Category Archives: Clinton

The Professor and The Firing of the FBI Director

 

The following is a fictional account of the dialogue between a political science professor and the students of an honors seminar in an east coast liberal arts college.

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The Professor, reluctantly set his cup of strong dark roast coffee on the table, waiting for his students to take their accustomed places at the conference table. When the last student settled at the table, he said, “Every-once-in-a-while the normal course of the nation gets shaken by an event. Yesterday, the President fired Mr. Comey, the FBI Director. The left and ruling wing of the Democratic Party is in an uproar, demanding the appointment of a Special Counsel, Special Committee, or an Independent Counsel. Without exception, leaders of the Progressive Party, that has captured the traditional Democratic Party, have called for the resignation or dismissal of Director Comey. Hillary Clinton, the presidential standard-bearer of the party, has blamed Director Comey for her defeat.

“The conspiracy witches are out in full force stating President Trump obviously fired Comey because his investigation of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians was getting too close. Why else would the President fire the FBI Director? Most of those who automatically chant ‘conspiracy is the answer’ have never held a position outside of a legislature or media organization and do not understand how organizations with a chain of command work.

“The timing of the firing was dictated by findings of the Executive’s Attorney-General’s office. You will remember in what I believe was an ill-advised action, the Attorney-General recused himself from all aspects of the ‘Russian Investigation.’ It would have been very bad optics now for him to have taken the lead in recommending the President fire Director Comey.

“In nearly all cases the leader of an Executive Department or Agency deals with the world outside his or her organization. The number two ranking person or deputy concentrates on the internal workings of the organization. Within the Attorney-General’s Office, the Attorney-General himself through his declaration of recusal took himself out of a direct role in the FBI’s investigations of anything that may have a Russian connection to the Trump campaign or Administration. The Deputy Attorney-General is the normal command chain contact with the FBI Director. In this case, the Deputy AG had been on the job only a few weeks after being confirmed by a vote of 96 to 4 in the Senate. The Deputy AG had been appointed to his previous position as the federal prosecutor for Maryland by President Obama. He is a true professional with broad bi-partisan support.

“It was his decision, after examining Director Comey’s actions over the last year, to recommend to the AG that Comey be replaced so that the FBI could repair its damaged reputation. The AG forwarded his Deputy’s recommendation, with approval, to President Trump. I believe this is the primary reason for the timing of the firing. There is no conspiracy as much as the entire Progressive Party is pretending there is. Furthermore, it is usual for there to be a criminal charge prior to the appointment of an Independent or Special Counsel. The entire Russian/Trump investigation is being conducted as a counter-intelligence matter. This investigation will not be effected by the removal of Director Comey. Thus far there has been no evidence uncovered to support the Progressive Party’s political agenda.”

  

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Filed under Barry Kelly, Clinton, Comey, Conservative views, FBI, Intelligence & Politics, Obama, Progressives, Russia, trump

The Professor: Freedom and Two-Party Government

The class was halfway over and the momentum of the discussion was slowing when Alison asked, “Professor, if everything is political, how much does the viability of our system of government depend on the existence of two or more political parties?”

“Good question and one that is outside the ‘box.’ People create and join with a group of like-minded citizens to be able to push their political and social beliefs. Without such ‘parties’ it is hard to see how a democracy could exist. The alternative is clearly an autocratic dictatorship or single party led by an elite group. Recent and current communist and socialist governments fit this template. The other possibility is a utopian plan such as the utopian agrarian parties common in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The utopian parties, with their roots in European socialist philosophy, all failed for the same reason, the lack of an authority to motivate members to follow the rules, written or unwritten.

“The Socialist and Communist governments fixed this problem by establishing a one party ruling elite with strong coercive powers. They all failed due to over centralization and harsh penalties for those who have the courage to dissent. The combination of centralized control leading to a falling standard of living and increasing political repression eventually bring the people to revolt.

“Enough background. American democracy needs a political arena of more than one party. A one-party system has always led to a loss of freedom regardless of the political ideology of the ruling party. During your lifetime, you will face a continued struggle between the Progressive Party and its conservative opposition. It sounds theoretical, but it is very real. The Progressive Party has swallowed the Democratic Party. It exists only in name. In the last national election, more than 50% of the voters voted for the Progressive Party. Only the Electoral College system established in the Constitution kept the Progressives under Hillary Clinton from winning the White House.

“The Progressives owe their name and political program ideology to Saul Alinsky, a brilliant American Socialist, who had a defining impact on both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. He, too, was a Community Organizer in Chicago. The Progressive ideology is to use any means available to destroy the opposition and seize power to redistribute individual and national wealth using the power of a single party government. In the process of destroying the opposition political party, it was first necessary to destroy American economic and military power. President Obama, I believe, made an impressive start to destroying American uniqueness and the faith the citizens have in their government. The entire Civil Service now has a questionable first and second tier leadership.

“The next four to eight years of leadership is critical. We were close to the tipping point and unless the media reverts to reporting all the news and the conservative leadership becomes far better at getting its message to all Americans, freedom of choice of the individual will be lost. Pick your side. There can be no fence siting.”

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The Professor: Russia, Hacking and the Election

“Okay! We’re all here. First the question period. I know you see this as a chance to listen to me rather than the reverse. That’s okay with me. You know by now I’m not the usual teacher. I want you to leave this University knowing how to think and find solutions to problems. Part of that is to encourage you to think outside the box. But that is only part of the process of analyzing problems and selling your solution. You must develop an instinct to know when thinking inside the box is just as important. Most complex problems require both kinds of thinking. Why search for a new type of solution when there is an existing one that works well?

“So, who has a question they would like me to discuss?”

The Professor pointed at Alison and said, “Alison, let’s hear your question.”

“TV and the print media are constantly railing about the Russians hacking into our elections to favor President-elect Trump. It sounds like this is more about partisan politics than it is about Russian influence. What is really going on?”

“I think you know most of the answer, but I’ll tell you what I think. Great powers have been intercepting the communications of both opponents and friends throughout history. Hacking, as a form of collection, is at least five decades old. From a very primitive beginning, it has gotten much more sophisticated. The point here is that all powerful nations are engaged. So no one should be surprised that foreign nations will attack our communications systems, particularly those used by important people who don’t have the sense to protect their information. Hacking is not an act of war. A hacking attack on the national grid, the transportation system and some others would be. But senators Lindsay Graham and John McCain, who are making such a scene about wanting to punish the Russians and discredit the landslide victory of Donald Trump over the hacking and disclosure of emails associated with the Clinton campaign, are just over-heated politicians who can only be cured by term limits.

“These two senators sat through the entire tenure of the Obama Administration and, even with a Republican Congress, did next to nothing to stop the destruction of our military forces, the mistreatment of veterans, and the alienation of our allies. Closing of Guantanamo Bay and stopping Trump seems to be their main agenda.

“The Obama intelligence organizations have decided that the Russians were attempting to influence the election by releasing hacked items from Democratic email servers. President-elect Trump doesn’t trust their analysis. He shouldn’t. These are the ranking officials that lied about the Benghazi ‘talking points,’ refused to conduct a real investigation of Hillary Clinton’s illegal server and the consequent mishandling of highly classified material, and produced intelligence on ISIS to fit the White House view of them as the junior varsity. Are these people to be trusted? I think not. The rank and file of the several intelligence organizations are solid, hard-working men and women who take incredible personal risks to serve the nation, but their leadership is suspect.

“I don’t believe anyone in the Obama Administration wants a real investigation of Russian, Chinese or other hackers. Too much would be uncovered, such as what classified material did these hackers get from the Clinton email server.

“Bottom line is that what is going on is a failed President leaving office and trying to rewrite his record and constrain his successor.”

 

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Filed under Barry Kelly, Clinton, Conservative views, democrats, Eight Decades of Insights, Intelligence & Politics, ISIS, Obama, political solutions, Progressives, Republicans, Russia, trump

The Professor – Fundamentals of Trump’s Success

the-new-yorker-who-is-donald-trumpThe students trooped into their 11 o’clock political science honors class looking like they all needed at least a week of beach time. As they slouched into chairs around the conference table, the Professor said, “Well, I guess you didn’t get much sleep last night. I was up until well after 4:00 AM. The election was truly historic. I feel like a mantle of freedom and hope has settled over the land. Let’s talk about what happened. First, any questions?”

Alison raised her hand and the Professor nodded in her direction. “You told us two weeks ago that Donald Trump would win the election when all the polls were pointing clearly to Secretary Clinton. What was the reason you were so confident of a Republican victory?”

“First, I wasn’t talking about a Republican victory. The traditional Republican party is now part of history. It will never be the same. And for the nation, that is a good thing. Its time had passed. The victory I spoke about was only about the Trump movement. The Trump victory has given me a perfect ‘teaching moment.’ We are here to learn how to think about how humans govern themselves and that requires us to learn how to sift information.

“All of us were bombarded with polls, the analysis of pundits, party propaganda, government leaks, thousands of hacked emails from behind the scenes actions of the Democratic party and the Clinton campaign. Some of it was ugly, but it was all revealing and intriguing. Some of it was relevant, but mostly it was distracting. Many analysts thought the deluge of emails revealing the naked ambitions of Secretary Clinton trying to hide her efforts to balance her sworn duty as American’s Secretary of State with her drive to amass personal wealth and power would destroy her campaign.

“Instead of waiting anxiously for the next dump of emails that would dominate the news, journalists, commentators, analysts and political talking heads should have focused on the fundamentals. Instead, they couldn’t get past the day-by-day exposure of  the Democratic National Committee, debate stumbles, and Donald Trump’s off-message comments and his need to defend himself from every attack. All of this was exciting and made the grist for hundreds of TV comments, newspaper columns, attack ads and maps of shifting electoral votes state by state.

“The fundamentals I focused on were the dynamics of the primary process of both parties, the gradual metamorphosis of Donald Trump from a flamboyant TV star and successful billionaire real estate tycoon to a disciplined politician who could sound and look presidential and the gap between the governing elite of the Progressive Party and the needs and hopes of the people. My most important indicator was the disparity between the polls and the energetic masses of people who attended Trump rallies. If you listened carefully, you could hear the rumblings of a revolution in the heartland of America.

“How could you miss Mr. Trump’s success after success in the primary campaign? Remember when he carried every county in several states late in the primary campaign? He felt and listened to the message coming from the forgotten citizens of the ‘rust belt’, those hunting a job where none existed, the citizens who wondered how their leaders could ignore the flood of people and drugs pouring across our open borders, the silent suffering of America’s veterans, the chaos of the Middle East and the failure of trade, the decades of wage stagnation and the total lack of a foreign and economic policy to deal with the realities of terrorism and increasing debt.

“Donald Trump and his campaign leaders heard these cries for help and crafted their message to respond. No one else did. The only missing ingredient was finding the right messenger with sufficient political maturing to talk to the people instead of at them and the unbelievable energy required to take this fresh message throughout the land.  Donald Trump was the right messenger. In the future, if another messenger is required, I hope the people will find another Donald Trump.

“Your assignment is to predict who President-Elect Trump will select for his cabinet.”
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Filed under Barry Kelly, Clinton, Conservative views, Eight Decades of Insights, foreign policy, Intelligence & Politics, Middle East, Progressives, Republicans, Terrorism, trump

The Professor – What is Freedom?

The Professor was going over his file of past lectures and editorials to get ready for his next honors class. He felt that he had to get the class thinking in more basic terms. The hubris dominating this political campaign was driving out the discussions on basic issues that are critical to the survival of democracy, much the same way “Gresham’s Law” states that “bad” currency of questionable value will drive ‘good’ currency out of circulation. Certainly old and alleged sexual charges and published purloined emails have dominated this campaign, he thought.

If citizens do not know what freedom is, how can they protect it or even know if they have lost it? Freedom is the existence of individual choices. Without individual choices, there is no freedom. Those who have lived seven or eight decades have seen, sometimes up close and personal, societies in which the basic choices Americans exercise every day were unheard of or imagined. Current Russia and the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, China, Cuba, Vietnam, and some South American nations have tried various far-left ideologies. In every one of them, individual choices vanished.

North Vietnam under Ho Chi Minh, probably the best political organizer of the 20th century, had the North Vietnamese people organized into to a cascading staircase of political, economic, and social organizations. Everyone belonged to a peer organization with each peer group sending a delegate to the next higher group. There was no real individual choice.

Progressives and communists hate what capitalism and the free market stand for. They do not believe the forces of the free market are real and think greed is the only driving force of capitalism. Progressives will not believe the infinite number of choices made by a free people in a free competitive economy will result only in chaos. Instead, a small group of progressives can make decisions that will produce a vastly more efficient economy and much fairer distribution of wealth.

When you think about freedom, think about if the right of making choices is being taken from you and your family. Don’t be taken in by the words. They don’t mean anything. Look for the signs of freedom being eroded. Do government spokespeople tell the truth, or is their intent to mislead the people? Are there attempts to label dissenters as dangers to be silenced?

A few examples: The Clinton/Obama Administration’s desire to label people who do not believe manmade carbons cause climate change as “climate deniers.” The Administration is reported to have asked the Department of Justice to see if citizens who disagree with the cause of climate variations could be prosecuted.  The Benghazi talking points, the benefits of the Iran deal, the claims for Obamacare, the misleading unemployment numbers, and the optimistic reports of the demise of ISIS are other examples of a government that is devoted to managing reports to the citizens.

The very essence of progressivism is to control choice because the political left believes it is chaos when people are free to choose their life’s occupation, their education, reading material, TV programs, news, religion, ways of raising children (including the choice to have children or not), health care, and the people who govern them. The current struggle in America between conservatives and liberals (the far-left liberals are progressives who now control the Democratic Party) is not over some obscure political difference. It is over who makes life’s choices, you or a progressive elite.

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The Professor’s op-ed on the Middle East and the U.S.

In between honors classes one day, the Professor thought, “I just can’t stand it any longer. No one is telling the people the truth about the Middle East. Does the Obama Administration and the Clinton campaign think we are too dumb? Trump’s instincts are good, but he needs to bone up on the area. The Russians are not in the Middle East to fight ISIS and Putin is not about to make any deals that do not further his plan to hold a naval base on the Mediterranean and to be a major on the ground player in the oil patch. I just have to write an op-ed piece.”

He pulled his keyboard toward him, looked out over the bay, and began to write.

First, there are a couple of truths about our strategic past in the Middle East. Forget the lines and names drawn on maps of the Middle East. Think of the area divided between the Sunni Muslims and the Shia Muslims with the nation of Israel maintaining a stronghold in the midst of the struggle for dominance by the Shia and Sunnis. The Iranians are the leaders of the Shias and the Saudis, Arabs of the Gulf States and Egypt leading the Sunni opposition.

ISIS, al-Qaeda and their splinter groups are Sunni. The Obama-Clinton group has thrown American support to the Iranians, who want to use their new power to dominate the Middle East. President Obama always intended to follow the Shia/Iranian lead. That is why the abrupt pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq as soon as Obama came to power. The Iranians wanted the U.S. forces out of Iraq so that the Iraqi Shia could assume full control over the Iraqi military and economy and oust Sunnis from the military and government. (Remember, the Iraqi led Sunni government under Saddam Hussein fought a very bloody war against the Iranians.)

The Iraqi Shia government is now firmly allied with Iran. This is a government in name only. Iranians control all major moves in their drive to control a Shia empire of what is now Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. ISIS with all the terrible atrocities they have committed represented Sunni opposition to Iranian strategic goals. When they are destroyed, the strongest power on the ground will be Iran. When Mosel falls, it will be with the heavy involvement of Iranian weapons and ground forces. The Turks will stay within their territory and the only other viable fighting force, the Kurds, will be isolated with dreams of their own homeland shattered. With all of the talk from Washington about arming the Kurds, we never did. The Iranians and the Turks do not want the Kurds to be armed with modern weapons. All the arms we said were being sent to the Kurds went through the Baghdad Shia government that never sent them onward. The Obama Administration, of course, knew the Kurds would never receive the weapons. There is literally nothing the Iranians want that the Obama/Clinton group will not do their best to supply. Just look at the recent deal Obama made with Iran on their nuclear weapons program. While not called a treaty, that was what this deal is. Why take that route? Simply a way to avoid the need for Congressional ratification. We, the people, and Congress still have not seen all the pieces of this executive action.

On the Russian side, Putin is a modern day czar of Russia. His goal is to re-establish as much of the old Soviet Empire as possible. The weakness of the Obama presidency has given him a grand opening. For many centuries, Russian czars dreamed and planned to acquire a warm-water port for their navy. Without firing a shot or endangering Russian soldiers, he has acquired Tartus in Syria as a Russian warm-water port. That is now a fact. The fleet is there and weapons to defend it are in place. Putin will do what he must to support Assad. He is not in Syria to fight ISIS. Aleppo is the only evidence anyone should need. ISIS was not there but Syrian anti-Assad forces were. The city is now rubble as a result of Russian historic lack of concern for collateral deaths when their critical national interests are involved. Since Iran is the local protector and supporter of Assad and Syria, Putin will make any deal necessary with Iran to protect his naval base at Tartus and his new role in Middle Eastern oil. Obama’s plan for Iranian hegemony in the Middle East is on solid ground with both U.S. and Russia supporting Iran and the Shia Muslims.

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The Professor and The Debate

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The first Presidential debate of 2016 had just finished and the spin rooms were already active with talking heads. Professor Clark shut off the wide-screen TV that dominated his home office. He said, “It is a pleasure to have this class in my home for this historic debate. There is no question that this is the most important election period in my lifetime. There are serious issues at stake. Many have been postponed for years. The very direction of the nation is being decided. The kind of world you will live in for the rest of your lives is being debated now throughout the nation. To verge on the sensational for a moment, I don’t think it is a stretch to say the very existence of this unique nation could be a casualty of the election.

“I know it is late and the sleep time hard-working students get is precious, but I want to go around the room and get some one-liners from you. Alison, let’s start with you.”

Alison said, “Secretary Clinton stayed on message and showed very good debate discipline, but I don’t think she scored many points. Her poll numbers will remain relatively constant.”

“Robert, you’re next.”

“It’s hard to pick a clear winner. Trump missed several opportunities to score but he did as well as he needed to. The moderator was clearly helping Hillary and that will resonate with his followers.”

“Carlos, what’s your take?”

“I agree with Alison and Robert. The debate was a draw or close to it. Secretary Clinton had the worst hand, having to run on the direction Obama put this nation on when the people are screaming for change.”

“Katrisha, comments?”

“I saw the debate nearly the same as my colleagues, but was struck by the body language. Hillary was ‘smirky,’ stiff and her voice was too high-pitched. Trump showed anger and some petulance. He couldn’t get over his ‘counter-punching’ instincts. As a result, he let his opponent direct the substance of the debate.”

The Professor nodded at Paul and said, “Go.”

“I thought at a presidential debate even a moderator from NBC would play it fairly straight. It could have been worse, but his frequent interruptions of Trump, the selective fact checking and the avoiding of any questions on e-mails, illegal servers, BenGhazi, the Clinton Foundation and many others showed a clear network biases.”

“Barbara you’re on.”

“I was struck by the fact the contestants seemed to be unconsciously addressing different audiences. Hillary’s comments, I believe, were directed to the wonks and the Washington establishment. Trump seemed to be ignoring that audience and speaking to the people outside the handpicked inside audience. His pitch should have resonated with mainstream America. Especially the working people and those who are having difficult times just feeding and housing their families.”

“Edward, comment?”

“Yes. Irrespective of the judgments coming out of the spin rooms, the wonks and talking heads have been wrong about nearly everything associated with this campaign. And they have been wrong because they dislike the Republican candidate deep in their core. Trump is not of them, he doesn’t look like them. He doesn’t share their beliefs and perhaps worst of all, he is not an ideologically pure right-wing conservative Republican. The Conservative establishment class, including those in Congress and the feckless national security crowd, are giving, at best, very tepid support to the Trump campaign. The entire Bush crowd is an example of these political correct Brahmans.”

“Not exactly a one-liner but then the one-liners have been growing with each speaker. Alice, it is up to you to wrap this up.’

“I’ve enjoyed the comments and have to admit some of them surprised me. Indicating that while we all witnessed the debate, we saw different things. This is not a traditional presidential campaign. Maybe this is closer to a revolution than an election. Maybe, just maybe, in most countries these issues would now be being fought in the streets.”

“Excellent comments. This is a remarkable class. Go get some sleep and we will pick up these threads in our next class. Thank you.”

 

 

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