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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Roseanne Part II

The ‘Roseanne’ Reboot Is Funny. I’m Not Going to Keep Watching (Roxane Gay)
This fictional family, and the show’s very real creator, are further normalizing Trump and his warped, harmful political ideologies. There are times when we can consume problematic pop culture, but this is not one of those times. I saw the first two episodes of the “Roseanne” reboot, but that’s all I am going to watch. It’s a small line to draw, but it’s a start.
This, in a nutshell, pretty much describes the disease known as TDS. It starts with the belief that only a "fictional family" could be charming, funny, diverse, and also Trump voters. It ends with the belief that one must wage a constant unrelenting battle against Trump, Trump supporters, and the very concept that Trump is President, even if that includes not watching what you reluctantly admit to be an excellent show with nearly everything about the production being competent.

Now admittedly, certain things have moved forward in regards to Trump. More and more people seem to be accepting that he is (and will remain for the foreseeable future) President. Certainly the criticism is more intense, more off the wall, and much less logical than criticism of previous Presidents. But it continues to feel more and more like criticism of a President and less like an attempt at a coup.

That being said, there are some hold outs. There are still people like Roxane Gay who simply cannot get past the fact that Trump is President and is still harboring the believe that the entire concept is an abnormal one that should not be socially accepted. It's people like this who seem to actually believe that there is something inherently wrong with the 60 million plus Trump voters and the 135 million plus Trump supporters (according to polling samples).

The concept that you cannot accept the fact that any of these 135 million Trump supporters are either normal, charming, funny, diverse, smart, honest, or pretty much have any reasonable qualities at all, is a pretty good sign of a mental illness. When you add to it the belief that you can both call yourself a person of tolerance, while simultaneously hating 135 million Americans because they believe something different than you, is proof positive of a mental illness.

The saving grace is that people with the attitudes of Roxane Gay are slowly but surely dwindling. They still may be prevalent in the media, in the press, and in other high profile areas, and they still may carry a loud voice, but they are fighting a losing battle, and they seem to know it. In fact, in terms of preventing the acceptance and normalizing of Trump as President, that battle may have already been lost.

They just refuse to concede.

Friday, March 30, 2018

My, how the mighty have fallen?

Rather listen to Snooki or just rather look at Snooki?
Earlier today, NJ Advance Media reported that Hillary Clinton was being paid $25,000 to speak at Rutgers University, for a speech about "politics, American democracy and her role in shaping women's political history." To some, this sounds like a nice chunk of change, especially considering that Clinton probably talks for free about "politics, American democracy and her role in shaping women's political history" every five minutes.
But to those who are familiar with the celebrity speaking circuit, it’s basically bubkes. Chump change. A drop in the DNC bucket.
Consider that in 2015, no less a statesman than Matthew McConaughey was paid $135,000 (plus travel and expenses — alright, alright, alright!) to speak at the University of Houston, and that Katie Couric cleared $110,000 in 2006 from the University of Oklahoma (pre-recession, sure, but still impressive!).
In fact, Rutgers has a history of shelling out considerably more that $25,000 to notable speakers. Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison made $30,000 in 2011. Bill Moyers received $35,000 to speak in 2015. And — wait for it — Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi was given $32,000 for a Rutgers appearance that offered the sage advice, “Study hard, but party harder.”

Reminds me of the movie "Searching for Bobby Fischer" where Ben Kingsley  (who is portraying a former Chess Master fallen from grace) is humiliatingly agreeing to a $30 speaking fee over the phone, while Joe Mangegna (who is portraying the father of a young chess prodigy) watches on. I can almost hear Hillary asking Rutgers, "do you have any idea how much I am accustom to getting for a speach"?

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Results are in...

Roseanne blows the roof off the ratings...

Tuesday night, the premiere episode of the revival of “Roseanne” featured a working-class grandmother saying grace before dinner and concluding with thanks for “making America great again” — and the show got the highest ratings of any network program in six years.
Hollywood is now faced with indisputable evidence that there’s a huge potential audience out there for programs that don’t actively insult 63 million Trump voters.
It might seem easy to dismiss the “Roseanne” numbers as the result of audience nostalgia and excitement. But consider this: The TV world was thrilled when the reboot of “Will and Grace” was watched by 15 million people, especially since “Will and Grace” is exactly the kind of woke urban show the TV world loves.
But “Roseanne” blew “Will  and Grace” away; its audience was 20 to 25 percent larger. And the original “Roseanne” went off the air 20 years ago, a decade before “Will and Grace” took its initial final bow. It might have just been old news. But boy oh boy, it isn’t.

So the revival about the trendy and politically correct alternative lifestyles Will and Grace got knocked off by the revival about the outdated and politically incorrect Trump loving Roseanne. Go figure? I guess some people actually are interested in shows that do not spend all of their time depicting characters who follow all of the liberal social mantra in just the right way.

The question being asked about whether or not Hollywood will tap the potential audience is an interesting one. Will politics and ideology actually trump profits? Time will tell.

Miss me yet?


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

OMG THE HORROR!!!

(CNN)It shouldn't be a controversial question: How many people live in the United States of America? But the Trump administration and their Republican water-carriers have turned it into a partisan political football by insisting on including a question about citizenship on the census forms. The result, demographers widely agree, will be a vast undercount of the American population -- to the political benefit of the GOP.
So we have probably all heard by now that several states are (once again) suing the President of the United States. This time because the latest census questionnaire will include a question regarding citizenship status. Now why we wouldn't want to know which of our residents are citizens and which are here illegally is a logical mystery, but has obvious political reasoning.

The real issue, as explained by Jill Filipovic, is about Democrats losing power:
The places that will be most hurt by undercounting will be places that have higher populations of immigrants, documented and not. According to the Texas Tribune, for example, the state was projected to gain three congressional seats that it may now lose because of undercounting. And immigrants are more likely to live in blue states than red ones, meaning that this census change could kneecap Democrats in future elections.
Now the lawsuit, of course, is over a federal decision that (under the separations of the constitution) really shouldn't have anything to do with the States in question. How the Federal Government wants to count citizens is a question for the Federal Government. If the states want to count their own citizenship differently, then so be it.

Many legal pundits are looking for a reason to believe that the States might win, but not many are holding up much hope of the lawsuit being successful. Apparently the states are going to argue a combination of due process (in spite of the fact that everyone gets a chance to answer the same census) as well as the emancipation proculation (which of course would be comparing the status of illegal aliens with slaves).

But the real argument appears to be that certain liberal states prefer to allow illegal aliens to live in their states, so they can inflate their congressional seats and federal funding. Without the existence of these illegal aliens (or without counting them as if they are legal citizens), their power would be diminished, and that would be bad for Democrats.

So bad, in fact, that it would force pundits like Filipovic to demand that an entire political Party can be best described as collectively a "know-nothing" Party. Filipovic proves both her intellectual prowess and maturity with her reasoning in this doozy of an article. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Trump approval rises... pundits scratch their heads?

CNN Poll: Trump Approval Highest In Months As GOP Midterm Deficit With Dems Shrinks
Micah Cohen, the politics editor at Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight site, is at a loss to explain it. So am I. My gut reaction was that it must be the steel and aluminum tariffs. There are lots of blue-collar Republicans and Berniebros out there who might take a new shine to Trump for waging trade war to try to protect American jobs. But CNN notes that Trump’s job approval on trade here is just 38/50. Other polls taken within the last few weeks on the tariffs have differed, with one finding a 41/35 plurality in favor and another finding a 33/48 plurality opposed. It’s hard to believe that views on them among CNN’s sample were so strongly in favor that that issue could singlehandedly lift POTUS’s job approval seven points in a month.
Cohen seems to have settled on the unsexy explanation that this month’s “bounce” is really just reversion to the mean. Trump has been in the high 30s or low 40s for his entire presidency in many polls. Statistically it makes sense that you’d get a month where he’s a little bit higher than usual in the low 40s range. Just one question: If Trump’s “bounce” is noise, why are Republicans also inching up on the generic ballot against Democrats?

This is consistent with the RCP averages, which shows Trump at his highest average approval since May of 2017. With the big Second Amendment protests, the profanity filled David Hogg going full out anti-Trump, and the Stormy Daniels nonsense in the news... apparently this causes confusion with those who believe this sort of "bad press" should be hurting the President.

But bad press cannot bring down Trump any further than it already has. I think for anything to change negatively at this point, the feeling (with so many people) that America is on the upswing will have to fall away. But as long as people feel good about how things are going with the country, the media will have a hard time distracting them with High School kids and porn stars.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Liberal world order?

So there has been a slew of recent articles talking about the so called "liberal world order" that is supposedly collapsing for a variety of reasons. Depending on who you listen to, the collapse is due to anything from inherent problems with the basic philosophy of the order, to the election of Donald Trump, to everything in between.

The liberal world order (or neo-liberalism as it is sometimes misdefined) is not much different from the neo-conservative movement that was previously lead by the conservatives associated with the Bush foreign policy. It's the concept that the elites (as they think of themselves) should and can garner influence over the rest of the world, to reshape it into something more appealing to their own political beliefs.

While neo-conservatives believed in military intervention and subsequent nation building to change the status quo, the new world order relies on their political, social, and financial influence to garner the results they seek.

The problem, as I see it,  is not in the means, but in the goals. Both movements rely on the idea that there should be some sort of ruling class that simply knows what is best for everyone, and that once people are under their thumb that they will come around to agreeing. This runs inherently and fundamentally different from human nature, and ignores the fundamental principals of why it is that communities generally succeed or fail.

There are two things that we should understand about human nature (as a whole). The first is that people are simply more comfortable around and seek the company of other people with whom they have the most in common with. The second is that people generally want to have at least some form of autonomy, in that they do not like to be "ruled" by people who have fundamentally different values and beliefs. With those two realities placed in the forefront, it only would make sense that a successful community is generally fairly homogeneous. By fundamental logic, diversity (in terms of values and beliefs) is bound to lead to tension, disagreement, and ultimately conflict.

This is 180 degrees from what modern liberalism of the new world order would like us to believe.

Take the video I posted from U.S. Navy Admiral William H. McRaven. He speaks of the Navy Seals crew called the munchins, who were all under 5' 5" but apparently kicked everyone's asses across the board. He mentioned that they came from different backgrounds, different religions, and were of different races. But the underlying reason that they were successful as a team was not those difference, but rather it was the shared values and shared goals of both their own specific unit, as well as the Navy Seals as a whole. They certainly were not successful because they all believed something different, and did their own thing. In fact, if anyone of them on that team decided to simply march to his own beat, that team would have probably fallen to the back of the pack. It only takes one to disrupt everything.

Same can be said about any community. A neighborhood where everyone shares certain standards of etiquette will get along fairly well.  But if someone comes along and allows their dogs to roam free and poop in everyone's yard, or someone decides to start mowing their lawn at 6:00 a.m. every Saturday morning, or someone frequently blasts loud music at 2:00 am on a weeknight, they will likely not get along very well in a neighborhood where the rest of the community holds themselves to different standards.

Whether you look at churches, clubs, exercise facilities, or most anywhere were people choose to come together as a group, they do so because of shared interests, shared values, or shared beliefs. Few things are quite as disruptive as a newbie walking into a new social situation and not respecting the etiquette that is followed by the regulars. In some of these settings, the newbie might have no idea that they are doing something wrong, but the actions will still create tension, possible conflict, and they will still be expected to eventually assimilate if they expect to get along.

If this is human nature at a micro-community level, what makes people believe that it will be any different as a macro-community level? Why is it that we suddenly believe that there is no need to have any community standards, no need to have any shared values, or no need to have any semblance of a shared belief? Why do we suddenly decide that this is somehow backwards or wrong? Why should any accept that the real standard of community should everyone doing what they want, where ever they want, expecting everyone else to tolerate it, while chastising anyone who objects as being bigoted?

That standard has never successfully existed anywhere, and for good reason.

The world did not change because Donald Trump got elected as President of the United States. The world (and human nature) is exactly the same as it has been since the beginning of civilization. The underlying problem for those who mourn the increasing resistance confronting the new liberal world order is that there never really was a new liberal world order, anymore than there was ever a new neo-conservative world order.

Inspirational Monday morning video

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Does anyone else find it ironic...

That the thousands of people protesting the second amendment and the ownership of guns in Washington D.C. were being protected by approximately five hundred people armed with guns?


I would have expected that the protests should have been a gun free zone since that is what they were all there protesting for?

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Trump upgrades his legal defense team...

President Trump is finally bringing in a first-string legal team to deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry into Russian meddling into the 2016 presidential election and possible “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia.
DiGenova served as the chief federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., during the Reagan years and was an independent counsel at the end of the George H.W. Bush’s term. He has also appeared frequently as a guest on Fox News programs. Toensing is a former assistant U.S. attorney and was a former deputy assistant attorney general during the Reagan administration.
While certainly colorful, Trump’s defense team until now could not boast veterans of the unique combination of criminal law and constitutional politics demanded by independent counsel investigations, especially those into the president. President Trump’s lawyers seemed almost to be part and parcel of the circus-like atmosphere that has pervaded the White House. But just as the president eventually replaced provocateurs such as Steve Bannon with seasoned professional manager like White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, he is now upgrading his legal team. It is as if the Golden State Warriors are subbing in for a college basketball team.

It will be interesting what this new team decides to do. Apparently the old team was being chastised both for being too agreeable with Special Counsel, but demanding that Trump not testify. I could certainly see the new team dial down the cooperation that the previous team had insisted on, but I would not suspect that they will be any more eager to have Trump sit down and talk to anyone under oath. 

Friday, March 23, 2018

The 17 year old liberal hero calls others opportunistic?

He might actually call them "fucking opportunistic" 



Oh wait: I guess YouTube removed it




But you can watch it here: For now!

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/03/23/david_hogg_our_parents_dont_know_how_to_use_a_fcking_democracy_so_we_have_to.html

Dershowitz vs Toobin

This is an interesting debate that sort of goes to the heart of a couple of matters as it pertains to Special Counsel. The first is the question of whether Alan Dershowitz is playing politics for basically holding the same position regarding special counsels today as it pertains to Trump, as he did back in the 90's when he opposed a special counsel appointment to investigate Clinton. I think this is important, because there certainly seems to be an overwhelming viewpoint from people like Toobin, that anything having to do with Donald Trump should sort of render all logical consistency irrelevant, and allow for a blatant change of position. Apparently, not doing so is akin to carrying Trump's water. 


But the part that stands out to me is Toobin's argument at the end, that the involvement of special counsel was "required" as a matter of political optics to make things appear fair. This is one of those textbook hypothetical wishful arguments that makes no real tangible sense in the actual world we live. Right, wrong, or indifferent Ken Starr was either glorified or damned, depending on what side of the political aisle you resided. Same for Patrick Fitzgerald who investigated the Valerie Plame situation. To believe that somehow this would be different with Robert Mueller, requires a willing suspension of disbelief. Especially considering the staff he put together, and the fact that he cannot (or won't) control the political leaks coming from his own camp.

Intention or not, the appointment of Special Counsel is literally the most politically charged event an Attorney General can make. It basically guarantees that you will have public and political divisions that generally rise to almost rabid levels. It will never really be seen as "fair" to anyone. Some may argue as such (because they secretly are rooting for Special Counsel to find criminal behavior), but nobody "really" believes it's fair. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

So here is something interesting...

So by now, everyone has heard that Jumpin Joe Biden (or should we say "kissing" Joe Biden) stated that he would "beat the hell out of Donald Trump" for disrespecting women. No doubt, Biden would then immediately fondle some random unwilling woman who happened to be watching the fight.


But if you attempt to do any sort of internet search on Biden beating the hell out of Trump, you might think you mistyped something. Out of the first 25 stories that came up in my search, 24 of them were about Trump's reaction to Biden, all but a couple of them appeared to be either blaming Trump for starting or critical of Trump for fueling the so called "feud". Apparently Jumpin Joe is an innocent bystander. 

I had to literally page down twice before finally finding the original story about Joe Biden making the statement about beating the hell out of Trump.  Go figure. 

How true...


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Here's a good one!

EXCLUSIVE: Fired FBI official authorized criminal probe of Sessions, sources say
Nearly a year before Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired senior FBI official Andrew McCabe for what Sessions called a "lack of candor," McCabe oversaw a federal criminal investigation into whether Sessions lacked candor when testifying before Congress about contacts with Russian operatives, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News. 
Democratic lawmakers have repeatedly accused Sessions of misleading them in congressional testimony and called on federal authorities to investigate, but McCabe's previously-unreported decision to actually put the attorney general in the crosshairs of an FBI probe was an exceptional move.
So Andrew McCabe, second in charge of the FBI authorized a criminal probe into Jeff Sessions. Why? Because Al Franken didn't understand the difference between a Senator meeting with a foreign Ambassador about general political issues, and a campaign worker meeting with high level Russian government officials about the election.

But Hillary Clinton, who declared under oath about a dozen times that she did not send, receive, or house classified information on her personal server was never subjected to any sort of criminal probe for any such misleading of congress.

This is EXACTLY the sort of partisanship and bias that existed under the James Comey run FBI. Good riddance to both of them. At least they can make all sorts of money using the PT Barnum theory about a liberal willing to buy their book sucker being born every minute.

Mueller Probe does not exist in a vacuum

Let's be clear about something here. The Mueller probe does not exist in a vacuum. While I am sure that many would like to dismiss comparisons as irrelevant, the reality is that there is a legitimate political, ethical, and logical reason to always hold the Mueller probe up to (or down to) the same standards that existed with Comey investigation of Hillary Clinton's email scandal.

Here are some fundamental truths:

  • The Clinton investigation lasted about a year. The original FBI investigation was triggered in July of 2015. In July of 2016 James Comey provided a public statement that the investigation was completed.  Presumably so that we could move on with the election without the investigation hanging over us.
  • The combined FBI/Special counsel investigation into possible Trump Russian collusion has been going on for 20 months, with basically no end in sight. Most observers suggest that there is little possibility that this will end before the 2018 midterms. Many people "want" it to still be hanging over us. 
_______

  • Comey admitted that there was actual evidence that criminal statutes were violated. but argued that no reasonable prosecutor would charge her.  Comey basically tortured the statutes to suggest that a specific intent to harm the country was required to charge someone with this criminal act.
  • After 20 months of investigations, there is still no suggestion from anyone that there is any actual evidence of criminal behavior related to the 2016 election or any sort of Trump Russia collusion. However, there is much suggestion that Trump (or associates) could be charged with some form of conspiracy or obstruction that would be unprecedented and specific only to this particular case.  In other words we didn't charge Hillary for something that was technically a crime, but there is talk that Mueller wants to charge Trump with a crime for actions that are otherwise perfectly legal.
_______

  • The Clinton FBI investigation started from Inspector General reports, and actual evidence that classified information was being stored on a private server. In other words, there was solid evidence that a crime had been committed.
  • The Trump FBI investigation started from a tip from a $25 million dollar Clinton donor and was spurred on by an unverified dossier paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign. There was not then, and still is not today, any known evidence of a crime.
_______

  • The FBI investigation into the Clintons revealed that several people lied under oath, including Hillary Clinton who (while under oath) swore multiple times that there had been no classified information sent, received from, or stored on her personal server. That server was subpoenaed, not turned over, and eventually seized after Clinton had hired a firm to wipe the server of all evidence. Nobody was charged either for perjury or obstruction.
  • The Mueller probe has so far charged four different people with misleading investigators. At least half of them were for charged that the FBI themselves did not feel were necessary. Meanwhile, suggestion is that the President (who has by all accounts been forthcoming with all requests for information, and have turned over everything requested) is being investigated for possible obstruction charges.    

Like it or not, these comparisons will continue to come into play, as well they should. We should not live in a country where our law enforcement treats you one way when your name is Clinton and your Party is Democrat, and completely differently when your name is Trump and you are a Republican.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

School Shooting in Maryland thwarted by armed guard...

The sheriff’s PIO told NBC that the incident involved a single male shooter who was a student at the school, who targeted a female student. The armed guard (school resource officer) at the school then engaged in a firefight with the shooter, critically wounding him, and a third student was injured. The shooter and intended target are both critically injured, and the third student is in critical but stable condition. So far, they are not releasing any information on the weapon itself.

This points out the value of having armed resource officers on campus, at least when they are willing to respond. As the PIO pointed out, this could have been a lot worse, especially because the shooting took place in a crowded corridor.

UPDATE: The shooter has actually died. 



The "ex" deep state rears it's ugly head


Now Samantha Power has pulled back a little on her statement claiming that she didn't really mean anything by it. But the intent is clear and consistent with what many others have stated about the so called "deep state".  

In essence, this is all a thinly veiled threat that people with certain behind the scenes law enforcement power have to ability to come get you if you piss them off... and if John Brennen cannot do so personally, well then it's likely he has friends in all the right places to get it done by proxy. 

Of course, this is EXACTLY what the President is claiming is happening to him. That he is the victim of an overzealous deep state attack on him, and those close to him. Ultimately every time someone talks about how the FBI or the Deep State or some other behind the scenes trilateral commission will ultimately get Trump, it reinforces the allegations.

Of course we all know that what is going on today is all being done under a microscope. Nothing that Mueller, the FBI, or anyone else in Law Enforcement does will be done outside of notice. Everything will be parsed, compared, diagnosed, dissected, and otherwise analyzed to death for the slightest hint of partisanship or bias.

Statements from people like Brennan, Power, McCabe, Comey... are actually proof of the partisanship, bias, and unprofessionalism that existed prior to their ultimate release from positions of power. Obviously those people could not exist in the positions that they did, with such a deep hatred of the person who was elected President.

Monday, March 19, 2018

A must read article on recent Gates plea

On Thursday, February 22, with now-familiar fanfare, Mueller filed an indictment against Paul Manafort and Richard Gates, alleging extremely serious crimes. Let’s put aside for now that the charges have absolutely nothing to do with the stated rationale for Mueller’s appointment, namely, Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible Trump-campaign collusion therein. 
According to the special counsel, Manafort and Gates conspired to commit more than $25 million in bank fraud. In all, the indictment charges nine bank-fraud counts, each carrying a potential penalty of up to 30 years’ imprisonment (i.e., 270 years combined). Furthermore, the two defendants are formally charged with $14 million in tax fraud (the indictment’s narrative of the offense actually alleges well over twice that amount). There are five tax-fraud counts, yielding a potential 15 years’ imprisonment (up to three years for each offense), against each defendant.
Mind you, this indictment, filed in the Eastern District of Virginia, is not a stand-alone. It piles atop an earlier indictment in the District of Columbia. That one, filed back in October, accuses Manafort and Gates of an eye-popping $75 million money-laundering conspiracy, a charge that carries a penalty of up to 20 years’ imprisonment. 
The two indictments contain many other felony charges. But sticking with just these most serious ones, we can safely say that, on February 22, Manafort and Gates were portrayed as high-order federal felons who faced decades of prison time based on financial frauds in the nine-digit range. And while I have previously discussed potential proof problems for the money-laundering charge, proving bank fraud and tax fraud is comparatively straightforward. The indictment indicates that the evidence of these crimes is well documented and daunting.
Yet, the very next day, Friday, February 23, Mueller permitted Gates to plead guilty to two minor charges — a vaporous “conspiracy against the United States” and the process crime of misleading investigators, each carrying a sentence of zero to five years in jail. This flouted Justice Department policies designed to ensure that federal law is enforced evenhandedly across the nation.
McCarthy has been a voice of reason throughout this whole process.  Over and over he has called Mueller out, when most people simply refuse to touch it.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

So which liberal hero is lying?

McCabe: 
I chose to share with a reporter through my public affairs officer and a legal counselor. As deputy director, I was one of only a few people who had the authority to do that. It was not a secret, it took place over several days, and others, including the director, were aware of the interaction with the reporter.
Comey: 
Asked if he had “ever been an anonymous source in news reports about matters relating to the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation” or whether he had “ever authorized someone else at the FBI to be an anonymous source in news reports about the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation,” Comey replied “never” and “no.”. 

It's literally impossible to reconcile these two statements, without accepting that one or the other is not telling the truth. As far as we can assume, both statements were made during hearings, investigative questioning, and likely under oath (we know Comey was under oath).

Since misleading the authorities is considered a heinous crime now that we have entered the Trump era (thank you James Mueller)... can anyone tell me why neither of these people has been charged with the same criminal act?

Wouldn't be too hard to figure out who is telling the truth and who is a hardened criminal like George Papadopoulos and General Flynn. In fact, the FBI probably already knows. I am sure it was (or could be done) without having to hire 17 prosecutors and provide an unlimited budget to them.  Generally it doesn't take that much to investigate actual crimes.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

New text messages shed light on Judge's recusal from General Flynn case...

So some people were surprised when Judge Rudolph Contreras recused himself (belatedly) from the General Flynn case (after the case had been settled and Flynn plead guilty as part of a plea bargain). There was little information available as to why, which of course led to many different rumors.

Well it turns out that we might know the reason. Apparently, Contreras was friends with Peter Stzrok, the FBI agent who originally interviewed Flynn, and we all know was later involved in the whole controversy with Lisa Page.

So now Stzrok has apparently found himself in more text related hot water, when it was revealed that he had been texting others about setting up a meeting (disguised as a dinner party) with himself, Contreras, Page, and other members of the FBI. There were also text messaging back and forth discussing the possibilities that Contreras would be in trouble for not recusing himself.

So now we have a second judge overseeing the sentencing. The new judge has taken an abnormal step of asking the FBI to turn over additional information to both himself and the Flynn attorney (at least abnormal when a plea has been reached). He also delayed sentencing till May.

Let's keep in mind that the FBI never charged Flynn with any sort of misleading statements at the time. It was their contention (according to documents) that Flynn at least attempted to tell the truth as best he could. Flynn was actually charged by Robert Mueller several months after the fact. Most observer believe he was trying to put pressure on Flynn to provide information regarding Trump/Russia collusion.

Andrew McCabe fired...

Jeff Sessions fires deputy FBI chief Andrew McCabe
“I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.
McCabe, 49, said he planned to retire in January, but a confidential DOJ inspector general report recommended he be fired for authorizing FBI officials to speak to the press about the investigation into Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation.
Sessions said that decision to fire McCabe came after the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility then reviewed the report and concluded the deputy director should be canned.
So the fact that there was a recommendation from within FBI to fire him, and that the Attorney General felt strong enough to follow through just days from his official retirement... tells us that this was not a close call. McCabe did authorize leaks and lied about it, there is plenty of evidence to show this, and it could lead to criminal prosecution.

McCabe, of course, denies it, and blames Trump. What else would you expect.

What's next? Perhaps McCabe will attempt to take some sort of legal action to try to garner the pension that he was just days away from qualifying for. Or perhaps McCabe will find himself in criminal court, trying to fight off possible fines or jail time for his alleged behavior. Oddly, it wouldn't be impossible that both possibilities end up playing out simultaneously.

Friday, March 16, 2018

A couple of questions about Conor Lamb...


  • Did Conor Lamb sound more like Donald Trump, or Hillary Clinton?
  • Would Conor Lamb have won a Democratic primary, if forced to run in one? 

The two questions are interrelated, and equally important. The fact is that Conor Lamb was not the sort of anti-Trump, progressive idealists that many Democrats will likely be hoping for in November. While he certainly has obvious philosophical differences with Donald Trump, it wasn't what he highlighted. While he probably agrees with Clinton on issues, he certainly didn't run his race anything like she ran hers.

He also was not required (because it was a special election) to win the nomination through a primary election. The Party chose Lamb, very specifically because they felt he could win.

This begs the question: if Conor Lamb is the sort of Candidate that the Democrats need to take back the House, will the rank and file Democrats who vote in the primary understand and go along with that?  Or will the Coner Lambs of the Party lose their primary bids to the more ideological (and less electable) Democrats?

Thursday, March 15, 2018

School walk out?

For the past week or so, we have been sent notifications, phone messages, emails, etc... about a 17 minute walk out that was taking place at the local High School yesterday. This was part of the national walk out that was organized after the Florida School shootings.

The notices were clear that the school was supportive of anyone who wanted to take part. Other than actually being marked absent, there would be no repercussions. There was sort of an understanding with the teachers that no assignments or tests would be presented during this particular time.

Anyways, when the time came for the walkout, my son (who is a Freshman) said three people in his class participated. All in all, it was estimated that between a hundred and a hundred and fifty students went to the designated area where the walkout/rally/protest or whatever would take place.

Now, obviously I live in a suburban conservative area here in Minnesota. But I certainly expected a much larger amount of students to take part, for no other reason than to get out of school for seventeen minutes. Considering our High School has almost two thousand students, over ninety percent of them chose to stay in class. From what I read in the local newspapers, the participation rate here in the metro area was anywhere from about nine hundred students in one Minneapolis school, to another suburban school that reported only about a dozen participants.

I guess we don't even have political unity at the High School level.

This actually IS criminal behavior

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper allegedly leaked information to CNN early last year regarding the classified briefings given to then President-Elect Donald Trump and President Barack Obama on the salacious dossier claiming the Russians had compromising information on the president-elect, according to government sources, who noted the evidence of the leak was collected during the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation.
Now the committee report is only alleging that Clapper is responsible for the leaks, but it certainly makes sense based on what we currently know of Clapper. How much of the committee's evidence is solid vs circumstantial evidence remains to be seen.

The truth is that without the leaks to CNN from someone within the intelligence community, we probably would have heard very little about the Steele dossier. According to most media sources, the initial reaction to the dossier was not to write about it, as it was basically unsubstantiated. But when a source from the upper levels of the intelligence community lends it credibility by suggesting to the media that it was being investigated, then it becomes real news.

Clapper had just gotten a pass for possible perjury charges from lies told during congressional hearings back in 2013. The DOJ allowed the statute of limitations run out just a few days ago. So one has to think if there is solid enough evidence that he is the one that leaked to CNN (his current employer) that he would face charges for it. Certainly, letting him off again without charges for this sort of behavior would be a problem.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

RIP


PA 18

So what conclusions can we draw (if any) from Pennsylvania 18? 

First of all, the fact that some are declaring it a dead heat, while others are declaring a Lamb victory is sort of irrelevant at this point. The district will no longer be a district in seven months. The fact of the matter is that it turned out to be a close race in a district where there had been a long serving Republican, and where Donald Trump has won by a fairly convincing margin.

That being said, Pennsylvania 18 is not unlike many swing districts out there that Republicans currently hold. Even as Republicans have been winning, the actual make up of this district shows that there are 70,000 more registered Democrats than there are Republicans. These are the sorts of districts (especially when they are open seats) where a long standing trend can be rendered meaningless, if the challengers can sort of "reset" the narrative. 

One thing to consider here is that Donald Trump still holds a 90% favorability with the people who voted for him in 2016.  Overall, 56% of Republicans  have a "very favorable" feeling towards the President, while only 32% of Republicans have a "very favorable" feeling towards the Republican Party in general (econTabReport.pdf). To me it would seem counter-intuitive to select candidates in these swing districts that are typical Republicans who appear to be running away from the President. 

Truth is that Rick Saccone was not an inspired Candidate. While there were some grumblings that he didn't work hard enough with his fundraising, I would offer that a lack of fundraising suggests a lack of enthusiasm for Saccone in general. The Republicans might want to reconsider the strategy of running room temperature candidates. 

On the flip side, the Democrats ran a Candidate who sounded like Donald Trump. He ran against Washington, against the status quo. He talked about taking action. Getting things done.  He's a former Marine who actually praises the President on his own campaign site. He ran ads showing himself shooting guns. Held a political rally at a gun show. If you read through much of his website, you might assume he was the Republican candidate.  

Conclusion:

Last week the Democrats were disappointed in their results in Texas. But the situation in Texas was pretty black and white. You have a situation in Texas there the lines are drawn. The differences are significant. There are conservatives,  there are liberals,  and you know who is who.

But in many of the races where Democrats have done well, both the Republican and the Democrat have raced towards the middle... and what you ended up with is shades of grey. 

If I was advising the GOP right now, I would tell them to find conservative candidates who are passionate about what they believe in. They don't have to be exactly in the mold of Donald Trump, but they absolutely cannot be in the mold of the Paul Ryan Mitch McConnell business as usual type either. 

If I was advising the Democrats right now, I would tell them that they are on to something with candidates like Lamb. They would do well to play off of the themes that have been successful (changing Washington, getting things done) and try not to take all of this as a validation of liberal ideals. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Schiff's Response?

We didn't find anything because Republicans wouldn't look hard enough.

Some highlights:

  • GOP conclusion represents another "capitulation" to the executive branch
  • Majority has placed the interests of protecting the President over protecting the country
  • Learned about "countless meetings, conversations, and communications" 
  • Thirteen Russians have been indicted for helping Trump and hurting Clinton
  • High ranking Trump officials have been indicted
  • Unwilling to subpoena documents like phone records, bank records
  • Started counter-investigations to attack credibility of the FBI, DOJ, and State dept
  • Believes that the investigation substantiated the conclusions that Russians were out to hurt Clinton
  • Allegations of Russian money laundering wasn't investigated
  • Work is fundamentally incomplete
  • New information will continue to be exposed and make Republicans look bad 


Several things sort of jump out at me here. 

The idea that winding down a year long investigation is capitulation is sort of nonsensical as a matter of fundamental fact. Moreover, there is a fine line between respecting due process and "protecting" someone. You don't get to expand investigations based on rumors or simply subpoena phone records or bank records because you want to. You have to have reasonable cause to do so. Even people in the Trump administration have fourth amendment rights. 

Meetings, conversations, communications with other countries, whether they be private or not, are not illegal. Moreover, none of the Trump officials have been indicted for anything related to Russian collusion. This is just Schiff attempting to use classic rhetoric to imply something that doesn't exist. 

The indictment of the Russians concluded (not that they were helping Trump and hurting Clinton) but that they were looking to sow discontent in general. That's basically a lie to claim differently. 

Lastly, Schiff appears to argue that unending and ever expanding investigations into Trump, open ended uses of subpoenas and interviews, are required to "protect the country" - but any investigation into the FBI, DOJ, or State Department is an attack on their credibility?  I would argue the opposite is true. The entire concept of investigating the Trump administration is a blatant attempt to attack the President's credibility. On the flip side, the idea that the FBI or DOJ was possibly breaking the law is absolutely something that must be looked into in a very serious manner. There is no reason why the public must be constantly bombarded with more and more and more about one investigation, and be left in the dark about the other. The hypocrisy here is staggering. 

This is pretty much what I expected to hear from Schiff. Heavy on rhetoric, implications, and complaints. Short on facts, logic, and honesty. 


Exit Stage Rex

Rex Tillerson out                           Mike Pompeo in 

I am sure many on the left will get their undies in a bunch over this move.  Obviously there has been tension between Trump and Tillerson for some time. I think the main message will be that if you want to work in the Trump Administration, that you better sort of be a Trump person.

Interestingly this has been a standard normal operating procedure throughout our political history. Pretty much every Administration has chosen to employ people who are pretty much like minded with the President.  Those who work for the President are generally expected to do the President's bidding.

Think Powell, Rice, Rumsfeld, Gates, Ridge, Thompson, Paulson, Wolfowitz, etc...
Think Clinton, Kerry, Gates, Holder, Lynch, Sebelius, Napolitano, Rice, etc...

But in the case of Donald Trump, there has become sort of a warped sense that those who work in the Administration are somehow there to provide a check to the President, not to work for him. We have never seen more emphasis on the idea of major cabinet players being "independent" than we are seeing today. I fully expect that eventually the President will find people who want to work with him, rather than provide resistance. Then we may finally see more stability.

House Intelligence Report

No collusion between Trump and Russia
No conclusion that Russia was helping Trump
The House Intelligence Committee has released findings from its upcoming report on the Trump-Russia affair — and its main conclusion is that it has discovered no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.
"We have found no evidence of collusion, coordination, or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians," the committee said in a one-page summary of its findings released Monday afternoon.
In addition, the committee took issue with the intelligence community assessment of Russian motivations in the 2016 election. The committee agrees with the assessment that the Russians did, in fact, try to interfere — the findings cite "Russian cyberattacks on U.S. political institutions in 2015-2016 and their use of social media to sow discord." But the committee disagrees with the intelligence community judgment that Russian President Vladimir Putin specifically tried to help President Trump win the election.

Like it or not, this is consistent with everything we have heard to date, including what we have gotten from the Special Counsel. In fact, the only actual tangible report that Mueller has brought forth so far that had anything to do with the 2016 election was the indictment of several members of a Russian trolling farm. In that indictment Mueller concluded that the Russians responsible did not collude or conspire with the Trump campaign. The indictment also suggested that the meddling Russians were looking more to sow discontent in the election process (rather than specifically help Trump).

Now obviously, the House Intelligence committee has fairly broad access to most (if not all) the same information that Mueller would have started off with. I am sure there are certain aspects of Mueller's probe that Congress hasn't seen yet (such as special counsel interviews, legal research, and such). But any raw intelligence that has been uncovered would have been turned over to the committees. So at this point, what we are seeing is the leadership (aka GOP) interpretation of information. We will likely see a minority (aka Democrat) interpretation of this same information, and quite obviously we all expect a fairly in depth report from Robert Mueller and his team.

Now it's no secret that the Democrats on the intelligence committee will not likely want to just let this report stand. Even if it's 100% accurate (and it likely is), the politics of the situation demands that they respond. But at this point it's kind of put up or shut up time for Schiff and gang. Either you have something, or you don't. I suspect that the Democrats have very little. 

My best guess is that the Democratic response is not going to include any real evidence of collusion, conspiracy, or anything of that sort. They may disagree around the edges, and even make some statement about deferring to the CIA about motive. But ultimately I would more expect that their response will be to complain that the Intelligence findings are premature, incomplete, and ultimately an attempt to sweep things under the rug by concluding the investigation too soon. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Public Accommodation Laws

So there are now two different lawsuits, from two different plaintiffs, suing Dicks Sporting goods for refusing to sell them firearms (or ammo) because they are under the age of 21. Not selling to anyone under the age of 21, of course, is a new policy set in place by Dicks Sporting goods in the wake of the most recent school shooting.


The two lawsuits in question are taking place in the states of Delaware and Michigan. Both happen to have what are called "Public Accommodation Laws" that include a ban on age discrimination. While all 50 states have some sort of Public Accommodation law in place, only 19 of the 50 states actually have laws that include age. Apparently in 31 states (including Minnesota) you can be legally discriminated against because of your age. Who knew?

But either way, Dicks will have to show the courts that their ban on selling guns to people under the age of 21 serves a greater public good that justifies the breaking of the anti-discrimination laws in their state.

Working against Dicks is the fact that we allow people under the age of 21 to join the Military, train with assault rifles, and actually use them to wage war against our enemies. We also allow people to join the police academies at 18, and in many cases those under the age of 21 can even be employed as armed security guards (with the adequate training of course).

One has to wonder what statistical evidence exists that could justify a ban against legal adults, because of their age.  I would believe it might have to be fairly conclusive.  It would otherwise seem like the law (and to some degree common sense) will be on the side of the plaintiffs, while public sentiment and emotional appeal will be on the side of the defendants.

I'll be curious about how those who believe that a baker must bake a cake for a same sex wedding in order to keep in line with anti-discrimination laws, will see this lawsuit? Will these same people side with the plaintiffs because they too are claiming discrimination?  Or will they do the old 180 and suddenly feel like a business should have the right to take their own private political views into consideration and create a policy that allows them to pick and choose who they sell to?

Interestingly, while there are laws that protect a business from having to go against their own religious beliefs, there really isn't any laws that protect a business from having to go against a political belief. Legally, the standing of the baker is probably stronger (from citing a religious exception) than that of the sporting goods store (from citing a generic public interest).

Saturday, March 10, 2018

So Stormy Daniels isn't going away anytime soon...

Does anyone have a list of all the things that were not going away anytime soon... 
but still managed to go away in spite of these exclamations? 


Trump pardons Sailor...

The six photos found on a cellphone Saucier discarded were deemed “confidential,” the lowest level of classification, even though some depicted the vessel’s nuclear reactor. Clinton, by contrast, sent and received highly classified information on a private email server. In pleading guilty, Saucier admitted destroying evidence after being questioned.
Let's review: 
  • Both the sailor and Clinton housed classified information in a personal location. The sailor housed his on his cell phone. Clinton housed hers on a private email server,  on Anthony Wiener's lap top computer, and lord knows where else. 
  • Sailor housed information deemed "confidential" which is the lowest level of classification. Clinton housed "confidential", "secret" and even some classified information that was declared to be the  highest level of classification of "top secret".
  • Both the sailor and Clinton admitted to destroying information sought by authorities.
  • Authorities stated in both cases that there was no indication that the information was gathered in any attempt to "harm" the U.S. Government.

But the Sailor went to jail for two years, while Clinton walked away without any charges. Oh and over 60 million people thought Clinton should be President.

Saturday Open Mic


Friday, March 9, 2018

TGIF !!!

Winning bigly with a bajillion new jobs

Nonfarm payrolls increase by 313,000 in Feb

The Donald sends a special shout out to Roger, Opie, James and W.P. 
The economy added 313,000 jobs in February, crushing expectations, while the unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent, according to a Labor Department report Friday that could help quell inflation fears. Economists surveyed by Reuters had been expecting nonfarm payroll growth of 200,000 and the unemployment rate to decline one-tenth of a percent to 4 percent. An increase in the labor force participation rate to its highest level since September 2017 helped keep the headline unemployment number steady, as the number of those counted as not in the workforce tumbled by 653,000 to just over 95 million.

Kim Jong Un wants to meet...

President Donald Trump has agreed to meet directly with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, in what could be the biggest breakthrough in the tense nuclear saber-rattling that has defined the president’s stance since taking office.  
The invitation from the North Korean dictator was announced at the White House by South Korea’s national security adviser, who reported that North Korea also agreed that in the interim it would halt its missile tests and was prepared to negotiate ending its nuclear weapons program altogether.
With all the focus on more important things, like which unknown low level Trump advisory might have met with which unknown low level random person from some other country... it seems we forget about the fact that we have actual real world issues that need to be resolved. Moreover, these real world issues will not be resolved by Robert Mueller or more investigations.

Now we have no clue exactly what Jong Un is up to. Perhaps he just wants to hang out with Trump, play a round of golf, and have sex with a porn star? Or perhaps he really does want to negotiate some agreement with the rest of the free world that would include both some form of denuclearization of North Korea for some economic aid and removal of sanctions.

Time will tell, but I promise you this: if Kim Jong Un reached out to Obama and wanted to talk denuclearization, the world would have already nominated and presented Obama with a life time Nobel Peace Prize achievement award.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Democrats behind in key Senate races...



  • Montana: Sen. Jon Tester loses to his unnamed Republican challenger 42 percent to 55 percent.
  • West Virginia: Sen. Joe Manchin loses to his unnamed Republican challenger 43 percent to 52 percent.
  • Missouri: Sen. Claire McCaskill loses to Republican challenger Josh Hawley 44 percent to 52 percent.
  • Indiana: Sen. Joe Donnelly loses to his unnamed Republican challenger 45 percent to 51 percent.
  • North Dakota: Sen. Heidi Heitkamp loses to her unnamed Republican challenger 47 percent to 49 percent.

A method to the madness?


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

So here is something...

You know how so many people want to argue that you cannot blame pro-Hillary Richard Steele for starting the Russian investigation, because it was actually started in response to a drunken conversation between George Papadopoulos and an Australian diplomat.


Well it turns out that this Australian diplomat (who provided the Feds with details of the so called conversation) was a gentleman by the name of Alexander Downer. Downer, whom ironically enough is a Clinton crony as well, having donated approximately $25 million dollars to the Clintons and their foundation.

It sort of begs the question. Was Papadopoulos charged with misleading statements because of a disagreement with the Clinton donor regarding what was said that night? Did the FBI (and Mueller) simply take the word of the Diplomat over the word of Papadopoulos?

Bottom Line:  The investigation was prompted by a tip from a high stakes Clinton donor,  and then fueled by research that was paid for by the Clinton campaign itself.  Is there anything real left to show that this investigation is on the up and up?

Oh, and by the way:  Nobody in the FBI thought it relevant to inform Congress or anyone else while testifying or providing documentation... that the ultimate source who triggered the investigation was a Clinton crony to the tune of $25 million.

Not sure why it was a big deal...

But yesterday there were some primaries in Texas, and apparently the Democrats were left feeling a bit underwhelmed?  Apparently some were surprised (and disappointed) that there is a strong indication that Trump is popular in Texas and that candidates who were more supportive of the President did better than those who showed much opposition. Apparently there was some disappointment that the final voting numbers showed about 3 Republicans to 2 Democrats. Apparently there was also disappointment that some well funded and DNC backed candidate did not perform up to expectations?

What we are seeing, so far in off year elections, is that the sort of Democrat that is winning is not the hard core anti-Trump far left liberal Democrat... but rather it's the sort of conservative Democrat who is willing to campaign without offending the conservatives that they need to win. If Donald Trump did nothing else but move the Democratic Party in a conservative direction... it would be a net win.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Here is a reasonable legal decision that manages to criticize Trump while still maintaining the rule of law

Judge rules Trump’s DACA phaseout legal 

Now, this decision does not "overrule" the California decision that puts a national stay on the implementation of the President's policy, but it all but assures at this point that (unless the circuit courts overrule the other two decisions) the USSC will hear the case. At this point the case is both of great policy importance, and there are now split judicial decisions.

It was nice to see this particular Judge use the words of multiple USSC Justices, including Chief Justice Roberts in making his decision. Certainly most legal analysts believe that the USSC will fall in favor of the Administration and agree with this particular District Judge. This decision seems to be a preview of what me will likely see.

I highlighted some of the key parts of this ruling. Those that are in direct contrast to what most people would view as "activist" Justices who feel themselves responsible to make the laws.

Here is some of the Judges comments:
A ccording to the Administrative Record, the basis for the decision to rescind DACA was its presumed unlawfulness in the wake of the DAPA litigation and the threat of imminent legal challenge. The agency’s reasoning is substantiated by the legal advice of the Attorney General and the fact that the memorandum was issued the day before the state parties had threatened to act. A six-month wind down period was provided to avoid the potential for chaos if a court decision resulted in immediate termination, and the President urged Congress to pass Dreamer-protection legislation.15
Complicating the picture for some observers is the unfortunate and often inflammatory rhetoric used by President Trump during the campaign, as well as his Twitter pronouncements, both before and after his election. Thoughtful and careful judicial review is not aided when the President lobs verbal hand grenades at the federal courts, the Department of Justice, and anyone else with whom he disagrees.
As disheartening or inappropriate as the President’s occasionally disparaging remarks may be, they are not relevant to the larger issues governing the DACA rescission. The DACA Rescission Memo is clear as to its purpose and reasoning, and its decision is rationally supported by the Administrative Record. See generally Kleindienst v. Mandel, 408 U.S. 753, 770 (1972) (“[W]hen the Executive exercises [a congressionally delegated power of immigration policies and rules for the exclusion of aliens] negatively on the basis of a facially legitimate and bona fide reason, the courts will [not] look behind the exercise of that discretion.”); Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 548 U.S. 557, 623–24 n.52 (2006) (“We have not heretofore, in evaluating the legality of executive action, deferred to comments made by such officials to the media.”).16 The executive branch may have the authority to exercise or not exercise prosecutorial discretion as it sees fit, and an agency certainly may refrain from action it reasonably believes to be unlawful. Under the Constitution, it is the responsibility of Congress to determine immigration policy, and the executive branch must only act within its constitutional and delegated legislative authority. Although Congress has repeatedly failed to pass Dreamer legislation in the past, the ball is again in its court. And with 87 percent of Americans favoring some sort of DACA-esque protections, the elected members of Congress should understandably job done now that their authority has been recognized by court decisions and the President.17
In concluding this Opinion, the Court notes the recent opinion of Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel, of the Southern District of California, in which he made observations that aptly apply to this case. In a case involving a challenge to President Trump’s proposed “border wall,” he noted that the case was “currently the subject of heated political debate,” but that in its review of the case, “the Court cannot and does not consider whether underlying decisions . . . are politically wise or prudent.” In re Border Infrastructure Envtl. Litig., No. CV 17-1215 GPC (WVG), 2018 WL 1071702, at *1 (S.D. Cal. Feb. 27, 2018). For this proposition, he cited the opinion of his fellow Indiana native, Chief Justice Roberts, in Nat’l Fed’n of Indep. Bus. v. Sebelius, 567 U.S. 519, 538 (2012): “Court[s] are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”
The result of this case is not one that this Court would choose if it were a member of a different branch of our government. An overwhelming percentage of Americans support protections for “Dreamers,” yet it is not the province of the judiciary to provide legislative or executive actions when those entrusted with those responsibilities fail to act. As Justice Gorsuch noted during his confirmation hearing, “a judge who likes every outcome he reaches is probably a pretty bad judge, stretching for the policy results he prefers rather than those the law compels.”35
This Court does not like the outcome of this case, but is constrained by its constitutionally limited role to the result that it has reached. Hopefully, the Congress and the President will finally get their job done.

Our grand media!

TV vs. Trump in 2018: Lots of Russia, and 91% Negative Coverage
So far, 2018 looks an awful lot like 2017 — at least when it comes to the broadcast networks’ hostile approach to Donald Trump. A Media Research Center analysis of the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts in January and February found ten times more negative comments about the President than positive statements, and found the ongoing Russia investigation once again swamped all other topics.

For this study, MRC analysts looked at all 505 evening news stories that mentioned President Trump or his administration in January and February. Out of 851 total minutes of airtime devoted to the administration, the networks spent almost one-fourth of it (204 minutes, or 24%) on the Russia investigation, eclipsing other major topics such as the economy, immigration reform, and even the gun debate.
Keeping in mind that the Russia investigation was listed as the 17th most important subject by the American voter in a recent survey, it's amazing that the media still thinks this is the subject that they need to concentrate on.  I have to wonder out loud what will happen once the Russian investigation is completed and the media is forced to move along from the story (as the American public obviously already has for the most part).

I have to go back to a comment made by our resident "genius" who suggested that we need to trust the media, and especially anonymous sources because those anonymous sources are sometime right. The problem is that these sources are hardly ever proven "right". They are just assumed to be right unless otherwise not proven to be wrong. Most of what they claim (chaos at the White House) is unprovable. People willing to be quoted will make statements that contradict the anonymous source, but it's simply assumed by the left that those are the people who are lying... and that some anonymous source get's it right. (try that in a court of law, or organized debate).

The reality is that when some anonymous sources are proven wrong, as they have been on many major issues including the Comey testimony, people leaving the White House who never left, and promises of major breakthroughs in the Mueller investigation that never happen, it becomes hard (or at least it should) to continue to believe them.

Between the 90% negative coverage, the fake anonymous sourced news, and the fundamentally transparent bias, the media has dug their own hole. The odd thing is that they don't really seem to care. They are seemingly willing to ruin the reputation of the media, present and future, in their quest to take down the President.


Monday, March 5, 2018

Is Mueller off in left field?

George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman, has hovered on the fringes of international diplomacy for three decades. He was a back-channel negotiator with Syria during the Clinton administration, reinvented himself as an adviser to the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates, and last year was a frequent visitor to President Trump’s White House.
Mr. Nader is now a focus of the investigation by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel. In recent weeks, Mr. Mueller’s investigators have questioned Mr. Nader and have pressed witnesses for information about any possible attempts by the Emiratis to buy political influence by directing money to support Mr. Trump during the presidential campaign, according to people with knowledge of the discussions.
As many wise investigators will tell you, the key to proving a case is to find the evidence. They will tell you that generally speaking investigators who spend most of their time trying to get a variety of people to confess to crimes, are doing so because they simply have no evidence.

There are many different stories being painted about the Mueller investigation. On one hand, you have the never ending stories from certain members of the press who continue to tell us that Mueller is closing in, that he is cornering the President, that he is just a line or two away from connecting the dots. On the other hand, you have many who will tell you that Mueller is behaving exactly like an investigator who is becoming increasingly frustrated chasing around in search of a crime he is cannot even be certain exists.

Now, certainly both theories could ultimately be the reality.

Mueller really might have all sorts of evidence piled up in his virtual evidence vault, and he is simply carefully biding his time, lining up his ducks, crossing the t's and dotting the i's.  Perhaps in moving his focus towards a Lebanese businessman he is simply trying to pile on a few extra crimes to charge the Trump team with.

Or, as others suggest Mueller talking to a Lebanese businessman is a sign that he still has nothing to show for his time, and that his hunt for "any" evidence of collusion has been expanded by necessity. These are the ones who see Mueller as frustrated, out to get scalps by any means, and desperate to find something/anything to tie someone named Trump to some sort of crime.

The bigger problem Mueller, and ultimately Rosenstein run into at this point is the so called expansion of the investigation provides plenty of ammunition for critics to allege abuse. Those allegations become more and more real depending on how much Mueller has actually found.

Now provided Mueller does have solid evidence of corruption and crimes, then expanding out to see just how far this corruption goes is warranted. Nobody would (or should) question the decision to check for "more" of the same sort of corruption that Trump (theoretically) engaged in with Russians. Simple logic dictates that if he colluded with the Russians for election help, then he probably colluded with other foreign powers as well.

But imagine for a second that critics are correct and Mueller has no real evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Considering that many people felt that the entire appointment of special counsel was dubious to begin with, the lack of finding anything confirms their doubts. But it would be a much bigger problem would be if Rosenstein allowed Mueller to keep fishing into other areas without strong evidence that there is some crime involved. You simply don't get to use special prosecutors with unlimited budgets to hunt for crimes without probable cause to believe they have been committed.

Bottom line: The difference between this being a legitimate, thorough investigation by the Mueller team, and it being a problematic witch hunt is entirely based on the hard evidence of criminal activity that Mueller has actually found. If he has hard evidence of criminal conspiracy, then everything he is doing (including expanding this toward other foreign interests) is legitimate and necessary. If he has not found any hard evidence of criminal conspiracy at this point, then it's certainly fair to call an expansion of the investigation as political witch hunt.

At this point... we really don't know for sure the truth.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Perhaps it's CNN that has their priorities wrong?

Don Lemon apologizes, sort of

So Don Lemon was rambling on during a CNN segment, where he attacked Fox News for not covering the news that Hope Hicks stepped down from her White House role. Of course Fox News had covered it, just apparently not with the enthusiasm that Lemon believed that they should.

The problem here is that Don Lemon is completely void of the idea that perhaps CNN spends too much time on things that really are not that important to the broader public (and perhaps that is why they suck as a network).  Who really knows (or cares) about Hope Hicks?

I would only guess that it falls below the Russian Collusion story which ranked as a cool #17 in a recent survey of American priorities.

 Does CNN stand for Collusion News Network?

DON LEMON: I said something last night that was an attempt to make a broader point about FOX News and how they downplay bad news about the administration. I think you understood it. Most people understood it.


I was saying that I think it was a bad example about Hope Hicks but there was a broader context if you watched the entire show about how FOX hadn't covered -I didn't mean that they hadn't covered it at all, but how they broadly downplay big stories and important news for this White House...

It wasn't particularly this, but they had covered it, though. So that was a bad example and so apologies for that.