Tuesday, September 5, 2017

it's golden

Steele's dossier's more prurient than hot
material that no one needs to see
the GRU's collected kompromat
was not to be disseminated free.
Trump tried to claim the whole thing was a bluff
but women verified that they'd been paid
like bridge, in which an elegant cross-ruff
takes many tricks before the ace is played.
Mike Pence pretends he doesn't know this guy
refusing meals unless they're with his wife
But Kaine got him repeatedly to lie
he's chained to Trumpty-Dumpty now for life.
It's time that we  impeach, the face what's next.
At least, let's argue policy, not sex.

Monday, September 4, 2017

: re: Turkey’s President Calls U.S. Indictments of His Guards a ‘Scandal’

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: barry levine 
Date: Mon, Sep 4, 2017 at 4:18 PM
Subject: re: Turkey’s President Calls U.S. Indictments of His Guards a ‘Scandal’
To: "letters@nytimes.com"

To the Editor:
  The scandal is that the police of the District of Columbia didn't  protect Americans from Erdogan's thugs in May. It is shameful that they stood by as peaceful protesters were beaten in their own country, and ridiculous that the perpetrators were allowed to flee to Turkey. Indictment now it toothless.
Barry Haskell Levine


Sunday, August 27, 2017

: re: Why Trump’s Pardon of Arpaio Follows Law, Yet Challenges It

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: barry levine 
Date: Sun, Aug 27, 2017 at 7:20 AM
Subject: re: Why Trump’s Pardon of Arpaio Follows Law, Yet Challenges It
To: "letters@nytimes.com"

To the Editor:
     The president's pardon power is broad; it "extends to every offense known to the law". But wielding that broad power for corrupt ends could still constitute an impeachable offense. Obviously, Congress could detect an impeachable offense if e.g. the president were to advertise that felons could buy pardons from him/her for cash, or for sexual favors. Likewise, Congress could impeach the president if it could be shown that the pardon of Arpaio were intended as a signal to Mike Flynn and to Paul Manafort that they could get such pardons themselves if they defied Special Counsel Robert Mueller's inquest. That would constitute 'witness tampering' and clearly fits among "high crimes and misdemeanors".

Barry Haskell Levine


Friday, June 16, 2017

: re: Michelle Carter Didn’t Kill With a Text

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: barry levine 
Date: Fri, Jun 16, 2017 at 8:24 PM
Subject: re: Michelle Carter Didn’t Kill With a Text
To: "letters@nytimes.com"

To the Editor:
    Michelle Carter may in fact be innocent by reason of insanity; that is for her lawyer to plead and for the court to weigh. Her speech, however, is not protected by the First Amendment. Broad though our constitutional guarantee of Free Speech is, it is not without bounds. Ms. Carter incited imminent lawless action. The Supreme Court has found (Brandenburg v. Ohio395 U.S. 44) that such speech is not protected, and may indeed be criminal.
Barry Haskell Levine


: re: Russian Military Says It Might Have Killed ISIS Leader

From: barry levine 
Date: Fri, Jun 16, 2017 at 6:26 AM
Subject: re: Russian Military Says It Might Have Killed ISIS Leader
To: "letters@nytimes.com"

To the Editor:
    If it is confirmed, the killing of Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi is a blow both to ISIS/DAESH and to Saudi prince Mohammed bin-Salman.  The latter desperately needs a big win on his resume to justify his position in the royal succession at his young age.  Killing al-Baghdadi would have been such a trophy. As the succession fight looms closer (Salman is 81) the only remaining trophy of such stature would be Bashar al-Assad, whom the Russians protect. 
Barry Haskell Levine


Thursday, June 15, 2017

: re: Jeff Sessions Gives a Master Class in Dissembling

From: barry levine <levinebar@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Jun 15, 2017 at 7:38 AM
Subject: re: Jeff Sessions Gives a Master Class in Dissembling
To: "letters@nytimes.com" <letters@nytimes.com>

To the Editor:
    While A.G. Sessions spiritedly denies private meetings with ambassador Kislyak, our FBI has confirmed that he met with Kislyak at least twice, and probably three times. That means that Sessions lied in his confirmation hearing to the Senate of the United States.  The current Congress shows no interest in defending its honor from such contempt. It is for us to replace it with one that will restore checks and balances.
Barry Haskell Levine

Saturday, May 13, 2017

: re: Erick Erickson: The Fantasy of Impeachment

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: barry levine 
Date: Sat, May 13, 2017 at 4:29 PM
Subject: re: Erick Erickson: The Fantasy of Impeachment
To: "letters@nytimes.com"

To the Editor:
   Although the President of the United States, as chief executive, can fire the director of the FBI  for usurping the authority of the Attorney General, or for disclosing an ongoing investigation, or for no reason at all, he is not free to obstruct justice. Firing James Comey while the latter is directing an investigation into Russian meddling in our election of 2016 is both criminal and impeachable. The President of the United States has himself told us that ending it was his intention.
Barry Haskell Levine


ATLANTA — After President Trump fired James Comey, the F.B.I. director, the media and political left ignited with talk of impeachment. “We are certainly moving down that path,” said Representative Ruben Gallego, Democrat of Arizona. “The Comey Firing May Be the Beginning of the End of the Trump Administration” shouted a headline in New York magazine.
This is a fantasy.
Don’t get me wrong. I have long had concerns about President Trump. He can contradict himself within separate clauses of a single sentence, then lie about the contradiction. He lacks the depth of knowledge a president should have and seems far more concerned with what people on TV say about him than what is happening around him. Even if there is no evidence that the F.B.I. is investigating the president himself, it is reportedly looking at ties between advisers to his campaign and Russia.
But let’s be realistic. Though the firing looks bad, it was also reasonable.
Consider the case made by Rod Rosenstein, the highly respected deputy attorney general, who was recently confirmed by more than 90 members of the Senate. In a memo to the president, Mr. Rosenstein said Mr. Comey had usurped the attorney general’s authority last July by announcing his conclusion that the F.B.I.’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails should be closed without prosecution.
“It is not the function of the director to make such an announcement,” Mr. Rosenstein wrote. “Compounding the error, the director ignored another longstanding principle: We do not hold press conferences to release derogatory information about the subject of a declined criminal investigation.”Mr. Rosenstein likewise documented concerns from attorneys general from both parties. “The way the director handled the conclusion of the email investigation was wrong,” he concluded. “As a result, the F.B.I. is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them.”
Mr. Comey only made things worse for himself by giving wrong information to Congress about emails belonging to Huma Abedin, Mrs. Clinton’s aide. Mr. Comey’s testimony was under oath, and the F.B.I. had to retract its own director’s testimony. No one can deny this was a bad thing.
Though they are criticizing his firing now, Democrats were calling for Mr. Comey’s head after he reopened the Clinton email investigation late in the campaign last year. If he was so bad then, is he really so good now? It also is telling that two of President Trump’s most vocal critics within the Republican Party, Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, both embraced Mr. Comey’s termination.
Last, along with the F.B.I.’s counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling, there is a Senate investigation. The chairman of the Intelligence Committee, Senator Richard Burr, Republican of North Carolina, and its ranking member, Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, have criticized Mr. Trump’s handling of the Comey termination and are committed to the investigation. A number of other Republican Senators, including John McCain and Ben Sasse, have also raised questions about the firing.
Instead of engaging in conspiracy theories about President Trump’s Russian connections, liberals would be better served demanding that Congress exercise its powers of the purse and investigation to ensure honesty and integrity in the confirmation of a new F.B.I. director and in the operation of the agency.
Frankly, by firing Mr. Comey, President Trump did what President Barack Obama should have done. Most Americans recognize the cynical and hypocritical reactions now being deployed over this. I suspect most Americans do not even care. Hillary Clinton’s supporters have long wanted Mr. Comey out, and President Trump’s supporters will stand by their man.
In continuing to misread the political situation and reality itself, the left is setting itself up for failure and disappointment. The odds are that the president comes out of a Russian investigation unscathed. Even if Democrats take back Congress in 2018, they would probably fall short of the two-thirds vote in the Senate needed to convict him of impeachable offenses.
Impeachment is not on the horizon, and this is not the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency. It is just one day closer to the next presidential election. And until then, and maybe longer, I’m betting Donald Trump will remain our president.