2018 myth of the year

Politifact selects a lie of the year.    They don’t have a similar award for myths.  They should.

A political myth is perpetrated usually with great concoction of bits of truths mixed in with a lot of lies or exaggerations.  John Kennedy got it right in 1962 when he said:

“The greatest enemy of truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth – persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.  Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears.  We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations.  We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”

I am concerned with the mix of news and opinions presented primarily on cable news.  Fox News is a clear example of this.

“You’re entitled to your own opinions. You’re not entitled to your own facts.”

Let’s consider a few examples:   Trump sent the military to halt the impending invasion of a caravan of immigrants, filled with would be criminals.

Basically,  this was just a mid-term election stunt.   Unfortunately, a very unnecessary one.  But it was done to because immigration was a hot button issue, and Trump wanted to stand out, as the toughest guy on halting illegal immigration.

But the myth of the year, I believe is Trump’s  simple statement:

“Trade wars are good, and easy to win”

Trade wars makes every economist who understands the mechanisms of capitalism cringe.   Tariffs imposed on China result almost immediately in China imposing tariffs on the US.   No one is ahead in negotiations.  The government gains because they receive the tariff income, but industries which import from China must pay higher costs.   Higher steel prices strongly impacts the oil industry and their capital investments.  I believe Trump has  killed any chance of the  Keystone XL pipeline, Phase 4 of every being constructed given the sharp drop in oil prices and the increase in steel prices.   Trump bragged at his ability to talk down oil prices, by getting Saudi Arabia to increase production.   The Saudi’s increase production as Trump pushed through new sanctions against Iran, and importers of Iranian oil.   Of course, Trump then reversed course and granted waivers to many countries, so Iranian oil could keep flowing to the world market, creating a temporary oil glut.

The Department of Energy will let oil companies drill almost anywhere they want, but the economics of many projects are gone.  This includes the decades of controversy of drilling in northern Alaska and extensive oil shale developments.

Mr. Tariff man, you’ve made a mess of things!

Stay tuned

Dave

 

 

 

 

 

Never let a good crisis go to waste

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. … This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not before.”

This quote comes from Mayor  Rahm Emmanuel.  It has been used completely out of context since he said it in an interview in 2008. What he meant was a crisis gets the public attention to a problem, and puts pressure on government to come up with solutions.

The raging forest fires in California should have been the crisis to tell us that the impacts of climate change are real and resulting in deaths around the world.    Trump’s comments on Californian’s forgot to rake their leaves was laughable.  It’s also sad, because human lives are at stake.  I am not saying that climate change caused the forest fires, but that global warming results in hotter and longer summers in California, resulting in very dry brush.  This makes many large and populated areas more vulnerable to rapidly spreading fires,

So let us add:  “Never let a crisis be pointed to you or your organization.”   With the second important proviso,   “Be creative.”    Trump meant to say that the state of California was responsible.   They didn’t maintain their forests well.   This became laughable again, when Trump insisted that Finland rakes their leaves.   The President of Finland was confused.    Learn to pivot and deflect, at the same time as appearing to answer questions.  Avoid like the plague the follow up question.  The buck stops somewhere else.

As news of Trump’s involvement in a potential Trump Tower in Moscow has leaked out,  an additional proviso comes to mind.  “If creativity fails, try lying.”     Trump claims that the Trump Tower project in Moscow was public knowledge in 2016, which I am hoping that this qualifies as the “Lie of the Year”  for Politifact annual contest.  Another tactic, is to change the subject to a completely different crisis that is not your fault.    Trump has tweeted that the FBI is wasting their time investigating the Russian interference (aka, “Witch hunt” and “hoax”)  when they should go after Hillary Clinton,  James Comey,  Loretta Lynch, Clinton Foundation,  Uranium One, etc,  or really anything connected to  Democratic campaign.      Like science fiction,  the public can never get enough of big  scandal stories, even the manufactured narratives.

So, while Emmanuel just wanted to say how a crisis helps in solving real problems,  he had not envision the new era of creating scandals out of  practically nothing, for purely political reasons.  The best defense is a good offense.   Be inventive and retaliate with another scandal, blown out of proportion.     Example: Hillary’s email scandal was real and 10X worse than the Russian collusion, which we know is a hoax.    Another example — the caravan story  and the imminent  invasion of half of Guatemala’s  criminal population,  along with Middle East terrorists.  This was only good up to the mid-term election.

Remember there is strength in numbers.  You can lie without statistics, but it just sounds more impressive with statistics.   Even false statistics.

So,  to re-iterate:

  1.  You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. … This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not before.
  2.  Never let a crisis be pointed to you or your organization.   Learn to deflect and pivot.  The buck stops somewhere else.
  3.  Be creative.  If creativity fails, try lying.
  4.  The best defense is a good offense.  Be inventive and retaliate with another scandal, blown out of proportion.
  5.  There is strength in numbers.  You can lie without statistics, but it just sounds more impressive with statistics.  Even false ones.

Poor Mayor Emmanuel who looked on the positive side of a crisis.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_best_defense_is_a_good_offense

https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Rahm_Emanuel

 

 

The deleted emails of Hillary Clinton – Same old BS

Ivanka Trump is now in hot water over using a personal cell phone to conduct government business.   Trump has claimed what Hillary Clinton did was far worse. Trump claimed that Hillary Clinton defied the Benghazi committee’s subpoena and deleted emails.  This  is untrue.   This has been investigated exhaustively by the Benghazi committee,

Here’s what happened (see Wikipedia link below):

In 2014, months prior to public knowledge of the server’s existence, Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills and two attorneys worked to identify work-related emails on the server to be archived and preserved for the State Department. Upon completion of this task in December 2014, Mills instructed Clinton’s computer services provider, Platte River Networks (PRN), to change the server’s retention period to 60 days, allowing 31,830 older personal emails to be automatically deleted from the server, as Clinton had decided she no longer needed them. However, the PRN technician assigned for this task failed to carry it out at that time.[98]

After the existence of the server became publicly known on March 2, 2015,[99] the Select Committee on Benghazi issued a subpoena for Benghazi-related emails two days later. Mills sent an email to PRN on March 9 mentioning the Committee’s retention request.[98] The PRN technician then had what he described to the FBI as an “oh shit moment,” realizing he had not set the personal emails to be deleted as instructed months earlier. The technician then erased the emails using a free utility, BleachBit, sometime between March 25 and March 31.[100]

Since this episode, Clinton critics have accused her or her aides of deleting emails that were under subpoena, alleging the server had been “bleached” or “acid-washed” by a “very expensive” process[101] in an effort to destroy evidence, with candidate Donald Trump stating the day before the 2016 election that “Hillary Clinton erased more than 30,000 emails as part of a cover-up.”[102] Trump continued with this narrative as late as August 2018, asking “Look at the crimes that Clinton did with the emails and she deletes 33,000 emails after she gets a subpoena from Congress, and this Justice Department does nothing about it?”[103]

Thus,  there was never an attempt by Hillary Clinton  to disobey the subpoena by deleting personal emails,  so Trump’s statements in 2016, 2017 and now in 2018 are all FALSE.

Trump yesterday, November 20, 2018, repeated the deletion allegations.   Factcheck.org  reviewed allegations made by both Trump and Pence, and found them to be False.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump falsely claimed Clinton “acid washed” 33,000 personal emails to delete them, calling it “an expensive process.” The FBI said Clinton’s tech team used BleachBit, which is a free software program. It does not use chemicals.

Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate, falsely claimed the FBI found “more than 15,000 additional emails dealing with national security.” The FBI recovered about 14,900 emails, but not all of them are work-related and only three contained classified information.

End of story.   At least it should have been.  It was a lie in September 2016 that Clinton ordered deletion of emails.  It is still one today.   Trump is playing to his base, but are they that gullible?

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Wikipedia – Deletion of Emails

https://www.factcheck.org/2016/09/trump-pence-acid-wash-facts/

https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2017/dec/05/donald-trump/donald-trump-falsely-claims-hillary-clinton-lied-f/

https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/oct/09/donald-trump/donald-trump-says-hillary-clinton-deleted-33000-em/

 

Liar in Chief

 

I’ve discussed this before.  Donald Trump has a problem with the truth.  This is the famous line from Republican Bob Corker.  Great places for lying are campaign rallies.  Twitter works well.  He stays away from solo  press conferences – he’s holds the record for the fewest.   That’s when reporters, who really know their facts will trip him up.   Zingers don’t work at press conferences.

The rallies were for his supporters.  He knew the House may flip.  We’ll know today.     Two major theme – My administration is doing incredible great things and the Democrats are your worse enemy.  And the media – it’s also your enemy.  And actually,  ignoring a lot of very important issues, like for instance the budget and well, the world at large.    It’s all about Donald and the narrative, and largely untrue.

Trump said that they were close to reaching a deal on the China tariffs.  Stock market did nothing.  If it came from Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce, and someone I admire,  the stock markets would have exploded.  With Donald, it was a sound bite.    Xi Jinping had a  swift and harsh rebuttal.    He referred to  “beggar-thy-neighbor” which in economics,  is a policy through which one country attempts to remedy its economic problems by means that tend to worsen the economic problems of other countries.   He accused the US as play by the  “law of the jungle” obviously ignoring the World Trade Organization, which we have built up over the years to promote free trade.  In fact,  Xi Jinping has probably better standing as a global capitalist than Trump.

Campaigning and marketing are similar.  It  is simply that everything I can offer you is great and will make your life better.  Everything my competitor has is awful and will make your life horrible.  Truth is expendable.   Fear works.   Caravans of dangerous criminals approaching the border is good.   Stalemates in Congress over budgetary issues – forget,  too boring.

Donald Trump on the campaign stump: His most glaring falsehoods, is Politifact’s latest update on our liar in chief.   The folks at Politifact know their stuff, and could have written a lot more.  But by saying these are the “most glaring”  falsehoods, they can go home before the sunrises.   I guess my favorite is:

“The Democrat plan would just obliterate Medicare and terminate Medicare Advantage … seniors who have been paying for this for years (and) will not be taken care of anymore.”

which perhaps I would be worried about, but it came from our liar in chief and is false.   It is just the opposite, as the Sanders bill would greatly expand benefits.

Should the measure pass, it would offer much more than the current Medicare program, including dental, vision, hearing and long-term care. With few exceptions, there would be no premiums, no co-pays or other out-of-pocket expenses. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, however. The price tag would be in the multiple trillions of dollars.”

Some lies are so simple, such as the US Steel plants:

“US Steel is now building seven plants.”

No they’re not.  Nor six as in his prior statement.  No new plants, Mr. President!

The last of the glaring falsehoods,  #8,  is a whopper as everyone wants to help our wounded warriors.   Trump said:

 “We passed veterans’ choice, giving our veterans the right to see a private doctor, rather than waiting on line for weeks and weeks and weeks. 44 years they’ve been trying to pass that. I got it passed.”

Nope Trump  didn’t.  Obama got it passed in 2014.  the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014.   It was smart to put a year on it, just so we know it wasn’t Trump’s act.  There were some changes to it during Trump’s term,  but it was Obama bill.

Politifact and Factcheck.org  come to similar conclusions – Trump will lie on almost any issue.   He gets caught and doesn’t seem to care.  I said the birth right citizenship was more about getting airtime.   Fox News actually found “legal experts”  who could explain why there were some exceptions.     Absolutely amazing.   Apparently, if say Venezuela invades Puerto Rico (for instance), then it would not be under the jurisdiction of the US.    What is a saving grace in these situation, is that all cases coming before the Supreme Court, must be associated with an actual case already heard by the lower courts, not some hypothetical case from an attorney.   So no, no Executive Order on birthright citizenship.

Marketing has little to do with the truth and everything to do with airtime.   Get on television, social media, anywhere possible.  Make it as personal as possible – like the lie on the wounded warriors.   It hits everyone who has a friend or neighbor serving in the military.  And it was a whopper of a lie that Trump has used many times.

Trump’s statements, as evaluated by Politifact,  fall in the  mostly false, false or pants on fire about 69% of the time, and true statements are 5% (about 1 in 20).    A falsehood repeated at a dozen rallies and aired over the media, still counts as one lie.   His highest percentage (33%) is False, followed by Mostly False (21%).  Of course,  these are only statements presented as facts, not opinions.

There are some really big messes and scandals looming.   If the House stays Republican, they will go after Rosenstein and Mueller.   The deep state nonsense will  re-emerge.  I believe Mueller will be announcing more criminal  indictments after the elections, and not just Russians.   Roger Stone,  adviser to the President is my guess of who is next.  There will likely be demands for Trump’s tax returns, which the Donald will not like.    Ryan Zinke,  Secretary of Interior, is being investigated for illegally profiting from policy changes, and might be the next cabinet official to leave in disgrace.  Iran and North Korea nuclear talks will go nowhere.   Iran is not caving in to US demands, but pushing back.   And China trade wars could get really nasty.  The caravan, well forget it, the troops will be returned within 3 to 4  months of inactivity.

I better stop here.  Vote today.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Donald Trump’s Record – Politifact

The most glaring falsehoods  – Politifact

 

 

 

 

Crazy s*** on immigration

Note:  Tom Toles is one of my favorite cartoonists.  This is from the Washington Post.  Trump later said he might send up to 15,000 troops to the border, when the caravan was 900 miles away, and the participants, many mothers with their children,  looked very weary.

Immigration is a hot button issue.  There are a lot of folks, who are either unemployed or struggling with low paying jobs, who blame everything on immigrants, particularly Mexicans.  Add a bit of bigotry into this mix, and irrational fears of the caravan approaching the US borders, and Trump has created an energized  constituency that will vote straight Republican in the next election.

What Trump can not do, nor any president, is take away any of our constitutional rights, through Executive Orders.  Headlines in CNN this morning, reads “Trump claims he can defy Constitution and end birthright citizenship.”   Any executive order would typically be routed through the Department of Justice, and they would not give their blessing.  An executive order is effective until a court issues an injunction.  The injunction would happen very quickly.   The Fourteenth Amendment states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.”  My guess is that Trump isn’t that stupid to sign such an Executive Order.

It has succeeded.   Trump wanted more media coverage.  He sure as hell got it.   It is only a desperation ploy, given early voting in the mid-term elections has started.

Next is the caravan.   I’ll go as far as saying Trump’s  characterization of the caravan as being an invading force is pure fiction.   Now, the truth is, there is widespread chaos in Honduras. According to the New York Times:

Trump has consistently conflated Central American migrants with members of gangs like MS-13, even though many Hondurans joined the caravan precisely to escape the gangs. And while migrants have a right under both international and U.S. law to seek asylum at the border, Trump has continuously voiced his opposition to their arrival. He urged Mexican authorities to prevent the caravan from reaching the United States, called for 4,000 members of the National Guard to be deployed to the border and urged U.S. lawmakers to vote for stricter immigration laws.

Immigration stories by bloggers, are  almost all false.   Unfortunately even Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security,  Kirstjen Nielsen, joined with them, spreading false stories:

There are billboards in Central America in the Northern Triangle countries advertising how to grab a kid to get into the United States illegally. Because that loophole is so big. Billboards,” Nielsen said during a July 19 interview with NBC’s Peter Alexander at the Aspen Security Forum.

Politifact labels her statement “false” as there has been no evidence of any billboards.   The US during the Obama administration, did help support billboards to help prevent illegal immigration, not promote it.   See link at the bottom.

Just as I went to post this blog, Trump double down on his false claims:

The Democrats want to invite caravan after caravan of illegal aliens into our country. And they want to sign them up for free health care, free welfare, free education, and for the right to vote.”

The statement is false in every aspect. See link below.   In fact, Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schummer, got it right responding to Donald Trump’s  actions as simply trying to distract attention from other issues, many health care.  Further Pelosi added:

Pelosi reiterated that message in another statement: “Despite Republicans’ fear-mongering, this group of families may not even make it to the U.S. border, and those migrating for economic reasons will not qualify for asylum.”

The qualifications for asylum are based on the rules of Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS).    Trump doesn’t have the authority to unilaterally change the rules.  The Department of Justice, and AG Jeff Sessions will be involved in any changes.   The courts will likely decide if it is within the executive branch’s authority to make changes.

The false claims on the caravan are too long to discuss all of them.  The caravan has existed since 2008.  The people are poor.  Many are women with children.  Many are fleeing gang violence in their countries.     George Soros, a billionaire and strong Democratic supporter, is not funding the caravan.  In fact, just about every claim against Soros, spread through social media is untrue.

The mid-term election might turn the House of Representatives to Democrat.  That’s what this heated rhetoric on immigration is about.

At this point, Trump would light a school bus on fire if he could get an extra 5 minutes of air time.  And distract the electorate from horrible policies – ranging from pulling out of the  Paris climate accord,  eliminating many rules governing clear air and water, and the attempted elimination of health care for Americans with pre-existing conditions.

Unfortunate there will be a slew of more lies as we get to Nov 6.   VOTE!

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

False statements on the caravan

Kirstjen Nielsen falsely says there are billboards in Central America on illegal immigration.

Trump says he will restrict asylum, claims troops will shoot at rock throwers

 

 

A lot of real news is happening, Mr. President

“Stick with us. Don’t believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news. … What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.”

This is the talk you might hear from some radical or religious cult.   Turn off the TV, don’t read the paper.  These are your enemies.  You have to be very paranoid to think everyone is lying to you.  But this is exactly what  Trump said at a speech in Kansas City to the VFW annual convention on Tuesday.

My advice is to do just the opposite:  Read, see and think.  Compare opinions, ask questions and do your homework.  Don’t stick with anyone.  A lot is happening.  Trump might not like it, but it is happening.   I don’t know exactly which news story he was referring to:   Scott Pruitt horrible record at the EPA or  Ryan Zinke at the Interior,  and their cozying up lobbyists  instead of protecting the environment, the NATO and Helsinki summit messes or the progress in the Mueller investigation.   Take your pick!

Reading means going beyond CNN.  If fact, I like the BBC for more broad coverage.  And news magazines like Time or Newsweek.  You might find our that Trump is furious about comments made by three former intelligence leaders,  John Brennan (CIA),  Michael Hayden (National Security Agency) and James Clapper (National Intelligence Agency).   Each of these three leaders, with long backgrounds in government service, has written a book, the latest one by James Clapper (Facts and Fears).

You might find out about how the White House barred a CNN journalist from the White House Press press briefing,  and the strong criticism from the head of Fox News, Jay Wallace, for this action.   This is very important, as a whole series of commentator deride the “liberal media,”  at the very top, they understand the importance of media access.    As discussed in the link below, something similar happened in the Obama administration with a Treasury Department press conference, and CNN refused to cover it unless Fox News reporter was allowed to attend.

I would plead with people to detach themselves from a rigid group mentality, so they can absorb ideas and political philosophies from both Republicans and Democrats.   Each party claims to be fiscally responsible, but the track record (really up today) shows that our deficits rise, no matter if it is a Republican or Democrat.

I am not a loyalist to any party or platform.   I spent 5 years working at a research center, which taught me the best researchers are great at asking questions, and thoroughly reading everything available on a topic.  Critical thinking is hard work.  You have to compare multiple sources of information and opinions.

I think the greatest people on this planet, are parents who congratulate their children whenever  they ask questions.   When a child extends questioning to both parents, and teachers, I think it’s time for parents to start a college fund.

I hope Americans read newspapers.  I try to read 3 newspapers, one printed and two on the internet.  I can’t compete with the oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, who reads five newspapers every day, beginning with the Omaha World Herald, which his company acquired in 2011.   I got that tidbit of information from Wikipedia, which seems to be doing a terrific job of providing unbiased and well documented information.

My New York Times just arrived.  Headline news:  “Raging fire turns Yosemite into a ghost town.”  Not fake news.  Front page picture on the Times, is Half Dome at Yosemite, barely visible with all the smoke. .    Also, “US and Europe ease trade feud”, outlining a deal (positive to Trump and EU leaders).   Also, news commentary,  “Cash flowing into Treasury starts to ebb,”  and concern about rising deficits (negative for Trump).   Just finished front page item,  “Promising Alzheimer Drug attacks brain changes and symptoms.” Hope it works.

Real news means going to the source.  In Chicago,  reporter Pam Belluck was there at the Alzheimer’s Association International  Conference to listen and explain in non-technical terms how the new Alzheimer’s drug works,  or really how it is intended to work.  Is Biogen going to soar this morning?  An Associated Press photographer,  Noah Berger, shot the photo of the haze over the 38,000 acre fire obscuring the view of Half Dome

Going past the front page, on to international section.   There is a heat wave in Japan, with peak temperatures going to 106 deg F, and 23,000 people have been hospitalized.  Yes, I’m thinking global warming, and how the acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler should be sent their immediately.  Shucks, there is no mention of global warming,  just the grim facts of how miserable conditions are.   Half the 23,000 people are over 65 years old (my group).

It was awful day in Paksong,  Laos, as flooding and the bursting of a dam caused thousands to flee.  This time, climate change was mentioned, by a group called  International Rivers, which has opposed hydroelectric dams due to the unpredictability of extreme weather events.

Trump would rather people be apathetic and focus on golf and just believe how good he’s doing.  No chance with me.  Sorry, but it’s his pep rallies which are loaded with crap.

Listen, read, and think for yourselves.  Please!

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

The White House Banned a CNN Reporter and Even Fox News Is Crying Foul

Wikipedia: Michael Hayden

Wikipedia: James Clapper

Wikipedia: John Brennan

 

 

 

The Helsinki Disaster

Trump’s responses to questions at Monday’s joint press conference may seem miles away by now.  But, I’ll repeat a few critical parts and add my comments given in italics. It was a disaster, on many fronts.  Unfortunately,  I don’t think Trump was “off his game”  on this one.  I think we’re going to see more excusing the actions of countries with not respect for human rights (Turkey, the Philippines and Egypt, come to mind)  and attacks on our friends.

I have included in the links that the transcript of the entire press conference as provided by National Public Radio.

Thank you. Mr. President, you tweeted this morning that it’s U.S. foolishness, stupidity, and the Mueller probe that is responsible for the decline in U.S. relations with Russia. Do you hold Russia at all accountable or anything in particular? And if so, what would you what would you consider them that they are responsible for?

TRUMP:  Yes I do. I hold both countries responsible. I think that the United States has been foolish. I think we’ve all been foolish. We should have had this dialogue a long time ago, a long time frankly before I got to office. And I think we’re all to blame.  I think that the United States now has stepped forward, along with Russia, and we’re getting together and we have a chance to do some great things, whether it’s nuclear proliferation in terms of stopping, have to do it, ultimately that’s probably the most important thing that we can be working on.  But I do feel that we have both made some mistakes.

I think that the probe is a disaster for our country. I think it’s kept us apart, it’s kept us separated.

There was no collusion at all. Everybody knows it. People are being brought out to the fore. So far that I know virtually none of it related to the campaign. And they’re gonna have to try really hard to find somebody that did relate to the campaign. That was a clean campaign. I beat Hillary Clinton easily and frankly we beat her. And I’m not even saying from the standpoint…we won that race. And it’s a shame that there can even be a little bit of a cloud over it. People know that. People understand it. But the main thing and we discussed this also is zero collusion and it has had a negative impact upon the relationship of the two largest nuclear powers in the world. We have 90 percent of nuclear power between the two countries.

It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous what’s going on with the [Mueller]  probe.

Trump’s answer is pretty clear.   He standing there side by side with Putin, and is saying is he wishes that the Russian interference in our elections in 2016 would be just swept under the rug.  When he holds US partially responsible,  this is pointing the finger to Obama administration policies.  It is as if, the Obama administration just didn’t know how to conduct diplomacy.   Trump is not going into any details on the US foolishness, but were the sanctions imposed by Obama really so foolish?  Russia was propping up the regime in Syria with military support, even after they used chemical weapons on their own people.  Russia has been involved in the assassination of dissidents outside their borders.  Residents of England were likely horrified at Trump’s statement were, as they witnessed the Salisbury poisoning (Sergei and Yulia Skripal).   Trump was obviously, avoided past conflicts, including the takeover of Crimea, support of separatists in Ukraine, and human rights abuses, such as the likely Kremlin ordered murder of Sergei Magnitsky in 2005, when he discovered tax fraud corruption among Russia’s richest citizens on a wide scale.  Dissidents and whistle blowers seem to turn up dead. The hand of the Kremlin at going after enemies of the state is worldwide. (see link)

REPORTER: For President Putin, if I could follow up as well. Why should Americans and why should President Trump believe your statement that Russia did not intervene in the 2016 election, given the evidence that U.S. intelligence agencies have provided? And will you consider extraditing the 12 Russian officials that were indicted last week by a U.S. grand jury?

TRUMP: Well, I’m going to let the president answer the second part of that question. But, as you know, the whole concept of that came up perhaps a little bit before but it came out as a reason why the Democrats lost an election, which frankly, they should have been able to win because the electoral college is much more advantageous for Democrats, as you know, than it is to Republicans. We won the Electoral College by a lot. 306 to 223, I believe. And that was a well fought, that was a well fought battle. We did a great job. And frankly, I’m going to let the president speak to the second part of your question. But just to say it one time again and I say it all the time, there was no collusion. I didn’t know the president. There was nobody to collude with. There was no collusion with the campaign and every time you hear all of these you know 12 and 14 – stuff that has nothing to do and frankly they admit – these are not people involved in the campaign. But to the average reader out there, they’re saying well maybe that does. It doesn’t. And even the people involved, some perhaps told mis-stories or in one case the FBI said there was no lie. There was no lie. Somebody else said there was. We ran a brilliant campaign and that’s why I’m president. Thank you.

The question is actual about “election intervention.”   Trump steered the question to  collusion, and since he claims he had never personally met Putin before the election, he feels vindicated.  In Putin’s response, he says:  “We should be guided by facts. Could you name a single fact that would definitively prove the collusion? This is utter nonsense.”   So Trump and Putin see eye-to-eye on this.   Intervention  =  collusion = nonsense.   In Putin’s reply to extradition, he brings up the idea of swapping Mr. Browder for 12 indicted Russians.  Putin states: “They  [Browder business associates]  sent a huge amount of money – 400 million – as a contribution to the campaign of Hillary Clinton.”   The actual figure is $400,000.   I will cover the actions of Mr. Browder in a separate blog.  Putin is not saying no to extradition, but simply saying that it has to go through proper channels.

The following is the question that has help cause an enormous backlash:

REPORTER, AP: President Trump, you first. Just now, President Putin denied having anything to do with the election interference in 2016. Every U.S. intelligence agency has concluded that Russia did. My first question for you sir is, who do you believe? My second question is would you now, with the whole world watching, tell President Putin, would you denounce what happened in 2016 and would you warn him to never do it again?

TRUMP: So let me just say that we have two thoughts. You have groups that are wondering why the FBI never took the server. Why haven’t they taken the server? Why was the FBI told to leave the office of the Democratic National Committee? I’ve been wondering that. I’ve been asking that for months and months and I’ve been tweeting it out and calling it out on social media. Where is the server? I want to know where is the server and what is the server saying?

With that being said, all I can do is ask the question. My people came to me, Dan Coates, came to me and some others they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be. But I really do want to see the server but I have, I have confidence in both parties.

I really believe that this will probably go on for a while but I don’t think it can go on without finding out what happened to the server. What happened to the servers of the Pakistani gentleman that worked on the DNC? Where are those servers? They’re missing. Where are they? What happened to Hillary Clinton’s emails? 33,000 emails gone, just gone. I think in Russia they wouldn’t be gone so easily.  I think it’s a disgrace that we can’t get Hillary Clinton’s thirty three thousand e-mails.

I have great confidence in my intelligence people but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today and what he did is an incredible offer. He offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators, with respect to the 12 people. I think that’s an incredible offer. Ok? Thank you.

Trump could have answered this in two short sentences: (1) The conclusion of  election interference  by Russia in 2016 by US intelligence is right, and (2) Putin should not try this again.  He didn’t do either.   Even in the wake of the indictments of 12 Russian military officials, he wasn’t about to walk back on his hundreds of tweets stating that Mueller’s investigation was a witch hunt and the FBI under Comey was incompetent.   Mind you, Trump wasn’t asked if  there was  collusion or even involvement of the Trump’s campaign officials in this interference.   He was defending Putin more than the US government.   This “incredible offer”  was considered by the State Department as absurd.  

In one key phase,  Trump later said he misspoke, and meant to say wouldn’t instead of would.   Lawrence O’Donnell (MSNBC commentator) got it right, when he said the statement was beyond fixing.  To do so, was an insult to the intelligence of Americans.

I count a total of 23 sentences.  I count 19 of these sentences would fall under the category of FBI misconduct  in the areas of deliberately incomplete or improper investigation.  So, he is back on the witch hunt theme.      There’s only one statement (“My people came to me, Dan Coats, came to me and some others they said they think it’s Russia.”)   Yikes!    Dan Coats is the Director of National Intelligence, and it is his job to provide the president of all national security threats from multiple US agencies.   Of course, Dan Coats immediately issued a statement after the press conference, stating that it was absolutely true that Russia interfered with our election.  

Trump  is demeaning the FBI because in 2015 and 2016, it was under Director Comey’s command.   The missing emails  is a mess It confuses  a subpoena from the Benghazi Committee in 2015, with the FBI’s investigation of the Russian hacked  DNC server in 2016.   The first statement about the server of the Pakistani gentleman is false, and the second one refers to accidental deletions of email that were not at Clinton’s direction.   The Benghazi Committee was just trolling for dirt on Hillary Clinton prior to the election.  All Trump was trying to do, is to attack the integrity of the FBI in years before he was president.

Russia is taking the lead, where the US is shrinking back globally.  It supports the Iran nuclear deal and is party to the Paris Climate Agreement.  It even came to the rescue of the World Health Organization, as US pressured countries not to introduce the breastfeeding resolution.   It is looking for strengthening economic ties with China, as we look to punish them with tariffs.   There is nothing more desirable in Putin’s priorities than restoring their hold on the Eastern European countries.   That’s why Putin brings up the Minsk agreements.

The word change only shows how Trump believes he can easily fool the American people.  Helsinki was a disaster for the US and a victory for Vladimir Putin.  Dialogue with Russia is important, but standing firm with Eastern Europe and NATO is vital.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Transcripts of Press Conference

Trump sides with Putin over US intelligence

Donald Trump’s ‘missing’ server comments get all of the details wrong

Clinton’s 33000 emails – Politifact

(The conclusion was that the deletion was not done at the direction of Clinton.  These were old emails, and to the technician in charge of the server, was a routine cleanup effort and unaware of the subpoena.  When he learned of the subpoena, he describes this as the “Oh shit” moment.

Wikipedia:  Bill Browder 

Wikipedia: Magnisky Act

Trump’s trip – Is it over?

Headline:  Trump attacks our close allies, and kisses up to Russia

I’ve said  it would appear that Trump is competing for the Lie of the Year award from Politifact.com and his only competion is himself.

There are more coming.

This is from the Tom Toles, the phenomenal cartoonist with the Washington Post.  I hope to discuss  Trump’s absurd remark of Germany being Russia’s captive state soon.  If anyone seems to kissing up to Putin, it is Donald Trump.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Tom Toles is one of the best reasons to subscribe to the Washington Post:

www.washingtonpost.com

http://www.politifact.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FBI Honesty and Integrity

I’ve been working my way through the 500 pages of the Inspector General report, and at the same time, listening to FBI Christopher Wray and the Inspector General Michael Horowitz in the congressional hearing.   Occasionally, I listen to Fox News nonsense, to hear Lou Dobbs and Ed Rollins tell me what a horrible state we are in with subversive Democrats pulling the strings, operating in some deep state cabal.

Cabal:   a secret political clique or faction. “a cabal of dissidents” synonyms: clique, faction, coterie, cell, sect, junta, camarilla;

We were doing just fine with James Comey, as Director of the FBI, and Christopher Wray is also very capable. I’ve included Director Wray’s biography.   I think Trump believed he could change the course of the Russian investigation with Comey, and was upset when this wasn’t working.  He won’t have any better success with Wray and can’t afford to fire Wray.

The chief complaint against FBI Director Comey was excessive transparency.  His disclosure to Congress in October 2016  of reopening the email scandal likely  hurt Hillary Clinton’s chances of being elected.   Director Wray spoke about the need for balancing  two essential competing requirements – the need to keep the Congress’s oversight committees informed on FBI work in general, and the need to keep FBI sources and methods confidential during an ongoing investigation.   I call this the simultaneous need for transparency and opaqueness.   At some point, he will be accused of concealment of vital information sought by Congress.  It’s all part of the job.

Finally,  the texting stuff between FBI Special Counsel Lisa Page and FBI agent Peter Strzok.    In hindsight,  the chief crime in all this, was their decision to use FBI issued cell phones to carry on personal conversations.   They did this because they were in a relation and did not want their spouses to know.   In one exchange on Aug. 8, 2016, according to the IG report, Page wrote, “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Strzok’s response: “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.”    It should be remembered this was supposed to be a personal  private conversation, and joking, exaggeration  or excessive chutzpah are allowed.   The inspector general conducted over 100 interviews,  and ultimately cleared Page and Strzok of any political bias in the decisions they were involved in.

Revealing the personal chatter between these two individuals gets pretty silly at some point.  It was a relationship for god sake- they were sharing intimate secrets and passions.    Peter Strzok by August 2016,  had potentially damning information on Trump’s campaign officials, but it was complicated and highly circumstantial.   If he wanted to, he could have done severe damage to Trump’s campaign.    He and everyone at the FBI kept a tight lid on what they knew at the time.   Strzok chose opaqueness,  as any other decision would compromise his professionalism at the FBI.  Yet, partisan Republican are going after Strzok  big time, because he was part of the Mueller investigation, and the only one they have some dirt on.   He is the Director of Human Resources at the FBI, so there is nothing in his current work they can attack.

Everyone in the FBI is entitled to personal political opinions.  They can love or hate the current or future president.   But, what will not be repeated for a long time, is personal conversations on government issued cell phones.   There is spying on employees at work in private businesses, and cellphones become much more of a liability than an asset.

Director Comey would have been blasted by Republicans for concealment of critical information, had he not gone public with his announcement in July 2016,   Loretta Lynch was also routinely attacked by Fox News and conservatives in Congress in 2016, for what appeared to be a rubber stamp of Comey’s clearing Clinton of wrongdoing.   There wasn’t a winning option in all of this.

Trump has gone off into another orbit on this, saying the IG report exonerates him of firing Comey and that Comey’s conduct was criminal.  Wrong on both accounts.  The firing of Comey was pretty close to obstruction of justice, as Trump was asking for Comey’s loyalty in the investigation of Michael Flynn.   That’s why Comey was fired and not his excessive transparency in July 2016.

What the IG didn’t find is likely why the Democrats are embracing the report.   The IG found no evidence that the political bias of FBI agents had any role in the investigation.   The email investigation was done thoroughly by the FBI.

Bottom line:  All evidence points to an honest and hardworking FBI in 2016, 2017 and we still have one today.

Stay tuned,

Dave

See link below:

Factcheck.org: Trump Misleads on IG Report

Christopher Wray

Director Wray – Wikipedia:

Wray joined the government in 1997 as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. In 2001, he moved to the Justice Department as Associate Deputy Attorney General and Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General.[10]

On June 9, 2003, President George W. Bush nominated Wray to be the 33rd Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division of the Justice Department. Wray was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on September 11, 2003.[11][12][13] Wray was Assistant Attorney General from 2003 to 2005, working under Deputy Attorney General James Comey. While heading the Criminal Division, Wray oversaw prominent fraud investigations, including Enron.[10][14] In March 2005, Wray announced that he would resign from his post.[15] His last day at the Justice Department was on May 17, 2005.[citation needed]

In 2005, Wray received the Edmund J. Randolph Award, the Justice Department’s highest award for public service and leadership.

 

 

Lie of the year 2018

I think it’s a sure win for Trump.   It’s only mid-year, but there are really a slew of them, which really put him over the top.  The FBI embedding secret agents within the Trump campaign qualified for a “Pants on Fire”  award.   But, then came the Trump’s administration policy change to separate children from their parents,  and blame it on a law passed by Democrats,  really blew past prior lies.   Here is the post:

A “horrible law” requires that children be separated from their parents “once they cross the Border into the U.S.”  Donald Trump,  May 28, 2018.

Politifact says:  “We rate this statement False.”

Here’s the truth from Politifact.

But there is no law that mandates separating children from their parents. Trump’s own administration devised a policy to that effect.

So what is Trump talking about?

Whenever parents are charged with a federal misdemeanor (entry without inspection in this case), or awaiting trial, they are placed in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. Children cannot go to jail, so they are transferred to the custody of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement. They are then placed with relatives, juvenile detention centers or foster care. That’s a longstanding Homeland Security policy, DHS told us.

Before the Trump administration, immigrants entering illegally as families were rarely prosecuted, said Sarah Pierce, an associate policy analyst of the U.S. Immigration Program at the Migration Policy Institute. Instead, immigrants were held in family detention centers until they were sent to appear before an immigration court or deported.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on April 6 the Homeland Security Department would now be referring all illegal border crossings to the Justice Department for prosecution. Facing criminal charges, parents would go to detention centers, leaving their children unaccompanied.

It’s the decision to prosecute parents that is causing the separations.

“That’s a choice they have made that’s largely different from what other administrations have done,” said Peter Margulies, an immigration law and national security law professor at Roger Williams University School of Law.

When we asked for evidence of policies separating families, the White House referred us to items determining what happens to unaccompanied immigrant minors. But none of the children in question would be deemed unaccompanied if the Trump administration did not decide to prosecute their parents.

The 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement, for example, calls for the release of unaccompanied minors to family members or sponsors who can care for them as their immigration case is resolved. The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, which Trump has wrongly called “a Democrat rule,” determines that unaccompanied minors be transferred to Health and Human Services custody.

The White House argued such policies encourage parents to send their children into the United States, knowing they will be promptly released.

“The cruel and inhumane open borders policies of the Democratic Party are responsible for encouraging mass illegal migration, enabling horrendous child smuggling, and releasing violent MS-13 gang members into American communities,” White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said in an emailed statement.

The Trump administration may believe that Democrats are responsible for policies that encourage illegal border crossing, but we found no law mandating that children be separated from their parents.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Link:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2018/may/29/donald-trump/trump-blames-democrat-own-policy-separating-family/

May 24, 2018 was a rapid fire series of lies  by Donald Trump on immigration on the Trump friendly “Fox and Friends”

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2018/may/24/donald-trump-made-8-misleading-claims-about-immigr/

 

 

 

 

Sunday’s tweet storm

There was some speculation that this tweet storm was coming.  The weather in Washington was poor over the weekend, so no golf for the Donald.   Theses tweets included  name calling (crooked New York Times) and unfounded allegations all centered around the Mueller investigation, and the media.  It reminds me why I subscribe to the New York Times, because it provides hard facts, often taken from court filings.  Revealing the name of the FBI informant is a diversion, and it won’t work, as all law enforcement depends on keeping sources confidential.

A totally open investigation, where confidential information in FISA warrants and names of informants, is given to the public, not only can ruin this investigations, but severely limit future investigations.

Mueller has obtained either indictments or guilty pleas for key campaign officials:

Paul Manafort, under house arrest awaiting trial, Trump’s campaign manager, June to August 2016,  Faces many charges, including financial fraud, conspiracy against the US, failure to register as a foreign agent working for Ukraine.

Rick Gates,  plead guilty to financial fraud and lying to investigators, Trump’s deputy campaign manager, worked as number 2  along with Manafort, and then continued after the election, in planning the inauguration ceremonies.  His cooperation with the Mueller investigation may uncover more Russian links.

General Michael Flynn,  pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.  Joined Trump’s campaign in February 2016 as a foreign policy adviser.  Trump appointed him National Security Adviser, a position he held for 24 days until resigning as facts surface on his contacts with Russian officials which he had lied about to Vice President Pence.  He is cooperating with the Mueller investigation.

The list goes on.  George Papadopoulos,  former campaign foreign policy advisor,  has also plead guilty to lying to FBI agents and is also cooperating with the Mueller investigation.

This is white collar crime, involving bank fraud, conspiracy with Russian agents,  campaign finance violation and money laundering.  It must be investigated and prosecuted.  The investigation is not completed, but the tweets say one thing:  Donald Trump is scared of what is likely to be revealed.  When you’ve got nothing to defend yourself, you can always pound the table.  Or send your TV lawyers to Fox News to do it for you.

Keep informed.  It’s a complex story, and not everything will connect up.   It will take time for Mueller to complete the investigation.  See links below on the tweet storm and summaries of the investigation.   And kudos to the New York Times,  Washington Post (I subscribe to both newspapers) and Wikipedia (send in your donation today!).

Stay tuned,

Dave

 Checking Facts: 11 false things Donald Trump said in 5 tweets Sunday morning

Wikipedia: Special Counsel investigation (2017–present)

(Getting results, slow but sure)

Vanity Fair: RICK GATES COULD BE MORE DANGEROUS THAN TRUMP’S ALLIES THOUGHT 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Gates_(political_consultant)

Andrew McCabe

I wrote previously that Andrew McCabe was fired for doing his job well.   All the evidence supports that he was an exemplary FBI agent and Deputy Director.  The firing had nothing to do with the quality of his work. He was fired by the Attorney General Jeff Sessions, following a report by the inspector general.   The charges against him were unauthorized disclosure of an ongoing investigation and lying about it under oath when asked by the inspector general.  The exact wording is he “lack candor”  when interviewed.   It is not criminal to lie to an inspector general, but it’s against the rules of the FBI and can result in firing.

The unauthorized disclosure charge relates to an article written in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in October 2016.  Andrew McCabe insists that there was nothing done improperly.   The Wall Street Journal article was printed  on October 31, entitled, “FBI in Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton Probe:
Laptop may contain thousands of messages sent to or from Mrs. Clinton’s private server.”   The article is clear that there was a fundamental disagreement on how far to push the Clinton Foundation investigation.    Andrew McCabe has stated he was interested in a more aggressive investigation of the Clinton Foundation, ironically at the same time, that Trump was on television nearly every night claiming the FBI was involved in a cover-up of wrong doing by the Clintons.

The inspector general’s report will be made public this week.  I’m certain it will judge McCabe’s action in isolation, not taking into consideration the campaign frenzy at the time.   The disclosure  occurred under extra-ordinary circumstances, with an open investigations on many fronts, and a massive attempt for the Trump team to capitalize on the “crooked Hillary” and weak FBI efforts in particular.

Donald Trump waged an extremely negative campaign in the last week of the campaign,  non-stop ranting about an incredibly corrupt Clinton (“crooked Hillary”)  and in collusion with the Obama administration (DOJ/FBI)  to hide her crimes, from violations of compromising national security via her private server,  destruction of evidence (crushing her cell phone) in an investigation,  and the links between the Clinton Foundation donors and the Uranium One deal.

All of crooked Hillary stuff, as listed above, was nonsense and no crimes were committed.  At least,  Attorney General Jeff Sessions has never charged the Clinton campaign nor the Foundation with any wrong doing, and he has all the investigative details from the FBI.    The only ones  with guilty pleas or likely to stand trial were with the Trump campaign.

My copy of Comey’s book will arrive tomorrow and with the release of the IG report, I’ve got a lot of reading to do.   The WSJ article is provided in the link below.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

October 31, 2016 FBI in Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton Probe:
Laptop may contain thousands of messages sent to or from Mrs. Clinton’s private server

 

Fact checking Trump’s statement on Immigration and other matters

I think the CNN fact checking on Trump’s immigration comments, is excellent.   See link below:

Trump on immigration: Fact check

I think Trump is up to exactly 4 true statements this year, as follows:

  • Says China and Singapore impose the death penalty on drug dealers.— PolitiFact National on Wednesday, March 14th, 2018
  • The 2018 Academy Awards show was the “lowest rated Oscars in HISTORY.”— PolitiFact National on Tuesday, March 6th, 2018
  • Small business confidence is at an all-time high.”— Donald Trump on Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 in his State of the Union address
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average “jumped 1000 points in last 5 weeks, Record fastest 1000 point move in history.”— PolitiFact National on Monday, January 8th, 2018

The last one isn’t really that meaningful, as there have been a lot of faster 5 week moves on a percentage basis.

See link:

http://www.politifact.com/personalities/donald-trump/

April 2, was the international fact checking day.   I think this is a fantastic idea.  See link:

https://factcheckingday.com/

A belated congratulations to all those involved.

Stay tuned,

Dave

What comes next?

Trump’s Feb 3 tweet is a piece of science fiction:

“This memo totally vindicates “Trump” in probe the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!”

The Nunes memo really says nothing about the Russian investigation headed by Robert Mueller.  The Republican party has continued to insist that Carter Page was a minor volunteer in the campaign, something like the guy in the back of the room and totally unimportant. But the wiretap FISA warrant was generating results, or it would not have been renewed 3 times.  Each renewal was presented in front of a different FISA judge.  Different FBI and DOJ officials signed off on these applications.   Trump knows this.  The House Intelligence Committee knows this.  And this is likely what is in the Democrat’s response.  And the Democrat response likely concludes that nothing improper was done.  In contrast to Trump’s tweet, the real parties that should be vindicated are the leaders of the FBI and DOJ.

The contents of the Trump dossier were never revealed by the media during the campaign.  The bottom line is the media showed great restraint by not publishing this story.  It was given to the media a couple months before the election and there was no way to collaborate the statements made in the dossier.  So, the “liberal media” should also be vindicated.

But the great disrupter  Trump has his dirt.   The fact that Nunes memo is based on inaccurate, misleading and omitted  information doesn’t bother him one iota.  Everything about his career, says honesty isn’t part of the winning hand.   It’s poker and bluffing your way through is just as good when things get hot.  Honest and gently – No.  Dishonest and loud wins.

Next steps.  He doesn’t care about  Democrat’s rebuttal so he wants Nunes  to bury that memo.  He would like Rosenstein to resign, but that won’t work because he has Session’s support.  So,  Trump sits there with this dirt, that has been publicly discredited  by just about everyone who has experience with FISA warrants, and the FBI, and thinks maybe I can get away with firing Rosenstein and ending the Mueller investigation.

He would like to see more of the “dump Rosenstein” ads on TV.  The Tea Party Patriots has a limited budgets to the Washington, DC area.   Fox News is doing their part in attacking the Mueller investigation.

This ultimately comes down to how apathetic and poorly informed are the American people.  Nunes memo  is a dangerous pretext, but more over, it is a dangerous president with a pretext to politicize the FBI and DOJ.

Stay tuned,

Dave

House Intelligence Committee

This is a committee with a majority of Republicans who will do anything they can to avoid a real investigation of the Russian inference in the 2016 election.   Instead, they will pursue construction of a false narrative based on carefully chosen information,     arranged creatively  to disparage the  Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton.

This is the Republican counter attack on the real events which took place during our national elections, in which the Russian government and operatives in the US,  secretly tried to influence the election in favor of Donald Trump.   There are many reasons the Russians  did not want Hillary Clinton to win, but in general it was her hard stance against Russian expansion.   It was clear she would work through the UN and other organizations to sanction Russia.

This committee serves a second purpose, which at the moment is vital to President Trump.    With the false narrative,  the committee has constructed an excuse to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.   Trump needs to do this in order to fire Robert Mueller.   This is the plan to avoid an obstruction of justice charge against the President.  Trump doesn’t know what Mueller has, but he doesn’t want to take chances.   Trump has said repeatedly he plays to win.

The cleverly constructed narrative  falls perfectly into Trump’s defense, which he has said often, that whatever the Republicans did wrong in the elections was nothing compared to the Democrats.  Representatives Devin Nunes and Trey Gowdy excel at creative writing but fail in the honesty department.

The “path of least resistance” is a law of physics that applies to inanimate objects.  This path for Sessions,  Rosenstein and Wray is out the door, but I am real glad they are staying put.

This blog is a separate page and I will link it to a series of commentaries in the future.  The story was too big to keep it as one of my posts.

Stay tuned,

Dave