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Mueller’s indictments are exactly what Donald Trump wanted

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Today could not have gone better for President Trump. Robert Mueller’s indictments against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, along with the newly unsealed indictment against George Papadopoulos could not have helped Trump more.

Remember, Trump isn’t interested in defending anyone not named Donald Trump (with the possible exception of his children). Therefore, hiring dirty Manafort and literally siccing the special counsel on him isn’t a problem for him. The fact that (so far) nothing has tied Trump himself to any of these charges is simply heaven-sent for the president.

This reminds of of Mark Cuban‘s wry (or rye, as you wish) observation.

Look, if you spotted Donald Trump two pieces of bread and behind him was a refrigerator full of ham, he couldn’t collude with the Russians to make a ham sandwich. Right?

The fact is, whatever Mueller is looking for, he is unlikely to find some kind of smoking gun of Trump campaign collusion, without uncovering a smoking gun of the DNC, Obama administration, and Clinton campaign’s collusion. Vladimir Putin is an equal opportunity colluder.

Mueller’s also unlikely to “flip” Manafort over some tax and foreign agent charges from six years ago, unless by flip he means spill the beans on Tony Podesta and the Democrat lobbyist firm The Podesta Group.

All these things are good for Trump, because he gets to deflect yet another news cycle away from any inconvenient legislative failures, military casualties, Gold Star families, and focus on Russia for a day. As much as Russia seems to be the bane of Trump’s presidency, it’s always been his go to when he wants to wag the MSM’s dog.

Reports

Paul Manafort Indictment: A Guide to Understanding | National Review

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/453241/paul-manafort-indictment-george-papadopoulos-guilty-plea-trump-russia-collusionFirst things first, does the Manafort indictment have anything to do with the Trump campaign?

No, not on its face. The indictment relates to Manafort’s personal business dealings with the Ukrainian government, former Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovych, and a Ukrainian political party called the Party of Regions. It remains to be seen whether Special Counsel Mueller will use this indictment as leverage to pressure Manafort to cooperate fully with his much broader investigation into whether there were “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.”

BREAKING: Another Trump Advisor Pleads Guilty To Making False Statements | The Resurgent

http://theresurgent.com/breaking-another-trump-advisor-pleads-gulty-to-making-false-statements/Another indictment of a former Trump advisor has just been revealed. Papadopolous pled guilty on Oct. 5, but the case was sealed until this morning. Papadopolous is the third Trump associate that is known to have been snared by the Mueller investigation.

Trump RESPONDS to Manafort’s indictment! – The Right Scoop

http://therightscoop.com/trump-responds-to-manaforts-indictment/Trump just took to Twitter a few minutes ago to respond to Manafort’s indictment by the feds this morning. It’s entirely possible that more indictments will come that includes “Hillary & the Dems”. The rumor mill is ripe that the lesser known Tony Podesta’s group is one of the unnamed groups in Manafort’s indictment.

Final thoughts

While Papadopoulos’s indictment does indicate that he lied to the FBI about the timing and nature of his contacts with a Russian “professor,” and his possible intention to serve as a go-between for the Trump campaign and Russia for getting “dirt” on Hillary, that doesn’t necessarily point to collusion. The Clinton campaign itself paid for all kinds of dirt on Trump from the Russians, albeit through a law firm, then Fusion GPS, and finally to Christopher Steele, the dossier’s compiler. What constitutes “collusion,” how many cut-outs and convoluted money trails does it take to establish this? And is an effort to get dirt on a political opponent enough?

Certainly, there’s more to come as the investigation moves into a prosecutorial phase, and continues to unfold in its fact-finding mission. Nobody can declare Trump clear. But for today, he revels his own exculpation. And even more, that the media has nothing on him this day.

Managing Editor of NOQ Report. Serial entrepreneur. Faith, family, federal republic. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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Culture and Religion

So much to be thankful for…

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So much to be thankful for

I think many Americans don’t understand how truly good we have it here. I’ve travelled a good bit of the world. Some of it was nearly as good of it as our country. Much of it was far, far worse. Nowhere have I ever been does every person, regardless of sex or race, have the opportunity to make their lives better like we do here. We have things some are unhappy about. Some of those things are legitimate, some are just whining about bad decisions they’ve made. One of the greatest things about America is we can keep trying to do better. In other countries “doing better” means finding enough food for your family next week because this week it didn’t happen.

As many of you know, a year and a half ago I was broke, homeless, and living in my truck. All that has changed thanks to regular Americans willing to give me a chance. I now have a great job (two of them, in fact, one of which you’re reading now) and a great place to live. I’m most thankful for my two boys, Andrew and Tommy. I’m spending today with Tommy and later taking him to a movie with a friend and her daughter, AFTER I manage to cook this turkey better than I cooked the cinnamon rolls this morning (epic fail).

Here is what some other great Americans were thankful for today (by their Twitter handles):

I am thankful for 1, waking up this morning 2 my beautiful wife that takes care of me and the rest of my family, 3 that I live in this Country that even with our flaws is the greatest country on earth.

– @rogerthatone


I’m thankful that through all the challenging obstacles and painful scars, God has blessed me with wonderful children. To spend Thanksgiving with my boys is a blessing more valuable than anything else I can imagine. If it were my last day on earth, I’m fulfilled.

– @PoliticallyRYT


Yes I am thankful that I was born exactly 56 years ago this very day on Thanksgiving. I am also thankful that I am the son of a war hero that earned a Silver Star during the Korean War. Most of all I am thankful that my family is one of the 25% of intact black families headed by a working father.

– @WarriorRN61 (Happy birthday to my friend and fellow Army Medical Department Veteran, Jeff Clark)


I am thankful for the support and contributions so many give my @MisfitsPolitics project, the opportunity to share various voices through the site, and being blessed to be a part of so many wonderful groups here where I have made real and lasting friendships. Twitter may be awful sometimes, but there are many smart, funny, & kind people here I have the pleasure to learn from and know. ❤️

– @JHolmsted


I am extremely thankful for Laura, the girl I met this year and the love of my life, out first holidays together.

– @MadFiest


The beauty of adoption. My oldest daughter is adopted. We’ve had the blessing of her being in our life for 11 yrs. She’s 27 now. She’s a beautiful woman and I’m so proud of her. And now we have an amazing grandson from her.

– @tduncan1972


Friends, family, my health, a sound mind and a steady hand (work).

– @KB020911


I’m very grateful to have lived in, loved, and served our messy, difficult, and at times infuriating country. It is still the best hope on Earth for the freedom of all mankind.

– @four4thefire


And from some of my fellow writer’s a team NOQReport, who are some of my favorite great Americans:

Thankful for my wife, daughter and soon-to-be-born baby.

– @FrankelJeremy


Thankful for my family and our wonderful life.

– @terresamonroe


I’m thankful for the many ways my Heavenly Father has blessed my life: my family, my husband, my job, my country.

– @PaintingPastor


Happy Thanksgiving to all from the entire team at NOQReport!!

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Economy

Murkowski opposition to Obamacare penalty reeks of irony

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Murkowski opposition to Obamacare penalty reeks of irony

Mitch McConnell gets a much deserved bad reputation, but by all means, he is far from the worst Republican Senator. The worst is John McCain, easily. Number two arguably is split between Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins. Lisa Murkowski sports a 22% Liberty Score. The low rank is partially attributable to her lack of support for repealing Obamacare. Murkowski wasn’t even supportive of “Skinny Repeal.” So when Murkowski announced her opposition to the Obamacare individual mandate, I couldn’t help but read that with a certain sense of disgust. In her article published in a local newspaper, Murkowski begins by saying:

have always supported the freedom to choose. I believe that the federal government should not force anyone to buy something they do not wish to buy in order to avoid being taxed. That is the fundamental reason why I opposed the Affordable Care Act from its inception and also why I cosponsored a bill to repeal the individual mandate tax penalty starting as early as 2013. And that is why I support the repeal of that tax today.

If this is true where was she when Conservatives were trying to repeal? It is absolutely disgusting when Senators say they oppose something they voted to keep in place. She does address that in the next paragraph.

Over the course of this year, the Senate has considered bills that would have repealed Medicaid expansion, completely transformed the base Medicaid program, converted the individual exchanges into a block grant program, cut Planned Parenthood out of Medicaid reimbursement for a year, and other measures. All of those bills went far beyond the fundamental problems presented by the ACA and would have unnecessarily taken away access to care from those who need it most.

So basically, she opposes conservative healthcare reform. I’m not Trumpcare was a conservative solution, but we can certainly count her out voting yes on the free market solution. But in this paragraph she shows her pro-abortion colors in a support for Planned Parenthood receiving taxpayer dollars to kill babies and fund democrats. Nevermind that Planned Parenthood is an easily replaceable part in actual women’s health. Murkowski then delves into both a defense and critique of Obamacare. She states that the ACA has helped so many Alaskans and Alaskans pay the highest premiums. She tops it off by saying:

Repealing the individual mandate simply restores to people the freedom to choose. Nothing else about the structure of the ACA would be changed. If you currently get tax credits to help pay for your insurance, you could still receive those credits if you choose to buy an exchange plan. If you are enrolled on Medicaid or received coverage under Medicaid expansion, you could still be enrolled if you choose to be. The only difference would be is if you choose to not buy health insurance, the government would not levy a tax on you.

Let’s for a second, recall that it was the Supreme Court that rewrote the ACA to make the individual mandate a tax. It was clearly a fine, even Obama said it wasn’t a tax. The fine was hardly the worst thing about Obamacare. In fact, the fine is the only possible way Obamacare could work, which is why it was written into law in the first place. Obamacare is a halfway step to a government healthcare system. Without the mandate, rising premiums will further incentivizing people to not buy health insurance causing more rising premiums. It’s a spiral.

Murkowski does delve deeper into healthcare reform touting a bipartisan bill supported by fellow RINO Lamar Alexander, Liberty Score 17%.

Protecting the gains we’ve made with provisions of the ACA while providing greater control to states and options for individuals is why I have been working for bipartisan solutions to the health care challenges we face. Instead of taxing people for not being able to afford coverage, we should be working to reduce costs and provide options. That is precisely what the bipartisan legislation introduced by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, which I have cosponsored, achieves.

While I support repealing the individual mandate, I strongly support enacting the bipartisan compromise Alexander/Murray legislation into law as fast as possible to stabilize our markets, provide more control to states and more choices to individuals.

Murkowski goes on full betrayal of her promise to her constituents. Instead of opposing Obamacare, she is actively sponsoring it’s “rescue” sponsoring the Murray/Alexander plan. Sometimes there’s beauty in compromise. This is not one of those times. Murkowski went back on what she promised to do. Even now, she states no opposition to Obamacare, merely it’s core mandate. To hear her oppose the penalty is seething with irony. So while Republicans may have her vote on their latest tax reform bill, any Obamacare repeal efforts will need her replacement in 2022.

Further Reading

Alexander-Murray Health Care Deal Shouldn’t Go Through

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/452885/no-alexander-murrayIn other words, the Alexander-Murray deal is a solution to an overblown problem. The deal is being sold as a short-term fix, appropriating funds through 2019. But in all likelihood it would wind up being permanent, like most government spending, with Congress simply renewing it when its time runs out.

In exchange for appropriating the Obamacare funds, Republicans would get . . . nothing much. No Hyde Amendment–type protections are included on the CSR subsidies, for instance, meaning the funds could go to insurance plans that cover abortions.

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Culture and Religion

If a female representative was in Joe Barton’s position, would she be considered a victim?

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If a female representative were in Joe Bartons position would she be considered a victim

Let me first state for the record I think it’s a really, really bad idea for anyone to take nude pictures of themselves and send them to anyone other than a spouse (and even then it’s probably ill advised). With that said, I also believe that anyone who chooses to take nude pictures of themselves and send them to anyone who explicitly wants them has that right.

Now, let’s talk about Congressman Joe Barton. He’s in a very touchy situation with a nude photo of himself circulating around social media. Many are calling for him to step down, including one of my fellow contributors at NOQ Report:

Congressman Joe Barton apologizes for leaked nude selfies

http://noqreport.com/2017/11/22/congressman-joe-barton-apologizes-leaked-nude-selfies/While there was nothing illegal about the photo itself, there are moral implications. He’s a grown man who was separated at the time and sending nude images supposedly to people who wanted them, but we’re talking about a U.S. Congressman. Shouldn’t the standards for decency be higher?

It is still unclear how the photo got onto social media, who put it there, or whether its posting would constitute revenge porn, which is illegal under Texas law.

The author of the piece above asks whether we should hold a U.S. Congressman to a higher standard of decency? I think we should… as it pertains to representing their constituents and defending the Constitution. As for their private lives, no. If they’re not doing anything illegal or unethical, then they should be allowed to be just as human as anyone else.

I’m adamantly against smoking. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner smoked like a chimney. Does that mean I wanted him to step down because of that poor personal choice? No. I did want him to step down because he was a horrible Speaker, but his personal bad judgment did not affect his ability to represent the people who elected him nor hamper his ability to fulfill his pledge of defense for the Constitution.

All of these calls for Barton to step down are silly. He may be an idiot for doing what he did, but he also may be the victim of a crime:

Joe Barton warned woman not to release explicit photos that are now under police investigation

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/2017/11/22/ennis-rep-joe-barton-apologizing-sexually-explicit-photoShe told the newspaper that she did not publish the explicit image, though it’s unclear whether she willingly provided it to someone else.

Barton confirmed late Wednesday that he warned the woman he might seek help from police to ensure that she didn’t expose private photos to retaliate for his ending their relationship, and he believes he’s the victim of a crime from this week’s exposure of the lewd material.

I have never played any of the social justice cards such as the “race card” or the “sexism card,” but this may be a sexist situation. Why? Because if it was a woman who sent a nude image of herself to a man she was having a relationship with and that image was leaked, nobody would be calling for her to step down. Instead, they’d be hunting down the guy who released the image and demanding he be put in jail with Roy Moore, Harvey Weinstein, and Bill Clin… okay, so maybe they wouldn’t go that far.

The point is this: women are not the only victims of sexual misconduct. This seems to be a variation of “revenge porn” which happens to be illegal in the state of Texas. To me, Joe Barton is a moron for sending anyone nude selfies and if he wants to step down out of shame, so be it. He shouldn’t step down out of a sense of guilt. It may be hard to get reelected at this point, but there’s no reason for him to be bullied out by the press or activists.

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