People Unclear

This is number 60 of a series

This series is dedicated to people out there who, having access to the best information sources in the history of this planet, remain unclear on some critical points. I don’t want to name names… Actually, I will name names. Let’s start with this, which I received from a Republican organization soliciting campaign contributions. Here’s an excerpt:

Nov 8 at 12:11 PM

First: The Democrats claimed Crooked Hillary would win in a landslide — But she lost.

Then: The Democrats said there would be a blue wave — But they merely eked out a win.

Now: We must keep supporting President Trump and Conservatives in Congress.

Pass over the rest. Let’s concentrate on the opening line. “Crooked Hillary?” People, if you want my support you have first to stop insulting my intelligence. Let’s take a look at what we would have gotten with “Crooked Hillary.”


Wow! Just wow. It’s a good thing we didn’t elect “Crooked Hillary.”

Moral Bankruptcy

Number 2 of a Series

Here are a few words from that paragon of Christian morality, Franklin Graham:

Everyone in the media is talking about the just-released tape & what the President said or didn’t say, what he meant or didn’t mean. It is a good moment to point out that everyone should realize that every word that is spoken or thought is recorded by God. 1/3

Here’s a sober warning from God’s Word, “What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, & what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs” (Luke 12:3). 2/3

The Bible says it is appointed unto man once to die & then the judgment. We won’t be judged by media spin masters or forensic audio analysts, but you will be judged by truth & righteousness—by God Himself. Have you ever thought about what His verdict will be on your words? 3/3

We can all enjoy the language invoking “media spin masters or forensic audio analysts.” That’s powerful use of the English language. What is more powerful are the bare facts.

These are screen shots from ABC news streaming on Hulu. There are more.

At what point do I need to stop posting these because the Reverend Graham has become too embarrassed. Apparently at no point. What is apparent for all to see is the moral bankruptcy of self-appointed moral leadership. It is a leadership that is running on empty.

This is your President speaking.

Number 136

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

“Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.” Jeff, this is GREAT, what everyone wants, so look into all of the corruption on the “other side” including deleted Emails, Comey lies & leaks, Mueller conflicts, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Ohr……

….FISA abuse, Christopher Steele & his phony and corrupt Dossier, the Clinton Foundation, illegal surveillance of Trump Campaign, Russian collusion by Dems – and so much more. Open up the papers & documents without redaction? Come on Jeff, you can do it, the country is waiting!

Meanwhile, back in the real world:

David Pecker, Chief of National Enquirer’s Publisher, Is Said to Get Immunity in Trump Inquiry

By Jim RutenbergRebecca R. Ruiz and Ben Protess

Federal prosecutors reached an immunity deal with the tabloid executive David J. Pecker, a key witness in their monthslong investigation into payments during the 2016 campaign to two women who said they had affairs with Donald J. Trump, according to two people familiar with the investigation.

Mr. Pecker is the chairman of American Media Inc., the nation’s biggest tabloid news publisher, which was involved in the payments, which prosecutors have identified as illegal contributions made in violation of campaign finance law.

As prosecutors in New York built a case against Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s longtime lawyer, that resulted in a guilty plea on Tuesday, Mr. Pecker emerged as an important figure. The investigation appears to be continuing, and as a longtime friend and ally of Mr. Trump, Mr. Pecker could have additional information valuable to the prosecutors.

Mr. Trump, say goodbye now.

The Government You Paid For

Number 43 of a Series

American conservatives are hurting, and they are ducking for cover and lowering their faces. Embarrassment seems to come unbidden to some, and excuses stand in for apologies. I see this in daily headlines and in the revealing posts on Facebook. To wit:

Here in lies the problem, this headline would never have existed during the era of Walter Cronkite. The media should not be rejoicing at the results.

I am tired of partisanship on both sides. Truly tired of it, because it does nothing but divide the nation. It leads to kneejerk defenses of Trump and kneejerk condemnations of Trump.
I once challenged my Democratic friends to say something good about the President, not one did. I once challenged my Republican friends the same thing about Obama, not one did.

I can tell you many good things about Obama and many things that I disliked. It’s not hard when one focuses on results and principles versus politics.

Here is a real secret, having worked inside on politics for years, none of those that you love so much give a damn about you personally. They use you. Secretly on both sides, they despise the most partisan and view them as foolish and/or annoyances.

Why? Because nothing gets accomplished by ideologues.…/stranger-than-fiction-jou…/ar-BBMgH1o

“It does nothing but divide the nation.”

What a pathetic pleading. My response to this was and is:

If the nation is to be divided, let it be divided along these lines. There are ignoramuses who put one of their own in power, and I am having a joyful time watching these people stew in their own juices. They are getting the government they paid for.

Bye Bye My Love Goodbye

It’s sad to see long-time lovers breaking up. Somebody even wrote a song about it:

Bye bye love
Bye bye happiness
Hello loneliness
I think I’m-a gonna cry-y
Bye bye love
Bye bye sweet caress
Hello emptiness
I feel like I could die
Bye bye my love goodbye

[With apologies to the Everly Brothers.]

What’s even worse is when the breakup is above the fold on most news outlets. Double worse is when it’s about crime and politics and worse still when it’s presidential politics. Bye bye, my love, goodbye. The breakup is streaming now on ABC World News Tonight with David Muir on Hulu, where I obtained these screen shots.

This continuing saga has a history stretching back in time, before some of us were reborn. Like before the election of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States.

That’s right. Porn movie actress Stephanie Clifford, a.k.a. Stormy Daniels, and private citizen Trump had their own one-night stand a decade or so back. Actually, it may not be possible to classify this as a one-night stand, since (my understanding) a one-night stand lasts until morning. Furthermore, I cannot assure readers that anybody actually took their clothes off.

But that’s history, and although history may not always repeat itself, it does sometimes come back to haunt. Like when you are running for election for the highest office in the land, and election is a fortnight away, and you suddenly remember. “Oh, shit. There’s this Stormy Daniels business. That could put me down a half a point in the polling, and since I’m already 10 points down, it might be worth while shedding some cash and shaving a half point. Can somebody get Michael on the phone for me?”

Few deny that Michael Cohen, friend, attorney, and fixer for Donald Trump for over a decade, paid Ms. Clifford $130,000 to claim she did not hump the Trump while Donald’s sweet wife was preggers. So the money was paid, and the lady kept her mouth shut, and Trump eked out a win, and we have what we have today. Except…

Except the mouth did not stay shut. It’s amazing how mouths tend not to do so. At a point Ms. Clifford decided she had been screwed, and we wonder how long it took for her to figure that out. So she obtained another lawyer, figuring her then-lawyer Keith M. Davidson had been in bed (figuratively not literally) with Trump’s lawyer Cohen. So Clifford obtained new legal council in the person of Michael Avenatti, and Mr. Avenatti proceeded to unravel the NDA Mr. Cohen had negotiated on behalf of Mr. Trump.

Other lawyers began to look at the arrangement, and those lawyers work for the United States Government, and what they saw was possible violation of election law. Specifically, the payment to Ms. Clifford was a campaign expense, since it was an essential part of getting Mr. Trump elected, but said payment never showed up on any campaign financial disclosure filings. As lawyers, government lawyers at that, began to dig into the matter, other interesting stuff started to come out. Apparently government lawyers came to believe Michael Cohen had been practicing beyond the limits of established statutes, and they did what government lawyers often do:

Agents of the FBI seized documents and more than a dozen phones and electronic devices.

Yeah, here is some of the stuff the government lawyers suspect:

To obtain a warrant to carry out this search on Mr. Cohen’s office, house, and hotel room, they demonstrated to a magistrate they had probable cause Mr. Cohen had engaged in bank and wire fraud. Mr. Cohen is in deep trouble.

If Mr. Cohen is in deep trouble, then President Trump is in an inch of trouble, because Mr. Cohen had been doing a lot of dirty stuff for Mr. Trump. How about if Mr. Cohen would tell the government lawyers about this stuff he had been doing for Mr. Trump?

No way.

“I would do anything to protect Mr. Trump.”

“Mr. President, is Michael Cohen going to flip, sir?” I just love the way the report added the superfluous “sir” at the end of that question. Anyhow, the president has been adamant:

The New York Times and a third rate reporter named Maggie Haberman, known as a Crooked H flunkie who I don’t speak to and have nothing to do with, are going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will “flip.” They use….

….non-existent “sources” and a drunk/drugged up loser who hates Michael, a fine person with a wonderful family. Michael is a businessman for his own account/lawyer who I have always liked & respected. Most people will flip if the Government lets them out of trouble, even if….

….it means lying or making up stories. Sorry, I don’t see Michael doing that despite the horrible Witch Hunt and the dishonest media!

I take that as a “no.”

Oops! That was then. This is now.

In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News:

My wife and my son have my first loyalty and always will. I put family and country first.

ABC News now has it that Michael Cohen sees losing everything over his loyalty to the president, which loyalty has historically never been reciprocated. Will Mr. Cohen cough up incriminating details on a sitting president in exchange for leniency on some serious charges? There are issues.

If Michael Cohen says, “Give me a break, and I’m going to tell you about some criminal stuff in Donald Trump’s past,” then prosecutors, and worst of all a judge, will be asking, “Is he going to make up stuff about the president in order to save his own hide?” It is a concern, but it doesn’t work that way. What Mr. Cohen can do is tell what he knows, and then prosecutors can use his statements in an affidavit, which they will take to a judge to obtain search warrants and subpoenas to obtain information that will corroborate what Michael Cohen has told them. Then, providing the there is verifiable criminal activity, they can begin criminal proceedings. Does anybody doubt the President of the United States has committed criminal acts worthy of prosecution? Not within shouting distance of where I now sit.

Michael Cohen has turned from “All the way with Donald Trump” (I know that doesn’t rhyme), to “Not so fast there, Mr. Trump.” He is expressing his legal view on the infamous Trump Tower of June 2016, saying…

“…an example of poor judgment.” You think?

Multiple news outlets, those which the president calls out as “fake news,” are reporting that Michael Cohen has obtained new legal counsel independent of the president’s legal team. That means that the Trump-Cohen partnership is coming asunder—the two will be going their separate ways. What’s about to play out could be very interesting and will likely end up in the history books.

Bye bye, my love, goodbye.

Don’t drop the soap.

Number 8 in a Series

Screen shots from World News Tonight with David Muir streaming on Hulu

In case you were waiting for the other shoe to drop…

Extending the play on metaphors, this train appears to be coming into the station. Last night on ABC World News Tonight with David Muir, the lead story was Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. We (I) never heard of Cohen until the matter of porn star Stormy Daniels (Stephanie Clifford) began to appear above the fold. I had hoped the terms “porn star” and “President of the United States” would not occur in the same sentence until I had time to catch my breath, but I seem to have lost control of events. Who would have known a one-night stand could have such legs?

Anyhow, Cohen, President Trump’s lawyer, fixer, and close associate for over ten years paid Ms. Clifford $130,000 not to tell everybody in the world about a one-time poke in the sack with Mr. Trump—this just days before voters surged in historic numbers to elevate Mr. Trump to the highest office in the land. Matters have gone downhill since.

Clifford began to figure she had been engineered, such connivance being between Cohen and her own lawyer Keith M. Davidson. She hired a new lawyer, Michael Avenatti. Avenatti’s aggressive prosecution of the case led him to perform intense investigation, which turned up more than anybody bargained for. Besides colluding with Davidson to stifle Clifford, Cohen had been involved in bunches of other dirty doings, some of which crossed the line into prosecutable offense. Came the time when federal investigators obtained a warrant to dig into Cohen’s business dealings.

President Trump was visible upset, and he likened the treasure hunt to McCarthyism. Here he is denouncing for the cameras.

As the pressure continued to build, Cohen vowed he would always remain loyal to President Trump. Here he is asserting his deathless loyalty. “I will do anything to protect Mr. Trump.”

Except go to jail, apparently.

Yeah, dudes, time to get fitted for stripes, and also time keep in mind sage advice I have offered all along. Don’t drop the soap.