A Question That Should Have Been Asked Long Ago

According to Michelle Clarier.com:

Michelle Celarier is an award-winning journalist who writes about the world of money and power for New York magazine, Fortune magazine, Institutional Investor, Worth and Slate. She has reported on hedge funds and the men who run them for over a decade, including a four-year stint as a tabloid scribe with the New York Post. She was previously the editor of Absolute Return and its successor Absolute Return + Alpha (AR), which won several magazine awards under her leadership.

Ms. Celarier recently posted an article at New York magazine about Jeffery Epstein.

The article notes:

Long before Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to prostitution charges in Florida more than a decade ago, his fellow Palm Beach resident and hedge-fund manager Douglas Kass was intrigued by the local gossip about his neighbor.

“I’m hearing about the parties, hearing about a guy who’s throwing money around,” says Kass, president of Seabreeze Partners Management. While stories about young girls swarming Epstein’s waterfront mansion and the sex parties he hosted for the rich and powerful were the talk of the town, Kass was more focused on how this obscure person, rumored to be managing billions of dollars, had become so wealthy without much of a track record.

Kass was well-connected on Wall Street, where he’d worked for decades, so he began to ask around. “I went to my institutional brokers, to their trading desks and asked if they ever traded with him. I did it a few times until the date when he was arrested,” he recalls. “Not one institutional trading desk, primary or secondary, had ever traded with Epstein’s firm.”

When a reporter came to interview Kass about Bernie Madoff shortly before that firm blew up in the biggest Ponzi scheme ever, Kass told her, “There’s another guy who reminds me of Madoff that no one trades with.” That man was Jeffrey Epstein.

“How did he get the money?” Kass kept asking.

For decades, Epstein has been credulously described as a big-time hedge-fund manager and a billionaire, even though there’s not a lot of evidence that he is either. There appears little chance the public is going to get definitive answers anytime soon. In a July 11 letter to the New York federal judge overseeing Epstein’s sex-trafficking case, Epstein’s attorney offered to provide “sealed disclosures” about Epstein’s finances to determine the size of the bond he would need to post to secure his release from jail pending trial. His brother, Mark, and a friend even offered to chip in, if necessary.

The article notes some unusual things about Jeffery Epstein’s investment success:

To begin with, there is much skepticism among the hedgies Intelligencer spoke with that Epstein made the money he has — and he appears to have a lot, given a lavish portfolio of homes and private aircraft — as a traditional money manager. A fund manager who knows well how that kind of fortune is acquired notes, “It’s hard to make a billion dollars quietly.” Epstein never made a peep in the financial world.

Epstein was also missing another key element of a typical thriving hedge fund: investors. Kass couldn’t find any beyond Epstein’s one well-publicized client, retail magnate Les Wexner — nor could other players in the hedge-fund world who undertook similar snooping. “I don’t know anyone who’s ever invested in him; he’s never talked about by any of the allocators,” says one billionaire hedge-fund manager, referring to firms that distribute large pools money among various funds.

The article notes one very believable theory on how Jeffrey Epstein became a billionaire:

Given this puzzling set of data points, the hedge-fund managers we spoke to leaned toward the theory that Epstein was running a blackmail scheme under the cover of a hedge fund.

How such a scheme could hypothetically work has been laid out in detail in a thread on the anonymous Twitter feed of @quantian1. It’s worth reading in its entirety, but in summary it is a rough blueprint for how a devious aspiring hedge-fund manager could blackmail rich people into investing with him without raising too many flags.

Kass and former hedge-fund manager Whitney Tilson both emailed the thread around in investing circles and both quickly discovered that their colleagues found it quite convincing. “This actually sounds very plausible,” Tilson wrote in an email forwarding the thread to others.

“He somehow cajoled these guys to invest,” says Kass, speaking of hypothetical blackmailed investors who gave Epstein their money to invest, but managed to keep their names private.

The fact that Epstein’s fund is offshore in a tax haven — it is based in the U.S. Virgin Islands — and has a secret client list both add credence to the blackmail theory.

The article concludes:

In the 2015 filing, Giuffre claimed that Epstein “debriefed her” after she was forced into sexual encounters so that he could possess “intimate and potentially embarrassing information” to blackmail friends into parking their money with him. She also said photographic and video evidence existed — an assertion that looms especially large now that federal investigators have found a trove of images in Epstein’s home safe.

There are other theories about how Epstein made his money–a Ponzi scheme, work for the intelligence community, money laundering, and offshore tax schemes. Now that Epstein’s New York City residence has been cleared of evidence by authorities, it will be interesting to see who is involved in his financial dealings (and other activities).

Why Didn’t The New York City Police Department Follow The Law?

Yesterday The New York Post reported that Jeffrey Epstein, after being labeled a Level 3 sex offender in 2011, never once checked in with city cops in the eight-plus years since a Manhattan judge ordered him to do so every 90 days — and the NYPD says it’s fine with that. What?

The article reports:

After being labeled a worst-of-the-worst, Level 3 sex offender in 2011, Epstein should have reported in person to verify his address 34 times before he was arrested Saturday on federal child sex-trafficking charges.

Violating requirements of the state’s 1996 Sex Offender Registration Act — including checking in with law enforcement — is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison for a first offense.

Subsequent violations carry a sentence of up to seven years each.

But the NYPD hasn’t required the billionaire financier — who owns a $77 million Upper East Side townhouse — to check in since he registered as a sex offender in New York over the controversial 2008 plea bargain he struck in Florida amid allegations he sexually abused scores of underage girls in his Palm Beach mansion.

Michael Bloomberg was the Mayor of New York in 2011. In 2014, Bill de Blasio became Mayor. Did they make this decision or did the police chief make this decision?

The article continues:

That was the same hearing where, in a highly controversial move, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office tried to argue on Epstein’s behalf that he should be deemed a low-risk Level 1 offender, which would have exempted him from the reporting requirements.

The DA’s office has said that the prosecutor in that case — Jennifer Gaffney, who quit last year — “made a mistake” and that DA Cyrus Vance Jr. was unaware of it at the time.

In March, an NYPD spokeswoman told the Washington Post that Epstein never checked in following Pickholz’s ruling. Asked repeatedly about that admission this week, the NYPD declined comment.

Asked about her ruling, state court spokesman Lucian Chalfen said Pickholz “stands by what was said in court, on the record, at the hearing and has had no further role in any type of enforcement. That’s not the court’s role.”

In addition to verifying a sex offender’s address, the 90-day check-ins allow cops to take a new photograph if the offender’s appearance has changed, so it can be updated online.

The NYPD cop assigned to monitor Epstein has repeatedly complained to Vance’s Sex Crimes Unit that Epstein wasn’t in compliance, according to a source familiar with the matter.

But prosecutors told the cop to merely send Epstein a letter reminding him of his reporting requirement.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is fascinating. One wonders how much money changed hands and to whose hands it went to keep this man from having the meet his legal responsibilities in New York City.

The Wheels Of Justice Sometimes Turn Very Slowly

Yesterday The Washington Post reported the following:

The FBI on Wednesday arrested two former senior officials who served in administration of Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, leading the chair of the House committee that oversees Puerto Rico to call for the governor to step down.

The arrests also spurred concerns on Capitol Hill about the billions of dollars in aid that Congress has approved for the island.

The federal indictment says the former officials illegally directed federal funding to politically-connected contractors. The arrests come about a month after Congress approved a controversial disaster aid bill that earmarked additional funding for Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane Maria in 2017, which were tied up in part because President Trump called Puerto Rico’s officials “incompetent or corrupt.”

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), chair of the Natural Resource Committee that oversees Puerto Rico, called on Rosselló to resign amid the ongoing federal investigation.

The article concludes:

The arrests come as senior White House officials are searching for new ways to limit the amount of federal aid going to help Puerto Rico, and the island’s allies fear the arrests will give Trump greater justification for curtailing additional aid to the island.

“The governor of Puerto Rico and his administration have now given President Trump the ammunition he needed,” said San Juan Mayor Yulin Cruz, a political opponent of the governor.

I really think we need to make sure that any additional aid given to Puerto Rico will be properly administered and distributed. It appears that they have a corruption problem, and there is no way of knowing whether or not it has been solved. Unfortunately, it will be the people who need to help the most who will suffer the most because of the corruption.

The Growing Contempt For Freedom Of Speech

Walter E. Williams posted an article at Newsbusters today about the attack on free speech.

The Professor notes:

The First Amendment to our Constitution was proposed by the 1788 Virginia ratification convention during its narrow 89 to 79 vote to ratify the Constitution. Virginia’s resolution held that the free exercise of religion, right to assembly and free speech could not be canceled, abridged or restrained. These Madisonian principles were eventually ratified by the states on March 1, 1792.

Gettysburg College professor Allen C. Guelzo, in his article “Free Speech and Its Present Crisis,” appearing in the autumn 2018 edition of City Journal, explores the trials and tribulations associated with the First Amendment. The early attempts to suppress free speech were signed into law by President John Adams and became known as the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. Later attempts to suppress free speech came during the Civil War, when President Abraham Lincoln and his generals attacked newspapers and suspended habeas corpus. It wasn’t until 1919, in the case of Abrams v. United States, when the U.S. Supreme Court finally and unambiguously prohibited any kind of censorship.

Unfortunately many of our college campuses have lost the concept of free speech and open debate.

The article reports:

Today, there is growing contempt for free speech, most of which is found on the nation’s college and university campuses. Guelzo cites the free speech vision of Princeton University professor Carolyn Rouse, who is chairperson of the department of Anthropology. Rouse shared her vision on speech during last year’s Constitution Day lecture. She called free speech a political illusion, a baseless ruse to enable people to “say whatever they want, in any context, with no social, economic, legal or political repercussions.” As an example, she says that a climate change skeptic has no right to make “claims about climate change, as if all the science discovered over the last X-number of centuries were irrelevant.”

Rouse is by no means unique in her contempt for our First Amendment rights. Faculty leaders of the University of California consider certain statements racist microagressions: “America is a melting pot”; “America is the land of opportunity”; “Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough”; and “There is only one race, the human race.” The latter statement is seen as denying the individual as a racial/cultural being. Then there’s “I believe the most qualified person should get the job.” That’s “racist” speech because it gives the impression that “people of color are given extra unfair benefits because of their race.” Other seemingly innocuous statements deemed unacceptable are: “When I look at you, I don’t see color,” or “Affirmative action is racist.” Perhaps worst of all is, “Where are you from, or where were you born?”

We should reject any restriction on free speech. We might ask ourselves, “What’s the true test of one’s commitment to free speech?” It does not come when people permit others to say or publish ideas with which they agree. The true test of one’s commitment to free speech comes when others are permitted to say and publish ideas they deem offensive.

I hated it when the neo-Nazis were allowed to march in Skokie, Illinois, but that is what free speech means. The concept of hate speech is the antithesis of free speech–it is an excuse for censorship. If you are not comfortable enough in your own ideas to be willing to let others who do not share those ideas speak, then maybe living in a free country isn’t your cup of tea.

When Following The Law Is Controversial

Issues and Insights posted an article today about President Trump’s plan to deport about one million illegal aliens. These are aliens that have already had their court hearings and been ordered deported by judges. The article notes that Acting United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Ken Cuccinelli is simply the first federal official, besides President Trump, brave enough to follow and implement the law.

The article notes:

That is what President Trump pledged to do when he took the oath of office. Take care that the laws be faithfully executed. That is why the President is called the Chief Executive. Democrats, and their party-controlled media, find that shocking because they have been in an insurrection since Trump took that oath of office.

Cuccinelli said in a CBS interview on Sunday,

“[ICE agents are] ready to just perform their mission which is to go and find and detain and then deport the approximately one million people who have final removal orders. They’ve been all the way through the due process and have final removal orders.”

If we are not going to deport illegal aliens who have had their cases adjudicated with final deportation orders fully in accord with due process, then Democrats would have effectively opened the borders to Central America, and the entire third world, to just walk in, and sign up for welfare paid for by U.S. citizens. That would amount to a coup against American democracy, as that policy has never been adopted into law by representatives democratically elected by those same U.S. citizens.

Breitbart News reported on July 7, “The latest Harvard/Harris Poll finds that a majority of Americans support Trump’s plan to mass deport illegal aliens following inaction from Congress. This includes support from more than 8-in-10 Republican voters and more than 5-in-10 swing voters. Breitbart News further reports that there are about 1.7 million illegal aliens from Central America and Mexico, alone, living in the U.S. despite already being ordered deported or having pending deportation orders. The latest federal data concludes that there are more than 925,000 illegal aliens, in total, with final deportation orders who have continued living freely in the U.S. About 20% of these illegal aliens have at least one criminal conviction…. Roughly 60% of these illegal aliens come from Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.

The article makes a very good point:

Ken Cuccinelli and Bill Barr just need to enforce the Rule of Law, whatever it takes, to stop this modern Resistance and Insurrection, and restore Due Process and the Rule of Law.

The Democrats (and the media) have been acting like spoiled children since the 2016 presidential election. It’s time they grew up and realized that America is supposed to be a country of laws that apply equally to all. I guess they just can’t get used to the idea of having a President who actually enforces the law as it is written.

Misusing The Power Of Social Media

PJ Media posted an article yesterday about a recent statement by Mark Zuckerberg.

The article reports:

During this year’s Aspen Ideas Festival, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained that Facebook is increasingly trying to work with governments to determine what political speech it does and does not allow. Oh sorry, I mean: what kind of political ads it is willing to approve.

In the particular example Zuckerberg cited, in 2018, American pro-life groups wanted to run advertisements for Facebook users in Ireland. This is because the Irish were about to vote in a referendum on whether abortion should be legalized.

When Facebook saw the ad requests, the company contacted the Irish government asking whether this should or should not be allowed. “Their response at the time was, ‘we don’t currently have a law, so you need to make whatever decision you want to make.'”

In other words, Facebook could do as it pleased. There was no legal reason to disallow the ads. But what did Facebook do? You guessed it:

“We ended up not allowing the ads.”

When Mark Zuckerberg made this decision, Facebook became a publication–not a platform. The decision was an editorial decision–not a legal decision. The decision was consistent with the political ideology that Facebook has supported in the past. This is the point at which Facebook becomes dangerous. Much of the younger generation gets their news through social media. If Facebook is making editorial decisions based on political ideology, they are not acting as an honest broker of news. Our younger generations are not hearing the complete story–they are hearing a politically biased version–no different from the mainstream media.

There are no laws against Facebook making editorial decisions, but its users need to be aware that they are not getting both sides of any story.

Going Against Public Opinion In An Attempt To Gain Power

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about whether or not the citizenship question should be on the 2020 census. The article cited some interesting poll results.

The article reports:

Two-thirds of voters approve of a citizenship question on the 2020 census, and that includes a majority of Hispanic voters — despite claims by Democratic lawmakers that the inquiry would discourage participation in Latino communities.

A Harvard University Center for American Political Studies/Harris poll found that 67% of all registered U.S. voters say the census should ask the citizenship question when the time comes. That includes 88% of Republicans, 63% of independents and 52% of Democrats.

Most notably, the poll found that 55% of Hispanic voters favor the idea.

Also in agreement: 74% of rural voters, 59% of black voters, 58% of urban voters and 47% of voters who backed Hillary Clinton in 2016. At 44%, liberal voters were the least likely to favor the citizenship question.

At the other end of the scale, 92% of Trump voters and 90% of conservatives back the question.

The article concludes:

On Tuesday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway challenged why the citizenship question should even be an issue on the census — which makes a variety of personal household inquiries. She faults Democratic critics.

“We’re asking people how many toilets in your house and you don’t want to know who’s using them? It’s absolutely ridiculous — and this is why the president is fighting for the question’s inclusion,” Ms. Conway told Fox News.

“The census is important, and as President Trump has mentioned, we spend about $20 billion on it. We have said it’s an important exercise. So why not get it right? The census in the past has been increasingly responsive to changes in American demography,” she continued.

“I would ask the Democrats —I hear they’re screaming rhetoric — I would ask what are you afraid of? Why wouldn’t you want to know who’s living in this country, and who’s a citizen and who’s not a citizen?” Ms. Conway asked.

The concept to keep in mind here is that there are a limited number of members in the House of Representatives. The number of Representatives a state has is determined by how many people in that state. Congress is supposed to represent Americans. States who have a large number of non-citizens are not entitled to more Representatives because they have a larger population. If that happens, American citizens are not fully represented. That is the reason the citizenship question needs to be on the census.

The Problem Is Underneath–Not Above

In August 2018 (yes, I know that was last year, but I missed this), The Climate Change Dispatch posted an article with the following headline, “Multiple NASA Studies Confirm Bedrock Heat Flow Behind Melting Polar Ice, Not Global Warming.” Wow. Who knew?

The article includes the following photo:

The article reports:

In what amounts to dissension from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) climate change policy, a series of just-released studies by working-level scientists prove that geological and not atmospheric forces are responsible for melting of Earth’s polar ice sheets.

NASA Antarctica Study October 30, 2015

This research study authored by NASA Glaciologist Jay Zwally concluded that Antarctica is gaining, not losing, ice mass and thereby challenging the conclusions of many previous studies, most importantly the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report (see the quote from the study below).

“A new NASA study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.

“The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that Antarctica is overall losing land ice.

The article continues:

The conclusions of this NASA study were immediately challenged by numerous climate activist groups and biased media outlets (see here). These challenges have since been proven incorrect for several reasons.

Statements by NASA Glaciologist Jay Zwally concerning his soon-to-be-published Antarctic follow-up study reconfirm that Antarctica is gaining, not losing ice.

The results of this follow-up study are bolstered by two other NASA research studies.

The first, dated January 1, 2018, shows that East Antarctica has for many years been accumulating huge amounts of snow that compact into ice and increasing overall ice mass (see here).

The second NASA study released on July 19, 2018, showed that the atmosphere above the Antarctic Continent has been continuously cooling and not warming for many years (see here).

Obviously, it’s impossible to melt Antarctica’s glaciers via atmospheric warming when the atmosphere is not warming.

Lastly, a NASA study dated Feb. 20, 2018, concludes that outflow of East Antarctic glaciers into the ocean is stable and not increasing (see here). This is proof that East Antarctica’s ice mass is not being diminished by glacial outflow into adjacent oceans.

Bottom line, research by NASA scientists clearly shows that the well-documented ice loss in West Antarctica is more than accommodated by ice gains in East Antarctica. Contrary to hundreds of pro-melting articles, Antarctica’s ice mass is increasing!

When you read an article about man-made climate change, consider the following:

In March 2016, I posted an article with the following:

…Then listen to the words of former United Nations climate official Ottmar Edenhofer:

“One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole,” said Edenhofer, who co-chaired the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on Mitigation of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015.

So what is the goal of environmental policy?

“We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy,” said Edenhofer.

It’s really not about the climate.

First They Came For Our Hairspray…

I wish environmentalists would simply focus on the things we know–keeping water clean, recycling, proper trash disposal, picking up after our pets, putting out campfires, etc. They always seem to get into trouble when they wander into areas where the science is still being debated. Now they want to take away our air conditioning. I am willing to bet that the person who made that suggestion does not live below the Mason-Dixon Line.

Yesterday PJ Media posted an article about the war on air conditioning.

The article reports:

Shortly before the Fourth of July, The New York Times published an op-ed attacking air conditioning as unnecessary, contributing to global warming, and oppressive. Taylor Lorenz, a staff writer at The Atlantic took up the call, calling air conditioning itself “unhealthy, bad, miserable, and sexist.” She called for a ban on air conditioning in general, and the internet rushed to defend the technology.

“Air-conditioning is unhealthy, bad, miserable, and sexist. I can’t explain how many times I’ve gotten sick over the summer b/c of overzealous AC in offices,” Lorenz tweeted, adding “ban A/C.”

The article includes many interesting defenses of air conditioning:

The New York Times‘s Penelope Green begins her article recounting the invention of air conditioning, lamenting, “And in that moment (well, within a few decades), entire industries and geographies were transformed, and new technologies made possible, including, terribly, the internet: Without cooling, there would be no server farms.”

She also connects the need for air conditioning to climate change. “On an overheated planet, air-conditioning becomes more and more desirable, solving in the short term the problem it helped create.”

As for the sexism claim, Green cites a Nature.com study finding that building temperatures were set to the comfort preferences of 1960s-era men in suits and disregards the “thermal comfort” of female staffers. Ironically, she also predicted Lorenz’s tweet. “Come summer, Twitter invariably lights up with charges that air-conditioning is sexist, an engine of the patriarchy, in threads that in turn fire up conservative commentators eager to prove the daftness of the opposition.”

It is true that offices keep air conditioning too strong for the comfort level of many women. Many men also complain that air conditioning is not strong enough. As Green notes, women often wear blankets or even use space heaters to counterbalance excessive air conditioning.

The article also notes that air conditioning saves lives:

National Review‘s Charles C.W. Cooke tweeted about the “Ban A/C” hashtag. “[Ban A/C]? I spent the summer of 2003 in France. There was a heatwave. I saw some of the consequences with my own eyes. Nearly 15,000 people died. per the NIH,” he tweeted.

Part of the problem was that the high temperatures were so unusual that people did not exercise the proper caution in dealing with the heat–staying hydrated, restricting physical activity, etc.

The article concludes:

Air conditioning is one of the great blessings of modern life, making extremely hot locations bearable for living and working. Many buildings may need to turn down the A/C, but opposing air conditioning in general as sexist and calling for “banning” it is little more than a demand to return to a Stone Age standard of living. Thankfully, it seems most of the people tweeting about this absurd idea already know that.

If air conditioning is sexist, is heat sexist?

Judicial Watch Uncovers More Lying Under Oath

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about the interview notes of the FBI’s interview with Hillary Clinton’s attorney Heather Samuelson. Those notes have been uncovered due to the efforts of Judicial Watch. There are some problems with the facts as stated by Ms. Samuelson.

The article reports:

In the interview Samuelson states to the FBI’s Peter Strzok that she was assigned the duty of reviewing Hillary’s emails and in doing so, Samuelson reviewed the emails on her laptop both at her apartment and in Cheryl Mills’ office.

…Samuelson was assigned the task of obtaining Hillary’s emails for her tenure as Obama’s Secretary of State. After making a request for Hillary’s emails from Platte River Networks (PRN), the firm that administered Hillary’s personal email system, Samuelson reviewed them and noticed that some of Hillary’s emails were missing.

Samuelson stated that she believed that Hillary’s emails that were missing for the period between January 2009 through March 2009 must have not been backed up.

The article then notes that the government email system is such that there is no way that emails from a Secretary of State would not have been backed up.

The story continues:

Next Samuelson makes another shocking remark.  She states that after Clinton left the State Department she started using another domain for her emails (@hrcoffice.com).  But she states that no old emails were transferred from the clintonemail.com domain to the new domain.  She also stated that she didn’t know how Clinton or her close assistant Huma Abedin obtained her old emails once the new domain was established.

The article states the problem with Ms. Samuelson’s statement:

And here is where Samuelson lays an egg!  Samuelson noticed during her review that Hillary’s emails were displayed as hrod17@clintonemail.com,  but this address was not even created until after Hillary was Secretary of State. 

The article notes:

You can’t send emails from an account that is not created or in place!

The only reasonable explanations for the receipt of emails from a domain that was not yet in place is, 1)  the source name in the emails had been doctored and updated to an email account not yet in service, or 2) a utility was used to copy the emails in bulk from one account to another and in the process change some of the fields including the original email source.

Why would Hillary do this?  The only explanation that makes sense is that the Hillary team was trying to eliminate or strip out all the classified markings in her emails, and in the process, they stripped out the old email addresses, and since that account didn’t exist anymore, their process added the new address.

To put it plainly – Hillary attempted to doctor (i.e. change) her emails for some reason and in so doing she inadvertently changed her email address.

Clearly if Hillary was caught editing her emails by the FBI, then former FBI Director James Comey knew very well that Hillary intended to break the law!  Three years ago Jim Comey lied to America!

Please follow the link to read the entire article. This scandal is complicated because of the technical aspects involved. The bottom line is simple–Hillary Clinton set up a secret server in order that many of her emails would not become public. We have a very limited idea of what is in those missing emails.

In October 2016, Charles Krauthammer (who died in 2018) stated:

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: This brings us back full circle to the beginning. The question was originally: Why did she have the private server? She said convenience, obviously that was ridiculous…

It was obvious she was hiding something.

And think about it, she set it up in 2009, before becoming Secretary of State. So, she anticipated having exchanges that she would not want anyone to see. So, we’ve been asking ourselves on this set for a year almost, what exactly didn’t she want people to see?

Well, now we know.

And as we speculated, the most plausible explanation was the rank corruption of the Clinton Foundation, and its corrupt — I don’t know if it’s illegal, but corrupt relationship with the State Department.

And her only defense as we saw earlier– the Democrats are saying, well, there was nothing she did… that was corrupted by donations. You can believe that if you want, but there’s a reason that people give donations in large amounts, and that’s to influence the outcome of decisions. So, this — we are getting unfolding to us, exactly what she anticipated having to hide, and it is really dirty business.

He was obviously ahead of his time in his thinking.

We Need To Celebrate This

Issues & Insights posted an article today about the change in the number of Americans dependent on Government since President Trump took office.

The article includes a chart showing the change:

Here are some of the highlights listed in the article:

Disability. The number of workers on Social Security’s Disability Insurance program has sharply declined as well. It went from 88 million in January 2017 to 84.9 million as of May. That’s the lowest it’s been since August 2011.

…Medicaid. Enrollment in Medicaid also has dropped sharply since Trump took office — despite the fact that Virginia decided to expand its program under Obamacare, which added some 300,000 to its Medicaid rolls over those years.

As of this March, the total number of people on Medicaid and CHIP — the health insurance program for children — was down by 2.5 million.

Obamacare. The number enrolled in Obamacare has declined every year since Trump took office as well, and is now 1 million below where it was at the end of 2016.

Welfare. The number of those collecting welfare — either on the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or what are called “separate state programs” — has dropped by more than 800,000 under Trump.

The article concludes:

In a less biased news media world, the decline in government dependency would be front-page news.

Instead, when they’re acknowledged at all, these enrollment drops are treated as bad news by the Left, which treats any declining benefit programs as a problem that needs to be fixed — usually by expanding these programs. Thus, you have every Democratic candidate for president talking about trillions upon trillions of new benefit programs, which are designed to ensnare as many as possible in the net of government dependency.

They have it exactly backward. The goal should be to have zero people collecting government benefits — because they are gainfully employed and don’t need them. Anything else should be treated as a failure.

One of the reasons that it is so difficult to shrink government programs is that in addition to the people they serve, they provide employment for government workers. These workers understand that if assistance programs shrink drastically, then there will be fewer staff members needed to oversee the programs. It is definitely a reverse incentive to cut dependence on the government.

Does The Will Of The People Mean Anything?

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about the question of asking people if they are citizens on the 2020 census.

The article reported:

Americans by a wide margin agree with President Trump that the upcoming 2020 census should ask a citizenship question.

The latest Economist/YouGov poll found that 53% feel it should ask the question versus 32% who don’t.

The survey asked: “Do you think the federal government should or should not ask people whether they are American citizens as part of the 2020 census?”

  • Should ask 53%
  • Should not ask 32%
  • Not sure 14%

The Supreme Court has rejected including the question in a form the administration proposed but left the door open to another version. And Trump is considering changing the version.

…And it can be done, according to legal expert and George Washington University Law professor John Banzhaf.

“There are several rationales — including one based upon the Constitution itself — which could well still persuade the courts to permit a citizenship question on the census, especially if the explanation were included in the executive order now being considered, rather than in some new declaration by the Secretary of Commerce,” he said in a review of the court’s decision.

Why does this matter? The census is used to determine the number of Representatives a state has in the House of Representatives. Theoretically these Representatives represent American citizens living in their districts. The number of Representatives a state sends to Congress also helps determine the number of votes a state has in the Electoral College.

So if people who are not citizens and may be here illegally are counted in the census, what happens? California, whose population is losing American citizens to other states and gaining illegal immigrants will either retain its current number of Representatives or gain some. States with lower non-citizen populations may be underrepresented in Congress and in the Electoral College. In a sense, when you count non-citizens in the census, you risk taking representation away from Americans. Counting non-citizens will also skew the Electoral College.

When Perspective Is Missing

All of us have our sensitive spots. Sometimes we react to comments we find offensive that were not meant to be offensive at all. Sometimes we read meanings that were never intended into things based on our own experience. Some recent local events illustrate that point.

A local weekly newspaper called The County Compass (which I would consider a conservative news outlet) publishes a page written by members of the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association (CCTA). The CCTA is composed of ordinary citizens who are concerned about the rapid growth of government and increase in taxes in recent years. Members attend local board meetings of various kinds and attempt to hold our elected officials accountable. They also post vetting reports of candidates on their website during elections to provide voters with information. The group is made of up people of all ages from different professional backgrounds and personal experiences. Recently the CCTA page dealt with the issue of bringing those to justice who have engaged in a soft coup attempt to undo the 2016 election. The writer of the article stated that she hoped those guilty would be held accountable for their violations of the civil rights of Americans and their attempted coup. At the top of the article was a picture of a noose, which to many Americans represents an old fashioned concept of justice. Unfortunately, for some people a noose, even in a totally non-racial context, represents racism. The professionally outraged saw the picture and swung into action.

A local young black woman chose to post that graphic on her Facebook page with a remark about the paper’s being racist for having published it; she chose to disregard the subject matter of the article entirely; therefore, her post was completely out of context.

The NAACP got involved, and a local TV station interviewed Jeff Aydelette, the publisher of The County Compass, and the NAACP on the subject.  Then this past Wednesday, about 120 members of the NAACP staged a protest rally outside the offices of the Compass.  Jeff offered them chairs, went around and shook hands, and behaved in his usual gentlemanly way.  Again, a report was featured on local TV.

Now The County Compass is getting calls from advertisers who are cancelling their ads.  They are saying that the NAACP is telling them that their businesses will be boycotted if they continue to advertise in the Compass.

Although I am willing to concede that the picture may represent different things to different people, I think it needs to be viewed in context. I believe that this protest is simply an effort by the political left and its allies to shut down a conservative news outlet. This should be a wake-up call to all Americans who value free speech and freedom of the press that our First Amendment rights are under attack.

 

This Shouldn’t Surprise Anyone

Yesterday One America News reported that the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani warned European partners in its faltering nuclear deal on Wednesday that Tehran will increase its enrichment of uranium to “any amount that we want” beginning on Sunday, putting pressure on them to offer a way around intense U.S. sanctions targeting the country.

This is called nuclear blackmail. It is the technique that Iran would have used when the limits on their uranium production ended as provided in the nuclear treaty. First of all, does anyone actually believe that Iran was following the rules of the treaty to begin with? Note that the treaty did not allow inspections of all probable uranium enrichment sites.

The article reports:

The hike will put the country above the limits set by the 2015 nuclear deal made with six major world powers. President Trump pulled out that deal, saying the country was showing no intention of abiding by the agreement.

Earlier this week, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani teased their latest move, threatening to violate the terms of the 2015 agreement.

“We will increase the cap to whatever level we deem is essential for us and to a level that we need, you must also know that if you do not fulfill all your obligations to us under the agreement and in the agreed time frame, then from July 7th the nuclear reactor will return to its previous activity,” Rouhani said.

Iranian state media said, the Ayotollah regime will officially make the announcement on Sunday.

The only way to end the danger of the Iranian quest to be a nuclear power is to increase the sanctions to the point where there is a change of leadership in Iran. Many of the Iranians who thought they were fighting for freedom in 1978 were very disillusioned by the government that followed the revolution. A free Iran would be considerably less dangerous to the world than the current totalitarian Islamic state.

When History Isn’t Taught In Schools

Last week we celebrated Independence Day. It was the day that America declared its freedom from British rule. It was the day that Congress approved the Declaration of Independence.

The New American website includes what I consider the most important quote of the time period:

The deliberations of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 were held in strict secrecy. Consequently, anxious citizens gathered outside Independence Hall when the proceedings ended in order to learn what had been produced behind closed doors. The answer was provided immediately. A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

We are an imperfect nation founded by imperfect people. However, those imperfect people relied on basic historic principles to create a land that would promote freedom. They were constrained by the customs of their time, and acted accordingly. Many of the issues they did not address (because they were not considered issues at the time) have since been addressed. Unfortunately some of our Congressional representatives do not appreciate the history that gave us our freedom or that allows them supposedly to represent us.

On July 5th, CNS News posted a tweet by Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.). This tweet was posted on July 4th:

The article notes:

Controversial Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) both “liked” and shared Pressley’s post on her Twitter page.

In her Twitter thread, Rep. Pressley argued that the “prejudices, biases & contradictions codified by our founding fathers is still felt today.” She continued to compare the detention of migrants awaiting trial to slavery, writing that “We continue to struggle as a nation to embrace our full history, one that includes family separation of black families at the auction block & today of migrants at camps.”

Writing for The Daily Wire, Josh Hammer rebuked the article, saying that its author was “profoundly ungrateful” and “affirmatively wrong to muddle and belittle the genius that was Thomas Jefferson’s drafted Declaration of Independence.”

Hammer added that the Declaration of Independence actually laid the foundation for the extermination of slavery:

“Slavery was not in any way a tenet of the American Founding; it was an institution manifestly athwart the Founding. The sagacity of the Declaration, in fact, was that it actually laid the seeds — the very codified foundation — for the eventual eradication of that most horrific of compromises of principle.”

Again, history has to be viewed in context. Slavery was an acceptable practice at the time, and women did not have rights at the time. That has changed. As for the Indians, unfortunately it is the rule of nations that since man arrived on the planet that nations have changed hands because of force. Generally speaking, the conquered people assimilated into the new nation. Look at the nations of Europe and Great Britain to find multiple examples of that principle.

America is one of the freest nations in the world–our Bill of Rights protects that freedom. If Representative Pressley thinks the nation she is supposed to serve is so horrible, I would ask what legislation she has introduced to make it a better place.

Meanwhile, let us heed the words of Benjamin Franklin and celebrate our republic.

Bringing Justice In The Midst Of A Tangled Web

On Wednesday, Forbes posted an article about financier Jeffrey Epstein. Mr. Epstein was charged with sex crimes in Florida and avoided trial with a plea deal that seemed very lenient for the charges involved. He was arrested Saturday in New York City and charged with sex trafficking minors. He is expected to appear in court in New York on Monday.

The article reports:

A federal appeals court Wednesday ordered that 167 documents in a lawsuit that alleges famously well-connected financier Jeffrey Epstein participated in a sex-trafficking ring should be unsealed—and that many of his powerful friends could be named.

  • In its 27-page decision, the court cited the public’s right to access the case information outweighed the privacy of certain individuals, “including numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well‐known Prime Minister, and other world leaders.” 
  • Virginia Guiffre (now Roberts) filed the lawsuit against Ghislane Maxwell, alleging that she had used her as part of a sex trafficking network of underage girls to Epstein and a number of his famous friends, including his lawyer Alan Dershowitz and Prince Andrew. Both men denied the accusations.
  • Dershowitz has supported unsealing the documents, according to the Daily Beast.
  • The documents will not be immediately available, as anonymous individuals involved in the case have two weeks to file appeals.
  • The court advised the documents be read carefully. “We therefore urge the media to exercise restraint in covering potentially defamatory allegations, and we caution the public to read such accounts with discernment,” wrote the court in its decision.

In January 2015, The U.K. Daily Mail posted some of the flight logs from the “Lolita Express’ (the nickname of Epstein’s airplane that he used to transport people and underage girls to his private island. Please follow the link to the article to read the names. Because of those names, I would be very surprised if the court documents are actually unsealed. Mr. Epstein had connections in high places, which allowed him to avoid the punishment in Florida that an ordinary person would have received. It will be interesting to see if he has those same connections in New York City.

 

Received in my email today:

The United States’ Founders created the
Electoral College to ensure the STATES and ALL AMERICANS  are FAIRLY represented.

Why should one or two densely populated areas speak for the whole of the Nation?  Do they truly represent all states and our entire Nation?

There are 3,141 counties in the United States.

Trump won 3,084 of them.
Clinton won 57.

There are 62 counties in New York State.

Trump won 46 of them.

Clinton won 16.

Clinton won the popular vote by approx. 1.5 million votes.

In the 5 counties that encompass NYC, (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan,
Richmond & Queens) Clinton received well over 2 million more votes
than Trump. (Clinton won 4 of these counties; Trump won Richmond)

Therefore these 4 MEGA counties in New York City alone, more than accounted for Clinton winning the popular vote of the entire country.

These 5 counties comprise 319 square miles.

The United States is comprised of 3,797,000 square miles.

Should a Nation that encompasses almost 4 million square miles,

be ruled by those who live in one small corner of the vast nation–a mere 319 square miles?

Should this small section of the country dictate a National Election?

Should large, densely populated Democrat cities (NYC, Chicago, LA)  speak for the entire Nation?

 

How Do You Run Against This Record?

Yesterday Byron York posted an article at The Washington Examiner about the 2020 Presidential election. The title of the article is, “Byron York: Dem 2020 task: Convince voters to overlook economy.” He is right assuming that the economy continues to do as well as it has. We need to remember that the Federal Reserve is in a position to undercut our prosperity. A few key interest rate raises would definitely slow down our growth. The fed is already making noises that it might not cut rates this year as previously expected. That might also have a negative impact on our growing economy. I am not convinced that the problem the Democrats have is to convince voters to overlook the economy as much as all Americans need to make sure that political forces do not move to wreck a good economy for political gain.

The article concludes:

“Trump’s tenure is straining one of the most enduring rules in presidential politics: the conviction that a strong economy benefits the party holding the White House,” wrote analyst Ron Brownstein in The Atlantic. “Across many of the key groups in the electorate, from young people to white college graduates, Trump’s job-approval rating consistently runs at least 25 points below the share of voters who hold positive views about either the national economy or their personal financial situation.”

Of course Democrats can’t ignore the economy. So far, when they have addressed it, they haven’t been terribly creative, relying on the standard-issue Democratic critique of Republican presidents — that Trump is creating an economy that only benefits his rich friends.

“Who is this economy really working for?” asked Elizabeth Warren at the first Democratic debate. “It’s doing great for a thinner and thinner slice at the top.”

It’s not clear how well that will work. As the Wall Street Journal editorial board pointed out recently, under Trump, “wages are rising at the fastest rate in a decade for lower-skilled workers, and unemployment among less-educated Americans and minorities is near a record low.” The result of the president’s policies, the Journal argued, “has been faster growth and less inequality.”

Another way to say that is that millions of Americans are better off than they were four years ago. The question in 2020 will be whether that matters.

Actually, if the  Democrat debates continue at their present level of relevance, President Trump may easily cruise into another term as President.

The Reason It Is Taking So Long

Yesterday Catherine Herridge posted an article at Fox News about the investigation into the FISA abuses that occurred during the final months of the Obama administration.

The article reports:

Key witnesses sought for questioning by Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz early in his investigation into alleged government surveillance abuse have come forward at the 11th hour, Fox News has learned.  

Sources familiar with the matter said at least one witness outside the Justice Department and FBI started cooperating — a breakthrough that came after Attorney General William Barr ordered U.S. Attorney John Durham to lead a separate investigation into the origins of the bureau’s 2016 Russia case that laid the foundation for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

While the investigative phase of the inspector general’s long-running probe is said to be complete, the sources said recent developments required some witnesses to be reinterviewed. And while Barr testified that he expected the report into alleged Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuse to be ready in May or last month, multiple sources said the timeline has slipped.

I can’t help but wonder if the delay is a stall tactic. I think the Democrats are still hoping for a presidential victory in 2020 that will allow them to sweep the FISA abuse investigation under to rug never to return. That may be wishful thinking on their part, but if enough illegal immigrants somehow manage to vote, I suspect they can do it.

The article concludes:

A spokesman for Horowitz would not comment on the report’s status. But during largely unrelated testimony in November, Horowitz offered some guidance for the timeline of the FISA abuse probe in response to questions from GOP Rep. Jim Jordan.

“What I can say is given the volume of documents we’ve had and the number of witnesses it looks like we’ll need to interview, we are likely to be in the same sort of general range of documents and witnesses as the last report,” Horowitz said, referring to his team’s review of the Clinton email case. “It wouldn’t surprise me if we are in that million or so plus range of documents and a hundred-ish or so interviews. The last review, as you know, took us about … 16 months or so.”

If that same guidance holds, the window for completion would begin this month, though it remains unclear how much the DOJ/FBI review and the additional interviews could delay the process.

It would be nice to see all investigations end. The testimony of Robert Mueller on July 17th should be an indication of whether or not an end is in sight.

I Would Love To Know The Story Behind This

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported that Hillary Clinton will no longer be the keynote speaker at the #FireEyeSummit Cyber Security Conference in October.

The article reports:

Of course, Hillary Clinton was probably the most careless politician in history with US classified documents. 

“Cyber security is not any one defender’s responsibility, but a global effort – a cause championed by many for the good of all. By coming together as a community to innovate, build strategies and share knowledge on today’s threats and tomorrow’s risks, we empower ourselves as defenders with the collective wisdom to protect our way of life and the technologies that have become central to it,” FireEye asserts on its website.

Earlier this week conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch announced that John Hackett, the former Director for Information Programs and Services at the State Department, testified under oath that he voiced concern over how Hillary Clinton’s staff had “culled out 30,000” of her ‘personal’ emails

Hackett’s testimony suggests that Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi emails were actually under-classified in order to shield Hillary and to mislead Congress and the public.

On Thursday FireEye announced that Hillary would no longer be their keynote speaker.

Have the Clintons lost their clout?

July 4th On The Mall

The Associated Press posted this picture of the Independence Day celebration in Washington, D.C., yesterday. I want to give them credit for the picture. The article was the usual biased junk from the mainstream media.

I watched the President’s speech. It was inspiring. Our military deserves to be saluted every day of every year. Their courage and steadfastness is what has allowed this country to remain strong. The event was played on C-SPAN last night. Hopefully they will air it again.

A Positive Economic Picture

CNS News is reporting today that the economy is doing better than predicted.

The article reports:

A record 157,005,000 people were employed in June, the most since February and the 19th record of Trump’s presidency, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.

And the economy added a strong 224,000 jobs in June, well above the estimate of 160,000.

The unemployment rate, the lowest in 50 years, ticked up a tenth of a point to 3.7 percent.

In June, the nation’s civilian noninstitutionalized population, consisting of all people age 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, reached 259,037,000. Of those, 162,981,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.

The 162,981,000 who participated in the labor force equaled 62.9 percent of the 259,037,000 civilian noninstitutionalized population. That’s up a tenth of a point from May’s 62.8 percent participation rate. The payroll taxes paid by people who participate in the labor force help support those who do not participate, so the higher this number, the better.

The participation rate reached a record high of 67.3 percent in early 2000; the highest it’s been under Trump is 63.2 percent.

In December 2016, the labor force participation rate was 62.7. It has moved between 62.7 and 63.1 since President Trump took office.

I love the fact that during a Republican administration, the estimates of jobs created is always low and economists are always surprised when the real numbers come out.

The article concludes:

And wages continue rising: In June, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 6 cents to $27.90, following a 9-cent gain in May. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.1 percent.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, in a June 25 speech, said the economy has performed “reasonably well” so far this year, with continued growth and strong job creation keeping the unemployment rate near historic lows.

But Powell also mentioned “some ongoing cross-currents,” including trade uncertainty and incoming data about the strength of the global economy.

He said the Fed “will closely monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion…” That could mean lower interest rates — or not, if the employment and job numbers remain strong.

Economic policies impact the economy. It matters who is occupying the White House. President Trump has proved that.

Some Politicians Are Playing With Fire

On June 25th Reuters reported:

Four men with suspected ties to the Islamic State militant group were captured on Tuesday by members of the Nicaraguan armed forces after entering the country illegally from Costa Rica, Nicaraguan police said.

The identities of three of the men matched those of suspects featured in an alert attributed to U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) warning that three possible terrorists had recently arrived in Central America.

In a statement, Nicaraguan police said two of the men were Egyptian nationals and the other two were Iraqi. The four were due to be deported back to Costa Rica, it added.

The Egyptians were named as Mohamed Ibrahim, 33, and Mahmoud Samy Eissa, 26, while the Iraqis were Ahmed Ghanim Mohamed Al Jubury, 41 and Mustafa Ali Mohamed Yaoob, 29.

The first three men were named in the HSI alert published by Mexican media on Monday, which identified them as possible members of Islamic State headed for the United States.

They were not coming here to improve their economic status.