Representative Nunes has got some splaining to do!

As seen on Crooks & Liars on 3/27/17:

The Daily Sabah, a Turkish daily newspaper, is reporting that disgraced former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn met with the Turkish foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu on January 18th of this year. The breakfast meeting was held at Trump’s new Washington D.C. hotel. Cavusoglu even attended the inauguration just a few days later.

That’s all very interesting but, the real news is that the Daily Sabah is also reporting that a certain someone who is currently leading a congressional investigation into to the Trump administration was present as well – Representative Devin Nunes! The article gives no further information on why Nunes was there or what he may have said or done.

As yet we don’t know if this has anything to do with Nunes’ escapades this past week, but it’s raising some eyebrows for sure. As a member of the Trump transition team, it’s conceivable that he may have information on the campaign’s contacts with Russian agents or government officials. It’s even plausible that he may be one of the Trump advisers that was caught by the FBI in their surveillance of foreign officials.

Flynn wasn’t always so enamored with the Turkish dictator

As late as July of 2016, he could be heard criticizing Turkey’s president, Recep Erdogan, for turning our long time ally from a secular nation to a more Islamic one. Proof of this, according to the conspiracy loving Flynn, was that Erdogan had become “very close to Obama.”

Not that Flynn cared , but this was not true. Especially when it was Obama who cut off Erdogan’s cash cow, Iran. In 2013, the U.S. closed a loophole in the sanctions against Iran. This loophole had allowed Erdogan to trade gold for oil and gas with Iran. Contrary to Flynn’s propaganda, Obama was not considered a friend

Additionally, the Turkish president, his sons and his political allies were accused of profiting illegally from these trades. Erdogan responded by purging the police and judicial system. He fired thousands of police officers and reassigned judges and prosecutors who were involved in the investigations into his corruption. His main accuser was Muhammed Fethuallah Gulen, a well known Turkish iman and writer. Erdogan labeled Gulen a terrorist and demanded his arrest, forcing him to then flee to the U.S. Erdogan repeatedly requested the Obama administration return Gulen to Turkey, but Obama refused stating that it was a decision left up to the courts.

Flynn praises Erdogan

Flynn quickly changed his tune on president Erdogan in August 2016. Documents filed with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) show that Flynn was hired and paid $530,000 to obtain intelligence on Erdogan’s mortal enemy, Gulen. The contract extended from August 15, 2016 to November 16, 2016. Technically, as reported by the Daily Caller, he was not hired by the Turkish government. Instead Flynn was hired by the Inovo BV company which is owned by Ekim Alptekin, the chairman of the Turkish-American Business Council.

The fact that Flynn had an inside track to government officials and agencies was paramount to his hiring as can be seen in the FARA documents that stated the Flynn Intel Group was chosen because it was “…led by senior defense, diplomacy, development and intelligence professionals.”

FARA documents further indicated that:

“In early September 2016, Flynn Intel Group was invited by Mr. Alptekin to meet with a group of government officials from Turkey for the purpose of understanding better the political climate in Turkey at the time, as background for the project. Officials of Turkey attending the meeting on September 19, 2016 in New York were the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mevlut Covusoglu – the same who attended the meeting in D.C.) and the Minister of Energy (Berat Albayrak – Erdogan’s son-in-law).”

We now know this meeting was also attended by former Director of the CIA, Woolsey who was acting as an advisor for the Flynn Intel Group. According to the Wall Street Journal this last week, Woolsey stated that the topic of conversation was how to get around the U.S. extradition laws and return Gulen to Turkey. It is not known what exactly they were planning, but “getting around extradition laws” makes one think they were investigating how they might kidnap Gulen.

Flynn planted propaganda in op-ed article

On Election Day, November 8, 2016, Flynn wrote an op-ed on the subject for The Hill. It is important to recall that at this time, no one knew he was under contract with Inovo BV. In this article, he argued for the U.S. to have better relations with Turkey and claimed that they were our “strongest ally against ISIS.” Whereas just four months prior he’d been claiming Erdogan and Obama were buddies, now he claimed Obama was being disrespectful to him by keeping Turkey at “arms length.”

Flynn’s op-ed continued into a nonsensical rant on how Gulen was a terrorist akin to the Muslim Brotherhood. He offered no evidence of his claims and referred to him as a “shady character.” He even went to far as to compare Gulen to Osama bin Laden stating, “From Turkey’s point of view, Washington is harboring Turkey’s Osama bin Laden.”

The Hill has since added an editor’s note to the article stating that Inovo BV reviewed the article before it was submitted to them. They further stated that Flynn never revealed he was under contract with Inovo BV.

It is absurd that Nunes is allowed to be on the investigative committee that is looking into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia when he was a member of the Trump transition team. We know what Flynn was doing at these meetings.

The question that remains: What was Devin Nunes doing there?


Democrats Must Proclaim Trump Presidency Illegitimate

Spy Museum, future home of Trump Campaign.

As seen on Crooks & Liars on 3/23/17:

Now that Comey has finally come clean and admitted that Trump was and still is under FBI investigation for colluding with Russia during the election, it’s time for Democrats to start obstructing. There’s no reason to debate or even vote. Anything and everything coming from this administration is spurious at best and downright treasonous at worst.

Playing by their rules:

Democrats would only be following Republican rules should they do so. Trump, Cruz, Rubio…they all sang the chorus of how Hillary could not run for president if she was under FBI investigation for her private email server fiasco. She would be illegitimate they said. They would obstruct her in every way possible claiming the moral high ground. Chaffetz even claimed to have two years worth of investigations should she win. That alone is cause enough for Chaffetz to be investigated himself; there either is a crime or there isn’t. You don’t get to choose to investigate should someone from the other side of the aisle win.

Then there’s the whole Supreme Court nominee threat. Republicans actually threatened to never allow a Hillary Clinton Supreme Court nominee even reach the senate floor. Without even mentioning a nominee’s name, Republicans declared that SCOTUS could function with eight members. Ted Cruz stated there was no law dictating that there had to be nine members.

I don’t like playing their game. I don’t believe in tit for tat, and I firmly believe the obstruction of Obama’s appointee, Merrick Garland, was unconscionable. That being said, this is not the same.

Trump investigation is not the same as Clinton’s:

Hillary Clinton was cleared by Director Comey before the election. Regardless of Chaffetz’ and Gowdy’s desires to hold endless hearings, she was cleared. Trump and his campaign are being investigated for colluding with Russia. To be polite, Russia is considered an adversary to the U.S. We know for a fact that Russia hacked the DNC and RNC. Apparently, now they’ve even hacked the CIA, if we are to believe WikiLeaks. We also know for a fact that many members of his campaign had and continue to have Russian ties, and we know that the FBI, CIA and NSA are investigating these crimes.

This means that anything coming from Trump and his administration are illegitimate until cleared. It’s not as if he became president and then colluded with them. His campaign did so in order to gain the upper hand and win the presidency. To be clear, the investigation is considering whether or not the Russian government assisted the Trump campaign in winning the presidency. That is treason! Should this be true, we cannot simply get rid of Trump and let Pence take over. The entire election would be invalid.

What to do:

Therefore, until this investigation is concluded, Democrats must not work with Republicans on any bills, referendums, nominees…on anything.

If the Trump campaign is guilty, how do we know that his cabinet appointees are not colluding with Russia? Rex Tillerson and Michael Flynn come immediately to mind when considering this. How do we know that Trump is not signing executive orders that were actually written with the Russian government’s wishes in mind? After all, Trump is not even aware of what they say or do. The executive order placing Steve Bannon as head of national security is a great example of this. Trump is currently dismantling our systems of government. Does this not sound like an objective that would benefit the Russians? How do we know that any bills being brought forward by the Republican Party members are not influenced by Russian interests? Paul Ryan did say that Trump helped them write their Trumpcare bill. They keep saying that Trump’s Russian collusion is fine by them, and that they are more interested in investigating the media and who leaked the Russian ties than who actually committed the treason.

How do we know if Trump’s SCOTUS nominee is not a pro-Russian nominee? We don’t! 

This is why Democrats must do everything they can to stop this administration. They need to filibuster Gorsuch; no negotiations. I realize the Republicans will likely just change the rules and kill filibustering. This will leave the Democrats fighting future battles that would only require a simple majority vote, but Republicans will do that no matter what Democrats use the filibuster for. If they are saving it for Trumpcare, that is a mistake. The SCOTUS seat will have the most enduring affect on our democracy. Healthcare will not.

No Democrat should vote for any nominee or legislation until this investigation is complete. There can be no middle ground, no wiggle room in this. At each and every vote, Democrats must go on record as a “No because this administration is under investigation for colluding with Russia.” 

Republicans Commence to Eat Their Own

Published on Crooks & Liars on 3/15/2017.

Trump is not known for his consistency. One day he’s claiming he’ll lock Hillary up for baseless charges, the next he could care less. Sometimes he states he is besties with Putin, other times he claims, “Putin who?” Last week he tweeted that Obama was wire tapping his phones, this week his press secretary stated that Trump really doesn’t think Obama tapped his phones. He’s consistently inconsistent.

Yet you can count on Trump for a few things: he lies, won’t take responsibility when things go wrong, will take responsibility for great things he hasn’t actually done like creating jobs, will attack anyone for criticizing him, is a con man through and through, etc. Most of all, Trump holds grudges. And like the elephant that is the mascot of his adopted party, he never forgets those wrongs that he feels others have committed against him. Never.

Just look at what he did to Mitt Romney. Trump purposefully and publicly humiliated him by making him beg for the secretary of state position. All the while, Trump was never, ever going to appoint him. He intended to get even and make Romney look like a fool to which he succeeded. He selected Ben Carson for HUD with the intent of destroying it for its audacity in suing Trump and his father back in 1973 for violating housing anti-discrimination laws. It’s even been said that the entire Trump presidency is a response to Obama teasing Trump publicly at the White House Correspondence dinner in 2011. And so on…

I would bet the house that Trump has a list of wrong doers, and at one time, Obama was probably target number one. Now that number one is assigned to Paul Ryan. Ryan earned that distinction when he uninvited Trump to his Michigan rally after the “grab them by the pussy” comment was made public. It took Ryan months to endorse Trump for the Republican nominee, and it took Trump even longer to endorse Ryan. Like two kids fighting over a toy, they begrudgingly shook hands.

This beef has not gone away; there is a giant crack in the Republican Party. In Ryan’s and his supporters’ minds, they are simply using Trump to sign their long list of laws they’ve been dreaming about for eight years. They think they are the ones holding the power, that they can get rid of Trump whenever his liabilities outweigh his benefits. On the other hand, the Trump team is using Ryan and cohorts to write the laws they want. They also believe they are more powerful and will likewise clean house when Ryan and the gang are of no use.

And so it begins. 

Ryan is pushing his healthcare bill like his life depended on it. That’s because his political life does. With constituents demanding some sort of healthcare program and elections coming in 2018, Ryan’s congressional gang has no choice but to put forth an alternative to the ACA. If they simply repeal and don’t replace, they will be voted out. Ryan has even resorted to buying ads against other Republicans that tell their constituents to demand their representatives support his bill. This is nothing less than a stab in the back.

Trump’s gang wants to see nothing short of repeal. Trump may publicly say that he wants healthcare for all, to save social security and other government benefits programs, but he doesn’t. This is just another election lie like the “lock her up” lie. Trump knew he could not win without this promise.

You have to believe not in what they say, but in what they do to know the truth.

That truth is that Trump only listens to Bannon, Breitbart, Fox News, Infowars and the like. And what those people have been doing for years is railing against the Republican Party. They believe Republicans like Ryan and his supporters are Republican In Name Only (RINO). Breitbart even sells merchandise with RINO emblazed on it. They do not support these RINOs and most certainly do not support government healthcare.

Just this week, Breitbart once again went on the attack again. Their top story exposes Ryan for the Trump hater he is. In it they released a secretly recorded phone conversation between Ryan and multiple Republican representatives. In it he clearly stated his opposition to Trump, and added that he would never support him. This can read as nothing other than a deliberate call for Trumpites to attack Ryan and his gang.

And they are answering that call. Noah Wall of FreedomWorks, Breitbart News Daily, Alex Marlow of Sirius XM, and Lou Dobbs of Fox Business News are calling for Ryan to resign. Even Jenny Beth Martin of the Tea Party Patriots got in on the action when she met with Trump earlier this week. Martin emphasized to Trump that he should not forget that it was Ryan that did not support him during the Access Hollywood fiasco, but that Tea Party Patriots and her PAC never waned in their support. And now FreedomWorks, Breitbart, Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Representative Jim Jordon are holding a protest called FreedomWork’s Day of Action tomorrow, March 15th at the Capital Building.

The Republican civil war has begun. Pass the popcorn please.