Tuesday was not a good day for President Donald Trump.
Paul Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign manager for three months, was convicted on eight of the 18 charges brought against him by special prosecutor Bob Mueller. And Trump’s long time personal attorney Michael Cohen pled guilty to eight charges, including making illegal campaign donations.
Neither of those is good, but if that is the worst that Mueller has as a result of two years of investigation, first by the FBI and infamous fired agent Peter Strzok, and for over a year by Mueller, then it’s not so bad.
In neither case is their any indication of a link between the Trump campaign and illegally colluding with the Russians to affect the 2016 presidential campaign, which is what Mueller is supposed to be investigating.
In fact, Manafort is a huge failure for the Mueller campaign. The strategy was to pile as many charges on Manafort as possible and get him to flip on Trump. If there was no Russian collusion, and Mueller has not found any evidence of it yet, then Manafort was caught in a trap where he couldn’t win. He couldn’t flip because he had nothing to trade with the Mueller team.
Many of the charges against Manafort had been investigated by the Obama Justice Department and the decision was made not to prosecute.
It appears that Manafort’s big mistake was going to work for Trump, which he did for no pay. If Manafort had not been involved with the Trump campaign, Mueller would have had no reason to investigate his business dealings, and the Justice Department had already decided not to prosecute, so he would have most likely skated free.
The prosecution brought a case that convinced 12 jurors that Manafort was guilty on eight counts. From reading about the trial, it certainly appeared he was guilty of financial crimes, but those crimes had nothing to do with the Trump campaign. In fact Trump was barely mentioned at the trial.
Manafort was a well known Republican campaign advisor when Trump hired him, having worked for Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole.
It was now clearly a mistake to have Manafort as his campaign manager, but the Republican hierarchy was not behind Trump and he couldn’t hire Democrats to run his campaign, so his choices were limited.
But there is no doubt that during the campaign, and when he first came into office, Trump made some bad hires. It’s the reason there has been more turnover than normal in the Trump administration. But Trump didn’t have the support of mainstream Republicans, and in many cases still doesn’t. He was elected by going outside the core of the Republican Party and gaining the support of blue collar workers who had either supported Democrats or had not been involved in the electoral process.
Cohen appears to be a pretty sleazy attorney. He taped his clients without their knowledge, which, although not illegal in New York, is considered improper by the New York bar and he could have lost his license over that, if he hadn’t already lost his license for being convicted of felonies.
Cohen has agreed not to object to a sentence of between 46 and 63 months, which means he has agreed to spend about four or five years in prison.
Cohen has also agreed to talk to prosecutors about his relationship with Trump, but at this stage it also appears that is going to be a he said, she said situation, where what Cohen says has to be questioned since he is talking to shorten his stay in prison.
The fact that liberal newspapers across the country colluded to attack Trump on Thursday is a hoot.
These newspaper editors are upset because Trump calls much of what they have published about him “fake news” and called the news media “the enemy of the people.”
The editors maintain it is their constitutional right to write whatever they want about the president. But they claim Trump, by his daily attacks on the media, is infringing on both their freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
How does that work? The Constitution gives them the right to use words however they want to portray Trump, but that same Constitution is being abused when Trump says mean things about them?
It’s sad that my colleagues in the news business have become so blinded by their hatred of Trump that they can’t think straight. If they have the right to write that Trump should be impeached and that he cuddled up to Russian President Vladimir Putin, then certainly Trump has the right to call them liars and “enemies of the people.”
It grieves me to say it, but I agree with Trump; I believe the mainstream media has become an enemy of the people.
Far too often newspapers that once were unbiased only present one side of the picture. They allow their reporters to put their own opinions in articles that are supposed to be unbiased and they continue to report as facts items about Trump that they know to be false.
They attack Trump day after day on the editorial pages, which is to be expected, but they have also begun to attack him day after day on the news pages, which is legal and acceptable – if they also accept the fact that they are not unbiased purveyors of the truth but partisan purveyors of the Democratic Party’s views.
Fortunately in today’s world people don’t have to rely on newspapers for the news. I love newspapers and love everything about reading them, even getting ink on my hands, but I no longer can accept what I find in print as true.
But I don’t have to. Thanks to the internet, I read the text messages of fired FBI agent Strzok. Thanks to Judicial Watch, I read the heavily redacted FISA warrant application. I’ve also read the infamous Steele dossier, and anyone who believes that to be true has a screw loose.
Imagine the outcry from the media if opposition research done by the Trump campaign had been used to hire a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton. I’ve read about all the people who have been indicted by Mueller, but I’ve also read enough to know that none of them have anything to do with illegal Russian collusion.
I’ve read about Trump speeches and rallies that I’ve watched and attended. The reports I’ve read in the mainstream media often bear no resemblance to the event that I saw. The media have been caught taking photos of Trump events before they started and claiming that there wasn’t much of a crowd when in fact, once the event began, the place was packed.
Trump doesn’t read his speeches very often. Unlike our last president, he doesn’t use teleprompters every time he walks outside the Oval Office.
Because he speaks off the cuff, he misspeaks a lot. Unlike previous presidents he isn’t allowed to go back and correct those errors.
Did Obama really think the Marines were all dead? If not, why did he call it the Marine “corpse.” Certainly you would expect the commander in chief to know how to pronounce the name of one of the most famous branches of the military. For President Barack Obama it was a mere slip of the tongue, like the time he talked about campaigning in all 57 states. A year later The New York Times was not reporting that Obama didn’t know how many states there were.
It’s not only presidents that misspeak; most of us do it all the time. Sometimes people correct us, but most of the time they know what we meant. Trump is not allowed that courtesy that most of us give to whomever we are talking to.
It’s fake news to say that Trump said there was no evidence that Russia tried to meddle in the 2016 election. Trump made a mistake when he said that and he corrected it, but it is still being reported as a statement he made.
Some people reported that Trump used a derogatory term to refer to poor countries. Trump says he didn’t say it and several people who were also in the room said they didn’t hear it, but it is constantly being reported by the mainstream media as a fact that he said it.
It’s not a fact. It is a fact that some people said that he said it. Reputable news organizations in the past have made that distinction and still make that distinction for those other than Trump.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi misspeaks just about every time she speaks. The mainstream media don’t report that her misstatements were what she actually meant, but maybe they should. Maybe Trump should make that deal.
Trump also does something that the mainstream media can’t understand. He makes comments he thinks are funny.
He asked the Russians to release the missing 30,000 Hillary Clinton emails, which some of us who do have a sense of humor found amusing. He wasn’t asking the Russians to spy on Hillary Clinton. It doesn’t even make sense if you try to read that into it because, to release them, the Russians would have to already have had them.
It turned out we didn’t need the Russians because Anthony Weiner had all of those emails and more.
Maybe The New York Times should do a big investigation of Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, and find out if they were colluding to affect the outcome of the campaign. Why else would Weiner have all those emails and why didn’t the FBI find them the first time around?
The answer to that is that Strzok, who was leading the investigation, didn’t look very hard and didn’t use the vast resources of the FBI to get to the bottom of the Hillary Clinton email scandal. He was too busy covering for Hillary Clinton.
Besides, why should he knock himself out in the investigation when his boss, then FBI director Jim Comey who has since been fired, had already decided on the outcome of the investigation.
Old Morning Joe Scarborough must be drinking too much coffee, or maybe being blissfully in love with his desk partner has addled his brain. He thinks Russia is the biggest threat to the US.
He is right – if we are involved in a nuclear war. And if a nuclear war gets started we are all likely to kill each other, so it won’t make much difference, which is exactly why there hasn’t been a nuclear war.
But short of a nuclear holocaust, Russia doesn’t have much except a lot of vacant land. The population at 144 million is less than half that of the US. Its military is the fifth largest in the world and it spends about $70 billion a year on defense.
The US by comparison spends about $590 billion a year on defense.
Money isn’t everything, but Russia isn’t even in our neighborhood when it comes to military strength or spending.
As far as the economy goes, the US has a gross domestic product of about $18.5 trillion. Russia has GDP of about $1.3 trillion.
What Russia does have is Putin, who is a real bull dog and punches far above his weight, while the US is coming off eight years of Obama, who was scared to death of Iran, Syria, North Korea, Russia and pretty much everyone else. Obama couldn’t even send troops to Benghazi to rescue Americans who were under siege by a bunch of terrorists.
Putin saw the chance to take Crimea, which has a really cool seashore, and he knew that Obama would moan and wail but wouldn’t do anything.
Putin has no idea what Trump might do, neither does Kim Jong Un in North Korea. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has a good idea that if he displeases Trump that Trump won’t hesitate to send a bunch of jets to blow stuff up.
Other than nuclear war, and even in the event of a nuclear war, the US would win – if it is possible to win a nuclear war. The vast majority of the Russian population is concentrated in the east. In the US we certainly have population centers, but there are also people spread across the country. Putin could destroy a big part of the country, but he knows that just about the entire population of his country would be killed. There is no way that Putin is going to lose his country.
He also isn’t going to fight the US because he knows that in the end he would lose.
Kim had a great time posturing when Obama was president. His missiles had a bad habit of fizzling out on the launching pad or blowing themselves up after a short flight. But he got better at the whole missile thing and was having great fun threatening the world until Trump took office.
Now they say Kim is still working on his missiles and nuclear bombs, but he isn’t launching anything and isn’t blowing up mountains.
China, which is actually the biggest threat to the US, doesn’t know what to think of Trump.
Previous presidents have allowed China unbelievably favorable trade deals. China could make anything it wanted and ship it to the US while at the same time keeping US products out of China. Now China is going to have to decide just how badly it wants to trade with the US, because Trump is putting a stop to that.
Trump suspended the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan and Washington has gone bananas. The reason is obvious. If you attack one swamp creature and take away his special privileges, then all the swamp creatures are at risk of losing theirs.
Brennan has brutally attacked Trump, saying that Trump is not fit to be president and had committed treason. That’s not being critical of the president, it is accusing Trump of committing a crime he didn’t commit.
Some would say it’s a lie. Treason is defined in the Constitution, and under no interpretation of that did Trump commit treason. Brennan also lied to Congress, not once but multiple times.
The reason the president is supposed to allow former government employees to keep their security clearance is because the government might need their expertise.
Does anyone think that Trump wants the people who work for him calling Brennan to ask for advice?
So if Trump doesn’t want Brennan to have anything to do with his administration, then there is no reason for Brennan to keep his security clearance.
I think an argument could be made that because of Brennan’s extreme animosity toward Trump, that if Brennan had some confidential information that would make Trump look bad he might leak it.
Plus, if I were Trump, I would want as few people as possible from the Obama administration “helping” with foreign policy. The Obama administration has a disastrous record on foreign policy, which is currently being ignored by the mainstream media, which means the world. But over time, the evidence that Obama made bad decision after bad decision regarding foreign policy will come to light.
Finally, Brennan or his people were involved in spying on Trump when Trump was a presidential candidate and president-elect. Would anyone want someone who had spied on them to have access to state secrets?
Trump has shown restraint in not revoking the security clearances of everyone from the Obama administration earlier. He should certainly jerk the security clearances of former presidential advisor Susan Rice.
Rice proved time and time again that she would get in front of cameras and say whatever Obama told her say. Her behavior after the terrorist attack on the Benghazi compounds – where four Americans lost their lives largely due to the complete incompetence and indecision of Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – was deplorable.
Hillary Clinton is particularly to blame for those deaths. If anyone in a position of power has people who work for them under attack, they have a moral duty to do everything in their power to get help to those people.
The firefight in Benghazi went on for 13 hours. It is a lie to say that the US could not get any support to Americans besieged in Benghazi for 13 hours. The US had plenty of assets within range. Hillary Clinton should have demanded that her people be rescued.
It is a crime that when faced with a crisis situation, and American lives were on the line, the response of Hillary Clinton and Obama was working on how to spin the event so Obama wouldn’t lose the presidential race instead of trying to save Americans fighting for their country.
Americans accept that we spend half a trillion dollars a year on defense. To have a president that refuses to use that military power to defend Americans is a crime.
One reason the left is so upset about Brennan is all about money. The former employees who are allowed to keep their security clearances can make millions of dollars based on having that access. Brennan’s value dropped like a rock when Trump took his security clearance away, and now Trump needs to end the security clearances for a lot more former Obama employees.
If I were Trump, the next person on my list would be Hillary Clinton. She has proven that she doesn’t understand how classified information should be handled. She also still has buddies in the State Department who are probably feeding her information.
Besides, the left would go absolutely nuts if Trump took away Hillary Clinton’s security clearance, which would make it a whole lot of fun
Every time you’re driving down the road and see a big field of solar panels or enormous windmills as far as the eye can see, you should pat yourself on the back because you built that.
The so-called renewable energy industry is so heavily subsidized that you might as well consider people who work in the industry government employees.
The left maintains that renewable energy is on par or cheaper than electricity made by burning coal and gas. It’s only true if you don’t consider the enormous government subsidies. If people like former Vice President Al Gore really believe it to be true, then the subsidies should be removed and the industries should be allowed to compete on a level playing field.
Maybe the government should even take away the requirement that companies like Duke Energy have to buy all the electricity that these facilities produce, or at the very least that Duke Energy and others not be required to pay more for the electricity than the cost of producing their own electricity.
The way it works now, Duke Energy has to buy all the electricity whether it is needed or not, and pay more than what it costs Duke to produce its own electricity. If you wonder why electricity rates keep going up, that’s part of the problem right there.
I have no problem with feminists who say that people should vote for a candidate because the candidate is female. It’s definitely sexist, but if they want to be sexist that’s OK with me.
However, to say that people should vote for females if they are Democrats but not if they are Republicans doesn’t make any sense. A Republican woman is just as much a woman as a Democratic woman. If the criteria is based on the sex of the candidate then you have to include all women.
Hillary Clinton has, as one might imagine, taken this to an even more hypocritical level. She said that all women should vote for her because she is a woman, but she doesn’t even support all Democratic women. How can Hillary Clinton support Gov. Andrew Cuomo over Cynthia Nixon? Only one of those Democrats is a woman, and Hillary Clinton is big on women voting for women. I guess she makes an exception if the man happens to be a friend of hers.
Maybe somebody has done it and I have missed it, but some big media enterprise should take a year of Obama’s presidency to see how many times and how much time he spent answering questions from the media compared to Trump.
I think Trump is spending three or four times, but it may be 10 times as much time with the press as Obama.
Of course, it is true that Obama didn’t need to spend as much time with the media, and when he did they asked questions like, “Can you tell us what it’s like to wake up in the morning and realize you are president of the United States.”
Whereas with Trump, it is more, “Some people have compared you to Hitler. Can you explain why they would make that comparison?”
Rudy Giuliani has walked back the statement, “Truth is not truth.” But I thought it was great.
Has no one in the mainstream media ever read a police report? It’s not uncommon to get two uninvolved eye witnesses who tell completely different versions of what they saw.
“What is truth?” is a really good question. I spent a couple of years in college trying to find the answer. What I found out was that a lot of people a whole lot smarter than me had been working on it for longer than I ever intended to and they couldn’t figure it out. Giuliani said he wasn’t trying to be philosophical, but it’s a great philosophical question.
It’s sad but not surprising that the South African government taking farms from people simply because they are white has not received more media coverage.
South Africa has begun a program to take large farms from white owners without fair compensation. In one case, the South African government took the farm and offered the owner one-tenth of what it was worth.
According to the law in South Africa, the farm owner should have been able to take his case to court, but he was not given that opportunity.
The reason the government has given for taking the farms is that too much land in South Africa is owned by whites.