Friday, August 31, 2018

Now this is an attention grabber.

Wait for it... wait for it !!!

Boycott Boycott!!

Day before labor day...

There has been much speculation that the Mueller probe had until labor day to shit or get off the pot. Many people believed labor day was an artificial deadline (at least for Mueller report certain findings). Any actions taken by special counsel between labor day and the election would have political ramification that many believe to be hypothetically out of line.

This apparently means that pretty much "everyone" on the left expects that there will be some big shoe dropping today, the unofficial "last day" for Mueller to make a move. Apparently speculation is that that we receive big information on one or more of the following:
  • President Trump's tax returns.
  • Trump bank records, which are more valuable than tax returns.
  • Internal Trump Organization records.
  • More recordings from Michael Cohen.
  • Cellphone records (metadata showing calls placed/received and duration) related to the Trump Tower meeting.
  • White House and campaign emails and text messages. (Trump's legal team said in January that the White House had produced more than 20,000 pages of materials, and the campaign had provided more than 1.4 million pages.)
  • Contemporaneous notes of White House staffers from meetings with Trump.
  • A full reconstruction by former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who made a plea deal, of his conversations about Russia and subsequent lies.
  • Scores of hours of testimony of Trump insiders (including at least 20 White House personnel) about his private dealings, much of which is unknown to POTUS and the public.
  • National Enquirer files revealed by today's N.Y. Times: Trump and Cohen "devised a plan to buy up all the dirt on Mr. Trump that the National Enquirer and its parent company had collected on him, dating back to the 1980s."
Now I am not "exactly" sure why our media believes that the general public is entitled to the President's tax returns, internal corporate records, privileged records of Presidential actions, or the transcripts from "hours of testimony". I am not even sure why anyone believes that Mueller has garnered the President's tax returns, bank records, or internal Trump Organization records (unless he served a subpoena alleging criminal action). Moreover, there would be no way to decipher which cell phone calls had to do with what, unless those cell phone calls were recorded (which would not have been done without a secret FISA warrant - which would also make that information secret from the public anyways). 

Contrary to popular exaggeration, General Flynn was asked about "one phone call" he had with the Russian ambassador, and the FBI had that conversation recorded at the time. The summation of that phone call has been well known for quite some time. There were not multiple conversations with Russians, or multiple conversations with the FBI. 

Oh, and Mueller himself is not even investigating Michael Cohen, The National Enquirer, or "hush money". The entire affair was moved off to the New York office and an entirely different set of investigators and prosecutors. 

I guess time will tell if the Mueller probe comes out with big news today. Generally speaking a Friday news drop is done when you are attempting to downplay something (most people do not keep up with the news over the weekends like they do during the week).  If you really wanted to downplay something, you would drop it on a Friday right before a long holiday weekend. I personally suspect that Mueller doesn't give a bigger hoot about the Labor day deadline. I have no doubt that if he has news to drop between now and the election, that he will drop it. The fact that it might be harmful to Trump and the GOP politically would be considered a feature to Mueller and his gang, not a bug.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Talk of impeachment...

Seen quite a few articles recently talking about the "rising" possibility that the Democrats (if they gain control of the House) will commence with impeachment hearings. Now obviously, none of this is "new". The Democrats have been clamoring on about impeachment since the day Trump was inaugurated. 

Of course, prior to that, the Democrats spent most of their energy trying to figure out how to "prevent" the election of Donald Trump from actually allowing Donald Trump to be President. Challenging election votes, lawsuits into election fraud, lawsuits regarding the electoral college, attempting to convince electoral college voters to go rogue. All in the name of defending the country from the Donald Trump Presidency.

Now , the reason for all of this new excitement is the recent legal setbacks of Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen. In a more reasonable time, with more reasonable people in elected office, there would be no thought that the convictions or guilty pleas of one person, actually makes another person guilty. But these are not reasonable times and the anti-Trump crowd are not reasonable people right now.

The reality is that Paul Manafort worked for Donald Trump's campaign for a matter of weeks. The criminal actions that he was charged and convicted of took place long before he had anything to do with Donald Trump. How this is somehow an indictment of Donald Trump (much less cause for impeachment) is a fairly significant question that nobody seems to want to answer.

The Michael Cohen would be more troublesome due to the fact that he as charged with a campaign contribution violation, and that he suggested that it was done with the knowledge of Donald Trump. While this certainly seems "closer" to Trump himself, most legal analysts suggest that there is no real "there" there. The worst case scenario here is that Trump would have unwittingly accepted a campaign donation that was over the limit and funneled through a company. However, since he paid Cohen back, it would appear that Cohen plead guilty to a crime he didn't commit.

More to the point, Trump would have expected that a non disclosure agreement (which he had done multiple times in the past) would have been considered a campaign contribution. The FEC has previously ruled that this sort of "hush money" is "not" a campaign contributions, and charges against John Edwards for a similar situation ended with no convictions. Proving "intent" would be difficult in this case, and that is the standard for a campaign violation to go from a civil matter (would generally includes a fine to the campaign) and a criminal one.

Bottom Line: Just like every other "shoe" that dropped, this one will lose it's luster with the passing of time. Not because people are disinterested in very important things, but because these issues (that appear so big at first) tend to be less than meets the eye, and generally of little interest to the electorate once they have fully digested things, and allowed the media hype to burn off.  

People don't "really" care if Donald Trump slept with a porn star or a Playboy bunny.  They don't really care if he paid them hush money. They don't care about Michael Cohen. They don't care about Paul Manafort. They don't care if Donald Trump's butler has a second cousin who went to school with the son of a Russian oligarch. The fact that the media does everything in their power to promote these stories twenty four seven, does not alter these simple facts.  

Only those who do not want Donald Trump to be President, and quite honestly would not even need an excuse to support impeachment will continue to call for his removal. Those who prefer to treat the President like a President will need to see more than some infidelity and someone else's convictions to support impeachment. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Is..... it..... true??

That Sarah Palin was "dis-invited" to the John McCain funeral? 

So explain this to me like I am a six year old (again)

So someone writes an opinion article showing support for Donald Trump. This person posts it to their website on the internet, to Facebook, and post an excerpt with a link on twitter.  So now what happens is:
  • Google algorithm pushes the article to search page 221 so nobody will see it
  • Facebook declares that the post is a violation of terms and removes it
  • Twitter blocks the tweet and suspends the account pending review 
This is apparently perfectly acceptable business practice according to the left. These are private corporations and they have the right to do what they want. If the Government or anyone else attempts to step up and prevent the selected censorship, then that oversight is... get this...  a breach of free speech.

Can anyone explain how liberals can live in a world where censorship is okay, but preventing censorship would be an affront to the first amendment?

Let me preface that... can anyone explain this other than citing the obvious affliction from TDS? 

Second quarter GDP revised to 4.2 percent

Second quarter U.S. economic growth was revised to 4.2 percent Wednesday morning, an increase from the 4 percent number release in July.

Meanwhile, consumer confidence is at its highest level since 2000 as President Trump works with Canada this week on a new trade agreement. The President announced the end of NAFTA and a new deal with Mexico earlier this week and argued Canada will come to the table for a deal or see more tariffs.

The more Trump wins, the more desperate the left gets

Let's cite the facts:
  • 4% GDP growth 
  • 4% unemployment
  • Record unemployment for minorities
  • Higher participation rate
  • Rising wages
  • Consumer confidence at record highs
  • Markets at record highs
  • NATO allies ponying up
  • Better trade deal with Mexico
  • Trade concessions from Europe
  • Illegal immigration down
  • No talk about terrorists
So in lieu of all this American success, what is our media talking about? Impeachment. Having the President declared incompetent. Most recently, Robert Reich is arguing that we should "annul" Donald Trump from his presidency.
Impeachment would remedy Trump’s “high crimes and misdemeanors.” But impeachment would not remedy Trump’s unconstitutional presidency because it would leave in place his vice president, White House staff and Cabinet, as well as all the executive orders he issued and all the legislation he signed, and the official record of his presidency. The only response to an unconstitutional presidency is to annul it. Annulment would repeal all of an unconstitutional president’s appointments and executive actions, and would eliminate the official record of the presidency. Annulment would recognize that all such appointments, actions and records were made without constitutional authority.
Now the irony here is that Reich concedes that the President will not step down, that Congress will not remove him under impeachment,  and that his supporters will not abandon him. In fact, Reich concedes that Trump may be favored to win again in 2020. He also concedes that annulment is not in the constitution, but suggests that the constitution could be amended specifically to deal with Trump.

So why "exactly" should we be annulling his Presidency (other than the wild hypothetical hope that Robert Mueller will find compelling evidence that Trump colluded with Putin and that such collusion could be proven to have altered the outcome)? Well the fact that he met with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. The fact that there was a riot in Charlottesville and some people believed he didn't say the politically correct things. The fact that DHS followed judges orders in separating children from adults at the border containment areas for illegal aliens. Apparently Reich believes that "all of the firings from Trump's staff" is a big issue. He also demands that there is "clear corruption", whatever the heck that actually means. Oh, and let's not forget that Trump is "attacking the press".

Here is what I would like to see. Some good old fashioned honest transparency. Why can the left just not come out and admit that they are sore losers, that they are throwing a temper tantrum, and that they just can't stand that a business tycoon reality television show tabloid star was elected President over Hillary Clinton?

Why won't they simply admit that they would rather see the country fall into the abyss, fail miserably, and have Americans suffer... than to see the country prosper under a Donald Trump presidency?

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Lanny Davis apologizes

Lanny is sorry about the following:
  • Being the source of the stories that his client (Michael Cohen) had direct knowledge that Trump lied about the Trump Tower meeting.
  • Lying about being the source of the story.
  • That the actual story itself is a lie. 
  • Lying about whether or not he was the liar who told the lie.
  • Being the attorney for Hillary Clinton.
  • Still having a George Michael poster up in his bedroom.

The whole wide world wins bigly

Everyone (except Democrats) love the new US Mexico Trade agreement 
World stocks rose to a six-month high on Tuesday, lifted by investor optimism that a U.S.-Mexico deal to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement will go some way to averting a global trade war.
A pan-European share index enjoyed a third straight day of gains, though it gave up some of its early gains. Auto stocks continued to rally, adding 1.3 percent after enjoying their best day in a month on Monday - German carmakers rely on smooth trade between Mexico and the United States to sell Mexican-assembled vehicles into U.S. markets.
Meanwhile, some Democrats are already telling the media that the deal may not make it through the Senate, because they hate Trump and don't want to see him get credit for anything they have not seen the fine print, and because the deal does not (at this point) include Canada.

Now you've done it Tiger...

Hey it was okay when you slept with 92 women while married. It was okay that you drove your car through fences while chugging Jack Daniels. It was okay that you fell asleep while driving your care in the middle of the road, and blamed it on a prescription drug overdose...

"Well, he's the president of the United States. You have to respect the office.
No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality
 or the politics, but we all must respect the office.''

But now you have really done it. Now you have crossed the line. You've gone too far in showing support for Donald Trump. No way can you ever come back from this!

Monday, August 27, 2018

President outsmarts critics on Mexico deal....

Next up: Canada 
Stocks jumped on Monday as the United States and Mexico closed a new trade deal. Investors also digested reassuring comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on the central bank's policy-tightening path. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 260 points as Caterpillar outperformed. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 1 percent to an all-time high, breaking above 8,000 for the first time, as Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet rose. The S&P 500 gained 0.8 percent to hit a record high with materials and financials as the best-performing sectors. 
President Donald Trump said the deal would be called The United States-Mexico Trade agreement, getting rid of the NAFTA name. "The name NAFTA has a bad connotation because the United States was hurt very badly by NAFTA," he said. Trump added that the deal with Mexico is also very special for farmers and manufacturers

So how many different things were a sure thing to take down the President?

NBC/WSJ poll: Trump approval 'remarkably stable' after a stormy week of bad news
After a week that saw President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman convicted on eight counts of fraud and his former lawyer plead guilty to felony campaign finance charges, the president's job approval rating remains virtually unchanged, new polling from NBC News and The Wall Street Journal shows.
But the stability in Trump's approval rating also comes as more than half of voters say he has not been honest and truthful regarding the ongoing investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. And fewer than three-in-ten voters are convinced that Trump himself is not implicated in the wrongdoing of the six of his associates who have now either been convicted of crimes or have pleaded guilty.
Must have been horribly disappointing, considering the poll was done in part by well known Democratic pollster Peter Hart, and considering that they actually created a second poll, when their first poll ended the same day as the news broke on Manafort and Cohen.
Hart added that, for Democrats hoping to craft a midterm election strategy, the week's news thus far "represents a fool's-gold opportunity rather than a silver-bullet solution."

While a plurality of people believe that Trump is guilty of something, it doesn't really seem to move the needle. Most likely those who already don't approve of him are the ones who believe that we are looking for the "big shoe" to drop. About a third still do not "know enough" to have come to a conclusion if Trump is guilty on some larger stage of an actual criminal offense. This could suggest that the Mueller report may be able to move the needle a little bit, but more likely than not it would require either rock solid proof of criminal wrongdoing, or an actual "written acquittal" of the President by Mueller. I suspect that neither situation will emerge. Mueller will fall short of actual evidence of criminal wrongdoing, but will likely provide some "opinion" on something murky like Obstruction.

Here is somebody who has completely lost it

With Republicans clinging to a precarious 50-49 majority, every individual GOP senator can serve as a check on Trump’s excesses whenever they choose to act.
The last part of the post concerned the main, and depressing, area where second thoughts were called for. That was the complete failure of the congressional governing party—Paul Ryan and his large Republican majority in the House, Mitch McConnell and his razor-thin Republican majority in the Senate—to stand up either for their institutional prerogatives, as a separate branch of government, or for normal principles of accountability and the rule-of-law.
But remember: Every one of them swore an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution, not simply their own careerist comfort. And not a one of them, yet, has been willing to risk comfort, career, or fund-raising to defend the constitutional check-and-balance prerogatives of their legislative branch.

So this is one of those times when you start to wonder what world certain people live in, and what color the sky is in that world. I cannot think of a single thing that the President has done that has been some sort of plight to the constitution. So far every legal attempt to undermine the President that has made it to the USSC has been settled in his favor, and there is little doubt that he will continue that win streak on whatever other cases come across that body. Compare and contrast that to how many times our previous executor was smacked down by the USSC, and it's clear that the only place our current President is actually breaking our constitutional norms is in the delusions of those suffering from TDS.

The issue is simple. The anti-Trumpers simply do not like Trump, his behavior, or his policies. They would "like" to believe that a President who favors policies that do not please them is akin to being a "danger" and that acting on those policy initiatives crosses over the boundaries of some political "norms" that everyone should understand (as they do). Of course these "norms" have nothing to do with actual historical norms, constitutional norms, or any sort of "norms" that do not specifically include what has been "normal" for Presidential policies and actions over the previous Administration. They use his unconventional (and often undignified) behavior as an excuse to attack his agenda.

In other words, any break from the "progress" that Obama and his progressives were attempting to accomplish should be considered unconstitutional, and needs to be prevented (either through the courts, or through congress).

It doesn't occur to this person (and why should it) that Trump was elected by conservatives to enact a conservative agenda. It also doesn't occur to this person that the Republican members of congress were elected by conservatives to enact a conservative agenda. They don't owe "anything" to the liberals who wanted the Obama legacy to continue, and the liberal agenda to remain status quo. There is no reason why their conservative views, conservative agenda, or conservative policies should be tossed aside because the left doesn't like the way the President uses twitter, because he paid hush money to a porn star to hide an affair, or because he uses the powers of executive action to undo things that Obama did with his powers of executive action.

Trump is the President. Get over it, and get used to it.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

John McCain passes

Explain this to me like I am a six year old - part 2

So the basic argument as to why the Stormy Daniels non-disclosure agreement was violation of the campaign contributions laws, is because the Trump Organization:

  • Did not disclose the payment as a campaign expenditure. 
  • They funneled the payment through a company (which would be a violation of campaign laws)
  • They falsely claimed that the money was payment for "legal services" (which it was not.)

So let's throw the book at them, right? After all if you commit a crime, then you commit a crime. Unless of course you have a different letter behind your name:
The Clinton campaign paid Fusion GPS to compile a dossier against Mr. Trump, a document that became the basis of the Russia narrative Mr. Mueller now investigates. But the campaign funneled the money to law firm Perkins Coie, which in turn paid Fusion. The campaign falsely described the money as payment for “legal services.” The Democratic National Committee did the same. 
So there you have it. The Steele dossier was bought and paid for by the Clinton campaign and the DNC. It was not reported as a campaign expenditure. Payment was funneled through a company. They claimed that the payments were for legal service. Moreover, they fully admit that the Steele dossier was "opposition research". If a non-disclosure-agreement is a campaign expenditure, then opposition research certainly is as well.

So can someone explain this to me like I am a six year old? Why is what Trump did being called a crime, but what the Clinton campaign and DNC did perfectly legal?

Here is a couple of questions

What is considered worse:
  • Paying hush money to prevent a mistress from going public with the details of the affair? (as what happened with Donald Trump).
  • Paying hush money to prevent a victim of sexual harassment from filing charges and going public? (as several members of Congress have been doing apparently for years). 
Why is it that:
  • Paying hush money to hide an affair should be a criminal violation of campaign laws.
  • Paying hush money to hide sexual harassment is just a political embarrassment.
Let's also be clear about some  major differences here. Both the affairs and the hush money Donald Trump paid was actually exposed to the public just a few days before the election. This was the classic "November surprise" that everyone waits for. Asking the President to step down or attempting to impeach him over events that was already "baked into" the election decision is nothing more than an attempt to "overturn" election results.  

Most of these congress critters kept their sexual exploitation hidden from the voters. Those who resigned, probably did so because the new found public knowledge that they had sexually assaulted or sexually harassed workers or other people would cost them their seat in the next election. Not every politician has the scandal resistance of "Teflon Don".

Friday, August 24, 2018

Back to what matters!

S&P 500 and Nasdaq close at record highs as Netflix jumps
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite reached all-time highs on Friday as Netflix shares rose. The broader market also climbed after the top Federal Reserve official characterized the U.S. economy as "strong." The S&P 500 rose 0.6 percent to close at 2,874.69, led by gains in materials and tech. Friday marked the S&P 500's first record close since Jan. 26. The tech-heavy Nasdaq advanced 0.9 percent and closed at 7,945.98.

The legal situation explained...

So I spend a little time over my lunch catching up on some of the legal experts who are currently combing over the revelations of the Michael Cohen plea. There are obviously several different opinions as to whether or not Michael Cohen plead to an act that wasn't criminal, As many have pointed out, both the law and precedent seems to be on the President's side on this one.

But even if you concede that the payment to Stormy Daniels was in fact a "campaign contribution" there is still a fairly steep climb to get from Michael Cohen to the President. The most obvious is that the President is "allowed" to make campaign contributions for any amount. Even though Cohen "admits" to making the campaign contribution, the facts show that he was paid back. A plea bargain is not going to trump the financial facts of the situation (pun intended).

The second issue is that while a prosecutor might be able to convince a jury that an attorney might understand complex campaign contribution laws and had an intent to break them, it's less likely that you can claim that Trump (who seemed to handle almost none of this personally) was understanding of all of the ramifications. Without proving an absolute "intent" by the President, a campaign violation is simply a civil manner.

While some are making a big deal that immunity was provided to David Pecker, and Allen Weisselberg (CEO of Trump organization), those revelations might not be that harmful to the President. Contrary to what many are "implying" it is very likely that these immunity agreements are literally months old, and came at the beginning of the investigation into Michael Cohen. There is (at this point) no indication that it signals anything specific as it pertains to the President.

Apparently how it worked is that much of Trump's funds were tied up (due to the election) in a trust that was being handled by the Trump organization. So when the funds were transferred from Trump to Cohen, the transfer was actually handled by the Trump Organization (out of Trump's personal trust). The money (which turned out to be $420,000 all in all) was transferred to the Corporation that Cohen set up. $360,000 was provided to Daniels (as to net to $180,000 after taxes). $50,000 was for technology services. Another $60,000 was provided to Cohen as a bonus.

Now all of this all took place in the height of the Presidential campaign when Trump was out campaigning. To pretend that he understood anything about this deal, other than he was paying Stormy Daniels to keep her mouth shut, would be a tough case to make. To make a campaign violation a criminal offense requires intent to break the law. Only by parsing this down to the microscopic level, does this become a campaign violation, and most certainly a violation that most people would not see as obvious.

So, what exactly is the Trump Organization on the hook for?

Apparently, the problem here is that the agreement between the Trump Organization (representing the Trump trust) and Michael Cohen was that Cohen would provide monthly invoices to the Trump organization for $35,000, which over the course of a year would make up the $420,000 overall reimbursement.  The State of New York are apparently investigating whether those invoices should be considered "fraudulent" because they reference a legal retainer (which the State would claim never existed).  Not sure what the criminal or civil liability is for "fraudulent invoicing" but I am guessing we will all find out soon.

John McCain discontinues treatment...

Senator John McCain of Arizona, who has been battling brain cancer for more than a year, will no longer be treated for his condition, his family announced on Friday, a sign that the Republican war hero is most likely entering his final days.

“Last summer, Senator John McCain shared with Americans the news our family already knew: He had been diagnosed with an aggressive glioblastoma, and the prognosis was serious. In the year since, John has surpassed expectations for his survival. But the progress of disease and the inexorable advance of age render their verdict,” the family said in a statement. “With his usual strength of will, he has now chosen to discontinue medical treatment.”

Mr. McCain, 81, had been undergoing treatment since July 2017, and has been absent from Washington since December. Mr. McCain’s family has gathered in Arizona, and people close to him say his death is imminent.

As someone who watched my own father wilt away from chemo and radiation, I can emphasize with the agonizing decision to end treatment. In my father's case, that decision was followed by his death less than a week later.

Certainly, there are times when partisanship really shouldn't matter. The death of an iconic Senator is one of those times.

Democrats call on Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to step down...

Since he was nominated at the time that President Clinton was under federal investigation over the Whitewater scandal.

C. Schumer - Presidents implicated for criminal activities, should
 not be allowed to nominate Supreme Court Justices.  
E.Markey - I will not accept this Justice. He was nominated
by someone implicated (all but named) in a criminal act. 
K. Harris - The President was under investigation at the time. He should
not have been allowed to nominate a Supreme Court Justice.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Explain this to me like I am a six year old

So everyone knew that Donald Trump paid hush money to Porn Star Stormy Daniels and that some deal was brokered to purchase a story regarding an alleged Trump affair with Playboy Bunny Karen McDougal. The only real recent revelation (at least to me) is that the deal to purchase the story rights to the whole Karen McDougal saga fell through.
(I had been under the assumption that that payment had also been made).

Both the Stormy Daniels and the Karen McDougal revelations surfaced about four days before the election. While Trump denied these affairs (and I believe he still does), I think most everyone believed that Trump had the affairs and that he was the one who ultimately paid the hush money. To most people the idea of having affairs with porn stars and playboy bunnies, and then paying hush money is an unseemly concept; but not necessarily unexpected when it comes to Donald Trump.

Bottom line and reality check: He was elected with full public knowledge of the allegations of both the affairs and hush money payoffs. 

So naturally it begs the question. What is it about the Cohen revelation that makes people demand that we suddenly should change our opinion about all of this? The Cohen revelations literally provide nothing new. The story hasn't changed (again, other than the second payoff never apparently happened).

The only thing that is changes is we now have some sort of argument over whether the behavior violated campaign laws, which are laws that 99 out of a 100 times would be considered a civil (not criminal) violation.

In fact, the Obama campaign violated those laws by accepting $1.3 million in donations from people who were over the limit, accepting foreign donations, not reporting the actual source of over $1.8 million in donations (that were $1000 or larger), and hedging donation dates on official documents for donations totaling $85 million. All in all, they were fined 375,000 dollars (or about double what Trump paid Stormy Daniels).

The reality here is that the actions of Donald Trump haven't changed. Our understanding of the events haven't really changed. The only thing that is changed is that some people would now like to describe it as criminal behavior. Of course, that description doesn't matter because the President isn't going to be indicted and he will not be removed from office over this.

So  explain it to my like I am a six year old: why should anyone change their mind about any of this?

Was the Steele dossier reported as a campaign expenditure?

Trump vs Edwards

Many people have pointed out that there are some pretty striking similarities between the charges against Cohen, and the indictment against John Edwards, shortly after he ran for President. Edwards, was indicted for a very similar arraignment, when he allegedly orchestrated approximately a million dollars in payments to two women with whom he had had affairs with. He also argued that those payments were "personal" rather than campaign related. He was ultimately charged with not "reporting" the campaign contributions.

With the Edwards case, the million dollars was paid for by two wealthy donors. He was not in a position to (nor did he) pay back the million dollars to the two donors. This is fairly significant distinction between the Edwards case and the Trump case. By all accounts, the money used to pay off Daniels/Clifford came from Trump himself, with Cohen possibly fronting the money through a dummy corporation that was used as the ultimate source to pay for them.

Edwards knew that these people would be going over their campaign limits (if it was determined to be a contribution). Trump (as the eventual payer) is not limited to how much he can pay. So there is a distinct difference (even is you accept that these are campaign contributions) as to whether or not the amounts violate the laws.

There is also another difference to consider. Edwards only approached these women with the offer, after he became a candidate. Trump has been working on a NDA with Stormy Daniels since 2011. This makes the argument that it was a personal expenditure much more convincing in Trump's case.

But possibly the biggest caveat to this whole comparison is that Edwards was never convicted of those crimes. He went to trial, fought the charges, and received a combination of acquittals and hung verdicts. The prosecution was unable to convince twelve jurors that such an arrangement was criminal.

Note: Cohen also brokered an arrangement to purchase the rights to a story from the National Inquirer regarding another affair with former playmate Karen McDougal. But that agreement fell through, and no money actually changed hands.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Back to Reality

Kavanaugh has productive meeting with important Senator!

Two different worlds

So there seems to be a pretty wide chasm between the left and right as to how to gauge the effects of the news that both Manafort and Cohen will likely be doing significant stints in jail. Both sides make a point, and both sides probably believe that the "truth" is on their side.

But this is "really" what this country has come to. Millions of people who are intellectually ruled by combination of bias confirmation and cognitive dissonance. They will only see what it is that they want to see, and they will never see what it is that they do not want to see. It may have been bad at other points of time in this country, but under the Trump Presidency, the intellectual dishonesty is at feverish temperatures.

With the Mueller probe, I think there is a larger sense of dishonestly on the left. Obviously those who support Mueller are willing to concede that the Special Counsel appointment that was "supposed" to be about Russia and the election, was actually a design to provide a vast army of intelligence and law enforcement with free reign to simply reek whatever legal havoc they can on anyone associated with Donald Trump.

There is a overlying blanket of dishonestly that "must" be in place, to argue that decades old crimes committed by someone who worked with Trump for a matter of a few months, has something to do with Russia, or somehow proves that a special counsel probe into Russian influence is justified because of that. The only way this argument makes sense is to believe that the Mueller probe was never supposed to just be about Russia and the 2016 election. The only way that argument makes sense is to admit that the appointment was an excuse to go after Trump and his associates "in general".

But if that "is" the argument, then recent events certainly follow your script and proves your point. Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen were obviously shady characters and both had ties to Trump. Toss in the fact that a couple other associates (Flynn and Papadopoulos) plead guilty to providing false statements, and you are arguing pattern. The argument (of course) is that somehow the President is guilty by association. At least one Democrat has already determined that the Manafort guilty verdict should be considered an article of impeachment.

The other argument is that the Special Counsel was in fact appointed to investigate the 2016 election and Russian influence, and that we should be willing to hold Special Counsel to that standard. Under that assumption, Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen being charged is not only red herring but sure fire proof that Special Counsel has gone off script and that the original appointment was dishonest on it's face. It was never about Russia. It was just part of the ongoing attempt from those in the intelligence community to bring down Trump by any means.

Does that argument "ignore" or "underplay" the fact that several people have either plead or been found guilty of criminal activity? Sure it does. There is a pattern to some degree that doesn't necessarily "go away" because Robert Mueller has gone more than a little rogue. Now I believe that this pattern probably says as much about the "probe" as it does about the President and those who are associated with him, but it certainly "does" still say something about the President and those associated with him.

So at the end of the day, nobody is being completely honest here. Special Counsel has gone rogue (that is just a fact) and it's a matter of whether or not you believe that is a "good thing" or a "bad thing".  Obviously the left believes it's a good thing, while the right believes it's a bad thing. So certainly they will not agree to how things are going. They live in completely different worlds.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Jury reaches verdict on 8 of 18 charges...

Manafort guilty of eight counts:
  • All Five Counts of Tax Fraud (max three years per)
  • Single count of Failure to File a RFBA (max five years)
  • Two Counts of Bank Fraud (max of thirty years per)
Mistrial on the rest...

Let's be clear here folks. Paul Manafort never sees the inside of a courtroom had he not worked for the Trump campaign.

Trump stated today that while he felt bad for Manafort, he also made clear that the conviction "has nothing to do with Russian collusion"  and that  "it doesn't involve me." Both of which are absolutely true. But that will not stop the crazies on the left from trying to shove that round peg into that square hole and pretend differently.

Cohen pleads guilty to knowing Trump

Michael Cohen surrenders, to plead guilty to criminal charges
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal attorney, has surrendered to the FBI ahead of a 4 p.m. court proceeding, where the government is expected to disclose a plea deal, according to a law enforcement source.
As part of the plea deal under discussion earlier Tuesday, Cohen was not expected to cooperate with the government, one source told CNN. However, by pleading guilty both Cohen and prosecutors would avoid the spectacle and uncertainty of a trial.
The Cohen investigation was referred to the Southern District of New York by special counsel Robert Mueller. If the plea deal does not include cooperation by Cohen, then it is unclear if he would follow through on his previous assertion to friends, according to sources, that he is willing to talk to Mueller
According to the Times, investigators are trying to determine whether Cohen misrepresented the value of his assets to obtain the loans from two financial institutions that have catered to the taxi industry. They are also scrutinizing whether he failed to properly report his income from taxi medallions to the Internal Revenue Service, the Times reported.
So Cohen is being charged with loan fraud and failing to report income. Sound familiar? Apparently loan fraud, tax evasion are no longer handled by the IRS or the SEC... but rather they are now handled by Special Counsel and those other offices that they hand these investigations off to.

An oft ignored bit of relevant understanding of the law...

Robert Mueller Shouldn’t Even Ask Trump for an Interview
As we’ve also noted, if Trump were a journalist rather than the president, everyone would understand that a prosecutor may not just willy-nilly issue a subpoena. Justice Department rules would require the prosecutor to establish both that a serious crime was under investigation and that the journalist had critical information for which there was no other source — and even then, the Justice Department might well instruct the prosecutor not to issue a subpoena.
Obviously, the president’s job is more consequential to our society — to our governance, to national security, to law enforcement — than that of any individual journalist. Therefore, the president should never be diverted from his responsibilities by the demands of a criminal investigation unless there are equally dire reasons. A prosecutor does not get an interview just because the president’s testimony might be relevant or interesting. It has to be make-or-break, in connection with a major offense.
While the media and their missing the point legal analyst dive deep into the questions of whether or not a President "can" be subpoena, they seem to avoid the more important subject of whether Mueller "should" subpoena "this President".

As pointed out by McCarthy (and plenty of other legal analysts not separated from logic by TDS) any subpoena must pass a certain level of qualifications before a Grand Jury (or a judge) should sign off on it. There seems to be an almost childish believe that Mueller is somehow the sole determiner of whether or not someone should testify for him.

While I have no doubt that plenty of Grand Juries may actually approve warrants or subpoenas that do not have reasonable cause, most certainly a judge on appeal will look at the sorts of questions that McCarthy brings up. The reason being, is that meeting certain sets of criteria is actually part of the laws surrounding subpoena. Just because subpoenas exist, doesn't mean that the fourth amendment doesn't. Mueller would have to show a Judge that an interview with the President would garner him important information (that cannot be garnered any where else) to help solve a crime. Of course if the crime he is attempting to prove relates to the President, then  the President is protected by the fifth amendment. Donald Trump did not relinquish his fourth and fifth amendment constitutional protections just because he became President.

Either way, Mueller is not entitled to talk to the President just because he wants to. No more than he is entitled to talk to you or I, simply because he wants to.

Monday, August 20, 2018

A little Reminder

The DOJ has actual guidelines to determine if certain actions made by government officials should be considered corrupt. When an action is considered to be dubious, then such action is required to have three basic elements to show it is not corrupt:

  • the action is ostensibly lawful 
  • the action is within the official's discretion
  • the action is possibly justified by non-corrupt reasons

This criteria was the overlying theme of the recent Justice department IG investigation of the FBI. In the cases were Horowitz was required to make a call, he fell back on whether or not the actions of the FBI were lawful, within official discretion, and whether there was a possible non-corrupt justification. Even in cases where he suggested there was plenty to be suspicious of, he allowed the guidelines to be the final arbitrator.  

As an employee of the DOJ, Special Counsel would be required to follow those guidelines in assessing any actions that the President makes, that might considered corrupt (or more specifically, the basis of an obstruction charge). In each situation, Mueller and gang would be required to answer those specific questions.

  • Was the action of the President firing James Comey ostensibly lawful? Absolutely. 
  • Was the action within the President's discretion? Certainly. 
  • Did the action have a possible justification that did not involve a corrupt reason? Yes, and Mueller's own boss wrote the recommendation for the non-corrupt reason to have him fired.

In each case of individual action, Special Counsel would be required to ask those same questions. If Special Counsel wants to conclude that obvious lawful actions that are well within the President's official discretion are "corrupt", then they must find that such action had "no possible justified non-corrupt reason". It cannot be a matter of opinion. It cannot be a matter of conjecture. It cannot even be a matter of preponderance of evidence.

Herein lies the rub. Those who defend Mueller, do so largely by making the argument that he is a straight shooter who follows the rules. But in order for Mueller to make the argument that many of his supporters would like him to make, would require him to bend DOJ rules... which would undermine the argument that he should be trusted (because he is a rule-follower).

But we all know that is a dishonest assessment of the Trump-hater argument. They defend Mueller because they hate Trump, and they will defend Mueller as long as he appears to be an opponent of the President. But make no mistake, this love for Mueller is fickle and could be fleeting.  If Mueller comes back with a report (similar to the one that Horowitz made about the FBI) where he implies that they may have been some bad decisions, but that it was all perfectly legal withing the guidelines, then you would see the left turn on Mueller, like a starving dog tearing into raw meat.

Update Papadopoulos recommendation: Actually 30 days

A bit player who had no information to provide
In preparation, Mueller's office on Friday submitted a memorandum to U.S. District Court in Washington outlining the special counsel's position on sentencing. Although Mueller is adamant that Papadopoulos serve some time in jail — the range for the offense is between zero and six months — the special counsel suggested the final sentence should be just 30 days. As justification, Mueller cited the 30-day sentence given to Alex van der Zwaan, one of the small-time figures caught up in the Trump-Russia probe.
One possible problem with Mueller's story is that even after securing Papadopoulos' cooperation, Papadopoulos didn't seem to have much new to tell the FBI. "What's notable here is that, according to the sentencing memo, even after agreeing to cooperate, Papadopoulos provided no substantial information that the FBI didn't already have," Yahoo's Michael Isikoff noted in a tweet on Saturday.
So the thirty day recommendation and the subsequent admission that Papadopoulos was neither central to the investigation or someone who provided any substantial information is another hit to the credibility of the entire investigation. If Papadopoulos was bit player with no real information to provide the FBI, then it seems incredulous to suggest that he was the entire "cause" of an FBI investigation that led to three additional investigations, millions of dollars of tax payer money, and non-stop media speculation into the biggest conspiracy theory ever hatched.

That suggestion has always seemed dubious for no other reason than he was not actually interviewed until months after the investigation started. The fact that we know now that he actually knew next to nothing, and that his meeting was not important, and that he was considered little more than a "bit player", makes the suggestion he is the root cause even more absurd. 

Anyone with enough sense to have passed kindergarten understands that George Papadopoulos is not the real reason the FBI decided to start an investigation into the campaign of opposition Party Presidential candidate.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

GoFundMe: Peter Strzok vs Cancer Patient

Papadopoulos Sentencing Recommendation: Six Months

Special counsel Robert Mueller recommended in a court filing on Friday that former Trump campaign staffer George Papadopoulos be sentenced to a maximum of six months in prison. Papadopoulos is set to be sentenced on September 7.
Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in October 2017 of one count of lying to FBI agents working for Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. He was the first person charged in connection with Mueller's investigation.
In the court filing, Mueller wrote that Papadopoulos' "lies negatively affected the FBI's Russia investigation" and his "lies were not momentarily lapses."
So not exactly sure what to make of this. In reality, short of recommending no jail time at all, six months is about as weak of a recommendation as there could actually be. The timing is also suspect. Is this weak recommendation a response to the recent threats by Papadopoulos's wife that they may decide to opt out of the plea? Is it a signal that the entire investigation is drawing towards a conclusion?

Friday, August 17, 2018

Chance of acquittal rises in Manafort case

Jury brings four questions to the Judge

Admittedly, I have always been a bit skeptical of the case against Manafort. Not because he may not be guilty, but because this case would have never been brought if Manafort not worked for Trump. These are not new actions. In fact the FBI (and presumably the IRS) had twice looked over his unusual business practices, and twice decided not to indict him.

So the reality here is that Manafort is being charged and tried now very specifically because he made the choice to go to work for Donald Trump's Presidential campaign. Apparently this, in and of itself, is a criminal act. Had he not worked for Trump, he would not be facing over three hundred years in prison.

All that being said, I have considered the reality that well over 90% of cases brought to federal court end with a conviction. I have considered that the shear number of crimes Manafort is charged with makes it more likely than not that the jury will find him guilty of "something".  I have also considered that there appears to be a mountain of evidence against Paul Manafort (albeit not necessarily clear evidence). All in all, I have always gotten the opinion that Manafort was likely going to prison, and the only question would be for which crimes and for how long.

While I would still argue that it's more likely than not that he will be convicted of at least a portion of the charges, yesterday's questions from the jury probably buoyed the spirits of the defense and possibly worried the prosecution. They asked four questions. Two of the questions were specific questions about what a particular term actually meant (eg: what was a shelf company), suggesting that the prosecution did not do a very good job of explaining some of the details of their case. One question quite literally asked if the judge could clarify for them which pieces of evidence were associated with which crime, suggesting that the prosecution did not do a very good job of explaining the case on a macro level.  The fourth question had to do with "reasonable doubt" which suggests that they are at least thinking in those terms.

The judge was not very helpful to the prosecution. Rather than clarify these definitions or helping the jury sort the evidence, the Judge told them that they would have to rely on their best memory of events. But if certain members of the jury do not understand certain phrases or even understand which pieces of evidence goes with what crime, that suggests that at least some of the member of the jury do not have the necessary clarity to even make a judgement one way or the other.

In the case of the reasonable doubt, the Judge simply told them that there has to be a "reason" to have doubt (that it was doubt based on reason), and that it there was a difference between "reasonable doubt" and "all doubt". Most observers feel that the jury was looking for the judge to make some sort of statement about the thermometer graphic that the defense showed them (as in saying it was wrong), but sort of provided a non-answer answer instead.

By all accounts it was a better day for the defense than the prosecution. That being said, it still may be an uphill climb for Manafort to get this jury to 32 not guilty verdicts.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Let's give a little respect! (RIP Aretha - a true icon)

Manafort defense offers short closing argument...

In another attempt to portrait the Government's case as weak, the Manafort defense closing arguments came in well short of the allotted time allowed.

The prosecution spent time talking about the raw number of documents and the raw number of witnesses that were brought forward. They apparently asked he jury to use their common sense. Manafort is "obviously" guilty and it's just a matter of convicting him.

The defense focused on the fact that the evidence was scattered and incomplete, and that most of the key witnesses you would have expected, never testified.

In one example, the defense brought up the fact (as it pertained to the fraudulent loan charges) that the prosecution provided testimony from several bank employees familiar with the loans, but not any testimony from the actual bank employees responsible for approving the loan.

The defense also asked the rhetorical question about why (if Manafort had really committed multiple felony counts of tax evasion) he was not audited by the IRS. They went even one step further in asking why Special Counsel decided to press criminal charges (and put the decision of legality in the hands of 12 jurors) rather than have the IRS actually do a full audit, and allow the IRS to bring whatever charges they uncovered.

I think the problem for Manafort is that the Prosecution had a lot of evidence. Possibly a matter of quantity over quality, but the massive amounts of documents and witnesses at least makes it appear that something simply had to have happened. Why otherwise, does this giant team of people call all of these witnesses and go through all of this trouble, if they have no case?

I think the problem for the prosecution is exactly what was brought up in closing. Why is Manafort not being charged (or fined) by the SEC for the banking charges and not being charged (or fined) the IRS for the tax problems. Why is this being thrust into this sort of criminal proceeding where rather than rely on the experts who understand the complicated documents, the prosecutors are relying on opinions of people around Manafort to convince 12 jurors (who are not supposedly banking or tax experts) to render a verdict. If I sat on this jury, that might be the biggest question. If he is so guilty, where is the SEC or IRS (and why did they not call SEC and IRS experts as witnesses).

But keeping in mind that Federal prosecutors garner guilty pleas in approximately 90% of their cases, the numbers appear to be against "anyone" who comes to these courts. Manafort is probably not feeling all that well (in spite of demanding the opposite).

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Masterpiece Cakeshop targeted again...

So a little background:
On June 26, 2017, the very same day the Supreme Court agreed to take the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, Attorney Autumn Scardina called the cake shop to request a “gender transition” cake. The cake shop declined, so on June 20, 2017, Scardina filed a complaint, with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission

As it stands, The Colorado Civil Right's Commission rule (as they previously did) against Masterpiece Cakeshop, this time alleging gender discrimination. 
Under the authority vested in me by C.R.S. 24-34-306 (2), I conclude from our investigation that there is sufficient evidence to support the Complainant’s claim of discrimination. As such, a Probable Cause determination is hereby issued….
Quite obviously, Phillips did what he did the first time the commission ruled his Cakeshop, and has taken the Commission to court. Only this time he comes in with the added complaint that his Cakeshop is being "targeted".

The claims of being targeted certainly seem valid, considering it's extremely unlikely that the attorney in this case actually wanted Phillips to bake this particular cake (why would you chose him). It's also appears that this same attorney came to Phillips asking for a cake featuring satanic symbols, a cake celebrating marijuana use, as well as cake depicting explicit sexual materials.

The Colorado Commission still has the same problem that resulted in the 7-2 decision against them the first time this made it to the USSC. That is the fact that they allowed other bakers to refuse their services regarding messages that they found offensive. As the USSC ruled, it's not up to the Colorado Commission to decide who can and who cannot be offended, or to brush off religious objections as not worthy of offense.

Clearly there is little difference between ruling that it's discrimination to not bake a cake for a same sex wedding, and to rule that it's discrimination to not bake a cake for a gender change celebration. In both case, Phillips is objecting to the actual "celebration" of a particular event, rather than objecting to selling that person a general cake. In this case, however, the transgender person does not have the same argument that there is a similar ceremony that Phillips is willing to bake the cake for (as was the case in his willingness to bake a cake for a man and a women being married).

Ultimately this will end up at the USSC, which I suspect will be a much more dangerous place for Colorado to be without Anthony Kennedy to barter a compromise. It's more likely than not that Justice Kavanaugh will be sitting on the bench, and that the court will have five strong votes to make a stronger ruling in favor of religious freedom. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission might wish it had let sleeping dogs lie.

Wednesday Chuckle...

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Manafort Attorneys rest their case without making one...

Paul will not testify and from what I was told is actually the walrus!
The prosecution rested on Monday, and today the defense rested, and Manafort will not take the stand. The courtroom was sealed for nearly two hours this morning, then reopened at about 11:30 a.m. with Manafort coming in 10 minutes later. The reason for the sealed court was not disclosed. The case is being prosecuted by the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Honestly, not really all that surprising that Manafort would not make a defense. The concept (psychologically) is that there is no "need" for a defense, since the prosecution fell flat. Whether the jury agrees is a different story.

Obviously there will be closing arguments, but the biggest part of the trial may just be the Jury instructions coming from the Judge. Those instructions could make a huge difference in how the jury deliberates.

I haven't heard much in the way of "expert opinion" on this one, other than most everyone feels that it was not the "slam dunk" that many assumed Mueller was figuring it to be. I would take a stab that he will be found guilty of "failing to register as a foreign agent" since that is sort of a no-brainer.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Peter Strzok fired by the FBI

The FBI’s inspector general concluded that Strzok showed a “willingness to take official action” to hurt Trump’s electoral prospects. (Wash Post)

Yeah I hate Trump! What are you going to do about it!

Make no mistake, Strzok was not removed from Special Counsel because Mueller believe he was biased. At the time he was chosen, his opinions about Trump would have been well know to those in charge of these hiring decisions. Mueller hired him, knowing full well he had an agenda, not caring that he had an agenda, and probably assuming that the FBI and others in power would shield any of that from getting out.

The reality folks, is that Strzok was removed from Special Counsel because Mueller knew that once an IG started poking around that Strzok's actions would eventually become public.  Mueller had to know that Strzok would face discipline (and likely be fired) and it would make Special Counsel look bad by association. 

Here is another case of liberal deception

So one of the new lines of dishonest attacks on the Trump administration is that there is some sort of reckless spending, and that all of this new spending is leading to larger deficits. Liberals are quick to point out that the increased deficits are all but being ignored by conservatives (who are otherwise deficit hawks). It's an interesting argument, that (at first glance) seems to be valid. But simple arguments are for simple people.

click to expand

When looking at budget there are three areas that you need to concentrate on. The first is your revenues, the second is your discretionary spending, while the last is the mandatory spending.

 If you look at the chart, you will see that revenue growth is in line with where it has been. From the years 2009 through 2017, revenue increased by an average of $134 billion a year. If you look at the upcoming budget projections through 2024, you will see that they increase by an average of $141 billion a year. This sort of reputes the argument that tax cuts lead to a decrease in revenues. Even with the tax cuts, revenues will increase at approximately the same rate (actually slightly higher) that they have.

The second portion that we need to look at is the discretionary spending. This is the area that Congress (and ultimately the President) can control. Discretionary includes all non-mandatory domestic programs as well as the military budget. That discretionary spending is slated to go from approximately 1.2 trillion to 1.436 trillion in 2024 for an average increase of just under $30 billion. Would conservatives like to have seen that decrease rather than increase? Actually yes. But $30 billion/year isn't what is going to break the bank.

The last portion (and what will eventually break the bank)  is mandatory spending. Which is Social Security. Medicare, Medicaid, etc... Basically it's all of our "entitlements".  The spending on those programs is not "controlled" by congress, unless of course Congress creates new laws to either increase (Sanders/Ocasio-Cortez) or decrease these programs. As it stands, these programs will increase by approximately a trillion dollars between 2017 and 2024. Then, based on these estimates, over the next four years (2025-2028) mandatory spending will increase "another" trillion dollars.

Does anyone see the "real" problem brewing here? It's not whether or not we raise or lower taxes. It's not whether or not we increase or decrease our discretionary spending. Our deficits will increase almost entirely because of our entitlements.

So ask any liberal who wants to talk deficits. Are they willing to cut entitlements to balance the budget? If not, then their argument about deficits is simply uninformed and political. More likely than not, they have been duped by liberal rhetoric, and are repeating it because they don't know any better and are either too lazy or too dumb to check it out themselves.

But the truth is in the numbers. No hiding from the numbers.

No, the President broke liberals

Donald Trump broke the presidency. It's time to get rid of the job altogether.
Abolish the POTUS! 
We’ve seen it: the belligerent typo-ridden tweets; the fawning press conferences with autocrats and overlords; the self-described Nazis on parade praising an American president’s name. We have seen it with our own eyes. There is a bloated authoritarian lounging in his bathrobe in a 200-year-old mansion that used to symbolize the principal republic of the world. 
This is a man who openly conspired to cheat with the help of a hostile foreign nation in a federal election. On election night, he came in second place, yet due to a scab of slavery in the Constitution (the electoral college), this usurper has the full power of the most powerful military in history, command of the treasury, the absolute power to pardon and he can unilaterally annihilate millions of people with his command to deploy nuclear weapons. He’s made refugees begging us for mercy into orphans hoping it will deter other asylum seekers — because he can. He’s now poised to put a man on the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, who believes in supreme leaders (if they’re Republican that is).
We can amend our Constitution to save the republic. Abolish the presidency! Power to the people! Power to the Congress! Make the co-equal branches of government more equal. Give us a council of boring bureaucrats who will do their job, serve the people and leave after their term ends.
Now there are cases of taking my ball and going home, and then there are these sorts of temper tantrums. It was only a matter of time before someone from the left decided that ruling with a pen and telephone was perfectly acceptable when the President is a Democrat, but that there simply isn't any need for a President, if he is a Republican.

Wants to abolish the Presidency! 

Imagine the gall of a President being elected and then doing the job that the constitution requires him to do. Imagine the gall of a President keeping the promises he made to the voters who elected him. Imagine the gall of a President "not" willing to step aside because he drives liberals insane. 

By the way, Donald Trump blowing up the minds of the left is a feature of him being President, it's not a bug.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Graham calls for second special counsel?

Sen. Lindsey Graham calls for a second special counsel to investigate the crimes committed by prior investigations into President Trump.
Well, he was the number four guy at the Department of Justice. His wife worked for Fusion GPS, the firm hired by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign to get -- to find dirt on Trump. They hired Christopher Steele, a former British agent, who went to Russia to gather a dossier that I think is a bunch of political garbage.

Here's what I would tell the American people. Both campaigns were investigated by the FBI and the Department of Justice in 2016. When it came to the Clinton campaign, she got a pass. The criminal investigation of the Clinton campaign was a joke. When it came to the Trump campaign, it was corrupt, it was biased and I think unethical. Mr. Ohr should not have had any role in investigating the Trump campaign because his wife worked at Fusion GPS. The two -- the FBI agent in charge of the Clinton campaign hated Trump, liked Clinton, and also started the counterintelligence investigation against Trump.

When it came to Dianne Feinstein, they went to her and said, hey, there's a Chinese person working on your staff that we think may be tied to the Chinese government. When it came time to -- they never did the same for Trump. So these investigations against Trump were corrupt at the core. They gave Clinton a pass. Bruce Ohr was at least unethical.

We need a special counsel to look at all things Department of Justice and FBI when it came to the Trump investigation, particularly the counterintelligence investigation.
Let's be clear here folks, Lindsey Graham is no fan of the President. But what we are seeing now is moderate Republicans (and even some never-Trumpers) making the same sort of statements that only the hardcore Trump supporters and people like Rush Limbaugh were saying.

Suddenly it's fairly mainstream on the right to echo the President's sentiments about the investigations into him being a partisan witch-hunt. And no, contrary to what some on the left might believe, this is not just more and more people being "taken in" by the President. This is more and more people opening their eyes to the obvious (and now overwhelming) evidence that the FBI and DOJ have not been conducting themselves objectively as it pertains to these political investigations.

We literally had a six month investigation into known criminal behavior by one Presidential candidate, that ended with the director of the FBI (way outside of his jurisdiction) making  a public statement that she would not be charged (which was not under his authority) because of nuances of the law that this particular director quite literally "made up".

Meanwhile, we are now two years into our fourth investigation into unfounded allegations regarding the other candidate, promoted by tips from a foreign diplomat (with ties to his opponent) about an irrelevant drunken conversation with a person who never mattered, and a completely unverified dossier bought and paid for by the opposition political Party and the opposition political campaign. Meanwhile, some of the people involved are said to be considering literally "making up" new definitions of crimes, in order to figure out a way to suggest that this Presidential Candidate broke the law.

You couldn't make this stuff up and find anyone to believe you.