Just to be clear

Cutting through a lot of noise in the news, just to be clear:

– Getting dirt on a campaign opponent from a foreign entity is something of value – it is illegal to do this no matter how much it is rationalized by sycophants in your party. The message lost on the man in the White House is you don’t want to be beholden to a foreign government – that is why the law exists. The key question for me is the man speaking only of the future?

Watching the US Open at Pebble Beach on Monterrey Peninsula, my wife and I recall playing this course in 1992 about two months before the US Open at the same course. It is as beautiful as it looks on TV. The pros make this hard course look easy. Yet, one thing they don’t tell you on TV is guard your valuables and food as the seagulls swoop down and take them from unattended golf carts.

– When the Special Counsel in the Justice department, who the president appointed, says someone on the president’s staff is in violation of the Hatch Act (politicking on the taxpayer’s dime) after multiple warnings to cease and desist, action is required. Yet, unless she resigns, the “law does not apply to me” president won’t take action.

On the same trip we played Pebble Beach, my friend (we traveled with another couple) and I played Spyglass Hill as well. Pebble was hard, but Spyglass was painful. The first hole is over 600 yards – I thought I would never get to the green. We also played a course named Spanish Bay where the marshes are protected by law. You could see the result of an errant golf shot, but could not reclaim it due to the postings.

– Senator Mitch McConnell is the key blocker in passing a bill to further protect our election process. I have heard a security expert and a conservative pundit be critical of McConnell’s weak-kneed response. Both of these commenters said it us because McConnell did not want to hurt the president’s feelings as he gets volatile thinking people are questioning his legitimacy. Note the major take away from the Mueller report is the Russians influenced our elections. And, just today, there is an article that the EU thinks the Russians impacted their recent vote through social media.This is an indicting criticism of McConnell. Please ask him why.

The golf trip in 1992 led us to wine country for two days of tours. Too many tastes of wine will get you snockered. An interesting memory is the owner of one winery was out mowing the grass as we visited. Our final two days were in San Francisco, my favorite American city. We took the advice of our B&B chef and enjoyed some neat restaurants, one of which the wait staff sang opera and Broadway songs while serving.

– As with the US president, if the Brits end up with Boris Johnson as Prime Minister the two leading English speaking countries will be led by two people who have a very hard time with truth. That makes me sad for democracy. If Johnson wins, it will be interesting to see how Trump and Johnson handle their first disagreement when neither’s word is worth a darn. It is already apparent, Angela Merkel is the leading voice in the western world as she commands respect far more than either person.

I intermixed our trip to the San Francisco area with the current US Open there. I felt just talking only about the real news might be too depressing.  I hope all the fathers out there have a pleasant day tomorrow with their families.

Because it is not true

Earlier this week, I listened to an interview on NPR with Jake Tapper. He was there speaking about his new book, but the interviewer asked about his several interviews with Kellyanne Conway. During one taped interview early on in the Trump Presidency, she was lamenting that the mainstream media was not covering certain statements made by the President. One example, in particular,¬†noted the President saying the murder rate is at the highest it’s ever been in 47 years. Tapper said the reason we did not cover it is “because it is not true.”

Tapper said we should not cover things that are obviously not true and asked why Trump cannot stick to the the truth. Conway would not answer the question and was running out the clock. Tapper told the interviewer, listening afterward to her not answer the question, he should have stopped her sooner. But, he did not want to come off as a jerk. She half-heartedly concurred when he pressed, but said why don’t you cover veterans’ issues or the economy?

Tapper said he would love to cover those things. We spend our time chasing whatever Trump tweets or diverts us to. It would be great to discuss real issues and progress to address them. He said Trump does himself a disservice when he lies.

I have said many times I don’t like being lied to and, too often, it is obvious the President or one of his spokespeople are lying. I also think his spin doctors know they are lying. As for their boss, I believe he lies so much, he has a difficult time knowing when the truth ends and lies start. It is constant marketing schtick – just say anything to get the sale. I know there are many fine professional salespeople, but Trump exhibits the worst in all of us.

I found Tapper to be a breath of fresh air. Like many reporters, he wants to get it right. But, like many reporters, he realizes how hard it is do so with a man who lies far more than he does not.