Donald of Arabia….Get it? Like Lawrence of Arabia. He also went to Israel

This week President Donald (J) Trump, went on his first overseas trip. This comes at a convenient time for Trump as the past two weeks of the Trump presidency has been mired in several controversies. Trump first visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. There he helped finalize an arms deal worth over $100 billion. The Saudi King, King Salman gave Trump a warm welcome. Trump made a speech about fighting extremism, and the Saudis opened a center targeting extremism.

Next Trump headed over to Israel to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Tensions have risen between the close allies due to a international gaffe created by Trump. While meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister, he discussed highly classified info gathered by Israeli intelligence. Not only does this info compromise the source, it also dilutes the trust that the Israeli spy apparatus has for the United States. Trump brought this up in a speech while standing next to Prime Minister Netanyahu, creating an awkward situation. After Israel, Trump then headed over to Rome to visit the Vatican. It has been reported that the Pope gave Trump book on climate change. sly. Trump will now be heading to Brussels for a meeting with the other members of NATO.

Meanwhile, Trump has left behind political firestorms created by his firing of FBI director James Comey, asking Comey to cancel his Russia investigation into the campaign, and also by giving classified information to Russia. Unfortunately for Trump, the firestorm will still be here, raging, even if on a back burner for the time being.

Half way there….

Heyo valued and loyal readers. Your ever continuous and inspired support of my 250 word ramblings is truly humbling.

So for the news. Two big things have occurred this week. First, last Friday the House of Representative passed a stopgap week long spending bill to delay the shutdown of the government, and followed it up with a $1.1 Trillion dollar yearlong spending bill. It seemed everybody seemed to win in this bill as it was passed relatively unceremoniously. The reason why is passed without much of a fuss seems to center around the fact that the bill essentially gave money to everybody, so there was no showdown over planned parenthood or anything. Republicans wanted to avoid a show down for a very clear reason. Since the spending deadline was so close to approaching, any sort of showdown could trigger a government shutdown if Democrats and Republicans couldn’t agree on a spending bill in soon enough time. Because of their seat in power Republicans would have invariably been blamed, which could have major repercussions later down the line. The spending bill lasts till next September, so we will see what happens then. In addition to the spending bill, the House of Representatives also voted to repeal Obamacare today. Not a whole lot is known about their new bill to replace Obamacare with, but the effects will come out soon. Now the repeal bill will be sent to the Senate, now whether it will be passed by the senate is a much different story then the House. The Senate Republicans hold a much slimmer majority then they do in the house. If Republicans lose three out of their fifty-two votes then the repeal bill will fail, and Obamacare will still reign in the US.

100 day burnout

Hey reader base, how has your week been? Das ist gut. I hope everybody is enjoying the NFL draft, super exciting. Oh and also tomorrow will be President Trump’s 100th day in office, so congratulations to him. Although, I am probably the only person saying that as this week has been another hard week for Trump. To be candid, it seems that the White House has finally acclimated to the climate of D.C. yet that doesn’t mean Trump still didn’t get battered in the news for not accomplishing the vast majority of his legislative agenda that he said would be accomplished by day 100. In addition to the 100 days, tensions with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea are still very hot, maybe slightly cooler then last week, but there still seems to be a lot of anxiety related to North Korea. The US military has deployed THAAD missiles in South Korea to shoot down any North Korean missile that might be shot towards southern parts of South Korea, Japan, or Guam. All in all, this is not a fun preposition. Congress has been pushing for more anti-missile sites in the US, and Hawaii in particular is worried about a nuclear strike from North Korea. President Trump has also taken an aggressive tone towards North Korea, which might be necessary but isn’t reassuring. The chance of a bloodless, peaceful resolution of this conflict seems to be slipping farther and farther away. 100 years ago, The Great War raged all around the world. It was a defining conflict of the age that set the stages for the second World War, and subsequently the Cold War which led us into this current predicament. My point, history’s wheels haven’t stopped turning and the decisions we make today could have a tremendous impact for decades, or a century to come.

Oh Boy! Feeling the tension

Wow, the past two weeks have been fun. Bombing in Syria, bombing in Afghanistan, oh and Korea.

Like I’ve mentioned, there has been a lot of foreign policy occurrences lately, and the President has had to deal with all of them.

Last week Syrian Presidential Dictator, Bashar Al-Assad used sarrin gas against civilian rebels, which dramatically changed President Trump’s opinion on the entire conflict. Several days later 59 Tommahawk missiles bombarded the Syrian airbase where the strike was believed to have originated from. The missiles did varying levels of damnage to the base and surrounding areas, but the airstrip itself was not hit allowing for further airstrikes. This air strike is very significant, especially because it is a complete 180 of what Trump has said before in tweets of leaving Syria alone. This bombing also probably severed the last ties between Russia and Trump.

In eastern Afghanistan, US forces dropped the largest non nuclear bomb in the Military arsenal. The 21,600lb M.O.A.B. or massive ordinance Air burst was dropped on ISIS tunnels. The bomb killed between 36-96 ISIS insurgents according to current reports, and wasn’t intended as a foreign policy move/threat to other countries, but turned into one. A change that President Trump has made compared to his predisessor, Barack Obama, is Trump would like his military to be less constrained, meaning generals will drop big bombs without consideration of how that might affect regions outside their zone of control.

Finally the Korean Peninsula is heating up again, as North Korea looks to be ready to conduct another nuclear test. Trump and the rest of the world has reacted negatively, and a aircraft career is supposed to be on its way to Korean waters. War is unlikely, but everybody is still scared regardless.

Devin Nunes strikes back, actually no, I am just going bash him a little (3/27/17)

Whoa! you hear that? What I am currently hearing are the chants for Devin Nunes to be added to the Democrat’s most wanted list. Now what could a milk farmer out of California deserve this much ire from liberals, Democrats, and a few anti-Trump Republicans? To answer the question that I just put into your head loyal readership is this: Devin Nunes completely undermined the credibility and the independence of the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion between Trump and the Russian government. Congressman Nunes, who is the chairmen of the House Intelligence Committee, has made several moves that have publicly undermined the credibility of his committee, one of the most important in congress, in moves that are pretty obvious to shield President Trump from even more flak than he currently gets.

What currently put Nunes into the limelight was a statement that he made about Intelligence he had received about Trump. According to Nunes, Trump’s communications were swept up in surveillance, that wasn’t targeted at Trump, but was still picked up. Once learning about this information Nunes booked it to the White House to inform Trump, the main subject of his investigation. After going to the White House, Nunes went to inform the public and the rest of the committee. Funny enough, it’s been revealed that Nunes’ Intelligence had actually come from two officials in the White House. Also it was revealed that the intelligence was actually some diplomats talking about Trump, not any actual tapping, or anything, but yet the fact remains, Devin Nunes acquired Intelligence, and instead of sharing it with his committee, he shared it with the White House (which probably already knew), and not only has completely lost the trust of the Democrats on the committee, but also the Country currently entrusting him to investigate possible crimes by the President in exchange to be a better lap dog. Anyways that is just a little taste of Nunes, he’ll probably be back again next week. Cheers!

ACHA D.O.A? – A post dedicated to Mitch

Alright this week is the week that could potentially decide if America will have a new health care plan. Today, Friday, March 24th the House of Representatives will vote on the American Health Care Act. This bill is seen as the Republican response to the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. The AHCA is actually unsurprisingly unpopular and has a high possibility of not being passed. The bill alienates Democrats, moderate Republicans and conservative Republicans for various reasons. The bill was originally set to be voted on yesterday, yet the vote was delayed due to Paul Ryan, the Republican Speaker of the House saying the bill did not have enough support to pass. By the way Congress is divided, the Republicans can only afford to lose 22 Republican votes for the bill to fail. This leaves Republicans in a very tricky spot with not a lot of room to maneuver. If they fail, then they have made bad on a promise that has been repeated for 7 years, and if they succeed they pass a bill that is unpopular, even among Republican constituents. If this bill fails it will also negativity effect President Trump’s image as a deal maker, as the president has been relentlessly trying to drum up support among moderate Republicans and members of the conservative Freedom Caucus. As it currently stands, I have no clue where this bill will go. Both outcomes seem bad for the Republicans, yet as they were the ones who wrote the bill they get whatever they deserve. Anyways I hope the rest of you have a good weekend.

Blog for the week of 2/27/2016

Hey people, did you enjoy the break? I sure did. So big news for the week, Trump made a very presidential speech, another one of Trump’s cabinet members is in boiling hot water over Russia, and Trump looks to add 54 billion dollars to the military budget.

On Tuesday, March 28th President Trump made his first address to congress. Many praised the speech for Trump’s “presidentialness” (a fake word like fake news). He was praised for several aspects of his speech including condemning attacks and anti-Semitic actions that have occurred as of late. Because the speech received such positive praise, the Trump administration has delayed the rolling out of their new and improved immigration order.

Unfortunately all the praise seemed to die yesterday when it was reported that the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, had been in contact with the Russian Ambassador twice during the campaign. This is the second Trump appointee to be associated with the Russians, the first was Michael Flynn, which I detailed in my last post. Sessions contact with the Russians is one of several high ranking Trump associates and campaign surrogates who have been linked to Russia, painting an even more damning image for Trump. During Session’s conformation hearing, he also denied that he has had contact with any Russian government officials. Because of these new revelations, Sessions has recused himself from any investigation relating to the Trump administration and Russia. While this is the right move for an attorney general, several things need to be pointed out. First, these meetings happened before the election, and Sessions never disclosed that these meetings had occurred. Second, he lied under oath during his conformation hearing. Third, this is the second high ranking Trump official in three weeks to be outed, is his entire administration colluding with the Russians. Finally, how much of this does the President know? Is he completely oblivious to what his advisers have been doing, or is he the one directing all of his surrogates to be contacting to be in contact with Russia? The only answer I can give is, let some time pass. At the rate at which information has been leaking, and increased scrutiny being leveled at the administration, information like this could be out very very soon. Anyways happy Lent!

Blog post for the week of 2/13/2017

WHOA what a week. There was some big news this week. The biggest and most obvious news to cover this week revolved around Michael Flynn. For those of you who don’t know who Michael Flynn is, Michael Flynn was a Lieutenant General in the Army and former Defense Intelligence Agency Director, before he retired. Trump nominated Flynn to become his national security adviser, a close aide to the President. Flynn got in trouble over the weekend when transcripts were leaked detailing calls that Flynn had with the Russian Ambassador to the United States. The conversation, which occurred on December 29th, Flynn and the Ambassador discussed the sanctions that the Obama Administration had put onto Russia for annexing Crimea in 2014. After the transcript was released Flynn resigned from his post sowing further Chaos in the young Administration of President Trump.

There are two reasons why this call that Flynn had with the Ambassador is important. First off, several intelligence agencies including the CIA and FBI concluded that the Russian Government interfered in the US election to get Trump elected over Hillary Clinton. There are several reasons why this possible could have happened, but Flynn’s call, in addition to those reports and also Trump’s extreme and usual friendliness to Russia and Vladimir Putin point to the Russian government colluding with Trump to get him elected in exchange for the sanctions being lifted. Those sanctions have also had a severe impact on the Russian economy, in addition to hurting close friends of Putin’s, with large shares of money. The second reason why the Flynn phone call is important is the fact that at the time Flynn was a private citizen, and his actions might have violated an old law called the Logan Act. The Logan Act looks to prevent private citizens from conducting diplomacy.

So far Flynn has resigned from his post, but beyond that, there isn’t anything certain as of what could happen to Flynn. Chances are is he could be prosecuted, or just continue being a private citizen. Who knows?

Post for the week of 2/6/17

Hello everybody, hows it going? Well for President Trump, not to well. This week the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Trump’s travel ban appeal after a Seattle judge had blocked it. Also Jeff Sessions, and Betsy DeVos both got confirmed into their respective positions of Attorney General and Secretary of Education.

The big news for this week is mainly revolving around Trump’s travel ban. Like mentioned above, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals uphold a decision by a Seattle Judge which effectively rendered the travel ban useless. From here the President has two options. Either he can appeal the decision of the appeals court to where it would go to the Supreme Court. Since the court is still missing a judge, if a decision is unable to be made due to a lack of a majority, then the decision of the lower court will be upheld. So this route is a bad one for Trump, because it is unlikely that any of the liberal judges would support the travel ban, and who knows what the conservative judges would do. Trump’s other option is to write up another travel ban, which he has threatened to do. Depending on how it is worded it might be able to be implemented, but if it is anything like the last one then it would probably be affected by a court order very soon after it is announced.

On to the more “minor” news of the week, both Betsy DeVos and Jeff Sessions were both confirmed by the senate to their posts. DeVos, who has been the subject of intense scrutiny barely made it passed the Senate. For the first time in history, a cabinet secretary was confirmed using the Vice President’s vote as President of the Senate to break the tie in favor of DeVos. Sessions on the other hand also had a bumpy road. In the 1980s he was nominated by Reagan to be a Federal judge and was denied by the Senate due to racist comments and remarks that he has made in the past. But for Sessions, not enough Republican Senators defected to call his confirmation into question.

anyways, that’s the news.

Blog for the week of 1/30/2017

This week was a big week for President Trump, and will become a defining time for his presidency. Very soon after Trump’s announcement for the presidential election, he called “for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.” That moment happened in essence this week. Last Friday Trump signed an executive order banning all immigration for 120 days, including immigration specifically from Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, Sudan and Somalia. Immigration from Syria has been halted indefinitely. Trump also followed up this executive order with a statement that Christian refugees would be prioritized over Muslim ones.

This action by Trump has caused much dismay by world leaders, demonstrations against Trump, and many political leaders calling out this action. There has been continuous demonstrations at many major airports protesting this order and in an attempt to show solidarity with migrants. Many of those effected had no knowledge of the order because they were in the air as it was being signed and were refused entry upon landing. The order also caused a lot of confusion as no lawyers or officials from the state department, or judicial branch of the government reviewed the executive order. This led to Green card holders and permanent residents to being refused access to the country, until high ranking government officials claimed otherwise. A week later and there is still confusion over who exactly the order affects, and what will happen to those affected. Shortly after the order was signed an New York federal judge ordered a stay on all deportations to prevent people from being flown back from where they came. The temporary Attorney General was also fired because she refused to carry out Trump’s orders related to the executive order.

Overall….who knows.

blog for the week of 1/23/17

Welcome everybody to a new week, and Donald Trump’s first week as president. He got right to work stirring controversy, using twitter, and his new power of the executive order in his first week as president. From what this week will tell us is that a lot of what we saw of Trump on the trail and transition will still be here today and in the future.

First lets look at the executive orders and presidential memorandums that President Trump has made. The first executive order signed by Trump was targeting the Affordable Care Act by essentially letting government agencies ignore regulations created by the AFA. Trump also signed a document restricting funding to NGOs that provide abortions. Trump signed a document withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. A federal hiring freeze except for the military and those “necessary to meet national security or public safety responsibilities”. New pipelines should use American steel. Restarting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone XL. So far that is most of what Trump has done in the role of president. Trump also ordered the construction of “the wall”

Trump and his administration also continued its long standing feud with the media. First Trump’s Press Secretary said that Trump’s inauguration was the biggest, and most watched in history. This is contrary to various pieces of evidence, including pictures. Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager and a senior adviser also claimed that “”You’re saying it’s a falsehood. And they’re giving — Sean Spicer, our press secretary — gave alternative facts,” In reference to various media outlets calling Sean Spicer’s statements false. This “Alternate Facts” line is starting to become notorious, and seems to encapsulate the entirety of what the campaign and transition was for Trump.

Anyways, this has been a very brief summery of what has happened in the first week of President Trump’s era. Probably a whole lot more in the future.

blog post for the week of 1/16/17

Hey everyone welcome to a new presidential era. Today, Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States. This is something that nobody ever thought would happen. But it did. Not only was it Trump’s first day in office, It was also President Obama’s last.

Obama has had an interesting legacy, with an interesting part in american history. He was the first African American to be elected president, and was done so in great economic and social strife. When he assumed power in 2008, the United States was in the middle of two wars in the Middle East, and the Great Recession had struck with the collapse of the mortgage bubble and auto industry. While the country did recover, it has taken time, and it still feels like there is a lot left to go. Obama led a relatively popular presidency, and his numbers have only increased as Trump became closer and closer to the White House. He also presided over a more interconnected, technologically driven world. It is baffling to think of all the technological change that has happened since Obama took office. Obama’s presidency also led to some pretty extreme responses in American society. A Caucus in congress which called themselves the Tea Party came to power in 2010 and remained as a stark roadblock to Obama fighting many of the policies that he had supported. In addition to support for the Tea Party, many anti-government militia style groups sprang up after the election of Obama filled with citizens dissatisfied with the government and their decisions. While these groups operate on the fringes of society, they still made several visible appearances during events of Obama’s presidency. Overall I would still give Obama a good grade on the presidency, and I have a feeling that his calm demeanor will be missed by many.

blog post for the week of 1/2/17

Hey everyone, welcome to a new year. 2017 is going to be an especially special year. Why you ask? Because why not, anyways lets get into the news. So the first topic doesn’t have a lot to do with American Politics in terms of bills being passed, but it is an unavoidable topic nonetheless. The topic is the Russian hacking of the DNC, also I will talk about the House of Representative’s Republicans attempted to reduce the power of the Committee on Ethics.

A report has come out on Friday detailing Russian hacking of the Democrat National Committee during the election. The hacking was ordered by President Putin of Russia and its goal was to hurt the Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton’s chances of getting elected president by releasing harmful emails via Wikileaks. This was done to help Trump, now our president-elect, to get elected. Obviously this shoots some big red flags as the implications of this are still being witnessed and have yet to completely unfold. While there is no saying what would have happened if Russia didn’t interfere, the emails certainly did add to Hillary Clinton’s negative view by most of the American people. The release of the report also doesn’t make Trump look good either, especially if you take into consideration that Trump has been especially fond of President Putin during the election. While the election has been finalized (the House tallied the votes today) there is no doubt that the release of this report will only further antagonize Democrats who have been nothing but opposed to Trump and what he stands for. Honestly at this point I am not surprised at what the world has to throw at me. Bring it on.

In more “official” news, earlier in the week the Republicans in the House of Representatives tried to quietly reorganize the independent Ethics Committee in order to reduce it’s power, and essentially make it useless. The Committee is an independent entity that is non-partisan and was created in 2008 in response to several scandals. Pretty much they regulate members of the House and make sure they don’t take bribes or gifts. Anyways the move was met by criticism from a lot of people, not limited to Democrats but also to speaker of the house Paul Ryan, and to President-Elect Trump. After receiving  so much criticism the House Republicans dropped their attempt.

post for the week of 12/5/2016

Hey everybody, welcome to the week of December 5th, 2016. This week President-elect Trump announced some more picks for his cabinet, the government barely averted a shutdown.

For the week the Trump transition team named several people to cabinet posts including, Linda McMahon for the administrator of the Small Business Administration, Andrew Puzder for labor secretary, James Mattis for secretary of defense, Ben Carson for the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, John Kelly for Secretary of Homeland Security, and Scott Pruitt to head the EPA. Most of these choices can be considered odd for their appointments some have been at odds of their new departments and others don’t seem to have lots of experience. For example Scott Pruitt who was the Attorney General for Oklahoma has filed several lawsuits against the EPA. Andrew Puzder who is going to head up labor is an executive for the parent company of the fast food chain Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr has been an advocate against getting rid of minimum wage, and does not like government intervention in labor markets. Ben Carson has been used as an example with somebody with little experience in their department. Carson, who was a candidate for president lived in poor areas of Detroit, but never public housing. In his life he became a renowned neurosurgeon, but his life experience has little to do with housing. Although the pick for Secretary of Defense James Mattis has been praised on both sides of the aisle. He is a retired general in the Marine Corps. and is one of the most successful in recent years, who has gained a cult like following within the armed forces.

In other news the government has avoided another shutdown. The new temporary spending bill was passed virtually before the deadline as usual. The hold up was over a provision to ensure miners get health benefits for a year and was championed by red state democrats. But faced with shutting down the government they gave up and passed the spending bill which means the miners will only get 4 months of benefits.