Reflections on 2018

Ken AshfordTrump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

1968 is often thought of as the most turbulent year domestically in modern American history, but I think 2018 is right up there. Sure, there wasn’t rioting in the streets, but the limitations of democracy and our constitutional rule of law remain tested. Trump is, if not a criminal, certainly immoral, and without question the worst custodian of this country. … Read More

Why Should Democrats Negotiate When Team Trump Can’t Even Agree On What A “Wall” Means?

Ken AshfordGubmint Shutdown, Immigration and Xenophobia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

In an interview published Sunday in the Los Angeles Times, Kelly was quoted saying that the current White House plan for a barrier is “not a wall.” “The president still says ‘wall’ — oftentimes, frankly, he’ll say ‘barrier’ or ‘fencing.’ Now he’s tended toward steel slats,” Kelly said. “But we left a solid concrete wall early on in the administration … Read More

Weekly List 111

Ken AshfordWeekly ListLeave a Comment

Increasingly, Trump stands alone. The generals are gone, much of his experienced and competent senior staffers have resigned or been fired. This week, in a tantrum over his decision to shut down the government, Trump stewed and tweeted and blamed and attacked from the White House, while the rest of Congress was home for the Christmas holiday. At one point … Read More

Cohen, Who Claims To Never Have Been To Prague, Was In Prague It Seems

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

This story right now is a little under the radar, but McClatchy has the scoop: A mobile phone traced to President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen briefly sent signals ricocheting off cell towers in the Prague area in late summer 2016, at the height of the presidential campaign, leaving an electronic record to support claims that Cohen … Read More

NC09 Follies

Ken AshfordCourts/Law, Election 2018, Local Interest, Voter Suppression & Voter SecurityLeave a Comment

It is hard to describe the craziness going on in the Ninth District of North Carolina. But I will try. We really need to start in December 2016. Following a bitter gubernatorial campaign where incumbent Republican Pat McCrory is defeated by Democrat Roy Cooper, the GOP NC General Assembly holds special sessions before the new Democratic governor comes into office. … Read More

Weekly List 110

Ken AshfordWeekly ListLeave a Comment

This week Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, thought to be one of the sane and sober voices remaining in the regime, resigned in a public letter rebuking Trump’s treatment of allies and deference to authoritarians. Trump’s abrupt withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria was the last straw for Mattis, a decision reportedly made on a call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip … Read More

Government Shutdown Watch

Ken AshfordCongress, Economy & Jobs & Deficit, Immigration and Xenophobia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Last night, the House passed a continuing resolution bill that included the $5 billion for a border wall, which Trump wanted. but the bill is DOA in the Senate and, we’re told, has no chance of passing. Trump is unchained. Mattis resigned yesterday after Trump’s decision, contra his advisers and, well, everyone, to pull out of Syria leaving a huge … Read More

Mattis: I’m Outta Here

Ken AshfordMilitary Issues, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Mattis quits. He wasn’t fired – he quit, no doubt due to the fact that Trump decided on his own to withdraw troops. The resignation letter is astonishing. It does not praise Trump. It is cold and icy. Mattis’ resignation letter makes it clear. “My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear eyed about both malign actors … Read More

The Treasury Department Did WHAT?!?

Ken AshfordCybersecurity, L'Affaire RusseLeave a Comment

Buzzfeed has a scoop: US Treasury Department officials used a Gmail back channel with the Russian government as the Kremlin sought sensitive financial information on its enemies in America and across the globe, according to documents reviewed by BuzzFeed News. The extraordinary unofficial line of communication arose in the final year of the Obama administration — in the midst of what … Read More

The Barr Memo

Ken AshfordCourts/Law, L'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Trump’s pick for the Attorney General (to replace Jeff Sessions) is William Barr, who previously served as Attorney General under President George H.W. Bush. In June 2018, Barr sent the Justice Department an unsolicited memo questioning the appropriateness of an obstruction probe special counsel Robert Mueller is said to be conducting of certain Trump actions in the White House. Barr in … Read More

Trump’s New Positions On The Wall And Syria Has Some Conservatives In An Uproar

Ken AshfordImmigration and Xenophobia, Republicans, Syria, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Let;s start with the wall and note how sad Trump has become. He used to have so much vision: Oct. 3, 2015“We’re going to build a wall, and it’s going to be impenetrable, it will be a real wall.” — Jan. 16, 2016“China built a wall that’s 13,000 miles long 2,000 years ago. My ambition is for ours to be … Read More

Trump Undermines Military Intelligence — This Time On Syria

Ken AshfordRussia, Syria, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

On Monday, the U.S. special representative for Syria engagement publicly pledged that the U.S. commitment to Syria would not waiver. The very next day, Trump reportedly decided to rapidly withdraw all U.S. troops there.  Today he tweeted this: Trump appears to be discarding his entire Syria and Iran strategy at a single stroke, giving up any and all U.S. influence in the … Read More