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Paul's View

The lost Sessions in Congress

Sessions hearingGive me a break! I really don't mind attending these Congressional hearings on the Russia probe.
I actually find them quite interesting and, at times, informative and even entertaining. Sometimes, however, the stench they generate can be quite overwhelming. Case in point: the June 13th Senate Intelligence Committee hearing and the testimony of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

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Who to believe?

Resized 20170608 125934Who to believe? What a dilemma? Not an easy decision by any stretch of the imagination. Do I believe Donald J. Trump or do I believe former F.B.I. Director James Comey?
We all know by now how intolerant Trump is of liars. Remember his intolerance of “Lying Ted Cruz” during the presidential campaign. He was especially intolerant of Cruz for making that absurd accusation that Trump's father killed JFK? Oh, wait, that was actually the other way around. Trump actually accused Cruz' father of being directly involved in JFK's assassination. That accusation has, of course, been discredited.

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Where have you gone Pumpsie Green?

Pumpsie Green 20121I have never used the so-called “N word” in my entire life. Never. Maybe the reason is because I never heard the term used in my own home.
I did hear it outside the home, but never in the home.
I also remember quite vividly when my best and black friend from junior high school, Ronald Williams, came looking for me and was asked by a white neighbor what he was doing here, my mom called out from the window and without hesitation, “he's our guest!"
I have, however, wondered how it could be that Major League Baseball was not integrated until 1947.
How did people justify the segregation based solely on skin color and not talent.

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Dreaming the impeachable dream

Don Quixote tilting at windmillsIn 1868 the House of Representatives resolved to adopt articles of impeachment against President Andrew Johnson because, it was contended, the president violated the Tenure of Office Act. This Act required Senate approval for removing certain office holders.
It was the contention of the House that the president violated this Act when he removed Edwin McMasters Stanton, the Secretary of War, from office and replaced him with Lorenzo Thomas.
The Tenure of Office Act, by the way, was only in effect from 1667 to 1887.
Did this violation by President Johnson truly warrant impeachment or was adopting articles of impeachment purely a political act by Congress? Your guess is as good as mime regarding this impeachment hearing, but of note President Johnson was not convicted by the Senate.

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Taking an “oaf” of loyalty

donaldtrumpThe primary reason Donald J. Trump fired F.B.I. Director James Comey was, simply, because he could. It is his firing of people that somehow satisfies his rather insatiable thirst for power. It was, as you will remember, the key component of his television show, the Apprentice. “You're fired!” was the signature line of that show and it served to demonstrate for all to see who, exactly, held the power. Donald J. Trump.

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Maybe it's merely the longest 100 days - yet

trump thumbs up low resMore than 100 days or so into this administration and I must admit I have not grown tired of winning. I am just waiting for it to begin unless you consider Trump's firing the individual ultimately responsible for the F.B.I. investigation into his administration regarding the Russian connection a win. Well, I guess he considers that a win, at least for his own self-interest, for the time being. Whatever did happen to Boris Epstyn?

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Meet the new boss - same as the Nixon boss

20170503 100417Before there was the firing, there was the hearing. This column is about the hearing held on May 3rd during which F.B.I. Director James Comey met with the Senate Judiciary Committee. The hearing was part of the annual oversight hearing of the F.B.I. although most of the discussion dealt with the Director's handling of two specific investigations. More specifically, the discussion centered on the differences in the Director's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation and his handling, quite differently, of the ongoing investigation into the current administration's involvement with Russia during the presidential campaign to influence the outcome of the election. Apparently the part about the Russia investigation was enough to frighten the administration into firing Director Comey less than a week later.

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Learn to be like a boy scout and get prepared

Boy Scouts-Be Prepared

The Trump administration needs to take a lesson from the Boy Scouts of America and “be prepared.” The incidents of members of the administration not being prepared are numerous and significant but should not be surprising.
The presidential debates made it quite clear that Donald J. Trump is a good deal more comfortable speaking off the “top of his head” than doing the requisite preparation to gain a thorough understanding of key issues and the implications associated with those issues. Becoming president apparently has not changed his view of the importance of preparation as it is clear that he takes greater pride in signing his numerous executive orders than understanding those orders and the ramifications of implementing them.

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Threats to the democratic process

monopoly man2I must readily admit and the readers of this column will most assuredly agree I have had a very difficult time coming to terms with the election of Donald J. Trump. I have not been able to truly understand how anyone could vote for someone as unqualified and unfit as he is. Granted, he did corner the market of “Deplorables.” Certainly, if anyone finds him or herself in that grouping they almost certainly voted for Trump. However, that grouping alone could not have won him the election. There was clearly a grouping not consisting of Deplorables, misguided maybe, but not deplorable, that put him over the top. 

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Rebuilding the Democratic Party

Rep. John SarbanesRep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.)  COURTESY PHOTO  It seems almost unimaginable that the Republican Party can be in control of both chambers of Congress as well as the White House especially when you consider that registered Democrats significantly outnumber registered Republicans. It becomes a good deal less unimaginable when you factor in the impact of the gerrymandering of our district lines, the widespread voter suppression efforts by Republican state governments and the gullibility of the American voter.

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