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Trump’s presidency: From ‘The Apprentice’ to ‘Survivor’

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An administration is more than one person. There are cabinet members and staff, who’s job is to execute the policies the President decides upon. There is no doubt that for a Presidency to be successful, a President must “hire the best people.” And so, Donald Trump made the argument that he “hires the best people.”

If only that were true.

Just six months into the Trump Administration, and there has already been some major changes. Reince Priebus is gone as White House Chief of Staff. Anthony Scaramucci was hired as Communications Director and fired less than 2 weeks later. Sean Spicer left as Press Secretary in protest to Scaramucci’s hiring. John Kelly has replaced Priebus as Chief of Staff, leaving a vacancy at the top of Homeland Security.

James Comey was fired as FBI Director in the most unprofessional manner. Justified or not, the President should have fired him in-person. Instead, a public announcement was made, which is how Comey himself learned that he had been sacked.

Should Comey have been fired? Absolutely. His testimony in front of Congress prior to the election, which thoroughly detailed the most-recent criminal acts of Hillary Clinton, yet arguing she should not be charged as “she had no intent,” was downright ridiculous.
The problem is, Trump fired Comey while in the middle of an investigation into Trump and his staff. Comey should have been fired on January 21st. The President fired Comey in the worst way possible and with the worst timing.

Attorney General Sessions has been under the gun. The President, with his typical lack of professionalism, took to social media to chastise Sessions, instead of speaking with him privately. True Conservative and Libertarian-leaning Americans were wary of Sessions from the beginning, due in no small part to his career-long love of the unconstitutional practice known as civil asset forfeiture. Now, that same abuse of government power has been adopted as policy and is being carried-out at the Federal level. Very few liberty-minded people would be sorry to see Sessions go, but that is hardly the point. Apparently, Kelly has since told Sessions that his job is safe… at least for now.

The reverse-side of this hiring trend has also been made manifest. John Koskinen, the Commissioner of the IRS, is still in place. Koskinen gained infamy under the Obama Administration for his alleged role in the targeting of conservative groups by his agency leading-up to and persisting after the 2012 election; as well as his subsequent, highly-questionable responses given to Congress on the same subject. He, like Comey, should have been fired on Jan 21.

H.R. McMaster, another Obama appointee, is now serving as National Security Advisor. McMaster has taken some heat in recent days for the firing of Trump loyalists from the National Security Council, but largely only from those who see serving Trump, not the constitution, as serving the country. If there was going to be a problem, why was he ever hired by Trump in the first place?

Waiters, cable TV salesman at Walmart, and retail employees are jobs where you might expect a high turnover rate. Top-level advisors and Cabinet Members are not. These are people you typically expect to serve the entire first term, and sometimes even into the second, should there be one.

What has taken place thus far is NOT “hiring the best people.” This is a direct result of a President who hasn’t the first clue what he’s doing. Trump, along with his most ardent sycophants, argue that Trump’s problems stem from the so-called “Deep State.” Well, if the Deep State is still in power, doesn’t the blame then lie with Trump for not getting rid of it in the first place?

Sadly, none of this should be surprising. The Trump campaign gave Americans a glimpse into how a future Trump Administration would look. Trump went through a host of campaign managers and advisors, each more disreputable than the last, before settling on Kellyanne Conway to take him through to the end.

It is ridiculous for the President to ever claim he hires the best people. Maybe he does, but it doesn’t count when the best people are hired because they’re then only ones left after everyone else has been hired and fired. It only counts if they are hired as the best person for the position in the first place.

Perhaps Trump will hire the best people, eventually, but America can’t wait forever for him to get there. Six months into this Administration, and very little has been accomplished in a nation that is still reeling from the years of corruption and abuse by the Obama Administration. So far there is no wall, no repeal of Obamacare, and no tax reform. Trump’s cult wants to blame Congress, but they should be blaming Trump.

He’s given no clear direction, and hasn’t focused on any one issue long enough to accomplish any of them. He’s done a good job of repealing some of the Obama-era executive orders, but an EO can change as soon as the next President is in power. And, with the way things are going, that will likely be no later than January 20, 2020. Trump needs to get meaningful legislation passed, but it appears he doesn’t even know how to go about doing that.

Hiring the right staff could help him accomplish such goals, but it seems unlikely that’ll actually happen. Trump’s hiring criteria seems to be centered around who kissed his ring during the election, and the staunch conservatives (not to be confused with the RINO Never Trumpers like Bill Kristol and Jeb Bush) didn’t do that. Trump simply puts his sycophants in place. He seems willing to forgive past critics, like Scaramucci, but only so long as they swear allegiance to Trump himself, and not the Constitution. That isn’t going to make things better.

He needs to privately beg the help of truly effective leaders, men like Scott Walker and Mike Lee. But Trump will never do that, as ‘humility’ isn’t a word this President can spell (as evidenced by his typo-laden tweets), much less embody as a personality trait.
It seems clear that Americans can look forward to at least three and-a-half years of this non-stop reality show in the White House, in lieu of a competent staff and cabinet comprised of truly-effective leaders to run the country. Meaning the longer this drama continues and meaningful legislation continues to fail in Congress, it becomes more and more likely there will ONLY be three and-a-half years, as the odds of Trump winning reelection against any half-decent, non-lifelong criminal nominee, become ever more unlikely.

Benjamin Wilhelm served as a commissioned officer in the United States military for 10 years, serving one combat tour in Afghanistan. He is a recipient of the Bronze Star and Combat Action Badge among other military awards. Ben has worked in a variety of private sector businesses both large and small. He is a former military and civilian firearms instructor and an advocate for veterans issues. Ben is a strict Constitutionalist who sees the Federal government as an out of control leviathan, and the federal debt as a burden that will break the country. Ben is a divorced father of two boys.

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Entertainment and Sports

LeVar Burton is being attacked by people thinking he’s LaVar Ball. Brent Spiner’s response is hilarious.

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LeVar Burton is being attacked by people thinking hes LaVar Ball Brent Spiners response is hilarious

LaVar Ball wasn’t impressed with President Trump’s efforts to get his son released from a Chinese prison for shoplifting. His reactions have prompted many Trump supporters to go after him as ungracious, hypocritical, and much worse.

Unfortunately, many of these attacks are being directed towards actor LeVar Burton. The Reading Rainbow host who rose to prominence after Roots and solidified his status as a Hollywood icon while playing Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation has a name similar to Ball’s and is also black. Responses to the attacks from other Twitter users has been brutal, but Burton has remained calm. His lone response:

Former colleague Brent Spiner, who played Data on ST:TNG, offered some advice to his friend.

“If you cared about our President, you’d change your name.”

I don’t normally applaud when leftist Hollywood gets political, but this one was too good to pass.

Source: Twitter

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Guns and Crime

Michael Flynn’s lawyers break contact with White House lawyers

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Michael Flynns lawyers break contact with White House lawyers

The legal team for former White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn have stopped sharing information about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian tampering in the 2016 election. This could be a blow for the President and some who are close to him if information gleaned from Flynn points to the Trump campaign, his transition team, or his administration itself.

The NY Times is reporting that four anonymous sources have said the agreement between the two legal teams has been ended from Flynn’s side. It is normal for teams with parallel interests to share information, but when there becomes a conflict of interest, any such sharing is halted. This leaves two likely possibilities: either Flynn is negotiating a deal to cooperate with the investigation or they’re cooperating already.

If it’s the former, there’s a chance the information sharing could be renewed if no deal is struck

Flynn is at the heart of the investigation. It was his actions and the White House’s reactions before and after he resigned that prompted the investigation in the first place. Flynn had lied on more than one occasions about financial interactions he’d had with Russian and Turkish interests. This made him vulnerable to blackmail, according to former acting attorney general Sally Q. Yates. After Flynn resigned, the President had a one-on-one meeting with then-FBI Director James Comey and allegedly asked him to stop pursuing Flynn. Comey was fired by the President, then leaked a memo detailing the meeting regarding Flynn.

Outcry from many in DC and in the media prompted Mueller’s appointment. Since then, he charged Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and George Papadopoulos. Charging or cutting a deal with Flynn would likely be the step prior to pursuing people directly associated with the President.

Further Reading

Flynn moving to cooperate with Mueller in Russia probe: report | TheHill

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/361687-flynn-moving-to-cooperate-with-mueller-in-russia-probe-reportThe report comes after NBC News on Wednesday reported that Mueller is looking to question Bijan Kian, an associate of Flynn. Previous reports have suggested that the special counsel already has enough evidence to indict Flynn and his son, who also worked for Trump’s campaign.

Trump’s legal team has insisted recently that Mueller’s probe will end in the coming months, though legal experts have said the investigation is likely to drag on.

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News

After nearly 4 decades of crimes against his people, Robert Mugabe granted immunity, military protection

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After nearly 4 decades of crimes against his people Robert Mugabe granted immunity military protecti

In what may be the best deal ever struck by a dictator forcibly removed by the military and despised by a majority of his people, Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe has been granted full immunity, a “generous pension,” and military protection so he can stay in his country without fear that any of the millions of people he persecuted will be able to seek their vengeance.

Zimbabwe grants Robert Mugabe immunity from prosecution

Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist for 37 years, resigned on Tuesday, hours after parliament launched proceedings to impeach him. He had refused to leave office during eight days of uncertainty that began with a military takeover.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, the former vice-president sacked by Mugabe this month, is to be sworn in as president on Friday.

My Take

Despite complaints from the people, this is the smart move. If they allow him to leave, they have no control over him or the influence that he continues to wield at home and abroad. If they jail him, kill him, or otherwise make him face prosecution, he would be at best a distraction and at worst a martyr. This move allows them to move forward the fastest which is what former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his military allies want.

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