Reading the Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights, is a pretty scary practice these days.
Even strict constructionist don’t seem to actually believe that the rights guaranteed to Americans in the Bill of Rights should be followed today.
The Second Amendment says, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”
But that right is infringed all over the place: background checks, pistol permits, restrictions on the kinds of guns Americans can own. The left wants more restrictions, but even the right accepts the current infringements.
But that’s an easy one. What about the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise there of.”
How is not allowing people to pray in public places like schools not prohibiting the “free exercise there of”? No one according to this amendment should ever be forced to pray, but neither should anyone be forced not to pray. The government forces people not to pray all the time.
Amendment III, that soldiers cannot be quartered in private homes, is one that the government still follows.
But Amendment IV, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.”
Is it unreasonable to search someone because they are attending a City Council meeting, or have to go to the courthouse? Is the fact that the Transportation Security Administration can search your luggage with no cause “unreasonable”? Is it reasonable to take naked photos of a person because they plan to travel by air?
To be continued …
It is amusing that the mainstream media have developed such an acute interest in how much President Donald Trump’s Cabinet secretaries spend on travel. For the eight years of President Barack Obama’s administration, the mainstream media had virtually no interest.
Did the mainstream media, for instance, take former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to task for traveling by government jet more than any other secretary of state before or since, and arguably accomplishing less? Hillary Clinton bragged about traveling more miles than any previous secretary of state. But to what purpose? Where are the major treaties, agreements, memoranda of understanding or any major foreign policy accomplishment during her four years?
Her attempt to “reset” relations with Russia looked like a bad middle school skit. Apparently the idea came from an office supply store promotion that was in the news at the time. Nothing was reset and the whole affair simply proved how incompetent the State Department was under Hillary Clinton.
The idea that the US State Department didn’t have a single staff member available to reset relations with Russian who was fluent in Russian was a huge embarrassment to the country, which was downplayed by the mainstream media.
In today’s media climate, it is hard to imagine the immense amount of protection that was given to the Obama administration by the media. If it wasn’t glowing, it wasn’t reported.
The fact that Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton held a private meeting on the tarmac in Phoenix was not reported by the mainstream media. A local Phoenix television station initially reported it, and that initial report was questioned – but the video was undeniable.
The mainstream media evidently had been told not to report that the meeting took place and were following orders. How could any reporter think that a meeting between the attorney general and a former president – whose wife was the Democratic presidential candidate and was under investigation by the Justice Department – was not news? Yet not a single major media outlet reported on the meeting until after the Phoenix television station broke the news.
If you want to talk about collusion, there is collusion between the Democrats and the mainstream media.
Trump is admittedly extremely frustrated with the investigation of special prosecutor Bob Mueller. Trump would like to fire Mueller, but, particularly in an election year, the political price would be too high.
Trump’s problem is not the investigation itself, but the constant barrage from the news media about every little development. You would think that lying to the FBI was a hanging offense the way the mainstream media talk about it. As one attorney pointed out, you can tell the truth and still be charged with lying to the FBI if the FBI believes somebody else and not you.
But what Trump should do to distract the mainstream media, as well as right a wrong, is reopen the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s home brew email server. There is more than enough evidence that the investigation was compromised.
Trump would have to get Attorney General Jeff Sessions out from under his desk where he’s been hiding and have Sessions make the announcement that, because of all the recent revelations about the FBI agents and Justice Department officials involved in the probe, he believes it is in the best interest of all concerned to go over the investigation and make certain that FBI Director James Comey, who was fired, FBI Deputy Director Andy McCabe, who was fired, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, who was fired, and people who had a documented animus toward Trump, like FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page, came to the right conclusions when they looked at the evidence.
Sessions would absolutely hate having to make the announcement and hate even more that he would have to say that his decision was based on the law and not on politics. But he seems to really want to be attorney general and Trump could give him a choice: reopen the investigation with a new team that will be vetted for political bias – which means a new team made up primarily of conservative Republicans with a few conservative Democrats and some unaffiliated folks thrown in for good measure – to go back over all the evidence and see if Comey, McCabe and Strzok missed anything the first time around or go home.
The fact that the legal standard for the statute is gross negligence and not intent might be a good place to start.
Then the new team could empanel a grand jury and conduct interviews where the Clinton staffers are not allowed to sit in on the Hillary Clinton interview to find out how they are supposed to answer the questions when it is their turn.
If Hillary Clinton is overcome with emotion during the interview, she will have to reach for the tissues herself rather than have Huma Abedin rush across the room to put one in her hand. That will be tough on Hillary Clinton, but the Democrats always talk about how tough she is, so no doubt she can soldier through being without her constant companion for a few hours.
The FBI might want to insist that she use a walker or a wheelchair to go to and from the interview room to make sure she doesn’t fall.
I’m not an attorney and I don’t play one on TV (although I’m willing if anyone is interested) but it seems to me there are a lot of unanswered questions about the search of the office, home and hotel room of Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal attorney.
I haven’t been able to find anywhere what crime was being investigated. I didn’t think that search warrants were issued for fishing expeditions. I thought law enforcement had to have evidence that a crime had been committed and a reasonable belief that the search would turn up further evidence of the crime.
What was the crime that rose to the level required to search the office of the personal attorney for the president? And yes, I believe that there should be a higher standard than for your average citizen, because the stakes are much higher.
It is reported in The Washington Post that “taxi medallions” were noted in the search warrant, which would indicate that Cohen is being investigated for some kind of tax fraud or taxi swindle. Is it possible that Cohen’s office and home were searched because a taxi driver who worked for him overcharged a customer? Perhaps a taxi driver gave a ride to a Trump campaign official and didn’t charge a fare, thereby making an illegal campaign contribution.
The mainstream media are speculating that Cohen could turn state’s evidence if he is facing a life sentence. A life sentence for what? Campaign fraud? Making a settlement with someone who was threatening to sue? If that is illegal then not only are many of the attorneys in the country going to jail, I think they’ll have to jail the City of Greensboro, which has recently done that on several occasions.
Former FBI Director Jim Comey’s memos prove that he isn’t honest and wasn’t good at his job as director of the FBI.
In the first memo, Comey said he told Trump that he was not a leaker. Actually, Comey is a leaker and admits it. What he leaked appears to have been at least one classified memo at the time it was leaked.
So why isn’t Comey being prosecuted? Does Comey fall under the Hillary Clinton rule where, because of some law that isn’t in the statute book Hillary Clinton is not held to the same standard on handling classified information as everyone else? Is FBI Director Chris Wray investigating Comey for leaking classified information or is he giving Comey a pass?
The memos also prove that Comey wasn’t very good at his job because, as head of the FBI, his job was mainly as an administrator. He wasn’t investigating anyone. His job was to supervise those who supervised those who did.
As an administrator, his main job was handling personnel and he either repeatedly lied to Trump about FBI Deputy Director McCabe or he completely misread McCabe. I prefer to give Comey the benefit of the doubt and assume that he had the integrity not to go into the White House and tell bald-faced lies to the president. But who knows? Comey, judging from his memos, had no respect for Trump, didn’t like him and didn’t trust him. So maybe Comey decided it was “honorable” to lie to him. But whether it was inadvertent or part of an overall plan, Comey repeatedly mislead Trump about McCabe and some of the other higher-ups in the FBI.
McCabe is a liar and a leaker and was plotting against Trump. McCabe was the one who decided that former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn had lied. Flynn was evidently naive about the ways of Washington and allowed himself to be interviewed by the FBI without knowing what it was about and without consulting with an attorney. But Strzok, who conducted the interview, thought Flynn was being honest. McCabe, who was not in the room for the interview and had to judge what took place based on the notes, is the one who decided Flynn lied.
McCabe not only had damaging information leaked to the press, he repeatedly lied about doing it, according to the Department of Justice inspector general’s report. So why hasn’t he been charged? The evidence against him is far stronger than the evidence against Flynn.
Comey kept telling Trump how he could trust McCabe when in fact McCabe was working against Trump and, according to the inspector general, was committing felonies to do it.
So did Comey completely misread his second in command, or did Comey know all about what McCabe, Strzok and Page were doing and was covering for them? If he didn’t know what kind of man McCabe was, he should have; and if he knew and was covering up, that’s even worse.
Once again, one of Trump’s biggest mistakes as president was not reading Comey better and not firing Comey on Jan. 20.
The fact that by all accounts Comey fumbled the Hillary Clinton email investigation was reason enough to fire Comey. The investigation of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton should have been by the book so that, whatever the results, the country could be certain that she was not above the law and had been investigated the same way that anyone else suspected of mishandling classified and unclassified government documents would be investigated.
When the FBI has investigated others accused of lesser crimes, like laundering money, it launches middle of the night raids on their homes and confiscates their computers and documents. Hillary Clinton was allowed by the FBI to destroy 30,000 emails. Her staff was allowed to destroy laptops and phones that most likely contained pertinent information. If they contained exculpatory information you can rest assured they would have been preserved.
No grand jury was ever empaneled to look at the evidence, which is highly unusual in an investigation of this magnitude. Hillary Clinton was allowed to have her staff with her during her interview. Cheryl Mills, who was also interviewed, was allowed to act as Hillary Clinton’s attorney during her interview. How can someone be an attorney during one interview and a witness in another?
Comey, in his announcement that was written before Hillary Clinton was interviewed, recounts the crimes that Hillary Clinton committed and then says that she will not be prosecuted, which is not a decision the director of the FBI is supposed to make. The evidence is supposed to be turned over to the Justice Department and the Justice Department decides whether a prosecutable crime has been committed.
Whether or not the attorney general has been compromised is also not a decision for the FBI director to make. It is a Justice Department decision. If Attorney General Lynch believed that by meeting privately with Bill Clinton she had to recuse herself, she could have done so and the deputy attorney general could have taken the case.
But Comey’s announcement was written long before Lynch met with Bill Clinton, so why was Comey writing an announcement if the evidence was going to be turned over to the attorney general? Did Comey know months before that Lynch was going to meet with Bill Clinton?
The memos, as you might expect, raise more questions than they answer.
Why isn’t special prosecutor Mueller investigating Comey? His actions are directly related to the whole Russian collusion accusation, while the actions of Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen are not.
Why hasn’t Mueller, who is supposed to investigating the Trump campaign’s illegal collusion with the Russian government, talked to Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian attorney who met with Donald Trump Jr. and other Trump campaign officials?
If he were really investigating illegal Russian collusion, wouldn’t Mueller have talked to Veselnitskaya, who had a documented meeting with members of the Trump campaign?
Of course, Mueller has little interest in possible Trump campaign collusion with Russians because evidently he has ruled that out as a possible path toward getting Trump out of office. But the investigation into Trump’s personnel attorney and the whole sordid deal with Stormy Daniels, now that’s a high priority.
According to The Washington Post, Attorney General Sessions has told the White House that if Trump fires Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, he might quit also.
So the message to Trump is he could kill two birds with one stone. Fire Rosenstein, who deserves to be fired for continually withholding information from the congressional oversight committees, for not keeping special prosecutor Mueller on task, for approving a warrant for the search of Michael Cohen’s office against well-established policy and procedure and for in general doing everything in his power to undermine Trump.
Sessions reportedly didn’t say that he would resign. It appears that Sessions would never make that bold a statement. Sessions reportedly said he might resign. What would be far more interesting is if Sessions said that he might start doing his job. But that’s not going to happen. Trump appointed a mouse who is scared of his own shadow to be attorney general when Trump needs a bold, aggressive cat running the Justice Department.
Trump should have never hired Sessions and Rosenstein should have been fired along with all the other Obama and Hillary Clinton sycophants in the Justice Department and the FBI. Perhaps Trump thought Sessions would take care of cleaning house.
But it appears that Trump thought when he was elected that long-time federal employees would be loyal to him, not to the woman the voters of the country rejected for a second time.
Trump should have learned a little bit about Washington in the past year and should now know that there is no such thing as nonpartisan in Washington, DC. The Democrats talk about the need to be nonpartisan now that they are out of power, but remember back when the Democrats had control of both Houses of Congress and the White House. Was their any attempt to be non-partisan or bipartisan in passing Obamacare? Obama famously told the Republican leadership that elections had consequences.
If the Republicans won’t listen to Trump, maybe they’ll listen to Obama. He knew how things work.
It looks like Comey has done the impossible: He has united Hillary Clinton supporters and Trump supporters. Although the two sides could never reach enough of an agreement to order a pizza, both sides agree that Comey was a terrible FBI director.
The Republicans blame Comey for the never-ending investigation by Mueller, while the Hillary Clinton faithful blame Comey for Hillary Clinton losing the election. But nobody likes or respects Comey these days.
Clinton attorney Lanny Davis wrote a piece calling Comey a liar.
Jennifer Palmieri, who was director of communications for the Hillary Clinton campaign, wrote a piece about how Comey took on authority that he didn’t have. She rightly states that it was not Comey’s job to determine whether or not the evidence the FBI had found of criminal statutes being violated by Hillary Clinton and her staff rose to the level of a prosecutable crime, and that when Comey, in the final weeks of the campaign, announced that he was reopening the investigation, he far overstepped his role as FBI director.
Palimieri is extremely kind. She gives Comey the benefit of all kinds of benefit of the doubt, but does note that just because Comey thought something was the right thing to do didn’t give him the authority to do it.
It’s unfortunate for all involved that Comey at the time was working for such an incredibly weak attorney general that she allowed Comey to get away with both announcements about Hillary Clinton investigations without a strong and public rebuke. It makes you wonder what Lynch thought her job was. Of course, meeting with Bill Clinton, a meeting that no one was ever supposed to find out about, is either a sign of an extremely weak or extremely naive person, or both.
The national media had agreed not to report the meeting, but then there was that pesky local reporter who put the meeting on television.
Journalists wonder why the media are no longer respected and therefor no longer have the power they once had. Deals like that one are the reason.
You don’t have to be a professional journalist to know that a meeting between the husband of a presidential candidate under investigation by the Justice Department and the attorney general is news. It turned out to be such big news that the same mainstream media, that had agreed not to report on the meeting, credited the meeting with Hillary Clinton not winning the election because it gave Comey the opening he needed to make his speech. The fact that Comey had the speech written long before the meeting took place raises some doubts about that.
While running for office, Trump said when he got to Washington he was going to drain the swamp. He’s been in office for over a year and my guess is that he wishes he had pulled the plug on the swamp as soon as he took his hand off the Bible.
Instead, Trump has thrown a few swamp creatures out on to dry land, but not enough and not nearly fast enough. It is a daunting task. The long-time federal employees in Washington have been running the show for decades.
But fortunately for Trump, it’s not too late. With the appointment of John Bolton as national security advisor, Bolton has started the process of getting rid of the folks on the national security team who are leaking every conversation Trump has, and information like what was in the briefing book for his conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Trump, as is now obvious, needs to clean out the Justice Department, including the FBI. Former Deputy Director McCabe, who was for a time acting FBI director, finally got fired, but his cohorts Strzok and Strzok’s lover Lisa Page still have jobs. Why?
From the text messages between Page and Strzok, there is the appearance of a conspiracy to oust the duly elected president. If the FBI discovered that someone outside the FBI had sent such texts, they would certainly be investigated. If they had the power to do what they discussed, they would be investigated more rigorously.
Are Strzok and Page being investigated? Are the actions of others in the FBI who participated in the farcical investigation of the Hillary Clinton email scandal being investigated to determine why they didn’t run that investigation by the book?
It would be funny if it weren’t so sad, but the mainstream media took Sean Hannity to task for not revealing that he had received legal advice from Trump attorney Michael Cohen. Hannity said that he never paid Cohen, but he did ask him for legal advice as an attorney, so he would have attorney-client confidentiality. Of course, attorney-client confidentiality was thrown out the window when the FBI raided Cohen’s office and took his files.
According to the mainstream media, it was not a conflict of interest for then FBI Deputy Director McCabe to run the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails even though McCabe’s wife had received over $1 million in campaign funding from sources close to Hillary Clinton.
But that is not a surprise when you consider how many conflicts of interest the mainstream media have with the Democrats. When George Stephanopoulos interviewed former FBI Director Comey, did he announce that he worked for the Clintons and donated to the Clinton Foundation? It seems that might affect his opinion on issues involving the Clintons.
But evidently being connected to high-level Democrats is not considered a conflict of interest.
Martha Raddatz, an ABC News correspondent who moderated the vice presidential debate, is such a good friend of the Obamas that they attended her wedding. The president of CBS News, David Rhodes, is the brother of Ben Rhodes, who was Obama’s top foreign policy adviser Chief Washington correspondent for CNN Jake Tapper’s wife was a regional field manager for Planned Parenthood. Claire Shipman, a national correspondent with ABC News, is married to former Obama White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. And the list goes on.
In Toronto, a man used a van this week to deliberately kill 10 people who happened to be walking down the sidewalk. If that man had used and AR-15 rifle to kill 10 people, the anti-gun lobby would be screaming that AR-15 rifles have to be outlawed. So where are the people demanding that vans be outlawed? I haven’t seen anyone saying that if it were not so easy to rent a van that those people would be alive today.
Where are all the young people out demanding that vans be outlawed because vans kill people? In this country, owning a firearm is a constitutional right. There is no such constitutional protection for owning a van.
Republicans may or may not be selecting a new speaker of the House after the November 2018 election.
The mainstream media are united in their belief that the Democrats will take the House. Historically, it’s a pretty good bet. But safe the bet in 2016 was for Hillary Clinton, not someone who had never run for office or served in the military.
It’s one of the things that keeps political junkies like me hooked. The mainstream media are going to always favor the Democrats, but by how much?
In 2016, pundits all across the spectrum said Hillary Clinton would win. Where they differed was on how long her coattails would be. Would the Democrats be able to take the House and the Senate? Would they have working majorities?
As it turned out they were all wrong. They completely missed the mood of the American people. People tend to forget that Hillary Clinton wasn’t the only Democrat who lost. Democrats also lost races all over the country that, according to the mainstream media, they were going to win. Republicans who were supposed to be in too-close-to-call races waltzed into office in races that weren’t even close.
Polls show that Trump has higher approval ratings than Obama did at this point in his presidency. They also show that Trump supporters still support Trump. Since he had enough supporters to win the presidency, is it too farfetched to believe that his supporters will go to the polls in November and vote Republican?
The Republicans have lost some races they should have won, but the stupid party has a lot of trouble getting out of its own way. Most of the races that have been lost were because the Republicans nominated a greatly flawed candidate.
If the Republican Party can nominate good candidates, 2018 might be as much of a surprise to the mainstream media as 2016.
One thing we do know is that we have entered a new era in politics and the old rules don’t apply. One problem is that we haven’t discovered what rules do apply.