If The President Does It, Monuments Reduced

The Russia Thing: President Trump said, “I think it’s a shame,” and it’s “very unfair” that former national security Adviser Michael Flynn was indicted for lying to the FBI and Hillary Clinton was not.

Trump claimed Clinton “lied many times to the FBI and nothing happened.

He said, “Flynn lied and they destroyed his life.”

Trump said this despite the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey before Congress that agents found Clinton to be truthful about her private emails. Comey told a House committee, “we have no basis to conclude she lied to the FBI.”

On a related matter, Trump’s personal lawyer John Dowd claims the President cannot be guilty of obstructing justice for firing the former FBI director, according to an interview with Axios. “(The) President cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under (the Constitution’s Article II) and has every right to express his view of any case,” Dowd told Axios.

That’s very similar to President Richard Nixon’s declaration that, “When the president does it that means it is not illegal.” He was wrong.

Travel and Resorts: The Supreme Court decided yesterday to allow the Trump administration to enforce its travel ban targeted at six predominantly Muslim countries until the ban’s constitutionality moves through the appeals courts. The decision might be an indication of how the court ultimately will rule.

Monumental: President Trump announced yesterday that he’s ordering the reduction of national monument land in Utah by 2 million acres, including 85 percent of Bears Ears and about half of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments.

It’s the largest reduction ever in the size of national monuments. The land was set aside by Democratic administrations, but Trump wants it open for development of mineral and oil resources.

“Some people think that the natural resources should be controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats located in Washington,” Trump said at Utah’s State Capitol. “And guess what, they’re wrong.” He said, “Together we will usher in a bright new future of wonder and wealth.”

State and local politicians had argued that the designation of the two monuments was a giant federal land grab. American Indians say it protected heritage sites.

Trump’s order is likely to be met with lawsuits.

Go Get ‘Em Roy: A Florida woman has produced evidence of her claim that she dated Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore when she was 17 and he was in his 30s, according to The Washington Post.  Debbie Wesson Gibson says she dug up a graduation card that appears to be signed by Moore saying, “Happy graduation Debbie,” in cursive handwriting. “I wanted to give you this card myself. I know that you’ll be a success in anything you do. Roy.”

Moore has denied knowing any of the half-dozen women who have accused him of romantically pursuing or sexually molesting them when they were teenagers. He has said, “The allegations are completely false. They are malicious. Specifically, I do not know any of these women.”

President Trump called Moore yesterday to give his support saying, “Go get ‘em, Roy.”

Wildfire: A vicious wind-driven wildfire broke out in Ventura, Calif. overnight, burning as many as 150 homes and buildings already. Winds of 50 mph make it impossible to control the fire.

The Weinstein Effect: Netflix says it’s going to produce one more season of “House of Cards” featuring Robin Wright and eliminating Kevin Spacey from the show. Spacey has been accused of sexual harassment by a number of men and one teenager.

Also, amid accusations of sexual harassment, Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers announced he will not run for re-election. At age 88, he’s the longest serving member of the House.

Permawar: Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has been killed in fighting between his supporters and Houthi rebels. He is reported to have been stopped in his car south of the capital Sanaa and summarily shot.

By Sunday, Houthi fighters had taken control of much of the capital despite Saudi-led coalition air strikes.

The Obit Page: John Anderson, the longtime Republican congressman from Illinois who left his party in 1980 to run as an independent against President Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, has died at age 95. Anderson was a popular alternative among college students, but he ended up winning only seven percent of the vote.

Gridiron Blues: The NY Giants fired coach Ben McAdoo yesterday, a day after the team’s 10th loss of the season in which he replaced starting quarterback Eli Manning. In addition to the losing season, the team owners were reported to be angry over the treatment of Manning.

McAdoo said Sunday, “I’m going to coach this team as long as my key card works.” It doesn’t work anymore.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Page Two

Jaw Meet Floor

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Small President

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Cuba Diaries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Alphabet of Maladies

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Healthcare Confusion Act

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Freedom from Speech

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Too Big to Fire

Friday, June 19, 2015

More Probable Than Not

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Been Said

"The greatest absurdity of our time is You Know Whom, which goes without saying but I will anyway. What his election showed is that a considerable number of people, in order to demonstrate their frustration with the world as it is, are willing to drive their car, with their children in the back seat, over a cliff, smash the radiator, bust an axle and walk away feeling good about themselves. No other president in modern times has been held in contempt by a preponderance of people from the moment he said, 'So help me, God.'"

-Garrison Keillor on President Trump

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