Impeachment of President Trump appears to
be on the horizon. Speaker of the House
Nancy Pelosi, who has opposed impeaching Trump in the past, said, “We could not ignore what the president did.
He gave us no choice. So it wasn't any change of mind. I always said we will
follow the facts where they take us. And when we see them, we will be ready.
And we are ready.” According to a
CNN poll of U.S. House members, a clear majority- 223(all Democrats) of the 435-
support impeaching the president.
Impeachment does not remove the president
from office. In our nation’s history,
only two presidents have been impeached- Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Neither were removed. Impeachment is the process
by which a legislative body levels charges against a government official. It is the equivalent to an indictment in
criminal law, and thus is only the statement of charges against the official. If the House votes to impeach, a trial will
take place in the U.S. Senate, where a 2/3 majority is needed to remove from
office. With Republicans having 53 of
the 100 members, getting to 67 is a tough hill to climb.
First, Pelosi and the Democrats are not
concerned with facts. In spite of her
claim the House will conduct a fair and through investigation into Trump’s call
with the Ukrainian president, their track record indicates otherwise. The Democrats- in lock step- have opposed everything
Trump has done. They practice ‘group
think’ and are blindly loyal to their cause. They are willing to excuse bad behavior in
the name of unity, which is a form of collusion- the very thing they condemn in
Trump. It is true that no one is above
the law, but Pelosi seems willing to turn a blind eye to misbehavior on her
side of the aisle.
Second, the Senate trial could hurt Biden and Democrats more than Trump. With Republicans in control, they will likely
investigate Hunter Biden’s association with the Ukrainian company and if he
violated any U.S. laws. If they go back
far enough, they could look into Joe Biden’s brother, James and Hunter purchase
of a hedge fund-Paradigm Global Advisors in 2006. According to an unnamed executive quoted in Politico, James Biden told employees the
first day: “Don’t
worry about investors. We’ve got people all around the world who want to invest
in Joe Biden. We’ve got investors lined up in a line of 747s filled with cash
ready to invest in this company,” At that time, Joe Biden was months away
from becoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and launching
his second bid for president. Was the
purchase made to work around campaign- finance laws?
Third, the 116th Congress will not get much else done in 2020. Expect the impeachment and subsequent trial
to consume the legislative calendar. The
people’s business will be pushed to the next year. That could backfire on the Democrats in the
Citizens of all political stripes are fed
up with the bickering, polarizing, positioning, partisan behavior on both sides. Their predictability is boring and doesn’t
move the country forward. Expect it to
get worse before it gets better.
Steve's note: A reader said Pelosi's statement reminded him of the scene in Thelma & Louise where they drove off the cliff. For those who haven't seen the movie, here is a clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=4z88U915uq8
A whistle-blower is a person who exposes information or activity
deemed illegal, unethical or not above board within an organization.It can be activity that violates company
policy, the law, or general moral code.There are a number of laws that protect whistle-blowers from retaliation
from those they expose.In early August,
an unnamed whistle-blower allegedly said President Trump encouraged Ukrainian
President Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden’s son, Hunter for money laundering
and implied that federal aid might be withheld if Zelensky didn’t comply. Intelligence
Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson(a Trump nominee) found the
whistle-blower’s complaint credible and sent it to Joseph Maguire, the acting
director of national intelligence.When
Maquire didn’t report it to the House and Senate Intelligence committees,
Atkinson wrote a letter directly to the committee chairs advising them of the
Trump has admitted he discussed Biden with Zelensky,
but said he didn’t violate the law.Democrats have seized the opportunity and are calling for Trump to release
the recordings/transcripts of the phone conversation."It
will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness" if the resistance
persists,”House Speaker Nancy Pelosi,
(D-CA) said.Some Democrats see blood in
the water and are calling for hearings and some want to impeach.Three thoughts:
First, Trump’s ‘word to the wise’ was not
unfounded.Rudy Giuliani, who now
serves as President Trump’s private legal counsel, alleged on Twitter Hunter
Biden was “making millions on the board of one of the most corrupt companies in
Ukraine.” He also hinted that the younger Biden’s company laundered $3 million
by transferring the money from Ukraine to Latvia, then to Cyprus, and finally
to the U.S.Democrats haven’t
talked much about the apparent Biden corruption and there is no talk of holding
hearing or investigating the allegations.
Second, there is no evidence of quid pro
quo(Latin meaning: something for something). Trump flatly denies that he offered $250
million in military aid in exchange for an investigation, but even if he did
that it still would not violate the federal bribery statute, which prohibits
public officials from taking or soliciting bribes.While it may be bad judgment for a POTUS, who
just underwent a three year investigation for Russian interference in an
election, to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political foe, it is not
illegal.Donald Trump does push the
Third, Trump loves to disrupt the status
quo.Giuliani says he wakes up every
day planning to disrupt.Four years ago,
he disrupted the GOP primary.In his
first term, he has disrupted the political process.He has disrupted China, Iran, North Korea and
the established foreign policy.Some of
his disruption has been good- others not so good, but America could use some
disruption.We are drowning in national
debt, a growing government and a political class that is out of touch with
normal people.Disruption can divide and
separate, but rest assured, Trump is not doing business as usual.
will tell if Trump’s disruption tactics will work with voters in 2020 or if he
pushed the envelope too far in his conversation with Zelensky.Right now, his Democrat opponents can only
attack his tactics, because his policies are working.
On Saturday, oil production facilities in
Saudi Arabia were bombed using drones, cutting the kingdom’s oil production in
half.Houthi rebels, who are battling
Saudi from Yemen, claimed responsibility, but US officials believe Iran was
behind the attack.Satellite photos show at least nineteen points
of impact at two Saudi facilities, including at a crucial oil refinery.It also shows the attacks came from the
direction of Iran or Iraq, not from Yemen.The attack went largely unnoticed, but rest assured Americans will
become aware of it’s consequence in the coming days.Three observations:
First, consumers of oil related products
will immediately see increases.Crude
oil futures shot up +9.5% to $60 per barrel just on the news of the
attack.Some speculate oil could reach
$100 a barrel.Saudi Arabia has promised
to dip into their reserves until the damage is repaired, but clearly the price
of petroleum based products will rise.The
price at the pump is the most obvious place, but many consumer products are
packaged in PET, made from petroleum.Those products will go up.
Second, expect more drone attacks.Technology can be used for good and bad.Drone aircraft have amazing applications in
business, personal security and recreation, but they can also be used for
evil.With drones being inexpensive and
accessible, even the most budget conscious terrorist can and will wreak havoc.
Third, the bombing escalates the tensions
in the region and could draw the U.S. into a war with Iran.Senator Lindsay Graham, (R-SC), tweeted: “It is now time for the U.S. to put on the
table an attack on Iranian oil refineries if they continue their provocation or
increase nuclear enrichment.”Iranian
General Amir Haijizadeh, in an attempt to defuse the situation said, “Because of the tension and sensitive
situation, our region is like a powder keg.When these contacts come too close, when forces come into contact with
one another, it is possible a conflict happens because of a misunderstanding.” President
Trump tweeted that America was ‘locked and loaded,” which would indicate there
will be some retaliation against Iran.Some
have described this drone attack as an economic “Pearl Harbor.”
There has been speculation President Trump
would meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during his upcoming trip to New
York City for the U.N. General Assembly meeting to discuss the US imposed economic
sanctions.On Sunday night, the POTUS
tweeted that he would not meet with Rouhani unless he agreed there were ‘no
conditions” for removal of the sanctions.It is unlikely that meeting will take place after the attacks.
Who knows how long this shortage of oil
will last.In Oklahoma when the price of
oil goes up, our state’s economy normally does well.Oklahoma government gets funded more because
oil production (and the related taxes) goes up.Unemployment goes down because the oil patch is looking for
workers.The big negative is the higher
prices paid for petroleum related products- and of course our unstable world.
Drew Brees is the
quarterback for the New Orleans Saints.
He has played eighteen years in the NFL and won the Super Bowl in
2010. Brees is a committed Christian. "I live for God, for the faith that I
have in Him. Knowing the sacrifices that Jesus Christ made on the cross for me
and feeling like it’s in God’s hands, all I have to do is just give my best,
commit the rest to Him. Everything else is taken care of. That takes the weight off anybody’s shoulders.
It’s to give you confidence to know that you’ve got somebody looking out for
you," Brees says.
Focus on the
Family, a Christian organization, promotes a ‘Bring Your Bible to School Day’
each year. The event is designed to
empower students to express their belief in the truth of God’s Word–and to do
so in a respectful way that demonstrates the love of Christ. This year the
event is on October 3th. Drew Brees
recorded a short video promoting ‘Bring Your Bible to School,’ and was
immediately attacked by the LBGT community.
Jenn Bentley of Big Easy magazine wrote: “Focus on the Family supports and promotes the practice of ‘conversion
therapy, which uses a combination of shaming and manipulation to cure LGBTQ
people of their sexual orientation.” Brees responded: "I’d like to set the record straight: I live by two very simple
Christian fundamentals, and that is love the Lord with all your heart, mind,
and soul and love your neighbor as yourself." Three observations:
First, Drew Brees never mentioned sexual
orientation in the video. The video simply
encouraged students to bring their Bible to school and share their faith. The video didn’t promote anti-gay behavior or
conversion therapy. "I do not
support any groups that discriminate or that have their own agendas that are
trying to promote inequality," Brees said.
Second, Drew Brees wasn’t the real target
of the critics. It was the
Bible. It teaches homosexuality, adultery,
fornication, stealing, lying, murder, and covetousness is sin. The natural man doesn’t receive the things of
God(2 Cor. 2:14), hence the unconverted hate the Bible. They don’t want the Bible read or promoted
because it condemns them. To the
converted, the Bible is a source of light and life. It is God’s word. In a very classy move, many New Orleans
Saints fans are planning to bring their Bibles to the next home game in support
Third, those who preach tolerance don’t
practice it. The ‘guilt by
association’ mentality is rampant in our
country. Drew Brees exercised his
constitutional right to share his faith.
Those who disagree with that have a right to disagree, but they
shouldn’t condemn intolerance while practicing it.
clearly under attack in America, but followers of Christ facing persecution is
nothing new. It was foretold in
scripture. It will likely get much worse
before it gets better. Believers should
take comfort knowing that in the end, the Creator always comes out on top.
FAIR- because that's my name and BIASED because the truth is we are all biased-either for something or against it. What's important is that our bias(opinions) are based on right- on absolute truth and not on changing values. What's right cannot change based on a change in circumstances. That is the basis for situational ethics.
Situation Ethics is a theory that is concerned with the outcome or consequences of an action; the end, as opposed to an action being intrinsically wrong. In the case of situation ethics, the end can justify the means. There are no absolutes. Your actions are guided only by your conscience.
A person's view of right can be subjective. But there is a way mankind can definitely know what's right and that is revealed in God's Word- the Bible. As His creatures, we should be biased toward things our Creator is for and biased against those things He is against. May God grant us the grace and understanding to know the difference.
PARTY AFFILIATION IS IMPORTANT! by Steve Fair- written in 2009
How important is political party affiliation? Some people mistakenly believe only politicians need political affiliation, which they use for support to get elected. They contend the electorate or voters, do not need to be aligned with any Party. These same people often state they “support the man, not the Party.” But whether they recognize it or not, they are supporting a party when they “support the man.” Most of the Founding Fathers had a negative view of political parties. In his farewell address to the nation, George Washington warned about political parties saying, “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.” In spite of Washington's warning, political parties were formed anyway. From 1796 to 1828 the first political parties were formed. Starting with the Federalists and Anti-Federalists, two opposing factions arose. Each was concerned with how the new government was to be organized. The Federalists believed in a strong central government. Their philosophy and beliefs would closely mirror the Democrat Party today. The Anti-Federalists strongly supported the rights of the states. They would more closely align with Republicans today. Since the mid 1800s, the Ds and Rs have been the two major political parties in our country. Political parties flourished in our government mainly for legislative organization and expediencies sake. Why is Party affiliation important for the average voter? Party affiliation is important for three very simples reasons. First, party affiliation is the first vote a citizen casts. When a citizen registers as a Democrat, then they are aligning philosophically with the values, beliefs, tenets, and positions of the Democrats on the issues. Party affiliation “defines” you are and what you stand for. It should be taken as seriously as a vote for a specific candidate. Research what each Party stands for, their positions on issues, and then align with the Party that is closest to your values. Copies of both major Party platforms are available on-line or at the local library. Second, legislatures organize themselves and conduct business using party affiliation. The legislative branch of government is the most powerful arm of the three branches of government. Legislative bodies hold closed meeting of party members, called a caucus to decide on questions of policy or leadership. The Republicans hold a caucus meeting and the Democrats hold a caucus meeting-both at the state and federal level. Unfortunately, conservative, moderate and liberal philosophies do not hold caucus meetings or control the legislative agendas- parties do. When someone says they vote for “the man,” not the party, they fail to understand the power and function of a caucus system in a legislative body. The Party in the majority controls appointments, Chairmanships, the agenda and countless other things through the caucus. Third, party affiliation should be a matter of conviction, not convenience. Often, people align with a party so they can vote in primary elections or based on family tradition or geographies. Even candidates will align, file and run affiliated with a Party they have little philosophical agreement with. That decision is made out of convenience, not conviction. While no political party is perfect or has all the answers, there is a distinct difference between the two major parties and honest citizens should align with the Party that reflects their convictions. The Democrat Party is more liberal than the Republican Party. Liberals believe in more government control of business, the environment and speech, using large bureaucratic programs to address real or perceived social ills and constant reinterpretation of the Constitution. Liberals are more inclined to trust government than the people themselves. They see the role of government as a great provider of goods and services and have little faith in the individual to solve his own problems. Republicans are more conservative than Democrats. Conservatives believe in less government control of the environment and business. They want fewer and less comprehensive government programs to address real or perceived social ills. They believe in personal responsibility and trust individuals to make decisions for themselves. Republicans believe in a strict literal interpretation of the Constitution. A person should find out which of these philosophies best fits their view if they wish to actively participate in the political process. Party affiliation is important. Washington’s prophecy has come to past, and political parties have been used to empower “unprincipled men,” on both sides of the aisle, but like it or not, political parties are a reality in our system of government. Each concerned citizen should evaluate the philosophy, values, beliefs and tenets of each Party and align their party affiliation accordingly.
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