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Tag: Elections

Waltzing Merrily Over a Cliff

Waltzing Merrily Over a Cliff

“I  don’t care whether you’re driving a hybrid or an SUV. If you’re headed for a cliff, you have to change direction.”

Barack Obama

That might be a warning that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would be advised to heed as the Democrats in Congress push relentlessly ahead in their quest to undo the election of President Donald Trump. On the flimsiest of charges, they appear intent to proceed with impeaching the President, a move born of their hatred for Trump and doomed to fail. As they waltz merrily over the cliff, they are bolstering Trump’s approval ratings and almost certainly aiding his reelection chances.

Depending on what media you pay attention to, you might either, a) think the case against Trump is ironclad and he is nothing short of a tyrant and reprobate, or b) that he’s been railroaded by political animus and blind prejudice. There is plenty of agida stirred up on both sides, largely fostered by selective picking and choosing of what to focus on by various media sources, not to mention plenty of outright lying (I say that having heard it with my own ears) and obfuscation by more than a few supposed journalists.

For instance, as just one example, if your source for news (I use the term advisedly) is CNN, you never would have heard the opening statement of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, a Republican, at the committee’s Dec. 11 session with Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz, nor would you have heard Horowitz’s mention of the 17 clear errors and omissions committed by the FBI in seeking the FISA court order that began the whole Russia affair that was scurrilously pinned on Trump. All you would have heard were statements by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein eliciting responses from Horowitz that seemed to indicate all was done properly, which – if you somehow heard the rest of what Horowitz had to say — it decidedly wasn’t. You also would have gotten the full opening statement of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat and one of the leaders of the anti-Trump mob, in the impeachment hearings his committee was conducting.

I’ll be doing a separate analysis of Horowitz’s findings and report in a future posting. For now, let’s just quote what Horowitz had to say about the claim by former FBI Director James Comey – who now has passed from unbridled arrogance to perhaps certifiable narcissism – that the IG’s report vindicates him in his role in initiating the investigations of Trump.

The activities we found here don’t vindicate anybody who touched this,” Horowitz said.

Another Big Swing, A Bigger Miss

At the risk of sounding redundant, the current episode is just the latest in the Dems’ ineffectual attempts to take out Trump. I laid out the basic game plan in my three-part series, “Another Swing, Another Miss.” In Part I I detailed how the Dems’ repeated efforts to unseat Trump amounted to one strike after another. In Part II I detailed how there is indeed a Ukraine scandal, being used as the pretext for the impeachment effort, but the scandal lies not with Trump but with former VP Joe Biden and his son Hunter. And in Part III I described the much bigger, but little reported on, scandal involving the Bidens and China. Now we’re going to see how three strikes aren’t enough for the Dems’ to give it up and how they are following their anti-Trump obsession right over the political cliff.

The process took a step closer to the cliff’s edge earlier on the day I am drafting this as the committee headed by Nadler, the Wiffer-in-Chief, voted entirely along party lines to move two articles of impeachment to the full House for a final vote, ostensibly in the coming week. This followed a contentious 14-hour committee debate that ended suddenly at Nadler’s order at 11 p.m. last night, prompting Republican members to call the process a “kangaroo court” and Nadler’s order “Stalinesque.”

After ridiculous Democrat charges of “bribery” and even “treason” as hearings were under way in the House Intelligence Committee, headed by the shifty Rep. Adam Shiff, the final two articles are nothing less than anti-climatic. The best they could come up with is “abuse of power” – based on the allegations that Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine in order to seek an investigation of his presumed political rival, Joe Biden – and “obstruction of Congress” – based on the President’s refusal to cooperate with the House investigations, which he has termed a “witch hunt.” While the Constitution says a President can be removed for “high crimes and misdemeanors,” there is no federal or state statute against either charge.

Given further that the White House released the full transcript of the July 25 telephone conversation between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in which there was no indication of the quid pro quo Dems’ have insisted was present, and the right of a President to demand an investigation of suspected corruption in conduct of foreign affairs, the first article appears DOA. As for the second article, disputes between an Administration and Congress over executive privilege are legion throughout the life of the republic. This Administration’s refusal to turn over documents or permit members of the Administration to testify would not be the first stand-off between the two co-equal branches of government. Ultimately, the courts could rule on the matter, though the Supreme Court, the third co-equal branch, has been reluctant to wade into such matters.

Let’s not forget that former Attorney General Eric Holder was found in contempt of Congress, too, and the total penalty for him, under the Obama Administration, was a big zero.

Speaker Pelosi, not known for coherent statements, was even more incoherent than usual in trying to defend the articles the committee came up with.

I myself am not a lawyer,” babbled Pelosi. “Sometimes I act like one. Not as often as I act as a doctor. I practice medicine on the side without benefit of diploma, too.” Huh? But wait, she wasn’t done. “This is a decision that was recommended by our working together with our committee chairs, our attorneys and the rest.” Not done yet. “And they (the articles) are … uh … a continuation of a pattern of misbehavior on the part of the President. People are realizing, when they see what that was, they think, the public thinks, that they should be determining who the President of the United States is, not some foreign power.” Well, yeah, and that “public” is who elected Trump as President, isn’t it? The same “public” whose vote you’re trying to undo because you don’t like how it turned out? And finally, “It’s no use having the discussion here. This is a discussion we will take to the floor of the Senate.”

Going Over the Cliff

And that’s where the whole process goes over the cliff. Given that it takes 67 senators to vote in favor of removing the President from office, that there are 53 Republican, 45 Democratic, and 2 independent members of the Senate, and a vote will be almost entirely along party lines, there is no chance the President will be removed from office.

There has been some backing and forthing between Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over whether it will be a long trial with lots of the witnesses, like Hunter Biden and Adam Schiff, that Trump has said he’d like to call, or a quick process, that McConnell seemed to favor. In reality, it is Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts who would actually preside over the trial and will have a lot to say about its conduct. Regardless, the end result is fait accompli. As McConnell has said, “The case is so darn weak, coming over from the House, we all know how it’s going to end. There is no chance the President is gonna be removed from office.”

Meanwhile, polls have been showing that a majority, albeit a slight majority, of Americans now are opposed to impeachment, and even more opposed to removing him from office, and Trump’s favorability ratings have been rising through all this. At least one major poll, Rasmussen’s daily tracking poll, as of Dec. 13 puts Trump’s approval at 49% (it recently was up to 51%), three points above where President Obama was at the same point in his first term.

None of this can inspire confidence among Dems given that the outlook for 2020 becomes ever more problematic for them. Some major polls are now showing Trump beating all or most of the Democrat presidential front runners in key battle ground states. Throw in the massive Conservative victory in the UK on Dec. 12, and there is plenty of grounds for Pelosi and the left-leaning Dems, to whom she seems to have capitulated, to take heed of Obama’s warning on what to do when they’re headed for a cliff.

Photo Credits: Nancy Pelosi: Unknown; Donald Trump: Reuters. Both used under Fair Use.

The Pretense Is Over

The Pretense Is Over

We had an election this week but it would be hard to recognize that. Whether in the media or in the streets, in the halls of Congress or even in the counting rooms of electoral officials, one side seems unable to swallow the results of the voting, which didn’t turn out as it had hoped and been promised. And now, in the aftermath, the pretense of civility, as thin as it might have been, has been cast aside and the true colors of the left are out in the open for all to see.

The left had been expecting a blue wave, a massive Democratic renunciation of the current administration and all that it stands for, and instead the voters returned what, at best, might be termed a blue ripple. While the Dems took control of the House of Representatives – which the party out of the White House does more often than not in off-year elections – it was by a much thinner margin than they had been expecting. Meanwhile, the Republicans deepened their control of the Senate, something that historically has happened only a handful of times in off-year elections, and which in real political terms is far more significant than control of the House.

Even more galling to the Dems was that Republican candidates who had embraced and been embraced by the President did better than the ones who didn’t, to the point where voters cast out such Democratic stalwarts as Claire McCaskill in Missouri and Joe Donnelly in Indiana in favor of Trump-backed candidates. While it wasn’t a big surprise that Heidi Heitkamp, who had angered North Dakota voters by her vote against the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, was soundly defeated – just as fellow Democrat Joe Manchin, who had voted in favor of Kavanaugh, was returned to the Senate in West Virginia – the loss of Missouri and Indiana came as a bigger shock.

Apparently, though, it wasn’t enough to simply respect the will of the people and lick one’s wounds and wait for the next election year. Instead, Dems are resorting to some of their old, tried-and-true ways, in places as diverse as Florida, Arizona, and Georgia. The idea, unspoken but obvious by the tactics being employed, is if you can’t win an election you do your best to steal it. We’ll get to that a little later in this piece, but there are more egregious assaults on our democracy under way at present I think need to be discussed first.

Antifa, that group of anarchists that bills itself as anti-fascist but actually embodies and practices fascist tactics, has escalated its violent and confrontational actions to target commentators and journalists it doesn’t approve of. On Wednesday night, an Antifa mob descended on the Washington home of Fox News personality Tucker Carlson. They threatened Carlson and his wife – fortunately their four children were not in the house at the time – vandalized their home and car, blocked off streets, and yelled about pipe bombs.

Tucker Carlson, we will fight. We know where you sleep at night!” the mob chanted.

The group’s Twitter feed – which Twitter has yet to take down – carries the same threat in a sticky post, and the group used a practice known as “doxxing” to publish the addresses of conservative commentators Carlson, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and others. Meanwhile, left-wing commentators refuse to concede that the attack on Carlson’s home was staged by a “mob,” calling it instead a “protest.” Some protest. Meanwhile, this kind of threatening behavior has become a commonplace as so-called “protesters” drive public figures from restaurants and other public places, egged on by no less than members of Congress, most notably California Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

Building on the neo-fascist theme, if you weren’t locked in a bank vault all day today, you heard the phrase, “This was a glass-breaking moment,” or some version thereof, repeated over and over, ad nauseum, by the parrots of the mainstream media, as well as by some politicians. Ostensibly what they were referring to was the President’s decision to replace Jeff Sessions as Attorney General with Matthew Whitaker, Sessions’ chief of staff, who will be filling the post on an acting basis. Never mind that the ones using this expression are the same people who criticized Sessions and his initial appointment as AG. Apparently consistency has nothing to do with it when politics are concerned (I already discussed the whole issue of hypocrisy among the Dems, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of it).

The real issue, though, isn’t consistency or its lack. The real issue concerns the utterly and irretrievably disgusting use of that phrase, “glass-breaking moment,” on the exact 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht – Crystal Night or, as it is otherwise known, the Night of Broken Glass, one of the darkest times in all of recorded human history. It was the night of November 9-10, 1938, when German paramilitary forces and civilians launched a massive pogrom against Jews in Germany, Austria, and the Sudetenland. The exact number killed is not known, though it is estimated in the hundreds, and 267 synagogues were destroyed along with 7,000 Jewish-owned businesses that were damaged or destroyed. Additionally, 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Kristallnacht, that Night of Broken Glass, is marked as the beginning of the Holocaust. And it is to this monumental atrocity that these despicable excuses for human beings compare the firing of Jeff Sessions. Given the lockstep lack of originality among most in the media, one has to assume that this choice of phrase was carefully chosen on this specific day. The inescapable question is, now, who are the real anti-Semites?

And just when we thought it was impossible to stoop any lower, Senator Richard Blumenthal, that notorious liar from Connecticut, himself said that this was a glass-breaking moment, this action that is every bit the right of any President, to change members of his cabinet. Let’s not for even the scintilla of a second forget that Blumenthal is Jewish, and Blumenthal’s father fled Nazi Germany for the United States when he was 17 to protect his very life from the evil that had taken over Germany. And now his son was reducing all that to a glib political sound bite. Again, do we have to ask who the real anti-Semites are?

It’s hard to swallow my disgust over all this, but I will hold it down so we can get back to the electoral shenanigans I mentioned higher up in the piece. I saved these for last since, as bad as they are, I think the other things mentioned are even more serious and, as newer developments, pose an even bigger threat to our democratic institutions and way of life. Not that the integrity of our elections isn’t important, since it is, but the threat to electoral integrity is part of our history, considering how many dead Democrats have come out of their graves to vote over the years in various parts of the realm.

Anyway, in my own state of Florida, Congressman Ron DeSantis came out on top Tuesday over his radical opponent, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, in what can only be described as a squeaker of a vote tally in the governor’s race, with less than 1 percent separating them. And Governor Rick Scott defeated long-time Democratic incumbent Senator Bill Nelson by an even more narrow margin in the senatorial contest, within the half a percent needed to trigger a machine recount in the Sunshine State. While Scott declared victory late on election night, even without Nelson’s concession, Gillum later actually conceded to DeSantis. Well, that was until those trusty stalwarts of Democratic electoral shenanigans, the Broward and Palm Beach county elections supervisors, took over. And their actions have thrown both key races into turmoil.

Most people in the country above the age of 21 remember the hanging-chad controversy of Palm Beach County that held up results of the 2000 presidential election for weeks. While those events predated the current elections supervisor, Susan Bucher, Bucher seems to be prepared to continue the tradition. And not to be outdone, Broward Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes has a long history of issues going back through her 14 years in the position. Delayed counts, misplaced and missent ballots, and misprinted and destroyed ballots have been chronic issues and have led to several law suits filed against her over the years.

The most recent law suit, filed by Scott against Snipes since Tuesday’s election, has in just the past couple of hours gone against Snipes. Broward Circuit Judge Carol-Lisa Phillips found in Scott’s favor, saying in her ruling, “This court finds once again Broward County is under the microscope and being viewed by the entire nation. Hearing argument, this court finds that there has been a violation of the Florida Constitution, the Florida statute public records act and pursuant to the applicable case law.”

The question is whether the problems afflicting the count in Broward and Palm Beach are the result of corruption or incompetence. As the other Florida Senator, Marco Rubio, noted, the kindest judgment would be to say they are the result of incompetence. But after years of repetitive issues, that judgment might be far more kind than is justified. Even incompetents can show some sign of a learning curve.

Meanwhile, counting issues persist in the U.S. senatorial contest in Arizona between Republican Martha McSally and Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. You might recall that Sinema was telling people it was okay to join the Taliban while McSally was fighting combat missions over, among other places, Afghanistan, and also successfully suing the Defense Department over its policy requiring U.S. servicewomen while stationed in Saudi Arabia to wear the abaya when off-duty. In any case, three days after the polls closed Tuesday, some 600,000 ballots remain to be counted, mainly in Maricopa and Pima counties, home of Phoenix and Tuscon, respectively, both Democratic strongholds. And ballots continue to turn up in unlikely places. How can this be, one asks? Incompetence, or corruption? There is that great choice again.

In yet another hotly contested race, the Georgia governor’s race — you will remember this as the race that Oprah weighed in on, in support of Democrat Stacy Abrams — votes continue to be counted, too (are we seeing a repetitive common thread here?), and those pesky missing votes continue to show up. So far Republican Brian Kemp holds a narrow lead over Abrams, and if Kemp’s tally stays above 50% he will avoid a run-off election as called for by Georgia law. But days after polls closed, the counting (and vote finding) goes on. And now CNN has come out with a piece by Van Jones (now there‘s an impartial observer) urging Abrams not to let Kemp steal the election. So much for journalistic balance. But that’s a whole other subject.

We keep hearing from the Dems how they want every vote to count, but it seems the votes they want to count are those favoring their candidates. Disenfranchisement through extralegal and illegal means doesn’t seem to matter to them, except when its their candidates affected. As Nelson’s chosen attorney, Marc Elias – the attorney who retained Fusion GPS on behalf of the Hillary Clinton campaign to produce the infamous and largely bogus “dossier” that had Trump peeing on a bed in Moscow – said, he didn’t come to Florida for a recount but rather to see Nelson elected.

With all this going on, one has to ask who needs Russians to meddle in our elections when Americans are doing a perfectly respectable job of mucking things up on their own?

I don’t know about you, gentle reader, but all this continues to leave me deeply troubled, and things stay on course in a very negative direction. Negative, and scary.

Historical Footnote and Disclaimer: I know Bill Nelson personally from when I was a reporter in Brevard County, Fla., in the 1980s and he was a congressman, and I can’t imagine how anyone in their right mind could vote for this guy. There, I said it.