Trump to Generals —> US Should Plunder Afghan Minerals

The president also compared military strategy to renovating a restaurant
— by Jake Johnson, staff writer

President Donald Trump holds a meeting with members of his cabinet.
President Donald Trump holds a meeting with members of his cabinet. (Photo: Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

In a recent situation room meeting with generals and top national security advisors, President Donald Trump reportedly compared war policy to renovating a restaurant and complained that the U.S. isn’t doing enough to exploit Afghanistan’s mineral wealth.

This is according to senior administration officials who leaked details of the “tense” meeting to NBC News.

Trump also complained that the U.S. is “losing” the war in Afghanistan—which is approaching its 16th year—and said he was contemplating firing Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of American forces in the country, who he has not met.

Here’s how NBC summarized the conversation:

Over nearly two hours in the situation room, according to the officials, Trump complained about NATO allies, inquired about the United States getting a piece of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, and repeatedly said the top U.S. general there should be fired. He also startled the room with a story that seemed to compare their advice to that of a paid consultant who cost a tony New York restaurateur profits by offering bad advice.

As Common Dreams reported last week, Trump has long been enticed by the prospect of plundering Afghanistan’s untapped mineral reserves. In the meeting with his national security advisors, NBC noted, Trump reiterated his wishes and fumed that China is “making money off of Afghanistan’s estimated $1 trillion in rare minerals while American troops are fighting the war.”

Trump also “expressed frustration that his advisers tasked with figuring out how the U.S. can help American businesses get rights to those minerals were moving too slowly,” NBCreported.

Commentators have in the past argued that Trump’s desire to exploit a war-torn country’s mineral reserves amounts to a longing for “colonialism.”

The response to leaked details of Trump’s meeting with military officials was of a similar tone.


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Trump Announces He’s Kicking Thousands of Transgender People out of the Military

During his campaign for the presidency, this is where Donald Trump claimed he stood regarding LGBTQ “rights and beliefs.”

It appears he’s “lied” to the public yet again.  Without warning or explanation, President Trump announced on Twitter Wednesday morning that he is unilaterally reversing the military’s plan to allow transgender service:

While the tweets are lacking for details, they suggest that thousands of transgender people already serving in the military will lose their jobs. Last June, the Pentagon announced that they no longer had to hide in the shadows — that their positions were safe if they were public about their identities. That plan was to allow openly trans people to enroll starting July 1 of this year, but Defense Secretary James Mattis agreed to delay that implementation six months to allow for further review.

Meanwhile, conservative House Republicans have been attempting to find various ways to curtail this policy through amendments to the defense spending bill. Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) originally floated an outright banto transgender service, then ultimately advanced an amendment banning military funds from being spent on transition-related health care. That amendment was surprisingly defeated earlier this month by the Republican-controlled House in a close 209–214 vote. Nevertheless, Hartzler and others were continuing to explore additional options as of this week, apparently encouraged by Vice President Mike Pence.

In proposing her amendments, Hartzler repeatedly claimed that the medical costs to the military would be $1.35 billion over ten years. On multiple occasions, her office refused to respond to ThinkProgress inquiries to identify the source of that number, which is 16 times higher than the highest estimates provided by the RAND corporation in its report released along with the Pentagon’s policy change last year. RAND found that the military’s health costs would increase at most around $8.4 million per year, an increase of only 0.13 percent.

Since Hartzler started floating her bogus number, the Family Research Council, an anti-LGBTQ hate group, has estimated even higher numbers. This numbers game appears to have persuaded Trump to ignore the review and unilaterally decide to kick all transgender people out of the armed services. 19 other countries allow transgender military service — and have for some time.

On Tuesday, the Log Cabin Republicans highlighted an interview with new White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci proclaiming how “pro-gay” (albeit not pro-trans) the Trump administration is. Indeed, that has been the argument made by conservatives who claim to be LGBTQ-friendly throughout the campaign and well into this year. While it’s true Trump did mention LGBTQ people in his convention speech and once hold up a rainbow flag, he only ever made these references when fanning Islamophobia.

Though Trump appeared to be trans-friendly the first time he was presented with a question about North Carolina’s transphobic bathroom law HB2 during the campaign, his position quickly shifted and he began to claim that transgender inclusion is a “state’s rights” issue. As has been the case in just about every civil rights fight, “state’s rights” is code for “if a state wants to discriminate, let them.”

The administration’s other actions, such as rescinding the Obama administration’s guidance protecting transgender students in schools and working to reverse Obamacare’s guidance protecting transgender patients in health care, further demonstrate that Trump seems to have little concern for transgender people whatsoever.

The White House dubbed this week “American Heroes Week.” Secretary Mattis is notably out of the office on “personal travel.”


This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe. ‘Like’ CAP Action on Facebook and ‘follow’ us on Twitter

Trump USA’s Fast-Forward Decline in the World

“Donald Trump has pressed ‘fast-forward’ on the decline of the United States.” – Chris Uhlmann

This is the most brutal and succinct analysis of Donald Trump, the man and the scripted, fake President*. Take 2 minutes and watch this. Then, pick your jaw up and wipe your tears.

Source:  Read the full article at Crooks & Liars

Trump Can’t Put His Ego Aside, Declares Voter Fraud, Forms Unwarranted Commission at Taxpayer Expense

Trump may have won the electoral college, but he lost the popular vote by a historic margin.  That fact apparently insults his fragile ego to the effect that he’s now amplified his claims of voter fraud and formed a commission that will look for the equivalent of lightning repeatedly striking the same exact spot.  Heading that commission will be Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach who championed an illegal voter suppression technique called “caging” and launched a program called Interstate Crosscheck to compare voter registration data across states and ferret out evidence of double voting.  Crosscheck, in the 30 states that took up using it, flagged 7.2 million possible double registrants, no more than four have actually been charged with deliberate double registration or double voting.  Very few actual cases of fraud being referred for prosecution.

A new investigation from Rolling Stone raises fresh concerns about Interstate Crosscheck, finding that its methodology has a built-in racial bias that puts people with African-American, Latino and Asian names at greater risk of being wrongly accused of double voting.

The Washington Post actually did a deep dive into the 2016 election looking for voter fraud:

We combed through the news-aggregation system Nexis to find demonstrated cases of absentee or in-person voter fraud – which is to say, examples of people getting caught casting a ballot that they shouldn’t – during this election. This excludes examples of voter registration fraud – the filing of fraudulent voter registration information. Those aren’t votes cast – and given that organizations often provide incentives for employees to register as many people as possible, registration fraud cases (while still rare) are more common.

The found a grand total of only four documented instances of voters attempted to cast fraudulent votes. Not four percent, literally four individuals — and most of them were Republican voters.  There are no other documented cases of voter fraud in the entire country in 2016. These four represent 0.000002% of the ballots cast, and again, they weren’t actually included in any official tallies.

But for Trump, that’s just all “fake news” and he’s now formed his very own commission using taxpayer dollars to find that elusive voter fraud …. or is it to look for ways to suppress the vote nationwide to assure his re-election in 2020.  And, Kris Kobach has now lobbed his first volley in that effort:


I thought Republicans were supposed to be “States’ Rights” advocates.  This effort by President Trump through his minions Kris Kobach and AG Jeff Sessions looks like an attempt to federally take over our voting processes so as to make it easier to suppress the vote across the entire nation.  Do you really want to give all your personal and voting information to the Republicans who just left a database of voter information wide-open and unprotected for any and all to see, including the Russians?  If you read the letter above, he wants:

  • Your First and Last Name, including Middle Name and/or initials
  • Registration/Mailing Addresses
  • Your Date of Birth
  • Your Political Party
  • Your Last 4 digits of your Social Security Number
  • Your Voter history (elections voted in since 2006)
  • Your Voter Status (Active/Inactive/Cancelled)
  • Info whether you registered in some other state
  • Info regarding your military status
  • Info regarding whether you’re an overseas citizen

But it gets worse as he states:  “Please be aware that any documents that are submitted to the full Commission will also be made available to the public.”  Wonderful!  Are they planning to make it easy for hackers/criminals to use your personally identifiable information to commit identity theft as a means of voter intimidation and suppression?

Apparently Nevada’s Secretary of State has no problem with complying with the request, but will at least withhold Social Security Numbers, Driver’s License Numbers, DMV-ID Card Numbers and email addresses:

Related Articles:

On Infrastructure: Trumpspeak is Cheap … and Empty

EPI’s Josh Bivens and Hunter Blair find that, in addition to “enormous cuts to public investment already embedded in their overall budget plan,” Trump’s budget funds only $200 billion of the $1 trillion he pledged for new infrastructure—leaving state taxpayers and infrastructure users to pick up 80% of the tab. Trump’s infrastructure plans are empty promises and they’re not backed by money.

“Trump’s plan is merely obfuscation and magical thinking.”

Read the full article … HERE.

House Democrats Call for Outside, Independent Commission to Investigate Trump-Russia Ties

Dear Democratic Colleague,

It has been reported that days before President Trump fired Comey, the FBI Director had asked for more resources for the Russian investigation.  Given Director Comey’s confirmation of the Trump-Russia inquiry, the President’s actions raise questions about whether this dismissal was an attempt to undermine that investigation. The fireworks at the Department of Justice demand that we remove the investigation from the Trump-appointed Justice Department leadership.

It is clear that in the 2016 campaign, the Russians interfered with the election by hacking and leaking information.  It is also clear that during the campaign there were repeated contacts between the Russians and individuals associated with the Trump campaign.  It is further clear that the public deserves to know the extent to which there was collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign to influence the result of the election.

I am calling upon Speaker Ryan and Republicans in Congress to join Democrats to support H.R. 356, the Protecting Our Democracy Act to create an outside, independent commission to investigate the Trump-Russia connection.  One hundred percent of House Democrats support this bipartisan bill.

Speaker Ryan must call up this legislation immediately upon our return next week.  If Republicans continue to work to hide the truth from the American people, it will be necessary for Democrats to file a discharge petition to force a vote on the Swalwell-Cummings measure.

If the President has nothing to hide, then he should welcome the creation of a commission providing an independent investigation to remove all doubt of a coverup.

I hope we can move forward in a bipartisan way to protect the integrity of our electoral system and the rule of law, both of which are fundamental to our democracy.

I welcome your thoughts on this critical issue.

Best Regards,

/s/Nancy Pelosi

Press Releases from NV Dems

Getting straight — A rough week for Dean Heller
Dean Heller Still Wants to Repeal the ACA
Heller getting a bit bipolar about Planned Parenthood funding
Heller Cheerleading Trump Attacks on Nevada’s National Monuments
How Does the Senator Explain That?
A complete and total disaster