7 thoughts on “News/Politics 3-2-17

  1. Community organizing on the taxpayer dime. Obama took the Al Sharpton/Jesse Jackson shakedown racket to new levels. Just another mess for Trump to clean.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/01/gop-wants-to-eliminate-shadowy-doj-slush-fund-bankrolling-leftist-groups.html

    “The Obama administration funneled billions of dollars to activist organizations through a Department of Justice slush fund scheme, according to congressional investigators.

    “It’s clear partisan politics played a role in the illicit actions that were made,” Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, told Fox News. “The DOJ is the last place this should have occurred.”

    Findings spearheaded by the House Judiciary Committee point to a process shrouded in secrecy whereby monies were distributed to a labyrinth of nonprofit organizations involved with grass-roots activism.

    “Advocates for big government and progressive power are using the Justice Department to extort money from corporations,” Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton told Fox News. “It’s a shakedown. It’s corrupt, pure and simple.”

    There is a recent effort by Republicans to eliminate the practice, which many believe was widely abused during the Obama administration.

    When big banks are sued by the government for discrimination or mortgage abuse, they can settle the cases by donating to third-party non-victims. The settlements do not specify how these third-party groups could use the windfall.

    So far, investigators have accounted for $3 billion paid to “non-victim entities.”

    Critics say banks are incentivized to donate the funds to non-profits rather than giving it to consumers.”
    —————————-

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  2. The next few years are really going to be interesting on the global economic front.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/03/01/china-expands-global-economic-reach-us-turns-inward/98466530/

    You can be sure that leaders of countries all over Asia, Europe and South America are asking their intelligence agencies:

    1. Is Trump an anomaly or is the US in retreat from its role as the global economic leader?

    2. How do we deal with China, assuming it is going to be the new sheriff in town?

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  3. I get the impression that Trump and his advisors from the business community view the US like a poorly run company that they were able to acquire at a low price. I think they believe that with a few tweaks here and there, they can raise annual GDP growth to around 3%. The country has been badly managed for 28 years. AJ’s 6:51 post is a good example. However, to put the nation on a path to sustainable long term growth, three interrelated issues must be addressed:

    1. Healthcare costs must be contained and then reduced. These costs have been a huge factor in making American business uncompetitive for decades and discouraging the hiring of new workers.

    2. The Ponzi schemes of Social Security and Medicare must be reformed so they will not eat up almost the entire national budget as all the baby boomers reach retirement age. This must be done slowly and delicately as Reagan did in the 1980s.

    3. The millions of able bodied people (particularly men) who have left the work force must be enticed to move where the jobs are and seek employment.

    If Trump can make progress on two of those major areas, he will have done well.

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  4. Much ado about nothing.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/op-ed-jeff-sessions-absolutely-172457851.html

    “When President Donald Trump fired now-former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn last month for meeting with the Russian ambassador during the transition period, the Democrats clearly smelled blood in the water. Now their feeding frenzy is fixed on Attorney General Jeff Sessions for meetings he had during the election period with the very same Russian ambassador that he failed to disclose. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer has even just joined a chorus from his party calling on Sessions to resign.

    This is a scandal! A Conspiracy! The end of the Republic!

    Not so much.

    In fact, while it was bad enough to lose Flynn, if Sessions is forced to step down it will be worse news for the White House, America, and even the anti-Trump Democrats who can’t let go of their still unproven Russian conspiracy theories.

    There are two big reasons why.

    First, there is simply no evidence of any wrongdoing and even the “appearance of impropriety” argument here is more than a normal stretch. Second, this particular Russian conspiracy nonsense is doing serious damage to the entire country politically and culturally. And the people promoting this theory are actually suffering the most damage themselves.

    Let’s start with the “evidence” in this case. It turns out one of the “meetings” was an informal encounter on the sidelines of the GOP convention in July. The second appears to have been a routine visit by Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to Sessions’ office in September when Sessions was a member of the Senate Armed Services committee.

    As for allegations that Sessions lied under oath by not disclosing these meetings during his confirmation hearings, Sessions spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said there was nothing “misleading about his answer” to Congress because he was asked during the hearings about “communications between Russia and the Trump campaign, not about meetings he took as a senator and a member of the Armed Services Committee.” And Flores later noted that in 2016, Sessions had over 25 conversations and meetings with foreign ambassadors.

    A closer look at the actual questions and their context in the hearings sure seems to prove Flores right.”
    ————————

    And Democrats can’t even get their story straight. Or they’re lying.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/factcheck/analysis-sen-mccaskill%E2%80%99s-misfired-tweet-on-contacts-with-russian-ambassador/ar-AAnINwT?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=U452DHP

    ““I’ve been on the Armed Services Com for 10 years. No call or meeting w/Russian ambassador. Ever. Ambassadors call members of Foreign Rel Com.”

    — Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), in a tweet, March 2, 2017

    Sen. Claire McCaskill jumped on The Washington Post report that Attorney General Jeff Sessions in 2016 had met twice with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, including once in his Senate office, when Sessions was a key adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

    But now some of her earlier tweets have undermined that claim.”
    ———–

    “The Pinocchio Test
    McCaskill went too far to suggest that she had never met or had a phone call with the Russian ambassador in the last 10 years, especially given that she had tweeted about such interactions in the past. Certainly the circumstances of the Sessions-Kislyak meeting in September raise questions — as do his answers under oath during his confirmation hearing — but McCaskill undercuts her outrage by making such misleading statements.”
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  5. And I will also note that Obama and his minions are running this entire circus. This is a coordinated effort.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2017/03/02/report-u-s-intelligence-probed-sessions-for-contacts-with-russians-last-year/

    “Among the agencies involved: The FBI, which now answers to … Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Hence the calls for his recusal in Russia matters even from some Republicans today.

    It sure is interesting that so many different major papers had Russia stories dropping last night, the evening of Trump’s best day of president so far. WaPo had the big scoop about Sessions meeting twice with the Russian ambassador; the Times had a scoop about Obama officials scrambling to preserve evidence of the Russian hackings just in case Team Trump sought to bury it; and now here’s the Journal with news that Sessions was one of the Trump campaign associates investigated for communicating with Russians last year. Note that no conclusions are drawn by the paper about culpability, or even whether the investigation into Sessions is ongoing. It’s a pure attempt to cast suspicion on him in tandem with the WaPo piece without any evidence of actual wrongdoing.”

    “According to his spokesman, Sessions … didn’t know that his communications with Russians were being scrutinized. He and Comey are going to have a fun meeting today. The million-dollar question here: Did the feds find any other contacts between Sessions and Russians besides the two we already know about it or was it just the two meetings with the ambassador, Kislyak, that have now been disclosed? I highlighted the bit about “spring and summer of 2016” because that seems to offer a clue. Sessions’s spokesman acknowledged that he talked briefly with Kislyak in July, at a Heritage event during the Republican convention, along with several other ambassadors. WaPo reported last night that Sessions also met with Kislyak in his office on September 8th, albeit supposedly (per Sessions’s team) to talk business related to his role on the Senate Armed Services Committee, not as a Trump campaign surrogate. (That’s important for reasons Jazz explained here about Sessions’s exchange with Al Franken under oath during his confirmation hearing.) That’s summer and either late summer or early fall, depending on how you want to categorize early September. So what contacts did Sessions have with Russia in spring 2016, per the Journal story? Was there another office meeting with Kislyak or was there some private communication with someone we don’t know about yet? Sessions’s answer to Franken is defensible based on what we know now, but if he had more contact with Russians and didn’t disclose it, hoo boy. Four words, my friends: Attorney General Chris Christie.”

    😨

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  6. Trump is having a good week. His speech was well received and caused the Dems to behave badly. He has made no silly Tweets in several days. He may be getting the hang of this.

    Liked by 1 person

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