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Comey and Trump: Pining for J. Edgar Hoover

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Fired FBI Director James Comey confirmed what many of us know about President Trump. He expects total loyalty by everyone in his “org chart.” He says whatever he feels will get him his way. He rewards personal loyalty. He brooks no independence.

This whole fiasco makes me pine for J. Edgar Hoover, who would have told President Trump to go to hell.

Trump is oil and good governance is water. Decorum and indirect messages don’t reach him or move him.

But Donald Trump is not the first, or the only, person to test and break the limits of executive power in a checks and balances government. But he’s the most obvious about it. The Clintons did everything behind veils and doors and buddy systems that existed for decades. The Bushes relied on family connections and long relationships. Barack Obama used public pressure, organizing activists, and his extensive knowledge of the Constitution and government nooks and crannies to get his way.

Where Obama used his knowledge of the Constitution and our government checks and balances to work within the loom against those very limits, Trump tears at them with garden shears.

Comey said Trump (and by extension, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein) lied about the reasons he was fired. (That may have been a bit of self-serving face-saving, as Comey did plenty of things to place himself in jeopardy.)

The reason Comey gave why he didn’t confront Trump during their multiple personal meetings on the impropriety of his requests is he isn’t “Captain Courageous” (his words). Trump is completely unqualified to navigate the legal and ethical waters surrounding an investigation. Any meeting after the first one between the two (when Trump was president-elect) should have brought a strong “no, sir, do not ask me this because I can’t” from Comey.

Maybe a stronger FBI chief (like Hoover) could have dealt more squarely with Trump, who hates pulled punches. But this just shows how bad governing has become.

Bill Clinton met with Loretta Lynch on a private jet before Comey detailed Hillary’s crimes and announced he would not recommend prosecution. This was after Lynch said she would abide by whatever the FBI recommended. It was all improper, but Comey didn’t have to deal with the awkwardness of meeting with Obama. We don’t know what went on between Comey and Lynch, but apparently he didn’t stand up to her either.

The FBI must remain independent, and not under patronage to the president. But for a long time, the Justice Department was suborned to the president’s wishes. Jack Kennedy appointed his own brother Attorney General. They both would have loved to get rid of Hoover.

Trump has appointed another lifetime lawyer in Christopher Wray to lead the FBI. But I’m beginning to think that position should go to someone with the biggest cajones, not the best lawyer. Hoover may have had his faults, but failing to stand up to presidents wasn’t one of them.

We don’t need an FBI director who owes anything to anyone. Just like Trump ran as the main plank of his campaign–he should require this complete independence from Wray.

It’s not enough to give Trump “loyal honesty,” give him what he needs–someone who won’t pull punches.

Democrats

Trump’s entire agenda is at stake with these midterm elections

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Trumps entire agenda is at stake with these midterm elections

It has always been a paradox to me why there’s such an enthusiasm gap between presidential elections and midterm elections. The sitting President’s party invariably loses steam for the election immediately following a White House victory. It’s as if there’s zero civic understanding in America today.

Without majorities in both the House and Senate, a President’s agenda is completely hamstrung. We saw it with President Obama who had to turn to executive orders once Republicans took over the House. Executive orders are temporary actions that are so easily reversed, they’re essentially just campaign tools of wishful thinking for a future president and congressional majorities. They’re placeholders. If Hillary Clinton and Democrats in the House and Senate had won their 2016 races, then legislation could have solidified President Obama’s many executive orders.

Instead, most of the important ones are thankfully being reversed.

Any American who supports President Trump’s agenda should do everything within their power to help Republicans retain control of the House and Senate. In fact, they should be pushing for increases in the majorities, as we learned with Obamacare and the wall that it takes more than a slim majority to make certain things happen.

The midterms are important.

The midterms are important.

The midterms are important!

Democrats are fighting with everything they have in the tank to take away the majorities. They don’t want continued economic success to hurt their chances in 2020, so they desperately want control of the House. They don’t want more Constitutional originalist judges pushed through to the various benches around the country, especially the Supreme Court, so they want control of the Senate.

President Trump could realistically nominate two more Supreme Court Justices before the 2020 election. Without a clear majority in the Senate, there is zero chance he’ll get any other originalists through.

The Senate appears to be relatively safe, but the House majority is in real trouble. It’s imperative that Republicans and Independents do everything in their power to make Democrats lose seats in the House. It would be catastrophic to the President’s agenda if Republicans can’t retain control.

Nancy Pelosi will be Speaker of the House if the Republicans lose. That would make her the third most powerful person in Washington DC.

If Democrats win the House, there will be no wall. Obamacare will not be repealed and replaced. The economy will slow. President Trump’s agenda will be replaced by more caravans and leftist legislation. Yes, the midterms are important.

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Democrats

Democrats own the caravan and every tragedy that comes from it

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Democrats own the caravan and every tragedy that comes from it

The mass of humanity trekking towards our southern border is 100% the fault of the Democratic Party. It’s not just a handful of politicians or political activists who are causing this event and all tragedies that come as a result. Every leftist politician as well as anyone who voted for them is to blame.

This is not going to end well. Some will simply not be able to walk the entire 3000+ miles. Reports have already shown people getting carried or left behind after collapsing. There is no telling what is currently happening to women and children in the caravan; mainstream media conveniently only shows footage of happy faces. The physical and psychological effects of such a journey are harsh, but one can easily argue that the situation they were leaving was even harsher.

When they make it to the border, there will be a clash of some sort. Remember, these people who want to claim asylum are bypassing thousands of miles of safety in Mexico to get to the United States, so they will not be deterred easily. If border patrol, local police, or even the military attempt to stop them from illegally entering our country, there will be violence.

Assuming some or even most make it into the United States, the potential for more tragedies escalates. Kate Steinle. Ronald Da Silva. Sarah Root. Drew Rosenberg. Mollie Tibbetts. All of these tragic deaths could have been avoided if criminal illegal immigrants, including those from Honduras, could have been kept out of the country.

The caravans have swollen to over 5,000 people. If only 1% are dangerous (and it’s almost certainly a higher percentage than that), then that’s 50 additional criminal illegal immigrants poised to bring more tragedy to American citizens.

This is all on the Democrats. Here are three reasons why:

Invitational propaganda

Everything coming from the Democratic camps across the nation that is getting filtered to their proxies in Central America is a veiled invitation. That veil is lifting lately. Now it is blatant.

The message: “We will accept illegal immigrants and we will protect you from the Republicans.”

This isn’t just a play for votes from Hispanic citizens. This is a future play. The Democrats have known for decades if they’re able to help enough illegal immigrants enter the country and stay here, they will give birth to more Democrats. That’s not a conspiracy theory. This is well understood in quiet Democratic circles. It’s a generational play for power.

“Si se pudo!”

These words can be heard in chants across the caravan. It literally means “yes we could” and is eerily similar to the chants of “yes we can” heard at President Barack Obama’s rallies. This is not a coincidence.

Obama and the Democrats have been beacons of hope for illegal immigrants for over a decade. Adopting his chant as the symbol of their own plight should tell us all where they’re getting their inspiration.

Blocking the wall

If the border wall had been fully funded and in the process of being built, this caravan would never have formed. The Democrats aren’t the only ones to blame for this, of course, as Republicans have failed to use their majorities in the House and Senate to push through enough funding for the rapid building of the wall. Nevertheless, it’s the Democrats who have pushed back the hardest.

If even a few of them had accepted the wall and embraced the protections it gives to every American citizen, we wouldn’t be talking about the caravan today.

With election day two weeks away and early voting already started in most places, the caravan should act as a rallying cry for Republicans and Independents to keep as many Democrats as possible out of office.

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Foreign Affairs

Saudi foreign minister does damage control on American press

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Saudi foreign minister does damage control on American press

The foreign relations mess stemming from Jamal Khashoggi’s murder continues to grow more chaotic despite Saudi Arabia’s attempt to cover it up with regularly changing stories. The latest attempt at damage control comes from Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.

Fox News’ Bret Baier him, pressing multiple times about Mohammad bin Salman’s role in or knowledge of the operation that led to Khashoggi’s murder. The blame is being placed on the individuals who carried out the operation; as much space is being created between the direct actors and Saudi leadership as possible.

One important note in the interview was when al-Jubier said they do not believe the entire 15-man “kill team” was at the consulate where when Khashoggi was killed there. He admitted he did not know whether Turkey really had a recording of what happened during the incident, nor whether the United States had intelligence that contradicted the Kingdom’s story.

The responses from the foreign minister were in stark contrast to the indignation exuding from the Kingdom for two weeks following the initial report of Khashoggi’s disappearance.

My Take

As I wrote last week, Saudi Arabia gravely underestimated the international response to this incident. They thought they could get rid of a dissident as they have done in the past and the response would be muted. They didn’t take into account his American ties and the desire of the Turks to expose them at every turn.

How is this going to end? It won’t, at least not for a while. Unlike other international news stories of similar magnitude, this one has multiple forces bent on keeping the story going until a satisfactory resolution is reached. It won’t be reached. The White House and the Kingdom will do whatever they can to sweep this under the rug and make people forget.

This stinks, but here’s the sad reality: “Justice” will not be delivered the way it should and the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States will return to the status quo in a few months.

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