Friday we suffered more petty and unlawful firings by an insecure President who is afraid that his wrongdoing and his unfitness for office will continue to be exposed by honest, duty bound civil servants whose loyalty to the Constitution is suspected to be greater than their loyalty to the President. This latest firing of Steve Linick, the State Department Inspector General, is against our laws (but, so were the previous retaliatory firings). It is also against the spirit of the Constitution.
Trump’s actions are tyrannical and un-American. There are no other words to describe such corrupt, despicable and unsavory behavior. One more feather plucked towards dismantling the guardrails intended to protect our government institutions and maintain the integrity of their operations.
No conservative goal justifies Trump’s behavior nor does it justify ending credible oversight. Oversight is the necessary ingredient in a free nation wanting to be confident that their leaders are not abusing their power and that those cogs in the wheels of government are abiding by the laws of that free country. Any true, secure, confident American leader would welcome that oversight. Only the criminally inclined would show any amount of disdain for that idea.
You only have thousands of years of history with plenty of examples to educate yourself regarding what happens when you allow these types of unacceptable events to happen going as far back as to the Ancient Roman Republic and even before. Our country is at a critical junction point. We can choose the despotic path like so many banana republics and Putin’s Russia has chosen to take or we can choose the path of freedom, liberty and prosperity to be that country that stands up to tyrants and bullies around the world; to be that “Shining City on a Hill” where freedom rings loud and strong. The strength of that ring is backed-up by the credibility that only our checks and balance systems can provide.
It is the “Shining City” that President Reagan often mentioned but most notably referenced in his farewell address on January 12, 1989 when he said: “if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors, and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.” But, as we have seen lately, when that city becomes corrupt, there are no doors, just walls, large, tall ones, closed, isolated, caged, unthinking, science adverse where discoveries dwindle, the enlightenment, abandoned, the guardrails come off and as we have already seen with this pandemic, that choice can be absolutely deadly when that wrong path is taken.
As The Thief continues to dismantle the guardrails that once protected our system of government from tyrants, demagogues and despots bent on seeing America’s system of government based on liberty, justice and self-rule collapse into a banana republic like existence, the passively content “Deep State” believers mindlessly follow their “Great Divider.” The Senate Leadership, by their unholy acquittal of a corrupt, superficial being that led the way to a weakened treasured national document, let that monstrous genie out of the bottle—a genie they are unable to easily put back into its bottle nor do they seem to have much control over what they have unleashed.
Still they love to hear how great America is without realizing how decrepit America is really becoming. Not once do they consider how much guilt they have as they shelter themselves from the deadly virus that has overwhelmed their unprepared country. They make the new “Sign of the T” as they recount stories about the dark times when that awful and nasty “Private Email Server” almost got them in the middle of the night but, all the while, ignorant of the true darkness that they now so willingly embrace. International and domestic onlookers loyal to the ideals of republican self-rule, witnesses to a country’s senseless path towards self-destruction, watch in speechless confusion while the last flickers of light appear to fade from the beacon that once guided the free world towards the hope that respects all people’s unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as prescribed by their creator. The thief relishes in the prospects for his new dark age.
If we want to keep our country free of totalitarian nonsense, we all know that we better be able to find Ukraine on a map. So, that’s why, today, everybody is playing the fast paced new trivia board game that is taking the country by sharpie storm: “Find Ukraine on a Map!” You will be given a map. In 10 seconds you must find Ukraine or suffer an undeserved berating at the hands of some undignified Press hating despot in the State Department and then lose your First Amendment right to Freedom of the Press, stripped of your ability to cover State Department events as ordered by the sinister, totalitarian Secretary of State in his petty act of revenge.
However, beat the clock by finding Ukraine and you get to go to the next level…you get to, “Find Lichtenstein on a Map!” Each new level presents a more challenging little country to find; one that the Secretary of State thinks you don’t care about. Have fun as you turn the Secretary of State into a pathetic world renowned laughingstock with each new level and country you identify!
You’ll have hours of fun with friends and family! You won’t be able to stop playing, “Find Ukraine on a Map!” Also, soon to be a prime time TV game show (with efforts underway to enlist Pat Sajak as its host)! And don’t forget about its sibling board game, “Find Hurricane Dorian’s Alabama Path on a Map!”—for all you weather enthusiasts!
You have lots of friends and lots of people who respected how well you were doing your job in Congress. And while I only know of you and don’t really know you, we can never really be sure of all the details in the private lives of others (nor, obviously, should all have any right to know all those details). Regardless, I read your article in the New York Times. You have presented yourself with distinction in the face of less than distinguished circumstances and it is to be admired.
I know your road will still be tough. However, I have no doubt you will make a full recovery. And I also suspect that if you wanted to return to public life to serve our country again one day, you could successfully do that.
The fight to return this country back to the ideas Americans used to value about liberty and justice for all and respect for the individual as a creature bestowed with certain unalienable rights by their creator needs to continue. And those thoughts that guide unwarranted hyperactive fears about fear itself at the hands and whims of a demagogue whose arbitrary actions are inspired by cable driven tabloid news needs to be rejected. And we need to succeed in both these objectives.
If we don’t succeed in these objectives, it will mean a road paved towards autocratic despotic government or even Russia itself (where Putin couldn’t be more pleased with the results of his interference efforts into our 2016 Presidential election). If that should happen, America’s democratic republic based upon the rule of law as envisioned by our Founding Fathers is certain to collapse as certain as the Ancient Roman Empire collapsed for similar reasons.
The lack of respect shown you with the release of pictures no decent human being would ever take let alone would ever release will be common place but exactly the type of “dirt” unprincipled characters currently holding some of our more important Federal government positions crave and propagate. It is a severe divergence from that Shining City on a Hill that we had all once wanted and another famous American from California once spoke about. We need to get back to being Americans who are less concerned about what divides us and more concerned about what unites us.
“These visitors to that city on the Potomac do not come as white or black, red or yellow; they are not Jews or Christians; conservatives or liberals; or Democrats or Republicans. They are Americans awed by what has gone before, proud of what for them is still… a shining city on a hill.”—Ronald Reagan.
Recently, I’ve been having a major PragerU video infestation of my Facebook newsfeed:
-One PragerU video told me how Trump’s words were completely twisted, no, even mangled, by the evil liberal media (OK, I’m taking liberties to exaggerate and paraphrase a bit but it takes nothing away from PragerU’s message). I watched the footage from the actual press conference in question. It wasn’t hard to find on the Internet. PragerU is full of it. What the media reported was accurate.
No word twisting. Trump explicitly stated there were “very fine people, on both sides.” The only two sides on that awful day in Charlottesville that resulted in the loss of a life were racist groups protesting the removal of a statue of a Confederate General and counter-protesters protesting the hate those groups represent.
-Another PragerU video told me that the “Big Monolith Tech Giants” are manipulating conservative messages they don’t want me to see. However, they conveniently ignore the fact that their video about this topic is showing up in my newsfeed. This pretty much discredits their whole argument in one single “Big Monolith Tech” newsfeed instant.
-A third PragerU video, in a mindless crusade against Net Neutrality, tries to tell me how the poor ISP’s are being denied a revenue model that seems to me to be little more than an extortion scheme to wrestle away money from the real victims, innocent Web Application websites minding their own business on the Internet as they experience a shakedown by a consortium of unprincipled and unchecked ISP’s: “hey, we’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse; pay us and we won’t divert our subscriber traffic away from your website. Talk to our sales rep, Bugsy about our great ‘insurance’ plans. Choose the intimidation level you like best.”
Classy. Let’s damage the legitimate profit margins for 99.9% of businesses in America in favor of corrupt, nefarious business practices that benefit less than 0.1% of the businesses in America. That’s an odd way of being “Pro-Business,” especially if we want to be viewed as a country that sponsors a free enterprise system that is equitable, fair and honors a playing field free of corruption.
After being subjected to the barrage of insults to my intelligence, I can only come to one conclusion: PragerU has about as much credibility as that chupacabra story on page 10 of the National Enquirer. Not a credible source of information. Of course, if you believe chupacabras are real then I suppose there is really not much else to say.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmaZR8E12bs (Trump’s Remarks about Charlottesville)
*The percentage of ISP’s was based upon a variety of sources, relying mostly upon data taken from 2012 (number of business in America) and 2018 (number of ISP’s). Since the economy is better today and the number of businesses has likely increased, the percentage arrived at is intended to be and is presumed to be a conservative estimate.
We have it good here in America. We need to appreciate that. We live in a world that is interconnected. We need to appreciate that. In the late period of the ancient Roman Empire when migrants encroached on their borders, the people in charge thought much like Trump thought. The Romans called them “barbarians,” gave them a label, made them an enemy, a target people could blame for all their troubles (the “Bad Hombres” of their time).
That thinking cost the ancient Romans an empire. The ancient Romans completely forgot what their ancestors, just two hundred years prior, had brilliantly done to manage migration. We need to appreciate that too, understand it and study it. There is a way to solve our migration woes but what’s happening now, mismanaging how the money is allocated, misappropriations, inhuman conditions along with a sideshow of unacceptable bigoted Facebook postings by a small segment of CBP officers, this unthoughtful zero tolerance administration policy, this unchristian administration policy, is just going to make things worse.
We need to quit looking at migration as a negative and start looking at it as a positive. Fortunately for my Irish ancestors, we had Presidents dedicated to unifying the country with ideas of liberty and justice for all. There was no demagogue elected to the Presidency, to such a powerful position, who had any desire to fuel the fires of the prejudices and misconceptions Americans had at that time towards the caravan of Irish immigrants during the 1840’s and 1850’s. The Irish were the “Bad Hombre’s” in the eyes of many Americans who felt threatened by this influx of foreigners to their country but they weren’t.
My Irish ancestors helped make our nation great. We need to realize we are a nation of immigrants. Once we do that, there are some real policies that can be put into place. Rather than being that 30 foot multibillion, very expensive Band-Aid, they are cost effective policies that can help to address the sources of the problems. It will give the CBP what they really need, what they really want and what America really needs.
We are America, the land of the free, home of the brave, with emphasis on brave. We aren’t the home of the frightened little citizens threatened by caravan people who are only hoping to escape their unbearable conditions to make their lives better. We need to start acting like the country we were meant to be, what we used to be, full of honor and integrity and fearlessness, before we end up losing our republic in a way similar to the way the ancient Romans lost theirs’s. We need to grow up, learn and, most of all, be decent human beings about it.
Robert Mueller stated he couldn’t indict a sitting President because it is “unconstitutional.” It was a bold statement to make especially since it is not true. This OLC opinion that I presume Mueller is basing his own conclusion upon has not been tested in the courts. Furthermore, there is nothing in the Constitution that says that the President is above the law which is effectively what such a conclusion asserts.
In fact, I would argue the Constitution states the exact opposite: the President is not above the law. And I would probably win my argument dependent only upon the number of beer drinking judges on the bench that might not be totally impartial. When our Constitution was written our founders had just a few years earlier fought a war to end the rule of a man who was legally above the law. That would be the King of England for those who missed the memo. When considering that our founding fathers would not ever want any man to hold that much power ever again, the statement Mueller makes seems absolutely absurd.
It is generally understood that Mueller is basing his conclusion on an untested opinion by the OLC (Office of Legal Counsel) that was offered in 1973. Ken Starr’s team in the 1990’s offered a more recent opinion. Starr’s team asserted that a sitting President can be indicted. Around that same time, a Supreme Court ruling affirmed that a sitting President can face some civil lawsuits (Clinton v. Jones, 1997). And prior to that ruling, in 1982 (Nixon v. Fitzgerald), the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice, Warren Burger, in his concurring opinion that favored protecting Presidents against being sued if their actions were directly associated with official duties, stated this:
“The dissents are wide of the mark to the extent that they imply that the Court today recognizes sweeping immunity for a President for all acts. The Court does no such thing. The immunity is limited to civil damages claims. Moreover, a President, like Members of Congress, judges, prosecutors, or congressional aides — all having absolute immunity — are not immune for acts outside official duties. Ante at 457 U. S. 753-755. Even the broad immunity of the Speech and Debate Clause has its limits…”
“In United States v. Brewster, 408 U. S. 501 (1972), we held that the Speech and Debate Clause does not prohibit prosecution of a Senator for accepting a bribe designed to influence his legislative acts…”
“When judicial action is needed to serve broad public interests — as when the Court acts not in derogation of the separation of powers, but to maintain their proper balance, cf. Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, or to vindicate the public interest in an ongoing criminal prosecution, see United States v. Nixon— the exercise of jurisdiction has been held warranted. In the case of this merely private suit for damages based on a President’s official acts, we hold it is not…The Court has recognized before that there is a lesser public interest in actions for civil damages than, for example, in criminal prosecutions…”
If the Supreme Court ruled that sitting Presidents are not immune from all civil lawsuits (Clinton v. Jones) and if an earlier 1982 ruling included statements by the Chief Justice that indicates civil lawsuits are less worthy of interest than criminal offensives when perpetrated by elected officeholders, then there should be no question that a sitting President can be indicted for criminal offenses. The integrity of the office demands that we have people holding that office who have respect for the law. Presidents are required to face criminal prosecution just like any other citizen, and, in fact, they should be held to a higher bar than any other citizen given the importance of the office.
Failing to prosecute whenever egregious criminal offenses are perpetrated by occupants of our nation’s highest office damages the integrity of the office itself and damages our nation’s credibility as preserver of justice. The arguably errant 1973 OLC opinion was rendered by a likely Presidential apologist at a time when another more infamous President to date faced the threat of criminal prosecution. Had Mueller explicitly stated his intention to follow a traditional standard set by previous Presidential Investigators to refer the matter to Congress then I do not believe many, absent the political pundits, would find fault with that. However, when evaluating the incredible amount of dissention, past Supreme Court opinions and the quality of arguments made against that infamous OLC opinion of 1973, it is all the more reason to believe that Mueller’s assertion that his failure to indict a sitting President is settled constitutional law was a very peculiar legal gaffe to make indeed.