Let's Fix This Country

national security

Trump Won’t Read Daily Intel Brief, But Kushner Does

No security clearance, but the son-in-law sees everything

For the last seven presidencies, the day began with reading the daily intelligence briefing, the product of an arduous nightly undertaking by the intelligence agencies that pulls together for morning delivery findings from all over the world.

Vintage President's Daily Brief:
It began with Lyndon Johnson and looked like this
(click image to expand)

But The Washington Post was told by three sources that President Trump can't be bothered. He won't read it. A selection has to be read to him, when he has the patience for even that.

That same edition of the Post tells us that Jared Kushner gets to read the President's Daily Brief, or PDF, despite his not have a security clearance. Because background checks can drag on, and Kushner's is complicated by his business dealings, he has been acting for all this time on a temporary status that allows him to see the most secret and sensitive information even while he is a subject of interest in the ongoing investigation into Russia's involvement in the U.S. election.

So how's that for paradox? Candidate Trump led the crowds shouting "Lock her up!" (what did he just say about due process?) for Hillary Clinton's negligent security risk of exposing her email, yet now in the White House he has given a son-in-law without security clearance full access to national secrets.

During the campaign he had vilified Hillary Clinton for "extreme carelessness with classified…

governing

The Government Shutdown of a Different Sort

There are about 2 million people employed by the federal government so it may not seem all that important that a comparatively small number of posts sit empty. But these are the jobs of key personnel, some 1200 top jobs that call for presidential
nomination and Senate confirmation. Of those The Washington Post tracks 630 that are thought to be the most important. More than a year into the Trump presidency, 240 of those positions didn't even have a nominee by early February. Another 140 have been nominated but await confirmation. There was a change in the law a year ago, meant to give an incoming administration time to find people to fill slots, that allowed temporary acting replacements to step in — but only for 300 days. That limit has lapsed, leaving swaths of the government without the office holders authorized to make decisions for their agencies and departments.

"We don’t need all the people that they want. You know, don’t forget, I’m a businessperson. I tell my people, when you don’t need to fill slots, don’t fill them"

That is what the president has to say. In business that's…

Russia Probe

Trump Reneges on Promise to Release Democrats’ Memo

He's hinted that he will fire the deputy attorney general

Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly had told us, "This president has said from the beginning, I want everything out...I want the American people to know the truth". White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders then told us “the administration will follow the same process and procedure" with the Democratic
The FBI building in Washington, D.C.
rebuttal to the controversial memo by Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes.

Alas, neither statement was true. Instead President Trump blocked release of the Democrats' attempt to fill in what FBI Director Christopher Wray said, referring to the Nunes opus, were "material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy".

The Nunes memo sought to expose the FBI, and in turn the special counsel, as biased and corrupt. Democrats on the committee are infuriated at what is irrfutably an attempt to create distrust in whatever charges their…

press freedom

Donald Trump’s Problem With the First Amendment

Donald Trump's mission is to destroy America's confidence in a free press and replace it with his own fabulist imaginings. He works to erode the credibility of
our core democratic institutions. Our criminal justice system is "a joke", and "a laughing stock". Our electoral system was "rigged" when it seemed he would lose, and we will hear that again this year if Democrats gain. He uses the language of Joseph Stalin to call the media "the enemy of the people". Journalists are "very smart, they're very cunning and they're very dishonest". His invective toward them is unending. "I gotta tell you, the media is [sic] among the most dishonest…

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capitalism

Why Millennials Are Turning to Socialism

Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet, America's three richest people, have as much wealth as the entire bottom half of the U.S. population — some 162 million people — according to the Institute for Policy Studies, says The Guardian.

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royalty

Where Your Tax Dollars Go


Before she moved to D.C., Melania Trump went back and forth from New York to D.C. until son Barron finished the school year. Ove the three-month period, she took 21 trips on air force jets, at a cost to us of $675,000, says The Wall Street Journal.

Comment?
made in usa?

“Massive Numbers of Good Jobs”

"High-paying jobs. Good jobs. Not the jobs we have today which everybody agrees are bad jobs". The president made a theatrical show of saving 1,100 jobs (which proved to be more like 800) at a Carrier plant in Indiana from moving to Mexico during his first days in office, but that appears to be that, it seems. Over the past year 93,000 jobs moved offshore, with nary a protest from the White House, the highest number in five years, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Comment?
aw shoot!

Where 2nd Amendment Tops 1st

Citizens of Tennessee can no longer carry signs into the state legislature. Signs protesting Medicaid expansion, immigration, etc. are often home-made, fastened to sticks, and "represent too great a safety hazard". But citizens can freely carry guns into the chamber.

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It’s Thoughts and Prayers Time Again

Donald Trump   @realDonaldTrump

Contributions from the NRA:   Approx: $30,000,000

Sen. Marco Rubio   @MarcoRubio

Contributions from the NRA:    $3,300,000

Sen. John McCain   @senjohnmccain

Contributions from the NRA:    $7,700,000

Sen. Joni Ernst   @senjoniernst

Contributions from the NRA:    $3,100,000

Sen. Cory Gardner   @sencorygardner

Contributions from the NRA:    $3,900,000

Sen. Rob Portman   @senrobportman

Contributions from the NRA:    $3,000,000

Sen. Todd Young   @sentoddyoung

Contributions from the NRA:    $3,000,000

Vice President Mike Pence   @VP

NRA Institute for Legislative Action rating:    A

We've collected several of Marco Rubio's thoughts and prayers, too much for the front page, so...

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governing

Taking Protection Out of Environmental Protection »


Scott Pruitt has strong religious convictions, according to his pastor in home town Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, where he was a deacon and taught Sunday school. In Washington he has been known to attend Bible study sessions with like-minded government officials.

How that explains his policies as Trump's administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) comes clear when he talks about Biblical principles, as on a road trip in Iowa with a National Review writer taking notes:

"One side says we exist to serve creation. The other side says creation is there for us to use and manage to the benefit of mankind…If you are on the side that says we exist to serve creation, then you have no trouble putting up a fence and saying 'Do Not Use'. Even though people may starve, may freeze…and I think that's wrongheaded".

It is not clear why Pruitt considers the Obama years' regulations he is in the process of overturning as starving or freezing…

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