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AMERICA IN CRISIS

The Trump Administration Is in Shambles and Disintegrating Right Before Our Eyes

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AMERICA IN CRISIS

With Kirstjen Nielsen’s ouster there is no Secretary of Homeland Security, no Secretary of Defense, no Secretary of the Air Force, no U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, no Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director, no Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator, no Secretary of the Interior, no Administrator of the Small Business Administration, no Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Director, no Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator, and no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner.

It was July 21, 2016. Candidate Donald Trump stunned America by announcing at the Republican National Convention, “I alone can fix it.”

The response way back then was fear and trepidation, with charges of authoritarianism – and a good dose of mockery, as CNBC offered hours later:

Candidate Hillary Clinton responded as many others did too:

And again on the campaign trail:

We were warned. We knew what was about to happen.

And here we are, approaching the three-year anniversary of Trump’s promise, that he would work alone, that he “alone” would “fix” America.

President Trump Sunday night fired his Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen.

Trump called it “leaving.” Her “resignation” was to be effective immediately. (She later tweeted she will leave April 10.)

The headlines also read that Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was “leaving.” That she was “out.”

It’s clear Trump fired Secretary Nielsen. CBS News reports this is part of Stephen Miller’s plan to insert extremists into the administration.

But what is also clear is that President Trump increasingly is operating in that “I alone” mentality.

And America is far more weak as a result.

It’s not a stretch or hyperbolic to say that at this moment in time, heaven forbid we are attacked, there will be chaos – and many lives lost, as a result of how withered the Trump administration is.

With Kirstjen Nielsen’s ouster there is no Secretary of Homeland Security, no Secretary of Defense, no Secretary of the Air Force, no U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, no Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director, no White House Chief of Staff, no White House Communications Director, no Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator, no Secretary of the Interior, no Administrator of the Small Business Administration, no Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Director, no Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator, and no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner.

Those are the top positions that are empty.

(“Acting” officials, which are in place for many of these leadership positions, are not the same or the same caliber as Senate-confirmed officials, which most of these positions are supposed to be.)

The Trump administration’s White House web site on his Cabinet (which for some reason omits the Acting Secretary of Defense), says “the Cabinet’s role is to advise the President on any subject he may require relating to the duties of each member’s respective office.”

Who’s advising the president when all these positions are effectively empty, or filled with, basically, a substitute, a stand-in, someone not experienced enough for the job?

Not convinced America is in crisis yet?

Think about this.

At the Dept. of Defense, 25% of key positions as of April 1 remain unfilled, according to The Washington Post and the Partnership for Public Service. At the State Dept., that number jumps to 39%. Homeland Security: 44%.

Granted, some percentage of those are nominated and awaiting Senate confirmation, but if Democrats are holding them up, there’s reason to believe it’s the quality of the nominee that’s the problem, given Trump’s record.

As The Post notes, there are currently 140 key positions requiring Senate confirmation for which the Trump administration has never nominated anyone.

Here’s a small sampling:

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE:
Chief Management Officer, Deputy chief management officer, Undersecretary for personnel and readiness, Principal deputy undersecretary for personnel and readiness, Assistant secretary for international security affairs, Assistant secretary for logistics and materiel readiness.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE:
Undersecretary for public diplomacy, Coordinator for threat reduction programs, U.S. Ambassadors 19 countries, including to three Central American countries: Honduras, Belize, and Panama. Other critical countries without a U.S. Ambassador: Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Pakistan, and Qatar.

HOMELAND SECURITY:
Deputy secretary, Assistant secretary for policy.

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE:
Undersecretary for industry and security

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION:
General counsel, Undersecretary, Inspector General

America is in crisis. There are fewer and fewer experts advising the president, and none who are able to tell him “no.”

Image via The White House

 

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AMERICA IN CRISIS

Federal Appeals Court Rules Obamacare Individual Mandate Unconstitutional

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A federal appeals court has just ruled ObamaCare’s individual mandate is unconstitutional, but neglected to go as far as a lower court that reached the same conclusion. The case was brought by GOP officials across 20 states, led by Texas, and is supported by President Donald Trump.

The court sent the case back to a lower court directing judges to determine if the law could be saved without the individual mandate.

The 20 Republican Attorneys General and other state officials asked the lower court to declare ObamaCare unconstitutional in its entirety, a move President Trump and his Dept. of Justice have actively supported.

Almost one year ago to the day U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled the individual mandate was “inseparable” from the Affordable Care Act.

“The appeals court’s decision keeps the legal threat to Obamacare alive while reducing the likelihood the Supreme Court could render a final verdict on the law before the 2020 elections,” Politico reports.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

 

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AMERICA IN CRISIS

‘Playing Clean Up for Trump’: AG Barr Destroyed for Statement Directly Contradicting 400 Page Inspector General Report

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“One of the most dangerous men in America.”

Attorney General Bill Barr‘s reputation was forever tainted after he lied in his infamous four-page memo that allegedly summarized the Mueller Report. Over time his reputation has continued to suffer strong attacks, based on his actions, which appear to be motivated by one goal: the protection of President Donald Trump and the concept of the unitary executive, or an all-powerful U.S. president.

AG Barr has just released a statement one again that mischaracterizes another important DOJ report, one just-released that spans more than 400 pages. That Inspector General report finds there was no political bias against President Trump when the DOJ opened its Russia probe – including an investigation into Trump and his associates.

The report also destroys Trump’s repeated lies that President Barack Obama spied on him and wire tapped Trump Tower.

In response, Barr issued this false statement defending Trump and casting doubt on the work product of his own agency and hand-picked IG:

To be clear, Barr’s above conclusions, regardless of framing them as opinion, are false.

And as a result, Barr is being destroyed on social media.

Here’s a former federal prosecutor:

And here’s a NY Times op-ed writer and CNN contributor:

A former DOJ chief spokesperson:

More:

Image: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead via Flickr

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AMERICA IN CRISIS

Pentagon Panicked as US Troop Affinity for Russia Grows: Report

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According to a report from Voice of America, military leaders at the Pentagon are growing increasingly concerned with the popularity of Russian President Vladimir Putin within the military ranks due to the influence of Russian propaganda and Donald Trump’s boosterism.

The report states, “While most Americans still see Moscow as a key U.S. adversary, new polling suggests that view is changing, most notably among the households of military members. The second annual Reagan National Defense Survey, completed in late October, found nearly half of armed services households questioned, 46%, said they viewed Russia as ally. Overall, the survey found 28% of Americans identified Russia as an ally, up from 19% the previous year.”

That same survey links Putin’s increasing popularity to the election of President Donald Trump.

“Pollsters found the positive views of Russia seemed to be ‘predominantly driven by Republicans who have responded to positive cues from [U.S.] President [Donald] Trump about Russia,’ according to an executive summary accompanying the results,” VOA reports.

At the same time, Washington Monthly reports, “Now, due to purely partisan interests, the nation’s military is being warped into supporting the hostile foreign power–against our own values, geopolitical interests, and intelligence services It’s like the plot from a bad spy novel, except that it’s happening right out in the open. This is the situation as it stands between Trump, Russia, the Republican Party and Ukraine.”

“U.S. defense and security officials have told VOA that Russia has been targeting U.S. military personnel, specifically, with a ramped-up influence campaign, as far back as 2017 in preparation for the November 2018 midterm elections,” VOA reports. “Russia’s goal, they said, was not so much to swing the result of the elections but to seed U.S. military personnel with the right type of disinformation so that they would be predisposed to view Russia and its actions in a more favorable way in the future.”

You can read more here.

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