As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

CNBC Analyst: Trump Will – and Should – Take Control of the Fed

President Trump Friday doubled down on his assertion that the Federal Reserve needs to stop raising interest rates.

Most analysts are in an uproar. But Richard Bove, Equity research analyst at Hilton Capital Management, write on CNBC’s website that this is only the beginning.

From his piece:

President Donald Trump has multiple reasons as to why he should take control of the Federal Reserve. He will do so both because he can and because his broader policies argue that he should do so. The president is anti-overregulating American industry. The Fed is a leader in pushing stringent regulation on the nation. By raising interest rates and stopping the growth in the money supply it stands in the way of further growth in the American economy.

First, He Can:

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve is required to have seven members. It has three. Two of the current governors were put into their position by President Trump. Two more have been nominated by the president and are awaiting confirmation by the Senate. After these two are put on the Fed’s board, the president will then nominate two more to follow them. In essence, it is possible that six of the seven Board members will be put in place by Trump.

The Federal Reserve is no doubt a very valuable institution. But there are seven Articles and 27 Amendments to the Constitution. Not one of them mentions anything about an unelected body called the Federal Reserve.

Here’s some video of Milton Friedman discussing how the Fed caused the Depression.

Cohen Secretly Record Trump Talking About Payment to Karen McDougal

President Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen secretly recorded Trump discussing a payment to Karen McDougal, presumably to buy her silence about the alleged affair to two had.

McDougal and Trump, not Cohen and Trump, of course.

However, it’s not completely clear to me what this means. While awfully tawdry, Trump current White House attorney Rudy Giuliani says the payment discussed was never made, and it shows Trump did not know about the one that was.

Anyway, from the New York Times:

President Trump’s longtime lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, secretly recorded a conversation with Mr. Trump two months before the presidential election in which they discussed payments to a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump, according to lawyers and others familiar with the recording.

The F.B.I. seized the recording this year during a raid on Mr. Cohen’s office.

Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, confirmed in a telephone conversation on Friday that Mr. Trump had discussed payments to Ms. McDougal with Mr. Cohen on the tape. He said the recording was less than two minutes long, said Mr. Trump did not know he was being recorded and claimed that the president had done nothing wrong.

Mr. Giuliani said there was no indication on the tape that Mr. Trump knew before the conversation about the payment from the Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc., to Ms. McDougal.

“Nothing in that conversation suggests that he had any knowledge of it in advance,” Mr. Giuliani said.

The men discussed a payment from Mr. Trump to Ms. McDougal — separate from the Enquirer payment — to buy her story and ensure her silence, Mr. Giuliani said. That payment was never made, Mr. Giuliani said, adding that Mr. Trump had told Mr. Cohen that if he were to make a payment related to the woman, to write a check rather than send cash, so it could be properly documented.

Because the tape showed Mr. Trump learning about the A.M.I. payment, it actually helps Mr. Trump, Mr. Giuliani argued. “In the big scheme of things, it’s powerful exculpatory evidence,” he said.

Democrats Stalling Kavanaugh Confirmation

Apparently trying to delay the confirmation until after the election, when they hope to seize control of the Senate, Democrats are refusing to meet with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and are demanding to review around a million documents related to his past work.

That would, I imagine, set us up for a vote sometime in 2024. McConnell wants a vote by October 1 of THIS year, the day the Supreme Court goes into session.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says he won’t meet with Kavanaugh until Republicans agree to provide the documents. Other Democrats are following his lead, and while Kavanaugh has met with many Republicans, he has not sat down with a single Democrat.

That’s fine. McConnell certainly played political games by refusing to schedule a vote of Barack Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland, even though he was nominated ten months before the next president would take office.

But Democrats have a problem. They don’t run the Senate, as McConnell surely will remind them. Also, if they delay things in October, red state senators defending their seats will have less time to campaign. And the closer it gets to the election, the more the Kavanaugh issue will motivate conservatives to go to the polls. The Supreme Court, remember, was one of the biggest issues for conservatives in 2016.

So the Dems are playing poker, but they’ve got a losing hand.

Trump Schedule || Friday, July 20, 2018

11:30 am || Receives his intelligence briefing
3:30 pm || Departs the White House
5:00 pm || Arrives Bedminster, New Jersey

All times Eastern

*******

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Trump to Host Putin at the White House this Fall

The news came via a tweet from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was informed while appearing live on TV.

Barack Obama somehow never bothered to invite Putin to Washington or meet with any Russian leader since having temporary Russian presidential figurehead Dmitri Medvedev, who was warming the office for Putin, over in 2010. I gather he figured he might be accused of being concerned about Russia after telling Mitt Romney it wasn’t a problem.

It’s good to see Trump is willing to pursue what he thinks is in the best interests of the country even while being accused of colluding with Putin. It would be a lot easier for him not to have this meeting.

Michelle Obama to Play a Huge Role in the 2018 Campaign

Former First Lady Michelle Obama will take a high-profile role in the 2018 campaign, but in order to keep herself from getting to deep in the muck she’ll seek to elect Democrats under the guise of an ostensibly nonpartisan group which launches Thursday and that is being called “When We All Vote.”

According to Politico report about the $8 million effort:

The initiative, scheduled to be launched Thursday, is the result of months of quiet conversations and planning full of false starts and uncertainty about whether to go forward. It will have the former first lady appear in public service announcements and at live events throughout the country into the fall, according to multiple people informed of the plans.

She’ll be joined by several A-list celebrities, including actor Tom Hanks, country stars Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Houston Rockets star Chris Paul, singer Janelle Monae and “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The first PSA will go out Thursday, with more in the process of being lined up, featuring other prominent activists and players. The group will be incorporated as a nonprofit, separate from the Obama Foundation, the personal offices of Barack and Michelle Obama, and Citizen 44, the LLC that the former president himself pays for to handle his own political involvement.

Named “When We All Vote,” it will be stocked with prominent Obama alumni, including Valerie Jarrett as president of the board and former first lady chief of staff Tina Tchen as treasurer. Pete Rouse, an Obama senior adviser who served as interim White House chief of staff, will also be on the board . . .

Organizers intend to send personal messages to people urging them to register. According to one document describing the group’s plans, it will partner with “outlets that young Americans use most.”

So its nonpartisan, right? And the Obamas don’t deceive people, right? I mean, look at the roster of participants. And they’ll be trying to get young people off their video games and to stop texting for a few minutes to vote. Of course, they all vote Democratic.

Here’s the video, which has just been released and has not yet been widely seen or even published, far as I can tell.

I mean, honestly, have a look that people featured in this video. Young African Americans. An effusive young pajama-boy style white guy with a goatie. Um, Tom Hanks. Unfortunately, they are not likely conservative Republicans, as the makers of this video fully understand. And they are there to appeal to Democrats.

This will be a tax-free effort to register Democrats. Thank you for contributing to Michelle’s new project.

Trump Quickly Recognized Mistake With Putin and Sought to Correct It

Contrary to suggestions that he buckled under pressure or was dragged kicking and screaming into revising his remarks in Helsinki – in which he suggested he believed Russian President Putin over his own intelligence agencies about Russian meddling – President Trump appears to have quickly recognized his mistake and directed aides to do help him address it.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

Flying home Monday after the summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump and his senior aides recognized that he had made a mistake that risked lasting damage and needed to be fixed quickly, people familiar with the matter said.

Playing on a loop on television was footage of the president standing next to Mr. Putin, casting doubt on the U.S. intelligence community’s finding that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and aligning himself with Moscow’s denial of any meddling.

Mr. Trump, aboard Air Force One, spoke to his staff about how best to correct what they knew was a miscue, and the discussions continued with staff meetings Tuesday morning in Washington.

On the flight home from Helsinki, with Mr. Trump telling aides he wanted to come out with a new statement, John Bolton, his national security adviser, wrote up a list of points that needed to be made quickly and passed them to White House aides, a person familiar with the matter said.

Mr. Bolton noted that president should make clear that he had always backed the U.S. intelligence community, that Russian or any foreign meddling wouldn’t be tolerated, that interference in U.S. elections wouldn’t happen in the midterm elections and that there hadn’t been any collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign in the 2016 election.

Bill Shine, the newly minted deputy chief of staff for communications and a former Fox News executive, voiced concern that the White House needed to provide a new TV image so that networks would stop broadcasting images of Mr. Trump’s news conference in Helsinki, a person familiar with the matter said.

Mr. Trump would heed that advice, making a televised statement from the Cabinet Room during a meeting with lawmakers that was originally supposed to be closed to the press.

The media were never going to let this go because in this case, they had a legitimate reason to be critical of the president, and so they had an excuse to gleefully pile on for months. They still will, but at least Trump has corrected the record and reassured people in the intelligence agencies, some of whom risk their lives on a daily basis, that he doesn’t believe Vladimir Putin over them.

Trump: I “Dream” of Running Against Biden

President Trump said in an interview with CBS broadcast Thursday that Joe Biden would be his “dream” opponent for his 2020 reelection race. From the interview: Well, I dream, I dream about Biden. That’s a dream. Look, Joe Biden ran three times. He never got more than 1 percent and President Obama took him out… Continue Reading