho Jeff Zucker was singled out for the President Elect’s wrath over the “dishonest media.”

By the way, do not expect actual news reports of the meeting. It was “off-the-record.”

Today, Trump was to meet with reps of The New York Times, then cancelled. Next thing you know, the meeting was back on.

In that interview with the Times today, Trump said he “condemns” and “disavows” white supremacists.

The President Elect also said that when it comes to climate change and the humanity’s impact, he has an “open mind.”

OOPs! The Trump Foundation admits it skirted the law, by using charity money for personal items.

The national press is focused on the “Emolument Clause” of the US Constitution which bars gifts being accepted by the President of the United States from foreign governments.

Question is whether income from Trump’s businesses in foreign lands constitutes a “gift.”

Trump indicated in a tweet that he expects to be around for two terms when noting his Cabinet selections will lead the country for the next “eight years.”

A federal judge ruled Wisconsin’s redistricting map for congressional districts is unconstitutional. It is back to the drawing board for lawmakers.

Dr. Ben Carson said last week he would be an outside adviser, but not join a Trump Administration. However, today, Trump tweeted that he is seriously considering Carson to be the next Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

In a survey, 59% say that Trump should close his Twitter account.

President Barack Obama and the President Elect have continued to converse since meeting in the White House a couple of weeks ago.

Business versus presidency:

A comment about a wind farm in Scotland which is located near a Trump golf course is sparking controversy.

In his meeting with Nigel Farage, Trump asked Farage and company to oppose the kind of offshore wind farms which will mar the pristine view from one of his two Scottish golf courses, in his opinion.

Then we learn that in addition to being present for that meeting last week with the Japanese Prime Minister, Ivanka, Trump’s daughter, was on the phone call with Trump and the President of Argentina.

North Carolina Republican Governor Pat McCrory is still yelling and crying about what appears to be his defeat at the polls in his re-election bid. Rather than concede, McCrory is alleging voter fraud in 50 of 100 counties is why he lost.

Time to pack it in, Pat.

One federal judge has advice for new US citizens not happy with an incoming President Donald Trump: “I can assure you that whether you voted for him or you did not vote for him, if you are a citizen of the United States, he is your president. He will be your president, and if you do not like that, you need to go to another country.”

Supporters of California seceding from the Union, since Donald Trump garnered enough votes to take the Electoral College, have now formally submitted their petition.

The group has submitted a proposed ballot measure to the state Attorney General’s office in the hopes of a statewide vote as soon as 2018.

More about this move: http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-california-secession-calexit-htmlstory.html

My Word of Wisdom:

Politics is like WWE Raw
Governing is like 60 Minutes

In global politics:

South Korea’s Cabinet approved a law to allow an independent counsel be appointed by the opposition to investigate the embattled President.

Did Trump overstep, break protocol, in tweeting his desire that the man who led the Brexit vote to success in Great Britain, Nigel Farage, be the kingdom’s new Ambassador to the US of A?

The United Kingdom is not happy with the President Elect for making a public suggestion. The nation nixed the suggestion.

Turkey’s Prime Minister has had to withdraw a proposed law that would have pardoned men who were charged with statutory rape if they married the under-aged girls after global outcry.

Turkey’s pro-Kurdish HDP party is ending its boycott of Parliament.

OOPs! Popular Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is being accused of attending a cash-for-access fundraiser hosted by some Chinese billionaires.

Former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi had his life sentence in conjunction with a Hamas espionage case overturned by the nation’s highest court.

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declares the TransPacific Partnership agreement “meaningless” if Trump follows through with withdrawing the US from the pact.

Wednesday, 11/23/16:

President Elect Donald Trump continues to do things his way.

In a wide-ranging interview on Tuesday with The New York Times, Trump acknowledged that humans may play a role in climate change, acknowledged that water boarding may not be a practice worth doing, praised the paper as a “jewel“.

Then today, even after he headed last night from Trump Towers in New York City to spend the holiday in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, Cabinet picks are rolling out.

Remember in 2008, the first Cabinet pick was not announced until 20 days after the election then only one was named. Others were not announced until December.

Trump is well beyond that precedent.

Naming Names:

Ambassador to the United Nations – South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development – Dr. Ben Carson
Secretary of Education – Charter school advocate Betsy Devos

Pew Research asked voters to grade the participants in the 2016 Election. Here is how the candidates, parties and voters rated included are the press and pollsters, who got it wrong:

electionreportcard

Read more about the scoring of the election: http://www.people-press.org/2016/11/21/low-marks-for-major-players-in-2016-election-including-the-winner/

Vice President Joe Biden has nixed the idea of becoming new head of the Democratic National Committee.

Reality is that that the Trump business empire is inherently a conflict of interest on a global scale. Legally, as President, Trump has no boundaries or rules that constitute a conflict of interest.

Democratic Senator Ben Cardin, ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is introducing a resolution calling for Trump to divest himself of his business holdings to satisfy the Emoluments Clause of the US Constitution.

It is unclear if income is considered “gifts” from foreign countries as outlined in the clause.

That’s what we get when we elect a non-politician to the highest office in the land.

President Barack Obama, in his last such ceremony, awarded 21 people, many from the entertainment industry and the world of sports, with the nation’s highest honor – the Medal of Freedom – on Tuesday.

The Prez today conducted his last pardon of the national Thanksgiving turkeys. In reality both Tater and Tot, the two turkeys offered to be spared, will live out their days being pampered.

The President also yesterday brought the number of inmates, whose sentences he commuted, to over 1,000.

commutations

Soon-to-be First Son-in-Law Jared Kushner – peace ambassador to Israel and Palestine?

A federal judge blocked implementation of a new rule on overtime pay put forth earlier this year by President Obama.

The top national security pitfall for the incoming Trump Administration according to the White House is North Korea.

A group of scientists are urging Hillary Clinton to challenge election results in the Rust Belt states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. The scientists say they noticed a statistical anomaly with voting machines. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/11/23/attention-democrats-theres-still-no-good-evidence-the-election-was-rigged/)

Clinton’s popular vote lead over Trump has now passed two million.

Former Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein is rumored to be considering asking for a recount in the three states aforementioned.

Reportedly, Donald Trump Jr. met with Russian supporters in Paris, France last month to discuss the Syrian civil war.

The Cornfield’s own State Health Commissioner met with the President Elect to talk healthcare.

Hmm…I wonder.

Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren and Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings have sent a letter to the General Accountability Office to investigate how the Trump Transition Team is using government money.

“Mr. Trump’s apparent conflicts of interest — and his behavior during the campaign and after his election — raise questions about the use of taxpayer funds during the transition,” the lawmakers wrote.

When will Trump have a full-scale press conference?

What were Mark Cuban and Steve Bannon talking about at the King Cole Bar in New York City?

How many times must Trump disavow white supremacists before some in the national press and the chattering class are happy?

Starting to look like I got my answer to a piece I wrote several months ago: Person Versus Persona

In global politics:

Italy’s Minister of Industry pledged to help Italian businesses work out deals with Iran.

Second time charm? That is what Columbia and rebel FARC are hoping as they sign a new peace treaty to end a civil war that has lasted over half a century.

India is shuffling its government, appointing 19 new secretaries.

There is growing opposition to demonetization in India.

Finland is expressing concern over Russia’s deployment of missiles in the Baltic region.

Iran is warning or repercussions if the US renews sanctions.

Friday, 11/25/16:

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for President, continues to amass a wide lead in the popular vote over President Elect Donald Trump, the Republican standard bearer.

That lead in the popular vote can be narrowed down primarily from California, which is still counting votes.

In the latest count from the California Secretary of State, Clinton has 8,021,534 votes to Trump’s 4,196,371 votes.

If we take California’s votes out of play, Trump has 58,141,272 votes. Clinton has 56,411,865.

Which gives credence to keeping the Electoral College. Otherwise, one state can determine the outcome vetoing the desire of the other 49 states.

Something to think about.

In the meantime, Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein has raised over $4.5 million. She plans to launch a request for a recount of the vote in the three Rust Belt states which went for Trump – Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Stein said she is doing so, so the American voters are not questioning the vote.

Court politics are playing out on the small screen and Twitter as camps stake claims for this one or that one or the other for Secretary of State in a Trump Administration.

Trump loyalists are balking at the consideration of 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney for the top diplomatic position and rooting for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

There are a few backing retired General David Petraeus, who was convicted of mishandling classified materials.

Dr. Ben Carson has not yet said, nor has the Trump Transition Team, if he will be Housing and Urban Development Secretary.

Hearts are aflutter in the Cornfield after it was revealed that Trump was working over the holiday to keep Carrier in Indianapolis, Indiana rather than moving operations of its air conditioning manufacturing business to Mexico.

The issue became a big deal leading up to the election, propelling Trump to a big win in the Hoosier State and keeping the Senate seat up for grabs in Republican control.

Two staff appointments are expected to be announced by the Transition Team, but no major word on other vital Cabinet positions until Monday per a teleconference.

Since the election, the President Elect has only attended two intelligence briefings. On the flip side Vice President Elect Mike Pence has had daily briefings.

Do not be surprised if Pence turns out to be more of a shaker behind the scenes than Dick Cheney under George W. Bush.

New Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had some choice words for Republicans – Keep your hands off Medicare:

schumerKT McFarland has accepted appointment as Deputy National Security Adviser to the President Elect, according to Bloomberg.

Don McGahn has also been appointed as White House Counsel for the incoming White House.

A new wrinkle in the conflict of interest surrounding Trump and his business interests. Turns out the President Elect owns stock in the company building the Dakota Access pipeline.

The Secret Service is looking into renting space in Trump Tower.

An anti-Trump elector bound by his state’s vote to cast a ballot for the candidate who won his state when the Electoral College meets has gone to court to be unbound. The elector is from Colorado, which went for Clinton. The suit, however, is in protest to the law in 29 states that binds electors.

Who would have thunk it – Trump received nearly three times as many votes from Muslims than Romney did in 2012. This came even though Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering the US of A.

In the Establishment hustings and the punditry alternate universe, some are grumbling about the number of retired generals beating a path to Trump’s golden doors in Trump Tower.

How much money people have is now becoming an issue as Trump interviews candidates for Cabinet positions. Some say too many are billionaires.

Could the Keystone Pipeline be revived by the incoming Trump Administration?

In global politics:

In light of scandal and arrest of her closest confidante, South Korean President Park Geun-hye has sunk to a 4% approval rating.

Turkish President Recep Erdognan wants to reintroduce a bill, after its rewritten, which will allow those convicted of statutory rape to get out of jail if they marry their victims.

South Africa’s President is none too happy with an influence peddling report critical of him.

If Washington cannot or does not want to fight terrorists, it should not get in the way,” Major General Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry said about US involvement in Syria.

Brazil’s government crisis is growing as another Minister has stepped down in a case that implicates the interim President.

Sunday, 11/27/16:

Recount is the word this weekend following Thanksgiving.

Green Party failed wannabe Dr. Jill Stein has filed and received a recount in the Wisconsin presidential election. Not that the 3rd party candidate thinks there will be any change in the results, but the voters will know the election was fair.

The also failed campaign of Democrat Hillary Clinton is sending lawyers to observe the recount – just because it is happening.

President Elect Donald Trump sees this as a way for Stein to raise money and a publicity stunt. Trump also referred to Stein and Clinton as a “pack of sore losers.”

trumponsteinrecount

Stein for her part vows to “do a recount in any state where the deadline has not passed.”

Then there is the public fight going on over whom to choose for Secretary of State – loyalist Rudy Giuliani or major critic Mitt Romney. Throw into the mix disgraced retired General David Petraeus, Senator Bob Corker and retired General John Kelly.

Trump soundly denounced former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro on learning of his death on Friday. President Barack Obama offered a mild statement and offered condolences to the family.

The President Elect, who on the campaign trail vowed to rescind the executive actions of Obama on Cuba, is now adopting a wait-and-see approach to keeping diplomatic relations alive with the island nation 90 miles off the Florida coast.

If you did a search of Trump Tower on Google Maps you may have found Dump Tower instead. That is if you did your search before the mischief was corrected on Saturday.

A lot of people, mainly Democrats, are calling for abolishing the Electoral College.

I believe, rather, we should keep it.

Read my reasoning: Electoral College Genius

Global Politics:

Fidel Castro, Jesuit to revolutionary who overthrew a dictator to become a dictator, ruling Cuba with an iron hand for over half a century died at age 90 on Friday.

Cuba is in nine days of official mourning. 

But in Little Havana in Miami, Florida, Cuba-Americans are celebrating the death of the despot.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is being soundly panned for his effusive praise of Castro upon learning of his death.

François Fillon will be the right wing candidate for President of France. It is not yet known if President François Hollande, a Socialist, will seek re-election.

Swiss voters are saying “no” to accelerating the government’s withdrawal from nuclear energy.

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Mark

Father, grandfather, political pundit - I am Mark Ivy. I am father to two wonderful sons, Dave and Kev, of whom I am very proud;two terrific daughters-in-law, Anna and Hailey; three beautiful granddaughters: Dylan, Alaina and Amelia. On September 2, 2014, I was diagnosed with disseminated histoplasmosis, a fungal infection, discovered by a biopsy of my larynx. The infection is fatal if left untreated. For 2 1/2 years I lived under a death sentence being misdiagnosed with a non-specific bacterial infection which left my right lung a "dried up sponge" and non-functioning. I was aggressively treated for the infection with antifungals. The treatment ended October of 2015 and fortunately did not take two years. I suffer from chronic Horton's Syndrome. The effects vary widely causing various problems. Statistically, Horton's affects only 0.1% of the population. Major depression also attacks me regularly.

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