Thursday, June 15, 2017

"Terminate the Republican Party"

Apparently, that was the name of a group to which today's shooter in Alexandria belonged. This man (for new readers this blog does not give the names of evil perpetrators), who hated Republicans and was a Bernie Sanders supporter, shot up a practice baseball game of Republican Congressmen. Said the man's brother: "I know he wasn't happy with the the way things were going, the election results and stuff." A lot of people were not happy with the election results. The media, the Left, the Democratic Party have engaged in non-stop "resistance" that frequently exceeds the bounds of decency and civility.

We recall Madonna telling us that "I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House." Stephen Colbert thought it was funny to joke about Trump's mouth being a receptacle for Putin's private parts. Recently, we had Kathy Griffin holding up a head made to look like the bloody decapitated head of the President. But, do not for one minute think it's just the Hollywood crowd that acts so disrespectfully and inadvisedly.

Let's not forget what Hillary Clinton thought of Trump supporters - the basket of deplorables - "the racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it." It is not just that she said that - it is that so many on the Left actually believe it. If you think that about your political opponents, it is easy to think of them as not deserving of respect. If you doubt that, see last summer's post entitled "A Personal Tale of Intolerance."

With regards to the Republican's American Heath Care Act, numerous Democratic politicians said that the bill, if passed, would result in people dying. Those politicians include Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Terry McAuliffe, John Lewis, and undoubtedly others. These comments could be taken as saying that a vote for the bill essentially makes you a murderer - you are voting to get people killed. Rather extreme rhetoric. And clearly also believed by many on the Left. For example, the Chairman of the Democratic Party said this about Republicans: "Republicans don't give a shit about people." I'd say that is fairly clear as to what mainstream Democrats think about Republicans. Add in all the insults to Republicans from the mainstream media, and from academia, and you've got quite the vortex of hatred.

As for the shooter, he was quite active on social media, with comments such as: "Trump is guilty and should go to prison for treason." And this: "It's time for the Republican congressmen to grow up. Maybe if they weren't so full of hate, they could see what they are doing to this country." And this very ominous one: "Trump has destroyed our democracy, it's time to destroy Trump."

As of this writing, Congressman Steve Scalise remains in critical condition. As he is the Majority Whip, he had a security detail of two Capitol Police officers. Although wounded themselves, these officers (one man and one woman) stood their ground and returned fire, wounding the shooter, whose wounds later proved fatal. Two others were also wounded. One thing is certain - everyone there was extremely grateful that there were armed good guys able to take down the shooter. Otherwise, it might have been a massacre. The actions of these officers reflect the finest of the men and women in blue who protect us on a daily basis.

Six years ago, when Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot and severely wounded by a deranged man, the mainstream media wasted no time in blaming Republicans/conservatives/the right for the shooting. The 1/11/11 LA Times editorial said this: "the Right bears the brunt of responsibility for this poisoned atmosphere." The lead editorial in the 1/10/11 NY Times opined: " is legitimate to hold Republicans and particularly their most virulent supporters in the media (an obvious reference to talk radio) responsible for the gale of anger that has produced the vast majority of these threats, setting the nation on edge."

I am ending this post with two thoughts. One, I wonder how the mainstream media will spin this so that the shooter's actions do not reflect negatively on the Left; and maybe even find a way to blame Republicans. Two, and I am not happy that this thought even occurred to me, but what if it was President Trump who was shot? I have personally experienced the vitriol from the Left. I have seen the outpouring of animosity and pure hatred coming from the Left towards Republicans generally, and towards Trump particularly. So, my question is, if Trump was the victim, would we be seeing celebrations by the Left across the country, with the hope that Trump wouldn't make it? The fact that such a scenario seems possible tells us about the sad state of politics today in the - still - United States of America.

Monday, June 12, 2017

J. "Edgar" Comey

For those unfamiliar with the first director of the F.B.I., J. Edgar Hoover had a reputation for keeping secret files, or dossiers, on politicians - just in case. Some think those secret files helped keep Hoover in office as the Director from 1935 through 1972. That's some tenure.

Last week, another Director (albeit former Director) of the F.B.I., James Comey, testified before the US Senate Intelligence Committee. Lost in all the noise coming from the Left was the fact that Comey presented no evidence of Trump's alleged collusion with Russia. There were "no new bombshells about Russian meddling in the 2016 election or improper contacts by the Trump campaign or the White House with Russian authorities." That, from the liberal LA Times (6/9/17). And from Chris Matthews, we were told that those who claim the president colluded with the Russians to affect the election - "what came apart this morning was that theory."

Having lunch with two friends afterwards, I suggested that the mainstream media had several options for the next day's headlines. Comey: No collusion with Russia. Comey: No votes affected by any Russian interference. However, my prediction was this: Comey: Trump lied! So, how did I do? USA Today: "Comey calls Trump a liar." LA Times: "Comey accuses Trump of 'lies, plain and simple.'" NY Times: "TRUMP TRIED TO SINK INQUIRY, COMEY SAYS." The sub-headline does, however, say Comey "Condemns President's 'Lies.'" Not too bad in my prognostications. Or, as one of those two friends later texted me: "Nostramichaelus." But, really, just how difficult is it to predict what the mainstream media will say?

Exactly what did Comey say Trump lied about? That the F.B.I. was poorly led and in disarray, as the alleged reasons for firing Comey. There's a shocker - a dispute between an employer and employee over the reasons for the employee's termination. That's the type of dispute that occurs daily across the country. And that's what makes the headlines in the mainstream media. Apparently, the Russian collusion story is already acknowledged by the Left to be a lost cause. Ten months in and we have no hard evidence of collusion with the Russians. At least the media can call Trump a liar, given Comey's testimony.

It turns out that the "big" story to come out of Comey's testimony was his claim that Trump asked him if he could "see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go," because Flynn is a good man. Before Comey was the Director of the FBI, beginning in September of 2013, he was in the private sector. However, prior to that he was the US Deputy Attorney General from December, 2003 to August, 2005. And prior to that he was the US Attorney for the Southern Distract of New York. That US Attorney office is one of the top two US Attorney offices in the country, along with the one in Washington, D.C. The Southern District of NY gets very tough cases, including organized crime and terrorism cases. But, suddenly, Comey tells us he is not that tough after all.

Apparently, it was not only Trump who thought he might have some influence, when expressing his "hope" that Comey could let the Flynn investigation go. It turns out that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch made her own request of Comey when she asked him to refer to the Clinton e-mail investigation as a "matter" and not an "investigation." Comey said that request "confused me and concerned me." It also made him feel "queasy." Later on, when Lynch agreed to the meeting with Bill Clinton on the tarmac in Phoenix, Comey declared that "that was the thing that capped it for me, that I had to do something separately to protect the credibility of the investigation, which meant both the F.B.I. and the Justice Department."

Senator Dianne Feinstein, (Dem., CA) asked Comey why he did not tell Trump that his request regarding Flynn was wrong. Why not say: "I cannot discuss this with you?" Comey: "Maybe if I were stronger, I would have." And: "Maybe other people would be stronger in that circumstance." Let's examine that. The man who was a Deputy US Attorney General, and a former federal prosecutor in one of the most important offices in the country, and ultimately the top cop in the country - turns out to be a wimp? Is that what we are supposed to believe? If so, he did no service to this country and no service to the President. The President does not need a "yes" man in such an important position. Any President needs an F.B.I. Director who will speak truthfully to him. Comey, if he is to be believed, failed in that; and that alone forms a sufficient basis for his termination.

Another way to look at it is that Comey acted as just another member of the "deep state," extremely distrustful of this outsider Trump. Comey says he kept memos (like dossiers?) of his discussions with Trump. Did he keep memos of his discussions with Loretta Lynch? Did he think that the directive to use the term "matter" came from Lynch, or that Obama instructed her to tell him? When Lynch then met with Bill Clinton, that "capped" it for him, and he went public with his assessment of the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation. Why didn't he resign? He clearly felt that Lynch was not impartial. If he felt that Trump was asking him to do something improper, why didn't he resign, or at least report it to higher-ups in the Justice Department? Comey made it clear that he would still be the Director had Trump not fired him. Apparently, he saw nothing so egregious that would prompt his resignation.

J. Edgar Hoover has been credited with making the F.B.I. the modern, preeminent law enforcement agency that it is. He was also a man who apparently relished in the power that he wielded. So, was Comey the wimp, unable to stand up to any higher official? Or, was he also enamored of his power, writing memos to be used against political foes as necessary - memos that, perhaps, he assumed would protect his job? Astonishingly, Comey admitted to leaking his memo about the Trump meeting to his friend who teaches at Columbia Law School, encouraging him, in turn, to turn it over to the NY Times. Quite a manipulative scenario. But what if this happened - what if Comey, when asked if he could let the Flynn matter go, responded "Mr. President, that is an improper request and we cannot be discussing that." Then, Trump's reaction would tell us if he meant to exert any undue influence or not. That is what someone who is not a wimp, or manipulator, does. As for any obstruction of justice, liberal law professor Jonathan Turley said this: "the legal fact is that Comey's testimony does not establish a prima facie - or even a strong - case for obstruction." Just don't expect the mainstream media to drop the unproven allegations against Trump from their front pages for the next four years.