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TGIF- May 18, 2018

May 18, 2018

North Korea’s Kim has a temper tantrum.

To almost no one’s surprise, Kim Jong Un had a brain fart on Tuesday. After repeatedly declaring that he was OK with the U.S.-South Korean military exercises this year, he fell back on the old battle cry of accusing the two countries of practicing to invade the North.

It’s hard to say why, but then almost nothing the Kim dynasty ever did was grounded in reality.

Maybe the present Kim is suffering from some hereditary malfunction, or maybe he got word that it was all systems go for his capability to threaten the world with nuclear war.

Perhaps his translators didn’t convey the message that complete denuclearization was the only basis for the talks, but that in return he would get to stay on as North Korea’s leader for as long as his people want him to do so.

Whatever the reason, if Kim thinks the President is so committed to peace at any price that he will kowtow to Kim’s demands he may have his Presidents mixed up, a fact that should have been self-evident in view of the action taken on the Iran deal.

That’s not to say that Secretary of State Pompeo shouldn’t try to salvage the peace treaty between North and South and pursue nuclear disarmament, but frankly it shouldn’t matter to us nearly as much as it should to Kim Jong Un.

After all, it doesn’t leave us in any different position than existed two months ago, other than we brought three Americans home at no cost whatsoever.

Time for an FBI overhaul?

If you haven’t been following the Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel on the story of how and why the FBI  behaved as it has vis-à-vis the Trump campaign, you owe it to yourself to at least consider the ramifications she presents. For a quick synopsis, you can follow her tweetstorm.

You don’t have to like President Trump or even be a Republican for this story to be of importance, as well as deep concern.

This is a Federal agency and a Cabinet level-department that was and still is being used to attempt to bring down first the candidacy and finally the administration of a duly elected President, based solely on the personal and political dislike of members of their respective upper managements.

For those who cared to see it, the motive and premeditation behind this “investigation” was clear as soon as the Strzok-Page  email and text messages were revealed.

Ms. Strassel’s observation that the story now appearing in the New York Times was an attempt to get out in front of what is suspected to be a damning IG report about the handling of the Clinton “matter” seems to be an understatement.

This was a “stop him at any cost, by any means necessary” assault not just on Trump, but on democracy, and we the people are paying for it in many ways.

It is still not completely clear how much of the DOJ’s and the FBI’s actions were being ordered by the previous administration, but as a matter of practice that may not matter.

The two articles, taken in tandem, make it very clear that, as many have suspected, the people clamoring for Trump’s head may have a lot to hide, and probably not just about the FBI.

First, weaponizing a Federal agency against a regular, non-political citizen running for office smacks more of Venezuela or a communist dictatorship than it does of the U.S. It makes the legitimacy of all campaigns suspect, and damns the agencies involved.

It also establishes a pattern of using government agencies this way, much as the IRS was used to target political opponents during the Romney-Obama election.

Second, it weakens the entire country, since any energy the administration spends fighting the FBI’s private army detracts from the government’s ability to protect us.

Third, it’s monetarily expensive.

Fourth, it calls into question whether we need some sort of replacement for, or at least significant restructuring of the FBI, since it has a long and sordid history of allowing itself to be co-opted and misused. At the very least, perhaps it should be placed under the jurisdiction of a different branch of government.

And fifth, next time it might be your guy or gal who is being targeted for destruction.

Indeed even today, every time a politician says or does something the powers that be at the time doesn’t like, it’s common practice for someone to mention that “you don’t want to get the FBI/IRS/CIA mad at you” i.e. threaten them with a government agency with a vendetta.

That sounds more like the initials stand for the Federal Bureau of Intimidation.

Not cool.

And finally, a local observation.

As one of four states that had primaries on Tuesday Idaho had a strong Democratic turnout, helped no doubt by the fact that the party actually had real candidates this year.

This election is instructional on a national scale, and we’ll get to that in a minute, as soon as we set the stage just a bit. (Full disclosure; I live in Idaho and have done so for over five decades.)

Actually the turnout wasn’t too shabby on both sides for a primary, with over 193,000 Republicans voting,  besting the last mid-term gubernatorial primary number by almost 40,000 people, but it was still hardly the large turnout the President has been asking for from GOP voters.

The Dems tallied over 65,000 voters, also about 40,000 better than in 2014, which might be every Democrat eligible to vote in the entire state. (Actually, registered Dems comprise about 20% of all Idaho registered voters.) Most of them reside in the western part of the state, specifically in and around Boise with some spillover around south-central Idaho in the Magic Valley.

One race which actually got some national attention was for governor.

On the GOP side, voters went with Lieutenant Governor Brad Little, eschewing the steadfastly negative far right campaign rhetoric of self-professed ultra-conservative Tommy Ahlquist.

They also rejected Raul Labrador, maybe due to his still close ties to the Washington swamp. Perhaps they feared he may have picked up some bad habits in his time there.

In general Idaho GOP voters seemed to be rejecting the extremes on both ends of their party.

Democrats in contrast picked a far left female candidate of Native American heritage (she is a registered member of the Coeur d’Alene tribe), awarding her 58% of the vote. She then openly crowed that her victory meant that the far left progressive wing of the party is now poised to take over Idaho.

Given where the Dems concentrate their members, she may have something there.

Hopefully Lt. Governor Little’s campaign staff recorded that little sound bite. It will save them some money in crafting an ad for the general campaign.

Despite its media reputation as the epitome of the Bible-thumping, gun-toting, white-male dominated Red state, the Lt. Governor’s race ensured that a woman will become the second-in-command in the Idaho Capital, as both primary winners were female.

In case you are wondering why all this matters to you, it reveals the stealth strategy the DNC is employing to break down traditionally Red state politics, one which some states, including Idaho, may not recognize until it is too late.

Quite frankly, many people were shocked by Paulette Jordan’s win, not because she is a woman or Native American, but because her views are the antithesis of the traditional Idahoan’s political mindset.

It was nice of Ms. Jordan to point that strategy out to us.

From → op-ed

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