Executive Priviledge In TrumpLand, Echoes Of Nixon and Watergate……

Trump is apparently very, very worried. He ought to be. With the Senate calling Trump Jr, to testify before it and AG Barr being cited for contempt of congress the president’s world continues to look bleaker and bleaker. So, his administration has invoked executive privilege. There is no doubt something in the redacted sections of the Mueller report that Trump does not want Congress to see.

President Donald Trump’s administration invoked executive privilege Wednesday to explain why Attorney General William Barr won’t hand over special counsel Robert Mueller’s full report to Congress. There’s just one problem: Executive privilege has nothing whatsoever to do with the parts of the report that were redacted in its earlier release.

Executive privilege covers communications between the president and his closest aides on matters that must be kept from Congress or the courts to protect the effective operation of the executive branch.

Barr already had a chance to redact anything from the Mueller report that in his judgment would’ve violated executive privilege — when he did the redaction in the first place.

But Barr didn’t redact anything at all from the report on the basis of executive privilege. In fact, he included plenty of material in the report, such as conversations between Trump and White House counsel Donald McGahn, that arguably could have been included within the privilege.

In other words, Barr has already effectively determined that nothing in the Mueller report needed to be redacted for executive privilege reasons.

Continue reading below the fold.

The nation waits as the gears of our lumbering bureaucracy grind towards a full accounting of Trump and his administrations arguably unethical and possibly criminal activities.

 

Trump Beefing Up the Trade War With China……

There are arguments for and against increasing tariffs on goods imported from China to narrow the US trade deficit with emerging economic giant.

Trump has announced his plan to increase tariffs from the current 10% to 25% this coming Friday. The result of stalled trade talks.

Regardless of the effect on the trade deficit American consumers will pay more for goods imported from China. While US importers of Chinese goods pay the tariffs it is the American consumer that ultimately sees the increase in their cost of living. Businesses simply pass the increased costs on to consumers.

President Trump tweeted on Sunday that tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods will be raised from 10% to 25% on Friday, as trade talks between the U.S. and China progress “too slowly.

 

“For 10 months, China has been paying Tariffs to the USA of 25% on 50 Billion Dollars of High Tech, and 10% on 200 Billion Dollars of other goods. These payments are partially responsible for our great economic results. The 10% will go up to 25% on Friday. 325 Billions Dollars of additional goods sent to us by China remain untaxed, but will be shortly, at a rate of 25%. The Tariffs paid to the USA have had little impact on product cost, mostly borne by China. The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate.”

“No!”

The backdrop: In February, U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer told Congress that the U.S. had temporarily dropped its plans to raise the tariff rate to 25%, as the two sides inched closer to striking a deal.

  • Reality check: Trump has repeatedly claimed that tariffs have caused China to pay billions of dollars to the U.S. treasury. This is incorrect. The tariffs are paid by U.S. importers of affected Chinese goods, not by China’s government or by Chinese companies. Importers then either raise costs on consumers, lower their own profit margins or both.

Driving the news: Chinese Vice Premier Liu He — along with a 100+ person delegation — will be in Washington on Wednesday, per the Washington Post, for another round of trade talks. Sources have told CNBC that a trade deal could possibly come as soon as Friday, a day after the latest numbers on the U.S. trade deficit are released, though Trump’s latest tweets suggest otherwise.

Go deeper: Grading the impact of Trump’s China tariffs

SOURCE

It’s A Booming Ecomomy, Even As Our President Lacks In Character and Honesty……

The labor market the United States is experiencing right now wasn’t supposed to be possible.

Not that long ago, the overwhelming consensus among economists would have been that you couldn’t have a 3.6 percent unemployment rate without also seeing the rate of job creation slowing (where are new workers going to come from with so few out of work, after all?) and having an inflation surge (a worker shortage should mean employers bidding up wages, right?).

And yet that is what has happened, with the April employment numbers putting an exclamation point on the trend. The jobless rate receded to its lowest level in five decades. Employers also added 263,000 jobs; the job creation estimates of previous months were revised up; and average hourly earnings continued to rise at a steady rate — up 3.2 percent over the last year.

Compare that reality with the projections the Federal Reserve published just three years ago. In mid-2016, Fed officials thought that the long-run rate of unemployment would be around 4.8 percent, and that this would coincide with 2 percent inflation.

If that were the jobless rate today, 1.9 million Americans would not be working who are instead gainfully employed. And despite this ultralow unemployment rate, inflation is only 1.6 percent over the last year, below the level the Fed aims for.

SOURCE

If democrats are smart they will acknowledge that Trump, while not starting the 9 year improvement in the economy (it started under President Obama), he has steered its continuing advancement for the past 28 months. To not acknowledge this is foolish and actually plays right into the hands of Trump and the republicans. It should also be acknowledged that some of the Trump deregulation is responsible for the economic expansion we have seen since Trump took over.

People do indeed vote their wallets pocketbooks. When families see their income rising, are able to pay their mortgage or rent, put food on the table, pay their financial obligations, and have money left to take a vacation and go out to dinner occasionally they will vote for the guy in office when that is the case. Democrats ned to understand this.

Having said the foregoing, there is much more to being the president of the United States of America than just managing the economy and the military. Being president should also be about leadership and the vision thing.

The democratic party, as well as all candidates running to secure their party’s nomination, should give high fives for the current economic growth and the very low unemployment occurring since Trump took office. It’s all good and skirting this truth for political purposes is really rather counter-productive.

The democratic party, if it hopes to take back the White House, and I hope it does, must decide what its core values are and craft a vision that Americans can and will buy into. This includes a realistic plan for continued economic growth that benefits all Americans from bottom to top. It’s a simple truth that cannot be escaped.

Character, honesty, decency, respect, empathy, respect for the constitution and the rule of law, and actual transparency are all character traits that Americans expect in their president. They are also all things Trump is sorely lacking in. This presents a great opportunity for the democratic party and its candidates to paint a vivid picture contrasting the differences between the democratic and republican parties and the folks running to be nominated by the democratic party.

Democratic candidates need not eat their own in the attempt to win the nomination. What they must do is focus on agreed upon core values of the party and then present their own positive plan for bringing the country together and restoring faith in our institutions of government. As well as how they plan to continue the current positive economic growth and low unemployment.

It ain’t gonna be easy, but, it sure as hell is going to be necessary.

How Not to Lose to Donald Trump

Footnote 1091……

Asha Rangappa, a former FBI special agent, makes that case that the footnotes in Robert Mueller’s report may contain the most important information relative to potential criminal wrongdoing by Trump.

Following is a teaser to wet your interests.

If there’s one thing that lawyers know about reading documents, it’s to pay attention to the footnotes. In fact, oftentimes the most important information is buried there. America’s entire 14th Amendment jurisprudence, for instance, came out of a single footnote in a 1932 case now know as the “famous footnote.” The Mueller Report is no different. Buried in the footnotes of the Special Counsel’s two-volume tome are some of its most important nuggets, many of which address and refute popular talking points emanating from the Trump White House. Even if you don’t read the entire document, here are a few footnotes worth paying attention to — including one that seems to explain the possible results of Mueller’s findings. The devil is truly in the details.

SKIP

Footnote 1091

This is perhaps the most consequential footnote in Mueller’s report. In this section, Mueller dismantles Trump’s lawyers’ argument that the president cannot, legally speaking, obstruct justice. It is here, while forcefully making the claim that Congress indeed can hold the president accountable for obstruction of justice, that Mueller adds a telling a footnote emphasizing that “[a] possibility remedy through impeachment for abuses of power would not substitute for potential criminal liability after a President leaves office.” What Mueller is saying here is that impeachment and criminal prosecution are independent processes which vindicate different interests. Therefore, even Congress removing Trump from office would not preclude the same evidence from being used in a criminal prosecution — which could result in a jail sentence for a former President of the United States.

Keep reading for more potentially damaging information on Trump.