Independent Investigations
A Place For Considerate Political Discourse!

Oct
17

In the past year I have had many conversations with both Christians and non-Christians regarding the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States.  Comments made during those conversations tend to follow along two separate lines of thought.

  1. Was the election of Donald Trump an event that was 100% controlled by the God we serve?
  2. Was the election of Donald Trump an event that exemplified the “free will” so often mentioned in Christian thought?

This might be another way to characterize those two lines of thought.

  1. Was Donald Trump elected because it was the will of God?
  2. Was Donald Trump elected because the electorate used their “free will” and voted for a man whose character was in direct contrast to every Biblical imperative that the faithful hold dear.

It is clear that we live in a divided country.  Red State, Blue State, Purple State, we are all over the place politically.  The question I want to explore is how those of us who identify with the claims of Christ and Biblical revelation can be so diametrically opposite in our thinking about the last election and the state of the Presidency at this time.

To be clear, there are those that believe that Trump was placed in this position because it was the will of God.  On the other end of the spectrum there are those that believe that God would never place a man like Trump in the most powerful position on the planet.

I fully understand the “God is in charge” group.  This group quotes scripture centering on an all-powerful God who is in control of everything.  Again I understand where they are coming from.  I just disagree with that line of thinking.

Then there are those of us who believe that God would never honor a man of such low character by placing him into the position Donald Trump now holds.  We point to the fact that we have been given the “free will” to make decisions on our own and with those decisions come consequences.

The “God is in charge” group tend to stress the Biblical imperative to pray for our leaders to be successful, the result of which will be leadership actions that bring glory to God.

The “free will of the people” group tends to stress that the current leadership of this country is an embarrassing disaster that needs to be rectified by removing those who aren’t qualified to lead.

I will be clear on what I believe about our current President.

  1. He is a serial womanizer and adulterer.
  2. He is a serial liar, one that we may never have experienced in our lifetime.
  3. He is a sexual predator whose actions should have resulted in prison time.
  4. He is a bully who has gotten by in this world using verbal and legal threats against weaker opponents.
  5. There is nothing about him that indicates he is a Godly man.
  6. His fixation on the nations’ nuclear arsenal signals a lack of true understanding of its real purpose.
  7. He isn’t near as smart as he thinks he is, and his words and actions are proof of his lack of real intelligence.
  8. I could go on, but suffice it to say, these characteristics make him unqualified to serve as President of the United States.

The question I ask here is simple.  Knowing that these things are true, how could a Christian vote for a man who is so anti-Christian in his behavior and thinking?

Some possible answers to that question.

  1. You believe all of the things that people have said over the years about Hillary Clinton and think that the things that turn you off about her make her less deserving of a man with the characteristics I just listed.  In other words, all things being equal, he was more qualified in your eyes than she was.
  2. Your political ideology as a Conservative Republican is more important in your thinking that the spiritual imperatives that you identify with.
  3. You believe that the Republican Party will adhere to more of your spiritual beliefs about topics such as abortion, gay marriage, transgender issues, immigration, and other issues that are more in line with your conservative ideology.

Those who know me well, and there are few, know that I have never been one who disguises my beliefs about political issues and for that matter spiritual issues.  Here is another question I have.  If Trump was a Democrat, would you have voted for him?

I am not trying here to undermine your thought processes or your vote.  I am trying to start a legitimate discussion about a subject that doesn’t seem to have any simple answers.

Feel free to comment and state your case.  This is a discussion worth having.

 

 

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Aug
05

“Leave him alone and let him do his job!”   I can’t tell you how many times I have heard Trump backers utter those words.   Interestingly enough, they are almost the same exact words we heard during the Watergate Investigation, and the Whitewater Investigation.  My answer to that is…”NO, NOT UNTIL WE KNOW THE TRUTH!”   By “truth” I mean fact-base evidence that is the result of a highly professional investigation let by one of the country’s most distinguished and decorated men.

Bottom line, the team of 16 lawyers and their staffs have done an outstanding job of eliminating leaks to the public.  This is totally unlike the Kenneth Star team that investigated Whitewater and the Clintons.  The leaks about their work were strategic and ongoing throughout the process.  They were designed to inform the public and feed the frenzy that was in full bloom.  There is none of that with this investigation.  That is a testament to the professional ethics of this group.

That being said, after the first few months this is where I see this investigation going.

1. There is a real possibility that members of the Trump team will be indicted for money laundering activity over the past several years at least.  Whether or not this leads directly to Trump or his family is an unknowable issue at this point.

2. There is a real possibility that members of the Trump team will be indicted for failure to disclose their financial ties to individuals residing in the Kremlin or otherwise involved in Russian affairs.

3. There is a real possibility that Trump will face charges regarding obstruction of justice.

4. The FBI will probably “flip” Paul Manafort or Michael Flynn during the investigative process.  This will be due to the fact that one or both of them are facing jail time and they will negotiate some sort of deal to lessen or eliminate their potential prison terms.

5. Charges will be leveled by either one, or both of the Grand Juries currently in operation.

6. Russia’s efforts to impact the election will be documented thoroughly but many in this country will either deny that it happened, or make efforts to make it seem trivial.

7. If Trump is charged with Obstruction of Justice, or money laundering, Republicans in Congress will eventually realize that they have hitched their wagon to a falling star and the leadership will make the late night visit letting the President know that he faces impeachment.

8. Trump will probably not resign, and will claim that the whole issue is fake news.  A large number of Republicans will still agree with him.

9. Impeachment will proceed.

I have no proof that any of this will happen.  They are just “informed opinion”.

As one who studied the Watergate affair heavily, there are parallels here that are uncanny in their similarity.   I don’t think we can expect a different result than what we faced in 1974.  It will be interesting to go back and look at my list when this thing is complete.

 

Agree?  Disagree?   Feel free to respond!

Apr
22

Democrats looked upon Donald Trump’s recent pardon of Scooter Libby with complete disdain.  We howled.  We screamed. We complained.  We used the pardon as an example of Trump’s dishonesty.  All of the reactions occurred almost immediately without regard for some basic facts.  Once the facts are known, maybe we howl without legitimate cause.

Scooter Libby was serving as Vice President Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff during the last Bush Administration. A few months after the invasion of Iraq, a reporter, Bob Novak revealed the name of a covert CIA employee. This revelation came after the employee’s husband wrote a scathing article about one of the Bush Administrations main rationale’s for going to war, namely that Saddam Hussein was trying to acquire nuclear material.  At that time, many individuals believed that the Bush Administration or someone within it, was trying to retaliate after the negative article.

Scooter Libby eventually admitted that he had been one of the individuals who “outed” the CIA officer.  However, he lied about his source.   He lied to the FBI.  (Sound familiar?)   A Special Counsel investigation was involved in the process.  It took three years for the outcome.  Scooter Libby, a Columbia Law School graduate, was convicted of making false statements in a federal investigation, perjury, and obstruction of justice.  Libby was sentenced to prison.  However, President Bush commuted his sentence.  The guilty verdicts were not removed from his record.   The fact that he was not pardoned by President Bush, caused a chilling effect on the relationship between Vice President Cheney and President Bush.  Cheney, for the most part had his wings clipped within the Administration and his power and sway over President Bush was reduced markedly.

Democrats were overjoyed with the verdicts but not happy with the commutation of sentence.  Interestingly enough, Democrats howled when President Clinton was impeached for lying to the FBI.  These same Democrats basically lost their minds when a Republican did the same basic thing.  There is no greater evidence of the tribalism that has invaded our political discourse.

The story gets more convoluted as you are about to see.  On the last day of his Presidency, President Clinton pardoned a man named Marc Rich, a very rich oil trader who was a fugitive of justice.  His crimes included income tax evasion, wire fraud, racketeering, and trading with an enemy of the United States, (Iran) while it held American hostages.

Rich fled the United States and took refuge in Switzerland where there was no extradition treaty.  The thing that makes this pardon look even worse than it seems is that the normal process for determining pardons within the Administration was never followed.  According to the New York Times, the pardon was “a shocking abuse of federal power.”  Republicans became absolutely unhinged about the pardon.

There was an investigation into whether or not Rich’s ex-wife was donating large sums to the Clinton Presidential Library. We would do well to understand the reality of the political discourse regarding pardons.

  1. A Democrat President, Bill Clinton pardoned a fugitive from justice without using normal protocols.
  2. A Republican President, Donald Trump pardoned Scooter Libby without using normal protocols.
  3. Democrats bark at the moon about the Libby pardon.
  4. Republicans bark at the moon about the Rich pardon.

Political amnesia by both tribal communities results in incoherent arguments, screeching, howling, and barking at the moon. None of those actions change the facts involved.  Before howling, both tribes would be better served if the FACTS and the TRUTH about the situation was known.

Here is the most interesting part of the story.  Guess who the lawyer was that represented Marc Rich in his bid for a pardon?

SCOOTER LIBBY!

 

Feb
15

Not that I am against people praying for people.  But the “Thoughts & Prayers” comment has become the required response by politicians, well-wishers, and “thoughtful” individuals every time there is an incident like we watched in Florida yesterday.  This comment, though potentially thoughtful, has become a way for individuals who could make a difference to seem concerned while taking little or no action that will make a difference in the lives of those suffering from yet another mass murder.

I am a gun owner.  I am an outdoorsman, and one who was raised with weapons in the house.  Some of my fondest memories are of time spent with my father, and his brothers, hunting, dove, quail, ducks, geese and pheasant.  My weapons include rifles that belonged to my father and 12 and 20 gauge shotguns.  I have never fired a handgun.  I have never fired a semi-automatic weapon.  I was raised around individuals who believed in the NRA and learned early in life that if someone takes our guns only criminals will have them.  (Standard NRA Doctrine from the 60’s).

I believe that semi-automatic weapons such as the AR-15 and similar weapons are often purchased by individuals trying to increase their “manliness” and toughness. I always recall the comment from the character Frank Costello in “The Departed”.  “Bringing guns to a business meeting don’t add inches to your dick.”  I believe the purchase of an AR-15 falls into that category.  The design of these weapons is for killing people, lots of people, in a short period of time. Bullets leave an AR-15 at 3000 ft. per second.   This is 3 times faster than from a handgun.   I do not find that they have a legitimate place in a hunter or sportsman’s arsenal.  Living in Las Vegas, home of the most deadly mass shooting in history means that I have come to know how the horror of that event affects a community.  The day after that mass-murder, I watched in person, as FBI agents went in and out of the crime scene, documenting the death and destruction of 58 people.  It was a sobering afternoon.

Back to “thoughts and prayers”.   I believe that political leaders should be made to enter these crime scenes before the bodies are removed.   Then and only then, would it be possible that they may need to take real action about the problem and that their “thoughts and prayers” were useless for those whose bodies and lives have been torn apart by 3000 ft. per second projectiles.  Only then will they realize that their “thoughts and prayers” will not lessen the torment of the families who will be burying their children this week. I event, 17 graves, disgusting.  In Las Vegas, 10 to 15 minutes of fire, 58 graves.

In Florida, an 18 year-old can’t purchase handguns.   However, they can purchase an AR-15.  There isn’t much that explains the ignorance of Florida politicians any better than that fact.  After the Aurora mass murders, a CNN on air personality went to a gun store and purchased an AR-15.  The whole process took 15 to 20 minutes.   It takes longer to get a drivers’ license than it take to purchase a mass-murder machine.

94% of the American public believes that the background check system needs to be overhauled and made more effective.  When I purchased my 20 gauge shotgun, I waited several days for my background check to come through.  I was not offended by the process and, in-fact, had no problem with it.  There are holes in that system that could be closed easily.

It is my belief that there should be a limit to the amount of ammunition an individual can purchase at any one time, or any given time period, and that clips for these murder machines should be limited in size.  (People escape the wrath of a killer while he changes clips)   My point is that there are things that can be done regarding this country’s love-affair with the murder machine.  None of the things that can be done will in any way affect my use of my guns.  It’s fairly obvious why that is.  I don’t hunt people.  I don’t hunt children.  I am not waiting in hiding to ambush government agents who are coming.

Instead of “thoughts and prayers” the leadership of this country needs to come face to face with this carnage.  Only then will they understand that “thoughts and prayers” has not been an effective response to children whose lives have been snuffed out while politicians thought about it and prayed about it.

Please save me the trouble of having to hear the ridiculous excuses and explanations for this problem.   We don’t need AR-15’s to protect ourselves from a “runaway government” that is coming for our guns.  We don’t need AR-15’s to protect ourselves from the criminal element.  Those tired and useless proclamations that emanate from the NRA crowd do nothing to solve the problem.  The government is not coming for your guns.  It never has, and it never will.

Do I expect the leadership of this country to respond in ways that make a difference?   Any logical individual who knows the history of this problem knows it isn’t going to happen.  We will hear the music assigned to the event played on CNN every time they talk about it, and in a week or two, it will disappear from our thoughts.

The NRA spent over 14 million to elect Republican candidates during the 2016 election.  Specifically, they spent $9,721,000 in opposition to Democratic candidates.  $4,327,000 was spent in support of Republican candidates.   They spend more money on advertising campaigns than they do actual donations to elected officials.  Interestingly enough, the NRA contributed the most money to Paul Ryan, the Republican who is third in line to the Presidency.

Maybe our “thoughts and prayers” should be directed towards removing those from office who stand in the way of legitimate progress to this issue.  Obviously, thinking and praying for those affected by these murder machines has not really solved the problem.  And stop the ignorant rants about the second amendment to the Constitution.  It is more than likely that you haven’t read any of it to begin with.  However, picking up a musket like the ones used during the time of the writing of that document is fine with me.   Then you can only kill one person at a time.

 

Jul
17

In the run up to the election I published 10 Reasons why I could not support Trump in my “Independent Investigations” blog.   One of the reasons I discussed was Trump’s use of “strategic lies”.  After his election I made predictions of what to expect once he became President.   My second expectation was that Trump would become “Liar In Chief”.   After six months in office those who knew about his lying and expected him to change his ways are bitterly disappointed.  If you are not, you are not paying attention.  The root of the disappointment is grounded in the basic truth that the President of the United States has made no effort to speak truth to the country.

Many of the promises and claims that he made to solidify his political base were preposterous, ignorant rants that never did have any basis in the truth.  Here are just a few:

  1. We will repeal Obamacare on my first day in office!  (Can you hear the roar from the crowd?)
  2. Mexico will pay for the wall (Shouts of “Donald”, “Donald”, “Donald” ring in our ears)
  3. “I’m putting the people on notice that are coming here from Syria, as part of this mass migration, that if I win, if I win, they’re going back.”  (After 6 months, no attempts)
  4. I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.” (Have you read the Republicans health care bill?)
  5. “I would bring back waterboarding, and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,” (Not a chance in hell the CIA or Military would even consider it)
  6. “Instruct the Treasury Secretary to label China a currency manipulator.” (After one visit with the leadership of China he decided they weren’t such bad guys after all)
  7. “I would not be a president who took vacations. I would not be a president that takes time off.” (How many trips to his luxury destinations have we paid for at this time????)
  8. “We’re going to put our miners back to work.” (A complete lack of credibility, coal is dying and the country is moving away from it)

Research on the President’s statements revealed that he said something untruthful or misleading every one of his first 40 days in office.   Since that time he has done the same thing on 74 of 113 days.  Most of the days where no lies were recorded were days he was off the grid at one of his properties where communications with him were minimal.

I have never been into making predictions, and along those lines have never been any good at it.  However, predicting that Trump would become “Liar In Chief” did not require a great deal of conscious thought.   Once a liar, always a liar.  He is, without questions, the least truthful President of my lifetime.  He is, “Liar in Chief”.

 

The Father Of Lies

I have read some amusing comments from some of my Christian brothers and sisters regarding Donald Trump.  I have learned that Trump was elected by a “miracle of God”.  That God wanted him to rise to power.  That he is one of my brothers in Christ.  I, for one, don’t believe either of those statements.

John 8:44  “Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar, and the father of  lies”

Any human being who consistently lies to establish his credibility has already lost it.  Any person who communicates that which is untrue is behaving in ways that identify him or her with the father of lies.

I ask you, “What about Donald Trump reminds you of Jesus Christ?”  “What about this man demonstrates the nature of a redeemed soul”?

It is a personal struggle to keep from associating him with the father of lies.  Because of that, he is not worthy of my support.

Jun
12

On an evening where we are hearing that President Trump is considering firing Robert Mueller the recently appointed Special Counsel many questions come to mind.   I would love some feedback from any or all of you on these questions?

  1. If firing James Comey was a trigger for the Special Counsel to consider obstruction of justice charges against the President, would firing the Special Counsel fan the flames and bring about more intense scrutiny into obstruction?
  2. Is our President so unintelligent as to consider that option when the evidence of obstruction of justice in the Watergate scandal was solidified by Richard Nixon firing the Special Counsel resulting in his eventual resignation to avoid impeachment?
  3. If Robert Mueller is fired, who in the Justice Department and the Whitehouse has the integrity to resign as those in the Watergate scandal resigned on the night of the Saturday Night Massacre?

 

I would love to hear responses from those who read this!

 

THINK ABOUT IT!  WHY RUSSIA?

QUESTIONS AND POSSIBLE ANSWERS!

  1. Of all of the countries in the world, why is every single forest fire of an issue affecting the Trump Administration related to Russia?

 

  1. Why are so many who had or have had relationships to the Trump campaign and/or Administration claiming that they “forgot” about contacts with Russian individuals

 

  1. Why have so many of the Trumpets like Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Carter Page, Jeff Sessions, Jared Kushner, and even Rex Tillerson had “interactions” with Russian individuals whose goal it is to undermine our democracy?

 

  1. Why is the Administration not doing a thing about Russian intervening in our election? 

 

  1. Why are Republicans not demanding that the Administration forcefully act on new Russian sanctions?

 

  1. Why has the Trump Administration considered relaxing financial sanctions imposed upon Russia as punishment for interfering in our electoral process?

 

I give you some possibilities.

 

  1. The Russians have something that incriminates Trump financially or personally and revelation of that would be a major embarrassment and possibly result in destruction of what is left of the Trump Presidency (such as it is).

 

  1. Some of the Trumpets have financial, political, or personal issues that the Russians know about.

 

  1. Russian financial sources that Trump has relied on for so long know something about him that he doesn’t want the country to know about.

 

  1. Trump doesn’t understand that Russia is a sworn enemy of the United States.

 

If there are other possibilities in your mind, I would love to hear about them.

Jun
08

After James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Committee yesterday we have a clearer understanding of where all of this is heading.  However there are things not yet revealed so don’t draw any conclusions.  Some thoughts on the situation:

  1. There is a palpable impatience brewing in the country.

Some of us remember the way things progressed during the Watergate scandal in the 1970’s.  The efforts to conceal, or reveal the truth of what President Nixon had done was revealed to us in a painfully slow manner and it was maddening.  However, the progress made during the Watergate scandal is not significantly different than what we are experiencing now.  That being said, the advent of 24 hour cable news, the immediacy of the internet, and the proliferation of online sources such as Facebook and Twitter have intensified the interest in the process.  Back then, we waited until the 6 PM evening news or the next morning delivery of the newspaper to learn what was happening.  Today, we see it live.    However, the increased availability of news and commentary will not affect the pace of the revelations that are to come.  The conclusion of the Watergate scandal took several years.  There are no reasons to believe that things will be different now.

Suggestion – reduce your expectations for a quick resolution to this and let things progress in the usual way to reduce the level of your anger and distrust.

  1. We are in an age of incredible investigative journalism.

As I sit and prepare my commentary I am sitting across of a bookshelf filled with political commentary by some incredibly talented journalists.   Among my collection are several books by the journalists that broke open the Watergate case.   “All The President’s Men” by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, “The Secret Man”,  “Plan of Attack”, “Bush at War”, and “State of Denial” by Bob Woodward are all sitting on my shelf waiting for a second or even third read.

My point here is that investigative journalism was critical to the unveiling of the actions of President Nixon during the Watergate scandal.   Investigative journalism in the age of the internet and cable news is going to be just as important to the country as we seek to know the truth of the issue.   The rising and falling of Washington’s power brokers is always an incredibly alluring topic to those interested in the governing of the nation.  There are literally hundreds of potential Woodard and Bernstein’s out there now doing everything they can to unveil the truth.  Journalism careers are going to be established and cemented in the history of this event.

Suggestion – Watch for articles by Thomas Ricks, David Corn, Michael Isakof, Ron Suskind and others who have proven over the years to be talented investigative journalists.

  1. Don’t automatically believe the written and spoken word.

Do you want to know the truth or do you want to fall in with those whose only allegiance is to their political party?  Can you believe everything you hear or read?  Of course you can’t.  That being said you must always take into consideration the past and current allegiances of your news source.  The internet is filled with absolutely ignorant and harmful garbage.   Are you wise enough to discern between that which is trash and that which is truth?   I have come to believe that a large section of the American electorate have a limited ability and even a low desire to learn anything beyond that which is spouted to them through the lens of their political affiliation.

Do you get your information from websites that have been proven to be sources of conspiracy theory and dubious information?   Do you get your information from news sources that have been developed to be the mouthpieces of one political party or another?   Not all news sources are equally adept at presenting facts and truth.   Significant research by reputable organizations has revealed that not all cable news channels present the truth to their listeners.

Suggestion – Don’t settle in on one source for your information.  That is a sure fire way to be uninformed.

  1. Not all proclamations from those involved in the issue have equal relevance and reliability.

Take for example, the information presented to the Senate committee on Thursday, June 8th.  The statements by Jim Comey should be subject to close scrutiny.   Lying to Congress is a serious offense punishable by prison time.  There is probably no one in the country more aware of this than Jim Comey.   His entire career has been spent discerning between that which is true and that which is false.   What are the chances that he would appear before the Senate committee under oath and present statements that he knows can be proven to be false?  His written and verbal statements are under incredible scrutiny.  While you may not agree that he handled things properly in regard to his revealing information about the Hillary Clinton email situation, no one can charge that he has not been totally truthful.

Compare that to the proclamations of our current President.  Donald Trump lies without consequence.  He has made a career of doing just that.  Just to give you an example of how unreliable his words are, I learned this morning that in one of his first meetings with Congressional leaders after taking office, he made it a point to claim that he had actually had many more votes than his opponent in the November election.  He also claimed that there were thousands of illegal votes for his opponent and he commented that his claim did not take into account the thousands of illegal votes in California.  Add to that his proclamation that the crowds at his inauguration we larger than those of the Obama inauguration and you can see that our President is a man who has a distant relationship to facts. He is a man who has lied his way to the top and until now it has worked for him.

Trumps surrogates have bought into his fact-free world.   Yesterday his $1500 an hour personal attorney made claims that Comey’s claims about the timing of releasing his personal notes were false indicating that he had lied to Congress.   Further investigation has shown that Comey’s claims were correct and the high-dollar lawyer had it wrong.   At times their claims would be almost amusing if the situation were not so important.

None of Trumps comments have been made under oath.  He has not been subject to perjury penalties.  He is going to be called before either a Grand Jury or Congress in the future and we will see what he has to say under oath.  The problem with a habitual liar is that you never know when he is telling the truth.  That being said, any statements that come from him at this time has to be evaluated as to their truthfulness.

Suggestion – don’t believe everything you hear or read and consider whether or not the claims were made under oath.

 

  1. Contrary to the Presidents claims, he has not even remotely been vindicated.

In the letter used to terminate Jim Comey, the President claimed that Comey had told him 3 times that he was not personally under investigation in the Flynn investigation.   Comey validated this fact in his written statement.   The President jumped all over that fact and is now proclaiming that he told the truth (which he did) and that he is now free to move forward with his political agenda.

That being said, the President has latched on to a tidbit of information and has failed to consider that his actions have placed him under intense scrutiny by those investigating the entire situation.   There is no doubt that the President is under investigation for obstruction of justice.  There is no doubt that his campaign organization is under investigation regarding their incredibly deceitful behaviors involving individuals whose allegiances are to the country’s most serious enemy.   Heads are going to roll in the Russian investigation.  The only question will be whether or not the Presidents campaign underlings roll over on him to reduce or avoid jail time.  The individuals tasked with uncovering the truth have wide latitude to turn over every rock and go where the evidence leads him.

Nixon was forced to resign, not because of the Watergate burglary.  He was forced to resign because of his attempts to cover it up.

Clinton was not impeached over the Whitewater land deal.  He was impeached for lying about completely unrelated events.

I am not sure if President Trump has any clue what awaits him.   Or maybe he does, and that is why he is trying so hard to impede the investigation.   Or maybe there is a “there” there and he knows if it comes out he is done.

Suggestion – Take any claim made by a President who doesn’t know the difference between fact and fiction with a grain of salt.  Proclamations made by one with such a distant relationship with truth are rarely reliable to anyone but those whose job it is to support him.

 

Investigators have barely scratched the surface of this issue.  It will be a while before we fully understand all that has happened.  Take your time, don’t jump to conclusions based upon unreliable sources.

 

Mar
29

Grope Again copy

I bet you thought I was going to talk about the type of groping that Donald Trump bragged about before the election!   That was probably a dirty trick on my part.  No, I want to talk about a different type of groping.  The type of grope I want to talk about is on where a person is searching, or reaching out to find something in the dark.  It’s a kind of search that could possibly be in vain, for what we grope for may not actually be there.

Before the last election I wrote a series of 10 blog posts that I used to explain reasons why I could not under any circumstances vote for Donald Trump.   At this point, 60+ days into the Trump Administration, Donald has verified every single fear that I had at the time.  However, the one I want to concentrate on was “Reason Four: Strategic Lies”.

In that post I brought out the fact that researchers had determined that almost 3 out of every 4 statements made by Donald Trump was either completely false or contained false information. After 60+ days in office, the pattern continues.  Those of you who voted for him, knowing about his lies, were probably hoping that the mantle of the Presidency would somehow magically cause him to realize that lying from the oval office is just not something a President would do.  No such luck here folks!  He lies without consequence.  At least so far, his lies have no consequence. Unfortunately, lies that come from the President of the United States are far more serious than lies that come from a candidate for the Presidency.

Donald lies about things that most of us would consider “stupid”.   A perfect example of a “stupid” lie is the one he told about the size of his inauguration day crowds in Washington.  Why would anyone lie about something that is so easily proven to be false?  The crowds photographed on both of Obama’s inauguration days were significantly larger than those on Donald’s inauguration day.  In fact, it wasn’t even close.  But here is the real issue.   Why would he lie about that?   The answer is, because he has always gotten away with lying without real penalty.   He lies because he can, and because there has never been a penalty.  Another reason is that the size of the crowd could be an open window that reveals his lack of popularity with anyone but the group described by the Washington Post as the “Breitbart cheering section”.

Now that Donald resides in the White House, his constant lying is taking on a more ominous tone. About a week after one of his ignorant and ill-advised lies about Obama “wiretapping” has been debunked in Congressional testimony, he continues responding with more lies.  That testimony I will remind you also revealed that the Trump campaign is under FBI investigation for potential “coordination” with Russia.

How does his constant spouting of fact-free utterances affect the country and more specifically, his Presidency?  To put it clearly, any credibility he had in this world is now concentrated in the 36% of Americans who still view him favorably.   Of course that means 64% view him unfavorably.  My friends, that is a record for a sitting President.  No one I know is surprised by that.

Donald Trump did not come into his office with any real credibility.  He didn’t have a mandate for legislative action.  The majority of Americans did not vote for him.  However, with all of the ignorant and childish behavior and lies, he has lost what credibility he had.  When one lies for a living, one can’t expect others to believe him even if he is telling the truth.  He lied to all of us who listened throughout his campaign.  Remember the wall that Mexico was going to pay for?  No one in their right mind would believe that one. Now, we are paying for that with our taxes.  Remember repealing Obamacare on the first day of his Presidency?  Remember the promise to insure all Americans.  More lies.   Remember the promise to return coal miners to their jobs?  Not possible, and has never been possible.  He can’t help himself.  He is, above all, a liar, the likes of which we have never seen.  His constant lies make him a disgrace to the Presidency.

So now, America literally gropes for leadership!  You read that right.  The country is reaching out and trying to grasp onto the hope that a leader will emerge in the Whitehouse.  He has even less legitimacy now than the day he took office. No one can trust him, or believe him.  Americans can’t trust him.  Foreign leaders can’t trust him.  The result is that our country is rapidly becoming a cruel joke on the rest of the world.   American leadership in the world community is declining rapidly.  Sadly, we have only ourselves to blame.  We elected a lying, cheating,  childish, unqualified person to lead the country.  We elected a man who is so full of himself that he sees no reason to grow up and be an adult.  He is at best, a despicable human with no qualities that would make anything but a horrible impression on the country, and the world.  Sixty days into his Presidency, he has not fulfilled any of his promises.  To those of us who did not, and will not, ever support him, he has behaved exactly as we knew he would.  He doesn’t seem to be bearing the weight of his actions.  That can not be said of the country he is incapable of leading.

Now at a time when we literally grope for leadership, we grope in the dark without any hope of finding it in the Whitehouse.  If you expect that it will get better you are fooling yourselves.   When one gropes for something that is not there, one comes up empty every time.  The saddest part of this story is that most of us knew it would be that way long before he was elected.

It is maddening to watch his surrogates do everything they can to foolishly cover up his ignorant rants.  The truth is, they know he is lying, and for the sake of their jobs, they say “Yes Mr. President, I will do as you say!”   In the beginning (60+ days ago) I wondered if there was ever going to be someone in the Administration that would stand up to him.  Sadly, it is obvious that person doesn’t exist.  Anyone looking for consistent truth coming from the Trump Administration is groping in the dark.  Sadly, Donald is making America Grope Again!

Jan
22

I have kept pretty quiet about the recent election results.  My reason is that I feel that an event with this magnitude brings out a lot of anger and hate from the losing side and I didn’t want to feed that through my posts.   That being said, after time to absorb what actually took place, it is time for me to express my thoughts regarding the coming Trump Presidency.

Trump is Unqualified to Assume the Presidency

Donald Trump is the least qualified individual to ever be elected to the Presidency in my lifetime.  It is not possible to believe otherwise unless ones thoughts are tied to some form of alternate reality where truth is non-existent.  His claims about his own personal intelligence can be classified as further example of his ignorance.  He comes to the office with no legitimate foreign policy experience and a view of the world that is not based on evidence.  He has no experience in running any form of government organization.  He has no experience in working with Congress or the court system.  From a purely political perspective he is a child who will be cutting his first teeth while chewing on the pacifier of the country.  We are about to undergo a political experiment run by an individual who has a history of rejecting evidence that is contrary to his juvenile beliefs.  Evidence of his inexperience is demonstrated by the selection of several of his Cabinet members.  Only an ignorant man would select a man who has sued the EPA 13 times to lead the EPA.  What kind of fool selects a person who never attended public schools, and whose kids never attended public school to lead the Department of Education?  How about choosing a person to head the Justice Department that has already been soundly rejected by a lower position by Congress?   Along that line, several of the individuals chosen as Cabinet members have glaring issues in their background that would have gotten them rejected at almost any other time in our Nations’ history.

Trump Will Become Liar in Chief

I doubt that any of us have ever been exposed to an individual who bases his actions on false premises.  The most destructive element of this is that he believes that we should just accept his lies in every case because he is Donald Trump.  Of late, his surrogates have begun to use the term “alternative facts” when asked about his lies.  For the record, there is no such thing as an “alternative fact”.  Use of that term is nothing more than a way to reduce the outrage we feel when he lies.  As an individual whose college degrees and careers are based upon evaluating evidence, it is easy for me to say that the evidence on Trump is in.  He is going to be Commander-in-Chief with a sub-title of Liar-in-Chief.  The most infuriating element of his lies is the fact that he believes that because he says it, it is true.  On another level, there is quite a bit of evidence since the election that members of his party know he is lying but never confront him on it.  In that regard, the Republican Party is rapidly becoming a political group that accepts and condones his lies.  The end result of this will be that their acceptance of his ignorance will make it even more possible for him to continue to spout that which is untrue.

We have already experienced the horrific damage that can occur when an Administration uses lies to convince the American People that a certain action is in order.  Ladies and Gentleman I give you the Iraq War. The country was inundated with false information to sell the war.  Remember the aluminum tubes that were supposedly purchased to make centrifuges to process uranium for atomic bombs?  Never mind that the CIA had already exposed that claim as fraudulent.  In fact, the tubes were meant to be used in rocket and other weapon production.  The Bush Administration knew this, and lied about it.  How about the “fact” that Saddam had recently inquired about purchasing “yellowcake” uranium from Africa for the purpose of making atomic bombs?  Again, totally, and provably false, but used to sell the war.  The Bush Administration leaked false information to the New York Times and then used the fact that the Times published their false information to persuade the American electorate that we faced a fearful future because of weapons of mass destruction.   In its own ignorance, the American political class, and the rest of the American electorate accepted the lie as truth and thousands died.

Military action based upon faulty evidence kills people.  I will remind you that Donald has already told us that he is smarter than the Generals whose lives and careers have been centered on protecting American values from harm from those who seek to destroy us.  Those of us who value truth must expose the lies before they have their intended effect.

Trump Despises the Press

The American Press has a critical role in exposing individuals who act in ways contrary to American values.  Why did Nixon hate the press?  He didn’t want his deeds to be exposed.  When they were, he faced impeachment.   Why did Reagan have an adversarial relationship with the press?  He didn’t want some of the things he was doing exposed to the American people.  (Iran-Contra is a perfect example).  Why did the Bush Administration attack Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame?   Because they were involved in revealing that the Administrations claim that Yellowcake uranium was being purchased from a tiny country in Africa for the purpose of providing Saddam Hussein with materials he needed to make a nuclear bomb.  That claim was never true, but it was seen as a way to convince the American people that we needed to go to war.  Actions based on lies are dangerous.

Trump has declared that the press is made up of “bad”, “horrible”, “untrustworthy” people.  He constantly attacked the press during his campaign and is still doing so now.  If the American press corps does their job, Trump faces a backlash from the American people.   I can’t help but come to the conclusion that he fears the press corps because they will expose him for what he is and who he is.  Don’t kid yourself; this President is wildly unpopular with the majority of the electorate.  It’s time for the Press to stand up and do their job, even if it means they get kicked out of a press conference or accused of spreading “fake” news.

Trump Ignores the Organizations Whose Job It Is To Inform Him of Dangerous Conditions in the World

Never have we elected a man whose actions and proclamations are more inconsistent than Donald Trump.  Evidently he knows more than the Generals, and has his own pipeline of valuable information that is more accurate than that developed by the CIA, DIA, and 15 other organizations whose job it is to provide the President with timely, accurate, reliable information on the activities of terrorists.  I have heard that he is getting information from the former head of Blackwater, Eric Prince.  Blackwater was nothing more than a mercenary army that gorged Prince’s bank account.  Donald fancies himself “the smartest man in the world” and rejects legitimate evidence brought to him in an effort to protect him.   “In Donald We Trust” should be printed on the dollar bill now.  He is so smart that individuals would be foolish to doubt him.  I doubt him.  You doubt him.  The world doubts him, and we are perceived as fools by the rest of the world for electing him.  His victory is, without a doubt, an embarrassment and casts a dark shadow over the reputation of the United States of America.  I could have accepted any of the other Republicans attempting to gain the nomination.  This one, I can’t, and won’t.

He Does Not Have Any Form of Political Mandate

Trump claims to have won a resounding victory.  Evidence shows it was anything but that.  Donald doesn’t want us to look at evidence.  Why do you think he is so vocal about the influence of Russian intrusion on our electoral process?  It doesn’t take a lot of intelligence to realize that anything that casts a doubt upon the legitimacy of his Presidency is something he will attack.  The CIA report on the Russian interference in our election is quite clear.  The Russians did not want Clinton to be President.  Most of their intrusion into our system actually happened before Donald invited the Russians to do what they had already done.  Donald didn’t cause the Russians to do what they did.  But he willingly invited it as a means of helping him win.  Clinton lost because of an inconsistent political effort and because a minority of the American electorate hated everything “Clinton”.  No one can say with certainty that the Russian hacking of the DNC emails was the lone contributing factor for the hatred that was revealed during the election.  That being said, it is entirely possible that it contributed to “Clinton Derangement Syndrome” in ways that cost her votes.

The fact that he lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes gnaws at Trumps psyche.  He won the election.  The majority of the electorate did not vote for him.  Many who voted for him did not like him, but hated Clinton even more than they disliked Trump.  So Donald was elected by a minority of the voting public and by a lot of people who chose him even though they did not like him.  Donald does not have a mandate.  His Presidency suffers from a serious case of zero credibility.

What Do We Do Now?

Do we mimic the Republican actions of the past 8 years?  Do we oppose every single action taken by this President, and members of his party?  I find it interesting now that the Republicans, who opposed everything Obama, are already claiming that to do so now that Trump is President is basically bad for the country.  One has to wonder if the Republican leadership thinks we are so dumb that we don’t remember what they did for the past 8 years.   Don’t do as I do, do as I say!

As an individual who has no respect for the current President, let it be known that I tend to call out the lies, and speak the truth.   In a “post-truth” climate in the country, one wonders if it will make an impact.  “Truth be damned, we are going to run this country in a climate where evidence is unnecessary.”  Evidence suggests that we are in for a rough ride as we navigate the country’s first Juvenile Presidency.

Nov
07

The President of the United States sits in a position of incredible responsibility in regard to decisions that must be made involving all branches of science.  Whether it is medical science research, climate science, or any other form of investigative research, the United States must lead the world in these areas.  Unfortunately, the Republican Party that was once known as a party of conservation and science has morphed into an unrecognizable entity that has done its’ absolute best to thwart the advancement of scientific research for years.

Any individual that doubts the Republican Party’s attacks on the field of science is ignorant of an easily discoverable truth.  The truth is, Republican attacks on science are significantly endangering our populations’ right to live a healthy existence free from the effects of corporate destruction of our environment.  Sadly, literally no time has been expended in this years’ Presidential contest discussing the role of science and medicine in maintaining the health and well-being of every day Americans.

That is not to say that this Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump do not have policy prescriptions relating to the advancement of science.   Trump, typically, espouses the Republican Party’s denouncement of regulations because of the effects that government regulation has on the corporate environment.  In the eyes of Republicans, environmental regulations stymie corporate growth and affect the bottom line of companies from coast to coast and beyond.  On his official website, Trump denounces “over regulation” of U.S. Companies.  To his credit he does mention that regulations that affect public safety should not be touched.  He also denounces Hillary Clinton’s plans to regulate oil, shale, and natural gas as “job-killing” efforts of intrusion by the government.   Part of his energy plan is to use untapped sources of shale, oil, and natural gas.  Generally speaking, Trump denounces any attempt to regulate the energy companies, allowing them to continue dumping CO2 into the atmosphere.

Trumps fundamental view of climate change is that it is a hoax.  He has pronounced global warming as a hoax, and bullshit using his favorite form of communication, his twitter account.  While he has denounced global warming as a candidate, as a businessman he has attempted to preempt the effects of global warming by building a sea wall on his Trump International Gold Links Ireland facility.  The permit for the wall cites the dangers of global warming regarding rising sea levels caused by global warming.  What does it say about an individual who works both sides of the issue depending upon whom he is talking to.  Trump wants to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement.

As one who has always been interested in the effects of pollution on the planet, and one who spent his college days earning a science degree, I will never, in good conscience cast my vote for a person who denies the reality and accuracy of climate research and who wants to unleash the energy companies to further pollute our rivers and our land.  There is no such thing as clean coal.  The coal industry is a dead-man-walking.  Anyone who doubts this isn’t facing the harsh reality that faces that industry.  To deny its’ role in polluting the planet is to further move the planet towards a polluted future.  The coal industry, with all of its horrible environmental problems, is going to be phased out over the next several decades.  Clean energy solutions are critical for the health of the planet and the health of those who walk on it.

Any candidate for any office who denies effects of dumping millions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere is at best scientifically challenged and more likely scientifically illiterate.  Qualification for the Presidency of the United States requires that one understand the importance of the processes of science and scientific research.  In that regard, Donald Trump has eliminated himself from consideration.   His claim that Global Warming Theory is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese tends to draw attention away from the real hoax that he has been perpetrating to his followers.  That would be the hoax that he is qualified to lead this nation from the White House.  The reality of that hoax will be destroyed on November 8th.