FISA System Flawed

Consider a hypothetical case in a criminal court where only the prosecutor is allowed to present evidence against the accused. Commonsense tells me that such a system would be inherently unfair. But that is precisely the system authorized by the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act (FISA) to obtain a warrant to spy on an American citizen.  To work fairly, the FISA system depends entirely on the absolute integrity of intelligence officials seeking FISA warrants to present all known relevant evidence, pro and con, to the FISA court.

Political  opposition research paid for by the Clinton presidential campaign, commonly known as the Trump-Russia Dossier, was used by the Obama administration to obtain a FISA warrant to conduct surveillance of Carter Page,  a foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump. The Trump-Russia Dossier turned out to be  fake. The source of the Trump-Russia Dossier was not disclosed to the FISA court, according to the  FISA memorandum prepared by the Republican majority of the  House Intelligence Committee.

How significant a role the Trump-Russia Dossier played in the FBI  application to the FISA court for the Page  surveillance warrant and whether FBI officials knew then that the Trump Dossier was fake are presently unknown.  Commonsense tells me that a complete investigation by an independent counsel is urgently needed to answer these and many other questions about the Carter Page FISA application.

Commonsense also tells me that FISA needs to be amended to provide for the establishment of an office of independent counsel to intervene in FISA court proceedings before warrants are issued in order to adequately protect American citizens who are the subject of an application for a FISA surveillance warrant. Regrettably,  the Carter Page case demonstrates that Americans can no longer rely solely on the integrity of the intelligence officials seeking FISA warrants to present all the known facts to the FISA court. What a shame!

Good Day. Better Days are ahead!

Thanksgiving 2017 in America

On this Thanksgiving 2017, I am thankful for America.

I was born 74 years ago in 1943 during World War II. Historians tell me there were many complicated causes of World War II. Among them, and perhaps most important, was political instability in Germany as large sectors of the German population rejected the legitimacy of the Weimar Republic which was blamed for Germany’s defeat in World War I. Ultimately, political instability in Germany led to the rise of the Nazi Party, leading to the ascendency of Adolph Hitler in 1933 and the beginning of World War II with the German invasion of Poland in 1939.

For all of my life, despite its faults, America has been the essential stabilizing force for peace and good in the world; fighting with its blood and treasure the various regional armed conflicts and radical Islamic terrorism since the end of World War II. If America collapses, the world collapses!

Political instability in America today manifests itself in many unproductive ways; from political correctness, obstructionist identity politics, revisionist history to Charlottesville and political protests in NFL football stadiums. To be sure, America has many serious problems, but the daily bombardment by unsupported opinions in news and social media outlets are counterproductive to solving these problems. All Americans need to put down their smart phones/devices, set politics and political labels aside, analyze the facts objectively and start talking to, instead of at, each other about solving problems. Most importantly, Americans need to elect political leaders that care about nothing else but solving problems with bipartisan solutions.

That said, commonsense tells me that America is far less divided and far more united than the news media and social media would have us believe. Commonsense also tells me that  after the rough patch of the last 30 years, America’s best days are ahead.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving Day 2017!

Bombastic Loudmouths

Calling for a bipartisan health care plan to replace Obamacare, Senator John McCain urged his senate colleagues to stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio, TV and the internet.  Commonsense tells me that the sentiments expressed by  Senator McCain  on the floor of the U.S. Senate were long overdue.

Unfortunately, commonsense also tells me that  the American political system is badly broken when it takes a diagnosis of terminal brain cancer to bring an old man to his senses and  finally call for bipartisan solutions to the nation’s problems. Hopefully,  the talking heads on radio, TV and the internet, as well as Senator McCain’s senate colleagues, were listening carefully.

Good Day. Better Days lie ahead

The Farkus Fracas

When Evelyn Farkus  voluntarily acknowledged on MSNBC incidental surveillance of  the Trump campaign and transition teams,  a media fracas ensued despite the best efforts of the so-called mainstream media to suppress the story. Now Susan Rice of Benghazi notoriety has been implicated in the unmasking phase of the incidental surveillance operation. Whether any of this incidental surveillance was illegal remains to be seen, but commonsense suggests that the Farkus fracus is eerily reminiscent of the abuses of power uncovered in the Watergate scandal  … drip … drip … drip.

Commonsense also suggests that all surveillance operations by the Obama Administration of political opponents, legal or illegal,  will eventually be unmasked and if illegal the person(s) responsible will be held accountable.

Good Day!

The Political Pendulum Swings

POTUS press conference yesterday was a very refreshing breath of fresh air from a President displaying  the vintage form that got him elected. After nearly 100 years of progressive, liberal politics from the republican and democrat establishment, the proverbial political pendulum has begun to swing back to traditional center-right American values; and not any too soon.

Someone once famously said that Americans will eventually do the right thing but not before exhausting all other alternatives. Commonsense tells me that the American people did the right thing when they elected Donald Trump.  Commonsense also tells me that if  democrats keep up the politically correct nonsense much longer, the democrat party  will soon be headed to the ash heap of history, along with their liberal progressive policies and  friends in  the so-called mainstream media.

Have a nice Day. Happy Days are here again.

45 – An Irishman’s Observations


I apologize upfront for the length of this post, but I found the commonsense observations on the recent election of the 45th President of the United States of America by an Irish journalist so compelling that I could not resist republishing these observations here. These observations are contained in a column recently published in the Irish Independent by Ian O’Doherty entitled ‘An Irish reflection on the 2016 Election in the Colonies.” What follows are the Irishman’s observations verbatim:

“Tuesday November 8, 2016 — a day that will live in infamy, or the moment when America was made great again?

The truth, as ever, will lie somewhere in the middle. After all, contrary to what both his supporters and detractors believe — and this is probably the only thing they agree on — Trump won’t be able to come into office and spend his first 100 days gleefully ripping up all the bits of the Constitution he doesn’t like.

But even if this week’s seismic shockwave doesn’t signal either the sky falling in or the start of a bright new American era, the result was, to use one of The Donald’s favourite phrases, huge. It is, in fact, a total game changer.

In decades to come, historians will still bicker about the most poisonous, toxic and stupid election in living memory.

They will also be bickering over the same vexed question: how did a man who was already unpopular with the public and who boasted precisely zero political experience beat a seasoned Washington insider who was married to one extremely popular president and who had worked closely with another?

The answer, ultimately, is in the question.

History will record this as a Trump victory, which of course it is. But it was also more than that, because this was the most stunning self-inflicted defeat in the history of Western democracy.

Hillary Clinton has damned her party to irrelevance for at least the next four years. She has also ensured that Obama’s legacy will now be a footnote rather than a chapter. Because the Affordable Care Act is now doomed under a Trump presidency and that was always meant to be his gift, of sorts, to America.

How did a candidate who had virtually all of the media, all of Hollywood, every celebrity you could think of, a couple of former presidents and apparently, the hopes of an entire gender resting on her shoulders, blow up her own campaign?

I rather suspect that neither Donald nor Hillary know how they got to this point.

Where she seemed to expect the position to become available to her by right — the phrase “she deserves it” was used early in the campaign and then quickly dropped when her team remembered that Americans don’t like inherited power — his first steps into the campaign were those of someone chancing their arm. If he wasn’t such a staunch teetotaller, many observers would have accused him of only doing it as a drunken bet.

But the more the campaign wore on, something truly astonishing began to happen: the people began to speak. And they began to speak in a voice which, for the first time in years in the American heartland, would not be ignored.

Few of the people who voted for Trump seriously believe that he is going to personally improve their fortunes. Contrary to the smug, middle-class media narrative, they aren’t all barely educated idiots.

They know what he is, of course they do. It’s what he is not that appeals to them.

Clinton, on the other hand, had come to represent the apex of smug privilege. Whether it was boasting about her desire to shut down the remaining coal industry in Virginia — that worked out well for her, in the end — or calling half the electorate a “basket of deplorables,” she seemed to operate in the perfumed air of the elite, more obsessed with coddling idiots and pandering to identity and feelings than improving the hardscrabble life that is the lot of millions of Americans.

Also, nobody who voted for Trump did so because they wanted him as a spiritual guru or life coach.

But plenty of people invested an irrational amount of emotional energy into a woman who was patently undeserving of that level of adoration.

That’s why we’ve witnessed such fury from her supporters — they had wrapped themselves so tightly in the Hillary flag that a rejection of her felt like a rejection of them. And when you consider that many American colleges gave their students Wednesday off class because they were too “upset” to study, you can see that this wasn’t a battle for the White House — this became a genuine battle for America’s future direction. And, indeed, for the West. (Emphasis mine)

We have been going through a cultural paroxysm for the last 10 years — the rise of identity politics has created a Balkanised society where the content of someone’s mind is less important than their skin colour, gender, sexuality or whatever other attention-seeking label they wish to bestow upon themselves.

In fact, where once it looked like racism and sexism might be becoming archaic remnants of a darker time, a whole new generation has popped up which wants to re-litigate all those arguments all over again.

In fact, while many of us are too young to recall the Vietnam War and the social upheaval of the 1960s, plenty of observers who were say they haven’t seen an America more at war with itself than it is today.

One perfect example of this New America has been the renewed calls for segregation on campuses. Even a few years ago, such a move would have been greeted with understandable horror by civil rights activists — but this time it’s the black students demanding segregation and “safe spaces” from whites. If young people calling for racial segregation from each other isn’t the sign of a very, very sick society, nothing is.

The irony of Clinton calling Trump and his followers racist while she was courting Black Lives Matter was telling.

After all, no rational white person would defend the KKK, yet here was a white women defending both BLM and the New Black Panthers — explicitly racist organisations with the NBP, in particularly, openly espousing a race war if they don’t get what they want.

Fundamentally, Trump was attractive because he represents a repudiation of the nonsense that has been slowly strangling the West.

He represents — rightly or wrongly, and the dust has still to settle — a scorn and contempt for these new rules. He won’t be a president worried about microaggressions, or listening to the views of patently insane people just because they come from a fashionably protected group.

He also represents a glorious two fingers to everyone who has become sick of being called a racist or a bigot or a homophobe — particularly by Hillary supporters who are too dense to realise that she has always actually been more conservative on social issues than Trump.

That it might take a madman to restore some sanity to America is, I suppose, a quirk that is typical to that great nation — land of the free and home to more contradictions than anyone can imagine.

Trump’s victory also signals just how out of step the media has been with the people. Not just American media, either.

In fact, the Irish media has continued its desperate drive to make a show of itself with a seemingly endless parade of emotionally incontinent gibberish that, ironically, has increased in ferocity and hysterical spite in the last few days.

The fact that Hillary’s main cheerleaders in the Irish and UK media still haven’t realised where they went wrong is instructive and amusing in equal measure. They still don’t seem to understand that by constantly insulting his supporters, they’re just making asses of themselves.

One female contributor to this newspaper said Trump’s victory was a “sad day for women.” Well, not for the women who voted for him, it wasn’t.

But that really is the nub of the matter — the “wrong” kind of women obviously voted for Trump. The “right” kind went with Hillary. And lost.

The Irish media is not alone in being filled largely with dinner-party liberals who have never had an original or socially awkward thought in their lives. They simply assume that everyone lives in the same bubble and thinks the same thoughts — and if they don’t, they should.

Of the many things that have changed with Trump’s victory, the bubble has burst. Never in American history have the polls, the media and the chin-stroking moral arbiters of the liberal agenda been so spectacularly, wonderfully wrong.

It was exactly that condescending, obnoxious sneer towards the working class that brought them out in such numbers, and that is the great irony of Election 16 — the Left spent years creating identity politics to the extent that the only group left without protection or a celebrity sponsor was the white American male.

That it was the white American male who swung it for Trump is a timely reminder that while black lives matter, all votes count — even the ones of people you despise.

You don’t have to be a supporter of Trump to take great delight in the sheer, apoplectic rage that has greeted his victory.

If Clinton had won and Trump supporters had gone on a rampage through a dozen American cities the next night, there would have been outrage — and rightly so.

But in a morally and linguistically inverted society, the wrong-doers are portrayed as the victims. We saw that at numerous Trump rallies: protesters would disrupt the event, claiming their right to free speech (a heckler’s veto is not free speech) and provoking people until they got a dig before running to the media and claiming victimhood.

But, ultimately, this election was about people saying enough with the bullshit. This is a country in crisis, and most Americans don’t care about transgender bathrooms, or safe spaces, or government speech laws. This was about people taking some control back for themselves.

It was about them saying that they won’t be hectored and bullied by the toddler tantrums thrown by pissy and spoiled millennials, and they certainly won’t put up with being told they’re stupid and wicked just because they have a difference of opinion.

But, really, this election is about hope for a better America; an America which isn’t obsessed with identity and perceived “privilege;” an America where being a victim isn’t a virtue and where you don’t have to apologise for not being up to date with the latest list of socially acceptable phrases.

Trump’s victory was a two fingers to the politically correct.

It was a brutal rejection of the nonsense narrative which says Muslims who kill Americans are somehow victims. It took the ludicrous Green agenda and threw it out. It was a return, on some level, to a time when people weren’t afraid to speak their own mind without some self-elected language cop shouting at you. Who knows, we may even see Trump kicking the UN out of New York.

Frankly, if you’re one of those who gets their politics from Jon Stewart and Twitter, look away for the next four years, because you’re not going to like what you see. The rest of us, however, will be delighted.

This might go terribly, terribly wrong. Nobody knows — and if we have learned anything this week, it’s that nobody knows nuthin’.

    But just as the people of the UK took control back with Brexit, the people of America did likewise with their choice for president.”

I hope you will share the foregoing with your family and friends. Good Day!

Hope and Change

After the Democrats suffered sweeping election losses at the federal, state and local level across the country in the midterm elections in 2010 and 2014, the promise of ‘hope and change’ finally arrived in 2016 as the Republicans continued to make gains across the country, taking control of the U.S. Congress and the Presidency in the process. While some Democrats may see no hope,  commonsense tells me that the vast majority of Americans who represent the  working-class backbone of the nation, including a lot of life-long democrats, are very hopeful that things will improve under Republican leadership.

Commonsense tells me that if there is not clear evidence of such improvement soon, the voters will again exercise their power to block  unwise  policies  of the party in power like they did is 2010  when the Democrats  overreached  by enacting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act without a single supporting Republican vote.  Commonsense also tells me that the political nonsense will soon stop as a long overdue return to bipartisan governance takes hold over the next eight years  when elected officials at last come to realize  that the voters will not tolerate anything less anymore.

Better Days are coming to America.

Trump Phenomenon Revisited

          The results of the American presidential election in 2016 demonstrates that the so-called Trump Phenomenon  was a very real political movement which, like Brexit in the UK, rejected the progressive political establishment which has not served the middle class in America or the UK, or any place else on the planet, very well in the last 100 years.

          Commonsense tells me that a flawed, but likable and basically honest, businessman accustomed to producing results on time and within budget, finally put an end to the failed, over-reaching progressive agenda of the 44th President of the United States of America, as represented by the unlikable and dishonest presidential nominee of the Democrat party in 2016.

          Commonsense also tells me that the world is better off today on the eve of the administration of the 45th President of the United States of America than it has been for quite sometime.

          Good Day!

The Deplorables

According to Hillary Clinton, half of Trump supporters can be put into a basket of deplorables. That she now expresses regrets in response to the firestorm  does not erase the comments which shows her elitist attitude toward the vast majority of American citizens. It tops the elitist remarks Mitt Romney made in the 2012 presidential campaign which may very well have cost him the election. You cannot make this stuff up.

A famous person once said that Americans will always do the right thing, but not before exhausting all other alternatives. Commonsense tells me that all alternatives have now been exhausted. Commonsense also tells me  that the American deplorables are about to do the right thing again.

Good Day!

Trump-Pence or Trump-Up-Pence

         The  so-called mainstream media pundits have been wondering during the entire primary election season why Donald Trump  has not by now suffered his comeuppance (pronounced comeuppe’nce).  Now that Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for President of the United States of America, these same pudits will still be wondering when Donald Trump becomes the President-Elect of the United States of America on November 8, 2016, and the 45th President of the  United States of America on January 20, 2017, how it all happened, against their better judgment.

          With all the problems facing the presumptive nominee of the Democrat Party for President of the United States of America in 2016 (Hilary Clinton), commonsense tells me that the Presidential election of 2016 is now Donald Trump’s to lose.  Commonsense also tells me that Donald Trump will win the Presidency if he tones down  his rhetoric a bit, focuses on the issues and Hillary’s problems and  continues to surround himself with knowledgeable and competent  conservatives like Mike Pence. If that happens, the Trump-Pence ticket will not suffer a Trump-Up-Pence!

          Good Day! America is headed for better Days ahead!

Commonsense Commentary and Analysis on Law and Politics