MeredithMay2017

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Pat Buchanan - Rosenstein joins the Beltway posse

"With the stroke of a pen, Rod Rosenstein redeemed his reputation," writes Dana Milbank of The Washington Post.

What had Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein done to be welcomed home by the Post like the prodigal son? Without consulting the White House, he sandbagged President Trump, naming a special counsel to take over the investigation of the Russia connection that could prove ruinous to this presidency.

Rod has reinvigorated a tired 10-month investigation that failed to find any collusion between Trump and Russian hacking of the DNC. Not a single indictment had come out of the FBI investigation.

Yet, now a new special counsel, Robert Mueller, former director of the FBI, will slow-walk his way through this same terrain again, searching for clues leading to potentially impeachable offenses. What seemed to be winding down for Trump is now only just beginning to gear up.

Also to be investigated is whether the president tried to curtail the FBI investigation with his phone calls and Oval Office meetings with FBI Director James Comey, before abruptly firing Comey last week.

Regarded as able and honest, Mueller will be under media pressure to come up with charges. Great and famous prosecutors are measured by whom they convict and how many scalps they take.

Moreover, a burgeoning special counsel's office dredging up dirt on Trump and associates will find itself the beneficiary of an indulgent press.

Why did Rosenstein capitulate to a Democrat-media clamor for a special counsel that could prove disastrous for the president who elevated and honored him?

Surely in part, as Milbank writes, to salvage his damaged reputation.

After being approved 94-6 by a Senate that hailed him as a principled and independent U.S. attorney for both George Bush and Barack Obama, Rosenstein found himself being pilloried for preparing the document White House aides called crucial to Trump's decision to fire Comey.

Rosenstein had gone over to the dark side. He had, it was said, on Trump's orders, put the hit on Comey. Now, by siccing a special counsel on the president himself, Rosenstein is restored to the good graces of this city. Rosenstein just turned in his black hat for a white hat.

Democrats are hailing both his decision to name a special counsel and the man he chose. Yet it is difficult to exaggerate the damage he has done.

As did almost all of its predecessors, including those which led to the resignation of President Nixon and impeachment of Bill Clinton, Mueller's investigation seems certain to drag on for years. All that time, there will be a cloud over Trump's presidency that will drain his political authority. Trump's enemies will become less fearful and more vocal. Republican congressmen and senators in swing states and marginal districts, looking to 2018, will have less incentive to follow Trump's lead, rather than their own instincts and interests. Party unity will fade away.

And without a united and energized Republican Party on the Hill, how do you get repeal and replacement of Obamacare, tax reform or a border wall? Trump's agenda suddenly seems comatose. And was it a coincidence that the day Mueller was appointed, the markets tanked, with the Dow falling 372 points?

Markets had soared with Trump's election on the expectation that his pro-business agenda would be enacted. If those expectations suddenly seem illusory, will the boom born of hope become a bust?

A White House staff, said to be in disarray, and a president reportedly enraged over endless press reports of his problems and falling polls, are not going to become one big happy family again with a growing office of prosecutors and FBI agents poking into issues in which they were involved.

Nor is the jurisdiction of the special counsel restricted to alleged Russia interference in the campaign. Allegations about Trump's taxes, investments, and associates, and those of his family, could be drawn into the maw of the special counsel's office by political and business enemies enthusiastic about seeing him brought down.

More folks in Trump's entourage will soon be lawyering up.

While it's absurd today to talk of impeachment, that will not deter Democrats and the media from speculating, given what happened to Nixon and Clinton when special prosecutors were put on their trail.

Another consequence of the naming of a special counsel, given what such investigations have produced, will be that Vice President Pence will soon find himself with new friends and admirers, and will begin to attract more press as the man of the future in the GOP.

A rising profile for Pence is unlikely to strengthen his relationship with a besieged president.

In the United Kingdom, the odds are growing that Trump may not finish his term.

So how does he regain the enthusiasm and energy he exhibited in previous crises, with such talk in the air?

A debilitating and potentially dangerous time for President Trump has now begun, courtesy of his deputy attorney general.

(Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three presidents, twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He won the New Hampshire Republican Primary in 1996.)

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Too bad the School Board is blaming the City Council

To The Daily Sun,

The School Board and its supporters have done a good job putting out their message. It is too bad that the message is blaming the City Council for their problems.
As one of the City Councilors, I would like to say that I do not view the Council as the enemy.
But first, I would like my personal feelings about our schools to be known before I present my arguments for not overriding the tax cap or handing out money for raises to one department of the City over other departments.
A few years ago I was invited to be a speaker at the Retired Teachers Annual Meeting. I recently reviewed my remarks and find that portions of that speech will leave no doubt where I stand on the subject of our schools.
I grew up in a different time , when you knew education would be the key to a better life and a chance at achieving whatever you wanted. I graduated from high school with a thorough lesson in most things. I didn't go on to college as it was impossible for a member of a large family (13 children) and being a girl didn't present the opportunities that are available today, but I was still able to go out into the world with these learned skills and achieve moderate success in the business world, and raise a great family. My point is I was given all the tools I needed in the public school system to do whatever I needed to or wanted to do. I thank my teachers and all teachers for that.
Being a mother, working full time and a husband working full time to raise four children wasn't easy, but knowing my children would get the education necessary for an even better life kept the fires of hope alive. We didn't contribute much if anything for their college expense. They worked, had loans, and received help based on their good academic grades. I am proud to say one of my daughters was valedictorian of the Class of 1975. Another daughter was on the Honor Society. All four children went to college. Some beyond, with one becoming an attorney and another becoming a teacher at the University of Delaware, teaching English writing to students who needed it.
Does this sound like someone against schools or teachers?
When my husband passed away 21 years ago, I was suddenly in need of something to fill my life. For a while, golf, reading, puzzles etc. filled the bill, but I found I needed something to keep me interested and involved with what was going on in my City and elsewhere.
This time I turned to the library where they were giving free lessons on the computer, and I found a new teaching tool to expand my horizons. I found I could keep in touch with my family daily and could also send letters to the Editor to express my views on local politics and find answers to many things. I actually wrote a column for two years in both local papers. This led to my running for City Council. I was defeated the first time I ran, but I have been elected six times since and am now in my twelfth year.
I must admit that I have changed my mind about several things since going on the Council. You find out many things you didn't know before you were elected and you realize that you don't represent ONE idea or ONE department, or have a personal agenda. You find out you don't only represent those in your ward, but every person in the City and that you must think about all of them when making decisions about spending THEIR money. You must support things that will make your City better and safer. But, you must budget in government the same as if you were budgeting in your own life. You cannot spend more than you can afford and you must plan ahead for the things that can wait without doing harm.
There will be great harm to many if we were to grant a five year contract with $800,000 each year of that contract earmarked for raises to our teachers and which is in addition to the budget presented. Are we prepared to do the same for Police, Fire, Public Works, Parks, etc. They are all essential to our lives and deserve more, but they do what they are called on to do with what we can afford to give them. They do a great job!
The private sector pays what they can afford or go out of business or lay off employees. The private sector would love to have the very generous benefits our City employees get. Their employers cannot afford it. If they did, they would be out of business. Where would they be then.
The Tax Cap keeps us honest and yet we still do good things. When we override the Tax Cap, we will be writing our doom. The spending will never end, and when the taxpayers run out of money, what is next?
Please, don't consider my position anti-school. It is not. Please School Board don't blame the Council for your problems. Solve them. That is YOUR job. Do not attack programs to garner sympathy and support, but cut waste and nonessential items. Get back to basics.
Brenda Baer

City Councilor Ward 4

Laconia

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