My father was a big shot in the worlds of engineering and education.
He retired as the Dean of the College of Engineering at Bradley University after a years long career, producing hundreds of engineers for companies like Caterpillar. One of those young engineers was NOT me.
If I had come to his office one day, when I was still in college, and told my father that Caterpillar had hired me for (this was the 70s) say a mere $20,000 a month in an unspecified position with unspecified responsibilities he would have come unglued.
He would NOT have been proud and congratulated me.
He would have rightfully called the Chairman at Caterpillar (in those days, his friend William L. Naumann), demand I be fired and would never have allowed such a conflict of interest to take place. (I actually had to fight him over the $200 a month job of running the University’s radio station and he ultimately did have me fired after two years.)
Contrast that with former Vice President Joe Biden.
His son, Hunter, is a drug addict who got himself kicked out of the Navy. Serious skillset there.
His father basically had a few responsibilities as Vice President. In addition to staying alive in the event of the President’s untimely demise, two of those were representing President Obama’s policies in China and the Ukraine.
After he got kicked out of the United States Navy, Hunter hitched a ride to China on Air Force Two and a few days after they returned, Hunter’s private equity company got a BILLION dollar “investment” from China’s government.
Imagine that. Coincidence?
Doubtful. But to listen to the former Vice President, sonny boy didn’t do anything wrong—like he intimated the Trump children have. There is, however, a difference. The Trump children were in business long before their father ran for President.
Does Joe really want to take the position that someone who is a businessman CANNOT serve in public office?
You see, Donald Trump is the first President we have had in many years who is NOT part of the political club. Who is so wealthy he cannot be bought, despite the ridiculous claims by people that, somehow, he has become enriched by becoming President. However much the media hates him, it would be very hard for a President as vilified as he to actually increase his net worth while in office.
And his inability to be bought is just another reason he is vilified by people and institutions which would love to buy him.
How is it that a clown like Joe Biden could use his position to make his son wealthy and look the media in the eye and say that nothing was done wrong? That during his tenure there was no corruption?
That’s the very swamp which Trump is in the process of draining. People expect this crap in DC, just as they used to expect the mob to control Chicago, New York and Las Vegas.
Biden would have you believe that he’s an honest man in Washington—that Donald Trump is corrupt. That using his position as Vice President to enrich his son never happened. And, if it did, well, that’s how things work in big time politics.
The truth can be divined in a quote from a video of Biden talking to the Council on Foreign Relations about a Ukrainian prosecutor who apparently was getting a little too close to Sonny Boy. “I said we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said ‘you can’t do that, you have no authority, you’re not the president. I said if the prosecutor’s not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch, he got fired."
(Editor's note: This quote is taken from a one hour video of Biden (and others) discussing Biden's efforts on behalf of the Obama administration to pressure Ukraine into prosecuting corruption and firing prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who was universally recognized by diplomats and officials as an ineffective prosecutor who refused to go after corrupt politicians. Shokin's office was also investigating Burisma, a company that Biden's son Hunter, was a board of director member. Shokin was later fired and replaced by another prosecutor. Therefor, many are pushing an idea that, Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to fire the prosecutor in order to protect his son who must have done something illegal while he was on the board of directors of this company. The above quote is used as "proof." The first problem with this is that Biden's quote is taken completely out of context and if you watch the full hour video, which is much more interesting than you would expect it to be, it speaks for itself. The second problem is that, if you read about the actual Burisma investigation it dealt with Ukraine's Ministry of Ecology, which allegedly granted special permits, that may or may not have been illegal, to Burisma between 2010 and 2012. Hunter Biden did not join the company until 2014. But, because the investigation was still on going when he joined the company it is factually accurate to say that Hunter Biden was on the board of directors while the company was being investigated by Shokin's office. But, as you can see, it would be impossible for Hunter Biden to have anything to do with the investigation since he wasn't even involved in the company until multiple years after the fact. Finally, the reason Shokin was actually fired was because he refused to go after corrupt politicians. He was replaced by a prosecutor who was known to go after corrupt politicians. So, while it is all true that Hunter Biden raised $1.5 billion with China's state bank by having his fater, who was Vice President at the time and was in China on a state vist, introduce him to some very wealthy Chinese folks, which is a bit shady. There is clearly nothing going on with the no story of the Burisma / Hunter Biden investigation as it was about an issue that was two to four years before Hunter joined the company.)
Well, we know how most of this story plays out in the media. Liberals laugh at anything conservatives say. Conservatives laugh at anything liberals say. And none of that gets us closer to the truth. So, I thought I would try and round up simple facts. The who, what, when and where. As to the “why,” well - we don’t know exactly why some of these things happened. I’ll let you speculate.
More than a week before the infamous Trump / Ukraine phone call in question, the U.S. President froze almost $400 million dollars in military aid to Ukraine. The reason? The White House claims they were reviewing where the military aid goes, as there have been concerns about corruption within the Ukraine government; and questioning the level of support from other countries. As in, “If no one else is giving Ukraine military aid, why should we?”
Okay. Fair enough. The problem is that, despite pressure from the Ukraine asking the reasonable, “Why are you delaying military aid? We seriously need it,” the WH did not respond to Ukraine.
Which leads to the phone call. At this point, Trump has cut off military aid to Ukraine and has not given the Ukrainian government an explanation for doing so. This is the first time the two Presidents have spoken and the first time the President, or any from the State Department, has discussed military aid with Ukraine - since the freeze.
In an unclassified rough transcript of the call, the two Presidents, on speaker phone with approx. 30 other people in the oval office listening in, exchange pleasantries for a while. Then President Trump says:
“... I will say that we do ·a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time. Much more than the European countries are doing and they should be helping you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you. All they do is talk and I think it's something that you should ·really ask them about. When I was speaking to Angela Merkel she talks (about?) Ukraine, but she doesn't do anything. A lot of the European countries are the. same way, so I think it's something you want to look at but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine. I wouldn't say that it's reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine.”
Then Zelensky says:
“I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. We are ready to cooperate for the next steps … ready to buy more Javelin (missiles) from the United States for defense purposes.”
And Trump says, “I would like you to do us a favor, though …”
At that point President Trump asks Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of his chief political rival, Joe Biden. You see, Biden’s son, Hunter, was on the board of directors for Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company while the company was under investigation for some undisclosed reason.
Trump says about that:
"There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the persecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it. ... It sounds horrible to me."
So, to be clear and from my understanding of “the investigation,” it seems as if there was an investigation into Burisma for - something. And the prosecutor in charge of the investigation was removed and replaced with another prosecutor. Which is what President Trump is referring to when he says, “Biden (Joe) stopped the persecution…” Implying the first prosecutor was on to something ... and Joe Biden used his power and influence and had him removed in order to protect his son, Hunter.
The phone call ends with the President of Ukraine basically saying that yes, we’ll help you in any way we can.
Then, according to multiple White House aids, and per the Whistleblowers allegations, WH lawyers “directed” aids to remove the transcript from the computer system and place it into a separate system designed for “sensitive intelligence.” This would seal the transcript and prevent it from getting out to the public.
Enter the Whistleblower. After hearing about the phone call from multiple sources the Whistleblower wrote to the chairman of Senate Committees on August 12th, expressing “concern over Mr. Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian President,” calling it an abuse of power and broke down a detailed analysis of the subsequent cover up / lock down of phone call / transcripts because - everyone in the room knew what the President of the U.S. had just said and done was illegal.
President Trump and his personal lawyer Rudi Giuliani at first denied the story, but then confessed on camera that both did indeed pressure the Ukrainian President to investigate the son of Trump’s chief political rival. So, it’s clearly a true story.
Then, the transcript of the phone call in question was released confirming the vast majority of the Whistleblower's initial testimony.
Then, Nancy Pelosi said, “We’re moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry.”
Then, no one has been able to find any wrong doing with Hunter Biden during his tenure with the gas company in question and even the Ukrainian prosecutor himself, the one who was investigating Hunter Biden’s gas company came out and said, “We investigated Hunter Biden and he didn’t violate any laws.”
And now we’re finding out that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was also on the July 25th phone call with the Ukrainian President which is not exactly what WH officials have told the media. Pompeo is now being subpoenaed for not turning over information and documents pertaining to the call. As are many, many others including AG William Barr and Rudy Guilianni.
Okay. So what does this all mean?
Well, first of all, if you’re the President of the U.S. and you withhold aid to a foreign power and use those frozen assets as leverage to pressure said foreign power to investigate a political rival of yours then … you’ve probably just broken multiple federal law. Which would make it an impeachable offence.
Now, you can say, “But what the President did wasn’t THAT big of a deal - so I don’t care if it’s illegal.”
Fair enough. You are entitled to that opinion.
But … despite that opinion, it very well might be illegal and it might be a gross misuse of power. Either way, an investigation into the matter is - a totally reasonable way to handle this!
Remember, “impeachment” does not mean “remove from office.” Impeachment means, “put the President on trial.” Perhaps the President will be removed from office, perhaps not. Bill Clinton was impeached, as in - he was put on trial. As you know, he was not removed from office despite Ken Starr running the most costly federal trial in history costing American taxpayers $70 million.
So, the impeachment inquiry is moving forward.
A new poll from CNN shows Republican support for Impeachment Inquiry is climbing. Even Hilary Clinton weighed in. (Which, please, Hilary - for the love of God - please shut up and go away before you lose the Democrats another election that you won’t even be in!).
Like it or hate it, the impeachment inquiry is rapidly moving forward for legitimate reasons. But, that doesn’t really mean that anything will come of it. Or, even if it does go to an impeachment trial, that doesn’t mean much will come of that, either.
It’s only just the beginning.
Reports of former Vice President Joe Biden’s eye turning “bloody” surfaced this week. He was speaking at a CNN hosted town hall on climate change when reporters noticed his left eye turned blood red.
The condition however is called a “subconjunctival hemorrhage” and is harmless, but needs some explanation.
The conjunctival is a vascular membrane that lines the eye and lids. When a blood vessel breaks, hemorrhages, it appears dark beefy red over a portion of the white part of the eye.
Sometimes these hemorrhages occur when one incurs trauma to the eye or rubs it aggressively, but most often it occurs spontaneously within a week or two as the blood gets cleared by body mechanisms.
However, of note, a subconjunctival hemorrhage could happen when blood pressure rises, such as during a sneeze, laugh, strain when stooling, or cough. It could also happen if one has a bleeding disorder, or inability to clot.
Although the subconjunctival hemorrhage is benign, those who incur one might consider having their blood pressure checked and labs to ensure they have strong clotting abilities.
CNN has released a new poll about the Democratic candidates and it revealed a huge increase in Biden support and a huge drop in interest in Harris. The Biden rise does not exactly surprise me, the Harris decline surprise me a bit. But whatever. There are still something like eighteen candidates in the race, pretty soon some of them are going to be dropping like flies.
Anyway, Biden is clearly viewed as the most moderate candidate. I know there was some recent progressive pushback against his “inappropriate touching” but any common sense analysis of said videos of Biden “inappropriately touching women” revealed them to be ridiculously harmless. And in some cases the women who were on the receiving end of a Biden hug have come out and said things like, “Ummm … he’s my close friend of 40 of years. Of course it’s okay for him to hug me!”
But while it turned out to be a nonstory, I think the negative coverage of Biden dropped him in the polls a bit. And … well … I also hate to say this but his pretty bad performance in the first debate didn’t help him. But all that seems to be water under the bridge now and moderate American’s are reminding themselves how much they like Biden. Conservatives even kind of liked him in the same way that liberals kind of liked Senator McCain. That seems to be changing though as Biden is the front runner and now FOXNEWS is running attack ad after attack add on Biden’s health - which, to be honest - looks just fine.
So - does that mean Biden is about to be our new President? Well - not so fast. This all comes from a single CNN poll of 1.001 people with a sampling error of 3.7%. I know some folks are skeptical of polls but all you need to do is remind yourself is that a poll is a snapshot of voters, it is not a forecast of the future. BUT, even though it’s true that people can change their mind as in “Someone polls for Biden one day but changes their mind the following week to support Sanders,” and it’s true that this does happen. People change their minds. That being said, snapshots of voters are surprisingly accurate.
I’ll bring Scientific American into the mix of things. According to their 2004 article, “How can a poll of only 1,004 Americans represent 260 million people with only a 3 percent margin of error?” - polls have a margin of error that depends:
“... inversely on the square root of the sample size. That is, a sample of 250 will give you a 6 percent margin of error and sample of 100 will give you a 10 percent margin of error.” Okay, I think I’m following that. And by the way, that ten percent margin of error is too high and therefore makes a polling of 100 people statistically worthless. So polls with too small a sampling size are not useful.
Well, just poll more folks! Right?
Well, it sounds like that’s true - up to a certain point. While it’s true that the more people you poll the smaller your margin of error becomes. Again, from Scientific America:
“... by surveying 4,000 people, you can get the margin of error down to 1.5 percent … but that is generally a waste of time because public opinion varies enough from day to day that it is meaningless to attempt too precise an estimate.”
Okay. Fair enough. It sounds like it would take too much time to gather polling data from several thousand people because by the time you compile the data, public opinion may have significantly altered. So it sounds like polling folks in the several thousand range - isn’t worth it at all. Which is why pollsters find the sweet spot to be about “a thousand people,” which puts the margin of error at 3.7% but can be done quickly and in enough time that public opinion hasn’t changed much by the time the poll is released.
Makes sense to me.
But what about anomalies? What about human error? What about bias?
Well, Scientific American covers that too:
“The margin of error is a mathematical abstraction, and there are a number of reasons why actual errors in surveys are larger. Even with random sampling, people in the population have unequal probabilities of inclusion in the survey. For instance, if you don't have a telephone, you won't be in the survey, but if you have two phone lines, you have two chances to be included. In addition, women, whites, older people and college-educated people are more likely to participate in surveys. Polling organizations correct for these nonresponse biases by adjusting the sample to match the population, but such adjustments can never be perfect because they only correct for known biases. For example, "surly people" are less likely to respond to a survey, but we don't know how many surly people are in the population or how this would bias polling results.”
Okay. I think I got it - a poll is a snapshot of voter opinion but again - it is not an actual prediction of exactly what will happen. A 3 percent margin of error means that “there is a 95 percent chance that the survey result will be within 3 percent of the population value.”
What that means is that pollsters, much like weathermen are better at their jobs than we give them credit for. I mean we have plenty of jokes about both are wrong all the time (especially the weatherman), the opposite is true - polls (and the weatherman) for the most part - are pretty accurate.
But anomalies do exist, errors happen. I mean, polls predicting the likely outcome of the 2016 Presidential election could have one candidate ten points ahead one week, and then watch that candidate lose mainly due to Widespread Russian Interference in all 50 States which rendered all the polls meaningless - and handing the election to the other candidate.
Here’s what we learned from the first democratic presidential debate last week. Do not fraternize with those you disagree with and never refer to a fellow politician as son, boy or anything similar. It’s just not “politically correct.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden was roasted for talking about trying to find common ground with conservative southern senators when he served in the U.S. Senate. “At least there was some civility” Biden said about working with segregationists like former Mississippi Senator James Eastland. He should not have been so “civil” says a number of other democratic candidates.
I’ll tell you this. These presidential wannabes have never spent time around the Louisiana legislature. When I was elected to the Louisiana State Senate back in 1972, I sat in the Senate chambers shrouded by older senators who had served in that body for a number of years. They included Harvey Peltier from Thibodaux, Jackson Davis from Shreveport, Jesse Knowles, who survived the Baton death march in World War II, and J.E. “Boysie” Jumonville from New Roads. They all were quite conservative, more so than me.
Many of these senators had served through the segregation era and had opposed any legislation involving civil rights. When I took office, we often disagreed and I did my best to bring them around to my point of view. But we were always civil and we often socialized and shared a meal when the legislative day was done.
Should I have scorned those who disagreed with me as Joe Biden is accused of not doing. Of course not. The whole focus of a democracy is to confect workable solutions where a consensus can come together. Failing to confer with those you disagree with is, in my opinion, a dereliction of one’s oath of office.
I was affectionally referred to by these elder senators, as “the new kid” and “young Brown.” Boysie Jumonville, who sat right next to me, often called me son or boy. I never took offense, nor did I think his term of “boy” had any racial connotations. A far cry of the onslaught of criticism Biden is facing today.
Let me tell you how bad the racial tension could have become. With much humor and gusto, Louisiana’s first black representative, Dutch Moriel from New Orleans, relished telling of his first day at the state capitol in Baton Rouge as a new legislator. Representatives have seat-mates, with their two desks sitting side by side. As chance would have it, Dutch sat right next to Representative Jesse McLain, who represented an archconservative district in southeast Louisiana that had been a hotbed of Klu Klux Klan activity. Now Dutch was from a Creole background and quite light skinned.
Dutch told me that when he took his seat, Jesse leaned over and whispered: “Where’s that N…..? (Yes, the N word.) Dutch said he just smiled, looked around the room for a minute, then leaned over to Jesse, got right up in his face, and said: “You’re looking at him.” Then he burst out laughing. A flustered McClain excused himself from the legislature for the rest of the day.
McClain came back the next day and apologized. Dutch told me that they became friends, and that he worked on McClain for the next four years to make him more enlightened on a number of social issues.
Of course you have to reach out when you are in public office. We will never agree on all matters, but there is a middle ground on a number of social and economic issues that both make sense and serve the public interest. For some current presidential candidates to argue otherwise is bad policy and bad governing.
Peace and Justice
Well, this is going to be easy to write. Wednesday night’s Democratic debate (that wasn’t a debate) was pretty tame and stuffed to the brim with a whole lot of “meh.” Last night’s Democratic debate (that was slightly more of a debate) had more fire. Not, much - but a bit.
And here’s the thing. It was so painfully, clearly obvious that Senator Kamala Harris came out on top that I don’t actually have anything quippy to say. I mean, when the issue of race came up, Harris beat Joe Biden down like he was an amateur. (Editor’s note: This is the same link as the one on the front page).
Just like Warren on the previous evening’s debates, Harris was razor sharp across the board and was, again (as we always say) … presidential. I think Biden, Warren and Sanders have been the obvious front runners but that’s simply because they’ve raised a lot of money and get a lot of press. Which is important.
And, while it’s true that I don’t think you can have much of a “debate” when you only allow each candidate 60 seconds to answer questions (because you’re not really going to get to the meat of the deal.) That being said, when you put ten people up on the stage, sometimes it does become clear - “who is out of their league?”
And, there was a whole lot of “this candidate is out of their league.” Andrew Yang, who is mainly an “automation is a huge problem” candidate (he’s right); self-help author Marianne Williamson, former Gov. John Hickenlooper; Rep. Eric Swalwell (who had a nice “pass the torch” exchange with Biden); Sen. Kristen Gillibrand; and finally Sen. Michael Bennet - all of which, performed well (except, perhaps for Williamson) but are clearly just “out of their league.”
Which brings it down to Harris, Biden, Sanders and Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Frankly, Biden kind of bungled it. Harris clearly got under his skin and it showed. After her beat down exchange, Biden awkwardly tried to explain his positions but it didn’t matter. From that point on he was stony faced and submissive. He, quite literally, lost - and he knew it.
Sanders was … well, he was Sanders. He didn’t offer anything that he hasn’t been consistently saying his entire career in politics - free health care, go after wall street and big Pharma, end student loan debt. His usual playbook. BUT THEN, he said something that I thought took guts. When asked if he would “raise taxes on the middle class,” he told the truth. He said, “Yes.” Because - that’s how government pays for things.
I mean, politicians usually say “no” to that question (and then raise taxes on the middle class anyway). So, at least Sanders is consistent and truthful. And I do like Sanders but, compared to the youth on stage he really did stand out as … old.
So, I wouldn’t say Sanders lost the debate in the same way that Biden did; however, Sanders, I feel, probably didn’t win over new voters.
Which brings us to Pete Buttigieg, or “Mayor Pete” as his constituents know him. He’s still not mainstream well known but is considered a rising star on the left. And he is. He’s incredibly smart. He’s extremely well spoken. He’s a veteran having served in Afghanistan. He has governing experience (several years Mayor). And, to be honest - he’s just flat out likable. I don’t see him as a front runner though. He’s just too unknown. But, perhaps a VP pick or a cabinet position?
Anyway, it all comes down to this. Biden has the money. He has the reputation. But he got his butt handed to him by the fiery Senator Harris. Who also has money. Primary’s are still a long way away and anything could happen, but after two nights of hearing twenty candidates, it really does look like these folks are at the head of the pack:
Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Bernie Sanders and VP Joe Biden (even though he lost big time last night, I wouldn’t count him out just yet). Then I would add both Julian Castro and Mayor Pete near the top of the race as they appear to be exceptionally good candidates … that probably don’t have a chance to make the top of the ticket.
After a weekend full of Lucy Flores, the time has come to ask why the former gang banger, Nevada Assemblywoman and two time Nevada political loser found it necessary to wait four and a half years and then come after Joe Biden for alleged hair sniffing. Or alleged back of head kissing. Or alleged shoulder holding.
All while Biden, then the Vice President of the United States of America, was lending his support to what would soon become her massive loss in 2014 for Light Gov.
And, did I mention that it was four and a half years before she trotted out Biden’s “crime?”
“I had never experienced anything so blatantly inappropriate and unnerving before,” she (or someone) wrote in New York Magazine.
You mean the abortion you had when you were gang banging at age 16 was perfectly appropriate? The fact that your solution to becoming pregnant was to kill the baby? That was appropriate?
Or does it mean you have a very short memory?
Let me refresh it from your own website:
“By 15 I was on juvenile parole and by 17 I had dropped out of high school.”
Now, Lucy. I’m NOT kicking you when you are down. In fact, the exit you made from that life is impressive. It shows that President Trump is on the right path with his criminal justice reform efforts—which, thankfully, your Democrat buddies seem to be supporting.
Also, I’m not here to make Joe an example of who I would like to see as President, since we already have a perfectly good President in Donald Trump.
But, he is, at least, the sanest of the Democratic candidates so far and is a decent man who doesn’t deserve the negative publicity you and the lamestream media have whipped up, presumably at the request of one of the other crazed Democrat candidates. Further, you seem just a tad too concerned with your political relevance which is actually somewhere between that of Jussie Smollett and Hillary Clinton.
And as far as this #MeToo crap goes, count me out.
As I have said in this space before, my Father took me aside when I was about 13 and told me that I had a Mother and two Sisters and I had better treat women the way I expected others to treat my Mother and two Sisters. Left unsaid was what would happen if I violated those strictures but it wouldn’t have been pleasant.
Somehow, given your gang banging background, if you had been all that offended at the time, Biden might have suffered a groin injury (although the Secret Service might have been upset). Something tells me you didn’t say a word at the time because you are full of crap.
You appreciated his trip to attempt to bail you out of a horrible campaign back then and you feel like there’s nothing he can do for you today.
In short, madam, cut the crap.
You don’t deserve any of the time the lamestream media has wasted on you and, if you want to be an example to troubled youth, maybe you should endorse the President’s First Step Act and get on with it.
Or you can continue to act like Jussie Smollett and become even more irrelevant than you are now.