The word ‘Watergate’ is increasingly coming up in punditry about the Trump Presidency. I find this both funny and sad at the same time. I also find it ironic that I have to keep ‘defending’ a man that does not deserve to be defended. I can think of very few people that have been more embarrassing to this country than Donald J. Trump. And yet because he is so reviled by the media, Democrats, liberal Republicans (like Susan Collins) and even a few mainstream Repubilcans (Like John McCain), the reportage about this man’s Presidency is among the most obviously biased reporting I have ever seen. I understand why he is so disliked. But that does not translate into ‘Watergate’.
I have defended the media against bias many times. That’s because most of the time I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I often felt that accusations of bias were based on the bias of the accuser. But in the case of Donald Trump, media bias is very obvious. It is dripping with sarcasm. The presumption of Trump’s guilt is evident in the way they present every story about him. The not so subtle ridicule... the occasional smirks… the rolling eyes...– all dead giveaways of the bias.
That Democrats are biased is not surprising. They are political animals that will use any advantage to make their political opponents look bad while they make themselves look righteous.
The media pretending to be objective cannot help themselves from appearing to salivate at the prospect of a new ‘Watergate’. Every reporter wants to be the next ‘Woodward and Bernstein’. They each want to have that kind of legacy. They care less about the facts than what this story will do for their careers if it turns out the way they hope it does.
One may ask, What about the Republicans? Are they not the same political animals? Do they not have the same agenda – to get reelected and perhaps one day run as a credible candidate for President? Sure they do. They are no different than the Democrats in that respect.
The difference is that the media bias is on the side of the sensationalism that a Watergate type of event would bring them. So they bolster the Democrat argument while hardly noting the more restrained view that most Republicans are taking.
I don’t even think that most members of the media are aware they are doing it. I am convinced that they think are being objective. If only they could see themselves through a truly objective lens.
Watching the media is like watching birds of prey ready to pounce on its victims. They are salivating at the possibility that Comey will somehow show that Trump obstructed Justice. For which he (Trump) could be impeached and possibly removed from office.
James Comey will testify before Congress today. A lot of people are pinning their hopes on his testimony. But he has already stated that he does not believe that Trump tried to obstruct justice. He is not going to change his views during testimony under oath. If anyone has a reason to be anti Trump it’s James Comey. But he has basically already vindicated Trump. There will be no Comey bombshell. It will not happen.Watergate - which can make the careers of both the politicians and the media - it is not.
Here is what I believe to be the facts based on my own observations. Trump did not collude with the Russia to sway the election in his favor. Whether members of his campaign did or not is immaterial if Trump was not aware they were doing it at the time or is trying to cover it up now. And I’m not at all convinced that any Trump surrogate colluded with the Russians.
Did Russia try to interfere in the election? That seems to be the consensus of the entire intelligence community. But neither Trump nor any of his surrogates had anything to do with it.
Nor did Trump try to obstruct justice in a conversation he had with Comey about former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn. Comey has already made that very clear. He said he was never directed by the President to stop the investigation of Flynn or the investigation of Russia’s tampering with the election. And that Trump was never personally a subject of that investigation.
Former FBI director Comey is surely knowledgeable about what is and isn’t obstruction. If he - as the man in the center of this investigation is to be believed (as I believe he should be) that should end all the talk about obstruction of justice. This is no more ‘Watergate’ than Hillary Clinton hiding her emails was.
That doesn’t absolve Trump of unethical behavior. Asking Comey for loyalty; firing him shortly after that; attacking his enemies on twitter, tweeting insults and lies about people he dislikes including world leaders is stupid and disgusting behavior that is counterproductive to the well being of this country. It disturbs me and should disturb anyone with any sense of humanity. Which is in large part why I believe he continues to be an embarrassment. But none of that rises to being an obstruction of justice. Or an impeachable offense.
That will not stop most of the punditry from spinning it that way. They may characterize Comey’s testimony as a bombshell. But I don’t think it is anywhere near that. Much as Democrats, the media, and the ‘Not my President’ liberals are trying to make it be.
One final word for all the politically liberal Trump haters. Be careful what you wish for. If you hate Trump because of his policies, you will come to regret his removal from office if it ever gets that far. His his successor, Mike Pence, will make Trump look like a liberal.
Republished with permission from Emes Ve-Emunah.
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There is Still Zero Evidence
I should begin by saying that I hope an independent investigation is conducted in the Trump/Russia connection. Not because I think it will yield any type of actionable results, quite the opposite.
Ever since the election the medias actions have been led by mass hysteria, easily disproven speculation, and the partisan message of "Today is the day that we've got just the thing that will impeach President Trump!"
I'm not sure why people keep falling for it. Let's see some evidence. It's true? Impeach him, draw and quarter him, hang him whatever. Until then, do some investigative reporting instead of subjective speculating ( I'm looking at you Rachel Maddow)
House Democrats will use an obscure legislative procedure known as a discharge petition on Wednesday to try to force a vote on a bill that would create an independent commission to investigate Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. Unless more Republicans are persuaded to join calls for an independent commission, the longshot tactic is the best chance Democrats have to bring such a bill up for a vote in Congress.
What's a Discharge Petition?
Discharge petitions are the legislative equivalent of the "Advance to GO, Collect $200" Monopoly card — they allow a bill to skip past hearings, committee votes, Ventnor Avenue, and all the rest on the way to a final vote on passage. Lawmakers in both the House and Senate have discharge petitions at their disposal, though the process works a little differently in each chamber of Congress.
In the House, a discharge petition can only be filed if the bill it pertains to has been idle for 30 legislative days, at which point supporters must gather the signatures of a majority of House members (218 normally but 216 now due to vacancies) in order to force the committee to release the bill. If supporters have met that signature threshold, and the committee doesn’t act within seven days, then the bill can be brought to the House floor for a vote.
Things get a little more complex in the Senate, where discharge petitions can be used for normal bills in addition to executive branch and judicial nominations (like for a Supreme Court vacancy). Legislation that’s the focus of a discharge petition can still be blocked by the filibuster, so supporters must have the backing of at least 60 Senators in the process to prevent it from being stopped.
What Does the Bill do?
Rep. Eric Swalwell’s (D-CA) Protecting Our Democracy Act, the bill that would be brought up for consideration if the discharge petition is successful, is pretty straightforward.
It would create an independent, 12-member commission similar to the one created after the 9/11 attacks that’d have the ability to interview witnesses, get documents, issue subpoenas, and hear public testimony. Once its investigation is complete, the commission would provide Congress and the president with a final report offering recommendations within 18 months of the bill’s enactment.
The commission would be made up of prominent U.S. citizens who’ve worked with distinction in government, law enforcement, the military, law, intelligence, elections, foreign affairs, and cybersecurity. No federal officials or employees would be eligible to participate, and members would be chosen by congressional leadership from both parties.
Will it Work?
It’s pretty unlikely, as it needs 216 supporters to get a majority in the House and only 200 lawmakers have announced their support for it. That being said, if more Republicans join their two colleagues who’ve cosponsored the Protecting Our Democracy Act it just might have a chance to reach the floor.
If it works, it'd be only the fourth time in the modern era that a discharge petition has been successfully used. Discharge petitions were used to approve a gun-rights bill backed by the NRA in 1986, the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill in 2002, and by the House in 2015 in an early attempt to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.
Countable posted a new video today titled, "Impeach the President!" Rhetoric or Reality? Embedded below.
Following in the footsteps of the media's 'Hysteria over Everything' campaign, calls to impeach Trump are bubbling up in the media. The push for impeachment is a political tool to tarnish the reputation of the sitting president because it serves multiple functions.
First, it reinforces the confirmation bias in half the nation who voted for the other guy/gal. Everything the other team does is evil and the presence of the Impeach Trump headline reinforces them that they are the correct team, the moral team.
Secondly, it allows for political opposition to create their Lists of Evil. Every President has had this. Compare:
If you opposed George W Bush you could easily rattle off:
Both presidents lined the pockets of the military industrial complex. Both destroyed individual civil liberties. Both increased the size and scope of government. Both doubled the national debt.
If you naturally agree with one list and resist the other maybe it's time to 'diversify your portfolio' and find more outlets of information. Neither party is interested in the behavior of the President unless he belongs to the opposing party. In the political spectrum, there is not much difference between Democrats and Republicans, despite the common belief that they are the only two choices and polar opposites.
This cognitive dissonance is reinforced by our news sources and partisan commentary. Most people don't get their news from actually reading Bill texts, policy papers or hear multiple sources from differing viewpoints. This becomes evident when they attempt to make their voices heard. As you read, you can hear the talking points relentlessly drummed out since November, mostly conjecture, assertions and falsehoods.
Here are a couple gems from real citizens whose vote has the same equal voting power as yours:
One citizen is delusional enough to think there is a pathway to impeachment and restoration of Democratic Party rule:
The writer’s proposed solution is that everyone simply agree with the writer.
Unfortunately, our biases have reinforced the influence of the two-party system. Until we shake out cognitive dissonance and re-examine events and policies, we will continue to get the leaders we deserve. The true solution to escaping the influence of the opposing political party is limit the government so that the politicians that do slither into office can't impact our lives as easily. Instead of a system where you are trying to force someone to live by your desires, and half your life suffering from their policies, the system needs to limit the power of every part of government.
Instead of Left and Right, a better critique focuses on Liberty. Both parties have expanded the government and increased taxes, regulations, and passed laws that limit your liberties. These policies limit your freedom, your choices, your behavior and your power as a citizen. Ask if the bill your representative is writing is going to make life easier, ask what the cost will be, examine the impact that similar laws have had. Focus on the content, and not the originator. A government should not be about one group winning while another loses. In focusing on liberty, we aim for the win-win in politics.
In contrast, the hyperbolic calls for impeachment are about a person, not an office, not an idea, and not a policy. Such calls stop dialogue, stop negotiations, and widen the divide as people take sides instead of meeting in the middle.
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Since Congress and our Intelligence Agencies have little to no credibility amongst the public, Reason.com urges them to heed Justin Amash's call for transparency in the matter.
Reason.com notes "The stories, however, are based on anonymous sources from groups whose records of obfuscations, mistakes, and screw-ups are legendary."
Specifically, the Washington Post reports:
"It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia's goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected," said a senior U.S. official briefed on an intelligence presentation made to U.S. senators. "That's the consensus view."
"The CIA shared its latest assessment with key senators in a closed-door briefing on Capitol Hill last week, in which agency officials cited a growing body of intelligence from multiple sources. Agency briefers told the senators it was now "quite clear" that electing Trump was Russia's goal, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters."
Neither Amash or Reason.com's skepticism is out in left field here. Let's look at a quick report card of lies told by the CIA and repeated by the New York Times which ultimately led to war.
Gulf of Tonkin (Vietnam)
Questions about the Gulf of Tonkin incidents have persisted for more than 40 years. But once-classified documents and tapes released in the past several years, combined with previously uncovered facts, make clear that high government officials distorted facts and deceived the American public about events that led to full U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.
The Washington Post, now claiming Russian hacking led with this headline on Aug. 5, 1964: “American Planes Hit North Vietnam After Second Attack on Our Destroyers; Move Taken to Halt New Aggression”. That same day, the front page of the New York Times reported: “President Johnson has ordered retaliatory action against gunboats and ‘certain supporting facilities in North Vietnam’ after renewed attacks against American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin.”
But there was no “second attack” by North Vietnam — no “renewed attacks against American destroyers.” By reporting official claims as absolute truths, American journalism opened the floodgates for the bloody Vietnam War.
Babies dumped out of incubators in Kuwait (Gulf War)
The Nayirah testimony was a false testimony given before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus on October 10, 1990 by a 15-year-old girl who provided only her first name, Nayirah. Her tear-jerking story included "312 premature babies at Kuwait City's maternity hospital who died after Iraqi soldiers stole their incubators and left the infants on the floor," and of "babies pulled from incubators and scattered like firewood across the floor." The testimony was widely publicized, and was cited numerous times by United States senators and President George H.W. Bush in their rationale to back Kuwait in the Gulf War.
In 1992, it was revealed that Nayirah's last name was al-Ṣabaḥ and that she was the daughter of Saud Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States. Furthermore, it was revealed that her testimony was organized as part of the Citizens for a Free Kuwait public relations campaign which was run by American Hill & Knowlton for the Kuwaiti government. Following this, al-Sabah's testimony has come to be regarded as a classic example of modern atrocity propaganda.
Iraqi WMD (2003 invasion of Iraq)
The United States and the UK asserted that Saddam Hussein still possessed large hidden stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in 2003, and that he was clandestinely procuring and producing more. Inspections by the UN to resolve the status of unresolved disarmament questions restarted between November 2002 and March 2003, under UN Security Council Resolution 1441, which demanded Saddam give "immediate, unconditional and active cooperation" with UN and IAEA inspections, shortly before his country was attacked.
The CIA later declassified the document that supposedly proved our involvement in Iraq, one that persists after 12 years with no end in sight. But its contents are not what top Bush administration officials said during their campaign to sell the war to the American public. Those officials, citing the same classified document, asserted with no uncertainty that Iraq was actively pursuing nuclear weapons, concealing a vast chemical and biological weapons arsenal, and posing an immediate and grave threat to US national security.
Fake CIA videos of beheadings in Syria (Not technically on this list as it failed to get Boots-on-Ground)
A 2010 Washington Post article authored by former Army Intelligence Officer Jeff Stein features a detailed account of how the CIA admittedly filmed a fake Bin Laden video during the run up to the 2003 Iraq war. The article, which includes comments from multiple sources within the CIA’s Iraq Operations Group, explains how the agency had planned to “flood Iraq with the videos” depicting several controversial scenarios.
“The agency actually did make a video purporting to show Osama bin Laden and his cronies sitting around a campfire swigging bottles of liquor and savoring their conquests with boys, one of the former CIA officers recalled, chuckling at the memory,” the article states. “The actors were drawn from ‘some of us darker-skinned employees.’”
If you recall, after a fierce pushback of public outrage at the thought of intervening in Syria, the beheading videos turned the tide of US Interventionism. There are no believable reports at this time that the CIA was directly involved with the fake Foley beheading videos though it's been proven the beheadings we fake and this ia a tool in their toolbox.
Don't you think maybe skepticism and investigation are in order?
Some have already thought aloud of the possibility that the CIA is hoping to raise enough doubt to change electors from casting faithful Trump votes. There's irony for you. In an attempt to ensure 'Russian Hackers' from affecting our election, Electoral College voters cast votes against the will of the people for an apparent criminal.
In its continuing coverage, The New York Times notes that the new revelations aren't even based on new evidence:
"The C.I.A.'s conclusion does not appear to be the product of specific new intelligence obtained since the election, several American officials, including some who had read the agency's briefing, said on Sunday. Rather, it was an analysis of what many believe is overwhelming circumstantial evidence—evidence that others feel does not support firm judgments—that the Russians put a thumb on the scale for Mr. Trump, and got their desired outcome.
It is unclear why the C.I.A. did not produce this formal assessment before the election, although several officials said that parts of it had been made available to President Obama in the presidential daily briefing in the weeks before the vote. But the conclusion that Moscow ran an operation to help install the next president is one of the most consequential analyses by American spy agencies in years."
We should demand transparency. And as long as we're demanding transparency, let's get it as well for Soros donations and for foreign government donations to the Clinton Foundation, just in the unlikely event that any of that affected the election. That won't happen though because there was a day where getting information on political people (Nixon) would get you a Pulitzer, these days releasing the truth gets you threats of prison.
Finally, the CIA is the masters of the universe whose foreign policy Hillary exemplifies, and Trump potentially threatens. Conflict of interest exists to say the very least. The FBI is denying that there is any evidence that Russia hacked the DNC or the RNC. But why don't we start with the CIA and see their evidence. Then, don't stop there. Release information on all the Foreign Elections we have rigged as well. Like this one in Russia:
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Recently Facebook has provided us with a list of fake news media outlets. Having read it, I can only suggest that the list is incomplete. I would like to note that the following fake stories were widely distributed in major media outlets and yet these outlets, even when repeatedly publishing fake stories, seem to have been missed by Facebook's helpful list. Let's recall ten famous stories that were circulated that later turned out to be fake.
1. The heroic death of American football star, Pat Tillman as reported in The NY Times Former N.F.L. Player Killed in Afghanistan. He was killed by friendly fire. There is some speculation he was intentionally killed because he was going to report his fellow soldiers for drug trafficking.
2. The heroic fight of Pvt. Jessica Lynch as reported in The NY Times as Saving Private Lynch. Apparently, she was unable to fire her weapon.
3. The Duke Lacrosse team rape case as reported by Selena Roberts in The NY Times.
4. Iraq's possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction as reported by Judith Miller in The NY Times.
5. The story of Jimmy, the 9-year-old heroin addict, as reported by Janet Cooke in the Washington Post.
6. Anything by Jayson Blair published in the NY Times.
7. A Rape On Campus, Jackie's story, as published by Rolling Stone magazine.
8. The widely reported Serbian genocide of Bosnian Muslims, including an article in the Washington Post suggesting that more than 5000 Muslim men had been killed by the Serbs. This article, together with other similar ones, triggered a US bombing campaign killing thousands. The UN Court dismissed the claims that a genocide occurred prior to the bombing.
9. The widespread publication of the Congressional testimony of 15-year old Nayirah regarding the Iraqi troops dumping Kuwaiti babies from incubators onto the floor. Turns out that Nayirah was Nayirah al-Sabah, daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US, who wasn't even in Kuwait at the time of the invasion.
10. Gaddafi's soldiers being supplied with viagra and ordered to engage in mass rape as reported in the Daily Mail. Susan Rice made this claim, but it was never substantiated.
I would defy anyone to produce a list showing a single US/European media outlet tied to a greater number of utterly fake news stories than The NY Times. Who can forget The NY Times accepting the Pentagon version of the events in the Gulf of Tonkin, which led to the disastrous expansion of the War in Vietnam? Even without referring to the fabled Pulitzer Prize-winning Walter Duranty, a liar who managed to ignore the mass slaughter of the people of Russia by Stalin, I still think The NY Times can fairly be credited with inciting or covering up more mass murders than any media outlet anywhere in the world. When Duranty is included in the mix, there can be no doubt which media outlet has published the biggest fake news over the last 100 years. Remember the words of Elaine Bennis to Jerry about her orgasms, "fake, fake, fake, fake". You have been warned.
Article originally published here.
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