America needs an enema

That was one of many great lines delivered by Jack Nicholson in Batman.  At one point, I would have suggested that Washington DC was that town.  Now, I think this entire country is constipated.  Just look at the way people interact with each other.  Check the differences in how media is disseminated or viewed.  We are in a state of utter chaos, and much of it is of our own doing.

For starters, VOX ran a very interesting article on the difference in news coverage on the Trump/Russia issue between the right-wing media outlets and everyone else.

The past week of Trump scandals for people reading mainstream news outlets has gone something like this: President Trump fired the FBI director who was investigating his campaign’s connection with Russia — and then the next day, Trump shared classified information with Russian officials.

But on conservative news outlets, the narrative was very different. It was about an FBI director whose firing was long overdue, and a liberal media desperate to take down Trump.

You can find the entire article here, and it is well worth the read.  The gist of the article shows that we are living in two different realities.  People who only get their news from one source or from within their own safe zone are talking entirely different incidents with people in other news circles.  When you hear Trump supporters dismissing the news reports, it’s not a defensive measure in as much as they believe something totally different because of what their media is telling them.

Then, there’s the sheer flood of “leaked” information.  As a federal employee, I find it difficult to believe that my colleagues have suddenly found it impossible to do their jobs without potentially violating the law by discussing classified information or other things.  When administrations change, the appointed positions change.  The rank-and-file workers don’t.  I was hired in under GW Bush, and if I remain until retirement, there’s no idea of how many other presidents I’ll serve.  That said, the person sitting in the WH doesn’t change my work ethic one bit.  I still try to do my job to the best of my ability now as I did when I was first hired.

The amount of the leaks makes part of me think it’s intentionally done to sow discord.  Let’s face it, there is enough discord in America right now to circle the world about a dozen times.  People are literally at each other’s throats.  A right-wing white supremacist killed two people on a commuter train in Portland after hurling slurs at two passengers who were thought to be Muslim.  There’s all kinds of crap going on everywhere, and it seems like it will only get worse.  The pejoratives fly out of people’s mouths like breath on a cold winter morning.  We’ve found out that even the FBI had false information that was meant to disrupt the system.

This country needs to take a massive dump.  We need to purge all the bulls**t out of our system.  Some of us need to be reminded that, regardless of ideological beliefs, we are not enemies.  I cringe whenever I hear Americans referring to fellow Americans as enemies.  I don’t even refer to football rivals as enemies.  That word carries powerful and dangerous connotations.  Someone needs to find an equivalent to a giant bottle of Fleet, shove it up the figurative ass of America, and squeeze that mofo until it turns to powder.

We’re full of sh*t, both figuratively and literally.  We cannot continue as a country like this without doing damage to our society as well as relationships to our allies.  If we don’t unclog the system, something is bound to happen.  We’ve gone from being an example of democracy to looking like a disturbed red ant hill.

I don’t like it.  I don’t like it one bit.  I honestly hope that the investigators take thing seriously and act appropriately on their findings.  If nothing has occurred, then everyone should be able to see the information from the investigation to see where that conclusion was drawn.  Likewise, if there was any bad behavior between Americans and outsiders to influence the election, there should be no sparing of the powers of the judiciary to give America the justice we deserve.  That’s the only way we will begin to remove this sh*t from our system in order to recover to what we were before.

The Baffled States of America

I try to be respectful towards the Office of the President.  The next four years will be an endurance test, one unlike any that I’ve ever embarked upon in my time alive.  Let me set the record straight first and foremost.  I have no personal animosity towards President Trump.  None at all.  That said, let’s get started.

First, he’s not a politician.  That’s why many voted for him.  That was the “appeal” that many Americans saw.  He wasn’t an insider in Washington, and he said all the right things in front of the right crowds*.  People seriously thought that he was listening to what they wanted and needed from the head of the Executive Branch of our government and have not been getting for decades.  He’s the one who will fix everything as he claimed that he would do, right?

Well, I can say that I have not been dazzled by his brilliance thus far, even though it’s only been a month.  Actually, not even a full month yet.  It hasn’t been a full four weeks at this point, and we already seem to be witnessing a 2mph train wreck happening during the evening rush hour.

We got warned about this long ago, but we didn’t heed the advice.  Dr. Seuss showed us how to avoid being taken for everything by a con man, a bullshit artist.  Trump is that, and then some.  Look at his history if you don’t want to take my word for it.  He has a record of stiffing businesses out of money on already agreed to contracts.  He’s avoided paying taxes for decades by assuming liability for an absurd amount of debt.  He reminds me of the guy on the street corner taking people for their money playing three card monte.  The problem is that he doesn’t know when to turn the bs off and has no idea of how to not bs people.  If there’s any one job in this country that should not be filled by a bs artist, it’s the job of being president.

We’ve been witness to this through the outright lies and doublespeak coming from people within the administration.  The apparently thin-skinned POTUS has attacked people personally or through spokespeople from everything from the size of the inauguration crowd to the portrayal of him on Saturday Night Live.  This has also been evident from the attacks on the media, the intelligence community, and pretty much everyone around the world except for Russia and Putin.  As things are beginning to show, we’re getting a good education on why he hasn’t attacked Russia or Putin.  The problem with the “breaking news” stuff about Gen. Flynn is that the only thing that’s new about the reporting is that we now have actual names of people with government positions who were communicating with Russia.

There were early reports about Paul Manafort and a server in Trump Towers that was communicating with a server in Russia.  There have also been rumors and such of other people involved with his campaign that had ties to Russia.  The Secretary of State is well-known to have strong business ties to Russia and Putin.  Individually, the rumors and innuendo don’t amount to anything that points to outright malfeasance.  At the same time, you can create an avalanche when you get enough things piled on top of each other.

At this point, there is permanent damage that has been done to the credibility of people in Washington.  It’s not like there was a vast amount of credibility to begin with, but I don’t recall any administration in my lifetime having a beginning like this.  It hasn’t been a full four weeks yet, and there’s enough stuff floating around to do about 8 years worth of Congressional investigations.  I don’t expect to see Republicans do anything at this point, as they’re likely going to try to wait things out.  It appears that Trump tried to wait things out on Flynn, and look at what it got him.

It’s not wise to try to pick a fight with the intelligence community that has taken an oath to protect the Constitution of the United States.  Especially when the intelligence community is full of people who take their oath seriously.  In case people forget, foreign enemies are not the only ones listed in that oath:

I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

5 U.S.C. §3331

Those who focus more on the leaks than the information leaked should stop long enough to consider that oath.  If the federal employee thinks the actions rise high enough to be considered as an enemy act, they have a responsibility to take actions to defend the Constitution.  I’m not saying that leaking information is always a good thing to do, but we do have some whistleblower protections for a reason.  It’s dumb to think that you could communicate with foreign adversaries and our intelligence community wouldn’t pick up on those communications.  I also saw that some of our allies also picked up communications on their own, and they have their own concerns about American leadership as a result.

If Hillary Clinton’s email investigation was so important that we had to have a press conference by the FBI about it, why wasn’t the American public told about the communications between Trump’s campaign and Russia?  Remember, Democrats left a classified briefing on Russian hacking and were furious with Director Comey.  Middle, rural America elected trump because he said that he would bring jobs back to their communities.  If they’re farmers, they will have enough manure over the next four years to keep fertilizing crops for generations.  If they’re not farmers, there’s always a need for someone to shovel the bs.  If the first four weeks are any indication, we’re in for record amounts of bs in short order.

Welcome to the Baffled States of America.  This is what some of  you voted for, and this is what we’re all going to get as a result.

*I think it’s entirely possible to say the right things to the right people.  That still doesn’t mean that you’re correct in what you’re saying, or that the people who believe you are also right. 

Two more days

Just as I figured, there was nothing new in the recently found emails.  Director Comey is likely on his way out after this.  I honestly don’t know how he can salvage his career after this fiasco.  He can thank Rep. Chaffetz for speeding up his retirement.
Without knowing what was in those emails, there was no reason to notify Congress.  He should have known that Republicans wouldn’t be able to remain silent on anything remotely involving Hillary Clinton.  It will be interesting to see what’s said about Comey now.  He’s gone from hero to zero and back or vice versa depending on people’s ideology.  He should have just asked my opinion, and I would have said to remain silent until after November 8th.

 

Once again, another Clinton “scandal” dissolves into a pile of nothingness.  If/When she wins this election, get ready for 4 years of this crap.  We already know what’s coming.  She won’t be able to take a dump in the Oval Office bathroom without it becoming a scandal.

Comey messed up

There’s been lots of chatter from both sides over the political spectrum about the actions of FBI Director James Comey in regards to Hillary Clinton’s email investigation.  When he had his press conference on July 5, 2016 announcing that there would be no prosecution, people on the right went crazy.   When he sent a letter to Congress last week, the left turned their anger up to 11.

I’ve watched this entire ordeal unfold with a bit of confusion.  If there was not going to be a prosecution, why would he need to have a press conference to announce that when that’s not the job of the FBI to do.  It’s usually the responsibility of the Attorney General or another member of the Dept. of Justice responsible for prosecuting crimes that holds those press conferences.  I’ve seen far too many to count, and I don’t recall any members of the FBI doing the speaking.  It’s usually the AUSA or some other lawyer.

Likewise, the letter sent to Congress was pretty much a note of hot air.  If you don’t know what you have, how do you determine whether to notify Congress or not?  Seems like there would need to be knowledge of what was contained in those emails to justify notifying Congress that you may have to continue the investigation.

I won’t try to ascribe political motivation to Comey’s actions, but I think he royally screwed the pooch on this one.  He’s either whipped up a fury right before the election over nothing, or he knows what is in those emails and had knowledge of that prior to getting a search warrant to see what’s inside.  The former action would seem like a violation of the Hatch Act, while the latter would possibly make any evidence obtained worthless in a court of law.  There’s also the memo that’s been passed down within the Dept. of Justice from the past few Attorney Generals that state they will not announce investigations of political figures less than 60 days before an election or something to that effect.

Maybe Comey felt that he was acting within the scope of his authority and felt he had no other choice.  I honestly don’t know.  I can say that, if it was my decision to make, I would not have sent that letter without concrete evidence that the found emails were indeed connected to the Clinton investigation.  That’s what makes me think the FBI knows what is contained within those emails.  If they’ve already read through them without a warrant, then they are inadmissible in any court proceeding as well as any information found from the information contained within those emails.  If the contents of the emails are indeed unknown, then there’s no point in notifying Congress about investigations because it’s not known whether the investigation will be impacted.

Either way, Comey messed up in my view, and what has already been an election for the history books just added another chapter.  As far as him being charged for violating the Hatch Act, I think that is a bit of a stretch at this point because there is no information to show motivation.  Now, if you wanna charge someone with violating the Hatch Act if it were indeed possible, I would submit Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) as the prime violator.  However, members of Congress cannot be charged under the Hatch Act as it only applies to employees under the Executive Branch.  I find it interesting that employees under the Legislative and Judicial branches are not covered, but that’s another topic for another post.

WTF America

I haven’t been posting much because real life has been keeping me busy.  Even though I haven’t been writing, I’ve had tons of stuff going through my brain just itching to get out.  First and foremost, I have to ask, “WTF America?”

How in the hell did we end up with the impending election we have?  In a country of more than 300 million people, we couldn’t find or convince people to run who would actually be desirable to vote for president?  In 2015, I decided that I didn’t want another Bush or Clinton in office because I loathe political dynasties.  I prefer to have different people from different backgrounds as candidates to give us something different to consider or other viewpoints to ponder.  I guess I should have been more specific about different, because I ended up with Trump as the “different” choice, and boy is he ever different.

From the numerous verbal gaffes to the number of unconstitutional policy positions, Trump’s campaign jumped the shark long ago.  I gave up on considering him as a serious candidate long ago, and as his numerous “sarcasm” statements show, he’s not serious either *(except for when he’s serious).  I can’t find any point of agreement with him, and his own advisers appear to be having similar issues.  Given the choices of advisers he’s made, I find his judgment skills to be completely lacking and not capable of making the serious type of selections needed to run this country.

On the opposite side, there’s the “scandal plagued” candidate in Hillary Clinton.  Thing is, most of the scandals are nothing more than hot air that amount to nothing.  The major problem that I have with Clinton is that she appears to have judgment issues herself considering that she’s been living in a fishbowl under the microscope for the last 30 years plus.  I would think that she would be far more discerning and disciplined in the decisions she makes given the scrutiny she’s subject to for the most minute of things.

I have two months plus to make up my mind, although there only appears to be one plausible choice in this race.  Those who appear to gain the most financially are those who keep trying to give semblance of a close, two person race.  Trump is not what America needs, not at all.  Between the unconstitutional policy and inability to admit when he’s wrong, he would likely get us into far more issues than he’d solve in my view.  With a Clinton presidency, I see nothing more than the continued grandstanding that we’ve seen under Obama.  In addition, there would be the constant scandals and other what nots to keep the media making money for the next four years.

Either way, America is going to be the ones to suffer.  That’s why I have to ask again, “WTF America?  Of all the possible choices, this is what we decided upon?”