“Broken”

Today’s story is a bit different: it’s just in audio! I haven’t talked personally with you in several weeks — just in writing. I thought we would the next 2 days talk about Washington D.C. and how “Broken” it is. Today we talk about the U.S. Senate. Just click on the link below to join us. Today’s story is about 15 minutes long and includes a special treat and tribute to a great man at the same time we discuss the U.S. Senate’s brokenness.

Tomorrow make sure you tune in. We will post the audio version of the second half of “Broken.” In it we will talk about how broken the U.S. House of Representatives and the Justice Department.

Thanks for joining in!

Play

The “Gingerbread Person”

A new law went into effect in California November of 2017. Very few outside of the state of California have paid much attention to it and few realize its impact on childhood public education. Amy Haywood who was formerly a legislative aid on Capitol Hill in Washington heard about the new law, was flabbergasted about what it contains and what it means, and has weighed-in about its potential devastating and certain effects on California AND any other place in the U.S. if this law or similar laws are enacted. She wrote the following in October before the law went into effect.

Buckle up: this one will rock you!

By Amy Haywood

Something odd is happening in California. Historic and unprecedented changes that will affect millions of children are about to hit our schools; even though it is one of the most controversial topics in the history of mankind, I hear NO ONE talking about it. In November, the California State Board of Education is set to adopt new textbooks for history and social sciences that will carry out the mandates of California Senate Bill 48 (SB48), the FAIR Education Act, which provides for the inclusion of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) perspective in K-12 textbooks.

I first learned about the issue because my 8-year-old had access to a program through her public school called BrainPop (this was material that had to go through the district, so I do not believe teachers even realize that this information is available. Note: We have only had excellent teachers at Willow Grove, and I do not fault them for any of this material that is provided by a PUSD-approved vendor). While perusing the site I came across information under the heading “Sex Determination.” It described chromosomal abnormalities that caused babies with male chromosomes to be born with female reproductive organs. It urged children with questions to contact the Intersex Society of North America. Under the “Sports” heading for this topic of sex determination, children could learn about athlete Caster Semenya. Many questioned whether or not she was a female. A professor of bioethics was quoted as saying, “‘There isn’t really one simple way to sort out males and females…Genes, hormones, and genitals are pretty complicated…Biology does not fit neatly into simple categories.’”

I wondered how it was legal for this age-inappropriate information to be allowed into an elementary school without parental permission.  As I dug for information, I learned that not only was it legal because of SB 48, it was about to be pushed even more aggressively once new textbooks were adopted in 2017. The Act mandates the inclusion of the LGBT perspective in school curricula (K-12), and it prohibits instruction that would adversely reflect on religion and the LGBT community.

I viewed the testimony from the bill’s March 23, 2011 hearing in the CA Senate Education Committee. One of the bill’s opponents, a retired psychologist, Dr. Robert Evans, raised some valid questions about the proposed language when he asked,“First, I am wondering if… in adding sexual orientation and religion to the list of characteristics for which instructional material shall not reflect adversely…, how would one responsibly teach concerning a religion that holds a less than favorable view of homosexuality without such instruction, per se, reflecting adversely on that religion?”

Senator Alan Lowenthal dismissed his concern saying, “We take five years before we get things into the textbooks, and so I’m sure that will be dealt with if this bill moves forward.”

This issue was never addressed.

Evans also pointed out that the language confuses characteristics that are chosen versus characteristics that are ingrained in one’s DNA. He said that in “adding the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender Americans and European Americans to the list of groups of people…that are required to be included, that… it confuses two different classifications of traits not two different classifications of persons…one that is innate and one that is a list of characteristics and/or choices that have not to date been conclusively demonstrated to be innate.”

This is a valid concern that was not addressed.

Dr. Miriam Grossman, a medical doctor with training in pediatrics and psychiatry, shared with the committee from her expertise in child development. She claimed that SB 48 was “based on seriously flawed thinking…” and she had “…deep concerns about the consequences to the children…” of California if it became law.  The authors of the bill “ignored fundamental principles of child development.” Grossman stressed that there are differences in the way children and adults “process and integrate information and experiences,” and some facts “a child cannot easily assimilate because he simply lacks the tools to do so; he is immature and can be overwhelmed and confused more easily than adults.”

Grossman explained that small children do not have the ability to understand “the idea of transgenderism—that a person can feel trapped in the wrong body…that the person feels that nature made a mistake and that this idea of going to a doctor and asking the doctor to remove a normal body part; this is confusing and frightening to children….” Acknowledging that such ideas are hard for adults even to understand, Grossman concluded there is no way to explain such a concept in an age-appropriate way. She claimed that the bill ignores standard child psychiatry material in regard to gender permanence, which is a developmental milestone that is reached by 6 or 7 years of age.

Grossman emphasized that children are not “miniature adults,” and “it is our responsibility to protect children as best we can from exposure to facts and experiences that they are not equipped to handle.” She also stated her belief that it’s possible to “teach children the importance of respect and tolerance in a manner that is consistent with child development and biological truths.”

Despite these serious concerns, and those raised by many other witnesses, the FAIR Education Act passed in 2011 and took effect in January of 2012—but the questions Evans and Grossman raised remain unanswered.

Today we are seeing the effects of this poorly written law coming to fruition. The textbooks up for consideration will incorporate the mandates of this law. The proposed textbooks are searchable online at the California Department of Education (CDE) website, so I searched several of the textbooks and found quite a bit of one-sided material aimed at normalizing these issues that are still dividing our country.

Just to show a couple of examples, in Pearson’s myWorld Interactive 2, Chapter 5 teaches second graders about Jose Julio Sarria, a Californian who ran for public office in the sixties. The text reads:

“He decided to be honest. He told people he was gay and that sometimes he dressed as a woman. He was the first person to do this when running for office. He did not win. But he made people know they had to pay attention to the gay community.”

Children are then prompted to write about how Sarria’s honesty was inspirational to others.

Additionally, Pearson’s myWorld Interactive 3, on a lesson about “California Heroes,” introduces transgender activist Chaz Bono, and informs third graders that “gender refers to whether someone is male or female. Transgender people feel that their gender is the opposite of what it was at birth. Bono was born female, but always felt male. He changed his gender and today lives as a man. Bono and other activists fight against discrimination and other stereotypes of their community.”

I reviewed all of the texts for elementary school, and I was alarmed at the content, so I submitted a comment in anticipation of the public comment meeting to be held in August. I informed some of my friends about this issue, but it was complete news to them.

In early September, I asked an Education Programs Consultant in the Curriculum Frameworks Unit at CDE to send me a link to all of the written public comments and a link to the audio files of the meeting, which he did. In a very cursory search through pages of public comments, and on the topic of inclusion of LGBT material, I could only find one statement in outright opposition—and that was my own. Many were opposed to some of the textbooks, but only because they deemed them not aggressive enough in carrying out the purposes of the FAIR Education Act. Is it possible that there might only be one person or a handful of people in all of California who are opposed to these changes? This is highly doubtful.

What parents need also need to know about this issue is that there may be a way out. In regard to the implementation of SB48, CDE guidance states that “it falls to the teacher and the local school and district administration to determine how the content is covered and at which grade level(s).” Furthermore, Education Code Section 60002 stipulates, “Each district board shall provide for substantial teacher involvement in the selection of instructional materials and shall promote the involvement of parents and other members of the community in the selection of instructional materials.” Parents need to get involved and speak up in their local school districts.

Also, if parents are not taken seriously, I believe this issue will make its way to the Supreme Court; SB 48 and the resulting textbook changes suppress Constitutional rights by elevating LGBT beliefs over other beliefs.

So, why the eery silence and seeming apathy on an issue of such importance to the well being of our children? I suspect that Chief Justice Roberts’ dissent in the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling that made same-sex marriage legal across the United States foreshadowed this situation exactly when he wrote:

“By the majority’s account, Americans who did nothing more than follow the understanding of marriage that has existed for our entire history—in particular, the tens of millions of people who voted to affirm their States’ enduring definition of marriage—have acted to ‘lock…out,’ ‘disparage,’ ‘disrespect and subordinate,’ and inflict ‘[d]ignitary wounds’ upon their gay and lesbian neighbors.”

Chief Justice Roberts predicted that these “assaults on the character of fair-minded people will have an effect, in society and in court…It is one thing for the majority to conclude that the Constitution protects a right to same-sex marriage; it is something else to portray everyone who does not share the majority’s ‘better informed understanding’ as bigoted.”

As Chief Justice Roberts foretold, people who don’t share the beliefs of the LGBT community are often labeled as bigots. As such, people are afraid to speak up—even though the First Amendment fully supports their right to do so. I suspect many people believe like I do—I support your right to live your life according to what you fervently believe in your heart and mind to be true; but the Constitution prohibits you from using the government to force your sexual orientation and gender identity ideologies on my child causing her to go against the dictates of her conscience. If parents and concerned citizens don’t speak up, I fear for the First Amendment rights of the families and children of California—and, in the long run, the United States.

Summary

Wake up America! You can bet this is coming to your state and city!

I Hate Divorce

Wow: talk about a hot button! Obviously this is not a political story — or is it?

Let’s face facts: YOU probably don’t know anyone who has not been personally impacted by divorce: in their marriage, their parents’, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, close friends, business associates — and the list goes on and on.

This is NOT  in any way to demean any who have/are/will be impacted by divorce, but merely to get every person looking in to understand how/why divorce not only happens, but happens so often….AND to think about how to if not stop it, slow it down, and eliminate as much of it as possible.

Christmas

December 22, 1969, was the beginning of my divorce horror. I was 16 on that day when my Dad left Mom and me — literally “left” us — and moved away. The devastation was massive and far-reaching. My Dad pastored a small church in south Louisiana. So not only did his decision wreak havoc on us, but on the church itself and every member.

My questions were many and the usual: Did he not love Mom and/or me? Did I/we do anything wrong to drive him away? Was there someone else he loved more? What was going to happen to me/us? How were we going to make it financially without him? And that list goes on and on. When you factor in the different questions that were certainly asked by others impacted by his sudden departure, the pile of unanswered questions became mountainous. And — like in almost every divorce — the answers were wild and varied. And the REAL answers remained hidden.

Before actually leaving a spouse and/or family, few realize the multitude of issues and immediate and permanent life-changes that are initiated. Beginning with that Christmas in 1969, EVERY Christmas season since has been at best traumatic for me. And I’m about to participate in my 65th Christmas! And that’s just the start. EVERY circumstance, relationship, experience, decision, holiday, wedding, funeral, graduation, illness, etc. are altered forever for every person impacted by a divorce.

My Dad passed away last year at 91. “I wonder if he had it to do all over again, would he still leave Mom and me?” That question further illustrates another horror of divorce: we’ll never know the answer to that question! He lived 48 years  after leaving with that question hanging over his head. It had to be brutal for him.

Divorce: Why?

Of course there are the very obvious reasons for some divorces: physical abuse, mental abuse, or child abuses of any kind. But it’s those divorces that occur in a vacuum of grey that are the concerning ones — the ones that can/should on the most part be avoided. That “grey” area is the target of this conversation.

The reasons plucked from this grey chasm for pursuing, allowing, and/or initiating divorce are so vast in number they could fill the Grand Canyon. They include incompatibility, adultery, financial waste and/or domination, anger, disrespect, “growing apart,” or simply “not getting along.” Rather than endeavor to deal with each individual reason used for justification for choosing divorce that fall into this grey area, let’s deal with the structural and fundamental failures of marriages that lead to divorce.

  • In The Beginning Dating, getting to know someone, then falling in love is a really wonderful experience. When those from my generation experienced this process, the World in which we functioned regarding communication with each other (especially with children about such things) was vastly different from that process today. Partly because of electronics, smart phones, and the internet, partly because of all the other distractions this generation of young people have in their lives that are unique, and partly because the helter-skelter lifestyle in which most Americans live is not conducive for constant and thorough communication, (even within families) young people today do not have nearly enough two-way input with those with whom they love. Without that understanding of everything about each other, it is much easier to make permanent life relationship commitments “thinking” that other person is someone they really are not. The results of that are often fatal for that marriage. Remember that addage “You never know someone until you live with them?”
  • Lack of Truthfulness  Members of this generation on the most part hate confrontations. The easy way to avoid back-and-forth with a spouse is to simply deny something that really is true or to ignore it. How often has this happened in communication with your spouse: “Honey, what’s wrong?” The almost constant response: “Oh, nothing,” when we know that answer is untruthful. The actual lie that’s implied or spoken is NOT the real problem — just a symptom. The reasons for feelings that spring-up from whatever is wrong are the real problems. As long as they are hidden and not dealt with, divorce is very often the inevitability.

The Big Kahuna

Let’s face facts: if both parties to a marriage are willing, almost any issue can be dealt with and when dealt with, few can become fatal. But that is a really big “if.”

That brings us to the most important key to the prevention of almost every divorce — even the nasty ones. There is a way to beat the pain and trauma of almost every contributing factor in today’s divorces. It requires a lot of work, a lot of really good honest and consistent communication. And it requires major commitment from both parties.

The Big Kahuna that is present in almost every marriage today (and maybe in many other countries) is this: most couples enter a marriage with this thought in the backs of their minds, “IF this doesn’t work out, if he/she cheats on me, is dishonest to me, lies to me, hurts me, or if I simply find out I really don’t love her/him the way I thought I did, I can always get a divorce.”

With that as the default position in the minds of either or both who enter a marriage, it is almost inevitable that when that couple faces some of the horrendous trials, temptations, heartaches, and worldly challenges of today, the temptation will almost always be to take the “easy way out,” and simply walk away. The problem is, however, adopting that mindset and acting on it at some point in a marriage is NOT the “easy way out,” especially when there are children in the picture. No one ever walks away unscathed.

It is also inevitable in such a situation that somewhere in their future, one or both of those people will realize “if I had only worked a little harder, talked to him/her a little more, been a little more honest, taken responsibility for more of my mistakes, and made them proud of my loving commitment to them in our marriage, we could have made it.” When that happens, the guilt and condemnation of that marriage failure takes hold of their minds and hearts and makes life unnecessarily MORE difficult, MORE painful, and much harder to successfully move on.

Summary

There is no doubt that divorce in America in many cases will continue. They are all unfortunate, almost always heartbreaking, and divorce victims are usually doomed to lives of regret. Wouldn’t it be much more effective and much simpler if both in communication with each other prior to tying the knot make it clear that “I’m in this to the end. No matter what comes up I commit to always bring my concerns to you, discuss them openly, and work with every fiber of my being to find solutions with you to get  through those successfully together, which will only serve to make our relationship stronger.”

If my Mom and Dad had that conversation, you can bet that at 64, I would NOT have the regrets of the failure of their marriage still always in the hidden recesses of my mind.

If you are a victim of divorce in any way, do not for a moment feel that as a result you are flawed, ruined, or without any relationship hope. Reality is exactly opposite! You are now better prepared to not only KNOW how to move forward in a future permanent relationship, but to personally make the “forever” commitment for real, and help your soul-mate to understand and then live in the same commitment. You now know how to keep from ending up alone again and can lead that person down that same path along with you.

Not only am I the product of a broken home, my wife was a divorcee when we met. Because of the scars of my family divorce trauma of 1969, SHE had to deal with MY pain and suffering. Because of her divorce from her 2-year marriage failure, I had to deal with HER pain and suffering. Please know that in our marriage of 43 years, those mutual pains from separate and different divorces have always been two 900-pound gorillas in our home. When the emotions, pain, anger and loss from those two divorces get loud and spill over the edges of our minds, it is always tempting to let them feed the narrative between us. And can that verbal narrative get loud and testy! But it takes communication, understanding, forgiveness, and acceptance to be able to get through without quitting.

Ours has been a rarity to say the least. The odds were really high against it lasting. Many times even after 43 years there are moments when the easy way out seems to be the best way forward. Why has neither of us walked away?

Commitment.

I hate divorce….I refuse to accept it for me or my family….we don’t quit.

The “tough stuff” in saying that is that it requires some really hard work and commitment and forgiveness and acceptance that under those circumstances is often difficult to offer up — but it’s necessary.

I hate divorce so much I told my wife before we married, “We will NEVER allow divorce in our family. We will communicate in honesty and love. And when bad things come our way, we will work together to find resolution that will save our marriage — no matter what the cost. WE WILL STICK IT OUT!

And we have.

My brother wrote a song years ago titled “Anything Worth Having is Worth Hurting For.

Do you feel that way about your marriage? Are you willing to hurt enough to do whatever it takes to make it through?

If so, you ARE my hero!

If not, prayerfully find a way to reassess your relationship. And don’t give up…..don’t you EVER give up!

 

 

 

Why Not Prioritize?

I just finished a 750 mile ride across Texas and New Mexico to attend a conference in Ruidoso, NM. I made the ride on my Harley. I know that is a long haul on a motorcycle. But it isn’t for me. I’ve actually made a bunch of 1000+ rides and a coast-to-coast roundtrip that was over 7,000 miles. And I rode alone.

The management staff in my company hate it when I take a bike trip. While I’m gone, they are certain I have too much “think” time. I always come back with a bunch of new ideas that I present to them and expect them to implement in our operations. It always means more work for them. They are certain this trip will be no different.

But it IS different — for several reasons. One is that while I have not just grown older during the 26 years of this company’s existence, I have learned more. They have as well. So what does that matter to this conversation? Even though they may not realize it yet, THEY REALLY DON’T NEED MY NEW IDEAS ANYMORE. As they have aged biologically they have aged in maturity — so much so they don’t realize the knowledge they have accumulated over 20 years. And on the most part, any “new” information they need, they probably have access to without any input from this old guy.

So what use is my 1500 mile roundtrip in my Harley “saddle” if I’m not thinking up new jobs for the managers? This trip has turned into a bunch of “think” time for ME, and no one else.

It seems I have crossed that age threshold that resulted in my enrollment in Medicare. July 2018 is the day when Medicare kicks in for me. And I got my Medicare card in the mail today. New realities have kicked in with that realization — chief being that now far more of my life is behind me than in front of me. In reality that was true when I reached age 45, but I at 45 still felt invincible. At 64 — not so much. But with understanding my human biology comes greater understanding of the meaning of all things in my life, and helps me successfully prioritize every aspect of my life.

Prioritization

I have always been proficient at setting priorities in my life. For that matter, I’m free at setting them for a lot of other people in my life! But doing so for their lives is not my responsibility. They really don’t care what I think anyway. (That’s something I’ve learned the last few decades!)

For the Generation X-ers and Millennials that are looking in, let me share how the prioritizations in my life have changed, and why:

  • Success  At 60+ the definition of success has drastically changed. At 20, the only thing that mattered was making as much money as possible along with all its trappings: fame, reputation, cars, homes, nice vacations, etc. At 60+, I’ve pretty much had all the success I’m ever going to have — time is not on my side for great new achievements. Success for me now is the successes for my children and their spouses, good health for my children (already been through a daughter with cancer) and grandchildren, building stronger ties with my existing friends, and re-affirming personal relationships with as many old friends and extended family members that through the years have been diminished by all kinds of things.
  • My Health  At 20, the only health issues I considered were looking good physically. At 60+, I’ve had multiple surgeries, 1 heart attack, weight gain and weight loss, 2 thumb joint replacements, several broken bones, and severe hearing loss. I have learned the hard way that how I look is not very important any longer. Avoiding major health issues is of high importance. I’ve watched as too many friends and peers have lost their good health — some by poor habits, excessive eating, and just giving up on working to keep their health good. Over the last 6 years I’ve lost about 100 pounds by first carefully planning food that I consume, and then adding exercise. I ride a bike 11 miles a day and ride aggressively. I have not felt as good as I do today in 20 years. I have faced my possible death several times and am no longer afraid of death. It is inevitable for us all. But I prefer when it comes that it will NOT be the result of my simply letting my health go voluntarily.
  •  Money  I must write about money separately. It drove me. I made a lot of it, and lost a bunch too. I have always been generous and charitable from my heart. I genuinely love helping others. And I have enjoyed including those I love in the good things having financial success has provided. I was careful to make certain having money through the years didn’t change who I was. Carefully and deliberately I always responded to anyone who complimented my success giving God 100% credit for the opportunities that granted success. I always worked hard, always gave credit to those who contributed to those successes, and was always grateful — and still am. I learned at a young age that no one owed me anything. And money makes no one.
  • Relationships My old boss asked me one day, “Who is coming to your funeral?” I was shocked, but after thinking for a minute responded, “My friends and family.”  He said, “Then spend your life investing in theirs.”   Nothing means more to me than relationships with my family members and friends. I invest accordingly. Sowing seeds into their lives was promised by God to allow me to reap the products from those seeds. This old guy tears up when any one of my 6 grandchildren come hug me and say, “I love you Poppi.” The oldest is 18. And they ALL do that every time we’re together. That’s MUCH better than money.
  • The Rest. Honestly, nothing else really matters much today. Even though I am as busy as I ever have been, it seems days go slower, I see more things than ever before, and each day to me tastes as good as an Almond Joy. (Chocolate with coconut is my thing) What has changed most dramatically with the greatest impact is my loss of fear: fear of failure, financial disaster, losing relationships, and poor health. Fear left when it dawned on me that there is nothing I can do to change any of those. So I stopped fearing them. I breathe much easier now and smell more good things. I try to deal only with things I can directly impact while letting alone things I cannot change.

Summary

The doctor said my heart attack was 100% stress related. Most are. Peeling away stress like peeling an onion has been the key to my priortization. It brought the realization that turning 65 sure beats the alternative: assuming “room temperature.” But even that inevitability is OK now.  God has it all under control. I’ll let Him do the worrying if there’s any  necessary.

Next time you are going through a major worry/panic attack, stop for a moment and ask this question: “What difference will this make 100 years from now?” Probably none. Then why waste any of that good, positive life you have left dealing with something you can’t change? Just do the best you can, and relax.

God’s got this!

Promises, Promises, Promises

President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “There are always politicians willing, on the one hand, to promise everything to the people, and, on the other, to perform everything for the machine or the boss, with chuckling delight in the success of their efforts to hoodwink the former and serve the latter. Now, not only should such politicians be regarded as infamous, but the people who are hoodwinked by them should bear the blame.”

Sadly, we live in an America where we are seeing President Roosevelt’s statements proven true. Leaders continue to make promises to voters election cycle after election cycle, while all the while pandering to their political machines behind the scenes with real promises. Who gets left out of that process? The voters. Who pays the price over and over again? The voters. But it’s not just American voters who pay that price. It is being paid by the country itself: it’s history, heritage, and identity are all being morphed by those who use this process for personal gain. America is now officially literally “for sale.”

Promises

We will not waste your time to list all of the promises made during recent campaigns that were made over and over again by desperate political candidates who willingly succumbed to temptation to do and say anything to get elected. However, the most recent and most costly example of this practice was the Omnibus Bill passed by Congress that will fleece Americans of at least $1.4 Trillion dollars. A government spending bill that is exorbitant is nothing new. What IS new, however, is that the GOP Congressionals who ran for office in 2016 almost unanimously promised full support of President Trump’s presidential campaign promises that any spending bill would de-fund Obamacare, fully fund the southern border wall, de-fund Planned Parenthood, and reject funding for Sanctuary Cities that refuse to cooperate with Homeland Security in notification of jailed illegal immigrant criminals about to be released so that ICE agents could step in and take custody of those criminals. They passed a bill that included ALL of these BUT EXACTLY OPPOSITE of what was stated in their campaign promises.

I mention this bill only to remind all that “Promises, Promises, Promises” on Capitol Hill ring hollow and should for the near future — especially during the 2018 election campaign cycle — fall on deaf ears. Voters need to listen to their hearts instead of hearing and then simply believing what candidates promise this year.

Debt of Candidates

No, I am not referencing the massive amount of dollars that many candidates must borrow to finance their campaigns. Think about that for a moment: a member of Congress who makes less than $150,000 a year often borrows several million dollars to fund a campaign for that office. How can they repay the source from which they borrowed? Simple: through campaign contributions. Who donates a total of millions to Congressional campaigns? In Teddy Roosevelt’s words, “the boss or machine” who makes those contributions to those candidates do the funding that does NOT have to be repaid.

Rush Limbaugh said it best when asked years ago about his running for national political office. He responded this way:  He could not afford to fund a Congressional or other national office campaign on his own. Therefore, he would rely on political contributions. His makeup would require his “commitment” to those contributors to be obligation to facilitate their needs/desires should at some future point they reach out to him to draw on that “commitment.” He personally found no way to be able to reconcile in his mind to successfully respond without some quid pro quo. Therefore, he will never run for office.

Sadly, Rush Limbaugh’s honesty and moral compass is NOT shared by many in D.C. The accepted method of running for office is reliance on campaign contributions. Certainly small amounts from many voters dilutes the potential for quid pro quo demands from contributors, but with the invention of PAC’s — Political Action Committees — and their ability to collect unlimited amounts in campaign contributions entices candidates to instead of doing the hard work of interfacing with thousands of small contributors to discuss their concerns and political ideals, to simply turn to the big contributors who can fund a campaign requiring very little effort by the candidate. In that scenario, American voters lose and promises are broken.

Actual debt from borrowed dollars are NOT the debt of candidates that is concerning. It is the debt of candidates to contributors — not the “little guys,” but the Unions, PAC’s, corporations, and even national political parties. When payback is expected, corruption will ALWAYS be present.

Summary

In the current political process, the fabric of independence, liberty and justice for all, and the election of Americans to actually serve their country with their service is virtually lost to the greed of self accomplishment in achieving influence in government. We see the evidence of this playing out on an international stage as political leaders are being exposed one at a time in D.C. The only surprising thing appearing in each expose is just how brazen and callous to the immoral if not illegal actions being embraced by most all of the professionals working within the Beltway — and not just elected representatives. Even those who are appointed are increasingly being exposed as perpetrators of impropriety to enhance their personal agendas — AT AMERICAN VOTERS’ EXPENSE.

The bar of honesty and integrity in our nation’s capitol has been lowered so often it is dragging the ground. Trust by Americans in the government and the political process is dragging the ground with their honesty and integrity. Washington D.C. looks everyday more like capitol cities in Europe, South America, and Southeast Asia.

Americans must be diligent in demanding for and settling for nothing less than honesty and facts. Those things are there. Sadly at one time we had smooth access to “real” actions that paralleled promises. It is actually unusual for members of Congress to follow through on their political commitments. Gone is simply doing the right thing.

Our hopeful salvation is on the horizon as long hidden evil deeds are being exposed. If Americans as all of these are revealed, analyzed, and corrective actions taken demand complete transparency that is always promised by candidates, we will see this horror begin to disappear. But American voters must accept nothing less…period.

 

Evidence: Russia Affected the Outcome of the 2016 Election

You have heard since the day after the 2016 election that Russia impacted the election to prevent Hillary Clinton from winning. Almost every news organization, every U.S. intelligence agency, and every politician in D.C. have made that claim again and again. It even resulted in the appointment of Robert Mueller as Special Counsel to not investigate the validity of these claims, but (using Russian election tampering as a factual basis for investigating)  to prove that the Trump Campaign worked with the Russians to directly affect election results.

I have one real problem with this: “Where’s the Beef?” Think about this: the FBI launched an investigation under James Comey. Both houses of Congress launched investigations. The CIA, ODNI, NSA and DNI all launched investigations. Let’s look at the evidence found that verify that 1) there WAS Russian direct intrusion into the 2016 presidential election process, and 2) the Trump Campaign was part of that process:

Russian Election Tampering “Facts”

  • From Wired: Did Russia Affect the 2016 Election? It’s Now Undeniable That headline following the Mueller indictment of Russians for election tampering. The story goes on to detail an elaborate system supposedly setup over time to use American media, email lists, planted news stories, and electronic advertising to affect American voters. Note that 13 Russians were “indicted” for their actions. What U.S. laws were broken? Certainly those laws and all of the specific details in the 37 page indictment will be made public in their trials. Oops: they are Russians. Vladimir Putin has already stated none of those 13 will be returned to the U.S. for trials.
  • On October 7, 2016, the ODNI (Office of the Director of National Intelligence) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) jointly stated that the U.S. Intelligence Community was confident that the Russian Government directed recent hacking of e-mails with the intention of interfering with the U.S. election process.[According to the ODNI′s January 6, 2017 report, the Russian military intelligence service (GRU) had hacked the servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the personal Google email account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and forwarded their contents to WikiLeaks. Although Russian officials have repeatedly denied involvement in any DNC hacks or leaks, there is strong forensic evidence linking the DNC breach to known Russian operations. In January 2017, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified that Russia also interfered in the elections by disseminating fake news that was promoted on social media.
  • On October 31, 2016, President Barack Obama warned Putin via the “red phone” to stop interfering or face consequences.[ In December 2016, Obama ordered a report on hacking efforts aimed at U.S. elections since 2008, while U.S. Senators called for a bipartisan investigation. President-elect Donald Trump rejected claims of foreign interference and said that Democrats were reacting to their election loss.
  • In a February 13, 2018 testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, the heads of the top six American intelligence agencies unanimously reaffirmed Russian interference.
  • Former President George W. Bush: “There’s pretty clear evidence that the Russians meddled,” Bush said at a talk in the United Arab Emirates. “Whether they affected the outcome is another question.” He also said: “It’s problematic that a foreign nation is involved in our election system. Our democracy is only as good as people trust the results.”
  • Huffington Post: “The report from heads of American intelligence agencies has confirmed the obvious: Russia deliberately tried to influence the outcome of the American election in favor of Donald Trump. The agencies’ report found no evidence that the Russians tried to electronically change vote totals; they were content to mess with our heads, and in that, they did quite well.”
  • In a exhaustive analysis of this issue, the website “Russia Matters” after months of intense research stated this: “According to the declassified ODNI report, the CIA, FBI and NSA assess that ‘Putin and the Russian government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary [of State] Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him.’ The CIA and FBI expressed ‘high confidence’ in the judgment, while the NSA expressed ‘moderate confidence.’ The ODNI report says that ‘Moscow’s approach evolved over the course of the campaign based on Russia’s understanding of the electoral prospects of the two main candidates.’ The report noted that Russian state-owned media outlets RT and Sputnik consistently favored Trump and portrayed Clinton negatively. As mentioned before, the ODNI did not publicly release the bulk of its supporting evidence, citing a desire not to compromise sensitive sources and methods
  • Ross Cohen of Quora.com at the beginning of his “proof” of Russian election meddling in his first sentence said, “Before discussing evidence, it’s important to be clear that the assessment of the U.S. intelligence community is unanimous: Russia interfered with the election. It happened.”

I could go on and on for hours giving you examples from various intelligence officials, media pundits, Congressional legislators and campaign officials in which each maintains that without any question, the Russian government figured heavily in the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and that they did so to prevent Hillary Clinton from being President. But let’s stop this merry-go-round right here.

Russian Election Tampering “Truths”

It is common knowledge among U.S. officials — from the current and former White Houses, both Houses of Congress, and every intelligence agency — that Russia TRIED to influence the 2016 election. In fact, they have been TRYING to do so for decades — and not just U.S. elections! And TRYING to do so is common practice: not just by the Russians, but by multiple countries. DID YOU KNOW THE U.S. IS GUILTY OF FOREIGN COUNTRY ELECTION MEDDLING?

On February 16, 2018, dnewman.org published a story about U.S. interference in other countries elections. That report started this way: “The U.S. has a long history of attempting to influence presidential elections in other countries – it’s done so as many as 81 times between 1946 and 2000, according to a database amassed by political scientist Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University. That number doesn’t include military coups and regime change efforts following the election of candidates the U.S. didn’t like, notably those in Iran, Guatemala and Chile. Nor does it include general assistance with the electoral process, such as election monitoring. Levin defines intervention as “a costly act which is designed to determine the election results [in favor of] one of the two sides.”

At least 81 times the U.S. has tried to directly influence the results of national elections being held in sovereign foreign nations. Knowing that might give Americans a better understanding why so many foreigners no longer hold the United States in high esteem, and why so many foreigners speak angrily of U.S. matters. Today there are 41 foreign countries that summarily reject U.S. passports, thus preventing U.S. citizens from legal entry into their countries.

Summary

I cannot state factually that the Russian government through its own resources and that of independents did NOT try to impact the 2016 presidential election. We do it in other countries. On what moral authority is it all right for the U.S. to demean Russia (or any other country) for doing the same thing? In our February 16, 2018, story on this matter, we revealed that President Obama sent money to try to keep Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from re-election: and Israel is our ally!

I do, however, doubt seriously that “IF” Russia was involved in the 2016 election, it was to support the election of Donald Trump over Hillary. Reason says otherwise: Trump campaigned to dramatically increase funding to rebuild the U.S. military to stop the bullying by countries like Russia, Iran, and North Korea on the world stage. Hillary as Secretary of State and afterwards made multiple decisions — some very public — that supported Russia. (remember that famous red “Reset” button?) Putin would have certainly preferred a U.S. President who accepted a weaker U.S. military and who had already demonstrated an intense affinity FOR Putin’s Russia. But: I DON’T KNOW THAT FOR CERTAIN, JUST AS ALL OF THE PUNDITS WHO DECLARE THERE WAS RUSSIAN ELECTION INFLUENCE DO NOT KNOW.

The Mainstream Media in the headlines and stories I listed above and in others ALL reference reports of other reporters, news outlets, and Intelligence officials when declaring “There was Russian meddling in our election, everyone knows that, and intelligence agencies all confirm that.” Even members of Congress maintain that. CLAIMING THAT AGAIN AND AGAIN DOES NOT MEAN IT’S TRUE! Facts alone must do that

Evidence? If it’s there, we STILL haven’t seen it. Yet the frenzy continues everyday — not just that there WAS Russian meddling, but that Donald Trump was somehow involved.

We’ll finish this with a few moments of a Rose Garden speech on the matter one month before the 2016 election by the one guy who certainly “knew” about election meddling: President Barack Obama:

https://youtu.be/ZPpt7-QOGKc

So who should we believe about Russian election meddling?

I have an idea: somebody release “evidence” of election meddling to the American people — not “James Clapper said so,” or the CIA, NSA, FBI, or any other 3-letter agency’s story about it — and trust Americans to make educated decisions based on evidence alone. Until then, there has been NO proof of such election tampering proven successful in changing any American’s vote. And the continued statements that it factually occurred illustrate just how desperate the Left is to diminish the election of Donald Trump by Americans.

Americans elected this President. That is ALL that matters.

A “Free Pass”

Everyone likes a free pass every now and then to get something for nothing, or — in many cases — a chance to be “excused” for something done in error or done without permission. But this practice has taken on a new and dangerous face.

Anyone who reads the stories on this site know full well my disdain for the current Mainstream Media practices of picking and choosing winners and losers when it comes to holding folks accountable for things they say and do. No longer is “news” based on truth in reporting facts — good and bad — about people, countries, and things that happen. Today’s “news” is in large part based totally on the political correctness of the day pertaining to whomever and whatever is being reported about. Who shapes that political correctness that is used daily by shaping what America sees and hears? That’s anybody’s guess. And apparently that “Authority” to determine the political correctness of the day is passed around.

Who decides who gets called out and who gets a free pass? Since 2007 it seems that the Mainstream Media as self-appointed arbiters of all things report-worthy AND the shaping of each story to favor one side of the political narrative rather than just report facts. And there are LOTS of free passes floating around today: in every political issue, every ethnic discussion, and every social issue of today. Let’s look at some current “free passes.”

Free Passes of the Day

  • Pelosi We could not have this discussion without calling up the latest free pass given by the Leftist Media to the “Queen of PC:” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca). (Listing all her free passes by the media would fill a medium sized notebook) According to a FOX News report, the California Democrat sent out an email last week titled “Mueller FIRED” and asked people to donate to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) amid speculations that President Donald Trump may fire Mueller in retaliation for the FBI raid on his lawyer Michael Cohen. But as the actual fundraiser email text acknowledges, Mueller was not fired by Trump:“I’m so furious I can barely write this email,” Pelosi wrote, according to The Washington Examiner. “President Trump is inches away from firing Robert Mueller and derailing the entire Russia investigation.” The fundraising email was sent on Friday, just a day after Trump reiterated that he isn’t going to fire the special counsel. “If I wanted to fire Robert Mueller in December, as reported by the Failing New York Times, I would have fired him. Just more Fake News from a biased newspaper!” Trump tweeted.
  • Comey In our last story we chronicled the lies of James Comey — or at least several of them. In his ABC News Interview with George Stephanopoulos, the fired former FBI Director made some amazing statements that went largely unchallenged. George gave Comey several free passes in the interview. Can you imagine any scenario in which a Conservative FBI Director would not have been challenged for the following? Comey maintained again and again that he was NOT political in his controversial dealings with Hillary Clinton’s investigation or with President Trump. Yet Comey made it clear he made the decision to have those 2 press conferences based on the “political” polls that stated HRC would win the presidency,and that his doing so would not affect the election outcome. That is totally political! Stephanopoulous: “Free Pass” — no challenge; According to the OIG report recently released detailing abuses by former FBI Assistant Director Andrew McCabe and McCabe’s response to that release’s contents, McCabe called Comey a liar and claimed that Comey knew about the releases by McCabe to the press. That’s a juicy news story, especially with the “other guy” sitting down for a television interview and denying McCabe’s claims. Stephanopoulous: “Free Pass” — no challenge; An FBI employee discussing details of an ongoing investigation by the FBI is expressly forbidden. Yet Comey — even though he was fired — talked at will in the interview about the current Mueller investigation into Russian collusion. George: “Free Pass” — crickets; Comey, when asked, acknowledged in the meeting in which he told President Trump about the Steele dossier he did NOT tell the President that the DNC and Clinton Campaign had funded it. When asked why, he stated “No I didn’t. Stephanopolous’ response: “Free Pass” — no challenge.
  • Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch Comey famously stated in sworn Congressional testimony that AG Lynch instructed him to not call the Hillary Clinton email server investigation an “Investigation,” but to call it a “Matter.” One week before the Comey ABC interview, Lynch contradicted that statement. His response to Lynch’s denial in the ABC interview: he questioned the honesty, political intentions, and investigative methods of his former boss: Lynch. In fact, it was Comey’s concern about the public’s perception of Lynch’s role in the inquiry that led him to become a more active participant in the investigation, he says now. In early 2016, the U.S. intelligence community obtained classified information that, according to Comey, “raised the question of whether Loretta Lynch was controlling me and the FBI and keeping the Clinton campaign informed about our investigation.” The FBI investigated the claim and found no evidence to support it. In the news world, this was a blockbuster story about the U.S. Justice Department. How did Stephanopoulos respond to Comey’s new allegations? “Free Pass” — no challenge.

American Opinion of Today’s Media

  • In its annual confidence poll, Gallup found that Americans’ trust in the mass media “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly” reached its lowest level in polling history, with only 32 percent saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media. Trust in the establishment media did not begin with the contentious 2016 election and Donald Trump taking the stage, but after a steady decline over the past 20 years, it took its deepest dive yet.
  • In a recent Rasmussen poll, 51% of all voters think the current media coverage of political issues and events is worse than it has been in the past. Just 19% say the coverage is better, while 27% rate it as about the same.
  • In a detailed poll by Pew Research Group, American voters by political party overall have an unfavorable opinion of truth in news. About Republicans, 11% trust the news media; Democrats: 34%; Independents: 15%.

Summary

To say there is (according to American voters) a political credibility perception of the Mainstream Media that is horrendous is an understatement. That distrust comes from about a decade of News Journalism being allowed to slide when it comes to the truth. Yes, that is terrible. But beyond terrible it is dangerous. How so?

Imagine if every American parent allowed their children to in their lives mimic the actions of today’s American media. Here’s how it would work:

  1. Kids tell lies to their parents, teachers, and other authority figures in their lives;
  2. Parents, teachers, and other authority figures make substantive decisions for and about these kids based on the lies told by the kids;
  3. Those decisions shape the culture of the families and all others outside those families with which they interact. That culture is shaped and molded by those lies of the children;
  4. As those kids become young adults, they find that everyone else in “their” world are products of that same type of culture that evolved through identical environments where truth has been abandoned;
  5. Those young adults mature and begin employment AND permanent relationships with potential spouses. They bring that culture of acceptable untruth to each of those relationships.

Imagine a world where lying is not only allowed, but accepted without a single challenge. Imagine the bad choices that will certainly be made from that culture. Imagine a world void of ANY substance in communication, action, or deed, and where “anything goes” literally!

All I can say is this: you can have my seat in such a world. As for me, I will continue as long as I can to challenge every lie, every half-truth, every misrepresentation in my life as they show-up. And show-up they will.

My challenge to George Stephanopoulos, Nancy Pelosi, Loretta Lynch, and James Comey: John 8:32 “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

There’s no need for any to denigrate the intentions, motives, or reasoning behind lies we hear. The truth does NOT need our interpretation. The truth stands alone and is sufficient.

How can we eliminate darkness? Shine a light on it. The light takes care of the darkness without us having to weigh in. Truth does the same thing to lies.

If Truth by itself was good enough for the Son of God, it should be good enough for all of us.

Political Pinocchio

You are right: that picture of James Comey to the left could be one of hundreds who are qualified for this story. But in honor of the millions of dollars the disgraced former FBI Director has already garnered from his new book, AND in light of the Justice Department OIG’s recently released report of former Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe which contains numerous allegations of Comey lies, for the sake of THIS story, we will concentrate on James Comey.

My son in 6’9,” and even having him in our home it took a long time to get accustomed to his height. Comey is 6’8″ tall. As I have learned first-hand, being so much taller than others “in the room” garners the tall guy a measure of benign acceptance for what he says that sometimes is not warranted. My son growing up (as kids often do) stretched the truth a time or two. But James Comey squeezed all the possible credibility from almost anything that comes out of his mouth. We’ll get to that in a bit.

My father was the pastor of a small south Louisiana church. We never missed a service: Sunday mornings and evenings, Wednesday evening prayer meetings, and even youth services. We were a pastor’s family by the book. My father “wore” the lies out of my older brother and me. And if you’re from the South you know exactly what I meant when I said “wore the lies out…” Turned out those “whoopings” taught me a really important lesson. My Dad could have simply told me that when someone lies habitually they lose ALL credibility with others. Why? If someone lies all the time, is it safe to EVER believe anything they say?

Yes, Comey’s book deal will make him millions of dollars. Actually he has already parlayed his legal career into millions. Of course in the federal government there is no way for an attorney at any level to make millions from salary and bonuses. But the “deals” made available to federal lawmakers and members of Congress and those close to them are abundant. Comey has taken advantage of many of these opportunities. When appointed FBI Director by Obama in 2013, Comey reported his net worth at $11 million. So this book deal — even though certainly will provide him millions more — many think it is more his way to take aim at “The Guy” who fired him in such a public and humiliating way: President Trump. “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” is a very common explanation of why so often some women are prone to not take unearned traumatic experiences without firing back at the person who sourced their traumas. Though no woman stands in this apocalypse unfolding between the former FBI Director and his ex-boss, there is NO doubt this book is about “Payback.”

I haven’t read it, and I have no plans to do so. The leftwing media are already all over it and will spoon feed all its content over upcoming weeks to continue the feeding of their anti-Trump narrative. Comey is giving them lots of new and juicy content. (Can’t wait to read Joy Behar’s perspective!)

Can/Should James Comey be Believed in this Book?

That’s the million dollar question. Personally I hearken back to what my Dad taught me with a belt and/or a switch: don’t believe anything from anyone that tells lies again and again — they haven’t earned the right to have what they say taken at face value by others. I can’t imagine a scenario in which I would be tempted to give James Comey the benefit of the doubt. But in a sense of fairness, I refuse to simply tell all www.dnewman.org readers to blindly ignore any of James Comey’s allegations against President Trump or even any statements Comey makes about his life in office at the FBI. Why? I don’t know for certain the allegations he makes or other things he states in the book are true or untrue. You don’t either: none of us were there when they happened. But it is not only fair but prudent for all to weigh in our minds who is stating these, the personal history we have shared with this person, and past results of claims made when compared to actual facts given and/or confirmed by others.

With that thought in mind, let’s segue to those very things: allegations made by Comey and “factual” statements made by Comey or things he has stated as facts. Are those things all true? Have they been proven? Were they true when made as allegations or stated as facts? We certainly cannot answer that in every case. BUT, there are a bunch that we have answers for. Let’s look closer.

James Comey: True or False

Congressional Testimony  In May of 2017, Comey was asked under oath before Congress whether he had authorized anyone to leak information to the press. His answer was an emphatic “no.” If we were passing out Pinocchio’s he would win one here. In the response to his recent firing, former Deputy FBI Andrew McCabe stated plainly that he had personally leaked information to the media and that his former boss — James Comey — not only knew about it but let it happen. In his actual statement, McCabe forcefully defended his contact with the media, denying that it could even be called a leak. “It was not a secret, it took place over several days, and others, including the Director, were aware of the interaction with the reporter,” McCabe said in his post-firing statement. The “director” he referenced was Comey. According to legal authorities, McCabe’s statement if true could link Comey to the illegal act of leaking classified information to the media, but also for lying under oath to Congress.

FISA Application In a letter to the Justice Department’s Inspector General, Sen. Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham say information Comey provided members of the Judiciary Committee in a private interview regarding the FISA application to spy on former Trump campaign official Carter Page was contradicted by the applications themselves. “What is the reason for the difference between what Mr. Comey told the Chairman and Ranking Member in March 2017, and what appears in the FISA application?” they ask. “No explanation for the inconsistencies has ever been provided,” they said, adding, “did Director Comey intentionally mislead the Committee?”

Trump Dossier Comey testified that he briefed Trump about the salacious “dossier” before Trump was inaugurated because he’d learned that the media were about to report on it. But it’s more likely that Comey briefed Trump for the express purpose of getting its embarrassing content out into the public. Since, as soon as that meeting was over, it leaked to the press. As Graham and Grassley note in their IG letter, the press wasn’t covering the dossier before that briefing because they considered it unverified. But the mere fact that Trump had been briefed on it instantly made it newsworthy. “CNN only broke the story on the dossier because Mr. Comey briefed the President-Elect about it,” they note. In other words, it’s far more likely that Comey lied about why he briefed Trump, a briefing that just happened to get the entire Russia scandal story rolling in the press.

Trump Memos Comey repeatedly asserted that none of the memos he wrote about his interactions with Trump contained any classified information. That matters because Comey took these memos with him after he got fired by Trump, in violation of FBI rules. Comey then shared some of the memos with a friend, who leaked them to the press. Despite Comey’s claims, however, the Hill reported that four of the seven memos did, in fact, contain classified information. So it’s highly likely that Comey shared classified information. Comey did admit that he leaked these documents in hopes that a special counsel would be appointed to investigate Trump. Hmmm…..the FBI Director justifying his breaking the law “in hopes” a special counsel would be appointed because the President had just fired him!

Clinton Exoneration Then there was Comey’s insistence that he hadn’t decided what to do about Hillary Clinton’s private email server scandal until after the FBI interviewed her on July 2, 2016. Comey told Congress that “the decision was made after that (interview), because I didn’t know what was going to happen in that interview. She maybe lied in the interview in a way we could prove.” Long after Comey made that claim, however, draft FBI memos exonerating Clinton — written months before several key figures, including Clinton, had been interviewed — came to light, suggesting that the FBI was planning to exonerate her all along.

“No reasonable prosecutor….” There’s the claim Comey made when he issued his statement exonerating Clinton that “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” That, too, was not true. As reported in multiple sources in October 2016, “career agents and attorneys on the case unanimously believed the Democratic presidential nominee should have been charged.” What’s more, a key term in Comey’s final statement was changed from earlier drafts from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless.” The difference was critical, because gross negligence is specifically listed as a prosecutable offense when it comes to mishandling classified material, even if there was no intent to do wrong. In other words, the only way Comey could convincingly claim that Clinton’s actions were un-prosecutable was by watering down the language.

Summary

Just keep these thoughts in mind as you weigh everything in the media about James Comey et al:

  1. He DEFINITELY violated federal law by turning over the memos from his meetings with President Trump that contained classified information;
  2. He lied in sworn testimony before Congress — reportedly in multiple answers to questions and statements. While lying to Congress in itself is not criminal, a grand jury upon a referral by Congress can take criminal actions against someone if they choose;
  3. He lied on numerous occasions about details of the Hillary Clinton email investigation and FBI actions he initiated in that matter and several he circumvented. As Director he may have had the right to do so, but he lied TO do so;
  4. According to former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Comey lied about the reference in Congressional testimony that AG Lynch instructed him to not call the Clinton email investigation an “investigation.” She instead (according to Comey) told him to call it “A Matter.”

In my honest opinion, James Comey is not just 6 feet 8 inches tall, his nose is that long or longer!

You may not share my opinion in all this — but you may. While you consider all this, please keep in mind that just because someone says something is true does NOT make it true. Also, just because someone says something is false does NOT make it false. The book is still out on Comey — EXCEPT — we KNOW James Comey has lied, and lied a bunch.

By my now deceased father’s perspective, James Comey should NOT be believed.

But truth be known, my father was not always so truthful either.

That “Nasty” Search Warrant of Michael Cohen’s Home and Office

How did the search warrant process develop and get implemented that was used for the “legal” early morning raid of President Trump’s personal attorney’s office, home, and hotel room? Rather than continue wondering and speculating as the Mainstream Media continue, let’s detail facts:

The “Process”

There are a lot of procedural hurdles that must be overcome to obtain approval to search any lawyer’s office, never mind the political minefield involved in raiding the office of the sitting President’s lawyer. It’s worth noting that the FBI does not normally raid the offices of lawyers. The files and emails held by a lawyer are mostly protected by the attorney-client privilege and seizing them creates all sorts of issues for the FBI.

There are two DOJ relevant policies here–one governs if Mr. Cohen IS the subject of the investigation and one governs if Mr. Cohen is NOT the subject of the investigation. Let’s take a quick look at each of them.

If Mr. Cohen Is a Subject of the Investigation

The U.S. Attorney’s Manual (USAM) has a section (9-13.420) about “Searches of Premises of Subject Attorneys.”

Here are the basics:

First, this particular policy applies only to “subjects” of investigations, which is defined as someone who is a “suspect, subject or target,” or an attorney who is related by blood or marriage to a suspect, or who is believed to be in possession of contraband or the fruits or instrumentalities of a crime.

Second, § 9-13.420 says that prosecutors are expected to take the least intrusive approach consistent with vigorous and effective law enforcement when evidence is sought from an attorney actively engaged in the practice of law.” It advises that prosecutors should consider using subpoenas rather than a warrant unless such efforts could compromise the criminal investigation or prosecution, or could result in the obstruction or destruction of evidence, or would otherwise be ineffective.

Third, the Acting Attorney General (AAG) for the Criminal Division (right now Acting AAG John Cronan) or the U.S. Attorney (Southern District of New York – SDNY –  U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman) must give prior approval of the warrant. So, this is not just an SDNY line attorney acting alone. Most likely, it was Mr. Berman who approved it since he oversees the office that sought the warrant.

Fourth, the prosecutor must document the process that will be used to protect the privilege, likely through a “taint team” or “privilege team.”

All in all, the procedures for obtaining a search warrant to search Mr. Cohen’s office are set forth in much more detail than in most types of searches. SDNY did not decide on a whim to obtain this warrant and execute it. Most interesting, the prosecutor would also have had to justify to the magistrate judge why a subpoena would not work. That’s usually done by explaining that documents could be destroyed without the element of surprise inherent in a search warrant. That’s a heady accusation against the lawyer for the sitting President. I’m guessing the reasons were very well supported by evidence. (I have no inside baseball on the reasons given by the prosecutors; I’m just speculating here based on experience.)

If Mr. Cohen Is Not a Subject of the Investigation

There is also a section of the USAM that covers the way prosecutors can obtain a warrant for a lawyer’s office even if Mr. Cohen is not a subject of the investigation. That is in USAM § 9-19.221.

That section provides:

Where the materials sought are in the possession of a disinterested third party physician, lawyer, or clergyman, application for a warrant must be approved by the appropriate Deputy Assistant Attorney General as described in 9-19.220. The request for authorization from the Deputy Assistant Attorney General should be made in writing and include a copy of the warrant application as well as a brief description of the facts and circumstances that form the basis for the recommendation of the authorization. In addition, the request must include a statement that it is authorized by the United States Attorney or the supervising Department of Justice attorney. If the request for authorization is made orally, or if, in an emergency situation, the application is authorized by the United States Attorney or the supervising Department of Justice attorney, a written record, as described above, must be sent to the Deputy Assistant Attorney General within seven days. 28 C.F.R. § 59.4(b)(3).

The approval process is roughly the same–it had to be approved by someone other than the SDNY prosecutor. This process allows for a slightly lower level of approval, the Deputy Assistant Attorney General (there are several of them in DOJ, since each oversees a particular subject area or areas).

This is an extremely interesting development. It will no doubt take some time to have the documents reviewed by the taint team, but I’m guessing the prosecutors are looking for something very specific here. DOJ officials and a magistrate would not have approved this search warrant if it was a fishing expedition.

Summary

None of the research we have given is factual information about such a warrant and raid are specific to that which resulted in Cohen’s specific raid. I do feel strongly that sometime during the next few days we will be able to obtain and provide to our readers the actual warrant that was used to execute this raid. The above information is simply the “text book” methods from the law that determine basic fundamental guidelines for U.S. Attorneys to take such actions and for a judge to sign a warrant.

It is interesting to note, however, that speculation, leaks to the Mainstream Media, and “he said, she said” rumors are rampant. With fired FBI Director James Comey’s new book release, the marketplace of American information is already awash with a dump-truck full of information, most of which is purposefully damning to President Trump. Take heart, however, for much of this information is simply more of the same: fake news.

You know what is most discouraging to the majority of Americans? The hogwash spewed daily by Leftists is accepted as fact by far too many Americans. Is it not scary to know that millions of our fellow Americans so quickly swallow gossip as facts without any consideration of the veracity of those who provide such “news” or their sources?

Stay tuned for more facts here.

Potpourri

Today we do an Audio Podcast. I am certain you will enjoy this — it’s a layered analysis or summary of 5 of the political “hot spots” in our Nation as of today. Every American needs to consider these and — more importantly — reach a conclusion about each that they are comfortable in their understanding. Please feel free to share your thoughts either in the comments section below or to me at dan@dnewman.org. Your privacy is guaranteed! Thanks for “listening” in!

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