If you were here yesterday, you know I had a trip through “Cardiac Land.” Two stints and I’m good! I must say it is mind-boggling to lie on the table fully conscious while your cardiovascular surgeon and a couple of his assistants are crawling around IN your chest! Dr. Rodney Reeves is my hero. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.
Tomorrow we’ll be back in the saddle. We’ll look at one more Democrat looking at the White House, AND I have a special story that will intrigue you. See you then.
I received a note early today from my mentor and editor, Ron White, from his breathtaking retirement log cabin in North Carolina. It seems I had misspelled words in several spots in yesterday’s story about the Democrat Party and racism. I had an excuse — no, TWO excuses! I use the software program Grammarly to spellcheck my writings. I recently segued my writing to an iPad and yet have not downloaded Grammarly to my iPad. My “other” excuse is I’m lying in a hospital bed, I wrote later than normal yesterday because I couldn’t sleep, (I’m in a hospital bed) and I was writing in the dark.
I’m not looking for pity: it’s a heart catheritization. After a mild heart attack 2.5 years ago, my doctor just wants to make sure everything’s OK. He in yesterday’s procedure found a glitch…or two, and is installing a couple of stints in small arteries today.
Enough about that. I’ve something important to share, and it’s personal:
It’s Christmas month. That and being a 65-year-old heart patient about to have a cardiovascular surgeon and a couple of his assistants in my chest gives pause to this old man. I’m thinking. And I’m dangerous when I’m thinking. I’ve got to put a few things right and a few others in proper perspective.
I don’t say “Thank you” enough. And I feel stupid in retrospect that I haven’t. It’s not because I’m not thankful, rather that I just haven’t taken the time to do so. TruthNewsNet is a “new” home to me with many old friends and many new friends joining in this venture. I may have said a benign “Thanks” a time or two. But it is incumbent upon me to share how I really feel.
YOU are an amazing gift to me for which I have done nothing to deserve. Even though nothing about any of this is really about me, (other than sharing with you what I think and how I feel) it’s about sharing with you. And you have chosen to share a part of your life with me and TruthNewsNet. Please accept my deep heartfelt thanks for your commitment and gift of time and support. You do not have to do so — you choose to do so. Thank you.
What’s really incredible is how so many of you look-in, not because you agree with or support all of what you see and hear, but because you simply want to know what is happening in our world from someone else’s vantage. You’ll surely agree, I’m sure, you get that “other” vantage here!
There are many much smarter and better educated than me about the facts of operations in our nation and the “what’s” and “why’s” of the U.S. Government. It’s a journey for me to get to the point of really seeing, hearing, and understanding all of those things. And I am in awe that you have joined me on this trip.
This time is a universal window for all to share gratitude with others: friends, family, co-workers, extended family members, and those much less fortunate than us. It’s a time of giving and being a gift.
For many, however, Christmas is a season of heartache, bad or sad memories of people we’ve lost, horrible personal experiences, and often regret for poor choices.
I encourage each of you to once each day this month, find one person in your life and give something to them. I’m not speaking of money or anything necessarily tangible. Speak “into” their life, each and everyone.
I know you are busy, especially this month. But we should never be too busy or too distracted with the important yet often too consuming circumstances we face to give something of ourselves to someone else. I guarantee from multiple personal experiences your doing so will not only change them, it will change you. And who among us cannot afford to change a little and change for the better.
By the way: tell your children today how much you love them. Not just, “I love you.” That’s important and priceless. But saying to your daughter or son, “I love you more than you’ll ever know and am really proud of you,” will almost always blow their minds. Try it. Hey, try it on your spouse, too.
Most importantly, before you head hits your pillow tonight, thank our Creator for your breath, your health, your spouse and family, for freedom and the opportunity to live in the freest country on Earth. Thank him for his Son and His gift to the World.
As I had just started this writing today, a sweet little lady walked into my room and introduced herself as Mary, the hospital chaplain. We shared pleasantries. And as hospital chaplains always do, she prodded me for details of my “visit.” And then she shocked me: she asked me to pray with her and asked me to pray. So I did.
Here’s the context of my prayer: “Lord, I thank you for giving Mary to those gravely ill in this facility to share their grief, pain, and fear, but to also share the peace and hope that comes in a relationship with you. I pray you will consume her with a new joy that will bubble over to everyone she meets today. Allow her to be YOUR messenger of this word to all of those she visits with, ‘The Best is Yet to Come.’”
I pray that same prayer for you today with this one thought: Don’t let where you are today determine WHO you are. It’s only one stop on WHERE you’re going. You’ll be WHO you are WHEREVER you end up.
When in the 2016 presidential race, Hillary Clinton put those who chose to support Trump over her in a basket she named “Deplorables,” she revealed something more than her personal disdain for Donald Trump. She exposed the bias she and many other Democrats hold for American people who do not espouse their political perspective — specifically that of “Identity Politics.” But it gets even worse.
In the trail of recent very visible occurrences in the U.S., it appears that the Democrat Party is home to a bevy of pure racists. No, everyone in their party is not racist, but many are. And it appears that those who run their party are chief among that group.
“Wow!” you say. “That’s a bombastic allegation, Dan.” It certainly is. And as bombastic as the allegation is are the examples that show that racism.
Racism: America’s Fascism
For decades we have defined racism based solely on ideas and opinions of people of one skin color for people of another skin color. That definition is true — at least in part. Racism refers to a variety of practices, beliefs, social relations, and phenomena that work to reproduce a racial hierarchy and social structure that yield superiority, power, and privilege for some, and discrimination and oppression for others.
Even by its 21st-century definitions, racism is indeed evolving from being a system that creates and maintains extreme bias based solely on skin color to be more of “a racial hierarchy and social structure that yield superiority, power, and privilege for some, and discrimination and oppression for others.” In other words, Racism is no longer identified as being extreme bias based strictly on skin color alone.
Don’t get me wrong: there IS extreme racism based on color in the World, and especially in the U.S. But the practice of racism has slipped through the walls surrounding politics as people and groups more and more adopt systems of extreme bias for others that are not always based solely on skin color. What is so devastating and explosive is this type of racism extends past just color to “status” — especially political status. Political elitists in the U.S. and other countries — primarily in Europe — have commandeered the right to determine that status for everyone, and have systematically thrust their definition and “norms” on all Americans.
Besides the pending revelation of scandal engulfing Democrats and the Democrat Party, there is a large issue that heretofore Democrats have been able to dispel or push under the rug that has now become too big to ignore. And that is Democrat Party systemic racism that encompasses the “old” definition and well as the “new” definition of racism.
Being Black in America
Though it appears U.S. racism targeting blacks has diminished somewhat, it’s alive and well. But it has deepened in many ways. And in its current state, it is more deadly than ever. Politics is driving the narrative now. And political elitism is the driver. That means there is a small group of people who have assumed the power of controlling that narrative and everything about it and everyone in it.
That reality has been exposed in a most obvious place: the Criminal Justice System. Let’s look at details:
Roughly 5 million kids have — or have had — at least one incarcerated parent. In the general population, that’s 1 in every 14, according to Child Trends, a national nonprofit. Thechancesaremuchhigherforblackchildren, researchersfound: 1in9hashadaparentinprison.
By the best estimates, about 2.7 million children under the age of 18 have a parent in prison or jail. According to sociologists Bruce Western and Becky Petit, that means one in 28 kids in the United States (as of 2010) has a mother or father, or both, in lockup – a dramatic change from the one in 125 rate a quarter of a century ago.
Approximately one in nine black children have an imprisoned parent, four times as many 25 years ago. Furthermore, 14,000 or more children of the imprisoned annually enter foster care, while an undetermined number enter juvenile detention and adult prisons. And that number compared to that of white children with a parent or parents in jail is nine times higher.
Why is that? Does that mean that blacks are more likely to commit crimes than whites? Or is it that there is racism among those in law enforcement who are looking for law breakers?
Or is it that in judicial prosecutions of criminal offenders there is racial bias against blacks in courts, just because they’re black?
Or is it because most blacks — especially as compared to whites — do not or cannot fight the criminal justice system for personal fairness in prosecution because of disproportionate financial capabilities. After all, securing the best criminal defense in the U.S. is really expensive. And although many public indigent defenders are proficient in their service, many are just entering their profession and all are overwhelmed with extreme workloads.
But Where’s the Democrat Racism in this issue? Hmm..Keep Reading
Homelessness in America
The overall homeless population increased from 44,359 in January 2015 to 46,874 in the count in January 2016 in all of Los Angeles County. There was a 20 percent increase in tents, encampments and vehicles there, not counting the cities of Glendale, Long Beach and Pasadena.
Homeless in US in 2017
Multiple races. 35,745
Native American. 16,796
Pacific Islander. 8528
Number of homeless vets: The number of homeless veterans across America increased in 2017 for the first time in seven years, when government officials began their nationwide push to help impoverished former service members.
The increase reflects estimates from last January, before President Donald Trump took office and any of his new housing policies were put in place. The annual point-in-time count from Housing and Urban Development officials found roughly 40,000 homeless veterans at that time, an increase of nearly 600 individuals from the same mark in 2016.
Hunger in America
1 in 6 people in America face hunger.
The USDA defines “food insecurity” as the lack of access, at times, to enough food for all household members. Last year households with children reported a significantly higher food insecurity rate than households without children: 20.6% vs. 12.2%.
Food insecurity exists in every county in America. In 2013, 17.5 million households were food insecure. More and more people are relying on food banks and pantries.
49 million Americans struggle to put food on the table.
In the US, hunger isn’t caused by a lack of food, but rather the continued prevalence of poverty.
Morethan 1 in 5 children is at risk of hunger. AmongAfrican–Americans and Latinos it’s 1 in 3.
Over 20 million children receive free or reduced-price lunch each school day. Less than half of them get breakfast, and only 10% have access to summer meal sites.
For every 100 school lunch programs, there are only 87 breakfast sites and just 36 summer food programs.
1 in 7 people are enrolled in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Nearly half of them are children.
40% of food is thrown out in the US every year, or about $165 billion worth. All of this uneaten food could feed 25 million Americans.
These 8 states have statistically higher food insecurity rates than the US national average (14.6%): Arkansas (21.2%), Mississippi (21.1%), Texas (18.0%), Tennessee (17.4%), North Carolina (17.3%), Missouri (16.9%), Georgia (16.6%), Ohio (16.0%).
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) states that the nation’s homeless veterans are predominantly male, with roughly 9% being female. The majority are single; live in urban areas; and suffer from mental illness, alcohol and/or substance abuse, or co-occurring disorders. About 11% of the adult homeless population are veterans.
Roughly 45% of all homeless veterans are African-American or Hispanic, despite only accounting for 10.4% and 3.4% of the U.S.veteranpopulation, respectively.
Homeless veterans are younger on average than the total veteran population. Approximately 9% are between the ages of 18 and 30, and 41% are between the ages of 31 and 50. Conversely, only 5% of all veterans are between the ages of 18 and 30, and less than 23% are between 31 and 50.
”Dan, at the beginning of this story you made some really challenging allegations against Democrats. You gave a bunch of statistics. But how do those statistics prove your point: that the Democrat Party is a political party is a racist organization that promotes racist policies?”
Let’s just use reason:
Democrats are NOT and never have been supportive of African-Americans. They talk a good game, but when push comes to shove Democrats never follow through on substantive change for the betterment of African-Americans. Democrats voted against legislation to end slavery — Republicans passed it; Dems voted against giving citizenship to African-Americans — Republicans passed it; Democrats voted against giving African-Americans the right to vote — Republicans passed it. Democrats voted against allowing African-Americans to enter the military — Republicans supported and passed it.
Democrats supported legislation and policies during the last 65 years that while “giving” things to African-Americans, Latinos, Asians, and other minority races actually were structured, given, and maintained, not to help minorities, but to take control of those minorities and make them dependent on Dems and those policies: Housing, school busing, school lunches and breakfasts, Welfare, AFDC (“Aid for Dependent Children), Medicaid, etc.
Regarding Central and South American migrants and illegals from other nations, Democrats support their “easy” entry to the U.S. — not for humanitarian purposes, but for the power Dems can amass over them using that same “obligation” control: “We got you entry to the U.S., a bunch of free stuff, a pass at breaking the law” (migrants).
The same can be said for African-Americans: “We got rid of slavery, your right to own land, the right to vote, free healthcare, free school lunches, then breakfasts, guaranteed income (Welfare), and preference at jobs and business contracts. You owe us for doing all that for you.”
Those homeless Americans — especially veterans — are made to feel like outcasts and are treated that way. While Democrats rail against citizens who want closed borders and do not want to allow illegals the right to live in the U.S. without doing so with legal entry, these Americans are doing without basic living conditions: food, housing, and employment. Many have mental and emotional issues and they are deprived of necessary medical care.
EVERYTHING that the Democrat Party does “for” minorities is not based on generosity, for fairness and equality, for love and acceptance, to bring them to the political and social table in the U.S., to partner with White America in equality in every aspect of everyday life. Democrats would love to foster belief in that hollow ideal. But it is just that — and “ideal.” And it is a unrealistic and untrue ideal that has never been actualized in any area we have mentioned above.
You say, “Dan: you allege that Democrats are racist and are promoting racist ideas. Even if what you have detailed above does effectively and rightly illustrate inequities in America, those inequities are not all based on racial skin color. So they cannot mean — even if they are truthful and even if they are promoted by the Democrat Party — that Democrats are racist, right?” Wrong.
Remember that current and prevailing “new” definition of racism that sociologists have given to us that does away with the “skin-color” version of the definition of the word? “Racism refers to a variety of practices, beliefs, social relations, and phenomena that work to reproduce a racial hierarchy and social structure that yield superiority, power, and privilege for some, and discrimination and oppression for others.” That is at the core of the way Democrat Party officials and legislators have operated for decades trusting that Americans are either to0 blind or too dumb to recognize those policy issues listed above that Democrats did not just vote for, but pushed them on ALL Americans as being good for minorities while being good for everyone else. They certainly have been good for “everyone else.” But minorities find themselves standing on the corner, standing at a window on the sidewalk looking in, and always wondering why they STILL find themselves always drawing the short stick.
It’s because of RACISM!
”But ALL Democrats are not racist! And many Republicans ARE racist.”
Both statements are certainly true. But as a party, why haven’t Democrats taken control of fixing legislation and policies both in Congress, the White House, and even state governments to repair these minorities inequities? And remember: those minority inequities apply not only to those initiated by skin color, but by religious, social, and economic differences from “average” people — even people who are homeless.
”Democrats don’t now and seldom have had control of the House, Senate, and the White House at the same time, which is necessary to guarantee passage to enable a President to sign such legislation into law. You cannot blame this racism on just Democrats.”
And I don’t. But what I HAVE NOT seen from Dems is a legislative bill (or two, or three, or ANY!) written, presented, and even voted on to fix Homelessness, Income inequality, Minority Unemployment, Minority wage disparity, Poverty among minorities, school food issues, Welfare structure adverse for minorities, Comprehensive immigration, etc. I’ve seen plenty of those bills proposed by Republicans.
”IF” Democrats are such all-in advocates for the rights and equality of people of color and OTHER minorities, why have they not prepared and submitted bill after bill after bill after bill to show Americans — including members of minority communities — that Dems really DO have the backs of minorities for the good of those people?
The Reason: Minority members on the most part have found it easier to take the “booty” handed out by the Democrat Party and accept those benefits as being sufficient to fulfill the promises and narrative Dems use to hook minority members and keep them in place. And while they have minorities believing that Dems are all-in for them, Dems have convinced minorities they are obligated to Democrats and must vote to keep them in place.
Unfortunately, leaders of American and migrant minorities are all acting at the whim of Democrats to use those promises to keep their minions obligated — minority leaders like Sharpton, and Jackson, and news organizations such as MSNBC, CNN, NY TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, and multiple online news services.
There is NO doubt the Democrat Party promotes racist ideas…period.
There is NO doubt Democrat Party leaders promote racist ideas…period.
There is NO doubt that unless the leaders — REAL leaders — of these minority groups do not turn away from their platform of control and allow the life promises in the U.S. Constitution to all Americans and legal immigrants to be actualized and perpetuated lawfully, lawlessness will soon take control in America.
Do Democrats really want to turn the United States into a Venezuela, Italy, Turkey, or Haiti?
When I was much younger and “who should be the next President?” discussions began among my parents’ friends, their consensus pick was always the candidate who — in their collective opinion — was the most qualified for the job. The “qualification” qualifier seems is still important, but, in many cases, that qualifier no longer simply political prowess, knowledge, and life history that proves the capability of a candidate to be President. Now it seems presidential choices must be weighted — weighted toward women over men, toward people of color over white candidates, those who are pro-abortion as contrasted to those opposed to abortion, etc. And it seems the list of litmus tests for determination of who is qualified to serve seems to be getting longer and longer.
It seems to many that 2020 may be the year for someone who fits one of the “preferred” classes from that list to go to the White House. And to that end, the Senator from New York might just be the most qualified from that list to head to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
If one watches the very public actions of Leftists — like various cause demonstrations, midterm election campaign appearances, rallies for liberal causes — seeing Kirsten Gillibrand is going to happen often. She is forceful, consistent, and dogmatic about the liberal political agenda: Same-Sex Marriage, Abortion, all of the “-ists” and “-phobias,” Open Borders, Women’s Rights, and hiking taxes on the wealthy. And she is demonstrative with her malice for President Trump. In today’s divisive political America, Kirsten Gillibrand may just be the perfect “Poster Girl” for Democrats. (Oops! I said Poster “Girl.” That’s sexist of me!)
Who Is She?
Kirsten Gillibrand (born December 9, 1966) is an American attorney and politician serving as the junior United States Senator from New York since January 2009. She previously held the position of U.S. Representative for New York’s 20th congressional district from 2007 until her Senate appointment. In December 2008, President-elect Barack Obama nominated second-term incumbent U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton as United States Secretary of State, leaving an empty seat in the Senate. New York Governor David Paterson appointed Gillibrand to fill the vacancy, and she was sworn in as a U.S. Senator on January 26, 2009. Gillibrand was required to run in a special election in 2010 to keep her seat, and she won the election with 63% of the vote. She was reelected to a full six-year term in 2012 with 72% of the vote, receiving a higher percentage of the vote than any other statewide candidate in New York. In 2018, she received 67% of the vote.
During her Senate tenure, Gillibrand has been outspoken on issues like sexual assault in the military and sexual harassment.
Kirsten Elizabeth Rutnik was born in Albany, New York, on December 9, 1966. Both her parents are attorneys, and her father has also worked as a lobbyist. Her parents divorced in the late 1980s. She has an older brother and a younger sister. Her maternal grandmother is Dorothea “Polly” Noonan, a founder of the Albany Democratic Women’s Club.
During her childhood and college years, Gillibrand used the nickname “Tina.” She began using her birth name of Kirsten a few years after law school. In 1984, she graduated from Emma Willard School, an all women’s private school located in Troy, New York, and then enrolled at Dartmouth College. Gillibrand majored in Asian Studies, studying in both Beijing and Taiwan. Gillibrand graduated magna cum laude in 1988. During college, Gillibrand interned at Republican U.S. Senator Alfonse D’Amato’s Albany office. Gillibrand received her J.D. from UCLA School of Law and passed the bar exam in 1991.
In 1991, Gillibrand joined the Manhattan-based law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell as an associate. In 1992, she took a leave from Davis Polk to serve as a law clerk to Judge Roger Miner on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Albany.
Gillibrand’s tenure at Davis Polk is best known for her work as a defense attorney for Philip Morris during major litigation, including both civil lawsuits and U.S. Justice Department criminal and civil racketeering probes. She became a senior associate while working on Philip Morris litigation.
Following her time at Davis Polk, Gillibrand served as Special Counsel to Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Andrew Cuomo during the last year of the Clinton administration.
In 1999, Gillibrand began working on Hillary Clinton’s 2000 U.S. Senate campaign, focusing on campaigning to young women and encouraging them to join the effort. Many of those women later worked on Gillibrand’s campaigns. Gillibrand and Clinton became close during the election, with Clinton becoming something of a mentor to the young attorney. Gillibrand donated more than $12,000 to Clinton’s Senate campaigns.
Gillibrand considered running for office in 2004, in New York’s 20th congressional district, against the three-term Republican incumbent John E. Sweeney. However, Hillary Clinton believed circumstances would be more favorable in 2006 and advised her to wait until then.
The 2006 election campaign against Sweeney was very contentious. Scandals on the part of the Republican doomed his re-election bid and Gillibrand won the congressional seat with 53% of the vote. She won her 2008 re-election with 60% of the vote defeating the former NY Secretary of State.
Gillibrand in D.C. quickly joined the Blue Dog Coalition — a group of moderate to conservative Democrats. She served on numerous House committees until after 1 year of her second term in the House she moved across the hall to the Senate after Hillary’s departure to become Obama’s Secretary of State.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in Current Politics
She’s a firebrand. Gillibrand has taken the approach to attack almost every Trump Administration agenda item put forward. Unfortunately for many of her supporters, her consternation with the President and his ideas has turned personal. The presumption for her doing so goes back several years when the two had some very public interaction. It was reported that before his run for President, Gillibrand made frequent attempts to meet with Trump for the purpose of securing his support for her political campaigns. Neither has spoken about the specifics of any of those meetings.
The New York Senator has become an aggressive supporter on the campaign trail for women’s’ rights and to fight sexual misconduct. Gillibrand also recently said she thought Bill Clinton should have resigned in the face of his own sexual misconduct allegations, and she was the first senator to call for fellow Democratic Sen. Al Franken (Minn.) to step down.
Early on in the Trump Administration, Gillibrand joined other Democrats that had decided to go after the President on many fronts to find ways to discredit his presidency and push him out of office. She publicly on numerous occasions suggested he resign. After one such instance, he tweeted that as a New York senator she “would do anything for” campaign contributions — which many took to be sexually suggestive. It’s difficult to imagine a bigger gift when it comes to raising Gillibrand’s profile in advance of a 2020 run for the Democratic nomination.
Many Democrats in Washington have begun to accept her as something of a spokesperson for women’s’ causes. In the opinions of many political pundits, she in her support of these causes is building a base for a 2020 run for the White House. She has begun to even discuss Democrat Party messaging to potential voters, even talking about Trump messaging methods that were successful for him in 2016:
Her principle target in almost all of her appearances seems to be “Dump Trump.”
In addition to the normal roadblocks that come with running for President, Gillibrand because of her demonstrative voice in the Democrat Party, is watched very closely in HER messaging. And she sometimes tends to be a bit of a loose cannon in some things she says. In a recent speech, she cited a string of inaccurate economic statistics in an attempt to cast doubt on the health of the economy during a speech at the National Action Network Conference. Gillibrand told the gathered audience several statistics about the unemployment rates for African-American men and women, but a Washington Post fact check found all three statistics she cited were incorrect.
“When they declare victory at 4 percent unemployment, it is not good enough,” Gillibrand said. “Because 4 percent unemployment means an 8 or 9 percent unemployment in some cities for black women. It means a 16 percent unemployment rate for black men. It means young veterans coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan, a 20 percent unemployment rate. So our work really isn’t done.”
As of October, the unemployment rate was at 3.7 percent, the lowest it has been since December of 1969. This is lower than the rounded-up figure of 4 percent cited by Gillibrand, but the main issue arises from her citation of statistics on black unemployment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found, in October, that the unemployment rate for black men was 6.2 percent, not 16 percent like Gillibrand claimed. That same study of unemployment rates found that the unemployment rate for black women was 4.9 percent, not 8 or 9 percent.
When asked about these statistics, Gillibrand’s spokesperson, Alex Phillips, said that Gillibrand accidentally dropped “young” from her speech and meant to refer to the unemployment rates of young black men and women.
On the issue of veterans, Gillibrand’s statistic also missed the mark. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that “young veterans” between the ages of 18 and 24 had an unemployment rate of 12.6 percent, lower than Gillibrand’s claim of 20 percent. Veterans between the age of 25 and 34 reported an unemployment rate of 1.9 percent. Phillips claimed Gillibrand “misspoke the stat off the cuff.”
When fact-checking her use of these statistics, the Washington Post concluded, “Somehow, Gillibrand managed to mangle three statistics in three consecutive sentences before a large audience. If you are trying to make the case that you can provide better economic stewardship, you need to get the numbers right first.”
Will Gillibrand Run?
In the context of a large number of those who are rumored to be “considering” a 2020 run for the White House, it is at least six months premature to make a call on a possible Gillibrand run. As uncanny as it may sound, she seems totally immersed in serious consideration to doing so, primarily because of her not too subtle feud with Donald Trump. If that is really what is driving her plans regarding a run, she may find herself running up against a brick wall: Donald Trump is very proficient at creating and perpetuating pretty nasty conflict with anyone. His “Queens messaging” can be pretty crude. It would be tough for Gillibrand to take over the process that the President has seemed to have perfected: using social media to bypass traditional news methods of reaching Americans. Gillibrand has already attempted a number of times to subtly play the victim card in her conflicts with Mr. Trump, and that has not worked very effectively for her. But she has proven to be astute in navigating through the Potomac political environment so far. Only time and an actual run in the primaries will show if she can maintain such a quest.
When asked by Stephen Colbert about the rumors she would run for president in 2020, Gillibrand said, “I believe it is a moral question for me … And as I’ve traveled across my state, across this country for all these candidates, I’ve seen the hatred and division that President Trump has put out into our country and it has called me to fight as hard as I possibly can to restore the moral compass of this country … so I will promise you I will give it a long, hard thought of consideration.”
My gut suggests that Gillibrand may (at least at this point) be a little too passionate AGAINST political issues while not yet offering political positions to CHANGE current policies. She also seems to freely offer facts (as in the statistics she in error quoted show above) that are not really facts. One would expect the Media to take a potential presidential candidate to task for committing such a faux pas, BUT she is a Democrat and she is a “she.” For those, a candidate is often given a pass by the Media.
Presidential campaign seasons seem to get longer and longer every four years. Could Gillibrand survive such grueling several years? Only time will tell if Gillibrand has the heart and fortitude for doing so. The last New York Senator to tackle that task was beat up pretty bad. Hillary Clinton as the most widely known female politician was an odds-on favorite to win the presidency in 2016. Hillary failed to live in the White House as President because of 3 losses in her bids for the presidency. Certainly, those losses are weighing heavily into any decision by Gillibrand to take that step.
Outgoing Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is fulfilling his promise to stop (or slow down) Senate confirmations of Trump nominated judges IF the Senate does not pass a bill Flake has introduced to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from being fired IF President Trump so chooses. Following the objection to Flake’s motion for unanimous consent to consider the bill, Flake joined Senate Democrats in voting against the confirmation of Thomas Farr to serve on the federal bench for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Flake’s move forced Vice President Pence (as President of the Senate) to break the 50-50 tie for Farr’s confirmation as federal judge.
Flake’s action ignited a firestorm surrounding Robert Mueller: who does the Special Counsel work for? Who has the authority to hold a Special Counsel — ANY Special Counsel — accountable for his/her job performance and adherence to the rules in the law that established that position? Let’s look how all this pertains to Mueller’s current position.
The History of Special Counsels
A Special Counsel is different from Independent Counsels who investigated high-profile matters in the past.
In the Watergate investigation, the Justice Department appointed Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox who was eventually dismissed by President Nixon in the Saturday Night Massacre. In the aftermath, President Nixon appointed Leon Jaworski to replace Cox with the protection that Jaworski could only be fired with the consent of a majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
◊In 1978, as part of the Ethics in Government Act, the Attorney General was authorized to seek a special independent prosecutor to investigate executive branch officials, and assigned a three-judge panel from the US Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia the authority to appoint and monitor the independent counsel’s activities. From 1978 to 1982, three special prosecutors were assigned under the Ethics in Government law.
◊The law was authorized for a period of five years and expired in 1983. Congress modified the law in 1983 to address concerns as to the broad coverage of the law. Despite opposition from the Reagan Administration, the law was reauthorized for five more years. Seven independent counsel investigations occurred during the Reagan Administration, including the massive Iran-Contra investigation conducted by Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh.
◊In 1988, after the law was reauthorized again, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the independent counsel law. Justice Scalia was the sole negative vote arguing that the law was unconstitutional.
◊In 1992, the independent counsel law expired. President Clinton reauthorized the law in 1994. By mid-1998 — and to Clinton’s dismay — seven separate investigations of the Clinton Administration were underway, including the infamous investigation of President Clinton by Kenneth Starr. The law expired again in 1999.
◊In its place, the Justice Department crafted Special Counsel procedures and regulations. The Justice Department appointed Special Counsel Fitzgerald during the Bush Administration to investigate the Valerie Plame affair that resulted in the conviction of Scooter Libby.
Special Counsel Mueller
Under the Deputy Attorney General’s Order, Special Counsel Mueller is:
Authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters. The reference to 28 C.F.R. Section 600.4(a) authorizes Special Counsel Mueller to investigate and prosecute “federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, the Special Counsel’s investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses.”
Required to comply with the rules, regulations, procedures, practices, and policies of the Department of Justice, but he/she shall not be subject to the day-to-day supervision of any official of the Department. 28 C.F.R. Section 600.7(a) and (b). The Attorney General, then Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein when Attorney General Session was recused, and now Acting Attorney General Michael Whitaker, “may conclude that [a Special Counsel] action is so inappropriate or unwarranted under established Department practices that it should not be pursued.” If the Acting Attorney General conducts such a review, he shall give the Special Counsel’s view great weight, and shall notify Congress if he reaches such a determination. 28 C.F.R. Section 600.7(b).
Answer to the Acting Attorney General, who retains authority to remove the Special Counsel for “misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies.” 28 C.F.R. Section 600.7 (d).
Required to comply with the fact that under the Special Counsel regulations, the Attorney General has the theoretical authority to restrict the Special Counsel’s activities, and in the end, can even dismiss the Special Counsel. Given the surrounding controversy and need for independence, it would be a rare situation for the president to order the Attorney General to terminate the Special Counsel, in the absence of extraordinary circumstances. However, as history has shown, such unforeseen events can occur.
The very appointment by President Trump of Michael Whitaker to replace former Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been under fire from Democrats since it occurred. Their reasoning is based on the AppointmentsClause in the Constitution.
The Appointments Clause is part of Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, which empowers the President of the United States to nominate and, with the advice and consent (confirmation) of the United States Senate, appoint public officials. However, it often happens that cabinet members leave and their replacement’s confirmation delay can leave cabinet positions vacant for an extended period of time.
Many Democrats emphatically hold to the belief that President Trump violated Article II of the Constitution by appointing Whitaker to fill the seat of Jeff Sessions as AG without the consent of the Senate. For the reasons stated in the previous paragraph, in 1998, Congress resolved this problem by passing The Federal Vacancies Reform Act, which states the president can appoint a temporary, high-ranking official until a permanent official is vetted by the Senate and put in place. Trump appointed Whitaker under this act, as Whitaker was Sessions’ chief of staff. However, Democrats state flatly the job should have fallen to Sessions’ number 2 — Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. But the circumstances surrounding Rosenstein’s ascent to the Attorney General spot along with his several alleged conflicts of interest in the Mueller probe prompted the President to appoint Whitaker instead.
What Happened in the Senate?
In a discussion on the floor about Senator Flake’s motion for unanimous consent, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) stood in opposition and gave an amazing explanation of the danger such action would initiate in the United States. Lee cited the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s minority opinion in Morrison v. Olson, the Supreme Court case that upheld the process of appointing an independent counsel under a bill passed forty years ago. (That law’s authority has expired)
“As Justice Scalia explains, we cannot convert an office like this one, an office like the previously existing office of independent counsel, without creating a de facto fourth branch of government fundamentally undermining the principles of the separation of powers that is so core to our liberty,” Lee said.
A concise and specific question to ask in light of Lee’s statement is this: Flake and others want a law passed to prevent President Trump from firing Robert Mueller. Doing so, according to Lee, would literally create a fourth branch of government, making members of that fourth branch (in this case Robert Mueller as Special Counsel) immune to accountability for any actions — regardless of how egregious they might be. In the current structure, Mueller is a de facto member of the Department of Justice and works for the Attorney General. Democrat’s beef is that with Michael Whitaker as “Acting AG,” the President could require Whitaker to terminate Mueller for any reason. Trump opponents want to prevent that situation from even being possibility.
But if such a bill passed and was signed into law, who would the Special Counsel answer to? The answer is simple: No One In Government! In fact, doing so would require amending the U.S. Constitution.
There are applicable considerations that in large are being ignored by those screaming for Mueller’s protection from termination by the President:
President Trump has for 18 months stated over and over he has NO intent to fire Mueller, that he wants the Mueller probe to be completed, be thorough, and be finalized;
The President literally screams at reporters when he is questioned about Mueller’s “pending” firing that he will NOT fire Mueller because there was no Trump Campaign collusion with Russia;
The White House has provided the dozens of witnesses requested by the Mueller team to testify along with several million requested documents, and President Trump submitted answers in writing to Mueller’s questions of him: compliance with Mueller in every way;
Frankly, there is absolutely NO legal basis for a law that could guarantee such protection to Mueller’s position WITHOUT A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. And that is NOT going to happen.
What do Americans think about the Mueller probe?
While 58% of Americans believe Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of President Donald Trump and Russia is harming the country, 35% say it should continue “indefinitely,” a new Harvard-Harris poll finds:
Helping the country: 42%
Hurting the country: 58%
He should stop immediately: 31%
Another month: 9%
2 to 3 months: 12%
3 to 6 months: 6%
6 months to a year: 7%
Only 37% believe Mueller has uncovered any “actual evidence” of collusion with Russia:
Not found: 40%
Don’t know: 23%
More than half of Americans say anti-Trump bias “played a role in launching” the probe:
Bias played a role: 54%
Bias did not play a role: 46%
Two-thirds of Americans think the public should see the evidence the FBI and Justice Department have “to clear the air about any potential wrongdoings in starting the investigation:”
It’s important to publicly release the evidence used by the FBI and the Justice Department to clear the air about any possible wrongdoing in starting the Trump-Russia investigation: 67%
The administration should not publicly release the evidence to avoid interfering with sources and methods of interviewing: 33%
And, nearly two-thirds of Americans want a special counsel to look into the way the investigation was initiated and how it has been handled:
But, two-thirds of Americans say Special Counsel Mueller should not be fired:
Not fired: 68%
Prediction: Robert Mueller continues the probe to its completion. Mueller’s staff attorneys — especially Andrew Weismann — push harder and harder, continuing to make offers to witnesses of “deals that cannot be refused” to confirm negative allegations made against members of the Trump team and the President himself. Several Mueller targets have refused to comply with these Mueller terms and have actually initiated legal action against Mueller for taking these steps, in some cases charging Mueller with criminality in doing so.
The bottom line in the Mueller probe is simple: Mueller is obviously diligently trying to uncover wrongdoing by members of the Trump Campaign and by the President himself. It is obvious that so far Mueller has come up empty. Every indictment in the probe so far alleges NO wrongdoing tied to the Campaign or the President. That lack of discovered wrongdoing seems to be pushing Mueller to find things and people he can use to “get” the President.
It is apparent that Mueller desperately wants to attack with substance President Trump. But It is apparent that Mueller has been able to find nothing of substance to use against Mr. Trump.
Is Mueller so desperate in his quest to “get” Trump that he is doing exactly what Mueller’s target, Jerome Cosi, alleges the Special Counsel is doing: offering witnesses a plea to plead guilty to lying? All they are doing is refusing to lie to confirm claims against the Trump team. And Cosi is ready to present evidence of that to a court. And hopefully, that practice being exposed will jolt Mueller into abandoning those attempts to thwart the spirit of the Law.
Most think the Special Counsel should take whatever legal actions are necessary to get the truth, but SHOULD NOT manufacture any evidence or extort witnesses into making specific testimony.
I doubt it will be much longer until all the good and bad of the Robert Mueller probe will be revealed to all. Not until that happens will Americans’ suspicions about President Trump, the Trump Campaign, and Robert Mueller be resolved.
Oh, this too: if Mueller or any of his prosecutors’ are found to have acted illegally in any way, they should each be prosecuted for THEIR wrongdoing.