White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, “Mooch” to his friends, has already shown why he is in and former Press Secretary Sean Spicer is out and why White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus is probably on his way out the door. Scaramucci fired his first employee Tuesday and has said that if the leaks from the White House continue he will fire everyone in his office.
The leaks have been a constant problem for this White House and it appeared that nothing was being done to stop them. Scaramucci won’t be able to stop all the leaks, but he can certainly take the White House from leaking like a sieve to something more reasonable.
If an employee knows that if they are suspected of leaking they will get a stern talking to, that creates an entirely different environment from one where if an employee is suspected of leaking they find their personal belongings in a box outside the door of their former office and a security guard waiting to walk them to the parking lot.
Scaramucci may be able to take care of the White House communications office, but somebody is going to have to handle the intelligence agencies, which are constantly leaking. As White House chief of staff, it would seem that would fall to Priebus, but maybe that’s above his pay grade.
What President Donald J. Trump needs to do is what was recommended here and by many other conservatives months ago: Trump needs to clean house.
In a normal election, keeping some staff from the former president makes sense, but the 2016 election was no normal election.
President Barack Obama didn’t sit on the sidelines for the election or make a couple of policy speeches for his party’s candidate. Obama appeared to be out campaigning harder for Hillary Clinton than she was campaigning for herself.
Obama also did not confine his remarks to making positive statements about Hillary Clinton.
He attacked Trump. Obama called Trump an insecure man with a history of degrading women. He said that Trump was unprepared and unqualified to be president. Obama said Trump was an irresponsible citizen who didn’t pay his taxes Obama went after Trump personally, not simply his political positions.
So the people who worked for Obama and supported Obama are not likely to be agnostic about the election.
Just as Trump should have fired FBI Director Jim Comey on Jan. 20, he should have let everyone who worked for Obama go, in particular he should have removed the people in the intelligence community who had been gathering dirt on Trump and leaking it.
There is no way that in the morning they could be loyal to Obama and in the afternoon loyal to Trump.
One might argue that their loyalty should be to the country, not the president, but people are not one dimensional. If by working for Obama they became convinced that Trump would be bad for the country then it makes sense for them to undermine Trump, and that is exactly what they have been doing.
Trump has given it six months and that is long enough. He needs to do what he should have done in January and clean house.
He can’t fire most government employees, but he can move them far away from the White House.
Trump is considering sending more troops to Afghanistan, but he rejected the military’s plan, which according to reports is the same old plan with more troops.
One thing the US doesn’t need is more troops in Afghanistan without a clear mission and a defined achievable goal.
If more troops are needed to accomplish a goal and can then be withdrawn when that goal is reached, that makes sense. Sending more troops to Afghanistan to do whatever it was that Obama was sending troops there to do won’t help anyone.
It sounds like Trump, unlike Obama, is interested in success, and he doesn’t see increasing the number of troops under Obama’s plan or a revised Obama plan is the path to success.
It’s a good sign that Trump sent his military advisors back to the drawing board.
Trump can’t pull out of Afghanistan completely for the same reason that Obama couldn’t: The current government wouldn’t stay in power a month and it would likely be Iraq all over again. Obama made the major mistake of pulling all US troops out of Iraq and allowed ISIS to take over Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, and a large swath of the country – at one point almost reaching the airport in Baghdad.
It was a costly error and the Iraqi government forces, with US support, have just managed to take back Mosul, or what’s left of it, after months of fighting.
It should be no surprise that special prosecutor Robert Mueller is expanding his investigation into Trump’s business practices.
But what it means is that Mueller has yet to find enough evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to take action, which in this case means bringing charges against somebody in the Trump administration.
If his other avenues of investigation were fruitful, Mueller would not be widening the net. But you can expect the net to get wider still.
Trump says he has no business interests in Russia per se. He told The New York Times he may have sold some condominiums to Russians or something on that level, but as far as actual investments in Russia, he didn’t have any.
It’s incredible that the appointment of Mueller was allowed. He was the FBI director under President Obama and, as special prosecutor, has hired a number of attorneys who contributed to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. If he has hired anyone who supported Trump then it hasn’t been made public.
If supporters of Hillary Clinton are not biased against Trump then certainly Trump supporters could not be considered biased in Trump’s favor, so where are the Trump supporters on the Mueller team?
Somebody needs to step forward and put limits on this investigation. It is supposed to be about Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, not about Trump’s business practices or anything else.
Perhaps what Mueller should be concentrating on is why the Obama administration didn’t do more when it knew that Russia was attempting to meddle in the election. But then that is the administration that Mueller was a part of, so he isn’t likely to delve too deeply into that.
Speaking of investigations, what is it with the Republican Congress? They launch one investigation after another about Trump, who happens to be the Republican president.
When Obama had a Democratically controlled Congress, it didn’t launch investigations into what Obama was doing, even when his people were obviously breaking the law, as in the case of the IRS, or Fast and Furious, where the federal government provided arms to Mexican drug cartels in what should go down as one of the stupidest government programs on record. Before they could be investigated, the Republicans had to take control again.
It appears the Republicans in Congress want to cut Trump’s legs out from under him as much as the Democrats do, or maybe more.
If the Republicans would stop investigating this Russian collusion accusation originally made by Hillary Clinton’s campaign then maybe they could get some work done.
It is mind boggling that this whole investigation is based on the belief by Democrats that there was no way that Donald Trump could win the election.
Trump won, and looking back at the campaigns it’s no surprise.
Hillary Clinton ran her campaign like she was destined to win and all she had to do was make a few campaign appearances, not collapse in public too many times, stay hidden from the public behind her Secret Service protective detail as much as possible and prepare her acceptance speech.
She didn’t think she could lose, her campaign didn’t think she could lose, and many of her supporters including everyone in the mainstream media didn’t think she could lose. The campaign was certainly not going to report that they were beaten by a superior campaign organization, so they invented this Trump story – that the Russians somehow worked with Trump and that was why Trump won.
It’s a good story and it served its purpose; it got the spotlight off Hillary Clinton’s campaign, which had a sure fire winner and took it right into the tank.
Last weekend Jordan Spieth almost lost the British Open, but he came back and won. The Hillary Clinton campaign was more like Jean van de Velde, who, in 1999, arrived at the final hole of the British Open with a three-stroke lead and only needed a double bogey to win. Instead he managed to hit both the grand stand and a water hazard with errant shots for a triple bogey seven and he lost.
That’s a similar story to the Hillary Clinton campaign. Unfortunately for van de Velde, he didn’t think of blaming the Russians and had to take the blame for the loss himself.
But what is incredible is that there is still no evidence of Russian collusion and the Republicans continue to insist on investigating their own president.
They don’t call it the stupid party for nothing. The Republicans in Congress appear to be paying far too much attention to the mainstream media. And Trump’s own administration is investigating him with a special prosecutor.
Imagine if Hillary Clinton had won like it was predicted she would, and had swept in Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, and in the aftermath Trump claimed the Chinese had helped her. Does anyone for one minute think that there would be a special prosecutor investigating Hillary Clinton, or that the Democrats in Congress would be holding constant hearings to investigate Trump’s claims? It would never happen.
The Republicans have already gone too far down this path of investigation and Trump made a huge mistake in appointing Jeff Sessions as attorney general, and an even bigger mistake in allowing Sessions to turn the investigation over to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is part of the swamp that Trump is supposed to be draining.
The Republicans need to stop their investigations and get back to work.
Spicer has resigned as White House press secretary and Trump has appointed Scaramucci to be the White House communications director and report directly to Trump, not to White House Chief of Staff Priebus.
Priebus is in the wrong job. If he were not, the White House wouldn’t be leaking information like a sieve and the White House wouldn’t be having so little effect on Congress.
It appeared that one reason Priebus was appointed was because, as head of the Republican National Committee, he knew all the players in Washington. But it appears that he doesn’t have enough influence to get those players to do what Trump wants them to do.
If the White House were running like clockwork and the only problem Priebus had was that he couldn’t get legislation through Congress then it might make sense to keep him around, but it isn’t running like clockwork. Trump’s appointments are not being approved in the Senate, Congress hasn’t done anything about health care or the budget, and the leaks aren’t plugging themselves.
The normal month-long August break for Congress has been shortened by two weeks. It should be eliminated altogether until Congress does something.
It’s not enough for Congress to sit around in their plush offices on Capitol Hill surrounded by staff. It isn’t even enough for the House and Senate to actually meet, which doesn’t happen very often.
What is needed is for the House and Senate to vote on bills. And in the Senate, the Republicans need to push some appointments through. If that means changing the rules, then change the rules. The Democrats had no problem changing the rules when they were in charge.
It appears that the Republicans in the Senate are going to vote on repealing Obamacare, which is great.
If it doesn’t pass then let the Republicans who voted against the repeal go home to their constituents and explain why they voted against repealing a bill that they have voted to repeal in the past. Is it because they knew that their votes to repeal Obamacare were for show and they really don’t want to repeal Obamacare because they support the federal government taking over healthcare insurance?
That was the debate when Obamacare passed. Much of the opposition was not to the bill itself because few knew exactly what was in the 2,000-plus page bill. (Then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi famously said that they had to pass the bill to find out what was in it.)
The debate was a philosophical one.
The Democrats, who had the majority, said that the federal government had to take over healthcare insurance to keep costs down and to ensure that all Americans had access to “affordable” health care insurance.
The Republicans argued that the private sector was a better provider of healthcare insurance than the federal government.
Having had federalized healthcare insurance for seven years, the evidence is that the Republicans were correct: The federal government doesn’t do a good job of running the health insurance industry.
Now some Republicans are backing away from the belief that the federal government shouldn’t run the healthcare insurance industry for the country. They say they don’t like Obamacare but want to replace it with a better federal program.
So it appears the Democrats have won the philosophical debate and now Congress is arguing about how the federal government should control the health insurance industry.
So Sergey Kislyak, when he was Russian ambassador, told his bosses that he discussed the presidential campaign with then Sen. Jeff Sessions and that proves collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
First of all, this is another leak from the intelligence agencies based on intercepts of conversations Kislyak had with his superiors in Russia, so it is immediately suspect.
Second, if everything everyone told their bosses about what they did were absolutely true, we’d be living in different world. It’s like claiming that everything on someone’s tax return is 100 percent true. Most people give themselves a world of wiggle room between what actually happened and what they tell their bosses happened.
Considering the fact that during parts of 2016 everybody in the country was talking about the presidential election, it would be a little odd to pretend that it wasn’t happening.
If Kislyak was like most people in Washington, who are addicted to gossip, and knowing that Sessions was close to Trump, he may have been trying to get the inside scoop just to prove that he knew what was really happening.
But even if every word that Kislyak told his bosses is true, the big question the Trump White House should be asking is, who leaked it to The Washington Post.
Once the White House discovers the source of the leak, that person should be fired and prosecuted. The leaking of National Security Administration top secret communications to the media has to be stopped.
What foreign leader would want to try and have a confidential conversation with Trump, knowing that Trump’s own people are spying on him and will likely leak anything that they think would be detrimental to Trump to the media.
It’s no wonder that Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin talked at the G20 dinner. They can’t talk on the phone – not because intelligence people are listening but because the US folks will leak it to the media.
It happens in sports. It happens in business. It happens in marriages. People get to the point where they aren’t looking for solutions but excuses.
In sports you hear it all the time: “We would have won but we’ve had some injuries.” “We only had one day of rest and our opponent had three.” Or one of the best of late came from the runner-up at Wimbledon: “I had a blister on my foot.”
When people start looking for excuses instead of solutions, the battle is lost before it starts.
The Republicans in the Senate appear to fall into that category. Some are blaming Trump because the Senate Republicans couldn’t come up with the votes to replace or repeal Obamacare. It used to be that the Senate Republicans blamed Obama for not getting anything done. Obama is gone, so now it is Trump’s fault.
The problem is that in the Senate we have a bunch of complainers. The fault lies with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. It is his job to get Republican bills through the Senate. If he can’t do that then he should step aside and let someone else try. Actually, the Senate Republicans need to force him out of office and at least give someone else a try. They can’t do any worse.
The media attacks on Jared Kushner are typical. Kushner said that he didn’t collude with the Russians and as far as he knows nobody in the Trump camp did. It is being reported by the mainstream media as a weak denial.
It isn’t weak, it’s honest. Considering the level of hysteria over the Trump collusion charges – and even the media hasn’t found any evidence of it yet, unless you consider a meeting about Russian adoption proof of collusion, which is a stretch even for the rabid media.
Kushner cannot honestly say that no one in the Trump organization colluded with the Russians because he can’t know that to be true. For all he knows some intern in the Trump campaign was having an affair with a member of the Russian embassy staff. In the wild and crazy world of the mainstream media, that would be proof that Trump, who probably never met this intern, was using her to secretly get messages to Putin.
It certainly would be less of a stretch than attacking Attorney General Sessions for not listing a meeting with the Russian ambassador because they were both at the same event along with a couple hundred other people.
Russia has a big embassy in Washington. The Russians are there in order to meet with Americans, and in particular American politicians, so it is not suspicious for a senator and the Russian ambassador to be at the same event.
At the time of the now famous meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer to collude on getting Russian children adopted, the Trump campaign and the American people didn’t realize that meeting with a Russian was an impeachable offense.
I thought Kushner’s explanation made sense. Some journalists have suggested that the idea that he didn’t read the subject line of the email from his brother-in-law as not believable.
I frequently don’t read the subject line of emails. In fact, I deal with most emails much the same way that Kushner said he does – I look at them to see if there is anything important there, but I don’t actually read them. I have even been known to reply to emails before I’ve read them because I think I know what they say and often I don’t.
If I were being investigated I would be ruled illiterate by the mainstream media because I have sent completely nonsensical replies to emails.
I don’t know what world these journalists live in that they read every word of every email. If I did that I would do nothing all day but read emails.
How many times did Hillary Clinton say, “I don’t recall,” when she testified before Congress? When they asked her if she needed to take a break, Hillary Clinton responded, “I don’t recall.” Well, maybe that didn’t actually happen, but listening to her being questioned, it seemed possible.
Kushner gave what appeared to be honest answers and a reasonable explanation of why he was there. But whatever he said wasn’t going to be enough.
Why is the mainstream media so silent about the problems that Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee is having with her former IT employee who was picked up by the FBI as he tried to flee the country?
There is a story there of stolen emails and smashed hard drives, and it appears there may have been some blackmail taking place, but the media has no interest because it is not dirt about Trump.
This is really going to disappoint Al Gore, but according to NASA reports, the sea level fell last year.
Just like temperature, the sea level is always changing. On average it has been rising at a rate of about 3.4 millimeters or 0.13 inches per year.
Gore, in 2007 predicted a 10-inch increase by 2017, and he was off by about 9 inches. And last year the sea level actually went down slightly.
It’s a lot like global warming. The theory doesn’t work if the global temperatures and sea levels are fluctuating like they always have. If the sea level is going to rise dramatically, as Gore predicts, then it can’t fall for even one year, but it did.
Oh my gosh, proving that there is life after losing a presidential campaign, the people who were in charge of inventing the weekly slogans for the Hillary Clinton campaign must have been hired by the Democratic Party. It’s not possible that there could be two groups in the same profession who are that bad.
It makes sense because if Hillary Clinton had won they would have been charged with coming up with a host of slogans for her, but Hillary Clinton lost so they were out of work.
The slogan they came up with for the Democrats is “A Better Deal.” It sounds like the slogan for a used car lot. It is not as bad as some of Hillary Clinton’s slogans. It’s going to be hard to ever top “I’m with her.”
It’s not even “The Best Deal,” which would at least imply some moxie. OK, so their deal is horrible and mine is horrible too, just not quite as horrible.
Or how about “Let’s Make a Deal”? It’s catchy, but I think it’s already taken.
If the Democrats really think they are going to win big in 2018, they are going to have to ditch the old Hillary Clinton people who got them where they are now.
Everybody is writing about the way that Trump is attacking Sessions, but Sessions doesn’t appear to be concerned.
It’s possible he knows something the rest of us don’t. There are many ways to make a deal work and Trump is all about making deals.
Maybe Sessions is seething but is a master at keeping it to himself.