Can they guarantee that they won’t break? NO!
Just in case you don’t read to the end of this long post, let me begin by informing you that there have already been 2 leaks in North Dakota. One was a leak in Enbridge’s Line number 2 near Neche, North Dakota which was due to material defect. The second was on the Keystone pipe itself in Sargent County, North Dakota which was due to failure of a threaded connection. There were so many other leaks on this pipeline that TransCanada Corporation, the owner of Keystone was cited. The risk is not just to Lake Oahe, the water source for the Standing Rock Sioux, but also to the Missouri River which is the water source for 2.5 million people.
http://environmentmissouri.org/sites/environment/files/reports/Top_Ten_Frightening_-Facts_About_the_-Missouri_River_2010.pdf. The carcinogen Benzene will run into the headwaters of an important water source. Also, petroleum contains sulfur and nitrogen compounds, “which are dangerous by themselves and can react with the environment to produce secondary poisonous chemicals.” http://www.pollutionissues.com/Na-Ph/Petroleum.html
When I first saw what was happening in Standing Rock, I was angry. First of all, the United States Government was violating a treaty that the Sioux tribe had with the U.S. government – the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie. Once again, our government was putting the desires of big money over the needs and rights of Native Americans. Haven’t we as a country done enough to the Native Americans of this land? When will we honor our treaties?
The Art of the Steal
I know what you are thinking. Trump hasn’t finished his tax plan yet, and you are right. But there are a few things that we absolutely know right now. We know that the top 1% will get Huuge benefits. And Everyone else will not.
This is what we suspect:
Correction: The Alternate tax is the minimum that individuals must pay not corporations.
- Corporate Taxes will go down from 35% to 15-20%
- They will eliminate the alternate tax, which is the minimum amount that corporations must pay. That caused Donald Trump a bundle on the one tax return we saw.
- Remove the estate tax, which will keep tens of millions in the hands of the same people, setting up dynasties.
- The middle class will get a standard deduction of $24,000. But that means that other deductions that we do get will be useless.
- Mortgage tax deduction will stay.
- The middle class will lose deductions – Property taxes, medical expenses, and the 401K deduction. The 401 K is the one way that many Americans save their money for retirement. So, Paul Ryan whines that people use Social Security for retirement but then he makes the 401K less effective. We lose again.
- There was discussion of removing the Social Security Tax altogether as a middle class tax reduction. But then there will be no Social Security for future generations. I repeat my previous post, Remove the Social Security cap.
We will all have to wait and see what the final tax plan the White House contains. But I am very confident that most of us will not benefit from it.
Trump has only been in office for three months. Yet his administration has been involved in one scandal after another. One can barely get through the day without some new revelation or stupid remark by this child president. The latest stupid comment is the mistake on the location of his armada; not going to the Korean peninsula but rather to Australia for training exercises. Another mistake that the White House staff had to fix and then deny that it was really a mistake. The list of Trump people connected to Putin and the Russian government is long and it includes Trump himself. I have information on these people in a previous post called ‘The Truth Will Not Set Him Free’ so you can read about them on that post. The GOP is throwing one roadblock after another in front of investigators to try and prevent the truth from being revealed.
This week the Trump administration has issued new orders with regards to visitors to the White House. Now visitors identities will not be disclosed, eliminating any transparency, something that candidate Trump promised on the campaign trail. This is another attempt by the White House to cover up Trump activities.
I hope that honest investigators and the press will prevail and finally get to the truth of Trump’s connections and collusion with Russian interference in our 2016 presidential campaign.
“Next in importance to freedom and justice is popular education with which neither freedom nor justice can be permanently maintained.” James Garfield
I am a Michigander, so I can see the damage that has been done to Michigan public schools by Betsy Devos’ plans to create the charter school system here. She has used ‘alternative facts’ to support her plan for Charter schools in Michigan. DeVos is a lobbyist not an educator. She used her enormous wealth to establish the Great Lakes Education Project which is a PAC used to lobby in favor of charter schools.
DeVos has essentially created a whole industry, whose main purpose is to use public money meant for compulsory education, to support charter schools. She donates millions to the PAC which is used to “encourage” the republican led legislature to support her plans for charter schools. Continue reading
The Nearly Departed
Donald Trump is desperately trying to deflect attention away from his many connections to Russia. He is currently riding a small wave of approval for his bombings in Syria and Afghanistan. He is fervently hoping that everyone will now forget all about his connections to Russia. However, he has campaign managers and even cabinet members who have direct connections to Russian oligarchs, who in turn have direct connections to Putin. This list also includes Trump’s son and son-in-law. And of course there is Donald Trump himself. He went on Russian Television (RT) in July, 2016 and encouraged Russia to invade our election process by hacking Hillary Clinton’s email. He said “I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” Why ask a foreign country to search American emails? Russia is an adversary of the U.S on the world stage. Is that treason? We now know that Russia actively worked to influence our presidential campaign in 2016.
Trump has placed all the following people in high government positions. People who will not want to conduct an honest investigation into his or their connections to Russia. Further, Trump is now considering firing James Comey, the FBI director who is conducting an investigation into Trump campaign and transition team connections to the Russian government.
These are some of Trump’s close associates: Continue reading
I am afraid that many people don’t realize that there is a cap on the amount of Social Security taxes that people have to pay out of their gross pay each year. For 2017 that amount is $127,200. This means that after paying $127,200 into Social Security, that person pays no additional money into social security for the remainder of the year. So millionaires and billionaires essentially pay nothing into Social Security. What do you think would happen if all of a sudden they started paying on their entire gross income like the majority of us do? All of a sudden Social Security would no longer be a problem. Bernie Sanders said that with the cap increased to $250,000, Social Security will be solvent for 50 years. That is something that most billionaires, millionaires, well to do, and especially Mr. Ryan really do not want to happen. And, they do not want the American people to know about that also. I don’t know what Ryan and the republican party have against the working and middle classes, but the result is a rapidly diminishing middle class and a rapidly increasing class of people permanently in debt and in servitude to the top 1%. (Lest you think I am biased, I include Democrats in this group. While they do work to help working people, they have done nothing to publicize this bit of information.) Without Social Security the wealthy also eliminate any ability for the poor, working and middle classes to retire, they will work till they die. But since Ryan and Trump want to eliminate health care, there will be no need for Social Security because people will die before they they ever get to use their Social Security. The top 1% will succeed in eliminating the Baby Boomers, but they will also succeed in virtually eliminating the ability of future generations to retire.
President Trump’s new tax plan will eliminate the Social Security tax completely. Don’t be fooled. This is not to benefit the middle class, it is entirely to benefit the top 1%.
Donald Trump is an immature man. We all know that, but to have an immature president is frightening. This business of tweeting allegations against former President Obama, and now Susan Rice without a shred of evidence is incredibly damaging to our country. To the world, this immature behavior makes our current president look like a petulant child who wants to always get his way even if it means lying. Trump’s newest tweeting disaster is also designed to keep people from looking at his own real Russian scandal. There is real documentation to support the charges that Trump’s campaign and transition teams were involved in contacts with Russia and very possibly in collusion with Russia to influence the 2016 U.S presidential election. Flynn, Manafort, and Carter Page are just three of the Trump regime to have documented ties to Russia/Putin.
The result is that the world is less stable. This is what Putin wants, and this is what Bannon wants. But hopefully this is not what President Trump really wants. Hopefully someone in the West Wing will be able to explain to Trump what his actions are really doing to the United States and to the World.
Are the people who have been leaking information about the illegal activities in the Trump campaign, transition, White House staff, and about the Vice President and President, committing a crime? I don’t think so. When people become civil servants they must take the Civil Service Oath. All civil servants must take the oath. Part of that oath states that civil servants must support and defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign AND domestic. That last part is most important in our considerations. When members of the executive branch are or were actively engaged in crimes against our country, then it is the duty of any government employee to reveal that information. That is protecting our our constitution, our country. Just because Mr. Trump is president does not mean that he can commit any crime he wants. He is not above the law. But he seems to think that he is. He continues the shady business practices he used as a civilian. He was frequently caught and simply settled to get out of a tight space. His enormous ego allowed him to believe in the past and now, that he is beyond the law. He is not. Right now he is being sheltered by spineless republicans who would sacrifice the country to save their power rather than to stand up to a bunch of corrupt billionaires. Their crimes will come out eventually, but will it be in time to save our democracy? Hopefully yes. In the meantime, I hope that the courageous civil servants who are sacrificing their own security and even safety will continue to release the information about the illegal activities of this administration. I consider them to be heroes.
There are three words that should never EVER be put together. Those words are I Love War. Most of the world cringed when Trump made that statement. It was early in the campaign and I was disgusted. I thought that it was just another ploy to get the far right to buy into his rhetoric. But I was wrong. No one believed that Donald Trump could ever be elected. But with the help or Russian hackers, spies and oligarchs Trump pulled off the worst scenario possible. He won. Immediately people stopped sleeping, terrified at the though of the damage and hurt he could inflict on the people of this country, and the world. A few days after the election in an interview Trump said to the people not to be afraid. That didn’t help. Every action he has taken is worse than I could even believe.
Now Trump seems to be egging on North Korea’s child dictator. A child president talking to an insane lunatic dictator. Is that something that the United States needs? Tillerson is an inefectual Secretary of State. Now in fact, employees of the State Department have been told not to speak to Mr. Tillerson nor to even look at his eyes. Today Mattis said that if China can’t take care of North Korea then the U.S. would. Inflamatory remarks and definitely not diplomatic. Whatever happened to diplomacy? That is apparently not one of the Donald’s many ‘words’.
Rep. Devin Nunes has been very busy. So busy that it is hard to follow all of his activities lately. What he is doing and why? I am going to list in order the actions that Nunes has taken to the best of my ability. Why he is doing these things is open to debate.
- March 4 – Trump tweets that Obama wiretapped his home.
- March 12 – Conway says to Bergen Record that microwaves can be used for surveillance.
- March 14 – Spicer said that Trump really didn’t mean wiretapping when he tweeted that Obama wiretapped Trump. Spicer said that Trump put quotes around wiretapping and that meant ‘just surveillance’. Continue reading