John

LaBoyteaux 2020 – No Witnesses

From a thousand points of light to near darkness, a trial is supposed to search for truth but only Mitt Romney and Susan Collins were willing to do so.  And one other glimmer of integrity, Chief Justice Roberts would not read a trick question to expose the identity of the whistle-blower.

I can’t say now if the Democrats were right or wrong to bring Articles of Impeachment.  I was worried about more inflamed division of the country but no one wants foreign countries interfering in our elections.  But Mitch McConnell is still sitting on the legislation that would address Russian interference.

The truth will come out.

 

 

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LaBoyteaux 2020-One Hundred and Seventy-Six Dead

Iran has admitted that in fear of an attack by the United States, they accidentally shot down a Ukrainian civilian airliner.  That they admitted this is good but since it took three days, was it the overwhelming public evidence, internal political struggle or something else?  Russia has still not admitted the shoot down of the Malaysian airliner, flight 17, even after the Dutch investigation found shrapnel from the rocket in the bodies of the crew.  And don’t forget the shoot down of an Iranian airliner by the USS Vincennes in 1988 and Korea airlines flight 007 shot down by Russia in 1982.  In all these cases there was plenty of coulda-shoulda about precautions that might have been taken.  In the end it is the insanity of war.

No one in the Trump administration has been able to provide evidence of an imminent threat to justify the assassination of the Iranian general which brought us to the brink of war with Iran and indirectly the death of one hundred and seventy-six innocent people on a civilian airliner.

As president, I don’t want to kill anyone and will do my best to avoid the need to do so.  If we are attacked, defend against the attack and punish the immediate attacker.  The Middle East is complicated and we cannot tolerate attacks by proxies.  However President Trump is making it worse though the extreme economic sanctions and campaign of maximum pressure on Iran.  It will take generations to repair the damage done and the historic animosities in the region.  Our effort should be directed to getting all involved to live within the boundaries of their individual nations.

 

 

 

 

 

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LaBoyteaux 2020-Assassination in Bagdad

Regardless whether one believes the Iran nuclear deal was badly crafted, the Iranians were keeping their end of it.  A foundation of trust in one area can be used to address other problems.  I last discussed Iran in my “The Morning News” post last June.  In my view the Trump administration has been trying to bait Iran into a conflict with extended sanctions and Iran has been conducting, directly and through proxies, asymmetric attacks on U.S. interests and allies.  Overnight President trump ordered the assassination of the highest ranking Iranian general with a rocket attack on his motorcade at the Bagdad airport.  So two questions, plenty of opportunities to kill this guy before so why now?  And, supposedly he was planning some wider attack on U.S. interests, so if we knew about it, why not act against the attack rather than assassinate a high ranking leader?  A sound defeat is a far greater deterrent to future attacks than making a martyr.

 

 

 

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LaBoyteaux 2020–Impeachment?

Richard Nixon was a Republican president.  When he tried to cover up involvement in the Watergate break-in the Republicans lead the inquiry and were near impeachment when he resigned.  What happened to the integrity of the Republican party?  Bribery and extortion are serious crimes and there is evidence this may have occurred.  A fair and serious hearing is needed.

In 2017, meeting with Russian officials in the Oval Office, President Trump told them he wasn’t concerned about their meddling in the 2016 election.  In my view, this was the first treason.  Recordings of this conversation have been hidden perhaps not unlike taking the translator’s notes after the closed meeting with Putin in Helsinki.

As the recent article by Joe Lockhart observes:

“Perhaps the most significant testimony, though, was about US foreign policy. Both Kent and Taylor warned against abandoning our commitment to Ukraine as an important strategic ally. To do so would be the latest example of the President tilting US foreign policy in the direction of helping Russia at the expense of our traditional allies. Whether it was Trump’s servile turn at the Helsinki press conference with Vladimir Putin last year, or his abandonment of our Kurdish allies in Syria or his trying to bully our allies into readmitting Russia to the G-8, the message has been clear.”

At this time, I do not believe the House of Representatives should move to an Impeachment vote, censure perhaps, but not Impeachment yet.  There must be a compelling case, so while a majority of Americans believe President Trump is guilty of wrong doing in Ukraine, the country is still closely divided about Impeachment.  New revelations could change my mind and I believe there is still much to be revealed.  The blocking of witnesses and attacks on those who do testify looks like obstruction of justice to me.  I would like to know, as some reporting has suggested, if President Trump lied in writing to the Mueller investigation.  I would like to see the tax returns because I wonder about foreign loans and investments, Russia especially.

As the week begins, the Democratic led House of Representatives has developed Articles of Impeachment and appears ready to move to an Impeachment vote.  This is not a hoax.  There is strong evidence of wrongdoing by the President.  The Democrats are correct that foreign intervention in our elections was foreseen by the Founding Fathers and is a great danger to our Nation.

Although the evidence is strong, I would still like to see some testimony so compelling that most all Americans could put aside their partisan feelings and look at what happened with Ukraine as they would their responsibility in jury service.  That we would all be compelled to put country above self interest.

With Impeachment now coming as soon as Wednesday I am now firmly of the view that Impeachment and Trial in the Senate is not good for our County and will further inflame our divisions.  A simple and plainly written resolution of censure will underscore what the President did and cause great caution should he try to do it again.  That the Republicans (Mitch Mc Connell) continue to block legislation that would make it more difficult for foreign actors, Russia in particular, to meddle in our elections, is to forsake our Country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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LaBoyteaux 2020–Anniversary of 9/11

Although we are three hours behind Washington D.C., we were already in the field harvesting that morning.  Allison came a bit late and told us of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.  The towers had not yet fallen and people were jumping to escape the flames.  Later that day I asked an older man in our community if he could remember Pearl Harbor, “Yes, that is exactly how it feels, it feel just like that”!

I thank Amy Klobachar for the following statement.

As we mark the 18th anniversary of 9/11 today, we remember the 2,977 innocent Americans who died. I will never forget the horror and heartbreak of that day, but I will also never forget the resilience of this country as we recommitted ourselves to the values and freedoms that the terrorists sought — and failed — to dismantle. Americans are strong, and together we can overcome any challenge.

Today is a day to honor the memory of those we lost and to recognize the incredible bravery of our first responders. Let us pay tribute to them by remaining strong, proud and dedicated to the values we share as Americans.

The Supreme Court says the Trump Administration can force refugees from Central America to remain in Mexico while waiting for their claims of amnesty to be processed.  I’ve previously suggested these claims can be made at U.S. Embassies and Consulates but people do not leave their homelands, friends and family without a reason.  They do so in desperation.  While we need a secure boarder, one of my first actions to stem the flow of refugees, would be to work with the leaders of the various Central American nations to improve conditions in those countries.

I would never have selected John Bolton as National Security Advisor in the first place but hope his departure will lessen chances of war with Iran.  I felt we were trying to bait Iran into war with extreme sanctions and those sanctions continue.

 

 

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LaBoyteaux 2020–Just Crazy

This week President Trump said Israel would show “great weakness” if it allowed U.S. Representatives Omar and Tlaib to visit.  The only weakness is the bully in the White House who cannot stop attaching these young congresswomen.  Representative Tlaib, among other things, wanted to visit her grandmother in Israel.  Israel also did itself no good by refusing entry ….. like they can’t stand a little criticism even if the congresswomen did mouth off.  Might have been a chance for them to learn more about Israel.

Meanwhile our President wants to buy Greenland, cut foreign aide except for his daughter’s pet projects, claim an award that does not exist, enforce a gag rule on women’s health clinics and institute more cruel and repressive immigration policies.  Just Crazy.

 

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LaBoyteaux 2020–Gilroy, El Paso, Dayton

Gilroy, El Paso, Dayton, I try to remember each and every one yet there have been so many.  Thank you Mr. Biden for your advice to families of the victims on how to carry on after these tragedies.  It says much about the man that you are.

In each case, an assault rifle was the weapon of choice.  Republicans, Mitch McConnell in particular continue to block additional gun laws in the Senate.  Yes, universal background checks would seem to have made no difference in these attacks.  However, increased background related to purchase of an assault rifle (why not call it extreme vetting?) might well have revealed the troubled and extreme views of these individuals.

Our president, in another example of bargaining with people’s lives, wants to link gun legislation to immigration.  For God’s sake Mr. President, people are being slaughtered in the streets, Dayton the 250th mass shooting.  Where is your brain?  Words matter Mr. President, your hateful rhetoric sets off some of these nut cases.  And it is not everybody else’s fault, it is on your watch that this is happening now.  The El Paso shooter wrote a manifesto using your language Mr. President and is said to show no remorse.  And it is domestic terrorism Mr. President, isn’t that a real emergency?

I certainly support universal background checks as do most Americans and elevated background for purchase of assault rifles or assault ammunition.  I support Red Flag laws and support prohibition of extended magazines, bump stocks and other accessories that make these rifles more lethal.  Our veterans know how lethal these weapons are, it is not video games.  Any gun can kill but assault weapons are designed as killing machines and Americans must understand the rate of fire, velocity and the tumbling, ripping impact of assault ammunition.

There is no way the government can keep track of all the crazies and unbalanced individuals can radicalize quickly. If you see something, or hear something, tell the police. SAY SOMETHING!

 

 

 

 

 

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LaBoyteaux 2020–Supreme Court Says Trump Wall OK

I don’t need to build a monument to myself.  I will use a mix of strategies to secure the southern boarder including barriers in some areas.  There are no large amount of drugs coming across the open desert, guys packing individual 40 kilo packages.  It does not happen that way.  Drugs are shipped by the ton in trucks and boats as seen in recent busts by the Coast Guard.  There is/was no emergency because congress did not do what Trump wanted.  I don’t need a monument and I don’t need a symbol of hatred toward people different from myself.  We hold these truths …..

In follow up, it seems that most of the money taken from the Pentagon budget will be used to replace existing barriers which are outdated.  This is something the congress might have funded if the replacement use had been clear.  Any barrier still needs to be patrolled and guarded.

I do not agree with the Supreme Court decision on this because it is based on a phony emergency.  Real emergencies are imminent threats to human life.  Should a president be allowed to use emergency powers, without that imminent threat, just making it up.

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LaBoyteaux 2020–We hold these truths

I don’t do anger well.  And I suppose I’ve become sort of numb to the almost daily racist and hateful statements from our President.  So I find myself repeating, over and over the most important words in our Declaration of Independence, ” We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  This is leadership and the foundation of our nation.

Vice President Pence is fond of comparing President Trump to Ronald Reagan.  Hogwash.  I cannot remember Reagan saying a mean or hateful thing about anyone.  I do remember a couple things he said.  “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”  and about immigrants to our southern boarder, “these are good people” even as we need a secure boarder.

The congress is preparing a resolution of censure for President Trump’s most recent racist mouth off.  Rightly so.

 

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LaBoyteaux 2020–Gerrymandering

I wonder that the Supreme Court gets so tangled in legalisms that they forget about the rights of the individual, the equality broadly conceived in our Constitution.  That wealth can be used to amplify some voices above all the others ….. where did that come from?  And yesterday, that it is not the role of the courts to stop gerrymandering ….. drawing the maps so that so that some individuals are underrepresented.  Even Justice Roberts acknowledges this practice is destructive to our democracy but can’t find a way to uphold the equality of individual people in the face of runaway partisanship?  That is certainly not my reading of the Constitution.

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