Elizabeth Warren has formed a committee to explore the possibility of her running for president. Like it or not, the 2020 presidential election campaign has begun. As a centrist, I don’t expect either party to nominate a candidate that will reflect my views. It looks like I will have a lot of company.
Democrats may try to impeach President Trump over and over again. Unless some major scandal breaks, they will not be able to remove him from office. He may have some challengers but will likely swat them away like pesky flies. So, barring something really unusual, he will get the Republican nomination.
He has been in office just short of two years. By and large, he is the same person we saw campaigning in 2016. In two years, he has dome nothing to increase his base. If you have a MAGA cap and attend his rallies, he’s your guy.
Meanwhile, Democrats are racing each other to see who can move the farthest to the left. Some seem satisfied with letting Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez call the shots. She proposed shutting down every fossil fuel powered electricity generating plant in the country by 2030. Two likely presidential candidates have already signed on.
This emerging Socialist Democrat Party want unbelievable growth in government spending to fund their socialist utopia. Meanwhile, they will do whatever they can to hurt business. It’s the same approach Venezuela took.
So, what about the rest of us? We may have to choose between two alternatives that we find unpalatable. Both parties are moving to the extremes. This past election saw the defeat of many moderate Democratic senators and Republican congressmen. They seem far more focused on fighting each other than doing what is best for the country.
Richard Nixon used to talk about the Silent Majority. Eventually we will be heard. We will either retake the existing parties or form our own.
The government shutdown continues with no sign of it ending soon. Both sides are interested only in making political points. I’m not sure what to do with them. If they were children, we could send them to bed without supper. This game of chicken is ostensibly about the border wall. I thought this would be a good time to take a look at the wall.
There is substantial room for varying opinions on who we should let into the country. Hopefully, everyone agrees that we need secure borders. We must keep terrorists and criminals from entering the country.
The question is then what approach we should take. President Trump decided on the wall. If he followed his usual style, he would have reached that decision without any study or consultation with experts. Personally, I favor increased personnel and sophisticated sensors. It is hard to get past people and technology that are monitoring the border. You can get past a wall with either a shovel or a ladder.
President Obama’s foreign policy in Iraq and Syria was an absolute debacle. He withdrew our forces from Iraq and dithered in Syria. This allowed ISIS to greatly expand their territory. His response was tepid and the rules of engagement were so onerous that little was accomplished. To his credit, President Trump’s actions have greatly reduced the territory ISIS holds.
Now he is taking a page from Obama’s playbook and ordered our troops out of Syria. This will likely lead to ISIS and other terrorist groups getting stronger. Both Russia and Iran will gain greater influence. It shows the world they cannot depend on us. Worst of all, many of our allies will be slaughtered. Almost all foreign policy experts are opposed to it.
General Mattis has resigned in protest. He is the first cabinet secretary to do so since the Carter administration. We are losing some top-notch members of the administration. I fear that we may eventually see a bunch of sycophants who will blindly follow any idea Trump dreams up.
I thought I had my first non-political winner when basketball player Steph Curry said the moon landing was faked. He has now changed his mind and believes it happened.
The winner is Joy Behar. She was very upset with Senator Orrin Hatch, claiming he said that he didn’t care if President Trump has committed crimes. In continuing her diatribe against Hatch, she said “Maybe he needs to go to jail, too.”
She lives in a country in which she is free to say whatever she wants, no matter how ridiculous. Evidently, she feels that those that disagree with her should not have that right.
My last post discussed the abuses of the Moeller investigation. Since then we learned that one of its victims was the target of an FBI plot to destroy him.
Michael Flynn was named National Security Advisor in November 2016. In December he had a telephone conversation with the Russian ambassador. The FBI told the White House about it. They leaked it to the press. It was clear that the Obama administration was intent on doing whatever they could to damage the incoming administration.
After the inauguration, James Comey and Andrew McCabe (the top two people in the FBI) conspired to take down Flynn. Normally any request to speak with a White House employee is handle through the counsel’s office. Instead, McCabe contacted Flynn directly. He lied about the reason for the meeting and pushed Flynn not to have a lawyer present. Flynn met with the agents (including Peter Strzok). They deliberately did not give the warning that a misstatement could result in criminal charges. When asked if he discussed the sanctions Obama had imposed, he said he hadn’t. They had been discussed. Flynn either misremembered or lied.
The Moeller group now had him in their clutches. They vigorously prosecuted him. This took an enormous toll on him and his family. He had to sell his house to pay legal bills. He pled guilty to get this behind him.
Nowhere in any of this is a hint that Flynn was involved in any kind of crime. If he did lie to the FBI, he was obviously wrong. I don’t know the law but believe people should only be charged if they lie to cover up a crime. A mere misstatement of facts should not put them in legal jeopardy.
The judge is now considering Flynn’s fate. I hope he dismisses the charges. Comey and McCabe should be the ones in trouble.
Every little bit of information that comes out the Moeller investigation prompts new speculation about whether or not President Trump is in trouble. Today I would like to focus on those who have faced charges.
The American system of justice works by investigating crimes. People are then indicted if there is sufficient evidence. Justice Moeller style starts by selecting individuals and then tearing their lives apart. The hope is to find something that pressures them to cooperate. If someone misunderstands a question or misremembers, they are indicted for perjury. This has happened to almost everyone who has cooperated. One man has filed a lawsuit claiming he was pressured to lie.
There is no doubt in my mind that Moeller wants to destroy the Trump presidency. Alan Dershowitz suggested that his motive was to achieve personal glory rather than having a political agenda. He staffed it with ardent Democrats including the infamous Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. Some think it will soon wrap up their business. I think they will be around for a long time.
Some of those caught up in this mess are not particularly sympathetic characters. That shouldn’t matter. We should be upset anytime sometime is being mistreated by the legal system.
There are two candidates this week. The runner-up spot goes to the ABC reporters who joked about President Trump’s funeral during the Bush services. Can you imagine the outcry if Fox News made such comments about a Democrat?
The winner is the person from PETA who tweeted about “anti-animal language. They provided a chart with politically correct rephrasing of idioms. For example, we should say “Bring home the bagel” instead of “bring home the bacon” and “Feed a fed horse” rather that “beat a dead horse”.
Organizations hurt their cause when they come up with ridiculous examples of real problems. Fighting racism is not helped by complaining that A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is racist because of who sits where around a picnic table.
Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently gave some thoughts on President Trump in an interview. He described Trump as “undisciplined, doesn’t like to read, doesn’t like to read briefing reports, doesn’t like to get into the details of a lot of things, but rather just kind of says ‘This is what I believe’”. He went on to say that Trump gets upset when told what he wants to do is a against the law.
This just confirms what we already knew. He seems to believe that, with his gut instincts, neither facts nor the opinion of experts are that important. Sometimes he can be talked out of things but there is no guarantee.
After nearly two years in office, he still doesn’t seem to understand the difference between running his business and running a democracy. Those that report to him have pledged to follow the Constitution, not to do whatever he wants.
Despite all this, his administration has been running fairly smoothly. I give much of the credit to his Chief of Staff, General Kelly. Things were much more chaotic until he came on board. Remember Anthony Scaramucci? Hopefully Kelly’s replacement will be equally strong.
However, I don’t buy into the hysteria we often hear from Democrats. He is not a madman who will launch nuclear weapons. Nor will he become a dictator. We used to hear the same about President Obama from Republicans. There are too many checks and balances in our system of government for that to happen.
Ultimately, he is his own worst enemy. To put it in tennis terms, he is guilty of countless unforced errors. His actions will make his reelection more difficult and make the judgment of history harsher.
Note: Unlike the TV networks, I don’t believe in reruns. There is one exception. I will repeat the following post every December 7 as long as I am blogging.
Today marks the 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was a devastating strike that resulted in 2,400 deaths. Virtually everyone in the country was affected. Millions traded work clothes for uniforms. Many women went to work in factories. Everyone had to cope with shortages.
We were woefully unprepared. Earlier that year maneuvers were held in Louisiana. Many men carried wooden rifles. A bill to extend the term of draftees was passed that summer by only one vote. It took almost four years but the war was won. Over 400,000 American soldiers never returned home.
Anyone that has the chance to go to Hawaii should go to Pearl Harbor. Visiting the memorial, built atop the Arizona, is an incredible experience. It’s hard not to think about the men permanently entombed below your feet. Nearby is the Missouri, the ship upon which the Japanese surrendered.
When I think of Pearl Harbor, I think of one young man. He was already in the service. He had a 30 day leave starting on December 6. When he reached home, a telegram was waiting ordering him to return. Eventually he caught up with his unit. They were in a California desert since it was feared the Japanese would capture the coastal cities. Soon he was shipped out to Australia. On his second day he was in a truck accident and broke his back.
That man will turn 98 next week. He feels the effects of his injuries every day. Most call him Perry. I call him Dad.
Sometimes I come across news articles that share a common theme. In the last few days I have seen several stories that describe the new Democratic Party.
It is headed by a group of elitists. They obtained their position through a combination of education, wealth, political accomplishment and media exposure. Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii made a point that Democrats have trouble connecting on an emotional level. Her reason was because they are really smart. She said “We Democrats know so much”. Comments like that and Nancy Pelosi calling $1,000 crumbs show that they are out of touch.
You don’t have to be one of the people to connect with them. Donald Trump (or someone in his organization) saw that millions of Americans were hurting economically and responded accordingly. The Clinton campaign showed no signs of knowing or caring about their problems.
The rules don’t apply to them. Bernie Sanders didn’t seem too concerned about climate change when he spent $300,000 on private planes in October. As elites, they decide what the problems are and come up with solutions. The American people, not them, bear the impact of those solution.
Identity politics rules. They do whatever is necessary to appeal to their target groups. Recently New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said “the future is female”. They believe that women, blacks and other groups should vote solely on the basis of their identity. As a white male, I clearly don’t fit in their groups. The closest I come is being visually impaired and physically handicapped. My physical challenges have no more to do with who I am as a person than my eye and hair color.
I don’t have a story to go with the last point. Clearly, hate is a big part of their message. Virtually the entire Clinton campaign was attacking Trump and Republicans for being racists, sexists, etc. They should tell people what they are for, not just what they are against.
My intention is not to attack the party or any of its members. I want to point out what I see as their basic strategy. They couldn’t beat Donald Trump, the least liked presidential candidate in our history.
Republicans shouldn’t take much comfort. They have climbed aboard the SS Donald Trump and are captained by a loose cannon. They lost the House because he made the election about himself and immigration.
Right now, I don’t think either party is capable of winning in 2020. Like 2016, it will likely go to the one that screws up the least.