It appears that special prosecutor Bob Mueller is doing what federal prosecutors do – they charge somebody at a relatively low level of an organization with a host of crimes and then make a deal to get more information and move up the ladder.

Whether or not Paul Manafort plays this game is yet to be seen. But if this isn’t what Mueller is doing, why, when he is supposed to be investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, is he bothering with charges against Manafort for activities that happened long before there was a Trump campaign?

And after all this investigating, where is the evidence that there was any collusion at all? The fact that someone associated with the Trump campaign met with a Russian doesn’t prove that there was any collusion to commit a criminal act; and if there was no crime, why is there an investigation?

Someone should be asking why Manafort was charged with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) when John and Tony Podesta of the Podesta Group – who Manafort was working with and who committed the same crime – have not been arrested.

Is this a case where when Republicans associated with the Trump campaign do something it is a crime and when Democrats associated with the Hillary Clinton campaign do the same thing it isn’t?

Why hasn’t team Mueller entered the homes of Tony and John Podesta in the middle of the night with a “no knock” warrant and carried off every computer and sheet of paper they could find?

An unreliable source reported that they even took the grocery list off the front of the refrigerator at Manafort’s house. But whether they did or didn’t, they did clean the place out, which may in fact get Manafort off the hook, because the warrant didn’t allow them to take whatever they wanted.

It is unbelievable that the Democrats who lost the election were able to have a special prosecutor hired to investigate a report that they paid for and that has largely been discredited. The information in the Trump dossier came from sources who were paid for the information.

Let’s see, if the sources were even half bright, they figured out that the more stuff they came up with the more they would get paid. That’s a big incentive to either make up information or point the investigators toward unethical friends who would provide more unsubstantiated information.

The Trump dossier is based largely on lies, innuendo and gossip. The mainstream media cheer and applaud every time some little fact in the dossier is found to be true. Of course, some of it is true. The paid sources couldn’t make up stuff that could easily be proven false. Evidently these people were not idiots; they had some facts and mixed a bunch of lies in there that they thought the Democrats would like.

But for a special prosecutor to be investigating this malarkey is crazy. If President Donald John Trump had had more experience he never would have allowed it, and a lot of the blame for the entire scandal goes to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who for some reason not only recused himself but turned the whole thing over to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who certainly has all the appearances of a Democratic Party operative.

*****

I love the audacity of the mainstream media. It used to be that former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Donna Brazile was a star. She took over the DNC when it became public that former DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz had heavily favored Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the primary.

Brazile now says that was indeed true and that during the primary the DNC was operating as an arm of the Hillary Clinton campaign. Brazile said as DNC chair she couldn’t send out a press release unless it was approved by the Clinton campaign. She couldn’t hire people without getting approval from the Clinton campaign and couldn’t spend money without the campaign’s approval.

Now that Brazile has committed what the mainstream media consider a mortal sin and told the truth about the Clintons, the mainstream media have turned on her.

The amount of protection that the mainstream media give to Hillary Clinton cannot be exaggerated. Could any other presidential candidate survive for nearly a year without holding a press conference?

If Hillary Clinton is still looking for someone to blame, she might want to try whoever told her not to talk to the press or to hold a listening tour where everyone who got to sit down and talk to her was hand picked by the Democratic Party.

Up until she wrote a book, Brazile’s loyalty to Clinton could not be questioned. Brazile leaked some of the questions that would be asked at a town hall forum to Hillary Clinton, giving Clinton an unfair advantage, and for doing that she was golden with the mainstream media; now she is trash – all because she told the truth about the woman they love.

The good news side of this is that perhaps it will get the mainstream media pumped up enough that Hillary Clinton will decide to run in 2020. Nothing could be better for the Republican Party than for Hillary Clinton to run for president one more time.

Of course, if Trump would get his ducks in a row and insist on a full investigation of Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation, maybe Hillary Clinton won’t be able to run because convicted felons lose their right to vote.

*****

Senate Republicans are complaining about how the Senate Democrats are slow-walking Trump nominations no matter how inconsequential. It appears the Democrats aren’t giving anyone a free ride and, as a result, after 10 months in office, Trump still has hundreds of unfilled positions.

The Republicans are complaining when what they should be doing is taking notes, because odds are they won’t have the majority forever. This is what the Republicans should have done for President Barack Obama; instead they approved the radical leftists that Obama nominated.

The federal court system is full of far-left judges appointed by Obama. Wouldn’t the country be better off with fewer judges who think the Constitution is irrelevant in today’s world and more vacancies?

Somehow the Democrats manage to force Republican presidents to appoint moderates, but when we have a Democratic president he gets to appoint people as liberal as he wants.

When the Republicans controlled the Senate and Obama was president, every single appointment he made should have been a battle. Now the Democrats are in the minority and they are still managing to make the Trump appointments a battle, and they can do so because the Republicans in the Senate allow it.

In a legislative body the minority party has the right to be heard, that is about all, and even that can be limited by the majority. In the end everything except a few items, like impeachment, that are set out in the Constitution to require greater than a simple majority, can be decided by simple majority, which the Republicans have but refuse to use.

*****

It’s time for another special prosecutor – this one to investigate the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its former directors, Jim Comey and Bob Mueller.

If it were not the FBI, there would be more than enough evidence for the FBI to launch an investigation; but who is going to launch an investigation of the investigators themselves and the Department of Justice? Who would take on such an investigation?

But wouldn’t it be fun for a team of investigators to pick the lock on Mueller’s house and come in during the middle of the night with guns drawn to search his house? Not to mention doing the same to Comey, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe. It appears that former Attorney General Eric Holder also knew what was going on, or should have known, so he should be on the list, along with former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who certainly knew what was happening.

The Hill, which is not by any definition a conservative news outlet, ran a long story on the corruption that the FBI discovered regarding Russia’s nuclear dealings in the US, including payments made to the Clinton Foundation. But nothing was done about it, and the deal to allow Russia to buy 20 percent of US uranium was allowed to go through without the committee that approved the purchase – which included then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then Attorney General Holder – being informed of the results of the investigation or even that an investigation was underway.

The whole mess needs to be investigated, but the FBI and the Justice Department can’t investigate themselves.

*****

It is utterly amazing what is being revealed about the Hillary Clinton campaign.

When Sen. Bernie Sanders was shouting (and he always shouts) about the Democratic primary being rigged, he was telling the truth. It was rigged. There was no way that Sanders could beat Hillary Clinton and the DNC. But the DNC is supposed to stay out of the primaries. It is supposed to take a neutral position and it did anything but.

Hillary Clinton and her campaign staff all knew that come Jan. 20, 2016, Hillary Clinton would be in the White House and there wouldn’t be any investigation of anything they did.

Look at what President Obama did to the whole Benghazi affair. The White House lied about it, first to protect Obama and then Hillary Clinton. It took forever for the true story to come out, and Hillary Clinton continues to deny that, what nearly everyone else recognizes as the truth, is in fact the truth.

Then there were the emails; Obama, the FBI and the Justice Department all colluded to keep a lid on that scandal and did an amazingly good job of it.

We know now that former FBI Director Comey wrote his statement absolving Hillary Clinton of committing any crime before the FBI finished the investigation – in fact, before Hillary Clinton was even interviewed.

And remember why Comey said that he made the statement – because then Attorney General Lynch had met with Bill Clinton on the tarmac in Phoenix and had compromised herself.

If Comey wasn’t going to make a statement until that happened, why did he have it written months in advance? Did he know months in advance that Lynch and Bill Clinton were going to meet at the airport and talk about their grandchildren and golf? And if Lynch was telling the truth then why would having a cordial conversation with the former president preclude her from making a statement about the investigation of his wife.

Perhaps one day Lynch will have a crisis of conscience and tell the world what the two actually discussed. We know that Bill Clinton has no conscience so there is no hope of getting the information from him.

But the good news in all of this is that Hillary Clinton is not in the White House and she doesn’t control the Department of Justice and the FBI. The bad news is that for some bizarre reason Trump has left Obama’s people in place at both the Department of Justice and the FBI.

Some people say that colonels control the army. It’s the same in government. It doesn’t matter who the top dog is out making speeches and going to endless meetings. If the people in charge of the people actually doing the work are in the opposing camp, it doesn’t matter who is at the top. They just send the top dog off to another meeting and do what they want.

I guess I’ll be writing this every week until he does something, but Trump has to clean house.

Mueller was involved up to elbows in the Uranium One investigation where there appears to be proof of corruption, and Bill Clinton was right in the middle of it from the beginning, but nothing happened. How can Mueller now investigate Trump on another matter involving Russia? He has a much bigger conflict of interest than Attorney General Sessions.

What is wrong with the Republicans in Washington that they are allowing this sham of an investigation to continue? At the very least Mueller should be given a deadline, and if he hasn’t come up with evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians by that deadline, Congress should cut off his funding. They may not be able to fire Mueller, but you have to wonder how many people would be working for Mueller if they were working for free.

*****

There is no action taken by Trump that is too trivial for the mainstream media to go ballistic over.

According to the mainstream media, Trump might have caused an international incident by feeding fish in Japan too much food.

But the mainstream media don’t care much about facts when it comes to Trump, and in fact Trump only did what Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did before him, which was get tired of spooning food to the fish and dumping the rest of the box into the pool.

CNN, which has become nothing but a propaganda channel, actually edited the film so that viewers couldn’t see Abe toss all his food into the pond first. CNN made it look like Trump did it all on his own, and they certainly didn’t show Abe laughing when Trump followed his lead.

There is no way editing a film like that can be considered news.

*****

If it were anybody but Trump, the press would be raving about the access they have to the president.

Trump takes questions from the press nearly every day. Hillary Clinton hardly held any press conferences when she was running for president. She went almost a year without holding a press conference and then, when she did, she cut it short, evidently because someone asked a question that had not been planted by her staff.

Reporters shout questions at presidents all the time, and most ignore them. President Ronald Reagan was good with a quick quip, but Trump stops, answers a question, then answers a couple more until finally his aides drag him away. There is no doubt that our president loves the microphone, but he also loves the give and take with the press. None of these people asking questions like Trump and they are not throwing him softballs. But Trump uses every means available to get his message to the American people, and this is a good one.

When he was running for president he would call in to talk shows. If you are on the air and you have Bob from Indianapolis on one line and presidential candidate Donald Trump on the other, if you care at all about your job, you’re going to take the call from Trump and let Bob listen to hold music for a while. Trump made great use of the media’s quest for ratings and it worked.

Answering questions from the press works in much the same way. It forces the media to at least put what the president said on the air. Then they can talk about how wrong he is, but if he doesn’t answer the question then they talk about how wrong he is without people ever having the chance to hear what he actually said.

*****

I’ve written about it before, but evidently it needs repeating: The so-called “fact checkers” that are so widely quoted are no more factual than the publications that pay them.

The “fact checkers” don’t check facts, what they do is find a way to twist negative information about Democrats like Hillary Clinton into being factually wrong and negative information about people they hate like Donald Trump into being right.

It is a brilliant device to give the liberal mainstream media another bite at the apple. For some reason, if an extremely biased article about Hillary Clinton says “fact checker” at the top, people tend to believe that it’s true.

It’s no more true than anything else reported in the mainstream media.

Think about this one for a moment. There is a lot of reporting being done about the Uranium One scandal. All of this information was available before the 2016 election. I wrote about Uranium One any number of times last year and I haven’t seen anything that wasn’t available then, but the mainstream media wouldn’t touch it because it reflected poorly on their candidate, the woman that everyone knew was going to be the next president of the United States.

I was reading a piece in the mainstream media about all of Hillary Clinton’s accomplishments and the one they noted while she was secretary of state was that she visited more countries than any previous secretary of state.

The secretary of state is not paid to be on tour traveling from five star hotel to five star hotel on a big expensive government jet. The secretary of state is supposed to do something when she visits a country, like negotiate a trade deal or treaty. Just going and shaking hands is not usually considered an accomplishment, unless you happen to be Hillary Clinton and the fact checker is in awe of you.

*****

I have no idea what Trump’s approval ratings are, but I certainly don’t trust the mainstream media to tell me. Remember all the polls last year before the election? How many turned out to be accurate once the votes were counted? I read over and over that Hillary Clinton was going to win North Carolina, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and a bunch of other states, but she didn’t.

In fact, one of the reasons Hillary Clinton lost was because she believed the mainstream media that was predicting she would win big, possibly in a landslide. As late as the evening of Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, mainstream media pundits were saying that they didn’t see a path for Trump to get to 270. They didn’t see a path, but Trump got to 306 without a path. Simply amazing.

All last year the mainstream media were wrong about Trump. During the primary the mainstream media consistently picked Trump to do worse than he did. We were told that when some of the multitude of candidates dropped out of the Republican primaries that Trump’s percentage would not go up because he wouldn’t get votes from other candidates, but the mainstream media were wrong week after week.

So why now does anyone believe Trump’s approval ratings from the same sources? Did the mainstream media suddenly see the light and realize how wrong they were. I haven’t heard any mea culpas from the mainstream media. They hated Trump last year and hate him more this year because he is president.

I doubt if his approval ratings are very high because the people who supported Hillary Clinton would not support Trump if he were healing the sick at his rallies.

Plus, there are still a lot of never-Trumpers among Republicans.

But last year, despite what the media said about Trump, his popularity was high enough to be elected president.

*****

I don’t think there is any doubt that the Republican tax reform plan is going to get through the House before Thanksgiving. If it doesn’t then I hope that Speaker Paul Ryan serves Thanksgiving dinner in the Capitol Building because he shouldn’t let those folks go home until they have finished their work.

But the House isn’t the problem. Republican senators are already saying that they don’t know if they can vote for the tax reform bill and they don’t even know what’s in it.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should already go down as one of the worst majority leaders in modern times. If he can’t get the tax reform bill through the Senate this year, he should be arrested for impersonating a majority leader, or maybe impersonating a senator.

But maybe McConnell will come through. Maybe this time he will get his team in line and can actually pass a major piece of legislation.

*****

The shooting in Texas was a tragedy, and according to the mainstream media a great opportunity to talk about the need to ban assault weapons – a name invented by the Clinton administration for a rifle based on how it looks. Only the mainstream media and liberals are dumb enough to support an assault weapons ban because it is based on how the gun looks and not how it operates.

An assault weapon is a semi-automatic hunting rifle, tricked out to look mean. The difference between a semi-automatic hunting rifle and an assault weapon is cosmetic. If people were serious about gun control they would talk about banning guns based on how they operate, not how they look. It is like banning red cars from the interstate because they look fast.

*****

It’s a defense that doesn’t work very often, but it worked for Bowe Bergdahl. It’s known as the orphan defense, where a person kills their parents and then asks the court for mercy because they are an orphan.

Bergdahl deserted his post in Afghanistan and was picked up by, or turned himself in to, the enemy. As a result, Bergdahl was held captive for five years until Obama traded five high-level terrorist leaders for Bergdahl. His defense was that he should not be put in prison because he had been held captive for five years. But he was held captive because he deserted his post in a combat zone. Did Bergdahl think that he was going to catch the next bus back to the US?

Bergdahl created his own problem. If he had not deserted, which is usually considered a serious crime, he would not have been held captive. If the orphan didn’t kill their parents, they would not be an orphan.

It is an incredible sign of the crazy times we live in that the orphan defense worked.

Parisian Promenade at Bicentennial Garden