• Victor C. Bolles

Known Associates

Well, the Mueller Report is out and has found that there was no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians (although there were apparently numerous opportunities offered by the Russians). Mr. Mueller further did not conclude that President Trump committed a crime by obstructing justice but he did not exonerate him either. Attorney General William Barr, in consultation with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who was in charge of the investigation after Jeff Sessions recused himself, determined that the president’s actions such as firing FBI Director Comey did not meet the Justice Department’s standards for bringing charges. This makes sense to my non-legal mind because if there is no proof that a crime has been committed you would have no motive to obstruct justice.

Democrat’s on capitol hill have vowed to review the entire report with a fine-tooth comb to make sure that nothing was overlooked, as they should. Then, assuming that they do not find anything, they should drop it. It is not clear, however, that they will do so given all the ranting and raving that still continues on CNN and MSNBC (and others). But people are tired of all the sanctimonious anger emoted by Democrats about this case along with the constant shrill echoes from the mainstream media dominating the airwaves. The president has demanded an apology but he is unlikely to get it (except maybe from Laura Logan).

The Democrats may be tempted to point out all the indictments of friends and associates of President Trump (many of whom have already plead guilty) and tarnish him by his choices of people. But we already knew that President Trump had dealings with shady people. As a businessman, Donald Trump started building and operating hotels in New York City, and I know from personal experience that you cannot build and operate hotels in New York City without dealing with the mob.

My first job after graduate school was with Schweizerische Bankverein (a Swiss bank that is now part of UBS) and one of my first projects at the bank was to evaluate the price of a hotel that the owner, Biff Halloran, was thinking of selling. I learned two things from that project. The first was that I learned that according to Biff you could not run a hotel business in NYC without dealing with the mob (the second was that you can manipulate projections to say whatever you want them to say. When Biff did not like my initial valuation of $20 million my boss told me to redo the analysis to come up with a valuation of $25 million. A few tweaks here and there et voila! $25 million. This insight, of course, has wider implications.). Biff knew what he was talking about. He was later convicted of racketeering and sent to jail along with some members of the Genovese mob (after serving his time, he later “disappeared” and has not been seen since). A Marshall Project article by Tom Robbins on President Trump’s ties to the mob (Trump and the Mob, April 27, 2016) pointed out that when Donald Trump was building the Grand Hyatt New York he had worked with Biff.

But if you work with shady people that doesn’t make you a crook, does it? (if you believe that I have a bridge I would like to sell you) But we knew that about Donald Trump before he ran for president. Forget about New York City hotels! He ran casinos in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. Las Vegas was created by the mob.

So we have a president that likes to hang out with people of dubious moral principles. He wasn’t elected because he was a principled person. The American people wanted a person to clear the swamp. Unfortunately, they got a person who brought his own swamp with him. But the Russian Collusion narrative has run its course and it is time to leave that scandal behind and to move on to the next scandal, which the President’s proclivities and dubious associates will certainly soon provide.

Before you Democrats get too smug about the constant miasma of scandal surrounding this presidency, you need to observe the clay feet of your own politicians. It was Mrs. Clinton’s lust for power that created the Steele dossier (via the oppo research firm FusionGPS with its marital connection to the FBI) that was used as the basis of the FBI investigation of the Trump-Russia collusion in the first place.

Mrs. Clinton and her crew of political operatives (freed from their political exile in the Clinton Foundation) were not above their own political dirty tricks such as sabotaging the Sanders campaign and feeding Mrs. Clinton with debate questions ahead of time.

Unfortunately, it was the American people that lost the 2016 election and it is cold comfort that we would have been equally bad off no matter who won. And it is doubly unfortunate that the 2020 election does not appear it is going be any better.

And while we’re at it:

Bad people do bad things if they have the power to do so. Money has a lot of power in America and so many bad people are drawn to organizations (such as Wall Street banks) where they can get a lot of money and, thus, power. Progressives have noted the evil attraction of money and want to use the power of government to take the money away from bad people. Unfortunately, they also take money away from good people.

Of course, from the progressive perspective there are no good people with lots of money. They believe money comes from exploitation so a person who has a lot of money is a bad person who extracted money from good people through exploitation or inherited the money from their parents or ancestors who extracted the money from good people through exploitation. In essence what they are proposes is to reduce the power of money and transfer that power to the government.

Do you think (as our progressive friends apparently do) that the bad people are just going to wander the face of the planet in a daze because money has lost its power. Nooooo. They will go to where the power is – government. History is replete with the deeds of really bad governments controlled by really bad people because those bad governments not only have money and power, they have armies and can force you and all the other good people (giving you the benefit of the doubt) to do what they demand.

The Founders of America feared such a concentration of power so they formulated a government with limited power. Not only did they allow private citizens to control the economy, they further limited the government’s power by creating three separate branches of government where the leaders of these branches are selected in different manners in order to diffuse the power of any group (they abhorred faction).

As a result, representatives in the House are elected by popular vote every two years, while initially senator were selected by the legislatures of the various states (although now they are chosen by popular vote as well). And while the apportionment of representatives is based on population, the selection of senators is based on the states such that smaller states have greater power in the Senate than in the House.

The president is chosen indirectly by the Electoral College based by voting for electors in each state based on their congressional representation in both houses (in essence a blend the apportionment methods for the House and Senate). And while elected officials must be periodically reelected, the president selects the Supreme Court justices with Senate approval for life or retirement. In this way it is difficult for any faction (now called a political party) to control all of the US government.

This was done intentionally by the Founders in order to assure that the limited government they created stayed limited. The progressives want to throw this concept of limited government into the dustbin of history. While senators have been elected by popular vote for a long time (thanks at least in part to our first populist president Andrew Jackson) some large progressive states (California) want to be split up so that they can get more Senators. And they want to eliminate the Electoral College so that the president is elected by popular vote as well.

The progressives want to eliminate the limited government and the checks and balances on which America was founded, in order to create a government more efficient in extracting money from good and bad people (initially) and in providing government services (such as healthcare). But this efficiency (should I bring up the VA now?) comes at the cost of liberty, the liberty that was so important to our founders that they pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to get it.

Two things to keep in mind. Bad people can be very efficient as well. Hitler was very efficient in murdering six million Jews. And two, socialist governments do not like to give up power once it has been achieved (even if they have the word "democracy "in the name of their country such as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea).

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