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Weekend news talking heads are tripping over themselves to protect the rights of "Whistleblowers" as mandated by law. What they are not talking about is the news.

The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from retaliatory action for voluntarily disclosing information about dishonest or illegal activities occurring in a government organization.

A recent whistleblower complaint was filed in regards to a phone conversation President Trump had with the recently elected President of the Ukraine. The complaint cited numerous issues that the opposition has siezed upon as being grounds for impeachment.

The key issue of the complaint being the request for additional information on actions taken by former VP Joe Biden, to have Ukraine's head prosecutor removed from office, while investigating corruption against a company Biden's son sat on the Board of. Joe Biden was later recorded on video bragging publicly about his threat to withold millions of dollars in funds if the prosecutor was not removed. If true, this would be illegal at worst and at best highly unethical.

As Mr Biden is his biggest rival for the presidency, it opens Mr Trump up to claims he was working with a foreign power to influence the election. This is why the oppostion is asking for impeachment, since this could be considered as illegal, unless of course it is true.

The Whitehouse countered that the claims made in the complaint were false and the person making the claims had no first hand knowledge of the call or the content. This was later proven to be true, and the person filing the complaint reported on rumours he heard second hand. When the President released the transcript of the call, it supported the claim made that the "whistleblower" was acting on rumour, not first hand knowledge, as stipulated in the law protecting whisleblowers from prosecution.

Now the same law firm that represented the first whistleblower, has a second individual that supports the first claims.

What the media is not focussed on is the fact that the call has been made public. How can someone claim "whistleblower" status on information that is already public. Sure, someone can have an opinion, or express support or outrage over the content, but it no longer falls under the category of a whistleblower complaint. One can argue that had the person not come forward, we may not know the content of the call, but we should also expect that if someone is using this law to report on a criminal activity, there needs to be some truth to it.

In this case, the complaint filed cited issues that simply did not happen the way they were presented. Maybe the new "whitleblower" has additional first hand knowledge of the discussion or some other opinion we need to be aware of. Since the President authorized the release of the transcript, one would hope that the new complaint is more than merely a difference of opinion.

It is also important to note that the transcript releaased by the Whitehouse was not the full transcript. The Democrats are demanding access to the full conversation.

It is important for the public that this whistleblower law exists, so that the government can be held accountable when issues arise, but it should not be used to express opposition to policy.  It's a fine line and the media needs to validate the facts before calling for the removal of an elected representative of the people.

Rumours and opinion are not news.

Robert O'Rourke aka Candidate Beto, may be the front runner for the Democratic Party, but he has a closet full of stories that may interfere with his goal of becoming President.

Beto managed to raise over 6.1 million dollars on his first day as a Presidential candidate, according to his campaign team. The funds are said to have come from online donations, through an extensive email drive.

According to NBC News, O'Rourke's campaign provided only the topline fundraising number, not more detailed information that other campaigns have disclosed, such as the number of donors and news donors, the size of the average contribution, the geographical diversity of contributors, and how much money he's raised since the first day.

While it is clear he has the team to enable him to finance his campaign run, he has an uphill battle ahead as news of past indiscretions spread across social media and start to make headlines.

O'Rourke has already humbly begged the world's pardon for his white privilege, but new stories popping up may make all but the most diehard Beto fans second guess their support.

First news came out about his arrests back in the 90's. He was charged with DWI and Attempted Burglary, although the latter charge was later dropped, as it was more of a trespass charge that resulted when he and friends got caught by Campus Police at the University of Texas at El Paso, sneaking under a fence to the physical plant building, late one evening.

By his own account, O’Rourke told a group in August 2018 that he spent a night in the El Paso County jail after what he referred to as his 1995 arrest for criminal trespass.

In San Antonio, a resident told O’Rourke she’d seen what someone described as his mugshot. O’Rourke replied: "More than 20 years ago, I was arrested--not once, but twice. So you should know that and we should all own that, if asked." O’Rourke specified that he’d been arrested for attempting to hop a fence at the University of Texas at El Paso and later, he said, for a "far more serious mistake: I drove under the influence of alcohol. There’s no justifying that."

By acknowledging his past actions, he has not only been given a pass by the media but he has gained support of several big name celebrities and sports figures. After all, no one is perfect, right.

It appears there is still more to come, as one would expect running for the highest office in the land.

Joseph Menn at Reuters had been sitting on a story, until after his unsuccessful Senate run against Ted Cruz, about his involvement as a teen in an online hacker group known as the Cult of the Dead Cow. He made several postings to their board that should at least raise a few eyebrows.

One idealistic piece he wrote as a teen contemplated a world without money. This requires not only a change of government but also a change of policy and function. The end result he envisioned would bring about the end of starvation and class distinctions.

 “To achieve a money-less society (or have a society where money is heavily de-emphasized) a lot of things would have to change, including government as we know it. This is where the anti-money group and the disciples of Anarchy meet.” “I fear we will always have a system of government, one way or another, so we would have to use other means other than totally toppling the government (I don’t think the masses would support such a radical move at this time).” While the thinking maybe controversial it falls in line with those Democrats running under the Justice Democrat banner, seeking a more socialist focus.

Another more disturbing article from O’Rourke, written about dreams he was having when he was 15, may inspire some clinical psychologists to comment. “One day, as I was driving home from work, I noticed two children crossing the street. They were happy, happy to be free from their troubles…. This happiness was mine by right. I had earned it in my dreams.

“As I neared the young ones, I put all my weight on my right foot, keeping the accelerator pedal on the floor until I heard the crashing of the two children on the hood, and then the sharp cry of pain from one of the two. I was so fascinated for a moment, that when after I had stopped my vehicle, I just sat in a daze, sweet visions filling my head.”

Now imagine what the reaction would be if a Republican candidate had written that? Every amateur Democratic mental health professional would declare the candidate unfit for office. Every mainstream media outlet would be discussing this 24/7 demanding outrage from the public.

Instead we are to accept this apology:

“I’m mortified to read it now, incredibly embarrassed, but I have to take ownership of my words,” the Democratic presidential candidate said during a taping of the “Political Party Live” podcast in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “Whatever my intention was as a teenager doesn’t matter, I have to look long and hard at my actions, at the language I have used, and I have to constantly try to do better.”

Yes people change, and he was just a teenager at the time. Growing up in the age of social media, it might be harder to find candidates that didn't have something they had written they wish they could take back. But coming from the party that wants to lower the voting age to 16, it doesn't help the party he wants to lead.

His acceptance and mass appeal maybe a sign of the times, but hopefully they can do better.

 

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