Morning Thanks

Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017


Let me see if I have this straight.

Our President, in a fit of petulance about losing face after a speech even some of his detractors thought impressive, surfs through a few owly, right-wing websites, hauls out his phone, and bangs out a half-dozen tweets that charge his predecessor with criminal wiretapping of Trump Tower, a charge that, if true, makes Obama into Nixon, even though for forty days and forty nights it's been Donald Trump who's drawn that comparison. Do I have that right?

It's complicated, so give me some space. If the POTUS is right, then the former POTUS had to have cause to wiretap, since it's illegal for any POTUS to order wiretaps without getting a court order. So if 45 is right about 44, there was more nefarious Putin-neering going on at Trump Tower than we have been led to believe because there had to be probable cause. Isn't that true?

But if it is, why would 45 even say it? 

Now a certain percentage of the electorate hates 44 enough to believe that he would go over-and-above the law, send his operatives into Trump Tower disguised as a cleaning crew or whatever and get the job done anyway. Illegally. That's what some believe, I'm sure. 

But then, they're also the ones who would love 45 even if he shot a man dead on Fifth Avenue (the most famous line ever spoken in Sioux Center, Iowa). They also believe 45's inaugural crowd was bigger than anybody else's, and that three to five million votes cast for Hillary were undocumented workers bused from Massachusetts to vote illegally in Delaware. I would imagine they also believe 44 is a Muslim born in Kenya and that Trumps's PI's are still snooping around Hawaii, where they're finding unbelievable stuff. Remember that one?

I'd rather not know how many people believe all of that.

But this madness is complicated by the fact that 45 is the POTUS. Therefore, he could simply call in Attorney General Sessions and ask him if there is any truth to the charge. By 6:00 a.m., if not before, Trump could know if Obama is a "sick" crook and should be indicted. It's within his power to know, but he chooses not to exercise that power. 

Do I have that right?

Instead, he wants to embroil a congressional committee with the task, He demands they investigate 44's illegal wiretapping to determine the veracity of a charge only his true believers think is anything other than madness. 

Really, do I have this right?

And when it's all over and the truth is out, the truth as verified by the National Security Council and the FBI, both of whom claim Obama did not wiretap anyone, what's going to happen? Will we all just go on our merry way again and wait for the next round of madness? Doesn't he get some slap on the wrist for lying? Or that all okay these days of alternative facts? 

I suppose that's how it's going to go. 

Sorry, I can't help saying it. Sad.


Anonymous said...

Not so fast, news today of a Wikileaks release showing the entire hacking capacity of the CIA. 8,000 page disclosure of the anti-secrecy website from the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, VA. Too much retention of meta data available to the Gov't to mine our day to day activity.

Anonymous said...

I'm no Trump true believer and I didn't vote for him, but I do find it interesting that you assume that wire tapping of Trump's campaign, if there was any, was done solely for legitimate national security purposes and not partisan purposes. Given the way the Obama administration used the IRS to harass organizations for political purposes is it really that big a stretch to think it would do the same with its national security authority? And please don't tell me Obama wasn't aware of the IRS activities. Only an Obama "true believer" would buy the idea that Obama wasn't aware that the IRS under his presidency was targeting conservative non-profits. (It also may be instructive here that most of the emails that would have clarified that matter were mysteriously lost)

We know from previous reports on multiple news organizations (including the NY Times) that people within the Trump camp were being bugged. We also know that some of the information from those taps have been leaked to the press. One of those leaks was the conversation Gen. Flynn had with the Russian Ambassador. Someone leaked that conversation to the Washington Post getting him fired because he hadn't fully disclosed that to the VP.

Perhaps you should be asking who it was that tapped that conversation and who was it that leaked it? And where was Gen. Flynn when he made that call. If he was in Trump tower is that where the bug was? Doesn't that change the conversation a little?

There are plenty of reasons for why Trump may not be able to produce the evidence of the wiretap. One is that it doesn't exist. Another is that releasing such evidence if it is classified for purposes of national security would be a felony. Another is that, thanks to Senate Dems delaying all confirmations throughout the federal government, Trump has been unable to get his own people into the positions within the intelligence agencies that would allow him to provide all of this information assuming it is even legal to do so.

It may very well be true that what Trump said is inaccurate. And he should be held accountable for what he says. However, I would suggest that the "facts" upon which you seemed to have based your judgment are of his guilt are incomplete.

Anonymous said...

You so live up to your name---SCHAAP.

J. C. Schaap said...

"And he should be held accountable for what he says." That's really all I ask. You're right, too--I don't believe him.

Anonymous said...

Sure, hold him accountable once we have the facts. Trump has a tendency to play fast and loose with facts so I don't blame you for not believing him. And I don't find insults about the family name to be terribly helpful either.

However, What I find amazing is the shock that you and the media have over this allegation when you consider the fact that for the past few months the story has been covered ad nauseam and mentioned by Dems every day that the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians. Where would that information to suggest such collusion come from? The intelligence leaks about conversations with the Russians must have been obtained somehow. It doesn't take that big a leap to conclude that, at the very least, people close to and within the Trump campaign were being tapped. The overall scope of that surveillance should be something that everyone should be interested in finding out more about rather than simply dismissing as "sad".

What I think is truly "sad" is that we so clearly cannot count on the media to shed any real light on the truth. There is only left-wing and right wing media and it only perpetuates the growing problem that people on both sides base their opinions on their political affiliations rather than parsing through the facts and using plain old common sense. That is what I consider sad.

Jerry27 said...

Do I have that right?

If Trump is to survive, he must be careful to never play defense.

His prospect for survival are probably as remote as that other "America Firster" Charles Lindberg.


Anonymous said...

"If you like your insurance you can keep your plan". I saw none of your feigned outrage when Obama lied through his teeth.

Anonymous said...

"If you like your insurance you can keep your plan". I saw none of your feigned outrage when Obama lied through his teeth.