31 thoughts on “News/Politics 2-16-19

  1. Turnabout is fair play.


    “House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is pressing House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff for answers about his interactions with Glenn Simpson, the founder of the opposition research firm behind the Democrat-funded Steele dossier.

    In a statement released on Friday, McCarthy questioned whether Schiff, a California Democrat, should recuse himself from the Intelligence panel’s Russia investigation because of a meeting he had with Simpson at the Aspen Security Forum in July 2018.

    “Given Chairman Schiff’s previous underlying rationale when calling for others to recuse themselves from Russia-related investigations, in order to avoid charges of hypocrisy or perceived bias, should Chairman Schiff recuse himself from his intended investigations after meeting with a witness of an ongoing investigation?” McCarthy asked.

    The Schiff-Simpson meeting has come under scrutiny because of Simpson’s role in pushing the unverified Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy theory. Simpson has also been accused by some Republican lawmakers of lying to the House Intelligence Committee about his interactions with government officials while working on the dossier.”

    “During the same testimony in which Simpson has been accused of lying, Schiff sought investigative leads from the Fusion GPS founder.

    McCarthy asserted that it is “virtually unprecedented … that a now Chairman of an investigative committee would seek direction from a fatally biased witness who was actually paid by political opponents to uncover dirt on the President.””


  2. Yep. Another hoax by the racist, anti-Trump, Hollywood gang.


    “Two Nigerian actor brothers are arrested over Jussie Smollett attack, as it’s revealed they are FRIENDS with the Empire star amid claims the assault was staged to save his career

    Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo were picked up at Chicago O’Hare Airport on Wednesday

    The pair had just arrived back from Nigeria when they were taken into custody

    Both are actors and Ola appeared on Empire in 2015 as an extra

    They are friends with Smollett, who follows them on Instagram, and sometimes work out with them

    Both brothers shared photos and videos from their trip to Nigeria on Instagram

    Their lawyer says they are innocent and are ‘baffled’ by the allegations

    Chicago PD will not confirm source claims they are investigating the attack as a hoax

    They said on Friday that Smollett was still being treated ‘as a victim and not a suspect’

    Police are now treating the two brothers as suspects and not persons of interest but neither has been charged “


  3. Update: The two brothers in the Smollett case were released late Friday without charges. The alleged victim now appears to have a criminal defense attorney. Hmmmm.


  4. Trump declares a national emergency and the discussion here is on some show I’ve never heard of.

    I know illegal entries are down and crime is at 50 year lows but apparently there’s an emergency. An emergency so important money earmarked for California and Puerto Rico must be diverted.

    After signing this so called emergency and broadening executive power at the expense of legislative power, Trump went golfing. In 5 years AOC might become president and she just might declare a national emergency to fight climate change. And she wouldn’t go golfing.

    Older Democrats have respect for the rules, tradition etc. Younger Democrats will operate on the principle if its okay for Trump than its ok for us. Trump will have created a new emergency a decline in adherance to the constitution and rule of law.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. hwesseli, I forget which American elections you’ve voted in? And where you took the classes on history of the US?

    I don’t like executive privilege as a way of bypassing Congress, but I do think Trump has a precedent in the “national emergency” line. And with the Democrats playing politics to a nasty level, I’m not sure he had much of a choice but to go that route–our southern border does need to be defended.

    AOC doesn’t have much of a chance of becoming president . . . but that would be a national emergency, if she did!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Four under grad courses and one grad course in American history. But that’s beside the point all Anglo democracies limit the executive by giving the legislature the “purse”. When the executive bypasses this using the emergency excuse, it threatens the govt structure. Besides its not much of an emergency if he’s golfing.

    I didn’t vote but millions of Americans did and put Pelosi in charge of the purse. Trump and his supporters need to recognize the people have spoken. He needs to adjust and compromise, not breach tradition and constitutional rules.


  7. The people spoke, they voted for Clinton but the electoral college gave them Trump. Then the people spoke again and gave Pelosi the money. Obviously compromise is in order. And Congress did compromise. Even Trump said he didnt need to declare an emergency. Personally I think he did just to avoid working with.a woman. He doesn’t like women who say no.


  8. The people spoke. The electoral college works. This is a union of States. All of the States have an equal say in the Senate. More populated States have a bigger voice in the House. The electoral college helps to level things in the executive area. All the States get a say. It works. Rarely is everybody happy with an election. Most of us do not want to be dominated by three or four States, that is why it is a Union. We all get our say.

    Liked by 6 people

  9. Pelosi has never been willing to work with Trump, she acts like a spoiled brat. I seem to recall President Trump saying they needed Pelosi back as Speaker because he wanted to work with her.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. According to this, the Chicago PD is denying that they suspect Smollett of faking his attack. Of course, they could be covering their butts to protect themselves from being sued in case it turns out he was indeed attacked. And the folks at Empire are saying that he was not being written off the show.

    The plot thickens yet again.



  11. https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/16/entertainment/jussie-smollett-attack/index.html

    It’s evolving, but this appears to be the latest from Saturday night via CNN:

    Police sources: New evidence suggests Jussie Smollett orchestrated attack

    By Ryan Young, Brad Parks and Dakin Andone, CNN
    Updated 10:33 PM ET, Sat February 16, 2019

    Chicago (CNN)Two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation tell CNN that Chicago Police believe actor Jussie Smollet paid two men to orchestrate an assault on him that he reported late last month.

    The men, who are brothers, were arrested Wednesday but released without charges Friday after Chicago police cited the discovery of “new evidence.”

    The sources told CNN the two men are now cooperating fully with law enforcement.
    Smollett told authorities he was attacked early January 29 by two men who were “yelling out racial and homophobic slurs.” He said one attacker put a rope around his neck and poured an unknown chemical substance on him.

    The sources told CNN there are records that show the two brothers purchased the rope found around Smollett’s neck at a hardware store in Chicago. …


  12. Kizzie,

    As Cheryl so eloquently put it……

    “I don’t like executive privilege as a way of bypassing Congress, but I do think Trump has a precedent in the “national emergency” line. And with the Democrats playing politics to a nasty level, I’m not sure he had much of a choice but to go that route–our southern border does need to be defended.”

    That is exactly right. What else would you have Trump do?

    The Dems are only obstructionists at this point, not legislatures. Plus, half of Reps are a spineless, pro-illegal, live only to serve their corporate masters factions. They love cheap, exploited labor.

    A president who seeks to get around this dysfunction and do his job has been left with no other choice.

    They’ve had decades to fix this. They didn’t. Now Trump is doing their job, but only because he has to in order to fulfill his oath.

    And Mr. “I have a pen and a phone” built this, along with the wussies in Congress who won’t do their job. Trump’s gotta do, what Trump’s gotta do. They left him no other choice.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Need a new meme. This one is busted.



    “Empire star Jussie Smollett DENIES he paid two Nigerian brothers $3,500 to attack him in extraordinary statement and says he is ‘angered and devastated’ by claims he orchestrated the assault

    Actor Jussie Smollett orchestrated an assault against him, Chicago police say”


  14. Who purchased the rope “found” around his neck?

    Why his 2 accomplices, who else.


  15. —————————-

    The liar is doubling down.


    “The two brothers who were interrogated by police investigating the alleged attack on Jussie Smollett purchased the rope that was found around the “Empire” actor’s neck, sources told ABC News Saturday.

    Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo agreed to cooperate with authorities after detectives confronted them with evidence that they bought the rope — allegedly used in an attack that Smollett described to police as laced with racial and homophobic slurs — at a local hardware store, sources said.

    Detectives have now shifted the investigation to determining whether Smollett made up the entire story, sources said.

    Yet in a late night statement from his attorneys on Saturday, Smollett hit back at the suggestion that the incident was a hoax, and expressed incredulity that the brothers could have been involved.

    “As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with,” began a statement from Smollett attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson. “He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”


  16. Veith:

    We Are in a State of “National Emergency” over the Wall


    … Yes, Barack Obama used executive orders to thwart the Republican-dominated legislature’s refusal to pass his favored policies, including a more liberal approach to illegal immigration. But conservatives denounced that tactic as anti-constitutional and as endangering our democracy.

    Can conservatives now approve of that tactic just because a Republican is doing it and because it favors a policy they support? Wouldn’t that be the same kind of relativism that conservatives decry elsewhere in postmodern culture? …

    … The House and Senate would surely never pass anything as radical as the Green New Deal, and the outrage of local voters always tempers their representatives’ efforts to gut the Second Amendment. But a Democratic president could simply declare a “national emergency” and implement the Left’s agenda anyway. At that point, the Left would have its “revolution” and American constitutional democracy would cease to exist.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Most democracies give rural votes more weight than city votes but normally its only skewered in the legislature not executive. Regardless, the Democrats were voted jn to provide a check on Trump and they are doing it. Its not obstructionism nor a national emergency if the legislature doesn’t kneel to the executive. Its checks and balances.

    Pelosi is many things but she’s not a spoiled brat (I think she’s too.right wing and listens to lobbyists, but she’s not a brat rather a woman who take sh# from ego filled men). She compromised with the Republicans and sign a deal. Its Trump who wouldn’t accept a compromise in Dec and again now. Its his way or the golf course or both.

    Of course there’s no national emergency. Trump admits it. For two years he didn’t declare an emergency despite a lack of money from Ryan and the Reps. He declares an emergency and golfs. Its clear he has no intention of working with Pelosi. She compromised he refused and now has usurped authority which belongs in the legislature. The political equivalent of a temper tantrum or what I call “hijacking a classroom”. Its a child who demand his needs and wants come before others.


  18. One of the points I have seen made, which HRW touched on, is that Trump had two years with Republicans in control in which he could have pushed for the wall. I’ve also seen the complaint that Trump insisted that Mexico would pay for the wall. Then he softened it to say that Mexico would pay for part of it. And now he, and many of his supporters, are incensed that Democrats won’t agree to fully fund it.

    And as I said in my Facebook reply to you, AJ, I also was against Obama’s misuse of his office (as was Trump at the time), and posted about that on Facebook, too, at the time. Your comment that no one cares about Obama’s “pen and phone”, but when Trump does it, it is the worst thing may apply to others, but not to me.

    It seems that so many people are dividing folks up into three particular groups – hard-and-fast Trump supporters (“Trumpkins”, as Ricky would say), Democrats/liberals/progressives, and Never-Trumper Republicans/conservatives. If someone says something negative about Trump, then they must belong to one of the last two groups, and anyone saying anything positive about Trump must belong to the first group. The gist often seems to be that people are so entrenched in their group that they can’t see any other side to an issue, and/or that they can’t think for themselves, and then their comments and concerns are dismissed out of hand.

    At one time or another, I have been mistaken for belonging to each of those groups. But I don’t feel I belong to any of them, and neither do a lot of folks.


  19. DJ – Last night I had read and posted here that article saying the Chicago PD was denying that Smollett was suspected of faking the attack, and I said that it could be that they were merely covering their butts in case the investigation didn’t pan out, to avoid being sued. Then this morning, I saw an article, like the one you shared, indicating that they really are suspecting him of that after all.

    Although it sure does look like that right now, I am withholding judgment, in case things swing back the other way. Too many times we see that happen in the news, and on social media. The evidence seems to point one way, then another, and often swings back again. It makes me cringe to see Christian folks bearing false witness against people in the news, either because they didn’t wait for all the evidence to be taken into account, or because they don’t like the person and share nearly slanderous stories about them. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  20. It seems this story is pretty nailed down, though. It will be interesting to see if charges are filed. I think they still need to interview him again in light of the new evidence.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I also think this story always sounded so thin to me; an editor of mine agreed, we just always questioned why so many of the stories written left out the key word “alleged” (that’s just sloppy journalism).

    No surveillance images (despite cameras pretty much everywhere?), then the two ‘persons of interest’ were black … Some things just didn’t add up from the start and seemed far too conveniently in tune with a particular political theme. But, as you said, then you have to step back to allow police a chance to do their work, to either prove the charges or not. I think it’s pretty much reached that point now and the story appears to be very different from what it was 1-2 weeks ago.

    Something just doesn’t ring true.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. But I do agree with your position on withholding judgement until we know more.

    As for the ‘state of emergency,’ we would do well to consider how this could impact our government going forward.

    Our pastor today in SS was saying how ‘theologically’ things began going south in this country by the late 1700s. But it took a while. God continued in his blessings upon us as a nation.

    But now, beginning in the latter 1900s and now in the 2000s, we are reaping the results of the nation’s walking away from the faith of its fathers. The culture appears to be in shambles. Let’s pray for a turn-around sooner rather than later.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/02/what-is-socialism.php



    George Will takes up the question. He notes that socialism once stood for state ownership of the means of production. Then, it stood for state ownership of the economy’s “commanding heights” — its most important entities.

    … Now, says Will, it stands for the proposition that “the government [shall] distribute, according to its conception of equity, the wealth produced by capitalism.” To this, I would add that the government shall exert significant control over the lives of Americans, curbing our ability to make a multitude of choices. …

    … There’s an authoritarian strand to the contemporary socialist movement in America. Will calls its advocates “angrier” than traditional American socialists like Norman Thomas and Michael Harrington. They are, and that anger makes them particularly threatening. …

    … Will they be content to let Americans choose what to write and say, where to live, what schools to attend, where to worship, and with whom to associate? Our angry socialists threaten each of these rights to one degree or another.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Smells like troll. Anyhoo, how weird:

    “After signing this so called emergency and broadening executive power at the expense of legislative power, Trump went golfing. In 5 years AOC might become president and she just might declare a national emergency to fight climate change. And she wouldn’t go golfing.”

    After ignoring Congress and signing the DACA decree by fiat, broadening executive power at the expense of legislative power, Obama went golfing, probably in Hawaii. In 4 years Trump became president and declared a national emergency to supplement immigration law. Then he went golfing.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Exactly.

    This is not new by executives, and it’d be helpful if folks would remember that. DACA was an overreach and an abuse of authority. This is not and merely seeks to enforce existing laws, which Congress passed. Same goes with the president’s ability to use discretionary funding as he sees fit. But since it’s Trump, people refuse to admit the obvious, and acknowledge the precedents previously established by others here. So tiresome.

    Liked by 1 person

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