Ludy Ongkeko

Ludy Ongkeko

Ludy Ongkeko (4)

Trump's branding certain members of the judiciary as ‘so-called judges’

 The United States' populace thought it had enough of Trump, indeed, in constant repetition against some judges, while he denounced one in particular during his presidential campaign rallies.
        One of his earlier complaints was focused on what he questioned as the impartiality of a federal judge hearing the Trump University lawsuit.
        Trump declared the judge's ethnic heritage would make him biased.
        The issue on the federal judges worsened when President Trump accused the federal judges in the midst of decisions that came from three courts that temporarily halted his travel bans growing out of purely political motivations and limited intelligence.
        Yet, what was particularly noted as disheartening, was to hear disrespect for a federal judge as aired and publicized by Jeff Sessions, the attorney general.
        As  the nation's highest-ranking law enforcement officer, Sessions attacked the Hawaii-based US District Judge Derrick Watson after the latter issued a temporary restraining order against the second Trump travel ban.
        Sessions' commentary was one of the issues.  He complained that "a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific" could issue a nationwide decree.
        The aforesaid Sessions statement was eerily reminiscent of Trump's earlier dismissive tweet that the US, district judge who stopped his first travel ban was a "so-called judge."
        Of course it is established that federal judges should be above legitimate criticism. 
        Federal jurists deal with vital, and at times life-threatening issues; they need to hear well-informed and zealously advocated contrary views both inside the courtroom and out.
        Indeed, there is an underlying difference between legitimate criticism and crass delegitimization. 
        Just based on his remarks, Sessions was judged to have crossed the line when he intertwined potentially valid criticism of district court injunctive powers with a dismissive joke.
        According to an expert in matters affecting jurists, valid reasons exist on why federal-judge bashing is beyond the pale.
        First:  Politicians who attack federal judges are not fighting fair.  Traditions and ethical canons applicable to federal judges severely limit their ability to respond. Most of the time, judicial decision-making transcends politics.
        Second:  A variety of "rule of law" factors, such as precedent and doctrines of judicial restraint, influence even the most highly visible judicial rulings: two of the four lower-court  judges ruling against the first Trump travel ban were appointed by Republican presidents.
        Third:  The most important: all Americans, regardless of their political affiliation and ideology have a vested interest in preserving the national judiciary as a third branch of government with the independence and respect to check and balance non-judicial officials.
        Returning to the term used by Sessions, it did remind the populace of a certain Trump tweet that the US judge who stopped his first travel ban was a "so-called judge."
        Both the Trump comment followed by Sessions' opinion on the federal judge in Hawaii, carried limitless disrespect of the judiciary which is considered independent of the executive and legislative branches of government.
        Today's presidents and Congresses have awesome powers affecting the people's lives, fortunes and freedoms. Therefore, it is of absolute significance that courts need the independence and respect, not only review presidential orders and federal legislation, but also to declare them invalid.
        Every president, attorney general and member of Congress has an obligation.
        Theirs is to reinforce, not undermine, respect for the crucial constitutional values served by the country's independent federal judiciary.
        It is hoped that the Supreme Court will continue to support the country's constitutional values and standing as a democracy.

Protests continue against Trump's continued refusal to release his tax returns


Closer to the hundred days into theTrump presidency: photographs and anger have spoken for themselves.
Scenes allover are simply depicted across the country: from Los Angeles to Boston; from Seattle to Raleigh, North Carolina.
Palm Beach,Florida, illustrated how three thousand people spread out in droves to display a veritable racket contiguous to Trump's Mar-a-Largo resort, the first choice of the '45th' who has proceeded to line up his weekend activities without any contradiction at all.
The now well-known hideout of Trump's new I.D., 'the First Golfer' drew some easy-to-read signs: "Twinkle Twinkle Little Czar, Putin Put You Where You Are," struck a vehemence on the Trump motorcade: it was forced to take a circuitous route back from Trump International Golf Club, where the owner was reported to have concluded his sixteenth round since taking office, courtesy of a Palm Beach Post report.
The same report stirred a twitter grumble from Trump: "Someone should look into who paid for the small organized rallies. The election is over."
Truth to tell, the named protests weren't small at all. Nobody paid for them.
Indeed, as Trump has underscored: the election is over. But what kind of leadership has he shown that has spawned protests galore?
Those same protests represented the most recent manifestations of a popular movement that Trump himself has been adjudged to have inspired. Isn't it an example of one that has established itself as an important presence on the national political scene? Similarly, it is regarded as one which Trump and his Republican allies/enablers increasingly need to contend with.
The two-week Easter break saw numbers of G.O.P. congressional members forced to contend with their own constituents upset over the failed Republican effort to dismantle Obamacare.
In all clarity, most of the protesters at Republican events might be identified as non-G.O.P. voters. Neither are they all Democratic activists.
Anti-Trump rally participants have shown they are activists: college graduates outraged by Trumpism; office workers whose ire sprung from Trump's utter refusal to release his tax returns; doctors and nurses strongly concerned about the health-care system; retirees constantly worried about members of their younger generation; and above all: Americans from all walks of life who are pronounced in their beliefs that Trump is certainly unfit for office.
Thus, it is inevitable to conclude: Trump represents a grave danger to the country.
Troubles proceed to mount as Trump continues in office; instead of diminishing the protest movement, he has encouraged it. Although the political system has been characterized as tainted by huge funds and influence-peddling, political participation has taken a principal role.
Federal officials, jurists, Democratic and Republican legislators, including Trump himself, cannot ignore nationwide activism and public opinion.
Increasingly growing tax-day protests have exhibited how the President has no wish to release his returns. Too, he has not shown indicators in setting up a proper blind trust for his business assets, or of separating his family from the machinery of government.
Currently, as has been proven in less than a hundred days, the Trump administration is bent on rolling back the clock in myriad ways that will present difficulties to halt what commenced since January20th.
The principal problem is Trump himself.
Throughout his career, troubles abound. And the nation's length and breadth cannot and must not be further damaged.
The American people need act immediately before the degree of the worsening national stature gets beyond repair.


‘Russian leaks’ still pervading despite White House assertions

Very recent media reports concerning Russia and members of President Trump's team are being described as: "The slow drip, drip of Russia stories."
Trump's chief of staff, Reince Priebus, announced how upset he is at the mention of the stories that have not been terminated at all.
Preibus, in his role, has been described as having contacted the deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).The focus of the Preibus' FBI contact as announced: "to request the agency dispute on news stories that the Trump campaign had contact with Russian officials."
Such a communication by Preibus was categorized as highly unusual by the White House press coverage based on what ought to be aired through the news media, both print and broadcast.
Strong voices from the media: The Preibus action is called meddling.
"The meddling puts the president's chief of staff in the middle of an ongoing investigation that involves his boss.
"FBI Director James Comey refused Priebus' request owing to alleged contacts between Trump's campaign and Russia are still under review."
Trump's quest for the presidency during his candidacy was rife with his personal comments: Washington's government institutions were "rigged" against him.
The then presidential candidate laudedC omey's 'public intervention in the election when the FBI director informed Congress he was"reopening" the investigation into the much- publicized Clinton e-mails as she likewise sought the presidency.
It was widely publicized that Comey stated how he did not find anything new and quickly closed the subject. The Comey report did not fall on deaf ears and was used as a weapon against the Democratic presidential candidate by the Trump backers.
Trump proceeded to attack the intelligence community -- it was termed a continuation of a lengthy "spat" with American officials tasked with ferreting out truths critical to national security.
Therefore, how would some members of theAmerican populace translate the Priebus' move? Isn't it clear even to non-partisans that the Priebus' request directed to the aforesaid intelligence agency could vastly weakenTrump's position?
TheTrump reaction was (as always) via 'Tweet' in regard to the response of Comey directed to the Priebus' request. Trump was described as having blasted the FBI and NSA on Twitter; central to that tweet surfaced: that the FBI is totally unable to stop the national security leakers.
After all the caustic exchange of opinions that has taken place, which originally came from Trump's main surrogate, Comey's having turned down the Priebus request is deemed justifiable by those who have been keeping a close watch on the intelligence panorama.
Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager whose very recent re-appearance on the political scene, is the latest report on alleged Russian ties.
Reportedly, texts were sent to the cell phone of Manafort's daughter relating to the involvement of Manafort himself: that he had close financial ties with the former president of Ukraine,a Russia ally.
Similarly, what was bruited around re Manafort's ties, was how he helped set up a meeting between DonaldTrump and an associate of the Ukrainian president in 2012, on Trump's alleged relations with Russia.
Trump, in the meantime, delivered a keynote address to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). He railed about his ongoing war with journalists. He made emphatic his views on news reports as “fake,” calling unnamed sources as the “real enemy of the people.”
But the media coverage did bring out the mood at the CPAC convention.
Some in attendance at the same CPAC event were described as waving small Russian flags with the word "Trump" on them as he started his speech.
How else could some observers at the very same audience react to whatever knowledge has been aired without hesitation, in regard to how Trump has conducted himself amid so-called "Russian backing?"


The cost of protecting the Trump family

"It’s not easy or cheap," as per estimates gathered by The Washington Post

Early reports from the nation's capital paper have stated that President Trump and his family would supersede what it cost to protect former President Barack Obama and his family by 'hundreds of millions of dollars.'
According to Judicial Watch, a well-known conservative group that kept track of Obama's travel expenses, an estimate of $97 million was spent during the former president's eight years in office.
The period under report has set forth an example of just four weeks into the 45th president's term.

Enumerated below are but a few examples thus far:
· 3 trips to Mar-a-Lago in Florida since the Trump inauguration, may have cost about $10 million, based on a government report from October that provided an analysis of the White House travel which includes expenses on the cost of US Coast Guard patrol boats on the shoreline.

· Palm Beach County officials announced how they will request reimbursement of tens of thousands of dollars per day from the White House, for their deputies who provided “security and logistical support around the city.”

· Police officials have provided estimates on what it would cost New York $500,000 a day or $183 million a year, to guard Trump Tower, where First Lady Melania Trump and the ten-year old Barron Trump live.

· Secret Service and embassy employees paid some $100,000 in hotel room bills during a trip to Uruguay by a Trump son, Eric. Reportedly, he went to that South American city where he
promoted a "Trump-branded building."

· Should the Pentagon successfully secure rental space in Trump Tower -- "needed" when the president returns to New York -- it would cost $1.5 million per month, per information received from the building's website according to news reports.

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