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Sunday, June 25, 2017

The apparent all-out war on the Trump Administration may appear to be focused on the President, but the real target is something much more important.

Within weeks of losing the 2016 Presidential Election, the big shots of the Democratic Party called an all-hands meeting to formulate a strategy in response to Donald Trump's unexpected victory.  It would be both dangerous and wrong to assume that the leaders of the Progressive Movement that has taken over the Democratic Party are incompetent or ignorant.  In fact, I'm sure the plan that was formulated at that gathering has been successful beyond their wildest expectations.  They recognized that the biggest threat to their efforts was not President Donald Trump, but his agenda.  If the Trump Administration was successful in legitimately stimulating the economy, creating a perpetual job-creating machine, and re-establishing the United States as an international Super Power, then the progressive message of bigger government, more regulation, open borders, higher taxes, and international control of our environmental policy, would be tossed in the dustbin of history.  Don't be mistaken; behind the non-stop criticism, hysterical attacks, and never-ending demonstrations, is a real fear that Trump's efforts to invigorate the economy, bring jobs home, and squash ISIS once and for all, will succeed, which would leave the Democratic opposition without a platform on which to run in 2020.  The powerful Democratic movers and shakers who met after the November 2016 surprise, agreed that whatever marching orders they issued must be in pursuit of the same goal: the crippling of the Trump agenda.

I imagine that the Democrats and Progressives who are working tooth-and-nail to disrupt Trump's legislative efforts are thrilled with the non-stop barrage of stories in the press regarding President Trump and alleged Russian efforts to impact the 2016 campaign.  Its nothing but icing on the cake, as far as their concerned.  Like the rest of us, they probably didn't realize the depths to which the mainstream media would sink, in order to carry out their part of the plan.  One scenario that seems the most likely: the Democrats realized that they still had almost three months of the Obama Administration in control of the tools of government.  Since the FBI had already informed the Obama folks that the Russians were being more aggressive than usual with regards to password theft, virus introduction, and hacking in general, every time a Russian met with a Trump adviser, that person was unmasked and the identity leaked to the press.  Therefore, you have the FBI announcing increased Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 campaign, at roughly the same time as information is leaked regarding Trump folks meeting with Russians.  I can assure you, it wasn't coincidental that the announcements by the intelligence services and the FBI regarding Russian hacking, hit the papers at roughly the same time as the press chose to print leaked information regarding Jeff Sessions and Michael Flynn meeting with Russian officials.  We know now that Session's interaction with Russian officials occurred when he was still a Senator, and was totally innocuous.  Because of all the legal wrangling, I'm still not sure what the FBI thinks it has on Michael Flynn, but one thing is for certain, we have yet to see even a shred of evidence linking Russian espionage with anyone associated with the Trump campaign.

As for who is responsible for unmasking Sessions and Flynn, only certain officials have the authority to make such a serious decision.  Susan Rice was one of the "unmaskers", but we have yet to discover who else was blatantly abusing regulations that were put in place to protect U.S. citizens against just this type of political warfare.  This issue should have died a deserved death months ago, but the media keeps the narrative fresh, through a regular supply of White House leaks.  These leaks have become so plentiful, that I never hear any concern regarding the validity of the information and the existence of the so-called "leakers".

This issue has become so large, that we now have a Special Counsel investigating the Trump Administration and its contacts with Russians.  The Special Counsel rule has been abused in the past, but to appoint Robert Mueller to the role when the FBI has yet to produce one iota of evidence supporting the allegation, should be very disturbing to every law-abiding American.  Its a boon to the Democrats, whose strategy was to hinder the Trump Agenda in the Courts, in Congress, and by utilizing the media to monopolize the bully-pulpit and control the front-page narrative.  Another avenue of attack was to paint all Trump efforts as racist, starting with the attempt to repeal Obamacare.  The Democrats never tire of abusing the race card, and for the first time in his life, Donald Trump is being labeled a homophobe and a bigot.

At the moment, the left is accomplishing more than was expected or intended.  After watching Donald Trump do the unthinkable and beat Hillary Clinton, the Democrats realized that if his agenda proves successful, a Trump second-term is assured, along with increased Republican majorities in Congress and more than likely another conservative Supreme Court Justice.  The strategy put in place was solely focused on disrupting the Trump agenda, but no one considered how ineffectual the Republican Congress was going to be, and how often President Trump would self-inflict wounds through the use of social media.  The Democrats have been able to cripple the agenda, and cause serious damage to the reputation of President Trump, at a time when the Republicans control Congress, the Executive, and, arguably, the Supreme Court.  I'm not surprised that the left has been able to slow the agenda, but getting a Special Counsel appointed to investigate an allegation that has yet to yield any evidence is something I would never have foreseen.  Not surprisingly, Mueller has already expanded his investigation to include possible obstruction on the part of President Trump.  Its like having a never-ending supply of darts- keep throwing, and eventually you will hit something.  I guess you can't blame Mueller; no doubt he has discovered that the allegation of Trump collusion with Russia is without merit, and an opportunity presents itself to justify an extended, long, political, and expensive investigation.

In the end, it may end any hope we have of getting Trump's agenda back on track.  

Friday, June 9, 2017

Former FBI Director James Comey must be held accountable for his actions.

Since the beginning of the Justice Department's investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private internet server, we've been treated to a parade of politicians, journalists, and analysts, all trying to spin the mess into a political weapon.  Occasionally we would get a glimpse of a well-groomed bureaucrat here and there, stuck in the unenviable position of trying to answer questions without sharing classified information.  Most of us were introduced to former FBI Director James Comey sometime in the summer of 2016, which speaks highly of his ability to stay out of the spotlight, considering the number of high-profile investigations in which he was involved.  In my experience, anyone with that level of authority who has been able to avoid becoming a familiar face, is doing something right.

How things have changed for Mr. Comey.

During the Hillary Clinton investigation, Comey was put under a tremendous amount of pressure by Congressional Democrats, who were acutely aware of the damage the controversy was causing her presidential campaign.  Although the left will claim otherwise, fro the most part, the GOP let the investigation evolve and expand on its own, as new revelations provided room to grow.  Many Democrats believe that Comey's decision to publicly announce new developments in the investigation during the presidential campaign eventually cost Clinton the election.  Clinton has echoed that allegation, along with her list of at least thirty-six other "reasons" that Donald Trump unfairly won the election.  At the time, Comey was vilified by Democrats on Capitol Hill, amid the usual calls for investigations you usually get when two or more Democrats are in the same room.  It was obvious to me that Comey took the accusations to heart, and this once stoic, professional bureaucrat allowed himself to become personally involved.

When Donald Trump arrived in DC, he made the decision to keep James Comey on as Director of the FBI.  The Justice Department and the Bureau had become highly politicized during the Obama Administration, and Trump thought it was important to keep some level of continuity, especially as ongoing investigations were concerned.  For anyone who might need a reminder, when I recall the last eight years of the Department of Justice, I think of the "Fast and Furious" debacle, the decision not to investigate the IRS audit targeting controversy, the choice by Congress to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, and the "coincidental" meeting on the Phoenix Airport tarmac between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton, whose wife at the time was the subject of an ongoing Justice Department investigation.  During the eight years of the Obama Administration, which include three years with James Comey as the Director of the FBI, the Bureau had a crisis of personnel, as highly-respected, experienced Special Agents and Supervisory Special Agents were choosing early retirement or just flat-out quitting.  Off the record, the decision to leave usually involved the politicization of the Justice Department.  Just how would this "politicization" reveal itself?  Possibly with the request for FISA authority to conduct surveillance and listen-in on phone conversations being conducted by Russian authorities.  The never-ending leaks are another example of what can happen when a sensitive government agency has been seeded with political appointees and activists.  When President Trump and his advisers realized the level of politicization in the FBI, and the probability that one investigation after another sans justification would be focused on his Administration, he used his authority to make a change in Bureau management.  No doubt President Trump was also considering the possibility that the investigation of his campaign staff and Russian contacts would continue as long as the distraction negatively impacted the Trump Agenda.  Keep in mind that no evidence has yet been discovered which implicates anyone in the Trump campaign with Russian espionage activities, but for some reason the investigation goes on and on and on.

The one surprise Comey saved just for me was his admission to leaking classified information.  Comey claims that once he realized he was getting the ax, he decided to pass notes from his private conversations with President Trump to a college professor, with instructions that she share the notes with the press.  His justification?  Comey asserts that he was concerned Trump might squash the Russia investigation, therefore the public release of the notes might force the naming of a Special Counsel.  What a load of horseshit.  Everyone with even a modicum of political common sense knows that Comey released his notes in order to "get back" at President Trump.  Who would have envisioned that the top Law Enforcement Officer in the country, the person who is tasked with locating and prosecuting persons who leak classified information, would openly admit to Congress that he had knowingly shared classified information with an acquaintance for the express purpose of delivering that information to a journalist?

During his opening remarks to the Congressional Committee, Comey claimed he was angry with President Trump, because of Trump's alleged criticism of the FBI's rank-and-file officers.  Sorry, but I have to call horseshit once again.  A review of the statement Trump released to announce Comey's termination, makes it clear that all and any criticism was reserved for Comey.  President Trump rightly expressed concern regarding the effectiveness of the FBI with Comey in charge, and in no way maligned the hard work being done by Bureau personnel.  At the end of the day, Comey's appearance before members of Congress only reiterated what the Trump Administration has been saying from the beginning.  No persons involved with the Trump Campaign colluded with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign.  The mainstream media, which continues to prove that "anything goes" in the war against the Trump Administration, was unable to spin Comey's appearance into the Russian espionage narrative, so they've moved on to Plan B, which is to introduce the world to "Trump the Obstructionist".  The talking points must have been prepared quickly, because I noticed the term "obstructionist" on the websites of the NY Times and the Washington Post, and heard it on MSNBC and CNN.  The media is a formidable opponent, folks, as they answer to no one, and can print whatever allegation comes to mind, as long as it comes from an "unnamed source".  To demonstrate that respect for the rule of law is paramount in today's FBI, the Department of Justice needs to make an example of James Comey, and prosecute the former Director for providing the media with classified information.  Since he's admitted his guilt, this case should be open-and-close, which would go a long way to discouraging potential leakers in the future.      

Saturday, June 3, 2017

A few reasonable observations regarding President Trump and "Covfefe".

(We always welcome guest bloggers to Mukhabarat, Baby!, especially young folks with a unique, concise perspective.  This is 11 year old Zach's second guest appearance.)

"President Trump's tweet is the latest example of his ability to draw attention on social media, and keep the public guessing as to the meaning of his remarks", says Joshua Berlinger, Digital Director for CNN's Hong Kong Bureau and author of the article "Covfefe: When a Typo Goes Viral".

But maybe President Trump was simply thinking about coffee.

Having just returned from a long trip, he was probably really tired.  More than likely, he he wasn't thinking clearly, and instead of typing "coffee" or "conference", he wrote "covfefe".  My question is, have you ever done something similar?  If so, then maybe you shouldn't be so critical of someone for doing something you yourself have done.  Of course, you probably didn't have thousands of people ready to mock you.  I'm addressing that one particular group of voices who find fault with everything about our president, and of course, could not leave the "covfefe" issue alone.

My next question is, why is this news?  Some people think of the president as a demigod, a perfect being who does not make mistakes.  Presidents are mortal, believe it or not.  Donald Trump is no different.  So why then, does it become such a big deal when the president makes a typo? This is nothing more than an effort to make President Trump feel like a fool for doing something very human.  Becoming president should not mean that a person can no longer make a simple typo.  In fact, by making the typo, President Trump has provided a reminder that he is an imperfect American, just like the rest of us.

Its also a reminder of just how different President Trump is from previous presidents, and the traditional, carefully orchestrated pronouncements typically associated with the office, an important point made by Berlinger in his article.  Yes, he tweets....but who cares?  Just about everyone gets news from one social media source or another.  If President Obama had tweeted a "covfefe", it would have been treated as just another example of how down to earth he is.  But this is Donald Trump, not Barack Obama, so it must become a big deal.  Honestly, if "covfefe" is to be considered "breaking news", then I should be famous by now, along with every other American who struggles with spelling.  That being said, we can't exclude the possibility that maybe the president simply hit the wrong key.  C'mon now folks- I'm eleven years old, and to me, he must have just hit the wrong key.  Its seems like a simple, forgivable mistake.  Don't you think that journalists should have better things to do than writing about a typo?  I sure do.    

Friday, June 2, 2017

Kathy Griffin is a hypocrite and a coward, and she has more than used her her fifteen minutes of fame.

Sometimes I make fun of comedienne Kathy Griffin's appearance. Honestly, I really do make an effort to avoid picking on ugly people.  I have yet to win any beauty pageants myself, and I'm sure it wouldn't take a professional entertainer to point out my flaws.  Before I allow physical characteristics to become part of my commentaries, I make darn sure that the target of my judgement is deserving.  Kathy Griffin has built a very successful career as a comedienne by making fun of people.  Our society seems to believe that famous people shouldn't complain about vicious personal attacks because, well, famous people usually have lots of money.  Who wouldn't put up with a few insults on the way to a seven-figure annual income?  Kathy Griffin used to reserve her nasty comments for entertainers, but recently, after being hired by CNN to do an annual New Year's Eve broadcast with Anderson Cooper, Griffin has expanded her target range to include any and all Republicans and Conservatives.  As the old adage reminds us, "what's good for the goose is good for the gander".  Kathy Griffin is a physically repulsive woman.  When the cameras are rolling, she manages to look OK, (credit due to her makeup team as opposed to genetics) but as was evidenced by her apology video clip sans makeup from last Wednesday, Kathy Griffin is not an attractive woman.  Because she presents such an odd combination of physical attributes, at times I've found myself studying her appearance.  Her head is much too big.  In fact, the last time I watched more than five seconds of her stand-up, it appeared as if her head accounted for forty percent of her body.  Sadly for Kathy, television usually focuses on head shots, and Kathy is the spitting image of the Mr. Potato Head toy I enjoyed so much as a child.

Although in my opening paragraph, I was admittedly rough on Kathy Griffin, my comments are nothing compared to the insults she has directed to President Trump and his family.  Some of the comments involving the President and his Daughter Ivanka are so offensive that they occasionally draw criticism from Democrats as well, believe or not.  Her insults, protected by First Amendment and her claim to being an established comedienne, include way too many targets to count.  Griffin may have pushed the proverbial envelope a bit to far earlier this week, though, when she released a photo taken during a professional photo shoot with photographer Tyler Shields, in which she is holding aloft a fake representation of the bloody, decapitated head of President Donald Trump.  I encourage anyone who has not seen the picture to find it in Google, because as offensive as the photo may be, its important that all reasonable Americans understand just how bizarre and full of hate progressives and the left have become.  No doubt Griffin was shocked by the reaction to her artistic efforts.  After discovering the tens of thousands of angry tweets relating to the photo, she put together a short video clip apologizing and admitting that she had "crossed the line".

I was relieved that Griffin had responded quickly and unequivocally regarding the inappropriateness of the photo, especially when it was discovered that the President's eleven-year old son Barron saw the image on television before the First Family had been warned.  Not surprisingly, some on the left saw nothing wrong with Griffin's photo shoot.  Do you remember Ken Jennings, the egg-head from Utah who memorized a set of encyclopedias and was able to win a ton of money on Jeopardy?  He's a celebrity now, and since he's a typical leftist, he is more intelligent than the rest of us, and has carte blanche to say whatever comes into his mind.  In response to Barron Trump seeing a representation of his father's bloodied, decapitated head on television, Jennings tweeted, "Barron Trump saw a very long necktie on a heap of expired deli meat in a dumpster.  He thought it was his dad and his little heart is breaking."  I guess Ken Jennings has graduated from professional Jeopardy player to world-class comedian.  In the real world, Ken Jennings sees himself as a successful author.  Its time Jennings tasted a bit of humility.  Please, please don't buy his books, especially not the books with children as the target audience.  After all, Barron Trump, at eleven years, is still a child.  Don't buy his books, and encourage others to follow suit.  I'm hoping people will be so incensed that booksellers decide to no longer carry his product.

As for Griffin, it didn't take long for her to return to form.  Because Donald Trump, Jr. has tweeted in defense of his younger brother, Kathy Griffin has decided that she is being "bullied" by the Trump family.  I kid you not.  Celebrity Ambulance Chaser and lefty par excellence Lisa Bloom is representing poor, abused, innocent Kathy Griffin.  I truly hope that the American people, at least those who believe in personal accountability, won't take this pretend-attorney and her sad, put-upon client very seriously.  We truly are the silent majority, folks.  We aren't represented by the Washington Post, CNN, the NY Times or MSNBC, because we refuse to fall into any "victim" category.  I didn't enter this country illegally, I'm not trapped in the wrong body, I don't feel sexually harassed whenever someone smiles at me, I'm not in jail because society failed me and I was "forced" to sell drugs, and I don't believe that the country owes me anything other than the opportunity to make a good life for myself.  I truly believe that most Americans feel the same way.  Lets make ourselves heard by avoiding the promotions and products of the Kathy Griffins and Ken Jennings of the world, and stand up for the America in which we believe.