Trump and Sessions

Most of this has already been said in the press and on news commentary shows.  The Attorney General is nominated by the president, serves at the pleasure of the president and may be fired by president at any time.  The Department of Justice must at the same time conduct investigations independently of the president.   AG Jeff Sessions, whether you like him or hate him, has focused on areas which  are of high concern to President Trump- illegal immigrants in the US and drug trafficking.   He is likely will prosecute anyone who  illegally  discloses  information, when investigations yield compelling evidence.

Sessions has been attacked in tweets by Trump, who said he is very disappointed at the AG.   Commentators believe he is trying to have Sessions resign rather than fire him.

The attorney general  must be loyal to the Constitution and the rule of law.  What Sessions won’t do, is make unwarranted accusations and use the Department for partisan purposes.    He was involved in the election campaign of Donald Trump, so it is likely he had close contact with Paul Manafort and others under investigation.   To his credit, he recused himself from the Russian  investigation, so his activities could be investigated without any suggestion of impropriety.   This strengthens the public perception of the integrity of the investigation.

Trump seems obsessed about leaks and the reporting of these leaks in the media.  He wasn’t at all concerned about this when leaks were coming out on a daily basis on Hillary Clinton.  Eric Holder had an active investigation on Julian Assange, who runs Wikileaks.  If he ever steps in the US, hopefully he will be arrested.   Charges against  Edward Snowden have already been filed under the Obama administration.   Should Snowden or Julian Assange ever step foot in the US,  you can be sure that they will be prosecuted under the  full force of the Justice Department..  It makes no difference if this occurs under a Democratic or Republican administration.

But, what Trump has in mind, is the chatter that goes on between White House insiders and the media.  Also, as his popularity is sinking, he has revived the campaign promise to go after violations of the law of Hillary Clinton for disclosure of classified information.   Similar attacks have been launch against FBI Director Comey.  The Department of Justice has access to all the information gathered by the FBI,  and if they feel there is a compelling case, with a reasonable chance of prevailing in their charges,  I am sure Jeff Sessions will not hesitate for one minute to bring charges against Clinton or Comey.   However,  he will not use his office to make frivolous accusations against them.   He will not turn the Department of Justice into a bully pulpit.

I can only surmise that the only reason the Department of Justice had not pressed charges, is because there is insufficient evidence of violation of the law.    I have provided a link below on some myths about what is considered  confidential information.   One  popular myth is  that confidential information should be easily recognized by its subject matter alone and need not be so designated .

Trump was at the Boy Scout Jamboree, and treated it like some kind of campaign rally.   The first two qualities in the Boy Scout oath are Trustworthy and Loyal.   I believe both Jeff Sessions and  FBI Director Comey  through their decades of government service are exemplary  of these qualities.   They are loyal to the people’s representatives who through the ages, created and expanded the Justice Department and the FBI.  No one made the government exempt in administrating their duties as this would undermine our democratic process.  They were not going to allow the integrity be diminished by the political desires of the president of the United States.

Link:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-classified-information/2015/09/18/a164c1a4-5d72-11e5-b38e-06883aacba64_story.html?utm_term=.e610934bea2e

Link on Jeff Sessions:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Sessions

Stay tuned,

Dave

PS:  Trump’s approval rating is 37% according to the latest Gallup poll.

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Going forward with President Trump

Is  President Trump going to make America great again?  I have strong doubts.

It is clear that the stock market wanted Clinton to win.  The Dow futures dropped nearly 5% when it became clear around 11:00 pm that Trump had a high probability of winning.

If what kills our economy are unfair trade deals, currency manipulation and  competition from China,  then one would think the policies of Trump would be embraced by the stock market. But, this morning’s future trading  and overseas markets say otherwise.   The world markets are in shock.

World economics  is complicated. What looks to be in the US advantage short term, can end up a total disaster later.   The markets are concerned about  the potential for destabilization of our relations with other countries, and disruptive actions on trade agreements. Some economists predicted Trump would lead us back into recession, through tax cuts for the wealthy and increase government spending, particularly on the military.

I prepare a list of hot issues for 2017,  but I’m holding off posting  them,  given how wrong I was about the elections.  We now are in the transition period.  Trump takes office January 20, 2017.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

Results

Election results will continually updated through the night.  Surprises would be anything that would cause us to adjust our projection of Clinton winning with 322 to 328 EV.   The Elections can also be followed on CNN.com.

Wins may be actual or projected wins.   The % of vote in is shown on their site

Link:  http://www.cnn.com/election/results/president

11:35 pm Trump declared projector winner of Florida (29 EV),  re-takes the lead with 216 to 196 EV.

11:30  pm Trump 171 Clinton 190

11:11 pm *** Trump projected winner in NC,  considered to lean to Clinton, with 15 EV.

11:08  pm Trump leads FL by 131696 with 96% of vote. Around 360,000 votes to go, so Clinton would have to get around 70% of them to tie.

11:03 pm Trump leads in Wisconsin (10 EV) considered a solid or likely Clinton win.

11:01 pm  Clinton wins CA,  Clinton 190 Trump 171.   CA was always considered a solid Clinton.

10:55 pm  Path to Trump victory is open, with close races in Michigan, Florida, North Carolina and PA.

10:47 pm  Clinton takes New Mexico and Virginia, both considered likely Clinton wins, tally now is Ttump 169 Clinton 109.

10:27 om Trump is the projected winner of Ohio.  Trump now 167 EV to Clinton’s  109.

10:23 pm Trump leads in Florida by 135,000 votes and there is only 5% yet to process.  I calculate that Clinton must get 65% of the remaining votes to tie Trump.

10:16  pm Trump 149 Clinton 109.  All toss-up states are very close,  and VA which was a leaning Clinton state.

9:52 Trump 136 Clinton 104

9:30 pm   FL, NC and  VA are close races.   If Trump wins these states,  Hillary may lose the election.

9:26 pm  Trump 128 EV  Clinton 97 EV

8:54 pm *** This will be no easy win for Clinton with Florida and NC still too close to call.

8:46 pm Race in North Carolina is tight.  Clinton still leads with ~60,000 votes. 61% processed.   Race in NC is critical with 15 EV.

8:43 pm Trump has a projected wins of 66 EV,  Clinton 68,  but if Trump takes FL, he’ll have 95 EV.

8:40 pm Trump ahead in FL by ~ 100,000 votes.

8:31 pm *** Trump may take Florida, in which case Clinton could still win with 293 EV (assuming she wins NC and NV, loses OH).

8:31 pm In Florida,  Trump pulls ahead by 68,000 votes (0.7% lead)

8:22 pm  In Florida,  Trump pulls ahead by 4,000 votes (0.1% lead).

8:17 pm Florida remains extremely close, less than 200 votes apart!

8:13 pm  In FL, Trump and Clinton differ by less than 4000 votes,   87% est. processed.

8:07 pm  Trump and Clinton extremely close in Florida, with 77% of vote in.   Clinton slightly ahead.

11/8/16 8:00 pm (EST)  Trump  48 Clinton 68   No toss ups reporting yet, no surprises.

 

 

Election Predictions, Clinton wins with 322 to 328 EV

Prediction made 11/8 at 6:39 pm

Looks like:

Clinton  wins NH, Nevada, Florida, NC

Trump wins OH, Iowa, Maine (CD2), Nebraska, Arizona, Utah. Georgia, Arizona

So Clinton has 268 in the strong + likely  category plus 54 in toss-up states to win with 322 EV which is 52 EV over what she needs.

But Clinton might win Ohio, giving her 328 EV,  which I give about a 40% chance.

Election predictions

Stay tuned,

Dave

Decision day

It’s 7:37 am in Florida, and the polls opened at 7:00 am.   But each state sets its own rules, so please check for the times in your state.    I have stated my views on who the best candidate is, but I respect those who disagree with me.   Do not go pulling up people’s signs or do anything disrespectful today.   We have four loyal, hardworking and intelligent candidates.   Please respect the decision of millions of people. Democracy works on respect and  a willingness to compromise for the greater good.

I was tempted to add one more blog, but I think this posting pretty well says it all (from Persuade me Politics)

https://persuademepolitics.wordpress.com/2016/10/05/donald-trump-patriot-savior-or-tyrant-part-1/

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

Fact checkers

I use factcheck.org mostly, but politifact.com has nice summaries of Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and others.

Other fact checkers are:

Washington Post

snopes.com

Politifact found that on the average 4% of Trump’s facts were true while 19% of Clinton’s were true.  Adding the categories of true, mostly true and half true gets Trump up to 30% while Clinto gets 75%.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

Trump – a nightmare for foreign policy

Republicans who served under George W. Bush recognized that the US had to play a leadership role in the world.  I like to say, “what goes around, comes around.”

Stronger together- really does work.  Make American Great through insults to our fiends (Mexico) doesn’t work.

Enough.  Donald Trump should not be President. He should withdraw.  As a Republican I hope to support someone who has the dignity and stature to run to the highest office in the greatest democracy on earth.

Condoleezza Rice,  Former Secretary of State under George W. Bush.

Nicholas Burns was undersecretary of state for political affairs under Bush.  Here is what he said today on CNN:

I hope she’s  [Clinton] going to be the president.  If it’s Donald Trump, I think all bets are off given his unorthodox and I think, very weak and very dangerous views about Russia.  I think we can say with some certainty that Vladamir Putin and the Russian government would like Donald Trump to be elected president because Trump has been denegrating NATo; he’ll make NATPO weaker. He won’t be the strong American leader in Europe that Europeans are accustomed to.  It is clear by their actions and words that the Russians support a Donald Trump candidacy.  Every other European government, and I’ve talked to a lot of them, desperately want Hillary Clinton to be elected because they want stability and a traditional American leader and a leader who is sophisticated enough to know how the US can be effective in that region.

 I think for most Europeans and East Europeans,  Trump is a real danger to them.

Republicans working for President Bush have either remained quiet or turned their back on Trump.  Here’s a sampling:

“If Donald Trump wins, he will, by definition, have created a new template of success for Republicans,” said Ari Fleischer, Mr. Bush’s first White House press secretary. “But if he loses, and particularly if he is crushed, it will reset the party back more in the direction of President Bush.”

Because Mr. Trump represents something far greater in the eyes of the Bush veterans than just an unfortunate party nominee, their determination to defeat him has become more intense.

The vast majority of the approximately three dozen veterans of Mr. Bush’s administration contacted for this article indicated that they would not cast a ballot for Mr. Trump.

“I can count on one hand the number of people I worked with who are supporting Trump,” said R. Nicholas Burns, a former Bush State Department official who has been calling his onetime colleagues to solicit support for the presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.

R. Nicholas Burns :

Nicholas Burns (born January 28, 1956) is a university professor, columnist, lecturer and former American diplomat. He is currently Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a member of the Board of Directors of the school’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. At the Harvard Kennedy School, he is Director of The Future of Diplomacy Project and Faculty Chair for the programs on the Middle East and India and South Asia. He is Director of the Aspen Strategy Group, Senior Counselor at the Cohen Group and serves on the Board of Directors of Entegris, Inc. He writes a biweekly column on foreign affairs for the Boston Globe and is a senior foreign affairs columnist for GlobalPost.

This I promise you will be my very last post until after the election.   I also will post all comments on these issues.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

Hate Comey- Love Comey – Hate Comey

The 8 day saga of Trump and Director of the FBI Comey has ended.   Saturday, Comey was wonderful, because he was investigating Clinton.   Since details were sparse, Trump could improvise.  When the investigation ended on Sunday, Trump says the system is rigged,  all the FBI investigators are liars,  and there is this gigantic conspiracy going all the way to the top.  Ridiculous!

Sunday,  Trump was blasting Comey as a horrible liar.   How could anyone in 8 days sift through 650,000 emails?   First, who says there were 650,000 emails.   The number sounded absolutely ridiculous.   Comparisons were done by computer, and  in all likelihood, there was tons of duplication or email backups.  Plus personal emails, drafts, and other documents that could be related to emails.

It isn’t hard to find duplicates.   The emails have  exact dates, to/from and other quickly identifiable information.   Director Comey does not have to provide any information on this probe, and normally there would be no need for disclosure given there are no accusations of wrong doing.  But the urgency is obviously the elections.

I really expected this was a whole lot about nothing.  The emails were on the aide’s laptop, only for the purpose of facilitating printing.

I can take a document with a million words and compare it to another similar document, and in minutes, the computer can identify the words that are different.  If I had a faster computer, this would be done in seconds.   It’s done every day, in fact when people are modifying documents.

So,  Trump should man up and admit he lost.   When the investigation looked like it was going to help Trump, Comey could do no wrong.  Now Comey is the enemy and gets the full Trump barrage.

Comey’s Letter:

Dear Messrs. Chairmen:

I write to supplement my October 28, 2016 letter that notified you the FBI would be taking additional investigative steps with respect to former Secretary of State Clinton’s use of a personal email server. Since my letter, the FBI investigative team has been working around the clock to process and review a large volume of emails from a device obtained in connection with an unrelated criminal investigation. During that process, we reviewed all of the communications that were to or from Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State.

Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton.

I am very grateful to the professionals at the FBI for doing an extraordinary amount of high-quality work in a short period of time.

Sincerely yours,
James B. Comey
Director

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

Serious Toss Up States + who is ahead

I said in a prior post, it’s all up to FIONNA,  meaning Florida, Iowa, Ohio, North Carolina, Nevada  and Arizona.  Toss-up states are now just 4:   Florida,  Ohio, North Carolina,  Nevada.     Arizona and Iowa are now mostly predicted to lean Trump.   Now it’ just  FONN as toss-ups.   Polls can’t give conclusive results in these states because the difference in the polls is within the margin of error, in most cases.

Can Trump win?  Yes.   Can Clinton win?  Yes.

Clinton is ahead but her lead has narrowed, and the campaign isn’t over.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

 

Trump Lies on the Benghazi

Republicans prepared a report  in June 2016 which none of the Democrats supported.  They issued their separate report.   But both Democratic and Republican reports and prior investigations state that the embassy in Benghazi was inadequately protected.  Hillary Clinton agrees with this assessment and as Secretary of State accepted all recommendations made at the time to improve security.  Of course, you are not going to hear this from Trump.

The big lie is that Secretary Clinton did nothing while 4 Americans were killed in Benghazi. Not even the Republican version of the Benghazi has any conclusion remotely similar to this.  The Republican report states it was impossible to save the two lives in the embassy.  The discussion is on the two lives while guarding the CIA annex.    This is all about an attack that lasted a total of 11 minutes.

Here’s the reporting from the New York Times, June 28, 2016:

“The Republican-led committee found no evidence of culpability or wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton, then the secretary of state.”

What the Republican version did, was to suggest, just possibly, more could have been done militarily to save the two lives and  suggest Leon Panetta and the Department of Defense.   acted too slow.  NYT reports:

 Senior Pentagon officials have consistently said that they were constrained by the “tyranny of time and distance” — that is, that the military could not have sent troops or planes in time to have made a difference.

NYT reports:

Even the report acknowledges the challenges facing the so-called FAST teams: These troops did not have their own planes, which meant delays waiting for flights; did not travel with their own vehicles (they would need to find some in Benghazi when they landed); and were designed to deploy before a crisis hit, not during hostilities.

Essentially, the hypothetical rescue mission would have been sent to save the lives of two servicemen guarding the CIA Annex.  More lives could have been lost in this mission.  And then the Pentagon, Obama, or even Secretary Clinton would have come under serious attack.

Full NYT article

The best summary I’ve seen on Benghazi is from Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Benghazi_attack

Stay tuned,

Dave