Saturday, January 20, 2018

Why Democrats Hate Negotiating With Trump

It occurred to me why negotiating with President Trump is driving the Democrats crazy. Donald Trump is not Barack Obama or John Kerry.

Remember the Iran nuclear deal?

Kerry (for Obama): We want you to get rid of your nuclear materials.

Iran: No.

Kerry: OK. We want the right to inspect your facilities at any time.

Iran: No.

Kerry: OK. We want to you cut the number of centrifuges that you have.

Iran: No.

Kerry: We want you to slow down on your enrichment program.

Iran: No.

Kerry: OK. That went well. Now what do you want from us?

Iran: $150 billion in assets that you froze years ago because of our terrorism.

Kerry (for Obama): OK. Deal.

Kerry and Obama were so weak on that deal that they agreed to give Iran everything it wanted and get nothing in return except a signed document. And Trump is ready to pull the plug on it, if he hasn't already.

It's a bit different trying to negotiate with a leader who tells you up front what he wants or else there is no deal.

Trump: I want a wall, an end to chain migration and an end to the diversity lotto. Give me those and I will sign the DACA bill and allow Dreamers to become citizens.

Durbin: Mr. President, put through a clean DACA bill and then we'll work with you on the things you want.

Trump: No.

Shumer: Mr. President – sign the bill and then we'll work on the things you want. We promise.

Trump: No.

Nancy Pelosi: Mr. President – you're holding a box of Twinkies and that's like Armageddon.

Trump: Nancy – go home and take your meds.

The President stated up front what he wants in return for what the Democrats want. He wants border security, better vetting of legal immigrants and an end to family members automatically being allowed in. Remember, the last two terror attacks here at home were committed by people (one each) who came here through the lotto and through chain migration. Vetting was minimal.

The Democrats refuse to give the President (and the American people) border security and integrity of our immigration policies. They want the votes of any and all illegals they can get, which is why they're pushing so hard for DACA but not for border security. They want new Democrat voters to still be able to cross the borders unimpeded.

The Democrats don't care about you or me. They care about votes. And Trump's refusal to give in to their wishes is infuriating them to no end. And I think it's hysterical.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A Weekend In San Francisco

From Thursday afternoon until Tuesday morning I was in San Francisco. I went with 11 men from our church on a mission trip to one of the churches we sponsor in between South Park and Mission Bay.

We went to do some repair work on the second floor parsonage for the young pastor and his wife - repairing water damage from a leaky roof (fixed previously), installing new door knobs and locks in the apartment (my job),

putting some new signs on the windows of the church on the ground floor, and painting the living room/dining room area. We also put new venetian blinds throughout the apartment.

We took a break from work Saturday afternoon to have lunch with a man who works as a church planner in the San Francisco area. We met him at a place call "Aunty April's Chicken and Waffles and Soul Food."

Being from Ohio I'm not a chicken and waffles kind of guy. I don't think I'd even heard of it until I moved to Texas. But several of the guys ordered one version or another. I had an outstanding fried fish sandwich.

Auntie April Spears is a rags to riches kind of story. She had a regular job, working for someone else. Friends and family kept telling her she should open a restaurant because her cooking was so wonderful. She said one day she got tired of cooking for large groups (people who would come to her house for dinner all the time) for free so she took the plunge and opened her own restaurant. She has won numerous awards for her cooking and her entrepreneurship. They hang all over her restaurant walls.

April is younger than I imagined. She's friendly and outgoing and it was a pleasure to meet her and talk to her. And her food was excellent.

We spent time on Friday evening and Saturday evening in devotional periods with Eddie Williams, former fullback with the Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks and Cleveland Browns, turned pastor. He will soon be opening a new church in Bay City, the very poor part of San Francisco in which he grew up.

Eddie is a fascinating speaker and a dedicated Christian man who wants to serve the Lord by ministering to a poor, multi-ethnic neighborhood that will soon be surrounded by wealthy high tech geeks. He hopes to bridge the gap between the two opposite societies through our Lord Jesus Christ.

We went to another sponsored church in Oakland on Sunday morning. They meet in a local high school and have a team of volunteers who arrive at 7:30 to set up for the service, child care and Sunday school classes. We helped with the setup (for which they were very grateful) and then went to breakfast at McDonald's before the 10am service.

While at McDonald's we encountered a woman who was asking for money to buy a cup of coffee. Rather than give her money, one of our group invited her in and bought her coffee and a meal. We invited her to go to church with us just two blocks away at the high school. She said yes and when we were all done eating we got her into one of the vans with us and took her to the school. She went inside, still with her coffee, and sat in the front row as the band warmed up. She was still there a little while later, just before the service began. But by the time the service was over she was gone.

The pastor at this church (called “The Movement”) is Ed Paz. He's another extremely accomplished and engaging speaker whose enthusiasm is contagious. Their band is similar to ours and they don't have a lead guitar player. (Following the service I introduced myself to the acoustic guitar player.)

Part of Ed's sermon was a simplistic but in-depth explanation of the Lord's Prayer. We all know that Jesus used it as an example of how to pray but how many of us know that God is praised in nearly every line of the prayer? I plan to write a blog about that tomorrow or the next day.

After church and after we assisted with putting things away we headed to lunch at the Black Bear Cafe. I had a dip sandwich made with Tri-Tip. and potato salad. The sandwich was excellent. The potato salad just OK. (For those who may not know what Tri-Tip is - it's a cut of meat from the bottom sirloin that is very popular in Central California.)

From lunch we headed North from Oakland to Berkeley to go by Pixar Animation Studios, then on to the University of California at Berkeley. In between those two sights were numerous homeless camps – one on the side of a road that was at least 200 yards long.

When we got to UC Berkeley I had a strange urge to get out of the van, begin screaming in protest of something and breaking store windows. Fortunately the other guys in the van wouldn't let me do it. But hey – when in Rome....

From Berkeley we crossed the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge over to Marin County so we could go to the Golden Gate Bridge for some pictures before heading to the pier area for dinner and a nighttime bus tour. You cannot get off of the 101 Freeway and go to the scenic overlook on the Marin County side when driving South. You have to cross the bridge and turn around. We didn't want to do that so we went to the visitors' center on the South side of the bridge. It was still impressive and I haven't done that before.

That night we moved on to Pier 39 and took an open air bus tour of the city. At one point we drove halfway across the Bay Bridge to Treasure Island. It was absolutely freezing on top of that open air bus but I had on 3 t-shirts, a long sleeve button down and a lined windbreaker. I was OK. Out of the 11 that were on the top level of the bus when we started out – only four of us stayed up top.

After our tour is when I got cold. I was chilled from the ride back across the bridge to San Francisco. Some headed to a restaurant while others, including me, headed back to our sleeping quarters.

Monday morning we got up, packed for our return trip to Dallas, and went to breakfast. The plan was to eat then drive up to Muir Woods to see the giant, ancient Sequoia Trees. We ate at a place called Sweet Maple. I don't like maple bacon or sausage so I ordered an omelette made with Dungeness crab, spinach and Swiss cheese. It was outstanding. But about halfway into it things changed.

One of our party got a call on his cell phone. The man on the other end said he just found three back packs and one of them had a Bible in it that contained a cell phone number. Someone had smashed the back window of one of our vans and stolen 3 back packs plus one suitcase.

Chuck (the guy who got the call), Kevin (who also lost a back pack) and I (security) headed to meet the man who called. Of course I suspected him of the crime and waited to see what he looked like and whether or not he asked for a reward. The man who returned the back packs was an elderly gentleman driving a contractor's truck. He wanted no reward – even when I offered. He honestly felt badly for us and said “Welcome to San Francisco,” sarcastically.

When we returned to the scene of the crime one of the other men, Randy, said he lost a suitcase. We got back in the van and went to look around the area where the back packs were found but had no luck. Fortunately for Randy, the only thing in his suitcase were clothes. Kevin lost a work phone and a camera.

After the event was reported and Budget Rental was providing a new van it was too late to go to Muir Woods. (The police didn't even respond. They have up to 75 smash and grabs per day in the city and don't really investigate them.) We decided to return to Pier 39 for a couple of hours before going to the airport. I got to go to Boudin's for sour dough bread and got to take pictures of the sea lions and Alcatraz.

We rode the cable car from one end to the other – ending up at Fisherman's Wharf. I was less than impressed.

I made a stop at Boudin's to buy three round loaves of authentic, fresh sourdough bread. Fortunately, I had the forethought to ask the clerk to package them in plastic bags so they wouldn't dry out overnight. Turns out that was a great idea.

Finally, we got into the vans and headed to the airport. When we arrived and began to check in electronically we were told by the computer that our flight was canceled. Airline staff said it was due to predicted bad weather in Dallas. It was 2:30pm and our flight was scheduled to leave at 5.

Without going into detail I will tell you that we were booked on a flight at 6:05am Tuesday morning and spent the night (all 15 hours) at the airport. Can't begin to describe how much fun that was...

The entire trip went really well until Monday. Turns out the Great North Texas Blizzard of 2018 turned out to be a little sleet and a few snow flurries. We could have flown out Monday on schedule and been back in Dallas by 11pm. As it was, I got home around 1:15pm Tuesday.

One side note... while we were still there someone in the city launched a web site that allows citizens to see where the areas are that have the most human fecal material on the streets. I kid you not.

City officials long ago decided that with such a large and ever growing homeless population, public urination and defecation was no longer going to be a crime. As a result, human waste on the streets has become such a wide spread problem that people now feel it's necessary to warn citizens and tourists which areas to avoid. It's truly sad. (San Diego has the same problem but I don't know if anyone has created a web page for it.)

I enjoyed being in San Francisco again. It had been 29 years since my last visit. A lot has changed but a lot has stayed the same.

A shout out to Stu Cocanougher for another great trip. We did some good work, met some wonderful Christian people and got to see some pretty incredible things. I missed out on seeing the giant Sequoia trees but that can happen another time. And oh - that sourdough bread...

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Liberal Federal Judge Says President Cannot End DACA

Tuesday, during a historic publicly televised meeting between the President and members of both the House and Senate, President Trump reiterated his desire to pass a bill concerning DACA but that must include a border wall and the end of chain migration and lottery for immigrant visas.

During that meeting, Senator Dianne Feinstein asked the President if he would consider signing a “clean DACA bill” and work on the other things at a later time. It seemed that the President didn't quite understand that a “clean bill” was a bill that was DACA only, without the things the President wanted in the bill. He initially agreed that a clean bill would be OK. But did he really not understand it? One never knows with Trump.

A Republican explained Feinstein's request and the President and he immediately reversed what he said, telling all attendees that the wall, chain migration and the lottery must be included in the bill.

Feinstein knew what she was trying to do. She wanted a clean bill to be passed so the Democrats could get what they wanted on DACA and then refuse to negotiate the other things after that happened. Why would they if they already got what they wanted? The same thing happened to Ronald Reagan after he granted amnesty to illegals in 1986 with a promise from Congress to secure the border. They never did.

Nice try, Senator. But the President is not falling for it. Either work with the President and the Republicans to come to an agreement or forget the entire thing.

In other news, a federal judge in San Francisco has ruled that President Trump cannot end Barack Obama's Executive Amnesty Executive Order. Apparently the judge doesn't quite understand that just at in the case of immigration, the President has full authority to end an Executive Order at any time, just because he's President. Federal judges cannot change that – regardless of how they feel about it. They can rule a new Executive Order as unconstitutional, as happened to President Obama, but they can't stop him from ending and Executive Order since the order is not law but the whim of a President.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the DACA order in 2015. The case went to the Supreme Court and the court, having only eight members at the time, was split four to four.

The DACA Executive Order was an illegal end run around Congress anyway. Congress refused to pass a bill concerning those covered under DACA so President Obama decided to legislate from the Oval Office, which he admittedly did not have the authority to do. President Trump has the right and the authority to end that program. And this judge really should understand that.

These liberal federal judges who prove regularly that they are nothing but obstructionists need to be removed from the bench. The Constitution gives the President of the United States certain authorities and he doesn't have to ask federal judges if he has their permission to legally perform his job. Those judges who rule against the rule of law for political reasons should not be allowed to remain on the job.

The President's attorneys will appeal this decision to the Supreme Court and once again the liberal district judges will be shut down. But in the meantime they're just wasting the President's time.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Will Hillary Clinton Finally Face Justice?

I watched Geraldo Rivera on Hannity last night saying that re-opening an investigation of Hillary Clinton's illegal email activity was the wrong thing to do. He said that he doesn't care whether or not she broke numerous federal laws (as if his opinion is important) - he just wants to look forward. He's an attorney who apparently doesn't care if Hillary committed several felonies. He wants her left alone.

While Geraldo has been a liberal for a while, it's interesting to learn that he wants to protect Hillary Clinton.

He also said "There was no intent so she didn't break the law." That was James Comey's statement as well.

I spent 8 years in the Air Force and can tell you that if Rivera and Comey believe no intent means no crime they know nothing about security clearances. Mishandling of classified, secret, top secret or Sensitive Compartmented information is a felony even if you did it without intent to harm. And when you're given a top secret clearance or above you're taught that very thing. Intent or lack thereof means nothing.

Sebastian Gorka, who was a federal employee with a security clearance in the Trump administration, tried to explain it to Geraldo but Geraldo said "I disagree with your legal analysis," and made himself look stupid.

And by the way, Geraldo (and Comey).... when you are conducting government business, including transmission of classified information, on a private server that's kept in someone's bathroom, and when that server and the associated devices (laptops, blackberries, etc.) are subpoenaed and instead of turning them over you do your best to destroy them - that shows intent. If what you were doing was perfectly legal and you had nothing to hide why would you destroy the evidence? I'm not an attorney nor a highly trained FBI agent. But I'm smart enough to understand that.

Hillary Clinton got a pass from the Obama administration and the Obama Justice Department because Obama wanted her to protect his legacy. Now that Donald Trump is President it's time that she faces justice and I, for one, am happy that the FBI has re-opened that investigation, as well as re-opened the investigation into pay for play in the Clinton Foundation and the shady dealings with Uranium One.

While I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for Clinton to be arrested – one can hope. It's certainly a possibility and would be a very fitting end to the Clinton era. Let's hope our mostly useless Attorney General doesn't mess it up.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Where Is The Real Collusion With Russia...?

Donald Trump is currently being investigated for “collusion” with Russia during the 2016 Presidential election. The investigation should never have been initiated in the first place since collusion, in and of itself, is not illegal and a special prosecutor is only supposed to be appointed if there is suspicion of a crime. The appointment of a special prosecutor was the result of James Comey illegally releasing confidential information (by his own admission) to a friend for dissemination to the media. Comey is the one who should be under investigation.

It's been over a year and the Mueller team has yet to find any evidence of collusion. They have found a few other things, among them corruption at the management level of the FBI and a few minor incidents of Trump's staff violating laws that had nothing to do with Trump or the election.

What they're ignoring so far, however, is the possibly illegal interactions between Hillary Clinton and the Russians.

Hillary is the one who hit the “resent” button with Russia. She did so as Barack Obama's Secretary of State. And it was President Obama who told Dmitry Medvedev (on a hot microphone) to tell Vladimir Puting that he'd have “more flexibility” after the election. One cannot help but wonder exactly what that meant given the fact that the Obama administration had already given away 20% of our uranium to Russia by that time.

It has been proved recently that the Hillary Clinton campaign financed the phony Trump dossier that rogue FBI agents used to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. The agents presented the dossier to the FISA court as the real deal even though none of the information it contained had been or could be verified. Agent Peter Strzok told his girlfriend it would be a good insurance policy in case Trump actually got elected.

If anyone should be investigated for illegal activity with the Russian government it should be Hillary Clinton. In 2015, the New York Times reported that while the Uranium One deal was being negotiated, the CEO of the Russian uranium company donated a total of $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation. Nothing suspicious there, huh?

Mueller needs to admit there is nothing to the Russian collusion thing and say goodbye. A new special prosecutor should be appointed by Jeff Sessions to thoroughly investigate Hillary Clinton's interactions with Russian officials and her pay to play activities while Secretary of State. But what am I asking? Sessions will recuse himself from anything Hillary. He needs to be replaced by someone with some intestinal fortitude.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Think The Mueller Investigation Is On The Up And Up? Consider These Facts

1. James Comey intentionally released confidential investigation information to a friend with instructions for it to be given to the press. His stated purpose was to get a special council appointed.

2. Robert Mueller and James Comey are close personal friends. Comey wanted Mueller appointed.

3. Mueller was appointed by the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.  Rosenstein, appointed by Trump, no doubt knew Mueller and knew Comey wanted Mueller appointed. The Rosenstein connection to this investigation is highly curious.

4. Mueller was appointed to investigate "collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign," which in and of itself is not illegal. Since there was no alleged crime (which by Justice Department rules there is supposed to be to appoint a special council) Mueller was not given any guidelines or restrictions, giving him unlimited (and unprecedented) scope of investigative authority. He could look at anything, without restriction, ignoring the due process rights of President Trump (since no one has accused him of a crime.)

5. The Mueller investigation, with full cooperation of the President, has found no evidence of collusion by the Trump campaign but has uncovered virtually overwhelming evidence that Obama and Hillary Clinton at various times throughout the last 8 years. Obama and Clinton gave Russia 20% of our uranium and Clinton paid for the fake Russian dossier on Trump.

6. While Mueller supporters defend him, his team of mostly Clinton supporters and donors speak the possibility of political bias, particularly after Peter Strzok was fired for that very reason. Another investigator, Andrew Weissman, attended Hillary Clinton's election-night party. A third, Jeannie Reid, represented the Clinton Foundation and Hillary herself in a 2015 lawsuit that sought the release of Clinton's emails.

A fourth, Aaron Zebley, represented Justin Cooper, a key figure in the setup of Hillary's private email server.

A fifth investigator, who left the team prior to the scandal, was FBI  agent Lisa Page, who exchanged derogatory text messages about Trump with Peter Strzock.

And a sixth, New York Attorney General, is openly bragging about his successful resistance to the Trump administration. In an article in The Medium, he says he's a public anti-Trump litigator who has filed 100 legal or administrative challenges to Trump's administrative policies during Trump's first year in office. "We try and protect new Yorkers from those who would do them harm," Schneiderman recently told the New York Times. "The biggest threat to New Yorkers right now is the federal government (ie, Trump). And we're responding to it."

Yeah - no worry about bias there, huh?

Perhaps I'm wrong but in my humble opinion, if you want your investigation to appear non-partisan and impartial you don't select investigators who used to work for or with the opposing candidate in the election in question. And you don't select investigators who are openly hostile toward the subject of the investigation. But that's me.

Still not convinced? Substitute President Obama for President Trump in this situation and all the investigators used to work for Mitt Romney or John McCain....

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Jerusalem Recognized By US As Israel's Capital - Let The Violence Begin

Yesterday, President Trump announced that he would be the first President in the 22 years since the policy was implemented to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The bill authorizing it was signed by Bill Clinton in 1995, then ignored by Clinton, Bush and Obama. None of them wanted to irritate the Palestinians (nor the Muslim world) so they simply waved it off every time it came up. Donald Trump said "Enough of that."

The Palestinians have said this will end the peace process. What peace process? They haven't been interested in peace between Israel and themselves unless they get an Iran deal. You know - where they get everything and Israel gets nothing. Other Muslim nations are upset about it as well. Hamas and the Palestinian leadership are already calling for violence and an "intifada."

Know what? I don't care. Let the Muslims be angry. I've been angry at many of them for a long time - ever since a group of them attacked the United States in 2001 and they rest didn't rise up as a whole to condemn that attack and prevent future attack.

Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for over 3000 years. And no matter what Islam says - that fact remains. Israel could have taken it by force but they did not. They could take over control of the Temple Mount by force but they haven't done it.

If the Muslim world wants peace there's a way to achieve it. They need to join together as a whole and denounce Quran dictated jihad, caliphate and terrorism, and fight against all of them worldwide. But they refuse to do that. So I don't care if they're angered by Trump's announcement.

I do worry about the people of the incredible city of Jerusalem. I have no doubt that Islamic terrorist attacks will increase following this announcement and, even though it was praised by Benjamin Netanyahu, it will increase the danger to Israelis all across Israel. Rocket attacks by Hamas in Gaza will likely increase as well. But the Jews are willing to take the chance in order to reclaim their rightful city as their own. And I'm good with that.

May God bless Israel, her people and leadership, and President Trump for taking this historic and courageous step. The Palestinians now have a chance to either move forward with peace talks or stubbornly say "There will never be peace" and continue their attacks on Israel. Netanyahu could virtually destroy Hamas if he invaded Gaza - but he won't do that because invading Gaza is not what he wants to do."

Radical Muslims are the root of the violence in Israel, throughout the Middle East and the world. If they want peace they need to police their own. Otherwise they leave it up to the Western World to do that policing. And things get ugly....