Don’t Look For This Name On The Witness List

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko.

The article reports:

Badly undermining Democrats’ impeachment narrative, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko told the press in Kiev on Thursday, “I have never seen a direct relationship between investigations and security assistance.”

That is, between the investigations President Trump wanted into 1) Ukrainian interference in the 2016 campaign and 2) Joe and Hunter Biden and the Ukrainian firm Burisma, on the one hand, and US aid that Trump put on hold this summer, on the other.

He specified that he didn’t hear that message from Trump’s top envoy, Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, who “did not tell us, and did not tell me exactly, about the relation between the assistance and the investigations.”

In summary: “Yes, investigations were mentioned, you know, in a presidential conversation. But there was no clear connection between these events.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has also made it plain he never felt undue pressure to investigate the Bidens. And he never did, yet the aid went through anyway.

If you were paying close attention to the circus in Washington, you probably noticed that the charges against President Trump have suddenly changed from quid pro quo to bribery. That is the result of focus groups engaged by the Democrats that showed that the concept of bribery carried more impact that the idea of quid pro quo. When bribery doesn’t resonate the way they want it to, they will move on to something else. Meanwhile we have trade deals that need to be approved and infrastructure that is crumbling. Hopefully, the voters will replace the ‘resistance’ leaders in the House of Representatives in the next election.

The Mainstream Media vs. The Truth

Yesterday Newsbusters posted an article highlighting more dishonest reporting from The New York Times.

The article reports:

Seven weeks ago, after the White House released its official summary of a July 25 phone call between President Trump and the Ukrainian President, the New York Times noted that the two had previously spoken on April 21 and wrote the following about that conversation:

When Ukraine elected its new leader, Volodymyr Zelensky, on April 21, Mr. Trump seized on the moment as an opportunity to press his case….He urged Mr. Zelensky to coordinate with Mr. Giuliani and to pursue investigations of “corruption,” according to people familiar with the call, the details of which have not previously been reported.

On Friday morning, the White House released its official summary of that earlier call, and it completely debunked the Times reporting that appeared in a front-page September 26 article. The official summary shows a light-hearted conversation about Zelensky’s election victory, Trump’s promise that a “very, very high level” delegation would attend his inauguration, and an invitation for Zelensky to visit the White House.

There’s not the slightest indication that he “seized on the moment as an opportunity to press his case,” nor any reference to Joe Biden, Rudy Giuliani, or anything else suggested in the Times story.

The Times account of the today’s White House release is silent on the Times earlier, apparently false reporting. But it does complain about how “a White House readout of the call in April provides a different account.”

Reporters Mark Mazzetti and Eileen Sullivan point out: “In that summary, provided to reporters shortly after the call took place, the administration said that Mr. Trump promised to work with Zelensky to ‘implement reforms that strengthen democracy, increase prosperity and root out corruption.’”

Indeed, today’s White House release does contradict the White House report released at the time of the call, but the erroneous September 26 Times’ story does not rely on the “readout” as the basis for its wrong claims, but rather “people familiar with the call.”

In other words, the Times can’t blame the White House for its mistake in September. That’s all on them, and their anonymous source. (Maybe secret sources aren’t the best sources after all.)

There is agreement that there was corruption in Ukraine. There is also agreement that the corruption needed to be cleaned up.

A friend of mine who is a lawyer who follows these events very closely recently wrote:

Then I discovered that the day after VP Joe Biden bribed the Ukraine government into firing the Prosecutor who was investigating his son’s company, the Ukraine court released $23 million the government had seized as part of the investigation. Nobody knows what happened to the $23 million.

What we do know is the $23 million was part of the $50 Million in USAid that 26 Democrats shepherded through the United States Congress in 2014. All 26 received campaign contributions from Ukraine’s new lobbyist: Secretary of State John Kerry’s former chief of staff. How dare the President look into changing the USA’s foreign Policy!

Do you really wonder where the missing money ended up?

Maybe it’s time to take a really good look at where our foreign aid actually goes.

How Rude!

Liberals are always complaining about the lack of civility in politics (as they attack Trump supporters and call for the intimidation of Trump supporters), but they claim to support civility. There was a certain lack of civility on display yesterday in the way Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi treated veteran journalist James Rosen of Sinclair.

Yesterday BizPacReview posted the story.

The article reports:

Take Your Highness Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House. She’s used to being celebrated as a “badass” by CNN, a network whose own analysts recently fantasized about the president’s impeachment leading to her being installed as America’s next president.

And so when veteran journalist James Rosen of Sinclair chose on Wednesday to treat Pelosi exactly how the mainstream media treat the president, she cried foul.

“We hear it said routinely — and of course it’s true — that impeachment is a political process, not a legal one. And yet as we can all observe, many of the accoutrements surrounding the legal process are inherent in this political process: We have counsels, depositions, subpoenas, threats of perjury, so forth,” he said.

“This was made starkly clear yesterday by Chairman Schiff, who, it seemed to me, when he reminded the minority that he would do everything necessary to ensure the legal rights of the whistleblower to preserve anonymity in this political setting.”

“And so I wonder,” Rosen continued, “if you could explain to the American people why the legal rights of the whistleblower should prevail in this political setting over those of President Trump, who should ordinarily enjoy a right to confront his accuser.”

Despite this being a valid point that’s also been broached by legal experts, Your Highness immediately snapped.

“I will say this to you, Mr. Republican Talking Points, when you talk about the whistleblower, we’re coming into my wheelhouse,” she angrily declared.

“I have more experience in intelligence than anybody in Congress, than anybody who has ever served, 25 years on the committee as top Democrat. I was there when we wrote the whistleblower laws. The whistleblower is there to speak truth to power and have protection for doing that. Any retribution or harm coming to a whistleblower undermines our ability to hear truth about power.”

What an arrogant response to a valid question.

Playing Politics With Drug Prices

On Wednesday, The Epoch Times reported on a bill in the Senate that was designed to lower drug prices.

The article reports:

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) blocked a bill that would lower prescription drug costs, arguing that a measure that addresses other health care issues would be better.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) wanted a bill he co-sponsored with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) to be passed unanimously on Nov. 13, but Schumer blocked the measure by objecting to Cornyn’s request for a unanimous vote.

Schumer said he didn’t oppose the bill’s substance, but accused Cornyn of playing a “little game” to try to get his bill passed when action on additional issues in health care was being blocked by Republicans, according to The Hill.

“We have a whole lot of legislative ideas, not just his,” Schumer said on the floor. “His party blocks everything that would have far larger consequence.”

Schumer said there were better legislative options than Cornyn’s bill, including one introduced by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

Cornyn responded by saying Schumer’s blocking of the measure was “what people hate about Washington.”

“My bill is not going to sink the prospects of that larger package of legislation,” Cornyn said.

“I’m not going to agree to price-fixing by the U.S. government,” he added about another measure Schumer cited, which would let Medicare negotiate drug prices.

The bill is noncontroversial and bipartisan. There is no reason to block it other than politics.

This Is What Desperation Looks Like

Mediaite posted an article this morning about the ongoing impeachment hearings. Before I continue, I need to share the following from a website called Media Bias/Fact Check:

True to form, this is the Mediaite headline, “Fox’s Bret Baier: Trump Gave Schiff a New ‘Article of Impeachment in Real Time’ With Twitter Attack on Yovanovitch.” I guess Harry Truman would not be able to be President in today’s politically correct world.

The article reports:

The dramatic moment during Friday’s House Impeachment hearing in which Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) read out President Donald Trump’s tweet blasting former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch in real time — with Yovanovitch saying she finds the tweet “very intimidating” — may have amounted to an on-the-spot article of impeachment, according to one Fox News anchor.

Weighing in immediately after the hearing went to recess, Fox anchor Bret Baier said that the president gave Schiff ammunition in real time on Friday morning with the attack.

“That enabled Schiff to then characterize that tweet as intimidating the witness, or tampering with the witness, which is a crime, adding essentially an article of impeachment in real-time as this hearing is going on,” Baier said.

If a tweet is grounds for impeachment, no elected official who disagrees with the ‘powers that be’ is safe. This is scary.

These are the tweets:

Draw your own opinion.

This Might Be A Problem For The Democrats

CNS News is reporting today on a national voter survey, conducted November 12-13.

The article reports:

…53% of all voters said most reporters are trying to help impeach Trump:

“When they write or talk about the impeachment effort, are most reporters trying to help impeach President Trump or block his impeachment? Or are most reporters simply interested in reporting the news in an unbiased manner?”:

    • “Help impeach President Trump”: 53%
    • “Block his impeachment”: 8%
    • Report “news in an unbiased an unbiased manner”: 32%

But, 53% of black voters and 60% of other minorities, compared to 51% of whites, said reporters are trying to get Trump rather than report the news fairly.

What’s more, 58% of voters who say they are watching impeachment news “very closely” believe that most journalists are trying to help impeach the president, while only 34% say they’re just trying to report unbiased news.

The survey of 1,000 likely voters has a margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

The mainstream media is digging its own grave. It is driving concerned citizens to alternative news sources that are seen as more objective or sources that at least state that they hold a certain point of view. As this happens, there will be stronger moves to censor the internet. We are all responsible for finding reliable news sources in order to be informed voters. Right now the mainstream media is making being an informed voter very difficult.

This Is A Form Of Antisemitism

The Federalist posted an article today about a recent decision by the EU’s Court of Justice (ECJ), the highest court in the EU. The court ruled that Jewish products made in contested areas of Israel must bear consumer warning labels.

The article notes:

Prior to the ruling, U.S. lawmakers in Congress fired warning shots, cautioning the EU that such a move would prompt the enforcement of American anti-boycott laws, thus endangering the EU’s trade with the United States.

Now, according to reporting by Adam Kredo of the Washington Free Beacon, the Trump administration is ready to go to battle over the ruling. Currently, the United States is the EU’s largest trading partner.

The origins of the legal dispute stretch back several years to when the EU issued a mandate in 2015 declaring that products produced in the West Bank and Golan Heights be labeled as coming from an Israeli settlement, facially for the purpose of promoting “consumer protection,” although it’s unclear if that is actually achieved here. In late 2016, France became the first EU member state to attempt to enforce the mandate, resulting in the Israeli winery Psagot filing a lawsuit claiming that such a mandate violated the EU’s anti-discrimination laws.

Under the new rule, goods produced by Jews will be labeled as having been produced in an Israeli settlement, while goods produced by Muslims may be labeled as made in “Palestine,” indicating blatant discriminatory treatment. Unsurprisingly, Israel’s presence in the West Bank and the Golan Heights are the only contested areas in the world to be the focus of the labeling ire of the EU.

The article notes that Israel is the only country singled out for this treatment:

“No other territory, occupied, disputed, or otherwise is subject to such requirements,” noted Eugene Kontorovich, director of the Center for International Law in the Middle East at George Mason University. Kontorovich emphasized the peculiarity of the ruling. “In no other case does any ‘origin labeling’ require any kind of statement about the political circumstances in the area. This is a special Yellow Star for Jewish products only.”

Indeed, there are a multitude of contested areas throughout the world that produce goods for which the EU has deemed politicized labeling requirements unnecessary. Despite Russia’s occupation of parts of Georgia or Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara, nothing in EU law or greater international law requires labeling goods produced by Russia in occupied parts of Georgia as “Made in Georgia” or goods produced by Morocco in Western Sahara as “Made in Western Sahara.”

Just a side note about the concept of contested territories. If you look at a map of the land originally given to form a Jewish state, it not only includes the ‘contested territories,’ it includes Jordan. The country of Jordan was originally intended to be the Palestinian state (as there had never been a Palestinian state), but was turned over to the Hashemites. For pictures illustrating the history of Israeli territory, go here.

Why Government Policies Matter

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article detailing some of what is happening on our southern border.

The article reports:

More than 600 children were “recycled” through the border over the last year, including some who were carried across eight times, by a different person each time, looking to exploit lax policies to gain a foothold in the U.S., a top ICE official told Congress on Wednesday.

And those are only cases that were detected, officials said.

The recycled children are one of the more disturbing aspects of illegal border flow over the last 12 months, which set records for the number of children and families who snuck into the U.S.

The families were drawn by a lax policy, imposed by a federal court, that gives adults a quick release into communities as long as they brought a son or daughter with them.

The result was massive levels of fraud, with adults renting or outright buying unrelated children in order to present themselves as a family, authorities said. In some cases it was a one-off, but in other instances children were “recycled” across the border multiple times, said Derek N. Benner, acting deputy director at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Note that the policy in effect was imposed by a federal court–it was not legislated and it was not instituted by the President. The Founding Fathers did not envision a country where a federal court could overrule a President. They envisioned a country where Congress would take up the responsibility given to it to make laws that protect our borders and secure our country.

The article concludes:

Also Wednesday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced a new policy that would block asylum-seekers from being granted work permits until after they win their asylum cases.

The goal is to remove one of the incentives for bogus family claims. Under current policy migrants who demand asylum and clear the first hurdle can get work permits after a waiting period, giving them a chance to deepen ties even though the majority end up being deemed ineligible for asylum.

“Illegal aliens are gaming our asylum system for economic opportunity, which undermines the integrity of our immigration system and delays relief for legitimate asylum seekers in need of humanitarian protection,” said Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director at USCIS.

All Of These People Have Histories

I haven’t watched the impeachment hearings today. It annoys me that they are even happening. I am sure I will hear about them later from various news sources. I am also sure that what I hear will depend on the news source I choose. That is one of the reasons America is so divided right now–we can’t even agree on basic facts and the mainstream media is reporting opinion–not facts. Just for the record, rightwinggranny is an opinion blog that deals in facts.

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about one of the witnesses in the hearing. It seems that George Kent has an interesting history.

The article reports:

Adam Schiff and the media will likely not touch on his controversial past in Ukraine.
According to Rudy Giuliani Kent was the official behind the dismissal of the Ukrainian government investigation of George Soros’s AntAC organization.

Rudy Giuliani tore into the Schiff show trials and their empty case against President Trump.

Rudy Giuliani: Also George Kent has a problem of his own. George Kent wrote a letter in which he asked that a case be dismissed by Lutsenko. And it was a case against Soros’s NGO AntAC and that company AntAC was right in the middle of gathering the dirty material on Trump, on Donald Trump Jr. It worked with Fusion GPS. The dismissal of that case has cost the government a lot of evidence that could be very, very damning in regard to collusion. But there’s enough left. There’s enough evidence left of collusion so that you got a very, very strong case that the DNC and Hillary Clinton were paying for and gathering information for Ukraine. In fact some of it is even documentary evidence… I would like to cross-examine George Kent. George Kent was her deputy, Marie Yovanovitch’s deputy. He was also the guy who set up the two so-called anti-corruption bureaus in the Ukraine that turned out to be Soros protection bureaus.

The article continues:

Kent is not a first-hand witness and much of his testimony is based off of second-hand knowledge. [Page 206-207]

Kevin Bacon has fewer degrees of separation to the Trump Zelensky call than George Kent.

That being said, his closed-door testimony revealed far more devastating pushback on the Democrat narrative than anything else.

Kent testified that it is appropriate for the State Department to look at the level of corruption in a country when evaluating foreign aid. [Page 103]

(Reminder: The Trump administration sent Ukraine lethal aid.)

Kent also testified that Hunter Biden being on the board of Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma while Joe Biden was VP was a conflict of interest. [Page 226-227]

And according to his testimony, when he raised corruption concerns with the Obama White House, he was rebuffed and was told “There was no further bandwidth to deal” with Hunter. [Page 226-227]

It really does look like we are investigating the wrong people.

Interesting Bit Of History

I just got an email from a friend that reported the following:

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Jack Prosobic interview with Brad Johnson on OAN

Brad Johnson, a former CIA employee who is currently working via the IntelReform.org website, was asked about the so-called “whistleblower,” Eric Ciamarella, and he revealed some interesting information including…

Eric Ciamarella protested in favor of a Muslim professor when he was in college.

Eric Ciamarella was recruited to join the CIA, was placed on the National Security Council, and then was hand-picked by former CIA Director, John Brennan, to work in the White House.

When Joe Biden was Vice-President and was President Obama’s point person for Ukraine, Eric Ciamarella traveled with Biden to Ukraine.

Brad Johnson said that it appears that Eric Ciamarella may have helped set up payment to Joe Biden through his son, Hunter Biden’s being employed by Barisma at a very large salary when Hunter had no background or aptitude for the work. So it appears that Eric Ciamarella may have been active in a quid pro quo arrangement Joe Biden set up for personal gain (not for the good of the USA), and this same Eric Ciamarella is the so-called “whistleblower???”

It’s also clear that Adam Schiff coordinated with Eric Ciamarella behind the scenes and at first denied it.

No wonder the Republicans want to interview Eric Ciamarella during the impeachment hearing Witch Hunt !!!

I replied to my friend with some information on John Brennan:

This gets even more interesting when you consider that John Brennan, as Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, in October 2011, agreed to a request by Farhana Khera, President and Executive Director of Muslim Advocates (an element of the Muslim Brotherhood), to immediately create an interagency task force to address the problem of information and materials relating to Islamic-based terrorism used by those training our military, diplomats and security forces. The FBI then proceeded to purge the documents that the Muslim Brotherhood wanted purged. At that point the individuals doing the briefings that detailed Islamic terrorism were fired, among them Stephen Coughlin and Clare Lopez.

Many of Stephen Coughlin’s videos are posted on YouTube. Stephen Coughlin’s book Catastrophic Failure details the events described in my reply to my friend posted above. I have met Clare Lopez; she was also fired during the Obama administration for telling the truth about Islamic terrorism.

 

When Our Legal System Abandons Common Sense

NJ.com posted an article recently about a seven-year legal case involving a junior varsity baseball coach.

The article explains:

John Suk sits with shoulders slouched and his head down at the defendant’s table in Courtroom 301, a stuffy wood-paneled space inside the Somerset County judicial complex. The 31-year-old middle school teacher scribbles in a notebook as his reputation is shredded.

The plaintiff’s attorneys in Civil Docket No. L-000629-15 have spent two full days portraying the co-defendant as an inattentive and unqualified lout. He is, they argue, a villain who destroyed the future of a teenager he was supposed to protect.

So what horrible crime is this man charged with?

The article continues:

“He must be held accountable for what he did,” one of the plaintiff’s two attorneys tells jurors during opening arguments.

The attacks intensify when Suk takes the witness stand to defend himself on a split-second decision he made seven years earlier. He is accused of taking a reckless course of action that showed a callous disregard for another person’s safety.

He sounds like an awful person. Then you remember what Suk did to end up here.

He instructed a player he was coaching during a junior varsity baseball game to slide.

Not into an active volcano.

Not into a shark tank.

Into third base.

This is the crux of the story:

The visiting team was leading, 6-0, in the top of the second inning when Mesar, batting for the second time, laced a line drive over the left fielder’s head.

Two runs scored. Mesar rounded second and headed for third. And next, a sickening sound echoed across the diamond as he hit the ground.

“POP!”

As Mesar wailed in agony, Suk (pronounced SOOK) rushed to his side. So did the player’s father, Rob Mesar, who was keeping the scorebook in the dugout. An ambulance arrived. No one knew it then, but that promising freshman — two innings into his high school career — would never play another baseball game.

“I felt bad for my parents,” Jake Mesar, now 22 and attending Rutgers, testifies on the second day of the trial. “They would never be able to see me play.”

Baseball was the least of his worries. Even after three surgeries, the ankle was not improving — one doctor even presented amputation as a possible outcome. A specialist from the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, Robert Rozbruch, found post-traumatic arthritis and signs of necrosis — evidence the bone was dying.

Mesar needed two more surgeries, including one to inject stem cells into the ankle tissue, and he was fit with an external fixator, a stabilizing frame to keep the bones properly positioned. The injury improved, but Rozbruch told the once-active teenager to avoid high-impact activities. Even jogging.

When it comes time for Rozbruch to testify, he abandons the clinical language of his profession and makes it clear that Mesar’s baseball dreams died on third base that day.

“He will never recover fully,” the doctor says.

It is more than a physical injury. Mesar has endured frequent bouts of depression and a pair of panic attacks, including one that sent him from a family party on Christmas Eve to the emergency room. The injury is, as his lawyer tells the jury, “something he has to live with every minute, every hour, every day of his life.”

All of this, to use a decidedly non-legal word, sucks. How can anyone sit here, listen to his story and not have your heart break?

Still, injuries happen. That is at the cold reality of sports. Did the coach sitting with his head down at the defense table really ruin this kid’s life?

The coach won the case, but the article asks an interesting question at the end:

I ask him (John Suk) to consider the other scenario: What would have happened if he lost?

“It’s the end of high school sports,” he says. “The coaching profession would be under heavy scrutiny for everything that happens. Coaches are going to have to have insurance like doctors have for malpractice. School districts are not going to want to take the risk of having sports.”

He takes a long pull from his bottle of water.

The clouds that had covered the sky for most of the day are clearing, giving hope that North Brunswick’s summer team might not lose another day off the calendar to bad weather.

The case is closed. The weight is lifted. He checks his watch, shakes my hand, then heads off to find his car. He has to hurry.

He has a baseball game to coach.

People get injured in sports. Coaches do what they can to prevent injuries, but injuries happen. This lawsuit should have been dropped the moment it showed up in court.

Is The Next Step Ending Fireworks Displays On Independence Day?

The Washington Examiner posted an article yesterday about a new policy at the University of Virginia.

The article reports:

The University of Virginia announced it would be eliminating the 21-gun salute from its Veterans Day ceremony because they did not want to cause any trauma to students who might hear the gunshots.

“One is that it would be disruptive to classes and two unfortunately with gun violence in the U.S., there was some concern that we would cause a panic if someone heard gunshots on grounds,” Jim Ryan, the college’s president, told NBC29.

The decision was made by the provost’s office along with UVA’s ROTC program. The Veterans Day program at UVA has included a 21-gun salute for over a decade.

Veteran Jay Levine, who was in UVA’s ROTC program, said he was unhappy with the decision and planned to recruit other veterans to protest the school’s decision. “I am very disillusioned, very upset, and very surprised that they would make such a decision,” Levine said.

UVA’s Veterans Day ceremony is held for 24-hours from Monday at 4 p.m. until Tuesday. The 21-gun salute typically follows the conclusion of the event.

If everyone is aware of the ceremony and the 21-gun salute, what is the problem? A much better policy would have been to put flyers everywhere stating that a 21-gun salute would occur at the end of the ceremony and be done with it. I am sure there would be at least one informed person in every area of the campus who could explain the significance of what was going on. This is ridiculous.

 

Today At The Supreme Court

Today the Supreme Court will hear arguments about DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). It is interesting that the case has taken so long to get to the Supreme Court.

In September 2017, the Heritage Foundation reminded us of the following statement by former President Obama:

Responding in October 2010 to demands that he implement immigration reforms unilaterally, Obama declared, “I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself.” In March 2011, he said that with “respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case.” In May 2011, he acknowledged that he couldn’t “just bypass Congress and change the (immigration) law myself. … That’s not how a democracy works.”

I guess he changed his mind. Also, just for the record, former President Obama was supposed to be a Constitutional Law Professor. We are not a democracy–we are a representative republic. Did he know that?

At any rate, DACA is now at the Supreme Court. Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about the coming hearings.

The article notes:

The long-running battle over the Trump administration’s bid to end the Obama-era program for young undocumented immigrants known as “Dreamers” will land before the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
***
“The administration has basically chalked up the fact that they are going to lose a lot of these cases in the lower courts,” said Thomas Dupree, a former top Bush Justice Department official and now an appellate attorney.

“But they’re playing the long game. I think that there are those in the White House and the Justice Department who have made a calculation saying, ‘Look we can absorb all these losses in the lower courts because we are going to win the endgame when this case gets into the Supreme Court.’”

It remains to be seen how the court will rule, however, on this complicated issue — which concerns the limits of one president trying to rescind the policies of his predecessor.

The article concludes:

I haven’t studied the briefs so as to be up to speed on the technical arguments that will be presented to the Court tomorrow. But at the end of the day, it is hard to see how the courts can hold that the president is legally barred from carrying out his constitutional duty to see that the laws–including the immigration laws–are faithfully executed.

Stay tuned.

Ignoring The Real Purpose Of Government

Theoretically the purpose of our government is to secure the rights of the people. It’s not supposed to limit our rights–we are supposed to limit government’s power. There are, however, some basic responsibilities of government. One of those responsibilities is infrastructure. However, Congress is so busy trying to undo the 2016 presidential election that they are neglecting more pressing items.

Yesterday The Hill posted an article with the following headline, “Scores of US dams found in poor condition, endangering thousands of people: analysis.” If I remember correctly, President Trump has asked Congress to work with him on an infrastructure bill, but Congress has been busy doing other things.

The article reports:

Scores of dams in the U.S. are in poor or unsatisfactory condition, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal and state data.

The AP found in its two-year investigation that 1,688 dams were classified as high-hazard, meaning their failure could result in people’s deaths, and that thousands of people are at risk.  

The article concludes:

Overall, the number of deaths from dam failures has decreased since the 1970s, when state governments improved their oversight, the AP reported. It also cited Stanford University research that showed  about 1,000 dams have collapsed in the past 40 years, resulting in 34 deaths. The average age of dams across the country is 50 years old, the AP reported.

The White House named an infrastructure week in 2017, which was quickly overshadowed by the hearing for former FBI Director James Comey. Attempts to refocus on infrastructure in the next two years have not produced results.

Obviously it is time to elect a Congress that will pay attention to the safety of the American people.

Sometimes The Spin Is Just Laughable

Yesterday Newsbusters posted an article about a recent statement by Chuck Todd.

The article reports:

When Todd asked Himes (Representative Jim Himes) about the Republicans, he helpfully suggested the Republicans might be “sabotaging the process” by having a different narrative that makes the process “hard to follow for the public.” Todd isn’t about to make anything difficult for the Democrats.

Just for the record, Jim Himes is a liberal Democrat representing the Fourth District of Connecticut. I would not consider him an objective source on impeachment by any stretch of the imagination.

The article also notes:

Earlier, Todd grew visibly disturbed when Sen. Paul suggested the American people think it’s unfair to treat Trump pressuring Ukraine with one standard and Vice President Biden pressuring Ukraine by a different standard. That was a distraction! Sabotage! 

So let me get this straight. We have Vice President Biden in a video talking about withholding aid to Ukraine because they are investigating his son and we have no evidence that President Trump actually withheld aid, so we are investigating President Trump. Amazing.

The interview also includes the following statement:

HIMES: The other thing, of course, Joe Biden’s son is on that witness list. They’re gonna try to do exactly what you were pushing back on Senator Paul for doing. They would like to bring Joe Biden’s son in front of the American people to discuss his role on the board of Burisma and as you pointed out with Senator Paul, we can have a long conversation whether the sons and daughters of high-ranking officials should do that sort of thing. That has nothing to do — absolutely nothing to do — with the actions of the United States president in extorting Ukraine in a way that damage our national security. 

Wow. Just wow.

The Deep State Includes People In Both Political Parties

Yesterday One America News posted an article about a recent statement by former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

The article reports:

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is claiming two former cabinet members tried to recruit her to help undermine the president. In a recent interview, Haley said former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly confronted her in a closed-door meeting to enlist her in opposing President Trump.

Haley will detail the alleged meeting in her soon to be released memoir, “With All Due Respect.” She said Kelly and Tillerson “confided in me that when they resisted the president, they weren’t being insubordinate — they were trying to save the country.”

The article notes Ambassador Haley’s response:

“Go tell the president what your differences are and quit if you don’t like what he’s doing,” said Haley. “To undermine a president is really a very dangerous thing — it goes against the Constitution and what the American people want.”

Although Haley has not always seen eye to eye with the president, she said she will stand by him as he continues to seek another term in office in 2020.

“What I’ll be doing is campaigning for this one,” she said. “I look forward to supporting the president in the next election.”

If you want to dictate foreign policy, run for President and win. Otherwise the President is the person in charge and undermining him is a serious offense. It is amazing that President Trump has accomplished as much as he has with opposition from within the White House and the shenanigans from Congress.

Ambassador Haley has a book coming out Tuesday. The book is titled “With All Due Respect” and deals with her perspective on her time in the White House.

It Will Be Interesting To See If He Keeps His Word

Breitbart is reporting today that Senator Lindsey Graham made the following statement on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures.” Senator Graham stated, “It’s impossible to bring this case forward in my view fairly without us knowing who the whistleblower is and having a chance to cross-examine them about any advice they may have, if they don’t call the whistleblower in the House, this thing is dead on arrival on the Senate.”

Representative Adam Schiff, who has appointed himself to decide who the Republicans can have as witnesses in the impeachment hearings has already stated that he does not see the need for the whistleblower to testify.

The article at Breitbart continues quoting Lindsey Graham:

He continued, “Well, if the whistleblower comes from Brennan world would be stunning, I think if the whistleblower had connection to Democratic candidate, that would be stunning. The only way you can fairly deal with this issue for us to find out who the whistleblower. No American can be accused of a crime based on an anonymous allegation. The whistleblower is foundational to what they are doing to the House and the fact that they don’t want to call him tells you everything that you need to know how about valid the effort is to impeachment the president.”

He added, “What’s going to happen, When you find out who is the whistleblower is, I’m confident you are going to find out it’s somebody from the deep state. You are going to find out they had interactions with the Schiff, and this thing’s going to stink to high Heaven. The only reason we don’t know who the whistleblower is it hurts their cause, they are not trying to find the truth here.”

I am hoping this means that the Republicans are going to develop a backbone. I’m not entirely optimistic, but I am hoping.

When Is A Coup A Coup?

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about the coup attempt against President Trump. It is a long, involved article, so I suggest that you follow the link and read the entire article, but I will try to hit the high points here:

The article reports:

The “Coup” Against a Sitting U.S. President Became Official on October 29th, 2019…

The word “coup” shifted to a new level of formalized meaning last week when members of the political resistance showed up to remove President Trump wearing military uniforms.

Not only did U.S. military leadership remain silent to the optics and purpose, but in the testimony of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman he admits to giving instructions to ignore the instructions from a sitting United States President.

In the absence of push-back from the Joint Chiefs, from this moment forth, the impression is tacit U.S. military support for the Vindman objective.

…Beyond the debate about the optics of the “coup“, within the testimony of Lt. Col Vindman, the witness readily admits to understanding the officially established policy of the President of The United States (an agreement between President Trump and President Zelenskyy), and stunningly admits that two weeks later he was giving countermanding instructions to his Ukrainian counterpart to ignore President Trump’s policies.

The coup against President Donald Trump went from soft, to hard.

What Lt. Col Vindman has done is against the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice).

Article 88 of the UCMJ states (from quora.com):

Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

In the NCO courses I took, we were told that we were not to insult the POTUS or other officials while we were in an official capacity. So, if we had any negative opinion of the President or other officials, we weren’t to express it to our troops while serving in the capacity of their squad/platoon/company NCO.

All soldiers are allowed to attend political rallies, protests etc. as long as we are out of uniform and aren’t using our position to promote them. So, if I say, “My name is J. Pearson and I am for/against this”, it’s okay. If I appear in uniform and say, “I’m SSG Pearson of the US Army, and I’m for/against this”, then I could be punished under UCMJ.

The article at The Conservative Treehouse includes excerpts of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s testimony. It also includes a link to his full testimony.

Please read both to understand what the media and the Democrats are attempting to do here.

Hong Kong Fights For Their Freedom

One America News is reporting today that the protests in Hong Kong have spread across Hong Kong’s New Territories and Kowloon peninsula.

The article reports:

Pro-democracy protesters vandalized a train station in the central new town of Sha Tin and a restaurant seen as being pro-Beijing, overturning banqueting tables and smashing glass panels, two weeks before district council elections.

Violence spilled out onto the streets of Tuen Mun outside the “V city” mall, with running battles between riot police and protesters.

Now TV showed pictures of a circular, red welt and bruise on the upper arm of one of its reporters who said she had been hit by a tear gas canister in Tsuen Wan, to the west of the New Territories, where police fired tear gas late into the evening to clear the streets.

The rail station was closed in Sha Tin, amid scuffles between police and protesters young and old, on a day of planned shopping mall protests throughout the territory. Shopping districts across the harbor on the main island were quiet.

Protesters daubed graffiti and damaged shops at Festival Walk in Kowloon Tong and “stormed” stores in Tsuen Wan, police said.

The violence spread to the Kowloon district of Mong Kok, one of the world’s most densely populated areas. Police used water cannon and volley after volley of tear gas to try to clear the main artery of Nathan Road, which was littered with loose bricks under the bright, neon lights.

Police also fired tear gas late at night in the New Territories district of Tai Po, north of Sha Tin.

Protesters are angry about what they see as police brutality and meddling by Beijing in the former British colony’s freedoms, guaranteed by the “one country, two systems” formula in place since the territory returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

China denies interfering and has blamed Western countries for stirring up trouble.

China has not lived up to the agreement signed with Britain to allow Hong Kong the freedoms it had previously enjoyed. The people of Hong Kong are fighting to regain those freedoms. We need to keep in mind that China signed an agreement guaranteeing those freedoms and has chosen to violate that agreement. This is something to remember as we negotiate trade deals with China–they are not a country that negotiates in good faith or a country that supports freedom.

The Economic Numbers Under President Trump

Steve Moore posted an article at Fox Business on Thursday about the economy under President Trump.

The article includes the following:

The article explains:

In one Washington Post piece, the reporter sneers of Trump’s “rambling distortions” and complains: “Trump’s numbers appear to have originated in a pair of columns from the Heritage Foundation’s Steve Moore, who used research from a private firm called Sentier Research.”

Stop right there. Yes, it is true the data comes from Sentier Research — a private firm. But what is not ever mentioned in the article is that the data come from the Census Bureau’s “Current Population Survey,” which is the gold standard of economic data.

The article concludes:

In my analysis on these numbers, I have openly admitted these monthly data are a first rough estimate of what is happening with incomes over time — just as the jobs numbers are. They catch the trends over time.

Three years into the Trump presidency there is no calamity and there is no recession. Trump is right to recite real and legitimate data that substantiates the on-going middle-class boom in America today. It isn’t Trump, but his accusers who are engaged in “rambling distortions” and who deserve Pinnochio noses.

The questions for the 2020 elections are: “Do you want your income to continue to grow, and do you want to keep more of what you earn? How much of the money you have earned are you willing to give to people who did not earn it?”