2:11 P.M. Anonymity … Media Manipulation … Meaningless

In one of the filings , the Justice Department formally said Trump coordinated and directed Cohen , his former lawyer , to violate campaign finance laws. Cohen has admitted arranging hush money payments during the 2016 election for two women who had claimed to have had prior trysts with Trump.

The court filings describe an August 2014 meeting among Trump , Cohen and the head of a national tabloid in which they discussed buying the stories of any women who might come forward to describe sexual relationships with Trump , so the rights to those stories “ could be purchased and ‘killed ’ …”

The unidentified head of the tabloid , identified as ‘ Chairman 1 ‘ is David Pecker of the National Enquirer, according to people familiar with the matter , who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information.

I’ve always said … This ‘ anonymity ‘ crap should be criminal … If these people … People in power … Elected or appointed … Government employees …Certainly ‘ media ‘ … Or even ‘ Joe Public ‘ witnesses are gonna spew ‘ their version ‘ of things … THEN OWN IT !!! … Be prepared to come back and substantiate your claim if it all turns out to be a ‘ tad vague ‘ …

Especially the government ‘ sources ‘ that are supposedly under oath to keep things ‘ confidential ‘ until properly dealt with …

I want to know who the accuser is as well … Then I’LL judge who’s full of shit ! …

 

Source: Mueller flashes some cards in Russia probe, but hides his hand | National Post

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3:30 P.M. The Mainstream Media tries to ruin Bush Sr.s funeral …

There was no mistaking the odd man out.

The Washington funeral service for former U.S. President George H.W. Bush served as a rare reunion of the remaining members of the presidents club, but the front-row banter among Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and their spouses came to an end when President Donald Trump and wife Melania arrived.

The Wednesday encounter was a real-time illustration of the uneasy ties between the current occupant of the White House and his predecessors, suggesting Trump as a member-in-name-only of the Oval Office fraternity. While the funeral ceremony itself was a warm celebration of the late president, the relationships between the surviving presidents are considerably cooler.

Trump gave the two Obamas a handshake before taking his seat in Washington’s National Cathedral without greeting the others. Hillary Clinton nodded at Melania Trump but then stared straight ahead. The Trump-Obama handshake marked the first direct interaction between the current president and his immediate predecessor since Inauguration Day 2017. Trump has not spoken to Democrats Clinton or Obama since that day.

The ceremony’s tributes at times stood as an unspoken counterpoint to Trump’s leadership, as historian Jon Meacham eulogized Bush by recounting his life’s credo: “Tell the truth, don’t blame people, be strong, do your best, try hard, forgive, stay the course.” George W. Bush added of his father: “He could tease and needle, but not out of malice.”

By virtue of health, longevity and opportunities for continued influence, ex-presidents are sticking around longer than ever and staying active in the public eye.

Past presidents often built relationships with their predecessors, Brinkley said. “Bill Clinton would reach out to Richard Nixon for advice on Russia,” he said. “Harry Truman leaned heavily on Herbert Hoover. It’s endless.”

To be sure, Brinkley added, those ties vary from president to president and there have been chilly relationships as well, noting, for example, that “FDR would never talk to Herbert Hoover.”

Busy with a mix of personal pursuits, charitable endeavours — and, in some cases, paid speaking gigs — the former leaders don’t mingle very often, making a funeral in their group a big occasion. Bonded by the presidency, they tend to exercise caution in their comments about each other. Still, all the living former presidents have aimed barbs — directly or indirectly — at Trump.

In a speech in September, Obama slammed the “crazy stuff” coming out of the White House without directly naming Trump. Last year, the younger Bush made a speech that confronted many of the themes of Trump’s presidency without mentioning him by name, cautioning that “bigotry seems emboldened” and the nation’s politics “seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.”

Over the summer, Carter told The Washington Post that Trump’s presidency was a “disaster.” And Clinton — stung by Trump’s defeat of wife Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race — told a weekly newspaper in New York state after her stunning loss that Trump “doesn’t know much.”

Even the late Bush’s feelings about Trump were harsh at times. In Mark K. Updegrove’s book “The Last Republicans,” published last year, the elder Bush called Trump a “blowhard.”

The late Bush said he voted for Clinton in 2016 while George W. Bush said he voted for “none of the above.”

There have been other moments when the ex-presidents offered more sympathetic sentiments for Trump. After Trump’s surprise victory, Obama stood in the Rose Garden at the White House and said he was “rooting” for the next president. Carter told The New York Times in 2017 the media had been harder on Trump than other presidents. Clinton said in June that America should be rooting for Trump to succeed in his North Korea talks.

While he has struggled to set the right tone in past moments of national grief, Trump has gone out of his way to address Bush’s passing with consideration, issuing kind statements and ensuring that Bush family members have whatever they need for the funeral. On Tuesday, first lady Melania Trump welcomed Laura Bush and other family members for a tour of the White House Christmas decorations. And Trump and the first lady visited with members of the Bush family at Blair House.

Like the semi-mythical Christmas truce between the British and the Germans on the front lines during World War I, Wednesday’s state funeral for former president George H.W. Bush showed two Washingtons and two Republican parties — in one sense, two Americas — taking a momentary step back from the bonfire that is now our national politics. The day, unlike almost anything involving President Trump, was subdued and respectful.

For that, we can thank the late former president Bush, no fan of Trump. By insisting on his predecessor’s inclusion in the proceedings, Bush forced the current White House occupant to briefly abandon his unfrozen cave-man act, denying him the chance to further debase the office of the president by siphoning the dignity out of 41’s final hours in D.C. — something 45 likely would have relished, given the opportunity.

Recall that Trump skipped former first lady Barbara Bush’s funeral earlier this year to “avoid disruptions due to added security” (read: to avoid a scene) and “out of respect” for the Bushes, with first lady Melania Trump attending solo.

A few months later, Trump was relegated to golfing and tweeting, miles away, after being asked to stay away from Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) funeral (read: given the finger), during which Trump was rebuffed by Meghan McCain, who affirmed, “America was always great,” turning the president’s shallow campaign slogan on its head while her father was eulogized by former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

You could hardly have blamed the Bush family, then, if they had asked Trump to keep his distance from the elder Bush’s memorial, considering Trump’s attacks on the younger former president Bush’s record, Trump’s swipes at former governor Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) and the reality that Trump’s gimcrack persona is an affront to Bush père’s evident character. Bush personified noblesse oblige; Trump is an avatar of the lowest common denominator. And Trump might have half-expected, if not outright welcomed, such a rejection, as it would have given him an opening to abrasively tweet about the Bush legacy, employing Trump’s patented Twitter formula: insulting nickname, distracting punctuation, malapropism, logical fallacy, self-own, hit send.

But in his final wishes, the late former president put the dignity of the office and, by extension, the nation’s dignity, above all, knowing that the passing of a president is a rare occasion and, even in passing, any chance to demonstrate honor and decorum would provide a welcome contrast to this divided political moment. As Rice University historian Douglas Brinkley told People magazine, Bush “does not want to stiff a sitting president.” Wouldn’t be prudent.

Bush proved right. Lacking a snub from which to pivot, Trump did the only thing he could do as a member of the now-five-member living president’s club: He issued an appropriate official statementon Bush’s passing, largely steered clear of the week’s Bush remembrances and showed up for the funeral at which he had no speaking role. Even his scowling abstention from the Apostles’ Creed — which all the other presidents recited — couldn’t detract from a solemn ceremony.

It was a brief political win-win. Bush, the last president to serve in combat, a former congressman, ambassador, CIA director and vice president, could be laid to rest with decorum, and Trump — Cadet Bone Spurs, decorated veteran of Studio 54 — was mostly spared another unflattering comparison to an American hero.

But not completely spared. Trump saw himself eclipsed by the memory of a superior man and his anti-statesmanship outshined by the disdained values of a presently defunct GOP, whose passing we collectively view with increasing regret.

A president who nurtures only his ego saw people from both parties turn out to honor a president who understood the line between partisanship and pragmatism. Trump, a man who exists in a purely transactional bubble, had to sit and listen to stories of friendships that spanned decades, a loving marriage that began before Trump was born, Bush’s commitment to family and his total comfort with the person he was. As to this contrast, the record doesn’t whisper; it screams.

No one in attendance at Washington National Cathedral or watching on TV could have mistaken the difference between Trump’s caustic brand of nationalism and Bush’s patriotism: He flew more than 50 combat missions during World War II. He served when called, over and over. He was a man of deeds, not boasts.

His example wasn’t meant for Trump alone. As he was laid to rest, Bush reminded us that when the studio audience tires of the reality show, a better, kinder, more American style of leadership might one day return. That true patriotism, honor and devotion to family are models of a life well lived, in and after politics. George H.W. Bush’s lifetime of service was capped by one last selfless act, a final gift to the country he served so well. He knew exactly what he was doing by opting not to exclude Trump from his funeral; he controlled the uncontrollable.

MORBNOTE ; The above is a joining of two ‘ reports ‘ on George H.W. Bush’s funeral … One outlet being the Washington Post ( American ) and the other CTV ( Canadian ) … Isn’t too tricky to figure out what descriptions and quotes came from which one ! …

 I had a look at a bit of the fanfare of the proceedings and , aside from the typical political adversarial atmosphere that all politicians exist in , saw nothing to corroborate the Washington Post ‘ opinion ‘ … Not to mention that Jackhole Stephan Colbert who thinks he’s funny and informative !!! …

Pity they can’t heed the advice from the man who once said ‘ Read my lips ‘ and just take the time out , set aside that adversarial attitude , in honour of the ceremony of a passing President … 

I know !!! … The ‘ Read my lips ‘ quote wasn’t one of his finer moments ! … Couldn’t resist it tho …

Source: Trump could’ve ruined Bush’s funeral. Bush didn’t let him. – The Washington Post

3:10 P.M. Trump odd man out as presidents assemble for Bush funeral | CTV News

By virtue of health , longevity and opportunities for continued influence , ex-presidents are sticking around longer than ever and staying active in the public eye. Past presidents often built relationships with their predecessors,

Since his swearing-in , Trump has spurned most contact with his predecessors … And they have snubbed him in return. But while the staid group of Oval Office occupants has been disrupted since Donald Trump’s election , the Bushes had made it known to the White House months ago that , despite differences in policy and temperament , the late president wanted Trump to attend the national service.

MORBNOTE ; You can say many things about the Senior Bush , but at least he’s man enough to set aside the typical , petty attacks from ALL sides and insist that a sitting President be at his funeral …

” It’s unusual that a cabal of ex-presidents from both parties dislike a sitting president and that’s what you’ve got happening right now ” said Douglas Brinkley , a history professor at Rice University.

Brinkley said. ” Bill Clinton would reach out to Richard Nixon for advice on Russia,” he said. “Harry Truman leaned heavily on Herbert Hoover. It’s endless “.

To be sure , Brinkley added , those ties vary from president to president and there have been chilly relationships as well , noting , for example, that ” FDR would never talk to Herbert Hoover “.

Busy with a mix of personal pursuits , charitable endeavours and , in some cases , paid speaking gigs , the former leaders don’t mingle very often , making a funeral in their group a big occasion. Bonded by the presidency , they tend to exercise caution in their comments about each other. Still , all the living former presidents have aimed barbs , directly or indirectly , at Trump.

In a speech in September , Obama slammed the ” crazy stuff ” coming out of the White House without directly naming Trump. Last year , the younger Bush made a speech that confronted many of the themes of Trump’s presidency without mentioning him by name , cautioning that ” bigotry seems emboldened ” and the nation’s politics ” seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication “.

Over the summer , Carter told The Washington Post that Trump’s presidency was a ” disaster ” … And Clinton , stung by Trump’s defeat of wife Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race , told a weekly newspaper in New York state after her stunning loss that Trump ” doesn’t know much “.

Even the late Bush’s feelings about Trump were harsh at times. In Mark K. Updegrove’s book ‘ The Last Republicans ‘ published last year , the elder Bush called Trump a ” blowhard “.

MORBNOTE II ; Again I point out , George H.W. , despite his thoughts on Trump himself , felt it ‘ proper ‘ that the ‘ Sitting President Trump ‘ join the others … As has always been done …

Also to note ; The late Bush said he voted for Clinton in 2016 while George W. Bush said he voted for ‘ none of the above ‘…

There have been other moments when the ex-presidents offered more sympathetic sentiments for Trump. After Trump’s surprise victory , Obama stood in the Rose Garden at the White House and said he was ” rooting ” for the next president. Carter told The New York Times in 2017 the media had been harder on Trump than other presidents. Clinton said in June that America should be rooting for Trump to succeed in his North Korea talks.

MORBNOTE III ; I can see Hillary , after taking the verbal beatings she did from the piehole of The Donald during the campaign , being understandably bitter … But the reporter here points out that it apparently isn’t the ‘ complete , unified condemnation of Trump that the MSM ( and Jackholes from Hollywood like Stephan Colbert ! ) attempt to sell to the public …

While he has struggled to set the right tone in past moments of national grief , Trump has gone out of his way to address Bush’s passing with consideration , issuing kind statements and ensuring that Bush family members have whatever they need for the funeral. On Tuesday , first lady Melania Trump welcomed Laura Bush and other family members for a tour of the White House Christmas decorations. And Trump and the first lady visited with members of the Bush family at Blair House.

MORBNOTE SUMMATION ; It’s pretty obvious to me that in the midst of all the politics of today and the partisanship that goes on … The DEEP entrenchment of the ‘ establishment … Donald is dealing with this properly … He was vilified for not being at McCain’s funeral … He wasn’t invited ! … Had Lucien Bouchard not died ,Brian Mulroney swore that he wanted the ceremonies stopped if Bouchard made an entrance at his funeral !!! …

Trumps damned if he does … Damned if he doesn’t by this one sided Media horde … 

I watched the coverage of the funeral , inside the church … I saw no evidence to present it the way the MSN and Colbert do … In their obviously BIASED ‘ OPINION ‘ …

Source: Trump odd man out as presidents assemble for Bush funeral | CTV News

11:19 A.M. Rex rants !!! … Love it !! …

It is not an absolute requirement for any who write or comment on the politics and policies of President Donald Trump, and who also oppose the polices and detest the man, to renounce the use of reason and abandon the exercise of logic. But such scribes find it gorgeously convenient to do so.

Reason sets boundaries, and logic is a screen, and both insist on homage to reality and fairness, even from those in the grip of compulsive malice or seeking the easy applause of manic Hillaryites and Democratic superpartisans. Self-emancipated from the “surly bonds” of reason and logic, visceral anti-Trump reporters and columnists (and they are legion) are free to range with the wildest thoughts, the most outrageous alarms and the most noxious speculations about the “madman/fascist” in the White House.

Self-emancipated from the ‘surly bonds’ of reason and logic, visceral anti-Trump columnists … are free to range with the wildest thoughts

In a parallel to Tacitus’ grim observation “they make a desert and call it peace,” the journalists of the Trump Resistance fashion nightmares and call them news.

President Trump insists that he is putting America first. This receives the tormented translation that he is a “white nationalist,” a “white supremacist” (a category that has suddenly emerged from its crypt of irrelevance and virtual anachronism into modish press-fed ubiquity) who prioritizes his “personal hatreds” over “good faith” and facts.

The journalists of the Trump Resistance fashion nightmares and call them news

Mr. Trump’s signature declaration is but a statement of the necessarily obvious. He is the president of America. Is there some other country whose interest he should put first? Does Justin Trudeau put Canada, even in his deliquescent vision of its post-national existence, first? I hope so. Because otherwise he’s working for Mexico or the UN.

President Trump embraces “patriotism” and proudly calls himself a “nationalist.” Patriotism is the oldest and strongest of civil virtues — it receives commendation even in the Canadian anthem: “true patriot love, in all thy sons command.” (I’m sticking with the unintimidated version. It has more spark than the flattened-out feminist soufflé — “all of us” command.)

U.S. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shake hands after signing a new free trade agreement with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, in Buenos Aires on Nov. 30, 2018, on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders’ Summit. Martin Bernetti//AFP/Getty Images

He also recently declared himself a proud nationalist — basically a rephrasing of America first. Falling upon the predisposed ears of the reporter-resistance however, this set off an anguished howl. Within minutes of his speech, they had conjured up prose images of Hitler strolling his Berghof hideout in the Bavarian Alps, plotting the doom of the world and its Jews, his two favourite animals in tow, a snarling German Shepherd and its twin, Heinrich Himmler.

A Chris Cillizza, who works at CNN ( a network undergoing a painful, pitiful and protracted self-lobotomy since Hillary’s blundering loss) says of Trump’s nationalism: “It primarily conjures two close associations: Nazism and white nationalism.”

Hitler doesn’t define nationalism …

Where does that drear projection come from? Has Mr. Cillizza been binge-watching The Handmaid’s Tale? Or have the wrong type of mushrooms infiltrated his pantry? Hitler doesn’t define nationalism. His demagogic “blood and soil” pseudo-myths, pathological addiction to death and fire, Wagnerian fantasies, and above all the nightmare passion of anti-Semitism that was his very being, his political DNA, have absolutely no reference, no association, with nationalism sanely understood and universally embraced. It certainly has absolutely no shelter or place in the mind of a real-estate businessman who wandered into politics in the closing years of his life.

Trump Tower may be a gaudy excess, but it is emphatically not the Berghof on stilts. The Ride of the Valkyries is not its elevator music (it’s mainly Céline Dion, an altogether more tranquil musician than Wagner), and there is no Alpine prospect from 725 5th Avenue.

A demonstrator holds a placard showing a photo of Donald Trump modified with a swastika and an Adolf Hitler-style moustache outside the U.S. Embassy in London, England, on Nov. 9, 2016Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Patriot. Nationalist. These words describe some of the worthiest leaders in history. Churchill was the greatest patriot of his day. Who loved Britain more than he? Lincoln was the ultimate “nationalist.” He purged his beloved country of slavery, though the cost was civil war. Read the Gettysburg Address again. It’s a love letter, written in deep grief, to the idea of a nation “conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” Pierre Trudeau was a nationalist — he fought separatism to keep the Canadian nation whole.

During the Trump presidency, for a great swath of opinion-mongers, Godwin’s law* has been ruthlessly sped up. If he’s caught with a salad (very unlikely), they will scream that Hitler was a vegetarian. Meantime, an incumbency ago, Obama could smother himself in arugula while sneaking a smoke on the lawn of the White House and the cheerleaders would sing hymns to meat-free diets and clean living. Loosed from reason, animated by animus, unmolested by logic — this is where Trump’s critics go.

During the Trump presidency… Godwin’s law has been ruthlessly sped up

Most telling is how his pronouncements on the sovereignty of the United States so intensely agitate the lurking fourth estate. This drives them to near mania. He asserts that the nation should guarantee its own borders, a proposition that is as old as states and citizenship. They treat that truism as if it were a page from Mein Kampf. Indeed, some brilliant columnists are likening his determination to stop the organized “caravan” of Central American migrants to the operations of the Holocaust. The Holocaust! It’s a low, mean mind that goes there.

Reason and logic? As far as I remember, the poor Jews of Europe weren’t storming Germany to get in. They were in pure terror to get out. Hitler sent out his armies in murderous pursuit of Jews throughout Europe and Russia with the declared intent of full extermination — the Final Solution. Is the U.S. army planning to sweep down into Honduras? 2018 in America is not the 1930s in Germany and Europe.

People huddle under a tent during heavy rains at a sports complex sheltering a caravan of more than 6,000 Central American migrants hoping to enter the United States, in Tijuana, Mexico, on Nov. 29, 2018. Rebecca Blackwell/AP

Where’s the parallel in this foul, foolish analogy of caravan and Holocaust, to Hitlerian anti-Semitism, the oldest and most durable, deepest racism in history? Is Trump anti-Honduran? An organized and political attempt to deny the sovereignty of the United States, an agitprop march of thousands of poor people duped by those behind the scenes, is emphatically not, to any degree, to be offered as a parallel to Hitler’s efforts to hunt and kill every Jew everywhere while he had the power to do so. It’s close to real blasphemy to assert so.

No wonder one of CNN’s (now-dismissed) pundits (and that’s a real climb up Marc Lamont Hill) just days ago felt it easy to call out, at a UN meeting, and was applauded for it: “Give us … a free Palestine from the river to the sea.” The phrase is the pasteurized version of “end Israel and rid the Middle East of Jews,” just as anti-Zionism is the 21st century’s anti-Semitism 2.0.

Where’s the parallel in this foul, foolish analogy of caravan and Holocaust?

Slackening the meaning of history’s greatest crime merely to insult a president, and suddenly moving towards the idea of an extinguished Israel, is not so far a journey. Rhetoric, unbound by reason or logic, leads to such paths. It’s a strange anti-Semite who broke the logjam and finally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

We’re in a strange time, when patriotism is a call to white supremacy, nationalism is a return to Hitlerism, and maintaining national sovereignty is a first step to the Holocaust. The obsessive detractors of President Trump — so consumed with his rough style and rowdy address — outstrip him by miles in both. They look in their mirrors and see Donald Trump. But the mirrors are lying. The faces looking back are their own.

Well put …

11:38 A.M. Rex Murphy : Shelve those ‘ carbon ’ taxes until the oil is flowing …

Lewis Carroll is alive and well , and writing Canada’s energy policy. I am willing to offer the dead but gifted master of the absurd the credit , mainly because I think it would be cruel to ascribe it to living intelligences.

However , that gesture of mercy aside , reality sees it otherwise, and we know it is the masterminds of the PMO who have brought the energy policy of our country to the total and possibly irredeemable mess that it now so very emphatically is. Even so , the combination of regulations and procrastination , surreal taxation , endless court battles and insensate opposition by brigades of wild-eyed foundations and NGOs can be said to constitute a ‘ policy ‘ only in the way that tumbling off a precipice to splatter on the rocks below might be described as “ finding a neat shortcut to the valley ”…

Gotta love ole Rexmeister’s way with words !!! … Hit the link below for full article …

Source: Rex Murphy: Shelve those ‘carbon’ taxes until the oil is flowing | National Post

7:23 A.M. Media misrepresentation on on the ‘ politics ‘ of courts …

THE FACTS: Trump is wrong in suggesting that rulings by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals are reversed by the Supreme Court more frequently than those of any other federal appeals court. And his description in an earlier tweet of the ” shocking ” number of overturned cases in the 9th Circuit belies the nature of the appeals system.

When the Supreme Court hears a case , it is more likely to overturn it than not. It does so about two-thirds of the time.

In the last term , the Supreme Court overturned 100 percent of the decisions of the 1st Circuit in Boston, the 3rd Circuit in Philadelphia and the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati. For the 9th Circuit , 86 percent were overturned.

Over the past five years , the Supreme Court overturned a greater percentage of rulings from the 3rd Circuit ( 92.3 percent ) , the 6th Circuit ( 85.1 percent ) and the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit ( 81.8 percent ) than from the 9th ( 77.4 percent ), according to The Associated Press’ analysis of statistics from the legal website Scotusblog.

The 9th is by far the largest of the 13 federal courts of appeals , covering Alaska , Arizona , California , Hawaii , Idaho , Montana , Nevada , Oregon and Washington. That means that in raw numbers , more cases are heard and reversed from the 9th year in and year out. But that does not make it the most frequently overturned.

TRUMP : “ It would be great if the 9th Circuit was indeed an ‘ independent judiciary ‘ but if it is , why are so are so many opposing view ( on Border and Safety ) cases filed there and why are a vast number of those cases overturned. Please study the numbers , they are shocking ” — tweets Wednesday.

THE FACTS : It’s not unusual for those challenging a president’s policies to sue in courts they consider likely to back their claims , and it’s true that the 9th Circuit is a liberal-leaning court. Conservative groups tended to bring challenges to Obama-era policies in Texas , part of the conservative-leaning 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

Right there the Bullshit Media contradicts Chief Justice John Roberts and themselves !!! … They ARE political !!! …

This thought on the subject from Grouchy sums things up pretty good !!! …

denny4Grouchy has a weekly post called AOTW … Asshole Of The Week ! … 

This week’s winner is Chief Justice John Roberts who had the unmitigated gall to take Trump to task about stating that it was an Obama judge who’s screwing up immigration policy. He said there were no Obama judges or Bush judges or Clinton judges.

Sorry Mr. Roberts , but you are full of shit. Where were you when Obungler was excoriating the Supreme Court during one of his State of the Union addresses ? Haven’t you done enough damage to this country with your ruling on Obummercare ? Now you’re claiming there is an independent judiciary ?

If only.

You were bullied or blackmailed into ruling that Obummercare was constitutional. There are Obungler judges and Clinton judges and they are liberal. Unfortunately , there are Bush ( both ) judges that are as well. It also looks like you’re starting to lean more and more left.

You’re an asshole.

I agree with ya Grouch …

3:10 P.M. A different viewpoint from … The New York Times ?!!! …

2018MediaHeader

There’s not much Republicans and Democrats agree on nowadays, but President Trump’s expression of support for Saudi Arabia on Tuesday in the wake of the Jamal Khashoggi killing managed to unite them. Democratic and Republican leaders declared that the president’s statement was dishonest, morally blinkered and strategically obtuse.

True, Mr. Trump’s sidestepping of reports that the C.I.A. believes that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing as “Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” was jarring. But every president since Harry Truman has aligned with unsavory Middle Eastern rulers in the service of national interests. The difference here is that Mr. Trump seemed unapologetic about this state of affairs with only a passing nod to the affront to our values that Mr. Khashoggi’s murder represents.

That’s nothing to cheer. But it is vitally important to evaluate the policy on its merits more than its mode of expression. And the truth is that on the big strategic questions, Mr. Trump is cleareyed and right.

Let’s start with the question of honesty. Critics focused on Mr. Trump’s claim that “we may never know all of the facts surrounding” Mr. Khashoggi’s death, highlighting the contradiction between this energetic uncertainty and the reported assessment of the C.I.A.

 

Presidents, however, routinely advance useful fictions.

President Barack Obama, for example, helped sell his nuclear agreement with Iran by claiming that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons. No bipartisan clutch of senators insisted that Mr. Obama’s claims clashed with the views of intelligence analysts, who possessed hard evidence of a nuclear weapons program.

The true test of whether a presidential fiction is acceptable is whether the strategy it serves is sound.

In Mr. Obama’s case, the answer was no, because his policy did not actually stop Iran’s nuclear program. It only delayed it, and, in the meantime, strengthened Iran without moderating Tehran’s fundamental anti-Americanism. But Mr. Trump understands the centrality of Riyadh in the effort to counter a rising Iran and he is rightly unwilling to allow the murder of Mr. Khashoggi to imperil that strategy.

 

The Saudis are not the moral equivalents of Iranians and the Russians. The kingdom has sheltered comfortably for over 75 years under the American security umbrella, which the United States happily extended not least because the Saudis and their oil have played a pivotal role in American economic strategies. Mr. Trump’s statement acknowledged that the Saudis are assisting him with stabilizing global oil prices as he seeks to quash Iranian oil sales.

Whatever Prince Mohammed’s faults may be, he actively supports the American regional order that the Iranians openly seek to destroy.

The murder of Mr. Khashoggi was a brutal and grotesque act. The United States has registered its feelings loudly and clearly by putting sanctions on the 17 men who were directly involved in the killing. Punishing the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia will not bring justice for Mr. Khashoggi, nor will it make Saudi Arabia a more dependable ally. It will simply diminish the influence of the United States and embolden its enemies.

The biblical advice to be as “wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” offers sound counsel to anyone who seeks to see their principles influence the world. The advice of Mr. Trump’s critics is long on abstract morality but lacking in strategic wisdom.

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