Security In Florida Schools

The Gateway Pundit is reporting today that the Florida Senate has passed a bill that will allow trained teachers to arm themselves in class. It is sad that this is probably a necessary thing to do.

The article reports:

The bill will now go to the House, after being approved by a vote of 22-17. The Republican House has been extremely supportive of the bill, and Gov. Ron DeSantis has indicated that he intends to sign it if it passes.

If passed, the bill will still require local school boards and charter governing boards to vote on whether or not they want to authorize it.

“Teachers who volunteer to bring guns to schools would have to undergo a psychological test and at least 144 hours of training, the results of which have to be approved by law enforcement,” The Hill reports.

In the past, people who carry out mass shootings have preferred places where they would not encounter armed resistance. Knowing that there were trained, armed teachers in a school might discourage a deranged person from attacking it. Obviously, the best way to stop a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun. The need for this law is an unfortunate statement about the condition of our society, but it is the reality we live with. I believe this law, if passed, will save lives in Florida.

The Supreme Court Will Hear The Case Regarding The Citizenship Question On The Census

Yesterday Breitbart reported that the Supreme Court will hear the case regarding putting a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

The article details some of the history of the question:

The Enumeration Clause in Article I of the Constitution requires a nationwide census be taken every ten years. The Census Act empowers the head of the Commerce Department to determine what the census will ask, aside from the number of persons residing at every address in the nation. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross decided for the Trump administration that the census will ask each person in the nation next year if that person is a citizen of the United States.

That was a recurring question on census forms until recently. The first census to ask about citizenship was the one conducted in 1820, and the last was 1950. After 1950, the Census Bureau – which is part of the Commerce Department – has continued to ask that question on the “long form” census form that goes to some census-takers, as well as on its yearly questionnaire that goes to a small number of households each year, called the American Community Survey (ACS).

…However, when Ross put that question on the 2020 census, leftwing partisans sued, claiming that inserting this question violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). More surprising to many, Judge Jesse Furman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York agreed, writing a 277-page decision (which is shockingly long) holding that it is illegal to ask about citizenship.

The article explains that the case revolves around the APA:

There are three issues in the case. The first is whether it violates the APA for the census to ask about citizenship. The second is whether courts can look beyond the administrative record to probe the thinking of top-ranking government officials in an APA case. The justices inserted a third issue of their own, asking whether asking that if the APA allows the question, would that question nonetheless violate the Enumeration Clause.

In other words, the case is about whether asking about citizenship violates either federal law or the Constitution, and also whether it is out of bounds to chase down a member of the president’s Cabinet in such lawsuits.

This case has very significant implications. Legislative districting lines for Congress and statehouses are based on census data. Dozens of congressional seats and perhaps hundreds of state seats could shift if states drew lines based on citizenship, instead of total numbers of persons. Some even argue that congressional seats, and with them Electoral College votes for president, could be reallocated among the states based on citizenship data. At minimum, billions of dollars in federal spending is based on census numbers.

The states that will probably lose representatives and electoral college votes if the citizenship questions is on the census are California, New York, Arizona, and possibly New Mexico.

The question to me is whether or not people who are in America but not citizens should have a voice in our government. Would you allow a guest in your house to determine your household budget?

We Are Beginning To See What Is Under The Bright Shiny Object

The charges that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians were odd at best. No one ever explained exactly what that collusion looked like or why it was illegal (collusion by itself is generally not illegal). There were also some other odd matters about unmasking, domestic spying, and misuse of foreign information sources. All of that is currently out there, but not necessarily being shouted at this point. Well, The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today that explains some of the reasons for the extreme hype of ‘Russian collusion’ and the reaction when Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election.

The article reports:

Now that we have significant research files on the 2015 and 2016 political surveillance program; which includes the trail evident within the Weissmann/Mueller report; in combination with the Obama-era DOJ “secret research project” (their words, not mine); we are able to overlay the entire objective and gain a full understanding of how political surveillance was conducted over a period of approximately four to six years.

Working with a timeline, but also referencing origination material in 2015/2016 – CTH hopes to show how the program operated.  This explains an evolution from The IRS Files in 2010 to the FISA Files in 2016.

The article details some of the timeline involved:

Early in 2016 NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers was alerted of a significant uptick in FISA-702(17) “About” queries using the FBI/NSA database that holds all metadata records on every form of electronic communication.

The NSA compliance officer alerted Admiral Mike Rogers who then initiated a full compliance audit on/around March 9th, 2016, for the period of November 1st, 2015, through May 1st, 2016.

While the audit was ongoing, due to the severity of the results that were identified, Admiral Mike Rogers stopped anyone from using the 702(17) “about query” option, and went to the extraordinary step of blocking all FBI contractor access to the database on April 18, 2016 (keep these dates in mind).

The article explains that many of the searches carried out were illegal:

The operators were searching “U.S Persons”. The review of November 1, 2015, to May 1, 2016, showed “eighty-five percent of those queries” were unlawful or “non compliant”.

…The [five digit] amount (more than 1,000, less than 10,000), and 85% error rate, was captured in a six month period.

Also notice this very important quote: “many of these non-compliant queries involved the use of the same identifiers over different date ranges.”   So they were searching the same phone number, email address, electronic “identifier”, or people, repeatedly over different dates.  Specific people were being tracked/monitored.

Additionally, notice the last quote: “while the government reports it is unable to provide a reliable estimate of” these non lawful searches “since 2012, there is no apparent reason to believe the November 2015 [to] April 2016 coincided with an unusually high error rate”.

That means the 85% unlawful FISA-702(16)(17) database abuse has likely been happening since 2012.  (Again, remember that date, 2012) Who was FBI Director? Who was his chief-of-staff? Who was CIA Director? ODNI? etc.  Remember, the NSA is inside the Pentagon (Defense Dept) command structure.  Who was Defense Secretary? And finally, who wrote and signed-off-on the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment?

The article explains the role of the Steele Dossier was necessary to continue surveillance:

Fusion GPS was not hired in April 2016 to research Donald Trump.  As shown in the evidence provided by the FISC, the intelligence community was already doing surveillance and spy operations. The Obama administration already knew everything about the Trump campaign, and were monitoring everything by exploiting the FISA database.

However, after the NSA alerts in/around March 9th, 2016, and particularly after the April 18th shutdown of contractor access, the Obama intelligence community needed Fusion GPS to create a legal albeit ex post facto justification for the pre-existing surveillance and spy operations.  Fusion GPS gave them that justification in the Steele Dossier.

That’s why the FBI small group, which later transitioned into the Mueller team, are so strongly committed to and defending the formation of the Steele Dossier and its dubious content.  The Steele Dossier contains the cover-story and justification for the surveillance operation.

Please follow the link above and read the entire article. It is chilling. It paints a picture of an administration that politicized government agencies to spy on Americans and made an attempt to eliminate political opposition by using the force of government. Just for the record, even though the Obama administration is out of office, they are still using the government connections they have to work against the President and against the best interests of Americans.

The Free Market Is Good For The Environment

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about air pollution in America.

The article cites the successes America has had in curbing air pollution in our country:

Over the last 50 years, harmful air pollution known as particulate matter has plummeted. Toxic pollutants like lead, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide are now nearly nonexistent in our air. Ozone is down dramatically. We’re the only highly populated nation in the world to meet the World Health Organization’s standards for particulate matter and by a long shot. In fact, our standards are among the strictest in the world.

These radical air quality gains occurred at the same time our population, energy consumption, vehicle miles traveled, and gross domestic product also grew dramatically.

Economic growth does not have to be crippled in order to create a clean environment–in fact, economic growth can be used as an engine to promote a clean environment.

The article explains:

Take the catalytic converter, which turns toxic exhaust into harmless gases, like water vapor, by catalyzing a chemical reaction. It was perfected for use in gasoline engines in the 1950s by Eugene Houdry, a French scientist who became a U.S. citizen in 1942, and was popularized in the 1970s as an efficient way to meet the Clean Air Act standards.

According to the EPA, which calls the catalytic converter “one of the greatest environmental inventions of all time,” modern cars, SUVs, trucks, and buses are 98-99% cleaner now than they were 50 years ago. Tailpipe pollutants have nearly been eliminated, meaning our cities are no longer stifled by smog. We’re free to take advantage of the independence, mobility, and economic opportunity personal vehicles offer without sacrificing environmental quality.

That’s good old American ingenuity at work. It continues to work today in technologies like baghouse dust collectors that eliminate pollution from commercial plants and renewable natural gas generation from methane captured from landfills or wastewater treatment plants. The limitless potential of the free market and innovation, not government mandates and taxes, have driven both our economy and environment to dramatic success.

All this is made possible by access to abundant, reliable, and affordable energy. Our energy resources have the power to improve our quality of life, power our economies, and lift people out of poverty both at home and abroad, all while improving the environment. Nothing is more powerful to drive human flourishing than energy.

We don’t have to ruin the American economy to prevent being wiped out in twelve years.

Anyone who believes that the radical agenda of the environmentalists is actually about the environment needs to consider the following quote from an Investor’s Business Daily article of March 29, 2016:

…listen to the words of former United Nations climate official Ottmar Edenhofer:

“One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole,” said Edenhofer, who co-chaired the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on Mitigation of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015.

So what is the goal of environmental policy?

“We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy,” said Edenhofer.

Wake up and listen to what the people who are pushing drastic environmental regulations are really supporting.

When Reason Takes A Vacation

I just returned from a vacation spent with people who hate President Trump for no apparent reason. It was an educational experience. They were not willing to give President Trump credit for any of the economic growth the country has experienced in the past two years. There was no acknowledgment of the President’s efforts to deal with the crisis on our southern border. All they knew was that ‘Trump was a bad man.’ That is so sad. That is what our media has done to Americans who depend on them for their news.

Townhall posted an article today about the attacks on President Trump and how the mainstream media and members of Congress are altering the facts to suit their purposes.

The article states:

The most significant take-away from my college education was learning to rely on evidence over opinion, hearsay, and rumor. “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion,” said Daniel Patrick Moynihan, “but not his own facts.” Never in a million years did I suspect that political correctness would come along and overrule Senator Moynihan’s famous dictum. That’s right—the geniuses of the Democratic Party Brain Trust are attempting to create their own facts.

We have a clear statement of two pertinent facts from the Mueller Report: (1) There was no Trump-Russia collusion; and (2) There is no basis for a charge of obstruction against the president. This comes after 2,800 subpoenas, 500 search warrants, and 500 witnesses over two years of investigation. Thanks to the mainstream media’s penchant for fake news, Mueller’s conclusion was the opposite of what the Democrats were anticipating. Trump was correct when he tweeted, “No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION.”

The article then goes on to cite examples of the Democrats telling us things that totally contradict that report as if what they were telling us were true.

Some examples:

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler, interviewed by Chris Wallace after Mueller’s finding of no collusion, had the gall to insist, “We know there was collusion.”

…Similarly, Democratic presidential candidate “Beto” O’Rourke tweeted, “You have a president, who in my opinion, beyond the shadow of a doubt, sought to collude with the Russian government.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, speaking on ABC’s This Week, insisted there is “ample evidence of collusion in plain sight.” In fact, he added, “Every act that I’ve pointed to as evidence of collusion has now been borne out by the [Mueller] report.”

…Senator Elizabeth Warren, another deluded member of Congress, continues to insist that the Mueller Report justifies impeaching the president. “We cannot be an America that says it is OK for a president of the United States to try and block an investigation into a foreign attack on our country or an investigation into that president’s own misbehavior—so I have called on the House to initiate impeachment proceedings.”

The report is public. Are these people simply assuming people will believe them rather than the report of the summary of the report? This is irresponsible, dishonest,  and divisive.

Some Common-Sense Questions

Yesterday Ben Stein posted an article at The American Spectator which discussed some of the issues dealing with the idea of reparations. He points out a few basic facts that need to be considered in discussing the idea.

The article notes:

Slavery was so hideous a crime and caused so much pain and suffering that something should be done about it. But we face a lot of problems in the concept of reparations. For one thing, there were a fair number of black people who emancipated themselves through superhumanly hard work, then used their savings to buy slaves. How do we assess their liability?

For another, the conditions of slaves varied wildly. Some were house servants and lived halfway decent lives. Others worked like myrmidons in sugar cane fields and were literally whipped to death if they faltered. How do we account for this kind of difference in degree of suffering?

For yet another, some moved north immediately and led barely normal lives as did their children and grandchildren. Others stayed in the deep south and were subject to every kind of humiliation. How do we compare how much these two different groups are owed? If a black person voluntarily stayed in a horrible Jim Crow environment, what should be his progeny’s measure of damages as compared with that of the offspring of black people who moved to Des Moines?

Also, there is a chain of causation in many cases. One black tribe attacked and captured others then the captors sold their slaves to Arab slave traders who then sold the slaves to New England slave brokers.

…Also, who would be taxed for the reparations? The great majority of white Americans never owned any slaves. Why should they be taxed? The present population of America is by a wide margin the scions of Poles and Czechs and Italians and Chinese and Jews who never owned any slaves at all. Why should they be taxed at all for reparations?

Reparations sounds good to those who believe they might receive money, but the idea bears a strong resemblance to George McGovern’s campaign promise in 1972 that if elected he would give every American $1,000 (in 1972 that was real money). We all know how that campaign promise worked out–he lost forty-nine states. At any rate, the promise of free money to those who feel they are entitled to what other people earn has long been a staple of some politicians. What all Americans need to realize is that the government has no money of its own–any money it gives away is taken from someone who earned it.

When Technology Is Wonderful

Yesterday The Daily Caller reported on one of the tools used to fight the recent fire at Notre Dame Cathedral.

The article reports:

The damage to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris could have been a lot worse. If it weren’t for a robot named “Colossus,” firefighters could have lost their lives battling the blaze.

…“The priority we set was to save the two belfries,” he added. “Imagine if the timber of the belfries had been weakened and the bells had collapsed. That was really our fear. In the beginning, it was not impossible to imagine that the cathedral structure could collapse.”

Jean-Claude Gallet, the commander of the Paris Fire Brigade, decided not to risk firefighters’ lives and instead retreat. But there was a backup plan to call in help from a 1,100-pound tank-like robot to help battle the blaze Monday and possibly save any of the Cathedral and relics that might remain.

The robot named “Colossus,” created by Shark Robotics, stands a bit more than 5 ft. tall and about 2.5 feet wide. The tank was able to venture into parts of the cathedral where the temperatures would likely have killed a human.

Gallet told The Times that the robot was able to lower the temperatures in the fire and save lives. Colossus, which is also capable of firing 660 gallons of water-per-minute and controlled via a joystick, took aim at the blaze engulfing the cathedral. It can be operated from as far away as 1,000 feet and the machine is not only waterproof and fireproof but can even withstand thermal radiation, according to the company.

What a fantastic use of modern technology.

Strategic Leaking

One of the urban legends of the Mueller investigation was that there were no leaks. Well, some information has come out that totally undoes that myth.

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article showing that certain information was selectively leaked during the investigation.

The article reports:

There has been a widespread media claim for two years that Robert Mueller’s special counsel team never leaked.  However, today, while entirely obfuscating the lede aspect to their admission/story, Buzzfeed News outlines how FBI agents assigned to Robert Mueller’s team actually leaked documents from their investigation to the media.

This admission is stunning…. I don’t even think Buzzfeed realizes what they are admitting to here. It’s in these paragraphs (emphasis mine):

(Buzzfeed) […] I’d also like to share an accounting of how we came to our characterization, to give our audience and people who reasonably raised questions about our reporting as much information as possible about how the story came to be.

Our story was based on detailed information from senior law enforcement sources. That reporting included documents — specifically, pages of notes that were taken during an interview of [Michael] Cohen by the FBI.

In those notes, one law enforcement source wrote that “DJT personally asked Cohen to say negotiations ended in January and White House counsel office knew Cohen would give false testimony to Congress. Sanctioned by DJT. Joint lawyer team reviewed letter Cohen sent to SSCI about his testimony about Trump Tower moscow, et al, knowing it contained lies.”

The law enforcement source also wrote: “Cohen told OSC” — the Office of Special Counsel — “he was asked to lie by DJT/DJT Jr., lawyers.”

At the time, the sources asked reporters to keep the information confidential, but with the publication of Mueller’s report they have permitted its release. (read more)

Please follow the link to the article at The Conservative Treehouse for further details. The press is not fulfilling its calling to provide unbiased news to the American public. Part of that is their fault, and part of that is the fault of Americans who do not take the time to evaluate the news they hear.

Foolishly Ending A Tradition

One of my favorite baseball traditions is the seventh-inning stretch and the singing of “God Bless America.” The tradition of singing “God Bless America”
began after 9/11. The Washington Times reported yesterday that the New York Yankees will no longer play the recording of Kate Smith singing the song. Now I will admit that having lived in Massachusetts for thirty-five years, I really don’t care what the Yankees do, but this is just political correctness run amok.

The article reports:

The New York Yankees‘ anti-racism efforts have extended to pulling from their seventh-inning stretch a famous recording of the legendary Kate Smith singing “God Bless America.”

Not because anyone has complained that the song is racist, but because Smith recorded other racially insensitive standards from and during the Jim Crow era.

The Yankees pulled Smith’s “God Bless America” from the rotation at the start of the season, but the New York Daily News reported the reason Thursday — “the Yankees were made aware of Smith’s history of potential racism.”

So can’t they get anyone else to record the song?

The article states:

“The Yankees have been made aware of a recording that had been previously unknown to us and decided to immediately and carefully review this new information,” a club spokesman said. “The Yankees take social, racial and cultural insensitivities very seriously. And while no final conclusions have been made, we are erring on the side of sensitivity.”

This is another example of judging history by the standards of today. There were a lot of things that have happened in the past that were not noteworthy at the time that are being taken out of context in hindsight. In order to truly evaluate history, you need to immerse yourself in the culture of the time you are studying. Insensitivity is not a crime–insensitivity in the past was not even considered insensitivity because there weren’t so many people running around being professional victims.

Keep the song. Let someone else sing it if you have to. Don’t end an American tradition because of political correctness.

 

This Doesn’t Help Our Foreign Relations

Those of us who follow “Q” have known for a while know that a large part the charges against President Trump were helped along with the aid of the intelligence apparatus of some of our international allies. There is a group of countries called “Five Eyes” (Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States) that shares intelligence in an effort to keep the world safe. Part of the understanding is that we are not supposed to spy on each other’s citizens. Unfortunately, information in the Mueller Report indicates that principle was violated in the creation of the Russian collusion hoax.

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article yesterday about the involvement of Australia.

The article reports:

In response to media inquiry and FOIA demands, the government of Australia formally admitted today to the role of High Commissioner Alexander Downer and his engagements with George Papadopoulos in 2016.  The timing coincides with the Mueller Report (released today), which states it was information about this engagement from Alexander Downer that opened the FBI counterintelligence investigation in July 2016.

Please follow the link above and read the entire article. It is complicated, but explains how domestic and foreign intelligence agencies were used in an attempt to influence an election and undermine a duly-elected President.

The article includes some comments made by Devin Nunes last year:

REPRESENTATIVE DEVIN NUNES: “That’s correct. So it took us a long time to actually get this, what’s called the “electronic communication”, as we know it now for your viewers, what it is it’s the original intelligence, original reasons that the counterintelligence was started.

Now this is really important to us because the counterintelligence investigation uses the tools of our intelligence services that are not supposed to be used on American citizens. And we’ve long wanted to know: what intelligence did you have that actually led to this investigation? So what we’ve found now, after the investigators have reviewed it, is that in fact there was no intelligence.

So we have a traditional partnership with what’s called the Five Eyes Agreement. Five Eyes Agreement involves our friends in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada, and of course, us. So long time processes and procedures in place where we move intelligence across.

We are not supposed to spy on each others’ citizens. And it’s worked well. And it continues to work well. And we know it’s working well because there was no intelligence that passed through the Five Eyes channels to our government.

And that’s why we had to see that original communication. So now we’re trying to figure out, as you know, we are investigating the State Department, we think there’s some major irregularities in the State Department, and we’re trying to figure out how this information about Mr. Papadopoulos of all people who was supposedly meeting with some folks in London, how that made it over across into the FBI’s hands.” (Video Interview Link)

And that explains some of the reluctance to declassify the FISA warrant information–this was an international scheme. Some of our allies were working with the deep state to install Hillary Clinton as President. They should be ashamed.

The Question That Has Gotten Lost In The Politics

The Mueller Report is out. It is all over the news. The mainstream media is trying to find something in it that they can actually use to discredit President Trump; the Democrats in Congress are trying to find something in it that they can use to impeach President Trump. Unfortunately, the circus continues–the main event has moved on, but the clowns remain.

Yesterday, Byron York posted an article at The Washington Examiner that reminds us what the Mueller investigation was supposed to be about.

The article notes:

…At its heart, the Trump-Russia probe was about one question: Did the Trump campaign conspire, coordinate, or collude with Russia to influence the 2016 election? Mueller has concluded that did not happen.

…And now Mueller has determined there was no collusion. Not that there was no criminal collusion. Or no prove-beyond-a-reasonable-doubt collusion. Just no collusion. Mueller’s report says it over and over and over again. Here are seven examples:

1. “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

2. “The investigation examined whether [contacts between Russia and Trump figures] involved or resulted in coordination or a conspiracy with the Trump Campaign and Russia, including with respect to Russia providing assistance to the Campaign in exchange for any sort of favorable treatment in the future. Based on the available information, the investigation did not establish such coordination.”

3. “The investigation did not establish that [Carter] Page coordinated with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere with the 2016 election.”

4. “The Office did not identify evidence in those [contacts between Russians and people around Trump after the GOP convention] of coordination between the Campaign and the Russian government.”

5. “The Office did not identify evidence of a connection between Manafort’s sharing polling data and Russia’s interference in the election … [and] the investigation did not establish that Manafort otherwise coordinated with the Russian government on its election-interference efforts.”

6. “The investigation did not establish that these [contacts between Russians and people around Trump during the transition] reflected or constituted coordination between the Trump Campaign and Russia in its election interference activities.”

7. “The investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. persons conspired or coordinated with the [Russian disinformation campaign].”

That is definitive. It is not kinda, sorta. It is definitive. As far as Mueller’s conclusions are concerned — and remember, he was long considered the gold standard of Trump investigations — there was no collusion.

Other than dealing with the abuse of power by some former high officials in our government, can we please move on now.

The Deep State Will Not Go Down Easily

The Gateway Pundit reported yesterday that House Democrat Committee Chairmen are demanding that Attorney General Barr cancel his planned press conference on Mueller’s report which is scheduled for 9:30 this morning. It seems to me that they might be getting a little out over their skis on this one.

The article includes House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler’s statement:

The Attorney General is allowed to hold all of the press conferences he wants. The reason the Democrats are objecting is that the press conference by the Attorney General will occur before they have the opportunity to spin whatever the Mueller Report says. The Democrats in Congress have still not given up hope that there will be something in that report that they can use as justification to impeach President Trump. Even if there is nothing in the report, I believe that they will attempt to impeach the President within the next year if not sooner. The whole scenario of Russian collusion, obstruction, etc., has been part of a plan to undo the 2016 election. The Democrats want to remove a duly-elected President from office. If they are successful, future elections will mean nothing and we will lose our Republic. This is serious.

Preparing For 2020

I can’t imaging the Democrats would be crazy enough to run Stacey Abrams as their candidate for Vice-President in 2020, but stranger things have happened. Why do I think this might be a possibility? Rather than have her run as a failed candidate, Democrats are painting her as someone who had an election stolen from her.

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article yesterday stating that former Attorney General Eric Holder believes that Stacey Abrams won the race for Georgia governor in 2018.

The article reports:

In making that claim, Holder echoed other prominent Democrats in suggesting that Kemp’s role as secretary of state was a factor in the outcome.

“I think the way it was conducted, the – her opponent remaining as secretary of state, basically being the referee until about the last week of the election, certainly gave the appearance of unfairness, and I think it was unfairness.”

Abrams has never conceded the race, and has also maintained on several occasions that she won.

Also speaking to The Root, Abrams placed some blame on media coverage for how the election turned out.

“I would attribute it less to racism and more to a very narrow and immature ability to navigate the story of my campaign,” Abrams said. “I was doing a number of things that were new and different and discomforting to some. But what was worse was that, for a lot of those folks, they could not comprehend how all of these things could be true at the exact same moment. I wouldn’t necessarily ascribe any racial animus as much as I would a lack of—there was some incompetence in the coverage that was problematic.”

When the Democrats lose an election, somehow it is always someone else’s fault (or it is racism). How many times can you cry ‘wolf’ and still be believed?

Good Security Matters

The Independent U.K. reported today that police arrested a man in St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York who was carrying two full gas cans, lighter fluid and lighters. The man claimed to be cutting through the cathedral to get to Madison Avenue where his car was out of gas. The police accompanied him to his car and found that it was not out of gas. At that point the man was taken into custody.

The article notes:

The 37-year-old New Jersey man allegedly pulled up in a minivan outside the landmark in Manhattan on Wednesday night, walked around the area, and then returned to the vehicle to retrieve the items, said New York Police Department (NYPD).

“As he enters the cathedral he’s confronted by a cathedral security officer who asks him where he’s going and informs him he can’t proceed into the cathedral carrying these things,” said NYPD deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism John Miller.

“At that point some gasoline apparently spills out onto the floor as he’s turned around.”

Security then raised the alarm with counter-terrorism officers who were standing outside, Mr Miller said. 

It is encouraging to me that there were counter-terrorism officers standing outside.

The article reports:

He added: “It’s hard to say exactly what his intentions were, but I think the totality of circumstances of an individual walking into an iconic location like St Patrick’s Cathedral carrying over four gallons of gasoline, two bottles of lighter fluid and lighters is something that we would have great concern over.”

“It’s hard to say exactly what his intentions were…” Are you kidding me? That has to be the understatement of the year.

At any rate, I suspect that the police and security avoided what might have been a really awful event.

Slowly The Truth Continues To Drip Out

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today that featured some remarks made by Devin Nunes on the Laura Ingraham Show. The article includes a video of the discussion.

These are the main issues discussed:

(1) The targeting/framing of Michael Flynn and the positioning of a false narrative around innocuous Russia contacts. (2) The use of Joseph Mifsud as an asset by the CIA/FBI running a counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign. (3) The Trump Tower meeting as organized by Fusion-GPS.

But there is a more troubling statement in the discussion:

Additionally, for the first time Devin Nunes confirms that it was Robert Mueller who blocked delivery of documents to the House investigative committees.  While this might be old news to CTH readers, this confirms our earlier research.  It was Robert Mueller and Rod Rosenstein who were protecting DOJ interests by using the Russia-probe as a shield.

That’s why Chicago U.S. Attorney John Lausch was essentially an exercise in futility (and he was never heard from).  With Nunes confirmation that Mueller used his probe to keep congress away from documents adverse to his interests…. that increases the likelihood Mueller deployed the same strategy with IG Michael Horowitz (as earlier reported); and only after Mueller was completed was the IG office allowed unfettered access to evidence…. hence, the delays.

Somehow I don’t think Mueller was an objective Special Counsel. We seem to learn something every day that questions his objectivity in the investigation of something that never happened and that he probably knew never happened very early in the investigation.

Judicial Watch Investigates

Judicial Watch is one of my favorite organizations. The have turned the use of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests into an art form. They are a non-biased group that is simply demanding transparency in government–from both parties.

Yesterday One America News Network posted an article about the latest FOIA request from Judicial Watch.

The article reports:

Conservative watchdog group filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the FBI in an effort to pierce the veil of the resources used in the $25 million probe.

Specifically, the organization is looking to obtain all communications and payments made to the author of the anti-Trump dossier — Christopher Steele.

The former British intelligence officer was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee in order to compile his 35 page document.

Judicial Watch is now trying to determine the FBI’s involvement.

It’s already known that the FBI made 11 payments to Steele, but the details behind those payments were heavily redacted.

Conservatives suspect rogue actors at the bureau were looking to reverse the results of the 2016 election, which is something Attorney General William Barr said he’s looking into.

I don’t think they were rogue actors–I think the operation began very high up in the FBI, but we will have to wait to see if that is where the trail leads.

This Is Governing?

Yesterday Sara Carter posted an article on some recent actions taken by Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Elijah Cummings and Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters.

The article reports:

Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Elijah Cummings and Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters executed a secret Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to “target” President Trump and subpoena all his financial and banking records, according to a letter sent to Cummings from ranking committee member Rep. Jim Jordan.

Further, Jordan’s letter indicates that other MOUs have apparently been signed and agreed to with House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Ca, who has promised to continue investigations into the president despite findings by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office that there was no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. Attorney General William Barr released a summary of Mueller’s 400 page report several weeks ago and the redacted version of the report is expected to be released by the DOJ this Thursday.

I can’t believe that the American public will tolerate the use of Congressional Committees to target one American. This is the sort of thing you see done in Communist countries.

Representative Jordan has asked that Representative Cummings answer several specific questions about the MOUs.

These are the questions:

  1. How many MOUs with committee chairpersons have you signed as Chairman since the beginning of the 116th Congress?
  2. Would you provide the Committee with a detailed list of the other MOUs you have signed, including their dates, signatories, and topics?
  3. Why did you not publicly disclose that you had signed MOUs with committee chairpersons?
  4. Will you publicly disclose all the MOUs you have signed as Chairman since the beginning of the 116th Congress?
  5. Why did you choose not to consult with any Republican Members before signing these MOUs?
  6. Have you signed any MOUs as Chairman with any entities outside of the House Representatives relating to the Committee’s oversight or legislative work?
  7. To the extent your MOUs create duties for the Committee that conflict with the Rules of the House of Representatives or the Rules of the Committee, which duties prevail?
  8. The Rules of the Committee for the 116th Congress do not authorize the Chairman to bind the Committee through an MOU.[2]Could you explain the specific authority that allows you to bind the Committee through an MOU without first obtaining approval through a vote of the Committee?
  9. As I understand your MOU with Chairwoman Waters, you have committed to sharing Committee information with the Financial Services Committee. This provision of your MOU may conflict with Rules of the House of Representatives and the Committee’s whistleblower protocol, which requires the Committee to keep some Committee information confidential. Will you still protect the confidentiality of whistleblower information notwithstanding your apparent obligation to share it with the Financial Services Committee?
  10. As I understand your MOU with Chairwoman Waters, you have agreed to consult with her before issuing a subpoena. Do you intend to consult with Chairwoman Waters before or after you consult with me, as required by Committee Rules? If I object to your proposed subpoena, do you intend to consult with Chairwoman Waters before or after the Committee votes, as you promised in the Committee’s organizing meeting?
  11. As I understand your MOU with Chairwoman Waters, you have declined to include any provision protecting the Minority’s rights to documentary or testimonial information. Can you guarantee that Minority Members will have the same access to documentary or testimonial information under this MOU as we do in every other Committee inquiry?

At least some Republicans have learned to push back against the never-ending attempts to undo the results of the 2016 election. The Democrats would do better to focus on developing policies that will win the 2020 election rather than trying to undo 2016.

 

The Trump Tax Cuts

The following is a graph from a New York Times article of April 14th:

The article notes:

To a large degree, the gap between perception and reality on the tax cuts appears to flow from a sustained — and misleading — effort by liberal opponents of the law to brand it as a broad middle-class tax increase.

That effort began in the fall of 2017, when Republicans prepared to introduce legislation that models by the independent Tax Policy Center predicted could raise taxes on nearly a third of middle-class taxpayers. It continued through Mr. Trump’s signing of the law, even though the group’s models showed that the revised bill would raise taxes on relatively few in the middle class in the 2018 tax year.

The only thing missing from the article is The New York Times taking some responsibility for what is illustrated by the chart.

It gets even more interesting. The article also includes this chart:

This might be a reflection of the news sources the Democrats choose versus the news sources the Republicans choose. It illustrates the fact that much of what is being reported in major news sources is simply not true. Much of the mainstream media is doing a disservice to the people who choose to watch it.

The Court Gets It Right

The Guardian is reporting today that an Australian court ruled James Cook University had unlawfully sacked a professor who had criticised scientific research about the climate change impact on the Great Barrier Reef. Peter Ridd was a professor at James Cook University in Australia before he was fired for his criticism of some of the research on climate change.

The American Thinker posted an article today noting the following:

The greatest “tell” for non-scientists evaluating the likelihood that the anthropogenic global warming theory is a fraud is that instead of critically examining the facts, warmists try to silence skeptics, with some of them even demanding jail for the thought-crime of questioning their unproven theory.  So thorough has been the pressure to keep the fraud going and keep the billions of dollars a year in research funds flowing to universities and other research institutions pushing the party line that skeptics are under threat of firing — and some have been fired.

The Guardian explains:

Judge Salvatore Vasta ruled on Tuesday the 17 findings made by the university, the two speech directions, the five confidentiality directions, the no satire direction, the censure, the final censure and the termination of Ridd’s employment were all unlawful.

…Judge Vasta said the university has not understood the whole concept of intellectual freedom.

“[The] university has ‘played the man and not the ball’,” he said.

 “Intellectual freedom is so important. It allows academics to express their opinions without fear of reprisals. It allows a Charles Darwin to break free of the constraints of creationism. It allows an Albert Einstein to break free of the constraints of Newtonian physics. It allows the human race to question conventional wisdom in the never-ending search for knowledge and truth.”

The Townsville-based university’s provost professor, Chris Cocklin, noted the judgment does not refer to any case law.

“We disagree with the judgment and we maintain we have not taken issue with Dr Ridd’s nor any other employee’s rights to academic freedom,” Cocklin said in a statement.

“Dr Ridd was not sacked because of his scientific views. Dr Ridd was never gagged or silenced about his scientific views, a matter which was admitted during the court hearing.”

The case has been adjourned for a further hearing to award a penalty.

My biggest problem in science classes was jumping to conclusions without examining all the facts. I think the entire concept of man-made global warming rather than natural climate cycles is a result of that sort of thinking.

 

The Scam We Hope Will Be Fully Revealed Soon

The mainstream media has been less than enthusiastic about uncovering the root of the investigation into the Trump campaign and the Trump transition team. However, in spite of their efforts to bury the misdeeds of people in the Obama administration, the story is slowly beginning to come out. Most of the mainstream media is still avoiding telling the story, but you can still find it in some outlets.

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article by Andrew McCarthy that reminds us of some of the unseemly (and probably illegal) things that were going on in late 2015 through early 2017. I strongly suggest that you follow the link to read the entire article, but there are a few things that need to be highlighted.

The article notes:

In Senate testimony last week, Attorney General William Barr used the word “spying” to refer to the Obama administration, um, spying on the Trump campaign. Of course, fainting spells ensued, with the media-Democrat complex in meltdown. Former FBI Director Jim Comey tut-tutted that he was confused by Barr’s comments, since the FBI’s “surveillance” had been authorized by a court.

(Needless to say, the former director neglected to mention that the court was not informed that the bureau’s “evidence” for the warrants was unverified hearsay paid for by the Clinton campaign.)

The pearl-clutching was predictable. Less than a year ago, we learned the Obama administration had used a confidential informant — a spy — to approach at least three Trump campaign officials in the months leading up to the 2016 election, straining to find proof that the campaign was complicit in the Kremlin’s hacking of Democratic emails.

But there is more to the story. I never understood the significance of some of the other events in the story. Andrew McCarthy explains them:

In the months prior to the election, as its Trump-Russia investigation ensued, some of the overtly political, rabidly anti-Trump FBI agents running the probe discussed among themselves the prospect of stopping Trump, or of using the investigation as an “insurance policy” in the highly unlikely event that Trump won the election. After Trump’s stunning victory, the Obama administration had a dilemma: How could the investigation be maintained if Trump were told about it? After all, as president, he would have the power to shut it down.

On Jan. 6, 2017, Comey, Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan and National Security Agency chief Michael Rogers visited President-elect Trump in New York to brief him on the Russia investigation.

Just one day earlier, at the White House, Comey and then–Acting Attorney General Sally Yates had met with the political leadership of the Obama administration — President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and national security adviser Susan Rice — to discuss withholding information about the Russia investigation from the incoming Trump administration.

Rice put this sleight-of-hand a bit more delicately in the memo about the Oval Office meeting (written two weeks after the fact, as Rice was leaving her office minutes after Trump’s inauguration):

“President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia. [Emphasis added.]”

It is easy to understand why Obama officials needed to discuss withholding information from Trump. They knew that the Trump campaign — not just some individuals tangentially connected to the campaign — was the subject of an ongoing FBI counterintelligence probe. An informant had been run at campaign officials. The FISA surveillance of Page was underway — in fact, right before Trump’s inauguration, the Obama administration obtained a new court warrant for 90 more days of spying.

This memo is evidence that President Obama was at least aware of what was going on. That should be all over the front pages of every newspaper in the country. Somehow it isn’t.

How Your Tax Money Is Spent

The Daily Signal posted the following today:

Obviously we have some work to do. The question that comes to mind is why do we always hear that Social Security is running out of money but we never hear that the Welfare State is running out of money. I think it is truly time to examine the bureaucracy that support each. I suspect we could save some serious money there without hurting the people who truly need government assistance.

We Spent An Awful Lot Of Money For Nothing

Yesterday Bryon York posted an article at The Washington Examiner about the upcoming release of the Mueller Report. The article lists five arguments that will not be settled by the release of the report.

The article lists those five items:

1. Collusion. On the face of it, Barr’s summary of Mueller’s conclusion could not be clearer: The evidence gathered by the special prosecutor does not show that the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia to fix the 2016 election. Barr included two brief quotes from the Mueller report on collusion: “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities” and “the evidence does not establish that the president was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference.” So on the question: Will Mueller show that collusion occurred? The answer seems a pretty straightforward no.

…2. Obstruction. This is a guarantee: Some readers of the Mueller report will swear that it proves the president obstructed justice, while others will swear it proves he did not obstruct justice. Mueller himself has made sure that will happen by not making what Barr called a “traditional prosecutorial judgment” on the obstruction question. Why Mueller did that is not clear; perhaps it will be revealed when the report is released. Barr said Mueller “views as ‘difficult issues’ of law and fact concerning whether the president’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction.”

…3. Impeachment. Some Democrats had hoped that the Mueller report would give them cover for impeaching the president. I was undecided, they might say, and then I saw the special counsel’s overwhelming evidence against the president, and I knew it was my duty to impeach. Some of those Democrats also hoped that the Mueller report would serve as a road map to impeachment, in effect doing for Congress the work of discovering and organizing evidence against the president.

…4. Investigating the investigation. Many Republicans, long convinced that the Trump campaign did not conspire or coordinate with Russia, have instead sought to uncover the events surrounding the decision by U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies to investigate the Trump campaign in 2016. It’s been hard finding out what happened. Rep. Devin Nunes, when he was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, shook loose a lot of information, but much remains unknown to the public. Now, those Republicans are counting on an investigation by Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz to reveal more. And they are hoping that President Trump will declassify documents that could shed new light on the matter. One place they are not looking for answers is the Mueller report.

5. Why a special counsel? Some Republicans question whether there was really a need for a special counsel to investigate Trump-Russia. First, they cite the fact that there was no underlying crime. There was no crime specified in Mueller’s original scope memo, and Mueller could never establish that the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia. Second, they point to the circumstances of Mueller’s appointment, when fired FBI director James Comey leaked confidential documents in order to set off an uproar that he hoped would result in the appointment of a special counsel. As it turned out, things went according to Comey’s plan. But was a special counsel really necessary to investigate the crime that did not occur? Like so many others, don’t look for that argument to be resolved by the Mueller report.

The Mueller investigation cost American taxpayers approximately $31 million. In the end, it proved to be nothing more than a way to keep a number of political people in Washington employed for a while after the administration they supported was not reelected.