Just another indication of the bias of National Public Radio (NPR).
A reporter on Monday was talking about what was, at the time, speculation that President Donald John Trump would reduce the size of the Bears Ears National Monument, which Trump later did.
President Barack Obama created the massive federally protected area shortly before leaving office. It was controversial because millions of acres were taken out of circulation.
And what made this NPR report so interesting was that the reporter noted that Obama had created the massive national monument but he said there was some question as to whether Trump could reduce the size or not.
Really, let’s play fair. Obama was a Democratic president and Trump is a Republican president, but a president who is a Democrat does not have more or less power than a president who is a Republican. If Obama had the power to do something then Trump has the power to undo it.
It’s the same with legislative bodies. If the legislature under the Democrats did something then the legislature under the Republicans can undo it, and vice versa.
It’s similar to the argument often made that the US Senate can’t do this or that because it would violate the Byrd Rule or any other rule that the Senate has made.
First of all, as far as the Byrd Rule goes, it doesn’t seem like the Senate should be concerned about violating a rule named after a former exalted cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan. However, since Sen. Robert Byrd was a Democrat, it’s not polite to mention such things.
But the point is that the Senate made the rule and the Senate can unmake it.
The only things the Senate can’t do with a simple majority vote are set forth in the Constitution. If it doesn’t state in the Constitution that something requires a supermajority then it doesn’t, unless a majority of senators at any given time decide that it does. But that majority has no more power than any other majority.
The excuses by the Senate that to do something would violate one of their own rules is simply that – an excuse.
Speaking of the late Sen. Byrd, can you imagine if he were a Republican running for election today?
Byrd, who died in 2010, was reelected to the Senate in 2006. He was not just a member of the KKK, he was a leader – an exalted cyclops.
That was acceptable to the Democrats in the Senate and across the nation, but Roy Moore is not deemed worthy to be a US senator because some women have accused him of acting improperly.
Moore says he didn’t do anything improper. In the case of Byrd, there was no doubt or question. He was elected an exalted cyclops of the KKK and, according to his letters, he agreed with all the racist bigotry professed by that group. The excuse for Byrd was that that was a long time ago and he had changed his beliefs.
What Moore was accused of doing happened 40 years ago and it is a classic he said, she said. Any woman can accuse any man she has ever met of behaving improperly. If that is the standard that is going to be applied going forward then no men will be considered suitable candidates for the Senate or any other office.
Moore now has the support of Trump and the Republican National Committee, which should help his chances of being elected. But it will be up to the people of Alabama to decide.
Trump continues to complain about the FBI and it appears that he has good reason to complain. But this isn’t like complaining about the weather that you can do nothing about. This is more like complaining that the grass really needs to be cut when you’re standing beside a lawnmower.
Perhaps Trump is waiting for the FBI to really get itself in hot water; and with Robert Mueller investigating a dossier that the Hillary Clinton campaign paid for, it doesn’t appear it’s going to take much longer. The whole Mueller investigation has already reached the level of the absurd.
But Trump has the ability to solve his problems with the FBI anytime he chooses. It won’t be as easy as firing a couple of folks, because the problem appears to be far more severe than just a couple of people at the top – so the solution will have to be more involved and messy.
But the FBI works for Trump, and if he doesn’t like the way it is operating, he needs to quit complaining and start acting. Trump would need a ton of legal advice first about what he can do. It’s not easy to fire federal employees, but it is time for Mueller to go; his investigation has become a circus.
Trump not only needs to send Mueller on his way, but Trump needs to send away a good number of federal government employees, including those in the FBI, the Justice Department and the intelligence services, with him.
Trump has to have people who are loyal to the president of the United States – which in this case happens to be Trump – working in key positions. What he doesn’t need are people whose first loyalty is to Hillary Clinton, or the Democratic Party, or Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for that matter.
They don’t have to be, and in some ways shouldn’t be, loyal to the man, Donald Trump, but they have to be loyal to President Donald Trump.
Trump cannot continue to operate in an executive branch where a large number of high level employees are working every day to undermine him. Trump was naive when he took office, evidently thinking that the loyalty of those in high level government positions was to the government and not to particular individuals, but he was wrong.
I would imagine that former President Obama could get information out of some departments easier than Trump, because those employees are still loyal to Obama and, after a year, still cannot believe that a man who they consider a buffoonish reality show star defeated the smartest woman in the world in the presidential race.
Trump evidently thought moving into the White House was like buying a company, where you may have to get rid of the folks at the top, but the rank and file continues to do their jobs.
But politics is not business. People who believed that Obama was a great president are not going to change their thinking overnight because of an election.
In Trump’s defense, he did have a much more difficult task in putting together a government than most presidents because he ran against both parties, and some Republicans were even less likely to join the Trump team than some Democrats.
There was no group that had been out of office for a few years waiting to get back in power, as there is during a normal turnover.
Still, Trump would be far better off with fewer and better people working for him.
Take a look at the Mueller investigation based on what is now known. The entire investigation was promulgated by a report that the Clinton campaign paid millions of dollars to have done. Not only was the report itself paid for, but the people quoted in the report were paid for their information.
Now it may surprise some, but people have been known to lie if money is involved. So if an informer told these investigators, paid by the Clinton campaign, that Trump was always the perfect gentleman then they got paid nothing. But if the informers said that he was jumping around on a hotel room bed with a bunch of prostitutes they got paid big bucks. Well, then the informers start adding details for even more money, and telling all their friends how to make a few bucks for very little work.
Since when in this country are the rumors and innuendo promoted by a campaign the subject of a special prosecutor investigation? The answer to that question would be since Trump was elected president.
And after six months and $7 million, Mueller has found that four people who worked for Trump lied to the FBI the first time around.
The mainstream media report these charges as if they are news of a major breakthrough, but the real news is that there has been no major breakthrough so the government attorneys are using the immense power that they have to turn the screws on the people being questioned.
If Mueller had something, he wouldn’t be wasting his time with charges that have nothing to do with what he is supposed to be investigating.
It is not news that Michael Flynn is a liar. He was fired because he was a liar. To find out that a known liar told more than one lie is hardly surprising.
Flynn was fired for lying to Vice President Mike Pence. Now Mueller has spent $7 million to find that he also lied to the FBI. No doubt by spending a few million more Mueller will be able to discover that he has told a bunch of other lies.
But what Mueller is supposed to be investigating is not whether or not everyone who ever worked on the Trump campaign is completely honest, but whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians during the campaign.
After six months Mueller has been able to produce no evidence that happened. It is time to bring the investigation to an end.
Mueller has a pretty good gig. He likes to investigate things and he has been given a free hand to investigate anything he wants. He hired a bunch of his buddies at high salaries to investigate and they are having a grand old time. It isn’t likely that Mueller will ever end the investigation on his own. It’s time for Trump to take the heat for ending the investigation and have Mueller sent home.
It’s also time for Trump to send home anyone associated with Mueller and to order Attorney General Jeff Sessions to clean out the Justice Department and the FBI of all those who are not loyal to the current government.
They certainly don’t have to like Trump or even think that he should have been elected, but they do have to recognize that he is the president and their loyalty has to be to the office of the president.
Trump has announced that he is moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. I have to admit that I have never been able to understand why the US has refused to move the embassy to Jerusalem.
Every other country in the world gets to determine its own capital. But for Israel the rules are different and its enemies – people who have said they want to see every Jew killed – have been allowed to determine what the rest of the world recognizes as the capital of Israel
Trump, in moving the embassy, is keeping a campaign promise that he made, which makes him very different from Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Obama, who both promised to move the US embassy to Jerusalem and, throughout their presidencies, every six months, delayed making that move.
In 1995, Congress passed legislation requiring the president to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. But Congress gave the president an out. The president could decide to delay the move for six months, and so it has been done since 1995.
Trump is not a politician. If he were a politician he would know that when you campaign, you make promises to win votes and then, once you are elected, you conveniently forget those promises and do what is convenient or expedient.
Trump is the rare elected official who, after a year in office, still appears determined to keep his campaign promises. He hasn’t been able to fulfill those promises as quickly as he thought he would. But he seems doggedly determined to keep them.
The wall has not been built, but Trump hasn’t given up on it and, although it is progressing far more slowly than Trump said it would, the wall is still progressing.
Trump promised that he would move the embassy to Jerusalem and now he says it will be done.
Some reports are saying that it may take as much as four years. It seems to me that is a very optimistic timetable. The federal government doesn’t move quickly.
First the decision will have to be made about where in Jerusalem the embassy will be built, then land will have to be purchased and the embassy designed, approved and built. Moving at what would be lightning speed for the federal government, it would be tough to do in only four years.
The FBI has been in the process of building a new headquarters for over a decade and has spent over $20 million on the project. So far a new location has not been selected and the new headquarters is currently said to be five to seven years away from completion.
If it takes the FBI 15 or more years to build a new headquarters, then it seems unreasonable to think the US could build a new embassy in Jerusalem in four years.
Middle Eastern heads of state say that putting the US embassy in Jerusalem could stop the peace process in the Middle East. The peace process in the Middle East doesn’t appear to be doing all that well with the US embassy in Tel Aviv.
Where are all the crow-eating editorials about how the Trump travel ban is not unconstitutional after all?
When Trump first initiated the travel ban there was a hue and cry from the left that Trump had no authority to implement such a travel ban – that it was unconstitutional on its face.
Now the group of nine who have the authority to determine whether an action is constitutional or not has ruled that it is constitutional for the president of the United States to control immigration. The fact that many previous presidents have done so was a hint that it was legal, but then for Trump nothing is ever certain.
But still, wouldn’t you expect all of those analysts and experts who said that the proposed travel ban was clearly unconstitutional to be writing editorials about how wrong they were and apologizing for misleading the American people with their inaccurate pronouncements?
For some reason that hasn’t happened yet, and I wouldn’t recommend holding your breath waiting for it.
It looks like Mueller is on a good old-fashioned witch hunt, and it seems only fitting that he use one of the standard techniques to determine if women were in fact witches. You throw them in the water and if they rise to the top and survive then they are witches; if they drown then they don’t have supernatural powers and weren’t witches after all. In the world of witch hunting this is considered a foolproof method; it has never been proven wrong.
If Mueller, in fact, has done nothing wrong, why is he hiding what he has done from the House Intelligence Committee, which is supposed to have oversight? (It’s hard to have oversight when the people you are overseeing won’t give you the information you request and have every right to see.)
Mueller knew in August, when he demoted FBI agent Peter Strzok, that he had a big problem with bias on his team. Why did he keep that information from the committee that is charged with overseeing his investigation?
It still appears that the Republicans are going to pass some kind of tax reform bill. Trump is pushing hard to get the Senate and House to conference committee and get the thing passed.
Trump, it appears, knows just how tenuous the whole deal is. When you’re herding cats you have to move fast because when one feline starts moving in a different direction, the whole group can fall out of line in an instant.
Of course, the idea of hurrying Senate Majority Leader McConnell to do anything is an exercise in futility. McConnell’s natural inclination seems to be to slow everything down. McConnell could lose a race with a glacier.
But unless the cats start hissing at each other, it does appear that the Republicans are going to be able to get one major piece of legislation through before the end of the year.
There is problem, if you believe the polls, which is that the American people don’t like the tax reform bill. Then again, nobody really knows what’s in it. The numbers are constantly changing and nobody will know what the final numbers are until the House and Senate agree to them and finally pass something.
Trump has promised to sign whatever they pass, so at least that won’t be a problem.
Parts of the Senate bill were reportedly scribbled in the margins and there could be debate on what those scribbled notes actually mean.