There is a new version of the old childhood taunt: “Sticks and stones may break your bones but names can get you impeached”. Among the many charges was that President Trump criticized people.
Some may compare the House Intelligence Committee to a trial. It was really just the first half of one. The defense was not allowed to call witnesses or present a case. In an actual trial the prosecutor couldn’t produce false evidence or obtain the phone records of opposing counsel. Nor would the jury has reached a conclusion before the trial started.
Their charges fall into two categories. First is the infamous phone call with the Ukrainian president. I don’t think they proved their case. Even if they did, I don’t believe it rises to the level of an impeachable offense.
Next was obstruction of justice. This consists primarily of not waiving executive privilege, taking the dispute to court and calling people names. Again, I don’t think there is anything impeachable.
Just because he hasn’t committed serious crimes does not mean Trump hasn’t done wrong. He should have never had that phone call and treats people abysmally. We should expect better from him.
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 78th 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 99 next week. He feels the effects of his injuries every day. Most call him Perry. I call him Dad.
One of the most important responsibilities a president has is to be Commander in Chief of our armed forces. Establishing discipline and a chain of command is key to military effectiveness. Presidents should respect that and stay out of issues that should be resolved well down the chain. The Obama administration involved itself so extensively in rules of engagement that it was often very difficult for the military to achieve their mission.
If anything, President Trump has been too hands-off. Recently he intervened in a situation in which should have stayed away. Three men had been charged with murdering prisoners. One had been convicted and one was awaiting trial. The third, Edward Gallagher, had been found not guilty but was convicted of posing with the prisoner’s corpse. He was given a reduction in rank and an investigation was being held to determine if he would remain a SEAL.
The president pardoned all three men. He then ordered that the Navy stop the investigation and Gallagher’s rank be restored. I certainly have no problem with the pardons. However, a president should not be the person to decide whether or not a sailor should be a CPO or a SEAL.
Let’s hope that this was a one-time occurrence. Promotions should be based on merit, not knowing someone who has the president’s ear.
For us baby boomers, November 22 has the same significance as December 7 does to our parents and September 11 to a succeeding generation. It was the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated. I have reached an age where a lot I have lived through is now in the history books so I thought I would provide some perspective.
The transition from the Eisenhowers to the Kennedys was unprecedented. The outgoing couple were 70 and 64. The new First Couple were 43 and 31. A pair of cute young children added to the allure. Their tastes were cosmopolitan. The hiring of a French chef launched a national craze. There was a sense of vitality the country hadn’t seen since Theodore Roosevelt. At the time we had no idea of his sexual adventures and questionable health.
I was in junior high (that’s what we called middle school). We were on our way to see a dress rehearsal of Our Town the high school was putting on. A high school kid shouted out that he had been shot. After the play was over, we learned he was dead.
I can’t describe the shock the nation felt. It seemed inconceivable that a misfit like Lee Harvey Oswald had taken the life of a beloved leader. When he was killed two days later, the conspiracy theories began. I have seen no evidence that anyone else was involved.
The country lost its innocence that day. The next eleven years saw war, assignation, violence and the downfall of two presidents.
I will be back to my usual ranting and raving next time.
Democrats have been working to get President Trump out of office ever since he was inaugurated. The Ukraine hearings are generating the most attention but multiple committees have investigations. They are still trying to get something out of the Russia collusion debacle.
I believe they have developed a new strategy. They realize that there is no way Senate Republicans are going to throw him out of office without solid proof of a serious crime. Instead, they are going to use these investigations to throw mud. A couple of things lead me to this conclusion. They had a focus group determine that using the word bribe was more damaging than quid pro quo. Nancy Pelosi said what he is done is worse than Watergate. This tells me that they believe they can attack him so viciously that he would be unelectable.
I think this is a misguided effort. Hillary Clinton tried it in 2016. Further attacks have a diminishing effect. It could even make Trump a sympathetic figure, as unimaginable as that is. House Democrats have to face voters telling them they spent two years doing little but attacking Trump.
They need to do three things to take back the White House. First, they must nominate an electable candidate. Right now I’m not sure who that might be. The party needs to stay united. That might be even tougher. Finally, they need to come up with reasons to vote for them. Right now we about presidential candidates with extreme proposals and coast mayors (plus the California governor) overseeing the degradation of their domains. None of that will appeal to deplorables in places like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
My city recently had a mayoral election. The challenger spent a ridiculous amount of money on attack ads. The incumbent won easily. Perhaps Democrats could learn from this example.
Being a whistleblower takes courage. They run the risk of losing their job and being subject to heaps of abuse. CBS just fired a whistleblower even though she informed on activities at ABC.
The so-called whistleblower who started the impeachment hearing on Ukraine isn’t really a whistleblower. He or she claims to have had a conversation with someone who made the accusation against President Trump. They had no way to know if what they heard was true or false. They worked with Democratic congressional staffers and hired a lawyer who once talked of staging a coup. They acted as a political partisan rather than a concerned government employee.
The FBI and our intelligence agencies should do their jobs without regard to politics. We have seen all kinds of abuses coming from the FBI. There was even talk of an “insurance policy” to prevent Trump’s election. Some have broken the law by leaking classified information. These wrongdoers should be dealt with regardless of their political affiliation.
We all want to know what will happen in the future. Over the ages people have used tea leaves, crystal balls and many other dubious methods to forecast it. Today we have political analysis. It’s just about as accurate.
Several states held elections on Tuesday. Many analysts talked about what it meant to the 2020 election. In actuality, it doesn’t mean a thing. Over the next year there will be many changes that aren’t expected. Michael Bloomberg entering the presidential race is a perfect example.
Elections in Virginia and Kentucky are cited as proof that Republicans are in deep trouble. Both houses of the Virginia legislature are in Democratic hands. That shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Virginia is now a blue state.
An unpopular Republican governor in Kentucky appears to have narrowly lost. That can’t be a big shock. Besides, he would have won had the Libertarian Party not siphoned off votes.
There is an easy way to learn who our next president will be. Just stay up and watch the election returns.
President Trump announced that he has taken steps to change his state of residence to Florida. Presumably this was because it has no state income or inheritance taxes. Trump is hardly alone. The biggest migration from one state to another is New Yorkers heading to Florida.
Governor Andrew Cuomo echoed the thoughts of many New York Democrats when he said “Good riddance”. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio sent condolences to the state of Florida.
Soaking the rich is very much in fashion in Leftist circles. Elizabeth Warren recently said that only billionaires will pay more taxes under her healthcare proposal.
There are two problems with this idea. There aren’t enough of them. Taking every dollar they had wouldn’t begin to cover the cost of Warren’s plan.
They also assume that the rich won’t alter their behavior when their taxes rise. Many people are fleeing high tax states. I have a friend in Idaho. He said there is a building boom going on because of the large number of arrivals from California. At least New Yorkers have electricity.
It seems interesting that a poor liberal would be welcomed to New York while a rich conservative would be treated with contempt. Margaret Thatcher said “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money”.
Somehow it seems appropriate that the resolution on a formal impeachment inquiry passed on Halloween. Everyone involved will have to wait and see whether it is a trick or a treat.
If this were a poker game, you could say that the Democrats are all in. They have declared that this session of the House is all about one thing: impeaching President Trump. That means it will be the primary issue when they run for reelection next year. They have chosen to ignore issues such as jobs and healthcare.
I think this is a huge political mistake. It will energize the Left but will have far less appeal from moderates and independents. This isn’t like the Nixon and Clinton impeachments where widespread lawbreaking and a juicy sex scandal grabbed public interest. A phone call with the Ukrainian president and a rehash of Russian collusion are not all that exciting.
What remains to be seen is how Trump and the Republicans respond. They will continue to hammer Democrats. The big question is whether they will follow them and make impeachment the only issue. Assuming that the economy doesn’t falter, it should be their primary focus. Reaching out to ordinary Americans was very effective in 2016 and would likely work again.
We have never had an impeachment effort in an election year. The next twelve months will be very interesting.
One of the great things about our country is the freedoms guaranteed to us in the Bill of Rights. Right now, we are seeing a major assault on our freedom of speech. There is a growing belief among the Left that anything they disagree with is hate speech and should be banned.
If there is one place in society that ought to be open to the exchange of ideas, it is our college campuses. Sadly, that is becoming less and less common. Some place liberal politics and political correctness above education. People have been assaulted because of their views.
Social media has often silenced conservatives. A church wanted to place an ad but was turned down because displaying a crucifix was considered to be violent imagery. There is some hope here. I was pleased that Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook would not impose its judgment on whether political ads are accurate.
A presidential candidate is a strong supporter of limiting free speech. She has asked Twitter to close President Trump’s account. Apparently, she believes the First Amendment applies only to people that think like her.
A Massachusetts legislator has gone a step further. He introduced a bill that would provide for a fine or imprisonment for using the word bitch “to accost, annoy, degrade or demean”. He seems to view women as weak, helpless people who need his protection. Political correctness and identity politics are all about telling people they are powerless and need others to protect them. Our political leaders should try to empower people.
We all lose whenever someone is denied their First Amendment rights even if we strongly disagree with what they are saying.