There a lot of different ways to look at the win by Democrat Doug Jones in Alabama, in what has been a safe Republican Senate seat for over two decades. But my take is that you had the Washington swamp take on President Donald John Trump and the swamp won.
Look at where the stories about Roy Moore being some kind of weird sexual predator originated – The Washington Post. It was hardball politics. And where do they play hardball politics? In Washington.
Remember back when the Republicans were impeaching Bill Clinton? Speaker Newt Gingrich had to step down because at the time he was having an affair with the woman who is now his wife. The second choice for speaker was Bob Livingston, who it was discovered had an affair, and many other Republican members of the House had their infidelities exposed. Does anyone think those stories were unearthed by coincidence?
It’s the way the game is played in Washington. Past sins are forgotten as long as you follow the rules.
Lately, even for Washington insiders, things have gotten out of hand with accusations. But nobody liked Sen. Al Franken and some folks saw a chance to take him out.
I think this election was the swamp – both Republicans and Democrats – sending a message to Trump and his supporters that in Washington they play hardball, and if you aren’t willing to play hardball, you’re going to lose.
Without the sexual allegations against Moore, this was an easy win. But look at Washington. Republicans and Democrats alike were aligned against Moore. The Republicans were willing to give up a seat because they don’t want challenges from the right in the primary.
This gives Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a chance to say, “I told you so.” He was a huge supporter of Sen. Luther Strange, who Moore defeated in the Republican primary. McConnell said that when the far right wing Republicans win the nomination, they lose in the general election, and he was proven right. But it wouldn’t be at all surprising to find that the sexual allegations made against Moore were originally generated by McConnell or some of his buddies from either party in Washington.
The result is that the Republican majority in the Senate dropped from 52-48 to 51-49, but it’s hard to see how that is going to make much difference. Under the leadership of McConnell, the Republicans in the Senate have been unable so far to pass any meaningful legislation with a two-seat majority.
Now McConnell is going to have an excuse for the next year. He can claim that if he had one more vote he could pass health insurance reform or whatever else he fails to pass.
It will be interesting to see if the Republicans really can pass a tax reform bill. They will have their 52-to-48 majority until Jones is sworn into office next year. So only time will tell if they can take advantage of that majority.
One thing the election of Jones proves is that by far Trump’s biggest mistake so far as president was appointing former Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general. If Trump had appointed someone else, this entire ridiculous investigation by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller would have never been initiated.
And now, because Trump appointed Sessions, the Republicans have lost a seat in the Senate.
You don’t read much in the mainstream media about Trump successes.
Iraq has declared victory over ISIS less than a year after Trump took office. This was a war against a group that Obama called the “jayvee team” when it burst on the international stage – but that was before ISIS took over Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, and a big swath of the country. At one time ISIS controlled territory within striking distance of Baghdad.
What Trump did was turn the military loose. No longer did a soldier in the field have to contact the Oval Office to get permission to shoot a suspected ISIS terrorist. OK, yes, that is an exaggeration, but it is true that Obama would not allow the bombing of oil wells because of environmental concerns. Obama allowed oil tankers to be bombed, but only after leaflets had been dropped warning the drivers to get out of their trucks.
Trump allowed the military to bomb and shell military targets without his express permission, and even the military was reportedly surprised at how quickly ISIS collapsed when the gloves came off.
The economy is booming, unemployment is at its lowest point in 17 years, and in the last quarter the economy grew by 3.3 percent – a rate that Obama never achieved in his eight years in office.
The stock market continues to hit record highs since Trump was elected. One of the most important factors concerning the economy is consumer confidence, which went up when Trump was elected and has remained up.
Trump’s detractors say that he hasn’t passed any significant legislation to create the economic boom, but he has eliminated thousands of regulations and completely changed the focus of the Environmental Protection Agency, which under Obama was anti-business.
What is slowly being revealed – largely by congressional committee investigations – is that not only did the Democratic National Committee work as an arm of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, so did the US Department of Justice – including the FBI.
It has now been confirmed that not only did Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr meet with Chris Steele – who put together the so-called dossier on Trump – and Fusion GPS – which hired Steele; but Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign.
Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe postponed a meeting with the House Intelligence Committee shortly after Ohr’s wife’s employment was made public. McCabe has his own issues – including a political action committee associated with the Clinton’s contributed over $500,000 to McCabe’s wife’s congressional campaign. And McCabe was the person in charge of the Hillary Clinton investigation.
It all makes perfect sense. Everyone in Washington knew that Donald Trump was a joke who could never in his wildest dreams beat Hillary Clinton, so working for Clinton became job preservation.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch had secured her position as attorney general under Hillary Clinton by agreeing to the clandestine meeting with Bill Clinton on the airport tarmac in Arizona – a meeting that never would have been revealed to the public if a local television station hadn’t gone with the story.
The mainstream media were so in the tank for Hillary Clinton that none of them were going to risk getting on the wrong side of the next president by reporting something as questionable as the husband of a presidential candidate under investigation by the FBI having a secret meeting with the attorney general.
FBI Director Jim Comey had secured his position as head of the FBI by reading a report detailing just a few of the violations of the law concerning classified information that Hillary Clinton and her staff committed while she was secretary of state, and then concluding that there was nothing to prosecute. He probably had to read that statement in the mirror quite a few times before he could state the part about no prosecution with a straight face.
So if you are working for the FBI or the Justice Department, the best thing to do to preserve your own job is anything that causes Trump problems and helps Hillary Clinton.
There is little doubt that the FBI used the Steele dossier – which most news organizations wouldn’t touch because the information in it could not be verified – to get the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to electronically surveil the Trump campaign.
If the FBI didn’t use the Steele dossier, when questioned about it, why didn’t FBI Director Chris Wray simply say, “I can’t tell you what was in the warrant but I can assure you that the Steele dossier wasn’t.” If he wanted, he could add, “We also didn’t use the Gettysburg Address, Moby Dick or Nixon’s Checkers speech.”
Wray could have gotten himself out of a lot of trouble with the committee by stating that the dossier wasn’t used, which means that it almost certainly was, and that is going to be revealed because the congressional committees have a legal right to see the application for the warrant.
When that happens, all of these attorneys in the Justice Department and FBI agents who were assisting the Hillary Clinton campaign should be arrested. If it isn’t a crime for the Justice Department and the FBI to use the immense powers of their office to influence a presidential election, we might as well quit having elections.
But think about this: Even with the mainstream media, the FBI and the Justice Department all working against him, Trump still managed to win.
Another reason this all makes so much sense is that not only was everyone in Washington absolutely certain that Hillary Clinton was going to be the next president, President Barack Obama was out campaigning all over the country for Hillary Clinton. It’s not unusual for the president to support the candidate of his own party, but at times it looked like Obama was the candidate because he was making more appearances than Hillary Clinton and certainly drawing much larger crowds.
Washington really thought it could decide who the next president would be without consulting the people of the United States. It turned out they were wrong.
I keep repeating this, but Trump has to clean house. Trump should fire so many high level federal employees that in Washington people will have to wait a month to be able to get a moving van.
It’s long past time for Trump to take the gloves off, and those he can’t fire he can have transferred. Maybe Nome, Alaska, needs a Justice Department office with 30 or 40 experienced Washington insiders, plus the necessary contingent of FBI agents. Trump could send a bunch of FBI agents to patrol the southern border in the summer and the northern border in the winter. They all get paid big bucks, at least make them work for it.
If Trump doesn’t clean house, his problems in Washington are going to get so bad he’ll have to start running the country from Mar-a-Lago during the week, as well as on weekends.
Along those same lines, The New York Times did a huge front-page story Sunday on Trump at the White House. According to The Times, they interviewed 60 people for the article. Evidently none of the 60 had anything nice to say about Trump.
They were critical of Trump for having a television set on but often muted on a news channel all the time. But they didn’t explain why that was a bad thing. Isn’t the president supposed to keep up with the news? Does The Times expect the president to wait for the morning delivery of The Times to find out what happened the day before? That’s not how the news cycle works anymore.
But if I were Trump, I would be looking for the 60 people who gave interviews to The Times. It wasn’t Trump or any of his top staff, and it wasn’t anybody who supported Trump. If their reason for being at the White House is to dish dirt to the news media about their boss, they should find a new boss.
A longstanding rule in journalism is that sources are protected to the point of going to jail, unless they lie to you. If the confidential information they provided turns out to be false, then they get burned.
Lately – meaning since Trump was elected – the number of stories about Trump and the Trump campaign and the Trump administration attributed to anonymous sources that have turned out to be wrong is staggering.
Just in the past week or so there has been the major blunder by CNN, where what turned out to be a random email from someone no one knew to Donald Trump Jr. about the WikiLeaks information was a huge mistake because the reporters got the date on the email wrong. The email was sent on Sept. 14, 2016, not Sept. 4, which ruined the entire story because by Sept. 14 everyone had the WikiLeaks emails in question, even this random person who decided to email the “news” to Donald Trump Jr.
Anyone who has been in the news business longer than a week knows that this happens all the time. People call with hush-hush confidential information that some unknown third party sent to them, and it turns out the unknown third party got this secret information from watching the news, which was simply repeating a story that had been in the newspaper the day before.
Numerous media organizations reported that Trump’s bank records had been subpoenaed by the special prosecutor. They got the information from a confidential source, and the information is not true. In both these cases the American people deserve to know who the confidential source was, and according to the standard rules of journalism, those names no longer deserve protection.
The agreement to keep a source confidential ends when that source is found to be using the media to disseminate false information. But for some reason, since Trump was elected, the rules of journalism have gone out the window, replaced by blatant partisanship.
CNN went with the Donald Trump Jr. email story, according to them (if you can believe anything they say) based on two sources. CNN says that it did not have a copy of the email. Why not? Who are these sources who they trusted to provide good information who mislead them? CNN claims two independent sources. So we are supposed to believe that two different people looked at an email dated Sept. 14 and both misread it as Sept. 4? My experience says they had one source and then told the story to another source who said that sounded right to them, or perhaps even that they couldn’t deny it was true.
It would clear up a lot of mistrust of the media if CNN would reveal the two independent sources who, both independent of each other, can’t tell 4 from 14. CNN isn’t going to ever reveal those two sources because two sources don’t exist, and to go with such a hot story based on one source reading someone an email presumably over the phone is really poor journalism.
Do you think if the story had exonerated Trump, CNN would have been willing to go with a story based on such poor journalism? Why didn’t they demand to see the email before going with the story. Why didn’t their editors demand some corroboration?
The false stories or, as Trump calls rightly calls it, “fake news” are always detrimental to Trump. Why is that? Why is it that the mainstream media are so willing to go with stories based on bad reporting that are detrimental to Trump, but never the other way around? Where are the good stories about Trump that have to be retracted because they turned out to be wrong? There aren’t any.
The New York Times, to its credit, admitted that during the campaign it allowed its reporters to put their opinions in news articles.
The rest of the mainstream media should follow suit and admit that, if they get a story that is, in their opinion, going to bring Trump to his knees, then they are going to go with it whether they have the proper sourcing or not.
At least they could be honest about why they continue to lie.
It doesn’t seem like Trump – who prospered in the rough and tumble world of real estate development – would be naive, but he is, and he needs help from someone far more cynical about human nature than he is.
I don’t suppose Trump is going to hire former Speaker Newt Gingrich as an advisor, but he should.
Look at the mess Trump has made of the FBI. Trump should have fired former FBI Director James Comey the moment he took the oath of office. He then should have replaced Comey with someone from outside the department and outside the world of Washington insiders, which Trump rightly calls the swamp.
But he did neither. Trump waited too long to fire Comey and then he replaced Comey as FBI director with someone who worked for Comey at the Justice Department.
Comey worked for Mueller, and the new FBI director, Chris Wray, worked for Comey. Trump might as well have left Comey in place if he was simply going to replace him with one of his buddies.
Wray, judging from his behavior before the House Judiciary Committee, proved that he, like Comey and Mueller, believes that the FBI is above the law. The job of the FBI according to these men is to enforce the law, not obey the law. Wray serves at the pleasure of the president, which means Trump can fire him because he doesn’t like his tie. But Wray is also answerable to Congress, and eventually Congress will get answers to the questions it is asking.
Here is a great headline: “Will Trump’s Jerusalem decision prevent the ‘ultimate deal’?”
This seems to be fairly typical of the mainstream media’s response to Trump recognizing that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. It’s as if there was a Middle East peace deal on the table waiting to be signed.
There isn’t going to be peace in the Middle East until the Palestinians and Israel’s neighbors in the Middle East all agree that Israel has a right to exist. Far too many Muslim leaders say that Israel has no right to exist and their idea of peace in the Middle East is the abolition of Israel. It seems incredible that the Israelis would even agree to sit down at the table with them.
How do you negotiate with someone when you know their ultimate goal is your destruction?
Think about recognizing Jerusalem in another way. What if the US decided that London should not be the capital of the United Kingdom but that it should be Birmingham? Or that it wouldn’t recognize Berlin as the capital of Germany?
Every other nation in the world gets to choose its own capital city. There is no reason why Israel should be held to a different policy, and, since 1995, the US has agreed that Jerusalem is the capital. It’s simply that no other president has had the nerve to take action.
When you have a president of one party and the majority in Congress is of the other, it is understandable that there should be some tension between the federal departments run by the president’s appointees and the congressional oversight committees.
But when you have a Republican president and a Republican Congress, it doesn’t make any sense at all, unless you consider the fact that Trump is an outsider and the Washington establishment – the swamp – is against him.
But it does seem to be time for Trump to order all executive branch employees who are brought before Congress to answer questions, to answer the questions and to provide congressional committees with all the information they request.
It is absurd for congressional committees run by Republicans to have to subpoena information from a Republican administration. Trump can and should put a stop to it.
It’s time for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to un-recuse himself and fire special prosecutor Robert Mueller. And while he is at it, he should fire the man who hired Mueller – Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
The idea of a special prosecutor is to get someone who is unbiased with no connection to whatever is being investigated. A special prosecutor is called in when the Justice Department itself has a conflict of interest. By hiring Mueller, Rosenstein hired a man who clearly has severe bias.
Mueller hired to his team a bunch of attorneys who had contributed to the Hillary Clinton campaign. One attended Hillary Clinton’s victory party, which probably was not much fun. So if they were so pro-Hillary Clinton that they donated to her campaign and attended her campaign events, how can they be unbiased in investigating Trump? The best option would have been for Mueller to have hired attorneys with no connection to either campaign, but if he felt he had to hire some attorneys that donated to Hillary Clinton, he should have to had to hire an equal number who had donated to Trump. Mueller didn’t. It appears that one of the requirements to be hired on to Mueller’s team was that the individual be pro-Hillary Clinton.
Now one FBI agent has been removed and one attorney in the Justice Department demoted because of connections to the Steele dossier. It appears at this point that, one, the FBI used the dossier to get a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to spy on Trump’s campaign and that possibly the FBI was involved in putting the dossier together. If either is true then everyone who can be connected to those actions in the FBI or the Justice Department needs to be fired.
Sessions has some real house cleaning to do and if he isn’t willing to do it, and do it quickly, then Trump needs to fire him and get someone in there who will.
Even people who hate Trump should be able to admit that the economy has really taken off since he was elected president.
Of course, you could argue – as former President Barack Obama has – that it’s the Obama effect. But if Obama could do this for the economy, why didn’t he do it while he was president so he would be sure to get credit?
Despite what Obama says, Trump gets all the credit. A lot of it has to do with the business community’s confidence that Trump has their back.
Obama doesn’t know anything about business, and according to his aides he knows very little about economics. It would be surprising if he did know much about economics since he didn’t study economics and has no background in business. It’s not a priori knowledge; you have to learn about business.
Trump knows business and he wants business to do well because, even though he is now president, he also owns a huge company. When the economy does well, he makes more money. And, who knows, by the time he retires from the White House he may be worth the $10 billion he said he was.
Economics isn’t an exact science. If it were then every economist in the country would have shorted the stock market in 2008 and would be living on their own private islands in the Bahamas.
Liberals and conservatives generally disagree on the economic theory of taxes. Conservatives think high taxes hurt the economy and low taxes help the economy. Liberals general think that the way to a better economy is with more government spending, which means higher taxes.
But because someone adheres to a different economic theory doesn’t make them a liar, as liberals are now calling Republicans who say that the tax cuts will boost the economy and the end result won’t be a higher deficit.
One reason you have to be careful about what you read about tax cuts is the comparison of dollars versus percentages.
The mainstream media are fond of reporting that the proposed tax cuts will benefit the wealthiest more than the middle class.
Imagine you pay $1 in taxes and a rich person pays $20. You get a 100 percent tax cut, so you pay nothing and save $1. The rich person gets a 10 percent tax cut and his taxes are reduced from $20 to $18 so he saves $2.
The way the mainstream media looks at that is that the rich person has a tax cut that is twice as much as yours. He saves $2 while you only save $1. It is absolutely true that the rich person in this scenario gets double your tax cut. But it is also incredibly misleading.
The poor won’t receive an income tax cut at all, which sounds really unfair until you realize that the poor aren’t paying any income tax. If there is going to be a major tax cut it is the rich who have to receive most of the per dollar benefit because they pay most of the taxes.