Back in March South Korean officials briefed President Trump on their recent visit to Pyongyang, where the North Korean leader expressed a willingness to discuss nuclear disarmament with the U.S. and said he would suspend all nuclear and missile tests during the dialogue.
Trump impulsively agreed to a summit with the man he had derided as “Little Rocket Man” in his Twitter rants, without any strategic plan or even an ask for North Korea. By doing so he did what no other president had ever done before: he gave legitimacy to the murderous dictatorship of Kim Jong Un and elevated North Korea to equal footing with the United States as a nuclear power on the world stage.
Trump started praising Kim Jong Un as “honorable” and even canceled a B-52 bomber training exercise with South Korea after the South Korean government expressed concerns that it could generate tensions before the summit. The White House even minted a Commemorative ‘Peace Talks’ Coin Ahead of the Trump-Kim Summit.
Then all of this suddenly changed today when Trump just as impulsively canceled the Korea summit that he had so impulsively agreed to in March. This was entirely predictable. It was never going to happen.
Paul Waldman of the Washington Post explains What really led to Trump’s North Korea faceplant:
Looks like President Trump may have to wait for that Nobel Peace Prize he has been hoping for:
President Trump on Thursday canceled a planned summit next month with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, citing “tremendous anger and open hostility” from the rogue nation in a letter explaining his abrupt decision.
“I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump said to Kim in a letter released by the White House on Thursday morning.
This is what we call “cutting your losses.” We’ve had reports in recent days that Trump was having second thoughts about the summit after learning, to his shock and dismay, that the North Koreans were not eager to simply give up all their nuclear weapons right away. So it appears that after a couple of weeks in which he and his administration seemed to be trying everything they could think of to sabotage any chance for an agreement, Trump decided that canceling the summit now was preferable to holding the summit and coming away with nothing after raising expectations so extraordinarily high.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Congress, Economics, International, Military, President, War
Tagged Diplomacy, Foreign Policy, National Security, north korea, nuclear war, nuclear weapons
Most of you are already familiar with the three emoluments clause cases filed against Donald Trump for profiting off of foreign governments at his properties as president.
The first case filed by the ethics group CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) was dismissed for lack of standing, but that case is currently on appeal.
In the second case brought by the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia (No. 8:17-cv-01596), U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte of the District of Maryland ruled that D.C., Maryland can proceed with lawsuit alleging Trump violated emoluments clauses. Judge Messitte rejected an argument made by critics of the lawsuit — that, under the Constitution, only Congress may decide whether the president has violated the emoluments clauses. But Messitte’s ruling also narrowed the lawsuit’s scope to the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C., saying that the District and Maryland had standing to sue because they could plausibly claim to have been injured by Trump’s receipt of payments from foreign and state governments.
The third case was filed by more than 200 Democratic members of Congress, Blumental et. al v. Trump in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (No. 1:17-cv-01154), and is presently scheduled for a hearing on a motion to dismiss on June 7, 2018.
The Trump Hotel is only the tip of the iceberg according to reporting over the past week.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Campaigns, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Courts, Crime, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, International, Justice, Law Enforcement, Party Politics, President, Russian Affair, Scandals
Tagged Abu Dhabi, bribery, campaign finance, China, Cyber Crime, Emoluments Clause, extortion, financial crimes, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Foreign Policy, influence peddling, Israel, National Security, propaganda, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates
“History doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes.” – Attributed to Mark Twain
Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did his best reprisal of Secretary of State Colin Powell before the United Nations Security Council in February 2003, citing old intelligence conflated into a current threat in making the U.S. case for war with Iraq. Powell Blames Himself, Others For Specious Iraq WMD Claims to U.N.: “A failure will always be attached to me and my U.N. presentation,” Powell writes in “It Worked For Me,” a book that provides leadership advice. “I am mad mostly at myself for not having smelled the problem. My instincts failed me.”
Benjamin Netanyahu will not be so introspective in making his case to President Donald Trump to undermine the Iran Deal, and to set the stage for a war with Iran, something this Neocon war monger has long desired.
President Trump today cited Netanyahu’s presentation in announcing that the U.S. will violate the Iran Deal by withdrawing from the agreement and reimposing nuclear sanctions on Iran. Read Trump’s Speech Withdrawing From the Iran Deal:
At the heart of the Iran deal was a giant fiction that a murderous regime desired only a peaceful nuclear-energy program. Today, we have definitive proof that this Iranian promise was a lie. Last week, Israel published intelligence documents, long-concealed by Iran, conclusively showing the Iranian regime and its history of pursuing nuclear weapons.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Congress, Corruption, Ethics, International, Military, Party Politics, President, Scandals, War
Tagged Foreign Policy, iran nuclear deal, Iran Sanctions, National Security, nuclear weapons
President Trump’s selection of the Neocon “godfather” of the Iraq War and Islamophobe John Bolton as his National Security advisor, Trump betrays his supporters with John Bolton pick, signaling more ‘stupid wars’, and fellow Islamophobe Mike Pompeo narrowly confirmed as Secretary of State last week, Pompeo as secretary of state makes Mideast war more likely, makes recertification of the Iran Nuclear Deal on or before the May 12 deadline unlikely, despite pleas from the other major powers to the agreement for the U.S. to honor its commitment to the Iran Nuclear Deal. U.S. allies press Trump to keep Iran nuclear deal alive:
Western allies stepped up pressure on U.S. President Donald Trump to keep alive an international nuclear deal with Iran,
Trump has said that unless European allies fix what he has called its “terrible flaws” by May 12, he will restore U.S. economic sanctions on Iran, which would be a severe blow to the pact.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who was in the U.S. last week for a state visit and addressed a joint session of Congress (video), emphasized there was no “Plan B” for keeping a lid on Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
And then there is this old Neocon war monger who, like Trump, is the subject of a criminal investigation by his attorney general’s office, who would welcome the distraction and nationalistic unifying effect of yet another Mideast war:
Trump’s opposition to the deal has been welcomed by Israel, which has rejected the pact since it was being hammered out under former U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration.
“Israel will not allow regimes that seek our annihilation to acquire nuclear weapons. This is why we opposed so resolutely the Iran deal, because it gives Iran a clear path to a nuclear arsenal,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a speech to foreign diplomats on Monday in Jerusalem.
Listing objections, Netanyahu added, “This is why this deal has to be either fully fixed or fully nixed.”
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Ethics, International, Justice, Law Enforcement, Party Politics, President, Scandals, War
Tagged Attorney General, Foreign Policy, Intelligence, iran nuclear deal, Iran Sanctions, Iraq War, National Security, nuclear weapons
“It’s déjà vu all over again.” – Yogi Berra
The headline at POLITICO reads As Korean leaders make history, Trump stands ready to take credit:
A dramatic Friday meeting between the leaders of North and South Korea is stoking optimism that President Donald Trump might strike a historic nuclear deal with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un — leading skeptics to worry that expectations are growing dangerously high.
Trump sycophants in the personality cult of Trump are already spiking the ball before having scored in the end zone, saying that Trump – rather than the leaders of North and South Korea – should get a Nobel Peace Prize.
Trump himself wasn’t talking about peace prizes on Friday. But as remarkable images emerged of the bellicose Kim stepping for the first time across his country’s border with South Korea, the president’s excitement — and desire for credit — was plain to see.
* * *
However stirring the images of Kim’s visit to south were, the resulting talks between the Koreas produced few specifics and left open numerous crucial questions, including whether and how the Korean War — which halted in 1953 without a formal peace treaty — might be ended.
Remember back to those halcyon days of the Trump campaign when his “America First” slogan signaled a return to American isolationism and turning away from Neocon “stupid wars” of regime change?
Despite having actually supported the Iraq war, Trump was highly critical of George W. Bush and his Neocon war cabinet on the campaign trail. Trump on Iraq: How Could We Have Been So Stupid? “One Of The Worst Decisions In The History Of The Country”:
TRUMP: I’m finding out all I can do is tell the truth. I tell the truth about Iraq. I say the war was a disaster. We spent $2 trillion. Lost thousands of lives, thousands of lives. We have wounded warriors all over the place. These guys have more courage than all of us put together. I have to tell you. All of us. And you know, I said we should have never been there. And you know, if Bush is insulted, I don’t care if he’s insulted. It was a horrible mistake. We should have never been there. Somebody says, oh, that’s not good to criticize? I say criticize? It’s one of the worst decisions in the history of the country. We have totally destabilized the Middle East.
I predicted that was going to happen. Because when you knock down the one power, the other power just took it over. Now Iran is taking over Iraq. Just as sure as you’re sitting there. We don’t even have anything to do with Iraq anymore. We’re gone. But think of it. We spent $2 trillion. Could have rebuilt our country. We could have done so much with that money. And instead, we’re worse in the Middle East than we were 15 years ago. Right now, it’s a disaster.
Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, but you know what he was good at? Killing terrorists. He was killing terrorists. Now, Iraq is Harvard for terrorists. if you want to be a terrorist, you go to Iraq. It’s Harvard. And what did we do? You know, we spent all this money, lost all these lives, have all these wounded warriors. What did we get? Iran is taking over. Not only did they get the $150 billion in the stupid deal we made, one of the dumbest deals ever, but now we’re taking over Iraq, they have been fighting for years to try to take each other.
Many of Trump’s MAGA supporters voted for him specifically because they believed (irrationally) that he would get America out of “stupid wars” and he would use the savings to “make America great again.”
On Thursday, Trump betrayed those supporters when National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster resigned (riiight, he was forced out) and Trump replaced him with the godfather of stupid wars, John Bolton, a Neocon who was one of the directors of the Project for the New American Century that advocated for regime change in Iraq and misled the Bush administration with false intelligence into the Iraq war fiasco. John Bolton, Fresh From Fox News, Joins the Trump Cast.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Corruption, Ethics, International, Military, President, Scandals, War
Tagged Foreign Policy, Iran, iran nuclear deal, Iraq, National Security, north korea, nuclear war