Beyond the Cusp

July 8, 2018

Justice Department Inspector General Report on FBI and 2016 Elections

 

Why not just get the most over-hyped part out of the way right off the bat. Yes, FBI lawyer Lisa Page sent a text message to her lover at the FBI asking, “(Trump is) not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” with an actual ?! which where we come from shows distress, uncertainty and heightened anxiety. Then the fateful reply from FBI agent Peter Strzok who texted back stating, “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.” So, what can we conclude from this evidence? Well, that the rest of the five-hundred page report will end up as fodder for the mainstream media while social media will be tossing back and forth how that exchange is meaningless and also that it signifies the end of the world, it all depends upon which side of this battle you side.

 

We have a different take on the whole report and a few of the outstanding minutia which we believe should have sounded alarm bells somewhere within the FBI or the Justice Department but obviously did not. The first thing is this was the Justice Department selecting an inspector to inspect the FBI which is part of the Justice Department. The fact that this investigation found absolutely nothing untoward should have been the expected response. Basically you had an enforcement officer from the Justice Department investigating if the department which pays his salary did anything wrong. Why is it we see something not quite right here? Well, because this investigation which was largely to see if there was any bias in favor of Hillary Clinton and/or against Donald Trump during the 2016 election cycle was performed by the agency where the bias presumably was centered while the investigation into whether Trump’s campaign was working hand in glove with the Russians went to a special prosecutor. The important difference there is the special prosecutor is paid independently and thus will often be more thorough. Both of these investigations should have been investigated by a special prosecutor or neither of these investigations should even have been executed. Having the Justice Department investigate the Justice Department is the quickest means to reaching a conclusion that nothing was done which requires any further investigation, now can we get back to running the country as we see fit while basically ignoring the President and Congress unless we agree with them.

 

But we believe there was one little item which really should have set off alarms. This concerns FBI agent Peter Strzok. Even before his little reassuring text message, there was something not quite correct in his behavior. Mr. Strzok was part of the investigation by the FBI into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server. Mr. Strzok was part of the investigation by the FBI into collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Mr. Strzok was initially part of the special counsel probe being run by Robert Mueller. Any normal human being would probably grow suspicious of any person who wormed their way into every aspect of investigating and potentially affecting the Presidential campaign. One would think that Mr. Strzok’s immediate supervisor would have at least called him in for a consultation and inquired as to what was it that had him working on so many closely related investigations. Then, a good supervisor would have made him give up at the very least one of the positions if not just choose which one in which he most desired to take part. Leaving one person in all three of these investigations was an error of management. Additionally, Peter Strzok’s wife, Melissa Hodgman, was appointed by President Obama as Associate Director of the SEC’s (Securities and Exchange Commission) Enforcement Division in 2016. We guess the good news is that Joseph Burrow, the husband of former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, has a position which is not with the government and may actually be above suspicion of anything except probably really upset about his name being dragged like this because his wife was having too much fun at the office parties.

 

Peter Strzok and Lisa Page

Peter Strzok and Lisa Page

 

What we love about this entire boondoggle is that it exposed something those of us who grew up around Washington D.C. already knew, that there is a government within the government which actually runs the day-to-day operations and because Congress grew fat and lazy, they also decide how the general concepts and ideas which Congressional legislation contains are interpreted and applied into regulations which have the weight of law. President Barack Obama understood this which is why during his first term; Cass Sunstein was named the Administration’s Regulatory Czar. President Obama’s initial instructions to Mr. Sunstein were to go through the legislation passed during the last decade and look for regulations which could be derived out of these pieces of legislation. Needless to say, Mr. Sunstein was very efficient and the number of regulations during President Obama’s first term was significant. So, yes, Virginia, there really is a “Deep State” and it lives within the agencies which are largely manned by left-leaning to extreme left individuals with, every so often, a conservative who spends much time ducking to remain out of sight and hopefully out of mind. The reason for this is very simple to understand. During Republican conservative administrations, true conservatives, they more often than not put in place a hiring freeze, consolidate departments, which often lead to numerous government workers being sent to new agencies where they bump another worker who has less time in service at their level or is a lower pay grade who then bumps the next until the most recent hire found loses their job. The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is a very strong and powerful union and has garnered near chiseled in stone guarantee that once you complete your probationary period you can only be fired if you really do something stupid like texting on your government provided computer, “(Trump is) not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” or reply to this text saying on your government provided computer, “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.” One of these people was forced from their position and the other merely demoted and barred from active investigatory positions. So, even doing such as these might not get you fired. So, Republican conservatives block hiring new personnel when they might have some sway in the process. Then when a Democrat or Republican Progressive and often leftist is elected, the flood gates open and the hiring circus begins and things are good in old D.C. This is how and why most federal government employees are liberal or even leftists and the promotion ladder is stacked even further to the left than the middle and lower level positions. President Trump has revealed this truth for the world to see. Unfortunately, most of the world, and even the American people, do not care and most honestly believe that there is nothing that can be done to repair this problem. The really sad news is that they are correct.

 

Deep State

Deep State

 

Thomas Jefferson realized that this would be a problem, that with parties that the government employees would tend to be more from one party than the other and with time would create a poisonous atmosphere which would threaten the people’s freedoms and liberties. Thomas Jefferson stated it outright when he wrote to his friend William Smith, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Thomas Jefferson once confided that he believed for the United States to stay true to its founding declarations that it would take a revolution every twenty years to force the nations to start again from scratch with only the Declarations of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. This, in his opinion would be found to be necessary otherwise; the federal government would usurp the power of the states and become tyrannical. He was very likely a tad too pessimistic thinking twenty years, but two-hundred and twenty would probably have reached that stage in his mind. When people who have positions of such power as obviously Peter Strzok must have wielded getting on every investigation of note about the election all to work to the detriment of one of the candidates and the favor of the other, then there is a problem. That it took an investigation by an Inspector General to make possible the airing of the full scope of the problems was significant. What became even more significant was that the Inspector General was so invested in the swamp that is the Deep State that he saw nothing inherently wrong or partisan in these events. Basically, the report states that everything was just as normal as could be expected, all things considered. This is what is considered normal then there is a deep-seated problem and it needs to be pulled up by its rotting foliage, roots and all. But, that is something the American people need to wrestle with and decide. We hope that the solution found will be peaceable but thorough leading to efficient and balanced government similar to the initial days of the nation where the government represents the people and not represses the people. We wish you well as you enter your two-hundred-forty-third year.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 8, 2018

Latest Mueller Memo Proves Suspicions and Not Wishes

 

New filings from the Special Counsel, responding to Manafort’s motion to dismiss his indictment due to Mueller overstepping his defined jurisdictions for the Trump Russian collusion probe includes a new heavily redacted document from Rosenstein dated last August confirming that Manafort is within his remit. This was an older memo, according to the date on the release, August 2, 2017, simply defining the extra latitude granted the Mueller probe to include the financial dealing which Manafort had with other parties, in this case with Ukrainian politicians (see image below). This was nothing new and was merely released to refute Manafort’s claims for which he demanded the charges brought against him be thrown out as the information was attained outside the legal guidelines of the probe. There will still be a hearing as every motion gets its moment in court, even the least intelligent. The catch and risk of filing these memos and challenges is that you run the risk of making the judge(s) to this case quite put out. As this will also be the judge, or panel of judges, who will be hearing the case, ruling on objections and in the end, possibly determining the outcome. What will be interesting is what the judge(s) have to say when they decide between the motion to throw out the charges due to their being beyond the limits of the probe and the expanding of the probe into any financial dealings by a member of the Trump team completely outside anything to do with the campaign or election. The assumption is the permission from the Rosenstein memo to widen the investigation to include, one could say, almost any perfidy or potentially criminal act whether as part of the campaign or completely unrelated will stand due to his position as Acting Attorney General. Trump and Manafort supporters will hold out hope that the judge(s) will consider the politicization of the FBI and Department of Justice most ranking members and decide that the memo simply was permitting latitude far beyond what a reasonable individual would consider appropriate and legal. The debate on social media might provide some new wrinkles but also potentially set more friends and family members in hot debate with pitched tempers flaring. Whatever, this decision could have more of an effect and ripples down the road than is first apparent, and that is where we will find our discussion.

 

Rod J. Rosenstein Acting Attorney General Memo

Rod J. Rosenstein Acting Attorney General Memo

 

There is little to talk about should the decision come down in Manafort’s favor and the Mueller Probe is instructed to limit their investigations to the campaign, election and Russian collusion and tampering at the expressed requests of the Trump campaign. That would be a huge victory for the Trump administration and the people who worked on his campaign. We probably would not be able to imagine what some of the more important people have felt like as the Mueller Probe branched out investigating items further afield on several Trump campaign officials looking into items with little if any connection to the campaign. Anybody who had a skeleton hidden away in their basement closet believing it dead and buried never again to see the light of day, the expanding probe must have been a nightmare. What has been somewhat of a surprise has been that there have been so few indictments against Trump campaign people and nothing even coming anywhere near close to President Trump. The President is so far from being investigated for any wrongdoing that the latest leak from the Mueller Probe was that President Trump is not under consideration for anything criminal. As far as criminal probes in Washington go, the Mueller Probe has netted the fewest number of people on charges unless the potential implications of possible improper activity bringing charges against FBI officials and officials from the Justice Department are brought into consideration. Washington probes usually catch their targets and not net Washington high office holders from the Justice Department and FBI having committed the most serious offences.

 

On the other side of the coin, it could be decided that in order to keep Washington well within the law and to investigate all implications and leads to their furthest ramifications, the Mueller Probe may be freed up to go as far afield as they desire and look into anything which suits their fancy. That would, or at least should, send a chilling shiver down many Trump campaign officers’ spines. A ruling with an advisory that all activities which occurred during the campaign by officials or leading up to their consideration for a position in the campaign which may have been influential in their consideration is legally within the permitted scope for the probe would have unmatched ramifications. Such a ruling would lead to the Mueller Probe being granted an entirely new lease on life and the members of Mueller’s team chomping at the bit to go wide and far astray seeking any morsel of wrongdoing. About the only thing which might, at that point, be beyond inspection would be grade school principle’s behavior reports. Well, actually it would not quite be that bad but the span and scope of the investigations would then include looking into all of Trump’s business dealings, his Trump University, his work on beauty pageants, his reality television show, real estate dealings, the running of Mar a Lago resort and anything else Trump has done and all the legal wrangling performed by his lawyers. The anti-Trump army will be exhilarated and licking their lips at the promise that now they will have Trump as there is no way he will escape now. The truth is if the Mueller Probe team is permitted complete and unfettered latitude, then there is almost a guarantee that there will be some charges brought against President Trump, but they will be kept reserved for once he is out of office. There will not be anything which will give them their hoped for impeachment related charges. Even if somehow impeachment charges brought, and even if the House of Representatives impeach Trump sending him to the Senate for trial, he will not be found guilty, and that is all that matters in the end. That will simply send the already angered anti-Trumpers around the bend and into full-throated protestations as the only thing they have sought since election day fails before their eyes. Now all that is left is to wait for the decision by the Judge(s) on the request for charges on Manafort to be dropped due to their being beyond the scope of the Mueller probe.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

November 5, 2017

Democracy’s Greatest Threat Wrapped in Black

 

A black robed figure often represents the Angel of Death or can represent a corrupted soul. As such a figure, it could be used to represent a select group of people who have powers greater than the Congress, the Administration or even the “Deep State,” and one who is unafraid to use its powers. Such a figure could even oppose a President and nullify any action he tried to take. They could completely alter the definitions and intentions of any legislation after it has been passed and signed into law. They could have people taken and held incommunicado for as long as they deemed necessary. In their own opinions and rulings, their powers would be unlimited and could not be denied, opposed, weakened or otherwise moderated by anyone in the government and they would not answer except to others of their own kind. Such are the Federal Judiciary of the Justice Department, the police, law enforcement and special officers who can have arrest, detain or otherwise serve writs as instructed by the Judiciary. Their powers can be enforced by the Attorney General, the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), FBI, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), IRS and the remainder of the various law enforcement agencies under the DHS (Department of Homeland Security). The actual individuals we are referencing are the Judges themselves, specifically the Federal Judges.

 

Relatively recently there were two Federal Judges, one in Hawaii and one in Maryland (no surprise) who annulled a directive to the Immigration Department to restrict immigrants from the same six nations which had been named for special considerations by both President George W. Bush and President Obama. The order was to last approximately ninety days or until sufficient methods were put in place for vetting immigrants from these nations. All of the nations have no actual effective governance and no method for identification of their people and are nesting homes for terrorist groups. Both of these judges, United States District Judge Theodore Chuang and United States District Judge Derrick Watson, were both surprisingly, or not, appointed by President Barack Obama. Judges have found rights in the Constitution which have baffled Constitutional scholars as well as us. Who knew that James Madison intended that bakers must bake a cake as fast as they can for anybody no matter how much of an offense to the baker the cake’s intended celebration may be. You are a devout Christian and a baker and a same sex couple would like a specially designed wedding cake and you must bake it or be sued and lose your business. Why wouldn’t a judge not simply order the couple to go and use another baker, who is not so undisposed to desire their business, instead of seeking out a baker who has Bibles on the shelves of his shop and then try and force them to make their cake. We are willing to bet that had one of the pair requested a wedding cake and stated they would add the couple atop the cake later, as they had a special family heirloom they would use and would bring it out at the ceremony, that they would have their cake already as long as they had not eaten it. But common sense, in many ways, has appeared to have left the building in disgust never to return. And this problem goes beyond court decisions and appears to have spread to the general population across the planet.

 

Judges out of control is not merely a problem in the United States. This is also a big problem in Israel. The originating source of the problem comes from the words of Israeli Supreme Court former Chief Justice Israeli Aharon Barak’s in his statement that “everything is justiciable” which has led to serious threats to the Israeli governance. Fortunately, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked is challenging the broad application (pictured below) which had become a major disruption as the Supreme Court has utilized this to dangerously overstep their powers believing they wield unchallengeable powers. This one statement was made, as a justification for the Supreme Court in particular, and judges generally, to take the extra step to right those things they see as wrong. They are to be the final arbiters of everything in Israeli society, life, governing and even military decisions. The Israeli Supreme Court has nullified laws which were passed by the Knesset and approved by the Prime Minister, in some cases more than once. The Israeli Supreme Court altered the route of the Security Barrier which placed some additional Israelis in direct threat of added terror threats. The Israeli Supreme Court has ordered homes in the disputed territories destroyed without ever demanding proof of Arab ownership and even without questioning or meeting the Arab presumed to have owned the land and simply as a response to charges raised by anti-Zionist NGO’s. The Israeli Supreme Courts countermanded orders during the Gaza and Second Lebanon Wars and also in peace times. The Israeli Supreme Court has enacted laws they believed were necessary without any action by the Knesset or Prime Minister and in all of these cases, the Supreme Court refused to admit that these powers were beyond their delineated powers quoting former Chief Justice Aharon Barak’s “everything is justiciable” statement. Rounding up the Israeli Supreme Court expanded powers which were self-declared is something vital for the survival of the Israeli democratic governance. The Supreme Court cannot claim and actually wield such that their power is unopposable and spans placing them over all other branches of government and even over the generals and officers of the military. The Legislative Branch, the Knesset, and the Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet cannot function to implement the will of the people if the Supreme Court, which we will explain why it does not represent the people and is getting further from the people every day, can overrule every vote, rescind every law, veto every decision and even enact whatever laws they see fit thus making the Knesset and Prime Minister all but irrelevant. Everything stated about the Knesset and Prime Minister goes double for the military which cannot have a court, even a Supreme Court, second guessing officers and their orders during a war as that gets people’s children killed. The Israeli Supreme Court has overruled Ministers in the Cabinet’s funding decisions when they displease the sensitivities of one of the Justices. What a way to run a country.

 

Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked

Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked

 

The Israeli Supreme Court chooses its new Justices when a vacancy is made in a way which is unique in the entire world. First is the method for determining the Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice which is done by simple seniority, the longest serving judges on the court are appointed to the Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice positions. Replacing a retiring Justice on the Supreme Court is performed by a nine-member commission. The selection of the members of the commission guarantees that the Israeli Supreme Court almost never varies from the positions taken by the founding justices in the early 1950’s. The Judicial Selection Committee is a nine-member committee with the members selected as follows:

Justice Minister – Chairman.
Cabinet Minister, chosen by the Cabinet.
Two Knesset Members, (one member from the coalition and one from the opposition).
Two members of the Bar Association (selected by the two largest factions).
The Chief Justice,
Two Judges of the Supreme Court

With the two Supreme Court Justices plus the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and two members from the Bar Association who will likely have to represent people or groups in trials before the Supreme Court there are five people who are obliged to curry favor with the existing Supreme Court or are members of said Supreme Court. That is five out of the nine-member committee and thus a majority. Simple math shows rather quickly, as to why the Israeli Supreme Court seldom has a Justice placed on the bench which is any different in their politics from the existing members on the Supreme Court. While the Israeli public and governance has changed significantly over the years as Israel has grown from being an agrarian economy with a GDP of $2.6 Billion in 1960 which became $6.3 Billion in 1970 climbing to $21.9 Billion in 1980 then taking off to $52.5 Billion in 1990 continuing to rise to $132.4 Billion in 2000 then jumping to $233.7 Billion in 2010 finally reaching $318.7 Billion last year in 2016 and an advanced economy leading the world in many computer, medical, agricultural and other scientific areas of excellence (see graph below). This change from an agrarian economy to one centered inside cities largely surrounding Tel Aviv with an active and admirable high tech core plus making advances in medicine, new drugs, treatments as well as an active energy economic segment which includes ecological imperatives for clean energy, Israel has changed remarkably. She has also changed politically becoming more Zionist and the religious core has broadened and continues to grow. Unfortunately, this has not been represented by the Supreme Court which has the same socialist leftist beliefs at its core as it did in 1960.


Israeli GDP from 1960 to 2016

 

Courts which overstep the presumed limits were a fear expressed by the Founding Fathers; so we will close with some quotes.

[N]othing in the Constitution has given [the judiciary] a right to decide for the Executive, more than to the executive to decide for them. Both magistracies are equally independent in the sphere of action assigned to them… the opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional, and what are not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action, but for the Legislature & Executive also, in their spheres, would make the judiciary a despotic branch.” Thomas Jefferson

The powers properly belonging to one of the departments ought not to be directly and completely administered by either of the other departments. It is equally evident, that none of them ought to possess, directly or indirectly, an overruling influence over the others, in the administration of their respective powers. It will not be denied, that power is of an encroaching nature, and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it.” James Madison

A question arises whether all the powers of government, legislative, executive, and judicial, shall be left in this body? I think a people cannot be long free, nor ever happy, whose government is in one Assembly.
John Adams

Our government is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit, by consolidation first, and then corruption…. The engine of consolidation will be the federal judiciary; the two other branches the corrupting and corrupted instruments.” Thomas Jefferson

There is even now something of ill omen amongst us. I mean that increasing disregard for law which pervades the country — the growing disposition to substitute the wild and furious passion in lieu of the sober judgment of courts, and the worse than savage mobs for the executive ministers of justice. The disposition is awfully fearful in any community; and that it now exists in ours … it would be a violation of truth to deny.” Abraham Lincoln

The great object of my fear is the federal judiciary. That body, like gravity, ever acting with noiseless foot and unalarming advance, gaining ground step by step and holding what it gains, is engulfing insidiously the [state] governments into the jaws of that [federal government] which feeds them.” Thomas Jefferson

You seem to consider the judges the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges … and their power [are] the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and are not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves … . When the legislative or executive functionaries act unconstitutionally, they are responsible to the people in their elective capacity. The exemption of the judges from that is quite dangerous enough. I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society, but the people themselves.” Thomas Jefferson

I fear, dear Sir, we are now in such another crisis, with this difference only, that the judiciary branch is alone and single-handed in the present assaults on the Constitution. But its assaults are more sure and deadly, as from an agent seemingly passive and unassuming.” Thomas Jefferson

We have concluded that Thomas Jefferson had as great a fear of the Judiciary as we have developed and for this reason, as well as others, we really love Thomas Jefferson.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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