How To Make A Scandal Go Away

Some of our politicians have perfected a strategy to deal with scandals that generally works. I won’t name names here, but you can probably come up with a few. The most successful strategy has been to stonewall, delay, obfuscate, and deny for a period of time, and when the facts actually come out, say, “That’s old news. It’s already been settled.” That is the current strategy being used to delay the Inspector General’s Report on how the Russian investigation began and on the illegal surveillance of American citizens that occurred during the Obama administration.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article that included a conversation that occurred on the Sean Hannity Show on Monday.

This is the conversation:

Sean Hannity: Which brings us to the IG report. Congressman Chaffetz, it’s been taking us a long time. And we heard the end of this week. Now we heard the beginning of next week. I can never get a straight answer. You know, at some point are we going to see premeditated fraud on a FISA Court and people held accountable? Spying on a presidential campaign, transition and president?

Jason Chaffetz: It has been going on for an exceptionally long time. Evidently there’s an intra-agency debate and really a food fight if you will over the classification issues. Remember in the last report put out by Horowitz there were only seven words or so that were redacted. The Democrats threw a fit that they couldn’t see the whole thing. This could have 10-20% of the report redacted…

Sean Hannity: Is that director Wray who has not shown any willingness to clean up the greatest law enforcement agency in the world? Is that him?

Jason Chaffetz: I have not seen any evidence that Director Wray has been cooperative but I think we’re talking about other agencies, perhaps. Perhaps the CIA the NSA, there are others. Mr. Clapper, Mr. Brennan, are behind the scenes fighting as best they can. in front of the camera fighting as best they can. I think you need to look at what Mr. Comey, the director of the FBI and his interaction with Brennan in particular. What sort of collusion was happening in our government and overseas. That’s the deep concern, Sean.

It’s interesting that the IG report is being kept from the American public and the impeachment proceedings are also being done in secret. Have we reached the point where many of those who are supposed to represent us in government have decided that we don’t have the right to know what they are doing?

Harming Women In The Name Of Equality

The law of unintended consequences seems to spend a lot of time in Washington. One of the best recent examples is the “Equality Act” promoted by the Democrats in the House of Representatives. If the Democrats can maintain their majority in the House of Representative and win a majority in the Senate in 2016, they will pass the Equality Act. So what will the Equality Act do? It will allow men transitioning to women to compete in women’s sports in high school. High school women are losing athletic scholarships because they are losing to transgender women in sports events (article here).

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about the Democrat Party’s plans for America’s future.

The article notes:

Democrats have made girls’ sports a 2020 campaign issue, but establishment media outlets are keeping their viewers and readers in the dark.

Every Democratic frontrunner has pledged their support of the Equality Act, which would make “gender identity” a protected characteristic under federal anti-discrimination law. Among other things, the bill would force public schools to expand female athletic teams to include biological males who identify as transgender girls.

Every Democratic frontrunner for president has pledged their support for the bill, which passed the House in May with unanimous Democratic support. But when establishment media outlets have covered the Equality Act in relation to the 2020 election, the girls’ sports issue has gone missing.

An Oct. 10 CNN article noted that passing the Equality Act is a “top priority” for the 2020 campaigns of California Sen. Kamala Harris, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, but made no mention of the bill’s impact on female sports. CNN’s LGBT town hall the same day included zero questions about transgender athletes in girls’ sports.

The article concludes:

Polling from Morning Consult shows that majorities of Republicans, Democrats and independents agree that male athletes who identify as transgender have a competitive advantage in girls’ sports, a view supported by scientific research on the subject.

Biologically male athletes have racked up victories in female sports.

Two biologically male runners in Connecticut have dominated girls’ high school track in the liberal state, which allows self-identified transgender athletes to compete as the opposite sex. At the NCAA level, a male runner who identifies as transgender won an NCAA women’s track championship in May after previously competing on the university’s men’s team.

Men competing as women harms women’s athletics. It defies science and common sense.

Tearing Down The Foundation

The most important part of a building is the foundation. If the foundation is sturdy, chances are the building will stand. Our government is built on the concept of Judeo-Christian values. The Constitution states that our rights come from God and that the Constitution is there to insure those rights are protected–the rights do not come from government.

On Friday night, Attorney General William Barr gave a speech at Notre Dame about the attack on those traditional values that form the basis of our society. Yesterday The Observer posted an article about the speech. The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s & Holy Cross.

The article reports:

U.S. Attorney General William Barr spoke at Notre Dame Law School on Friday evening, calling for a defense of Judeo-Christian values and religious freedom in response to growing secularism in America.

The event was reserved for students, faculty and staff of the Notre Dame Law School and de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, both of which hosted the lecture. It took place in the McCartan Courtroom while another room in the law school streamed the speech to another crowd of ticket-holding students and faculty.

Barr began by discussing the new challenges the United States is facing today. It’s a difficulty he said the Founding Fathers foresaw as “the supreme test of a free society.”

“The central question was whether over the long haul, we the people can handle freedom,” Barr said. “The question was whether the citizens in such a free society could maintain the moral discipline and virtue necessary for the survival of free institutions.”

In the Founders’ view, Barr said, free government was only suitable for people who had the discipline to control themselves according to a transcendent moral order. As John Adams put it, he said, the United States Constitution was made only for “a moral and religious people.” 

“Now, modern secularists dismiss this idea of morality as sort of otherworldly superstition imposed by a killjoy clergy,” Barr said. “But in fact, Judeo-Christian moral standards are the ultimate utilitarian rules for human conduct. They reflect the rules that are best for man not in the by-and-by but in the here-and-now.”

By the same token, he said, violations of these moral laws have “bad, real world consequences” for man and society — such as society is seeing today.

“I think we all recognize that over the past 50 years, religion has been under increasing attack,” Barr said. “On the one hand, we have seen the steady erosion of our traditional Judeo-Christian moral system and a comprehensive effort to drive it from the public square. On the other hand, we see the growing ascendancy of secularism and the doctrine of moral relativism.”

With escalating suicide rates, the drug epidemic, hate crimes and more, there is a campaign to “destroy the traditional moral order,” Barr said, and secularists ignore these results and press on with “even greater militancy.”

Please follow the link to read the entire article. The last part of the article includes the students’ reaction to the speech. Some of that reaction reflects the moral rebellion that has characterized many of our young college students.

CNS News also posted an article about the speech.

CNS News notes:

The secularist government attempts to alleviate bad consequences by advancing abortion, enabling drug use and assuming the roles of parent and spouse, Barr said. And, while promising unlimited freedom, the end result of the secularist religion is one of servitude, he warned:

“So, the reaction to growing illegitimacy is not sexual responsibility, but abortion.

“The reaction to drug addiction is safe injection sites.

“The solution to the breakdown of the family is for The State to set itself up as an ersatz husband for the single mother and an ersatz father for the children. The call comes for more and more social programs to deal with this wreckage.

“And, while we think we are solving problems, we are underwriting them.

“We start with an untrammeled freedom and we end up as dependents of a coercive state on whom we depend.”

“Interestingly, this idea of The State as the Alleviator of Bad Consequences has given rise to a new moral system that goes hand-in-hand with the secularization of society. It can be called the System of Macro-Morality. And, in some ways, it is an inversion of Christian morality.

“Christianity teaches a Micro-Morality: we transform the world by focusing on our own personal morality and transformation. The new secular religion teaches Macro-Morality. Once morality is not gauged by their private conduct, but rather their commitment to political causes and collective action to address various social problems.

“This system allows us not to worry so much about the strictures on our own private lives, because we can find salvation on the picket line. We can signal our finely-tuned moral sensibilities by participating in demonstrations on this cause or on that.”

The generation that is fighting to destroy the foundation of America will have to live with the consequences of their actions. They might not like what they have created.

The President’s Immigration Policies Are Working

Breitbart is reporting today that new immigration procedures implemented by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) effectively disbanded a group of 2,000 mostly Central American caravan migrants.

The article reports:

Immigration policies put in place following an agreement between Mexico and the Trump Administration broke up a caravan consisting of approximately 2,000 people from Central America, Africa, and the Caribbean Islands, the Associated Press reported Saturday. The group began to move northward from Tapachula, Chiapas, early one morning last week after being held up for official travel documents. The group quickly encountered Mexican Federal Police and members of the newly formed National Guard.

When the group came upon the police and soldiers, some scattered while others surrendered.

“This caravan no longer exists,” migrant rights advocate Irineo Mujica told the AP.

The migrants are provided opportunities to request asylum in Mexico. Instead, the group chose to illegally attempt to move through Mexico to the U.S. border.

“I want to pass through Mexico, I don’t want to live here,” Amado Ramirez expressed. Reportedly traveling with his wife and young children, he said he hoped to obtain documents allowing him to pass through Mexico.

The article concludes:

Under the agreement between Mexico and the United States, Mexican immigration officials give the migrants two choices — stay in Mexico or leave via Mexico’s southern border. Many are flown back to their countries of origin. African migrants have a more difficult path as their home countries often lack the infrastructure to handle mass repatriations, the AP stated.

Migrant support groups reported that the presence of the National Guard and other law enforcement officials in southern Mexico made the process for moving north very difficult.

Large group migration through Mexico to the U.S. southern border hit a 12-year high during Fiscal Year 2019. However, changes in Mexican policies negotiated by the Trump Administration effectively dropped the numbers from a high mark of nearly 133,000 in May to about 40,000 in September, Breitbart Texas reported. By the end of the fiscal year, U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended an estimated 850,000.

Migrant families and unaccompanied minors made up for nearly two-thirds of the apprehensions in the U.S.

President Trump threatened Mexico with high tariffs if they did not end the caravans passing through their country and entering the United States illegally. What we are seeing is an American President who understands that because of America’s strong economy, we can use economic leverage to persuade other countries to do what is right.

That Didn’t Go The Way It Was Supposed To

At one time or another, many of us have had a dream of living ‘off the grid’–private well, private septic system, solar energy, etc. Think of how much you could save on energy bills. Well, the solar industry has promoted various aspects of solar energy over the years, and many people have installed solar panels on their homes to cut utility expenses. I suspect that many of the people who installed these panels also assumed that if the power went out, their solar panels would keep supplying their homes with electricity. Evidently that is not true.

PJ Media reported the following today:

Going solar isn’t necessarily any protection from California’s new “planned” power outages, and local residents and businesses are enduring a lot more than just a few inconveniences.

Bloomberg’s Chris Martin has a story on California’s troubles with one of my favorite headlines ever: “Californians Learning That Solar Panels Don’t Work in Blackouts.” Apparently, many of California’s would-be Earth-savers had no idea that just putting solar panels on their roofs doesn’t mean they’ll have power when PG&E switches it off. As Martin explains:

Most panels are designed to supply power to the grid — not directly to houses. During the heat of the day, solar systems can crank out more juice than a home can handle. Conversely, they don’t produce power at all at night. So systems are tied into the grid, and the vast majority aren’t working this week as PG&E Corp. cuts power to much of Northern California to prevent wildfires.

The only way for most solar panels to work during a blackout is pairing them with batteries. That market is just starting to take off. Sunrun Inc., the largest U.S. rooftop solar company, said some of its customers are making it through the blackouts with batteries, but it’s a tiny group — countable in the hundreds.

Martin quotes Sunrun Chairman Ed Fenster explaining that solar power with local battery storage is “the perfect combination for getting through these shutdowns,” although he fails to mention just what an expensive proposition that is, especially in the rural areas most affected by California’s return to the primitive. Fester, whose company sells those very batteries, expects battery sales “to boom” now that the promised blackouts have begun.

I guess gas generators are probably the only way to have power during the blackouts. Wow.

If You Haven’t Become Somewhat Skeptical About News Photos, You’re Not Paying Attention

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about some recent film aired by ABC News that was described as ‘slaughter in Syria.’ There was only one problem. It seems that the film footage was actually from a nighttime machine gun demonstration at the Knob Creek Gun Range in West Point, Kentucky. We’ve seen this sort of propaganda before, but it usually comes from middle eastern news sources (as in this instance).

The article in The Washington Examiner reports:

After seeing a comment from Wojciech Pawelczyk, I began making some calls. As of this writing, it appears ABC indeed aired footage recorded in the Kentucky and claimed it was from Syria. The network has since pulled the video.

“We’ve taken down video that aired on World News Tonight Sunday and Good Morning America this morning that appeared to be from the Syrian border immediately after questions were raised about its accuracy,” a network representative told the Washington Examiner. “ABC News regrets the error.”

A representative for the gun range also told the Washington Examiner that they are still investigating ABC’s reporting, adding further that the images aired by the network “look to be” from their Kentucky property.

“As of right now,” the representative added, “it seems to be our footage.”

Note that the sequence and shape of explosions is identical in the following ABC and Kentucky videos, as are some of the features of the terrain amid the explosions. But we might actually be dealing with two different videos of the same Kentucky live-fire event from slightly different angles. In the independent film of the live-fire event in Kentucky, you can clearly see taller objects in the foreground that seem to appear as silhouettes in the ABC footage:

The article concludes:

Earlier, on Sunday, ABC News anchor Tom Llamas also aired the allegedly shocking footage, claiming it showed a fierce Turkish attack on Kurd civilians.

“The situation rapidly spiraling out of control in northern Syria. One week since President Trump ordered U.S. forces out of that region, effectively abandoning America’s allies in the fight against [the Islamic State],” he said.

Llamas then described the video as it aired on-screen.

“This video right here appearing to show Turkey’s military bombing Kurd civilians in a Syrian border town. The Kurds, who fought alongside the U.S. against ISIS. Now, horrific reports of atrocities committed by Turkish-backed fighters on those very allies,” he added.

The intro to the show he anchored,ABC World News Tonight, also claimed of the footage: “A border town, bombarded by Turkey’s military!”

The footage would indeed be stunning were if actually from northern Syria. It would be horrific were it actually to show a Turkish assault on Kurd civilians. But it does not show that. The footage, which appears to be from 2017, shows American gun enthusiasts putting on a terrific pyrotechnic show for an audience in Kentucky. In fact, the Machine Gun Shoot and Military Gun Show, which involves the very popular night shoot, is a bi-annual event at the Kentucky gun range. People love the show. They love it so much, in fact, that they record it and post footage of it to social media. …

It is astonishing that ABC appears to have aired Kentucky gun range footage during prime-time news segments on the clashes in Syria and that no one at the network — not a producer, not a fact-checker, and certainly not an on-air personality — caught the errors before they aired.

When the mainstream media has a narrative, they will use whatever resources they can to promote that narrative. Don’t believe anything you currently see in the mainstream media. They are not interested in reporting accurate news–they are interested in remaking America into something that would negatively impact the lives of everyday Americans.

 

Ever Wonder About Polls?

Earlier this week, Fox News released a poll that stated that 51 percent of voters favored the impeachment of President Trump. That seemed odd for a number of reasons. Fair-minded Americans haven’t really been given a reason that President Trump deserves impeachment–all the the (expensive) Democrat schemes have come up empty. Most Americans view impeachment as a rather drastic step. Also, there is very little indication that the people who voted for President Trump regret their vote, and there seem to be indications that as his policies succeed, the President is gaining more support. The poll was suspicious at best. Well, Yesterday The New York Post posted an analysis of the poll.

Here is some of what they found:

Princeton, New Jersey, pollster Braun Research, which conducted the survey, noted 48% of its respondents were Democrats. But the actual breakdown of party-affiliation is 31% Democrat, 29% Republican and 38% independent, according to Gallup.

A poll weighted for party affiliation would have concluded that 44.9% favored impeachment and 44.4% opposed it, a Post analysis has concluded.

I truly doubt that the support for impeachment is actually that high. Knowing that the pollster messed with the demographics, I wonder how he phrased the questions. Never believe anything you see in a poll. Remember, according to various polls, we would have had a President John Kerry and a President Hillary Clinton. I guess the polls have been inaccurate for a while.

Don’t Hold Your Breath Waiting For Consequences

On October 9, One America News reported the following:

The United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has ruled that the FBI previously violated Americans’ privacy rights by conducting unreasonable searches. The FISA Court opinion disclosed Tuesday revealed that the FBI violated constitutional rights and federal law through their warrant-less internet surveillance program.

A 2018 review revealed the bureau used their raw intelligence database in 2017 and 2018 to administer tens of thousands of searches on private U.S. citizens. The searches were conducted on some occasions to screen FBI personnel and sources, involving emails and phone numbers. In one instance, the court stated that an FBI contractor searched his family, staff members and himself on the database.

Federal law requires the database only be used to gather evidence of a crime or foreign intelligence information. According to the ruling, the FBI violated the law authorizing the program as well as the Fourth Amendment, which bars the government from conducting unreasonable searches.

Following the court’s decision, the FBI said it would apply new procedures as to how the database is used in order to better protect personal privacy.

The Foreign Intelligence Service Act has been under scrutiny for some time. Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page has argued the Obama-era FBI may have used its FISA authority unlawfully against him.

Years ago I took a critical thinking course taught by a former NSA employee. At the beginning of the course, he assured us that guidelines that protected Americans from illegal surveillance were being followed. He stated that in his experience anyone who violated those guidelines was escorted out immediately. About a year later, I talked to him and he apologized for misleading the class. He commented that upon further research he found violations tolerated and sometimes encouraged. Unfortunately there were a lot of things that went on during the Obama administration regarding the politicization of government agencies that we are just now beginning to uncover. It is my hope that the people who chose to violate the civil rights of American citizens will be held accountable. If they are not, the abuses of power will continue.

Is We Can Read The Transcript, Why Do We Need The Whistleblower?

This entire news narrative about the ‘whistleblower’ has been a farce from the beginning. As usual, President Trump handled the situation beautifully by releasing the transcripts of his conversation with the Ukrainian President. He should not have had to do that, but because of all the accusations the Democrats are so freely throwing around, it was the best thing to do. It was also the thing that the Democrats hurling the accusations assumed that the President would not do. It blew a hole right in the middle of their little scheme. When the actual transcript was released, the ‘whistleblower’ became moot. He wasn’t needed anymore. In fact, he was a liability because it became obvious that his report had little to do with what actually happened. Now the story has a new twist.

The Daily Caller posted an article today reporting that Representative Adam Schiff has stated that the House Intelligence Committee might not have to interview the ‘whistleblower.’  Oddly enough, Representative Schiff seemed to lose interest in interviewing the ‘whistleblower’ after it was learned that the person had contact with a Schiff aide prior to filing the complaint Aug. 12. Wow. What a coincidence.

The article concludes:

House Democrats have given indications that they were shifting away from pushing for the whistleblower’s testimony.

House Democrats were considering disguising the whistleblower during any potential interview in order to prevent Republicans from leaking the whistleblower’s identity, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

A Republican source familiar with the matter told the Daily Caller News Foundation in response to that report that it appeared Schiff was “laying the groundwork” to announce the whistleblower will not testify, “and to blame that on Republicans.”

“Schiff may not want the whistleblower to testify anymore because the whistleblower would have to reveal more details about this cooperation with Schiff,” the Republican source told the DCNF.

I wonder how many Americans realize how totally contrived and dishonest this ‘impeachment investigation’ is. The President’s civil rights are being violated, and the Republicans are being as quiet as mice. Does anyone in Washington have enough backbone to stand up for the Constitution?

Avoiding The Obvious For Political Reasons

Hillary Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea, have written a book called The Book of Gutsy Women. There are more than a hundred women included in the book. The book includes such people as Madame Curie, Anne Frank, Helen Keller, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Florence Nightingale. Included also are Ellen DeGeneres and Billie Jean King. Actually there are a lot of good choices in terms of who is included in the book. More telling, however, is who is not.

On Thursday, The American Thinker posted an article titled, “Five ‘Gutsy Women’ Who Didn’t Make it into Hillary Clinton’s Book.” Those five women are Margaret Thatcher, Clare Boothe Luce, Ayn Rand, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Phyllis Schlafly.

The article notes:

To be “gutsy,” according to the Clintons, is “about never giving up — and working to pave the way for the next generation.”

With that in mind, here are the profiles of five gutsy women who didn’t make the list because they don’t fit Hillary’s politically correct narrative.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. The women conveniently left out were significant trailblazers. It’s a shame that Mrs. Clinton and her daughter choose not to recognize accomplishment when it doesn’t fit their political agenda.

There Are Some Investigative Reporters Who Still Do Their Jobs

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about some recent findings by John Solomon.

The article reports:

FOX News contributor John Solomon revealed fired Ukrainian Ambassador Maria Yovanovich’s links to a radical Soros group.

…Yovanovich believes she was unjustly fired despite the fact that she was an Obama holdover, was speaking out against President Trump and she was colluding with the DNC and Hillary Campaign to undermine the US presidential election.

On Friday John Solomon told Lou Dobbs about the fired ambassador’s links to a radical Soros group operating in Ukraine.

On March 20th Solomon published his interview with Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko alleging Yovanovitch gave him a “do not prosecute list,” back in 2016.

According to Redstate – Lutsenko told Solomon that in April 2016, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s office was investigating a nonprofit called the Anti-Corruption Action Centre (AntAC). The concern was that $4.4 million the U.S. had sent to help fight corruption in Ukraine had been improperly diverted.

This so-called anti-corruption organization, AntAC, was co-founded by the Obama administration and George Soros.

This is the video:

It’s a fairly long video, but please watch it until the end.

No wonder the Democrats are holding their hearings in secret, if they stumble on the truth by accident, they don’t want it to get out.

How Is This Compatible With The First Amendment?

Fox News posted an article today reporting some recent comments by Beto O’Rourke.

The article reports:

Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke says he’d strip churches of tax-exempt status if they don’t support same-sex marriage.

When the former Texas congressman was asked if religious institutions — “colleges, churches, charities” — should be stripped of tax-exempt status Thursday night by CNN anchor Don Lemon during the LGBTQ town hall, he immediately responded, “Yes.”

The article continued:

“There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone or any institution, any organization in America, that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us,” he said. “So as president, we’re going to make that a priority, and we are going to stop those who are infringing upon the human rights of our fellow Americans.”

First of all, the churches who hold a Biblical view of marriage are not restricting your human rights–they are simply saying that they do not support something that is against the teaching of the Bible. These are churches who believe in the Bible. The Bill of Rights gives them the right to those beliefs. You are perfectly free to get married in any church that has a different view of marriage, you are just not allowed to coerce a church to go against its basic tenets.

The article concludes:

And Hiram Sasser, general counsel for First Liberty Institute, told Fox News their faith-based organization has taken on the government before.

“When the Obama IRS came after pastors gathering together in conferences with Rick Perry support traditional marriage, we had to defend the pastors,” Sasser said. “We beat the IRS then and we would do it again if O’Rourke attacks churches with the IRS in the future.”

President Trump has championed religious liberty, largely winning the evangelical vote in 2016, and earlier this year, his administration launched a global effort to decriminalize homosexuality.

Be very careful here. Regardless of how you feel about this particular issue, please understand that this is an attempt to chip away at the rights guaranteed to Americans in the Bill of Rights.

Getting Serious About False Allegations Against Nominees

Senator Chuck Grassley posted an article on his Senate web page that included a letter asking the Attorney General and the Director of the FBI about investigations into false charges made against Justice Kavanaugh.

Part of the letter states:

These criminal referrals were not made lightly.  In each of the aforementioned cases, the referred individual(s) made false allegations against then-Judge Kavanaugh.  These allegations were taken seriously and carefully investigated by Committee staff, resulting in the diversion of significant resources.
    1. The first referral, dated September 29, 2018, relates to a false allegation made by an individual who told the Committee that he had direct knowledge that Judge Kavanaugh assaulted a close friend on a boat in the harbor at Newport, Rhode Island in 1985. [1]  After the Committee extensively questioned Judge Kavanaugh about the allegation, the individual recanted and apologized on social media for making the false allegation.
    1. The second referral, dated October 25, 2018, relates to false allegations made by Mr. Michael Avenatti and his client, Ms. Julie Swetnick.[2]  In a September 23, 2018, email to Committee staff, Mr. Avenatti stated that he and Ms. Swetnick were aware of evidence that during the 1980s, Judge Kavanaugh participated in the “targeting of women with alcohol/drugs in order to allow a ‘train’ of men to subsequently gang rape them.”[3]  Committee staff interviewed Judge Kavanaugh and ten other individuals in connection with these allegations, which were outlined in graphic detail in a sworn statement to the Committee purportedly written and signed by Ms. Swetnick.  After a thorough investigation, the Committee found no verifiable evidence to support any of the allegations made in the declaration.  The Committee also found that both Mr. Avenatti and Ms. Swetnick had a long history of credibility issues and may have criminally conspired to mislead the Committee and obstruct its investigation.
    1. The third referral, dated October 26, 2018, relates to evidence that Mr. Avenatti falsified a sworn statement to the Committee in order to provide support for Ms. Swetnick’s unfounded allegations.[4]  The sworn statement by an unknown declarant claimed that Judge Kavanaugh had spiked the punch at house parties with Quaaludes and/or grain alcohol in order to make “girls more likely to engage in sexual acts and less likely to say ‘No.’”[5]  NBC News later reported on a series of contacts with the purported declarant, who stated that she had denied the key allegations in the declaration both before and after the statement was publicly released and that Mr. Avenatti had “twisted [her] words.”[6]
    1. The fourth referral, dated November 2, 2018, relates to allegations made by Ms. Judy Munro-Leighton.[7]  On October 3, 2018, Committee staff received an email from Ms. Munro-Leighton stating that she was the author of an unsigned letter containing highly graphic sexual-assault accusations against Judge Kavanaugh previously received by the office of Senator Kamala Harris.  Ms. Munro-Leighton included the text of the letter in her e-mail to the Committee, claiming that Judge Kavanaugh and a friend had raped her “several times each” in the back seat of a car.[8]  When Committee staff interviewed Ms. Munro-Leighton, she admitted that she falsely identified herself as the author of the letter and its allegations and had only claimed authorship “as a way to grab attention.”[9]  When asked by Committee investigators if she had ever met Judge Kavanaugh, she said:  “Oh Lord, no.”[10]

The letter continues:

As the Committee stressed in each of the referrals issued during and after the investigation into allegations against then-Judge Kavanaugh, investigations in support of the judicial nomination process are an essential part of the constitutional role in confirming judges.  As Committee members, we are grateful to citizens who come forward with relevant information in good faith, even if they are not entirely sure about the accuracy of that information.  But, when individuals intentionally mislead the Committee, they divert important Committee resources during time-sensitive investigations and materially impede its work. Such acts are not only unfair; they are potentially illegal.  It is illegal to make materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements to Congressional investigators.  It is illegal to obstruct Committee investigations.
It is important to protect the constitutional process from being hijacked by bad actors involved in insidious partisan operations.  The Committee can bring bad actors to the attention of law enforcement and the American people by being as transparent as possible about its investigative findings.  However, it is up to the FBI and the Justice Department to hold those who mislead Congress accountable for the criminal aspects of their behavior.  The DOJ has not shied away from selectively filing charges against individuals for alleged violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1001 in the past.  Martha Stewart, former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, and ex-Presidential aide Scooter Libby are just a few individuals who have been charged with lying to federal investigators.[11]  Lying to Congress is and should be treated as an equally serious offense.
The next Supreme Court nominee should not have to defend himself or herself against baseless and fabricated allegations, and Committee staff should not have to spend valuable time investigating them.
Accordingly, please respond to the following no later than October 21, 2019:
    1. For each criminal referral made by the Committee to the FBI, did the FBI open a criminal investigation?  If so, which investigation(s) resulted in a referral to the Justice Department for prosecution?  If not, why not?
    1. For each case that was referred to the Justice Department for prosecution, which cases were rejected and which were accepted for prosecution? 

It will be interesting to see if there is any response to this letter.

The Beginning Of Progress In The Trade War With China

It is no surprise that trade negotiations with China have moved slowly. President Trump is attempting to level a playing field that has been tilted for a long time. China has manipulated its currency to gain trade advantage, China has stolen intellectual property, and China has used slave labor to manufacture products at ridiculously cheap prices. We have looked the other way, ignoring human rights abuses. We have also looked the other way in terms of the censorship of speech in China. Google has helped develop a search engine that will meet the requirements of the Chinese censors. We have complied with things that are against our principles for the sake of money. The trade deal being negotiated is not going to change that, but at least it will be a beginning attempt to level the playing field.

Fox Business is reporting today that the U.S. and China agreed to a “phase one deal” in the trade war.

The article reports:

The deal, which has been agreed to in principle and will take three to five weeks to write, includes China agreeing to raise its agricultural purchases to between $40 billion and $50 billion from $8 billion to $16 billion, in addition to making reforms on intellectual property and financial services. The U.S. will not be raising tariffs from 25 percent to 30 percent on Oct. 15. A decision has not yet been made on the tariff increase scheduled for Dec. 15.

A comprehensive trade deal will have two or three phases, according to Trump. China’s trade team is calling the agreement a “pause” in the trade war, and not a deal.

China is not a free country, and the Chinese negotiators who are working out this trade deal will pay a high price if the deal is not totally acceptable to the leadership in China. The fact that a phase one deal has been reached is good news, but China does not have a great track record on keeping promises or abiding by trade agreements.

There Seems To Be A Lot More To The Ukraine Story

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article shedding light on an aspect of the Ukraine scandal that has yet to be explored.

The article reports:

Last week House Democrats called in fired US Ambassador Marie Yovanovich to testify in their sham impeachment proceedings.

Ambassador Yovanovich is a noted Trump-hater who blocked Ukrainian officials from traveling to the United States to hand over evidence of Obama misconduct during the 2016 election to President Trump.

Yovanovich was US ambassador to Ukraine during the 2016 election when the Ukrainian government was colluding with the DNC and Hillary Campaign to undermine the US presidential election.

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenkoko told journalists in March that Yovanovitch gave him a “do not prosecute” list during their first meeting.

It gets worse.

The article continues:

Starting in 2018 Yovanovich denied Ukrainian officials visas to enter the United States to hand over evidence of Obama administration misconduct to Trump administration officials.

Wednesday night on Hannity John Solomon announced that the former Ambassador Yovanovich was monitoring the reporters digging into Ukrainian lawlessness.

There is evidence now that Yovanovich was spying on John Solomon.

There will be more to come.

Insanity In Our Schools

Hot Air posted an article today about a 12-year-old girl who is facing felony charges because she allegedly made a gun shape with her hand and pointed her finger at four students before pointing her finger at herself. Yes, you read that right.

The article reports:

Police hauled her out of school in handcuffs, arrested her and charged the child with a felony for threatening.

Shawnee Mission school officials said they could not discuss the case, citing privacy laws, but did say it wasn’t the district that arrested the child.

According to the Kansas City Star, the incident unfolded in a classroom at Westridge Middle School.

The person said that during a class discussion, another student asked the girl, if she could kill five people in the class, who would they be? In response, the girl allegedly pointed her finger pistol — like the ones many children use playing cops and robbers.

Because of that gesture, The Star was told, the girl was sent to Principal Jeremy McDonnell’s office, and the other students involved were also talked to. The school resource officer recommended that she be arrested, the source said. She was detained by police and later released to her mother.

It gets even worse. According to Star columnist Toriano Porter, there were two kids in the same school district who recently brought real guns to school that aren’t facing felony charges for their actions. Toriano Porter also states that pointing a finger gun at classmates and then yourself is a cry for help — not a criminal act of violence.

The article concludes:

I’m not even going to go so far as to say that this 12-year old was exhibiting a “cry for help.” She could have just been a 12-year old who wasn’t thinking that responding to a dumb question by a classmate was going to end up with her in handcuffs. What’s next? Arresting kids playing “Kiss, Marry, Kill” at lunch for making threats?

The 12-year old girl is now living in California with her grandfather, and will hopefully be able to put this incident behind her, but if the laws in Kansas need to be changed to prevent idiotic situations like this from taking place in the future, I hope legislators in the state will see to it that there are no more felony charges for finger guns in the future.

Did whoever decided to call the police on the child consider the emotional trauma to the child? If this was viewed as a cry for help, why did the authorities choose to make the child’s emotional situation worse? I know a lot of adults who played with toy guns and toy soldiers as children who grew up to be respectable non-violent citizens. The way this child was treated is totally unacceptable–and she didn’t even have a gun!

Following The Money

We don’t pay our national leaders a lot of money, yet many of them become millionaires while in office or shortly after leaving office. It happens on both sides of the aisle, and I believe it is time we looked into how this occurs. Meanwhile, in one instance someone has.

The Ukraine News Agency is reporting today that Burisma Group, a Ukrainian energy company, paid former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden received $900,000 for lobbying activities. This was reported by Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada member Andriy Derkach, who cited investigation materials.

The article reports:

Derkach publicized documents which, as he said, “describe the mechanism of getting money by Biden Sr.” at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine’s press center in Kyiv on Wednesday.

“This was the transfer of Burisma Group’s funds for lobbying activities, as investigators believe, personally to Joe Biden through a lobbying company. Funds in the amount of $900,000 were transferred to the U.S.-based company Rosemont Seneca Partners, which according to open sources, in particular, the New York Times, is affiliated with Biden. The payment reference was payment for consultative services,” Derkach said.

He also publicized sums that were transferred to Burisma Group representatives, in particular Hunter Biden, a son of the former U.S. vice president.

“According to the documents, Burisma paid no less than $16.5 million to [former Polish President, who became an independent director at Burisma Holdings in 2014] Aleksander Kwasniewski, [chairman of the Burisma board of independent directors] Alan Apter, [Burisma independent director] Devon Archer and Hunter Biden [who joined the Burisma board of directors in 2014],” Derkach said.

“Using political and economic levelers of influencing Ukrainian authorities and manipulating the issue of providing financial aid to Ukraine, Joe Biden actively assisted closing criminal cases into the activity of former Ukrainian Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky, who is the founder and owner of Burisma Group,” he said.

The article concludes:

It was reported earlier that Derkach publicized correspondence between the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and officers of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. According to publicized correspondence, starting from July 14, 2017, the lists of criminal proceedings undertaken by NABU officers were sent from the electronic mailbox of Polina Chyzh, an assistant to NABU first deputy head Gizo Uglava, to the electronic mailbox of Hanna Yemelianova, a legal specialist of the anti-corruption program of the U.S. Justice Department at U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.

Derkach also said that NABU-leak materials will be published on his Facebook account and materials that he got from investigating journalists have already been passed to Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigations and the Prosecutor’s General Office.

He also said he will initiate the creation of an ad hoc parliamentary investigative commission and has already requested launching a criminal case against Ukrainian officials into interference into U.S. elections. The court session is scheduled for October 21, he said.

Burisma Holdings is a Cyprus-registered gas producing company holding assets in Ukraine. It is one of Ukraine’s top-three independent gas producers headquartered in Kyiv. Zlochevsky is the founder and the ultimate beneficiary owner of the company.

It may be a blessing to the Democrats that Joe Biden is no longer their leading presidential candidate.

The Political Cost Of Impeachment

What the Democrats in the House of Representatives are doing is not impeachment. It might be called ‘impeachment light’, but it is not impeachment. Impeachment is something that is supposed to begin with a vote of the full House of Representatives. At that point, both parties are allowed to call witnesses and question witnesses. The accuser (or accusers) of the President is asked to step forward and state his case. What the Democrats are doing violates a number of basic principles in our Constitution. Our Constitution allows a person charged with a crime to face his accuser. Our Constitution allows for both sides of an accusation to be heard. Our Constitution allows for any exculpatory evidence to be heard. None of this is happening in ‘impeachment light.’ So what is the cost of this charade to the Democrats?

The Washington Times posted an article today that includes the following:

Independent voters are warming up to President Trump, says a new survey which finds that Mr. Trump is now besting Democratic front-runners in a theoretical matchup.

“A new IBD-TIPP poll shows President Trump has gained significant ground with independent voters in head-to-head matchups with the Democrat Party frontrunners for president,” wrote Matt Margolis, a contributor to PJ Media.

He cited the factors. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, for instance, leads Mr. Trump by just one percentage point among independents, down from Mr. Biden’s 18 percentage point lead in September. Against Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 49% of independents backed Mr. Trump, while 43% favored the Massachusetts Democrat.

The article concludes:

“What caused such a dramatic swing in Trump’s favor with independents? Is it a coincidence that this poll was conducted after Nancy Pelosi formally launched an impeachment inquiry into President Trump? Not to me,” Mr. Margolis said.

“Impeachment is not exactly popular among voters, and only a minority of independents support it,” the analyst noted. “Many on the right have warned Democrats that impeachment fever will only benefit Trump in the long run — and they appear to be proven right by this poll.”

I am sure that the House Democrats are aware of these numbers. It will be interesting to see what they do about them.

What Voting Base Is She Trying To Appeal To?

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about a plank on Elizabeth Warren’s platform. Ms. Warren has decided that people who are here illegally should receive back pay for work they have done in the past.

The article reports:

Ensuring employers can’t exploit undocumented workers and drive down standards for all workers: The 2002 Supreme Court case Hoffman Plastic Compounds v. NLRB held that an undocumented worker could not receive the backpay he was owed from an employer who had violated the NLRA. That 5–4 ruling is wrong and denies millions of undocumented workers redress for illegal firings or other retaliatory conduct by an employer. The case encourages employers to hire undocumented immigrants and exploit them in numerous fields, including construction and manufacturing, which could lower wages for all workers. I will fight to amend the NLRA to end this form of exploitation and ensure that all workers are protected. [Emphasis added]

The article concludes:

Absent from Warren’s workers plan is a mandate and punishment for employers and businesses who hire illegal aliens over American citizens, as well as a reform to the H-1B visa program whereby Americans are readily replaced by foreign visa workers to increase profit margins for multinational corporations.

Warren has not endorsed mandatory E-Verify — a system that prevents businesses from hiring illegal aliens over Americans — though it would decrease foreign competition against Americans, especially those most vulnerable to competing against illegal aliens in the labor market.

In contrast to Warren is President Trump’s populist-nationalist “Buy American, Hire American” agenda, which has sought to increase interior immigration enforcement to tighten the labor market and delivered wage hikes for America’s blue-collar and working class. Unlike Warren, Trump’s latest national immigration plan includes a nationwide mandate of E-Verify to prevent Americans from being forced to compete for jobs against illegal aliens.

Today, there are at least eight million illegal aliens holding American jobs in the U.S. economy that would have otherwise gone to American workers and legal immigrants. In most cases, these illegal workers obtain fraudulent work authorization documents or steal American citizens’ identities in order to take jobs.

The Democrats have become a party that favors people who are here illegally over American workers. Because Americans are supposedly the only people with voting rights, I would love to know what Ms. Warren feels she is accomplishing with this policy idea.

Some Random Thoughts On The Troop Withdrawal

According to conservative news sources, the troop withdrawal from the Turkish border is simply moving fifty troops–it is not a withdrawal. I wish it were a withdrawal, we are not currently capable of fighting a war right now–we are unable to unite and focus on the job at hand.

Yesterday The Federalist posted an article about the dust-up.

The article notes:

Congress is the institution vested with the power to declare wars, to debate where we send troops, and decide which conflicts are funded. Presidents have been ignoring this arrangement, abuse authorizations for the use of military force (AUMFs), and imbue themselves with the power to engage in conflicts wherever they like, without any coherent endgame, and without any buy-in from Congress.

Congress, in turn, has shown no interest in genuinely challenging executive power, because its members are far more concerned with political self-preservation. Ignoring abuse shields them from tough choices and ensuing criticism—even as they use war as a partisan cudgel.

Even if you don’t believe all these conflicts rise to an Article I declaration, and I don’t, the more accountability there is in foreign entanglements the better. Right now we have little genuine debate or consensus building—in a nation that already exhibits exceptionally little interest in foreign policy—regarding the deployment of our troops, almost always in perpetuity, around the world.

It’s a bipartisan problem. Barack Obama, whose political star rose due to his opposition to the Iraq war, was perhaps our worst offender, circumventing Congress and relying on a decade-old AUMF (authorizations for the use of military force), which he invoked 19 times during his presidency, to justify a half-hearted intervention against ISIS (not al-Qaeda) in Syria (not Afghanistan.)

The article notes that military overreach is a problem in both parties:

It’s a bipartisan problem. Barack Obama, whose political star rose due to his opposition to the Iraq war, was perhaps our worst offender, circumventing Congress and relying on a decade-old AUMF, which he invoked 19 times during his presidency, to justify a half-hearted intervention against ISIS (not al-Qaeda) in Syria (not Afghanistan.)

Trump could bomb Iran tomorrow, use Obama’s reasoning, and have a far stronger legal defense for his actions.

It was also Obama who joined Europeans in the failed intervention in Libya, where he worked under NATO goals rather than the United States law. There was hardly a peep from Democrats fretting over the corrosion of the Constitution.

American would function much more efficiently if our Congressmen and President would simply follow the U.S. Constitution. At this point I am not sure many of them have read it–although they did take an oath to uphold it.

Truth In Comedy

There is a bit of a dust up going on right now between China and the National Basketball Association. It seems that Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets, posted a tweet showing support for Hong King’s freedom movement. Obviously, the Chinese are not a big fan of free speech. Mr. Morey has deleted his tweets and apologized, but that does not seem to be enough for the Chinese.

In an article posted today, CNBC reports:

  • Searches for “Houston Rockets” and “Rockets” in Chinese on Alibaba-owned Taobao and Tmall and another site JD.com, yielded no results.
  • It comes after Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted support for the anti-government protestors in Hong Kong. The tweet was quickly deleted.
  • Chinese broadcast partners Tencent and state-owned CCTV said they would no longer show Rockets games.

We need to remember that China is NOT a free country.

Meanwhile, enter Trey Parker and Matt Stone of “South Park” fame.

Scott Johnson at Power Line Blog posted an article today about their response to the dust up.

The article quotes an article in The Guardian:

South Park’s creators have responded with a mock apology to reports that China has censored the programme, ridiculing the country and comparing President Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh.

The “apology” from Trey Parker and Matt Stone comes after reports on Monday that China had scrubbed all episodes, clips and content related to the long-running comedy cartoon from Chinese streaming and social media platforms in response to a recent episode that was critical of the country.

The episode, called Band in China, took aim at what it portrayed as a tendency in US culture to adjust content to accommodate Chinese censorship laws. “It’s not worth living in a world where China controls my country’s art,” says one character in the episode.

The episode also includes a plot line in which a character is caught selling drugs in China and as punishment is sent to a work camp, similar to the mass internment camps in Xinjiang where an estimated one million people, including Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are detained.

The article also includes the non-apology apology from Trey Parker and Matt Stone:

I think that is called ‘speaking truth to power.’

When You Really Don’t Want A Speaker To Speak

Many liberal college campuses have used the technique of requiring unusually large security deposits when conservative speakers are planning events. This is one subtle way of limiting the speech of conservatives. Well, it looks like the city of Minneapolis has taken a page from that playbook.

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today with the following headline, “DEMOCRAT EXTORTION: In 2009 Minneapolis Charged Obama $20K for Security at Rally – Today They Are Charging Trump $500K for Rally.”

The article reports:

Liberal Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is wanting to extort money from the Trump Campaign to pay for an outlandish security bill to hold a campaign rally in the Twin Cities this week.

This is a common tactic of the left to deny Trump supporters access to venues for their events and gatherings.
Of course, the violent left NEVER have to go through this same type of torment.  Liberal politicians use this tactic exclusively against conservatives.

Mayor Frey is quite bold though for pulling this on the Republican President of the United States.
The Justice Department should sue him for harassment.

The article notes:

In 2009 Minneapolis charged President Obama $20,000 for security.
This week the Democrat Mayor wants to extort $500,000 from the Trump campaign for security.

The Trump campaign should take this to court–this is definitely unequal treatment.

When You Poke The Bear

There were two articles posted at The Federalist yesterday (here and here) about the current circus in the House of Representatives. I suspect this is not going exactly the way the Democrats had intended.

The first article notes:

In tense testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) on Friday, the inspector general for federal spy agencies refused to disclose why his office backdated secret changes to key whistleblower forms and rules in the wake of an anti-Trump whistleblower complaint filed in August, sources told The Federalist.

As The Federalist reported and the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) confirmed, the spy watchdog secretly changed its whistleblower forms and internal rules in September to eliminate a requirement that whistleblowers provide first-hand evidence to support any allegations of wrongdoing. In a press release last week, the ICIG confessed that it changed its rules in response to an anti-Trump complaint filed on August 12. That complaint, which was declassified and released by President Donald Trump in September, was based entirely on second-hand information, much of which was shown to be false following the declassification and release of a telephone conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The first article concludes:

Several top lawmakers in the Senate raised similar concerns about Atkinson’s behavior in a separate letter.

“Why did the IC IG initially require first-hand information in its May 2018 disclosure form?” the senators asked. “Why did the IC IG remove the requirement for first-hand information?”

Atkinson has not answered their questions, either, raising questions that his behavior following his receipt of the anti-Trump complaint might not be completely above board. Atkinson ignored legal guidance from both the director of national intelligence and the Department of Justice that the anti-Trump complaint was statutorily deficient and forwarded it to HPSCI even though it did not meet the legal definition of an “urgent concern” that is required to be given to Congress.

The embattled ICIG also admitted on Friday that the anti-Trump complainant lied on his whistleblower complaint form by concealing the complainant’s previous secret interactions with House Democratic staff prior to submitting the complaint. Atkinson never even bothered investigating potential coordination between the complainant, whom DOJ said showed evidence of partisan political bias, and House Democrats prior to the filing of the anti-Trump complaint.

The second article is more of a history of the entire Ukraine scandal. It mentions the fact that there are genuine concerns about Ukraine interference in the 2016 American presidential election.

The second article also suggests some motivation behind this current circus:

The Democrats’ case for impeachment is hopeless, but their motivation is simple. They whipped up their base into such a delusional frenzy during the “Russia investigation,” they have to keep the narrative going at all costs. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faces a rebellion from her caucus if she doesn’t go along with it.

There may be a more serious motivation behind this:

But there’s a group of intelligence bureaucrats at work here, and their motivation is a bit different. An immediate motive may be to prevent an investigation into how the Russia probe started. This includes an investigation into how a document the Hillary Clinton campaign created — using anonymous Russians and a British national tied to Russia — was used by our intelligence agencies to investigate Trump.

The other possible motivation is more complex. During the “Russia investigation,” many in the intelligence agencies worked to subvert Trump’s foreign policy and remove Trump, through spying, a large series of leaks, and articles planted with friendly outlets. Trump’s campaign was even spied on before the election, via something called the “two-hop rule,” once a secret court granted a warrant to spy on Trump campaign officials such as Carter Page.

Because of this, the White House moved to cut off the broader “intelligence community” — inexorably tied to America’s foreign policy establishment that Trump ran against — from information the White House knew many in the intelligence agencies would use to selectively leak.

That could mean some of what’s going on today, at least from the CIA angle, is intelligence bureaucrats “striking back” because they lost their access to diplomatic communications, a coveted source of the intelligence community’s power. But even the Obama administration liked to hide diplomatic calls from the broader intelligence community, which should tell us something about that bureaucracy.

The second article includes the following statement:

In other words, the real big takeaway here is that we have a problem with our Washington bureaucracy, including our intelligence agencies, which have routinely crossed the line into policymaking. How much of the impeachment mess is due to CIA bureaucrats being incensed that Trump, who is elected, would dare to question military aid to Ukraine, and would dare to curtail their eavesdropping on diplomacy?

What we see here is an illustration of the reason why we need to drain the swamp.