Monthly Archives: December 2016

Trump Still Doing As He Pleases

Some years back, basketball showman Dennis Rodman wrote a book titled “Bad As I Wanna Be.”  Well, that could be Donald Trump’s title too, or at least “I’ll Do As I Please.”  He’s just engaged in some really pointless saber-rattling on the subject of nuclear build-up.  And about conflicts of interest, experts say that having his children run his businesses, especially while he also has them involved in presidential business, may well not pass muster.  There’s a clause in the Constitution that says the president cannot accept “emoluments” from other countries, and experts say he’ll be in violation of that from the minute he steps into office.

Politico article on his nuclear-related remarks

Politico article on White House protocols that he’s flouting

NPR report on his conflicts of interest

Another NPR report, same theme


Complete NPR Interview with Obama

Here’s both the video and the transcript of President Obama’s hour-long interview with NPR anchor Steve Inskeep:

Given that Obama is still pretty young, as outgoing presidents go, it will be interesting to see what role he plays in the political scene in the years to come.

Obama on Russian Hacking in NPR Interview


Steve Inskeep at NPR recently did a lengthy interview with President Obama.  Here’s the video of the portion where Obama says that some kind of action is going to be taken against Russia for the hacking:

What kind of action?  He doesn’t say.

So much is going on this year that feels like we’re all watching a very bizarre movie.


No Honeymoon for Trump?

When things are normal, when the incoming president and the majority in both chambers of Congress are of the same party, it’s usual for there to be a honeymoon period.  The honeymoon doesn’t last forever, of course, but it’s also usually not already over five weeks before the new president takes office.  But that’s when things are normal.  Things this year are about as abnormal as they can get.

What’s making Trump look bad, at the moment, is not so much the revelation that the CIA has found evidence of Russian interference in the election with a strategy of helping him win, as Trump’s defiant, dismissive response to it.  And one thing that became evident on Monday, December 12, is that it’s not just the Democrats in Congress, but the Republicans too, who want congressional investigation of this matter.  Trump thinks he can wave it all away just by saying that it’s the same CIA that got this and got that wrong in the past, and by saying that the Democrats are “playing the CIA card,” but the Republicans, including Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, are making it clear that, whether Trump likes it or not, the report is going to get some serious bipartisan attention.

Video of McConnell on Politico

Politico Story on Trump’s Compromised Position

And there are numerous other related stories on Politico, so do click here and follow some of the other links.  See the headlines on the news feed of this OpenLab page as well.




Confirmation Hearings for Trump’s Nominees: What to Expect

The Senate that convenes in January will have 52 Republicans and 48 Democrats.  (That includes Independents who caucus with either party.)  All of incoming President Donald Trump’s cabinet and judicial appointments will need to be confirmed by the Senate, by a simple majority vote.  How much will the Democrats be able to to interfere?

This article in the Washington Post explains why the Democrats won’t be able to filibuster down any confirmations other than for the Supreme Court, but this article in Politico explains why the Democrats will be able to make sure that the hearings take a good long time, causing the Republicans some inconvenience for all the ambitious things they’re hoping to do as they enjoy their retake of power in the White House.