THE POLITICS OF PERSONAL DISTRUCTION DOES NOT ALWAYS WORK

The quote is from the 5/24/18 edition of Newsweek (from here).

When Liberal Democrats declare the administration of President Barack Obama scandal free, Conservatives look like this.🙄🤔🤨🤣😣 No. Conservatives are not all of one mind. Conservatism is not about mindless conformity. However, as this article points out, the Obama administration had plenty of scandals, Obama’s ‘Scandal-Free Administration’ Is a Myth (wsj.com).

It is an unfortunate fact. Many of America’s politicians grasp for power using any means available to them. Many of America’s politicians also leave office far wealthier that their government salaries can possibly explain. That includes the leader of that scandal-free administration. Here we see articles like this.

Even when our glorious leaders don’t do anything definitively illegal, many most certainly don’t do what it takes to avoid the appearance of corruption, which, by the way, is what they require of government employees and military personnel. Moreover, it seems whether they are corrupt or not politicians seem to leave office far wealthier than when they first took office. Hence, because holding political office can be such a munificent prize, we see ferocious verbal and written political battles. Both news media and political campaign partisans seek to define their opponents as the most corrupt creatures ever to walk on God’s green earth.

Has our latest president, President Donald Trump, had plenty of scandals. Yes.

Liberal Democrats and their news media allies have accused Trump and his supporters of everything they can think of. The only problem is that the news media has suffered a credibility problem. In particular, because charges of Russian collusion have collapsed, their bias and hypocrisy have become all too obvious. Therefore, the crony capitalist news media now complains that Trump’s scandal are so numerous that we the people are just too stupid to keep track of all Trump’s scandals. Yet if we carefully investigate some of these scandals, the thing we find most amiss is the news media’s interpretation.

Has this sort of thing happened before? Yes. Unfortunately, because we settle our disputes with ballots instead of bullets, various news organizations tend to take sides and server as the propaganda organs of one of political parties. Consider The Politics of Personal Destruction (quoteinvestigator.com). This article answers a question.

Was Clinton the first to mention the politics of “personal destruction”? (from here)

So what do we do? If we cannot trust the news media, how do we figure out who to vote for? I wish I knew. I don’t have an easy answer. All I can say is that we must crosscheck our sources. If you find a news source that repeatedly lies or tries to mislead you by leaving out important information, don’t bother with it any more. Biases is not a big problem, but dishonesty is.

 

 

 

115 thoughts on “THE POLITICS OF PERSONAL DISTRUCTION DOES NOT ALWAYS WORK

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    1. Liz ,

      Thanks for the excellent example of the politics of personal destruction. You throw up a chart, and imply some nefarious accusation of bribery. Of course there can’t be a simpler, less scandalous explanation could there?

      Let’s say in some unlikely alternative universe, I am a movie star. As my career is taking off, wanting to do something good with my new found celebrity, I start a charitable Foundation. Let’s also say that, because I trust that she will do a great job, I put my daughter in charge of the Foundation, and she takes the standard compensation for her administration.

      Let’s say my star rises and I am nominated for several academy awards. As my star rises, donations to the foundation naturally go along with it. Furthermore, it would also be natural that, by the good work of the foundation, it has a reciprocal effect on my own personal brand. Also, although most of the donations to my Foundation come from ordinary fans, let’s say a few donations are also fruitlessly designed to curry favor with me in the hope of getting me to tout their clothing line or promote their less than reputable car dealership. (If you knew what I looked like, you’d know that this really would be a strange universe).

      Eventually, however, let’s say my star falls as fast as it rose. A couple of the movies that I star in flop, and critics pan my acting in them. Soon the best that I can do is get bit parts and eventually no one wants to come near me because they don’t want my loser reputation to rub off on them.

      Would it surprise to anyone that my Foundation’s prospects fall in line with my own brand? Does the Foundation’s failure presume that it was all just some kind of influence scheme and not actually a reputable charity doing good work? Of course not. Without some real evidence of fraud, only someone who was practicing the politics of personal destruction would even imply such a thing, right? Why would they even try such a sneaky thing?

      Well, continuing the hypothetical, let’s suppose that my main competition for actors’ parts throughout my career was just such slander mongering scoundrel. Let’s say that after he wins over those acting jobs in part by making
      false accusations about my Foundation, this scoundrel’s own foundation is found guilty of fraud and misuse of charitable funds, and the proven crook is forced to admit guilt and pay a hefty fine back to the people his donations were meant for. However, rather than any repentance for this, the scoundrel instead deflects by continuing that campaign of false accusations against me. Let’s say that the scoundrel’s fans even buy this nonsense and help him out in his campaign of personal destruction by reprinting a graphs just like yours above.

      Now, assuming you accept my hypothetical analogy, wouldn’t it be just the height of hypocrisy if one of those fans claimed that I was the one practicing the politics of personal destruction rather than my scoundrel opponent? That would have to be some really blinded star struck fan, wouldn’t it?

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      1. @tsalmon

        The lady was the Secretary of State. She, her husband, and her foundation took gobs of money from foreign donors, and our foreign policy was a wreck.

        When we were in the military, we had to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. The Clinton’s never did that, and they have grown extremely wealthy on government salaries.

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        1. Hmmm. So didn’t get my elaborate hypothetical? I’m crushed.

          You have accused the Clintons through innuendo and presumption without any proof or facts. . Unlike Trump, the Clintons have regularly released their tax records for years. You don’t think that they’ve been poured over by experts looking for the slightest impropriety?

          The Clintons have been investigated perhaps more than any politicians in the history of politicians, including by a Special Prosecutor looking for ANY dirt he could find. And yet Ken Starr never found anything illegal in their financial dealings. Nope, after looking at their finances with a microscope, you may remember that it was a perjurious lie about an adultery that Bill Clinton got impeached about.

          I didn’t vote for Bill Clinton. In my naïveté, I thought lying under oath, even to cover up an embarrassing affair, should be a disqualifying crime for the Presidency. Boy hasn’t Trump moved that low bar into the basement? Trump has proven that he can lie faster, including about adulterous affairs, than all the fact checkers can keep up with.

          By comparison to your gossip about the Clintons, Trump has admitted to financial fraud (including with his charitable fund) at least twice and paid fines for it. Trump is a lying unindicted coconspirator in an election fraud case that may have cost him the election had he and his “fixer” attorney not illegally covered up his adulterous affairs up. These are not innuendo or gossipers’ rumors, but factual allegations based upon a legal record with admissions and evidence.

          What we have here is the inability to draw a distinction between partisan tribalism and actual illegality. The other tribe and its leaders must be inherently corrupt simply because we disagree with them politically. Actual evidence of guilt is unnecessary. We just know that they have to be guilty of something because they are Democrats so we convince ourselves to a bold degree that the hypocrisy of a double standard is somehow miraculously moral for our side, and the “politics of personal destruction” through rumor and innuendo is justified when it’s against our partisan enemies. How could actual proof of crime and corruption matter as long as our enemy is guilty of disagreeing with us on politics? What is the erosion of bedrock institutions like The Rule of Law or the integrity of fair elections when our OPINION on political ideology is at stake? Truth and justice be damned if truth and justice won’t cooperate with our political persuasion?

          Do you think that’s where we are at? Yes, of course, I know what you’ll say – it’s only the other side playing dirty – not your guy Trump – not your partisan hacks. And anyway, the end of the Democratic tyranny over government justifies any means. Right….

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      2. An actor is GREAT analogy, TSalmon! Thanks for that.
        Paul Newman’s foundation, for example, really took a nosedive after he stopped acting and left the limelight.
        (curious how often Chinese businessmen and Middle Easterners give to the Paul Newman foundation…especially “anonymous” Chinese and Middle Easterners)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Just to add, a helpful link.
          As you can see, the Newman foundation reached its zenith when he was at the height of his career.
          (more seriously, Newman is one of the very few actors I respect and admire…his move to Connecticut to keep his family away from Hollywood values was smart. The only actor who comes to mind that I admire more is Gary Sinese, who also has a foundation)

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Liz,

            In my alternative universe you envision me as Paul Newman? Thanks, you are too kind. However, unlike me in my hypothetical, Paul Newman’s reputation wasn’t smeared by a crooked scoundrel. I’m also a big fan of Newman though so you’ve made my day even if the comparison doesn’t really work.

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          2. Newman was a great man.
            Most people are less acquainted with the works of Sinese (outside of the military)
            Here is a tribute video you might enjoy. He is a good person, and has done a lot for military members.
            “Dan’s Band” is really great. Some day when we aren’t doing so many home renovations I’m going to give more to his foundation. The tribute video was created by one of my spouse’s first squadron commanders (recently retired 4 star, “baba” Rand, he was a lt col then). Anyway, thought I’d share.
            Hope you have a great day.

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          3. Though I don’t feel a whole lot like arguing, it should be mentioned that many many many people noted the obvious conflict of interest at the time…considering Hillary was in a position to authorize weapons transfers, and all that. The only reason Trump’s tactic was successful…the foundation stunk to high heaven. Yet in spite of this, it was doing spectacularly well, up until she lost.
            I’ve mentioned before a close friend was deployed with the army out in Africa, and those weapons authorizations came through his desk.
            He was astounded at what she authorized.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Liz,

            This is a rather attenuated conspiracy theory. So what you seem to be implying is that H. Clinton, as Secretary of State personally approved and disapproved Congressionally authorizes weapons transfers based upon what some rich donor contributed to a charity that, among other things, helps children? I can only guess the personal benefit that Clinton (someone who has ruthlessly been and continues to be investigated for most of her adult life) supposedly gets out of risking scandal and law breaking for what most assuredly will be eventually found out is the political benefit the accrues from her charity actually being doing charity? And your evidence for this is that donations to her charity rose and fell as her personal popularity rose and fell? Yes, I see it all as clear now as Mississippi swamp water. (Remember, Newman even in death remains very popular whereas Clinton’s popular has been continuous savaged even in political defeat).

            And the reason we even care about all this convoluted Clinton gossip is to deflect from the actual admitted facts that Trump’s charity did illegally misuse funds for political and personal purposes, and to also now distract us from the fact (not a trumped up rumor) that the nonpartisan GAO has found that Trump actually did break the law in really denying military aid to a country unless that country’s leaders positively influenced our Presidential election in Trump’s favor?

            Isn’t “lot’s of people are saying” Trump’s favorite line before he practices the politics of personal destruction? Rumors are given more weight than facts?

            Nope, no confirmation bias to blind us here folks, is there?

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          5. @tsalmon

            There is no question H. Clinton had an ILLEGAL email server and that she had evidence related to it destroyed. She and hubby are worth 100s of millions.

            Trump has been investigated like crazy. The impeachment does not list any crimes. Yet you spend every opportunity making accusations. Then you complain about Liz and I?😇😇😇 And PRETEND or worse, actually believe, you are soooo innocent. This is why we call Liberal Democrats shameless.

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          6. TSalmon,
            The State Department that oversees security assistance. In some countries, arms transfers are treated as strictly economic, industrial, or military decisions. But in the United States security assistance is treated as a matter of foreign policy.
            Do you honestly believe there is no conflict of interest for the head of the State Department to operate an organization receiving funding from foreign entities and governments? Many of which are undeclared?
            The above is rhetorical, I already know you’re smart enough to know the answer to that.

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          7. “Do you honestly believe there is no conflict of interest for the head of the State Department to operate an organization receiving funding from foreign entities and governments? Many of which are undeclared?”

            I guess I’ll ask you the same: Do you honestly believe there is no conflict of interest for the President of the United States to operate a private business (not a Charity) receiving funding from foreign entities and governments? Many of which are undeclared?

            The above Liz is rhetorical, I already know you’re smart enough to know the answer to that.

            Let’s keep playing this double standard guessing game. It’s fun. 😆

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          8. “Yet you spend every opportunity making accusations. Then you complain about Liz and I?😇😇😇 And PRETEND or worse, actually believe, you are soooo innocent.”

            Hahahaha! So now I claim I’m innocent? Before I assert my innocence, don’t I need to know the crime that you are accusing me of being guilty of this time? Being biased? Having a double standard? Well, I’m sure I’m not perfect. But no, apparently the only thing that matters here for guilt or innocence is not facts or proof, but pure partisan tribal affiliation.

            Guilt is always blue, all red is innocent. What you seem to be saying is that no rumor, gossip, innuendo or conspiracy theory can be too flimsy to be believed as long as it is a Democrat being smeared, and no evidence, facts, admissions or legal convictions can be substantial enough to convict a Republican, especially the Dear Lear, Trump. Truth, justice, the law matters less than partisan factionalism.

            Have I got that about right? Come on now admit it. It is so obvious here that your words keep betraying you over and over again. This is not even a challenging game anymore.

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          9. @tsalmon

            I don’t claim to be innocent, unbiased, or objective. I don’t even believe Fox is fair and balanced, but the people you get your “news” from claim to be unbiased and objective. That claim has become a joke.

            Think about that impeachment trial in the Senate. Biden has a son on the board of corrupt company in a country with a corrupt government, and he demands –publicly bragging about it — that corrupt government fire the prosecutor investigating the company his son works for or no foreign aid. Yet who is being tried at the insistance of Liberal Democrats for quid pro quo? Seriously? How do you clowns keep a straight face?

            Are there crooked Republicans? Yes. Is Trump crooked? After all that effort to find evidence of a crime? Trump is no angel, but he passed a test I doubt either of us would survive.

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          10. Well, TSalmon, I guess we’re not going to agree on much of anything.

            -It was fine for Hillary to run a foundation that took in foreign money anonymously, and there’s nothing suspicious at all that after a life in politics making hundreds of millions from her political position it rose with her career, and has now fallen with her career.

            -It is, however, very suspicious that Trump, after making hundreds of millions as a businessman does not relinquish every business he owns instead of turning it over to family.

            -It was fine that Hillary ran an illegal home-brewed server for official use only information. Nothing suspicious that this wasn’t discovered during years long her tenure, even though the e mail address wasn’t a government address but more along the lines of Hillaryclinton@yeahitsreallyme.com
            No, surely Hillary is the most investigated person in the world.
            Whistleblowers with the Clinton foundation are coming out now…not then.
            That’s proof!
            Not a sign that she was corrupt at all.

            Hillary did a great job when our embassy was attacked. Trump did a terrible job.
            Hillary did a great job with her server, Trump is doing a terrible job.
            It’s Trump! Everything must be terrible even when the outcome is far better.
            Hillary gives ISIS weapons…Trump eliminates their territory. Hillary wins!
            Oh, it there nothing this genius woman can’t do..

            Liked by 1 person

          11. “Think about that impeachment trial in the Senate. Biden has a son on the board of corrupt company in a country with a corrupt government, and he demands –publicly bragging about it — that corrupt government fire the prosecutor investigating the company his son works for or no foreign aid.”

            Thanks Tom, another excellent example of a double standard where, without much real evidence, Republicans practice the politics of personal destruction by spreading accusations, innuendoes of impropriety and baseless conspiracies. Your complaint about Hunter Biden must follow this fractured fairy tale logic:

            1. Hunter wasn’t qualified for the job or the pay he got in the Ukraine. This alone makes Hunter, like a long line of presidential and VP relatives, at worst guilty of the non-crime of unauthorized influence peddling. But yes, it does if the APPEARANCE of impropriety.

            2. From that appearance, however, you have to make the accusation that Hunter was doing something more criminal than trading on the family name. Based upon what?

            3. Next, without a stitch of real evidence, you just l leap to the conclusion that, despite it being the express and widely agreed upon foreign policy of our government and our allies to have the guy removed, Joe Biden only got a corrupt prosecutor fired to protect his son from being investigated for, uh, crimes? What crimes? Having a famous Dad? Committing the non crime of nepotism?

            Have I got about right your tenuous logic in the Republican practice of politics of personal destruction fabricated on baseless rumor, mere appearance, innuendo and gossip? The exact practice of the politics of personal destruction that Trump is being impeached for because he, in the sick process, sacrificed national security, enlisted a foreign power to interfere in our election, and according to the GAO, broke the law to boot?

            Yes, every appearance of impropriety by a Democrat is worthy a jump right allegations of criminality, but meanwhile Trump has surrounded himself with his relatives, and his family members are openly being given jobs IN OUR GOVERNMENT BY HIM for which they have no qualifications and with which they can trade for prestige and profit now and for the rest of their lives. Ya, no double standard here? No appearance of impropriety in the Trump family nepotism? Also, while continuing to participate in promoting their father’s political aspirations, the grown Trump boys continue to make money for their Dad by raking in business payments from crony capitalists and foreign governments alike. But you don’t see any possibility for corrupt influence buying in Trump’s scheme? Of course not. How could anything so obviously true make for a real fun reputation killing conspiracy? There’s no Democrats involved?

            You’re all about the God’s truth here, not fomenting false accusations based on nothing more than appearance and rumor? Sure….

            And I’m the one falsely playing the innocent? I honestly think that you are more naive than dubious in this absurd double standard, but come on brother? The tribalistic blindness of this isn’t even close anymore. Your emperor isn’t wearing a stitch and he hasn’t been for a while. As I said before, Trump is the King of the Politics of Personal Destruction. It’s been his schtick from the beginning. How can you ignore something so obvious, and even blame the other side for doing it?😎

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          12. @tsalmon

            Kind of weird. You are okay impeaching Trump on the suspicion that he did the same thing Biden obviously did do? You just blow it off because his son collected the money?

            You realize that same son is on the Amtrak board too. This is the way you want our country run?

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          13. Trump raises money for veterans, gives the money raised to those veterans, the liberal masses scream “fraud!” due to New York tax law that doesn’t apply to Iowa (the location of the fundraiser). Yeah, that’s some egregious stuff there. The fine might be a rounding error on the Clinton foundation budget in 2016.

            Liked by 1 person

          14. One more, and then I’ll get on with my day off the internet…
            As soon as Trump came into office, before he could do much of anything, leaks started left and right. Contrast this with the Obama/Clinton administration where no leaks came out.
            The above might be because:
            1) Trump was so terrible and dangerous at the get-go all good patriots wanted to warn America.
            or
            2) Trump was an outsider, and the inside political elite were fearful their corruption would be revealed.

            the lack of leaks for the Obama/Hillary might mean:
            1) There’s nothing to see
            or
            2) Years of being protected and surrounded by political friends and associates offered a barrier to accountability

            From the evidence those two things look exactly the same (in both cases).
            So we must go with results.
            We now know that everyone had to know Hillary was using a home-brewed server that contained a lot of classified intel as well as official use only, and that information only came out after investigation, no one said a thing. For years. We now know the truth about the FISA warrants…we now know a great deal, which puts a little context on history. So when you assert that Hillary would be taking a risk to do something illegal, so gosh she wouldn’t risk it…how big a risk was she really taking?

            Liked by 1 person

          15. Obama complained about leaks constantly.. but the leaks were not earth-shaking “breaking news” shock & awe behavior like Trump. In that alone Trump has set some record he can thump his chest about… the breaking of presidential behavioral norms and expectations and a severe lack of leadership qualities. Obviously Trump supporters love that about him and tend to enjoy the “F*** the world, I’ll do what I want.” bull-in-the-china-shop behavior.
            I would personally trade EVERYTHING Trump is alleged to have done that his.. oops.. His… supporters deem wonderful, to have avoided that last three-plus years of Trump as President.. and, no, Hillary doesn’t even enter the picture as some alternative. Here’s the thing.. yes, the election was between Hillary and Trump.. and fine if a voter preferred Trump. But now we are this far into the term and any continued supporter of Trump is complicit in everything he continues to do… and they wear it proudly as a badger of honor thinking the world.. no, wait.. thinking the U.S. is a better place. Well, the man got impeached and that’s a mark of history he can never shed. The Senate trial will open up some eyes… and as I keep saying, things will get worse for Trump… and ultimately for the nation. Maybe the Senate will let him walk… but the voters will see and judge for themselves in the voting booth. We already know that if Trump loses the election he’s going to tie it up in the courts. If he wins… maybe he can break another record.. the only president to be impeached twice.

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          16. @Doug

            Yes. I am happy to be complicit in the activities of the Trump administration. What you cannot explain so that it make any sense is what you are unhappy about. You don’t like the man’s style? Shrug! We don’t have to be altogether happy with some of the things Trump does, but Trump at least tries to do what he promised to do.

            What about the record on leakers? I cracked up when I saw this => https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/06/08/trump-rages-about-leakers-obama-quietly-prosecuted-them/. Can you imagine the news media praising Trump for prosecuting journalists?

            By comparison, Obama was a terror to the news media => https://www.breitbart.com/the-media/2017/02/17/11-times-barack-obama-abused-press-freedom/. Trump terrorizes the news media by giving them all the press conferences they want and happily surviving their attempts to smear him.

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          17. To me, using her own home brewed server was a HUGE risk…unfathomable level risk. And for what?
            But she did it, as an originating classification authority, while giving briefings on cyber security. Knowing the people under her would suffer severe consequences for doing same.

            Liked by 1 person

          18. Liz,

            What. “illegalities”are the Clintons guilty of in reference the their charity? Oh yes, you don’t like their politics so actual proof of breaking a law is unnecessary – rumors, conflation, baseless allegations are all that is needed when a Democrat is involved.

            By comparison, in agreeing to the settlement, Trump and his kids ADMITTED to breaking the law, including illegally using charitable funds, including Veterans donations, for personal and political purposes. Trump paid a two million dollar settlement. (Believe me, for two million dollars Trump could fight a frivolous case against him for a long time, but for a good case against Trump, he and his lawyers took the two million deal because they knew that the conviction would be much worse). And this isn’t even the first time Trump admitted to breaking the law.

            Nope, no double standard here? Is that even possible if real facts convict the Republican and only trumped up lies accuse the Democrat? It seems to make Trump’s fans blind to even the possibly of their double standard.

            Liz, like I said about Tom. I don’t think this double standard is motivated by anything more nefarious than the blindness of extreme confirmation bias. I don’t claim that I am not susceptible to this same human flaw. But at some point, come on? It gets kind of ridiculous, even hilarious. Thanks for the continuing laughs though.

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          19. Liz,

            Let’s get real for a minute. Is politics dirty? Sure. I believe it was LBJ who, when an aid said another politician might oppose him, dismissed it by saying something like, “Nope, I’ve got his pecker in my pocket”.

            There is a difference, however, between playing rough hard ball and breaking all the rules. There is a difference between shading perfect virtue in order to make yourself look good and openly saying that you promote vice because virtue is for suckers. The (perhaps naive) confidence we have in our best institutions of government depends upon even the most cynical politician maintaining at least the veneer of civility and goodness.

            Doug has alluded to this already, but this is what is the remarkable difference between Trump and all the other presidents of the modern era. Even Nixon knew he had to at least APPEAR honest and noble. With Trump, there is not even the pretense, and his fans, hating the opposition more than they love virtue, just lap it up.

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          20. @tsalmon

            With Trump, there is not even the pretense, and his fans, hating the opposition more than they love virtue, just lap it up.

            When the Tea Party was a going concern, the news media lied about it, calling us a bunch of racists. Standard procedure for Democrat politicians. H. Clinton called Trump’s supporters deplorables.

            Generally, I try not to attack Liberal Democrat supporters. I just point out what Democrat politicians want to do is generally unconstitutional. So it is unethical to support them. Then I get you telling me that the Constitution means whatever the majority of nine people in black robes say.

            I voted for Trump reluctantly. I looked at the alternative and voted for him. Now I see a man trying to keep his promises. So I support him wholeheartedly.

            Will Trump eventually disappoint me? Probably. I have already seen some of the things he has done that I don’t like. With the Democrats constantly stalking him, I don’t expect him to do something illegal. I just worry that the presure will get to him. People crack under sufficient strain. That’s why it is foolish to deify anyone. None of us is God.

            Fortunately, Trump seems to thrive under pressure. I guess he enjoys being the center of attention. Who knows?

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          21. By comparison, in agreeing to the settlement, Trump and his kids ADMITTED to breaking the law, including illegally using charitable funds, including Veterans donations, for personal and political purposes.

            Even the liberal Snopes disagrees with you.
            What’s False
            However, neither Trump, nor his children Ivanka and Eric, nor his foundation, were found to have “stolen” or kept any of the donations, and so none of them “admitted to” any such actions. The New York Supreme Court explicitly acknowledged that all the funds raised for veterans groups had ultimately reached veterans groups.

            Liked by 1 person

          22. If I were up against what Trump has been, I’d definitely settle for 2 million. Yes, they could spend years disputing it in court but he has a pretty busy day job and it would only be used as a distraction for the masses, and nothing good would come of it. One has to pick one’s battles.
            Remember the conversation about Flynn’s “obvious guilt”? No one would plea bargain like that….obviously I didn’t understand, and all that.
            See how that one is turning out.
            Interesting times

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          23. Sure Liz and the Ukraine ultimately got the aid that was illegally withheld too, after Trump was caught.

            You really should go to law school. So let’s look at this in the best lawyerly light. Trump shut down his charity, paid a substantial settlement (among other penalties) and admitted to legal violations because of why? His amazing innocence? Hahahahaha!

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          24. Liz,

            This is even more precious:

            “If I were up against what Trump has been, I’d definitely settle for 2 million. Yes, they could spend years disputing it in court but he has a pretty busy day job and it would only be used as a distraction for the masses, and nothing good would come of it. One has to pick one’s battles.”

            The man is your tough guy standing up the China and the Democrats for truth, justice and the American way. But he can’t even withstand the pressure of being supposedly wrongfully accused in a court of law? Hahahaha! You’re killin me.

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          25. “Generally, I try not to attack Liberal Democrat supporters. I just point out what Democrat politicians want to do is generally unconstitutional. So it is unethical to support them. Then I get you telling me that the Constitution means whatever the majority of nine people in black robes say.”

            Tom,

            You misunderstand. What you are saying is that an empire who calls a batter out after calling three strikes on that batter is somehow violating the rules of baseball simply because you disagree with the calls. The umpire may be blind, he may be stupid, he may have some subliminal bias against the batter or he may just have a wider strike zone than he should, but under the rules of baseball the batter is out even God and you know for certainty his error. The umpire cannot be immorally violating the rules of baseball for exercising his authority to call balls and strikes if the rules of baseball grant him that authority. I guess if you could prove the umpire was wrong often enough, you could try to get him fired, or you could quit the game and go somewhere else. Absent that, moral gamesmanship means that we recognize that reasonable people can disagree and still be good sports about it – the value of the game has to be bigger than a bad call every now and then.

            The Rule of Law in our constitutional system means that the SCOTUS arbitrates constitutionality. It doesn’t mean they are always perfectly right. It doesn’t mean that they don’t have some rather strong ideological disagreements. That’s just baseball. That’s just life.

            The problem here with both political parties (but especially the Republicans under Trump) is that their tribal loyalty to the
            team has become more important than following the rules of the game.

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          26. @tsalmon

            When the umpire is calling a home run strike three, he needs to be fired.

            With respect to the Constitution, we are not talking about matters of opinion. We are talking about blatant abuses of power, judge obviously saying the Constitution says stuff its writers never intended it to say. A right to same-sex marriage? In the Constitution? You either have to be a blithering idiot to believe that or.just a plain liar. Meanwhile, the same rascals, when the Constitution explicitly says the President can only be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, want to throw Trump out of office when they cannot point to any laws he has broken.

            You are not playing by any rules except the Law of the Jungle.

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          27. “Can you explain why the Democrats did not include any crimes in their articles of impeachment?”

            Can’t say for certain, but my guess was that they believed that the Founders and Framers meant for impeachment to remedy more general constitutional violations than just the mere technical statutory violations of a given time in our history (although those technical violations of the law certainly should and I think will be probative). The Senate after all is not trying Trump to send him to jail based upon his guilt or innocence at violating the statutory codes. (They didn’t even have the USC’s criminal sections at the time of the founding). They instead are trying Trump to determine if he should be removed under the Constitution because he violated the Constitution.

            Do you think that this would make perfect sense to you if they had impeached a Democrat for doing exactly the same things Trump has done?

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          28. The man is your tough guy standing up the China and the Democrats for truth, justice and the American way. But he can’t even withstand the pressure of being supposedly wrongfully accused in a court of law?

            As I said, he could. But it would take time and energy away from much more important matters.

            Liked by 1 person

          29. “You are not playing by any rules except the Law of the Jungle.”

            Is that what you think? Isn’t the law of the jungle the epitome of “natural law”?

            So you disagree with the SCOTUS on a few decisions? Don’t you think that the other side disagrees with these men and women in black robes on a few decisions to? So you have a dispute? You are certain that you are morally and historically right. They are certain that they are also morally and historically right. Throw some pride of inerrant religious certainty in there and soon each side starts to demonize the intentions of the opposition as well (even though the savior in our common religion often frowned on the pride that is shown when we stupid mortal sinners make such judgments of others).

            Even if you somehow were able to wrestle the tyranny of the law to your peculiar religious ideological belief system on every issue of what others should legally be allowed to do and not to do, how long do you think it would be before someone in your own religious denomination would cry heresy at you and demand their own tyranny of the law? (How many denominations of Christianity are there? How many angry schisms?)

            Ok, with such moral, religious and ideological impasses constantly brewing and schisming (because that is what we stupid humans do) what process would you recommend for resolving such disputes? Would that process be perfect or would it have to be full of balances and compromises?

            You know that the original law of the jungle was trial by combat. Men thought disagreement was resolved by battle and the idea was that a perfect God would not let the wrong person win. You know that the fragile institutions of law that we have now are only a substitute for hacking each other up, but we could go back to that process again in no time at all, don’t you think? We just have to stop having confidence in the slowly built thousands of years old system we call The Rule of Law, and it will collapse overnight. The only real question here is how much are you willing to let who you think is the wrong side win sometimes before you are willing to throw the rules and the process out and return to the law of the jungle? Baseball ain’t baseball without rules, a regulation playing field and umpires you know. Take all that away and its just a bunch of guys with bats and hard round projectiles – what do you think they will do with those if there are no rules?

            I remember a saying someone said once about arguments with his spouse: He said he learned that in most things, he could either be right all the time or he could be happy. Obviously, there is a point where one can be victimized by this, but for my 40 year marriage I’ve found it to be true.

            I’m sure there are black and white moral moments where someone”s ideals should not be compromised. In studying and practicing the law, in looking at history, it has been amazing to me just how rare those moments actually appear (and even then, how often we fail to live up to the test). The best legal settlements that I witnessed usually meant that both sides were at least a little unhappy.

            Some people like to say that they are willing to compromise on everything but principle. My experience is that principle is the main thing that people have to be able to compromise on if they ever want to get along together, and that includes married couples, families, communities, nations and between countries. A spouse that is unwilling to compromise on what he thinks are his or her rock hard principles is usually either a tyrant or soon to be single. If neither spouse can ever compromise, their marriage is doomed. (This inability is perhaps the main reason why so many marriages fail). If this is true of marriages, why do people think that the law should be any different?

            It seems to me that part of the problem is that, as Jesus says, there really is no moral principle that is not founded in love. And the essence of love, as Jesus also showed and taught, is manifested in forgiveness, open compassion, mercy and mutual understanding. Anybody who has been married very long also knows that love means a great deal of the same kind of love. Why would we think that justice in the law doesn’t mean the same manifestations of love?

            Tom, if the worst moral crisis that we have to compromise on is whether to legally let Steve marry Bruce or to let Susan marry Jane, then our world is going pretty well I think and we should be full of the joy of gratitude. This gay marriage debate really a first world problem. Figuring out whether to feed yourself some crumbs so you have the strength to carry her to help or to feed your child so that she does not stave, now there is a nightmare compromise of principle. End our justice system over such nonsense, and people may have to deal with that nightmare.

            I agree that life is all about choices though, and yet we all die in this life. Therefore our choices must be the ones that give our life and death meaning. Jesus showed us that only meaningful eternal choices come out of love, even sacrificial love. What did we learn from the Pharisees’ emphasis on the sanctity of rules at the expense of love?

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          30. “The reason Pelosi wants the Senate to call witnesses is that Congress did not make a case for impeachment.”

            Where in the Constitution does it say that the House has to try the whole case for impeachment? This is like saying that the prosecutor has to make his whole case during the indictment stage. Trials have witnesses and other evidence. Even if a prosecutor made the case in the indictment phase with witnesses and evidence, he would have to make the whole case again with the same and perhaps even more witnesses and evidence in the trial phase. It’s a different standard of proof. The House only requires a simply majority to impeach whereas the Senate requires two thirds.

            The trial in the Senate against Johnson had more than 20 witnesses. The only reason they didn’t call as many witnesses during the Clinton trial isn’t because they did not call enough in the House – it was because Ken Starr had already had filmed depositions of them all. There literally was nothing that either side needed or even could add.

            By comparison, Trump illegally blocked key witnesses from appearing during the Impeachment Hearings. Your argument there was that it was all second hand information at the indictment phase. Now at the trial phase, you suddenly don’t want the first hand witnesses (Trump’s own people) to appear either? What parts of the truth are you afraid will come out? Your big argument during the impeachment phase was that it was too rushed and one-sided to be fair. So why the hurry when Republicans are running the show? Why not slow it down and go for full exoneration?

            Finally, if Trump did not actually do the things that he is accused of, then the main witnesses to the events (mostly his own people) should exonerate him. Total exoneration should set him up well to be reelected. On the other hand, particularly with independent voters, won’t the quick effort to sweep this under the rug always leave doubt as to Trump’s guilt? Again what are you afraid of if not the truth?

            Here’s the rub Tom, and I think you know it. The charge is that Trump had an illegal scheme to trade arms for foreign dirt on his political opposition. Every day more evidence of the truth of this comes out The only possible reason for all the process arguments at this point is that you know the charges are true. So then this begs these questions: do you think what Trump is charged with is ok, or do you think that it is not ok but you don’t think Trump should be impeached for it. If you believe the former, then of course you want to quit highlighting the immorality of it all, and that’s pretty disturbing. If you think that latter, then I think that that is a valid, even moral response, but only if it is admitted by all the acquitting Senators so that they don’t endorse such future behavior, perhaps even by a Democrat next time.

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          31. @tsalmon

            The truth has already come out. The Democrats cannot beat Trump in 2020. So they have resorted to staining him with the charge of impeachment, and that is not working either. The House’s investigation was so biased it was a joke.

            When the House impeaches a president, the House should have proof of criminal misconduct, at the least a violation of his oath of office (which, if that were the standard would get the majority of politicians impeached). The House is suppose to have clear evidence and provide that evidence to the Senate. What the Senate does at that point is up to the Senate, not Nancy Pelosi.

            The House has no proof to present the Senate. Their impeachment is strictly political. So Pelosi is trying cover up that fact with theatrics.

            What about the impeachment of Andrew Johnson? That occurred after the Civil War. Johnson was not impeached for a crime. He was impeached because Lincoln tried to balance his presidential ticket with a Southern sympathizer. After the war and Lincoln’s assassination, Congress had no stomach for Johnson’s agenda. However, disagreement of policy is not grounds for impeachment.

            You guys lost the election. You will probably lose the next one. That is not grounds for impeachment.

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          32. Tom,

            There’s a certain irony that you want to discuss the up coming impeachment trial here. After all, Trump is impeached because he violated the Constitution when he illegally used his office to practice the politics of person destruction and then he unconstitutionally used his office to cover it up.

            “What the Senate does at that point is up to the Senate, not Nancy Pelosi.”

            Any unbiased observer would say this this is not exactly true. The Constitution makes Impeachment a political check on power by politicians, not judges. (The Framers considered an actual trial in the SCOTUS but decided against it for practical political reasons). Politically, the majority of Americans, even the majority of Republicans, want witnesses in the Senate Trial.

            By holding up the articles, Pelosi kept the issue alive long enough to force Republican Senators and Trump supporters to flub the same questions about truth that you cant answer: What about the truth coming out are you afraid of? Should the truth exonerate an innocent president? Can you seriously continue to accuse the House of conducting a sham witch hunt if the Senate wants a quick cover up? Politically, it obviously seems two faced to scream sham process complaints at the House and then whine that you don’t want a full process in the Senate, don’t you think?

            Meanwhile, Trump’s criminal conspiracy, like all conspiracies with too many bit players, just keeps leaking out – drip, drip, drip, which in turn pressures vulnerable Republicans on why they are afraid of the truth and eases pressure on vulnerable Democrats who say that they just want the whole truth from the crucible of a full and fair trial in the Senate.

            Could the tides turn on Trump and force his removal? Not likely, but the daily drip, drip, drip of truth makes this an increasing possibility to Trump and Moscow Mitch that must be terrifying. Trump’s power comes more from fear than from comradeship. How many Senate Republicans secretly hate Trump and what he is doing to the country and their party? 20? 30? Unlike jurors to a court trial the jurors to this political trial are talking to each other constantly and constantly testing the political winds, don’t you think?

            Is this impeachment ultimately going to be an election winner for Trump and other Republicans? That remains to be seen,. However, every political level that we can measure, it appears to me that Pelosi is winning. The best evidence that shows that Nancy is actually winning the political game is how much you supposedly confident winners rage and whine at her about process instead of about actual proof.

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          33. @tsalmon

            You have propaganda mixed up with the truth. What ever happened to that whistleblower?

            The norm in most societies is for the elites to operate things for their own benefit and enslave everyone else. The United States has largely escaped this norm because of the prevalence of Christianity. That, because the Bible is not being taught, is changing.

            At the same time control of our education system and over the mass media has consolidated into a relatively few hands. Hence, you can babble Trump did this and that, confident because that’s what the news media constantly repeats, and I can point to an absence of evidence, and that does not seem to matter. I am supposedly afraid.

            Am I afraid? Yes. Lynch mobs are worrisome, especially when they pretend to respect the Law.

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          34. Ya, after that irrelevant manifesto of deception and deflection from everything but the damning facts, I’ve got propaganda mixed up with proof? If you are not afraid of proof, In this friendly venue, why not call up the witnesses that actually can exonerate Trump? Still no answer? 🙂

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        2. Hahahaha! You’re killin me.

          Glad I could give you a chuckle.
          You should read Art of the Deal, it’s kind of a Trump guide and offers insight…he details his methodology and he even brings up the subject of settling in court, if the cost in time and effort is too great cost to gains it’s the smart thing to do.
          All this chuckling reminds me why Trump doesn’t wear glasses.
          ….because…
          …wait for it…
          He’s got 2020.

          🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Liz,

            Hilarious!

            You know the guy who really wrote “The Art of the Deal” has become a sort of Trump Pop Psychologist, coming on TV now and then to say what a narcissistic kook Trump is.

            Regardless of how much Trump wrote and how the ghost writer was just channeling Trump, it does make sense sometimes to cut one’s losses and admit guilt, especially when that person is guilty. Seems to me that Trump did has done this to disband at least two marriages, so far. Why wouldn’t he treat all his commitments that way, even to a charity?

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          2. @tsalmon

            Regardless of how much Trump wrote and how the ghost writer was just channeling Trump, it does make sense sometimes to cut one’s losses and admit guilt, especially when that person is guilty. Seems to me that Trump did has done this to disband at least two marriages, so far. Why wouldn’t he treat all his commitments that way, even to a charity?

            Sounds like you got a plan that will work on just about everyone except Jesus and newborn. To justify throwing you in jail for bank robbery, all we have to do is enumerate your sins.

            When someone tries to prove I am wrong because I am imperfect, I have come to learn that that I cannot prove I am right because I am perfect. Neither can Liz or I prove Trump is right because he is perfect. We can, however, prove you are imperfect. Do you think it would be worth the effort?

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          3. “Sounds like you got a plan that will work on just about everyone except Jesus and newborn. To justify throwing you in jail for bank robbery, all we have to do is enumerate your sins.”

            So you don’t think that evidence of a pattern and practice of lying and cheating should be probative of current lying and cheating? Have you given your political opposition the benefit of such a blinded presumption of innocence?

            Nope. And the fact that you and Liz don’t even see the obvious double standard you’re practicing is what’s most amusing.

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          4. Sure shove in my face until I can’t miss it that evidence that there is nothing wrong with extorting a foreign ally by denying political support and tax payer funded weapons just to gain allegations, not even proof, of dirt on your political opponents.

            1. Some portion of Trump supporters (you?) actually believe all the allegations are true and it’s ok to ruin our institutions of free and fair elections as long as it defeats Democrats and elects Republicans.

            2. Some Republicans don’t believe Trump did it and believe other lame excuses like Trump was just trying to fight corruption.

            3. Some Republicans believe that Trump did everything he was impeached for but they don’t think it rises to the level of impeachment and removal.

            1 is what Trump thinkd and what Mulvaney pretty much admitted, but they were surprised and worried when this admission horrified 2 and 3 – they now know that more truth coming out won’t actually help this group.

            For 2 the facts and evidence just keep destroying their delusions.

            And 3 is likely where most of the Republican Senators are at. They know 2 is a loser and accepting 1 destroys to country.

            The quicker we get to 3, Trump shows some remorse, the quicker Trump can get this behind him and maybe even win the election. However, every fiber of Trump’s vice filled nature tells him cheating is good, cheating is good.

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          5. Yikes. Sorry for this being so damn long, Tom. Probably should have made this a post. Delete if you feel it’s necessary.

            As to your point #3, Tony, I would agree that there’s a subliminal perception among many Senators that Trump is “wrong”, at least as it relates to the articles of Impeachment. This has already had some effect in pushing against McConnell in his not favoring witnesses from the get-go. For kicks & grins I’ve been venturing to predict the progressing percentage in Trump possibly being forced out in the Senate. Conventional wisdom has been feeding this idea all along that the Senate GOP will not vote Trump out and I tend to fall into that on some level. But I tried to look at it from another angle.
            Most everyone is resting that the Senate GOP will unite against Trump. Well.. consider it this way… what could possibly happen to change that dynamic? First the numbers… Constitution says two-thirds majority can oust a sitting president. That translates to 67. The Senate Dems total 45… and for now the general consensus is to toss the 2 Indys over to them. So.. along party lines, the Dems and Indys have 47 votes against Trump. This means to boink Trump out of office the Dems have to come up with 20 votes. (This presumes everyone shows up to vote… as the “two-thirds=67” is based on everyone PRESENT… showing up to vote. If some do not, then that changes the “two-thirds” denominator. A very interesting article illustration this possible.. but likely not probable.. scenario, is here….
            https://www.washingtonian.com/2019/10/10/the-impeachment-loophole-no-ones-talking-about/ )

            For my speculation here let’s assume everyone shows up to vote. So.. what might make 20 Republicans abandon Trump in a Senate vote? Shifting public opinion with their constituencies, if the vote were secret (not likely at all), and personal human morality that party loyalty does not define one’s perception of right and wrong. In other words… can any Senators separate the politics of party to carrying out justice for the national good. Now.. to be sure, some Senators will presume it’s one in the same… no separation required. But it’s true any number of Senators are fearing Trump’s vindictive wrath and loss of party financial support.
            Let me venture my prediction here. A few months ago I would have said Trump has a 99% chance of staying in office until the election. Today I am suggesting he has a 75% of staying in office until the election. Sure, the point being is that he still has a majority on his side. What’s changed? Media attention on the vast new evidence, lingering doubts among the GOP Senators in wanting to see witnesses in the Senate trial, the overall chink in the GOP armor being only 51 votes are needed to make changes and rulings.. therefore unpredictable results are possible. Another reason.. subtle and not-so-subtle verbal remarks from various GOP Senators; the in-between-the-lines stuff. If there’s enough doubt to be sure these folks will be chatting up a storm after each trial session.. looking for reasons.. comparing perceptions… formulating excuses… and some will be seeing “voting legacy” opportunities. To support all this… Trump is himself the trump card. He’s guaranteed to do things to get under peoples’ skin.. he’s the unexpected in all this. But there’s also lingering “out there” a bomb or number of bombshell situations that could present a wider track of evidence against Trump yet to be revealed.
            Ultimately… in the secret moments they can have outside the Senate chamber… something might form under the idea that there’s security in numbers and if enough votes can shift to out Trump then there’s no reason to fear his wrath. Pence surely would have little or no interest in vindictive politics once Trump’s gone. My percentage predicting will go down as I perceive events down the line.

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          6. @Doug

            Tsalmon writes comments that long all the time.

            Predicting the future is something we do, but we are usually wrong. So, when I don’t have to make predictions, I don’t.

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          7. Well.. predictions can be based on the SWAG method (scientific wild-assed guess), or, you have an inside scoop to assure your prediction will come true, or, using an enlightened view of how the world should be according to yourself, or, influenced by 99% hope, or, with some measure of intellectual critical thinking skill. To make my above prediction I used SWAG.. with a tint of hope. 🙂
            Given I was so confident in 2016 in my then prediction that the current guy wouldn’t win.. I don’t wanna go out too far on my limb. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          8. @tsalmon

            You have ineuendo confused with evidence. Just because you assume something is true does not make it true

            All Mulvaney said quid pro quo is a normal part of foreign policy. It is not illegal.

            Is asking Ukraine to investigate Biden illegal? When we have him on video admitting to doing exactly the sort of thing you accuse Trump of doing, I don’t understand what you think Trump did wrong. Even if he had pressured Ukraine by threatening to withhold aid (which the evidence suggests he did not do), it would not be illegal unless he demanded Ukraine frame Biden.

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          9. Doug,

            I agree with that analysis. One emphasis on something you mentioned though. Because they fear Trump’s charismatic hold on his base (probably far less than a very enthusiastic 30% of Republicans) if they every turn, Republicans will go in high numbers or not at all, probably higher than 30 Senate GOP. One thing Trump can’t afford, even with his base is to be seen as a corrupt loser.

            Likelihood, like you said, is low, but what happened to Nixon in a fairly short timeline has some lessons as to it’s possibilities. And Trump’s approvals and negatives are lower than Nixon’s.

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          10. One of the more subtle and crazier things (as if a lot of this already isn’t crazy) is that the reports of Trump’s ongoing reactions behind the scenes seems to be a common theme that he is truly confused as to why he got impeached and all this is happening to him. This alone should serve to illustrate how totally unaware he is of the workings of government, much less his ability.. or lack thereof… in leadership inside that environment.

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          11. @Doug

            Truly Trump’s behavior is unforgivable. What him think swearing an oath to support and defend the Constitution means we are suppose to support and defend the Constitution? Pure buffoonery!;

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          12. @tsalmon

            It is amazing. You guys have Trump convicted without any evidence of wrongdoing, and the Constitution requires criminal behavior. I suppose nature’s nobleman make up their own rules.

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          13. Well, actually, the GAO said what Trump did was against the law, which given you Conservatives enjoy comparing to the past, Clinton did the same thing lying to the Grand Jury on his sex thing. In Trump’s case motive is everything, which is the basis of the articles of impeachment. I guess we will see how the trial pans out because at this point the trial itself is not about casting him out of office…. it’s all about image to the voters for 2020.

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          14. @Doug

            When the GAO offered their opinion on that matter, that suggested more problems with GAO than Trump. Because the subject is well outside their purview, it suggests bias. The GAO’s stock and trade is objectivity.

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          15. Nope, I think that we are just gaming out the political possibilities.

            But you don’t have Hillary convicted and jailed on far less? Anyway, I don’t agree that the Constitution’s Impeachment provisions work the way that you think. Good thing we don’t get to decide. Of course you could write your Senators. 🙂

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          16. @tsalmon

            When James Comey let Clinton off the hook for that email server, he detailed the information he had. At that point, everyone thought she would be prosecuted. Then he said no prosecutor would prosecute because she was a presidential candidate.

            Somewhere in that mess Comey also altered the statute. Supposedly, Clinton did have the intent to break the law, but intent is not required.

            Your joke about my senators is meanspirited, especially coming from someone who moved from a blue state to a low tax red state.

            With the Democrats now charge of Virginia, I expect the exodus will eventually start here too. 😢

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          17. The NDAA of 2019 passed in record speed.
            Not for 20 years had a defense budget passed through Congress so quickly.
            Our military has been living under sequestration for a long, long while….which has set back a cascade of consequences that will continue to last many many years. For example, the training pipeline shut down. They have young people who want to be pilots, but not enough instructors to train them. At times there has been no fuel for the jets, but (thanks to local Congressmen) the project for the new million dollar gates were going smoothly.

            At the time the 2019 NDAA passed (July 2018), they did not have information about Ukraine corruption that they later had. So if we accept the OMB has no recourse to investigate and portion out that money wisely and ensure no corruption, that’s more reminiscent of the Soviet system. “Hey we might be at war with Germany now, but we agreed to send them x amount of kit so keep those trains rollin!”
            Truly?

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    1. @Doug

      I agree that as that as this article defines it Trumpism is a cult. Thank you for the useless information and yet another example of reasoned debate.

      During decades I have followed politics, I have numerous seen numerous examples of such slander and libel. Why the slander and libel? Look and the size and power of the Federal Government. Plenty of people will lie to get just a small part of a prize that huge, and gullible people, because we love an excuse to look down our noses, will believe the slander and libel.

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    2. Visited my mom recently and met up with a friend I’ve known since childhood.
      She said she’d recently visited her parents who live a few states away. They’ve always been a tight family (unlike ours). I asked how the visit went and she sighed and said she can’t talk to her dad anymore. She had to warn the kids not to engage in anything about politics.
      All he does now, according to her, is watch CNN, yell at the television and complain about Trump. Now…she doesn’t even like Trump. But this is very strange and new behavior.
      The “cult like” behavior certainly isn’t partial to one party.
      Ask yourself this…who has the blog dedicated entirely to all things Trump?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. So what do we do? If we cannot trust the news media, how do we figure out who to vote for? I wish I knew. I don’t have an easy answer. All I can say is that we must crosscheck our sources. If you find a news source that repeatedly lies or tries to mislead you by leaving out important information, don’t bother with it any more. Biases is not a big problem, but dishonesty is.

    Our oldest asked me the same question recently, and I told him the only way to really know is to go to the original source (text of a document, conversation, or whatnot). If it isn’t available, don’t believe much of anything. So much is taken out of context.
    “I am not a child molester”
    HAH! He admits it! “I am a child molester” were his very words.
    “You forgot the word ‘not’ ”
    “He admitted it!! Now he’s just making excuses…add it to the list of lies at Factcheck”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting post, Tom. Something many of us discovered, at some point in our recent history the very nature of a “scandal” become a totally subjective, morally relative matter of opinion. That is part of the reason why “scandal” doesn’t stick to Trump, because most of us no longer consider those things a measurement of objective reality.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ok, be honest Tom. Who is the king of the “politics of personal destruction? “Lying Ted”, “Crooked Hillery”, “Sleepy Joe”, “Little Marco”, “Pocahontas” are just a few from Trump’s greatest hits list of insults, and don’t the Trumpers just lap it up? What about “LOCK HER UP”, “LOCK HER UP” (wasn’t that started by a certain general who ironically is awaiting sentencing?)? Hey what about “they are criminals and terrorists and rapists”? Wow! I could go on, but Trumps politics of personal destruction is an ongoing minute by minute thing, isn’t it?

    If it doesn’t work, why dose he do it and why don’t you criticize Trump for it? I’m shocked, shocked, to think there might be a double standard practiced here.

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    1. @tsalmon

      Who is the king of personal destruction? That’s an easy one. Satan.

      What you may wish to do is make certain you don’t help Satan. If you are going to fling accusations about, make that they are both true and germane. H. Clinton does belong in jail, and you know it. So does Joe Biden.

      Do Trump’s stupid nicknames for his opponents equate to the politics of personal destruction? As compared to what? Jesus is not on the ballot.

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      1. “Who is the king of personal destruction? That’s an easy one. Satan.”

        You are the one who brought up “the POLITICS of personal destruction” here, not me, but you make a good point. One translation of the Hebrew word from which the word “Satan” derived is “accuser”. In some of his earliest appearances in Judaism, Satan is seen as the chief prosecutor for Yahweh. Obviously, our biblical understanding of Satan, as he is revealed by God in scripture, has evolved quite a bit since then, but that does not mean that there isn’t still some truth to be found in the earlier metaphoric representations of the Devil, now does it?

        “What you may wish to do is make certain you don’t help Satan. If you are going to fling accusations about, make that they are both true and germane.”

        Back atcha my good brother. Back atcha. 😏

        “H. Clinton does belong in jail, and you know it. So does Joe Biden.”

        Nonsense. You make the point that one imitates Satan when he acts without great care as an “accuser”, but then, like Trump, you are quicker to leap into the accuser role than Jack jumping over the proverbial candlestick.

        Didn’t Trump begin his whole Republican political career by falsely accusing Obama of being a secret Kenyan? You follow a guy who’s whole schtick is lying by malicious name calling, making wild accusations and trumping up conspiracies, great and small, to damage the reputations of his opponents, Republicans and Democrats alike, and you have the audacity to make a one sided complaint about “the politics of personal destruction”? That is some bold self righteous indignation you got going there big brother.🙁

        Can we be forgiven if we believe the truth of the wrongful accusations we make, or if we are less than careful when we choose to accuse? Can we be forgiven if we should know better but we choose to be constantly mislead by a proven false accuser because we happen like to hate the people he accuses? Let’s hope so. Let’s pray so.

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        1. Indeed. A Kenyan. What an incredibly offensive accusation (which could be easily refuted by evidence that shouldn’t be difficult to come by)
          By contrast:
          Bigot, racist, Hitler, White Supremacist, White Nationalist, Traitor, Putin shill, Russian shill…
          Then there’s the justification for ostracization of anyone who openly supports Trump.
          Brownshirts! Goosesteppers! Restaurants are right not to serve them! Thugs are right to beat them…and make sure to key their cars and ruin their lawn.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Liz,

            So your defense of Trump is “I know you are but what am I”? As that how we are going to play the victim now?

            How does one easily prove a negative? That’s why these accusations work so well for Trump. You don’t think that there are still Trumpers who believe Obama is a secret Kenyan Muslim, even after he released his birth certificate? Did you believe Trump when he lied and said he had investigators in Hawaii who had uncovered the truth of this faux conspiracy? And you don’t see any of that as, not only practicing, but mastering the politics of personal destruction?

            Don’t get me wrong, perhaps thanks to Trump more than anyone else, both sides are practicing this devilish art form more than ever. However, accusing just the libs when it’s Trump’s main political con, well that just drips with some thick hypocrisy, don’t you think?

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          2. @tsalmon

            You are accusing Liz?

            So your defense of Trump is “I know you are but what am I”? As that how we are going to play the victim now?

            All you ever do is play this stupid game. Whenever I point out that H. Clinton was a grossly inferior candidate and explain why you just attack Trump with greater fury. And those attacks are really quite lame. Because they so numerous, however, I have given up trying to refute them all. I just consider the source.

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          3. So your defense of Trump is “I know you are but what am I”? As that how we are going to play the victim now?

            You yourself have justified the ostracization of Trump supporters (the press secretary who was kicked out of a restaurant comes to mind). Doug has justified actual physical attacks. I have never done either.
            What is worse for the country as a whole? The mass media has asserted that Trump is a traitor and Russian stooge for over two years. They’ve asserted he called Skinheads “fine people” when the opposite is true. And they’ve done it over and over again. You have used the word “goose steppers” and “goose stepping” and brownshirts et al.
            Have I? Has Tom?
            Anyone justified attacks against you?

            Liked by 1 person

          4. I don’t remember all the instances you are referring to Liz. However, there is a difference between defending the constitutional rights to freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of association, and always defending everything outrageously false or discriminatory that can be done with those freedoms.

            You think that the so-called liberal press lies? So does that alternatively mean that every stupid thing that Fox News does is true?

            Let’s assume (because we are not idiots) that media in all it’s forms is subject to all the usual human weaknesses of bias. Which media do you think tends to guard it’s factual credibility more: long standing news sources like the NYT or the WSJ, or up and coming propaganda outlets like Breitbart? Who has made more incendiary false accusations? Obama or Trump? I don’t think that the count even comes close.

            And what’s with all the whining about Republicans being victims? I thought that the Democrats are supposed to be the snowflakes? Republicans control every branch of government except only recently the House, they have their own TV and online outlets, they control most of the radio in the country, and yet they weep constantly about being victimized by people who they claim will run from their own shadows out of fear of somehow being “triggered”. Tom basically came close to calling me a follower of Satan if I don’t agree with him, but you don’t hear me whining about it. It’s his blog. I genuinely appreciate him letting me throw his own words back in his face, but if I can’t take the heat of honest political disagreement, then I don’t have to be in his kitchen.

            Like

          5. @tsalmon

            The crony capitalist news media lies. I have pointed to examples. All you do is disparage FOX. Then you accuse Trump based upon the accusations of people I don’t trust.

            Did I accuse you of being a follower of Satan? I said you flinging accusations right and left, that Satan does that.

            We are all guilty of sin. The most awful sin is arrogant pride, and Satan provides the prime example.When we are haughty with pride, Satan becomes our father.

            Why would Republicans complain about being victimized? Well, if the last four years of what has been done to Trump is based upon lies…….

            Like

          6. You seem a bit confused about what snowflakism is.
            It doesn’t refer to false witness (for example, Kavanaugh and his supporters weren’t being snowflakes to object to the baseless and unprecedented witch hunt he was subjected to).
            I wouldn’t say Obama was being a “snowflake” if it bothered him when some were saying he might’ve been born in Kenya. I was only surprised at the length of time it took to prove something that should’ve be easy to prove.

            There is a well known quintessential ethical dilemma exercise:
            You can go back in time and kill Hitler, but only as a baby.
            Would you do it?
            It is no accident Hitler is the go-to analogy.
            It justifies just about anything.
            Other historical “baddies” are too far away, or the references too obscure.
            Harming Hitler and the supporters who enable him is justified as an overall moral good….basically no matter what, because no one is worse than Hitler.
            And ANYTHING Hitler does is wrong.
            Who wants to be on the side of Hitler?
            So we get these weird hindsight 20/20 justifications for every challenge.
            “He’s doing this wrong….”
            Oops it worked out, well that was just luck. He’s crazy and eventually Hitler is always wrong…even when something is successful it is ultimately wrong!
            It makes people say things they wouldn’t normally say, and not even blink, or feel shame. Like:
            “I’m sure those soldiers are happy other people will die to keep their road safe”

            Liked by 1 person

          7. You mean those same soldiers who’s only shelter against the Iranian missiles were some obsolete (if they ever were effective) Saddam era above ground concrete bunkers (again.. what the hell have we been doing there all this time and we never built decent bomb shelter protection against munitions currently in use by the “enemy”?)? Those same soldiers who have been interviewed by reporters for days since the missiles dropped about being scared for their lives and saying we had no air defenses in place??? Those same soldiers that likely Trump should have considered might be exposed as they were should the Iranians decide on retribution for killing Gen. Salami??

            Trump won nothing… and put everyone at risk… and the victims of that airliner shoot down was the fault of the Iranians but collateral damage to Trump’as impulsiveness… for no damn good reason… assuming he can ever find a reason since it keeps changing daily.

            Those soldiers that use that road are still going to be attacked because the attackers are Iranian proxies that work independently.. in a loose coordination with Iran.

            Like

          8. and the victims of that airliner shoot down was the fault of the Iranians but collateral damage to Trump’as impulsiveness… for no damn good reason… assuming he can ever find a reason since it keeps changing daily.

            The decision took 18 months. That’s not impulsiveness.

            Liked by 1 person

          9. You’re confusing the decision to place Salami on a hit list of possible Iranian targets for assassination as retribution should Iranian proxies kill any Americans in Iraq, with making the actual decision to kill him. If there had been any thought given to ramifications it might have been more prudent to off the guy using local assets, using the CIA.. since it seems Salami was being watched anyway. The problem with that is, Trump wanted to look tough and send a message to the world and brag about it… rather than treating it more low profile, and Iran still getting the message, with a measure of plausible deniability.
            Whether Salami made the list 7 months ago or 18 months ago, it still means Trump authorized the kill without figuring ramifications beyond “he was a good target” (apparently the only criteria for making the hit list), hence the decision “to kill” was not well thought out and therefore impulsive… and subsequently a risk to Americans, and allies, in the region. Seems we have been lucky that our soldiers were only scared outta their wits and not casualties because of bad targeting and a dud or two.

            https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/national-security/trump-authorized-soleimani-s-killing-7-months-ago-conditions-n1113271

            Like

          10. I am not surprised if they do have such a named General Salami given it is a Middle East word of sorts. I actually like salami (although I don’t know if I would like Salami). I was calling him “Gen. Slug” for a while. Little respect for the man… and far less respect for getting his real named spelled correctly. But.. I learned something from your blog today. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          11. Doug, do you know what’s most telling about your deep deep TDS?
            The fact you do nothing but try to justify what you said.
            First, you write a lengthy excuse about potential consequences…
            as though future possiblities justify denigrating our soldiers today.
            This time, you try and claim you’re really just concerned about those soldiers you’ve asserted are selfish and cowardly.

            In any normal situation, I really doubt you would have said this to begin with, but if you did (assuming you were normal before) you’d just say, “Yeah, that didn’t come out well…what I really meant was…”
            And that would be it. Done. Okay, guess you didn’t mean that…
            But you can’t because in your mind that’s giving ground to Trumpism.

            Liked by 1 person

          12. You’re the one hung up on the falsehood of how Trump has saved our troops.

            Irrelevant to what you said.
            You said something crappy and incredibly insulting about our soldiers regardless of whether I am right or wrong or Trump is right or wrong. Since you are old enough to have social intelligence, and don’t come across like an asperger’s case I have to assume it’s just TDS.

            Liked by 1 person

          13. Doug, I’m sure you’re glad lots of people are going to die just to make things a little safe for you.

            That not insulting? Much more so to target the people put in harms way, you’re just siting at your key board insulting them. And you don’t even know them.
            It could be you don’t have TDS. But the alternative is worse.
            Yeah, I’ll drop the mic now.

            Like

          14. And BTW, this is the real world so you don’t get the “nobody dies” option.
            If you don’t want soldiers to ever be injured we don’t have a military
            and if we don’t have a military that’s even more dangerous for more people.
            So why are you so happy people are dying Doug?
            -Liz out

            Liked by 1 person

          15. Frankly, I think the only problem you have with what Trump did is the fact he did it.
            Did you know the Iranians actually do have a General Salami?

            We need the less impulsive foreign policies of the years preceding Trump when we went from two countries that were off limits to visit to something like 15. And ISIS and ISIL got their name as an “Islamic states” because they had taken so much territory and established themselves as states.
            Those were surely the golden days.
            I don’t think most anti-trumpers paid attention to anything going on in the world before Trump.
            I’m sure 99.9999 percent had never heard of the Iranian general.
            And I’ll bet the same number still don’t know what Quds means, or the significance of that choice of name.
            Spoiler alert, it means Jerusalem.

            Liked by 1 person

          16. Hey Doug,
            Here’s one way to settle things.
            Go to the next military graduation and start pointing fingers at the proud parents all around and say, “I’m sure you’re all happy this graduates are facing injury and death!”
            See if they think this isn’t insulting.

            Liked by 1 person

          17. I thought you dropped the mic on this (to which I was going to acknowledge gravity can be a good thing). Too bad you can’t be just as incensed about the REAL things Trump says and does in the REAL world to place the nation.. and our soldiers’ lives… in REAL clear and present danger, rather than lock onto something you “think” I said (and apparently chose to pull from that some misguided perception that “I want soldiers to die” to fit your own narrative)… and my repeated explanation of same to help you meander past your on-going bias that “HE can do no wrong.” and anyone doubting that is an “obvious” imbecile.
            Anyway… what’s going on in the REAL world right now is not about any of us tumbling around in the blogging world. Trump was impeached.. and that alone is your “mic dropping” point. He can’t erase that or conjure up some Senate dismissal to erase it. History has it now. Likely he may escape being kicked out of office… but not before the public goes through the process… and each senator declares a vote… and the public will judge it all on election day. But the national divide will not go away anytime soon… and that concerns me more than anything, next to the festering arbitrary demagogue himself bumbling around with using the military for his own biased emotions.

            Like

          18. I’ll say this much for Trump, when people are riled up they aren’t doing their best thinking.
            Which is probably best (ultimately) considering what so many of these folks want to accomplish.

            Liked by 1 person

          19. Exhibit A: me.
            Exhibit B: Doug

            Either he has TDS or he’s trolling me.
            “I’m not being insulting when I say soldiers are happy people are going to die so they can be safe! Nothing insulting there!”

            I honestly feel deep rage. And it hasn’t gotten better over days. It’s getting worse.
            Maybe he’s an inebriant? Push away from the sauce, Doug.
            Going to take a break from the internet.
            A long one.

            Liked by 1 person

          20. Perhaps you do need a break given you chose to assign some measure of “offense” to my illustrative sarcasm. I’ve opted for not getting enraged at your accusation that I want soldiers to die. In the end everyone here is just typed words on the screen. You might consider venting your ill-founded rage and frustration toward Washington D.C.

            Like

          21. I wasn’t going to read Doug’s response, but since I did…

            I’ve opted for not getting enraged at your accusation that I want soldiers to die.

            Why would you be enraged?
            It wasn’t insulting, according to you.
            (it was also an obvious equivalent example to make a point)

            In the end everyone here is just typed words on the screen.

            This is what you aren’t getting. I’ve lived my life as a military spouse. I’m the mother of military children. My son is now in the military. So the words you use represent the character of a portion of the public in the nation they are serving. You think I don’t care when someone says, “yeah, I’m sure those soldiers are happy others will die to keep their road safe”. As though their own dead bodies are an irrelevancy? As though targeting a terrorist is a moral bad, targeting our soldiers an overall comparative moral good.
            And NOW after all this you’re claiming it was sarcasm.
            Nice

            Goodbye Doug. If I ever read something you write and agree with it, I’m going to have to reevaluate my own judgment on the subject (whatever it might be).

            Liked by 1 person

          22. Uh. What’s wrong, Liz? Why is this even a pissing match between the virtuous service of your family members and my opinion that their Commander-in-Chief has no moral competency to lead them? More to the point, I have served during the Vietnam Era and like some of the others that post to this blog from time to time who also served, I never had to duck bullets and/or participate on vulnerable convoys at risk of being bushwhacked by Iranian proxy terrorist groups or simply blown up by roadside IED’s. I enlisted… not drafted… fully expecting to go to Nam and the luck of the draw I ended up not going there. I have mixed feelings on that.. after all, it was “the war” of my generation and I didn’t get to participate in what many of us thought at the time, was some defense of the nation in trying to stop Communism. Of course history and the passage of time makes us realize that Vietnam was just another, of many to come, senseless conflicts spawned of false and/or contrived political reasoning which only results in soldiers dying and getting maimed.. and nothing more.
            While in the funeral business I conducted the funerals of two young KIA soldiers.. and many more veterans who served in WW2 and Korea who died naturally. While the two soldiers killed in action had the more public and dignified, big local ceremonies with government involvement, as they should have, more often than not, because of how rural we were.. the military could not provide a proper honor guard for old veterans so we would have to coordinate with a local VFW for the gun salute… and I was the only one available to present the folded flag to the surviving family member (and you would not believe it.. there is no formal training for that as I had to remember Hollywood movies for the right dialog). One of these veterans was a former Code Talker. My point here, Liz, all of us who served at one time or another felt a calling to do so, for whatever the reason. You can challenge what I say all you wish, or not. I can understand your sensitivity as I knew your hubby served.. but didn’t know you had children serving. Doesn’t change the original meaning of that sentence I said you that often quote as the reason for feeling offended. You asked for my reasons.. I spelled it out more than once for you… which had nothing to do with “wanting soldiers to die” but you preferred to take offense to the original remark and dismiss my explanations. Try to keep this much in context….. I will never be a parent of service members yet I fully acknowledge the sacrifice they make on the home front.. and in their constant vigilance, daily, in their concern over their child’s welfare, safety and hope for their safe return home… unscathed physically AND mentally. If I happen to be here for you to vent your anxiety for their continued well-being I’m ok with that. Lay it on me. But don’t immediately assume, because you dislike my politics, that I am some enemy.

            Like

          23. BTW, the biggest distinction I’ve noticed between the political opinions of left and right are illustrated clearly right here. Regardless of how they self identify, leftists in general tend to care less about military. And their feigned “concern” tends to be subject to whomever is in office.
            It is now a well known fact the Obama administration, under the leadership of Hillary Clinton, indirectly (and perhaps directly) supported ISIS in Syria (when they were in the regime portion instead of the anti-terrorist portion of their “defense of freedom”). This is something beyond “impulsive” policy, to be funding and supporting the people targeting ours.
            The response….crickets. Absolute radio silence.
            I’m not even asserting it was a bad strategy in face of…whatever information I don’t have. I’m just noting the obvious difference. Where were those longstanding “reputable” publications then? Where are they now?
            Yeah, just words Doug…
            RIGHT.

            Liked by 1 person

        2. @tsalmon

          Satan is not God’s prosecutor. Prosecutors are not supposed to be the Father of Lies.

          Depends on which version of events we go with, but H. Clinton supposedly started the horrid, awful, foul, sticking, absurd, impossible, ridiculous,…. birther scandal => https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/8478044/Birther-row-began-with-Hillary-Clinton-supporters.html.

          What do you care? As far as Democrats are concerned, citizenship is not required to vote. Why should anyone have to be a citizen to be president?

          Trump’s primary issue has been immigration. That’s the issue that launched his campaign.

          We know H. Clinton had an email server with classified on it. We know the Clintons accepted outrageously huge speaking fees even from foreigners. We know the Clinton Foundation closed after H. Clinton lost. We know Hunter Biden got extremely high paying positions for which he couldn’t possibly be qualified. We know Joe Biden threatened Ukraine. Fire that prosecutor or no money.

          Like

          1. “Satan is not God’s prosecutor. Prosecutors are not supposed to be the Father of Lies.”

            Tom,

            As usual, when you don’t want to deal with the truth of what I wrote, you simply misrepresent it. I didn’t say that I believed Satan is really God’s prosecutor – I said it was one Satan’s earliest manifestations in Jewish lore, but even this tells us something, some basic truth that we might use. In a way, don’t you think that God does allow Satan to prosecute us in so far as we believe and acquiesce to Satan’s lies?

            In any event, your main argument here against the politics of personal destruction seems to be to practice the politics of personal destruction. Somehow you seem to think that Trump’s constantly using this devil’s art is justified as long as you can make an accusation that a Democrat anywhere did it first, or ever.

            Again it’s the schoolyard taunt of “I know you are, but what am I” over and over again. How positively Trumpian of you since this is his favorite childish excuse for everything. 🤪

            Like

  4. “Conservatism is not about mindless conformity.”

    Nope.. Conservatism is about spineless devotion to Trump.

    The rest of what you posted? Cliff Notes version… “Trump can’t be held to blame for anything. Look what Obama did!” Here’s a thought, Tom… maybe if the Conservatives of the day DID do something to bring Obama to task (assuming there was anything of note), we wouldn’t have Trump’s incompetent buffoonery today.

    Like

  5. When it comes to news sources, we need to view them with filters. Be aware of their biases, consider what facts they might be sweeping under the rug, and be prepared for exaggerations and other misrepresentations. In the end, though, we cannot hide from current events; we need to know what is happening in the world around us. So we must see and hear the news that is being reported, even as we filter it. J.

    Liked by 1 person

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