Many enjoy a juicy scandal. News media can use them at attract viewers. Right now we have three scandals that are intertwined. There are real differences in their importance and the attention they attracted.
The Russia collusion scandal has had multiple investigations for over a year. So far the only evidence is a phony dossier bought and paid for by Democrats. It’s time to bring it to a conclusion.
There has been misconduct in in the Obamacare Justice Department and FBI. Some senior officials put politics over justice. The investigation of Hillary Clinton was clearly rigged. There was even discussion of an “insurance policy” to prevent Donald Trump from winning the election. This should be thoroughly investigated and appreciate charges filed.
The most serious scandal has been mishandled by both parties. Our democracy has been under attack by Russia. The leaking of DNC and Clinton campaign emails is just one aspect of their effort. They were involved in the primaries, have organized demonstrations and manipulated social media. The Obama administration was aware
of what was happening but chose to do nothing. Once Clinton lost the election, they imposed some weak sanctions. The Trump administration has done nothing. Everyone should be outraged at a foreign power interfering with our democracy.
It is time to focus on real misconduct instead of playing a game of gotcha.
We used to judge information on whether it was true or false. That doesn’t matter anymore. If it helps to advance someone’s political agenda, the truth is irrelevant.
We saw a perfect example this week following the horrific school shooting in Florida. An anti-gun organization tweeted that it was the eighteenth school shooting so far this year. That set off a blizzard of tweets from politicians and activists. Even more disturbing, many major media outlets reported it. Obviously nobody cared whether or not it was true.
Rather than blindly following the herd, the Washington Post decided to investigate. It turned out that most of these incidents were not what we would consider school shootings. They even included a suicide in the parking lot of a school that had closed down.
We need to be skeptical of what the media tells us. All too often their motivation is to attract viewers and/or push a political agenda, not report the news.
Donald Trump once said that he would not only balance the budget but pay off all the debt. Of course that was utter nonsense but he did commit to eventually balancing the budget. His latest budget removes the pretense that it will ever happen. He calls for nearly a $1 trillion deficit next year.
We are in an era of a ballooning deficit. The recent tax cut will obviously decrease revenue. Some claim that the more taxes are cut, the more revenue increases due to economic growth. By that logic we could balance the budget by eliminating all taxes.
Meanwhile expenses are going up. Republicans traded increased defense spending for increases in Democrat backed programs. Of course nobody is doing anything about entitlements.
Some believe that the federal budget must be balanced like a household budget. There are a couple of problems with this comparison. Households have a deficit if a new car or house is purchased. More important, they don’t have the power to raise revenue through taxation.
There is no problem with a modest deficit. One economist stated that the economy can easily absorb one that is less than the increase in GDP. We would need 5% growth to cover next year’s deficit. That certainly won’t happen.
The problem gets worse over time. Entitlements will skyrocket due to the retirement of the baby boom generation. Then there is the interest. If we assume an interest rate of 2% on the $20 trillion current debt, that’s $400 billion. Let’s suppose that the debt in ten years is $30 trillion with a 6% interest rate. That works out to $1.8 trillion in interest. Obviously, something needs to be done. Those few in Washington sounding the alarm are being ignored.
Promising lower taxes and/or increased government benefits may be a great way to achieve electoral success. However, it’s a lousy way to govern.
President Trump has ordered the Pentagon to put on a parade to honor the military. Apparently he got the idea from a parade he saw in France.
I think this is a ridiculous idea. It will divert millions of dollars and many thousands of people away from their duty of protecting the country. It also promotes the wrong idea. Our military dresses in ordinary uniforms and is trained to fight. Putting emphasis on snappy uniforms and precision drills presents the wrong image. Finally, it sends a horrible message. It brings up images of the old Soviet Union and petty dictators.
Nearly one-hundred years ago a huge parade featured returning World War 1 veterans. Humorist Will Rogers suggested we honor them by letting them sit in the stands watching civilians march by. Maybe that’s not a bad idea. At any rate, let’s hope this is the only way we emulate the French military.
The Obama Department of Justice and FBI had a number of people in high places that put politics above their real responsibilities. There was even a discussion about a plan to ensure that Trump wouldn’t win the election. Those involved should be roundly criticized and, in some case, indicted.
In spite of all their bad behavior, I they are being treated unfairly regarding their investigation of Carter Page. Page was briefly a voluntary foreign affairs advisor to the Trump campaign. He has strong pro-Russia views. The FBI interviewed him in 2013 and had him under surveillance in 2014. The FBI obtained a FISA warrant against Page on October 21, 2016.
Congress has been investigating this matter for some time. The staff of Devin Nunes, the Republican chair of the intelligence committee, put together a memo declaring that the FISA warrant was based on the phony Russia dossier that either the DNC or Clinton campaign commissioned. The memo had been classified until President Trump ordered that it be declassified. The Justice Department, FBI and Democrats claim the memo is full of errors. If the charges are true, obviously the FBI was sloppy in its investigation.
Republicans are using the memo as proof for much more than sloppy work. Many are stating that the FBI and Justice Department deliberately used the dossier to spy on the Trump campaign. That is utterly ridiculous. Page was a low level person who had left the campaign when the warrant was issued. If their goal was to spy on the campaign, they would have gone after top level staffers.
It used to be that standard of judgment was whether something is true or false. The new standard is whether or not it hurts the opposition. This is another reason why I am disgusted with both sides.