Clinton Lynch Tarmac Meeting…

The tarmac meeting between former President Bill Clinton and then Attorney General Loretta Lynch simply is not going to go away.  The August 21st edition of the Weekly Standard magazine includes a review and comparison to the “what if” this had occurred today with President Trump in office and various and sundry investigations being conducted to attempt to find some evidence that could be used to force him from office.

It is amazing, although we should never be amazed anymore over the Democrat’s inoculation against any form of condemnation as to personal conduct.  Even personal conduct that would obviously land Republican office-holders in deep ‘do-do’ should they engage in similar activities.

The working press, thought to be ever-vigilant, was implicated through its choice of not reporting this incident until it became very embarrassing and it found it at least needed to try to dissuade people from thinking it complicit.  We see the complete opposite in today’s press, many of whom were members of that vaunted group then.  Today’s press is ever-vigilant to the point that it tries to make something of virtually nothing given that President Trump is in the Oval Office.

double standard seems evident to most anyone willing to remove his or her blinders and see the realities of today versus the vagueries of yesteryear.  Democrats in power? Never mind these little asides.  Republicans in power?  Use anything you can dream up to make trouble.  Especially when there is this Republican person in the White House who simply doesn’t belong in the role of President of the United States of America.  This Trump person.  Oh, the shame of it.

Democrats don’t seem to see anything that isn’t something to be used against Republicans.  Witness the lack of interest in the daily affairs in Washington, D.C. except for the interest in when the Special Prosecutor will let fly with all his findings that will surely drive President Trump from the White House in disgrace.

We know that a double standard exists.  We know that everyone in Washington, D.C. knows that a double standard exists.  We know that this double standard is always favorable to Democrats and never favorable to Republicans.  We know this must be in violation of at least one or two rules of law.  We know that the ‘free press’ is simply in the Democrats’ back pocket with very rare exception.

We are Conservatives who are very familiar with the term short shrift.  Essentially that means that some give virtually no recognition of and disgust with those things which are improper when they are done by members of their own ilk.  We also know that the press is complicit through its non-reporting.  This is the same press that screams to High Heaven whenever it is accused of something of this nature.  That happens for a day or two and then the news cycle goes back to normal: liberals good, conservatives bad.

If you have an interest in this Weekly Standard piece, it can be found on their website.  It is very well crafted and does not mince many if any, words.  For example, Bill Clinton was supposedly in Phoenix to play golf but there is no record of him playing golf before or after this meeting.  This is the meeting that Attorney General Lynch told then FBI Director to simply call the investigation of a “matter”.

Contrast that with what is ongoing in Washington, D.C. today.  There is no comparison to what Republicans/Conservatives are forced to go through in comparison to the free rides extended to Democrat after Democrat.  I would think this transcends nearly to the level of criminal activity when investigations are drummed up for Republicans and never given a thought for Democrats.  Obfuscations are really cover-ups in the world of Democrats, and they are very comfortable invoking their “rights” to a free pass.  And, they never seem bothered when they deny those same favorable accords to Republicans.

I doubt we’ve heard the last of the Clintons.  I know we’ve not seen the last of Democrat dirty tricks.

North Korea: A Long Time Coming…

Susan Rice, the former National Security Advisor has acknowledged that President Trump was correct when he stated that three previous administrations failed in stopping North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.  The three former administrations were those of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.  She went on to confide that she was concerned that President Trump would not move from “preventative war to pre-emptive war”.  I’m not sure how those differ, but she saw a difference.

The United States has not been standing aside doing nothing over the past many years.  There are missile defense systems along the route that the nuclear-tipped missile threatened to hit just short of Guam would have to follow.  That route would be directly across Japan and some of those missile defense systems are strategically located in Japan.

That doesn’t take into account the U.S. Navy and whatever capability it has in that region.

The residents on the island of Guam would, however, be injured even if the missiles ditched 25-30 miles short of Guam if the nuclear warheads were detonated which seems to follow if Kim Jong-un is bragging about their capabilities and telling the world that he can do this and do that.  He is unlikely to fire a missile without a nuclear warhead.  The blast forces would certainly be horrific and short-term flooding and the long-term contamination of Guam would likely make it uninhabitable.

The fact that we, and the rest of the free or semi-free-world, have permitted North Korea to come this far in the apparent development of a nuclear capability is troubling since we appear to have known of this development effort for years.  The fact that President Trump is acting as the President of the United States ought to act in such a situation is commendable.

I have to wonder where China fits in all this since it is the next door neighbor and is largely responsible for feeding the North Koreans.  At the same time, China certainly would not want a person such as the North Korean dictator to have the capability of a nuclear attack on itself and yet that would seem likely if China has any intelligence capability at all…and it does obviously.

One has to ask the question of just what a President Hillary Clinton would be doing right now?  She was the foreign policy team leader of the Obama Administration for eight-years and something likely was known then.  This kind of capability simply does not happen in a couple of years especially when the country in question was a pariah to the rest of the world, except for China.

Then, there is the issue of South Korea to be carefully considered since it shares that peninsula with North Korea.  Obliteration of the entire peninsula is simply out of the question, so would conventional weapons be the only thing that could be used?  Would we interdict the supply lines from China to North Korea?  What happens to the relationship with China which holds a lot of our national debt?  Would they, in turn, use the prospective financial stranglehold on us?

Our world has grown to be a very delicately woven clustering of inter-dependent relationships that impact our foreign policy and our homeland financial wherewithal.  We are not the king of the jungle all by ourselves.  We have relationships that have to be considered because those are mutually beneficial relationships.

 

Most Trusted News Sources?

Following along with yesterday’s blog, a survey conducted by the University of Missouri’s Reynolds Journalism Institute has been released with somewhat interesting results.  This survey was based on the proportion of “trusted” vs. “not trusted” responses to the names of various sources.  The survey was taken of 8,728 consumers ‘of online content’ produced by 28 media organizations and are said to have leaned toward the liberal side of the political spectrum.

The ten least trusted in ascending order were: Occupy Democrats, Buzzfeed, Breitbart, Social Media, Trump, Infowars, Yahoo, the Internet, Huffington Post, and Blaze.

The ten most trusted in descending order were: The Economist, Public Television, Reuters, BBC, NPR, PBS, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, LA Times, and Dallas Morning News.  Interestingly enough, Americans seem to think more highly of British media than our own; maybe that is simply because those publications seem more stilted/official in terms of their style.

It was interesting to me that this survey admittedly skewed liberal; at least we were told that up front.  Maybe it is simply not possible to get half conservatives in the typical mix of respondents.  All too often we are flying blind in terms of biases.  I tend to assume that there is a more decided liberal bias in virtually everything published as ‘news’ with rare exception.

The remaining least trusted outlets in ascending order to the midpoint were Fox, Limbaugh, ABC, MSNBC, Drudge Report, NBC, CNN, and CBS.

The remaining most trusted outlets (50% or higher) in descending order to the midpoint were Local news, Politico, Associated Press, Denver Post, Washington Post, Time, Seattle Times, Kansas City Star, New York Times, USA Today and Atlantic.  

Among the most concerning things to me in this realm of “news” organizations is that some amount of us is unaware of the manner in which we can be fed information slanted to one side or the other of the political spectrum.  Those people who do not see self as either liberal or conservative and there are a bunch in that group, make voting decisions based on who promises what and the believability factor they assign to each set of promises.

Liberal politicians are more often those that ‘play’ the voters with this or that promise designed simply to gather votes rather than to tell people what they really stand for and what they will really do once in office.  Bernie Sanders comes as close as anyone on that side of politics, to be honest as to his intentions.  Hillary Clinton was at the other extreme from Sanders; she obfuscated so as to avoid turning anyone off even if she left the wrong impression as to what she was all about.  Truth be damned; it’s the votes that count.

So, we have liberals and conservatives and the squishy center comprised of the people who say one thing and intend to do another.  I suspect that the average American voter does not think about candidates in this manner.  He or she is attracted to something one candidate does or says or seems to support, and that makes his or her decision easy.  Except, liberals tend to forget what they promised and fall into lockstep with their party leaders.

Conservatives, on the other hand, tend to be deeper thinkers and they are significantly more difficult to be convinced by efforts of caucus leaders to control them and their vote.  Thus, the occasional situation where a vote is cast out of the blue by one or another ‘maverick’ conservative.  That fairly well sums up the current Congress so far as Republicans are concerned.  TheDems fall into lockstep far more easily than do the Republicans.

The bottom line is that we need to be aware of the slant of what we’re consuming as news, and that is not at all easy.  The media outlets, with rare exception, are not anxious to bill themselves as either liberal or conservative believing they’ll hurt their ‘numbers’ if they are honest.

 

Who & What Can We Trust?

We have gotten to a point that our predecessor citizens didn’t have to be very concerned about.  During World War II, for example, our parents and grandparents could believe virtually everything they saw in print or heard on the radio.  True, there were sometimes corrections but those were done when something earlier reported was found to have been untrue or misrepresented.

Today, there are many different sources for information.  Many of these sources have evolved and proved themselves to be almost 100% reliable.  Many other sources are new to us.  If we are a regular consumer of information, a source we’re not familiar with likely ought to be viewed skeptically unless and until we have learned they are valid sources.

I see ‘new’ sources of supposed factual news regularly and am surprised to learn that I was bamboozled by one or more.  I watch these things almost daily, so my discoveries of fact or fiction usually come before I become addicted to one or another as a daily source.  These bogus sites usually make some fantastical prediction or statements of “fact” which simply look fake at first glance.  If this is the only place you’ve seen or heard this “news” and you are a regular consumer of news from several feeds, you can be reasonably sure you are not getting actual valid news.

The more difficult outlets are those that spike valid news stories with a ‘fact’ you only saw in that location.  Maybe they just did a better job of gathering information but I would watch them closely over the next week or two to be sure they are what they claim to be before you begin to refer to their “news” in discussions with others.  That is a reminder, too, that we can be victimized by friends if they have been tricked.  If something sounds too good or too bad to be true, I usually look for corroboration before assuming it to be true.

I have an advantage in that I grew into adulthood without all the modern communications devices that many carry from the time they awaken to the time they go to sleep.  That experience has served me well because I tend to view the information spewed out at me a bit more skeptically than another might.

Blog topics are usually researched over several days and/or information is gathered from previously proved reliable feeds.  If I state an opinion, that is identifiable to any and all who might see it.  My opinion of this or that is quite obviously an opinion and is often stated as such.

Opinion pieces are also on my reading lists and most of those are the opinions of well-known people who do not have a habit of making up their “facts”.  Those are very enjoyable because I rely heavily on my own opinions in writing and enjoy seeing the opinions of others for whom I have developed respect or have known of for a long time.

There is the old adage that “if it is too good to be true, it probably is not true”.  That is probably a very good thought to hold as you hear or read anything.  If you begin to get a tingle that something isn’t quite right, you may be looking at just that.  Something that isn’t quite right.  There are so many different sources of information today that verification of fact or fiction is usually not too difficult or time-consuming.

Now, politics is the one battleground where information can easily have been distorted or where something we see or hear has been intentionally disguised as fact.  I find, frankly, that the major networks are not beyond spinning a bit where politics are concerned.  Anything anti-Trump is an automatic item to be verified through some other source before I accept or reject it.  More than once I have seen the same story on two different networks and they seemed the opposite of each other.

It is a shame we are reduced to this but the proliferation of “news” organizations today is far more easily understood given the range of vehicles available to the common person.  Each likely has a bias of some sort and that doesn’t make them bad or good, it just is a fact to be considered.

Sorry to be so ‘preachy’ but several recent occurrences caused me to think this might be helpful either just as a reminder or a whole new revelation.

North Korea and Sanctions…

While many people are focused on President Trump and the preponderance of polls that tell us how few of us support our President, there has been and is a significant problem in a country that isn’t nearly as far from our shores as we might’ve thought by looking at a world map.

As Kim Jong Un’s military continues to work diligently on its ICBM program, we are deluged by poll after poll telling us how terrible our President is and drumming up talk of impeachment.  I think Kim Jong Un is the real problem even though the Dems and the pollsters and the press seem to be fixated on President Trump.

We have publicly rebuked the NK dictator and even China has taken the posture of being in support of a militarily weaker North Korea.  China is the NK’s largest trading partner, and even it is worried by this seemingly unstable dictator.

The latest tests appear to indicate that North Korea is at the stage in the development of its ICBMs that it could conceivably drop one in downtown Chicago.  Just a few weeks ago, we thought Kim Jong Un might be able to hit Hawaii if he chose.  Then it became cities in California.  Now it is Chicago.

We have a problem that wasn’t/isn’t created by President Trump.  His talk about North Korea has toughened as it ought to have toughened.  We are talking with our allies about this ever-increasing threat to the world’s stability.  The press troglodytes seem happy in their self-created caves so long as they can focus their venom on our President and not on North Korea’s leader.

It seems very clear that nothing we have done to this point has phased Kim Jong Un.  That having been said, escalation through the UN is very unlikely to change the man.  He is driven by his hatred of us and he’ll not rest until he is dead or until he has shown us that we should’ve been a bit tougher.  China could restrict the flow of food into North Korea but that would only hurt the people.  Kim will still be the chubby little dictator he is today.

There seems an inevitability about this situation.  Either we back away from a confrontation and wait to see if the missile drops on us, or we increase our military posture and take this threat as the very real threat that it is…and has been for some time.  There is not much of a wishy-washy middle ground in this equation.  This is not something that falls within that which the United Nations is good at…if there is anything in that place…and it will not likely be resolved by other super powers.

I am happy that Barack Obama is now our former president, and I am happy that we have President Trump and not President Hillary.  I am concerned with our Congress that could prove a bit unsure of what would be the right thing.  I am concerned that we’ll diddle a bit too long and that this will only serve to empower the NK dictator who’ll see that as our recognition of his true power and our fear of him.  People who kill blood brothers are generally not to be relied upon as being stable.

This situation is nothing to be scoffed at.  It is a very real threat to our country.  We may be the strongest military nation in the world but we have to be prepared to use that strength if we expect to continue to exist as a great country.  That is especially true in this age of ICBMs.

I am very happy that there is a former four star Marine Corps General sitting at the President’s right hand in the Oval Office.  And I pray for our safety and give thanks for our military and the great soldiers, sailors and airmen and women who comprise that military.  I know they’re ready if called upon.  Our military strength can be both a blessing and a curse (when others rely upon us instead of doing their own tough jobs), but it serves us all well overall.

We have tended to be a bit late historically in our deciding to use our military might and maybe that is the way it should be, but there are times when there is no other feasible alternative and waiting simply exacerbates the problem.

The Trump Vendetta…

It is time for us to realize that the vendetta against Donald Trump will NEVER end.  This hatred-driven effort to convict him of something, anything, will simply live on for so long as President Trump is alive.  He might be out of the White House but this vendetta will survive.  As a matter of fact, it will very likely continue on until we reach a time when no one living remembers Donald Trump except as a footnote in history.

This is a feud to rank with that of the Hatfields and the McCoys.  It will continue for generations.  This is driven by vicious personal hatred rather than by the “search for the truth”.  Truth be damned; this is going to go on until the perpetrators find something with which Trump can be charged.

Should President Trump not stand for re-election, the vendetta will continue and likely would intensify since he wouldn’t have the Oval Office/Office of the President with which to fight back.  There seems enough interest in family members to drive the effort on for years.  Should he stand for a second term, think of the campaign tactics we’ll witness, all in the name of “fair play”, of course.

We are learning a great lesson about liberal politicians.  They have no feelings of the heart and I wonder if their souls are cold as a block of ice?  They are driven as a lion is driven to capture its prey in its mouth and shake it to death as it tears the victim apart.  This is pure unadulterated human hatred.  Politics has little if anything to do with this hatred-fed vendetta at this point.

The perpetrators clothe themselves in the gowns of upstanding patriots simply desiring the truth ‘for the good of the country’.  They care not about the good of the country.  They care only that they manage to tear this man apart whether he be alive or dead.  And, if and when that has happened, they will shift their focus solely to Donald Trump Jr.  Maybe it will even extend to Baron Trump.  These supposed patriots know no bounds of decency.  It almost seems as though that brain function has never developed.

And, of course, they are simply certain the Russians stole this election from them.  The people couldn’t have been so gullible as to actually vote for this person especially when they could’ve gone with Hillary whats-her-name.

I frankly thought that this furor would eventually cool, but I believe I was wrong.  I gave the opposition credit for something it does not appear to have.  That sense of decency, that feeling that they’d have the opportunity to regain their power next time around.  That certain base of sensibility that brings them back to the status of thinking human beings.  I fear for them that they may never again be a thinking, decent human being at least for generations to come.

Liberals appear to be devolving rather than to be evolving.  I don’t believe that the greater populace votes for a candidate out of pity.  That was the card Hillary played and it didn’t make the grade.  If this bunch of hooligans, known as liberals, don’t get themselves back under control, they could continue to suffer these humiliating defeats for years to come.

Us conservatives will continue to hold sway…for years to come.

AND IT WOULD SERVE THEM RIGHT!  

Leakers & Beneficiaries…

Leaks are sometimes enjoyable, sometimes enraging and sometimes, maybe even often times, done with malicious intent.  The Swamp, Washington, D.C. and its residents, both temporary and permanent seem to thrive in the world of leaks.  Certainly, the press demonstrates pangs of hunger for leaks that each member tries to get into print or on camera before anyone else.  Leaks are, from their perspectives, almost heaven-sent.

The Attorney General has issued a statement to those who would leak and to those who would be beneficiaries of those leaks that this is not legal and that prosecutions will occur.  Leaks have significantly increased with the elevation of Donald Trump to the Oval Office.  Some have likely been engineered by the Oval Office while other leaks are obviously meant to be critical of the Oval Office and its current occupant.

It is that latter segment that is driving this new intensity to get leaks under better control.  The threat of prosecution could do wonders for paring down the number of leaks but I doubt that it will eliminate leaks.  The danger, of course, is for the information to have been released only to a select few people.  If a leak occurs, those few are the instant easily identifiable targets.

Leaks that make the news, of course, would suggest the news organization and/or its person on the scene would be subject to immediate investigation.  I wouldn’t be surprised if that person/that organization might find selves in a form of purgatory for a period of time and that would certainly tend to make them think a bit before publishing something of that nature.

Then, given that town being full of lawyers as well as politicians, the dung would likely hit multiple fans.  Political enemies of the President, and yes there are some in case you hadn’t noticed, would be lit up, incensed over the trampling of their rights as members of the media.  Those with close proximity to the Oval Office would also find themselves undergoing careful scrutiny.  The ‘need to know’ would probably be restricted so that the potential leakers in the White House would be quite readily identified although there would be scapegoats that might be ‘sacrificed’ by their bosses.

The nature of some leaks suggests that those have come from the inner sanctum, and I suspect there would be an example or two made to let others know the President is serious about this leak issue.  The ‘issue’ was driven by the release of transcripts of telephone conversations the President had with two foreign leaders, which he apparently found somewhat embarrassing as well as very troubling.

The Weekly Standard reminded us of the Obama Administration and its seven-year legal battle with the New York Times’ James Risen and with Fox News’ James Rosen who was labeled a potential criminal co-conspirator under the Espionage Act.  Obviously, leaks know no political party bounds.  Oval Office occupants seem uniformly enraged by leaks; some more than others given levels of embarrassment that occur.

And in that extremely competitive world of multiple news organizations and political hit squads, leaks might well simply be something conjured up over cocktails the night before.  Such, frankly, is the animus aimed at President Donald Trump.