The Impeachment Of Donald Trump

November 13, 2019

Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, who was inserted as a last minute, temporary member of the House Intelligence Committee just so he could be his usual, highly partisan self during the Committee’s public hearings of the impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump, proved what the true intent of the Republican Party is when he raise an objection to the hearing, accusing Chairman Adam Schiff of knowing who the whistle-blower was.

Chairman Schiff, in his usual low-key manner, replied that Jordan was incorrect. Had I been the chairman, I would have replied, “That sir, is a lie.” Is there any doubt that the only goal of the Republican Party during this historic hearing is to be nothing more than a disruptive force, with no intention of finding the truth?

I only wish someone would start a GoFundMe page, to raise much needed money so Representative Jordan can afford to buy a suit jacket. Winter is here and poor Mr. Jordan doesn’t seem to be financially secure enough to afford one.

Steven H. Spring
Earth

Who’s Foolin’ Who?

October 2, 2019

Correspondent Norah O’Donnell did her darndest to get truthful answers from Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman during her interview with the Saudi leader Sunday evening on 60 Minutes season premiere, however, I believed his answers about as much as I do anything (everything) our president says, which is to say, none of them.

If America wanted to see the true bin Salman, she would have watched the season premiere of PBS’ Frontline investigative series Tuesday evening entitled The Crown Prince Of Saudi Arabia. An extensive segment of the two hour program centered on the killing of Saudi-born, Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

My only criticism of the show, hosted by Martin Smith, is that more time should have been spent discussing the Saudi – Yemen war, a war pitting the kingdom against Houti rebels, who are accused of being backed by Iran. During the five year old war, which has been declared a massive humanitarian crisis, the kingdom, armed by America with F-15 fighter jets, armored vehicles, bombs, missiles and missile defense systems, has bombed numerous hospitals, schools (as many as 1,500) and at least one school bus which killed forty children.

Then, there is the Donald Trump/Jared Kushner financial ties with the kingdom, ties so deep that bin Salam boasts that he has Kushner “in his pocket.” Surely those ties would not conflict with America’s best interests, would they?

Steven H. Spring
Earth

How Once Great Thou Art (apologies to Carl Boberg)

August 19, 2019

Listening to news last week that another once great American city has a critical water problem, my first thought was how many more cities are facing similar problems, that being century old water mains? This time it’s Newark, New Jersey. Flint, Michigan’s water is still unfit to drink or bathe, five years after residents were first warned of the danger.

I’m no engineer, so I leave it to experts regarding America’s infrastructure, and the news hasn’t been good for years. Every four years, the American Society Of Civil Engineers issues its “Infrastructure Report Card,” and the results, on a sunny day, are horrific. The Society’s 2017 report gave America an overall grade of D+ on our entire infrastructure system.

Though there is one bright spot, with our rail system earning a B, and three others (bridges, ports and solid waste) earning C+, all other categories rate very poorly. Energy, hazardous waste, parks & recreation and wastewater all earn D+, while aviation, dams, drinking water, inland waterways, levees, roads, schools and transit grade a D.

The Engineers also gave an estimate for the “Cost to Improve” our infrastructure over the next ten years as $4.59 trillion. If that’s the cost to improve our entire infrastructure, what’s it gonna take to fix it, let alone turn it into world-class? We are America, after all.

However, like all great empires, America has reached the stage where it spends all its valuable resources protecting the far reaches of its kingdom, all the while it is collapsing from within.

Steven H. Spring
Earth

Another Day, Another Mass Murder In Gun-Loving America

August 4, 2019

Another day, another mass shooting in America. No, I am not making light of Saturday’s slaughter of twenty people, plus twenty-six more wounded at a Wal-Mart store in El Paso, Texas, it is just that based on FBI criteria of four or more people shot in one shooting spree constitutes a mass shooting, America averages one such shooting every single day. Sadly, twelve hours later, another young white man, dressed in body armor, armed with an AK-47 style assault rifle loaded with two massive magazines, killed nine people and wounded twenty-seven others enjoying a night on the town in Dayton’s historic Oregon District early Sunday morning.

In a country which is still fighting its two longest wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention our quasi wars in Libya, Somalia, Syria, Pakistan, Niger and Yemen, how is it possible that by far, more Americans die from gunfire at home than on all those battlefields combined? Fortunately, both massacres could have been much worse had police not been able to respond so quickly. Dayton police confirm they killed the shooter within a minute of him opening fire in the crowded entertainment district.

Here’s one sure way to help curb America’s thirst of violence; make gun manufactures once again responsible for the armaments they sell by repealing the law which prevents victims of gun violence from suing the manufactures. In 2005, Congress passed, and President George W. Bush signed into law the “Protection Of Lawful Commerce In Arms Act,” which basically gives the gun industry carte blanche to sell their deadly products. Though there are six very minor exceptions to the law, the act states that gun manufactures cannot be held liable in civil court for the carnage created by their weapons of mass destruction.

Is there any other industry that receives such a huge benefit, especially one constantly surrounded by death?

Steven H. Spring
Earth

Editor’s Note: This rant was started late Saturday night, only as a letter to the editor of my hometown newspaper, and was basically finished, needing only another final proof-read or three. I went to bed around the same time the shooting started in downtown Dayton, roughly fifty miles from where I now live. I drive by the Oregon District three or four times a year when I go to the Dayton VA Medical Center.

The Squad Vs. The Donald

July 22, 2019

The sad thing is not that the president has yet again proven himself to be more Archie Bunker than Ronald Reagan, this time with his twitter rants over the weekend, telling four women of color freshmen Representatives to go back where they came from. One of those “shithole” countries the president is so fond of, I assume.

No, the sad thing, no make that the appalling thing is that the president is so ignorant that he does not realize that three of the four Representatives were born in America. Yes, Ilhan Omar was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, however Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was born in New York City, Rashida Tlaib was born in Detroit and Ayanna Pressley was born in Cincinnati. It doesn’t get any more American than that.

The sad thing is that Republican leaders such as Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have become such hypocrites, more laughing-stock than leaders of their party. Three years ago, these four senators (one of which is the Senate Majority Leader) called the future president far worse names than any Democrat has, and yet now heap nothing but lavishing, lovingly praise on every single thing he tweets or does.

Don’t they know how foolish they look?

Steven H. Spring
Earth

Build That Barrier!!!

February 18, 2019

Before devotees of President Trump get too giddy with excitement over Friday’s Rose Garden announcement that he will declare a “national emergency” along our southern border, and confiscate precious funding from other departments to build that wall. Or, is it finish that wall? In reality, it’s building a very small section of it. $3.6 billion will come from the Military Construction Fund, 2.5 billion will come from the Pentagon Drug Prevention Program and 600 million will come from Treasury’s Drug Forfeiture Fund. Several Democrats have already announced they will take the declaration to court.

During the presidential campaign, devotees were promised the greatest wall of all-time (hard to beat that little wall China built), and will end up with maybe two hundred and thirty-four miles of some sort of “barrier.” The president even admitted during his press conference that this isn’t an emergency by opining “I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it faster, I want to get it done faster, that’s all.” If there actually was a crisis at the border, why didn’t Republicans take action the past two years, when they controlled every aspect of the federal government? Even more ironic, the president immediately flew down to Mar-a-Lago for a weekend of golfing, despite the looming national crisis.

Never mind there is no national emergency along the southern border (not only are immigration rates at historic low levels, but there are more illegals leaving the country than entering it). Never mind that most illegals enter the country via airports, than sneaking across the desert border. Nor are drugs smuggled into the country on the thighs of immigrants, they are smuggled in mass quantities via vehicles through border crossings (ninety percent of drugs enter via official ports of entry). Last, but not least, there is no statistical evidence that terrorists enter through the desert either, as the president claims. Doing so, only strokes the fear of terrorism. This is nothing more than fear mongering.

Forgetting all that, what Republicans need to remember is that one day soon (as soon as November 3, 2020?), Democrats will take back the White House, and start declaring their own national emergencies. How about a national emergency over climate change? Or sensible, national gun laws? Or a huge increase in income tax rates on the nation’s wealthy elite? Or better yet, how about a real national emergency regarding our entire rapidly deteriorating infrastructure system? Or health care?

I have a great idea, let’s make Mexico pay for that wall. I don’t understand why no one has thought of this before!

Steven H. Spring
Earth

An Open Letter To My Congressmen

November 14, 2018

The following is a copy of my letter to Senator Sherrod Brown, regarding President Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting Attorney General, temporarily replacing Jeff Sessions, who “resigned” just one day after last week’s mid-term elections.  Similar letters were also sent to my other senator and to my representative.  Isn’t the word processor a wonderful thing?

November 13, 2018

The Honorable Sherrod Brown
United States Senate
713 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Brown,

With the firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions only one day after the mid-term elections, and the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting AG, I must write once again to voice my concern that the “president” (I will stop using quotation marks when he starts acting presidential) is taking steps to either fire Robert Mueller or shut down his investigation into Russia hi-jacking the 2016 presidential election. The “president” has even gone so far as to threaten war against Democrats, threatening to sic the Republican-controlled Senate on them, after they took back control of the House of Representatives, fearing numerous investigations into both his private business and presidency.

Although Sessions gave his resignation, at the request of the “president,” it doesn’t take a political scientist to know the former AG was fired because he recused himself from the Mueller investigation. Ironically, Mr. Whitaker might have even more reason to recuse himself, though we both know that will never happen. During the past two years, in television interviews and an op-ed piece, the acting AG has called Mueller’s investigation a “hoax,” a “witch-hunt” and has stated that it has “gone too far.” Whitaker has even opined he could see a scenario where a new Attorney General reduces Mueller’s budget so great that it basically shuts down the investigation.

How can America trust a man as its Attorney General who has tweeted “note to Trump’s lawyer: do no cooperate with Mueller lynch mob”? In addition to his incriminating comments, which proves he has already formed his opinion of an investigation in which he will lead, Whitaker chaired the Iowa state treasurer campaign of Sam Clovis, who had ties to the Trump presidential campaign. All of this adds up to more than enough reason for Whitaker to recuse himself from the Mueller investigation due to massive conflicts of interest.

The following are a few more quotes by Whitaker, furthering documenting his bias opinion regarding the investigation, providing even more evidence for his recusal;

“It does not take a lawyer or even a former federal prosecutor like myself to conclude that investigating Donald Trump’s finances or his family’s finances falls completely outside of the realm of his 2016 campaign and allegations that the campaign coordinated with the Russian government or anyone else. That goes beyond the scope of the appointment of the special counsel.”

Regarding the infamous June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and several Russians attending, Whitaker said “You would always take that meeting.” Federal law prohibit foreign nationals from giving something of value to U.S. election campaigns. I’m no lawyer, but I have heard more than one state that giving incrimination information on an opponent constitutes something of value.

“I think what ultimately the president is going to start doing is putting pressure on Rod J. Rosenstein, who is in charge of this investigation, his acting attorney general. And really try to get Rod to maybe even cut the budget of Bob Mueller and do something a little more stage crafty than the blunt instrument of firing the attorney general and trying to replace him.”

There is even some debate as to the legality of Whitaker’s hiring, as the Federal Vacancies Reform Act requires a president to replace Senate confirmed positions with individuals who have already been confirmed by the Senate. Mr. Whitaker was confirmed by the Senate in 2004, when he was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa in 2004. However, he resigned that position in 2009, when he and two other attorneys formed the law firm Whitaker, Hagenow & Gustoff LLP. His job as chief of staff to Sessions did not require Senate confirmation.

One more additional piece of information indicating Matthew Whitaker’s character, concerns his last job before becoming Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff, where he represented World Patent Marketing as counsel and was an Advisory Board member. It seems the Miami, Florida based business scammed thousands of customers out of millions of dollars. After being fined $26 million, the company was shut down the federal government.

According to Federal Trade Commission documents, after being threatened by Whitaker, one customer, listed as A. Rudsky (an attorney) emailed back “Do not email me with your scare tactics. Stop with your bullshit emails…You are party to a scam…You will be exposed.” Although this has no bearing on his ability to objectively oversea the Mueller investigation, it does provide oversight into his qualifications as acting Attorney General.

It does not take a genius to see why Matthew Whitaker was appointed acting AG, as he is nothing but the “president’s” toady. He was appointed preciously because of his views on the Mueller investigation. Donald Trump finally got his “Roy Cohn.”

Sincerely,

Steven H. Spring