Wednesday, June 14, 2017

I draw no firm conclusions on it, because there is no solid theme that emerges from the facts

Have you been enjoying the nonstop parsing of James Comey's possible motives, the blow-by-blow accounts of the Jeff Sessions testimony, the laser-like focus on how many meetings Kislyak and Sessions had in 2016, the MSM's insistence that all this has the strong smell of Watergate about it?

Me, neither.

The whole thing is the utterly predictable result of electing a rudderless loudmouth as president, surrounding him with some actually fine people, and then putting them in impossible situations due to the excesses of his character.

Sure, the MSM takes an unabashedly leftist slant toward everything.

Sure, there is validity to the claim of a "deep state" in which bureaucrats have strong motivation to protect the gravy train - and the institutional endorsement of their leftist worldview.

But to say that the man at the top has no culpability for this current morass is to reveal oneself as a willfully blind water-carrier. (Exhibit A: Charles Hurt at the Washington Times: "If only those in Congress had the political instincts or noble statesmanship of President Trump, we just might get something done around here.")

And when willful blindness gets wedded to positions of influence, truth fades from the scene:

Think of the avalanche of vitriol against James Comey. Trump fired him, misled the public about the reasons, and then absurdly trashed his reputation. But how dare Comey fight back and defend himself? How dare he “leak” a memo? Never mind that he stood up and answered questions, under oath, just days later. He’s a “leaker,” and no one likes a leaker. The same people who decry a rush to judgment against Trump are forwarding and sharing article after article claiming that Comey (without yet seeing the relevant evidence) potentially violated his employment agreement or even federal criminal statutes when he asked a friend to read excerpts of his memos to the New York Times.

Lost in the anger is a serious look at the truth (and implications) of his allegations. Did a president demand personal loyalty from an FBI director? Did he improperly ask him to drop an active criminal investigation of a former close adviser? Did he circumvent normal channels and demand that Comey, in essence, “clear” him publicly? Did Trump fire him when he failed to comply with these demands, and then hide the ball about the reason?

Instead, we get the Ken Starring of James Comey and Robert Mueller. It’s not enough to trash Comey; now there’s blood in the water around Mueller. Men like Newt Gingrich have pivoted on a dime. On May 17, Gingrich is declared that “Robert Mueller is superb choice to be special counsel. His reputation is impeccable for honesty and integrity.” On June 12, he attacked Mueller, saying that it was “time to rethink.” Others already got the jump on Gingrich. On May 18, Judicial Watch put out a statement calling Mueller a “bizarre choice” to be special counsel — because he was allegedly too politically correct on his approach to Muslim terrorism when he was FBI director. How does that bear on his fitness to investigate various aspects of the Russian election-interference controversy?
"Cacophony" is a word I used frequently to describe what we were heading toward as the 2016 campaign season unfolded and finally presented us with the lay of the land for our present year. Layer upon layer of fevered voices defending various kinds of turf, from policy orientations to career and financial interests (all at the expense of the three pillars of actual conservatism to which I hearken back at the risk of appearing tiresome).

For instance, Mueller is coming in for attacks based on the Democrat donors on his independent-counsel team.

Would the attackers have us forget this track record?

How do you feel, for example, about these credentials?
  • Handed over $41,000 to Eliot Spitzer, who made it all the way to the Governor’s Mansion before his relationship with a high-priced prostitute became public. And gave almost $4500 to disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner who publicly tweeted lewd pictures of himself.
  • Has no problem handing out cash to some of the most liberal politicians hailing from New York. Gave $64,000 to Andrew Cuomo, helped elect and re-elect New York mayor David Dinkins, and donated $8,900 to Chuck Schumer, one of the leading Senate Democrats advocating for amnesty and to put liberal justices on the Supreme Court.
  • Is a significant backer of the corrupt Democrat machine in New York, giving $138,000 to the party over several decades. Since 1999, has personally contributed over $350,000 to New York candidates and committees, and at least an additional $50,000 through one businesses.
  • Has contributed to Hillary’s New York senate and presidential campaigns, and given at least $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation (though some reports have it closer to $250,000).
  • Given thousands of dollars to individuals with legal and ethical violations. Gave $56,000 to convicted felon Alan Hevesi who went to prison for a massive pay to play pension scandal. Contributed to a disgraced Queens assemblyman who stole $90,000 from a little league association. And he donated to Sheldon Silver, a former Speaker of the New York State Assembly who is facing 130 years in prison for a corruption.
Pretty unsavory, don’t you think? Well that’s not the CV of any of Mueller’s picks for the investigative team. It is in fact a list of some of the many contributions to Democrats made by Donald Trump over the years. (Source.)
And to Charles Hurt's assertion that Congress is getting nothing done, the House is actually making headway - generally out of the glare of a media machine obsessed with finding an impeachment-worthy scandal  - on a major front. It passed  the Financial CHOICE Act, which goes a long way toward rectifying Dodd-Frank's harmful absurdities. And in the Senate, a stroke of procedural luck has fueled the determination of that body's Republicans to get moving on health care in a serious way:

Last week, while most of Washington obsessed over the self-serving cavils of a cashiered federal bureaucrat, Senate Republicans focused on a project much nearer to the hearts of the voters — repealing Obamacare. And the GOP made significant progress in that effort. The Senate parliamentarian ruled that repeal can be passed via reconciliation and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell fast-tracked the process by invoking “rule 14,” which permits the Senate to skip laborious committee hearings that Democrats planned to use for protracted grandstanding. Meanwhile, moderate Republicans are coming around on proposed changes to Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion about which they had expressed reservations.
The ruling by the Senate parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, was crucial to the GOP plan to get “repeal and replace” done quickly. Thus, the Republican Conference breathed a sigh of relief when Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi announced MacDonough’s thumbs up: “The health care bill passed by the House of Representatives, H.R. 1628 — the American Health Care Act of 2017 [AHCA], providing for the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, complies with the Senate reconciliation process.” The use of reconciliation for repeal and replace has been denounced by the Democrats, of course, but they used it themselves to pass Obamacare. Senator Enzi’s announcement provides a summary of how it works:
After the House transmits H.R. 1628 to the Senate, the Senate Majority Leader will have the ability to bring up the legislation under the provisions of reconciliation, which include: a non-debatable motion to proceed that only reqquires a simple majority vote; no filibuster; time limits on overall debate, amendments, and motions; and adoption of the legislation by a simple majority vote. As well, there are strict parameters for contents of amendments, including the Byrd rule and compliance with various budget restrictions. 
It goes without saying that the Democrats are in denial about the parliamentarian’s ruling. The ranking member of the Budget Committee, alleged Independent Bernie Sanders, has already claimed that MacDonough didn’t actually say what she said: “The parliamentarian has ruled in favor of the Republicans on one narrow procedural issue, but it remains to be seen whether the House-passed bill qualifies for reconciliation in the Senate.” The Democrats will hang their hat on the “Byrd rule” mentioned in Senator Enzi’s announcement, which prohibits provisions unrelated to the federal budget from being included in a reconciliation bill. Sanders, et al., will no doubt claim that every provision of AHCA is precluded by the Byrd rule.
But let us remember that the federal government's primary raison d'ĂȘtre is keeping us safe, and the national security implications of whatever Russia's involvement in the 2016 election ought to be driving any investigations by Congress or independent counsels. Russia, by its alliances (think Syria and Iran), as well as its history of buzzing US planes and harassing US ships, as well as its previous forays into cyber-mischief, has proven that it must be dealt with warily.

And speaking of national security, while everybody is trying to make this former FBI director look good or bad, and switching sides at the slightest circumstantial prompting, and either lionizing Trump or making his cringe-worthy bluster the story of the day, how many people being paid by our tax dollars are focusing on the North Korean threat, which James Mattis has been calling urgent since he became defense secretary?

Hard to tell, with all this cacophony. A Left - the facets of which include elected officials, "deep state" bureaucrats, university students and professors, television talking heads, and social-media dispensers of venom - that is jockeying for the first opportunity to achieve its final goal of impeaching the president. A president whose repulsive character traits fuel that venom and that determination to impeach. A still-sizable army of his slavish devotees who want to obscure some very real questions, and who will toss anybody under the bus that threatens their Trump-can-do-no-wrong narrative.

And a world full of actors who don't see a sliver of daylight's worth of difference between all the factions within America, only an America that must be destroyed.

Not a recipe for making sense or maximizing human freedom, or even making America great again, however one would like to define that.


  1. Dontcha miss the days gone by, like when Reagan presided over the beginnings of Islamic terrorism when more Marines were offed than in any single incident since WWII. There was a Congressional investigation that centered on how to prevent same in the future rather than lopping heads and careers. Maybe it was just Ronnie's magnetism that saved his ass, but more likely that there were more reasonable gentlepersons running the country not that long ago.

  2. And that has what to do with the topic of this post?

  3. Incessant investigations since. All we are now is tit for tat, the other side is always wrong. That's all. I'm over it all!

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  6. Like this morning around 7 am a gunman fires 30 or 40 rounds and clips a Republican representative of LA
    and 3 others and by noon Bernie Sanders did it. Multiple sources to blame but there will never be a trial, maybe an investigation, focused not on how to prevent same in future, but about who's most to blame since the perpetrator is like dead.

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