James Comey should have been sacked months ago

First published May 10, 2017 in the Toronto Sun

Official Washington gasped when President Donald Trump exercised his legal right to fire FBI Director James Comey.

Frankly, it should have been done months ago and the sacking is hardly the “political explosion” trumpeted by CNN’s Dana Bash.

Trump’s win over Hillary Clinton — despite the liberal media’s relentless polling that predicted a Democrat victory — was truly a “political explosion.” Moreover, liberals calling Trump’s action “Nixonian” are equally laughable.

Republican President Richard Nixon was impeached for using the White House to spy on the Democratic Party.

The Nixon Library tweeted:

“FUN FACT: President Nixon never fired the Director of the FBI.”

Unfortunately, a disgraced, paranoid president sets no standard whatsoever for a president acting lawfully. Correct me if I’m wrong but Comey served at the pleasure of Trump. And that pleasure was clearly exhausted.

The sacking was quintessential Trump. After everyone assumed Comey was here to stay, Trump shocked swamp dwellers in Washington and the FBI director himself, delivering a terse late afternoon letter to Comey.

“While I greatly appreciated you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau,” Trump wrote.

To date, of the three ongoing investigations conducted by the FBI, the Senate and House, no conclusive evidence has been found to prove Trump’s campaign conspired with Russia to rig the election.

Comey’s thirst for political stardom — always eager to testify before Congress and preen in front of TV cameras — reportedly made Trump question his ability to conduct an independent investigation into the Russia controversy.

The president relied on a memo by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who concluded that Comey was no longer fit to serve as America’s top cop because of his bungling of Hillary’s e-mail investigation.

Legally, the FBI is not supposed to publicly confirm or deny ongoing investigations. Yet, Comey announced in a July 2016 press conference, that no charges would be filed against Hillary.

“It is a textbook example of what federal prosecutors and agents are taught not to do,” wrote Rosenstein.

Then, Comey boasted to Congress that he reopened the e-mail investigation days before the election. More recently, Comey announced to Congress and the world that the FBI was conducting an investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia.

Regrettably, Trump dismissing Comey months into his presidency only will fuel Democrats’ obsession into the unfounded claims that Trump is trying to cover up a Russia conspiracy.

At the same time, Trump’s timing is brilliant.

Once again the mercurial president took charge of the Washington news cycle, shifting the narrative from Russia to Comey’s incompetence. Now all eyes, reporter ink and yack will be devoted to speculating and (trashing) who will lead “our crown jewel of law enforcement,” as Trump noted in his letter.

But Trump must swiftly nominate a new FBI director whose credentials, not to mention integrity, rivals that of a saint. The winning candidate must be a man or woman without ties to Trump’s campaign or presidency and capable of taking an unbiased look at the Russia investigation — wherever the evidence leads.

GOP House finally repeals Obamacare

First published May 4, 2017 in the Toronto Sun

After a decade of being in the political wilderness, House Republicans have realized that they’re in charge: President Donald J. Trump runs the White House, and they now control Congress. Recovering from an embarrassing fumble earlier this year to repeal Obamacare, Republicans finally got the job done on Thursday, voting, 217-213 to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which was never affordable – for patients or insurers.

“What protection is Obamacare if there is no option in your state?” House Speaker Paul Ryan asked in floor remarks before the vote was taken.

Ryan went on to inform the nation that Iowa has only one insurer in the state, and that this particular insurer plans to pull out of 94 of the 99 counties. Why? Because it’s totally unsustainable for this company, from a financial standpoint. Iowa is far from the only state where Obamacare is failing (miserably) to provide healthcare coverage to Americans. Alaska had two insurers and is now down to one single-payer system.

Trump reiterated the obvious in a tweet:

“Insurance companies are fleeing ObamaCare – it is dead. Our healthcare plan will lower premiums & deductibles – and be great healthcare!”

 

Remember, President Barack Obama famously swore to Americans that “If you like your (health insurance) plan, you can keep it.” Well, that was the first big lie of Obamacare. The second was that insurance would be affordable. I, like millions of others, was forced to dump the plan I liked because it became UNAFFORDABLE. The plan I have now isn’t giving me much care for my dollar. I pay a $367 monthly premium, with a $5,000 yearly deductible … and I’m healthy!

The American Care Act eliminates the individual mandate requiring Americans to have health insurance and and the tax penalty that went along with it. Those who don’t receive insurance through employers will receive tax credits from $2,000-$4,000, depending upon their age. A family could receive a credit for as much as $14,000. For individuals making over $75,000 a year and families making over $150,000, tax credits would naturally be lower.

States can also apply for waivers from Obamacare to allow insurers to charge higher premiums to patients with pre-exsiting conditions. This means healthy people won’t be punished with outsized premiums to pay for other people’s care.

“We want to brag about the plan,” a triumphant Trump declared in a White House Rose Garden press conference after the vote.

And brag he should. The vote happened on President Trump’s 105th day in office. And despite the mainstream media’s relentless attempts to trash his presidency, Trump is following through on his campaign promise. Victory doesn’t taste much sweeter than this.

“Many of us have been waiting seven years to cast this vote,” Ryan added before the House vote.

Let’s hope Republicans in the Senate feel the same way as Ryan, and do their part in righting the wrong that they whined about while President Barack Obama was in office.

“If Republicans can’t follow through now,” observed the Wall Street Journal, the public will conclude that they’re either dishonest or feckless, and then wonder if they deserve their jobs.”

And the choir sang, “Amen.”

Washington media has sold out to advocacy

First published May 2, 2017 in the Toronto Sun

President Donald J. Trump eschewed this year’s White House Correspondents dinner — the annual ritual notoriously oozing with journalistic hubris (an event the president of the United States has traditionally headlined) — to “meet with much better people.”

While an elite group of journalists, who mostly despise Trump, were in a fancy D.C. ballroom, heaping self-congratulatory praise upon one another, Trump was in Harrisburg, Pa. at a rally with 7,000 adoring fans of his own.

“I could not possibly be more thrilled than to be one hundred miles away from Washington’s swamp,” Trump roared.

This is the first presidential administration in 36 years to shun the ‘Nerd Prom’ dinner event, which is customarily held for the president and the reporters who cover the president — or in this case, mock him.

And what better place for Trump to be than in Pennsylvania? After all, it was one of few blue wall states whose heavily Democrat, union-workers voted for him and helped win him the presidency. Hillary Clinton took the votes in rural Pennsylvania for granted, and the liberal media laughed at Trump for campaigning there. Look who’s having the last laugh (at the press) now!

Reveling in the glory of his Harrisburg visit, Trump ticked off his first 100 days’ accomplishments. Some wins: Confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, bombing Syria after President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on his people, a tax reform plan, and demanding China join the U.S. to fight North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

Is there more work to be done? Sure, like keeping campaign promises by repealing and replacing Obamacare, and “building a wall.” Yet, the liberal media refuses to give him credit for what he’s done, particularly showing leadership abroad — where president Barack Obama abdicated to dictators.

Back in D.C. — at the Washington Hilton — 190 km away from real Americans with real problems, members of the White House Correspondents Association and their guests were in full-on party-and-trash-Trump mode.

“We cannot ignore the rhetoric that has been employed by the president about who we are and what we do. We are not fake news,” insisted association president Jeff Mason.

Paradoxically, ironically, and hypocritically (had to get them all in!), many of the White House journalists who cover Trump have fueled Russia-Trump campaign conspiracy stories, despite there being any conclusive evidence. As well, they have demonstrated hostility, contempt and sarcasm in their coverage of the president. Trump has gotten zero credit and coverage by the mainstream, liberal media for donating his $400,000 a year presidential salary back to the government. His first quarter 2017 salary of about $80,000 was donated to the National Park Service.

“We are not failing news organizations. And we are not the enemy of the American People,” Mason added.

Yet, Trump supporters trust Trump more than they trust the news media, and it drives the liberal news media crazy. Starting with this past presidential election, the media lost its credibility and influence with many voters by being in the tank for Hillary Clinton. The skewed polls (and biased analysis of results) showed Clinton winning by a landslide over Trump. Now the same reporters are convinced (still, without evidence) that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to rig the election.

Looks a lot like the fake news Trump has described.

“We are here to celebrate the press, not the presidency,” boasted Mason at what he claimed was a “sold-out” dinner.

And herein lies the problem: The Washington media has sold out to ideology and advocacy; objective journalism is no longer being served up by these correspondents.

Trump needs spokesman who speaks (well) for him and his tweets

First published March 8, 2017 in the Toronto Sun

Rather than focusing on important issues facing the country, official Washington has devolved into an embarrassing match of Democrats-said-President-Trump-said, in a daily war of words and tweets. Allegations of Russia rigging the US election and President Obama wiretapping Trump Tower sound like something straight out of a spy novel or a game of Clue.

And President Trump doesn’t help himself when it comes to winning the battle of legitimacy, when he posts an outlandish tweet and then doesn’t trot out competent White House manpower to defend his claim to the media.

Around 6:30 a.m. Eastern Time this past Saturday, Trump roused the Twittersphere and sent it into a tailspin with this tweet contortions:

“Obama had my wires tapped in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism.”

Trump served up no evidence; and of course the liberal media went ballistic. When you accuse a former president of committing illegal wiretapping, the likes of which got President Richard Nixon impeached, you’re gonna catch hell from everyone. Knowing this, as Trump did, it is even more perplexing that White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ communications did such a clumsy job handling the press.

During an interview with ABC’s This Week host Martha Raddatz, she actually used to the term “B.S.” twice. Then Sanders told Raddatz that she couldn’t speak with “100%” certitude about Trump’s allegations, (and um) nor had she consulted with the president.

SANDERS: Look, I — I will let the president speak for himself. But in terms of where we are in the White House, our ask –

RADDATZ: You’re his spokesperson.

SANDERS: And I’m speaking about it right now.

Yet Sanders was not speaking with any credibility.

As ambassador of the White House, Sanders should have stuck to two points. The New York Times reported that anonymous senior Obama White House officials ordered the surveillance (spying) of Trump campaign associates. The raw (unverified) intelligence was spread like confetti, far and wide not only across the US government to people without security clearances and members of Congress but also shared with foreign governments. Why do this unless you wanted to trash the next president?

Sanders should have reminded Raddatz that Obama was indeed their boss at the time and it’s highly unlikely that he didn’t sanction the sleuthing. So, is it really that preposterous to believe that Obama couldn’t have ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower? No more outlandish than the Trump-Russia connection ….

An even more salient point that Sanders needed to make was that days before the inauguration, Obama ordered the National Security Agency to share raw intelligence with 16 other intelligence agencies. Previously, the NSA would share only the data redacted of irrelevant personal information. Now this is stuff leaks are made. Holdover Obama political appointees likely leaked raw intelligence to the press about Michael Flynn’s calls with the Russian ambassador. Flynn did nothing wrong but was forced to resign as Trump’s NSA adviser amid the liberals’ Russia conspiracy hysteria.

Obama loyalists also leaked information to the press about Attorney General Jeff Sessions meeting with the Russian ambassador, hoping to force his resignation. But Sessions made it clear that these meetings occurred in his capacity as a US Senator and member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee not as a Trump surrogate.

Collectively, these actions committed by Obama and his politically-vengeful White House warrant the same level of scrutiny that Congress and the intelligence community have given Trump.

Trump meets the press…and rolls over them

First published February 17, 2017 in the Toronto Sun

Facing off with the White House press corps in an 80-minute duel, a defiant President Donald J. Trump welcomed questions, exposed bias, and left its members in tatters.

The theme of Trump’s freewheeling press conference was the out-of-control, dishonest mainstream media, which from day one of Trump’s candidacy sided with Hillary Clinton.

First the liberal media mocked Trump as a clown candidate who couldn’t win. Now that Trump won, the media is upset at his administration for “following through on pledges,” as the president rightly reminded them.

“We have made incredible progress. I don’t think there’s ever been a president elected who, in this short period of time, has done what we’ve done,” declared Trump.

Well, he’s right. And he schooled the media, chapter-and-verse, on those accomplishments.

“The stock market has hit record numbers, as you know.”

“Plants and factories are already starting to move back into the United States and big league — Ford, General Motors, so many of them.”

“We’ve had great conversations with the United Kingdom — and meetings — Israel, Mexico, Japan, China and Canada.”

And oh, Canada — “We’ve even developed a new council with Canada to promote women’s business leaders and entrepreneurs.”

“We’ve withdrawn the job-killing disaster known as Trans-Pacific Partnership.”

“We’ve imposed a hiring freeze on nonessential federal workers.”

“We’ve begun preparing to repeal and replace Obamacare. Obamacare is a disaster, folks.”

Trump also said he will issue a new executive order to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the country, by way of an “extreme vetting” travel ban.

“I have kept my promise to the American people by nominating a justice of the United States Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch.”

Whew, this writer is tired just typing this exhaustive list of some of the thing’s he’s accomplished — in under a month, no less!

Trump achieved these things with alacrity, despite Senate Democrats blocking and delaying his Cabinet nominees.

Still, the liberal media couldn’t wait to attack.

As someone once said, elections have consequences. Trump took a barrage of questions from the “fake news” reporters, swiftly dispatching each one of them.

Again questions about unfounded allegations that Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia dominated the press conference.

“Russia is fake news. Russia — this is fake news put out by the media,” Trump replied.

The president spent a good amount of time categorically denying any personal business involvement with Russia, and the Wall Street Journal report that the intelligence community is withholding information from Trump.

“How do they write a story like that in The Wall Street Journal without asking me?”

Trump insisted that the Justice Department is investigating recent leaks of classified information to the public.

Then CNN’s Jim Acosta tried to accost Trump about his lack of credibility when it came to comments about leaking — because, after all, it was he who encouraged leaking during the campaign (the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Wikileaks release of Hillary’s 33,000 missing emails).

Trump reminded Acosta that the information being leaked about him is classified, while the DNC hacked emails weren’t. Although let’s not forget that Hillary recklessly had classified content on her personal server. Of course during the campaign, the liberal media buried the story because it made Hillary look bad.

“Again, if I had that happen to me, it would be the biggest story in the history of publishing or the head of newspapers. I would have been the headline in every newspaper,” Trump rebutted.

Then Trump went on a tirade about how CNN’s entire programming is imbued with hatred toward him (the antithesis of the networks 8-year coverage of Obama).

“I won with news conferences and probably speeches. I certainly didn’t win by people listening to you people, that’s for sure,” the president pointed out.

Yet, the journalists persisted in trying to delegitimize Trump’s presidency.

“Well, when you say — when you say the inner cities, are you going to include the CBC, Mr. President, in your conversations with your urban agenda, your inner city agenda, as well as your…,” asked April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks.

“Am I going include who?” replied Trump.

“Are you going to include the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, as well as…”

“Well, I would. I tell you what, do you want to set up the meeting? Do you want to set up the meeting?” Trump asked Ryan.

He went on to ask her if the CBC members were friends of hers.

She said she was just a reporter. But let’s be real: She is a black reporter who was trying to trap him with a ‘gotcha’ question and make him look like a racist.

“Let’s go set up a meeting. I would love to meet with the Black Caucus. I think it’s great — the Congressional Black Caucus. I actually thought I had a meeting with Congressman Cummings, and he was all excited, and then he said, oh, I can’t move, it might be bad for me politically, I can’t have that meeting.”

Trump wants to meet with the CBC, despite the fact that most of their 49 members boycotted his inauguration.

Ms. Ryan should ask the CBC why they won’t meet with Trump. Instead, it seems like she’d rather report ‘fake news.’

Democrats defying Trump’s sanctuary city order make illegal lives matter more than American ones

First published January 28, 2017 in the Toronto Sun

Why are liberals so shocked by U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s first week in office? He’s doing exactly what he campaigned he would do for a year: Building a wall and cracking down on illegal aliens.

In other words, Trump is doing the things that the left said couldn’t be done.

He hit the ground running, wasting no time in signing a series of executive orders — during his first week in office, no less — including an order to cut off federal funds from sanctuary cities that all but recruit, then harbor illegal aliens.

In that same executive order, Trump expanded the categories of illegal aliens that will be identified and deported by local law enforcement. Now, it’s ‘adios’ to anyone charged with any offence, or is deemed “a risk to public safety.”

Trump reinstated the Secure Communities program requiring police to arrest illegals and hold them under “detainers” until federal agents pick them up. Because liberal-run cities and counties refused to deport illegal aliens under Barack Obama, he required that local law enforcement only co-operate with federal authorities in deporting illegal aliens with a criminal record.

Now we have a president who’s legitimately trying to make America safe again … and the response from Democrat mayors and governors is defiance, by refusing to comply with an order that puts American citizens above non-citizen border-hoppers.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, a Democrat governing one of the largest sanctuary cities in the country, vowed to flout Trump’s order. This is the mayor of the city where American Kate Steinle was murdered in 2015 by illegal alien Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, who had been deported five times.

San Francisco could lose more than $1 billion in federal funding by sheltering illegals. Let’s see how long Lee’s righteousness holds out. Of course, Lee isn’t the only one acting foolish.

Money walks; stupid talks.

“We will not be intimidated by the threat to federal funding,” declared Democrat Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. But Walsh will gladly help illegals steal jobs from Americans — not to mention threaten their safety.

“We will not be intimidated by the authoritarian message coming from this administration,” Democrat Seattle Mayor Ed Murray chirped.

The commander-in-chief demanding that our nation follow the rule of law and the constitution isn’t “intimidation,” nor is it a choice.

In a city where blacks are disproportionately unemployed compared to whites, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser also got on her high liberal horse and tweeted:

“I can’t say it any more clearly: DC will remain a #SanctuaryCity to keep all of our residents safe.” Harboring illegal aliens is anything but safe for American citizens. Let’s see how long Bowser’s lawlessness lasts in Trump’s new backyard.

While the list of stupid is long, one of the worst responses came from Democrat New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Not only did he boast that he would welcome a fight with Trump, de Blasio claimed on CNN that it was heartless to deport breadwinners, albeit illegal ones.

“So you deport the breadwinner and the rest of the family, including the children, are left without anyone. You tear a family apart. That’s not good government. That’s not in my view moral.”

Good government used to look out for American citizens, not criminals who steal their jobs and bread. (Further, what’s stopping the breadwinner from loading his wife and kids into the station wagon and heading back south of the border as a unit?) It’s interesting that these Democrats so loathe America and its people that they choose to side with criminals. I predict that Trump may have to call in the National Guard to force these lawless liberal mayors into compliance.

To put things into perspective, there are about 300 sanctuary cities and counties across the country, predominately governed by Democrats. One would think that Trump had announced an anti-American policy instead of one to purge our cities of people living in the U.S. illegally, stealing jobs from Americans, not paying taxes, wiring money back to their home countries like Mexico, and — in some cases, killing us.

Maybe the left, particularly the liberal media, is still shell-shocked that the man they derided and mocked as a clown not only won ‘big league,’ but is delivering on his promises ‘big league.’