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This Is 2017: Our Lying Attorney General Is Still Employed

Sessions and Common Sense

When Jeff Sessions is our top law enforcement official, our country has lost its last shred of common sense.

In the mid-1980s, I was working in a photo-finishing shop called Foto Rush on the Upper West Side of New York City. I had recently quit my job as an FBI special agent assigned to counterintelligence work in order to begin my music career and live openly as a gay woman. In walked Al Franken with some undeveloped film in his hand. He was friendly, funny, confident, and had a great smile.

Sen. Franken isn't smiling now, as he knows he was lied to by newly appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Franken is a member. Our attorney general lied -- there is no other word for it -- and he didn't have to if he just answered the question Sen. Franken asked him. Sessions volunteered that he didn't have any communications with the Russians, yet he met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak twice, once in July and once in September of last year, after Sessions had joined Donald Trump's campaign in February 2016.

Now that our chief law enforcement officer is caught in a big lie, he can't recall what he and Sergey (likely a spy) talked about, but he did recuse himself from the investigations into the Trump campaign's Russian ties -- much to the president's distress. Sessions gets to amend his testimony in writing to the Judiciary Committee and he now says he "doesn't recall" if he and Kislyak discussed the campaign. Sessions doesn't have to face more questions in person and be confronted by Franken's justifiably angry face. No need to resign, of course, and a perjury charge is out of the question. Sessions has proved himself to be exactly what our common sense told us he would be -- an attorney general with zero credibility. He has proved himself unfit for the job, yet he will continue to do the damage he was appointed to do -- like dropping the Department of Jusrice's case against the discriminatory Texas voter ID law and dismantling protections for transgender students -- because common sense is no longer employed by the Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Common sense is lost throughout Washington, and without it, how do we see our way to the truth about Trump's ties to Russia? One of the best tools a good investigator has is common sense. Ultimately, when the facts are known, people's actions or inactions do make sense. Common sense helps get to the facts. The Republicans now in control are too eager to tear apart President Obama's legacy to care if Trump has connections to Vladimir Putin. "Don't ask, don't tell" is given new meaning. Trump and his inner circle just wanted to win, and they didn't care who helped. Yes, Trump certainly did love WikiLeaks. Sessions met with Kislyak, fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn met with Kislyak, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner met with Kislyak, and the list goes on.

Common sense tells you we need an independent, nonpartisan look at Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election, perhaps in the Trump transitionm and potentially in the Trump presidency. Common sense makes you ask where is the FBI in all of this, given director James Comey's interference in the election. Didn't the FBI know about Kislyak going into Trump Tower through the back door? In my day we could have told you what color tie he was wearing, and I'll bet that hasn't changed. Common sense makes you want to hear some plain talk about what is going on here. May I suggest listening to Rep. Maxine Waters? She's close to the action, and she's telling it like it is in clear, plain language that makes sense.

We are in trouble as a democratic nation, and we need to find our way back to common sense. The voters who put Trump in the White House rejected common sense when they elected an unqualified, perhaps unstable, Twitter-addicted narcissist without demanding to see his tax returns. While we learn more and more about Trump's ties to Putin, the president -- with the help of his attorney general -- sets about his agenda to turn our country into something as unrecognizable and ugly as the Republican Party is today. In 1776, Thomas Paine wrote a pamphlet called "Common Sense," making the case to the common people of the colonies to break from Great Britain and become an independent nation. Thomas Paine's pamphlet was very influential. Common sense founded this country and has guided us through wars, depressions, and change. Today we live in a dangerous time, when we stand at a crossroads. Those of us living through this will either be the people who saved America or the people who lost America. We must shut out the distractions and the wild, unproven allegations coming from the White House. We need the truth and must demand the truth. Our best weapon in the battle for truth is our common sense.

Susan-surftoneSUSAN SURFTONE is a musician and just released the EP The Magician.

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Susan Surftone