83 thoughts on “News/Politics 9-1-18

  1. I disagree with the NYT on this. Trump doesn’t like these meetings and doesn’t prepare for them. The US will be much better off with Pence there in his place.


  2. Ted Cruz is in some trouble, and there was this exchange:

    Liked by 1 person

  3. @8:57 Yes, that is now reportable news….and so is the pic of Bill Clinton staring at the behind of some sexy performer singing a Aretha Franklin’s funeral celebration. It is officially the end of news as we knew it.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Poor Ricky,

    You still think Trump is gonna be impeached? Hahahaha! That’s funny.

    Also, everyone knows Ohr is neck deep in the hoax. Well, everyone but the horribly misinformed readers of the NYT, like yourself. 🙂

    And it’s nice to see Cruz knows what will help his campaign, and that’s Donald Trump. 🙂


  5. Now as to your other one…..

    I’m about to speak truthfully of the dead……

    Enough with the lionization of the fraud that was McCain. He ain’t all that, and never was. His legacy is one of failures and sell outs of his supporters and supposed values, including his first wife. (Hey if that sorta thing matters in Trump’s case, it’s fair game here too.)


    “Publicly, Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who passed away yesterday, is being mourned as a statesman and war hero who survived torture in the Hanoi Hilton. Privately, former colleagues, Republican party officials, and conservative activists see a more complicated picture of his legacy. To them, McCain’s legacy is studded with scandals and political betrayals that few want to discuss openly. “John McCain was a maverick in the sense you never knew when he was going to vote with the Democrats instead of the Republicans,” said The Stream Senior Editor and Townhall.com contributor Rachel Alexander. The Arizona resident, a longtime McCain constituent, told AMI that while McCain “was a bit of a hawk” on foreign policy, the Vietnam war hero’s rhetoric rarely matched his record. “He called himself pro-life, but advocated for government-funded embryonic stem cell research. He said he was pro-Second Amendment, but led calls to end the so-called gunshow loophole.”

    “Conservatives were wary of him,” said Alexander, “but he ran a powerful political machine in Arizona that went around them to help him repeatedly get reelected. He may not have been the most likable guy in politics, but he was one of the most savvy.”

    John McCain’s father, a career navy man who climbed to admiral and was stationed in the Panama Canal Zone, where the future U.S. senator was born – a tropical birthplace that would later became a liability since it raised constitutional questions surrounding his campaign.

    Certainly, McCain‘s life was one of high drama from his graduating 894th in a class of 899, near the bottom of his class from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, to his heroic war record in the skies over North Viet Nam, his poise during torture sessions as prisoner of that communist dictatorship, his release and recovery, and his political career. The latter was marked by campaign-finance scandal and his campaign-finance reforms–which some see as historic and others view as unconstitutional. Indeed, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned key elements of his best-known legislative work, known as the McCain-Feingold Act.

    After graduating from Annapolis, the young McCain requested a combat assignment and was duly assigned to the USS Forrestal in Vietnam. For McCain, such an assignment played to his need to live-up to the heroic footsteps of his idol President Theodore Roosevelt. But deploying the son of a U.S. admiral to the combat zone also heightened the risk to his fellow sailors as he immediately became a target for the communist regime. Ultimately, McCain‘s shoot-down and capture was a major propaganda coup for the enemy.

    McCain arrived on the USS Forrestal in 1967 in time to survive a serious fire aboard ship that year. While flying over North Vietnam on October 26th, his plane was shot down. After being badly beaten, McCain was moved to Hỏa Lò Prison, also known as the “Hanoi Hilton.”

    McCain’s capture was particuarily hard on his first wife, Carol. She led a national effort to free him as a POW. Her movement invented the POW black flag and the bracelets with prisoner’s names on them. A year before he was freed, she was injured in a car accident and walked with a shortened leg.

    McCain met Cindy Lou Hensley, a beer distributorship heiress, in April 1979. He quickly secured a divorce from his first wife, Carol, and married the moneyed Hensley. His first wife was decidedly middle-class.

    Soon after, McCain retired from the Navy on April 1, 1981 and moved to Phoenix, Arizona to work for Hensley & Co., his father-in-law’s Anheuser-Busch beer distributorship, as vice president of public relations.

    The strategic marriage propelled McCain‘s political career. One year later, he ran, as a Republican, for Arizona’s 1st congressional district. He won, largely due to substantial funds that his wife lent to the campaign.

    Throughout his tenure in the House of Representatives, McCain rarely saw a war he wasn’t inclined to agree with. Despite his own experience in Vietnam, he never worried about a foreign policy that could easily drag America into a new one. McCain’s his enmity toward the USSR and Iran blossomed at this time as did his ardent support for the Contras in Nicaragua.

    Elected to fill conservative legend Barry Goldwater’s U.S. senate seat, McCain‘s senate tenure began in January 1987 and was immediately engulfed in scandal. While McCain was a congressman, he had accepted $112,000 in political contributions from Charles Keating Jr., a banker McCain had met while working at Hensley & Co., and Keating’s associates at Lincoln Savings and Loan Association. McCain was one of the five senators whom Keating supported in the hopes of preventing the government’s seizure of his savings-and-loan and, to that end, McCain participated in meetings with regulators regarding the seizure. After its investigation, the Senate Ethics Committee cleared McCain of breaking any Senate rules, but rebuked him for exercising “poor judgment.”

    McCain quickly re-made himself as a foe of corrupting campaign contributions, which he saw as a form of “legal bribery.” The Democratic Party, which enjoyed a controlling majority in both houses of Congress from 1954 to 1980, when it lost control of the U.S. Senate in the Reagan landslide, and regained control of both chambers when McCain was first elected in 1986, had long since made “campaign finance reform” a priority. The first campaign-spending limits were enacted by a Democratic Party majority on the eve of World War II and progressively tightened over the years. Limiting the freedom to donate to campaigns was long seen as an attempt to nullify one of the Republican minority’s few advantages: the ability to summon vast sums from business owners and others personally affected by taxation and regulation. In a surprise move among his Republican colleagues, McCain adopted this as his signature issue.”

    There’s plenty more…..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You can always rely on the MSM to carry the Clinton’s water. Even now…..


    “By now you’ve probably seen this photo from Aretha Franklin’s funeral with Louis Farrakhan, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Bill Clinton…”


    “…or, maybe you haven’t if you get your news from MSNBC:

    Or ABC News:”

    Both of whom cropped ol’ Louie out of the photo.


  7. I came in from playing golf to read:

    1. Three of my lady Never Trumpers said they had been brought to tears by Meghan McCain’s eulogy for her father;

    2. The Trump Cult erupted @10:19, apparently in response to Meghan’s attacks on its Dear Leader.

    I am not sure if I will have time to watch her eulogy on video before the football games begin.



  8. Sorry, HRW. Putin and Kim have “great relationships” with Dear Leader. However, bad old Canada is now officially an enemy of The Cult.


  9. State prosecutors dropped the ball.

    But the feds picked it up. 🙂


    “The FBI has arrested all five Muslim extremist suspects connected to the New Mexico compound that was raided by authorities, according to a report from Fox News.

    From Fox News:

    The FBI on Friday announced that it has arrested all five “extremist Muslim” New Mexico compound suspects, just days after multiple charges were dropped against those involved. The suspects were charged with violating federal firearms and conspiracy laws.

    “The defendants, Jany Leveille, 35, a Haitian national illegally present in the United States, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 40, Hujrah Wahhaj, 37, Subhanah Wahhaj, 35, and Lucas Morton, 40, are charged in a criminal complaint that was filed earlier today in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico,” the bureau said in a statement.

    “The criminal complaint charges Jany Leveille with being an alien unlawfully in possession of firearms and ammunition in the District of New Mexico from Nov. 2017 through Aug. 2018,” the bureau said. “The criminal complaint charges the other four defendants with aiding and abetting Leveille in committing the offense, and with conspiring with Leveille to commit the offense.”

    Wednesday, child abuse charges against 3 of the 5 suspects were dismissed after the prosecutor dropped the ball.

    Which was extraordinarily amazing given the horrific details of abuse that have been reported thus far.

    Eleven children were removed from the compound, all malnourished, and remanded to state custody. The remains of a missing three-year-old boy were later discovered at the compound.”


  10. I thought the FBI was using all of its resources to “frame” Trump and exonerate Hillary. How did it have time to arrest those Muslims? Are we sure this isn’t just a ruse to convince Trumpkins that the FBI isn’t a part of The Deep State and The Silent Coup?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. We better closely examine any FISA warrants involved in the arrest of those New Mexico Muslims and make sure there was no “fruit of the poisoned tree”. Rosenstein and Chris Wray (two known Deep Staters) had ultimate responsibility for this operation, so we better be suspicious.


  12. FBI agents for the most part are fine. It’s the rogue agents like Strzok, Ohr, and a few others, as well as failed FBI leadership, that folks have a problem with.

    But you knew that…. 🙄

    But hey, continue to play dumb. You seem to have it down pat. 😉


  13. The only way to tell if the New Mexican Muslim operation was a ruse (meant to deceive and confuse devout Trumpkins) is to carefully examine all 2016 text messages of all FBI agents involved. If we find any text messages that were critical of Dear Leader or Muslims, then we will know that the whole operation was a New Mexican Muslim Witchhunt! In such a case, the charges must be dropped and the agents reassigned to go after the real criminals: Crooked Hillary and Obama!


  14. Ricky…will Texans support a man who grovells for support from a man who insulted his wife, accused his father of murder, and called him a loser? Doesn’t sound like a man Texans would support.


  15. AJ

    Sarcasm aside, Ricky raises a good point. If the Republicans establish a precedent for how clean an investigation has to be, anybody with a high priced legal team is going to demand the same scrunity of law enforcement and prosecutor. Established precedent.

    In other news, Iran is spying on the US. But that’s what nations do. The US meddles in Russian elections and Russia returns the favour. But no need to investigate. Similarly the US spies on Iran and vice versa. No need to investigate there either. And if the FBI does, its probably corrupt.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. It appears Trump really doesn’t want a NAFTA deal. In private conversations its been reported he wants to come out a winner and make Trudeau look like a loser, so no compromises on his end. Kudlow and others are demanding an end to supply mgmt of milk, chicken and eggs. This is a non starter. Dairy farmers are the NRA of Canada. Plus the dairy industry is concentrated in Quebec. Drop supply mgmt and they will vote separatist instead of Liberal. Trudeau needs their support. Trump is threatening auto tariffs…..he doesn’t understand the auto industry. Car parts are multi sourced so the nationality of a car is impossible to determine. Plus they operate in a just in time delivery model. Trucks need to move across the border seamlessly. Insert a tariff and it will disrupt the North American auto industry as a whole.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. HRW, The Republican candidate for governor in Texas is up by 19 points. Cruz is now up by 1 point. Groveling and sucking up to Trump apparently doesn’t go over well down here.

    I always thought Cruz should have challenged Trump to a fight after the insults to his wife and father. Trump is much larger, but he has to ride a golf cart. I don’t think he has the stamina to go more than about 20 seconds in the ring.


  18. AJ, If the last three polls in the Cruz race were all taken at the same time, you might accurately use the term “outlier”. The 2nd to last (at 6%) is over a month old. The next to last (at 4%) is over two weeks old. The 1% poll is by far the most recent. In statistics that is known as a trend, and the trend is against Cruz.

    Cruz has pathetically tied himself to Dear Leader. The gubernatorial candidate (Greg Abbott) seldom if ever mentions Trump. Abbott leads by 19 points. Texas has millions of college-educated women in our cities and suburbs. Many are disgusted by Trump and equally disgusted by Trump sycophants.


  19. And I have to question the IQ of Texan voters that they would be so easily swayed to the side of an avowed socialist leftist.

    Way to cut off your own noses. That’ll sure show that mean old Trump. 🙂


    “This self-assurance was understandable. In his campaign against Sen. Ted Cruz, O’Rourke has been attempting the Texas equivalent of walking on water — winning statewide as a liberal Democrat — without yet losing his balance. There is bipartisan consensus, including from Cruz, that O’Rourke could actually prevail in November — maybe — if the blue wave crests just so. And now, 15 days into a 34-day road trip, O’Rourke was 50 miles from another disarmingly large crowd in a typically red county, primed to cheer his calls for brash progressivism deep in the heart of Trump country.

    New gun restrictions. Fifteen-dollar minimum wage. Marijuana offenses expunged from arrest records.

    “This moment, this year, this time is not easy,” O’Rourke thundered once he reached the stage, by turns swearing playfully in two languages to make his case. “It’s not for the faint of heart.”

    But why not try? This is Texas, he reminded them. Or it can be.

    For a quarter century now, a blue Texas has seemed both inevitable and impossible, the central political contradiction in a state defined by them — where conservatives joke that the best thing about Austin, the left-leaning capital, is its proximity to Texas; where the largest American flags are often flown by those agitating for outright secession.

    Any breakthrough, Democrats have long believed, would be borne of demographics and triangulation: Focus on the cities, with their surging Hispanic populations and creeping cosmopolitanism. Edge to the middle a bit to bring in wary moderates. And impress upon voters just how extreme the incumbents had become.”

    Looks like your demographic and identity politics chickens are coming home to roost. Blame yourselves, not Trump. You guys built this. Now you own it.

    Hopefully there’s enough people left with a clue to bail you guys out at the voting booth and save you from your self-inflicted overthrow at the hands of Democrats.


  20. Donald Trump speaking this morning:

    “And I have to question the IQ” of people who would continue to support this pathological liar, con man, reprobate and economically illiterate confessed sexual predator.


  21. Classless and swampy. Just what I expected..

    Someone should have told Meghan this what not a shoot for The View, it was her Dad’s funeral.

    She seems to have confused the two and mixed up her scripts..


    “A memorial service for the late Sen. John McCain on Saturday turned into a clear rebuke of President Donald Trump’s divisive politics as his daughter, two former presidents and political dignitaries used their tributes to call for a return to civility.

    “The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great,” daughter Meghan McCain said, setting the tone for eulogies by Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

    The audience of Washington power players erupted in applause.”

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Now as for shrub………

    “John’s voice will always come as a whisper over our shoulder — we are better than this, America is better than this,” Bush said.”


    Yeah, John’s voice whispering “There’s WMDs in Iraq darn it! Invade!” just like 2000 all over again, right?

    Yeah. Good times…….



  23. The Trump Cult calls Meghan McCain “classless”? The Cult’s Dear Leader has been banned from two funerals and one wedding in just the past year. How classless do you have to be to get banned from two funerals?


  24. @4:00 lol. I liked the quote about Teddy Roosevelt: ‘he wanted to be the corpse at every funeral, the bride at every wedding, and the baby at every christening’. It does sound like Trump. So don’t invite him to the funerals, weddings or christenings, but I’d elect him President all over, and will do so again if necessary. :–)


  25. Debra, My son and I had a funny conversation about just that this week. Even if Trump was impeached, convicted and removed, there is no certainty that Republicans would not nominate him again in 2020 and there is also no certainty that the Democrats would not renominate the one person (Hillary Clinton) that he could beat.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. So I am going to put on my political analyst’s hat:

    1. Though the trend is bad, I still give Cruz a slightly better than 50% chance of beating Beto O’Rourke. As my son reminds me, most of the women we know hate Trump, but they aren’t going to vote for a Democrat. The suburban women in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Mivhigan, etc are more liberal than ours.

    2. However, this may be a historically bad year for Republicans as so many want to send the Rs a message that they hate Trump sycophants.

    3. If Beto O’Rourke wins, the press is going to absolutely fawn over him. He will be “the one Democrat that can win in red Texas, a white Obama with a Mexican name”. He will immediately be proposed as a Presidential candidate.

    4. His advisors will tell him to think hard about making that race. Trump looks like a very weak opponent in 2020, and when O’Rourke would have to run for re-election in the Senate in 2024, he is not going to have Trump dragging down his Republican opponent.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Robert Francis O’Rourke sounds very, very Irish to me. He’s a nice looking young man and he does look like he could have Mexican ancestry somewhere in there, but I would not put him in the WH just yet. Trump may still be able to boost Cruz over the finish line. ;–)


  28. Tweeting digs at the president from a funeral?

    Like I said.



    “Here’s the thing about Sen. Jeff Flake: he’s anti-Trump, and yet he keeps disappointing Democrats by not voting with them until his retirement in January. In essence, he tweets a lot about Trump, but he still votes for a lot of Trump’s policies, and it’s driving everyone crazy.

    On Saturday, while watching the funeral service being held for Sen. John McCain at Washington National Cathedral, Flake thought it would be a good time to remind everyone that President Trump wasn’t invited.

    Maybe it’s just us, but it seems in poor taste to declare a “winner” at a funeral service.”


  29. Here’s the winning response to the Flake….. 🙂

    The same question we should ask Ricky…..


    This one states the obvious.


  30. Why The Rise Of Bipartisan Populism Is Supremely Dangerous



    … What is populism? It’s more a strategy than a philosophy — claiming to stand with “the people” is a time-honored political tool, often utilized by demagogues of every side. But there are certain factors the new populist upswells of Left and Right share: in-group loyalty; skepticism about free markets; and deep distrust of institutions. …

    … Populism runs directly counter to classical liberalism, of course. Founding philosophy saw the in-group as those individuals and groups willing to embrace a view of God-given rights protected by a limited government of enumerated powers; they saw the free market as a tool for prosperity as well as a manifestation of basic property rights; they saw American institutions as repositories of ambition, to be checked by ambition. And today’s populists are promoting a view of the world that is simply inaccurate: race relations in the United States are largely excellent, the free markets have unleashed global and national prosperity, and our institutions may be plagued by incompetence, but they’re not corrupt by any measurable global standard. Still, populism represents a rising threat. And that threat isn’t unique to one side of the political aisle.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Mother is in town to visit with her youngest great-grandchild, so we took her to see Crazy Rich Asians yesterday. Except for the first couple of scenes, the whole movie is set in Singapore. It is a funny little romantic comedy, but as Mother said, “Singapore is very impressive!”


  32. @8:25 That is one minority whose claims have some merit. If we stoped using lopsided laws and court rulings to penalize the actual academic merit of Americans, we might find we have lots of talent right here at home.


  33. Thanks for the review, Ricky. I read the book–very very fast because it is very very silly–but wondered if some of the ribald scenes would make it into the movie.


  34. Michelle, I was a little concerned about taking Mother as she is easily offended. However, she liked the movie. They cleaned it up enough to get a PG-13 rating. All I know about current prime time TV is what I see on the previews during football and golf. Crazy Rich Asians was a little cleaner than those previews, though it did have some of the same elements.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. More promises kept.

    Trump’s been cutting aid to the countries that aren’t our allies, and in many cases are in fact our enemies.


    ““At the direction of President Trump, we have undertaken a review of U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority and in the West Bank and Gaza to ensure these funds are spent in accordance with U.S. national interests and provide value to the U.S. taxpayer,” the department said. “As a result of that review, at the direction of the president, we will redirect more than $200 million … originally planned for programs in the West Bank and Gaza.”

    “This decision takes into account the challenges the international community faces in providing assistance in Gaza, where Hamas control endangers the lives of Gaza’s citizens and degrades an already dire humanitarian and economic situation,” the notice said, without providing additional details.

    One main issue the U.S. has had with support for the Palestinian Authority had been its stipends paid to the families of Palestinians killed, injured or jailed for attacks on Israel. Israel and the Trump administration, have repeatedly demanded that those payments from a so-called “martyrs’ fund” be halted because they encourage terrorism. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has refused to do so.”



    “The US has confirmed it will cut $300m in aid to Pakistan over its perceived failure to tackle militant groups, ratcheting up the tension in a deeply strained relationship ahead of a visit to Islamabad by the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, on Wednesday.

    The so-called Coalition Support Fund was suspended earlier this year after Donald Trump tweeted that the US had received nothing but “lies and deceit” in return for $33bn (£25bn) of financial support to Pakistan since 2002.

    On Saturday, a spokesperson for the Pentagon said that “due to a lack of decisive actions in support of the South Asia strategy, the remaining $300m was reprogrammed”, withdrawing for good a previous offer to unfreeze the funds if Pakistan took decisive action against militant groups.

    The Trump administration says Islamabad offers sanctuary to Taliban fighters waging a 17-year war in Afghanistan, a charge Pakistan denies.

    The Pentagon spokesman Lieut Koné Faulkner said the funds would be reassigned to other “urgent priorities”, following approval by Congress.”


    Thank you Mr. President.


  36. How the Media Fails Church Coverage


    … Truly world-historical journalism usually comes from other sources: from the corporate whistleblower, the fading movie star with a horror story to tell about a big-shot producer, and, yes, the deeply wounded middle-aged man who encountered a demonic priest when he was a young boy. There are plenty of reporters listening to such sources, which is why Theranos has been exposed, the #MeToo movement has emerged, and clerical sexual abuse has been under a spotlight since the 1980s.

    The trouble is that sometimes ideology distorts journalists’ sense of who is truly victimized and marginal and deserving of a hearing in a particular setting.

    This, I suspect, was one of the reasons Theodore “Uncle Ted” McCarrick—the amiable, genial, and above all liberal American prelate—escaped scrutiny for so long. Many journalists, including Catholic ones, impose a prefabricated frame on the Church, in which those who challenge or deemphasize traditional moral doctrines are the downtrodden good guys facing off against the fusty, black-clad reactionaries who pull the real strings. McCarrick was not just one of those modernizing good guys; he was the good guy par excellence.

    Witness the glowing profile of McCarrick from David Gibson of the Religion News Service (Gibson is now a fellow at Fordham). The cringe-inducing headline: “Globe-trotting Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is almost 84, and working harder than ever.” …

    “Uncle Ted” working harder than ever. Oh, ouch.

    But here’s more:


    … The liberal Catholic establishment, to whom the secular media often turn for guidance on Church matters, sees itself at war with these forces from the dark past, disgruntled and marginalized yet all-powerful and a menace to progress. Predators and their abettors benefit from this intellectual and institutional dynamic.

    “But surely those days are over,” you might be tempted to say. “Surely now, after #MeToo, all cries for justice get the attention they deserve.” Perhaps. Then again, take a look at the headline New York Times editors picked for a recent story on the crisis: “Francis Takes High Road as Conservatives Pounce. . . . ”


  37. Is it over yet?


    “Despite of the wall-to-wall media coverage of a seemingly unending series of funeral services (five at last count), this nation does not mourn the passing of a hero. Yes, dignitaries showed up and slid fake praise into orations meant for something other than a heartfelt memorial to the dearly departed. John McCain may have been dear to a few people, but for the rest of us (and most likely 99% of the people invited to be part of his ostentatious Display of the Dead), he remains a clear and present exemplar of a petty plutocracy and blatant self-service. One ecstatic writer called it the “biggest resistance meeting yet” as Her Father’s Daughter saddled the next generation with the bitter Sins of the Father and was celebrated for embracing what many have called a world-class grudge. Somehow, she missed the message that “John called on us to be bigger… and better than that.” Others, disgusted by the “political theatrics and cheap shots” recognized her father’s signature spitefulness — nasty to the end and beyond. Yet it was the observation of a high-school junior that explained a certain hollowness to every news anchor’s claim that a nation mourns. CJ Pearson wrote: “At most funerals I’ve attended, it’s God’s love that fills the room, not hate and animus for a person who is not even in attendance.”

    This nation does not mourn John McCain who in a final act of self-aggrandizing mythmaking, personally planned a weeklong spectacle to weaponize a sacred cultural tradition meant to remember and honor the dead. This may become his most enduring legacy. An insatiably vindictive man, his equally malicious family, and all those eager to participate in a six-minute trash-talk tribute have radically transformed one of the last public opportunities to share our humanity. We do not mourn, we cannot mourn, and we should not mourn one who in death chose to even a score only he was keeping.”


  38. Yes. It is over … just in time for Bob Woodward’s new book. I would hope we would begin to get excerpts as early as tomorrow.


  39. There is a lot of truth in that American Thinker article. I cannot imagine putting my family through all of those services. Nor could I imagine having the emphasize that was apparent. 😦 However, I think many should just be quiet during the days of deepest mourning. Anger is not an unusual response and should not be encouraged.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. He needs to be held accountable for his many crimes.


    “Recent events — such as the convictions of two former Trump aides, Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, following Trump’s retributive withdrawal of former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance — have some pundits talking excitedly about new Watergate proceedings aimed at the White House.

    But the only deserved excitement should be felt by Brennan, the deceitful quarterback of the Russian Collusion team, as the current chaos helps to run out the clock on any investigation and possible indictment of himself.

    As Watergate is inevitably compared to the present situation, we should recall what the scandal was and what it was not. The wrongdoing was rooted in abuses by the party in power during an election, not by a relatively powerless contender, as Trump was in 2016. The Nixon administration used the machinery of government for spying on and sabotaging the campaigns of its political enemies, then enlisted the CIA and FBI in a failed coverup.

    All of this is beginning to look like small beer when compared to Brennan’s orchestration of the CIA, FBI, GCHQ (British intelligence) and the media to smear Trump as conspiring with thug Vladimir Putin to rig the 2016 election. This charge not only criminalized the incoming president but also delegitimized him from the start, far worse than anything Nixon’s operatives did.

    Brennan and his partisan cohort, former FBI Director James Comey, have long maintained the fiction that the “Russian collusion” counterintelligence case was not opened until July 31, 2016, and that claim is supposedly based only upon a meaningless statement made to lowly Trump aide George Papadopoulos.

    Indeed, almost laughably, the lie is put to this timing claim simply by noting that the statement (about Russian hacking) was made to Papadopoulos in early April 2016 by Joseph Mifsud, himself a “human source” engaged by Brennan and GCHQ as part of an already ongoing investigation.

    We also know that an “interagency” taskforce had been formed by Brennan in December 2015 and that it had voted in April 2016 to deny a “defensive briefing” to Trump, while preparing its first unsuccessful application for a FISA warrant.

    So this claim of a July 31, 2016, start date is clearly a lie, but to what end? As we will see, it was highly important to Brennan’s scheme that we not focus on the many months of investigative goose eggs by three behemoths (the CIA, FBI and GCHQ).

    Recall that according to the respected journal The Guardian, Brennan first received a tip about electoral collusion in December 2015. On December 28, 2015, FBI lawyer Lisa Page inquired of FBI Counterintelligence Deputy Peter Strzok about his plans to get approval for “LUREs,” or human source informants. All of this history Brennan has consciously ignored as if it never occurred. Again, why the lie about timing?

    The answer starts with the hiring of Fusion GPS by Clinton and the virtually simultaneous hiring by Fusion of both Christopher Steele and Nellie Ohr, a former and/or continuing CIA contractor. Most commentators, understandably, point to Ohr’s husband Bruce as a subsequent conduit between Steele and the FBI. But this focuses the public on the aftermath of Steele’s hiring, not its prologue, which is far more important.”


  41. True and funny.


  42. A bit of a harsh tweet. A meme I’ve seen states; McCain was complimented for his courage, respect, and decency. And somehow this interpreted as an attack on Trump. Perhaps Trump supporters are admitting something.


  43. I actually agree with Trump in one case. The Pakistani military is notoriously corrupt and doesn’t deserve a dime, even the Pakistani people recognize this.

    With Palestine, the money is easier to trace, control, and direct. With a little effort the US could control its money.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Re Woodward’s book — books aren’t always meant to sway, but to inform.

    Woodward has a reputation as a careful and fair reporter (his co-Watergate reporter, Bernstein, has since gone way off the journalistic reservation of fairness and way into the partisan deep, I pay no attention to what he says or to whatever books he might write).

    There will be still some unflattering material regarding Trump, of course, but I would hope and expect that it will, overall, be a fair and even-handed treatment by the reporter. (And even with that, Trump will not come out looking like a stellar statesman — but we all know and expect that; Trump is Trump, he’s a populist and a wild card, not known for his strong moral or reasonable character.)


  45. From Michelle’s linked article (a very important one):

    “The media’s hatred of Trump is not necessarily determinative, but it is a force multiplier of the 24/7 unhinged narrative of the universities, popular culture, and Hollywood. Their shared goal is to make saying that one supports the Trump agenda so socially unpalatable, so culturally Neanderthal, that no sane person wishes to confess his delight with a new economy, foreign policy, and approach to the administrative state.

    Amid the conundrum over Trump’s sometimes silly tweets, his 90-minute stand-up comedy routines at rallies, his spats with “fake news,” and the blood feud with the political lobby at CNN, what is lost in the calculation are these facts on the ground far from Washington, where slowly but undeniably life is getting better for the those in entry-level jobs among the forgotten near the bottom—and perhaps much better for the middle and upper-middle classes.”

    “In sum, we are witnessing one of the great ironies of the modern age. Minorities who are not Trump supporters are doing better under Trump than any past president, liberal or conservative. Environmentalists who despise him know that America has become more effective than its green European critics in reducing carbon emissions, largely through the breakneck production of natural gas. Diplomats who loathe Trump find their good cop talk and soft power has more resonance once it is backed up by a better military, a better national security team, and an unpredictable commander-in-chief who might just be capable of doing anything at any time to anyone anywhere in the defense of American interests and sovereignty.”

    “How can things be getting concretely better than they were during the Obama years when expert opinion insists things are getting worse?”

    “… what is morality when a lot of ruin was done by those who claimed by birth, education, reputation, ZIP code, or influence to be so much better than those they hurt?”


  46. Hanson’s article is interesting but not for its truth rather it demonstrates how reality is seen through different coloured glasses depending on who is in charge.

    The California economy actually slowed down under Trump. Mind you growth rates over 4.5% (2014-15) are unsustainable in a mature economy no matter who occupies the White House. In fact, Washington has little impact in an economy that is larger than Canada’s; its technology and its connections to Asia that drive California. Although Democrats like to credit the state govt.

    The rise in economic activity and wages in the interior (he doesn’t give numbers) can be attributed to wage and other pressures from the coast. When coastal cities are raising the min wage to 15$/hr, the interior needs to raise wages. Construction will also increase as retirees sell their city homes and move to small towns and pocket a nice profit. (My retirement plan also, and popular in the Toronto area). ( in fairness to Trump, the ICE crackdown might have helped push wages up)

    In short Hanson, feeling better with a Republican in charge, notices an economy that has been doing well since at least 2014.

    His comments on foreign policy are even more skewered by his bias. In Europe, Trump is regarded on a good day as a joke and on bad day as dangerous even in pro-US countries like Poland. Kim pulled a fast one on him and Putin hasn’t stopped smiling since Helsinki. Its interesting that Hanson lauds Trump on North Korea in which no verification protocol was established yet criticizes the Iran deal which had a verification process almost everybody agreed was working.

    Contrary to American conservatives perception, Obama was well liked and respected and Clinton although not well liked was respected and to a certain degree feared.

    Again Hanson’s bias allows him to view success where it barely exists and ignore it where it does.


  47. And this comment from my former city editor (I g-chatted the link to him) about the piece that michelle shared:

    I love victor Davis Hanson. Since the first time I read him and heard him on tv. He nails it with that piece. That irony prompts the essential question of this presidency: could crudity have been the accelerant that pushed his agenda forward? And if so, what does that say about those who led us who were far less crude and far less competent—and far less worried about the consequences of their policies upon those whom they rarely ever saw?
    That one graf sez it all. Obama was articulate and gave great speeches. But he tackled almost none of our real problems. Same with bush and Clinton.


  48. hwesseli: “In Europe, Trump is regarded on a good day as a joke and on bad day as dangerous even in pro-US countries like Poland.” I live here in Central Europe, and this statement is ridiculous.

    As for the rest of your 3:45pm comment, you definitely see reality through different colored glasses!


  49. Speaking as someone who lives in California, our economy is problematic because of over-regulations and the strangulation of ingenuity by our super-majority governing class. When they can’t fix the roads but can spend endless discussion on getting rid of straws, you know they are . . . not paying attention to what people really care about.

    Don’t get me started on the fire stuff . . . though the big one (nearly a half-million burned acres) is 97% contained today. Thanks be to God and the cooler weather.

    Liked by 4 people

  50. Thanks for holding down the fort while I was in training. My son and daughter-in-law today taught me to rock my grandson to sleep. We had two successes today after a complete failure yesterday in the church foyer.

    Today I perfected the whispering in the ear, but still need a little practice on the all important transfer from the shoulder to the lap without waking him up.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. As has been the case for several months, the House generic ballot numbers have been moving in virtual lockstep with Trump’s personal popularity. The Senate is a whole different matter because there are so many Democrat incumbents and so few Republican incumbents up for re-election this year. I have hopes that the Rs could lose 50 House seats and still retain the Senate.


    One of the 538 statistics/politics nerds was on CNN with Alisyn Camerata this morning. He tried to teach her statistics and she was a good sport about it.


  52. Then there was this bit of idiocy:


  53. By almost any economic metric, California’s economy has been booming since 2012-13. Hanson only sees it now because he’s engaged in confirmation bias. A Republican admin makes him optimistic so he sees things he missed three years ago.


    My Dutch relatives and Polish friends are conservatives. They make mock Trump. Poland is a conservative place more now than the 90s. They admire nationslism and social conservatism. Yet they find nothing to admire about Trump. Being Poles, they don’t like Putin either but their Hungarian counterparts prefer Putin over Trump. The Poles prefer Merkel despite disagreeing with her social and immigration policies. My Dutch relatives are like mist Dutch conservatives, they value politeness and respectful behaviour.


  54. Civility, rationality and normalcy. Which one(s) of those does legalized killing of partially born human babies fall under? Actually, I guess I can give you “normalcy,” considering the tens of millions of babies killed in America over a few short decades. I didn’t realize that’s what we wanted.


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