I don’t usually do movie reviews, but I took two of my granddaughters to see the movie “The Incredibles 2” today. It was thoroughly enjoyable. It did reinforce my idea that feminists have taken over Disney, but even at that it was a fun movie. It was good family entertainment.
Yesterday The New York Post posted an editorial about Harvard University’s discrimination against Asian applicants.
The editorial states:
Harvard University records unveiled Friday show the school engages in blatant, egregious racism in the name of diversity.
The info came out thanks to the lawsuit by Students for Fair Admissions over admission policies that discriminate against Asian-Americans. Perhaps the most damaging revelation was a 2013 internal Harvard study that concluded exactly what the suit charges — and the only action the school took was to suppress the research.
The documents also show how Harvard discriminates. To counter Asians’ tendency to do extremely well on traditional measures (test scores, grades and extracurriculars), it routinely rates them lower on soft categories like “positive personality,” being “widely respected,” likability, kindness, etc.
An analysis by the plaintiffs’ experts of Harvard data on more than 160,000 applicants show how skewed the process has grown: A male Asian-American with a 25 percent chance of admission would have a 35 percent chance if he were white, 75 percent if he were Hispanic and 95 percent if he were black. (The legal brief didn’t outline a similar breakdown for females.)
This is not only unfair–it is unwise. By discriminating against students with strong academic skills, the college brings down the overall skill level of the students, resulting in a higher drop-out rate and lower grades in general. If the school wanted to maintain their reputation for excellence, they would be better off to admit the students with the highest academic achievement levels. This policy is not only wrong, it is detrimental to the academic achievement of the students.
The news media’s hair is on fire because children are being separated from their parents when they cross the U.S. border illegally. Never mind that the law is broken, it’s obviously cruel, inhuman and inexcusable. Why not simply send the entire family back together and ask them to get in line to immigrate? Not likely. But the criticism is somewhat hypocritical.
On January 29, 2016, New York Magazine reported:
The United States government placed an unknown number of Central American migrant children into the custody of human traffickers after neglecting to run the most basic checks on these so-called “caregivers,” according to a Senate report released on Thursday.
In the fall of 2013, tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors traveled to the U.S. southern border, in flight from poverty and gang violence in Central America. At least six of those children were eventually resettled on an egg farm in Marion, Ohio, where their sponsors forced them to work 12 hours a day under threats of death. Local law enforcement uncovered the operation last year, prompting the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations to open an inquiry into the federal government’s handling of migrants.
“It is intolerable that human trafficking — modern-day slavery — could occur in our own backyard,” Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio and the chairman of the subcommittee, told the New York Times. “But what makes the Marion cases even more alarming is that a U.S. government agency was responsible for delivering some of the victims into the hands of their abusers.”
This is the link to the Senate report. Assuming the detention centers for the children are clean and safe, the children are much better off there than in the hands of human traffickers. Where is this story on the news?
Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about some of the ways the investigation of the Clinton email avoided the normal processes of the FBI.
The most telling part of the article is the following chart showing how the chain of command was purposely avoided:
Lisa Page, who was Special Counsel to McCabe, became involved in the Midyear investigation after McCabe became the Deputy Director in February 2016. Page told the OIG that part of her function was to serve as a liaison between the Midyear team and McCabe.
Page acknowledged that her role upset senior FBI officials, but told the OIG that McCabe relied on her to ensure that he had the information he needed to make decisions, without it being filtered through multiple layers of management.
Several witnesses told the OIG that Page circumvented the official chain of command, and that Strzok communicated important Midyear case information to her, and thus to McCabe, without Priestap’s or Steinbach’s knowledge. McCabe said that he was aware of complaints about Page, and that he valued her ability to “spot issues” and bring them to his attention when others did not.
The article notes why McCabe’s role is significant:
McCabe has been the subject of concerns about political bias in the FBI’s handling of the case because of his family’s ties to the Clintons. Around the time of the investigation, McCabe’s wife received $700,000 from Terry McAuliffe, a close friend of the Clintons who ran Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. The money was for McCabe’s wife to run for state senate, an unusual amount of money for that office.
Hopefully the Senate testimony expected in the near future will lead to some indictments and jail time for those involved in this corruption. If not, I see very little hope for the concept of equal justice under the law. It truly is time to drain the swamp. It just keeps smelling worse.
On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial about the impact of the Dodd-Frank Bill on the growth of small businesses in America.
The editorial reports:
A new study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the quasi-private think tank that serves as the referee for deciding U.S. upturns and downturns, shows the damage done by Dodd-Frank to small businesses was severe.
The study, “The Impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on Small Business,” by economists Michael D. Bordo and John V. Duca, goes a long way toward explaining why GDP growth under Obama was a mere 2%, a full third slower than the long-term average.
It’s based on a long-term and well-known dynamic. Small businesses grow faster than large ones, and account for over two-thirds of all U.S. jobs growth. Dodd-Frank’s damage was substantial and persistent.
The editorial explains how the regulations impacted small businesses:
Dodd-Frank made making loans to large companies far more attractive. They did so by new compliance rules that treated small and startup loans as inherently more risky than big-business loans.
In economic terms, Dodd-Frank increased the fixed cost of making a loan to smaller companies. So banks simply stopped lending to them. Overnight, businesses that once had lines of credit lost them. Many closed. Startups could get nothing.
This may sound like a wonky debate, but it isn’t. Dodd-Frank’s destructive lending restrictions destroyed millions of jobs and kept entrepreneurs from creating thousands and thousands of new, wonderful businesses.
And it also explains why, with a few deft strokes of his presidential pen, cutting both regulations and taxes sharply, President Trump has been able to offset Dodd-Frank’s growth-killing rules and restored 3% growth to the economy.
The cutting of regulations and the tax cuts created the economic atmosphere that has resulted in stunning economic growth in the past year. Now if the Federal Reserve will be very careful as it raises interest rates to reasonable levels, we should be able to come out of the slump we were in during the Obama administration smoothly.
On Friday The Washington Examiner posted an article about the negotiations with North Korea over denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The article reminds us of the major role China has played and will play in the continuing talks.
The article reports:
…And at a press conference in Beijing with his Chinese counterpart, Mike Pompeo said, “We have made very clear that the sanctions and the economic relief that North Korea will receive will only happen after the full denuclearization, the complete denuclearization, of North Korea.”
Which is why Pompeo’s meetings in Beijing are decisive. Not only would North Korea’s nuclear program cease to exist without Chinese support. North Korea would disappear too. Some 90 percent of North Korea’s foreign trade is with China. And it was most likely China’s reluctant imposition of tough U.N. sanctions last spring that grabbed Kim’s attention. Now, with Singapore behind us, China is ready to ease the pressure. That cannot happen if denuclearization is to succeed.
Pompeo understands that in the midst of good feeling there is a tendency to look away from bad behavior, to excuse or rationalize autocratic probing for weakness and irresolution. Democracies often sacrifice both their principles and their interests in order to perpetuate abstract, meaningless, consequence-free diplomatic processes. If the Trump administration is to produce a different outcome than the Clinton, Bush, or Obama administrations, it must relax its posture only when North Korea provides tangible reasons to do so.
So you go to Beijing. Why? Because North Korea is but a part of a much larger puzzle: China’s rise to great power status.
Some might argue for going easy on Kim in order to free up resources to deal with China’s military, cultural, political, and economic challenge to American power. This gets it backward. Want to see results in North Korea? Resist Chinese hegemony. By opening up the space for strategic decision-making and pressuring China at several points at once, you make it more likely Xi Jinping will exert influence over his vassal. Just so we back off.
Indeed, China is worried that North Korea may cut its own deal with the United States and, like Vietnam and Laos, become a one-party state that nevertheless balances against the Middle Kingdom.
President Trump is the first American President to introduce a stick into the negotiations with North Korea and China (as well as a carrot). Because he is seen as an usual President, the tactic seems to be working. Hopefully it will continue to work.
The article concludes:
Let’s increase Xi’s blood pressure a little. There are plenty of options. For starters, kill the defense sequester. In addition to conducting freedom of navigation operations, penalize China for militarizing islands in the South China Sea. Levy tariffs. Sell the F-35 to Taiwan. Warn the region that, if negotiations with Kim fail, America may be forced to reintroduce the tactical nuclear missiles that were removed from the Korean peninsula in 1991.
Will China protest, and U.S. doves cry? Of course they will. But remember they did exactly the same thing last year—until maximum pressure forced China to act. And North Korea sang a different tune.
The following YouTube video is from the Tucker Carlson Show:
Tucker: Let’s be real. Paul Manafort is jail tonight because prosecutors want him to testify against President Trump.
This is a total perversion of our justice system. Someone needs to rein in this abuse. Where are the judges?
Well, let’s look at the judge who agreed to send Paul Manafort to jail.
In November of last year, Bloomberg posted an article about U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson.
The article reports:
Earlier this year, for instance, she dismissed a lawsuit filed by the parents of two of the four Americans who died at the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya in 2012, seeking to hold Trump’s election opponent Hillary Clinton responsible.
And four years ago, she sided with the Obama administration request and put on hold a lawsuit by House Republicans demanding papers related to former Attorney General Eric Holder’s botched Fast-and-Furious gun-tracking operation.
…It’s rare for judges to hold white-collar offenders behind bars before a trial or guilty plea — even Bernard Madoff was allowed to remain free on a $10 million bond — but it happens.
Judge Jackson was appointed by President Obama in 2011.
From my friends at Power Line Blog:
There is a lot of information slowly dribbling out of the Inspector General’s (IG) Report on the Clinton email investigation. One of the disturbing things is the seeming disregard by the Mid-Year-Exam (MYE) team (the team that was investigating Hillary Clinton’s private server) for basic protocols. The information regarding the use of personal email accounts is found on page 424 of the IG Report.
The Conservative Treehouse is reporting today:
One of the interesting aspects of the IG report is the documented use of personal email by participants within the FBI “small group” Mid-Year-Exam (MYE) team. [pg 424]
One of those documented examples involves FBI Agent Peter Strzok downloading the content of the sealed Anthony Weiner Indictment, October 29, 2016, to his personal email address. Unauthorized extraction of a ‘sealed SDNY indictment‘, and transmission to a non-secure system, is a felony.
No wonder no one wanted to indict Hillary Clinton–they were all doing the same thing!
The article includes further information from the IG Report:
[…] During our review, we identified several instances where Strzok used his personal email account for government business. […] Most troubling, on October 29, 2016, Strzok forwarded from his FBI account to his personal email account an email about the proposed search warrant the Midyear team was seeking on the Weiner laptop.
This email included a draft of the search warrant affidavit, which contained information from the Weiner investigation that appears to have been under seal at the time in the Southern District of New York and information obtained pursuant to a grand jury subpoena issued in the Eastern District of Virginia in the Midyear investigation.
The footnotes here are interesting:
fn #217 reads: ” The OIG previously notified the respective U.S. Attorney’s Offices about Strzok’s actions.”
fn #218 reads: “We requested access to Strzok’s personal email account. Strzok agreed to produce copies of work-related emails in his personal account but declined to produce copies of his personal emails. Strzok subsequently told the OIG that he had reviewed the emails residing in his personal mailboxes and found no work-related communications. We determined that we lacked legal authority to obtain the contents of Strzok’s personal email account from his email provider, which requires an Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) search warrant to produce email contents. Strzok’s email provider’s policy applies to opened emails and emails stored for more than 180 days, which ECPA otherwise permits the government to obtain using a subpoena and prior notice to the subscriber. See 18 U.S.C. § 2703(a), (b)(1)(B)(i); COMPUTER CRIME AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY SECTION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, SEARCHING AND SEIZING COMPUTERS AND OBTAINING ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE IN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS at 129-30 (2009). In addition, although we learned that a non-FBI family member had access to Strzok’s personal email account in 2017, Strzok told the OIG that no one else had access to his personal email account during the period in question (i.e., late October 2016).”
The article concludes:
Knowing the nature of all FBI investigative benefits-of-doubt previously afforded throughout 2015 and 2016; do you think the FBI DC team didn’t immediately notify Team Clinton directly or through some facilitating channel?
Perhaps the answer to that question outlines why Peter Strzok suddenly found a need to download the sealed SDNY Weiner indictment and transfer it to his personal email?
Curioser and curiouser…
As more and more people begin to analyze the IG Report, we will likely find more very odd actions taken by the FBI in recent years.
I am one disappointed granny right now. At one point in my working career I held a security clearance. I am married to someone who at various points in his career held a security clearance. The rules were explained to us. We were expected to follow them. Excuses for not following the rules were not acceptable. So why isn’t Hillary Clinton at least charged with one of the crimes she is guilty of? Could anyone else destroy subpoenaed evidence and still be walking around? Did anyone in the Obama administration have any respect for classified documents and government archives?
Here is one excerpt from the Inspector General’s (IG) Report (from page xii):
As we also describe in Chapter Twelve, we learned during the course of our review that Comey, Strzok, and Page used their personal email accounts to conduct FBI business.
We identified numerous instances in which Comey used a personal email account to conduct unclassified FBI business. We found that, given the absence of exigent circumstances and the frequency with which the use of personal email occurred, Comey’s use of a personal email account for unclassified FBI business to be inconsistent with Department policy.
We found that Strzok used his personal email accounts for official government business on several occasions, including forwarding an email from his FBI account to his personal email account about the proposed search warrant the Midyear team was seeking on the Weiner laptop. This email included a draft of the search warrant affidavit, which contained information from the Weiner investigation that appears to have been under seal at the time in the Southern District of New York and information obtained pursuant to a grand jury subpoena issued in the Eastern District of Virginia in the Midyear investigation. We refer to the FBI the issue of whether Strzok’s use of personal email accounts violated FBI and Department policies.
The law requires the use of government email accounts in order for records to be archived. It seems as if a number of people in the Obama administration chose not to comply with that law.
The IG Report also sheds some light on the leaking from the FBI:
We identified numerous FBI employees, at all levels of the organization and with no official reason to be in contact with the media, who were nevertheless in frequent contact with reporters. Attached to this report as Attachments E and F are two link charts that reflect the volume of communications that we identified between FBI employees and media representatives in April/May and October 2016. We have profound concerns about the volume and extent of unauthorized media contacts by FBI personnel that we have uncovered during our review.
In addition, we identified instances where FBI employees improperly received benefits from reporters, including tickets to sporting events, golfing outings, drinks and meals, and admittance to nonpublic social events. We will separately report on those investigations as they are concluded, consistent with the Inspector General Act, other applicable federal statutes, and OIG policy.
The harm caused by leaks, fear of potential leaks, and a culture of unauthorized media contacts is illustrated in Chapters Ten and Eleven of our report, where we detail the fact that these issues influenced FBI officials who were advising Comey on consequential investigative decisions in October 2016. The FBI updated its media policy in November 2017, restating its strict guidelines concerning media contacts, and identifying who is required to obtain authority before engaging members of the media, and when and where to report media contact. We do not believe the problem is with the FBI’s policy, which we found to be clear and unambiguous. Rather, we concluded that these leaks highlight the need to change what appears to be a cultural attitude among many in the organization.
It is obvious from the text messages in the IG Report that the political culture of the FBI was very biased toward Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump. Does anyone believe that anything was leaked to the press that would have hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign and helped the Trump campaign?
The disclosures in the IG Report are a disgrace, and yet the report does not really go far enough.
On Page xi, the IG Report states:
We were deeply troubled by text messages exchanged between Strzok and Page that potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations. Most of the text messages raising such questions pertained to the Russia investigation, which was not a part of this review. Nonetheless, when one senior FBI official, Strzok, who was helping to lead the Russia investigation at the time, conveys in a text message to another senior FBI official, Page, “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it” in response to her question “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”, it is not only indicative of a biased state of mind but, even more seriously, implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects. This is antithetical to the core values of the FBI and the Department of Justice.
So what are you going to do about it? In an interview last night Devin Nunes pointed out that the IG Report was the first time he had seen the above text message. Why was this message not included with documents requested by the House Committee?
As I said, I am one discouraged granny. I want to believe that all Americans receive equal justice under the law, but looking at the IG Report and the people who are not currently facing jail time, I really wonder.
The Gateway Pundit is reporting today that Norwegians Christian Tybring-Gjedde, an MP, and former justice minister Per-Willy Amundsen have nominated President Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize. Remember that in 2009 President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He had been in office less than a year and really hadn’t accomplished much except apologizing on three continents for what he views as the sins of America and his predecessors. This was perfectly in line with those who award the prize–they have very little respect for the principles that make America free and strong.
President Trump deserves the award for beginning negotiations with Kim Jong Un. Obviously we have no idea how those negotiations will turn out, but talking is better than lobbing nuclear weapons. That is a step toward peace.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out–will the Nobel Peace Prize Committee take an honest look at the contribution to peace that President Trump has made to world peace or will they continue to allow politics to determine their choice to receive the award.
The 2018 Doomsday Clock Statement lists the North Korean nuclear program as one of the reasons the clock was moved to two minutes to midnight in 2018. It remains to be seen if the meeting this week will begin to end that threat, but at least President Trump has made a step in that direction.
Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about Rod Rosenstein and his position in the swamp that is Washington, D.C.
The article reports:
Mr. Rosenstein, one of the most powerful men in the Department of Justice, threatened to investigate members of Congress and their staff if Congress continued to fulfill its constitutional responsibility to oversee the increasingly rogue federal department.
Move over J. Edgar Hoover. Rod Rosenstein has officially taken your place as the most power-drunk, nefarious, crooked blight on justice to ever preside in the Department of “justice.”
The popularity of Congress may be in the toilet, but self-dealing rogue prosecutors with unlimited power to punish political opponents and put people in jail are so far down the toilet they are fertilizing daisies in Denmark.
The Deputy Attorney General was making the point — after being threatened with contempt — that as an American citizen charged with the offense of contempt of Congress, he would have the right to defend himself, including requesting production of relevant emails and text messages and calling them as witnesses to demonstrate that their allegations are false,” the official said.
After admitting Mr. Rosenstein threatened Congress for overseeing his department, the DOJ official went on to reiterate that the threat remains.
Congress is assigned the job of overseeing the Department of Justice. Mr. Rosenstein’s thuggery is totally unacceptable.
The article points out the difference between Rod Rosenstein and Eric Holder, neither of which were particularly interested in following the U.S. Constitution:
Ex-Attorney General Eric Holder was an ideological crusader and political thug, hell-bent on maximizing the power of the president for whom he worked. Mr. Holder was never elected anything, but he was working for a guy who did get elected. Twice.
Mr. Rosenstein is a thousand times worse and so much more dangerous. He never got elected anything — and he is blatantly giving the middle finger to anyone elected by the people to oversee him and his increasingly lawless department.
Mr. Rosenstein believes he is — literally — above the law. He is answerable to no one. Legal accountability is beneath him. The public be damned.
Firing Mr. Rosenstein would be a step toward draining the swamp. Hopefully that step will be taken in the near future.
Real Clear Politics posted an article today by Victor Davis Hansen that reminds us of the recent history of Inspectors General. The article is titled, “The Silencing of the Inspectors General.”
The article reminds us:
For nearly eight years, the Obama administration sought to cover up serial wrongdoing by waging a veritable war against the watchdog inspectors general of various federal agencies.
In 2014, 47 of the nation’s 73 inspectors general signed a letter alleging that Obama had stonewalled their “ability to conduct our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely manner.”
The frustrated nonpartisan auditors cited systematic Obama administration refusals to turn over incriminating documents that were central to their investigations.
The administration had purportedly tried to sidetrack an IG investigation into possible misconduct by then-Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. In addition, the Obama administration reportedly thwarted IG investigations of Amtrak, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Troubled Asset Relief Program and the Office of Management and Budget.
Despite the campaign against these independent federal auditors, a number of inspectors general still managed to issue damning indictments of unethical behavior.
In 2012, Horowitz recommended that 14 Justice Department and ATF officials be disciplined for their conduct in the “Fast and Furious” gun-walking scandal.
A 2013 IG audit found that the IRS had targeted conservative groups for special scrutiny prior to the 2012 Obama re-election effort.
The article cites the 2014 audit that revealed that the CIA had hacked Senate Intelligence Committee’s computers. In 2016, it was revealed that Hillary Clinton had never sought approval for her private email server. Obviously the Inspectors General were not successful in holding people in government accountable for their actions in these various scandals. The Inspectors General do not have the power the criminally prosecute, but they can refer people for criminal prosecution. Obviously, there are a number of cases where this needs to be done.
The article concludes:
Soon, various inspector general reports may appear concerning FISA court abuse and improper behavior at the Department of Justice, FBI, CIA and National Security Council during the 2016 campaign cycle. The investigators are, for the most part, Obama appointees, not Trump appointees.
At some point, the idea of toothless inspectors general needs to be revisited. Something is terribly wrong when dozens of IGs found wrongdoing, only to object that their efforts were being thwarted by an Obama administration that had appointed most of them — and claimed to be scandal-free.
Finding government abuse and doing nothing about it is worse than not finding any at all.
CNS News posted an article today about an item that will appear on the ballot in California in November.
The article reports:
The State of California is “nearly ungovernable,” given its “diverse population and economies.” So says a newly qualified ballot initiative that would split California into three states — maybe — if voters approve the proposal in November.
The summary posted online by the State Attorney General’s office says the split would require the approval of Congress and undoubtedly the courts. If all parties approved the plan, “all tax collections and spending by the existing State of California would end. California’s existing state assets and liabilities would be divided among three new states. These states would make their own decisions about state and local taxes and spending.”
One of the new states would be named Northern California (or a name to be chosen by the people of that state). It would encompass 40 northern counties, including San Francisco and its surrounds.
The second state, tentatively named California, would include only six counties: Los Angeles, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura.
The third new state, to be named Southern California (or a name chosen by the people), would include 12 counties, including Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Tulare.
Los Angeles Times cartoonist David Horsey has already proposed names for the three new states:
Los Angeles Times cartoonist David Horsey suggested naming the Northern California/Napa area “Weed” or “Merlot”; he suggested that the Silicon Valley area be named “iState”; and Los Angeles/Hollywood could be called “Bling.”)
The article points out two aspects of this change if it is voted in–first, California would then have six representatives in the Senate–making it more influential than states with only two representatives (but there is no guarantee all six senators would agree on anything). Secondly, California votes in the Electoral College might be split between candidates–giving Republicans votes from a state that generally does not give them Electoral Votes.
It will be interesting to see exactly how this plays out.
On Monday, Breitbart reported that for the first time in eight years, the number of American households on food stamps has dropped below 20 million.
The article reports:
The latest data from the USDA reveals that the number of households on food stamps in February 2018 dropped to 19,992,124—the first time it fell below 20 million since September 2010, when 19,979,385 households were enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The USDA notes that not only is the number of households receiving food stamps at a record low level, but the number of people enrolled in food stamps has also gone down. From January to February of this year alone, overall food stamp enrollment dropped from 40,640,170 to 40,032,131.
The downward trend in enrollment has only continued over President Trump’s first year in office, keeping on pace with the stable decline in SNAP participation since 2013.
The food stamp program is included in the Farm Bill which is currently in Congress.
The article reports:
Although the Trump administration is making it a priority to require food stamp recipients to work to receive benefits, the Senate version of the 2018 Farm Bill released Friday does not include the work requirements sought out by the Trump administration and the House Agriculture Committee.
The House’s version of the bill includes a provision that would require most adults ages 18 to 59 who enroll in food stamps to work, receive job training, or look for work under a case manager’s supervision.
It is time for the people the government is feeding to go to work. The idea that working people should pay exorbitant taxes to allow other Americans to live well without working is just ridiculous. It is time for the gravy train to end.
Congress is charged with the responsibility of oversight of the Justice Department. It is part of the checks and balances that are supposed to function within our government. Congress is within its bounds when it asks for documents from the Justice Department. However, that does not necessarily mean that the Justice Department is cooperative in the process. Particularly if the Justice Department may have been coloring outside the lines in recent history.
Catherine Herridge posted a story at Fox News today about recent clashes between Congress and the Department of Justice. It is becoming very obvious that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is not a fan of Congressional oversight.
The article reports:
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein threatened to “subpoena” emails, phone records and other documents from lawmakers and staff on a Republican-led House committee during a tense meeting earlier this year, according to emails reviewed by Fox News documenting the encounter and reflecting what aides described as a “personal attack.”
The emails memorialized a January 2018 closed-door meeting involving senior FBI and Justice Department officials as well as members of the House Intelligence Committee. The account claimed Rosenstein threatened to turn the tables on the committee’s inquiries regarding the Russia probe.
“The DAG [Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein] criticized the Committee for sending our requests in writing and was further critical of the Committee’s request to have DOJ/FBI do the same when responding,” the committee’s then-senior counsel for counterterrorism Kash Patel wrote to the House Office of General Counsel. “Going so far as to say that if the Committee likes being litigators, then ‘we [DOJ] too [are] litigators, and we will subpoena your records and your emails,’ referring to HPSCI [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] and Congress overall.”
A second House committee staffer at the meeting backed up Patel’s account, writing: “Let me just add that watching the Deputy Attorney General launch a sustained personal attack against a congressional staffer in retaliation for vigorous oversight was astonishing and disheartening. … Also, having the nation’s #1 (for these matters) law enforcement officer threaten to ‘subpoena your calls and emails’ was downright chilling.”
This Thursday we will finally see the Inspector General’s report. It will be interesting to see if Rob Rosenstein is mentioned in this report.
The Washington Times reported today that between March and May, the Justice Department arrested more than 2,3000 suspected online child sex offenders.
The article reports:
The operation was conducted by the Justice Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children task forces. All told, 195 offenders who either produced child pornography or committed child sexual abuse and 383 children who suffered sexual abuse were identified, the Justice Department said.
…The 61 Internet Crimes Against Children task forces are comprised of more than 4,500 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. It targets suspects who produce, distribute or receive child pornography as well as those who engage in the sex trafficking of children or travel across state lines or to foreign countries to abuse children.
The Trump administration announced on March 13, 2018, that it was declaring war on human trafficking. Pornography is directly related to the crime of human trafficking. It is good to see the President following through on this announcement.
The most underreported scandal in Washington today is the information technology scandal involving the Democrat Party. The American Thinker posted an article today about the continuing investigation and legal action regarding that scandal.
The scandal involves the strange circumstances involved in the hiring of Imran Awan to handle information technology for 44 House Democrats. Awan was originally hired by Debbie Wasserman Schultz. During his hiring process, background checks were waived for Awan and the family members he later brought on as his staff. There is also evidence that he accessed and transferred data that he was not supposed to have access to.
The American Thinker reminds us:
Schultz was forced to step down after hacked emails revealed that she and the DNC had their finger on the scales and actively worked to defeat Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primaries in favor of Hillary Clinton.
…Like Al Capone and tax evasion, Imran Awan was charged with bank fraud regarding the millions he was paid and handled with his family. But the court case against him has mysteriously been delayed a seventh time. Is a plea deal in the works against Wasserman Schultz or is this just another case of the criminality can being kicked down the road? At issue may be that laptop with initials “REPDWS” on it:
…Many of the delays appear to be related to a laptop that Awan left in a decommissioned phone booth in a House building in April last year. The laptop, which had the username “RepDWS,” was accompanied by several copies of ID cards belonging to Awan and a letter he wrote to prosecutors.
Awan had been employed by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) — whose initials (RepDWS) were on the laptop — since 2005…
After the laptop was found by Capitol Police, Wasserman Schultz attempted for months to have the laptop returned to her, including hiring an outside lawyer to prevent prosecutors from looking at it.
During a May 18 hearing, Wasserman Schultz told the Capitol Police chief there would be “consequences” if the laptop was not returned to her.
According to a recent article in The Daily Caller, Mr. Awan’s lawyer, Chris Gowen, is associated with the Clinton family and has done work for the Clinton Foundation. Mr. Gowen has accused the investigators in the case of being anti-Muslim. He really has no other defense.
The article at The American Thinker concludes:
This is just one of many shoes waiting to drop from the Democrat’s centipede of corruption. Crimes were committed here, possibly including Wasserman Schultz and leading Democrats. Yet a cover-up could be in the works. Let’s not take our eves off this corner of the swamp.
Reuters is reporting today that the Supreme Court has ruled today in a 5-4 decision that Ohio has the right to purge its voter rolls of infrequent voters.
The article reported:
The state said the policy was needed to keep voting rolls current, clearing out people who have moved away or died.
Under Ohio’s policy, if registered voters miss voting for two years, they are sent registration confirmation notices. If they do not respond and do not vote over the following four years, they are purged.
Republican President Donald Trump’s administration backed Ohio, reversing the stance taken by Democratic former President Barack Obama’s administration against the policy.
“This decision is validation of Ohio’s efforts to clean up the voter rolls and now with the blessing (of the) nation’s highest court, it can serve as a model for other states to use,” Republican Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said.
Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito said the court was not deciding whether Ohio’s policy “is the ideal method for keeping its voting rolls up to date. The only question before us is whether it violates federal law. It does not.”
Periodically purging voter rolls is common sense. People move, people die, etc. I personally know of one instance where a registered voter decided to check who was registered to vote claiming her home as a residence. She discovered that there were three people registered to vote at her address who she had never heard of.
In September 2010, I posted the following about efforts in Houston to uncover voter fraud:
According to the American Thinker:
“A group of people took it upon themselves to work at polling places in 2008 and observed – and were shocked – by what they perceived to be voter fraud. Their next step was to create a citizen-based grassroots group to collect publicly available voting data and analyze what they found (with the help of donated computers and volunteer helpers). They admit they did not know what they were doing at first but where there is a will there is a way.”
Fox News tells what happened next:
“”The first thing we started to do was look at houses with more than six voters in them” Engelbrecht said, because those houses were the most likely to have fraudulent registrations attached to them. “Most voting districts had 1,800 if they were Republican and 2,400 of these houses if they were Democratic . . .
“”But we came across one with 24,000, and that was where we started looking.”
“Vacant lots had several voters registered on them. An eight-bed halfway house had more than 40 voters registered at its address,” Engelbrecht said. “We then decided to look at who was registering the voters.”
“Their work paid off. Two weeks ago the Harris County voter registrar took their work and the findings of his own investigation and handed them over to both the Texas secretary of state’s office and the Harris County district attorney.
“Most of the findings focused on a group called Houston Votes, a voter registration group headed by Sean Caddle, who formerly worked for the Service Employees International Union. Among the findings were that only 1,793 of the 25,000 registrations the group submitted appeared to be valid. The other registrations included one of a woman who registered six times in the same day; registrations of non-citizens; so many applications from one Houston Voters collector in one day that it was deemed to be beyond human capability; and 1,597 registrations that named the same person multiple times, often with different signatures.”
Voter fraud is real in America. Purging voter rolls is not the entire solution, but it is a valid first step.
The Daily Caller posted an article today about changes made to ObamaCare by Congress. The article reminds us that in 2017, the Republican-majority Congress did not have the votes to repeal the ACA, but did set the individual mandate penalty at zero. They didn’t repeal it, but they took the teeth out of it.
The article then reminds of the Supreme Court’s decision on ObamaCare:
In 2012, the five conservative justices on the United States Supreme Court (including Chief justice John Roberts) held that key portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exceeded Congress’s constitutional authority under the Commerce Clause. But, Chief Justice Roberts then joined the four liberal justices on the Court in upholding the ACA as a tax under Congress’s taxing power because it generated revenue for the federal government.
The question then becomes, “If ObamaCare is no longer generating revenue, is it still a tax?’ If it is no longer a tax, does it still fall under the Commerce Clause?”
The article states:
A recent op-ed at The Federalist claims that striking down the ACA would be “judicial activism.” The article doesn’t defend the ACA as constitutional, but argues that conservatives shouldn’t ask “unelected judges to do what elected members of Congress took great pains to avoid.”
Such a broad view of “judicial activism” would render virtually any judicial review out of bounds. More importantly, it is contrary to the very system of checks and balances set up by the Founders in the Constitution. There is no Constitutional duty to persuade a majority of Congress to stop violating the Constitution—that’s what makes it a written constitution in the first place.
The article concludes:
And there is the rub. Judicial activism, rightly understood, is when a court tries to exercise the legislative function — i.e., when a court writes laws instead of saying what the law is. But asking courts to carve out the unconstitutional provisions from laws is exactly that. Advocating for severability asks the judicial branch to judge the law Congress should have written, not the one it did. A more restrained approach would be to strike down the whole law and let Congress decide whether it wants to pass the law again without the unconstitutional provisions included.
An old saying goes something like: “When you mix a cup of sewage in a barrel of wine, you end up with a barrel of sewage and have to throw the whole thing out.” To extend the metaphor, courts shouldn’t be in the business of sifting through a law to pick the sewage out of the wine, they should throw the whole thing out. Striking down unconstitutional laws is not judicial activism, and it is well within the role of the judiciary to strike the entire ACA as such.
It is definitely time to get rid of the barrel of sewage!
Yesterday Townhall.com posted an article about Santo Ramon Gonzalez Nival, who plead guilty to fentanyl, heroin and cocaine conspiracy charges in federal court on June 6. Mr. Nival lives in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Lawrence has been heavily impacted by the opioid epidemic that has plagued America. From 2013 to 2017, 140 people in Lawrence have died from drug overdoses.
The article includes the following information about Mr. Nival:
Santo Ramon Gonzalez Nival, a 40-year-old Dominican national, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Boston to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine and fentanyl, and one count of illegal reentry of a deported alien, according to a statement released by U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling.
Nival has been detained since his arrest in May 2017. At the time of his arrest, he was illegally in the United States after being most recently deported May 19, 2009, according to Lelling.
In May 2017, Nival was charged after “a year-long investigation aimed at attacking the fentanyl and heroin crisis in Lawrence and surrounding areas,” according to the statement.
…Nival will be sentenced in September.
It is time to secure the border so that someone like this man cannot return after being deported. Thank goodness he is being kept in jail while he awaits sentencing.
Looking for information on the tariffs that Canada imposes on America is not an easy task. I could not find one site that actually listed the tariffs imposed on American goods imported to Canada. I did, however, find a screen shot that explains a lot:
George Soros has a rather checkered past. He has been associated with Nazis in Germany when they were in power and has been accused of acquiring much of his wealth through collapsing the currency of various countries. He is one of the richest men in the world and tends to dabble in the political affairs of various countries–America included. He hasn’t had a lot of luck in America recently–Hillary Clinton lost and many of the California District Attorney candidates he funded lost. He believes in a one-world government controlled by himself and his friends. It won’t be a democracy, and the American Constitution would be irrelevant. Freedom would be optional. Well, I’m grateful things are not going his way right now. I am hoping that continues to be the case.
The Daily Caller posted an article about George Soros yesterday.
The article reports:
George Soros recently lamented the rise of President Trump and anti-establishment parties across the globe, saying “everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong.”
Soros made the comment in an interview with The Washington Post published Saturday. He also said that he did not expect Trump’s election, saying, “Apparently, I was living in my own bubble.”
The activist billionaire also made the bizarre claim that President Trump would be “willing to destroy the world.”
Soros has become known for using his immense wealth to influence politics in the United States and around the world.
Actually I suspect George Soros would be willing to destroy the world. He has worked very hard to undermine the national sovereignty of America. I don’t suspect he is giving up on that–just grousing that it is taking so long. Eight years of Donald Trump might make him go away.
The Conservative Treehouse posted an article yesterday about the G7 meeting. I seriously doubt the American mainstream media will report this story correctly, but The Conservative Treehouse summed it up beautifully:
The underlying Trudeau trade premise is that the U.S. should be thankful for the products brought into the U.S. market by Canadians and Europeans. And Americans should express their appreciation through unilateral indulgence-fees for friendship. If President Trump does not agree to continue the cycle of abusive trade policies, the Europeans and Canadians might stop saying they are our closest and most valuable ally.
I think that about covers it!