Friday, December 6, 2019

Love Nancy


Finally Submitting This Letter

This is kind of an amalgam of two letters. Maybe two are better than one?


I'm writing about Rep. Stefanik and other conspiracy theory friendly folks in the GOP. I realize she's been all up in Rep. Schiff's grill over having to follow House rules. As far as I know she hasn't said a word about Rep. Nunes pushing Russian disinformation at the hearings. That's what the "DNC server in Ukraine" fairy tale is. She herself said, "Whether Ukraine had any part in 2016, I think we still haven't gotten to the bottom fully of the complexity of the meddling in our election in 2016." As far as that country goes, we have. Tom Bossert, President Trump's former national security adviser, says the idea Ukraine was involved in the hack, "Has no validity" and "It's not only a conspiracy theory, its' completely debunked." Senate Intelligence says the same.

Is it worth remaining silent to Russian backed propaganda in order to be a star in Trump's Republican Party? Fiona Hill testified, "I would ask that you please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests." That didn't slow Rep. Nunes or cause Rep. Stefanik to push back on it. The people driving the "Ukraine interfered" story are Vladimir Putin, corrupt former Ukrainian government officials, President Trump and Rudy Guiliani, a portion of the Republican Party including Nunes and Senator Kennedy, and most of Fox News. Rep. Stefanik has appeared on Sean Hannity. Hannity has met few rightwing conspiracy theories he didn't push. He tormented Seth Rich's family with nonsense about their son until forced to desist.

Trump publicly asked for Russia's help in 2016. They were listening. He's asking for foreign help for another fraudulent win in 2020. Sadly, the writers of the Constitution didn't realize that if you're a star they let you get away with it.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

President Clownshoes



I'm not necessarily a Biden supporter, but this is a great ad. I'm sure Dear Leader is loving it. 

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Letter Draft


     I’m responding to Kim Gamache writing, “The Democrats opened a Pandora’s Box.” If a Democrat is elected president in 2020, how long before impeachment proceedings begin?” And, “There is an election in less than a year. Let the people decide.” On the latter, I have to point out that’s the election President Trump was trying to get Ukraine to influence by extorting them over aid. On the former, even the RNC realizes the House is going to stay Democratic. And by voting to condone Trump’s actions Republicans are saying it’s okay to ask foreign governments to conduct cyberespionage and make up “dirt.” That includes Rep. Stefanik when she inevitably votes with the rest of her party. If there’s a President Warren running for re-election in 2024 and wants any sort of assistance from any country against say, Nikki Haley or Tom Cotton it’s no problem. Hacked e-mails or texts. Bogus investigations begun. Republicans are normalizing it by excusing Trump. Vladimir Putin is smiling and saying "Thank God, no one is accusing us of interfering in the US elections anymore; now they're accusing Ukraine."
.
     I want to mention Stefanik’s standing by while her cohorts push the “Ukraine interfered” Russian intelligence operation. It’s worth remaining silent to become a “star” in the GOP. Jim Jordan remained silent at Ohio State for what Joe Paterno lost his reputation for. Jordan is a folk hero now in today’s Republican party. A vote with Trump is ignoring his going on Fox and Friends and rambling about Crowdstrike and the DNC server. Things that can only be understood by those marinating in rightwing fever swamps. Fiona Hill’s testimony, “In the course of this investigation, I would ask that you please no promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests.” Rep. Stefanik claims her party, other than the president who's adopted the Russian line, has not denied that they interfered. Trumps' defenders are certainly working overtime to muddy the water, though.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Couple of Great Letters

Agata Stanford


Elise Stefanik has voted to strike down the Affordable Care Act and defund Planned Parenthood. Her disregard for protecting our environment, or the deception she engaged in when she was allowed to vote against Trump’s Tax cuts in exchange for whipping the votes for its passing, a bill that benefited corporations and the 1%, her donors, not her constituents, or her numerous other assaults against labor, education and our financial and investment protections are available for anyone with a bit of curiosity to see by visiting the “Tracking the United States Congress” website. For her fans, the truth may be painful.


I really love this line.


Since when has corruption been quantified in acceptable amounts?

...


Tanya Goldstein


Perhaps an analogy will persuade those who are so blind they will not see. One day I look and see my neighbor (for the sake of argument say we don't get along) digging in his backyard and burying a large heavy object. Also, his wife has gone missing. I call the police because something seems fishy. (I am the whistleblower.) Two police detectives begin to investigate my tip. One is my friend, one my neighbor's. (That is the congressional inquiry.) They talk to my neighbor. He says his wife is visiting relatives, and he was doing some gardening. (Trump and his "perfect" phone call.)

...


...


"Elise is paying a smirking misogynist slime-ball to stalk Tedra Cobb!," she tells Pinocchio. "I've seen the creep's Twitter feed. He's very pleased with himself. He never removes his sunshades. Is the law after him? What is he hiding? No woman feels safe with a guy like that following her."

...


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

You Really Believe That?


     Overriding the fact that Rep. Stefanik sees “no quid pro quo” in the president’s statement is that she seems to believe the nonsense Ukraine server conspiracy theory. She says,“Whether Ukraine had any part in 2016, I think we still haven’t gotten to the bottom fully of the complexity of the meddling in our election in 2016.” Yes, as far as that country goes, we have. Tom Bossert, President Trump’s former national security adviser, says the idea Ukraine was involved in the hack, “Has no validity” and "It’s not only a conspiracy theory, it’s completely debunked.”
     In the call to President Zelensky, Trump says, “ I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it… The server, they say Ukraine has it.” This refers to the theory Bossert spoke of. It goes that the DNC hacked itself and fabricated the evidence that blames Russia for it. Needless to say, Russian trolls and bots are keen to push this idea. Why the president or a representative on House Intelligence is open to it is a mystery. Those who believe in this alternate reality posit the server is in Ukraine. The founder of Crowdstrike that investigated the hack, who is a Russian-born American citizen, becomes Ukrainian. Seth Rich, a DNC staffer killed by random violence, makes an appearance in some iterations.
     I’d really love to see Rep. Stefanik clarify what she meant by meddling vis a vis Ukraine. We’ve come to expect the president to take the word of foreign governments over the intelligence community. I give our congresswoman credit for not taking this nonsense seriously. Is she just doing a shout out to those who do? 


Thursday, October 17, 2019

In Defense of Marie Yovanovich, God Bless Her

I'm writing to recommend the "Opening Statement of Marie Yovanovitch." She started in Foreign Service in 1986 under Ronald Reagan. That's four Republican and two Democratic presidents. She was fired by President Trump to serve the interests of Rudy Guiliani's two recently indicted associates. From her statement, "Individuals who have been named in the press as contacts of Mr. Guiliani may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy." She was stymieing the ambitions of Russia in Ukraine, as well. It's a disgrace she isn't still.

Russia is run by Vladimir Putin. He has robbed, with his partners, that economy blind. Elections are a sham. There's no succession and Putin will serve as long as he lives. We hear Trump talking of not stepping down at the end of his presidency, so he seems openly envious of the situation extant in a failed state like Russia. The media there exists only to spread lies and propaganda approved by the government. Mr. Trump says he welcomes the help of foreigners in his campaigns. From Ms. Yovanovitch, "The harm will come when bad actors in countries beyond Ukraine see how easy it is to use fiction and innuendo to manipulate our system. In such circumstances, the only interests that will be served are those of our strategic adversaries, like Russia, that spread chaos and attack the institutions and norms that the U.S. helped create and which we have benefited from." Yovanovitch, George Kent, Fiona Hill and Michael McKinley are all patriots and defenders of democracy. They care deeply about this country and Ukraine both of which continue to be under attack from Russia.  

Monday, October 7, 2019

In Defense of Chairman Schiff, God Bless Him


Responding to Rep. Stefanik's campaign to get Rep. Schiff replaced as chair of the Intelligence Committee. Regarding the whistleblower complaint she says, "(Schiff) manipulated this information and played partisan political games." What exactly does that mean? Does it mean he helped write it, as the president claims? There's a word he used recently that I probably can't repeat in this forum. Concerning the paraphrase of the president's call, Schiff's first sentence reads: "Shorn of its rambling character and in not so many words, this is the essence of what the president communicates." Clearly he wasn't quoting. Another question for our congresswoman, given the opportunity, would be if there was anything in the chairman's statement that was inaccurate. It seemed to properly convey the gist of the call.

Ukraine is in a war against Russian revanchism with over 13,000 killed. President Trump needs a more believable explanation than "concern over corruption" for holding up aid to them. His campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, helped install that corruption. Despite the cyber disinformation efforts of Russia there, they have elected a president dedicated to "draining the swamp," for real. Electorally, their resistance may have been better than ours. It's recently come to light that the president told the two Russian officials he met, the day after firing James Comey, that he was unconcerned about their interference in our elections. Has Rep. Stefanik commented on that? I know she says she's committed to protecting our elections. That seems more important than Rep. Schiff's attempts at parody.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

I See You've Got a Brand-New Leopard-Skin Tinfoil Hat

We could've seen our congresswoman was going full Trump with the juvenile nickname she defamed Tedra Cobb with. Wednesday, she retweeted Kevin McCarthy's comment, "Chairman Schiff just got caught orchestrating with the whistleblower before the complaint was ever filed. Democrats have rigged this process from the start," in response to a NY Times article. Ms. Stefanik's tweet read, "I'm glad that the question I asked last week has been answered. As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I'm extremely concerned with our Chairman's increasingly reckless behavior." We recently learned the president told two Russian officials, in the Oval Office, he didn't care about their interference in our election. That something a Republican politician would've at least called "reckless behavior" in the past. Not today.

The president's comment on the NYT article was, "(Schiff) knew long before and helped write it, too." So, he's accusing Mr. Schiff of helping write the complaint. From the NYT, "The CIA officer approached a House Intelligence Committee aide with his concerns about Mr. Trump only after he had had a colleague first convey them to the CIA's top lawyer. Concerned about how that initial avenue was unfolding, the officer then approached the House aide." Quoting Mr. Schiff's spokesman, "At no point did the committee review or receive the complaint in advance."


Schiff's parody of the president's call was wrong, but it was clearly parody. The scurrilous charges against him are not and display the same conspiratorial thinking and dishonesty that led the president to send Rudy Guiliani to Ukraine in the first place.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Another Deplorable Letter

Saturday, I took a walk down Warren Street to experience the Trump Followers. I only imbibed a short while. Regular readers know my politics, but if I was a Republican it wouldn't please me to have these folks as representative of my party. Speaking of representatives, that includes ours. I saw several Stefanik banners. One wonders if she's proud of this support. It's hard to say since we hear so little from her. In the brief time, I heard several profanities and some nonsense about Michelle Obama being a man projected from a bullhorn. Is this another case of we didn't think we needed a law against it? So much of that in the Trump era.  This likely makes Saratoga a more attractive destination on a sunny, late summer Saturday.


I've heard the response of the Followers and it's "what about the protesters arrested at our congresswoman's office." Agree with them or not, they were arrested at a taxpayer supported facility because they disagreed with our government's treatment of people fleeing economic hardship. "Petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances" and all. The folks that take pride in being deplorable are out there to praise Trump and trash the people on his enemies list. Such is the hollowness of the Republican Party. It now stands for Trump, the wall, ad hominem attacks on his opponents and nothing more. Like or loathe Liz Warren's and AOC's ideas, at least there's something to discuss. Spare me the socialist epithet unless you can explain how billions to Midwest farmers is not and how trade wars jibe with free market principles.  

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Deplorables of Northern NY

Link

Seeman said he took issue with comments made in the group’s mission statement that its members feel “bullied” by the left. He does not believe progressive groups have been bullies.

Joe Seeman is referring to this comment from a David Vanscoy.

Link

The group was started by a “small group of patriots who are tired of being bullied into silence by the progressive left,” according to its mission statement.

David Vanscoy, founding member of the organization, said in an email the group was started also in response to the calls for impeachment. Nearly 500 people have followed the Facebook page in over a month.

“We are excited and eager to show our local communities that it’s OK, and your right, to stand up and push back on the lunacy the progressive left, backed by the media, tries to ram down our throats,” he said.

I'm happy to report that, having walked around a bit at the rally, no progressives were there bullying any of them and no one tried to ram lunacy down their throats. That would've been a relief because they were absolutely not being bullied into silence.

Great Letters That Are Not Mine

I'd love to take credit for either of them, though.

John Busteed

Apparently he had the same reaction to Hunter Sartwell's line about Elise Stefanik representing the Republican Party that I did.

Earlier this week, Hunter Sartwell stated that Rep. Elise Stefanik represented Republican values. I agree that she does. I spoke with the congresswoman’s office on Thursday (July 25) and Friday (July 26) to see if they had a statement on President Trump’s “Send Her Back” racist chant. Her office said they had no opinion on that. Though they did point out that they vehemently opposed the “Squad.” So it would appear that she supports Trump’s overt racism, a Republican value.


Thank you, Ms. Roberts for the fractured fairy tale about Elise's brother.

Pinocchio writes to Congresswoman Stefanik, his secret sister, from an Adirondack safe-house. He is safe in the north. She will never sell him for pulpwood. She doesn't like to go there. People ask her questions. They put her on the spot. She prefers to lecture empty seats in the House of Representatives. She can read her script, look important, and be on C-Span!

Northern NY is about as rightwing as Alabama and Elise Stefanik will likely be re-elected. No sense in her being too comfortable, though. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

If It Walks Like A Racist...

Link

I'd encourage everyone to read Rep. Malinowski's resolution: "Condemning President Trump's racist comments directed at members of Congress." He wrote on Twitter, "Do we embrace President Reagan's vision of an America made stronger by immigrants and refugees, or President Trump's message of fear?" Rep. Stefanik has aligned with the current president in voting against the resolution and has smeared her fellow congresswomen as "far-left socialists." Handing out billions to farmers hurt by ill-advised tariffs seems socialist to me. The four-woman "Squad" is working to confront climate change, income inequality and inhumanity towards people who are simply seeking a better life. It's possible to disagree with their solutions without taunts. If Ms. Stefanik likes labels, she should try out demagogue wherever appropriate. Mr. Trump has lied about Rep. Omar's statements on al-Qaeda whom she has actually called evil and heinous. His followers are now chanting "send her back." Is there any concern about her safety in the GOP?


It's risible that the president presents himself as a champion for the Jewish people in this episode. Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL writes of the slurs against the four congresswomen that they are "ripped straight from a white supremacist manifesto" and "the charge that one can't possibly be accepted as a full-fledged member of society because of who you are is one that is all too familiar to Jews." Andrew Anglin of Daily Stormer writes of the tweets, "This is the kind of WHITE NATIONALISM we elected him for." For a non-racist, racists like him a lot. Oh, and despite this, no one has forgotten that he's trying to take away our health insurance. 





Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Whistling Past the Concentration Camp

Link


Elise Stefanik took issue with fellow U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez referring to migrant detention camps on the country’s southern border as “concentration camps” last week.

Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, responded by tweeting about a Holocaust education act she co-introduced and saying the congresswoman from the Bronx needs to learn the history.

“I think that she needs to educate herself,” Stefanik said in a phone interview on Thursday. “That was something that I learned in school. I vividly remember reading Anne Frank’s diary in sixth grade. As we see these numbers moving globally with lack of education on the Holocaust … frankly it’s disappointing that clearly in this case the members of Congress themselves needs to be educated.”

Apparently AOC has "educated" herself. Pick up a dictionary, Elise!

While the most common use of “concentration camp” is in reference to the Nazi Germany-era camps where many people were executed, concentration camp is defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary as any place where “large numbers of people, especially political prisoners or members of persecuted minorities, are deliberately imprisoned in a relatively small area with inadequate facilities, sometimes to provide forced labor or to await mass execution.”

Many nations before and after Nazi Germany have run concentration camps.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Mea Culpa


My bad. Rep. Stefanik did come out with a statement critical of the president's notice that he is open to information from foreign sources. It is nearly identical to the FEC chair's. What is remarkable is that anyone has to point out the chief executive that it's illegal. So we can only hope ignorance of the law is not an excuse in 2020. It's reassuring to see our rep working to protect the sanctity of American elections.

No such sanctity for congressional oversight. Due to my inexperience with law, I didn't realize obeying subpoenas was optional. Failure to comply doesn't mean jail? The same article said our rep "voted against a procedure that would allow the Judiciary Committee to initiate or intervene in judicial proceedings to enforce subpoenas." Her rationale is "this resolution does little to strengthen congressional oversight." Enforcing subpoenas doesn't strengthen it?

She also says it "only furthers House Democrat’s pro-impeachment agenda." There is a minority of Democrats in the House calling for impeachment and Speaker Pelosi has continually tamped it down. I saw recently that Rep. Stefanik has read the Mueller report. She's not curious why the president put forth so much effort into obstructing the investigation into Russian interference in the election? Mr. Trump stated in the Stephanopoulos interview that Don McGahn lied to the grand jury. He resorted to insulting the interviewer when it was pointed out he did not answer Mueller's obstruction questions in his written responses. Seems like enough reason to compel Mr. McGahn to testify. Still time for Republican congress folks to get on the right side of history.

Monday, June 17, 2019

In Defense of Government Employees


I'm responding to Carl Thomas' entreaty to "forget Russia" and focus on the supposed treachery of Barack Obama who apparently spent 8 years trying to destroy the country. That's when he wasn't busy rescuing it from the Great Recession and giving access to healthcare to over 20 million Americans. And "collusion investigators were complicit including Mr. Mueller" in the treachery. Read the report. They didn't investigate collusion. So, who should I trust: Mueller or Trump? Robert Mueller rehabbed his knee in order to serve in Vietnam, directed the FBI after 9/11 and has been married to his wife for 53 years. One wife, same as Obama. Trump? The less said on all of these and more, the better.

In a recent interview, the president said "there's nothing wrong with listening" if the Russians offer help. His cleanup efforts say you still have to look at it. That's after the chair of the Federal Elections Commission released a statement, "It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election." It's illegal to look at it. The FBI director concurs.

Rep. Stefanik has legislation targeting Putin and his minions. Great! But, Trump is inviting all comers to the table and Sen. McConnell is killing any legislation in the Senate designed to protect elections. In addition, there are a large number of people trotting out Deep State conspiracy nonsense about government employees, including former heads of FBI and CIA. I'd gladly match the patriotism and dedication of any of them against our president. Let's extend that to journalists, as well. Your silence implies agreement, congresswoman.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Stefanik on Barr


Because my rep values my opinion so much. 


Awhile back, Rep. Stefanik signed off on a letter to Rep. Schiff that, "your actions ... are incompatible with your duty of Chairman of this committee" and "we have no faith in your ability to discharge your duties in a manner consistent with your Constitutional responsibility and urge your immediate resignation as Chairman."

More recently, she released a statement on the Mueller report, "AG Barr was clear that the process was completed with a high degree of transparency, no executive privilege, limited redactions and resulted in a report of no collusion." Read the report. Collusion is a cliche, not a crime.

During AG Barr's testimony to the Senate, he told Sen. Harris that he'd made the call of no obstruction without looking at underlying evidence and based on the Mueller report which didn't make a determination one way or the other. He also couldn't say whether the White House had suggested investigations for the DOJ to engage in because he was "grappling" with the meaning of the word "suggest." He also couldn't say if campaigns should report foreign interference when they see it. The cherry on top is that, in his opinion, a president can shut down an investigation into himself if he feels he's being falsely accused.

In late March, Mueller wrote to Barr that his summary letter "did not capture the context, nature and substance of this office's work and conclusions." And that it "threatens to undermine ... full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations." Yet, on April 10 Barr told Sen. Van Hollen, "I don't know whether Bob Mueller supported my conclusion." I'm curious if our congresswoman has faith in William Barr discharging his duties in a manner consistent with the Constitution.


She's such a hack. She was in the paper today, too.


“I have read the report which found that there was no conspiracy or collusion. However, the report is extremely clear that Russia did attempt to meddle in our elections and that cannot be ignored,” she said in a follow-up email.

And

When asked to comment about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s’ comment that Barr had lied during his testimony to Congress, she said she did not see the testimony because she had committee hearings that day.

Stefanik said she did not reach any conclusions from the report different from what Barr said in his summary letter.

Link

Monday, April 22, 2019

Stefanik's Response to Mueller Report


I first want to mention Rep. Stefanik's bizarre legislation requiring the FBI to notify Congress if candidates were under investigation. It would've been a footrace among Republicans on the Hill to see who could inform candidate Trump first. His campaign was warned that foreign actors, including Russia, would try to infiltrate it and that they should, wait for it, tell the FBI.

In the wake of the Mueller report, Rep. Stefanik put out a statement noting "no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign." She's going to focus on "interference in our elections by Russia and other foreign adversaries." It would've been nice to see some mention of obstruction to balance that no collusion mantra. Mueller seemed to say that the only thing preventing those charges were OLC guidelines against indicting a sitting president and Trump's staff saving him by not following orders.

A group of writers at Lawfare blog posted that Trump's campaign, "were aware the Russians sought to help him win. They welcomed that assistance. Instead of warning the American public, they instead devised a public relations and campaign strategy that sought to capitalize on Russia's illicit assistance. In other words, the Russians and the Trump campaign shared a common goal, and each side worked to achieve that goal with basic knowledge of the other side's intention. They just didn't agree to work toward that goal together."

Rudy Guiliani said this weekend, "There's nothing wrong with taking information from the Russians." It kind of sounds like our congresswoman agrees with that. They didn't help Donald Trump in order to MAGA. That's a given. Maybe finding why they did is something she could focus on.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Stefanik Hackery




     I’m writing about Rep. Stefanik joining 8 members of House Intelligence to call on Rep. Schiff to resign because “the findings of the special counsel conclusively refute your past and present exertions.” Odd, since they’ve only seen the Barr letter and not the Mueller report. Rep. Schiff gives rebuttal in which he mentions the Russians approaching the Trump campaign with “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Instead of contacting the FBI, they met with them in Trump Tower and later “lied about that meeting and said it was about adoptions.” He also brings up Paul Manafort sending polling data to the Kremlin, Jared Kushner’s attempt to “establish a secret back channel of communication with the Russians,” Michael Flynn’s conferring with the Russian ambassador about sanctions before the inauguration, Donald Trump’s calling on Russia to hack Clinton’s e-mails and his secret attempt “to consummate a real estate deal in Moscow” all through the campaign. A reasonable person might see moral collusion, if not legal.
     Rep. Stefanik has said, “Policymakers on both sides of the aisle should respect the findings of this investigation: There was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.” Does she have as much of a problem with the president disrespecting the findings by falsely saying he’s exonerated as she does with Rep. Schiff? Obstruction, anyone?
     Some of Mueller’s investigators say Barr, “Failed to adequately portray the findings of their inquiry and that they were more troubling for President Trump than Barr indicated.” They were silent as the tomb during the investigation, but they’re free to speak now. When they come before House Intelligence, are those who are so troubled by Rep. Schiff, but not the president, going to attempt to get at the truth?
286 words

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Complete Schiff Response to Republican Quislings



“My colleagues might think it’s OK that the Russians offered dirt on the Democratic candidate for president as part of what’s described as the Russian government’s effort to help the Trump campaign. You might think that’s OK.

“My colleagues might think it’s OK that when that was offered to the son of the president, who had a pivotal role in the campaign, that the president’s son did not call the FBI; he did not adamantly refuse that foreign help – no, instead that son said that he would ‘love’ the help with the Russians.

“You might think it’s OK that he took that meeting. You might think it’s OK that Paul Manafort, the campaign chair, someone with great experience running campaigns, also took that meeting. You might think it’s OK that the president’s son-in-law also took that meeting. You might think it’s OK that they concealed it from the public. You might think it’s OK that their only disappointment after that meeting was that the dirt they received on Hillary Clinton wasn’t better. You might think that’s OK.

“You might think it’s OK that when it was discovered, a year later, that they then lied about that meeting and said that it was about adoptions. You might think that it’s OK that it was reported that the president helped dictate that lie. You might think that’s OK. I don’t.

“You might think it’s OK that the campaign chairman of a presidential campaign would offer information about that campaign to a Russian oligarch in exchange for money or debt forgiveness. You might think that’s OK, I don’t.

“You might think it’s OK that that campaign chairman offered polling data to someone linked to Russian intelligence. I don’t think that’s OK.

“You might think it’s OK that the president himself called on Russia to hack his opponent’s emails, if they were listening. You might think it’s OK that later that day, in fact, the Russians attempted to hack a server affiliated with that campaign. I don’t think that’s OK.

“You might think it’s OK that the president’s son-in-law sought to establish a secret back channel of communication with the Russians through a Russian diplomatic facility. I don’t think that’s OK.

“You might think it’s OK that an associate of the president made direct contact with the GRU through Guccifer 2.0 and WikiLeaks, that is considered a hostile intelligence agency. You might think it’s OK that a senior campaign official was instructed to reach that associate and find out what that hostile intelligence agency had to say in terms of dirt on his opponent.

“You might think it’s OK that the national security adviser designate secretly conferred with the Russian ambassador about undermining U.S. sanctions, and you might think it’s OK that he lied about it to the FBI.

“You might say that’s all OK, that’s just what you need to do to win. But I don’t think it’s OK. I don’t think it’s OK. I think it’s immoral, I think it’s unethical, I think it’s unpatriotic and, yes, I think it’s corrupt – and evidence of collusion.”

“Now I have always said that the question of whether this amounts to proof of conspiracy was another matter. Whether the special counsel could prove beyond a reasonable doubt the proof of that crime would be up to the special counsel, and I would accept his decision, and I do. He’s a good and honorable man, and he is a good prosecutor.

“But I do not think that conduct, criminal or not, is OK. And the day we do think that’s OK is the day we will look back and say that is the day that America lost its way.”

“And I will tell you one more thing that is apropos of the hearing today: I don’t think it’s OK that during a presidential campaign Mr. Trump sought the Kremlin’s help to consummate a real estate deal in Moscow that would make him a fortune – according to the special counsel, hundreds of millions of dollars. I don’t think it’s OK to conceal it from the public. I don’t think it’s OK that he advocated a new and more favorable policy towards the Russians even as he was seeking the Russians’ help, the Kremlin’s help to make money. I don’t think it’s OK that his attorney lied to our committee. There is a different word for that than collusion, and it’s called ‘compromise.’

“And that is the subject of our hearing today.”

And one of those quislings is my own rep. Rep. Stefanik. We are so proud of her. 

Friday, March 22, 2019

Crying Wolfe Over Trump



 This is in response to John Wolfe who seems upset about alleged criminals being investigated. I appreciate his concern over former President Clinton. His impeachment was for perjury and obstruction of justice, not dalliances, though. Can anyone imagine our current president testifying without perjuring himself?

The Mueller investigation hasn't cost "nearly $40 million." That's a Trump number. The roughly $27 million it has cost is being recouped from penalties on Paul Manafort due to his plea bargain. And he's not going to prison for lying or looking at Mueller "cross-eyed." He was convicted of tax and bank fraud, failure to report foreign bank accounts, conspiracy and obstruction. I wonder if Trump supporters believe that, along with lying to the FBI, those shouldn't be crimes either. Likely when the state of New York finishes, many of those charges will also be applied to Mr. Trump.

As far as congressmen pontificating about impeachment, Speaker Pelosi said the president "wasn't worth it." I await his tweet, "I am too worth impeaching!" It would be easy to speculate over "collusion" when every person in the campaign was engaged with Russians. Junior, Kushner and Manafort meeting them in Trump Tower. Kushner's back channel with them secure from American intelligence. Manafort sending polling data to the Kremlin. No, not everyone in Washington is under investigation for lying. There are good reasons for those who are, though.

Do truth, justice and the American way mean anything anymore? The president has over 9,000 "false statements." His supporters attack the American system of justice. Russian and North Korean dictators are our pals and Canada and Europe our enemies. Reagan's shining city on a hill is now just a shuttered Trump casino in Atlantic City.    

Friday, March 15, 2019

In Defense of Chuck Schumer

And in response to this:

Link


I'm responding to Rhea Greene's criticism of Sen. Schumer for being silent on freshman Rep. Omar. Mr. Schumer said, "Rep. Omar's use of an anti-Semitic stereotype was offensive and irresponsible. This kind of intolerance has no place in Congress-or anywhere in American society. No one should invoke anti-Semitic tropes during policy disagreements." It sounds good to me. I wonder if Ms. Greene has been critical of the silence from Republicans over Rep. Steve King's 13 years of racism. Yes, they finally worked up to a quiet censure. Democrats punish their own. Ask former Sen. Franken.

Maybe we should be urging Rep. Stefanik to condemn President Trump over his recent remarks where he channels Benito Mussolini. "I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of Bikers for Trump-I have the tough people, but they don't play it tough-until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad."

Awhile back, Maggie Alitz wrote glowingly of Tucker Carlson. I can't quote much of what Mr. Carlson said on Bubba the Love Sponge's (yes, really) radio show. So, I won't. I assume neither Ms. Greene nor Ms. Alitz have much problem with the things he said. I guess many on the right don't, since he has a very highly rated show on Fox News. But, he's not a Democrat. That's sad, too.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Persist

Letter from Clayton Burgess:

As a United Methodist clergyman, I wish to apologize to the LGBT community and to the community as a whole for the disgusting and immoral decision of the United Methodist denomination to not only continue, but strengthen its ban on the ordination of homosexuals and the right of United Methodist clergy to perform marriage services for the gay community. The bottom line ethic of the Christian faith has been, for 2,000 years, love of God and love of neighbor. This action by the United Methodist denomination does not express a love of neighbor and is one more nail in the coffin of a dying church. Young people who have noticed the hypocrisy of the church are staying away in droves. Is this the future of a church that has lost sight of its founder?
As a retired Methodist pastor, I will continue, with many other clergy, to ignore this unholy prohibition. I know the action of the general church does not reflect the attitude and will of most local churches. It took many years to eliminate officially sanctioned segregation from our denomination. The above ban will be eliminated too.


Friday, February 15, 2019

Stefanik Hypocrisy Letter


I'm responding to Rep. Stefanik's call for Rep. Omar to be removed from the House Foreign Relations Committee. Ms. Omar made the tweet, "It's all about the Benjamins baby" in reference to AIPAC. I'm wondering why a freshman member of Congress should be held to a higher standard than House Minority Leader McCarthy. He tweeted, "We cannot allow Soros, Steyer and Bloomberg to BUY this election" in November 2018. Anti-Semitic tropes are acceptable about Jewish liberals, but not lobbyist organizations for Israel? Ms. Omar has apologized, Mr. McCarthy hasn't. Speaker Pelosi, "A newcomer to Congress has apologized for her remarks; it took them, what, 13 years to notice Steve King?" Congrats to Republicans for finally mustering a censure of him.

Slander of George Soros is a cottage industry among Republicans. President Trump suggested Soros might be funding caravans from Central America. The shooter at the synagogue in Pennsylvania latched onto conspiracy theories involving the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and caravans. The president is only responsible for spreading nonsense, of course. That House resolution Rep Stefanik supports condemning anti-Semitic hatred is going to be working overtime in the GOP. Is there one for Native Americans so we can condemn Mr. Trump for his continual use of "Pocahontas" to refer to Sen. Warren?

I suggest that our rep focus her efforts on the beam in her own party's eye. Democrats criticized Rep. Omar and she apologized. Has there been the slightest contrition ever from a Republican politician?  Just crickets there.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Response to Carlton Tucker

Who I keep wanting to refer to as Tucker Carlson.

Link


I'm replying to Carlton Tucker who notes that, "some...on the left, want to blame the president for the interruption in government services." I would think that's all of us on the left. And we call it a shutdown. So does the president. He said he would "shut down the government" if he didn't get money for his wall, a rare episode of honesty. In addition to quotes, the internet has videos of campaign rallies with Mr. Trump asking, "Who's paying for the wall?" The crowds would call back, "Mexico!" There's not much argument over who's supposed to be paying.

The president's latest argument for the monument to Trumpism is that it's going to stop all the drugs from coming in. It won't. The Coast Guard makes over half the seizures. Here's a quote from Rep. DeFazio (D- Oregon), "If the president really wants to talk about intercepting drugs, and he wants to talk about real border security, he should be talking about giving more resources to the United States Coast Guard, and not stiffing them on their paychecks, and not making them fly ancient helicopters and use 50-year-old cutters." The president could at least stand up to Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh and end the shutdown so that branch of the military could get paid.

The $5 billion he wants for the shrine to his presidency would go a long way toward supporting drug interdiction at sea and providing customs agents to stop them at legal points of entry where most of the bulk of them come in. Democrats know that. The president's new chief of staff does, too. He called the border wall "simplistic" and "absurd and almost childish."

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Man the Trebuchets!

Just gotta link to this Dana Milbank piece.

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"Some have suggested a barrier is immoral," he said, but it's really an expression of "love."

He has a point. The trouble with the wall isn't that it's evil, but that it's medieval.

If the plan is to bet the United States' national security on the siege-warfare technology of the ancient and medieval worlds, which is what a wall does, then our strategy has to be much more Byzantine.



Lives Well-Lived

I love a good obit. It's sad to see these folks pass, but I do love to read about lives well-lived.

Samuel Snipes

Samuel Snipes, a white lawyer who held off an angry mob while representing the first Black family to move into the all-white development of Levittown, has died. He was 99.

Snipes died Dec. 31 at his family farm in Morrisville, according to family members.

In 1957, he represented Daisy and Bill Myers when the Black couple and their three young children quietly moved into Levittown.

“He felt they had every right to live there,” said David Kushner, author of the 2009 book “Levittown” that explored the ordeal. “He played a pivotal role in helping the first African-American family move into Levittown and left a really wonderful legacy in that regard, in taking on the system and doing what was right.”

And got 99 well-deserved years. Sounds like that could've gone otherwise.

Howell Begle

Howell Begle, a Washington lawyer who found a second career crusading on behalf of underpaid black R&B stars of the 1950s and ’60s, leading to industrywide royalty reform and the creation of the charitable Rhythm & Blues Foundation, died on Dec. 30 at a hospital in Lebanon, N.H. He was 74.

His wife, Julie Eilber, said the cause was injuries he sustained in a skiing accident on Dec. 24. 

Way too young, but he lived long enough to untarnish the reputation of lawyers. There are some very nice ones.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New Year's Obituary

This may be the greatest, most inspiring thing I'll read all year.

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And for good measure he lived to be 108.