Trump’s Erratic Behavior Drawing Attention to the 25th Amendment

Trump’s erratic behavior while undergoing heavy drug treatment as a Covid-19 patient has been drawing attention to the U.S. 25th Constitutional Amendment. Currently, questions are being raised about succession, in the event that any President becomes mortally ill, or deemed not mentally fit to carry out his leadership functions.

That is why, it is widely believed that the 25th amendment provides answers on who would replace Trump and on who must make the initials steps to replace Trump; or any other future leaders who become physically or mentally incapacitated while still in office.

The Questions Raised about Trump’s Fitness to Lead the Nation

While Trump’s fitness, whether morally and/or mentally have already been raised as concerns before, the matter has become more important now that Trump is COVID-19 infected. In addition, he has been disregarding all safety measures in preventing the virus from spreading.

Several medical experts are also questioning the effects of the experimental medications that Trump has been receiving as cure for the infectious coronavirus disease, as they are being administered in combination with steroids and so called cocktail drug treatments.

After being discharged from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre last October 5, Trump has been disregarding his doctors’ medical advice. On the other, White House officials have been issuing conflicting and confusing statements about Trump’s medical conditions, particularly with regard to results of his COVID-19 tests, if any. As a matter of fact, after being discharged just a few days after contracting the virus, and while still infectious and coughing during Fox News interviews, Trump announced that he will resume his political rallies as planned.

What Does the 25th Amendment Require as Preliminary Actions When Replacing a President?

The 25th Amendment states that when the Vice President and the majority of the Cabinet, comprising at least 8 members, deduce that the current president is unfit to fulfill his presidential duties, they have the legal power to take action.

To be specific, this is stated in Section 4 of the amendment. Once a decision has been reached, it will be formally written and the memorandum forwarded to the Speaker of the House and to the Senate President. In the meantime, until Congressional decisions have been made, the incumbent vice president will temporarily replace the disabled or incapacitated president, whilst using the constitutional powers of a U.S. president.

If the president is against this action, it would be up to the Congressional lawmakers to resolve the issue with a vote. The required number of votes to keep the “acting president” in position is two-thirds of the majority vote by both Republican and Democratic parties. If the required number of votes isn’t reached, the president would reclaim his lost powers.

Obviously, with Vice President Pence clearly afraid of Trump and Republican Senate Speaker Mitch McConnel unashamedly stating that he will do everything he can to keep Trump in power despite his ongoing COVID-19 affliction, the 25 Amendment remains as a mere passage in the U.S. Constitution.

Horse Races Amidst the Pandemic : The Need to Provide Thoroughbreds with Race Events

Thoroughbreds are raised to run races and while its important for them to take a spell, it’s also critical for them to run the races as soon as they are ready. The horse racing industry knows that when horses are physically and mentally prepared, they are happiest when running fast the way they have been trained to do so.

That is why despite the lockdown orders some time in mid-March, some races were allowed to continue behind closed doors. Nonetheless, only the necessary personnel were allowed to participate, such as the jockeys, trainers and stewarts.

Although in other states, horse racing did not resume until around May and June, the state of Florida made a difference by providing the thoroughbreds the races they needed to run in despite the ongoing pandemic.

”Domestic Spending” Proves the Racing Industry Right in Letting Horse Racing Events Continue Amidst the Pandemic

Some time in February, and before the closed door races in Tampa Bay Downs, “Domestic Spending,” a 3-year old gelding ran its maiden race and proved ready. The horse demonstrated full understanding of the nuances it committed to memory after months of training. After which, “Domestic Spending” went on to perform impressively when he ran an allowance race at Belmont Park in New York last June 07, 2020.

An offspring of “Son of Kingman,” the thoroughbred then went to compete in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (G2T) at the Saratoga Race Course in July and came out with a strong finish. “Domestic Spending” emerged as third top finisher next to “Get Smokin,” while “Decorated Invader” triumphed as the race winner.

Finally, “Domestic Spending” proved its mettle by achieving its first win in the Saratoga Derby last August 15, 2020. The gelding’s rider Irad Ortiz Jr. said the 3-year old thoroughbred responded really well, running much closer to the pace compared to its previous performances in the three starts.

Knowing that “Domestic Spending” has what it takes to make a strong finish, Ortiz, Jr. said he kept riding until they got the jump in the final eighth pole, when they started switching leads with “Gulfo;” until they finally held the lead all the way to the finish line.

Readers who want to know more about “Domestic Spending” can continue reading about the thoroughbred at Blood-Horse magazine. The horse racing resource website not only carries the latest results of horse race meets, but also bloodstock information by way of its Stallion Register, True Nicks and Auction.

Trump ‘s Conflicting Claims about Intel Report on Russia Bounties

Trump claims reports about Russia’s offer and payment of bounties for the killing of American soldiers in Afghanistan is a complete hoax. However, it appears that Republican lawmakers are not going to let it go at that. Some are supporting Democratic House Speaker Pelosi’s call for an investigation of the matter.

In fact the calls for a Congressional hearing has heightened as more information about the Russian bounty report attests to the credibility of the intel info.

Background to the Russia Bounties News Report

Last June of this year, both the Washington Post and The New York Times reported that Russia was paying cash rewards to Talibans in Afghanistan, as incentives to kill as many American soldiers as they can. The discovery was made after a successful raid of a Taliban outpost revealed large amounts of U.S.dollars. Related interrogations further disclosed that the money came from Russian intelligence units as rewards for killing U.S. soldiers.

Although Trump says the story is just another “fake news” just to make him look bad, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany confirmed that the U.S. intelligence agencies made such a report, which debunks Trump’s claim that it’s fake news.

However, McEnany claims that there was a general consensus among White House and intelligence officials not to brief Trump about the matter; mainly because the intel was not verified. Yet unnamed White House officials stated the contrary, saying Trump was briefed about it.

Nevertheless, whether or not Trump was briefed was not the question, as the issue raised is what actions were taken to protect U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan? Further assessment of the events revealed that the intelligence reports came at the time Trump was making a push to withdraw the U.S deployment in Afghanistan. It was also the time when Trump was purportedly holding peace talks with the Taliban, in an effort to end the long running conflict between them,

Additional News Reports Say that the Russia Bounty Intel was Verified by Financial Analysts

Later news developments revealed that U.S. financial analysts were able to intercept large financial transfers that were received by Afghan businessmen, who served as go-between for Russian agents and the Taliban group. The financial transactions purportedly went through the “hawala” system, which has been touted as the invisible source of funding for terrorism.

Republican Lawmakers Who Were Post-Briefed About the Matter are Concerned

Inasmuch as the financial verifications tank White House claims that the intel report was not credible and was not verified, several Republican lawmakers are calling for a Congressional hearing in order to get down to the real truth on whether Trump was informed or not. .

Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, Mac Thornberry also of Texas, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Sen. Pat Toomey of Philadelphia, and Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, all strongly support Congressional investigations on the matter. That way, the White House administration can take swift and decisive actions to hold Russian president Putin responsible, once the intelligence officers have completed the review process.

Biden on Track to Win Democratic Prez Nomination

Results of the Democratic primary elections held during March 10’s SuperTuesday continue to show that Biden is on track to win the presidential nomination.

To date, former Vice President Joe Biden is ahead with 858 delegates; claiming victories in the states of Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi and Missouri. Biden bested Sander even in Michigan, where Sanders’ supporters had hoped for a repeat of the senator’s win over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

So far, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has won 702 delegates after winning in North Dakota, the only state where he claimed victory from the March 10 SuperTuesday caucus. Nonetheless, the status could still change. That is, if Sanders garners the majority of Washington’s pledged delegates,in order to bring down the gap between him and Joe Biden.

Although early results in the Washington caucus show Sanders in the lead, his numbers are too close to Biden’s showing.

Apparently already feeling comfortable with his edge over Sanders, VP Joe Biden delivered a speech at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia at 11 p.m. Only Biden’s wife Jill, his staffers and members of the media were in attendance to listen first hand to Biden’s speech. He made a promise to restore dignity to the White House Oval Office; whilst criticizing Donald Trump for his incompetence in dealing with the Covid-19 plague.

As a gesture of goodwill, the former veepee also acknowledged Senator Bernie Sanders as an ally in continuing the fight to remove Donald Trump from office. Biden thanked the Vermont Senator, addressing

“Bernie Sanders and his supporters for their tireless energy and their passion.”…”We share a common goal, to defeat Donald Trump.” “We will defeat him and bring this nation together.”

March 17 SuperTuesday Primaries Predicted to Favor Biden

Apparently acknowledging the impact of his defeat in the March 10 primaries, Sanders headed home to Vermont without delivering a speech. Although many are not giving up on a possible Sanders’ win in March 17’s SuperTuesday polls, the odds are against Sanders. Latest Florida surveys among Democratic voters show support for Biden.

Still, the senator appeared in a late night talk show last March 12, to deliver a message.

To give readers an idea of the states that could make or break Sanders’ bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, below is a breakdown of the forthcomingMarch 17 SuperTuesday primaries:

  • Arizona to pledge 67 delegates
  • Florida to pledge 219 delegates
  • Illinois to pledged 155 delegates
  • Ohio to pledge 136 delegates.

The state of Lousiana has decided to postpone its primaries in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pew Study of U.S. Political Tweeters Finds Mostly Adult Democrats Who Disapprove Donald Trump

Pew Study of U.S. Political Tweeters Finds Mostly Adult Democrats Who Disapprove Donald Trump

A Pew study published last October 2019 helped analyze the type of tweeters who indicate interests in U.S. national politics. Twitter presumably became a likely choice since U.S. president Donald Trump is known to be an active user; posting and reposting tweets mainly for political purposes.

Pew analyzed the answers of 2,427 respondents using a public Twitter account. Collectively, respondents had generated more than 1.1 million tweets from June 10 2018 through June 09, 2019. In classifying the participants as posting tweets related to national politics, Pew Center utilized guided machine learning model.

The most notable of the findings analyzed by the Pew Research is that of the political tweets mentioning Trump, 55 percent of all American adults using Twitter, have indicated strong disapproval of the U.S president. This information is consitent with Pew’s analysis that about 67% of political tweeters are either identified as Democrats or have Democratic leaning. Only 28% identify as Republicans or inclined to support the Republican Party. .

How Pew Categorized the Participants Responding to the Survey

The Pew analysis qualifies a tweet as one that pertains to national politics if mentioning or expressing support for or opposition against national politicians, political parties, elected officials, political institutions, ideological groups or even specific political behaviors such as voting. Excluded from the definition of political content are mainly tweets about state or local politics.

A general discussion of national interest is regarded as political in nature only if the tweet makes mention of a national political figure, political party, political institution or behavior of a political organization. Of those general discussions, the Pew research found out that the most prolific political tweeters are those with intense views on Donald Trump.

Basically, the Pew study defines political tweeters those who have tweeted at least five (5) times during the study period, in which a discussion about national politics was made in at least with two (2) of those five (5) tweets.

The study defines a prolific political tweeter as one who has posted political content at least ten (10) times, and who have discussed national politics in at least 25% of their posts.

Russia and China Continue to Show Military Partnership in Joint Military Exercises at Tsentr

Russia is carrying out another large-scale military exercises with China, this time inviting forces coming from India, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Russia research experts like Mathieu Boulegue, of the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House, perceive the military drills as Moscow’s way of sending a message of power to the West.

Actually, Russia and China started holding joint military exercises via naval drills held as far back as 2012. Even a decade ago, the display of military partnership by the two countries was already regarded as their way of showing those in the West that they do not stand alone.

Fortunately for Russia, the U.S. through Trump has become vulnerable by playing right into Russia’s strategic move by accepting help in getting him installed in 2016 as the president of the U.S. Even more favorable to the strategic Russia-China military partnership is the trade war initiated by Trump versus China, which weakened not only the U.S. economy but in multiple economies in the West.

Still, Russia’s Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, stated earlier this September that the continuation of their series of joint military exercises is not directed against any specific country, but only as a means of countering threats of international terrorism,

Yet, observers like Mathieu Boulegue view this year’s show of military partnership by Russia and China as one that sends

“a very much anti-Western message, specifically anti-American message to convey that Russia is not isolated and Russia can operate even with a potential rival like China; albeit Russians still cautiously regard China as both friend, enemy and potential competitor.”

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According to Boulegue, it is also Russia’s opportunity to show off military wares that it can provide, not only to China, but to the new forces participating in this year’s “Tsentr-2019” military exercises.

About the “Tsentr-2019” Joint Military Exercises

“Tsentr-2019” is this year’s holding of Russia’s grandiose annual war games, which will put up for demonstration more than 20,000 military weapons and equipment, 600 aircrafts, as well as 15 naval ships and support vessels, whilst involving 128,000 military personnel.

According to the Russian defense ministry, drills are likewise designed to tryout the readiness for combat of military commanders and troops stationed within Russia’s central military district in Tsentr, Russia. In addition, participants will get to see Russia test its military prowess in the Arctic.

Major Hotel Companies Make Known Their Refusal to Take Part in ICE Deportation Actions

When the announcement was made that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents will push through with immigrant deportation actions on July 13, use of hotels was made mention as potential temporary detainment facilities for those who will be arrested.

In response, the major hotels made it clear that they have no intention of allowing their respective establishments to be used as detention facilities, even if temporarily.

Best Western,Choice, IHG , Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, MGM Resorts and Wyndham Hotels, had all released statements signifying their refusal to accept business from the government in relation to the ICE immigrant deportation arrests.

Although hotels usually cooperate with government agencies, they participated only for purposes of holding conferences, in hosting defence contractors, or in providing shelter for displaced flood victims.

Marriott International’s statement included intention to decline future requests from ICE agents to use its hotels as detention facilities, as well as the reason for their decision, which read

“Marriott hotels are not configured to be detention facilities; they are open to guests and community members as well,”

Reports say that the major hotels were pressured by advocacy groups and workers unions in arriving at the said decision. It is also worth mentioning that even as early as 2016, the CEO of Marriott Hotels had expressed a similar stance in a letter to then incoming president, Donald Trump.

Through an open letter, Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson beseeched the newly elected president not to deport illegal immigrants. CEO Sorenson suggested that instead of deporting the more than 11 million illegal immigrants, it would be better if appropriate steps were taken to allow them to make contributions to communities and to help make America stronger by making them pay taxes. Additionally, he also wrote

”It is heartless as well as impractical to think that we will evict all these people. Let us find a way to let them live their lives productively,”

Choice Hotels Makes a Clarification

Choice Hotels, the owner of the Quality Suites brand had previously signed a contract with the Department of Homeland Security in 2016 in connection with ICE proceedings. The hotel made it clear that it does not plan to renew the contract.

Still, a representative of Choice Hotels issued a subsequent clarification of their position as a hotel franchisor. All hotels in their system are owned and operated independently, to which owners of each property make independent decisions about their respective operations as long as they are within the boundaries of applicable laws.

Apparently, one of the franchised Quality Suites had recently housed more than three migrants. In a single occasion in the fall of 2017, it had as many as 120 migrant detainees.

However, the hotel’s involvement drew negative reactions from Quality Suites customers who were staying at the hotel at the same time the immigrants were detained. Some complained, while some wrote negative reviews in the Quality Suites website; making mention of the noise coming from the group of detainees who were placed in the same floor just doors away from the guest rooms.

Pennsylvania State University’s Hospitality Management professor Daniel Mount explains that hotel companies also need to reassure customers of safety while in their properties. That it is not being overrun by armed guards keeping watch over migrants.

Understanding the Significance of the Non Proliferation Treaty from which Trump Withdrew U.S. Support

The Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is a multilateral covenant between 120 United Nations member states, which serves as the first legally binding international agreement, in working toward the adoption of a Nuclear Weapons Ban. New York. This Treaty included the negative security assurances given by the 5 Nuclear Weapons States (NWS) China, the United Kingdom, the United States, France and Russia, to the Non Nuclear Weapons States (NNWS).

Although a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was signed in July 2017 in New York, it remains symbolic. Mainly because nine (9) states known to have nuclear armaments including the five NWS that previously signed the NPT, boycotted the convention held for the signing of said Nuclear Ban covenant.

As the turn of events has it, U.S. president Donald Trump issued a statement in February 2019 that the U.S. intends to officially withdraw its support to the agreement founded by the Non Proliferation Treaty. Many of the NNWS UN members fear that such action would trigger yet another global proliferation of nuclear weapons.

As it is, the NPT remains as the only legally binding international agreement addressing the problems posed by the international nuclear arms race.

As the NPT aims to limit the spread of nuclear weapons among nations, the covenant stated three (3) specific elements vital to the fulfillment of the purpose on which UN members agreed: First, is non-proliferation, the second is disarmament,, and lastly, is the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

The Three Elements Constituting the NPT Accord between NWS and NNWS

Three vital elements constitute the so called “grand bargain” agreed upon by the five Nuclear Weapon States (NWS) and the Non Nuclear Weapon States (NNWS):.

Non-Proliferation : Non-Acquisition of Nuclear Weapons by NWWS

Articles I, II, and III of the NPT covers an agreement that Nuclear Weapon States will not in any way shift or transfer nuclear weapons to any recipient whomsoever. Moreover the NWS will not provide assistance, show encouragement or cause to induce any Non Nuclear Weapons States to produce, develop or manufacture, or procure nuclear weapons.

On their part, the NNWS group, has an obligation not to receive nuclear weapons being transferred to their jurisdiction, as well as to desist from manufacturing or procuring such armaments. In line with the NNWS agreement to the Non Proliferation covenant, the NNWS members have to accept the “International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)” countermeasures on all nuclear materials existing in their territories, or under their jurisdiction and control.

Disarmament – NWS will Pursue Nuclear Weapons Disarmament

Articles VI of the NPT states that all parties to the treaty, specifically the NWS group, must embark on negotiations in good faith to come up with effective measures pertaining to the cessation of nuclear arms race and disarmament. The general agreement and understanding on which the treaty is founded is for complete disarmament that will be undertaken under rigid and effective international control.

Peaceful Use: Both NWS and NNWS Maintain the Right to Access Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Use

Article IV is an assertion of the right of all states, NWS and NNWS parties to develop, produce, and harness nuclear energy for peaceful use, bu<>t subject to the provisions stated in Articles I and II. All parties to the NPT commits to facilitate, and maintain a right to participate, in the exchange of materials, scientific and technological knowledge, as well as equipment necessary for the peaceful use of nuclear energy.