An ancient proverb says, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” This is true until the common enemy is no longer a threat. I was hoping our recent friendship with Iran would grow into a nonaggression pact. Unfortunately, Iran sponsored demonstrations at the United States embassy in Iraq indicates that Iran did not care to be friends with the U. S. anymore. They were not even trying to hide their contempt for the United States. Iran’s leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, responded Wednesday by taunting Trump, declaring, “You can’t do a damn thing.” For a country that could not do a damn thing, killing General Soleimani was a pretty impressive rebuttal. Iran and the United States have lost that loving feeling. It would be wise of Iran to be careful with their taunts and actions going forward. President Obama is gone. There is a new sheriff in town.
Why is it so hard for our elected officials to act like adults? Without bipartisan support, impeachment was juvenile and a sad reminder that our elected representatives have forgotten about constituent priorities. So instead of fixing surprise medical bills, we got impeachment. We had bipartisan support for fixing surprise medical bills. Good luck with the re-election campaigns!
I find it somewhat surprising to hear the pundits talk so glowingly about the US-Kurdish friendship. In the past, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran warned the United States about getting too close to the Kurds. As a result, the United States does not directly supply weapons to the Kurds. Both the United States and the Kurds understood that this friendship was never meant to be permanent. Turkey and Syria would determine when peace in Syria could occur.
When you look at the timeline of the events leading up to the FISA warrant request on Carter Page, you see an embarrassed FBI that let down not only the United States but the presumed next president of the United States, Ms. Clinton. When Wikileaks posted the Podesta emails on the 7th of October, the FBI was embarrassed and the Clinton campaign was horrified. One of the major goals of the FBI in 2016 was to prevent Russian interference in the 2016 elections. The DNC hack earlier in the year was a grim reminder of what the Russians were capable of. Despite this warning, the FBI failed on the biggest stage, the Presidential election. A foreigner with ties to Russia claimed responsibility for the Podesta hack but this hack would not have been so important if it wasn’t for the idiots emailing embarrassing stuff to Mr. Podesta. Thanks, Comrade Donna! You are much better at embarrassing America than the Russians. Now the American people had another reason to not trust Ms. Clinton with the presidency.
Another major goal for the FBI was to discreetly monitor the Trump campaign for Russian collusion. As far as I can tell, the FBI spent several months and an untold amount of money trying to entrap Mr. Papadopoulos. Was it more embarrassing that the investigation did not find any Russian collusion or that Mr. Papadolous figured out that the FBI was trying to entrap him? This investigation was so ineffective it reminded me of Inspector Clouseau of Pink Panther fame. Worst of all, Mr. Papadopoulos wrote a book that paints the investigation in unflattering terms. Obviously, the FBI did not learn anything since they moved on to Mr. Page.
Probably the most embarrassing problem for the FBI and the Clinton campaign was that the Clinton Email Server Scandal was going to rear its ugly head again. Around the 29th of September, the New York Police Department notified the FBI that they found several hundred thousand emails from the Clinton email server on Mr. Weiner’s laptop. The FBI sat on the information until early in October when the NYPD notified the FBI that they were going to arrest Mr. Weiner and release the information about the emails to the press. This forced FBI Director Comey to re-open the email server case just two weeks before the election. The Clinton campaign felt the FBI stabbed them in the back.
Considering the preceding events, it should not be surprising that the Department of Justice would ask for a FISA warrant on the 21st of October even though they knew that some of the information was incorrect. The Woods Procedures were created to prevent FISA abuses like this. The investigation of Mr. Papadolous yielded nothing but embarrassment. On the 26th of October, Admiral Rogers was due to appear before the FISA Court to explain why numerous unauthorized searches were committed from November 2015 through April 2016. Were these unauthorized searches used to spy on political opponents? If these searches were part of actual counter-intelligence work I do not think Admiral Rogers would be apologizing to the FISA judges in October. There was no time for the FBI and DOJ to get the facts right for this warrant. This warrant was about damage control before the presumed next President assumed office. Kathleen Kavalec ‘s notes show that the deadline for getting adverse information released about Mr. Trump was political. This also explains why someone at the DOJ/FBI leaked information about the wire-tap on Trump Tower to Louise Mensch. They owed the Clinton campaign some good news and they were not afraid to put their finger on the scale to help out the Clinton campaign.
I am amazed at the efforts the FBI put into entrapping Mr. Papadopoulos. Considering he had little if any Russian contacts and was a low-level foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign, most normal people would think he was an unlikely person the Russians would choose to collude with. Obviously, the “Russian Collusion” investigators are not normal. When you look at the Papadopoulos timeline, the “Russian Collusion” investigators had Professor Mifsud meeting with Mr. Papadopoulos just three days after the Trump Team announcement. It is almost as if the “Russian Collusion” investigators were reading the Trump Team emails. When you look at the timeline in its entirety, it reminds you that the “Russian Collusion” investigators were looking for collusion in all of the wrong places. Sacre bleu, they failed to find any Russian collusion! This behavior is both sad and comical, kind of like Inspector Clouseau.
One of the unanswered questions is who told Mr. Halper to go after Mr. Page, Mr. Papadapolous, and Mr. Flynn? If in 2019 there is not enough evidence to indict anyone for Russian collusion, what evidence actually triggered this “matter”. According to an article by Sara Carter, Mr. Halper “received roughly $1 million in tax-payer funded money to write Defense Department foreign policy reports “. If Mr. Halper was actually being paid for intelligence gathering evidence of Russian collusion in the 2016 election, one would suppose that Mr. Halper would have the evidence that led him to suspect Mr. Page, Mr. Papadapolous, and Mr. Flynn of Russian collusion. After all, he was being asked to spy on American citizens for the American government. The Magna Carta and the United States Bill of Rights is part of our common history. Instead, Mr. Halper and Mr. Mifsud started out with various attempts to entrap Mr. Page, Mr. Papadapolous, and Mr. Flynn. It was as if evidence gathering did not matter. These men were guilty until proven innocent. That was a strange tactic if this “matter” was actually a counter-intelligence investigation sanctioned by the CIA or the FBI. The United States frowns on the CIA or the FBI spying on American citizens without due cause. It is the Fourth Amendment to
Nadler: “If we’re going to do anything, you have to have proof.”
Erin Burnett: “So, that’s what this is about, you don’t yet have proof?”
Ms. Burnett is expressing the frustration that after two years of Democrats talking about impeaching President Trump the Democratic party still does not have the evidence needed to make the case for impeachment. The American people are expecting impeachment hearings and the Democrats are not ready! Instead, they are getting promised more investigations. The Mueller investigation is almost over. The last thing the American people wants is more investigations!
The Democratic party could lose badly in 2020 if the impeachment hearings are botched. So it looks like we will be getting impeachment-like investigations. Unfortunately, these investigations could be a gift to the Republican party, too. If Congressman Nadler’s investigations become a political circus like they did under Senator McCarthy, the Democrats will have no one to blame except themselves if independent voters abandon them in 2020. It is a lose-lose situation. You lose if you conduct impeachment hearings you are not prepared for and you lose if you conduct investigations that look more like partisan attacks than congressional oversight. It is easy to see these investigations becoming a prime-time circus and President Trump getting the sympathy vote.
I hate to criticize other people’s plans without offering a better alternative. Democrats in Congress should be talking about reforming the Affordable Care Act to have affordable health care before they have burned all bridges to a compromise. That issue is more likely to get them re-elected in 2020 than impeachment investigations. Unfortunately, history has shown that the Democrats cannot multi-task when they are talking about impeaching President Trump.
Governor Northam is a huge Michael Jackson fan. In a recent news conference, someone asked whether he could demonstrate his moonwalk and Governor Northam flipped his head around looking for an appropriate place to demonstrate his dance moves. Fortunately, wiser minds prevailed and his wife talked him out of it.
In the fall of 1982, Michael Jackson’s career went from superstar to supernova with the release of Thriller. By 1983 I bet Northam’s interest in everything Michael Jackson had become unbearable to his friends. So they submitted a totally inappropriate photo to the yearbook and looked forward to the shock on Northam’s face. They probably never thought their attempt at humor would backfire on them 36 years later. Although this is pure speculation on my part, I would not be surprised if the person wearing Ku Klux Klan outfit is a black person. Irony is a dish best served cold.
I try not to listen to her but this tidbit caught my attention, “there are parts of Alabama where people are still getting ringworm because they don’t have access to public health”. When my son was in high school he was diagnosed before a wrestling match with a ringworm infection. It took us several days to get a doctor’s appointment so we treated it with Selsun Blue we picked up at the grocery store. By the time the doctor saw him, it was gone. Ringworm is a contagious skin infection but it is not a public health crisis.
If Ms. Ocasio-Cortez had spent just a few moments checking her facts, she would have noticed two things wrong with her statement. According to al.com, the two problems with her statement are:
- The problem in Alabama is with hookworms, not ringworms.
- Rural Alabama has a hookworm problem because it has a sewage problem. It has nothing to do with access to public health.
I found it especially ironic that the first public health crisis that the representative from Brooklyn can think of is hookworms in Alabama. The opioid crisis is undoubtedly a better example of a public health crisis she should have used her position to discuss. Unlike the hookworm problem in Alabama, public health policies play an important part in treating opioid addiction. Her opinion on this public health crisis is important and relevant to her constituents.
Am I the only person who thinks it strange that Saudi Arabia purportedly assassinated Khashoggi in their consulate? Both North Korea and Russia assassinated citizens they did not like in foreign countries but they were not foolish enough to do it in their consulate. It is called plausible deniability. The assassinations by North Korea and Russian sent a clear message to potential enemies of the government that they will never be safe. What message does an assassination at a consulate say? If Mr. Khashoggi has done something that violated Saudi laws, why not have someone in the consulate arrest him and put him on a plane back to Saudi Arabia for a trial? In Saudi Arabia, they could legally interrogate and condemn him to death. Killing him in a consulate makes no sense.