Category Archives: Politics


Is U.S. President-Elect Trump Reigniting the Arms Race With Russia?

Given the increased level of aggression by Russia in recent years, the entire world has been forced to reconsider peace and arms treaties that were signed as far back as the 1970s. If past issues in Ukraine weren’t enough to indicate Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin has something up his sleeve, the current events in Syria should serve has ample warning that things are changing for the worse.

In 1970, the United States and Russia instituted the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which played a key role in putting an end to the arms race between military powers. In 2015, the Obama administration reaffirmed its dedication to the treaty through Secretary of State John Kerry when he told the United Nations,

“I am pleased to stand here today representing a president and an administration that is committed to the vision of a world without nuclear weapons and to taking the prudent actions that are necessary to one day make that possible.”

It’s only been seven weeks since President-elect Donald Trump won the U.S. Presidential election. While its been believed he has a strong friendship with Putin, he has been driven in recent days to state the U.S. might need to reverse its position and start ramping up the country’s nuclear arms program. Yes, that could mean reigniting the arms race with Russia. It would also stand to create a desire in other countries to reestablish its own nuclear arms programs.

In a recent interview with Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough of the “Morning Joe” show, Trump had this to say: “Let it be an arms race, because we will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.” In a tweet, he added ‘The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.’

It remains to be seen if Trump has merely been posturing, but the world have been strong enough to catch the attention of leaders throughout the world.


President Obama Confronts Putin Over Alleged Hacking

Based on information provided by 17 different government agencies, subsequently confirmed by the FBI, President Barack Obama now strongly supports the notion that the Russians, and maybe Vladimir, are responsible for hacking into the DNC’s computer. This resulted in them wrongfully influencing the Presidential Election in favor of President-elect Donald Trump.

Regarding Putin’s possible involvement, President Obama said to reporters, “Not much happens in Russia without Vladimir Putin,” later adding “I will let you make that determination as to whether there are high-level Russian officials who go off rogue and decide to tamper with the U.S. election process without Vladimir Putin knowing about it.”

While warning the Russians and promising some form of retaliation, the President commented, “The Russians can’t change us or significantly weaken us. They are a smaller country, they are a weaker country, their economy doesn’t produce anything that anyone wants to buy except oil and gas and arms. They don’t innovate. But they can impact us if we lose track of who we are. They can impact us if we abandon our values.”

Without any proof forthcoming, both Donal Trump and the Russians deny any involvement in the hacking that took place in October and at points prior in the election cycle. The situation has become serious enough for some electors to request the opportunity to see some of the evidence, if it exists, prior to casting the final electoral votes, confirming Trump as the U.S.’ next president.

At this point, President Obama wants all Americans to know he will deal with the situation in the harshest way possible. He stated, “Our goal continues to be to send a clear message to Russia or others not to do this to us because we can do stuff to you, but it is also important for us to do that in a thoughtful, methodical way. Some of it we do publicly. Some of it we will do in a way that they know but not everybody will.”


Obama Orders Hacking Investigation

After the 2016 election, an angry Democratic Party turned its ire away from President-elect Donald Trump and pointed directly at Russia for allegedly hacking into computers belonging to members of the Democratic National Committee and other political organizations.

During the election cycle, the FBI said they could find no evidence that the Russians were involved in the hacking that led to the dissemination of information that is being blamed for Democrat Hilary Clinton’s loss in the election. It now appears the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency is convince the Russians were indeed involved.

Now, President Barack Obama has demanded a full investigation into the matter through White House homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco. When asked about the CIA’s high level of confidence that the Russians were the culprits, Monaco replied, “We may have crossed into a new threshold,” later adding about the malicious attacks “And it’s incumbent upon us to take a stock of that, to review, to conduct some after-action, to understand what this means and what has happened and to impart lessons learned.”

Obama’s decision to have all pertinent agencies combine efforts to get to the bottom of these hacking incidences has drawn into question his motivation for doing so. According to Deputy White House press secretary Eric Schultz, its “not an effort to challenge the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.” However, he added, “it’s a huge priority. It’s a major priority for the president.”

For the U.S. and future elections, it’s important to get to the bottom of the issue. U.S. citizens need to know whether or not foreign government are trying to interfere in the country’s political process. While Trump believes it could be anyone, including “some guy in his home in New Jersey,” the country is united in its desire to make it never happens again.


OPEC Agrees to 4.5% Oil Production Cuts

With all eyes on OPEC in anticipation of oil production cuts, the fractured group has finally reached an agreement to cut oil production by about 4.5% off current production levels. That translates to about 1.2 million barrels per day.

The cuts were needed because of the uneasy economical environment that has been plaguing the oil producing countries since the U.S. lifted sanctions on Iran. Despite the signing of the agreement, it will be up to Saudi Arabia’s official to be diligent about policing other cartel members that in the past have been quick to look for ways to circumvent these types of agreements. The ultimate goal is to get oil prices stabilized within a range that allows OPEC members to improve economically while keeping non-OPEC members from increasing output productions levels, trying to capitalize on higher oil prices.

The immediate reaction from commodity traders and analysts has largely been positive. While recent oil prices have been moving between $40 to $55 a barrel, this agreement is expected to stabilize prices above the $50 benchmark into the foreseeable future.

Around the world, regional oil producers, especially in the U.S., are expected to start ramping up exploration and drilling efforts if oil settles above $50 a barrel. For high-cost oil producers, a target amount of $55 to $60 a barrel is where the market would need to go before they would be able to jump into the fray.

These cuts would appear to be temporary by nature due in large part to exemptions given to Libya and Nigeria, allowing them to increase production in order to offset issues related to significant supply outages caused by internal conflicts. Iran has agreed to freeze at current production levels, another concession granted as the country continues to stabilize its economy in the aftermath of the release of U.S. sanctions.


Are the Election Results in the U.S. Resolved?

As contested and ugly as the campaign season was in the recent presidential election in the U.S., it appears that the ugliness has continued in the aftermath of President-elect Donald Trump’s stunning win over Democrat Hilary Clinton. It would seem that many of Clinton’s most adamant supporters are simply unwilling to accept the loss and are willing to invest a significant amount of time and money to try to get the results reversed.

The cause is being led by Green Candidate Jill Stein, who is now working in cooperation with the Clinton campaign to get a vote recount in key states like Wisconsin and Michigan. Keeping in mind that Stein received less than 1% of the overall vote, she appears to be relying on information provided by computer programmers, who claim there were issues related to voter patterns in those states that might indicate manipulation.

In the past couple of days, a formal request for a vote recount has been received in Wisconsin. The request has been approved and the recount has been scheduled to begin next week. In the meantime, president Barack Obama has expressed his concerns about whether or not it is wise to call into question the U.S.’ election process.

For his part, Trump has a few concerns of his own. After spending much time prior to the election showing concern over whether the election process had been rigged, he is now touting the idea that “millions” of illegal votes had been cast in the election. There could be a basis for some concern, recognizing the fact states like California will allow illegal immigrants to get a drivers licensed, which could be used to register and actually vote.

With so many allegations being tossed about, it would appear the election still has a ways to go before final ratification. Until that time, the plot will continue to thicken.


US Immigration Battle Lines are Being Drawn

With the surprising results of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election in the books, the reality has set in among illegal immigrants that their days of running free in the country may be limited.

On one side of the issue sits President-elect, Republican Donald Trump, who made campaign promises to build a wall along the U.S./Mexico border. He also promised to attempt to unravel the controversial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which gives protection to adults who were illegally brought into the country as children.

On the other side sits the state of California with its far-left liberal legislature that has made it possible for illegal immigrants to get driver’s licenses, health coverage for children and in-state tuition. Combined with sanctuary cities like San Francisco, the whole state has done everything it can to protect illegals, even those that have been or are currently suspected of committing crimes.

In the days following election, thousands of protestors throughout the country took to the streets to protest a Trump presidency. In California, many more thousands of protestors blocked freeways in Oakland and Los Angeles, hoping to drive home the point they didn’t intend to follow the policies that might be set forth by the Trump administration.

To date, Trump, nor anyone else from his transition team, has made any clear indications about what the GOP has in mind as a new immigration policy. Based on comments made by Kris Kobach, a member of Trump’s immigration policy transition team, the options on the table include mass deportations and a slowing down of the processing of visas for the citizens of Mexico who are looking to come into the country legally.

Based on other campaign promises made by new California U.S. Senator-elect Kamala Harris, there will be fight for the rights of illegal immigrants. As the country moves closer to inauguration day, the lines are being drawn in the sand and an immigration war seems imminent.


The Politics of Innuendo

When news broke from Fox News that an indictment related to Clinton Foundation was imminent, Republicans were falling all over themselves to make sure they had the opportunity to put fuel on the fire. Unfortunately, the usually reliable Fox News Anchor Brett Baier might have spoken out of school.

Based on information derived from a couple of anonymous sources with close connections to the FBI, Baier told viewers that an indictment was “likely.” It didn’t take long for other news organizations to rebutt his claim, which ended up being unfounded. He would later come on the air to admit he had made a mistake. He went on to say that he meant to indicate the investigation into the foundation was still ongoing.

His report came of the heels of other claims being leaked from anonymous sources within the FBI. Earlier in the week, information came out that the FBI and DOJ were at odds over the DOJ’s unwillingness to convene a grand jury. There were also stories bandied about that as many as 100 FBI agents were prepared to offer their resignation over the decision.

With all innuendo that’s being put out in the news just a few days short of the election, both Democrats and Republicans are getting a little edgy. As stated by Fox News’ liberal voice Juan Williams, “This is so much scurrilous rumor, innuendo. I don’t think it’s fair to anyone. We would never do that to Trump. If it was done by the liberal media, you would call it out. So let’s just stop it.”

While the Democrats, led by U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings, were calling for an investigation into these leaks, the Republicans were busy trumpeting the information. It should be noted that Cummings is the Representative that almost fell out of his chair with joy when FBI Director James Comey stated he didn’t think there was enough to indict Hilary Clinton on anything.


FBI Head James Comey Creates Political Firestorm

With the announcement he has decided to reopen the investigation into the use of a private server by Democrat Presidential candidate Hilary Clinton, FBI head James Comey has thrown himself into the middle of a political firestorm. The announcement comes but a few months after he declined to recommend the prosecution of Clinton because he felt no reasonable prosecutor would pursue charges.

At the time, Republicans were infuriated that he would come to the conclusion prosecution would be a waste of time after he admitted Clinton and her staff were “extremely careless” with the way they handled classified information. He also declined to initiate an investigation into the Clinton Foundation, even though there were signs of possible “pay for play” activities.

In recent weeks, the FBI has been investigating former Congressman Anthony Weiner related to concerns he was sexting a minor. During the investigation, the FBI seized the computers and mobile devices belonging to Weiner and his estranged wife Huma Abedin. It just so happens that Abedin is one of Clinton’s top aides and confidant. Without going into detail, Comey wrote a letter to key members of Congress about the fact he was reopening the investigation.

With this announcement, the Republicans have been elated and hopeful that justice may still rule the day regarding Clinton’s alleged dubious activities. On the other side of the isle, Clinton and the Democrat party are infuriated he would make such a decision public less than two weeks before the election. According to news reports, he even consulted with Attorney General Loretta Lynch about his decision, only to be warned he could be perceived as trying to influence the outcome of the election.

Regardless of his motivations, it seems clear that Comey and his people have seen something that would move them to place themselves in the middle of the election process. In time, the information will be released to the public. For now, there’s a lot of innuendo and doubt surrounding the entire election process here in 2016.