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Rating The Trump Cabinet. Thumbs Up. Thumbs Down. And TBD.

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      Some of the Presidential Picks for High Office

      I have been keeping score. Have You?

      While there are still some nominees left to confirm, and a few high ranking appointments yet to make, the shape of the Trump Cabinet is now rather clear. There are literally thousands of empty slots that fall under the Executive Branch which sit either empty or with temporary Obama era hold overs BUT these are the ones who will be charged with filling many of those slots and, if the President allows them to, shape the vision of their departments and direct daily operations.

      What follows is my list of Likely Winners, Likely Losers, and the To Be Determined. Ratings are given in the Likely Winners and Likely Losers categories are from Best (10) to Worst (1). The jury is out on the third category: To Be Determined.

      My ratings are based on the their experience, knowledge, temperament, record, philosophy and vision as they relate to the position they will hold. Those in the two "Likely" Categories have enough available information for me to make a considered evaluation in which I have confidence.

      As those in the To Be Determined Category perform they will be moved into either the Likely Winner or Likely Loser Category and be rated.

      SO WHAT DO YOU THINK OF MY RATINGS?

      What are Yours?


      Likely Winners

      National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster 10

      Secretary of Veteran Affairs David Shulkin 10

      Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao 9

      Secretary of Defense James Mattis 9

      Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly 8

      Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats 8

      Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Mike Pompeo 8

      Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross 7

      Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley 7

      Likely Losers

      Attorney General Jeff Sessions 3

      Secretary of Health and Human Services Jeff Price 3

      Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson 2

      Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos 1

      White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus 4

      Administrator of the Environment Protection Agency Scott Pruitt 1

      Senior White House Advisor To the President Steve Bannon 1


      To Be Determined

      Vice President Mike Pence

      Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

      Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin

      Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke

      Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta

      Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue

      Secretary of Energy Rick Perry

      Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney

      Administrator of the Small Business Administration Linda McMahon

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      Pundit Post
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          Can you prove you are legal? Probably not. Suppose the Trump gestapo stops you on the street, accuses you of being an illegal, and puts you on a bus bound for Tijuana. It used to be the stuff of movies (Cheech Marin's Born in East LA). But no doubt many Americans will live this nightmare soon.

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dhs-deport-any...

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          Draft Of First Trump Budget Would Cut Legal Aid For Millions Of Poor Americans

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              NO.

              He doesn't "love" or respect women.

              If he did, his draft budget wouldn't target what it does. No excuses.

              While Congress wants to eliminate the CFPB - Consumer Finance Protection Bureau - Trump's draft budget focuses on cuts to legal aid which defends such cases as VAWA, domestic violence, fair housing protections for the disabled, and a long list of other necessary protections.

              For a guy who has been party to roughly 4,000 lawsuits, the irony and misogyny is simply inescapable.

              Not my president.

              https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/21/tr...

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              Why The 25th Amendment Is Suddenly Getting A Lot Of Attention

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                  Why The 25th Amendment is Suddenly Getting a Great Deal of Attention

                  Never before in the history of our country have so many people been dismayed at the absolute chaos that has been happening since the nomination and subsequent election of the 45th President of the United States.

                  As chaotic, unreasonable, incendiary, and even crazy this first month of Trump's Presidency has been, we are cautioned by the experts that we need to be careful not to get used to it, not to make this confusion, disorder, and mayhem 'the new normal.'

                  Although Constitutionalists advise us to keep our expectations and hopes low, and V.P. Pence and the GOP seem unlikely to follow through, there actually is a quicker, strictly political way to remove an unfit President of the USA other than through impeachment. That way is via the 25th Amendment.

                  02/17/17 04:02 PMUPDATED 02/17/17 06:43 PM

                  By Steve Benen

                  Reflecting on recent events, the New York Times’ David Brooks’ latest column noted, “I still have trouble seeing how the Trump administration survives a full term. Judging by his Thursday press conference, President Trump’s mental state is like a train that long ago left freewheeling and iconoclastic, has raced through indulgent, chaotic and unnerving, and is now careening past unhinged, unmoored and unglued.”

                  This is not an uncommon sentiment. During Donald Trump’s press conference yesterday, a variety of reporters in the room were overheard whispering among each other about the “insane” nature of president’s performance. There was a similar reaction on Capitol Hill: NBC News’ Kasie Hunt said lawmakers from both parties watched the event with their “jaws on the floor.”

                  Earlier in the week, the Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne Jr. asked a question many have pondered, but few have spoken aloud: “What is this democratic nation to do when the man serving as president of the United States plainly has no business being president of the United States?” His colleague, Dana Milbank, recently conceded, “My worry is the president of the United States is barking mad.”

                  Ordinarily, conversations along these lines lead to questions about possible impeachment proceedings and congressional options for removing a president from office. But if my email inbox is any indication, there’s growing interest in the options available through the 25th Amendment – which has a Wikipedia page that’s apparently being referenced more and more all the time.

                  In fact, The Atlantic’s David Frum joked after the election, “Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. Article 4. We’re all going to be talking a lot more about it in the months ahead.”

                  So, what’s Article 4 to the 25th Amendment? In the abstract, the amendment itself is about presidential succession, and includes language about the power of the office when a president is incapacitated. But Digby recently highlighted the specific text of growing relevance:
                  “Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.”
                  And what does that mean exactly?

                  Well, it means Congress isn’t the only institution that can remove a president from office between elections. Under the 25th Amendment, a sitting vice president and a majority of the executive branch’s cabinet could, on their own, agree to transfer power out of the hands of a sitting president. At that point, those officials would notify Congress, and the vice president would assume the office as the acting president.

                  And what if the challenged president wasn’t on board with the plan to remove him/her from the office? As Vox recently explained, “If the president wants to dispute this move, he can, but then it would be up to Congress to settle the matter with a vote. A two-thirds majority in both houses would be necessary to keep the vice president in charge. If that threshold isn’t reached, the president would regain his powers.”

                  All of this comes up in fiction from time to time, and in all likelihood, Americans will probably never see this political crisis play out in real life. And that’s probably a good thing: by all appearances, the intended purpose of the constitutional provision was to address a president with a serious ailment – say, a stroke, for example – in which he or she is alive, but unable to fulfill the duties of the office.

                  It probably wasn’t written to deal with a president who seems, to borrow a phrase, “barking mad.”

                  But the law exists, and the possibility that Mike Pence and half of the administration’s still-incomplete cabinet – a group of people who owe their jobs to the president whose stability has been called into question – is the subject of scuttlebutt, even from a handful of members of Congress. That possibility has created hope among Trump’s detractors that he may be legally removed from office before 2020.

                  http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/why-the-25...

                  Also of interest:

                  Don’t look now: It’s President Pence!

                  http://www.salon.com/2017/01/25/dont-look-now-its-...

                  25th Amendment, Article 4 | Gates of Babylon

                  http://gatesofbabylon.com/thread/22678/25th-amendm...

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                  Great Britain Has Spoken !

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                      Don't let that disgusting pig of a man near Parliament or my castle !




                      British Parliament debates and votes: NO invite for a State Visit from the orangutan !! (1st time EVER to debate the issue, let alone say NO to a Presidential visit)

                      Can't wait for the tweets to come . . . . . perhaps a "Declaration of War" ? LOL !



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                      Is Trump's Arrogance Going To Get People Killed? Chaos At The NSC

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                          ‘Our Readiness for a Terrorist Attack Is Dangerously Low’

                          Not the best message from a former member of the National Security Council.


                          “I’ve never seen anything quite like it,” said Clarke, who spent 30 years in government, of the current turbulence at the National Security Council. George H.W. Bush replaced much of the staff from Ronald Reagan’s council, Clarke noted, but the new people were in place within the first few days of Bush’s administration - Uri Friedman, The Atlantic 20 FEB 2017

                          First General "Possibly Benedict" Flynn is forced to resign as head of the NSC and then Trump gets the brush-off from Vice-Admiral Robert Haward to replace the disgraced three-star as head of the NSC. Yes, Admiral, we salute you right back.


                          Then Craig Deare, a Trump Appointee, gets the boot after a month on the job after having the courage to speak at the Wilson Center, a Think Tank in DC.


                          According to an ABC News report on 20 FEB 2017,

                          White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Sunday that Deare "was sent back to his original position." Asked if government employees should be concerned that they could be fired for criticizing the president, she said: "I don't think any person that is there in order to carry out the president's agenda should be against the president's agenda."

                          Current and former administration officials say Deare's termination was linked to remarks he made Thursday at a private talk at the Wilson Center, a Washington think tank. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.

                          According to one person who attended the discussion, Deare slammed the Trump administration for its policies on Latin America, specifically its rocky start to relations with Mexico.


                          Donald does not need competence, he needs smart people to act like idiots in forwarding his incompetently developed plans for world domination.


                          By him.



                          In other words, if you are not willing to be buck-naked insane, you better find a job in the private sector.


                          Overseas. In a safer place than the Trump Administration run USA.


                          Like say, Mogadishu.


                          Meanwhile, Trump finds a couple of old Generals who are either ready to take his crap, or have decided to attempt to prevent the madman in the Oval Office from killing us all. If they cannot stop Shadow President Bannon, at least maybe they can fool his second in command Trump to not play with any red buttons that happen to be laying around the White House.


                          General McMaster is a highly regarded military tactician and strategic thinker, but his selection surprised some observers who wondered how the General, who is known for questioning authority, would deal with a White House that has not welcomed criticism.


                          I hope he lasts till the end of March.


                          Now Gen McMaster ended up in the position quite possibly because another guy too sane to take on the job told Despot Donnie "Thanks, but no thanks". Gen Petraeus is a man with too much honor to say yes to forwarding Trump's American Security threatening policies.


                          In fact, General Clarke thinks that the NSC has no idea what they are supposed to be doing.

                          Trump officials appear to “begin with an assumption that they know what the problems are, and very often it doesn’t seem like the problems that they’re trying to address on a priority basis actually exist. They just think they do. They think there are Mexicans pouring across the border when, in fact, the traffic is in the opposite direction. They think there’s a problem with refugees from [the banned] seven countries coming into the United States and staging terrorist attacks when that’s never happened."


                          In fact, according to Uri Friedman, Clarke's observations that the brain trust "of the Trump administration over the last month is rather different than open-minded: a “blind stumbling into things” is how he described it.


                          If that is how you wish to describe it, General, Sir.


                          I prefer the much more technical term.


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                          Pundit Post

                          The Border Is A Constitution-Free Zone For Agents Who Shoot And Kill.

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                              I often hear people say that the U.S. Constitution does not apply to people who are not U.S. citizens. Of course, the only people I have heard that sentiment from are republicans, who I think generally only think the Constitution applies to them and even then, only the parts they can twist to make it uniquely benefit them.

                              Hernandez v. Mesa involves a case where a U.S. border patrol killed a Mexican child, because he said he thought the child was a drug dealer or was trying to enter the USA illegally. The child was standing on Mexican soil when he was killed. The Hernandez family sued Mesa claiming he violated the constitutional rights of their son. U.S federal courts have so far ruled that because the child was not on U.S. soil, the Constitution does not protect him. This ruling indicates that the court does not reject that Hernandez would be protected by the Constitution had he been on U.S. soil, even though he is not a U.S. citizen. However, it says that because he was not on U.S. soil, he was not protected by the Constitution.

                              I pray that even with the current make-up of the supreme court, the ruling will be that the U.S. Constitution applies to the actions of the people and the government of the United States, especially if they are representing the U.S. government, regardless of where they are, AND it also applies to ANY person who is on U.S. soil, regardless of their citizenship (although this issue is not addressed in this case).

                              http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/border-killing-supreme-court-sergio-hernandez-jesus-mesa_us_58aa3b94e4b07602ad55ee36?section=us_politics

                              CIUDAD JUÁREZ, Mexico — María Guadalupe Güereca wanted to hold her son.

                              Instead, Mexican police held her back from the crime scene. So she watched him from above the canal that carries the Rio Grande between the American city of El Paso, Texas, and the Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez.

                              Her 15-year-old son, Sergio Hernández, had been playing with a group of boys along the river, when U.S. Border Patrol agent Jesús Mesa Jr. went to apprehend them, apparently viewing them either as drug smugglers or people trying to cross the border illegally. He grabbed one of the boys on the U.S. side of the river canal, as the rest fled. Sensing that someone was throwing rocks, he turned toward Sergio, who had taken cover behind the bridge piling on the Mexican side of the river, and shot him in the face.

                              The medics who arrived on the scene soon ceded their job to the coroners. But Güereca swears she saw her son move.

                              “My boy was alive when I got there,” Güereca said. “But they wouldn’t let me down to see him.”

                              With the help of a Texas law firm, Güereca and her husband, Jesús Hernández, sued the Border Patrol agent in federal court for the July 7, 2010, killing, claiming he violated their son’s constitutional rights. But Mesa’s lawyers convinced a series of courts to reject the claims, relying on longstanding precedent that makes it all but impossible for a noncitizen to hold federal officials responsible for misconduct that occurs on foreign soil ― even when someone’s child dies, and even if the bullets that killed him were fired from the United States.

                              In 2015, 15 judges on the conservative-leaning U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit concluded in a short, unsigned opinion that because the teen was “a Mexican citizen who had no significant voluntary connection” to the United States and was standing on Mexican soil, the American Constitution doesn’t protect him. But a number of them wrote lengthy concurring opinions ― they were evidently torn on the correct rationale for their decision.

                              Now it’s the Supreme Court’s turn to hear the dispute. On Tuesday, the justices will confront whether the border is “a unique no man’s land ― a law-free zone in which U.S. agents can kill innocent civilians with impunity,” as lawyers for Sergio’s family put it in their appeal.

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                              Bannon's Anti-EU Message Came Before Mike Pence Promised Commitment

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                                  Steve Bannon's anti-EU message came before Mike Pence pledged commitment

                                  “I’m a Leninist,” Steve Bannon told a writer for The Daily Beast, in late 2013. “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment."*


                                  Graham Lanktree

                                  International Business Times February 21, 2017

                                  President Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon delivered a message of preference for disunity in the European Union a week before US Vice President Mike Pence's visit to Europe, say German officials. Pence was in Brussels, Belgium, on Monday (20 February) where he told the EU's European Council that the US and Europe "must be strong and united in our efforts to confront threats to Europe's security and stability." He expressed President Trump's "steadfast and enduring" commitment to the EU.

                                  https://www.yahoo.com/news/m/22b2e0ce-e3f9-3369-93...

                                  Steve Bannon Believes The Apocalypse Is Coming And War Is Inevitable.

                                  Bannon, has been portrayed as Trump’s main ideas guy. But in Bannon’s view, we are in the midst of an existential war, and everything is a part of that conflict. Treaties must be torn up, enemies named, culture changed. Global conflagration, should it occur, would only prove the theory correct. For Bannon, the Fourth Turning has arrived. The Grey Champion, a messianic strongman figure, may have already emerged. For Bannon, The apocalypse is now.

                                  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/stev (By Paul Blumenthal, JM Riegere-bannon)

                                  *“I’m a Leninist,” Steve Bannon told a writer for The Daily Beast, in late 2013. “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/steve-bann...

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                                  Trump To H&R Block: You're Fired!

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                                      So the job creator wants to put 70,000 tax prepares out of business. Isn't that something?

                                      Trump To H&R Block: You're Fired!

                                      So now the federal government wants to pick and choose who will work and who won't? The right has had a policy of no involvement by federal government in business. Nowthey support the highest office of the government controlling businesses.

                                      Instead of regulations the government will now tell a business what it can and can't do.

                                      So now what will the plan be to find jobs for 70,000 educated professionals?


                                      http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2015/...

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