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?
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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:


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


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.