Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Morgan Mayhew

Morgan Mayhew
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Morgan is a freelance writer for a variety of publications covering popular culture, societal behavior and the political influences of each.

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Will Trump let them get to him?

Rumors from within the White House described President Trump’s hectic first two weeks in office was designed chaos to “shock and awe” opponents.

The tactic, said to be the brainchild of Trump Senior Advisor Steve Bannon is nothing new as it had been deployed by President Obama throughout this eight years in office, albeit at a more controlled pace.

Following the backlash within the corporate media, and liberal politicians and activists, President Trump took a reactionary approach toward his own staff and reportedly created clear, bright lines of authority among White House Staff.

Former GOP head and White House Chief of Staff Reince Prebius was “in charge.” Advisor Kellyanne Conway was put in the press corner and Steve Bannon was pushed out from meddling in foreign affairs.

The result of last week’s shakeup has been a recognizable slowing in action from the new administration.

The last presidential memorandum or executive order was published on February 3rd.

As shown on Trump’s personal twitter account and by the words of White House Spokesman Sean Spicer, President Trump has turned his focus back to attacking the corporate media.

Reports coming from Capitol Hill show a concern over the lack of focus on promised tax cuts along with the stall in the repeal of Obamacare.

During this presidential campaign, Trump forged ahead regardless of attacks and criticism. As president, Donald Trump appears to be stumbling over the constant barrage of attacks.

Comment below.

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Putin wants a "I'm sorry" from Fox News.

During Saturday afternoon’s airing of an interview between Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly and President Donald Trump, the host of The O’Reilly Factor, called Russian President Vladimir Putin “a killer.”

Donald Trump quickly responded, “You think we’re so innocent?”

A Russian Spokesman for Putin, Dmitry Peskov was nearly as quick with his request for an apology from Fox News and Bill O’Reilly for the “unacceptable and offensive” remark.

Peskov told reporters, “We would like to receive an apology to the president from this respected organization.”

Trump on the other hand was mocked by old foes about his own comment:

Vladimir Putin is suspected of ordering the deaths of several Russian critics including the following:

Alexander Litvinenko: A former KGB officer and Putin critic who died a slow death after being poisoned by polonium-210.

Anna Politkovskaya: Russian journalist murdered with a bullet to her head at point blank range. The killers were caught and admitted to being part of a $150,000 contract paid by “a person unknown.”

Natalia Estemirova: Another journalist who worked with Anna Politkovskaya. Natalia was also murdered by a gunshot wound to the head.

Stanislav Markelov: Attorney for Politkovskaya. Murdered near the Kremlin by a masked gunman.

However, Trump’s sarcastic comment about America being “so innocent” should also be weighed heavily by the public and men like Marco Rubio should think twice about the government’s own crimes against its citizens.

Just over a year ago, Robert LaVoy Finicum was gunned down with the help of FBI agents after occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

In 2013, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder admitted that for the first time since the Civil War, the government “targeted and killed” one U.S. citizen, Anwar al-Aulaqi, without a hearing or any due process. While Anwar was allegedly involved in terrorism activities, three other American citizens, including Al-Aulaqi’s 16-year-old son were also killed.

Backing up to 1993, The Federal Bureau of Investigations, lead by Attorney General Janet Reno, raided the home of the Branch Davidians.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms suspected the group and its leader, David Koresh, of violating weapons laws.

Seventy-six people were killed in the raid that left the Davidian’s compound on fire. Of the 76 people killed, 20 were shot, including five children who were under the age of 14.

Twenty-one of those who died during the final raid were children. The youngest were Startle Summers, age 1, Chanel Andrade, age 1, Paiges Gent, age 1, and Hollywood Sylvia, age 1.

While the government claims most of the deaths occurred as a result of “suicide, consensual execution or forced execution,” FLIR footage of the raid shows snipers shooting any person who tried to flee the burning building.

Additionally, a shaped explosive charge was placed over a hardened area of the compound, instantly killing the 41 women and children taking shelter in the concrete-lined room.

While there is little argument over Vladimir Putin’s violent past, President Trump may be correct in pointing out the flaws of recent American history that have yet to be corrected or admitted.

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Who is Ryan looking out for?

On Fox and Friends this morning, House Speaker Paul Ryan appeared and was about the lack of progress on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

The Speaker slipped up and spoke the truth for a moment, telling the hosts they intended to “repair a broken system.”

When pushed by the Fox News hosts, Ryan backtracked and said they will still “repeal and replace” Obamacare.

But that doesn’t fall in line with the buzz on the Hill.

Multiple sources have reported a shift in tone and rhetoric to promote a “repair” talking point over the charged cry for repeal.

Even key players in the Obamacare fight are on record backtracking.

Congressman Greg Walden from Oregon told the press, “We’re going to fix things, we’re going to repair things. There are things we can build on and repair, there are things we can completely repeal.”

The move for those inside Washington and familiar with the lobbying power of the healthcare, pharmaceutical and insurance industries, is obvious. They want every aspect of Obamacare left intact.

An insider of the healthcare industry who requested anonymity told Liberty News Now, “As an America, I hate Obamacare, but it’s made me rich. We don’t want to change a thing.”

The biggest beneficiary of Obamacare has been the healthcare industry that now has 20 million new patients who can pay their bills.

House Republicans’ purpose of stalling may very well be due to the pressure of their backers within the health care industry.

However, while Republicans have little motivation to repeal Obamacare, President Trump is eager to follow through on all of his campaign promises, and the repeal of Obamacare ranks in the top five commitments made to the American people.

Is Paul Ryan and his fellow members of Congress stalling in the hopes the issue goes away? Comment below.

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Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz reacted to President Trumps temporary travel ban from refugees from seven nations by vowing to hire 10,000 refugees.

The move, which was clearly political in nature and designed from a supporter of Hillary Clinton, did not go over well with “red state” Americans.

One of those Americans is Evan Hafer, founder of Black Rifle Coffee Company.

Evan started out in the National Guard then transitioned to active duty as a Special Forces operator. The coffee lover then went civilian and contracted with the State Department and the CIA throughout the War on Terror.

Today, Evan and the veterans and patriots who work for him, are busy growing a coffee empire that draws away coffee lovers who don’t care for the “hipster” mentality of Starbucks and simply want to enjoy a strong cup of coffee without the pretense of Italian-named brews and cup-sizes.

While Starbucks sells Cascara Latte’s and Espresso Con Panna’s, Black Rifle Coffee Company sells roasts that go by the name, “Caffeine and Hate”, “Blackbeard’s Delight”, and “Murdered Out.”

Following Starbuck’s announcement about their refugee hiring plan, Black Rifle announced on a social media channel, “Black Rifle Coffee Vows to Hire 10,000 Veterans.”

While BRCC is unlikely to have a need for 10,000 new employees this year, the commitment to hiring veterans is not new and has been a bedrock of their hiring practices since Evan founded the company, “Black Rifle Coffee has [always] vowed to hire Veterans and Patriots, we didn’t adopt this vow on the heels of anything to drive a bullshit touchy feely false sales projection!”

While Starbucks hipsters may say that Black Rifle Coffee is a gimmick, for those who have tried their roasts, those would be fighting words as the coffee (and this author has consumed BRCC on more than one occasion), is exceptional and as fresh as shipped coffee can be.

For those veterans looking to work hard for a paycheck, they can apply by emailing careers@blackriflecoffee.com

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When President Trump imposed a temporary ban on travel from seven nations that lack vetting assistance from their respective governments, he and his advisors left out the nations with the most Muslims in their population.

Indonesia with 209 million Muslims, Bangladesh with 134 million Muslims, India with 167 million Muslims and Pakistan with 176 million Muslims were left off of the list.

The nations included on the “banned” list were Syria, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Somalia.

The nations are known as hotbeds for terrorism and ironically, all but Somalia banned entry within their borders of any Israeli nationals.

But when it comes to the Hollywood liberals, facts like that simply don’t matter.

Powered by the Corporate Media, Hollywood celebrities, like Sen. Chuck Schumer, tearfully decry the executive action by Donald Trump as a “Muslim Ban.”

While you’ve likely seen the rants that took place at the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards over the weekend, here are a few others to view:

The View host Joy Behar positively reported that she’s lost a few pounds over the stress of the Muslim Ban:

Arrrnold, who played a Republican Governor, thinks the move is “crazy”:

Brit and host of the Late-Late Show, James Corden, pre-taped his shows for the week and headed back to London in disgust (hopefully Trump will ban his reentry):

Pothead “actor” and Obama staffer Kal Penn and took advantage of a “mean” social media comment and raised half a million dollars for “Syrian refugees”:

The most entertaining post on the Muslim Ban comes from the “Liberal Redneck” who, of course, you can only find on YouTube:

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Saturday Night Live has been unrelenting on its attacks of Donald Trump and the new President has not been shy about voicing his displeasure with the content of the show.

This week, SNL crossed the line when one if its staff writers, Katie Rich posted on twitter, “Barron will be this country’s first homeschool shooter.”

The backlash was swift and three days after posting the offensive tweet, the SNL writer deleted nearly all of her tweets and replaced them with this apology:

The left has shown no boundaries so far when expressing their opinions and outrages over President Trump.

The SNL flap comes on top of Madonna confessing she has “dreamed of blowing up the White House.”

Is SNL just trying to get a laugh, or is their liberal bias boiling over? Comment below.

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Ahh, the life of a government worker.

Patrick F. Kennedy has been living off of a government salary with few breaks since 1973.

He is now the Undersecretary of Management for the Department of State. He served under Hillary Clinton and defended her lack of action in Benghazi.

Effective tomorrow, Kennedy will be retired . . . and still living off of the backs of taxpayers.

Patrick Kennedy is one of several government bureaucrats (the corporate media refers to them as “diplomats”) who reportedly chose to resign or retire rather than work for President Trump.

Many of those who are quitting with little notice are eligible for retirement.

Kennedy has been in government service for approximately 42 years and under the federal pension programs is apparently eligible to receive 1.1 percent of his highest average salary (over three years) for each year of service.

Assuming Kennedy is a GS-15 Step 10, that only qualifies for a standard government pension, he will be earning $73,000 a year in retirement . . . in addition to Social Security.

If he and other government workers in service since 1983 chose to stay in the previous government retirement plan (that did not require them to pay Social Security), they’ll receive even more.

Outside of government provided jobs, pension plans are increasingly rare for American workers.

For Patrick Kennedy and others who reportedly choose to quit over President Donald Trump, they’ll likely enjoy the benefits of their lengthy service until death.

For Kennedy, who is a well-kept 67 years old, has at least another 11 years left in him. That means taxpayers will fund at least $803,000 or his retirement (assuming no COLA increases kick in, which is unlikely).

For those looking to replicate Kennedy’s career and comfy retirement plan, for now, you’re out of luck as President Trump has placed a freeze on government hiring for the foreseeable future.

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Who is in charge here?

Effective at noon on January 22, 2017, department heads of the federal government were instructed to halt all hiring with the exception of military personnel and those considered vital to national security interests.

The order was explicit:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order a freeze on the hiring of Federal civilian employees to be applied across the board in the executive branch. As part of this freeze, no vacant positions existing at noon on January 22, 2017, may be filled and no new positions may be created, except in limited circumstances. This order does not include or apply to military personnel. The head of any executive department or agency may exempt from the hiring freeze any positions that it deems necessary to meet national security or public safety responsibilities. In addition, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) may grant exemptions from this freeze where those exemptions are otherwise necessary.

It looks like that a lot of government agencies missed the memo.

Since the executive order was signed by President Trump, the following non-military jobs were posted on the government’s hiring site, USAJobs.com

Posted 1/24/17: Criminal Investigator for the Department of State. Salary ranges from $54,972 to $71,467 per year.

Posted 1/23/17: Theater Specialist for the Department of the Interior. Salary of $36,281 to $47,171 per year.

Posted 1/23/17: Student Trainee (Clerical) for the U.S. Attorney’s office. Salary of $28,886 to $37,557 per year.

Posted 1/23/17: Laborer for the National Park Service. Hourly wage of $15.50 to $18.08.

Posted 1/23/17: Physician for the Department of Veterans Affairs (which is likely a reasonable hire). Salary of $120,000 to $262,000 per year.

Posted 1/23/17: Animal Keeper for the National Zoological Parks. Hourly wage of $19.03 to $22.21.

Posted on 1/23/17: Park Guide for the National Park Service. Pays $14.89 an hour.

Posted 1/23/17: Stage Door Aide for the National Park Service. Pays a salary of $28,886 to $37,557 per year.

Posted 1/24/17: Animal Keeper (Cheetahs) for the National Zoological Park in Front Royal, Virgina. Pays a measly $19 to $22 per hour to “care, feed, exhibit” Cheetahs.

The above are just a sampling of jobs posted since the 22nd . . . in Virginia alone.

The following civilian jobs were also posted by branches of the military but clearly do not fall under the exemption of “military personnel” as that would only apply to members of the armed forces – whether officer or enlisted.

Posted FOUR TIMES on 1/23/17: Student Trainee/Intern for the Department of the Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command. Salary ranges from $23,547 to $64,699 per year. Again, this is an internship position that pays up to $65k per year. Whoa.

Posted 1/23/17: Sales Clerk for the Department of the Navy. Pays $7.25 to $13.73 per hour.

Posted 1/23/17: Assistant Buyer for the Marine Corps. Salary of $35,000 to $55,000 per year.

Posted 1/24/16: Water for the Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, VA. Pays $7.81 to 9.11 per hour – plus tips!

Posted 1/23/17: Dock Attendant for the Navy in Norfolks, VA. Pays $7.25 to $8.75 per hour.

Posted 1/23/17: Accountant for the U.S. Marine Corps in Quantico. Salary ranges from $50,000 to $65,000 per year.

A total of 67 non-military personnel jobs were posted since the signing of the hiring freeze, and that’s only from a search in Virginia for jobs open to the public.

Another 92 jobs were posted in the District of Columbia that are open to the public, and another 203 that are open to current federal employees.

Who is in charge of the federal government? The President of the United States or hired bureaucrats?

Comment below.

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President Donald Trump has reportedly decided to keep FBI Director James Comey in his current position.

Throughout the 2016 election season, Director Comey drew unusual criticism for his decision to close the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server before the DNC Convention and nomination of Hillary Clinton.

He then briefly reopened the case after another batch of emails were found on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

Comey was also behind the absurdly false Russian allegations that resulted in both President Obama and then President Elect Trump being briefed on them. The allegations were later found be created as a hoax by the group, 4Chan.

Critics of James Comey believe his decisions are political in nature and not in keeping with his office.

The FBI Director is appointed to a 10-year term in order to give the director independence from any sitting president. While the president may fire the FBI Director, the intent of the 10-year term is to allow investigation into possible corruption within the executive branch.

Trump supporters are not happy about the move.

Commenters on the message board, Free Republic expressed their concern:

Reno89519 wrote: Anyone kept over from the Obama administration, especially someone with Comey’s long history, is a simply wrong. This guy is compromised. Surely President Trump can find someone more credible to head the FBI!

Tx Angel wrote: I guess that’s the end of hearing Trump going on about “Crooked Hillary”

9YearLurker wrote: Nothing Comey could half-heartedly say or do could make up for his obstruction of justice in a case by which Hillary should already be “locked up”.

On Twitter, the reaction was even more pointed from Hillary backers:

Even Newsweek reporter Kurt Eichenwald weighed in:

Comment below.

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership, known as TPP, will move forward without the involvement of the United States as President Donald Trump signed an executive order withdrawing the U.S. from the trade deal.

TPP was the deal brought up frequently by both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders throughout the campaign season.

But what is TPP?

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is an agreement that covers several topics such as human rights, labor standards, government corruption, the environment, and most importantly intellectual property.

Critics of TPP, say the increased restrictions on intellectual property within the deal benefit only large corporations and stifle innovation and creativity.

The intellectual property clauses within the deal would extend copyrights by another twenty years and tighten the Digital Rights Management programs, taking privacy from end users.

However, the biggest downfall of the TPP is that the largest abuser of intellectual property, human rights and the environment did not agree to the terms.

That’s right, China refused to be part of TPP, making the trade deal meaningless to the world.

Trump also plans to change the 1993 NAFTA agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico.

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