Good News From Libya

Yesterday Fox News reported that a militant alleged to have been involved in the attack on the Annex in Benghazi, Libya, has been captured. The man (Mustafa al-Imam) is being brought to Washington, D.C., where he will be tried in federal court.

The article also reports:

Earlier this month, the trial of Ahmed Abu Khattala began, the alleged mastermind of the 2012 attacks. It’s not clear if the suspect detailed by U.S. special operations forces is one of Khattala’s lieutenants.

Khatallah had been awaiting trail since 2014, when U.S. Army commandos and FBI agents captured him in Benghazi and put him on a Navy ship for detention in an American prison inside the United States.

I have mixed emotions about bringing this man into the United States. If he is given the full rights of the U.S. Constitution even though he is not an American citizen, the discovery phase of a trial could make the prosecution very difficult–we might have to divulge classified information in that phase. However, if bringing him back the the United States is an indication that he will receive a speedy trial and verdict, that is a good thing. It is not a good idea to imprison terrorists in America. There will always be a risk of a hostage situation in an attempt to free them. Remember, we are dealing with people who believe that if they die fighting infidels, they will go to heaven. We are the infidels. If the man is convicted and given a prison sentence, it would be better to send him to Guantanamo than to imprison him in the United States.

A Very Different Perspective On Yesterday’s Indictments

Yesterday Conservative Treehouse posted a very intriguing analysis of the indictment of Paul Manafort. I strongly suggest that you follow the link to read the entire article, but I will try to highlight it here.

The article reports:

As the Special Counsel Robert Mueller indictment documents show with increasing clarity, the entire enterprise surrounding the Washington DC Russian Investigation is not about law, it’s about creating and controlling leverage.

…The 2016 election caused the balance of power to shift favorably toward political forces that are external to the DC machine, ie. President Trump and the deplorables.

The subsequent action by Robert Mueller, Democrats, the Media (writ large), and President Trump is a confrontation over political goals and objectives. The DC machine, the “swamp” per se’, is attempting to frame leverage against actions adverse to their political interest.

…Paul Manafort is being leveraged toward a political objective; his legal jeopardy is negligible. The documents, and the underlying charges, are intended to make life miserable for Mr. Manafort – not to end with some traditionally framed criminal consequence, ie. prison.

Mr. Manafort’s wealth is being held as leverage, compliance, toward his acquiescence within the game; nothing more. He’ll likely end up with some misdemeanor charge, a financial fine good enough for media optics and perhaps -at worst- some probation for not following the FARA rules. That’s it.

Conversely, on the other side of the political continuum, Tony and John Podesta are just now entering the process of being leveraged toward compliance on the Clinton side of the equation. Like Manafort, Tony Podesta most likely will not face legal jeopardy beyond a similar outcome.

In the backdrop to the Clinton dynamic you have Mueller putting the deeper part of the Deep Swamp and remaining black hat intelligence community, on notice to knock-it-off with the selling of U.S. policy toward gaining their own financial indulgences.

The article concludes:

Senator Schumer wants to keep his leverage right where it is currently; and stop ‘his side’ from feeling the effects of Mueller’s omnidirectional legal admonishments. If Mueller indicts Tony Podesta senator Schumer loses political leverage.

Nothing about the current dynamic is factually encompassing President Trump; it is all about optics, narratives and political leverage. However, everything about this dynamic is factually encompassing the existential threat that outsider Trump represents to the established way of life in the DC Swamp.

Toward the end goal of disrupting DC swamp-life, Mueller and Trump appear aligned in common cause. Robert Mueller from the perspective of trying to get the external influence agents to the U.S. stopped; and President Trump from the policy perspective of America-first, which coincidentally is in alignment with Mueller’s patriotic goals to stop influence agents.

That’s the bigger part of the BIG picture. Everything else is smoke and mirrors.

Washington is all about power (and a swamp that does not want to be drained).

The Insanity Being Taught In Our Colleges

If we expect America to survive at a nation, we had better take a long look at what our children are being taught in college and begin to change it. As a nation, we send our future leaders to college in the hope that they will learn critical thinking and leadership skills that will preserve us as a nation. We also hope that they will begin to understand the foundations of our nation. The obvious foundations are freedom, right to private property, free speech, etc. The more subtle foundation of our nation is the family. An intact family unit protects our children as they grow up and builds the foundation of leadership for the next generation. Unfortunately, not everyone sees it that way.

Fox News posted an article today about a City University of New York sociology professor, Jessie Daniels, who posted the following on Twitter:

There was a time in America that starting a family and wanting the best for your children was seen as a virtue. Wanting the best for your children meant encouraging them to work hard in school, learn a marketable skill, and if possible, continue their education. It is unfortunate that those goals are now considered ‘white supremacy.’ Those goals are attainable by any American of any race–ask Ben Carson about his background. If every young American accepted the goal of doing well in school, learning a marketable skill, waiting until after high school to get married, and waiting until marriage to have children, the poverty rate in America would be almost non-existent.

The Professor continues:

“Until white people are ready to confront their own family’s racism (and) participation in systemic white supremacy, it’s not getting dismantled,” she wrote. “Beyond just calling out interpersonal racism, white people who want to be engaged in the work need to ask themselves about housing wealth.”

She added: “White people: do you own your home? When you die, where’s wealth in that house going? If it’s to your children, you’re reproducing (inequality).”

If I understand her correctly, success=racism. Is she saying that people who are not white cannot be successful? I would encourage her to look at the number of non-while immigrants to America who have come here in the past fifty years or so and started businesses and become successful. Maybe the problem isn’t the color of a person’s skin, maybe its the attitude and unwillingness to try to succeed that makes the difference.

A Positive Step Toward Protecting Persecuted Christians

As Iran has become more powerful in the Middle East, the persecution of Christians has increased. Unfortunately, the Islamic religion does not include tolerance for those who do not practice Islam. In the past, our efforts to provide relief for persecuted Christians has been filtered through the United Nations, an organization that has tended to look the other way when Christians were persecuted. One of the major voting blocs in the United Nations is the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). That organization believes that Christianity is blasphemy against Islam and that Christians should be persecuted. The OIC is actually a major player in deciding how and where money for humanitarian aid to refugees and persecuted people should be spent.

One America News is reporting today that the Trump administration is changing the way humanitarian aid to persecuted Christians is handled.

The following video explains:

Hopefully this change will mean the persecuted Christians receive the necessary aid.

Wait For The Boomerang

The headlines are screaming today–“Paul Manafort Indicted.” Well, before the Democrats celebrate too loudly, they might want to take a look at the indictment.

The New York Post posted an article today listing the charges:

The indictment says Manafort and Gates worked as “unregistered agents” for Ukraine and the Party of Regions, a political party run by Yanukovych.

​They “generated tens of millions of dollars in income as a result of their Ukraine work” and hid the payments from US authorities, the indictment says.

From 2006 through 2016, Manafort and Gates laundered $75 million through “scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships and bank accounts,” it says.

The 31-page indictment does not mention Trump or the 2016 election.

There are a few things that need to be noted about the indictment of Paul Manafort. Wikipedia lists a few positions Paul Manafort held in the past. Between 1978 and 1980, Manafort was the southern coordinator for Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign, and the deputy political director at the Republican National Committee. After Reagan’s election in November 1980, he was appointed Associate Director of the Presidential Personnel Office at the White House. Paul Manafort worked as an advisor to the presidential campaigns of George H.W. Bush in 1988 and Bob Dole in 1996. Manafort was someone used by the Republican establishment in the past, it is quite likely that establishment Republicans had something to do with Manafort being chosen to work on the Trump campaign. It is also important to note that Manafort was hired in March 2016 and fired in August 2016.

So what can we conclude from this? It is quite likely that Robert Mueller has indicted Manafort as an attempt to bring down President Trump. All Mueller has to do is promise leniency to Manafort if Manafort will blow the whistle on the President.

The fact that the special prosecutor indicted someone who worked on the Trump campaign for a matter of months on charges that were in no way connected to the campaign or Donald Trump is an indication that Mueller is not finding what he needs to find in order to go after President Trump. It is becoming very obvious that Mueller is conducting an extensive witch hunt that is only yielding shady characters not related to the President.

In a nutshell, if this is all Robert Mueller can come up with, he needs to go away. He is a very expensive distraction.


Smile, You Are Being Manipulated

This story is based on an article today at Yahoo News, but the information contained can be found pretty much anywhere on the Internet.

It was leaked Friday that Robert Mueller was going to arrest someone on Monday. Why do you think that leak came out Friday after we have heard nothing for so long? Is the timing suspicious to you? Well, last week the news was full of Uranium One and GPS Fusion. The major media gave as little time as possible to both of these stories, but the news still got out. Both of these stories look very bad for both Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party. Unless someone changes the narrative, these stories will have to be covered in the mainstream media. Ergo, Robert Mueller is going to arrest someone.

In May 2015 the book Clinton Cash was published. The book explores the method the Clintons used to go from millions of dollars in debt due to legal expenses to earning over $230 million. Uranium One was one item mentioned in the book. There are also some real questions about how the money the Clinton Foundation raised for Haiti was spent. Although the news largely ignored the book, much of it has already been proven as true.

The Uranium One scandal and Fusion GPS were the news of the week last week. In order to take those stories off the front pages of objective or conservative media, a bigger story has to occur. Robert Mueller and the mainstream media are creating that story.

Smile, you are being manipulated.

It Just Gets Uglier

The Federalist is reporting today that since April President Obama has sent nearly a million dollars of his campaign money to the law group that hired Fusion GPS. This information appears in records filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

The article reports:

The Washington Post reported last week that Perkins Coie, an international law firm, was directed by both the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign to retain Fusion GPS in April of 2016 to dig up dirt on then-candidate Donald Trump. Fusion GPS then hired Christopher Steele, a former British spy, to compile a dossier of allegations that Trump and his campaign actively colluded with the Russian government during the 2016 election. Though many of the claims in the dossier have been directly refuted, none of the dossier’s allegations of collusion have been independently verified. Lawyers for Steele admitted in court filings last April that his work was not verified and was never meant to be made public.

OFA, Obama’s official campaign arm in 2016, paid nearly $800,000 to Perkins Coie in 2016 alone, according to FEC records. The first 2016 payments to Perkins Coie, classified only as “Legal Services,” were made April 25-26, 2016, and totaled $98,047. A second batch of payments, also classified as “Legal Services,” were disbursed to the law firm on September 29, 2016, and totaled exactly $700,000. Payments from OFA to Perkins Coie in 2017 totaled $174,725 through August 22, 2017.

The significance of this is simple. The information in the dossier put together by Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele is said to be the basis for the surveillance of the Trump campaign and the Trump transition team. Think about that. Essentially President Obama paid to have a group gather dirt on Donald Trump and then used that dirt (even though it was questionable at best) as the basis for electronic surveillance. That sort of political spying on American citizens is exactly what those in Congress who opposed the Patriot Act were trying to prevent. It seems as if there are a lot of people in Washington who abused their power in recent years and need to be held accountable. The swamp must be drained.

Tearing Down The Foundation Of America

Tearing down statues of people who lived more than a hundred years ago accomplishes nothing. If someone feels threatened by these statues, maybe they need to talk to a professional to find out why. Statues are statues. Unless they fall and hit you on the head, they are harmless. Denying history should not be something acceptable. Meanwhile, the insanity continues.

The Daily Signal is reporting today that Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia, where Washington became a founding member in 1773, will remove his memorial and a similar one to Robert E. Lee. Neither of these men were perfect men, but they were honorable men who followed their consciences and tried to do what was right.

The article reports:

The church’s decision to remove the plaques puts it at the center of a nationwide debate over the display of memorials to important American historical figures whose acts or statements didn’t comport with today’s social norms. Many groups have protested against public memorials to Confederate generals, such as Lee, and also to transformative presidents, such as Washington, Andrew Jackson, and even Abraham Lincoln.

The memorials at Christ Church in Alexandria were placed at the same time in 1870, months after Lee’s death. City residents chipped in for the plaques for both leaders, whose families had for many years been generous donors to the church’s endowment.

The Rev. Noelle York-Simmons, rector of the church, told The Washington Times the decision to take down the memorials was made by “unanimous vote” of the vestry, or church leadership committee. Church leaders say the plaques will come down by next summer, but no decision has been made as to how they will be displayed in another part of the church grounds.

As noted in the article, this is a debate over “…important American historical figures whose acts or statements didn’t comport with today’s social norms.” We need to remember that we cannot look at history through the lens of today. Slavery was a horrible thing,–but it is a chapter in our history. It is also a chapter that we chose to close as a nation.  We also need to remember that slavery is still acceptable today in many of the Muslim countries in the world. The Islamic religion has no problem with the idea of taking non-Muslims as slaves.

George Washington was an honorable man. His reluctance to be crowned king of America gave us the republic we cherish. To tear down the person of George Washington is to tear down one of the pillars in the foundation of America.

Why Did The Economy Turn Around In Less Than A Year?

On Wednesday, The Observer posted an article titled, “How Trump Got the Economy Booming in Less Than a Year.” That’s a question we need to answer if we are going to continue the boom.

The article reports some of the economic successes:

Early into his administration, Trump’s policies are already restoring growth. Real GDP grew 3.1 percent in the last quarter, up more than 50 percent from the average for the eight years that Obama was president.

In Trump’s first six months in office, more than a million new jobs were created, driving unemployment down to a 16-year low. The stock market set 34 new record highs, with headlines just last week screaming “Dow Races Through 23,000.”

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rose to nearly a 16-year high, as did Bloomberg’s Consumer Comfort Index, both contributing to soaring retail sales. The National Association of Manufacturers Outlook Survey rocketed to a record 91.4 percent, the highest two quarter average for manufacturing optimism in the survey’s 20-year history. The Institute for Supply Management reported it’s barometer of manufacturing rose to 57.8, with over 50 indicating expansion of the manufacturing sector.

So how did this happen. Part of the reason for the growth is the promise of pro-growth tax reform based on the Reagan model of lower marginal tax rates. But there is another reason–based on actions, not promises–deregulation.

The article explains:

Trump has already made a lot of progress in removing Obama’s boot on the neck of American energy producers. That is why U.S. shale oil production has already soared to record levels since Trump entered office.

America today has the resources to lead the world as the top producer worldwide of oil, natural gas and coal. Removing America from the Paris Climate Accord, the start of the demise of Obama’s so-called “Clean Power Plan,” and Trump’s ongoing dismantling of the anti-American energy regulation of Obama’s EPA has already liberated America’s energy producers to assume these world leading roles.

Any economy with the world’s number one oil producing industry, number one natural gas producing industry, and number one coal producing industry is going to be leading the world with booming economic growth. And not just in energy but in manufacturing too. Because manufacturing is an energy intensive activity.

The article concludes:

The House and Senate have now passed budgets providing for many of the spending reductions proposed in Trump’s budget. Contrary to outdated Keynesian economics, government spending detracts from rather than adds to the economy, draining resources from the productive private sector, which is why Obama’s “stimulus” never worked.

In the 2010 and 2014 elections, voters decisively expressed what they think of the Keynesian doctrine that increased deficits and government debt contribute to economic recovery and restored growth. Voters first obliterated the House Democrat majority in 2010 and then took away the Senate Democrat majority in 2014.

Wait until America gains the reality of pro-growth tax reform. When it further restores booming recovery, voters will feel vindicated in their judgements and continue their support for the economic policies of the Trump administration.

I am not convinced that all of the voters will be smart enough to realize what has happened to the economy this year. Unfortunately, we have a bloc of voters who will be more concerned with whether or not the government will continue to pay them not to work. Part of the challenge in growing America’s economy is restoring America’s work ethic. That is part of the foundation of the change that needs to come.

Why The FBI And The Department Of Justice Would Really Rather Not Talk To Congress

Scott Johnson at Power Line posted an article this morning with a possible explanation as to why the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are withholding information from Congress. Evidently a lot of rather dubious actions that would have been buried had Hillary Clinton been elected President are beginning to come to light.

The explanation comes from a retired FBI agent. He explains:

As a retired FBI Special Agent with over two decades of experience in counterintelligence, I’d like to make a point that Scott and Paul are surely aware of, but which it’s useful to keep at the front of your mind.

Scott regularly refers to the Trump dossier as the “Rosetta Stone” of the “muh Russia” narrative. That’s true, but it’s helpful to go one step further. The real importance of the Trump dossier from a criminal law standpoint lies in the use it was put to for official government purposes. To understand that we need to know whether the dossier was used to justify the initiation of Full Investigations (FIs), according to the relevant AG Guidelines for National Security investigations.

The former agent explains the problem with that:

The full relevance of these considerations can be seen from Scott and Paul’s review of just how threadbare the dossier really was in terms of authentication. If it was used in applications to the FISC with the knowledge that it was “oppo research” and likely not credible, and if that knowledge was withheld from the FISC, I suspect we’re looking at the real possibility of criminal conduct. And bear in mind that such applications (for FISA coverage relating to a candidate for President or a President-elect) would have been approved only at the highest levels before submission to the FISC.

To put two names to that process: James Comey and Loretta Lynch. If they knowingly deceived the FISC–and that depends, as far as we can tell at this point, largely on how they may have used the “dossier”–they’re looking at serious criminal liability.

Here we have an example of the FBI and the DOJ being used for political purposes.

The agent concludes:

Investigations of the magnitude we’re discussing necessarily include a fair number of people and the testimony of those other people would likely shed valuable light on the true nature of the process that was followed, who made the decisions, what was known about the credibility of information that was used to justify official actions, who really believed those justifications, the nature of coordination with other government agencies, etc. This is where the investigative rubber will hit the road.

This sort of political spying is the sort of thing that happens in dictatorships where leaders are grasping to hold on to power. I guess President Obama thought that the election of Hillary Clinton would be his third term as President.

Slowly Moving Ahead

The Independent Journal Review is reporting today that the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Senate’s 2018 $4 trillion budget resolution, providing a boost to President Donald Trump’s push for tax reform.

The article reports:

While 20 Republicans opposed the bill, it narrowly passed with a 216-212 vote amid tensions over the budget’s impact on deficits and the debt.

The House endorsed the budget without changes after it passed in the Senate last week.

President Donald Trump promptly tweeted his excitement over the big next step on the way toward tax reform, a goal Republicans have been pushing to accomplish for years.

I am still looking for a list of people who voted for and against the budget. I am sure the list will be at tomorrow.

The article lists some of the comments made by the Representatives:

However, some House Republicans voiced their reservations over the budget, with Rep. John Faso (N.Y.) stating he couldn’t support the bill due to the elimination of the SALT deduction.

“We must provide middle-class tax relief and lower the burdens on job-creating small businesses. I could not, however, vote in support of a budget resolution that singled out for elimination the ability of New York families to deduct state and local taxes,” Faso said.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) called the bill’s passing a “legislative runway for pro-growth tax reform.”

“Our successful vote will allow us to move forward quickly on delivering the first overhaul of America‘s tax code in more than three decades,” Brady added.

Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) said the planned tax cuts “will not a create an economic boom, but will instead lead to a higher concentration of wealth among the rich, while dramatically increasing deficits and debt.”

I would like to make a comment on the elimination of the SALT (state and local taxes) deduction. Why in the world should fiscally responsible states be subsidizing fiscally irresponsible states? That is what the SALT deduction does. As for the Democrats’ constant cry of ‘tax cuts for the rich,’ the rich are the people who pay taxes, why shouldn’t they get a tax cut? As I have reported numerous times, the top 10 percent of income earners, those having an adjusted gross income over $138,031, pay about 70.6 percent of federal income taxes. About 1.7 million Americans, less than 1 percent of our population, pay 70.6 percent of federal income taxes. These numbers come from actual IRS data. If you are cutting taxes, it is logical that those people paying the taxes would be affected.

Let’s just cut everyone’s taxes and cut the size of government in Washington.

Whatever Happened To Elliot Ness?

In case you are too young to remember, Elliot Ness was:

the man most often recognized for destroying the multimillion-dollar breweries operated by Al Capone. Also responsible, in part, for Capone’s arrest and conviction of tax evasion, Ness was instrumental in ceasing the power Capone had over the city of Chicago.

Ness was also responsible for turning around Cleveland, Ohio, in the mid-1930s, when the city was overcome with crime and corruption. Weeding out 200 crooked police officers and bringing 15 other officials to trial for criminal behavior, Ness set many precedents. One such milestone was Ness’s efforts to correct Cleveland’s traffic problems, establishing a separate court in which all traffic cases were heard.  (quoted from

Elliot Ness worked in law enforcement from 1927 to 1944. He was known as an corruptible example of integrity that was totally trustworthy. This was a man who successfully drained his local swamps. We need him now.

Investor’s Business Daily posted an article yesterday listing a few of the Democratic scandals in the Obama Administration that have somehow not had consequences.

Here are a few highlights:

Exonerating Clinton before the facts were in. First was the fact that former FBI director James Comey had, contrary to what he told Congress, drafted what amounted to an acquittal letter for Hillary Clinton months before he’d even interviewed her regarding her unsecured private email server.

Comey interviewed Clinton on July 2, 2016, and three days later announced that he was closing the case because “no reasonable prosecutor” would pursue it.

…Setting up a liberal slush fund. Next, we learned that Justice was using settlement money as a slush fund to support liberal groups, to the explicit exclusion of any non-liberal ones. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte released what he called “smoking gun” emails to that effect.

Under Obama, the Justice department started sending money from legal settlements to third parties not involved directly in the litigation. At the time, there were lots of complaints (including in this space) that the money was being poured into left-wing groups. And Trump ended the practice when he took office.

…Papering over the Uranium One scandal. We’ve also only recently learned, thanks to intrepid reporters at The Hill, that the FBI had a substantial amount of evidence showing that Russian nuclear officials had been involved in a number of illegal schemes designed to expand its nuclear business in the U.S. — which included bribery, extortion and racketeering.

Worse, they had all this before top Obama administration officials — including Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder — signed off on a deal that gave Russia effective control of 20% of uranium in the U.S. by approving Russia’s purchase of Uranium One.

…Using Democratic-sponsored Russian dirt on Trump. Now that we know the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee — despite repeated denials — financed the so-called Trump dossier, a bigger question arises.

What did the FBI know and when did they know it?

Despite being labeled as “salacious and unverified” by former FBI director James Comey, it has served as a road map for journalists and federal investigators pushing the Trump-Russia meddling story.

The article concludes:

In the end, the FBI didn’t pay Steele, but as York notes, the question remains: “Did the FBI or other agencies use any information from the dossier as a basis for warrant requests before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court?”

House Republicans announced this week that they’ve started a probe into the FBI’s handling of both the Clinton email case and the Uranium One deal. Now they have a fresh angle on the dossier to pursue.

This is a good start. The Justice Department is supposed to be above politics. Obama tried to turn it into a political tool. The public needs to know how far he got.

Who do you trust to investigate this? Are the Justice Department’s hands clean? Are the FBI’s hands clean? Are the Special Prosecutor’s hands clean? Are Congress’ hands clean?

If you look at the cast of characters involved in or signing off on the Uranium One deal, you will see names you recognize as investigating President Trump for Russian connections. In what universe does that make sense?

The swamp is deep, and at this point we need an Elliot Ness who will go after the guilty parties in a manner showing integrity, impartiality, and honesty. This is not a political matter–this is an exercise that will determine whether or not all of us live under the same laws. If there are two sets of laws–one for the Washington elite (swamp) and one for the little people, our republic will not survive.


Keeping Up With The Story

In August 2014, I posted an article about the Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Obama Administration distributing funds from fines imposed on banks to political leftist groups. The article explains that the Bank of America was forced to pay fines that Countrywide Mortgage and Merrill Lynch had incurred before they were owned by Bank of America.

The article explains what happened to these fines:

The groups benefitting from the lawsuit, according to Investor’s Business Daily, are the National Council of La Raza, Operation Hope, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, and Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America. The money also went to “delinquent borrowers” in Chicago, Oakland, Detroit, Philadelphia and other major “Democrat strongholds.”

“This is a wealth redistribution scheme disguised as a lawsuit,” Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, told The Daily Caller. “And who benefits from the distribution? Interest groups the administration relies on, outside interest groups, allies and politicians in communities trying to benefit as well.”

…La Raza, Operation Hope, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, and Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America have all intimidated banks to give loans to minorities, even if they can’t afford to pay them back.

This was the government equivalent of a mob shakedown.

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about this practice.

The article reports:

Emails written by Obama administration Department of Justice officials confirm reports the agency engaged in a systemic effort to funnel money to liberal advocacy organizations from settlements reached with big banks.

The documents, obtained by the House Judiciary Committee as part of an ongoing investigation, reveal the Obama Justice Department effectively skirted Congress’s budgetary authority by requiring that major financial institutions donate to a group of affordable housing nonprofits and legal advocacy organizations as part of settlement agreements resulting from predatory mortgage lending practices.

The internal DOJ documents represent the latest revelation in a two-year investigation spearheaded by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte.

The article at The Daily Caller reports that this practice has been stopped:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo banning the DOJ from entering into third party settlement agreements after substantial evidence emerged implicating the Obama DOJ in such practices.

“When the federal government settles a case against a corporate wrongdoer, any settlement funds should go first to the victims and then to the American people — not to bankroll third-party special interest groups or the political friends of whoever is in power,” Sessions said.

The more I learn about some of the actions of the Obama Administration, the more I wonder why Congress did not address some of the wrongdoings as they were going on.

Progressive vs. Practical

Hot Air posted a story today about a pizza place in Boston that has gone bankrupt. That in itself is probably not all that unique, but there are some special circumstances here.

The article reports:

In the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston back in 2015, the people at the nonprofit organization Haley House came up with a novel idea. They would open a pizza shop based on the principles of economic justice and fair wages to support the community. Named Dudley Dough, the shop would pay wages far above the minimum which many people in that industry earn, with added incentives for training and community development. It was an inspiring idea.

Unfortunately for them, only two years later the place is closing down. It turns out that operating a for-profit business on the principles of a nonprofit social justice operation results in an undesirable side-effect. They were literally not producing a profit.

One of the most difficult parts of starting and running a business is balancing the cost of doing business with the cost of the product. There has to be enough of a gap between those two things to earn the money to keep you in business. The people who started this pizzeria started it with a noble goal in mind. Unfortunately, they did not start it with sound business practices.

The article concludes:

Labor costs are a major driver in the business model of any such operation. Once you’ve accounted for the standard expenses of kitchen equipment, ingredients, utilities and the cost of your site (which are fairly standardized), labor costs may turn out to be the margin of error which makes or breaks you in terms of profitability and controlling your prices. Everyone in the neighborhood may love your social justice oriented, woke attitude, but if your pizza costs three bucks a slice when everyone else is selling them for two, you’re not going to last long.

Dudley Dough may prove to be a cautionary tale for everyone engaged in the debate over minimum wage rates and so-called “economic justice.” What they experienced was the sort of justice which the real world administers to the overly idealistic in a capitalist system.

It’s called reality.

What Do You Do When You Get Caught With Your Hand In The Cookie Jar?

It’s been an interesting 24 hours.

Yesterday The Washington Post reported the following:

The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.

Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.

After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the company in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’s research into Trump was funded by an unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.

It would be interesting to know who that Republican is. However, the bottom line here is that the Trump dossier was political opposition research funded by the Democratic Party.

We need to look at the history of this dossier. Fusion GPS was paid to come up with some dirt on candidate Trump. This political document was used as the basis for charges that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians and stole the election. This document was used as a basis for surveillance on the Trump campaign team and the Trump transition team before and after the election. Everyone involved in each of those decisions needs to be kicked out of Washington.

Please follow the link to The Washington Post article to see some of the other people involved and some of the other consequences of treating a paid, fabricated political hit piece as if it were reality.

The Daily Wire posted an article yesterday about the Democratic National Committee’s response to all of this.

The article reports:

Within hours of The Washington Post publishing a bombshell report alleging that the DNC and the Clinton campaign funded the infamous Trump-Russia dossier, the Democratic National Committee issued a statement saying that the current head of the DNC (elected in February 2017) and the “new leadership” of the organization was not involved in any of the “decision-making” regarding the oppo research firm behind the dossier.

“Tom Perez and the new leadership of the DNC were not involved in any decision-making regarding Fusion GPS, nor were they aware that Perkins Coie was working with the organization,” reads the carefully phrased statement issued by DNC Communications Director Xochital Hinojosa Tuesday evening.

Note that the DNC is not denying the information that has come to light about the dossier–they are simply distancing the ‘new’ leadership from the actions connected to the dossier.

The Daily Wire article concludes with this reminder:

Just a few days ago, CNN’s Chris Cilizza mocked Trump for alleging that the Democratic Party was behind the dossier. While Trump’s suggestion that some sort of collusion betweeen the Democrats, the FBI and the Russians might prove to be a stretch, according to the Post, both the Democrats and the FBI were indeed involved on some level in the compilation of the “dirty dossier” that helped kickstart the Russia “collusion” narrative.

Get out the popcorn and stay tuned.

Education Run Amok

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about the study of mathematics.

The article reports:

A University of Illinois math professor believes that algebra and geometry perpetuate “white privilege” because Greek terms give Caucasians unearned credit for the subject.

But that isn’t the professor’s only complaint. She also believes that evaluations for math proficiency perpetuates discrimination against minority students, if they do worse than their white counterparts.

Rochelle Gutierrez argues in a newly published math education book for teachers that they must be aware of the identity politics surrounding the subject of mathematics.

“On many levels, mathematics itself operates as Whiteness,” she argues with complete sincerity, according to Campus Reform. “Who gets credit for doing and developing mathematics, who is capable in mathematics, and who is seen as part of the mathematical community is generally viewed as White.”

…Gutierrez claims that the importance of math skills in the real world also places what she calls an “unearned privilege” for those who are good at it. Because most math teachers in the United States are white, white people stand to benefit from their grasp of the subject disproportionate to members of other races.

One wonders what this professor teaches in her math class. One also wonders why she is teaching math.

Has it occurred to this woman that the study of math is either directly or indirectly responsible for all of the modern conveniences she enjoys? Would we have electricity without math? Would we have potable water without the math to know how to purify it?

It frightens me to consider that this woman is teaching our college students.

Common Sense Comes To The Park Service

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about a recent decision by the National Park Service.

The article reports:

The National Park Service told the Washington Free Beacon it is no longer providing funding for a controversial project “honoring the legacy” of the Black Panther Party after outrage that the agency would spend taxpayer dollars to memorialize a group that murdered a park ranger in the 1970s.

The Free Beacon revealed last month that the Park Service gave roughly $100,000 to the University of California, Berkeley for a research project on the Marxist extremist group to “memorialize a history that brought meaning to lives far beyond the San Francisco Bay Area.”

“Committed to truthfully honoring the legacy of [Black Panther Party] BPP activists and the San Francisco Bay Area communities they served, the project seeks to document the lives of activists and elders and the landscapes that shaped the movement,” the National Park Service stated in the grant awarded for the project.

A captain in the Black Panther Party murdered National Park Service ranger Kenneth Patrick while he was on patrol near San Francisco in 1973. Patrick was shot three times by Veronza Leon Curtis Bowers Jr., who is currently serving a life sentence for first-degree murder. Patrick left behind a widow and three children.

In 1997 David Horowitz published a book called Radical Son. The book details Mr. Horowitz’s experiences as a 1960’s radical and details his involvement with the Black Panthers during that time. He details the story of the murder of a friend of his that he had recommended as a bookkeeper for the group. Shortly after she began asking questions about the books she was keeping and the financing of the group, she was murdered. This is not a group that needs to be either memorialized or celebrated.

Keeping The Facts From The American People

If you still depend on the mainstream media for a large portion of your news, you are now a low-information voter. Newsbusters is reporting today that seven days after The Hill published its article about the Unranium One scandal, the 24-hour cable news giant CNN had produced less than five minutes (3 minutes, 54 seconds) of actual news coverage about the case.

The article reports:

From 7am ET October 17 through 7am ET October 24, CNN’s reporters and anchors only mentioned the scandal twice: first, on October 19, after President Trump scolded reporters for failing to cover the story, anchor Wolf Blitzer offered a 19-second explanation of what Trump was talking about. 

Then, on October 20, Blitzer’s 5pm Situation Room included an interview with an ex-Obama administration official, Jake Sullivan, who told Blitzer that Trump’s charge of corruption against the Bill and Hillary Clinton “had no basis in fact.” Blitzer, to his credit, at least pushed back, asking Sullivan about how “some of these Russians who were involved were giving the Clinton Foundation thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars, and Bill Clinton was going to Russia to deliver speeches for huge speaking fees?”

That interview lasted a total of 3 minutes, 35 seconds. CNN also aired live coverage of a Wednesday morning hearing in which Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley discussed the case for 4 minutes, 53 seconds, without any additional comment by CNN. Additionally, the network carried live coverage of President Trump on Thursday talking about the need for more attention — his remarks on this subject totaled 61 seconds, followed by Blitzer’s short comment.

The Uranium One scandal is something that should have been reported when it happened. The media will continue to ignore it until it becomes impossible to ignore. Hillary Clinton will describe it as ‘old news’ hoping that it will disappear before anyone figures out what went on. When the media finally acknowledges the scandal, they will accuse Congress of being partisan by investigating it. We have seen this movie before. I still have a hard time believing the Clintons will ever be held responsible for any of their misdeeds.

It’s Just Squirrelly!

I have been known to make up my own words when I consider them appropriate. On Friday, The Daily Caller posted a detailed piece on the timeline and stories surrounding the Uranium One deal. It is a rather long article, and I strongly suggest that you follow the link above and read the entire piece. I will try to hit the highlights here.

The article reports:

New FBI information about corruption in a Clinton-approved uranium deal with Russia raises questions about Clinton’s actions after the FBI broke up a deep-cover Russian spy ring in 2010.

For a decade, the FBI ran an operation called Ghost Stories to monitor and rip apart a deep-cover Russian agent network. Ghost Stories tracked a ring Russian spies who lived between Boston and Washington, D.C., under false identities. It was one of the FBI’s most elaborate and successful counterintelligence operations in history.

After the FBI arrested 10 of the spies in June, 2010, Secretary of State Clinton worked feverishly to return the Russian agents to Moscow in a hastily arranged, lopsided deal with Putin.

Obviously, she did not want the spies hanging around for further questioning.

The story continues:

The day the FBI arrested the Russian agents, on June 28, 2010, the day before the secretary of state’s husband, Bill Clinton, was to give a speech in Moscow. A Kremlin-connected investment bank, Renaissance Capital, paid the former president $500,000 for the hour-long appearance.

An unnamed Hillary Clinton spokesman told ABC News that there was “no reason to think the Secretary was a target of this spy ring.”

That was a lie.

The article concludes:

So here are the key facts: The FBI found that Russian intelligence had targeted Hillary Clinton before and during her time as secretary of state. Clinton’s spokespersons denied that this was so. Clinton opposed the Magnitsky sanctions on officials tied to Putin. After her husband received a half-million dollars in Moscow from a Kremlin-connected investment bank, Clinton moved with unusual speed to whisk the ring of 10 Russian spies out of the country and back to Moscow. She had the lopsided swap take place over a long summer weekend, before the FBI was finished with the spies, and before the spies could stand trial. While the FBI was separately investigating Russians involved with buying Uranium One, she approved the sale of American uranium to Russia’s nuclear weapons agency. Principals in the sale then plowed $145 million into her family foundation and projects.

Several questions come to mind. Precisely what did the FBI know about Russia’s spy service targeting Hillary Clinton and her inner circle? Why did Clinton deny through spokespersons that she had been a Russian target? Why did she work so feverishly to get the spies out of the United States and back to Russia? Why has the FBI leadership not been more vocal in touting one of its greatest counterintelligence successes ever? And why did nobody in the FBI leadership raise this issue during the 2016 Russian election meddling controversy?

The question in my mind is whether or not anyone will be held accountable for the transfer of uranium to Russia or the very strange donations from overseas that the Clinton Foundation received before and during the time that Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. It is also illustrative to note that when Hillary Clinton lost the election for President, much of the overseas money coming into the Clinton Foundation dried up. I truly believe that the Clinton Family is today’s version of Tammany Hall. It will be difficult to hold them accountable for any of their misdeeds.

Preventing The Fleecing Of The Middle Class

The American tax code is a tribute to the effectiveness of lobbyists and big campaign donors. The loopholes in the code for people who make a lot of money are numerous. Even with loopholes in place, the rich pay a lot of taxes. As I have previously reported, The top 10 percent of income earners, those having an adjusted gross income over $138,031, pay about 70.6 percent of federal income taxes. About 1.7 million Americans, less than 1 percent of our population, pay 70.6 percent of federal income taxes. These numbers come from actual IRS data.

However, it seems that when it comes to eliminating loopholes, it’s always the middle class loopholes that go away.

Breitbart posted an article today about Congress‘ latest effort to take away a middle-class tax break. Because of a certain lack of faith in the future solvency of Social Security, many employers offer employees 401k retirement plans. Aside from allowing middle-class families to save for the future, these programs provide a place to put money so that it will not be taxed during the highest earning period of the employee. It will be taxed later at retirement when traditionally a person’s earnings are lower and generally taxed at a lower rate. Congress was evidently planning to alter the current system.

Breitbart reports:

“There will be NO change to your 401(k),” Trump tweeted. “This has always been a great and popular middle class tax break that works, and it stays!”

House Republicans were considering a plan to slash the amount of income American workers can save in tax-deferred retirement accounts. Currently, workers can put up to $18,000 a year into 401(k) accounts without paying taxes on that money until they retire and withdraw money from their savings. Proposals under discussion on Capitol Hill would set the cap lower, perhaps as low as $2,400. The effect would be a huge tax hike on middle class workers.

The plan to lower the cap on 401(k)’s would not have had an effect on long-term government deficits. Instead, it would have raised tax revenue now but lowered it in the future, since the retirement savings would already have been taxed. But taxing the savings would have had an impact on household budgets and may have discouraged workers from saving, increasing their future dependence on government benefits.

Let’s cut spending to ‘pay for’ tax cuts. Actually, if taxes are cut, economic growth should increase to a point where there is no loss of revenue. During the 1980’s, after President Reagan cut taxes, government revenue soared. Unfortunately, the Democrats who controlled Congress at the time greatly increased spending, so the government debt increased rather than decreased. Generally speaking, lowering taxes increases revenue–people are less inclined to look for tax shelters.

The Laffer Curve works:

Congress needs to keep this in mind while revising the tax code.


What Some Economists Are Saying About President Trump’s Proposed Tax Plan

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about President Trump‘s proposed tax plan. The article reports on a new study from Boston University economists.

The article reports:

“We find that, depending on the year considered, the new Republican tax plan raises GDP by between 3 and 5 percent and real wages by between 4 and 7 percent,” the economists explain. “This translates into roughly $3,500 annually more annual real take-home pay for the average American household.”

Economists believe this growth can happen due to the plan’s aim to reduce the marginal effective corporate tax rate from 34.6 percent to 18.6 percent, which they believe will grow the capital stock by 12 to 20 percent.

The article concludes:

The study also says every American can benefit from this tax reform framework.

“The [Unified Framework] tax reform delivers small increases in lifetime welfare to current retirees and moderate ones to workers and future generations,” the study states. “All generations benefit from the policy. The old benefit slightly from higher rates of return on their investment, and the young from higher wages.”

The Boston University study is similar to the findings from the Council of Economic Advisers study put out earlier this week, which said that the average household income could increase by $4,000 annually if the corporate tax rate was cut from 35 percent to 20 percent.

“The truth is that a tax cut like this very conservatively will increase the median wage by about $4,000 a year over a relatively short time,” said Kevin Hassett, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. “If you look at some of the more optimistic estimates of the literature and then run the thing over time you could be looking at $10,000, even $20,000 higher wages relative to baseline, and that’s the message of this tax reform.”

The economy is growing right now at a much faster rate than it did under President Obama. There are a number of reasons for that. President Trump has been quietly removing the government regulations that were a drag on the economy. President Trump has also allowed the coal industry to resume operations and allowed other businesses to work toward American energy independence. As a result of this, gasoline and other energy prices are relatively low right now, making America a desirable place to do business. Also, the lower gasoline prices result in more money in all Americans’ pockets. Low gasoline prices impact everyone who drives–they are the equivalent of a tax cut for everyone. When people have more money in their pockets, they do things like go out to dinner, go shopping, or go to a movie. This puts money in the pockets of the people who work in those industries. Everybody wins.

This Sort Of Thing Might Be Part Of Washington’s Budget Problem

The Gateway Pundit reported yesterday that there were some serious problems with the audit of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The article reports:

The 2015 and 2016 Fiscal Years HUD audit needed to be restated and reissued.  The auditors were not able to initially perform the audit because there were too many material issues and the audit needed to be redone –

…The restated audit report shows the following –

The total amounts of errors corrected in HUD’s notes and consolidated financial statements were $516.4 billion and $3.4 billion, respectively. There were several other unresolved audit matters, which restricted our ability to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to express an opinion. These unresolved audit matters relate to (1) the Office of General Counsel’s refusal to sign the management representation letter, (2) HUD’s improper use of cumulative and first-in, first-out budgetary accounting methods of disbursing community planning and development program funds, (3) the $4.2 billion in nonpooled loan assets from Ginnie Mae’s stand-alone financial statements that we could not audit due to inadequate support, (4) the improper accounting for certain HUD assets and liabilities, and (5) material differences between HUD’s subledger and general ledger accounts. This audit report contains 11 material weaknesses, 7 significant deficiencies, and 5 instances of noncompliance with applicable laws and regulations.

It’s time for HUD to straighten out its books. It might be a good idea to put someone with an accounting background in charge of the agency at least temporarily. The irony here is that if a business had financial records that were this much in error, its owners would be talking to the Internal Revenue Service and possibly sitting in jail.

In What Universe Does This Make Sense? is reporting today that Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe has been named one of the World Health Organization‘s “Goodwill Ambassadors. Wow.

The article reports:

Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe since 1980, has seen the country essentially fall apart under his leadership. Life expectancy in Zimbabwe is just 60 years and Mugabe is accused of dozens of human rights abuses.

…Many major governments, including the U.K. and the United States, have criticized the WHO for this move. The organization is now reportedly “rethinking” their decision. 

Mugabe is hardly a goodwill ambassador for any cause, but it’s a sick joke to name him one for healthcare. 

The man is a dictator accused of human rights abuses. Why is he even being considered for a position with the United Nations?

This is the first item in the United Nations charter:

To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;

The italics are mine. How can appointing a dictator accused of human rights violations be part of suppression of acts of aggression and conformity with the principles of justice and international law? It is time to stop funding the United Nations, remove them from New York (force them to pay their parking tickets), and start an organization that actually supports freedom and human rights.