Another Trump in the Crosshairs

DC once again is consumed with debating whether President Trump should be executed for treason, impeached or just be allowed to resign in disgrace. Standard stuff by now but joining the chorus is columnist Charles Krauthammer. Dr. Krauthammer’s analysis of the meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer is uncharacteristically leftist nonsense. His unfavorable attitude toward all things Trump is no excuse for falling into the mindset that any contact with a Russian is evil. Krauthammer indicated that Donald Jr. meeting with a Russian lawyer is not illegal but is evidence that undermines the White House narrative.   The narrative was never about not speaking with Russians or not being receptive to “opposition research”. The White House has consistently denied doing anything illegal in their dealings with the Russians. That’s the narrative. But Krauthammer says the emails and the meeting prove some sort of collusion. There was a “collusion”, if you would like to call it that, between an informant and a candidate’s son to get information to defeat an opponent, not to do anything illegal, something with which Krauthammer and constitutional scholars agree. Until Donald Trump became President, getting dirt from any legal source on an opponent was always the way campaigns were run. But it’s claimed to be different in this case because the informant is a foreign national. Since when is information acquired from a foreign source unlawful? It’s not, but this source was Russian, and therefore it had to be a violation of “The Russian Source Exclusionary Act”. Except there is no such act. But wait even without a violation of a specific law, everyone knows Russia is guilty of something, so talking with a Russian is obviously an unlawful collusion. Wrong.   As has been pointed out by numerous legal scholars, there is no such thing as illegal collusion except with respect to antitrust laws. I repeat, the White House narrative is simply that accusations of illegality are without merit, or in the words of the president, “a witch hunt.” That narrative is still valid notwithstanding any meeting held by Donald Jr. It is surprising that Krauthammer has fallen into the trap of building an imaginary case based on unproven violations of non-existing laws. One would expect that of left-wing ideologues and the “never Trump” gang, not a respected columnist.

 

To understand the hypocrisy of what is now claimed as proof of the Trump campaign’s violation of the Constitution, campaign laws, criminal statutes and perhaps laws against humanity, we need to step back and apply some basic logic. Suppose a candidate for public office is approached by a former operative for a foreign government, for example, England. And that operative claims to have some damaging information on the candidate’s opponent. If the candidate agrees to a discussion with the British operative, is that treason?   Illegal collusion? Of course not. England is a friend. But should the fact that the operative was from England, as opposed to Russia be relevant? Russia is only important because of the claims about Russian meddling being the reason Clinton lost the election. None of which have turned out to be true. If Russia did meddle, nothing happened. They have been meddling for decades and Congress people, presidents, just about everyone in government talked to Russians and met with Russians without being suspect. The U.S. is not at war with Russia nor is there any legal impediment to talking to or doing business with a Russian. Incidentally, the Clinton campaign not only discussed “opposition research” with a former British MI6 agent they in fact paid for a now discredited dossier critical of Donald Trump. Treason?   Illegal collusion? Was England meddling? Undoubtedly Krauthammer knows of the dossier and its origins but saw no treason or even a smoking gun, or at least he didn’t write a column about Clinton “collusion”. The assumption therefore is that he either didn’t mind a foreign entity, England, meddling in our election or he didn’t think it was meddling. In either case, Krauthammer should use the same standard concerning Donald Jr.’s meeting. To reach a conclusion about a meeting to obtain opposition research from a former Russian state prosecutor, with “ties” to the Kremlin, that is different than the conclusion about a meeting to obtain opposition research from a former British intelligence officer, with ties to the British intelligence community represents a lapse in journalistic integrity.

 

The Democrats’ Losing Strategy

There have now been five congressional special elections, which the Democrats intended to use to test the popularity of the president. The strategy and that of the media was to throw as much mud at Trump as possible and hope it would rub off on Republican candidates. Trump is at times claimed to be a puppet of Moscow, a person under investigation for illegal activities and someone in imminent danger of impeachment. They can’t help but think back to their glory days of Richard Nixon. When the opposition has all that working for it, they believe there should be no need to advance an agenda that the voters can embrace.   The results of the special elections demonstrate the fallacy of the strategy.  The latest election gave the Republican, Karen Handel a decisive victory in spite of liberals spending more than $20 million on their candidate.

 

How does Trump, an unlikely president, manage to survive the onslaught?

  • First, he is so verbally abused by the Democrats and the media that he actually becomes a sympathetic figure. Even though Trump conducts himself in an unconventional manner, he is given the benefit of the doubt because the attacks are often over-the-top and laughable.   He happens to also be the president whose office usually demands a bit of respect. Public mock executions of a sitting president do not play well in the heartland.  Americans love an underdog.   We all root for the underdog and Trump is the David against the establishment Goliath.  The armies of the media, Hollywood, academia and establishment Washington are all amassed against Trump and his Twitter account.   When tiny Israel beat back the Arab armies surrounding the outnumbered and out-gunned Jewish state, they became the Goliath and lost the public support that they enjoyed since their founding in 1948.
  • Second, the conspiracy theories used to attack the president are all consuming inside the Beltway but not so much elsewhere.  Jobs, security and the image of the U.S. have more importance outside of DC than the possibility that someone in the administration may have talked to a Russian.   Besides, the evil of such conversations is not very clear when one considers the fact that prior administrations have often made such conversations a cornerstone of their foreign policy.
  • Third, what proposals do the opposition suggest?  Is there an agenda that contrasts with the Trump agenda that is seen as good for America?   So far, no! The only agenda is to expose conversations with Russians.
  • Fourth, with the entire focus by the media on Russia, the administration is moving ahead on many fronts with hardly any opposition. This works in the administration’s favor since they have almost a free hand, at least to undo all the damaging regulations put in place over the last eight years.
  • Fifth, although progress on the big-ticket items on Trump’s agenda has been slowed, it doesn’t help the opposition to be able to claim “we’ve stopped Trump from fixing a broken health care system, we’ve allowed wasteful spending to continue, we’ve stopped people from keeping more of their income through high taxes.”   These are not winning positions for the Democrats.

 

If the attacks continue through the mid-term election campaigns, the likelihood of the Republicans picking up seats is increased.

Another Explanation for Robert Mueller’s Seemingly Poor Hiring Choices for Staff

The following occurred on May 3, 2017 in Senate testimony:

GRASSLEY: And thank you for your opening statement. I’m going to start out probably with a couple subjects you wish I didn’t bring up, and then a third one that I think everybody needs to hear your opinion on on a policy issue. It is frustrating when the FBI refuses to answer this committee’s questions, but leaks relevant information to the media. In other words, they don’t talk to us, but somebody talks to the media.

Director Comey, have you ever been an anonymous source in news reports about matters relating to the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation?

COMEY: Never

 

Robert Mueller is taking a lot of heat for hiring four prominent lawyers who have substantial ties to the Democrat Party. Is it possible that the Mueller investigation is taking a turn that may bite the Democrats? If Mueller were to start looking into his good friend Jim Comey, and perhaps some Obama holdovers in the executive branch for leaking, he would want to avoid the appearance that he is just a Republican hack. Especially since his firm has done work for the Trump family. Mueller is no doubt aware that the Comey spectacle before the senate revealed that: (1) the Democrats and the media, with Comey’s tacit acquiescence, have been lying to the American people about Trump being under investigation as a Russian puppet; (2) Comey’s anger and vindictiveness brings discredit to the FBI; (3) Comey’s prejudice against Trump from his first meeting, most likely because Comey is not comfortable with someone who is not a typical politician, is unprofessional and potentially disruptive of the smooth operation of federal law enforcement; and (4) most importantly, Comey may have committed several crimes.

 

During Comey’s questioning, it was clear that Comey didn’t go to the Deputy Attorney General, Dana Boente, or to the congressional oversight committees after he felt he was improperly approached by the president, as he was required to do under 18 U.S. Code § 4 – misprision of felony.   Also, why did Comey and other FBI and intelligence officials all testify before Congress that no pressure was applied?   Furthermore, Comey may have committed perjury by stating he leaked his memo after the Trump Tweet about possible tapes of their conversation. However, a NY Times article containing quotes from the memo appeared the day before the Tweet. Of course, Comey can claim the Times makes up stuff and they just guessed at the quotes.

 

Mueller would also be mindful of the sentiment captured by Jonathan Turley’s comment that the Comey memos could be viewed as government material and potential evidence. Leaking to a friend for disclosure can raise serious questions. Or Alan Dershowitz’ statement “I think it is important to put to rest the notion that there was anything criminal about the president exercising his constitutional power to fire Comey and to request – “hope” – that he let go the investigation of General Flynn. Just as the president would have had the constitutional power to pardon Flynn and thus end the criminal investigation of him, he certainly had the authority to request the director of the FBI to end his investigation of Flynn”.   Both legal scholars raise concerns that demand investigation. If Mueller’s sterling reputation is deserved, his actions now are consistent with a possible criminal investigation aimed primarily at Democrats.   In the bizarre world of the DC swamp, one can only hope.

A recent column by law professor, Stephen Presser, who knows Mueller’s firm, confirms that Mueller is someone to be trusted to restore the rule of law and allow the president to emerge from the investigation stronger because of the work by Mueller and his team.

 

The Comey Smokescreen

The Comey statement concerning his conversations with the president has been released. It may contain a little for both critics and supporters of Trump, but overall does very little to damage the president, and may in fact, aid him. If one is tempted to draw the conclusion that Trump acted improperly by demanding loyalty and by pressuring the FBI to drop an ongoing investigation, the facts say otherwise. If Comey believed there was anything improper about conversations with the president, he certainly didn’t act like that happened at the time. Had he felt he was being asked to do something wrong, he had several choices to make: Report it up the chain of command and if nothing was done, report to the appropriate congressional oversight committees and if he was still not satisfied with the response, then he had to resign. Since none of the above steps were taken, we can rightfully assume the conversation may have been awkward but not seriously believed to be improper, unethical or illegal.   Further, he shared his contemporaneous notes with colleagues who testified, as did he, that there was never any pressure to do anything improper. Contemporaneous notes can be useful but contemporaneous actions are determinative. Actions speak louder than words.

 

Certainly asking for “honest loyalty” can’t be considered a bad thing when there were so many illegal disclosures coming out of the intelligence community. There were enough people surrounding the president who were disloyal to the US and its elected leader.

 

It’s understandable that Comey is upset about being fired. It’s understandable that he would want to cast Trump in as bad light as possible. But regardless of the memo details, which were well-crafted to add to the “smoke” that the Democrats have been sniffing for months, they have not kindled a fire. At this point their smoke is more like smoke and mirrors.

WHY WE SHOULD ALL BE CLIMATE CHANGE SKEPTICS

 

The US withdrawal from the Paris Accord may be the worst thing that ever happened, ever. The Democrats may need to put the Russian investigations on a back burner in view of this disaster. The Paris Accord is claimed to be absolutely necessary to save the planet. The price to the US is incredibly high, but when the whole planet is at stake who’s counting. Certainly not the other countries that are relying on our generosity.   Our withdrawal means the $3 billion pledged to the Green Climate Fund by the US before Trump took office will not be paid. Of course, globalists and other countries are upset. When you sit down to a Thanksgiving dinner everyone around the table would probably be upset if the turkey decided to leave. For the amount of money we were expected to contribute, one would think we would be presented with a clear case on what it will buy and why it’s necessary. Not so. There’s a lot of hype, some frightening projections, but nothing more. As we have seen with so many issues breathlessly reported by the press and special interest groups, when the dialog is at a fever pitch, we hardly ever get any real answers, and that’s not by accident.   The unproven theory is repeated over and over until skeptics are drowned out. And so the withdrawal from the Paris Accord brought out a good crop of end-of-world forecasters, a few Henny Pennys and a bunch of critics who never like anything the president says or does. However, after Earth Day demonstrations and events earlier this year, the reaction seems almost muted. Not really, but how many times can you look up to see if the sky is falling and realize nothing happened?

 

Earth Day 2017 was a great lesson in how to argue your case when the data is weak. The day brought out the best and brightest of our scientists. The tone of the day however, may have been more like the year 1633 when Galileo was arrested and convicted of heresy for not going along with the consensus that “the Earth was the stationary center of the universe”. The Roman Inquisition was persuasive, and Galileo recanted. Most academic “climate deniers” who rely on funding from “consensus” scientific organizations have been silenced. But the good news is so far, arrests aren’t being made for being a climate skeptic.

 

There are two obvious problems with the Paris Accord: It’s really costly and no one has shown it’s necessary. Otherwise, it’s probably okay. The first issue was addressed by President Trump when he withdrew, and is clear.   The second issue, that of necessity has been intentionally obscured for years and needs to be understood.   Essentially, the question of necessity or lack thereof, can be summed up in four points:

  • Without any human activity, for millions of years, the Earth has cycled through extreme climate conditions and produced off-the-chart levels of greenhouse gases.
  • Global warming has occurred countless times before human existence and with much greater intensity.
  • CO2 levels have been many multiples of today’s level – – all naturally occurring.
  • Moreover, when CO2 levels were much higher than current levels the Earth fell into an ice age.

Eminent climate scientists should explain how these things came about before human existence, instead of lecturing us on the evils of being climate deniers. If one gives it a few seconds thought, the question should immediately occur “How did all that happen without one car or plane and before humans pumped one ounce of CO2 into the atmosphere?” If you question the conclusion that everything that happened naturally for millions of years is now suddenly the product of human activity, simply because we produce CO2, you are labeled a “flat-Earth skeptic”, or worse.

 

Clearly, human activity contributes to CO2 increase, but the impact relative to natural causes is speculative at best.   Scientists are convinced that because of enormous industrial activity, CO2 levels have increased to an unheard of 400 ppm, and claim this is disastrous and unnatural in spite of numerous naturally occurring higher CO2 levels, e.g. over 7,000 ppm. Consensus scientists claim CO2 levels of 400 ppm will send us into a greenhouse world. Really? You need to ignore the history of the Earth to accept that since records show at a time when CO2 levels were almost double today’s levels, and at one point as much as 10 times higher than those of today, the Earth went from a greenhouse world to an icehouse world. For two thirds of the last 400 million years CO2 levels were considerably higher than present levels, and yet the Earth has been in an Ice Age for much of that time.

 

The Earth is currently in an interglacial cycle, which began more than 10,000 years ago. Global warming began at that time and continues today. That’s the very definition of an interglacial period.   Global temperature increases since the industrial revolution are clearly less dramatic than those at the beginning of the current interglacial. The most spectacular temperature increases would have occurred when the glaciers began retreating 15,000 years ago or at the time of the submersion of the land bridge across the Bering Strait some 8,000 years ago. All the hype about the seas rising 20 feet, doesn’t approach the drama of those events.

 

During every previous interglacial the seas have risen, greenhouse gases have increased, and atmospheric CO2 has increased. Current CO2 levels, sea water levels, global temperatures are unremarkable relative to historic levels. Except for the last 100 years or so, fossil fuel combustion played no role in climate change. Since there have been so many historical instances of CO2 increases that make the alleged increase since the industrial revolution look small, it seems counter-intuitive to base the increase on human production rather than the Earth’s naturally occurring carbon dioxide cycle. Furthermore. Arctic ice core samples show the increase in CO2 levels in the past lagged the increase in temperature. This suggests that the rise in temperature causes release of CO2 and not the converse. Anyone can easily verify the above by researching “ice ages” or even just climate changes during geologic periods, instead of the loaded terms “global warming” or “climate change”:

 

I suspect all the history, all the science and the skepticism will just make some people’s eyes glaze over. So let’s just explore one hypothetical. Suppose your neighbor’s fuel tank explodes precisely at sunrise.   Is it logical to believe that the sun rose on that particular day as a result of the explosion? Judging from the programmed response to “consensus”, it’s likely that if enough people proclaim it, many will believe in the sunrise/explosion theory. No matter how hard consensus tries to ignore the past, it is illogical to do so. The above data casts serious doubt on today’s frantic climate conclusions. And the data itself is not in dispute. These are the inconvenient truths. Besides, “consensus” is not science. In the 1970s, after decades of falling temperatures during a time of enormous of industrial expansion, scientific consensus concluded that a glacial period was imminent. The lead story in the June 24, 1974 Time Magazine was Another Ice Age? Consensus was wrong in the 1970s but unlike 1633 no one was imprisoned.

Another Day, Another Fake Scandal

As predictable as the sun rising in the East, the Democrats have come up with another new horrendous, absolutely unspeakable, major threat to the security of the United States and perhaps to the entire free world. White House adviser and Trump son-in-law, Jared Kushner spoke with a Russian!! Not only that but he may have wanted it to be private, i.e. he wanted to communicate without the discussion immediately appearing in the newspaper (meaning before leakers anonymous picked it up). (This part of the story seems to be questionable, but let’s assume it’s true for argument’s sake.) He wanted a “back channel” established!! The fate of western civilization hangs in the balance if he doesn’t lose his security clearance according to Adam Schiff. Sounds pretty dire. That is, until you give it about 30 seconds thought.

 

Democrats and John McCain (hard to explain what’s in the mind of the Senator from Arizona) would have us believe that the 44 presidents who preceded Donald Trump never practiced this bizarre behavior of talking to or having an emissary talk to a foreign dignitary in private. Knowing that to be ludicrous, we are admonished to dig deeper, because that’s too simplistic. It needs a bit more color to show the scandalous nature of these contacts.   First, Trump colluded with Russia to win the election so the contact takes on much more importance. Oh, wait. That’s part of a discredited report and there’s no evidence. Forget that detail. So many people believe it, it’s got to be true. Democrats are pretty good at building a false conclusion based on a false narrative. Well, how about the fact that Kushner wasn’t officially in the administration at the time, and it was even before Trump was sworn in? That makes it bad because? Again, we are to believe none of the previous 44 presidents ever attempted to establish a secure communication channel prior to being sworn in.   We are told however, in this instance it is nefarious because the new allegations need to be taken in context of the prior existing questionable allegations. Throw in the words “Russia”, “collusion” and “Ambassador Kislyak” and now there’s a real scandal. I fully expect to see more attacks on Melania Trump. We know she is from Slovenia and that for most of the period after WWII, Slovenia was under Communist control. How hard could it be to make up a new scandal based on those facts?

 

Clearly, Democrats are throwing everything at Trump hoping something will stick. They are in a frenzy and are unmindful of how panic-stricken they appear. Perhaps they will try to rush through a bill making any conversation by an administration official with a Russian illegal. I’m sure they can get Senator McCain to sign on, so they can call it bi-partisan. Just tell him he will be serving the country. He likes that. It’s understandable why Democrats are doing these silly things. Their base loves it (just explain it’s about Trump and Russia and they will be outraged without giving it a second thought). It also keeps the Democrats from having to do anything constructive for the economy or security of the country that Trump would necessarily get credit for. It’s win/win for them even if they don’t pick up any seats in the 2018 midterms.   Of course, their hope is that the drip, drip of bad news will finally have an impact. At this point that’s not likely because Trump voters fully understand the obstruction for what it is and are getting more upset with these shenanigans.

 

Democrats’ and the media’s brains are so fried these days they don’t even realize they may be giving up some of their most valuable devices by complaining about back channel communications.   If it wasn’t for their ability to keep secret, until the right time, deals like the Iran Nuclear deal or opening Cuba or Benghazi or Fast & Furious, just to name a few, they would never have survived the light of day. They probably don’t care because they assume their voters usually don’t pick up the hypocrisy.

McCarthyism – – 2017

The year is 1954.   The government seems packed with Russian sympathizers. The prospect of subversion is frighteningly real. Even high-level US military personnel have become suspect of having inappropriate contacts with Russia. It is hard to defend those who have had interactions with America’s adversary, without risk of incrimination, or at the least loss of reputation.   Joseph McCarthy’s relentless questioning of ties to the Communist Party was enough to destroy many. That was 1954, but there is a striking similarity to 2017. The Washington Post headline “Brennan’s explosive testimony just made it harder for the GOP to protect Trump” brings back that national paranoia of the cold war. We study Joseph McCarthy and his accusations with the assurance that that dark phase of our history is over. But unfortunately that is hardly the case. At least McCarthy had the law to provide a rationale for his attacks, the McCarran Act of 1950, which was passed over President Truman’s veto. Brennan’s testimony laid out the possibility that there “were interactions and contacts between U.S. persons and the Russians” that needed further investigation. Did we pass a new McCarran Act making contacts with the Russians an activity that requires investigation? Probably not, especially since the Act of 1950 was struck down by the Supreme Court.   But a law is not necessary when fear is gripping the country that Russia may be manipulating some of our leaders.   The left claims this manipulation is real because of the numerous “contacts” between members of the Trump team and the “Russians”. It started with an allegation that the Kremlin was responsible for Hillary’s loss.   When that was shown not to be true, it became “Trump colluded with the Russians”, again nothing to back that up. By now, however, the idea that these allegations must be true because of “contacts and interactions” is nothing more than a circular theory that relies on the oft-repeated allegation to be proof itself. It is now baked into the national psyche through clever manipulation by Democrats and the media, who dislike Trump. There are no laws alleged to have been broken. Nor is there even evidence of any activity that would be in violation of such non-existing law. All we have is “contacts and interactions”. The case has been built on non-existing laws and non-existing evidence of violations of those “laws” to conclude there’s some smoke there. We keep hearing that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. No, where there’s smoke there’s smoke. Believe it or not, talking to a Russian isn’t a felony, yet. Some Washington elites are channeling their inner McCarthy to build a case that just having those contacts means there is a sinister intent. And just like in those good old days, if one defends those contacts, that person should be suspect. Hollywood suffered most from the McCarthy Blacklist, but has either forgotten or is just trying to get even. The media frenzy shows just how a narrative without much more than some innuendo and speculation can be built into an all-consuming obsession. Arthur Miller, who wrote The Crucible, “was inspired to write a drama reflecting the mass cultural and political hysteria …in America.” Is there another Arthur Miller willing to stand up to the media today?