Monday, July 10, 2017

Live From Promised Free Wall

Had baked Alaska for dessert today.

Never quit striving!  Change is possible! I've lost my hair and got fat and it wasn't even that hard.  

It was bring your daughter to work day.  Quit picking on him unnecessarily.

If anyone doubts the power of big pharmacy, consider this.  My psychiatrist is in trouble for prescribing too few meds.

G20.  We sent our chocolate cake expert AND our beautiful ladies' shoe expert. #MakingAmericaRidiculous



Minister Arrested in North Carolina for Brandishing A Weapon

by jonathanturley
The arrest of William Rian Adams, 35, in North Carolina for assault after pointing a handgun at another driver is tragically not unique.  However, what is a bit more unusual is that fact that Adams is the rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in Fletcher, just south of Asheville.

Posner: All Judges Should Be Required To Retire At 80

by jonathanturley
Richard_Posner_at_Harvard_UniversityJudge Richard Posner may have just announced his own impending retirement from the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Posner is arguing that federal judges should be subject to a mandatory retirement age of "probably 80." The legendary jurist and writer is 78 years old.  The interview may also add fuel to calls for Supreme Court justices to accept retirement.  Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 84.  Anthony Kennedy is 80.  Stephen Breyer is 78.


Was The Meeting Between Donald Trump Jr. and The Russian Lawyer Really “Treason” or The “Smoking Gun” of Collusion?

by jonathanturley
UnknownRichard Painter, an ethics lawyer under former President George W. Bush, has declared that the meeting of Donald Trump Jr., with a Russian lawyer who claimed to have compromising information on Hillary Clinton  Hillary Clintonduring the campaign,  “borders on treason.”  Others have said that the disclosure could be the long sought after "smoking gun"on collusion and evidence of criminal conduct.  I am afraid that I have to continue my record as something of a "buzz kill" on these stories.  There is not a clear criminal act in such a meeting based on the information that we have.  Moreover, it is not necessarily unprecedented.



Trump's Son Met With Russian Lawyer After Being Promised Damaging Information on Clinton


Donald Trump Jr. is said to have arranged the meeting with the Kremlin-linked lawyer during the campaign after he was told he would be provided with details about Hillary Clinton. 

Vice President Mike Pence onstage at the Department of Energy in Washington after President Trump made a speech there last month.
At Private Dinners, Pence Quietly Courts Big Donors and Corporate Executives


Vice President Mike Pence has undertaken extensive personal outreach to donors, fueling speculation that he is preparing for his own political future. 


Kushner Just Got Caught Using Trump To Punish Qatar For Pulling Real Estate Deal

Much has been written about the Manhattan building at 666 Fifth Avenue that the Kushners bought for $1.8 billion in 2007 – just before the global economic crisis – at a price double what anyone had ever paid before per square foot.
The deal was primarily the idea of Jared Kushner, with help and support from his father Charles.
When the economic downturn hit in 2008,  occupancy in the building fell as did the amount of rent that could be charged. The Kushners, who had already invested $500 million in renovations, did several deals that sold off retail space and the office space in the building to raise cash –  but they were still “underwater” in real estate parlance, meaning they owed more than it was worth.
“The investment could become an embarrassing half-billion-dollar loss,” reports The Intercept. “It’s unclear precisely how much peril such a loss would put Jared’s or his family’s finances in, given the opacity of their private holdings.”
In 2015 and 2016, as Trump’s campaign was heating up, Jared and Charles Kushner were in negotiations with Qatari Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, known as “HBJ.”
HBJ, considered one of the richest men in the world, is a former prime minister and was running Qatar’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, which has investments of over $250 billion.
The negotiations dragged out until after Trump was elected President. This spring, HBJ agreed to loan $500 million to the Kushners on the condition they could raise the additional billions needed elsewhere, according to The Intercept.
In early 2017, it was reported that a Chinese insurance company was going to put up $400 million, leaving the Kushners to raise the additional $750 million needed to tear down the old building and build a new 80-story office and residential tower. The insurance company also said it would take out a $4 billion construction loan to do the deal.
The New York Times reported that if it worked out, the Kushner’s would get about $500 million back directly and save their huge investment. 
In March, however, the Anbang insurance company pulled out of the deal after heavy criticism over Jared’s conflicts of interest – and the deal with the Qatar fund was dead or at least put on hold.
Then in May, Trump visited Saudi Arabia as part of a trip primarily arranged by Jared Kushner. In June, Saudi Arabia and others in the region declared a diplomatic war with Qatar.
Kushner, reports The Intercept, “reportedly played a key behind-the-scenes role in hardening the U.S. posture toward the embattled nation.”
During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar - look!
Shortly after Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain instituted a blockade of Qatar, where the U.S. has a major air base and thousands of personnel. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson seemed to want to calm things down with a call for an immediate end to the blockade and mediation.
Hours later, however, Trump speaking at a White House ceremony contradicted Tillerson. The President again spoke against Qatar, saying that it had “historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level.”
Trump’s remarks, Tillerson came to believe, had been written by the UAE ambassador and were delivered to Trump by Jared Kushner.
Kushner, who came to his high post at the White House with lots of experience in tanking real estate deals and none in international diplomacy, has also been linked to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and was seen as a failure in attempts to bring peace to Israel and Palestine on a recent trip there.
Yet Kushner appears to still have the president’s confidence and is still playing a large role in America’s activities around the world, often seeming to usurp the traditional role of Secretary of State Tillerson.
Aside from the obvious problem of posed by President Trump’s open embrace of nepotism, Kushner stands out as someone who may be unqualified and bumbling but still has his father-in-law on his side.
Whether the failed real estate deal with Qatar is Jared Kushner’s motivation to back the action taken by Saudi Arabia and others or not, the lack of transparency about his role, his actions and the real reason behind the impulsive moves in the volatile Middle East is disturbing.
Once again, it appears to be amateur hour at the White House and at the State Department, where the stories keep changing, the reasoning is cloudy and those in charge lack credentials to do their job.  
As usual, the Trump administration looks like it is doing the wrong things for the wrong reasons, and it is the American people who will be left to pick up the tab and pay the price for the lack of a cohesive, realistic policy.


Top News
President Trump met with Chinese officials including President Xi Jinping on Saturday during the Group of 20 summit meeting in Hamburg, Germany.
World Leaders Move Forward on Climate Change, Without U.S.


At a G-20 summit meeting marred by violent protests, 19 other member states broke decisively with President Trump, in a victory for Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. 

Republicans should have their next convention  atop new, free, beautiful Mexican wall with Margaritas being served celebrating Congress having same health care as all Americans.


I'm going live tonight recounting the times Trump and I volunteered to serve in soup kitchens.  Oh wait. 




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