Impeachment inquiries continue and Trump isn’t helping himself

Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said that Donald Trump froze security aid to Ukraine in part to pressure that country into investigating Democrats. He later backtracked his comments for which Trump responded with “I think he clarified it.” Hmmmm. Nobody believes them.

House Republicans are going to try and force a House floor vote on a resolution to censure Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff “for certain misleading conduct” in dramatizing a phone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president – as if anything Trump said is not misleading. The censure will fail as the Democrats control the House.

Trump continues to claimed at his Cabinet meeting that the whistleblower who complained about his July phone call with the president of Ukraine “gave a false account” and has been “discredited.”

The top US diplomat in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, testified that he had been told Trump would withhold military aid to the country until it publicly declared investigations would be launched that could help his reelection chances — including into former Vice President Joe Biden.

Taylor said he was told that “everything” Ukraine wanted — from a one-on-one meeting between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to hundreds of millions in security aid — was dependent on publicly announcing an investigation that included Burisma, the company that hired Biden’s son Hunter, and Ukraine’s alleged involvement in the 2016 election.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he never had — or at least doesn’t recall having — a conversation with Trump in which he described Trump’s call with Zelensky as perfect. Trump asserted earlier this month that McConnell deemed the White House transcript of the conversation, which is at the center of the House’s impeachment inquiry into Trump, completely innocent.

Roughly two-dozen House Republicans stormed a closed-door deposition in secure House Intelligence Committee spaces to rail against the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry, a political stunt ratcheting up the GOP complaints about the process that delayed the scheduled deposition for five hours. The conservative lawmakers barged into the deposition and demanded they be allowed to see the closed-door proceedings where members of three committees planned to interview Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Laura Cooper as part of the impeachment probe into Trump.

Why do this? 47 Republicans are in the hearings. They are hearing the testimony and asking questions. Childish and incompetent Republicans who stormed the session.

Trump used a racially charged term to describe the House of Representative’s impeachment inquiry, calling the process a “lynching” today. This marks his first use of the term “lynching” to describe the inquiry – a term deeply intertwined with horrific racial violence and a dark era in the United States.

His tweet was “So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights. All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching.” Even some Republicans are upset at the word being used.

“The Never Trumper Republicans, though on respirators with not many left, are in certain ways worse and more dangerous for our Country than the Do Nothing Democrats. Watch out for them, they are human scum!” Trump tweeted.

“To call anybody human scum is beneath the office of the presidency. You can’t say that, right? You’re the president. You have different standards,” said Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican. Where was Kinzinger when Trump has called Democrats and other foes words that are such as bad?

Sen. Lindsey Graham and other congressional Republicans have slammed House Democrats for conducting their impeachment inquiry with depositions behind closed doors, but Republicans also used closed-door depositions during their impeachment inquiry of former President Bill Clinton two decades ago.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro declined to answer questions about whether China opening an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son has come up during trade talks with the US. Trump raised Biden’s political prospects during a June 18 phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Trump claimed that the Bidens have received millions of dollars from China, implying they capitalized on the then-vice president’s political power and connections. The allegations stem partly from an official trip both Bidens took to China in 2013, meant as a diplomatic mission to help ease tensions in the region.

Trump’s lawyers has asked the DC Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear his attempt to stop a subpoena of his longtime accounting firm, this time with Trump asking the full appellate court to reconsider his case. Trump lost his attempt to stop the House subpoena of accounting firm Mazars USA before a trial-level judge and 2-1 before an appellate panel.

“We have secured the oil and, therefore, a small number of US Troops will remain in the area where they have the oil,” Trump said. So now you know that Trump cared more about the oil than ISIS, the lives of the Kurds, etc. He said a “small number” of American troops will stay in Syria to protect oil in the region.

“We were supposed to be there for 30 days. That was almost 10 years ago.” Ummm. The US went after ISIS in 2014 and after Syria in 2017. Not even close to 10 years. He also lifted all sanctions against Turkey.

Jim Jeffrey, the US envoy for Syria and the coalition against ISIS, says the US believes that Turkish-supported opposition (TSO) forces in Syria have committed war crimes. Jeffrey said that he specifically was not consulted or advised in advance on President Trump’s decision to pull US troops from northeastern Syria.

Jeffrey also said that over 100 ISIS fighters have escaped since the pull put. Trump maintains that the ISIS fighters who escaped Kurdish jails during the attack have “been largely recaptured.”

Trump claimed that those service members who were in Syria will be coming home. Not according to the Pentagon, where they will be moved to Iraq. But “The [Iraqi] government has stated that it has not given permission to US forces that have withdrawn from Syria to remain in Iraqi territories, as some media had reported,” from a statement released today from Iraq’s Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi. Even the UK was not told about the US troop pullback from Syria in advance, UK Secretary of State for Defense Ben Wallace said.

A cease fire deal made it clear that Turkey and Russia are not interested in including the US in plans regarding Syria’s future. Russian President Vladimir Poutine and Turkish President/Dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in the southern Russian resort city of Sochi and unveiled a 10-point memorandum about Syria.

The US was not included in a Syria deal reached by Russia and Turkey. Trump tweet says it all: “Big success on the Turkey/Syria Border. Safe Zone created! Ceasefire has held and combat missions have ended. Kurds are safe and have worked very nicely with us.”

Three-quarters of Americans, however, are concerned about the situation in Syria, and about 40% of Americans approved of Trump’s decision to withdraw all US troops from Syria, while half disapproved, according to a new poll conducted by SSRS.

Trump has been forced into a humiliating climb down over plans to host the next G7 meeting at his own luxury resort, following a political outcry. “Therefore, based on both media & Democrat crazed and irrational hostility, we will no longer consider Trump National Doral, Miami, as the host site for the G-7 in 2020,” Trump wrote. Quite a few Republicans also objected but he didn’t dare mention that.

“I would have been willing to do this for free, and it would have been the greatest G7 ever,” Trump said. Greatest based on what? Because he is chairing it or because it is supposedly free. Trump’s Doral resort was in need of a boost: in May the Washington Post reported that its operating income had fallen 69% since 2015.

More than 200 people attended Trump’s speech at Benedict College, but only about 10 actual students were invited to the event — his first appearance at a historically black college – and only seven students ultimately attended the speech. The others were brought in from somewhere else. More than 2,100 attend the school.

Months after Trump declared the GOP would become the “party of health care,” House conservatives are set to announce a sweeping health care proposal — one that has virtually no chance of becoming law. The Republican Study Committee unveiled what members described as a “framework,” nine months in the making, even as the White House continues to develop its own set of principles behind closed doors. It includes no legislative text and does not have the formal backing of the White House or broader GOP conference.

“We’re building a wall on the border of New Mexico. And we’re building a wall in Colorado,” Trump said. Colorado, located directly north of New Mexico, is not on the US-Mexico border. Colorado? And from the last blog, still no new wall built along Mexico, just fixing walls.

Trump backtracked on his Colorado wall comment with a more confusing tweet by saying: “We’re building a Wall in Colorado”(then stated, “we’re not building a Wall in Kansas but they get the benefit of the Wall we’re building on the Border”) refered to people in the very packed auditorium, from Colorado & Kansas, getting the benefit of the Border Wall!” Love the spelling and a bit confusing. Eh?

Trump went after Barack Obama for a book and Netflix production deal that were made after he left office, claiming Obama wasn’t scrutinized for business dealings. But the difference is that Obama did the deals after he left the White House and Obama doesn’t have a supposedly billion dollar business.

Talking about childish: The White House is urging all federal agencies to cancel their subscriptions to The New York Times and the Washington Post. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement that “not renewing subscriptions across all federal agencies will be a significant cost saving for taxpayers — hundreds of thousands of dollars.” Kit just so happens to be the two newspapers that Trump probably hates the most. Coincidence?

The Energy Secretary said he is resigning effective later this year. Perry’s resignation comes amid scrutiny over his role in the Trump administration’s dealings with Ukraine. Today Trump said he’ll nominate Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette to replace Perry.

Summer Zervos, who is a Republican, is a former “Apprentice” contestant who has accused Trump of sexually assaulting her in 2007, presented evidence Thursday in a new court filing to back up her claims. She is suing Trump for defamation after he essentially called her a liar following her public statement in October 2016 about the alleged assault.

Trump recently tweeted that a new poll saying that most Americans don’t approve of the impeachment inquiry. Then when you take a look at this “nation-wide” survey, about 180 people were questioned by a pollster that nobody knows of. The percentage or error is probably huge but not even listed.

End of the year, near the beginning of Trump year 1 of 4

Happy New Year!

Donald Trump announced that he will shut down his foundation so there won’t be any issues between his presidency and the foundation. But he is being investigated for some tax issues and the foundation can’t be shut down until the tax issues are settled according to the IRS.

Meanwhile Trump claims that 100% of all donations went to charities. This is virtually impossible unless he personally paid for the foundations expenses [which may not be legal either]. In Canada, for example, under 20% of donations go to expenses is acceptable.

Trump continues to deny that Russia was involved in the hacking of the Democratic Party as well as some government sites even though a couple of federal agencies that will be under him soon says Russia did. I guess trump has given them a vote of no confidence.

Trump supporters continue to downplay Russia’s role in the election. “Let’s assume it’s true,” Reince Priebus, Trump’s incoming chief of staff. “There’s no evidence that shows that the outcome of the election was changed because of a couple dozen John Podesta emails that were out there.” The number of leaked emails by Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, was actually closer to tens of thousands. And it’d be difficult to prove exactly what influenced voters. But even the slightest bit of evidence would be a problem even if not big enough to change the final vote.

On President Barack Obama’s vow to retaliate against the Russians for hacking, Conway said: “It seems like the president is under pressure from Team Hillary, who can’t accept the election results.” Or maybe it is the right thing to do.

Obama retaliated and Trump praised Vladimir Poutine for not retaliating himself. Who’s side is Trump on? Is he actually a Russian?

Trump signaling that Russia wasn’t involved or couldn’t care less that the government he will soon run will be open season to others.

Jason Miller, President-elect Donald Trump’s spokesman, has decided he will not take the job of White House communications director he was tapped for just two days earlier. Citing family reasons, Miller announced he will not continue on to the White House and will hand off his responsibilities as communications director to Sean Spicer, the Republican National Committee communications director. Not a good sign.

For his inauguration, Mormon Tabernacle Choir [with some controversy] and America’s Got Talent star Jackie Evancho [WHO? And I guess whatever career she has will tank shortly after the shin dig.] have confirmed. It looks like just Ted Nugent and Kid Rock could be performing – there is no confirmation yet. Lee Greenwood is also apparently in discussions. Declining include Garth Brooks, Radio City Rockettes, Elton John [a Trump favorite and Trump’s team said he would appear but Elton said he never agreed], Celine Dion, David Foster and others.

Trump adviser Conway even made a plea on national TV a few weeks ago, asking Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars to call her to be part of the festivities.

“The so-called ‘A’ list celebrities are all wanting tixs to the inauguration, but look what they did for Hillary, NOTHING. I want the PEOPLE!” Trump tweeted that several stars had requested to attend his inauguration but without naming any stars seeking inauguration access.

Still, all Trump has lined up are non-performing celebrities like maybe Clint Eastwood [but he is a good piano player – so he may be the only one to perform] and Gary Sinise. Trump is even having a problem of ex-living Presidents to confirm. So far only Jimmy Carter has confirmed. Not even the last two Republican presidents want to join.

According to the inauguration committee, for prices ranging from $25,000 to $1 million, donors can purchase attendance at a variety of special events across the weekend. For example, a $1 million check will buy four tickets to a “leadership luncheon” with “select cabinet appointees and House and Senate leadership” [ever heard of lobbying?], eight tickets to a “ladies luncheon,” another eight tickets to a dinner that features Melania Trump and tickets to official inaugural events and the swearing-in ceremony. Estimated cost it $75 million for the events. I wonder if any of the donors will “influence” Trump.

Wonder what happens if they have trouble getting tickets sold. I guess Trump can always call up his donor buddies to help out. Maybe Mr. Poutine will take $1 million out of the billions he has syphoned over the years and buy a set of 4.

A New York man says he and his husband were removed from a JetBlue flight recently after his husband “expressed displeasure” about flying with Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner.

“Just as the three wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King.” This was a release made by RNC chairman [and party of Trump’s inner circle] Reince Priebus and co-chair Sharon Day said in the statement. Twitter users interpreted the phrasing about a “new King” as a comparison of President-elect Donald Trump.

In the IT section, George A. Polisner, who for the last four years has worked in Oracle’s managed cloud services team, has quit the company over co-CEO Safra Catz’s decision to join president-elect Donald Trump’s transition team and her expression of Oracle’s intention to support his policies. “I must resign from this once great company.”

As well, IBM staff have petitioned the company to – among other things – express concern that “IBM CEO Ginni Rometty’s open letter to President-elect Donald Trump does not affirm IBMers’ core values of diversity, inclusiveness, and ethical business conduct.” The petition has been live for over a week and at the time of writing had recently passed 100 signatories, a slow take-up attributed to limited circulation and end of the year.

 

Trump now says Obama is born in the US (plus other news)

Finally Donald Trump has said – after over 5 years – that Barrack Obama was actually born in the US after saying for those 5+ years that he was born in Kenya. He didn’t admit he was wrong or even an apology. Was racism involved?

Trump did claim at one point that Hillary Clinton in 2008 said that Obama wasn’t born in the US when in fact some Democrats [trying to cause issues during the primaries] said that he wasn’t born in the US. But these Democrats weren’t from the party and the GOP pounced on the thought.

In a federal lawsuit filed, an anonymous “Jane Doe” alleges that Trump raped her in 1994 when she was 13, while she was being held as a sex slave in an apartment belonging to Jeffrey Epstein, a well-known American financier and convicted sex offender. Epstein is a backer of Trump. Trump has commented previously that Epstein “likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.” The alleged victim states that Trump had a “savage sexual attack” on her after which he threatened that she and her family would be “physically harmed if not killed.” Trump camp denies – of course – but there is actually a witness who can corroborate the then 13 year old’s story.

Donald Trump and his ex-wife Ivana are battling attempts at unsealing records of their 1990 divorce, according to a new report. The Trumps filed separate legal briefs urging a judge in Manhattan to stop The New York Times and the Gannett media companies from scrutinizing the end of their marriage. Donald and Ivana Trump were granted a divorce due to “cruel and inhuman treatment” before ultimately reaching a settlement later on.

Ivanka Trump discussed the future of the Trump business empire if her father wins the presidency during an interview on CBS. Asked what the family would do to prevent potential conflicts of interest, she said that “as a private business, we can make decisions that are not in our best interest.” Sure. They intend on possibly losing money? Shareholders won’t be happy.

Ivanka said the “would put it into a blind trust and it would be run by us [his family including her].” But she has already been advising her father on various issues including child care. In essence, she could be working for the government as well.

A report came out outlines a series of potential conflicts of interests, from Trump’s dealings with businessmen who have been the subject of government investigations in India and Turkey to his ties to powerful Russian oligarchs.

Trump, who has floated the idea of Japan and South Korea obtaining nuclear weapons, maintains an ongoing business relationship with Daewoo Engineering and Construction which build nuclear power plants. Trump also tried to license the name to an organization with very well connected ties to Vladimir Poutine. The deal fell through as Trump wanted too much money.

Trump still hasn’t released his tax returns. After making statements such as “I’ve done great” [in making money] , he has given more than $100 million in recent years [ well his campaign claimed that], and “I fight like hell to pay as little as possible” [in taxes], what happens if he hasn’t donated much to charities as he has claimed and he has paid very little or whether and where Trump has foreign accounts or trusts.

Since this quasi tradition of candidates releasing their taxes, Mitt Romney [in 2012] suffered a bit because of the low amount of taxes paid. Trump’s running mate, Mike pence, is expected to release his shortly.

Exactly how long will Trump’s tax audit last? Indefinitely? Usually the longer it is the worse it will be.

“Nobody cares about it [taxes] except some of the folks in the media. Nobody cares about it,” Trump said in a Fox News interview earlier this month. “Nobody” is one of his signature false messages like “Many people are says….”

Trump claims millions of jobs will be created with a 4% economic growth. Experts says that is way more than any economy [good or not] can handle.

“I will sever my connections and I’ll have my children and executives run the company, and I wouldn’t discuss it with them,” Trump said in reference to a Newsweek magazine article about the potential conflicts of interest caused by Trump’s business holdings in India, South Korea, Russia and elsewhere. Ya. Good luck with him not asking or them not telling him about his businesses. As president, would be in a position to make decisions on the economy and foreign policy that could benefit his family’s fortunes. Foreign countries might see Trump business ventures in their country as a way to exert pressure or curry favor.

Another problem will be the way banks and regulatory agencies in the US deal with Trump family members managing his properties. I don’t think a bank would turn down a family member for a loan if he was President. Trump has holdings such as hotels and golf courses in at least 22 countries, including Saudi Arabia, China, Turkey, Panama, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr. caused a firestorm when, during an interview with a radio station, he raised the specter of the Holocaust by saying if Republicans acted like Hillary Clinton, the media would be “warming up the gas chamber.”

Donald Trump Jr. has a new reason to explain why his father won’t release his tax returns: They’ll steal from his political message. “Because he’s got a 12,000-page tax return that would create … financial auditors out of every person in the country asking questions that would detract from (his father’s) main message.” And in a week before the elections they’ll come up with another excuse. I guess the audit excuse has died.

“With a $10 billion business if Donald Trump dumped his taxes out today, there would be all kinds of misinterpretations of that and maybe some real interpretations of that between now and November,” said Rep. Steve Kings [a Trump supported]. Well, if it was released at the beginning of the campaign there would be less “misinterpretations”. Is this the next excuse being tested?

Trump opened the doors after he was whining about the Clinton Foundation’s conflict of interest when Clinton becomes President. It is easier to move away from something if it is not your money.

Trump’s campaign released an attack add to go after Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” remark at a fundraising event while “speaking to wealthy donors” over the weekend accusing her of “viciously demonizing hard-working people.” So is this why Trump’s donations are low? No wealthy donors?

In a speech to the National Guard Association conference in Baltimore, Trump said Clinton’s “deplorable” comments were aimed at those in uniform, whether in the military or in law enforcement. How does he equate that?

Trump criticized voters in Iowa by retweeting a supporter’s jab that the Midwestern state’s number one commodity export — Monsanto’s genetically engineered corn – “creates issues in the brain.” Trump has also suggested that those who vote for Clinton would try to “rig” the election away from his supporters. So while Clinton may aimed at 50% of Trump voters with her “deplorable” comment, Trump aimed at all Clinton voters with his “rigged” comment. She didn’t call him unfit for the presidency then.

After Clinton had a bad weekend when he was described as having pneumonia, Trump said that he had a medical exam the previous week and will release the results “when the numbers come in, I’ll be releasing very specific numbers” What a coincidence. And maybe his health results will come in faster than his tax returns. What specific numbers? Will he release only the good results and maybe ignore areas where he has issues [such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.]

Trump’s own health was questioned following media reports into his physician Dr. Harold Bornstein and a note he wrote in 2015 vouching for Trump’s health, which other doctors have said includes medically incorrect terms and an unprofessional conclusion. Clinton’s physician did issue a health statement last year certifying that she was fit to serve as President. Trump has offered no such information.

Trump first provided a summary of a recent physical to Dr. Mehmet Oz while taping an episode of Oz’s TV show. He said on the show that he gets exercise during the campaign by delivering speeches at rallies, calling them “a lot of work” and requiring “a lot of motion.” Exercise by talking and gesturing?

Clinton is within weight range and has normal cholesterol and blood pressure. Trump is considered overweight, a slightly higher blood pressure than Clinton but surprisingly lower cholesterol numbers. Seems to me Clinton is in better health.

“When Donald Trump and I said that the small and bullying president of Russia was a strong leader on the world stage, that wasn’t an endorsement of Putin,” Mike Pence said. Well, that’s what most think it means – they’re endorsing Vladimir Poutine.

Misconfiguration of Donald Trump’s campaign website left the personal information of interns – and perhaps more – accessible to casual snooping. Staffers of the real estate mogul-turned-US presidential candidate “bungled the settings on their Amazon S3 server”. The practical upshot of the snafu was that anyone who correctly guessed folder and file names would have been able to download sensitive information without getting prompted for a password. [Trump will blame Clinton for this.]

“This [Email server] is a far bigger scandal than Watergate ever was, but with Watergate we had justice, we had the Justice Department that went after the people. We’ve never, ever seen anything like this,” Trump said. Uh huh. I guess he wants the Department of Justice fight his battles, not the country’s battles. And I guess he doesn’t know what happened with Watergate.

Trump going after the Clinton Foundation may have backfired. The New York Attorney General has opened an inquiry into the Donald J. Trump Foundation to ensure the Republican presidential nominee’s charity was complying with state laws governing nonprofits. The New York Attorney General sued the real estate mogul and his now defunct Trump University for fraud in 2013, seeking $40 million in restitution plus penalties and other costs. Not surprising, a Trump campaign spokesman dismissed the assertions as entirely motivated by presidential politics.

At a recent Trump rally, as several protesters were being escorted out by security, a man in the crowd grabbed a male protester around the neck and then punched him. He then slapped at a woman being led out. The Trump supporter was not ejected by security. [That’s two counts of assault right there. Seems security was useless.]

Trump was at a [primarily] black church in Flint, Michigan where they have had some clean water issues for the past couple of years or so. He was cut off by the pastor when he tried to go political. At the same time the pastor stopped hecklers from going after him. He cut off the visit shortly after – with a speech totaling 6 minutes. This after he was accused by a woman of discriminatory housing practices in his buildings which he denied but has known to happen.

Ivanka Trump cut short an interview with Cosmopolitan published after being asked about some of Donald Trump’s past comments about childcare and maternity leave. Trump criticized the interviewer for having “a lot of negativity” in her questions. Like father like daughter – they can’t take any criticisms or negative comments and questions.

For as guy who wants to reduce taxes and cut the size of the government, he’s going the opposite way. The military budget is already at $600 billion and he wants to increase that as he claims Obama hasn’t given the military enough. The current military budget [for example] is about 40 times the military budget for Canada. In addition he wants to make child care more affordable, guaranteeing new mothers six weeks of paid maternity leave [whose employers don’t offer leave already] and of course fix infrastructure that he says has been neglected by Obama. Lower-income earners would receive child-care spending rebates through expanding the existing Earned Income Tax Credit.

Added to that is a pledge that no business should pay more than 15 per cent of its income in taxes – currently tops at 35%. That should help the Trump Organization. But he flip flopped again a in December he said the after deduction tax rates would be from 0% to 25%. Now it’s 12% to 33%. I guess he wants the people to pay more than companies.

Trump previously proposed reducing child care costs by allowing parents to fully deduct the average cost of child care from their taxes. He recently expanded that proposal to allow families with a stay-at-home parent to qualify for the deduction and to include costs associated with caring for elderly dependent relatives. The deduction would apply only to individuals earning $250,000 or less, or $500,000 or less if filing jointly. But because Trump’s proposal is a tax deduction rather than credit, its greatest benefits would go to affluent households such as Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, who suggested the changes to him.

Trump did not lay out how much the proposals would cost, but insisted the extra spending would be offset by economic growth and other cuts. None of the proposals would push economic growth – so he has to assume the economy will do even better than it is now.
 

Tough two years in the US coming

Seems that after the mid-term elections, President Obama will have his hands full.

The Republicans took control of both chambers in Congress for the first time in 8 years.

The GOP did not get the two-thirds congressional majority – so they can’t override a presidential veto. So now the GOP must come out with new laws that can work their way and be left enough so that Obama will pass.

Surely anything related to the “Obamacare” would be vetoed by Obama. In addition some GOPs have said that Obamacare seems to be working for the voters now. The GOP do want to cut down on some over-regulation such as the Environmental Protection Agency as well as budget cuts. On the other hand, the Keystone XL pipeline with oil coming from Canada could be finally approved.

However there are plenty of hard-line GOPs [let alone Tea Party followers] who could cause some problems. They could try and push for congressional investigations for everything that happened in the last 6 years [of course it could backfire as well]. They also will probably push for tax reform – particularly after Burger king’s headquarters moved to Canada in a merger with Canada’s Tim Hortons to reduce the number of taxes the company pays [but Burger King probably denies].

With a GOP majority, It also holds great power to approve or reject the judges, cabinet members, political staff, and diplomats that the White House appoints.

Many Supreme Court justices aren’t too far from retirement. Obama may decide to not fill in the seats if there is a retirement [or death] until the 2016 elections.

Even in the Gubernatorial races, the GOP picked up a few states.

If you think things got crazy, how is this one: A Republican, running for a House seat, from New York who faces 20 criminal charges, was heard on camera threatening to throw a guy off a balcony and was shunned by his own party during the campaign, won his seat.

On the other hand, most Presidents lose seats in midterm elections…. Although maybe not this badly.

Why the loses [aside from the history comment above]? Obama is stuck at around 40% approval but lower in swing states [those that bounce between GOP and Democrats during elections] and rural states where GOP is generally king. In a non-presidential election year, the electorate are older, whiter, and more conservative. In a presidential election, there are many younger, non-whites and more liberal voters.

Romney sticks his foot in his mouth often

You have to wonder about US Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

If he kept his mouth shut, he probably would have a decent chance of becoming the next President of the US. But he keeps on opening his big mouth.

He said on the 17th: “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. There are 47 percent who are with him [Obama], who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing.”

Actually, according to CNN statistics, it is about 46.4%. But many of these people aren’t paying taxes because of a lack or low income and they are not all Democrats. While those who are rich enough are using tax loopholes found in the sixteen [!!!] volumes of IRS regulations to try and avoid paying taxes. I’m sure Romney’s accountant used some loopholes for his taxes. Meanwhile with that 47% in his pocket – if the percentage was all for him – would be true, Obama would be guaranteed the presidency.

When the video footage emerged online, Romney held a brief news conference late Monday in which he said his comments were “off the cuff” and “not elegantly stated.” Uh huh.

He also got in hot water by saying that: “One is the one which I’ve had for some time, which is that the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.”

Finally, a video clips also show Romney joking that he would be more successful in his White House bid if his father were actually Latino, rather than having been born in Mexico to missionary parents from the United States.   “But he [Romney’s dad] was born in Mexico … and, uh, had he been born of, uh, Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot at winning this,” Romney said. “But he was unfortunately born to Americans living in Mexico. … I mean I say that jokingly, but it would be helpful to be Latino.”

Let’s just say this won’t help him getting the Latino vote either.

Although the first one actually occurred a short while ago, the other two are within the past week. He started off recently tied with Obama but now Obama has a 6 point lead – and this is prior to these comments coming out.

Is Romney another George W. Bush?

Seems the presumptive Republican Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, needs to learn a bit of diplomacy.

Like any other politician during election time, Romney says what the people want to hear. In this case the Israelis. If he goes to Nebraska, he would promise more government funding to corn growers. If he goes to Colorado he would promise more snow in the winter. 🙂

Anyways, he started with a trip to London where British politicians criticized him for saying some of the city’s preparation for the games were “disconcerting.” [Romney was one of the big honchos during the Olympics in the US a while back.]

Romney then went to Israel to try and pull some of the Jewish vote away from Barack Obama by making a few comments that pleased Israelis and also was way less than favourable to the Palestinians in the area by basically stating to Jewish donors that their culture allowed them to be more economically successful than the Palestinians.

[Jewish Americans still favour Obama by almost 70% in recent polls even though some are complaining that Obama hasn’t help Israel much in his 3.5 years in office. American Jews have traditionally voted for the Democrats. So this could show that Romney is a weak candidate.]

While it may or may not be true, diplomatically you don’t say that. Is Romney taking lessons from George W. Bush – a president that was known to put his foot in his mouth almost daily?

He also stirred the pot by suggesting that he may break American policy by moving the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv even though the US and others kept their embassies in Tel Aviv after Israel decided to make Jerusalem the capital [and thereby sparking criticism for it as Jerusalem has also been an iffy issue].

In Israel, he met Israeli leaders but only met Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in a brief meeting – probably also not to the delight of the Palestinians.

Romney is next heading towards Poland [if I read right] – don’t ask me why – and expect further goofs by Romney.