The Trump Economy

The November jobs report was released this morning. CNS News posted an article this morning with the numbers.

The article reports:

The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics says the economy added a whopping 266,000 jobs in November; and for the sixth month in a row, a record number of Americans were counted as employed.

158,593,000 Americans were working in November, the 24th record of Trump’s presidency.

The unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a point to 3.5 percent, a 50-year low.

In November, the civilian non-institutional population in the United States was 260,020,000. That included all people 16 and older who did not live in an institution (such as a prison, nursing home or long-term care facility).

Of that civilian non-institutional population, 164,404,000 were participating in the labor force, meaning that they either had a job or were actively seeking one during the last month. This resulted in a labor force participation rate of 63.2 percent.

The labor force participation rate has never been higher than 67.3 percent, a level achieved in the early months of 2000. The Trump-era high was set last month at 63.3 percent. Economists say retiring baby boomers account for some of the decline since the turn of the century.

This report partially explains why the Democrats are in such a rush to impeach President Trump. Historically a President whose first term includes a booming economy is almost always re-elected. Unless the economy changes drastically in the next year, President Trump will serve two terms. There is also the matter of the electability of the Democrat candidates.

The Quest For Relevance

Yesterday National Review reported  that former secretary of state John Kerry has endorsed Joe Biden for President. John Kerry cited Biden’s performance serving as vice president in the Obama administration as proof that he has what it takes to defeat President Trump. Wow. I don’t know where to start.

The article reports:

“The world is broken,” Kerry told The Washington Post. “Our politics are broken. The country faces extraordinary challenges. And I believe very deeply that Joe Biden’s character, his ability to persevere, his decency and the experiences that he brings to the table are critical to the moment. The world has to be put back together, the world that Donald Trump has smashed apart.”

Kerry’s announcement comes a week after news broke that former president Barack Obama reportedly said Biden “really doesn’t have it” in establishing a bond with the electorate.

Kerry seemingly disagreed with his former boss in describing Biden, calling him “the person for the moment.”

This is an amazing statement. John Kerry was elected to the United States Senate in 1984. He was sworn in as Secretary of State in February 2013. Joe Biden was a Senator from 1973 to 2009. President Donald Trump entered politics in 2015. If ‘the world is broken,’ I would tend to put the responsibility for that on those who have been in power for the longest time–not on the new kid on the block.

And Now We Wait…

The elephant in the room right now is the Inspector General’s Report on the surveillance of the Trump campaign during 2016. As we await the report, many people named in the report are attempting to blunt the impact of the report, and others are reiterating its importance.

The Washington Times posted an article yesterday with its views on the report. The headline of the article is, “‘Dirty cops’: FBI leaves trail of lies, leaks, lapses in Trump era.”

The article reports:

The FBI already has amassed a record of misconduct by top officials leading up to Monday, when the Justice Department inspector general is scheduled to release conclusions on whether agents also abused the bureau’s intrusive wiretapping powers.

To date, four inspector general reports and internal Justice Department documents have found senior FBI officials guilty of lying, insubordination, security violations, mishandling confidential material and personal biases against President Trump.

Rep. Devin Nunes, the California Republican who discovered that the FBI had used a Democratic Party-financed dossier as evidence, often refers to bureau leaders as “dirty cops.”

Lisa Page, a former FBI senior counsel and one of those singled out, portrayed herself this week as an innocent victim of FBI betrayal.

Meanwhile, news media stories have downplayed the significance of the upcoming inspector general’s report on how the FBI spied on the Trump campaign through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and other means.

There will be a lot of charges and counter-charges when the report comes out, but there are two basic facts to remember. First, it is illegal to conduct surveillance on a political opponent using government agencies and foreign sources (there is some question as to whether the FBI farmed out some of the surveillance to the CIA and foreign sources to avoid American laws). Second of all, the FBI did not inform the Trump campaign that they were concerned about Russian interference (as they are required to do and as they did in the case of Diane Feinstein and her Chinese driver).

What was done to President Trump was a government Watergate burglary. It was unacceptable, and unless those responsible are held accountable, it will happen again.

A Much-Needed Change

National Review posted an article yesterday about a new policy regarding food stamps that will go into effect in April of next year.

The article reports:

In theory, the program has a strict time limit for “ABAWDs,” or able-bodied adults without dependents: If they don’t meet their work requirement or receive a case-by-case exemption from their state, they may receive food stamps for at most three months in any 36-month period. But in practice, the executive branch has broad discretion to waive the limit for large geographic areas with weak labor markets — and previous administrations used that discretion promiscuously. As of 2017, about a third of the U.S. population lived in waived areas.

Under the old rule, any place with an unemployment rate one-fifth above the national average was eligible for a waiver. (Places could — and still can — also establish eligibility by having an absolute rate over 10 percent.) This meant that when unemployment was low throughout the country, areas with good labor markets could still receive waivers, simply because unemployment wasn’t quite as low there as it was elsewhere.

The old rule also allowed states to effectively gerrymander their waiver requests, combining high- and low-unemployment counties to maximize the number of people exempted. All told, states such as Illinois and California were able to obtain waivers for all but a few of their counties.

In short, the system was unfair and arbitrary, imposing time limits on some recipients but not others based on where they happened to live, failing to target the waivers toward truly needy areas, and allowing states to abuse the rules to draw in more federally funded benefits.

Now there will be a new rule.

The article reports:

Under the new rule, effective in April of next year, these waivers won’t be granted to areas with unemployment below 6 percent. And states will be far more limited in the geographical configurations they can request waivers for. These are entirely reasonable policies, and well within the range of discretion the statute grants to the executive branch.

Many on the left complain about the rule simply because it will reduce the number of people on food stamps — by about 700,000, roughly 2 percent of total food-stamp enrollment, by the administration’s own estimate. But increasing benefit receipt is not an end in itself, especially when it comes at the expense of an incentive for childless, able-bodied adults to find work; and given the massive growth the program has seen these past two decades, there is clearly room for cuts. (Despite the recovery, total enrollment is about double what it was in 2000.) Perhaps more to the point, whatever one’s ideal level of food-stamp enrollment, there is no good reason to gut work requirements for entire areas with low unemployment while enforcing those requirements elsewhere — or to let states play games with their maps to boost eligibility.

Food stamps and similar programs are meant to be a safety net–not a career choice. Generational welfare represents a failure of our families, educational system, and society. It is time that we encouraged and helped people to make the choices that will allow them to be financially stable and successful.

Who Is Voting In Our Elections?

PJ Media posted an article yesterday about voter fraud in Ohio.

The article reports:

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced on Wednesday that an investigation by his office has uncovered hundreds of illegally registered non-citizen voters, 77 of whom cast ballots in the November 2018 election.

In a letter to Attorney Dave Yost on December 4, LaRose, a Republican, explained, “As a result of our review, my office has identified 277 individuals who registered to vote in Ohio and 77 individuals who cast a ballot in an Ohio election and who appear to be legally present, noncitizens.”

The Secretary of State said the review “utilized a cross-matching of the voter rolls in the Statewide Voter Registration Database with the list of individuals who have Ohio driver licenses or state identification cards.” He noted that while the state does not maintain a “comprehensive database” of non-citizens in Ohio, Bureau of Motor Vehicles records do indicate the citizenship status of individuals who apply for driver’s licenses or state identification cards.

The article includes a list of voter fraud convictions across the nation. Please follow the link to the article to read the list. Voter fraud is real.

The article concludes:

Requiring a photo ID in order to vote and limiting absentee voting to those who truly need it would go along way toward ensuring election integrity and easing the public’s mind about what goes on in precincts large and small across the U.S., but those commonsense measures are considered racist by those on the left who believe people of color aren’t smart enough to vote without their assistance. Those of us who believe minority voters are every bit as intelligent and resourceful as their Caucasian counterparts are the real racists, and don’t you forget it.

Honest elections are an important part of a representative republic. We need to protect the integrity of our elections.

A Law Professor With Principles

The Gateway Pundit posted a link to Professor Jonathan Turley’s opening remarks at the Nadler impeachment panel on Wednesday. Professor Turley’s entire remarks can be found here.

These are a few of his opening comments:

Jonathan Turley:  I would like to start, perhaps incongruously, with a statement of three irrelevant facts. First, I am not a supporter of President Trump. I voted against him in 2016 and I have previously voted for Presidents Clinton and Obama. Second, I have been highly critical of President Trump, his policies, and his rhetoric, in dozens of columns. Third, I have repeatedly criticized his raising of the investigation of the Hunter Biden matter with the Ukrainian president. These points are not meant to curry favor or approval. Rather they are meant to drive home a simple point: one can oppose President Trump’s policies or actions but still conclude that the current legal case for impeachment is not just woefully inadequate, but in some respects, dangerous, as the basis for the impeachment of an American president. To put it simply, I hold no brief for President Trump. My personal and political views of President Trump, however, are irrelevant to my impeachment testimony, as they should be to your impeachment vote. Today, my only concern is the integrity and coherence of the constitutional standard and process of impeachment. President Trump will not be our last president and what we leave in the wake of this scandal will shape our democracy for generations to come. I am concerned about lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of evidence and an abundance of anger. If the House proceeds solely on the Ukrainian allegations, this impeachment would stand out among modern impeachments as the shortest proceeding, with the thinnest evidentiary record, and the narrowest grounds ever used to impeach a president.7 That does not bode well for future presidents who are working in a country often sharply and, at times, bitterly divided.

Democrats take note. You will not be in power forever and someday the tables will be turned. Would you put up with this bogus impeachment?

Getting Tough On Fake News

The Washington Examiner reported yesterday that Representative Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, has filed a $435 million defamation suit against CNN over a story that alleged Nunes met with a fired Ukrainian prosecutor in an effort to dig up dirt on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Representative Nunes was traveling overseas at the time referenced in the allegation and can prove that he did not meet with the fired prosecutor. However, that did not stop CNN from airing the story. It would have been nice if they had checked their facts. Unfortunately there are now a number of Americans who accept this lie as fact. That is a problem for a representative republic–when the news is not reporting the truth, the voters do not have the correct information to vote intelligently.

The article reports:

“Giuliani associate willing to tell Congress Nunes met with ex-Ukrainian official to get dirt on Biden” — was published Nov. 22. It was based on the words of Joseph Bondy, the attorney for Ukrainian-born Lev Parnas, who worked closely with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani in pursuing allegations of Ukrainian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election as well as allegations of corruption in Ukraine involving Biden’s son Hunter. Parnas is currently under indictment on campaign finance charges.

CNN reported that Bondy said Parnas was “willing to tell Congress” that in December 2018, Nunes traveled to Vienna to meet with Viktor Shokin, the top Ukrainian prosecutor who was famously fired in 2016 under pressure from the United States, represented by Biden, who said Shokin did not do enough to prosecute corruption in Ukraine. CNN cited congressional travel records showing Nunes and a few aides traveled to Europe between Nov. 30 and Dec. 3, 2018.

Quoting Bondy, the CNN report said, “Mr. Parnas learned from former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Victor Shokin that Nunes had met with Shokin in Vienna last December.”

The article includes pictures showing where Representative Nunes was on those dates. The article also includes the following:

Nunes did travel between Nov. 30 and Dec. 3. The lawsuit says that on those dates, Nunes was in Libya and Malta. Nunes traveled to Libya to “discuss security issues with General Khalifa Haftar,” the suit says. In Malta, Nunes “met with U.S. and Maltese officials, including Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, and participated in a repatriation ceremony for the remains of an American World War II soldier missing in action,” according to the suit.

It is unlikely that Representative Nunes will win the lawsuit because the libel laws covering public figures are very strict, but the lawsuit is important because it illustrates the carelessness (and bias) of some of our news networks.

Respecting The Constitutional Rights Of Americans

Yesterday John HInderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article with the following headline, “Schiff Obtained Phone Records of Nunes, Journalist, Others.”

How in the world did Adam Schiff get access to those phone records?

The article notes:

The mainstream media is abuzz with stories about Nunes communication with “Rudy Giuliani during key aspects of his Ukraine pressure campaign.” Nunes was in touch with John Solomon around the times he published major articles. And on and on. The telephone records don’t include the actual conversations. They identify who was calling whom and how long they spoke.

Schiff has crossed the line of decency with this move. Once again, he has abused his power. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton tweeted that obtaining these records is a remarkable abuse of President Trump’s constitutional rights. I would argue that it’s an abuse of the constitutional rights of all of the above. These are KGB tactics.

Well, fair is fair. Republicans should obtain Schiff’s phone records, those of the so-called whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella, and the colleague with whom he had a “bro-like” relationship, you know, Sean Misko, the one Schiff hired as an aide the day after the whistleblower’s complaint was submitted.

The repellent Adam Schiff has managed to reach a new level of depravity.

This is not something that should be happening in America. It is a total disregard for the constitutional rights of the people involved. However, this is not a new tactic by the political left.

In October 2014, I posted an article about Sharyl Attkisson. She was fired from CBS for her reporting on Operation Fast and Furious. As you remember, that was President Obama’s gun-running operation that was supposed to bring Americans to the point where they overturned the Second Amendment.

The article from rightwinggranny noted:

Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”

The breach was accomplished through an “otherwise innocuous e-mail” that Attkisson says she got in February 2012, then twice “redone” and “refreshed” through a satellite hookup and a Wi-Fi connection at a Ritz-Carlton hotel.

The spyware included programs that Attkisson says monitored her every keystroke and gave the snoops access to all her e-mails and the passwords to her financial accounts.

“The intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool,” she wrote in “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”

But the most shocking finding, she says, was the discovery of three classified documents that Number One told her were “buried deep in your operating system. In a place that, unless you’re a some kind of computer whiz specialist, you wouldn’t even know exists.”

“They probably planted them to be able to accuse you of having classified documents if they ever needed to do that at some point,” Number One added.

It’s time to charge people with a crime when they violate the civil rights of an American citizen. I hope this will happen (but I am not optimistic).

While We Were Sleeping

Yesterday The Houston Chronicle reported that the Justice Department charged eight people — including a prominent political donor to both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and a Lebanese-American businessman who was a witness in Robert Mueller’s investigation — with conspiring to conceal the source of more than $3.5 million in donations to Clinton.

The article reports:

The 53-count indictment unsealed in federal court in Washington detailed efforts by Ahmad “Andy” Khawaja and George Nader to conceal the true source of the millions of dollars in campaign contributions, which prosecutors allege were made to gain influence with high-level political figures, including Clinton.

Khawaja, who lives in Los Angeles and is the owner of the online processing company Allied Wallet, is accused of making the donations in his name, his wife’s name and his company’s name, even though they were actually funded by another businessman, Nader.

As they arranged the payments, Nader was in touch with an official from a foreign government about his efforts to gain influence with the prominent politicians, prosecutors charge. The government is not identified in court documents.

A 2018 investigation by The Associated Press detailed that Khawaja, Allied Wallet and top executives contributed at least $6 million to Democratic and Republican candidates and groups. The donations earned Khawaja access to Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign and a post-election Oval Office visit with Trump.

Clinton is not identified by name in the court documents made public Tuesday, but there are repeated references in the indictment identifying the candidate as a woman. Federal donor records show Khawaja gave millions of dollars to Democratic candidates, including the main political action committee supporting Clinton’s campaign. He also donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural fund.

Nader is already in federal custody on unrelated charges accusing him of transporting a dozen images of child pornography and bestiality. He had provided grand jury testimony in the special counsel’s Russia investigation about his efforts to connect a Russian banker to members of Trump’s transition team. He had also worked to advance Saudi Arabia’s agenda to the Trump administration.

This may be only the beginning of draining the Washington swamp. Hopefully there is more to come.

Somehow I Can’t Find This In The Mainstream Media

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an editorial about a recent action by the Trump administration.

The editorial notes:

We’ve been told by supposed left-wing gay and transgender rights advocates, such as the oddly-named Human Rights Campaign, that President Trump is the “most anti-LGBTQ president ever.” The same activists also recently said that Mike Pence is the most “anti-LGBTQ” vice president in American history — yes, seriously. Apparently, we’re actually supposed to believe that the men who occupied the Oval Office during the 19th century were much more woke than Trump and Pence.

But anyway, deranged critics who overlook the positive parts of Trump’s gay rights record are going to have a hard time criticizing the latest move from the Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services — although something tells me they will rise to the challenge.

According to Bloomberg Law, HHS began free distribution of the HIV prevention drug Truvada on Monday in honor of World AIDS Day. This health initiative is possible because the Trump administration secured a donation from Truvada manufacturer Gilead for enough medication to cover 200,000 people. This all comes as a part of Trump’s pledge to make HIV prevention medication available for half of the at-risk population by 2025, Bloomberg Law reports.

The editorial concludes:

These aren’t exactly the actions of an anti-gay bigot. Of course, anyone can get HIV, and anyone can benefit from this health initiative, but there’s no doubt that this issue disproportionately affects gay and transgender people. Yet actually, for any level-headed observer, it really shouldn’t be much of a surprise to see the Trump administration actively focused on and working to address issues facing the gay community.

As far as Republicans go, Trump has been arguably the most pro-gay president in history. He openly supports same-sex marriage, and unlike Obama, he supported it when he entered office. His administration has launched an international initiative seeking to decriminalize homosexuality worldwide, and he has appointed gay and lesbian people to high-ranking positions and judicial nominations.

Of course, no one is really saying the Trump administration’s record on issues of gay and transgender rights is perfect. It’s not. But the president’s left-wing critics need to rein in their obnoxious hyperbole and constant catastrophizing on gay rights issues. Until they do, no one should take them seriously.

What those accusing President Trump of being an anti-gay bigot don’t understand is that he seems to hold an almost libertarian view on homosexuality. He supports the rights of Christians to practice their faith, but also supports the rights of gays to their lifestyle. Because of that, he gets criticized from both sides.

The Roadrunner Strikes Again

President Trump has about a year left to serve in office. There really is no reason to impeach him when you consider that the voters will make that call in November. Evidently the Democrats don’t trust the voters. In their effort to unseat a duly-elected President, the Democrats are beginning to look like Wile E. Coyote chasing the roadrunner. Their supply of Acme rockets and dynamite are simply not working.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article that might indicate some of the Democrat’s desperation.

The article reports:

Dozens of red state Democrat lawmakers quietly oppose impeachment because they know they will lose their jobs if they vote in favor of impeachment.

However, the radical, rabid Democrats are hoping to roll out the stale Muller report and highlight the ’10 instances of obstruction by President Trump’ — none of which Mueller decided to charge Trump with after two years of a bogus investigation.

Via The Washington Post:

Members of the House Judiciary Committee and other more liberal-minded lawmakers and congressional aides have been privately discussing the possibility of drafting articles that include obstruction of justice or other “high crimes” they believe are clearly outlined in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report — or allegations that Trump has used his office to benefit his bottom line.

The idea, however, is running into resistance from some moderate Democrats wary of impeachment blowback in their GOP-leaning districts, as well as Democratic leaders who sought to keep impeachment narrowly focused on allegations that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rivals, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk freely.

The debate is expected to play out in leadership and caucus meetings this week, as the House Intelligence Committee prepares to hand the impeachment inquiry to the House Judiciary Committee. The Intelligence Committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday night on its final report on Ukraine, allowing Judiciary to then work on writing articles of impeachment based on that document.

This is called desperation. We have transcripts of conversations involved. We have a credible first-hand witness that testified under oath that there was no quid pro quo, and if you read the transcript, you find that the mention of Hunter Biden was not a major part of the conversation. This is a total waste of time and money. President Trump is one of the few Presidents in recent history that has not used his office to benefit his bottom line. He is one of the few that did not need to!

Wouldn’t You?

If you had a person in your life that was constantly spreading gossip about you that was not true, would you allow that person to remain in your life? That is roughly the situation between President Trump and Bloomberg News.

In 2017, The Washington Examiner reporting the following:

How negative was press coverage of President Trump’s first 100 days in office? Far more than that of Barack Obama, George W. Bush, or Bill Clinton, according to a new report from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy.

The Harvard scholars analyzed the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and the main newscasts (not talk shows) of CBS, CNN, Fox and NBC during Trump’s initial time in office. They found, to no one’s surprise, that Trump absolutely dominated news coverage in the first 100 days. And then they found that news coverage was solidly negative — 80 percent negative among those outlets studied, versus 20 percent positive.

The numbers for previous presidents: Barack Obama, 41 percent negative, 59 percent positive; George W. Bush, 57 percent negative, 43 percent positive; and Bill Clinton, 60 percent negative, 40 percent positive.

Things have not changed–on November 13, 2019, CNS News reported the following:

On Tuesday, nationally-syndicated radio host Mark Levin demonstrated how corrupt and bias network news has become, by quoting extensively from a new Media Research Center (MRC) study documenting the overwhelmingly negative coverage of President Donald Trump.

Levin used the opening segment of his show to explore the findings of a study by NewBusters, a division of MRC (as is CNSNews.com):

“Media Research Center: now, that’s a solid organization, come hell or high water. Pressure or no pressure. Because, (MRC President) Brent Bozell is a patriot, as are the people who work with him and for him. And, they stay on it. They will not be deterred.

“And, in a fantastic piece today: ‘Impeachment Frenzy: TV Networks Blast Trump with 96% Negative News’ – That should be the headline right there.”

How can a President be expected to run a country with that kind of news coverage?

At any rate, yesterday Hot Air reported the following:

Bloomberg News decided that it would grant Bloomy’s primary opponents an exemption from investigative coverage but couldn’t grant that sort of exemption to a sitting president, setting up a double standard in which Democratic candidates get a free pass while the Republican nominee is scrutinized. That’s the sort of unworkable ethical nightmare Mike Bloomberg created for his own news agency by choosing to run despite having no realistic path to the nomination. Today the Trump campaign struck back, saying that if Bloomberg News can’t investigate — or won’t investigate — all candidates equally then they’ll no longer be credentialed for Trump campaign events.

The only difference between Bloomberg and the rest of the mainstream media is that Bloomberg is at least being honest about what they are doing. Wouldn’t you kick them off the bus?

The Quest For Freedom

Hong Kong protests have been in the news for a while, but there is not a lot being written about what is currently happening in Iran. The protests in Iran are the largest since the protests nine years ago. This time the protesters know that America is cheering for them.

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff posted an article at Power Line about the protests in Iran.

The article reports:

The New York Times reports on the protests against Iran’s repressive regime. It calls them the most intense since 1979. The 1979 protests, of course, led to the overthrow of the Shah.

The mullahs were the target of strong protests in 2009. But the Times supplies evidence that the current wave is even more intense.

The 2009 protests are believed to have resulted in 72 deaths over a period of many months. The current protests have led to 180 to 450 deaths in just four days.

More significantly, the nature of the protesters appears to be different. Students led the 2009 protests. Reportedly, the current protesters are mainly unemployed or low-income men between the ages of 19 and 26, and the protests are centered not at universities but in working class neighborhoods.

This makes sense because the current protests were triggered by economic grievances, especially an increase in gasoline prices. The Times acknowledges that the Trump administration’s sanctions against Iran are “a big reason” for the economic squeeze.

The difference in the nature of the protests is significant because unemployed and low-income youths have less to lose than university students. They are less likely to cowed for long.

The article states that it is doubtful that this protest will lead to an overthrow of the mullahs, but it may be a step toward that end.

Campaign Promises vs. Reality

The Gateway Pundit is reporting today that Elizabeth Warren has promised to get rid of the Electoral College during her first term in office. Has anyone told her what the steps are to amend the U.S. Constitution? This is not something that can easily be accomplished in four years. The promise also shows a lack of understanding (or possibly an ulterior motive) of the Electoral College. Without the Electoral College, America would be ruled by New York, California, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Before you decide whether that is good or bad, you need to look at the budgets, taxes, and cost of living in those states.

The article notes:

Democrats want to do away with the College in order to take away power in smaller states and give states with large urban populations more clout.

Democrats like South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, author Marianne Williamson, and former Obama administration cabinet secretary Julian Castro want to abolish the Electoral College, while Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Kamala Harris and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard have voiced support for doing away with the College.

But just like a lot of other ideas from Warren — like her $52 trillion Medicare for all proposal — her plan is a non-starter. Doing away with the College would require a constitutional amendment, and that can only take place if a two-thirds supermajority in Congress passes an amendment, which is then ratified by three-fourths of the states.

Yeah, that ain’t happening. Just like so many of Warren’s other wacky plans.

The framers of the U.S. Constitution included the Electoral College to make sure that smaller states had some influence in American elections. To do away with the Electoral College would drastically change America (not for the better).

The Thin Line Of Censorship

A friend of mine who is in radio advertising tells me that radio stations do not have the ability to refuse political ads. During an election season, a station must air all ads that a political campaign pays for. Evidently this is the result of the fact that radio stations are controlled by the Federal Communications Commission. Unfortunately the new media is very loosely controlled by anything. This is a very mixed blessing. I don’t want the government telling me that I have to accept political ads on my blog whether or not I agree with the ads. However, the censorship of conservative speech that is going on at YouTube, Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc., is not acceptable.

Breitbart is reporting today that according to a report by 60 minutes more than 300 of President Donald Trump’s political ads have taken down by Google and its video platform YouTube, mostly over the summer.

The article reports:

The CBS reporters were unable to find specific reasons for the mass takedowns of Trump ads, a common problem with social media companies, which are often reluctant to explain precisely why a ban or other act of censorship has happened. “We found very little transparency in the transparency report,” concluded 60 Minutes.

The article includes the following quote from CBS News:

60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl asked Wojcicki, “Have you taken down any of President Trump’s ads at all?” YouTube’s CEO responded, “There are ads of President Trump that were not approved to run on Google or YouTube.” When pressed for an example, Wojcicki added, “Well, they’re available in our transparency report.”

In response to concerns raised after the 2016 election cycle, Google and YouTube, like Facebook, keep a searchable archive of political ads that have run on the site.

60 Minutes reviewed the archive to learn more about President Trump’s problematic political ads. We found that over 300 video ads were taken down by Google and YouTube, mostly over the summer, for violating company policy. But the archive doesn’t detail what policy was violated. Was it copyright violation? A lie or extreme inaccuracy? Faulty grammar? Bad punctuation? It’s unclear. The ads determined to be offending are not available to be screened. We found very little transparency in the transparency report. 

We are coming into a very important election season. American voters need to hear both sides of every campaign. We already know that the mainstream media is extremely biased. How are people supposed to get information when free speech is being suppressed?

An Expert Opinion

Regardless of how you may feel about him, Newt Gingrich is a brilliant political mind. He posted an article at Fox News today about the move to impeach President Trump. I recommend that you follow the link to read the entire article, but I will try to highlight it here.

The article reports:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats’ tunnel-vision focus on impeaching President Trump puts all of us, as Americans, at risk.

This may sound extreme, but I lay it all out in this week’s episode of “Newt’s World.”

Since the day Trump was elected president, Democrats have been formulating and executing the plot we have been watching unfold. After Trump won a massive electoral majority, Democrats started digging.

They have been determined to find something – anything – they can use to attack him. The central focus of all of this is to describe and define Trump as a corrupt president so often that people begin to accept the narrative. It’s not only the elected Democrats. Much of the intelligence community has been equally determined to “uncover” something on President Trump from the beginning.

The article continues:

As this plot against Trump has continued, the American system has been bypassed, ignored, or misused to the point where it has been put it in jeopardy. Democrats, political operatives, American intelligence officials and the media have been forcing a manufactured narrative on the American people. Specifically, a group of these intelligence officials are breaking the law by leaking secrets to the media (whose members gladly overlook these crimes so long as it lets them accuse the president of something new).

We have seen this pattern with the so-called Trump Towers in Moscow scandal, the Robert Mueller investigation, and now the Pelosi-Adam Schiff impeachment effort.

Make no mistake: This is not politics as usual. It’s a concerted effort by one political party, the Washington bureaucracy, and the media to overrule the American people.

The continuing attack on President Trump is dangerous to our Republic. This is an attempt to overthrow the results of a legitimate election. If those responsible are not brought to justice, our government will constantly be in chaos because false charges can be filed against any elected official at any time in an effort to remove him from office.

Does Anyone Believe This?

Townhall posted an article today about recent statements by actress Jameela Jamil and feminist icon Gloria Steinem.

The article reports:

Last month, the magazine published an interview between actress Jameela Jamil and feminist icon Gloria Steinem. Their conversation went largely unnoticed by media outlets, but it shouldn’t have – mainly because of the absurd claims the two made. Among them, they insisted that abortion is necessary for democracy. And, they warned, some people control reproduction as a tool for sexism or racism, like white evangelical Trump supporters.

The article continues:

“It took me a while to understand that the first step in every authoritarian regime is controlling reproduction, and that means controlling us,” Steinem said. “Unless we—men and women—have power over our own bodies and voices, there is no such thing as democracy.”

The irony – that abortion violates the bodies and voices of millions of baby boys and girls – was lost on her. The irony that abortion itself can be used to control reproduction was also left untouched.

Steinem went so far as to make a Hitler comparison. 

“[E]very authoritarian regime that I have ever read about, including Hitler’s rise to power, every regime starts with controlling reproduction and that means controlling women’s bodies,” she stressed.

Obviously I am missing something, but it seems to be that if women controlled their bodies there would be much fewer abortions. We have birth control. Unwanted pregnancies can easily be avoided or dealt with through adoption. A mother does not need to freedom to kill her child to be free.

A New Role For America

Yahoo Finance is reporting today that America has posted its first full month as a net exporter of crude and petroleum products since government records began in 1949.

The article reports:

The nation exported 89,000 barrels a day more than it imported in September, according to data from the Energy Information Administration Friday. While the U.S. has previously reported net exports on a weekly basis, today’s figures mark a key milestone that few would have predicted just a decade ago, before the onset of the shale boom.

President Donald Trump has touted American energy independence, saying that the nation is moving away from relying on foreign oil. While the net exports show decreasing reliance on imports, the U.S. still continues to buy heavy crude oil from other nations to meet the needs of its refineries. It also buys refined products when they are available for a lower cost from foreign suppliers.

“The U.S. return to being a net exporter serves to remind how the oil industry can deliver surprises — in this case, the shale oil revolution – that upend global oil prices, production, and trade flows,” said Bob McNally, a former energy adviser to President George W. Bush and president of the consulting firm Rapidan Energy Group.

Soaring output from shale deposits led by the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico has been in main driver of the transition — but America’s status as a net exporter may be fragile. Many Texas wildcatters are predicting a rapid decline in production growth next year, while some Democratic contenders for the White House have called for a ban on fracking — the controversial drilling technique that unleashed the boom.

The article concludes:

Analysts at Rystad Energy said this week the U.S. is only months away from achieving energy independence, citing surging oil and gas output as well as the growth of renewables.

“Going forward, the United States will be energy independent on a monthly basis, and by 2030 total primary energy production will outpace primary energy demand by about 30%,” said Sindre Knutsson, vice president of Rystad Energy’s gas markets team.

So what does energy independence mean? It means that our foreign policy is no longer determined by our energy needs, but by forming alliances with countries with similar goals. It means that a change in the world production of oil will not result in the gas lines we saw in America in the 1970’s. It means that if Russia plays politics with the energy it supplies to Europe, we have the ability to step in and fill the need–ending the constant threat that Russia will cut off Europe’s fuel supply in the dead of winter. It means that in case of war, our ships and airplanes will have the fuel they need to fight.

Energy independence is a big deal. It is a goal that was seemingly unachievable until President Trump made it a priority. Thank you, Mr. President.

The Quiet Revolution In American Shopping

One America News posted an article today about the changing habits of shoppers in America.

The article reports:

U.S. shoppers made more purchases online on Black Friday than in the mall – hurting traffic and sales at brick-and-mortar stores, according to data that offered a glimpse into what is still one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

For the first time in several years, however, store traffic on Thanksgiving evening grew – indicating a shift in when consumers are leaving their homes to shop. It is also a sign of how Thursday evening store openings have continued to hurt what has traditionally been a day that kicked off the U.S. holiday season.

The importance on the shopping calendar of Black Friday, or the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday, has waned in recent years. This is due to the choice by many retailers to open their stores on Thursday evening, as well as to early holiday promotions and year-round discounts. However, it is increasingly turning into a day when shoppers do not necessarily flock to stores but spend heavily online.

Also, for most retail chains, Black Friday store traffic and sales data is not necessarily grim as consumers continue to spend, consultants said. Winning the transaction, whether online or in-store, has now become more important for retailers than where it occurs.

Most major stores have followed the example of Amazon, making things available online (with options of in-store pick up). Shoppers can now find an item online, place an order, have it delivered, or go to their local store to pick it up immediately or within a day or two.

The article concludes:

Shopper traffic on Thanksgiving evening increased by 2.3%year-over-year but was dragged down by Black Friday, which fell 6.2% from a year ago.

Brian Field, senior director of global retail consulting for ShopperTrak, said the traditional pattern of shoppers visiting stores has been disrupted not only by online shopping but by offerings like “buy online and pick up in store,” a growing category, which is not included in store traffic count on Black Friday.

“What all of this really boils down to is the customer journey has changed, now it can start anywhere online, in-store and end anywhere … and it is about making sure the customer makes the purchase and stays loyal to the brands more than where it happens,” he said.

Preliminary data from analytics firm RetailNext showed net sales at brick-and-mortar stores on Black Friday fell 1.6%, which the firm said is slower than in previous years. No data was yet available for actual spending in stores.

The National Retail Federation had forecast U.S. holiday retail sales over the two months in 2019 will increase between 3.8% and 4.2% from a year ago, for a total of $727.9 billion to $730.7 billion. That compares with an average annual increase of 3.7% over the past five years.

Consumer spending is a major part of the health of the American economy. The increase in holiday retail sales is part of what keeps our economy growing and thriving.

How Much Privacy Is A President Entitled To?

Hot Air posted an article today about the ongoing court battle regarding the Congressional subpoena of former White House Counsel Don McGahn. Counsel McGahn was summoned by the House Judiciary Committee to answer questions about the time he worked for President Trump.

The article reports:

Whether or not he would appear was a bone of contention for a while until a federal judge issued a dramatic proclamation on Monday, stating that “Presidents are not kings” and ordering McGahn to appear.

Well, that lasted for all of three days. By Wednesday evening, that same judge had backed down, allowing a request from the Justice Department to delay the implementation of the ruling until the appeals process has played out. Of course, this doesn’t mean McGahn (and the President) are totally off the hook, but they’ve at least bought a bit of breathing room. (Daily Mail)

The article concludes:

That doesn’t mean that the final decision on McGahn won’t cast a long shadow, however. How this plays out will have consequences for the ongoing impeachment circus. At issue here is the question of whether or not aides to the President are shielded from revealing details of private conversations they’ve had with the boss or the counsel they offered. Also, whether or not that shielding lasts indefinitely even after they’ve left their positions with the White House.

That sort of privacy has long been assumed to be part of the President’s executive privilege. But does that extend to investigations of potential criminal conduct? That’s the question that will be answered when the dust settles on McGahn’s subpoena. If he’s ordered to show up and testify, that could open the gate for numerous other Trump aides to be called in to talk about all of the Ukraine events. And that’s likely not something President Trump will want to see after we’re in the thick of the final push to next year’s election.

I guess my question is whether or not the President has the same civil rights as ordinary citizens, If you are an ordinary citizen, your conversations with your lawyer are protected by law. We saw this Constitutional principle violated when Michael Cohen’s offices were raided. Now the question is whether or not we are going to continue to violate President Trump’s Constitutional rights. All of us need to remember–if the President does not have Constitutional rights, then none of us have Constitutional rights.

It’s Hard To Remove A Sitting President When The Economy Is Good

It is hard to remove a sitting President when the economy is good. That rule applies to attempts to impeach the President, and the rule also applies to elections. One impact of a strong economy is that people who are making good money and feel relatively secure in their jobs are less likely to engage in class warfare. Class warfare is one of the Democrat’s most frequently used weapons.

Yesterday One America News posted an article about the current state of the American economy.

The article reports:

The latest macroeconomic data is suggesting the chances of a U.S. recession have reduced in recent weeks due to steady consumer spending. According to a recent poll by Morning Consult, consumer confidence has rebounded over the past four weeks due to ongoing job creation, gains in wages and a soft price inflation.

Even without a resolution of the trade negotiations with China, consumers are feeling confident.

The article concludes:

Retail sales have also increased going into the holiday shopping season, beating previous expectations. Consumer spending makes up for roughly 70 percent of America’s GDP growth. Many experts have tied the ongoing stable expansion to President Trump’s economic policies.

I think on the whole, this economy has been remarkable. It’s taken the headwinds of the trade wars pretty successfully…and we’re still chugging along at roughly two percent. I think that’s an accomplishment.” – Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President of the American Action Forum

A separate report from S&P Global found the probability of a U.S. recession in the coming year has dropped from 35 to 30 percent since August of this year.

I personally would like to see the probability of a U.S. recession at 0 percent, but I don’t know if I would trust the media to report that number even if it occurred.

Following The Spirit Of The Law As Well As The Letter Of The Law

The Washington Times posted an article yesterday about an aspect of the Trump presidency that I think has been largely ignored.

The article notes:

Ronald Reagan made nearly 250 recess appointments during his time in office. Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush made dozens each. George W. Bush made 171, and Barack Obama notched 32.

President Trump, meanwhile, stands at a big zero.

No other president has gone this deep into an administration without making a recess appointment. In fact, he is poised to become the first president never to get one — save William Henry Harrison, who died just one month into office.

The article also reports:

The Constitution places the recess power in Article II, which lays out the role of the executive branch, assigning the president “power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session.”

That was the key trade-off: The president could fill vacancies, but the appointees’ terms were limited unless the Senate voted to approve them.

In the early years of the republic, when Congress was frequently out of session for a majority of each year, it was standard for a president to begin his tenure with a slew of recess appointments for posts that opened during the transition.

Each new president would notify the Senate of his actions and ask the upper chamber to confirm the person once it was back in session. In nearly every case, the Senate did so.

In recent years, the political rancor between the parties has changed that and recess appointments are not always confirmed–John Bolton is one example of this and I am sure there are others. President Trump thinks like a businessman. The article notes that he has used the Federal Vacancies Reform Act to make ‘acting’ appointments that allow him to remove people or move them when he sees fit.

The article concludes:

Analysts debate whether the recess appointment has become a constitutional anachronism. But some are wondering whether Mr. Trump might try to use that power heading into the last year of his term.

Even if Congress never goes into a full recess anymore, it still divides each year into a separate session — and on Jan. 3, both chambers will gavel out the first session of the 116th Congress and gavel in the second session.

The Supreme Court was silent on that type of recess in its Noel Canning ruling.

There is precedent for using the intersession period to make recess appointments. Roosevelt used the tactic in his 1903 power play.

One of the biggest mistakes America ever made was to air condition Congress so that they could stay in session during the summer.