Tags: Adam Entous, Devin Nunes, Devlin Barrett, Ellen Nakashima, Greg Miller, House of Representatives, Julie Tate, Karoun Demirjian, Philip Rucker, Putin, Robert Costa, Russian interference in the Presidential election
To what Is Devil Nunes loyal?
The one who is better known as Devin Nunes (R-Calif.)
Based on his stonewalling of investigations into Russia’s role, and his frantic attempts to divert the focus of the investigation away from Russia and away from Trump’s campaign, and toward the patriots who alerted the country, and his secret nightime trip to confer with the White House, it appears that Devin Nunes’ loyalties, in their order of importance to him, are
- First, Devin Nunes himself, followed – possibly closely – by his family.
- Second, Trump, followed – possibly closely – by the Republican Party in its present grotesquely deformed version.
- Third, possibly the United States, possibly including the district that he supposedly represents.
Given that order of priorities, it is not fitting that Nunes should be a member of the House Intelligence Committee, much less that he should chair it.
Nunes was in Trump’s transition team. Yet he claims that there is no conflict of interest for him to lead the investigation of contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
The conflict of interest is clear. Nunes cannot be objective about this issue.
In attempting to deflect attention away from the real danger – Putin’s mafia – Devin Nunes betrayed his country.
He doesn’t belong in Congress.
For his future, his best career option is to apply to become a caddy at one of Trump’s golf courses.
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Tags: Afghanistan, Chuck Hagel, Commander in Chief, Department of Defense, House of Representatives, Pentagon, President Obama, Secretary of Defense, Senate, State Department, U.S. Congress, Washington Post
Afghani’s who served as interpreters for US forces in Afghanistan knowingly exposed themselves to risk by doing so. They now face dramatically increased risk as the US presence winds down. The Taliban have a long-established record of making examples of those who have cooperated with US forces.
After all, the Taliban have assassinated Afghanis who have cooperated with outside humanitarian groups, or even with the Afghani government. They will surely attack those who helped US forces.
Realizing the danger to themselves and their families, some Afghan interpreters have applied for visas to the US.
The State Department has denied visas to most, even though the visas have already been allocated by the US Congress. According to articles (here, here, here, and here) in the Washington Post, “the State Department says there is no serious threat against [the interpreters’] lives.”
This should remind you of the judges in civil courts who refuse to grant restraining orders, pooh-poohing the fears of those who are begging for protection from a spouse or ex-boyfriend. Those judges are the enablers of the events you later read about when the newspaper reports the murder of the person who asked for the restraining order. The judges are never the ones who suffer for their bad judgement.
In exactly the same way, the State Department employees whose magical source of infallible knowledge tells them that “there is no serious threat” are not the ones who will pay the price of being wrong.
Denying these visas is both cruel and unjust, and extremely harmful to US efforts in all future conflicts.
These brave interpreters accepted a huge risk in helping us. Their help saved many US lives, and were essential to anything we achieved over there. We owe them gratitude and protection. If we do not shield them, no one will be foolish enough to help us in any similar situation.
Chuck Hagel, as the Secretary of Defense, would be well advised to urge the State Department to reverse the decisions made by its incompetent employees.
President Obama, as Commander in Chief, should issue an Executive Order establishing a policy to admit those who have exposed themselves to local hostility by helping us.
Congressional committees in both the Senate and the House should ask the State Department why it has taken actions that are completely contrary to US interests, to fairness, and to the expressed desires of Congress.
The State Department should identify the incompetent employees who are making decisions that are so unjust and so contrary to US interest, and revisit their decisions. Those employees should be moved them to more suitable positions, where they will have no discretion over matters like these.
Decisions on this matter need to be made by people who have hearts and brains. Those currently making the decisions have neither.
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Tags: Congress, dysfunctional Senate, House of Representatives, No Labels, poltical stalemate, Senate
Almost everyone considers the current US Congress to be utterly dysfunctional. The House of Representatives is dedicated to political posturing and to preventing the Executive Branch from accomplishing anything useful, and the Senate works under rules which make it too easy for individual Senators to prevent items from being voted upon.
Encouragingly, the disgust with Congress has become bipartisan.
A new bipartisan organization, No Labels, has come up with twelve practical measures for making Congress effective again. They have good arguments why these twelve measures would work.
This link connects to a good example: returning the filibuster process to its original purpose.
Visit that site, and see what you think.