Explaining The Procedures Involved In Releasing The Memo

All of the information in this article has been taken from an article posted at The Conservative Treehouse yesterday. The #ReleaseTheMemo movement has been successful.

The article at The Conservative Treehouse includes the following:

The article explains what is involved in releasing the memo and the steps that are necessary in the process in order to comply with the law.

The article reports:

Once the House Intelligence Committee votes to declassify the four-page memo, the White House, National Security Adviser (H.R. McMaster) and National Security Council will have five days to review the content. The White House will likely have a brief review by the NSC and the Office of Legal Counsel of the content, and then issue approval for the release.

…Secondly, while it might seem like a good idea for President Trump to declassify the Nunes memo, if given by the Intel Committee, it would not be prudent to do so. Within this classified document Donald Trump is the subject of adverse action outlined therein.

…Therefore the best route as constructed by Nunes and Goodlatte would be for the House to vote to declassify, pass on to the Executive for review, then President Trump grants approval for the request of the House (legislative branch).

By law, all attempts by the legislative branch to declassify intelligence information must be given to the executive branch for review in advance of release. This is because the executive branch needs to see if any current intelligence operations might be compromised by information not known to the legislative branch.

The National Security Council and any impacted offices of the intelligence information (CIA, NSA, FBI, DOJ, U.S. DoS, DOD, etc.) review, provide opinion, and sign off prior to executive approval and release.

It is not just this declassification that goes through this process, all declassification goes through this process. In this example, presumably, the President has no adverse reason to block the declassification request and it is likely all approvals will happen quite quickly.

After the White House approves of the HPSCI request, the Memo then becomes public.

That’s when Democrats will attack the memo as being authored and misrepresented by Chairman Devin Nunes. This is the politics.

We need to remember a few things here. First of all, the Democrats DO NOT want this memo released. It is becoming obvious that there are things in the memo that make the Democratic party look really bad–such as using the government to spy on political opponents. Watergate was simply attempted spying and people went to jail. This allegedly was using government agencies to spy–many people should go to jail. Secondly, if and when the memo is released, the Democrats will do everything they can to discredit it. However, at some point this month, the Inspector General’s report is due out, and I suspect that will confirm much (if not all) of what is in the memo.

The article further notes what will happen if the Democrats claim the memo is not what it seems to be:

If/when this happens (highly likely it will), Chairman Nunes will then request the entire House of Representatives be given the opportunity to see the underlying FISA documentation that led to the summary.

The underlying FISA documentation likely includes the DOJ/FBI FISA application as presented to the FISA court; again, likely to include the “Clinton/Steele Dossier”.

Additionally, the FISA-702 raw data will include the FBI “searches” on Trump officials that led to the upstream collection of information and the subsequent “unmasking” of Trump officials.

Releasing the underlying FISA documentation -that proves the Nunes FISA memo- will likely follow a similar path as the Nunes memo itself. Again, this is a process, and within each of these processes there are revelations as to the scope of the corruption and conspiracy.

The article concludes:

In April and May 2017 Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and NSA Director Admiral Rogers, began assembling a pathway for Devin Nunes to climb out of that intelligence box. ODNI Dan Coats declassified the FISA Court opinion, and that opened the door for Horowitz, Grassley, Goodlatte and Nunes to question the content therein that circled the unlawful action of the DOJ and FBI.

Where we are today is a step in the investigative process that is an outcome of months of work by Coats, Rogers and Horowitz to extract Chairman Devin Nunes and bring all prior DOJ and FBI corruption to the surface.

I strongly suggest that you follow the link to read the entire article. The author is amazingly detailed in his research and lists his various sources at the end of the article.

Look for the Democrats to stage a major distraction about the time the memo is released. It may be another government shutdown or it may be some sort of march or filibuster. Based on what I have heard, the Democrats will do almost anything to keep this memo off of the front page of the news. Stay tuned.

Some Basic Facts About The Government Shutdown

I just want to remind people that the Republicans do not have the power to shut down the government–even if they wanted to. It takes sixty Senate votes to pass the Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government. (This could be avoided if we had a budget). The Republicans do not have sixty members in the Senate, so the only way that a CR can pass is if a few Democrats vote for it. Since enough Democrats did not vote for the CR to reach sixty votes, the CR did not pass. The Democrats have stated that DACA is the reason for their lack of support for the CR, but DACA does not expire until March, so that is questionable at best. Most of what you see on the news today will be political posturing. Hopefully, saner heads will prevail at some point, and the government will reopen.

#ReleaseTheMemo

This was posted on YouTube yesterday:

The only way Americans will know what actually happened here is to release the memo. There is no reason (other than political) to keep the memo secret. If the Obama Administration illegally spied on the Trump campaign to help the Hillary Clinton campaign, some people need to go to jail. The law should apply equally to all Americans.

You Can’t Teach People To Be Grateful For Opportunities

Scott Johnson at Power Line Blog posted an article today about some recent fires at St. Catherine University (a/k/a St. Kate’s, formerly St. Catherine College), located on a leafy 110-acre campus in the Highland Park neighborhood of St. Paul, Minnesota. The fires were intentionally set by Truza Jamal Hassan — a 19-year-old former student.

The article reports:

Hassan kindly explained that she did so in retaliation for American military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the criminal complaint failed in Ramsey County District Court. Her religious inspiration isn’t expressly stated, but she appeared in court yesterday wearing garb including a black face covering that exposed only her eyes and what appeared to be a large white sheet draped over her head. I think she was shooting to make a bold fashion statement with a makeshift niqab.

…Like the defendants convicted in the case of “the Minnesota men” that I covered for Power Line and the Weekly Standard, Hassan has been the beneficiary of the best Minnesota has to offer. She attended Highland Park Junior High School, a couple blocks from our old home in Highland Park. She graduated from Johnson Senior High School in St. Paul before moving on to St. Kate’s to go to college.

The details on Ms. Hassan’s background are somewhat sketchy. She enrolled in the St. Paul public schools in 2010. I could find no information on when she came to America or from where.

An article posted St. Paul Pioneer Press reports:

“You guys are lucky that l don’t know how to build a bomb because l would have done that,” Tnuza Jamal Hassan, 19, of Minneapolis allegedly told investigators after being arrested Wednesday afternoon in a campus dorm lounge.

We need to send this young lady back to wherever she was before coming to America.

 

A Different Perspective On The Possible “Schumer Shutdown” Of The Government

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today about the looming government shutdown. He comments on some of the strategies being used by the Republicans to avoid a shutdown and some of the strategies the Republicans can use to make the shutdown as painful as possible for the Democrats if a shutdown occurs.

The article reports:

Senate GOP leaders prepared to force Democrats into a series of uncomfortable votes, aimed at splitting their ranks by pitting moderates from states that Trump won against party leaders and the handful of outspoken liberals considering a run for the presidency.

For one, Republicans attached a long-term extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program and delays to several unpopular health-care taxes. The bill does not include protections for “dreamers,” immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children or who overstayed their visas as children, a top Democratic priority.

That represented an election-year bid by the GOP to cast the spending vote as, in part, a choice between poor children and undocumented immigrants. Ryan, McConnell, and other Republicans also sought to highlight the potential erosion to military readiness that could result from a shutdown.

At a press conference this morning, Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, referred to the possible shutdown as the “Schumer Shutdown.” Maybe the Republicans are finally beginning to understand the value of messaging.

I need to mention that in order to continue to fund the government, the Republicans need sixty votes in the Senate–that means that some Democrats need to vote to keep the government running. The Republicans do not have enough votes in the Senate to keep the government running by themselves.

The article suggests ways to make the shutdown work for Republicans:

But perhaps Republicans should shrug off the media headwinds here and allow Democrats to shut down the government. The White House has the upper hand in these stunts, as both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton proved, by picking and choosing which workers to furlough. Both Obama and Clinton made it as painful as possible; Obama locked veterans out of national parks in 2013, garnering huge headlines and generating lots of anger toward Ted Cruz and his fellow futile obstructionists.

Donald Trump and his team should take the opposite approach: make everything seem normal while shutting down the regulatory agencies Democrats love. Keep the national parks open, but shut down the EPA. Maintain military readiness, but close down the Departments of Education and Labor. Rather than look at the short-term public relations hit, the White House should keep their eyes on the long game by using a shutdown to remind Americans just how much of the government they could truly live without. And when all of those union-represented employees have gone without a couple of paychecks on top of that, wait for Democrats to come back to the table.

It’d be much better if Democrats didn’t obstruct the budget over DACA, of course. But if they do, it shouldn’t be Republicans panicked over a shutdown.

Hopefully, the government will keep running. It is ridiculous to give government workers a paid vacation that they didn’t earn–they may not get paid immediately, but they will be paid for the time they did not work.

One Way Tax Rates Influence The Economy

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about the impact of corporate tax rates on entrepreneurship. The article notes that as the corporate tax rate increases, the number of start-up companies decreases.

The article reports:

Entrepreneurship is negatively impacted by higher corporate tax rates, according to a study from the Federal Reserve.

“While there are many actions governments may take to affect entrepreneurship, few are as important or contentiously debated as the setting of tax policy,” the paper explains. “Taxes are viewed by many as the primary lever elected officials have at their disposal to change the business environment, promote growth, and encourage innovation.”

The study looked at counties that had changes to their state corporate, personal, or sales tax rates and how entrepreneurial activity was affected compared with those counties that had no changes to tax rates. The study defines entrepreneurs and startups as those that are two years old or younger.

“We find that increases in corporate tax rates have a statistically and economically significant negative effect on employment among startup firms,” the study explains. “Specifically, for every one percentage point increase in the corporate tax rate employment in startup firms declines 3.7 percent.”

…”Tax liability reduces economic profits, restricting the set of potential entrepreneurs whose likely profits exceed entry costs,” the study explains. “Tax policy affects labor demand via the dependence of firm-level labor demand on other production or revenue factors.”

The study also points to previous research that finds self-employment is affected by how complex the tax code is. Corporate tax rates reduce research and development and new product development.

If this study is accurate, we are going to have substantial economic growth in America as the corporate tax cut begins to take effect. Like him or not, President Trump is a businessman, and a rather successful one. I suspect he was already aware of the relationship between corporate taxes and start-up companies.

Just for the record, I was talking to someone last night who has been a Trump supporter since he announced his candidacy. She said something to me that I think is very astute–“Trump had to be the candidate–we needed a mud wrestler to fight the Democrats. The other Republican candidates wouldn’t do it.” That is an amazing (and true) statement.

Why Not Just Put It On Hillary Clinton’s Secret Server And We Can Get It From The Russians?

Sorry about the sarcasm. I couldn’t resist. The Hill posted an article today about the fight in Congress to keep the American public from finding out what actually went on behind the scenes during the 2016 presidential campaign and President Trump‘s transition team.

The article reports:

A growing number of Republicans are demanding the release of a classified report that they say reveals political bias at the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) in the investigation into President Trump’s alleged ties to Moscow. 

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) spearheaded the effort this week to allow lawmakers to view a top-secret report compiled by House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).

Scores of Republicans have since viewed the document in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) on Capitol Hill. They left expressing shock, saying the special counsel investigation into whether Trump’s officials had improper contacts with Russia is based on politically motivated actions at the highest level of law enforcement.

Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) called the memo “shocking.”

“I’m here to tell all of a America tonight that I’m shocked to read exactly what has taken place,” Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said in a speech on the House floor. 

“I thought it could never happen in a country that loves freedom and democracy like this country. It is time that we become transparent with all of this, and I’m calling on our leadership to make this available so all Americans can judge for themselves.” 

As voters, we need to see this. We need to know exactly what happened–not what the media or the political parties choose to tell us. Why is it classified in the first place? For political purposes?

This is how the process of declassification works:

Meadows and his allies asked GOP leaders in the House to declassify the report as part of a short-term spending bill the House passed late Thursday night. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said he wanted to follow House rules on the matter and deferred to Nunes and the Intelligence Committee.

Nunes could call for a vote to release the report on his panel. If a majority on the committee agrees to declassify the report, the executive branch would just need to sign-off to make it public, said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), another Freedom Caucus member.

“It is so alarming the American people have to see this,” Jordan said.

The article includes the following statement:

Lawmakers were tight-lipped about the contents of the memo, as they are barred from unilaterally releasing classified information.

But the lawmakers who have long been claiming that FBI agents and DOJ officials launched a partisan investigation into Trump said the report vindicated their claims.

This story is currently being overshadowed by threats of a government shutdown. I don’t think that is a coincidence.

Believing What Is Happening Rather Than What You Were Told

Just as an aside, President Trump’s first place fake news award went to the New York TimesPaul Krugman who claimed on the day of President Trump’s historic, landslide victory that the economy would never recover. Considering the past year, that was a wonderful choice for the fake news award.

This year, 2018, is the year that the Tax Reform Bill passed by Congress will begin to take effect. We are already seeing the beginnings of that effect as companies are giving raises, bonuses, and bringing money into America from overseas. Working people are beginning to feel the impact of what Congress did (and what NO DEMOCRAT voted for). Corporations have decided to share their tax break with their workers.

So what happens when people begin to realize that almost everything the media told them about the tax bill was a lie?

Breitbart posted an article today that partially answers that question.

The article reports:

Now that a little thing called economic reality has overtaken months of dishonest media reporting about the Republican tax bill signed into law by President Trump last month, a plurality of 47 percent support the bill, while only 34 percent remain opposed.

This is a huge (and predicable) turnaround when compared to those polls released  in the heart of the media campaign to kill the tax bill. In early December, Gallup showed just 29 percent support for the bill; as did Quinnipiac. Less than a month ago, the left-wing cable news network CNN released a poll that showed support for the bill cratering with opposition climbing from 45 percent to 55 percent. Only one-third of Americans were in favor of the tax cut.

Considering the media’s 24/7 opposition to the bill, these negative polls were not all that surprising. In a cynical and partisan effort to kill the GOP tax cut through the use of lies to gin up opposition, including the wildly false claim that only the rich and corporations would benefit, some outlets even went so far as to claim that taxes on working people and the middle class would increase. And polls showed that too many people actually believed that nonsense.

When did allowing people to keep more of the money they earn become controversial?

How long can the media continue to misreport news and still be listened to?

A Really Bad Idea

Yesterday One America News posted an article about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce‘s suggestion that the gasoline tax be raised to pay for an infrastructure bill. No. That is a really bad idea. American’s just got a tax cut, now the Chamber of Commerce essentially wants to take that tax cut away.

The article states:

The right-leaning U.S. Chamber of Commerce says a federal gas tax of 25-cents per gallon could raise more than $370 billion over the next ten years.]

It’s been a while since the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was right-leaning–they support amnesty for illegals, common core, and other things that are definitely not right-leaning.

Consider what 25-cents a gallon would mean to the average working person. That could mean between $50 and $100 a month depending on the amount of driving they do and the mileage their car gets. The abrupt rise of gasoline prices leading up to 2008 was a small part of what caused the housing bubble to burst–people who were scraping by to pay their mortgages suddenly got hit with $100 plus a month in added fuel expenses for gas and oil and could not pay those expenses. Is the Chamber of Commerce trying to slow down the growing economy by adding a new tax? It sure seems that way.

If Congress needs money for infrastructure, they need to find a place to cut spending to pay for it.

The Impact Of Political Correctness On Art

Breitbart posted an article today listing 17 classic Hollywood movies that could not be made today because of political correctness. The latest wave of political correctness says that only a person with the disability can portray a disabled person in a film or that the person playing a character in a film has to have the actual characteristics of that person. I thought it was called acting for a reason. That creates some interesting challenges that probably could not be overcome in making these classic movies.

The list:

1. Dustin Hoffman – Rain Man

2. Daniel Day-Lewis  – My Left Foot

3. Tom HanksForrest Gump

4. Matthew McConaugheyDallas Buyers Club

5. Sean Penn – I Am Sam

6. Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything/The Danish Girl

7. Leonardo DiCaprioWhat’s Eating Gilbert Grape?

8. Colin Firth – The King’s Speech

9. Jamie Foxx – Ray

10. Al Pacino – Scent of a Woman

11. Patty Duke – The Miracle Worker

12. Holly Hunter – The Piano

13. Julianne MooreStill Alice

14. Hillary Swank –  Million Dollar Baby

15. Eric Stoltz – Mask

16. John Hurt – The Elephant Man

17. Nicolas Cage  – Leaving Las Vegas

Please follow the link above the read the entire article. It is eye-opening.

Common Sense Shows Up In A Courtroom

The Daily Signal is reporting today that Judge Scott Coogle, a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, has ruled that the Alabama voter ID law is constitutional.

The article reports:

A federal judge in Alabama has thrown out a lawsuit against the state’s voter ID law, finding that the law doesn’t prevent anyone from voting because “nearly the entire population of registered voters in Alabama already possess a photo ID that can be used for voting.”

For those who don’t, obtaining a qualifying ID can be done “with little to no effort and no cost.”

In 2011, the Alabama Legislature passed a photo ID requirement for both in-person and absentee voting. The law was enacted in an effort to strengthen voter confidence and to reduce the potential for voter fraud in the state.

The Alabama law accepts seven different types of ID, including an Alabama driver/non-driver’s license, a photo ID card issued by any state or the federal government, a U.S. passport, a student or employee ID, a military ID card, or a tribal ID card.

Voters can obtain a voter ID card from the state for free—something that as of fall of 2017, only 33 voters in the entire state had requested. And voters who need a birth or marriage certificate to get an ID can get those for free, too.

In addition, even if voters show up at a voting booth without an ID, they can still vote if two election officials at the polling place positively identify them.

Those voting absentee are required to include a photocopy of their photo ID (in a separate envelope) when they mail in their ballot. Individuals without an ID can vote by provisional ballot, and that ballot will be counted if they show the local county registrar an ID by the Friday after the election.

Unfortunately we live in a world where showing a photo ID has become a fact of life. When I go to the doctor’s office, I have to show a photo ID. If I board an airplane, I have to show a photo ID (and soon, as license requirements change in some states, a passport will be necessary). Anyone can easily get a photo ID, and states with photo ID requirements to vote will provide them to people at no cost.

This is a common sense ruling. Hopefully it will stand and set an example for the rest of the states.

Should Your Family Caregiver Have To Join A Union?

Many families face the challenge of having to take care of elderly parents or disabled children. In certain states these family members are classified as public employees and required to have union dues taken out of the Medicaid funds that help pay for this care. If we are not careful, mom is going to be classified as a public employee so that unions can collect dues from her!

The Independent Journal Review  (IJR) posted an article today stating the following:

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) will introduce a bill by the end of February “that would prohibit states from allowing unions to automatically deduct dues and fees from Medicaid funds that are intended to help family caregivers,” according to McMorris Rodgers’ aides.

The bill, which according to aides has at least some support in the Senate, will clearly state that withdrawing labor organization dues from a Medicaid payment to a family caregiver is an “improper use of Medicaid funds.”

A civil monetary penalty will be handed out for any violations of the proposed bill, according to the chairwoman’s office. “Due-skimming is robbing our nation’s most vulnerable who need Medicaid the most,” an aide told IJR.

The article concludes:

Caregivers took to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, calling on Congress to stop states — including California, Minnesota and Illinois — from classifying family caregivers as public employees. House GOP officials say ending the practice could save Medicaid and other programs as much as $200 million a year.

“What bothers me the most is, I know a lot of parents, because I’m in this community,” said Miranda Thorpe, a registered nurse who also cares for her 21-year-old daughter, according to Fox News.

“And none of them really understand that this is happening to them. They have no idea. I don’t think the state should be the factor that colludes with unions to take out this money without people’s knowledge,” Thorpe added.

“If they really wanted people to have a choice, then they should let them know what their options are. … I think it’s very unfair since this is a very vulnerable population.”

I don’t have a problem with unions, but they have become as corrupt as politicians (and sometimes the two work together very closely). Union dues should be collected from people who choose to join a union. Union fat cats live as well as the corporate fat cats they condemn (at least the corporate fat cats generally produce either a product or a service). It is time for the practice of penalizing family members who provide care for a family member to end.

 

Some Thoughts On Hawaii’s Mistaken Alert

Rush Limbaugh said some very interesting (and true) things about Hawaii’s false missile alert. I would like to share them here.

This is part of the transcript of what Rush Limbaugh said yesterday on his radio show:

You know, I mentioned on this program countless times that one of — you know, we all have pet peeves. And one of my biggest pet peeves is arrogant condescension. People who know less than I do who think they know more than everybody else, and they’re arrogant about it. And then they condescend, treat you like you’re an idiot, treat you like you can’t possibly know what you’re talking about.

The second — and it’s kind of related — the second pet peeve that I have is people insulting my intelligence, and it happens frequently. And we are in the midst of it right now with this explanation of what happened in Hawaii with the, “Oops, the guy hit the wrong button!” And for 34 minutes, the people of Hawaii thought they were dead. Yeah, he hit the wrong button twice.

Have any of you — don’t do this if you haven’t — have any of you on your iPhone ever had to erase the whole thing for whatever reason to start over? It’s called settings, general, reset. And there are many different things you can reset. You can reset network settings, you can reset the whole damn thing, which means that you are going to erase everything on the phone. You have to confirm that a minimum of three times.

Apple will not let you do that accidentally.  And it’s an iPhone and there’s not a single nuclear code on an iPhone.  All there is is your personal data.  All of your passwords, your settings, whatever is on the phone, if you have to erase it, which you can do, you will get three different alerts asking you if that’s what you really intend to do, if you’re really certain about it. And there are areas like this all over the iPhone.

There is a feature that hardly anybody knows about.  It’s well hidden.  It happens to be one of my favorite features that Apple will not divulge anything about.  It’s called significant locations.  I’m not even gonna bother to tell you where it is.  That’s not the point.  But you can clear the location history from your phone if you want to.  Your phone records, where you’ve been.  I happen to think that’s marvelous and magic and great and I love it.  And I use it.  Other people are paranoid about it.  They think Tim Cook is spying on everything they do, just like Zuckerberg spying on every Facebook user and the Twitter people — (laughing) it turns out the Twitter people are spying on you!  O’Keefe has yet another video from Project Veritas.

They’re collecting everything at Twitter on you, everything, including your photos.  They’re creating a sexual file of all of their users.  They’re creating a data file on everybody at Twitter, by their own admission.  More details on that.  Anyway, if you want to clear your location. Let’s say you have effectively been made paranoid about your phone recording where you’ve been.  And you find out about it, “Oh, no, I want to get rid of that.”  Okay.  You go into significant locations, and you tap on “clear history.”

You will have to do it three times.  You’ll have to confirm that’s what you want to do three times. Just like if you want to erase the whole phone, you’ll have to confirm that three times. “Are you sure you want to?”  Yes.  “Are you really, really sure?  This is gonna erase everything on your phone, and you can’t go back and undo this.  Are you sure you want to do it?”  You tap “yes.”

It comes back, “Do you really know what you’re doing here?  Are you certain that you want to take this phone and make it like it’s brand-new out of the box?”  And yet we’re told that on a nuclear warning test, the guy hit the wrong button twice.  We’re now told the guy hasn’t been fired.  He’s barely been reprimanded.  We don’t know his name.  He’s going to be reassigned.

…And we’re told, “Ah, the guy hit the wrong button.”

I just can’t accept this, not within the context of everything that has gone on that has been originated in or perpetrated by the American left and our administrative state. The Hawaii emergency management administrator, Vern Miyagi, reported one of his employees clicked the wrong button twice, said, “It’s embarrassing, but again, it’s a mistake.”

Why hasn’t it happened before? If it’s this easy to make this kind of mistake, why hasn’t it happened before? And why did it take 34 minutes to correct this mistake? People were living in abject fear, except for one guy who kept playing golf. I like that guy. He said (paraphrasing), “Even if it’s true, I’m going out doing what I love. To hell with it. I’m not hiding in some sewer drain.” But that’s what people were doing. They were hiding their kids everywhere they could. I mean, for 34 minutes the Hawaii emergency management administration allowed abject fear to percolate in the state of Hawaii.

“Vern Miyagi, the administrator, said, that he “was supposed to select the option for a drill. Instead, he chose the real thing twice. ‘A missile may impact on land or sea within minutes. This is not a drill.’” Grab audio sound bite number 17. Here is what it sounded like…

VOICE: The U.S. Pacific Command has detected a missile threat to Hawaii. A missile may impact on land or sea within minutes. This is not a drill. If you are indoors, say indoors. If you are outdoors, seek immediate shelter in a building. Remain indoors well away from windows. If you are driving, pull safely to the side of the road and seek shelter in a building or lay on the floor.

So let’s say the employee did this on purpose. Thank God America did not respond. The military would have known if there actually were missiles in the air, so they would have known the alert was a mistake. Did the military scramble? Did they know about the alert?

For the sake of argument, let’s say that the person who pushed the button thought that if he could get a dangerous response out of President Trump, President Trump could be declared unfit for office. Having watched the media for the past year, I am convinced that there are some people out there who would put the safety of America at risk to bring down President Trump. The irrational hatred of President Trump is totally amazing. Was this person willing to start World War III in order to prevent President Trump from succeeding? I don’t know. I do know that Microsoft Word won’t even let me close down its window without telling me that I am going to lose what I have typed. Surely, our missile alert system is better than that.

How The News Media Covers President Trump

Newsbusters posted an article today analyzing how the major media covers President Trump. As I am sure almost everyone is aware, the coverage is almost always negative. I strongly suggest that you follow the link and read the entire article–the statistics are amazing.

The article includes the following graph:

The conclusions of the article are somewhat frightening:

The media reaction to Trump’s first year has been so extreme, the public itself has become polarized over the coverage. In September, Gallup discovered that record numbers of Democrats are reporting “trust and confidence in the mass media to report the news ‘fully, accurately and fairly,’” with 72 percent of Democrats saying they trusted the press in 2017, compared to just 51 percent who said that a year ago.

A month later, a Politico/Morning Consult poll found that “more than three-quarters of Republican voters, 76 percent, think the news media invent stories about Trump and his administration.” That number swells to 85 percent when just Trump supporters are asked the question.

What seems to be happening is that many in the media, including the broadcast networks, have chosen to morph into anti-Trump activists. As a result, they provide massive attention to stories that they think make him look bad, give little airtime to more positive aspects of his administration, and punish him with massively negative spin.

The polls suggest anti-Trump Democrats love that kind of news, pro-Trump Republicans hate it — while the national media are cementing their reputation as biased partisans. Their hostility against the White House is now so obvious, nobody could possibly take them seriously if they ever again claim to be fair and non-partisan professionals.

When politicians (or the media) complain about the divisiveness in America, they need look no further than themselves. The lies that the media is telling and the things that the media is choosing to emphasize are not helping inform the public and they are surely not helping to unite us in the common goal of making America a better place.

The Worldwide Impact Of Developing America’s Energy Resources

With the lifting of many of the restrictions on domestic oil drilling (and fracking) in America, the impact of American oil and natural gas on the world market has grown. Today Reuters posted an article about the impact of American energy on the global oil market.

The article reports:

Surging shale production is poised to push U.S. oil output to more than 10 million barrels per day – toppling a record set in 1970 and crossing a threshold few could have imagined even a decade ago.

So what does this mean?

The article explains:

The economic and political impacts of soaring U.S. output are breathtaking, cutting the nation’s oil imports by a fifth over a decade, providing high-paying jobs in rural communities and lowering consumer prices for domestic gasoline by 37 percent from a 2008 peak.

…“It has had incredibly positive impacts for the U.S. economy, for the workforce and even our reduced carbon footprint” as shale natural gas has displaced coal at power plants, said John England, head of consultancy Deloitte’s U.S. energy and resources practice.

The article notes that in an attempt to stop American energy development, OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) tried to discourage shale production of oil in America by flooding the market with oil (Saudi Arabia also played a role in financing movies and advertising containing misinformation about fracking).

The article notes:

The cartel of oil-producing nations backed down in November 2016 and enacted production cuts amid pressure from their own members over low prices – which had plunged to below $27 earlier that year from more than $100 a barrel in 2014.

Shale producers won the price war through aggressive cost-cutting and rapid advances in drilling technology. Oil now trades above $64 a barrel, enough for many U.S. producers to finance both expanded drilling and dividends for shareholders.

The article also  mentions American oil exports:

Efficiencies spurred by the battle with OPEC – including faster drilling, better well designs and more fracking – helped U.S. firms produce enough oil to successfully lobby for the repeal of a ban on oil exports. In late 2015, Congress overturned the prohibition it had imposed following OPEC’s 1973 embargo.

The United States now exports up to 1.7 million barrels per day of crude, and this year will have the capacity to export 3.8 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas. Terminals conceived for importing liquefied natural gas have now been overhauled to allow exports.

That export demand, along with surging production in remote locations such as West Texas and North Dakota, has led to a boom in U.S. pipeline construction. Firms including Kinder Morgan and Enterprise Products Partners added 26,000 miles of liquids pipelines in the five years between 2012 and 2016, according to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Several more multi-billion-dollar pipeline projects are on the drawing board.

Energy independence is important for America. Total energy independence will have a very positive impact on our foreign policy. Because tyrannical regimes in the Middle East have traditionally controlled the oil supply to the rest of the world, western countries have been required to support governments they should not be supporting in order to keep the oil flooding. Russia is another country that has used its pipelines to Europe as a way to control certain European countries. Energy independence will give America a degree of freedom we have not had for a long time. Hopefully we will use that freedom wisely.

The Temper Tantrum Continues

Fox News is reporting today a number of Democrats are going to boycott President Trump’s State of the Union Address. Way to establish communication and work together, democrats.

The article reports:

“For the first time since I began serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, I will not be attending the president’s State of the Union address,” Wilson (Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson) said in a statement late Sunday. “I have no doubts that instead of delivering a message of inclusivity and an agenda that benefits all Americans, President Trump’s address will be full of innuendo, empty promises and lies.”

Wilson joins Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.; Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.; and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., in boycotting the event.

This sort of foolishness (which has appeared at times on both sides of the aisle) needs to stop. It is time that the people we sent to Washington sit down and listen to each other whether they like it or not. Everyone needs to go to the speech.

Just for the record, the tax cuts are inclusive–the will impact about 90 percent of Americans with tax savings. They will benefit almost all working Americans.

The number of regulations the Trump Administration has rolled back has benefited all Americans. Most working Americans have 401k plans. The Trump Administration has been very helpful to those Americans. Most Americans want to have full time jobs. The Trump Administration has had a very positive impact on unemployment.

This list goes on. You get the point. The temper tantrum the left has thrown since Donald Trump was elected President needs to end. It has gotten very old and boring.

More Taxpayers Voting With Their Feet

The Washington Free Beacon posted a story today about migration within the United States. The states that lost the most population in 2017 were Illinois, New Jersey, and New York.

The article reports:

United Van Lines, which tracks state-to-state migration patterns, found that Illinois was the top state for outbound migration with 63 percent of moves going out of state.

“The Northeast continues to experience a moving deficit with New Jersey (63 percent outbound), New York (61 percent) and Connecticut (57 percent) making the list of top outbound states for the third consecutive year,” the report states. “Massachusetts (56 percent) also joined the top outbound list this year.”

The other states that led the nation for the highest outbound migration were Kansas, Ohio, Kentucky, Utah, and Wisconsin.

It is interesting that the top four states are controlled by the Democratic party and have high taxes (also cold weather).

The states that grew in population were also listed in the article:

The 10 states with the highest inbound migration were Vermont, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, South Dakota, Washington, South Carolina, North Carolina, Colorado, and Alabama. The data find that more Americans are moving to the Mountain West and the South.

The article concludes:

According to the Tax Foundation, there is a relationship between taxes and migration.

“Individuals move for a variety of factors,” the group states. “Climate, job opportunities, family, among others, impact the decision to relocate. Taxes can influence the decision too.”

“Tax rates and structure affect a state’s economy; states with less burdensome tax structures and lower rates tend to have better economic growth,” the foundation explains. “Increased job opportunities can result from the better economic growth.”

“Someone moving to Chicago for a new job could decide to live in Illinois or commute from Indiana,” the group says. “Indiana’s 3.3 percent individual income tax rate could be an encouragement to locate in that state over Illinois’ 3.75 percent rate. An individual moving to the Washington, D.C., area could decide to live in Virginia instead of the District because income taxes are lower.”

As more people leave the higher-tax states, the tax burden on the people remaining will increase. That is going to create situations like Detroit, where people simply leave their homes because they can’t afford the taxes. In some of these high-tax states, elderly people on fixed incomes are being forced out of their homes because they cannot afford the taxes.

Voting with your feet is a great idea as long as the people moving to lower-tax states don’t bring their high-tax ideas with them.

Undoing America, One Vote At A Time

Breitbart is reporting today that chain migration is likely to add potentially 8 million foreign-born voters to America over the next two decades.

The article reports:

Research by University of Maryland, College Park political scientist James Gimpel has found in recent years that more immigrants to the U.S. inevitably means more Democrat voters and thus, increasing electoral victories for the Democratic Party.

In 2014, Gimpel’s research concluded with three major findings:

Immigrants, particularly Hispanics and Asians, have policy preferences when it comes to the size and scope of government that are more closely aligned with progressives than with conservatives. As a result, survey data show a two-to-one party identification with Democrats over Republicans.

By increasing income inequality and adding to the low-income population (e.g. immigrants and their minor children account for one-fourth of those in poverty and one-third of the uninsured) immigration likely makes all voters more supportive of redistributive policies championed by Democrats to support disadvantaged populations.

There is evidence that immigration may cause more Republican-oriented voters to move away from areas of high immigrant settlement leaving behind a more lopsided Democrat majority.

The article further reports that five years of chain migration to the U.S. has exceeded one year of all American births, where about 4 million U.S. babies are born every year.

So what does this mean? First of all, we need to address the fact that American school children are not being taught the ideas and principles behind the U.S. Constitution. If we are not teaching American children how our government works and we import millions of people from countries that do not have constitutions, what will our government look like in twenty years? If we are not teaching our children to treasure our freedom and our culture, how can we expect those who have not grown up with that freedom and culture to respect it? How do those coming to America see government? Do they see government as a valid authority or has their past taught them that equal justice under the law is not possible?

We really do need to rethink our immigration policies. We used to allow people to immigrate who were willing to assimilate and contribute to the country. In recent years, we have allowed people to come to America to take advantage of government programs and live at the expense of the Americans who already live here. That has got to stop. We cannot afford to feed, clothe, and provide medical care for everyone in the world. Charity is a wonderful thing, but it needs to be voluntary and begin at home. After we have helped our homeless veterans, children of fallen soldiers, and children of fallen policemen, we can begin to help people from other countries. Until then, we need to live up to our responsibilities at home.

Teaching Responsibility To Those Who Have Somehow Avoided The Lesson

Yesterday Fox News posted a story about Kentucky‘s plan to follow President Trump’s suggestion to add a work requirement for receiving Medicaid.

The article reports:

Under the new rule, adults age 19 to 64 must complete 80 hours of “community engagement” per month to keep their care. That includes working a job, going to school, taking a job-training course or volunteering.

“There is dignity associated with earning the value of something that you receive,” Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said. “The vast majority of men and women, able-bodied men and women … they want the dignity associated with being able to earn and have engagement.”

One of the comments under this article on the site where I saw it posted commented that benefits were not for the benefit of the recipients, but to make sure how the recipients voted. Unfortunately we have created a group of people in America who would rather receive free things that the rest of us pay for than earn those things himself. I realize that some people need these benefits and have valid reasons for wanting them, and we need to help these people. However, we need to end the free ride for those who are taking advantage of the situation.

Note that the requirement is 80 hours a month. That is not a lot. That is approximately 20 hours a week. That is not an unreasonable requirement.

And So It Begins?

Yesterday while the mainstream media had their panties all in a wad over something President Trump may or may not have said in a private meeting, The Daily Wire posted an article about the Uranium One scandal.

The article reports:

An 11-count indictment was handed out on Friday connected to the alleged Russian bribery scheme involving former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Obama administration, and Uranium One.

The charges are against Mark Lambert, who is the “former co-president of a Maryland-based transportation company that provides services for the transportation of nuclear materials to customers in the United States and abroad.” Lambert 54, of Maryland, was charged with “one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and to commit wire fraud, seven counts of violating the FCPA, two counts of wire fraud and one count of international promotion money laundering,” the DOJ said in a statement.

The charges are connected to the alleged bribery scheme that involves “Vadim Mikerin, a Russian official at JSC Techsnabexport (TENEX), a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation and the sole supplier and exporter of Russian Federation uranium and uranium enrichment services to nuclear power companies worldwide, in order to secure contracts with TENEX.”

TENEX is the commercial sales arm for Russia’s Rosatom, which took full control of Uranium One in 2013.

A report from October revealed that federal agents started collecting evidence in 2009 about Russian officials that were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion, and money laundering connected to the Uranium One deal

Stay tuned. This is going to get interesting. There is also a question of whether or not uranium left the country and how that happened. I suspect there is much more to come on this.

Poverty

Dictionary.com defines poverty as:

1. the state or condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support; condition of being poor.

Antonyms: riches, wealth, plenty.

2. deficiency of necessary or desirable ingredients, qualities, etc.:

poverty of the soil.

3. scantiness; insufficiency:

Their efforts to stamp out disease were hampered by a poverty of medical supplies.

After President Trump’s remarks (in a supposedly private meeting) have caused such a stir, I thought I would point out a few things about poverty and economic refugees.

For those of you who have chosen to forget, the wealth of America was built on sacrifice and blood. It was built by a small percentage of Americans who rebelled against British rule rather than flee the country they had settled. They were never able to share in the wealth of the nation they helped create–most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence died in poverty. They fought tyranny. Why are the economic refugees we are taking in fleeing tyranny rather than fighting it?

What are the keys to economic prosperity in a country? Hernando de Soto is a Peruvian economist who has done decades of pioneering work for presidents and in the streets on behalf of property rights for the poor.

His biography, posted at the Cato Institute website states:

Having made enough money to retire, he decided to devote his life full-time to solving the riddle of development: Why are some countries rich and others poor? De Soto knew that Peruvians did not lack entrepreneurial energy. The bustling informal economy of Lima was testament to that. Nor did they lack assets, per se. From countryside to urban shantytown, ownership was governed by a system of informally evolved and acknowledged property rights.

But as de Soto explained in his 1986 book The Other Path, these de facto owners were locked out of the formal, legal economy—and that was the root of the problem. “They have houses but not titles; crops but not deeds; businesses but not statutes of incorporation.”

In 1980 de Soto created the Institute for Liberty and Democracy. The more he and his fellow researchers at the ILD investigated, the more they realized that dealing with the Peruvian state to obtain legal recognition of one’s assets was maddeningly difficult, if not impossible.

As an author and an activist, and later as adviser to President Alberto Fujimori in the early years of his administration, de Soto moved to bring his impoverished fellow countrymen out of the shadow economy and unlock their potential to build wealth, a process that continues today.

His biography also talks about some of the challenges of what Mr. de Soto is attempting:

For his efforts, the Peruvian Marxist terror group Shining Path targeted him for assassination. The institute’s offices were bombed. His car was machine-gunned. Today the Shining Path is moribund, but de Soto remains very much alive and a passionate advocate. Delivering formal property rights to the poor can bring them out of the sway of demagogues and into the extended order of the modern global economy. “Are we going to make [capitalism] inclusive and start breaking the monopoly of the left on the poor and showing that the system can be geared to them as well?” That’s de Soto’s challenge and his life’s work. (The italics are mine)

So what is compassion? Is it giving money to the leaders of impoverished countries only to have the leaders spend it on luxuries while the people starve? Is it giving to grass roots organizations that work on a people-to-people level to help the poor? Is it simply allowing the poor to escape their homes? Where will we find the people who will work with Mr. de Soto to change the way some of the world’s poorest countries are run?

Economic migration is not necessarily a good thing–you are taking people away from a place where they might be able to make a difference to a new culture where they are total aliens who may or may not be willing to assimilate. We have had a problem in many of the cities that have taken large numbers of foreign immigrants of people using public streets as toilets. There are pictures all over the internet of people relieving themselves in public and wiping themselves with their hands. That is not acceptable in American culture, but because we have overwhelmed the local populations in some towns and cities, it is becoming a problem. We have an obligation to help those in poverty in a constructive way, but we also have the right to protect our own cultural heritage.

Good News For Free Speech

The Daily Signal reported yesterday that the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Baltimore pro-life pregnancy centers do not have to put up signage in their waiting rooms saying they do not offer or refer for abortions.

The article reports:

At least 10 pregnancy help centers in the city of Baltimore are being spared the city’s “weaponized” attack on their work—including Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns, which opened its fifth location in May 2017, right next door to a Planned Parenthood.

A legal process that has played out since early 2010 has failed to establish even one instance of pregnancy centers deceiving or misleading women into their offices, Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III wrote in the ruling.

“After seven years of litigation and a 1,295-page record before us, the city does not identify a single example of a woman who entered the Greater Baltimore Center’s waiting room under the misimpression that she could obtain an abortion there,” Wilkinson, a Ronald Reagan appointee, wrote.

With pregnancy centers awaiting the Supreme Court’s say on a 2015 California law that forces state-licensed pro-life medical clinics to tell women where and how to get taxpayer-funded abortions, the 4th Circuit’s ruling could play into a number of state and local efforts to curb life-saving alternatives to abortion.

The article concludes:

As the abortion industry continues to spin its wheels in opposition to pro-life efforts, the pregnancy help community continues to celebrate lives saved and families transformed, one woman at a time.

And, should the courts continue to shift the battlefield from government coercion to compassionate persuasion, the pregnancy help community can expect to go on celebrating more and more lives in the coming year.

I wonder how people will look back at abortion in twenty years. Since Roe v. Wade (1973), there have been 59,115,995 abortions based on numbers reported by the Guttmacher Institute 1973-2014, with projections of 926,190 for 2015-16. GI has estimated possible undercounts of 3-5%,so an additional 3% is factored into the overall total. That’s a lot of American children that are not with us.