Why I Love The Alternative Media

Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog titled, “Landmark Trade Deal With China; New York Times Hardest Hit.” The article details some of the actual facts of the trade deal and contrasts those details with the reporting of The New York Times.

Some examples:

Reaction was predictably partisan. On CNBC, Steve Bannon said that President Trump “broke the Chinese Communist Party,” and the U.S. “gave up very little in the end.” On the same program, hedge fund manager Kyle Bass said that he sees the agreement as a “‘temporary truce’ in which the U.S. got the better of China.”

At the New York Times, on the other hand, there was wailing and gnashing of teeth:

President Trump signed an initial trade deal with China on Wednesday, bringing the first chapter of a protracted and economically damaging fight with one of the world’s largest economies to a close.

Has the trade conflict with China damaged the U.S. economy? To some degree it has, although it has certainly hurt China’s economy more. This is the kind of short-term pain that Barack Obama, for example, was unwilling to accept. And yet economic growth under President Trump has been considerably better than under Obama.

The deal caps more than two years of tense negotiations and escalating threats that at times seemed destined to plunge the United States and China into a permanent economic war.

No one thought “permanent economic war” was a realistic possibility, except, perhaps, readers of the always-hysterical New York Times.

The agreement is a significant turning point in American trade policy and the types of free-trade agreements that the United States has typically supported. Rather than lowering tariffs and other economic barriers to allow for the flow of goods and services to meet market demand, this deal leaves a record level of tariffs in place and forces China to buy $200 billion worth of specific products within two years.

Phase One reduces or eliminates some tariffs and leaves others in place for Phase Two. This isn’t really all that complicated, but the Times wants its readers to think that Trump’s approach represents a departure from an imagined, purist practice of the past.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is a beautiful example of how the mainstream media takes good news and attempts to make it bad news because it involves an accomplishment by President Trump.

This Case Is Still Relevant

On Tuesday The Epoch Times posted an article about the Awan scandal. In case you have forgotten, various members and friends of the Awan family were IT aides to more than 40 Democratic members of key national security and foreign policy committees in the House of Representatives. Their positions gave the aides access to all of the members’ digital communications and documents.

The article reminds us:

With the exception of Imran Awan, all of the Awan network members lost their access to the House IT network in February 2017, as a result of a report by the top House administrative officials that said the aides “are an ongoing and serious risk to the House of Representatives, possibly threatening the integrity of our information systems and thereby members’ capacity to serve constituents.”

Imran Awan was kept on the House payroll by then-Democratic National Committee Chairman Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.) until he was arrested by federal agents while trying to leave the United States.

Awan was subsequently charged with bank fraud in connection with a loan from the Congressional Federal Credit Union.

The article reports the current activities on the case:

An apparently frustrated federal judge ordered attorneys for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to appear Jan. 15 for a “snap” hearing to explain why the government isn’t producing documents sought by Judicial Watch concerning former Democratic information technology aide Imran Awan.

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Amit Mehta’s unusual order followed a sealed submission by DOJ attorneys Jan. 10 in the case prompted by the nonprofit government watchdog’s November 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit.

Such hastily convened hearings are extremely unusual in a federal judicial system so jammed that months can pass before cases are litigated in courtrooms.

“In a hearing last month, U.S. District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta expressed frustration and ordered the Justice Department to explain its failure to produce records by January 10 and to provide Judicial Watch some details about the delay,” Judicial Watch said in a statement Jan. 14 about the snap hearing.

“Instead, the Justice Department made its filing under seal and has yet to provide Judicial Watch with any details about its failure to produce records as promised to the court,” Judicial Watch said.

Federal attorneys previously said in December 2019 that they were unable to provide the documents sought in the Judicial Watch FOIA requests because they include materials from a “related sealed criminal matter.”

Thank God for Judicial Watch.

The article concludes:

The Awan scandal was first exposed by Daily Caller investigative journalist Luke Rosiak, who subsequently published a book on his findings, titled “Obstruction of Justice: How the Deep State Risked National Security to Protect the Democrats.”

None of the Awan network members were reportedly required to undergo security background checks prior to being employed on congressional staffs.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in the nonprofit’s statement that “the DOJ’s handling of the Awan brothers case has long been an issue of concern and now we are expected to believe some secret investigation prevents the public from knowing the full truth about this scandal. We are skeptical.”

Just another example of inexplicable actions by the Justice Department.

Really Tacky

Breitbart reported the following yesterday:

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) declared herself “sad” as she used more than a dozen commemorative pens to sign the two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Wednesday evening.

The occasion was “so sad, so tragic for our country,” Pelosi told reporters, noting the “difficult time in our country’s history.” She then approached a table that had been prepared with the documents, and two dishes full of pens for her to use — about half a dozen pens in each.

Pelosi then sat and signed the articles, one for “abuse of power” and one for “obstruction of Congress.” She applied each pen, paused every few seconds, switched pens, and then continued.

The two dishes were swapped out and replaced with two new ones after the first article of impeachment had been signed — presumably, different pens for different articles.

Despite pronouncing herself “sad,” Pelosi smiled throughout the signing.

She then handed out the pens to leaders of the Democratic Party caucus in the House, including House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), and others.

Can you imaging the uproar if the Republicans had done this during the Clinton impeachment?

If You Depend On The Mainstream Media For Your News…

There are a lot of Americans who depend on The New York Times for their news. Generally these are well-educated people who respect the tradition of the Times as the newspaper of record. They are either unaware or unconcerned about the amount of false reporting that the Times has done in recent years. Essentially, the Americans who depend on The New York Times for their news are uninformed about what is true and what is false. Recently a story appeared in the news that illustrates the problem. The Russians have hacked into the records of Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company the hired Hunter Biden. The New York Times has the story and PJ Media has the story. It’s not the same story.

The New York Times notes:

It is not yet clear what the hackers found, or precisely what they were searching for. But the experts say the timing and scale of the attacks suggest that the Russians could be searching for potentially embarrassing material on the Bidens — the same kind of information that Mr. Trump wanted from Ukraine when he pressed for an investigation of the Bidens and Burisma, setting off a chain of events that led to his impeachment.

The Russian tactics are strikingly similar to what American intelligence agencies say was Russia’s hacking of emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman and the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 presidential campaign. In that case, once they had the emails, the Russians used trolls to spread and spin the material, and built an echo chamber to widen its effect.

Note that the emphasis is on the election–the corruption that has already been proven is not mentioned–it’s all about embarrassment.

PJ Media notes:

GRU is responsible for other high-profile hacks of the DNC and John Podesta. Seven GRU officers were indicted in 2018 for conspiring to interfere with the 2016 election.

The hacking attempts against Burisma began in early November, as the Democrats’ impeachment efforts increased the profile of the company and Biden’s conflict of interests.

It is not yet known what the hackers found or what they were looking for. The New York Times says that “experts say the timing and scale of the attacks suggest that the Russians could be searching for potentially embarrassing material on the Bidens.”

The PJ Media article concludes:

So what does this mean? Scott Rosenburg of Axios believes that awareness of the hacks “cuts both ways politically.” There are huge negative implications for Joe Biden and his presidential campaign, since “it means document dumps could happen at any time, with accompanying media frenzy and potentially damaging revelations.” Many on the left still believe—despite all evidence to the contrary—that Trump colluded with Russia in 2016, so Russian involvement with the hacks “means that any such revelations will come pre-tainted with a Russian label,” according to Rosenburg.

Despite the Russian connection, should damaging information be revealed, Biden’s campaign has the most to lose, as his repeated denials of knowledge of his son’s business dealings could be undercut by documentary evidence. New details about how Hunter Biden’s position on the board gave Burisma access to the White House during the Obama years may also be brought to light.

The New York Times is still beating the dead horse of collusion with the Russians (no evidence found in Mueller Report or since).  Unfortunately Americans are being misinformed by what was formerly ‘the paper of record.’

The Biggest Lie Told In Last Night’s Debate

Breitbart posted an article last night which detailed the biggest lie told in the Democratic debate in Iowa.

The article reports:

Blue-collar and white-collar Americans “are being clobbered, they’re being killed,” former Vice President Joe Biden claimed at the January 14 Democrat debate in Iowa.

However, unemployment is at record lows, many sidelined Americans are getting jobs, and blue-collar wages are rising at rates not seen for many years amid President Donald Trump’s new curbs on legal and illegal immigration.

The article quotes Joe Biden’s remarks:

Working-class people — where I come from in Pennsylvania, the places I come from in Delaware — I have great support. I have support across the board, and I’m not worried about taking on Donald Trump at all. And with regard to the economy I can hardly wait to have a debate with him.

Where I come from — the neighborhoods I come from — they’re in real trouble: working-class people and middle-class people. When the middle class does well, [the] working class has a way up and the wealthy do well. But what’s happening now: they’re being clobbered, they’re being killed. They now have a situation where they [believe] — the vast majority believe — their children will never reach the stage that they reached in economic security.

I love that [economic] debate because the American public is getting clobbered. The wealthy are the only ones doing well. Period. I’m looking forward to the economic debate.

The article reports the facts:

Wages for blue-collar Americans rose by 4.3 percent in 2019 — or 2.7 percent after inflation — in President Donald Trump’s tightening labor market, according to a December report by Goldman Sachs.

The wage gains come amid very low inflation of just 2.1 percent in December.

…Blue-collar wages are rising faster than white-collar salaries because of different demands from employers, said Tom Donohue, the CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “White-collar wages have been moving up over time, a bit, and the demand there, because of technology and other things, is not as high as the demand [for blue-collar skills]. … It’s a reality of the market,” he said January 9.

But Biden wants to increase the flow of foreign workers who will reduce wages for Americans.

“Biden will work with Congress to first reform temporary visas to establish a wage-based allocation process and establish enforcement mechanisms to ensure they are aligned with the labor market and not used to undermine wages,” said Biden’s plan for legal immigration. “Then, Biden will support expanding the number of high-skilled visas and eliminating the limits on employment-based visas by country, which create unacceptably long backlogs,” the plan says.

Hopefully enough Americans are familiar with the actual facts to believe this garbage.

Frightening Insight Into Some Of The Campaign Workers In The Bernie Sanders Campaign

Yesterday Townhall posted an article about the videos released by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas showing some disturbing comments made by a Bernie Sanders campaign field organizer.

This is the video (warning–horrible language–the man needs his mouth washed out with soap):

The article at Townhall concludes:

Ok, so it’s not as earth-shattering as PV’s excellent series on CNN, but it shows who we’re dealing with in the trenches of the 2020 election. There will probably be more videos like this, but at the same time, you can see why the Democratic establishment doesn’t want these folks gaining more prominence within the ranks of the party. Again, we shouldn’t be shocked that a) there are nutty people out there; and b) the Sanders operations hire such people. In terms of sexual harassment, Sanders’ 2016 campaign was totally infested with such a problem. It was a den of sexism and harassment that was not really addressed, and Sanders’ excuse was that he was too busy losing to Hillary Clinton to tackle it. I doubt Jurek will be purged, but it’s always good to keep tabs on people like this. they do the same against us and our totally radical ideas about…the Constitution, lower taxes, freedom, more jobs, and a strong economy. But we’re the extreme ones, right? 

We need to remember the words of Benjamin Franklin at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, “A Republic, if You Can Keep It“. There are a number of Democrats running for President who are talking about ‘transforming’ America in ways that are totally opposed to the Republic established by the Constitutional Convention. Voters need to pay close attention to what is said openly and what is exposed about these campaigns.

Happening Beneath The Radar

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article yesterday about the signing of the first phase of the trade deal with China.

The article notes:

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appears on FOX Business to discuss the U.S-China ‘phase-one’ trade agreement, the benefits, enforcement mechanisms and retention of tariffs and particular sanctions until compliance can be reviewed.

Phase-1 establishes the baselines; resets the ability of U.S. companies to enter China; establishes rules for market entry; and sets the parameters for enforcement. Any future phase is contingent upon evaluation of phase-one enforcement mechanisms.

The article includes the following video:

The important aspect of this agreement is that no future agreements will be made until the rules of this agreement are complied with. China has been a dishonest trade partner for years and has been largely responsible for the decline of manufacturing in America. Phase-1 of the trade agreement with China is the first step in reversing this trend.

This Could Happen Here

The BFD is a New Zealand newspaper. On January 20, the paper posted an article written by someone who personally experienced the consequences of New Zealand’s gun control law (the Search and Surveillance Act 2012).

The article reports:

On Thursday evening, I was just finishing up dinner with my two oldest kids. My wife was feeling unwell and feeding our four-week-old baby in bed. I had just gotten the icecream out for the kids when the doorbell rang.

I opened the door to see a number of police officers outside. They served me with a search warrant under Section 6 of the Search and Surveillance Act 2012. Half a dozen armed police officers swarmed in the front door (holstered sidearms only) as several more ran around the sides of the house. They later called for more backup as the house was larger than your average state-house drug lab. I got the impression that they’d never had to raid a middle-class suburban house like mine before. Everyone on the property was detained, read their rights, and questioned separately. I opted to call a lawyer who advised me to refuse to answer any questions.

The warrant claimed they had reason to believe I was in possession of a prohibited magazine fitted to a “.22RL lever-action rifle. Blued metal, brown wooden stock.” The officer told me I had posted about it online, which I had—in my public written submission against the Firearms Amendment Act passed last year. That submission was shared on several blogs and social media. I had used the firearm as an example to prove the legislation was not targeting “military-style assault weapons” as the media, prime minister, and her cabinet repeated ad nauseum. The vast majority of firearms affected by the legislation were just like mine.

I thought nothing more of my little example to the select committee. It was no longer in my possession when the police raided my house. They departed empty-handed after turning the place inside out for ninety minutes and left me with my firearms and a visibly shaken wife who broke down in tears. Thankfully, the kids didn’t quite get what was going on—but I realised after that they had gone to bed without icecream.

For anyone like me who does not know a whole lot about guns, the article describes the rifle:

I’ve been vocal about the amnesty being a disaster, and the police were rather open about the failure of the whole process. Maybe if they stopped raiding innocent people’s houses there might have been some more good will? They implied that they’d keep having to raid the houses of people I knew until the firearm turned up. This is for an A-Category firearm, which I have no reason to believe is fitted with a prohibited magazine! Are these the kind of intimidation tactics now the norm in New Zealand? Are we going to accept this in a first-world democracy?

This is for a lever-action .22LR that’s designed to hit paper or be used to hunt bunnies. What happened to going after the “weapons designed to kill people” as the police minister Stuart Nash has claimed?

The implications of this are rather stunning. I took the photo and publicised the details about this firearm as part of the select committee process. This good-faith evidence was used by the police as a justification for their raid. Do we now live in a country where public evidence given to a select committee will be used against you to suit the political purposes of the police?

Anyone who’s publicly talked about or posted a picture of their grandfather’s little .22LR pump/lever action can get raided, as these rifles all had 10+ capacity prior to the draconian new rules. Admitting you had one a year ago is reason enough to warrant a raid on your property today.

I guess the bunnies’ lobby decided to ask the government to confiscate the weapons used against them.

On a serious note, this could easily happen in America and may be happening soon in Virginia.

Addressing A Politically-Created Problem

Breitbart reported the following yesterday:

The New Hampshire House Education Committee will hold a public hearing on Tuesday on HB 1251, legislation to protect female athletic programs from men, or transgender women, who want to compete in girls’ and women’s sporting events.

The bill — sponsored by New Hampshire Republicans Mark Pearson, Judy Aron, Regina Birdsell, Linda Camarota, Linda Gould, Kathleen Hoelzel, Alicia Lekas, Jeanine Notter, Katherine Prudhomme-O’Brien, Kim Rice, and Ruth Ward — states it is about “Discrimination Protection in Public Schools.”

The article reports the reaction to the bill:

Organizations for and against the bill are mobilizing the public. Save Women’s Sports and Cornerstone are hoping for the legislation to become law.

Cornerstone wrote in a notice about the public hearing:

Female athletes deserve a level playing field. They should not have to compete against biological males for a spot on the podium, even if those males claim a female gender identity. Biological males are already starting to dominate women’s competitive sports.

The Citizens Count website is reaching out to people who support transgender sports.

If the bill becomes law it would be effective 60 days after its passage.

Athletic scholarships are one ticket to college for athletic high school girls. In recent years many of these girls have lost scholarship opportunities because of losing to high school boys transitioning or claiming to identify as girls. Anyone who understands basic biology understands that this is simply unfair. I don’t have an answer to a transgender high school student who wants to complete athletically. Do we need a transgender athletic program? I don’t know. What I do know is that letting boys compete in girls’ sports is simply unfair to girls.

Interesting Take

On Friday, The Daily Wire posted an article about Trey Gowdy’s recent comments concerning the purpose of impeaching President Trump. The article points out that there is very little hope that President Trump will be impeached in the Senate and that there is very little chance that President Trump will not be re-elected. So what is the goal?

The article notes:

Former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) told Fox News’s Sean Hannity on Thursday that Democrats are not trying to remove President Donald Trump with impeachment, but instead are focused on kneecapping his second term by flipping the Senate so he can’t get anything done.

“Let’s skip over the process,” Gowdy said. “The process, the three month long inquiry investigation was laughable. But they voted. That’s the House’s prerogative. They voted, not a single Republican went along with them. In fact, they didn’t even keep all the Democrats. But the House exercised its prerogative and they impeached the president.”

“There is no mathematical way he is ever going to be convicted and they know that,” Gowdy continued. “So their goal cannot be to remove Donald Trump from office, it is to neuter his second term. I think he is going to win in November. It’s to neuter that second term by targeting the Cory Gardners and the Martha McSallys and the Thom Tillises and the Susan Collins and Joni Ernst because if Trump wins and doesn’t have the Senate then he is not going to get any judicial vacancies filled and he’s not going to replace a Supreme Court Justice if he or she retires.”

One of the major accomplishments of the Trump administration is the reshaping of the judiciary. President Trump has appointed a record number of judges to serve in the federal appeal courts.

On December 19th, The National Review reported:

Let’s first put the confirmation results in some statistical perspective. From 1981 through last year, the Senate confirmed an average of 45 judges, or 5.5 percent of the judiciary, per year. This year’s total is more than twice the annual average and constitutes 11.9 percent of the judiciary. It’s the second-highest confirmation total in a single year in American history.

Those 102 confirmations include 20 to the U.S. Court of Appeals, the third-highest annual total in history. President Donald Trump has appointed 50 appeals court judges in his first three years, compared to 55 appointed by President Barack Obama — in eight years. And this is only the second time in American history that the Senate has confirmed double-digit appeals court nominations three years in a row. The only downside is that only one current appeals court vacancy exists anywhere in the country right now, the fewest in more than four decades.

The Democrats understand that the legacy of judges will be a lasting legacy. They desperately need to take the Senate in order to stop the continuing confirmations of judges. That strategy is much more logical than a futile effort to unseat a President who is popular with most Americans (although hated by the Washington establishment).

It Really Is A Shame That The Media Has Chosen To Ignore President Trump’s Economic Success

On Saturday, The Western Journal reported the following:

The Trump economy is giving the greatest benefits to those who have been at the bottom, according to new data from the Council of Economic Advisers.

Data released by the CEA shows that over 11 quarters from the end of 2016 through the first half of 2019, the net wealth of the top 1 percent of American households rose 13 percent. However, that rise is dwarfed by the 47 percent increase seen by the bottom 50 percent of America’s households over that same period.

…The report said that on average, workers’ pay has been rising faster than that of managers, and wage gains for Americans without a bachelor’s degree are rising faster than those for Americans with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

And, in keeping with Trump’s campaign promise to lift up black Americans, “average wage growth for African Americans now outpaces wage growth for white Americans,” according to the White House report.

America’s labor force is growing because Americans who were not formerly even looking for jobs are now employed, the report said.

The article concludes:

The Labor Department’s December jobs numbers, meanwhile, showed that women now are the majority in the American workforce.

“Why is today a milestone? It’s a milestone because it’s really heralding the future and not just telling us where we are today,” Betsey Stevenson, a professor of public policy and economics at the University of Michigan, told The Washington Post.

Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, said the jobs report has political ramifications.

“This stuff will translate in the election, I’m surprised the Democrats are so pessimistic painting a picture of a deep recession,” Kudlow told The Post. “The key point here is 3.5 percent unemployment continues, and that is a very low number historically and shows you still have a healthy economy and healthy job market.”

There is another aspect of President Trump’s policies that is impacting the wages of working Americans. President Trump’s policy of ending illegal immigration also eliminates some downward pressure on the lower end of the wage scale. Illegal immigrants are willing to work for less than American workers and don’t demand the same benefits. If they are working ‘under the table’, their employee is not paying Social Security taxes on them. Ending the flow of illegal immigrants into America is a positive thing for everyone.

An Interesting Take On Impeachment

The American Thinker posted an article today about the next step in the impeachment process.

The article notes:

The latest reporting I’ve seen is that the Senate will take up President Trump’s impeachment trial this week.  What’s wrong with that, you ask?  I’ve already said what’s wrong: the Schiff-Nadler Star Chamber violated President Trump’s Fifth Amendment rights to procedural due process, rendering the resulting impeachment articles null and void as “poisoned fruit.”  The GOP leadership should do what the Founders would have done: challenge the legal legitimacy of the impeachment articles.  The logic blueprint I will present below — Mr. Jefferson knew logic — will help make the case in court.

As we know, protecting the rights of the accused is of fundamental importance in a just legal system and is a key motivation behind the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, which asserts that “[no person shall] be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”  The Supreme Court has interpreted due process broadly to include:

    • procedural due process rights,
    • substantive due process rights, and
    • prohibition against vague laws
    • as the vehicle for the incorporation of the Bill of Rights.

Of concern here are only procedural due process rights (PDPRs), which include:

    1. An unbiased tribunal.
    2. Notice of the proposed action and the grounds asserted for it.
    3. The opportunity to present reasons for the proposed action not to be taken.
    4. The right to present evidence, including the right to call witnesses.
    5. The right to know the opposing evidence.
    6. The right to cross-examine adverse witnesses.
    7. A decision based only on the evidence presented.
    8. Opportunity to be represented by counsel.
    9. A requirement that the tribunal prepare a record of the evidence presented.
    10. A requirement that the tribunal prepare written findings of fact and the reasons for its decision.

I can sum this up with one question, “If you were on trial would you be happy to have the same rights as a defendant that President Trump was given by the House of Representatives?”

If the God-given rights that are supposed to be guaranteed by our Constitution matter, the impeachment case put together by the House of Representatives needs to be thrown out for not respecting those rights.

Inquiring Minds Want To Know…

Yesterday Breitbart reported that the book Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite hit #1 on Amazon Saturday, despite the fact that the book’s official release is still over a week away.

The article reports:

Very little is publicly known about the book’s contents. Government Accountability Institute President and Breitbart News senior contributor Peter Schweizer and his investigative team spent a year and a half researching it. A source close to the publisher said the book’s contents will “upend official Washington” and that Schweizer’s prior bombshell revelations about Hunter Biden were “just the tip of the iceberg.” The book is said to contain brand new evidence that five members of Joe Biden’s family—the “Biden Five”—scored “tens of millions of dollars” in taxpayer cash and guaranteed loans.

Mike Allen of Axios, who exclusively announced HarperCollins’ forthcoming release of Profiles in Corruption, reported that the book’s table of contents includes chapters on leading progressives, including:

    • Joe Biden
    • Eric Garcetti
    • Cory Booker
    • Elizabeth Warren
    • Sherrod Brown
    • Bernie Sanders
    • Amy Klobuchar

If Schweizer’s next book is anything like his four previous consecutive New York Times bestsellers, Washington will feel its shockwaves. Secret Empires exposed Joe and Hunter Biden’s Ukraine and China dealings, touching off a firestorm of coverage about Hunter Biden’s $83,000 a month work on behalf of Ukranian energy giant Burisma while Joe Biden led U.S.-Ukraine policy as vice president. Clinton Cash sparked an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation and uncovered the Uranium One scandal. Extortion led to lawmakers retiring. And Throw Them All Out pulled back the curtain on insider trading by members of Congress and led to the passage of the STOCK (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge) Act.

I can’t wait.

Did The American Press Cover This?

The U.K. Daily Mail posted a video today of Iranian students refusing to walk of American and Israeli flags. Please follow the link to view the video. It is an amazing step forward for protesters in Iran. There have been a lot of protests in Iran lately–some sponsored and paid for by the government and some protesting that government. The thing to remember about Iran is the population demographic. Because of the tremendous loss of life during the war with Iraq from 1980 to 1988, there is a generation of Iranians that is essentially missing. The median age of the Iranian population is 30.1 years, and generally speaking these young people want to westernize the country. The government represents a generation that is dying and desperately trying to hold on to its power.

The article at The U.K. Daily Mail reports:

This is the incredible moment hundreds of Iranian students refuse to step on the American and Israeli flags amid anti-government marches in the country and a warning to its leaders from Donald Trump to ‘not kill protesters’. 

The clip taken at Shaheed Beheshti University on Sunday shows crowds deliberately avoiding walking over the Stars and Stripes and the Star of David before furiously berating those that do. 

Ali Khamenei’s regime is said to have painted the flags at the main entrance of the university for students to walk over as a sign of disrespect. 

In 2016, Iranian professor Sadegh Zibakalam, who has avoided walking on the flags in the past, said: ‘It is a sign of disrespect toward that nation. Placing the flag of a country on the ground and stepping on it is an error, a sign of disrespect toward that nation.’

Thousands had on Saturday gathered in front of the gate of the Amirkabir University of Technology near the former US embassy in Tehran to protest the government and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for mistakenly downing a civilian passenger plane.  

President Trump issued a stark warning to the leaders of Iran Sunday, tweeting: ‘To the leaders of Iran – DO NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTERS. Thousands have already been killed or imprisoned by you, and the World is watching. 

‘More importantly, the USA is watching. Turn your internet back on and let reporters roam free! Stop the killing of your great Iranian people!’

Stay tuned. America is once again standing up for freedom. We can’t and shouldn’t ‘nation build,’ but we can certainly encourage other people to work for freedom in their own countries.

Refusing To Acknowledge Or Deal With The Problem

The Federalist is reporting today that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) presiding Judge James Boasberg  has chosen David Kris to review the FBI’s proposed changes to its surveillance application process.

The article notes:

Kris, who served as assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s National Security Division, recently claimed the IG report that catalogued egregious abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) powers actually vindicated the FBI. He also smeared Rep. Devin Nunes in 2018, saying his initial sounding of the alarm about those abuses was incorrect, threatened national security, and should be harshly punished.

Kris appeared in locations that pushed the false Russia collusion narrative, such as Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show, the Lawfare blog, and Twitter, to defend the FBI and attack President Trump and other critics of the harmful surveillance campaign. He once wrote that Trump “should be worried” that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into treasonous collusion with Russia meant “the walls are closing in.”

The appointment of a former official who served as an apologist for the FBI signals that the court isn’t particularly concerned about the civil liberty violations catalogued by Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s investigation into the year-long surveillance of Carter Page. Page is the Trump campaign affiliate whose phone and email communications federal agents wiretapped, and who had confidential human sources and overseas intelligence assets placed against him. False claims that Page was a Russian spy were leaked to the media by government officials as part of a years-long campaign to paint President Trump as a traitor who had colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election.

This is not good news for our country. It shows that the deep state is still protecting itself and will continue to do so at least in the near future. Dirty cops will not be dealt with as long as they have the right political views. We are at a tipping point–either we are going to have equal justice under the law or we are going to live in a surveillance state. The only way to change this is for voters to vote anyone out of office who hindered in any way the investigations into the corruption that took place at the senior levels of the Department of Justice, FBI, IRS,  etc., under the Obama administration.

You Might Not Have Heard This

A friend of mine sent me an email that included the following story:

Subject: Army Navy football
There are still some great people who know why we are a free country, and who ensures we remain so!
    The Best Christmas Story You “Never” Heard
Here’s a ‘today’ Yule story that occurred 3 weeks ago – and now, in time for the holidays, I bring you the best Christmas story you “never” heard.
It started last Christmas, when Bennett and Vivian Levin were overwhelmed by sadness while listening to radio reports of injured American troops.   “We have to let them know we care,” Vivian told Bennett.
So they organized a trip to bring soldiers from Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital to the annual Army-Navy football game in Philly, on December 3, 2019.
The cool part is, they created their own train line to do it.   Yes, there are people in this country who actually own real trains and Bennett Levin, a native Philly guy and a self-made millionaire is one of them.
He has three luxury rail cars.   Think mahogany paneling, plush seating and white-linen dining areas.   He also has two locomotives, which he stores at his Juniata Park train yard.   One car, the elegant Pennsylvania, carried John F. Kennedy to the Army-Navy game in 1961 and ’62.   Later, it carried his brother Bobby’s body to D.C. for burial.   “That’s a lot of history for one car,” says Bennett.
He and Vivian wanted to revive a tradition that endured from 1936 to 1975, during which trains carried Army-Navy spectators from around the country directly to the stadium where the annual game is played.  The Levins could think of no better passengers to reinstate the ceremonial ride than the wounded men and women recovering at Walter Reed in D.C. and Bethesda, in Maryland.
“We wanted to give them a first-class experience,” says Bennett.   “Gourmet meals on board, private transportation from the train to the stadium, perfect seats – real hero treatment.”
Through the Army War College Foundation, of which he is a trustee, Bennett met with Walter Reed’s commanding general, who loved the idea.   But Bennett had some ground rules first, all designed to keep the focus on the troops alone:
No press on the trip, lest the soldiers’ day of pampering devolve into a media circus.
No politicians either, because, says Bennett, “I didn’t want some idiot making this
trip into a campaign photo op” and no Pentagon suits on board, otherwise the
soldiers would be too busy saluting superiors to relax.
The general agreed to the conditions, and Bennett realized he had a problem on his hands.   “I had to actually make this thing happen,” he laughs.
Over the next months, he recruited owners of 15 other sumptuous rail cars from around the country into lending their vehicles for the day (these people tend to know each other).
The name of their temporary train?   The Liberty Limited.
Amtrak volunteered to transport the cars to D.C. – where they’d be coupled together for the round-trip ride to Philly – then back to their owners later.
Conrail offered to service the Liberty while it was in Philly.   And SEPTA drivers would bus the disabled soldiers 200 yards from the train to Lincoln Financial Field, for the game.
A benefactor from the War College ponied up 100 seats to the game – on the 50-yard line – and lunch in a hospitality suite.
And corporate donors filled, for free and without asking for publicity, goodie bags for attendees:
From Woolrich, stadium blankets,
From Wal-Mart, digital cameras,
From Nikon, field glasses, and
From GEAR, down jackets.
There was booty not just for the soldiers, but for their guests, too, since each was allowed to bring a friend or family member.
The Marines, though, declined the offer.   “They voted not to take guests with them, so they could take more Marines,” says Levin, choking up at the memory.
Bennett’s an emotional guy, so he was worried about how he’d react to meeting the 88 troops and guests at D.C.’s Union Station, where the trip originated.   Some GIs were missing limbs.
Others were wheelchair-bound or accompanied by medical personnel for the day.   “They made it easy to be with them,” he says.   “They were all smiles on the ride to Philly.   Not an ounce of self-pity from any of them.   They’re so full of life and determination.”
At the stadium, the troops reveled in the game, recalls Bennett.   Not even Army’s lopsided loss to Navy could deflate the group’s rollicking mood.
Afterward, it was back to the train and yet another gourmet meal – heroes get hungry, says Levin – before returning to Walter Reed and Bethesda.   “The day was spectacular,” says Levin.
It was all about these kids.   It was awesome to be part of it.”
The most poignant moment for the Levins was when 11 Marines hugged them goodbye, then sang them the Marine Hymn on the platform at Union Station.
“One of the guys was blind, but he said, ‘I can’t see you, but man, you must be beautiful!’ ” says Bennett.   “I got a lump so big in my throat, I couldn’t even answer him.”
It’s been three weeks, but the Levins and their guests are still feeling the day’s love.   “My Christmas came early,” says Levin, who is Jewish and who loves the Christmas season.
“I can’t describe the feeling in the air.”   Maybe it was hope.
As one guest wrote in a thank-you note to Bennett and Vivian, “The fond memories generated last Saturday will sustain us all – whatever the future may bring.”
God bless the Levins … and God bless the troops, every single one.

Complicated, But Important

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about the ongoing case of Sharyl Attkisson, a CBS journalist who was spied on by the government as she investigated the Fast and Furious scandal and later Benghazi.. I strongly suggest that you follow the link to the article as it includes a lot of detail about the case.

The article reports:

According to a recent court filing [Source Here] a person who was engaged in the “wrongful activity” has come forward to provide Ms. Attkisson with details about the operation.  As a result of those whistle-blower revelations Attkisson is able to name specific individuals who were running the operation

…Former DOJ Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein is named as the person who was in charge of the operation; and the former head of the FBI DC field office, Shawn Henry is also outlined.

Mr. Henry is the head of Crowdstrike, a contractor for the government and a politically connected data security and forensic company.  Those who have followed the aspects related to the FBI use of the NSA database to illegally monitor U.S. persons; and those who followed the DNC cover story of Russia “hacking”; will be familiar with Crowdstrike.

According to the updated lawsuit (full pdf below) Rod Rosenstein, as the U.S. Attorney for Maryland, was in charge of the Obama 2011 and 2012 operation to monitor journalists specific to Ms. Attkissons reporting on Fast-n-Furious and Benghazi.

The article concludes:

This is the same time-frame when DNI James Clapper falsely denied to congress about the U.S. government -through the NSA- collecting metadata on all U.S. electronic communication.  This is the same time-frame where CIA Director John Brennan was monitoring the computer networks of congressional intelligence oversight staff.

When you overlay the new information from the Attkisson lawsuit, what emerges is the picture of an intentional effort by the Obama administration to weaponize the ability to collect electronic information on domestic political opposition.  It’s one long continuum.

This is not acceptable government behavior in a representative republic. It remains to be seen what will be done about it.

Sometimes I Just Have No Words

We need to keep in mind that Qasem Soleimani was a terrorists. He was responsible for the killing and injuring of hundreds of American soldiers in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He was responsible for killing hundreds of Iranian civilians who were protesting the current regime. He was the coordinator of various terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East and in other parts of the world. He was not simply a high-ranking government official in Iran–he was a cold-blooded murderer.

Below is some of the insanity of the American media in dealing with the death of Soleimani (posted on YouTube January 10th):

 

This Is A Perfect Example Of Spin

CNS News posted a transcript of the letter Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wrote to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell regarding impeachment.

Here is the letter:

Dear Colleague on Next Steps on Impeachment

January 10, 2020

Press Release

Dear Democratic Colleague,

For weeks now, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has been engaged in tactics of delay in presenting transparency, disregard for the American people’s interest for a fair trial and dismissal of the facts.

Yesterday, he showed his true colors and made his intentions to stonewall a fair trial even clearer by signing on to a resolution that would dismiss the charges.  A dismissal is a cover-up and deprives the American people of the truth.  Leader McConnell’s tactics are a clear indication of the fear that he and President Trump have regarding the facts of the President’s violations for which he was impeached.

The American people have clearly expressed their view that we should have a fair trial with witnesses and documents, with more than 70 percent of the public stating that the President should allow his top aides to testify.  Clearly, Leader McConnell does not want to present witnesses and documents to Senators and the American people so they can make an independent judgment about the President’s actions. 

Honoring our Constitution, the House passed two articles of impeachment against the President – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – to hold the President accountable for asking a foreign government to interfere in the 2020 elections for his own political and personal gain.  

While the House was able to obtain compelling evidence of impeachable conduct, which is enough for removal, new information has emerged, which includes: 

·         On December 20, new emails showed that 91 minutes after Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky, a top Office of Management and Budget (OMB) aide asked the Department of Defense to “hold off” on sending military aid to Ukraine.

·         On December 29, revelations emerged about OMB Director and Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney’s role in the delay of aid, the effort by lawyers at the OMB, the Department of Justice and the White House to justify the delay, and the alarm that the delay caused within the Administration.

·         On January 2, newly-unredacted Pentagon emails, which we had subpoenaed and the President had blocked, raised serious concerns by Trump Administration officials about the legality of the President’s hold on aid to Ukraine. 

·         And on January 6, just this week, former Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton announced he would comply with a subpoena compelling his testimony.  His lawyers have stated he has new relevant information.  

I am very proud of the courage and patriotism exhibited by our House Democratic Caucus as we support and defend the Constitution.  I have asked Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler to be prepared to bring to the Floor next week a resolution to appoint managers and transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate.  I will be consulting with you at our Tuesday House Democratic Caucus meeting on how we proceed further.  

In an impeachment trial, every Senator takes an oath to “do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws.”  Every Senator now faces a choice: to be loyal to the President or the Constitution.  

No one is above the law, not even the President.

Thank you for your leadership For The People.

Sincerely,

Wow. It is my sincere hope that American voters are smart enough to see this for the sham that it is.

Good News From Israel

On January 1, 2020, Interesting Engineering posted the following:

Israeli firm Alpha Tau Medical has developed a new cancer treatment that attacks tumors while sparing healthy tissue. The treatment is called Alpha DaRT (Diffusing Alpha-emitters Radiation Treatment), according to The Jerusalem Post.

Alpha DaRT uses, for the first time, alpha radiation for solid tumor treatment. But it does so in a way that the body can tolerate it.

Most cancer treatments out there are simply not tolerable. Our bodies were not made to be exposed to them.

Alpha particles have a high capacity to destroy cancer cells without causing side effects on healthy cells. However, they have extremely short path length in tissue, meaning that up to now they could not get across the entire volume of a tumor.

ALPHA DaRT technology uses the radioactive decay of an isotope called radium-224 to power the spread of alpha particles across entire tumors. This makes ALPHA DaRT technology a powerful cancer-killing agent with minimum side effects.

This limits collateral damage during cancer treatment. Studies done on the treatment are very promising showing a very high level of safety for patients.

The article concludes:

In one recent study, the treatment showed tumor shrinkage in 100% of cases and delivered total tumor destruction in over 78% of cases.

…And other cancer centers are also exploring Alpha DaRT. Trials are being undertaken in Israel, Canada, Japan, Russia, Italy and in the United States.

This is fantastic news for anyone or any family that has been touched by cancer.

Good Economic News Created By Good Leadership

Trading Economics reported the following:

The US trade deficit narrowed to $43.1 billion in November 2019 from a downwardly revised $46.9 billion gap in the previous month. It compares with market expectations of a $43.8 billion shortfall. The trade gap shrank for the third straight month to the lowest since October 2016. Imports slumped 1% to the lowest value in 2 years due to falling purchases of aircraft, computers and cell phones. Exports increased 0.7% to $209 billion, boosted by sales of drilling and oilfield equipment, jewellery, autos, diamonds and aircraft engines. The goods trade deficit with China narrowed 15.7% to $26.4 billion, with imports dropping 9.2% and exports jumping 13.7%. Year-to-date, the total deficit decreased $3.9 billion. The trade war with China seems to be the main cause behind the lowest trade gap. Although a lower trade deficit is likely to impact positively on GDP growth, concerns remain over the impact of falling imports in consumer spending, the largest component of GDP. Balance of Trade in the United States averaged -15090.59 USD Million from 1950 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 1946 USD Million in June of 1975 and a record low of -67823 USD Million in August of 2006.

This is the result of the tariffs and trade negotiations of President Trump.

A Serious Mistake

U.S. officials are stating that they are confident that the Iranian airline that crashed in Tehran, Iran, on Tuesday night was hit by an Iranian missile.

Scott Johnson posted the following at Power Line Blog today:

Taking into account the Iranian regime’s obvious lying about the cause of the downing of the Ukrainian jetliner leaving Tehran this past Tuesday combined with the regime’s subsequent refusal to turn over the aircraft’s black boxes, and a reasonable person — say, the American Spectator’s Scott McKay — would infer that the regime shot it down one way or another.

Now comes word that “U.S. officials said Thursday it was ‘highly likely’ that an Iranian anti-aircraft missile downed a Ukrainian jetliner late Tuesday, killing all 176 people on board….The crash came just a few hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack against Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops amid a confrontation with Washington over the U.S. drone strike that killed an Iranian Revolutionary Guard general last week. Two U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence, said they had no certain knowledge of Iranian intent. But they said the airliner could have been mistaken for a threat.”

The Gateway Pundit reported the following today:

Al Hadath Dubai News reported a missile took down the Ukrainian flight after the crash on Wednesday.

(Tweets were translated)

Al Hadath: Preliminary images of the Ukrainian plane suspected of being hit by an Iranian missile

The majority of the passengers on the plane were Canadians and Iranians. It will be interesting to see if Canada responds to this at all.

The American Government Needs To Realize That China Is Not Our Friend

On Tuesday, Stars and Stripes reported the following:

Two more Chinese nationals have been arrested for illegally taking photographs at a Florida Navy base, court records show.

The arrests over the weekend of Yuhao Wang and Jielun Zhang bring to four the number of Chinese people charged recently with snapping pictures at the Naval Air Station in Key West, Florida.

An FBI affidavit says Wang and Zhang drove up to an air station annex entrance and were told by a security officer they could not enter the property without military identification. The FBI says the pair drove onto the base anyway and were apprehended by authorities about 30 minutes later after taking photos of structures on the base.

…The arrests follow two similar cases involving Chinese nationals taking photos at the Key West base. On Dec. 26, Lyuyou Liao was charged with illegally taking pictures at another annex of the Naval Air Station.

Liao, 27, is being held without bail. His lawyer argued at a recent hearing that Liao was on vacation taking pictures and that evidence of any crime is thin.

A fourth Chinese man, Zhao Qianli, pleaded guilty last year to illegally taking photographs at the same Florida Keys installation. Qianli, 20, was sentenced to a year in federal prison.

China has a history of freely helping itself to the military technology of America. Trade deals make during the Clinton administration advanced the missile program of China between ten and fifteen years. China also has little respect for intellectual property rights. Hopefully any trade agreement signed with China will take its past behavior into consideration.

When The Government Gets Involved, The Incentive For Innovation Goes Down

Yesterday The American Thinker posted an article about the Crescent Dunes thermal solar plant in central Nevada. The thermal solar plant has failed.

The article reports:

Crescent Dunes was a serious project designed to attack the great weakness of solar electricity.  Sunshine is strongest in the middle of the day, but demand for electricity peaks at the end of the day and in the early evening.  This is especially true during the Las Vegas summer, when air-conditioners are running full blast as temperatures soar well past 100 degrees in the late afternoon.

A method of storing plentiful midday solar electricity so it can be utilized in the evening was needed.  Otherwise, solar would hit a ceiling at far less than 50%.  One method is to use batteries.  That is wildly expensive and quite dangerous as the flammable batteries store vast quantities of energy.  That’s not stopping the Gemini project, scheduled for a site north of Las Vegas.  The Gemini solar project will have a $500-million battery system that stores as much energy as 5 million sticks of dynamite (1,400 megawatt-hours).  There have been dozens of fires at similar installations around the world.

The Crescent Dunes project stores energy in the form of molten salts.  During the day, sunshine is concentrated by motorized mirrors aiming beams of sunlight at a central tower, where the liquid salts are heated to a high temperature.  The hot salts are stored in a large tank.  When power is need in the early evening, heat is taken from the tank to make steam and drive a turbine-generator to make electricity.  Crescent Dunes was plagued by leaks in the salt tank, forcing it to close for months at a time.  By contract, the electricity was sold to NV Energy for $135 per megawatt-hour, or about six times as much as it would cost to generate the same amount of electricity in existing natural gas plants.

Crescent Dunes is eligible for the usual government subsidies amounting to around 75% of the construction cost.  It was granted a $700-million government loan guarantee on the ground that it was pioneering, experimental technology, which it was and is.  That problems emerged is not surprising.  That happens to pioneers.  But the not unexpected failures at Crescent Dunes besmirch the propaganda that solar energy is the wave of the future.  Thus, it is necessary to kill Crescent Dunes for the spurious reason that it is obsolete technology.  Like all utility solar, it is useless, but it was an honest attempt to fix the severe problem that solar doesn’t work well late in the day, and not at all after the sun sets.

If green energy were allowed to emerge on its own in a free market, we might have actually solved some of the problems associated with it by now. However, when you introduce government subsidies into the free market, you lessen the drive to innovate. Useful inventions make money for their inventors. That provides incentive to create new ways of dealing with problems. When the government gets involved, those incentives are gone (at taxpayers’ expense).