A voice worth listening to – Dr. Fiona Hill

On Sunday night’s edition of “60 Minutes,” Dr. Fiona Hill was interviewed. Hill is one of the foremost experts on Russia and Vladimir Putin and has served in both in Republican and Democrat White Houses. Among many highly credible witnesses at the House impeachment hearings, I found her voice the most credible and her impassioned cautions very legitimate and concerning.

Hill represents the best of public servants and hers is an opinion worth listening to. She also handled with aplomb the grenades thrown at her by the more strident Trump supporters at the House impeachment hearings. In their sophomore efforts to discredit this nonpartisan and honorable public servant, they showed how inferior their arguments were against someone testifying under oath who knew what she was talking about and was there to serve her country.

I have attached a link to the interview below, but here are a few highlights:

– the narrative Ukraine was the source of the 2016 election disruption and not Russia is a “Russian narrative” that has been perpetuated in America by Russian influencers and conservative talk show hosts.
– Putin studies all adversaries, including Trump, to find exploitable weaknesses. That is what he has always done. She used an example with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to illustrate this point.
– Putin wants Bernie Sanders to win and is aiding his campaign because he wants to see the two more extreme candidates with the smallest bases divide America more, with all of us left in the middle.
– Putin did not invent racism in America, but he studies America, as he does other countries, and he promotes disinformation to cause dissension.
– She is frustrated how public servants who are trying to serve America are being portrayed as political. They are not there to be political, it is the ones who are finger pointing at them who are.
– She was painted with an indicting brush when she was asked to join the Trump White House. None other than self-proclaimed “dirty trickster” Roger Stone bad mouthed her on Alex Jones’ “Infowars” show. It should be noted Jones is a big conspiracy nut with a voice.

So, Hill should be listened to. But, let me sum up some of the others. Stone is going to jail for lying to Congress among other things. Jones lost a law suit against the Sandy Hook parents for the anguish he caused when he said the Sandy Hook massacre of 27 people, mostly kids, was a hoax. Congressman Devin Nunes, who was one of the folks that beat up on Hill, should have recused himself from the hearings, as his name appeared in the Lev Parnas’ documents.

Then, there is the president. We have to listen to him as he is the president, but we don’t have to believe what he says. I try to read his comments than watch him say them, as I don’t like be lied to so blatantly. But, when I read what he said, I start out not believing one word as true as the odds are in my favor.

Dr. Hill, thank you for your service over the years and in the future. You deserve better treatment than you have received in the last few months. She noted her daughter kept her in perspective when she was nervous about a test the day of her mother’s testimony. When the mother shared her own nervousness about testifying, her daughter told her they were not the same thing. All you have to do is tell the truth, mommy. And, that she did.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/fiona-hill-the-60-minutes-interview/ar-BB10V29w?ocid=spartandhp

We must ask more why questions

We have a national security issue which is right in front of us. I sent the following to my Congressman and select Senstors. Please feel free to use and adapt.

We are not asking enough why questions.
– why is the president running a shadow diplomacy with Rudy Guiliani, who has not been vetted by the Senate?
– why does the president ignore the seasoned diplomats and intelligence officials to chase conspiracy theories postulated by editorialists on Fox?
– why are diligent, experienced, courageous and honorable public servants focusing on helping Ukraine gain better footing, when the president is so focused on his campaign?
– why is there obstruction of documents and witnesses? The president cries foul, but he is blocking witnesses. He can’t have it both ways.

As an independent and former Republican voter, I am deeply concerned by what has transpired in the White House with Ukraine. I am also concerned by an over zealous protection of someone who needs greater scrutiny, not less. I fully support the impeachment hearings. What witnesses are testifying under oath at great risk is very troubling.

It is also troubling that Devin Nunes is leading the GOP efforts. He cited on Thursday a partisan report that GOP Senator Richard Burr asked Nunes and Speaker Paul Ryan not to release as his Senate committee did not agree with its conclusions. Plus, we cannot forget that he had to step down as Chair of this committee as he informed the White House what they were investigating. So, I must confess I feel he lacks credibility and that is unfortunate.

Help us Americans get to the bottom of this.

A few questions to ponder – October 27, 2019

A couple of questions to ponder:

– why is the US president directing the US Attorney General and why is he aware of findings?

– why is it so hard for ardent Trump fans to believe hard-working, diligent ambassadors who have served both Republican and Democrat presidents?

– why are we not celebrating the political courage of these ambassadors who are testifying while knowing the president is very vindictive?

– why are not more questions being asked of AG William Barr who white-washed a more damning Mueller report?

– why did the GOP stormtroopers brag that they had not paid attention to what these heroes were testifying and had not read the Mueller report?

– why are legislators OK with a morally corrupt and likely criminally corrupt president?

– why do two Republican lawyer groups say the impeachment inquiry is justified?

– why do Trump followers think the ten plus year economic growth in the US started January, 2017? Could it be they believed his lie how horrible things were and unemployment was as high as 42%? It is amazing how it dropped to beneath 5% after the inauguration.

Mind you, I am glad economic growth continued, but what concerns me is we borrowed from our future to make a pretty good economy a little better for a little while. Instead of paying down debt in good years, our deficit climbed 26% to $984 billion for the fiscal year ending 9/30/2019. This is the fourth straight year of increases. We are over $22 trillion in debt today and it will be near $34 trillion in eight years sans change.

Trump said the economy will suffer if he is not reelected. The truth is the economy has been softening for more than a year and will continue to soften next and the following year and regardless of whether Trump is reelected.

Just a few questions to ponder.

Fish(y) on Friday

My elementary school would serve fish on Friday, even though we were not a Catholic school. Of course, elementary school cooking would not be confused with haute cuisine.

Adding the letter “y” to fish would lead us to what the US House committees are investigating. Although Republican legislators continue to rationalize the indefensible, the White House is building its own case against the president. It is so fishy, there may be grounds for impeachment by the House and conviction by the Senate.

In other words, if Trump sycophants have the nerve, the evidence for removal of the US president is becoming readily apparent bolstered by testimony and the White House’s own statements.

The latest came from Mick Mulvaney, the Chief of Staff, who announced yesterday there was a quid pro quo with respect to getting help with a debunked conspiracy theory. Then later he said it was the media’s fault for mishearing what he said. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Another conservative lawyer group called “Checks and Balances” has joined “Republicans for the Rule of Law” to assert the legitimacy of the impeachment inquiry. We should heed the testimony of the courageous diplomats and staff who have testified under oath knowing the president is a vindictive person. People like Maria Yovanovitch and Fiona Hill are what heroes look like.

As an independent and former Republican, I support the impeachment inquiry. We must get to the bottom of this to confirm if the president abused his powers. There seems to have be an effort to hide this phone call and obstruct the story behind it. Why? Having read the Mueller report, this latest series of events give me concern. We all should be concerned.