Impeachment: Aim, Fire… Ready

(This is longer than usual. Hope you can make it to the end.)

Columbus: What a week! Speaker Pelosi announced the House would start an Inquiry into Impeachment. Why now? Because Trump called the President of Ukraine (Zelenskyy) July 25 and spent 30 minutes threatening him, demanding seven times that he investigate Joe Biden’s son, and cancelling millions of dollars in military support.  These details came from a Whistleblower report (apparently by a high up official in the CIA) because the phone call itself was top secret and would never become public.  The Intelligence Committee, chaired by Adam Schiff, would conduct the Inquiry.

The next day Trump released a transcript (actually detailed notes by two or more intelligence officials who listened to the call). Wait, I thought this was top secret. Well, surprise, surprise. Biden’s name appeared only three times, all in the same paragraph. The only mention of military was by Zelenskyy, saying he wanted to buy more Javelins for defense purposes.

Then Pelosi said the Whistleblower complaint, not the Transcript, was the authentic document and was the real reason for the Inquiry. Was the Whistleblower also on the call? No, but he had talked to a couple who were on the call, plus other CIA friends, and they were all mad at Trump. So he felt compelled to write down all the comments and send this document to Schiff and Attorney General Barr.

Thursday, Chairman Schiff opened the Inquiry by quoting from the Transcript of the infamous call. Well, it was not exactly quotes. The Transcript was in English but Schiff translated it into what is best called “Schifglish.” (Here are a few pertinent quotes by Trump and the Ukraine President, plus the Schifglish translation.)

Trump: “We do a lot for Ukraine. A lot of effort and a lot of time. Much more than the European countries are doing.”

Schifglish: “We’ve been very good to your country; no other country has done as much as we have.”

Trump: “I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot [referring to the Mueller Russia investigation]… They say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible.”

Schifglish: “I have a favor I want from you though. And I’m gonna say this only seven times so you had better listen good.”

Zelenskyy: “Yes, it is very important for me as President and we are open for any future cooperation in relations between the United States and Ukraine… One of my assistants spoke with Mr. Giuliani just recently and we are hoping he will be able to travel to Ukraine… I also plan to surround myself with great people and in addition to that investigation, I guarantee that all the investigations will be done openly.”

Trump: “I will ask Giuliani to call you along with the Attorney General… There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you could look into it…”

Schifglish: “I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent, lots of it.    You know what I’m asking so I’m only going to say this a few more times, in a few more ways.”

Zelenskyy: “The issue of the investigation of the case [firing the prosecutor] is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty so we will take care of that and will work on the investigation of the case.”

Trump: “I will have Mr. Giuliani and Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it… Good luck with everything.”

Zelenskyy: “I want to thank you for the invitation to visit the United States, specifically Washington, DC.”

Trump: “Whenever you would like to come to the White House, feel free to call. Give us a date and we’ll work that out. I look forward to seeing you.”

Schifglish: “And don’t call me again! I’ll call you when you’ve done what I asked.”   Then a concluding comment by Chairman Schiff: (This Transcript) “reads like a classic organized crime shakedown.”

So, for a few Congress members who have been demanding impeachment since Trump was elected (including Maxine Waters-CA and Al Green-TX) this is their dream. They have been Aiming for almost 3 years, Pelosi has finally Fired the shot, and they think they are finally Ready with a charge that will stick. Maybe. They are ignoring President Zelenskyy who a few days ago stated clearly he felt no pressure at all. It was a friendly call.

The central figure in this case is Joe Biden’s son. Hunter Biden was hired by a Ukrainian in 2014 as an “oil and gas expert” to consult for a salary of $600,000. You may wonder, why didn’t anyone in Congress question this hiring of the Vice-President’s son, with zero expertise in oil and gas, at an outrageous salary? Simple: almost everyone in Washington is hoping for similar deals for their family members. And many are already cashing in. Don’t rock the boat, especially when an earlier investigation found nothing illegal about Hunter receiving $50,000 a month from Ukraine, plus a one-time deal from China for millions of dollars.

Clearly, many news writers and political commentators have the opposite view. Of the handful of folks who have read all the way to here, half may disagree. In fact, half the people in this country will not be satisfied unless Trump comes to the same end as Richard Nixon.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

(On Corruption) “The ones that are getting some of it don’t want it brought up.”  Saturday Evening Post, March 30, 1929

The climate change solution: sailboats

A bright 16-year old from Sweden is inspiring her fellow teenagers here to learn more about climate around the globe. I think she’s also planning to speak at the United Nations.

You probably remember that she is so determined to eliminate fossil fuels she came to New York by sailboat, and it took her two weeks. Swimming might have been faster.

Now, whether those leaders and UN delegates coming from about 200 countries will follow her lead I got my doubts. Maybe Spain could sail on a replica of the Santa Maria. But can you picture the folks from China and India crowding on a sailing skiff for a month or two?

I know these young folks are seriously concerned. Adults they respect are telling them that unless we eliminate coal, oil and gas in 12 years we’re all gonna die. Here’s a question for them: What percent of the global total of greenhouse gas does the U.S. contribute? If you have a teenager around, ask them. Make it multiple-choice: 75%; 45%; 35%; or 15%. (Answer below)

Last week I alluded to a story in the New York Times about Justice Brett Kavanaugh that concluded he should be impeached. Within a few hours the story was debunked although a few candidates for President still want to impeach him. Meanwhile Congress started impeachment interviews aimed at President Trump. Sadly, a lot of Democrat leaders apparently don’t think any of their candidates for 2020 can beat him in the election. So they have to get him out before the election.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“If your time is worth anything, travel by air. If not, you might just as well walk.” DT #389, Oct. 20, 1927.

[The answer is 15%. China and India are the biggest contributors.]

Impeachment, fracking and old TV shows

Did you watch the 3-hour Democrat debate? I wanted all ten candidates to answer a question about fossil fuels, but none was asked. (The Moderators were more interested in health insurance, immigration, and confiscating guns than they were in jobs, investments and the economy.)

Elizabeth Warren has been clear in her position on fracking: ban it immediately! I think I heard her say we would be completely off coal, gas and oil by 2035. Of course this drew a lot of attention in states that produce fossil fuels. Surprisingly, the leaders in states where people USE fuel had no reaction. Those are the folks who will suffer from higher prices, shortages, and blackouts.

You might say, “No, we’ll have all the energy we need from solar and wind.” Makes sense except for one drawback: wind machines are made with steel and solar collectors use a lot of plastic. Steel and plastic require a lot of coal, oil and gas. Hmmm. Maybe a President Warren would import them from China.

I want to compliment candidate O’Rourke of Texas for a positive comment about regenerative agriculture, which uses no-till and cover crops to build soil health and sequester carbon from the air. If the other candidates don’t know what that is, they had better ask an Iowa farmer to explain it.

Even though Speaker Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want to hear the “I-word,”  over a hundred members of Congress have stated, in one way or another, a desire to impeach President Trump. Congressman Nadler of New York City and Congresswoman Waters of California have been yelling for impeachment even before he was inaugurated. Most of the hundred are a bit reluctant. Instead of “IMPEACH!” they use milder words such as inquiry, investigate, considering, possibly, probably, maybe…

Meanwhile, others in Congress want another guy impeached: Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh. It’s for something he supposedly did in high school or college. Before the 535 members of Congress get all riled up about it, maybe they should reflect on their own younger years.

Did you hear that young folks are upset about reruns of the popular TV show “Friends.” I hope they don’t go all the way back and watch reruns of Gunsmoke. A lot of people got shot on those shows. And many folks around Dodge City did not like Indians.

Maybe we should concentrate on how we treat people today, and not complain about the way it was 20, 50 or 100 years ago.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“Poor Democrats, I love ‘em. Now they are dying to scare up an issue by trying to discredit Mr. Hoover because some lobbyist wrote a letter saying that he knew President Hoover’s secretary, and that the secretary was very partial to Cuban sugar in his coffee in the morning, and that in view of this dastardly plot Mr. Hoover should really be impeached. Then they wonder why they don’t get anywhere.” DT #1064, Dec. 23, 1929

Targeting farmers and the oil and gas producers

Have you noticed that many of our farmers and ranchers are under attack? No, they’re not being shot at.

But farmers are blamed for using Roundup and other chemicals. Raising beef animals and feeding them grain. Locking hens in tiny cages. Growing genetically modified crops. Making people fat. And China and Mother Nature both took aim at Midwest corn and soybean growers.

Our Energy producers look at farmers and say, “Yes, but people still eat three meals a day. They want to completely stop using our oil, gas and coal.”

I guess they are both targeted. Environmentalists want imitation beef made out of plants to replace real beef (Isn’t it also made out of plants, mainly grass and a little corn?) and electricity from wind and solar instead of fossil fuels and nuclear.

The Democrats running for President are leading the pack against fossil fuel. Has any candidate bragged about the value to our economy of low cost natural gas and oil? Ten candidates were on CNN one night for seven hours straight. Did anyone utter even a hint of a compliment for our most abundant energy sources?

The next debate is this week (September 12) with ten candidates for 3 hours. I hope a moderator will ask each candidate this question: What will be the role of fossil fuels in the 4 or 8 years of your Administration? And if you plan to ban fossil fuels, will they be banned by November 2024? Or 2028?

Although natural gas is the cleanest burning and least costly of our fuels most candidates want to ban hydraulic fracturing (fracing). I’m guessing they never heard of horizontal drilling or they would be against that too.

Can you imagine a candidate in the mid to late 1800s saying, “Replacing whale oil, which is a natural biological product from our endless oceans, with dirty black crude oil from in the ground is an abomination?” Or, “Why would anyone throw out a candle with a warm glow that depends only on a match to start it in preference to a new-fangled incandescent bulb that needs a constant supply of high voltage through a dangerous mangle of wires that can shock you?”

Back to 2019. It seems that by 2024, or 2028 at the latest, we’ll be eating Mung bean burgers grilled over a solar fire. But what if the sun don’t shine? I hear that Hormel is getting into the fake meat business so the backup plan is to open a can of fake Spam.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“There is not a better day in the world to be spent than with a lot of wise old cowmen around barbecued beef, black coffee and good ‘free holy’ beans.” DT #2430, May 17, 1934

“The farmer has to be an optimist or he wouldn’t still be a farmer.” WA #57, Jan. 13, 1924

 “What has the poor farmer done against the Almighty and the Republican administration [Democrat candidates?] that he should deserve all this?

If it’s not the heat, it’s the deep snow.

If it’s not the drought, it’s the floods.

If it’s not the boll weevil, it’s the tariff.

If it’s not the cinch bugs, it’s the Federal Reserve.

If it’s not relief he needs, why, it’s rain.” DT #1258  Aug. 6, 1930

“Just flew over Oklahoma City where they have struck the big oil wells right in town. They are going to move the Capitol buildings to put in wells.” DT #985, Sept. 22, 1929