If You Are Still Convinced The Media Isn’t Trying To Form Opinions In Elections…

Yesterday Guy Benson posted an article at Townhall about the recent Texas Senate race between Robert Francis O’Rourke and Ted Cruz. Robert Francis O’Rourke goes by the name Beto O’Rourke.

The article reports:

Shortly after Beto O’Rourke announced his 2020 presidential campaign, Reuters broke a fairly shocking news story about the former Democratic Congressman.  We now know that O’Rourke was a member of a notorious secret online hacking ring known as the Cult of the Dead Cow.  The public was already aware of O’Rourke’s previous arrests for DUI (an incident in which he attempted to flee the scene) and burglary, but this revelation was not reported prior to the 2018 Texas Senate election:

The article includes a quote from the reporter who discovered the hacking ring:

“I decided to write a book about the Cult of the Dead Cow because they were the most interesting and influential hacking group in history. They illustrated a lot of the things that I think are fascinating about hacking and security work. “While I was looking into the Cult of the Dead Cow, I found out that they had a member who was sitting in Congress. I didn’t know which one. But I knew that they had a member of Congress…And then I figured out which one it was. And the members of the group wouldn’t talk to me about who it was. They wouldn’t confirm that it was this person unless I promised that I wouldn’t write about it until after the November election. That’s because the member of Congress had decided to run for Senate. Beto O’Rourke is who it was…After more than a year of reporting, Menn persuaded O’Rourke to talk on the record. In an interview in late 2017, O’Rourke acknowledged that he was a member of the group, on the understanding that the information would not be made public until after his Senate race against Ted Cruz in November 2018.

Do you think this information might have changed a few votes if voters had been aware of it? This is only one way the media manipulates the public.

Economic Policies Impact All Of Us

The Trump economy has been good for everyone. Taxes are lower, wages are moving up, unemployment is low, and the workforce participation rate is moving up. Wages on the lower economic scale have seen a marked increase in the past year. However, one thing that impacts government spending as well as being an indication of economic conditions  is food stamps. Yesterday Breitbart reported that the most recent USDA data revealed that 37,911,631 people received food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in December 2018, marking the lowest level of overall participation in the nation’s food stamp program in nearly ten years. That is good news for the people who no longer need food stamps, and it is good news for taxpayers who fund food stamps.

The article reports:

The last time overall participation in food stamps reached this level was in October 2009, when 37,672,818 people were on the government dole, according to USDA data.

…After 2013, SNAP enrollment plummeted once state legislatures passed laws requiring food stamp recipients to work, attend school, volunteer, or participate in job training for a set number of hours per week to receive benefits.

Food stamp enrollment dropped even further under President Trump’s administration partly because of the administration’s efforts to reform welfare programs like SNAP at federal and state levels of government and an improving economy spurred by Trump’s tax reform package.

The article concludes:

According to the latest USDA data, 4.2 million Americans have dropped off of the food stamp rolls during Trump’s presidency.

President Trump also signaled that he is looking to limit dependency on welfare programs like food stamps even further.

The president recently told Breitbart News in an Oval Office interview that he does not want any immigrants coming into the U.S. to be dependent on welfare programs.

“I don’t want to have anyone coming in that’s on welfare,” Trump told Breitbart News last Monday.

The asylum program was not meant to be a free lunch. There is a difference between people coming here to work and people coming here for free stuff.

This Is How We Change Our Schools

The following is a March 19th Press Release from Americans for Peace &Tolerance, a Boston-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting peaceful coexistence in an ethnically diverse America by educating the American public about radical ideologies that undermine the academic integrity at American High Schools and Universities:

NEWTON RESIDENTS SUE CITY’S SCHOOL COMMITTEE, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, PRINCIPALS AND TEACHERS FOR DISCRIMINATION AGAINST JEWS AND ISRAELIS
 
Ideological/Political Curriculum Teaches Propaganda Instead of Facts

 
NEWTON, MASSACHUSETTS. On March 12, 2019, Newton taxpayers filed a lawsuit in Middlesex Superior Court against the Newton School Committee, Superintendent of Schools David Fleishman, the principals of the Newton high schools, and certain high school history teachers. Plaintiffs are asking for a court order that would compel Newton school officials to stop indoctrinating students with anti-Semitism, bigotry against Israel, and Islamist religious dogma as part of the high school history curriculum. This suit was made necessary because the embattled school administration is shielding its teachers from scrutiny and refusing to supervise what is being taught in its classrooms. The taxpayers claim that Newton Public Schools (NPS) has deliberately failed and refused to comply with the Equal Rights Amendment of the Massachusetts Constitution, with the Massachusetts Student Anti-Discrimination Act, and with civil rights regulations that require schools, through their curricula, to encourage respect for the human and civil rights of all individuals regardless of race, identity, religion, color, sex, and national origin.
 
The extensively documented 469 page legal complaint, available here, details the lengthy history of Newton residents’ efforts to have NPS address and correct the factually flawed teaching. Plaintiffs and their attorney were provided with an enormous volume of factual documentation by Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) Executive Director Ilya Feoktistov, whose investigations over the past several months formed the basis of this action. 
 
“In looking for the sources of the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel bigotry in the Newton curriculum, we discovered a few bad apple teachers who view their teaching positions as giving them license to promote their personal political agendas,” said Mr. Feoktistov. “We are also looking closely at a common pattern with these politicized teachers — most, if not all, have taken professional development courses developed with foreign funding by the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia.”
 
“Newton history teachers and school administrators must think either that anti-discrimination laws do not apply to them, or that these laws do not protect their Jewish and Israeli students,” said the President of APT, Charles Jacobs. “There is no academic freedom to brainwash students with fake history and pro-Arab or anti-Semitic propaganda that is, these days, alarmingly too common on the left in America.”
 
Evidence described in the complaint shows how Newton teachers teach that Jews and Christians deliberately forged their holy texts to contradict the Muslim Qur’an; that Zionism has “little connection” to Jewish history in “Palestine;” that the Jews took advantage of the Holocaust to gain sympathy for Zionism at the expense of “Arab plight;” and that the Israelis treat the Palestinians like the Nazis treated the Jews. After being taught all this, students are asked to debate whether there should be a one- or two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. 
 
Karen Hurvitz, attorney for the taxpayers, stated that her clients are not asking for money damages, even though defendants have certainly caused years of incalculable damage by their insistence on teaching impressionable students materials that slander Israel and Jews. “This is the type of teaching that leads to anti-Semitism — and it has. The taxpayers here are merely asking NPS to perform their duties and obey the law, which requires that their curriculum encourage respect for all people. Education should be based on fact, not on stereotypes and propaganda.”

This is how you handle educational indoctrination.

Exactly Who Is Responsible?

Yesterday The National Review posted an article about the lawsuit suing Remington for the shooting deaths at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

I love the first line of the article:

Rule No. 1 of tort law: The bad guy is the one with the most money to pay you.

Unfortunately that (and politics) seem to be what is driving this lawsuit.

The article notes:

On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza murdered 26 people, 20 of them schoolchildren ages six and seven.

Lanza killed himself, too. Can’t sue him.

Lanza had a history of mental illness — a long one. He’d been treated under the New Hampshire “Birth to Three” program and later by the Yale Child Study Center. But it would be hard to make a case against those institutions, which enjoy a great deal more sympathy than gun manufacturers do. The schools couldn’t handle Lanza, either, and he was left to the care of his mother, Nancy, who seems to have been a bit of an oddball herself and an enabler. But he murdered her, too, so she’s not around to sue.

…The lawsuit against Remington alleges that the company’s marketing practices contributed to the Sandy Hook massacre. “Remington may never have known Adam Lanza, but they had been courting him for years,” a lawyer for the plaintiffs said. But it is not clear that Remington courted Lanza at all — and it is quite clear that the company never courted him successfully, inasmuch as he stole the Bushmaster rifle he used in the crimes from his mother, whom he murdered. Connecticut has a law against “unfair trade practices,” which is a very odd way of looking at a mass murder.

The article concludes with some specific comments on the opinion of the state supreme court:

This is another way of saying that Remington’s owners are being sued for failing to concur with the substantive political views of gun-control advocates, i.e. that the weapon in question is “ill-suited for legitimate civilian purposes such as self-defense or recreation,” a claim that, it is worth noting, is false on its face inasmuch as semiautomatic rifles are proven instruments of self-defense and by far the most popular recreational firearms in the United States.

The use of commercial litigation and regulatory law to achieve progressive political goals is by now familiar: If an oil company opposes global-warming initiatives, that isn’t politics but “securities fraud,” as far as Democrats are concerned; if conservative activists want to show a film critical of Hillary Rodham Clinton in the lead-up to a presidential election, that isn’t politics but a “campaign-finance violation,” as far as Democrats are concerned.

Our legal system has become politicized. Hopefully there is no way this decision will stand.

It’s All A Matter Of Perspective

Yesterday Newsbusters posted an article about a recent ABC News panel that was absolutely hilarious (not intentionally of course).

The article reports:

With nearly the entire Democratic 2020 field sprinting to be the closest to socialism without using the label, folks in the liberal media were busy trying to spin their radical policy positions as something palatable. A great example of this occurred during ABC’s This Week on Sunday, when two panelists tried to suggest that it was Republicans who were the radical ones with Democrats supposedly as the centrists.

During the “powerhouse roundtable” discussion late in the show, Republican strategist Alice Stewart noted that the candidates could “run away from the socialism label” all they wanted “but you can’t deny the fact that the Democratic Party is moving very, very far to the left.”

“We’re talking about a lot of policies that are extremely left. The Cortezs of Washington and the younger generation of Democrats are really causing a divide in the Democratic Party,” she added before triggered faux-Republican Matthew Dowd couldn’t hold back anymore.

Talking over Stewart, Dowd emphatically insisted it was the Republicans who were the ones who were out of touch with Americans: “The Democratic Party — if you look at all the issues and where the public stands, the Democratic Party is actually closer to the center than the Republican Party is. The Democratic Party is much closer to the center.”

Meanwhile ideas such as socialism, free education, free healthcare, and generally free money are gaining acceptance in the Democrat Party.

Wow. So let’s look at some of the other issues.

President Trump supports strong borders (and a wall). In January a Rasmussen poll showed that 48 percent of Americans felt that the government was doing too little to stop illegal immigration. On March 13th, Rasmussen reported that 56% of Likely U.S. Voters say Democrats should allow Fox News, the most-watched cable news network, to host at least one of their intraparty debates. Just 28% disagree, while 15% are undecided. On January 18th, Real Clear Politics reported that more Americans may identify as pro-choice than pro-life, but more than six in 10 of those who say they are pro-choice (61 percent) join the three-quarters of all Americans in wanting abortion restricted to – again, at most – the first trimester. So do about six in 10 Democrats (59 percent), eight in 10 independents (78 percent) and nine in 10 Republicans (92 percent).

In January 2018, the Pew Research Center reported the following:

The latest national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted Jan. 10-15 among 1,503 adults, finds that 42% say Donald Trump is “striking the right balance” in the situation in the Middle East, while 30% say he favors Israel too much (just 3% say Trump sides too much with the Palestinians; 25% do not offer an opinion).

At a similar point in Barack Obama’s presidency, 47% of Americans said he had struck a proper balance in dealing with the Middle East; 21% said he sided too much with the Palestinians, while 7% said he favored Israel too much.

I’m not sure it’s the Republicans who are out of touch with the American people. They are probably out of touch with the people in New York, California, and Washington, D.C., but I am not sure how out of touch they are with most Americans.

Reopen The Plant

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today about the closing of the General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio. The article points out that with the auto industry expanding its manufacturing in the United States, it makes no sense to close down an automobile manufacturing plant.

The article states:

…In just the past few months, specifically as an outcome of the USMCA, six auto companies have decided to massively expand U.S. operations and spend over $20 billion on auto-manufacturing investments in the U.S.

It makes no sense for an existing auto plant to sit idle.  Come to terms with the UAW; make a good deal that helps membership and incentivizes ownership; sell the facility to a new group expanding U.S. investment; retool, and get people back to work.

The article lists the investments being made in the United States by other auto manufacturers:

  • Toyota –  $13 Billion Investment: Production capacity increases and building expansions at Toyota’s unit plants in Huntsville, Alabama; Buffalo, West Virginia; Troy, Missouri and Jackson, Tennessee. [SEE HERE]
  • Fiat Chrysler – $4.5 billion for a new assembly plant in Detroit and boosting production at five existing factories. Hiring 6,500 workers.  [SEE HERE]
  • Ford Motor Co – New expansion for 500 workers and investment of additional $1 billion in its Chicago assembly operations to help keep up with booming demand for sport and crossover-utility vehicles. [SEE HERE]
  • Volkswagen – New investment of $800 million by Volkswagen and the creation of 1,000 jobs in Hamilton County, Tennessee. [SEE HERE]
  • BMW – Reacting to changes (75% rule of origin) in the new USMCA, BMW announced exploration for a second U.S. manufacturing plant that could produce engines and transmissions, Chief Executive Harald Krueger said. [SEE HERE]

Evidently the problem is the inability of General Motors to reach an agreement between GM CEO Mary Barra, and the UAW leadership. If General Motors intends to be a major part of the automobile market in the future, they need to work out a deal with the UAW and put people back to work.

 

Even A Blind Squirrel Occasionally Finds An Acorn

Bill Maher is a very smart man. I totally disagree with his politics, but he is a very smart man. Townhall posted an article today about his comments on the Democrat Party’s decision not to allow Fox News to host any of their primary debates.

Mr. Maher made some very good points:

“Last week, the Democrats made a terrible decision when they announced that they had turned down Fox News’s offer to host one of their 2020 primary debates, saying that Fox was nothing more than propaganda. OK, so why not go on Fox News and tell them that?” Maher asked rhetorically.

“You wanna be in the big leagues, but you refuse to ever play an away game? You don’t like the questions that Fox News might ask, so you’re deciding not to take any questions at all? How very Trump of you,” Maher explained. Republicans never shy away from coming on this show, and they come with a smile on their face despite knowing that the only people in the crowd cheering them on are the three campaign aides they brought with them … The audience is against them and they don’t care — it’s an opportunity to expose people to your side of the story.”

Telling you side of the story to people who disagree with you helps you refine your side of the story.

The article concludes:

“It’s not just on [Maher’s] show that Republicans are willing to go on,” Co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy explained. “Most of the media is very liberal, and conservative Republican members of Congress are very accustomed to going on to CNN and MSNBC and ABC and taking tough questions, and yet the Democrats are afraid to do that.”

Maher is right. If the Democrats claim to be the “resistance” then they should be fearless. If they truly believe in what they’re saying then they should have absolutely no problem answering the tough questions Fox News has for them.

Conservatives have to continually talk to liberal news anchors and reporters because the majority of news outlets are liberal. If conservatives refused to talk to liberal outlets then they’d be construed as “cowards” who are hiding from the tough questions.

It’s 2019. Get it together, Dems. If your candidates are too afraid to answer questions they don’t like while they’re running for president, then they won’t be able to handle the weight of answering tough questions while president.

Get out the popcorn. Its going to be a very interesting year and a half.

This Is Actually According To Sharia Law

ABC News is reporting today that Fox News host Jeanine Pirro was taken off the air for remarks made about Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar.

These are the remarks:

“Think about it: Omar wears a hijab, which according to the Quran, 33:59, tells women to cover so they won’t get molested,” Pirro said on her show last week. “Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?”

Sharia Law is antithetical to the United States Constitution. Sharia Law does not support Freedom of Speech, equality for women, equal rights for all religions, and believes in the killing of homosexuals. Those ideas are not in tune with the U. S. Constitution. The fact that Jeanine Pirro was taken off the air for telling the truth is much more in line with Sharia Law than American Law. Under Sharia Law, slander is anything that offends the hearer–it doesn’t matter if it is true or not–if the hearer is offended, it is slander.

We need to put the speech police out of business or we will totally lose our freedom. The question Jeanine Pirro asked was a perfectly logical question. I am sure pressure was put on Fox News by CAIR and other Muslim groups (threatening lawsuits, etc.) to take her off the air to make an example of her. It is sad that Fox News did not have the backbone to stand and fight for free speech in America.

Wise Words From An Economic Professor

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. I heard him speak many years ago when one of my daughters received a degree from Northern Virginia Community College. He is a brilliant man. On March 16th, Professor Williams posted an article at the Daily Wire. The article deals with the idea of redistributing wealth.

The article states:

In a free society, people earn income by serving their fellow man. Here’s an example: I mow your lawn, and you pay me $40. Then I go to my grocer and demand two six-packs of beer and 3 pounds of steak. In effect, the grocer says, “Williams, you are asking your fellow man to serve you by giving you beer and steak. What did you do to serve your fellow man?” My response is, “I mowed his lawn.” The grocer says, “Prove it.” That’s when I produce the $40. We can think of the, say, two $20 bills as certificates of performance — proof that I served my fellow man.

A system that requires that one serve his fellow man to have a claim on what he produces is far more moral than a system without such a requirement. For example, Congress can tell me, “Williams, you don’t have to get out in that hot sun to mow a lawn to have a claim on what your fellow man produces. Just vote for me, and through the tax code, I will take some of what your fellow man produces and give it to you.”

The last example shouldn’t even be legal.

The article also comments on the idea of ‘making enough money”:

Let’s look at a few multibillionaires to see whether they have served their fellow man well. Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, with a net worth over $90 billion, is the second-richest person in the world. He didn’t acquire that wealth through violence. Millions of people around the world voluntarily plunked down money to buy Microsoft products. That explains the great wealth of people such as Gates. They discovered what their fellow man wanted and didn’t have, and they found out ways to effectively produce it. Their fellow man voluntarily gave them dollars. If Gates and others had followed President Obama’s advice that “at a certain point” they’d “made enough money” and shut down their companies when they had earned their first billion or two, mankind wouldn’t have most of the technological development we enjoy today.

The article concludes:

Take a look at the website Billionaire Mailing List’s list of current billionaires. On it, you will find people who have made great contributions to society. Way down on the list is Gordon Earle Moore — co-founder of Intel. He has a net worth of $6 billion. In 1968, Moore developed and marketed the integrated circuit, or microchip, which is responsible for thousands of today’s innovations, such as MRIs, advances in satellite technology and your desktop computer. Though Moore has benefited immensely from his development and marketing of the microchip, his benefit pales in comparison with how our nation and the world have benefited in terms of lives improved and saved by the host of technological innovations made possible by the microchip.

The only people who benefit from class warfare are politicians and the elite; they get our money and control our lives. Plus, we just might ask ourselves: Where is a society headed that holds its most productive members up to ridicule and scorn and makes mascots out of its least productive and most parasitic members?

If you want to be a millionaire, find a need and fill it. That is the proven method.

The Numbers On The Economy

On March 13th, CNBC posted at article about the impact of President Trump’s economic policies on wages.

The article reports:

The recent jump in paychecks has come with an unusual characteristic, as workers at the lower end of the pay scale are getting the greater benefit.

Average hourly earnings rose 3.4 percent in February from the same period a year ago, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report last week. That’s the biggest gain since April 2009 and seventh month in a row that compensation has been 3 percent or better.

What has set this rise apart is that it’s the first time during an economic recovery that began in mid-2009 that the bottom half of earners are benefiting more than the top half — in fact, about twice as much, according to calculations by Goldman Sachs. The trend began in 2018 and has continued into this year, and could be signaling a stronger economy than many experts think.

The article concludes:

“Taken together, our findings suggest a relatively optimistic consumption outlook given solid income growth across income levels,” Choi wrote. “Even if employment growth slows as labor supply constraints start to bind, this should be partially offset by the continued firming of wages, particularly among lower income workers with higher marginal propensities to consume.”

One danger is that higher wages could start to eat into corporate profits, which have doubled since the financial crisis.

However, it could take years for that to be a significant factor, according to an analysis by AB Bernstein.

“While pressure on capital share is likely to remain, that doesn’t mean that profits are going to fall – in fact profits can lose share at a rate up to about 100bps per year [1 percentage point] and still expect to have positive profit growth,” Philipp Carlsson-Szlezak, chief U.S. economist at AB Bernstein, said in a note. “In other words, overall expansion of net value add can be strong enough to protect profit growth even in the face of a rising labor share.”

Carlsson-Szlezak said wage pressures more likely would be felt at a sector level in industries where labor takes a bigger share of output. For example, information technology and extraction likely would feel the least effects, while hospitality and retail would be hit hardest.

The piece of the puzzle that is missing to ensure a continuing strong economy is getting the federal deficit under control. Unfortunately Congress has been unwilling to do this. If it is not done fairly quickly, all of the positive economic growth we have seen under President Trump will evaporate.

How To Disenfranchise The Voters In Your State

On March 8 the Associated Press posted an article about a change in the way that Delaware casts its electoral college votes.

The article reports:

The legislation, approved on a 14-7 vote, requires Delaware to cast its three electoral votes for the national popular vote winner, rather than the winner of the popular vote in Delaware. Two Republicans joined majority Democrats in voting for the bill, which now goes to the Democrat-led House.

Eleven Democratic-leaning states and the District of Columbia already have voted to enter the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Democrat-controlled Colorado will soon join the list, giving the compact 181 of the 270 electoral college votes needed to elect the president.

So if I live in Delaware, why should I vote?

The problem here is that the lawmakers do not understand the reasoning behind the electoral college. The idea behind the electoral college was to make sure that the smaller states had a say in the election of a President. Without the electoral college, our President would be chosen by New York, California, and the large cities in America. Most of these areas are controlled by Democrats, and a casual observer will quickly realize that these are some of the most poorly managed areas of the country.

This is the county map of the 2016 Presidential Election:

The new law in Delaware essentially says to its citizens, “We don’t care who you voted for, your votes are going with the majority. If the majority consists of New York, California, and the major cities, they are going to be the people who elect the President.”

So if you live in Delaware, why should you vote for President?

If you want evidence that the Democrats are attempting to fix the next Presidential election, the article provides it:

Eleven Democratic-leaning states and the District of Columbia already have voted to enter the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Democrat-controlled Colorado will soon join the list, giving the compact 181 of the 270 electoral college votes needed to elect the president.

This is a map of the states that have signed on to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact:

This could end our representative republic.

Why I Have Concerns About Our Justice System

John Solomon at The Hill posted an article yesterday about some of the information in the Russian investigation that should be made public.

The article reports:

If President Trump declassifies evidence in the Russia investigation, Carter Page’s summer bike ride to a Virginia farm and George Papadopoulos’s hasty academic jaunt to London may emerge as linchpin proof of FBI surveillance abuses during the 2016 election.

The two trips have received scant attention. But growing evidence suggests both Trump campaign advisers made exculpatory statements — at the very start of the FBI’s investigation — that undercut the Trump-Russia collusion theory peddled to agents by Democratic sources.

The FBI plowed ahead anyway with an unprecedented intrusion into a presidential campaign, while keeping evidence of the two men’s innocence from the courts.

Page and Papadopoulos, who barely knew each other, met separately in August and September 2016 with Stefan Halper, the American-born Cambridge University professor who, the FBI told Congress, worked as an undercover informer in the Russia case.

Papadopoulos was the young aide that the FBI used to justify opening a probe into the Trump campaign on July 31, 2016, after he allegedly told a foreign diplomat that he knew Russia possessed incriminating emails about Hillary Clinton.

Page, a volunteer campaign adviser, was the American the FBI then targeted on Oct. 21, 2016, for secret surveillance while investigating Democratic Party-funded allegations that he secretly might have coordinated Russia’s election efforts with the Trump campaign during a trip to Moscow.

To appreciate the significance of the two men’s interactions with Halper, one must understand the rules governing the FBI when it seeks a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant such as the one secured against Page.

First, the FBI must present evidence to FISA judges that it has verified and that comes from intelligence sources deemed reliable. Second, it must disclose any information that calls into question the credibility of its sources. Finally, it must disclose any evidence suggesting the innocence of its investigative targets.

Thanks to prior releases of information, we know the FBI fell short on the first two counts. Multiple FBI officials have testified that the Christopher Steele dossier had not been verified when its allegations were submitted as primary evidence supporting the FISA warrant against Page.

Likewise, we know the FBI failed to tell the courts that Steele admitted to a federal official that he was desperate to defeat Trump in the 2016 election and was being paid by Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to gather dirt on the GOP candidate. Both pieces of information are the sort of credibility-defining details that should be disclosed about a source.

To put it succinctly, the whole investigation into Russian collusion was based on false premises and was a distraction to avoid looking at the abuses of the Justice Department during the Obama administration. It’s time we put Russia aside and ask why Lois Lerner, Loretta Lynch, Eric Holder, John Brennan, James Comey, James Clapper, et al, are not under investigation. Using government bureaucrats to spy on an opposition party candidate is a new low in America. Those responsible need to be held accountable so that it will not happen again.

The Fix Was In At The Beginning

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported that Congressman Collins from Georgia had released the transcript of Peter Strzok’s testimony before Congress.

The article reports:

Peter Strzok told then-Majority General Counsel Zachary Somers that the Department of Justice made a deal with the FBI not to search for, or investigate Clinton Foundation emails.

Mr. Somers asked Peter Strzok if the Clinton Foundation was on Hillary’s private server to which Strzok replied, ” I believe on one of the servers, if not others.”

When asked if the FBI was given access to Clinton Foundation emails as part of the investigation into Hillary’s private server, Strzok said, “We [FBI] were not. We did not have access.”

The article concludes:

This is a clear example of the two-tiered justice system that is infecting this country — Hillary Clinton’s attorneys were allowed to “negotiate” with the feds to make sure they didn’t find her Clinton Foundation emails which would show she was peddling influence and power in a pay-to-play scheme while she was the head of the Department of State.

In contrast, the FBI, guns drawn, breaks down the doors of Trump associates in pre-dawn raids and violates attorney client privilege without fear of reprisal.

According to reports, the FBI is currently investigating the Clinton Foundation.

The Clintons aren’t the only ones who are guilty of corruption — everyone who worked to protect Hillary Clinton and the criminal Clinton Foundation should be investigated and prosecuted.

The article includes a screenshot of the exact testimony. I wonder if this information had been available to the public before the November 2018 election if it would have changed anything.

 

Laws Have Consequences

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse reported that Toyota has announced the following:

  • By 2021, Toyota will now invest nearly $13 Billion in its U.S. operations with plans to add nearly 600 new jobs at American manufacturing plants
  • Hybrid versions of the popular RAV4 and Lexus ES to be produced in Kentucky for the first time
  • Production capacity increases and building expansions at Toyota’s unit plants in Huntsville, Alabama, Buffalo, West Virginia, Troy, Missouri and Jackson, Tennessee

The article states that this is a direct outcome of the NAFTA replacement USMCA trade deal; and the new 75% rule of origin within the Auto sector.

The article explains:

The guiding decision here relates specifically to the construct of the USMCA (NAFTA replacement).   Toyota was previously focused on multi-billion-dollar investments in Canada as they exploited the NAFTA loophole and procured component parts from Asia for North American assembly and shipment into the U.S. Market.  However, when they renegotiated NAFTA and created the USMCA President Trump and USTR Lighthizer closed closed the loophole.

The new USMCA agreement requires that 75% of automobile parts must be made in North America; and 45% must come from plants with minimum labor costs ($16/hr); or face tariffs to access the U.S. market with the finished good.  As a result Toyota has to either pay a tariff to continue importing Asian component parts, or move the higher-wage component manufacturing directly into the U.S.

Obviously, Toyota chose the latter.

The article explains that Toyota is not the first automobile company to respond to USMCA:

Keep in mind Toyota is not the first Auto manufacturer to respond with increased U.S. investment. Prior to the USMCA German auto-maker BMW began building a $2 billion assembly plant in Mexico. Under the old NAFTA plan most of BMW’s core parts were coming from the EU (steel/aluminum casting components, engines, transmissions etc.) and/or Asia (electronics, upholstery etc).

However, under the USMCA the Mexico BMW assembly plant has to source 75% of the total component parts from the U.S, Canada and Mexico; with 45% of those parts from facilities paying $16/hr.

The result was BMW needing to quickly modify their supply chain, build auto parts in the U.S. and Mexico, or they would end up paying a tariff on the assembled final product.

Like Toyota, BMW made the financial decision to open a new engine and transmission manufacturing plant in South Carolina…. exactly as Trump and Lighthizer planned.

And don’t forget Fiat Chrysler made a similar announcement in February: “The automaker says it will hire 6,500 workers and invest $4.5 billion by adding a new assembly plant in Detroit and boosting production at five existing factories.”

Like him or not, President Trump is a businessman who is doing things that are helping the American economy and the average worker.

What Many Americans Believe

Last night during her show, Laura Ingraham ran a Twitter poll to see how many people in her audience disagreed with the Senate’s move to block President Trump’s emergency declaration to build a wall on our southern border.

This is a screenshot of the poll results:

Her audience is conservative, but I still think the margin is very interesting. Senators might consider this poll when making their decisions this week.

A Border Will Will Save Taxpayers Billions

Betsy McCaughey posted an article at Townhall today about the cost of not having a border wall.

The article reports:

Look what it costs us when a Central American teen crosses the border illegally without an adult. Uncle Sam spends a staggering $775 per day for each child housed at a shelter near Florida’s Homestead Air Reserve Base. There they have access to medical care, school and recreation. They stay, on average, 67 days at the Homestead shelter before being released to a sponsor. Do the math. That’s almost $52,000 per child. American parents would appreciate the government spending that money on their kids. Imagine the government handing you a check for $52,000 for your teenager.

However, there are bigger costs ahead. The number of illegal border crossers just hit an 11-year high with a total of more than 76,000 during the month of February alone. U.S. and Mexican officials predict hundreds of thousands more in the coming months.

The migrants use the word “asylum” as their get-in-free card. When they say it to a border agent, they gain entry to the U.S. 80 percent of the time according to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. They are temporarily housed and eventually released with an immigration court date. But half never go on to file an asylum claim, disappearing into the U.S., said former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Asylum is supposed to be reserved for people facing persecution and danger in their home country whose safety depends upon their leaving that country. People who simply want better lives are asked to go through the legal process. Unfortunately our southern border is so porous that it is very easy for people to come here illegally and then simply disappear. We need a wall. It is sad that Congress is playing political games in order to avoid building one. Congress has never wanted a secure southern border–the Democrats see future voters and the Republicans see cheap labor for the corporate sponsors. No one is looking at the security of America right now except the President and very few members of Congress.

Unfortunately No One Wins In This Scenario

Lisa Page’s testimony stated that the Department of Justice prevented the FBI from charging Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information. That may or may not have something to do with a meeting on an airport tarmac, but that is the situation.  Let’s take a trip back in time to reexamine the entire picture.

If the FBI had indicted Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information during the political campaign, Bernie Sanders would have been the candidate and Donald Trump would probably have won. The Democrats would have been up in arms that Donald Trump won unfairly. They are claiming that anyway, but not too many people believe them! Since the Democrats expected Hillary Clinton would win, they assumed the story of the private server would disappear as soon as she took office. Well she lost, and the story is back. But let’s take a look at the consequences of the server.

On October 27, 2016, Real Clear Politics posted the following quote by Charles Krauthammer:

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: This brings us back full circle to the beginning. The question was originally: Why did she have the private server? She said convenience, obviously that was ridiculous…

It was obvious she was hiding something.

And think about it, she set it up in 2009, before becoming Secretary of State. So, she anticipated having exchanges that she would not want anyone to see. So, we’ve been asking ourselves on this set for a year almost, what exactly didn’t she want people to see?

Well, now we know.

And as we speculated, the most plausible explanation was the rank corruption of the Clinton Foundation, and its corrupt — I don’t know if it’s illegal, but corrupt relationship with the State Department.

And her only defense as we saw earlier– the Democrats are saying, well, there was nothing she did… that was corrupted by donations. You can believe that if you want, but there’s a reason that people give donations in large amounts, and that’s to influence the outcome of decisions. So, this — we are getting unfolding to us, exactly what she anticipated having to hide, and it is really dirty business.

I miss Charles Krauthammer.

But there is another aspect to this. On August 29, 2018, The Federalist Papers reported:

A new report shows that the Chinese hacked Hillary’s homebrew communication server and reports indicate the Chinese killed 12 CIA sources while the server was at her residence.

The article included quotes from the Daily Caller News Foundation:

…“The Chinese wrote code that was embedded in the server, which was kept in Clinton’s residence in upstate New York. The code generated an instant ‘courtesy copy’ for nearly all of her emails and forwarded them to the Chinese company, according to the sources.”

In other words, an American secretary of state who felt entitled to work on her own amateurish computer system had exposed all of her correspondence to one of the country’s most powerful and dangerous rivals in world affairs.

And it’s very possible that at least 12 operatives serving United States intelligence agencies paid for Clinton’s security breach with their lives.

According to a New York Times report from May 2017, a successful Chinese counterintelligence operation that started in 2010 “systematically dismantled C.I.A. spying operations in the country starting in 2010, killing or imprisoning more than a dozen sources over two years and crippling intelligence gathering there for years afterward.”

“From the final weeks of 2010 through the end of 2012, according to former American officials, the Chinese killed at least a dozen of the C.I.A.’s sources,” The Times reported. “According to three of the officials, one was shot in front of his colleagues in the courtyard of a government building — a message to others who might have been working for the C.I.A.”

Maybe it’s a coincidence, but 2010 was Clinton’s first full year as secretary of state.

So what do we do with Hillary Clinton? If she were anyone but Hillary Clinton, she would be sitting in jail somewhere. However, if she is charged under a Republican administration, the Democrats will cry that the charges are political. But if she is not charged with the mishandling of classified information, it will be political. How in the world do you solve the accountability problem and the political problem?

Following The Money On Renewable Energy

John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article yesterday about the cost of the a green energy proposal in Minnesota. The article illustrates what will happen if this sort of program is attempted on a national scale.

The article reports:

Today Center of the American Experiment released a groundbreaking paper that addresses a relatively mild “green” proposal: legislation that would raise the renewable energy standard in Minnesota from 25% to 50%. Two of my staffers have been working on the paper for months, drawing on publicly available (but rarely consulted) sources to understand what would be necessary to achieve that 50% goal, what it would cost, how it would impact the state’s economy, and what effect it would have on global temperatures.

The paper is titled “Doubling Down on Failure: How a 50 Percent by 2030 Renewable Energy Standard Would Cost Minnesota $80.2 Billion.” With appendices, it runs to 75 pages. I am not aware of a similarly comprehensive analysis that has been done of any “green” proposal at either the state or the federal level. The paper is fully transparent: all assumptions, data and calculations are clearly set forth. The appendices are largely spread sheets. If anyone disagrees with the report’s conclusions, it should be easy to identify where and why those disagreements arise. You can read the paper here.

The article cites a few highlights from the report:

* Building and maintaining “green” wind and solar facilities, along with transmission lines and necessary natural gas complementary plants (to provide electricity when the wind isn’t blowing, i.e. 60% of the time), would cost $80.2 billion through 2050. For a state like Minnesota, that number is out of the question.

* Every household in Minnesota would pay an average of $1,200 per year, in 2016 dollars, through higher electricity rates and otherwise.

* Electricity prices would rise by 40.2%.

* Electricity-intensive industries like mining, agriculture, manufacturing and health care would be hurt the most. Once again, urban greenies are hammering rural, and physically productive, America. [That last is my commentary, not found in the executive summary.]

* Higher electricity prices are a dead loss that will reduce spending in other areas as household budgets are squeezed. Therefore, according to economist John Phelan, using the generally accepted IMPLAN software, achieving the 50% renewable goal would cost Minnesota 21,000 permanent jobs, and reduce the state’s GDP by $3.1 billion annually. It is one small step on the road to Venezuela.

This really does not sound like a good idea. The push for green energy has always been about government power–whether at the state or federal level. It is interesting that the political left has chosen to attack fossil fuels just at the time when America has achieved energy independence because of fossil fuels and fossil fuels are driving our economic success. Economic success is the enemy of those who espouse socialism–if people are become prosperous, why would they want something different?

Not Sure What Happens Next

A lot of the things we are currently hearing in the news regarding FISA Warrants, Russian collusion, etc., would never have been revealed had Hillary Clinton been elected. That in itself is a little disconcerting. One group that has worked very hard to get to the bottom of the numerous scandals surrounding the Clintons has been Judicial Watch. They are non-partisan–they have gone after previous administrations just as hard as they are going after the Obama administration. It seems as if they may be getting to a point where Americans may actually know what went on in the Obama administration Justice Department.

The Gateway Pundit reported the following today:

Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch announced Wednesday a schedule of depositions of senior Obama-era officials, lawyers and former Hillary Clinton aides.

Thanks to the heavy lifting by Judicial Watch, Judge Royce C. Lamberth ordered these corrupt Obama and Hillary officials to provide answers, under oath, to the watchdog group about the Benghazi and Hillary Clinton email scandals.

Recall, Judge Lamberth previously slammed Hillary’s corruption and said the State Department provided ‘clearly false’ statements to derail requests for Hillary Clinton documents.

Judge Lamberth, a Reagan appointee, said he was “dumbfounded” when he found out that Hillary’s aide-turned-lawyer Cheryl Mills was given immunity.

“I had myself found that Cheryl Mills had committed perjury and lied under oath in a published opinion I had issued in a Judicial Watch case where I found her unworthy of belief, and I was quite shocked to find out she had been given immunity in — by the Justice Department in the Hillary Clinton email case,” Lamberth said during a hearing last October.

Please follow the link to the article–it includes the schedule of the depositions. I have no idea where this is going, but I think it is a good thing.

Accusations Vs Facts

Congressional hearings provide an opportunity for member of both parties to grandstand on behalf of their pet causes. It is no secret that Democratic New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is opposed to fossil fuel in general. However, she needs to get her facts straight before she makes her claims.

The Daily Caller reported yesterday on Representative Ocasio-Cortez’s latest gaffe:

The Daily Caller reported:

Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blamed the Keystone XL pipeline for leaking about 5,000 barrels of oil in rural South Dakota about two years ago.

There’s just one problem: The Keystone XL pipeline has not been built yet.

During a House hearing Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez claimed that “Keystone XL, in particular, had one leak that leaked 210,000 gallons across South Dakota” while she questioned Wells Fargo president and CEO Timothy Sloan.

…The existing Keystone pipeline, however, was responsible for leaking up to 9,700 barrels in South Dakota in 2017. The initial estimate for the spill was about 5,000 barrels, or 210,000 gallons of oil. Both Keystone and the planned XL line are operated by Canadian pipeline giant TransCanada.

TransCanada said it repaired the pipeline and cleaned-up the spill, Reuters reported in 2018, though the event has been used by environmental activists to gin up opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline.

Ocasio-Cortez, who recently introduced the Green New Deal resolution, also took aim at Wells Fargo’s financing of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which sparked violent protests along the project’s planned route throughout 2016.

For those of you new to this site, I have previously posted the reason for some of the opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline during the Obama administration. In a 2014 article I stated:

If the Obama administration holds firm on blocking Keystone, the big loser will be TransCanada Corporation. But who will the big winners be? American railroads:

And of them, the biggest winner might just be the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate controlled by Obama supporter and Omaha billionaire Warren Buffett. In December, the CEO of BNSF, Matthew Rose, said that his railroad was shipping about 500,000 barrels of oil per day out of the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and that it was seeking a permit to send “crude by rail to the Pacific Northwest.” He also said the railroad expects to “eventually” be shipping 1 million barrels of oil per day.

…The freshman Democrat (Senator Kaine) has between $15,000 and $50,000 invested in Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, according to his most recent financial disclosure. Kinder Morgan is looking to build a pipeline that would directly compete with Keystone.

Kinder Morgan is considering expanding its Canadian pipeline infrastructure with an expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, which carries oil sands crude from Alberta to refineries and export terminals on Canada’s west coast.

The expansion would boost Trans Mountain’s capacity to 890,000 barrels per day. Keystone, a project of energy company TransCanada, is expected to carry about 830,000 barrels per day if fully constructed.

Observers have said a rejection of Keystone would be a boon for Kinder Morgan, since the Trans Mountain pipeline presents a viable alternative for exporting crude from Canadian oil sands.

The second scenario is a blatant example of how freshmen Congressmen arrive as middle-class Americans and leave as millionaires. The first example shows how environmental policy can be easily influenced by money.

The Need To Hold Individuals Accountable

I think one of the most frustrating things about watching the news these days is watching people in power say things that have no foundation in fact and do things that an ordinary person would go to jail for. Those days may be coming to an end (one can only hope).

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported that Judicial Watch has filed an ethics complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics against House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA).

The article reports:

The official complaint filed by Judicial Watch with the Office of Congressional Ethics, requests House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) be investigated in connection with recent revelations that he secretly met with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson in Aspen, Colorado in July of 2018.

The complaint also requests Schiff be investigated after it was revealed his staff traveled to New York and met with Michael Cohen for 10 hours prior to Trump’s former lawyer testifying to the House Intel Panel.

The article includes a portion of the ethics complaint:

Dear Chairman Skaggs,

Judicial Watch is a non-profit, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government and fidelity to the rule of law. We regularly monitor congressional ethics issues as part of our anti-corruption mission.

This letter serves as our official complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) concerning the activities of Rep. Adam Schiff. Rep. Schiff appears to have violated House Code of Official Conduct, Rule 23, clauses 1 and 2, by inappropriately communicating with witnesses. Clauses 1 and 2 provide:

1.A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.

2.A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall adhere to the spirit and the letter of the Rules of the House and to the rules of duly constituted committees thereof.

Rep. Adam Schiff attended the Aspen Security Forum conference in July 2018, which was also attended by Glenn Simpson, the founder of the firm Fusion GPS. Press reports have detailed evidence of a meeting and discussion between Rep. Schiff and Glenn Simpson at the July 2018 Aspen Security Forum. As noted in The Hill newspaper:

At the time of the encounter, Simpson was an important witness in the House Intelligence Committee probe who had given sworn testimony about alleged, but still unproven, collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Fusion GPS is the political opposition research firm involved in procuring “unverified” information claiming the Trump presidential campaign had “colluded” with Russia, among other things. That Fusion OPS-supplied information was the basis upon which the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) obtained Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) surveillance warrants against Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page.

Mr. Simpson’s leadership of Fusion GPS and his centrality to events resulted in his having to testify before congressional committees or their staffs. Specifically, Mr. Simpson testified before the House Intelligence Committee, of which Rep. Schiff was the ranking Democratic member, on October 16, 2018 – approximately three (3) months after the Aspen Security Forum.

We note that following revelations in 2017 that Rep. Devin Nunes had informed President Trump that U.S. intelligence agencies had been engaging in “incidental collection” of his campaign’s communications, Rep. Schiff demanded that Rep. Nunes, then Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, recuse himself from any investigations involving alleged Trump collusion with Russia. Indeed, Rep. Schiff wrote the following on twitter:

This is not a recommendation I make lightly … But in much the same way that the attorney general [Jeff Sessions] was forced to recuse himself from the Russia investigation after failing to inform the Senate of his meetings with Russian officials, I believe the public cannot have the necessary confidence that matters involving the president’s campaign or transition team can be objectively investigated or overseen by the chairman.

Then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi concurred with Rep. Schiff’s call for Mr. Nunes to recuse himself.

The July 2018 contacts between Rep. Schiff and Mr. Simpson create, at a minimum, the appearance of impropriety. As a result of Rep. Schiff’s previously undisclosed, private discussions with Mr. Simpson, the public’s confidence in Mr. Schiff’s ability to objectively and impartially carry out his duties as Committee Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence have been gravely damaged.

Further, Rep. Schiff’s contacts with Mr. Michael Cohen should also be scrutinized in the same light as the Simpson contacts. Journalists have reported:

President Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen told House investigators this week that staff for Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., traveled to New York at least four times to meet with him for over 10 hours immediately before last month’s high-profile public testimony, according to two sources familiar with the matter – as Republicans question whether the meetings amounted to coaching a witness.

The sources said the sessions covered a slew of topics addressed during the public hearing before the oversight committee – including the National Enquirer ‘s “Catch and Kill” policy, American Media CEO David Pecker and the alleged undervaluing of President Trump’s assets.

Judicial Watch is a watchdog group that fights for government transparency. The are equally hard on Democrats and Republicans. They have been major players in exposing much of the deep state in recent years.

Sunlight Is The Best Disinfectant

Today Representative Doug Collins, a Georgia Republican, released 370 pages of Lisa Page’s testimony to a joint congressional task force investigating potential bias in the Justice Department.

The Washington Examiner posted an article today revealing some of the details of the testimony.

One of the items in the testimony was the decision not to charge Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with mishandling classified information. The article reports:

Page said Comey and the FBI spoke with DOJ about a gross negligence charge for Clinton multiple times, but that the DOJ consistently pushed back on it. “We had multiple conversations with the Justice Department about bringing a gross negligence charge. And that’s, as I said, the advice that we got from the Department was that they did not think — that it was constitutionally vague and not sustainable,” she said.

Ratcliffe asked if the decision not to charge Clinton with gross negligence was a direct order from the DOJ. “When you say advice you got from the Department, you’re making it sound like it was the Department that told you: ‘You’re not going to charge gross negligence because we’re the prosecutors and we’re telling you we’re not going to,’” he said.

Page responded: “That’s correct.”

Page is the former FBI lawyer who reportedly carried out an affair with FBI agent Peter Strzok, the lead investigator in the Clinton investigation. The thousands of text messages that they sent back and forth about the Clinton and Trump-Russia investigations raised questions of bias, and Mueller eventually removed Strzok from the special counsel investigation. Strzok was also fired by the FBI.

Page’s testimony raises further questions related to the decision not to charge Clinton with any crimes, including gross negligence, following a lengthy FBI investigation into her email practices that potentially put classified information at risk. After the revelation that then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch met with former President Bill Clinton on a Phoenix tarmac in June 2016, while Hillary Clinton was running for president, Lynch refused to recuse herself from the case while also saying she would accept Comey’s decision on what charges to bring against Clinton. But Page’s testimony indicates that DOJ had shut the door on gross negligence.

The decision on to charge Secretary Clinton was a glaring example of unequal justice. Some of our military have spent time in jail for far less serious offenses. There is also the matter of destroying evidence and deleting subpoenaed documents.

As more testimonies are made public, I wonder if it will change the public perception of the abuses of power that were going on in the final days of the Obama administration.

Failed Parenting

One of the most important things a parent can do is lead by example. Any time a parent does something that is not above board, it is a pretty good bet that their child will learn that it is okay to take shortcuts that may not be entirely honest. Unfortunately there seems to be a group of parents that despite their success has not yet figured this out.

The Associated Press is reporting today that federal authorities have charged a number of wealthy and famous people with falsifying information to make sure their children got into their schools of choice. I understand the desire of any parent to provide the best education possible for their children, but this scheme definitely stepped over the line.

The article reports:

Fifty people, including Hollywood stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, were charged Tuesday in a scheme in which wealthy parents allegedly bribed college coaches and other insiders to get their children into some of the nation’s most elite schools.

Federal authorities called it the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department, with the parents accused of paying an estimated $25 million in bribes.

“These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said in announcing the results of an investigation code-named Operation Varsity Blues.

…At least nine athletic coaches and 33 parents, many of them prominent in law, finance or business, were among those charged. Dozens, including Huffman, were arrested by midday.

The coaches worked at such schools as Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, Wake Forest, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles. A former Yale soccer coach pleaded guilty and helped build the case against others.

The article continues:

The bribes allegedly were dispensed through an admissions consulting company in Newport Beach, California. Authorities said parents paid William Singer, the founder of the Edge College & Career Network, the bribe money to get their children into college.

Prosecutors said Singer was scheduled to plead guilty in Boston Tuesday to charges including racketeering conspiracy. John Vandemoer, the former head sailing coach at Stanford, was also expected to plead guilty.

Colleges moved quickly to discipline the coaches accused. Stanford fired Vandemoer, UCLA suspended its soccer coach, and Wake Forest did the same with its volleyball coach.

Several schools, including USC and Yale, said they were victims themselves of the scam. USC also said it is reviewing its admissions process to prevent further such abuses.

This is a sad commentary on where we are as a society. Obviously some parents want to take the guess work out of college admissions. What is the lesson they are teaching their children? I wonder exactly how much of these scheme the children involved were aware of. Certainly if a child is recruited for a sport he has no knowledge of, he might notice that something is amiss. I hope the penalties for the parents are severe. As much as I can sympathize with the stress of getting children into good colleges (all three of my daughters are college graduates, two have advanced degrees), what these parents did is inexcusable–first of all because it is patently dishonest and second of all because of the example it sets for the students.

Facts Are Such Inconvenient Things

The biggest advantage the Republicans will have in 2020 is a strong economy. Because the Democrats know this, they are trying very hard to downplay the economic recovery that is currently taking place. They have invented some interesting facts in their attempt to do this. However, the alternative media has learned to fact check these attempts to downplay President Trump’s economic success.

Townhall posted an article today that includes some recent fact checking.

The article reports on some recent statement by Kamala Harris:

First, I’m not sure many economists or Republicans cite the stock market as the top indicator of economic health, despite her initial straw man claim. There are many other metrics that are more indicative and more helpful to building that argument, which we’ll mention in a moment.  But it’s also worth pointing out that a robust stock market is not merely good news for people who own stocks, as Harris sarcastically says.  Plenty of workers’ benefit and retirement funds, including those of many public sector employees, are tied into the performance of the stock market — so it’s not just investors who benefit when markets are humming along, and it’s not just investors who feel pain when markets sustain hits. 

Second, in her attempt to downplay the impressive, stable and low US unemployment rate, Harris recycles a claim for which AOC was slapped down by fact-checkers a few months ago.  Even left-leaning Politifact assigned her a “pants on fire” rating.  Harris’ spin is less explicitly clumsy and wrong than AOC’s, as she didn’t specifically state that the low rate is directly attributable to people working more than one job, which makes absolutely no sense — but she does use this argument to undercut the (compelling) argument that the economy is in good shape because so many Americans are employed.  While it’s certainly true that a substantial number of people are working multiple jobs in order to make ends meet, it’s not accurate to pretend that this phenomenon is sufficiently widespread as to justify Harris’ talking point.

The article further reports:

The February jobs report found that just five percent of the employed population is working more than one job, down from 5.2 percent one year ago.  The experiences of the people who constitute that five percent matter, of course, but they are not evidence of a larger trend — and certainly not a trend that represents a real basis to shrug off the historically-low unemployment rate.  The jobs report that came out on Friday was a major ‘miss’ on a key number, with the US economy adding only 20,000 jobs last month; economists were expecting 180,000.  That’s a potentially concerning data point, underscoring the folly of simply assuming that the current prosperity streak will continue unabated.  But there were positive statistics, too.  The previous two months’ job creation data was revised upward by 12,000, and the overall unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent.  That marks 12 consecutive months, a full year, with the U3 figure at or below four percent, which is unambiguously good.

The article concludes:

Sustainability is a fair worry for the White House, but as of this moment, the most useful measuring sticks of the US economy are unemployment (3.8 percent), GDP growth (3.1 percent Q4 to Q4), and wage growth (3.4 percent).  All three are impressive.  Harris’ snarky point, therefore, is weak.  

As wages and jobs increase, voters will have to decide whether to believe what they are experiencing or what they are being told.