Who Cares If George HW Bush and Bill Clinton Are Friends? Not Everything Is Political

The friendship between George HW Bush and Bill Clinton is one that goes back to the time after Clinton won the 1992 election and was in the midst of the transition. People have thought this to be strange considering how the two campaigns went at each other during the campaign.

It’s not an unheard of phenomenon. Unfortunately, we live in a hyper-partisan culture where people allow politics to end relationships and friendships. Over the weekend, Bill Clinton tweeted the following:

I love this. Here are two men from two completely different backgrounds, political philosophies, and world views yet they have a friendship that has lasted 25 years. Such a thing gets celebrated outside of politics. However, people on both sides (not all of them) reacted as though this was a meeting of two monsters and neither should be friends with the other.

Politics in Washington D.C. is more partisan than ever before, and it has wormed its way into society. Everything is political these days, and it’s as if people cannot enjoy themselves without being lectured one way or the other by somebody saying it’s “wrong” to indulge because of a perceived slight. “Oh, you can’t see that movie because the actor is a liberal and donates to Democrats!” or “That country music star supported Trump. How can you possibly listen to him?” 

Politics used to be about ideology. Now it’s tribal, so it is all about “sides” and “teams.” Critical of Donald Trump? You’re “helping the left.” And it’s not just opposing ideological spectrums either. Tribal politics exist within political ideologies. Some conservatives bash Trump at every turn for the sake of bashing him and call those who defend Trump, not out of loyalty to him, but in direct opposition to media coverage or Democratic nonsense, “Trump apologists.”

At some point, people have to understand that for many people, politics does not shape our lives. So many of us live and move in the political world. But there is a whole other world out there. It’s why I cannot stand to see people bemoaning the lack of politics in baseball or other areas of life. Sometimes we want that escape.

Bill Clinton and George HW Bush learned to put aside politics and got to know each other, not as political adversaries, but as people. They’ve had a long friendship and that is something to be celebrated, not castigated.

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Dear CNN: Why Is A Former Obama Appointee Reporting On Susan Rice Revelation?

Eli Lake at Bloomberg wrote an explosive piece that set the political world on fire for a few hours yesterday. Lake detailed how Susan Rice, President Obama’s National Security Adviser sought to “unmask” the identities of Trump campaign transition members and his campaign.

From Lake’s story:

White House lawyers last month discovered that the former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

The pattern of Rice’s requests was discovered in a National Security Council review of the government’s policy on “unmasking” the identities of individuals in the U.S. who are not targets of electronic eavesdropping, but whose communications are collected incidentally. Normally those names are redacted from summaries of monitored conversations and appear in reports as something like “U.S. Person One.”

One absurdity uncovered with Lake’s story is it shines a light on her ability to lie at the drop of a hat:

Rice herself has not spoken directly on the issue of unmasking. Last month when she was asked on the “PBS NewsHour” about reports that Trump transition officials, including Trump himself, were swept up in incidental intelligence collection, Rice said: “I know nothing about this,” adding, “I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that account today.”

A smarter person would say, “The FBI, House, and Senate are all investigating, so it’s better that I don’t say anything about it.” Did she not think the information would come out at some point?

Where it all gets somewhat ridiculous is when CNN’s Jim Sciutto tweeted the following:

For the record, Jim Sciutto worked in the Obama administration. It is a fact not mentioned in Sciutto’s CNN biography, but it certainly should be.

Two things about this tweet:

 1. Note the careful language – The anonymous source says “improperly sought.” It likely means Lake’s reporting is valid and Rice did in fact, make requests to unmask. The question of whether it was proper or not remains to be seen.

2. The “person close to Rice” is likely somebody Sciutto knows – Before Sciutto worked at the White House, he worked at ABC. Do you know who he worked with at ABC? Ian Officer Cameron. Do you know who’s married to Cameron? Susan Rice.

As the Church Lady would say…”How convenient!”

Sciutto later tweeted:

Well except for the part where she denied knowing at all about it.

CNN would be wise to have a different reporter work on the story. We don’t know for sure if Cameron is Sciutto’s source, but he’s likely not going to say anything. The use of an anonymous source to “ho-hum” the story is not where CNN should go especially since Jim Scuitto is tied to the Obama administration and to Susan Rice.

 

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4 Ways The Obama Administration Weaponized The Government

Donald Trump accused Barack Obama of tapping his phones in Trump Tower during the 2016 election. Granted, Trump got the idea after reading a Breitbart article and the underlying accusation – that Trump’s phones were tapped – is likely, not true. That said, would it surprise me if the Obama Justice Department sought out a FISA warrant to engage in “reverse targeting” of Trump campaign officials? Not at all. The Obama administration at various levels used the powers provided to them to engage in partisan political activity.

Here are four examples of how the power of the government was weaponized under the Obama administration.

1. The IRS scandal – Democrats bemoaned the number of conservative political organizations that were being created to fight President Obama’s agenda. Through the media and letters to Congressional leaders, Democrats through their complaints demanded the IRS target conservative groups for greater scrutiny and harassment. They did this and led by Lois Lerner, destroyed evidence, including emails to cover up any obvious illegalities. President Obama and other Democrats bent over backward to protect IRS officials. Lerner was able to retire with a full pension. Nobody was fired. The only penalty the IRS suffered was having to pay a $50,000 in damages for their agency leaking information about the National Organization for Marriage to an organization supporting gay marriage, who then leaked it to the press.

2. The National Labor Relations Board harassment of Boeing – In this case, Boeing, a company free to open up production plants wherever it wants, was charged by the NLRB of violating labor laws by opening a plant in South Carolina instead of its home state of Washington. Lafe Solomon, the labor board’s general counsel, absurdly stated Boeing was acting in a “retaliatory” manner by deciding to open a production plant in South Carolina, instead of Washington. He claimed it was “retaliation” because of striking workers in Washington. Solomon could never prove this and Boeing officials said lower costs are what drove their decision. The NLRB case was dropped but only after Boeing workers in Washington, ratified a four-year contract extension.

3. EPA Director uses a fake email address to hide political activityFrom the WSJ: “Lisa Jackson, who announced on Dec. 27 that she was stepping down as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, will be leaving under a cloud. It turns out that she had been using an email account, under the alias “Richard Windsor,” to conduct official business, in an apparent attempt to evade federal transparency laws, including the Freedom of Information Act.”  Of course, EPA officials said her using two “official” accounts is nothing new, but choosing an alias that doesn’t correspond to her real name is very suspicious especially considering the head of the EPA acts alone, unlike the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that acts with several board members. Those outside DC were not buying Jackson’s excuse, either: “I don’t know any other agency that does this,” said Anne Weismann, chief counsel of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which asked EPA’s inspector general on Tuesday to investigate the matter. Even if Jackson needs a separate email account, Weismann asked, “why would you pick a fictitious name of someone of different gender? To me it smacks of … trying to hide.”

4. The surveillance of Fox News reporter, James Rosen: The Obama administration, under direction from Attorney General Eric Holder. did the following to James Rosen:

  • Named him a “criminal co-conspirator” under the Espionage Act of 1917
  • Used that as a basis for monitoring his movements to and from The State Department
  • Traced his phone calls
  • Read his personal emails
  • Described as a “flight risk” so he wouldn’t have to be informed of what was happening.

On that last one, it makes me question the veracity of people like Chuck Todd who tweeted President Trump’s tweets about the press were “un-American” but didn’t do the same when a professional colleague was named as a “criminal conspirator” for doing his job.

It’s for reasons like this Donald Trump’s allegations may not be true, but they are not implausible.

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Mitt Romney Hits Harry Reid With A Verbal Flamethrower

As most everybody knows, Senator Harry Reid (Dirtbag – Nevada) has quite the history with Mitt Romney. In 2012, Reid took to the floor of the Senate and accused Mitt Romney, sans evidence, of being a criminal. He accused Romney of being a tax cheat.

From the Senate floor. With no evidence.

Worse yet, when confronted with the fact that he was lying about Romney, Reid smiled and said, “It worked, didn’t it?” 

Now Reid has the audacity to say that he “respected” Mitt Romney, but doesn’t now because he considered taking a job in the Trump administration. Here is what Reid said:

“This is man who came out big-time against Trump. Oh, the things he said about Trump. Well, that’s great, that’s wonderful,” Reid said. “Either he wasn’t telling the truth, or he’s a person with no character. After having said that, to go and do homage to this guy he said awful things about, I don’t think that shows much character.”

“Mitt Romney is somebody I had respect for,” Reid said, in a somewhat dubious assertion. “I have none anymore.”

Many people, myself included, believe Romney thought about being Secretary of State in a Trump administration, despite his misgivings, out of a sense of patriotism and serving his country. In the end, Donald Trump felt more comfortable with Rex Tillerson. These things happen.

As for Romney he issued the following statement through a spokesperson:

“I was indeed very critical of Mr. Trump during his campaign. But now he has been elected president and accordingly, if I could have helped shape foreign policy to protect the country I love, I would have been more than willing to do so.”

He then unloaded on Harry Reid:

“As for Mr. Reid, I lost respect for him when he repeatedly lied about my taxes and later admitted to it cheerily. Good riddance, Mr. Reid. The Senate will be better served without you in it.”

Perfect.

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Nervous GOP? Chaos Scenario Watched Closely In Electoral College

Trump and his supporters continually claim the electoral college win is a “blowout” and a “historic landslide.” I suppose it is true. No other Presidential candidate has ever had this kind of electoral win against a woman. All kidding aside, Trump’s victory was not historic, and the GOP is nervous about possible electoral defectors.

37 isn’t just an important number used throughout the movie, ‘Clerks.’ It’s the number of electors who decide not to vote for Donald Trump that brings about a chaotic (albeit temporary) scenario. Trump won the election with 306 electoral votes. If 37 of Trump’s electors don’t vote for him (they don’t necessarily have to vote for Hillary) and choose anybody else, Trump would be left with 269 electoral votes, one short of winning. The election would then go to the House of Representatives where the likely scenario is the House chooses Donald Trump (sorry Evan McMullin – that’s how it will go down).

The GOP is keeping tabs on it:

The Republican National Committee is overseeing an expansive whip operation designed to lock down Donald Trump’s Electoral College majority and ensure that the 306 Republican electors cast their votes for the president-elect.

Two RNC sources familiar with the effort said the committee — with the assistance of state Republican parties and the Trump campaign — have been in touch with most of the GOP electors multiple times, and has concluded that only one is a risk to cast a vote against Trump on Dec. 19, when the Electoral College meets.

The RNC’s elector head count, the sources emphasized, is standard practice in presidential election years. But this year it also serves as an early-warning system for potentially wayward GOP electors amid an intense push by Democratic electors to convince 37 of their Republican counterparts to jump ship. The Democrats are hoping that dozens of GOP electors — many of whom were picked at local conventions and party meetings dominated by Trump’s opponents — are already primed to resist Trump.

State party leaders, the RNC sources said, are in frequent communication with electors through phone calls and letters. They have identified multiple points of contact for the GOP electors and also monitor their social media, all to guard against the prospect of electors voting for someone other than Trump.

The good news for Trump is, most electors are true party people. They want to maintain whatever standing they have within the party, and you can be sure there will be recrimination for individuals who choose to defect.

Still, it’s something to see them watch it this closely.

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Where Is The Outrage? Trumpers Silent As He Fills His Administration With ‘Globalists’

A lot of people remember the confrontation Senator Ted Cruz had a with a Trump supporter during the campaign. At one point Cletus asks Cruz, “Where’s your Goldman Sachs jacket? We know your wife works there!”

It was a shot taken not only at Cruz but also one at Hillary Clinton. After all, it was Trump who said Goldman Sachs had “total control” over her. The hardcore Donald Trump supporters call people such as Speaker Paul Ryan and Senator Marco Rubio, “globalist traitors” and shriek about “globalism” at every turn.

Yet, the silence is deafening now that Donald Trump is filling his cabinet and other administrative posts with these so-called “globalists.”

The best part was watching Trump fans laugh and chortle over Donald Trump not choosing the rich “globalist” Mitt Romney for Secretary of State in favor of Rex Tillerson – they very wealthy CEO of a global oil and gas company.

On the Goldman Sachs front, Trump will have Goldman Sachs Chief Financial Officer Gary Cohn head up Trump’s National Economic Council. Trump’s choice to head the Department of Treasury is Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sach’s partner and Anthony Scaramucci, a former Goldman Sachs banker plays a vital role in Trump’s transition team.

Trump’s choice for Commerce Secretary is Wilbur Ross. A former banker and leveraged buyout specialist, Ross is worth $2.9 billion. He is now a venture capitalist but when he was buying companies he was also doing what Trump railed about – sending jobs to Mexico and China:

Here’s how it worked: In 2004, Ross bought Cone Mills, a North Carolina textile company facing bankruptcy, as Bloomberg detailed in a 2012 write-up. He combined it with another textile company, Burlington Industries, to form International Textile Group. And it was renamed Cone Denim. Bloomberg explained that Ross expanded production “in less-expensive emerging markets” and that he also “eliminate[d] duplicative facilities.”

In other words, layoffs and outsourcing.

In his most recent news, Donald Trump is going to ask Rick Perry to be his Secretary of Energy. Google “Rick Perry” and “globalist” and you’ll find all kinds of references to Perry, Alex Jones, and Breitbart. Perry is considered to be a “RINO globalist, ” and Trumpers were thrilled when Perry dropped out of the Republican race especially after he said Trump was a “cancer” to conservatism.

To be honest, I think many of these picks are quite good. When you want to change the system as Trump claims he wants to do, you bring people in who know the system, not activists who rail about it. The question is whether or not he does it or he’s going to be a run of the mill Republican President.

Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

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BREAKING: Mitt Romney Confirms He’s Out of Running, Issues Statement

Mitt Romney confirmed on Twitter and via Facebook that he is no longer in the running for Secretary of State:

Here is his full statement posted on Facebook –

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Bloomberg Reporter: Trump Called Romney To Say He’s Not Going To Be Secretary of State

Jennifer Jacobs of Bloomberg says she has information that Donald Trump called Mitt Romney to inform him, he was not going to be Trump’s choice for Secretary of State:

This certainly means Donald Trump is prepared to dig in and fight for Rex Tillerson unless Trump completely surprises everybody tomorrow morning:

 

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Electors Want Intelligence Briefings and Sore Losers In Clinton Camp Agree

If this election wasn’t the strangest on record, it just hit peak stupidity. Some electors, with the backing of the Clinton campaign, are saying they want intelligence briefings to learn more about supposed interference in the election by the Russians.

From Politico:

In its first show of public support for efforts questioning the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s victory, Hillary Clinton’s campaign said it is supporting a request by members of the Electoral College for an intelligence briefing on foreign intervention in the presidential election.

“The bipartisan electors’ letter raises very grave issues involving our national security,” Clinton’s former campaign chairman John Podesta said in a statement on Monday. “Electors have a solemn responsibility under the Constitution and we support their efforts to have their questions addressed.”

“Each day in October, our campaign decried the interference of Russia in our campaign and its evident goal of hurting our campaign to aid Donald Trump,” he said. “Despite our protestations, this matter did not receive the attention it deserved by the media in the campaign. We now know that the CIA has determined Russia’s interference in our elections was for the purpose of electing Donald Trump. This should distress every American.”

This is asinine. First of all, the “conclusion” that Russia wanted Donald Trump to win is one that is being disputed by the FBI. The “determination” made by the CIA was made by political appointees within the CIA, not agents themselves. In addition, Podesta was the one stupid enough to get fooled by a phishing scam. He should learn to take more care as to what he clicks on in his emails than whining about Trump and Putin.

Second, that there are electors are running around demanding intelligence briefings, makes a mockery of the electoral process and seeing Hillary Clinton’s stooges signing on this plan makes it clear they’re nothing but a bunch of sore losers.

Third, electors have a job to do and it doesn’t including demanding they get to see classified information because their hackles are up about the election results. They have a job to do. Get it done and stop behaving like this is an episode of ’24.’

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Carl Bernstein’s Desperate Attempt To Stay Relevant (VIDEO)

I think (at least I hope) investigative journalists look to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s work on the Watergate story as a standard in doing hard work to find the truth when reporting. Their story told in ‘All The President’s Men,’ is one my favorite movies of all time. At a certain point, however, one has to let go of the past and move on.

Bob Woodward is still doing investigative journalism. His story on the Pentagon burying a report highlighting $125 billion in wasteful spending is a perfect example.

Carl Bernstein, on the other hand, seems content to use the fame given to him because of Watergate, as his means of remaining relevant. During an appearance on Reliable Sources, Sunday, Bernstein weighed in on Donald Trump and immediately went to the Nixon comparison.

Of course, Carl ultimately leaves Bill Clinton out of the conversation. Clinton finds it difficult to speak without lying.

Carl spends his time now, insisting:

  1. No scandal involving Democrats is EVER worse than Watergate
  2. Every Republican President is WORSE than Nixon.

You’ve been in the business since you’re 16, Carl. Go do some reporting again.

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