“Vengeance is Mine,” sayeth the Leaker

“Vengeance is Mine,” sayeth the Leaker

In the same week that a 25-year old Air Force veteran, one Reality Leigh Winner, was arrested for leaking classified documents to a news organization called Intercept, we have now learned that former FBI director James Comey has recently leaked notes from his own private conversation(s) with President Trump, to a Columbia law professor in order to conceal his real intent to leak details of this conversation(s) to the New York Times.

Both Winner and Comey did so for the same reason- to cause damage to and exact revenge upon the presidency of Donald Trump.

Winner, expertized as a translator in three languages and a fervent Bernie Sanders supporter, left behind a long trail of her posts on social media expressing her utter disdain for the president, his election and her intent to join the resist movement by helping to take him down. Winner, who was under the employ of a defense and intelligence contractor, Pluribus International, released classified documents concerning Russian hacks into the manufacturer of election software in the United States, thereby subjecting herself up to ten years in federal prison.

Comey, in his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Oversight Committee, admitted to Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) that he released his notes to the press via a third party, one Professor Daniel Richman of Columbia University’s Law School, so as to conceal the source of the leak to the public. In these notes concerning the conversation he had with the president on February 14th, 2017, Comey indicated that the president said he “hope(d)” that the FBI Director would see his way to drop the investigation into Michael Flynn, stressing that the recently fired National Security Advisor was a “good guy,” after all. Though the request from the president “deeply bothered” Comey at the time, he decided not to inform his superiors at the Justice Department of any potential attempt to obstruct justice, choosing instead to “keep it in a box” for later use. Essentially, Comey was double-dealing with the president and his Attorney General by denying them access to information he later decided to leak to the press. If this is the “honest loyalty” Comey assured the President he would have, then it is no wonder that, retrospectively, James Comey was fired by the president.

Indicating that he made the decision to release the notes, in the wake of what Comey alleges were lies concerning his firing by President Trump last month, he wanted to get his side of the February 14th 2017 conversation out. In doing so, Comey knew that it would result in the appointment of a special prosecutor, which was then realized in the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller. Mueller, incidentally, just happened to be the one-time mentor of James Comey, when Comey worked for him at the Justice Department. It was Mueller who cleared the way for Comey to testify before the senate committee which, on its own face, seems to indicate that the special prosecutor sees no evidence of obstruction of justice on the part of the president.

Comey also revealed that he was directed by former Attorney General Loretta Lynch to refer to the criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private server as a “matter” rather than an “investigation,” using the same language as the Clinton campaign. Regardless, Comey indicated he was forced to announce his decision not to proceed with a criminal referral, when it was revealed that Lynch met secretly with former President Bill Clinton on a tarmac in Arizona, all in an effort “to save the reputation of the FBI.”

So despite the clear violations of law by Hillary Clinton, which he enumerated on July 5th, 2016, Comey chose not to proceed with a criminal referral. Yet, in the instance of Donald Trump who to date, has broken no law, he is more than happy to see the new president pilloried in the press and persecuted by the senate and a special prosecutor, in separate investigations going on at this time.  Comey knows well that there was no obstruction of justice on the part of the president, and yet he cannot admit it, leaving that to Mueller to determine, instead. This is the same James Comey who so stubbornly refused Trump’s request to state publically that the president was not under any investigation, despite the fact that his notes indicated that he assured the president of this on three separate occasions, between January 6th and April 15th of this year.  So quick to exonerate Mrs. Clinton, yet so reticent to clear the name of Donald Trump… such is the subjective service of the now-departed FBI Director, who would purport prevarication on the part of the president…

Two leakers- one, a pathetic pawn of the political left, facing prison time for and of her own making, and another, a disgruntled and disingenuous former FBI Director who takes it upon himself to decide what is, and what is not, a crime according to the dictates of his own personal feelings. Comey also exonerated the Clintons in the Whitewater investigation a quarter-century ago, so whatever Mrs. Clinton wants to lay at the feet of Comey, for her 2016 loss to Donald Trump, the fact of the matter is that he has managed to save her hide twice in twenty-five years.

To think that either Reality Winner or James Comey is a patriot, for having leaked classified (Winner) and confidential (Comey) information to the media, is to delude oneself to the proposition that it’s okay to bring down a duly-elected president, based upon one’s own personal disdain rather than a larger patriotic pursuit. These two are but a few of the hundreds of leakers, both high and low, that threaten not only a president but, in the end, the nation he was elected to serve. Continued unchecked, those who would continue to leak- illegally or not- will only result in national disaster and personal destruction, which serves not the nation but rather their own selfish vengeance, when all is finally said and done.

-Drew Nickell, 8 June 2017

© 2017 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved.

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The Lonely Road Less Taken- Trump Withdraws from Paris Accord

The Lonely Road Less Taken- Trump Withdraws from Paris Accord

On Thursday afternoon, President Donald Trump fulfilled yet another of the many promises he made during his 2016 presidential campaign, by formally withdrawing the United States from the 2015 Paris Agreement, an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Drafted at the close of 2015 and signed by Barack Obama’s Secretary of State John Kerry in April of 2016 the Paris Agreement, which had no congressional approval by the way, was put into force four days before the election that swept Donald Trump into office, on November 8th, 2016. Effectively, the agreement committed the United States to paying $ 100 billion per year into a fund that would purportedly finance green-energy development in emerging nations, and lead towards a global regulatory commission that would determine which sources of energy would be permissible to pursue. In other words, it would cede the power of permit away from the sovereignty of the United States, and onto an international body answerable to no one.

That the Obama Administration would so actively pursue such an agreement, was part and parcel of their mindset to diminish the economic prowess of the United States and socialize our national wealth across the globe. Predictably, Obama had the support of most all of the world’s nations to sign onto the agreement, including China and India (the world’s worst polluters of greenhouse gasses) whose own participation in the provisions of the agreement were conveniently delayed until 2030. Leave it to the rest of the world’s governments to be so generous with the wealth of the United States, whose taxpayers are already footing the bill for most of the international security in Europe and East Asia. Comparatively speaking, the financial burden of the Paris Agreement on those nations is minimal, once again attesting to an international community more interested in socializing American wealth that reducing global temperatures.

Because the United States is so heavily dependent upon coal and other fossil fuels for its energy needs, the associated taxes pursuant to the agreement would have landed most heavily upon American consumers, whose electrical bills would increase by $ 21,000 per year by the middle of the next decade- yet another financial burden not shared by our European counterparts.

Recognizing how foolish the Obama administration was to sign such an agreement, and understanding the blatant unfairness to U.S interests inherent in the Paris agreement, Donald Trump campaigned for his office vowing to withdraw from it entirely. When the leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom scoffed at Trump’s request to re-negotiate the terms of the agreement to be more equitable to the United States, he had no choice but to follow through on his campaign promise.

The reaction to Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement was equally predictable, with Democrats and their collusive allies in the mainstream media sounding apocalyptic warnings that the decision would lead towards catastrophic rises in sea levels and temperatures, not to mention Kerry’s assertion that our children with asthma would suffer ever more so, as a direct result of Trump’s decision. Globalists abounding within the ranks of anti-Trump Republicans bemoaned the loss of American leadership in all things climate, despite the fact that Americans have done more to actually reduce carbon-based emissions than other nations- and this was done without any international agreement, to boot. The learned classes of political correctness, fully steeped in what has become a veritable religion of man-made climate change, were quick to assail the folly of Trump’s decision.

Ironically, had Trump decided not to withdraw from the Paris agreement, all of these same forces would have derided the president for not living up to the promises he made during the campaign. In essence, Trump was once again placed into a stacked game of political hypocrisy where he cannot possibly win, regardless of what he does.

Leadership, true leadership, often requires the kind of courage that entails a journey along a lonely road, a road less taken by the weak and unwise. The lonely road on which President Trump has ventured, in his decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement, is not unlike countless other instances where he has sought not the approval of the world, but rather the salvation of the nation which elected him into office. Donald Trump may never be as globally popular as Barack Obama or either of the Clintons, but in serving the interests of the American people and in putting the welfare of our citizens first and foremost, he may well prove to be one of the greatest leaders this country ever knew, and one of the greatest presidents in the history of the United States.

 

-Drew Nickell, 2 June 2017

© 2017 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved.

author of “Bending Your Ear- a Collection of Essays on the Issues of Our Times”

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Trump’s Homecoming to the Washington Snake Pit

Trump’s Homecoming to the Washington Snake Pit

In the three weeks since our last entry, President Donald Trump ventured into the tempestuous sea of international relations, accomplished more in nine days than many of his predecessors accomplished in their respective terms, and now has returned to the snake pit that is Washington, in all its anti-Trump forms. The forces allayed against this president are as vast as they are visceral, united in a single determination to bring this president down, at any and all costs.

They include the entire Democrat Party, large swaths of the Republican Party, deep-state career apparatchiks who want to avenge Hillary Clinton’s defeat- both in and outside the White House, the vast majority of cable, network and print news media as well as practically all of academia, Hollywood and the rest of the “resist” movement- clandestinely funded by George Soros, championed by Hillary Clinton and augmented with the support of Barack Obama.

With such an array of vipers coiling in every corner of what has become the state of political affairs in our nation, it begs the question as to why the president would ever want to come back to this.

After all, he was much better received in Saudi Arabia where he exquisitely implored the leaders of twenty-four Muslim nations to join in the fight against terrorism and drive from their midst and their mosques, those (ISIS) who seek only death and destruction. The first U.S. president ever to venture into the Saudi Kingdom while in office, his flight from Saudi Arabia to Tel Aviv marked the first time any plane ever flew directly from Saudi Arabia to Israel. In Jerusalem, and while wearing a yarmulke, Trump became the first sitting U.S. President to pray at the Western Wall, the first sitting U.S. President to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. His widely- and wildly-accepted speech to the Israeli people touched on six major themes:

First, President Trump affirmed the Jewish people’s “ancient and eternal” ties to the land of Israel.

Second, Trump explained that in the heart of the tyrannical Middle East, Jews, Christians and Muslims live freely in the one democracy in the region- that being Israel.

Third, Trump pledged that the United States will always stand with Israel.

Fourth, Trump hinted at the possibility of a larger, regional peace between Israel and the Sunni Arab nations.

Fifth, Trump pledged his firm commitment to ensuring that Iran doesn’t obtain a nuclear weapon and halting Tehran’s support for terrorists.

Lastly, and contrary to what the mainstream media would have us believe, Trump claimed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinians themselves are “ready to reach for peace.”

With regards to the latter, Trump became the first sitting U.S. President to venture into the West Bank, urge the Palestinian Authority to join in the fight against ISIS, meet with the Palestinian leader, and secure a commitment from Abbas to put forth a sincere effort to make peace with Israel.

Try to think of any President during your own lifetime that managed to do all of this in but a few days- let alone during the terms of their office.

Yet, Trump wasn’t finished. From Jerusalem, his journey continued onto Rome, where he met with Pope Francis, and thus completed a triad of having visited the holy cities and religious centers of all three of the world’s monotheistic, Abrahamic faiths- Islam, Judaism and Christianity.

He continued on to the dedication of the new NATO headquarters in Brussels, and publically put forth what had been privately put forth by most all of his predecessors since NATO’s founding at the end of World War II- the need for NATO’s member nations to provide their own nominally fair share of providing for their own defense. Only four of NATO’s twenty-seven member nations are in compliance with the 2% of GDP threshold, and past efforts over the decades to “diplomatically” remind the remaining nations in private to pony up have yielded little or no results. Leave it to Trump to bring this before the people of Europe and all the world, and remind them that insuring the peace should not be the exclusive burden placed upon the backs of the American taxpayers… imagine that!

…Why, it was enough to send all of the tweed-jackets in academia and all of the pin-striped suits in the State Department to cry aghast, and swoon in shock, at the horror of this intemperate faux pas, on the part of our president. While the feckless and spineless leaders of Europe smirked in derision at the president’s remarks, they nevertheless received the long-overdue message that America’s protective security is not to be taken for granted and that such a treaty must be participatory in nature, by all its members. The massacre outside Manchester’s arena provided yet another tragic reminder that opening the doors to immigration and unfettered international transit, all in the name of political correctness and inclusion, is all-too-often the pathway to peril in the age of Islamist extremism. That Europe refuses to actively join in the fight against ISIS is reprehensible enough, but it is becoming clear that warning signs associated with the individuals responsible for the attack were all around and yet, inexplicably, not acted upon. Trump, citing the attack, reminded these same NATO leaders, and those assembled for the G-7 conference in Sicily that the world can only prosper when it rids itself of Islamist terrorism.

The defeat of terrorism- an all-encompassing theme to Donald Trump’s first international trip is, by any measure, an undeniably noble and critically-important mission that the entire sane world can wrap its head around, and yet…

…the President of the United States, on the heels of a wholly-successful overseas trip, is welcomed home to the snake pit that is his own nation’s capital, where opposition to his presidency, obfuscation of reality, and obsession into all things Russian are pursued by those within and outside his own party. A Chuck Schumer (D-NY) here or a Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) there is of no surprise, but throw in a John McCain (R-AZ) or a Ben Sasse (R-NE) or a Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and the treachery and venom of treason begins to rear its ugly head, be it a leak of secure information or the determined attempt by our elected officials to bring down the nation’s duly-elected President.

Alas, the only thing separating the greater anti-Trump counter-insurgency from a photo of Kathy Griffin holding a severed head of Donald Trump is the image itself, for in the end, they all seek the same thing- the destruction of Donald J. Trump.

-Drew Nickell, 31 May 2017

© 2017 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved.

author of “Bending Your Ear- a Collection of Essays on the Issues of Our Times”
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Dispelling the Myths of Comey’s Firing

Dispelling the Myths of Comey’s Firing

President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday afternoon, following the recommendations of his Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that he be terminated. Among the several reasons cited by Sessions and Rosenstein was how Comey handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized use of multiple private servers while she was Secretary of State, and the lack of confidence in his ability to head the Federal Bureau of Investigation, going forward.

Almost immediately, Democratic politicians and the associated mix of NeverTrump Republicans, most notably John McCain (R-AZ), along with the anti-Trump mainstream media, voiced outrage and dismay at the firing, stating that the real reason for Trump’s actions was to thwart an ongoing investigation into allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to ensure Clinton’s loss in the November 2016 election.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

First, the firing of an FBI Director does not and will not stop the Bureau’s investigation of any matter, including specious claims that Trump and his surrogates were working hand-in-hand with the Russians to cast aspersions on Mrs. Clinton. To date, no single piece of evidence has been brought forth to substantiate such claims but that won’t stop the forces allayed against Trump’s presidency from pursuing the lie that Trump’s victory in the 2016 election was illegitimate.

Second, despite Democrat calls that a special “independent” prosecutor be named to investigate these charges of collusion, the fact that two bi-partisan committees (one in the House and one in the Senate) and a third investigation by the FBI and other intelligence agencies, including the CIA, have yet to find any evidence to support such allegations, the fact of the matter is that a special prosecutor would not be appropriate since there is no evidence of a crime having been committed. Special prosecutors are named as the result of a crime being committed. Since no crime has been committed, naming a special prosecutor would only prove to be a colossal waste of taxpayers’ money and merely serve to propagate division within the legislature as a means to interrupt the president’s legislative agenda.

Claims that the president’s action are “Nixonian” and that Tuesday’s firing of Comey are anything like the “Saturday Night Massacre,” when in 1973 President Nixon fired Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, resulting in the resignations of then-Attorney General Elliot Richardson and then-Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus, are complete nonsense. Cox, who was appointed by Richardson to investigate the Nixon Administration’s cover-up of the Watergate break-in, had issued a subpoena on the president requesting tape recordings of conversations in the Oval Office, and Nixon responded by firing him for doing so.

Comparing that to Trump’s firing of Comey, as well as the firing of acting-Attorney General Sally Yates, both of whom were appointed to their positions by President Obama, cannot be compared to Nixon’s firing of Cox forty-four years ago. Comey was fired following many months of his own egregious behavior as head of the nation’s top law enforcement agency, whereby he politicized his position as the head of the FBI. His decision to not proceed with a criminal referral regarding Clinton’s illegal use of multiple servers while she was Secretary of State, her lying to a Congressional committee while under oath (perjury), her obstruction of justice in the destruction of evidence related to 33,000 e-mails and her illegal handling of classified documents, was well outside his bounds as an investigator who is charged with the gathering of evidence. Essentially, he usurped the role of the Attorney General in his decision and in his televised announcement on July 5, 2016. In his testimony to Congress on several occasions, Comey increasingly appeared emotional and erratic, and in his testimony took on the persona of dramatic effect- something that is not commensurate with being an FBI Director. As for Mrs. Yates, she was fired for insubordination when she took it upon herself to refuse to enforce Trump’s first executive order concerning travel from seven countries, despite the fact that the order had been judged legal and within the constitutional powers of the president by the Justice Department of which she was a part.

The FBI Director serves at the will of the President of the United States and it is certainly within the purview of the president to fire the director anytime that the president feels that the director cannot effectively lead that agency. It has been charged that Trump’s timing in doing this was not good. Well, there is never a “good” time to fire anyone at any time, because forced terminations are never a “good” thing- in business and in government, as well.

The Democrats who today are appalled at the firing of James Comey are the same Democrats that were demanding his ouster when on October 27, 2016 he announced he was re-opening the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mail two weeks prior to the 2016 election. Mrs. Clinton has consistently blamed Comey (along with WikiLeaks and the Russians) for her loss but, as we have come to learn over a quarter-century, the rules of conduct and the law that applies to the rest of us, never seem to apply to the Clintons, and that might explain why no indictments have ever been pursued on the Clintons nor on their surrogates, including Huma Abedin, who illegally and habitually transferred classified documents to her one-time husband, Anthony Wiener. One would think that Democrats would be rejoicing the dismissal of FBI Director James Comey, but then again…

In a word…hypocrisy.

 

-Drew Nickell, 10 May 2017

© 2017 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved.

author of “Bending Your Ear- a Collection of Essays on the Issues of Our Times”

now available at Amazon

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Healthcare Passes in the House- a First Step in the Fulfillment of a Promise

Healthcare Passes in the House- a First Step in the Fulfillment of a Promise

The first step in the ultimate repeal and replacement of ObamaCare took place Thursday in the House of Representatives, as House Republicans just managed to eke out a victory with barely a vote to spare, thanks in large part to the leadership of President Donald Trump.

It was Trump who sat down with two key Republican holdouts, Missouri’s Billy Long and Michigan’s Fred Upton, and it was Trump who then asked Rep. Upton to draw up and submit an amendment addressing their reservations. This amendment would fund an additional $8 billion to supplement premiums for those with pre-existing conditions, as part of the revised American Health Care Act of 2017. In doing so, Trump’s last-minute effort proved pivotal in surpassing the 216 required votes necessary for the bill to advance to the United States Senate.

Twenty House Republicans opposed the measure, along with the entire Democrat caucus who then sang a jeering “na-na-na-na…hey, hey… goodbye,” when the deciding vote was cast, predicting a Republican loss in the next mid-term election of 2018. Such crass and immature behavior by House Democrats reveals their real level of concern for the very real challenges Americans who have been thrust into the individual market. This market has witnessed soaring premiums and ridiculous five-figure minimums, effectively separating the insured from actual healthcare. Just yesterday, the last insurer for the state of Iowa (save for three of its 97 counties) pulled out of the individual market, and then the same thing happened in Virginia where Aetna announced their own pullout for 2018 individual market coverage.

The stubbornness of Democrats to insist upon the continuation of ObamaCare, for merely partisan purposes, when everyone knows the certainty of its impending collapse, is at very least reprehensible in and of itself. Furthermore, Democrats know all-too-well that Republicans, in passing this measure, have supposedly spared them of taking the fall for its impending failure, which further reveals the dark nature of Democrat obstructionism. For seven years, they did nothing to fix the short-comings of their own legislation, and now deride Republican efforts to come to the assistance of the American people, who are unable to secure either healthcare or coverage.

The fact that more individuals chose to take the tax penalty for not signing up for ObamaCare, than those who actually signed up for the program, shows just how flawed ObamaCare was from the start. Its replacement would end such punitive tax burdens, along with a couple dozen other considerable taxes associated with Obamacare, and the total tax savings of the Republican plan are estimated at $1 trillion dollars. In addition, the elimination of many of ObamaCare’s burdensome regulations, including the individual and employer mandates, can only serve to boost business expansion and employment so sorely needed today. ObamaCare’s effect in reducing the number of permissible hours of work per week for employees, in order to exempt their employers of the requirement to provide coverage, has only served to increase the number of part-time, low-paying jobs Americans must work, in order to make ends meet- often resulting in Americans working many more hours than they would have with higher-paying, full-time jobs. In essence, ObamaCare resulted in more Americans losing employer-provided health insurance, a fact seldom mentioned in news reports regarding same.

Almost immediately, the same mainstream media who had said that Republicans could not pass this legislation began predicting that it would ultimately fail in the Senate. In order to get just another opportunity to appear on camera, and thereby attempt to re-assert his own relevance, anti-Trump Senator John McCain (R-AZ) voiced his “disapproval” of the measure, while his buddy Lindsey Graham (R-SC) poo-pooed its chances for Senate passage. In the end though, both are just blustering. Imagine, once the Senate marks up and makes changes to the House bill, any Republican senator standing up for ObamaCare, by opposing the passage of what will eventually become its repeal and replacement, and then going back to their constituents and trying to explain that one…it won’t ever happen.

The House bill is far from perfect, but it is far better than its original version, and loads better than the Democrats’ Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). The Republicans’ American Health Care Act, while technically not repealing ObamaCare, still only requires a simple majority in the Senate to pass and, though it may not fix all that is wrong with ObamaCare, is a good place to start in eventually tearing it down. More importantly, it vouchsafes the President’s campaign promise, and the seven-year promise of Republicans, to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Step-by step, they are on their way to doing just that.

Yet, in the end, Americans will have to face the ultimate choice of two very different paths for healthcare in this country. Either the country will continue in the direction of universal, single-payer coverage for all, which is what the Democrats ultimately seek, or the country will insist on its government removing itself entirely from everything related to health care. After all, the most certain way to reduce the costs of healthcare would be to achieve the entire elimination of health insurance, altogether, but in the likely absence of that ever happening, the ongoing battle of how best to provide healthcare will remain as the nation’s most challenging and difficult domestic issue in the years ahead.

In a not-entirely-unrelated development, yesterday also witnessed President Trump signing an executive order on religious freedom, bringing to an end enforcement of the 1954 Lyndon Johnson Amendment which proscribed churches and other religious organizations from participating in political campaigns and restricted their endorsement of specific candidates running for public office. Selectively enforced, given the number of churches which openly endorsed Barack Obama’s candidacy in 2008 and 2012, the decision to end its enforcement by the IRS levels the playing field of all denominations by ensuring the first amendment rights of free speech from the pulpit. No longer will religious organizations, such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, be subject to healthcare regulations which run in opposition to the tenets of Catholic doctrine, and the same freedoms will be extended to other such organizations representing all faiths.

President Trump is off to a very good start in leading House Republicans to pass that most difficult legislation regarding health insurance. His determination to see it through the House will require the same amount of effort to see it through the Senate. More importantly, the die has been cast on how to proceed with tax reform legislation- the next big item on Trump’s domestic agenda. He has already started the process by drawing up and submitting his own framework for tax reduction and reform, and reports indicate House Republicans are moving it along in their own chamber. Given the fact that, while tax reform is yet another difficult and complicated issue with which to grapple, how Trump and the Republicans ultimately get it done will no doubt follow the same modus operandi. The Democrats will utilize the same level of demagogy to oppose this, but their own deteriorating credibility- ever more obvious to the American people- will only serve to ensure another Trump victory on this, and in the election of 2020.

Then will be the time for all of us to sing, “na-na-na-na…hey, hey…goodbye.”

 

-Drew Nickell, 5 May 2017

© 2017 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved.

author of “Bending Your Ear- a Collection of Essays on the Issues of Our Times”

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Measuring with the Wrong Ruler- Trump’s First Hundred Days

Measuring with the Wrong Ruler- Trump’s First Hundred Days

Not that one might ever see this in the mainstream media, but measuring the first hundred days of the Trump administration is essentially measuring with the wrong ruler.

Ever since the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, which began on March 4th, 1933, every elected president since has been measured by the same wrong ruler. Roosevelt was elected to his first term on November 8th, 1932 and, as was the case back then, didn’t take office until March 4th, the following year. In essence, President-elect Roosevelt had a full four months to prepare for his presidency so it is no wonder that his “first hundred days” (whose measurement began five days later on March 9th) was marked with a bevy of bills passed by Congress until the measurement period ended on June 16th, 1933.

Compare that to Donald Trump, who was elected on the same day, November 8th, 2016, eighty-four years later. President-elect Trump had less than two and a half months to prepare for his own presidency. To measure him fairly and arithmetically against Roosevelt would equate to his first hundred days ending on May 9th, not April 29th as the media would otherwise have us believe. Needless to say, what the mainstream media is doing is measuring Trump’s first hundred days with a bogus ruler.

When Roosevelt was elected, the number of Cabinet-level appointees requiring advice and consent from the Senate was ten. FDR’s cabinet was approved by the Senate within the first few weeks of his administration. Compare that to Trump who is required to gain such approval on twenty-four cabinet level appointees and, thanks to obstructionist Democrats led by Charles Schumer (D-NY), has still not seen a complete cabinet emplaced a full four months later.

 
When Roosevelt was elected, Congress didn’t take the vast number of recesses as is the case today, so getting action on legislation was far easier in 1933 than it is in 2017. Roosevelt also had the luxury of having a filibuster-proof Democrat majority in the Senate, and a much larger Democrat majority in the House of Representatives than President Trump enjoys with his Republican caucus. These sheer comparative numbers do not even take into account the stridency and over-the-top partisanship that exists in 2017, as compared to the political discourse that took place in 1933.

Roosevelt enjoyed an even-greater advantage than Donald Trump will ever hope to enjoy- the adoration and support of the mainstream media. No president, with the possible exception of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama, has enjoyed as much support and as little scrutiny as did Franklin Roosevelt when his presidency began. Compare that to the hostile and, perhaps, despicable way that Donald Trump and his administration are covered and the comparative difference is as striking as it is blatantly hypocritical.

The mainstream media will drone on and on about what they perceive to be President Trump’s supposed failure in his first hundred days to secure legislative wins in Congress, while minimizing all of the accomplishments of the new president in his executive orders and memoranda, not to mention the successful nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch- a feat no president has ever before accomplished in his first hundred days. The media will also gloss over Trump’s successes on the international front. Not only has Trump accomplished a 180° turn-around from the feckless foreign policy of his immediate predecessor, but has reset the trade policy from that of the last five administrations, combined. While Roosevelt’s international challenges did not begin to surface until his second term, which began in 1937, Trump inherited an absolute mess in the international arena on his first day- one fraught with far more danger than existed back in Roosevelt’s time.

But don’t expect a fair and full accounting of Donald Trump’s first hundred days in office from anyone in the mainstream media because, after all, Trump was the one who denied Hillary Clinton the presidency she so deserved, in the opinion of those who pretend to be objective in their coverage of the White House, and that was something that they will never forgive, for as long as Donald J. Trump is President of the United States.

-Drew Nickell, 27 April 2017

© 2017 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved.

author of “Bending Your Ear- a Collection of Essays on the Issues of Our Times”
now available at Amazon
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Persona Non Grata- What to do about Kim

Persona Non Grata- What to do about Kim

It’s a club that, truth be told, wants to cut off new membership.

The so-called “nuclear club” of nations who have “the bomb” has grown to the point of over-saturation. That “club” includes charter members – the United States, Russia (nee- Soviet Union), the United Kingdom, France and China, all signatories to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) which went into force in 1970. Since then, three more nations- nations who are not signatories to the NPT- have budged their way into “the club,” those being India, Pakistan and, most recently in 2006, North Korea.

That late entry into “the club” poses a unique problem, not only for its members but also, and even more so, for its non-nuclear neighbors- Japan and South Korea. It’s not only that Kim Jong-un has a nuclear bomb, nor is it that he is developing missile systems which are capable of delivering the bomb, but rather that he is just crazy enough to actually launch a nuclear attack- both on his neighbors and on the United States forces stationed in those neighboring countries. Worse, he is the only national leader ever to have officially and specifically threatened to attack the United States in its 240-year history. Not even Adolf Hitler nor, for that matter, the Imperial Japanese Empire (who actually attacked the naval and air bases in Pearl Harbor), nor the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War, ever actually threatened to attack the United States, but Kim Jong-un has repeatedly threatened to launch a nuclear strike at the United States- something that his father, Kim Jong-Il, nor his grandfather and founder of North Korea, Kim Il-sung were ever insane enough to do.

Never mind the fact that his intermediate-range weapon-delivery systems aren’t entirely reliable and that his Inter-continental Ballistic Missile is still in development, Kim Jong-un has said that he intends to launch such an attack against the United States and, through the words of his envoy to the United Nations, Ja Song Nam, who yesterday warned that the United States is acting in such a way to bring about global thermo-nuclear war, is determined to do so, sometime in the not-quite-so-distant future.

That he has been able to proceed towards the capability to realize such a threat is the result of foolish miscalculations on the part of the United States. Heretofore, we have been repeatedly assured by the Chinese that they won’t allow the North Koreans to attain such capability- that and the fact that Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama all touted their own would-be success in bringing the North Koreans under control…

…yeah, some control. The millennial, corpulent communist Kim is on the very threshold of tying a nuclear weapon to an intermediate-range ballistic missile, and is not very far away from doing the same thing to an ICBM- one capable of reaching the west coast of the United States’ mainland.

Finally, the United States has indicated that enough is enough. Since Clinton’s “six-party framework” to reign in North Korea’s nuclear ambitions has proved to be nothing but a farce, and Obama’s “strategic patience” was nothing more than an excuse for ignoring the growing threat, President Donald Trump has indicated to the Chinese that he is very prepared and quite willing to launch a preventive strike against the North Koreans, if the Chinese fail to reign in the tubby tyrant who is headed towards annihilation.

Trump’s recent missile attack against the Syrian airbase, from which sarin gas attacks were launched by the Assad regime, and the dropping of a Multiple Ordinance Air Blast (MOAB- also euphemistically called the “Mother of all Bombs”) on ISIS tunnels in eastern Afghanistan, has also sent a clear message to both Iran and North Korea that, while they can hide their nuclear capabilities underground, we can still take them out if we need to, and are not afraid to do so should contingencies arise.

Therein lies the crux, and the passage of time is no friend to anyone- not to us, not to the Iranians, not to the North Koreans, nor to any of the nations in Asia or the Middle East. Doing merely what his predecessors did would only leave President Trump in a position of enabling our enemies, in both Iran and North Korea, to eventually attack the United States with nuclear weapons. The fact that Iran is continuing to develop nuclear weapons and strategic medium- and long-range missiles, despite the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) pushed through by Barack Obama, should surprise no one who lives in the real world. Obama was a fool to push for and sign onto such a deal, because it offers nothing to ensure that Iran won’t become the next member of the nuclear club.

The fact that Kim Jong-un has now become a thorn in the side of his Chinese allies doesn’t help, either. China needs favorable trade agreements with the United States, much more than they need trouble from the little boy who lives next door. There is even some talk now that the Chinese might send in a hit-squad, to enable Kim to join his father and grandfather. After all, it’s far better to eliminate one irrepressible and incorrigible mad man, than to allow him to bring on a disaster of untold proportions. The longer Kim stays in power, the closer the world comes to its nuclear nightmare, and we now have a president who finally sees the world for what it has actually become, rather than the world everyone wishes it was, instead.

We wait and watch.

 

-Drew Nickell, 18 April 2017

© 2017 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved.

author of “Bending Your Ear- a Collection of Essays on the Issues of Our Times”

now available at Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Bending-Your-Ear-Collection-Essays/dp/1633932907?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc

Signed and personalized editions now available at my website:

http://www.drewnickell.com

Follow my postings on the RSS feed: http://www.drewnickell.com/?feed=rss2

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